Sunday, November 23, 2014

14 Fabulous Finds - A Daringly Geeky Gift Guide

I love buying gifts for family and friends! So, I thought I would share a few of my favourite finds both luxury and geeky to help give some good gifting ideas for the season. Most of the links take you to Amazon because I'm a Prime member and their delivery and prices are the BEST. I want to assure you though,  I haven't gotten any kickbacks from writing this post.  I have included some promo and referral codes to you for some products I love - I see that as a win/win. If I ever DO get any freebies I promise to give them away as a prize! How fun would that be!? Enjoy! Free stuff is after the 14 fab finds.
1. Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal - Travel savvy with a case that looks like a leather bound book but hides all kinds of tech and accessories. It features soft tweed, leather accented interior - with all kinds of pockets, straps, and compartments.
  • Genuine leather "book" cover
  • Contains over a dozen pockets and straps to organize your gear
  • Stores iPad, headphones, adapters, chargers, batteries, stylus, cables
  • Old-world book design discourages theft while on the go
  • Separate plush pocket fits all iPads
This is the kind of thing you can leave on your car's front seat without worry about an immediate window smash and grab. And hello? It's geeky & bookish! Average price $99 Follow on Twitter

 2. Belkin SurgePlus 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger Surge Protector with Dual USB -I love this gadget and have blogged about it before for my conference packing tips post! The plug swivels so you can fit it anywhere! The 2 USB ports work great & is terrific when traveling! Average price $20 Follow on Twitter

3. Quirky Pivot Flexible Surge Protector Power Strip -I'm buying this for our family's thieves market gift exchange. Perfect for all those things you have to plug in that have big bulky AC adapters. Comes in many colours & even a smaller travel size. Average price $20  Follow on Twitter

4. Quirky Space Bar Keyboard Organizer & USB Hub -I bought this for my desk at work. It's awesome - slide the keyboard under it and get extra USB ports that are easy to reach!
Comes in a couple variations - silver and white. I chose brushed silver. If it's not available on Amazon (it sells out!) try eBay. Average price $86  Follow on Twitter

5. Birchbox - 3, 6, or 12 month luxury beauty and grooming samples for women or men! I'm getting this for both my Mom & my Media Assistant (And no, they don't read this blog! [smh] LOL) It's just so nice and fun to get a beautiful box of goodies once a month...and to give that experience to someone you love for only $10 a month is to me a no-brainer. If I don't like an item, I give it away to a friend (I HATE Lip Gloss -too sticky!) but I've really discovered some super product favs because of my Birchbox. Use my referral code to get a VIP invite and bonus stuff. Read my previous blog post for more pics and info!  Average price $10 a month - $110 a year. Follow on Twitter

6. Cashmere Travel Throw Set - You don't have to fly first class to feel first class luxury. This super snuggly soft cashmere blanket and pillow with matching eye mask makes travel and hotel stays a dream at a great price! I have this in Grey - it's WONDERFUL! I even left an Amazon review. Average price $160

7. All About Down travel pillow. When you have a cashmere travel pillow doesn't it deserve down? Some hotel pillows are awful! Plus, I love sleeping on a plane and I've read a lot of articles about how they do NOT wash the airplane pillows & blankets. If they even supply them.  I'm not a germophobe.. but... Ok, maybe I am! This pillow has just enough soft with also downy support. Bonus: This company has some of the BEST customer service I've ever dealt with. I also ordered a custom Euro 26X26 down square pillow for my new West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover. Average price $44



8.  PicMonkey -  Give the gift of Win!
My favourite online digital photo editing site - it's awesome and FREE but the Royale features make it mighty!  A year of Royale Digital Membership Average price $33 for one year. Follow on Twitter

 
 
9. Amazon Echo - Like a hands-free voice activated Siri - $100 off for Prime members! I want for home and to put one in my Library, too! And no, I don't worry about spying. I have stock in Skynet. ;-) Watch the hilariously awkward promo ad! Look at the Mom's facial expressions! Average price $99 for Prime members & $199 for everyone else.

10. Phillips Hue - Mobile & Interactive starter light kit - Through your smart phone or tablet, recreate millions of different colors, set timers and alarms, connect to your favorite apps and dim the light. You can also create your own colourful scenes for your app and also to share with the world.  Average price starter kit $188 includes base station & 3 bulbs. GREAT customer service! Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


11. Keurig - the BEST thing I ever got...ok, after my MacFamily of products and my Rav4. LOVE my Keurig! Here's my first in 2009. I've gifted this SO many times! I also bought one for our library kitchen for PD events.  Average price $130 - DO NOT buy the single. I had one and it sucked!

12. Ultra Sonic Jewelry Cleaner - As my Aunty would say DDDS - or Dirty Diamonds Don't Sparkle! I also bought this for my library kitchen - to offer jewelry cleaning during my Tech PD! Professional Development that Sparkles! #Shameless After you use up the included jewelry cleaner make your own w/ a few capfuls of bargain amonia, water, and a few drops of Dawn dish washing liquid.  Average price $32 various colours and including one bottle of jewelry cleaner.

13. iPad Air 2 Feeling spendy? The new iPad Air 2 is super thin, light, and amazing!  This will replace my iPad 2 which I will trade into Amazon (LOVE this service - it works - FAST! see more below) 

It really is amazing how Apple can transfer all your Apps, preferences, photo, data & stuff from the cloud to a new device. It took about an hour all told to get this new iPad up and running. I had to sign into a few apps to get them going but what a far cry from days of old with installation disks and flashdrives! Remember those days? I also enjoyed this feature when I set up my iPhone 6+! I do pay extra $ to get more iCloud space, but it's onlya dollar a month or  $12 a year and it supports 2 iPads and an iPhone. iPad Air 2 Average price $499-699  Since Apple isn't on Twitter, I follow Apple CEO Tim Cook

14. Omaha Steaks - For the carnivore man (or woman!) who has it all! Like my Dad? One word - meat!  This is a great gift for the guy or gal who likes to grill year round. Sign up and look for the FREE Shipping offers. When I'm stumped as to what to give the person who has everything, consumables is the answer!   This gift saves my Mom, too! For a limited time, use the embedded referral code in the Tweet below to get $20 off $50 for your first order! It's a win/win! I buy so often (birthdays, father's day, thank you for the iPad day) that I get Steak Rewards! Nom nom! Follow on Twitter (Ps. they are VERY responsive and helpful on Twitter!)
Need $$ to Fund these Finds? Amazon Trade-in Rules!

Recycle Your Stuff & Make $! 
Want to earn some Amazon gift cards to help pay for Christmas gifts? You definitely must check out Amazon’s Trade-In Program. Go through your home and find any DVDs, Books, Video Games, or electronics you no longer need or use. Do a search on the Amazon Trade-In Store to see how much Amazon will pay you for a Trade In. If the price seems fair, click through to verify the condition, title, and price.You just print out a shipping label and take the nearest UPS store. Amazon gets it, and if they agree it's in the shape you said they automatically deposit the $$ into your Amazon account. I did this with my iPhone4S and got $165. I actually under estimated the value and they gave me $10 more! Note to my future self, keep the original boxes of new technology. 

FREE Graphic Gift from Me to You!

My TV studio kiddos are Tech Ninja's! Esp. my Head Techs! I was inspired by a teacher in Canada to create this for them and ANYONE who wants to use it with their own Tech Team or Geek Squad as a Badge! It's Creative Commons, Take, Use, Share....with Attribution!

Go to my Flickr Page to get different sizes - but if you want the that cool kind of transparency of the background you have to use or download the ORIGINAL size  make sure the file name to end in .PNG - Cheers!

FREE Owl Wall Decal
Hurry! You only have a few days more to sign up for this super cute wall decal! Offer ends Nov 30!
"In celebration of Picture Book Month, Live in a Story is giving away this wall decal based on Brian Won’s picture book, Hooray for Hat. " Sure, it's a little elementary-ish but I LOVE Owls! And who doesn't love FREE?
Follow on Twitter

Here are some cool suggestions from my Twitter family!



I invite you to leave your best tips in the comments! Every educator who leaves a non-spam comment gets an automatic Twitter follow from me- I love your comments! 

Do you NEED Geeky Google SWAG?
OK, so like 10 years ago Google used to send me SWAG like this much loved tie dye T-shirt as a thanks for promoting their products at conferences through my ed tech presentations.  This was WAY before I ever became a Google Certified Teacher and got the awesome SWAG above in Seattle. But if you're a Google fan and want to share that obsession devotion, why not get some SWAG at their Google online product store? I got my Google Lava Lamp here that my kiddos so adore!  Anyway, thought you might enjoy it!

Ok....of course, you know I like to add stuff, right?  Here's something fun my Dad found at Walgreens for $21 - get got a set for our beach place and a set for me, too! Remote controlled colour changing flickering candles! My question are they totally tacky or just AWESOME!?

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