Tag Archives: cocktails

Margaritas and Pool Toys – A Gift List

For anyone who follows my Instagram feed, you may have noticed my recent trip to Oklahoma to do some dog sitting for my cousin Andrea and her fiance Mark. This was a team effort with my Aunt Randy and my other cousin Paula. We took very good care of the puppies – in fact we’ve been accused of spoiling them.

photo of a spoiled Tucker

Now, while we took our duties seriously, we also seriously enjoyed the backyard pool and perfecting our margarita recipe 🙂

So as I sit here back in Pittsburgh, missing my time lounging by the pool with a margarita in hand – I’m inspired to create this latest gift list. I might even share our margarita recipe with you 😉

Margaritas and Pool Toys – A Gift List

1. Bocce Splash

bocce splash pool game

If you love lawn bocce (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll love Bocce Splash. In this aquatic version of the backyard classic, the ‘jack’ or target is floating on the surface of the pool and players skip their bocce disks across the surface of the water attempting to land them on the floating target. I was admittedly pretty bad at this game, but that didn’t diminish the fun factor!

Available from Creative Kidstuff: Bocce Splash

2. Cornhole – The Pool Version

Chuck-O Splash - a pool game

Cornhole? Yes, that’s what I called it. If, like I once was, you are unfamiliar with this oft used term from the tailgating lexicon – it’s your basic bean bag toss. The pool floating version is a lot of fun – and I was pretty good at this one 🙂 It’s actually much harder than your traditional backyard or tailgating version, as the target likes to float away, especially when hit with projectile bean bags.

Available from Wayfair: Chuck-O Splash

3. Pool Jousting

Inflatable Pool Joust Set

Gladiators Ready!

I missed out on playing with this one, but it looks AWESOME 🙂 I’m making a return visit next year just so I can hit my cousin Paula in the head with an inflatable jousting stick while floating on a plastic log. Does family fun getting any better than that??

Available from Urban Outfitters: Joust Pool Game

4. Pool Darts

jarts-splash-from-Amazon

“The classic lawn game – now for the pool!” Based on the game of lawn darts or jarts, the darts are tossed underhand in an arching motion towards the floating target. My success at this pool game? Let’s just say that I won’t be going pro anytime soon – but it’s definitely a blast to play.

Available from Amazon: Jarts Splash

5. Margarita Drink Rimmer

Margarita drink rimmer

“Fab-u-lous!” is the word I would use to describe this little invention. Part of a margarita’s magic is that tart-salty combination of the lime juice in the margarita and a perfectly salted glass rim. This little dandy would be a welcomed addition to any margarita lover’s bar setup.

Available from Lime Tree Cove: The Barmaid Drink Rimmer

6. Margarita Glasses

margarita glasses from crate and barrel

Handcrafted, recycled and rustic, these classic margarita glasses give a new purpose to glass from recycled tequila bottles. And it doesn’t hurt that Crate and Barrel describe them as ‘generously sized’ 🙂 Time to whip up a batch of ‘ritas!

Available from Crate and Barrel: The Garcia Margarita Glass

7. The Margarita Recipe

A margarita recipe

Here it is, friends. There’s no denying that it’s a slightly unusual recipe, to begin with one of our party-goers isn’t a big tequila fan (so you could certainly swap out the vodka for more tequila). I encourage you to try it our way first, and let me know what you think!

If you saw something on this list that brings out the kid in you (the pool jousting kit, perhaps), don’t forget to update your giftbug registry. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a pool of your own but, say maybe your neighbors do, we think you’ll be more likely to get a return invite when you show up bearing fun pool toys like these!

Picnic Perfect Gifts

Fourth of July weekend has me thinking about checkered tablecloths, Adirondack Chairs, burgers and brats. One of the best things about summer is the chance to bring the parties outside where the sun is hot but the drinks are cold. And just like a dinner or cocktail party, you may find yourself looking for a small hostess or thank you gift. Here are a few ideas that are sure to be as hot the weather.

6 Picnic Perfect Gifts

1. A Serving Dish Full of Your Signature Salad

picnic gifts - serving bowl

Leave the tupperware at home and pick up a bright and cheerful bowl. After all, your famous pasta salad deserves a presentation worthy of it’s fabulousness. It’s guaranteed to stand out among the other pot luck contributions.

Tape a little note to the bottom of the bowl (and maybe a copy of your secret recipe!) letting your host or hostess know that the bowl is a gift for throwing another memorable shindig.

Available from West Elm: Modernist Serving Bowl

2. Sangria Pitcher

picnic gift - Sangria Pitcher

Okay, I’m slightly obsessed with this Sangria pitcher and always looking for the perfect opportunity to gift it.

And just like my grandma never gave a wallet as a gift without a coin in it, I think it might be bad luck to gift an empty Sangria pitcher! 😉 Fill it up with something yummy like this recipe for White Peach Sangria.

Available from La Tienda: Handmade Sangria Pitcher

3. Bucket of Beverages

Picnic Gifts - Beverage Tub

If you were put in charge of bringing the beverages, why not present them in a fun drink tub. Attach a chalkboard label to the side of the bucket and let your thirsty companions know what beer or soda options are chilling inside.

Available from Target: Beverage Tub

Available from Cherry Hill Designs: Chalkboard Labels

4. Music Mix

Picnic Gifts - Mix Tape USB

Bring the tunes and do it in a way sure to get everybody talking! It’s amazing that we can fit thousands of songs in our pocket thanks to the near limitless memory of USB sticks. This presentation allows us to revisit the ritual of the 80s when sharing music mixes was a very personal gift.

Available from Frology: Mix Tape USB Stick

5. Bocce

Picnic Gifts - Bocce Set

What’s a family or neighborhood gathering without a little friendly competition? With Bocce there is no need for nets, goals or even a very large area. If you have a small grassy area, you can Bocce.

Available from Hayneedle: Tournament Bocce Set

6. The Extreme S’mores Kit

If you’re lucky enough to be attending a picnic or barbecue ending with a bonfire, surprise the guests by bringing the Extreme S’more Kit. 

I hope you have all experienced the life bliss that is the s’more, but for anyone unfamiliar, it is the perfect ooey, gooey sandwich of graham crackers, chocolate squares and a fire-roasted marshmallow.

picnic gifts - s'mores

Here are a few ideas to take the basic s’more to another level!

  • One word –> Nutella!
  • Gourmet Marshmallows: check out your local farmer’s market or a site like Wondermade for flavors like bourbon or key lime pie.
  • Gourmet Chocolate: many large grocery stores now carry chocolate bars with ingredients from potato chips to bacon and Pop Rocks. Or, check out a company like Theo Chocolate that supports farmers in Eastern Congo.
  • Beyond Graham Crackers: for the hardcore sweet tooth, supplement the graham crackers with your favorite cookies or donut. If they can create a donut burger, you can imagine the donut s’more!
  • Peeps: throw in the leftover Easter Peeps, because yes, I think that would be hysterical roasting over the fire 🙂

 

Find something on this list that you love (the Sangria pitcher perhaps?!) Don’t forget to update your giftbug registry! Maybe add a new category like ‘Summertime Lovin’  or ‘Barbecue Bliss’.

Grown-up Gifts for Dad

Father’s Day is just a week away. And if you’re like me, it’s been more than a few years since you could get away with a nice macaroni necklace or your cute face emblazoned on the side of a coffee mug. So what to get Dad when you’re a grown-up? We’ve got you covered with these great ideas for Father’s Day gifts from adult kids.

happy-fathers-day

5 Ideas for Father’s Day Gifts from Adult Kids

1.  A Hulu Plus Gift Subscription

huluCatch Dad up on all of the great shows that you’ve loved over the years. Now that he has all of this free time and no more karate tournaments or soccer matches filling his evenings – he can get sucked into the addictive world of JJ Abrams’ Lost.

The Perfect Gift for TV Lovers – a Hulu Plus gift subscription

2.  The Good Liquor

Cocktail Recipe - Old Fashioned

Does your Dad have a favorite cocktail? Introduce him to a local distiller of his signature spirit. Small batch distilleries are popping up in cities of all sizes. In Pittsburgh, hometown of giftbug, we have a number of talented artisans brewing their local spirits:

 

Maggie’s Farm Rum – a great summer mojito
Boyd & Blair Vodka – shaken not stirred for a classic martini
Wiggle Whiskey – the perfect start for my Dad’s fave – the Old Fashioned

3.  Indestructible Work Pants

Duluth Trading Co. - Firehose Work Pants

It seems every time I call home (and my folks will say that’s not often enough), my Dad’s outside working on something. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, changing the oil in one of his toys or fixing something that leaks or creaks, there’s always something to keep him busy and dirty.

This Father’s Day, buy your Dad the last pair of work pants he’ll ever need. Field tested and heroically tough – apparently tougher than an angry beaver.

4.  Grown Up Adventures

If Dad’s the adventurous type, how about surprising him with something unexpected!

 

 

5.  Adult Humor

Comedian Don Barnhart Did your dad endure endless knock-knock jokes and hours of G-rated movies? Repay his restraint with tickets to a local comedy club or improv.

 

 

Of course, if all else fails, you can always pick up another tie.

Do your parents have just as hard a time picking out gifts for you as you do for them? Make it fun again (for everyone) and create your own gift bug registry.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

T-minus 10 days until Mother’s Day and you’re starting to sweat aren’t you? We’re sorry that giftbug isn’t here yet to help you pick the perfect gift for your Mom or your wife, but let us see if we can help this year with a few suggestions…

1. The Sweet Tooth

jeni's ice cream

What a beautiful world we live in with decadent luxuries like gourmet ice cream delivery, yes that’s right GOURMET ice cream DELIVERY! If you can’t be with her on her special day, send her something as sweet as she is from the flavor artists that have hand crafted batches of ice cream with names like Goat Cheese With Red Cherries and Brown Butter Almond Brittle. They’ve even created a special collection for Mother’s Day that includes flavors like  Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, however seeing as none of the collection includes a very important ingredient called chocolate, for my Mom and Mother-in-law I’m thinking Roxbury Road and Queen City Cayenne are what’s called for here.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

2. The Wine Lover

picnic gift - Sangria Pitcher

Spring is here, and what better way to toast Mom than out on the patio with a cool pitcher of Sangria in Mom’s beautiful new Sangria pitcher. This cheerful pitcher is handmade and hand-painted in Toledo, Spain and each one is unique. As an authentic Sangria pitcher it has a lightly pinched spout to keep the fruit and ice in it’s place, pouring out only the refreshing, homemade cocktail. (Remember part of this whole beautiful scene we’ve painted here involves you making the sangria and serving Mom…)

Sangria Pitcher from La Tienda

3. The Coffee Lover

Aeropress Coffee Maker

Anyone who loves a great cup of coffee, REALLY loves a great cup of coffee and they are going to REALLY love this. The AeroPress is basically two pieces of plastic that fit in a purse, briefcase or diaper bag and with just hot water and some great coffee grounds they can brew a pretty fantastic cup of coffee in just 30 seconds. Professional tasters/coffee snobs are praising the smooth rich flavor and you can’t beat the convenience and portability. Have great coffee grinds, will travel.

The Aero Press from Seattle Coffee Gear

4. The Gardener

Hummingbird Feeder

Anyone that I know who loves to garden or landscape, loves their hummingbirds. This is a really fabulous feeder that is unique, handmade and recycled. It will be a great statement piece in the garden for flying visitors as well as the two-legged kind. I love how original and colorful it is and I’m sure your gardening Mom will as well.

Flower Hummingbird Feeder from Uncommon Goods

5. The New Mom

Rockabye Baby Lullabies: Dave Matthews Band

For the new Moms who wouldn’t trade a minute of their new normal, where sleep is a rare extravagance, speed showering is an Olympic sport and grown-up time in general has been traded in for the best job they’ll ever have; this is the perfect gift to merge a little piece of their old life with their new one. Plus, it’s never too early to introduce their mini-me to what great rock and roll sounds like.

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Dave Matthews Band

From Pearl Jam and Bon Jovi to U2 and Guns N Roses there are more than a dozen bands who have made their music available to their future fans.  “Rockabye Baby transforms timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies. Guitars and drums are traded for soothing mellotrons, vibraphones and bells, and the volume is turned down from an eleven to a two.”  Sooo…all I’ll say about this unique version is that it also doubles as an awesome name that tune drinking game when Mom finally does get that much needed night out.