10 Gifts for Chic Geeks

chicagonista-live-holiday-show-2011Ranging from $1.56 to $156,000, here’s something for every chic geek on your list. Inspired by my report for Chicagonista Live’s 2011 Holiday Show, you’ll find 10 ideas to make your holiday shopping merry and light! What’s on your wish list?

1. Star Trek Pizza Cutter

We have one. I got it as a cast off from someone who didn’t want to carry it out to dinner while I was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Our kids, and their friends, love it. But, it’s a very sharp blade, which is good when you want to plow through Chicago style pizza in a pan. Just be careful and make sure you’re gripping it correctly.

Star Trek Pizza Cutter from thinkgeek.com










2. Powerline Coffee Cup Charger

With six cell phones in our family, we need lots of car chargers. Here’s a consolidated road trip solution. Looks cool, easy to find and works – at least everyone who has one tells me it does. This is my kind of java!

Powerline Coffee Cup Charger











3. Logo Board Game

Put your consumer knowledge to the test with The Logo Board Game. Show off your mastery of popular brands in this hilarious family game of pop culture. The first person to make it into the winner’s circle and answer all the questions correctly wins! What’s so geeky about a board game? Uh . . . I’m thinking that some how, some way, technology will be used to find the answers. Which generation will win in your family?










4. App Magnets

Move over vacation magnets – in fact hit the road. These app magnets will transform your fridge or old-school file cabinet into a snazzy display. They’re so cool you’ll want to recycle all the papers hanging off the metal and switch to a clean, zen look ,which is something your realtor and Fung Shui consultant have been suggesting for years. Just don’t tap them.







5. iPhone Bling Case 

Thanks to MJ Tam for giving me a case like this. Mine is sparkly bronze. Reminds of the Muppets OPI color, Warm & Fozzie.When my youngest found out I had a new iPhone case, he immediately stripped off the bulky one. Then he snapped this revealing cover over my slimmed down phone. A fun and inexpensive stocking stuffer at $1.56, you can afford to purchase a few for every girl on your list.










6. Otterbox Defender

Although at first I said my iPhone would be wearing the bling cover at holiday parties, I quickly switched it back to item number 6, the Otterbox Defender. That’s case I went with after the one I purchased cracked my Iphone screen. “Give me the best protection you’ve got,” I ordered the AT&T rep. Now, my iPhone is so bundled up that people often ask me what brand it is. If it’s about survival of the toughest, this is the case for you.










 7. Jabra Freeway Speaker Phone

Disclosure: The nice people from Jabra gave me one of these, two other hands-free devices, a set of earbuds and a headset – I like them all. But, this speaker phone is the best. Why? Because it’s also a really nice speaker. When you walk out of the car, you can toss it in your purse and the beat goes on. It’s great for travelers, people who like to picnic and geeks that want a better sound system than the one on the device of the moment. Can it take and make calls? Sure, I use it for that, too.








8. G Drive Slim Portable Storage

Continuing on the portable theme, here’s a cool product I picked up from the G drive folks while they were in Chicago. They gave me the 500GB drive to keep and test, but I didn’t get to it until I was in crisis mode. When my Macbook had barely 3% of storage to spare, it slowed waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy dooooooowwwwwwwwnnnnnn. I had two choices: delete 20% of my hard drive or get a bigger one. To complicate matters, iPhoto shut down. I needed to back up my hard drive – fast. This drive is amazingly light and as thin as an iPhone. It’s made for Macs. Before I took my Macbook in for a bigger hard drive, I backed up everything onto the G drive. Now, all my photos are safe. This is a great gift for someone who needs extra storage that’s completely portable – and attractive.






9. Missing Manuals iPhoto and iMovie

Every list needs at one book -right? Here are two. When I got an email offering me complimentary copies of David Pogue‘s iPhoto 11: The Missing Manual and iMovie 11: The Missing Manual, I immediately replied “yes, please!” With two hefty books to review, I waited to read them until I upgraded my software. If you have iPhoto or iMovie software, you need David’s books. When I hit a snag upgrading from iPhoto 9 to iPhoto 11 [basically my entire library was on the verge of being “upgraded” with the possibility of being erased], I spent hours looking for answers online. After almost a day of frustration, I searched The Missing Manual’s file on my computer. Voila! The answer I’d been looking for online was right in front of me. Seriously – within 15 minutes iPhoto 11 was working. Any Mac lover will love getting these books as a gift!


 10.Ultimate SXSW Fantasy

Neiman Marcus 2011 fantasy gifts range from a private scotch tasting for $5000 to a $420,000 flower show trip – I want that one.

Why not give the ultimate South by Southwest fantasy trip? Here’s what you get for $56,000.

Four top of the line, SXSW’s platinum badges, to cover nine days of full access to SXSW-Music, Film, and Interactive. As they say on the site: Go BIG, Go Platinum!

Perhaps the energy equivalent of running three or four consecutive marathons, this gift should only be given to those with unstoppable energy, unabashed enthusiasm and a unrivaled endurance for all things social and entertaining.

Because they’ll need to time set up base and decompress, the gift includes a two-week stay at an Austin area mansion, renting out at a cool $8430/week.

The 103 year old property consists of two main buildings – a 4900 square foot, three-story Steamboat Victorian and a 1300 square foot Neo-Tudor cottage guest house. The Victorian features double-decker wraparound porches. Both come with complete kitchens and elegant and comfortable furnishings – and plenty of places for guests.

Chef, staff, social director, concierge, masseuse, stylist, DJ, tech expert [hey-you never know], tour guide, driver and golf pro will be on call. Includes airfare, hotel and expenses for wardrobe essentials like jeans, boots, belt buckles and hats.

Two cars: a Cadillac Escalade for group outings, $4200, and a Ferarri 360 Spider for more intimate rides, $12,000, from Auto Exotics. Entertainment budget includes $20,000 for the ultimate SXSW bash. Dream big, right?





What’s on your 2011 gift list?

Happy Holidays!!!


Image: Cast of Chicagonista Live! after the 2011 Holiday Show with co-hosts MJ Tam, Nancy Loo, Beth Rosen and Duong Sheahan.

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