• Auto-Aficionado

    Car enthusiasts, collectors, and owners are some of the easiest people to buy gifts for. Fifty bucks in the car care section at Auto Zone can go a long way towards a bad-ass gift. Seriously! I’ve given car wash gift certificates as a gift for years, but something that is a great consideration for your other half, parent, or bestie is a full-on car detail. I do not mean the half-assed Genie car wash 1 hour job. I am referring to a craftsman’s detail. Someone who knows about paint detoxification, the cleaning of yellowed headlamp lenses, refurbishing plastics and seals and reconditioning seats. While not inexpensive, a heavy duty refurb…

  • Ben Milam

    Have a Manly, Manly Christmas…

    Time to break out the list and write down your gift buying plans for friends and family. Men, I’ve found, can be quite tricky to buy for. There are the tried and true staples; shirts, ties, shoes, gift certs and booze. Such things seem to be great “go-to” items, but I try to be a little more creative in my gifting. Something with a bit of humor or a compelling story is a really good thing. For instance, I have one friend who is always grilling and cooking. He’s very good at it. He loves using recipes but gets frustrated when they don’t turn out as planned. I don’t know…

  • Holiday Gifts

    Gift Shopping in the Most Unlikely Place

    I’ve complained about furniture shopping in Austin before as I don’t feel the city has enough variety at the higher-end of the spectrum. The tried and true place of choice is Louis Shanks on Anderson Lane. There’s a lot to absorb in the store, but they do have a nice selection of finer items. I was really surprised to see a gift section on the second floor. The buyers have done a great job of finding eclectic pieces at an agreeable price point. With the holidays upon us, it would behoove you to stop by and take a gander.  

  • Holiday Gifting Ideas

    2015 is going to be a slimmer Christmas gift giving year since I am moving into a house and will have a lot of upcoming expenses. Simply considering the forthcoming holiday set my mind to thinking about gifting and how it is a bit curious that we spend so much energy on it, when we really just want our friends and family to know that we think about them, we love them, and we appreciate them. So that’s what my focus will be for 2015; finding ways to express my gratitude for friendship and camaraderie. I believe that when you give a gift that is very personal, there’s more meaning for…

  • Holiday Party? Give The Host a Bottle of Fine Wine

    I asked a wine expert what his favorite wine is for the holidays. He offered two suggestions, Beaujolais and Amerone. Beaujolais seemed to be his favorite. Apparently it is light, fruity and quite refreshing, while Amerone is quite different, being a rich, red and dry Italian wine. He indicated most wine shops should have either readily available. It is always a good practice to present your host with a gift of appreciation. Make your gift stand out by presenting something special that you can share a little knowledge about. You’ll be the favorite guest at the party.