WVS Gift Guide for the Mechanic/Gamer

Joe is a hard one to shop for on most occasions. He doesn’t really want anything, and we don’t usually have the funds for what he does want, so I come up with something small, and he always cherishes and loves the gifts I give him, as far as I know.

However, I have a dream list of things I could, and hopefully one day could get him – some of this isn’t too bad, and might be in the list for this year, but some of the prices *EEK!*

So without further ado, this is my gift guide for the mechanic/gamer in your life!

Games, games, games!
There are so many games that I know Joe would love! For example he would love to have:

Call of Duty (COD): Ghosts

Amazing game!

Amazing game!

COD: Advanced Warfare

New and Shiny game!

New and shiny game!

Need For Speed (NFS): Rivals

It looks AMAZING!

The one thing when you are looking for games for a significant other, is either play the games he likes with them, so you know what they like when it comes time for shopping, listen to their friends and them debate on which games look good, how high the rating on it is, and then the compare and contrast of the other previous games, or take a shot in the dark, and if all else fails they can trade them.

For instance, COD: Black Ops – Joe and I play all the time, but when he played COD: Ghosts with our friend Greg, he mentioned liking and possibly getting it one day. And, of course, Advanced Warfare is on the list because it is new and pretty, but probably out of my price range.

Extras for gaming
There are two things I would love to get Joe as well.

The first one is practical for his gaming and he has mentioned at least 20 times that he wants this – a charging dock and battery packs so we don’t have to stop a game and change the flipping batteries!

Battery Packs, No more buying batteries for the controllers! Yay!

Battery packs – no more buying batteries for the controllers! Yay!

It would also be really awesome if I could get him this next thing, which is a custom controller. He would have his own controller, and whenever we game at a friend’s house we wouldn’t have to wonder which one is ours, because oh yeah, that’s Joe’s controller!

A custom controller? Hells yes!

A custom controller? Hells yes!

Tools
Pretty, expensive, awesome, and jaw-dropping tools. Tools that his old boss told me about, or got for himself, and I saw that look on Joe’s face, of a wish in the back of his mind that one day he would get the amazing tools too.

For instance, pretty much anything from Snap-on, or Matco. This also requires some research, or some shop stalking.

Like this cordless, airless, impact gun, with bits that retails WAY TOO MUCH!

Pretty Tools, and that's all I know about them!!

Pretty tools, and that’s all I know about them!

I wish we had unlimited funds, and that this could happen, but it’s a lot out of my price range at $1,300.

In the end, I know that gifts or no gifts, just spending time together would make him extremely happy!

Cherish each other and just show some love!

~ Andreah

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WVS Gift Guide for the Hunter in your life

As you all know, the love of my life Cody is a outdoors-man/hunter…although, put a spider in front of him and he will prove that label wrong.  For this gift guide, I am going to let you in on a little secret…Cody tells me ALL YEAR ROUND what to buy him and all I have to do is listen in on his conversations with his hunting group, the conversations with his friends, and with his uncle Pierre – it’s his only pastime (other than me). I am not eavesdropping…Well, I am, but only to find out how I can spoil him, because that is one of my favourite pastimes!

See? favourite pastime!

First, I will address fashion. In every hunter’s wardrobe, camo is a staple: real tree camo that is! Everything and anything: t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, under armour, socks, boots, jackets, EVERYTHING!! This year, my eyes are on reversible camos, which go from winter to fall hunting. They are essential and very practical to closet space, when you think about it. Instead of having two sets of bibs* taking up all the room in the closet that should be for everyone’s coats, there will be plenty of room with these oh-so-fancy pants!

Those hunters are fashion forward! Such thinkers!

If you are budget savvy, then this next option is not for you! Two years ago I bought Cody a new excalibur bow, with the help of our friend Jeff, because, let’s be honest, I would go for the prettiest ones, which may work like crap. Cody had been handed down a bow from his uncle, which had seen better days. He had been talking about upgrading it and adding on a new scope to help him see better, and tweaking it to get a better shot out of it. I thought with all the upgrading he would be putting into it, why not just get a new bow? I asked Jeff if he could help out with finding one on sale, that is still a great bow, which he did. I got a picture about a week later, telling me to BUY IT – so I did! If you are to take anything away from this post, it should be do research! My form of research is the many men in my life who LOVE hunting and love Cody. All of Cody’s friends who he grew up with are thankfully interested in the same hobby, so having them as my experts is where I start. Not only will they help me find what I am looking for, but they also help me with the lingo, so when it does come time for me to purchase any one of these items, I sound like I know what  I am talking about!  The look on Cody’s face when he opened this gift was PRICELESS! This year he has been dropping hints for a new gun, but I didn’t give in this year, even though this would be right up my alley for spoiling. There is always his birthday, then the wedding.

I don’t think this is the exact model, but I can’t tell the difference. That’s where you get your researchers to help!!!!

If you have not noticed a trend, everything is real tree camo. In our area, Sail, which is an outdoor store, just opened up. At this point, Cody has not made me go into the store, so I am not sure if this is going to be the greatest thing ever because I will no longer have to travel far to get his gifts, or the bane of my existence because Cody will have a better chance of getting more “just because” presents.

Hunters require tags for every season in order for the ministry to hunt legally (this excludes waterfowl, which have other ministry limits) and they can be purchased at Canadian Tire. A great gift idea would be a gift card for their tags for the season. These requirements are Ontario-based, but I am assuming that the same concept would be across Canada and the US; however, they may have other requirements. Most people may think that gift cards are impersonal, but to me giving Cody a gift card for any one of his favourite stores to get himself all set up for the season is one of the best gifts you can give a hunter. In Southern Ontario, that includes TSC, Canadian Tire, Sail, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, which are all larger box stores that a gift card would be great for. Cody has some local favourite outdoor stores, little mom and pop shops that he visits frequently, but again do research so that you can give a gift and give back to your local small shops!

Enjoy the shopping season, and try to spread the holiday cheer!

~ Jacqui

*Bibs are the the pant sets of camos, which are worn over the shoulders. They pretty much look like snow pants for hunters…Okay, they are snow pants for hunters.

WVS Gift Guide for the Big Kid at Heart

I am fortunate enough to have someone that I find it incredibly easy to choose gifts for. Not only is it because we’ve been together like a bajillion years so I know him pretty well, but also because it’s so much fun to buy things for him.

Michael, is my big kid at heart. Not only does it make the gift buying process enjoyable, but also the giving – his sincere gratitude and love for my thoughtfulness is pretty rewarding in itself. I’m always so excited for the day he opens his gift that I almost burst with anticipation – and that’s if I don’t slip and tell him what it is weeks before I’m supposed to give it to him.

Much like Julia, I too already have Michael’s gift for Christmas,  (seriously, this should be noted, then re-read, because this is a miracle of Christmas in itself – Hallelujah!) however, if I hadn’t completed the first Christmas miracle of 2014, here are a few things I might have gone with instead, for the big kid at heart:

1. Toys: in our house, toys means an entirely different thing than traditional children’s play things. And get your mind out of the gutter (JQ, I’m looking at you…), it doesn’t mean what the other half of you are thinking now. Toys for Michael and I mean parts/upgrades/additions to our trucks or the boat.

Anything from new seats for the boat which range from $20 – $ridiculous.

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These Sport Master Blue and Grey centric style fishing boat seats go for roughly $100/seat

Or a light rack for his new project, the 4Runner:

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This 10″ Baha Rack Lightbar sells for roughly $200-250 – don’t forget the lights!

2. Video Games: depending on your budget, a video game or even console is perfect for the guy that enjoys his down time by kicking a little ass. Make sure you know which ‘type’ of gamer they are as I have learned they are usually faithful to or desire a certain brand of system.

If I wasn’t so freaked out about the voice, movement, placement, pretty much spy camera and microphone features, I might be one to upgrade Michael to the new XBox One…might.

Sells for $399 at most retailers

Sells for $399 at most retailers

For now he’s just going to have to settle for one or two of the games on his wish list.

NHL 2015 sells for $69 at most retailers

NHL 15 sells for $69 at most retailers

3. The Coolest Book in the World: I knew instantly that Michael would go crazy for this book the moment I laid eyes on it. It was just SO cool!

What book you ask? This book:

Sells for $30-50 at most retailers

Sells for $30-50 at most retailers

Filled with facts, trivia, and a ton of how-tos – like all of the information you could ever want about famous battles in history and even step by step instructions for building  a go-kart – The Dangerous Book for Boys is a must have.

Even how to do a coin trick

Even how to do a coin trick

See? So cool.

4. Pellet Gun: I don’t know very many people (don’t worry, I know they exist!) that don’t enjoy setting up a target or two and taking aim with a pellet gun.

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Pure joy while gazing at his Red Ryder Air Riffle

And I know for sure that my big kid at heart looked just like Ralphie on Christmas morning when he opened his.

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Crossman Optimus Air Riffle with Scope sells at Cabela’s for $180

Whoever you’re buying for this Christmas, I hope above all you are spoiled with love, laughter, and sweet memories galore.

~ Toni

WVS Gift Guide for the Geek

Oh, it’s coming.

Can you feel it?

The Christmas season is ramping up. And that means that Christmas shopping is beginning…or, if you’re one of those people, it’s over already and you’re sitting under your cozy blanket, sipping your cocoa, watching Christmas movies smugly while the rest of us are still in brainstorming mode.

Here at the Sisterhood, we’re in full Christmas mode. Some of the sisters and babies went to the local Santa Claus parade this past weekend, we’ve made plans to decorate a tree together, as has been the tradition for the past few years, and sugarplum visions are definitely dancing.

Lillian and Sophie with their boosters

Lillian and Sophie with their boosters

So, what to get the loved ones in your life? The hard-to-buy-for? The have-everythings? We’re here to help! For the next few weeks, each sister will give you a gift guide to help cross people off your list or add stocking stuffers you might not have thought of.

My gift guide is for the geek in your life, the kid that never grew up, the adult who loves their toys – a.k.a. Ben.

It’s tough buying for a geek when you are not a geek yourself. If you don’t speak Warhammer or Game of Thrones or Star Wars, what the heck do you do, short of asking for a detailed, specific list, including where to buy such things?

And Ben is like most geeks: he’s particular. He likes what he likes and nothing else. This can be a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, you can’t just go to Google, type in ‘gifts for geeks’ and pick something willy-nilly. You’ve got to know your stuff. In fact, when I was coming up with this gift guide, I had to ask him clarifying questions about which games he played and what systems he subscribed to. Geeks are TOUGH. But, it also means they have likes – there’s nothing worse than trying to buy for someone who just doesn’t care. My biggest tip? Before purchasing anything, double check what you should be buying. You don’t want to get a Star Trek hoodie just to discover your geek likes Star Wars. TRUST ME.

For my geek, I wanted to get things that could be useful and fun – we have kids and limited funds, so purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of miniature-painting items make no sense. He has no time, our babies would eat everything, and I want more bang for my buck.

Ben likes to build things. If Isaac were older, we’d totally have Lego building parties, but since we’re still in Lego-can-kill-the-baby stage, we are firmly in Mega Bloks land. But, saying we were in the tiny building block stage, I would totally get Ben some Lego.

Like this Lego Minecraft set. I asked him which one and he said The Forest. And then he started to hum and ha about it. So, I’d get him a couple. And then maybe a gift card for more. Because what do I know?!

Lego Minecraft - The Forest

Lego Minecraft – The Forest

Something I do know about is coffee. This Build-On Brick Mug is perfect for the block lover on your list. It’s practical (CAFFEINE) and fun! It also works with whatever block set you have, so you don’t have to buy new blocks to work with your new mug. Win-win.

Build-On Brick Mug

Build-On Brick Mug

Beyond Lego, I can see Ben and our babies (after they’re all done swallowing screws and small parts) building other things together, like this catapult. I’m not saying I would condone such projects, but I think they’d have an absolute blast putting something like this together and then shooting things across the house. At me. Maybe this shouldn’t be on the gift list.

Catapult Kit

Catapult Kit

My geek LOVES t-shirts. Would wear them all day, every day, if his job didn’t require a collar. This t-shirt is totally him – it’s graphic, doesn’t have a crazy saying on it that he couldn’t wear everywhere, and it’s from The Big Bang Theory, one of his favourite shows.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock, anyone?

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock, anyone?

He also likes to cook. And he’s in charge of all the knives in our house (read: I can’t be trusted). I saw this knife set and knew it was over the top. And expensive. But, if money were no object and I didn’t care about our home decor (I legitimately don’t – my design ethic is ‘won’t kill yourself walking around’), this would be the knife block I would get him. Note that it’s Star Wars and NOT Star Trek.

Star Wars X-Wing Knife Block

Star Wars X-Wing Knife Block

Maybe he could whip up a fitting lunch to go in this geeky lunch bag. Chemistry, anyone?

Periodic Lunch Bag

Periodic Lunch Bag

To go with his super nerdy lunch, Ben could also take this scientist-fueled calendar, based on the popular Mythbusters show, and put it on his desk at work. A myth busted every day? With scientific explanations? GEEK-HEAVEN. Maybe not great for productivity, though…

Mythbusters Page-A-Day Calendar

Mythbusters Page-A-Day Calendar

Ben and his family love playing board games together. It’s a little daunting playing with them since they have been doing it for so long and have this secret language and code, especially when playing Clue (I’m SO out of my league!). Ben and I have been having weekly date nights and for some of them we play a game or two. The last game we played was chess, whereby Ben whooped my butt a hundred times. The board we used is mine from high school and it’s missing a pawn, the felt is wearing, and the board is starting to fall apart. I love the look of this board, it folds up nice and small, and would be a welcome upgrade to the ghetto one we have.

Vintage Chess Set  - so Ben can kick  my ass in style!

Vintage Chess Set – so Ben can kick my ass in style!

His love and skill for chess stems from his number-minded brain. I work in words, he works in digits, sums, and math (gross). This numbers puzzle would be right up his alley. Not mine.

Aristotle's Number Puzzle

Aristotle’s Number Puzzle

My geek also has the weird addition of being a jock. And that piece of his nerdom can’t be ignored. He’s an avid football (NFL, not European) fan, and specifically LOVES the Baltimore Ravens (something about defenses and his high school football career and other stuff). He also likes biking, as in, bicycling to work. This backpack would be perfect – branded with his team and big enough to carry all of his work clothes so he’s not sweaty and gross all day.

Baltimore Ravens Black Trooper Backpack

Baltimore Ravens Black Trooper Backpack

I almost wish that I hadn’t already bought Ben his Christmas present this year (Toni, Jacqui and I are taking our football-loving boys to a Baltimore Ravens game in December!), because I would definitely be getting him items off of this list. Ah well, there’s always next year!

~ Julia