Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
WHATâ€™S INSIDE What do you buy the friend who has absolutely everything?
Debating on what to give that special someone for the holidays?
Planning the perfect holiday party
SWAY HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2010
8 TIPS FOR PLANNING THE PERFECT HOLIDAY PARTY 16 FESTIVE FARE
and need some cool tips?
18 STUFF YOUR STOCKINGS
The SWAY Holiday Gift Guide has got you covered.
22 COCKTAILS WORTH A CHEER 25 SEVEN GIFTS UNDER $25
facebook.com/swayevents twitter.com/swayevents /user/swayevents 1
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
GAGA FOR POLAROID With things like the ubiquitous cell phone camera, and everyone from Ashton to Rihanna as digital camera spokespeople, one may find it hard these days to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” Well, the Polaroid Company doesn’t need OutKast’s help any longer to get back in the public eye—they’ve teamed up with a certain Lady who’s no stranger to Paparazzi. Polaroid recently released the Polaroid 300, and this is not your father’s Polaroid! Instead of boxy and black, it’s super-sleek with a modern look and comes in four color options (blue, black and red). With four light settings and an auto-flash, the new 300 takes business card-sized instant color photos and retails for $89.99. Unlike the classic version, this instant-film camera has the photos popping out the top. And for all you Little Monsters out there, Lady Gaga is Polaroid’s new creative director, and is hard at work creating new Haus of Gaga-approved gear for the company. When two icons come together like this, magic is bound to happen, and this will be even bigger magic than watching a photo emerge from gray nothingness! Rejoice all you followers of the Clueless Cher Horowitz method of outfit selecting: Polaroid is back to make sure you’re a total Betty!
Tired of seeing the same ol’ scarves mass produced at the Gap? This winter season, mix it up and go totally authentic. Our pick for the hottest scarves make fantastic gifts and come in so many different styles that anyone can add some flare to their favorite winter looks. And what if you could give scarves that keep not only your giftee’s neck warm, but their heart as well? 100 percent of all of Heavenly Treasures’ sales proceeds go back into the developing countries where the item is made. By purchasing their Assorted Stripes Scarf (retails at $15), you’re helping Kamba Kids, which provides weekly care for 204 HIV/AIDS orphans in Kenya. Or their Knitted Scarves (retail at $20), are handknitted in Thailand and support local artisans in Bangkok to provide basic family needs. A super-cool feature for all hthandicrafts.org items is that along with each unique gift you give, comes information on who it helps and how. And helping others is always the best accessory of the season! 3
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
Let’s face it:
What’s Hot! Who doesn’t want to give or
receive that gift that keeps on giving? Well, Netflix makes it possible. Netflix. com offers members a huge selection of movies and television shows right at their fingertips by simply choosing movies online to add to their “queue” and within days the movies are sent in the mail to their home. Many can also be rented to stream instantly through your PC, Mac, Xbox360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. Renting movies has never been easier, and certainly beats schlepping to a rental shop or box, or being seen with the third season of Full House in your hands! Gift certificates are available online at netflix.com and start at $8 for a one month subscription and go up to a year’s subscription. And if you’re into playing games, check out gamefly. com to rent the hottest titles for nine different gaming systems!
Board games are a great way to pass the time with your family. We have all been to friends’ and families’ homes where cousin Joe wants to bust out the old Monopoly game because he gets to Boardwalk first. Mom always wants to play Scrabble because she is the best speller in the family and has been studying up on obscure words in the ol’ MerriamWebster. And niece Jill can always sink your Battleship. There’s only so much time you can spend reminiscing over yester-year before it gets old. And whether you consider them board games or bored games, why not have a few of the new ones available for when neighbor Sally starts re-telling the tale of that time you had too much eggnog and… Check out the new addition to the Cranium family: Scribblish. This is where the old-fashioned game of “telephone” comes to life in a drawing, creating a funny story based on everyone’s pictures—which is great fun when playing with those who can’t draw a stick figure.
And, if you’re into Monopoly, change it up by getting the Simpsons Edition. In this version, you build your Springfield empire by using a credit card to buy land. No money exchange needed, which means Joe can no longer cheat by skimming from the bank. And with voice-overs from Homer and the rest of the gang to guide you through, you’re sure to bring Mr. Burns down. Then there is Catch Phrase. This game requires no set up at all; just a couple batteries and you’re ready to go—perfect for those of us who tend to lose the little parts within the first five minutes of opening the box. This game takes “hot potato” to a new level by giving you a phrase on the tiny computer that your neighbor has to guess before the timer runs out. All of these games may be purchased at most major retail locations and can also be purchased online at boardgames.com.
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
Choose a chill space. Consider trading the stress of hosting your holiday shindig out of your house in exchange for an unpredictable venue that may be more accessible than you think. Don’t be afraid to ditch cocoa by the fire for places like Lucky Strike Lanes® with bowling and cocktails. If you’re an urban dweller, perhaps your complex has an inexpensive recreation space where you can take advantage of entertaining and making clean up a cinch. Or if your favorite restaurant/bar has a back room, they’ll usually take a “the more, the merrier” attitude to drum up some extra holiday buzz and bucks.
super easy. But hey, who has ALL their friends’ e-mail addresses? Facebook has an easy-to-use event application and you can invite specific friends or your whole list.
Wrap it up.
Gift exchanges are the way to go for those of us budget-conscious peeps that want to keep things fair. Gift exchanges are a great alternative that can be totally interactive and fun. Get creative and theme up your exchange. Instead of picking out a present for everyone on your list, request that your guests supply their favorite board game or bottle of wine. And most importantly, setting a spending limit can help to even the
Get your holiday grub on.
Presentation is everything.
Hiring caterers or ordering from your favorite restaurant makes life so much easier. Did you know that Pinkberry® caters?! Or if your budget’s more pigs-ina-blanket then Pierre’s French Cuisine, we suggest originality! Wrap those piggies like a present! Use food coloring in the dough! Sharing S’mores, fondue or Edible Arrangements makes for a fun icebreaker. For drinks, check out whattodrink.com or peruse your favorite grocery store where there are tons of holiday cocktail recipe concoctions dangling from your favorite booze or listed on the back of the bottle. And if you can trade favors with a friend to
When you’re preparing your packages think outside the box (pun intended) for creative gift-wrapping ideas. Consider the Sunday Comics as wrapping paper or go glamorous and use your favorite fabric. Instead of using bags, find boxes or containers that the gift getter can also hang on to and re-use in the future. This is also a great way to go green this festive season.
play bartender, even better! That takes the task off of your hands so you can socialize. Otherwise, we suggest you have a couple of signature cocktails that you premake so you’re not stuck mixing drinks instead of mingling.
a little extra time to add those distinctive touches that create memorable events. Try something as simple as having swizzle sticks that match your theme or having a paint-your-own-dreidel station or having an impromptu “Santa Baby” performance a la Mean Girls with some of your friends to unexpectedly entertain your crowd. Give guests ornaments or even a card with a recipe for something you served at the party to send them away with warm fuzzies.
Getting personal. No matter what or why you celebrate, the holidays are meant to be special so take
Tips For Planning the Perfect Holiday Party Engage your guests. From office parties to family functions, the holidays are packed full of endless invites. And let’s face it, keeping up with all of these holiday happenings can be just plain exhausting. Do something off the wall to break the holiday party monotony and spice it up with a fun theme or twist. Consider quirky tie-ins like an “ugly Christmas sweater” party or an ornament exchange. Or how about a Santa Claus pub crawl where everyone dresses as Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick?!
Invites: doing it digitally.
OK, there are tons of ways to get the word out. And most of us don’t have time for old -fashioned ways like smoke-signals or calligraphy invitations. Today it’s all about doing it digitally. Email invites are a fab way to hit everyone at once. There’s also services like evite.com that will set up your event and RSVPs to make tabulating who is attending and who needs a reminder 7
playing field and inspire creative shopping with items ranging from Snuggies® to potted plants. Plus, you can Google tons of fun gift-giving exchange games online.
Décor on a dime.
Whether you’re planning a holiday get together at home or at a special venue, décor is always an exciting way to dress up your space and set the mood, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Some of the best décor ideas are found in resourceful items that you may already have hiding in your closet. For centerpieces you can add just about anything inside tall oversized plain glass vases to create different looks. Adding pine cones and holly berries with a few glass ornaments can create a classic, elegant look. Or go fresh by adding fruits and vegetables for pops of color. Or get totally kooky on your table top and display ornaments that won’t fit on your tree. And when in doubt, there are a million different uses for twinkle lights.
Create your seasonal soundtrack.
Depending on how formal you want to get, there are many options. A piano player or other musician will add a touch of elegance, while a deejay makes your urban event seem even hipper. If these ideas aren’t in your price range an iPod playlist works! Also, consider there are thousands of versions of most holiday standards, performed by a myriad of artists, past and present. For a cool video element, seasonal movies are usually a hit. If you’re particularly adept and tech-savvy at finding relevant video clips and burning them to a disc, that would not only be rad, but producing copies would make for a great take-home gift.
OR if you want to leave the planning to the professionals give SWAY a buzz. • 602-277-SWAY / swayevents.com
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
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echo makes a great gift! their mail slot never had it so good!
Every two weeks, a fresh edition of Echo’s award-winning News, Views, Culture and Community can come directly to your recipient’smailbox.
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Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
Unlike me, some people just weren’t
built to weather the storm that is the holiday season. I know the dark fears lurking inside of you: awkward family reunions, lame office parties, and the inevitable early mornings you will spend freezing your behind off on the way to the gym come mid-January -- believe me, I sympathize. But I also promise that you’re looking at it all wrong. Listen, this the only time of year where it’s perfectly acceptable to spend five straight weeks gorging yourself on food and spirits. It doesn’t have to all be dry turkey and egg nog though, so stop pouting. Keeping things fresh without obscuring the nostalgia that you once loved isn’t as daunting as it sounds. A few minor nip-tucks of the passé, a couple of tweaks to vintage classics, a steady flow of liquor, and you’re on your way to matching my sickeningly high level of seasonal cheer. Here are some recipes that are guaranteed to make the coming months more palatable. And for those of you like me who are already hanging lights the day after Thanksgiving, consider this my gift to you; three reasons that will motivate you to hang them the day before. Trust me. I’m a professional.
Mint Pesto Polpettone with Cranberry Sauce
Mint Pesto Polpettone with Cranberry Sauce Ingredients For Meatloaf: 2 lbs ground pork 1/2 yellow onion, minced 1-1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter 1-1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs For Pesto: 3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 1/2 shallot, peeled and chopped 3/4 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 1 teaspoon lemon juice Salt & Pepper, to taste For Sauce: 15 oz whole cranberry sauce 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon allspice 1 teaspoon salt Cayenne pepper, to taste 1 bouquet fresh time
6. Gently lift the far right side of the parchment paper until the meat begins to fold over. Roll the meat left to right by lifting the parchment paper with one hand and guiding the meat with the other. 7. Salt and pepper generously. Wrap in parchment paper and place it in a baking pan. The parchment paper will allow the meat to self-baste. Place in oven for about 1 hour. 8. While your meatloaf is in the oven, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a sauce pan. Toss in a small bouquet of thyme, heat on med-low to low, bring to a gentle simmer and cover, stirring often. 9. Remove meatloaf from oven and discard parchment paper. To make the top nice and crispy, throw the meatloaf back in the oven and kick your broiler on high for a few minutes. 10. Add sauce liberally. Honey-Nut Phyllo Pumpkin Pie Ingredients 15 large sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen 2 heaping cups solid-pack pumpkin 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 3 eggs, beaten 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
brushing each layer with melted butter. 4. Place the tin and phyllo in the oven and bake until golden. Roughly 5-7 min. Remove and set aside. 5. Make your filling. In a mixing bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin and whisk together until well blended. Next, whisk in granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of the melted butter. Once this is all thoroughly mixed, whisk in the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla extract. 6. Slowly and gently fold your pie mixture into the tin. Be careful not to break or tear the phyllo. Bake for 1 hour or until set. 7. While this is baking, boil some water in a double boiler (if you don’t have a double boiler, use a sauce pan and stainless steel mixing bowl . Add the ingredients for your topping, mix thoroughly. Reduce heat to med-low, stir frequently. 8. Remove pie from oven, allowing it to cool a bit. Slowly spoon on your topping. Sprinkle liberally with confectioners sugar.
Micah Killough is a professional chef and syndicated writer who also produces an instructional cooking blog that offers a humorous slant on food and the restaurant industry titled Eighty-Six The Rules. You can find out more about him by visiting micahkillough.com.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. In a food processor, combine the solid ingredients of the pesto and pulse until chopped. Add the lemon juice and pulse again briefly. With the processor on, slowly add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. 3. Melt butter and pour over bread crumbs, stir in until moist. In a mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs and the remaining ingredients of the meatloaf mixture. Knead thoroughly by hand. 4. Lay meat on a large sheet of parchment paper, flatten and shape rectangularly roughly 10’’ deep x 16’’ wide. 5. Use a spatula to disperse the pesto on top of the meat, leaving about 1/2’’ of space on the edges.
1-1/2 cup macadamia nuts, lightly toasted, chopped 1/2 cup peanuts, lightly toasted, chopped 3/4 cup honey 1/4 cup corn syrup 1 tablespoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon salt Confectioners sugar, to taste Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Melt butter in saucepan. Let stand on burner, low heat. 2. Lay out your phyllo sheets and cut to roughly fit a 9’’ pie tin, leave enough length to overlap the sides of the tin. 3. Lightly grease tin and begin adding the individual sheets of phyllo to the tin, flowering outward left to right, lightly and evenly
Want to check out one of Micah’s killer holiday cocktails? Point your browser to thegrinch.micahkillough.com
CarMD: The Gift of Empowerment
Calling all Chocoholics!
Looking for that unique, special something for the people on your “nice” list? Check out The Chocolate Traveler’s Holiday tins, collectible tins filled with eight delicious chocolate wedges – the perfect serving size and so easy to share. These tins make great stocking stuffers and excellent teacher, hostess and client gifts. Also available are the Lifestyle tins, a thoughtful way to recognize and celebrate gay pride; and the Judaica tins, which will leave you cashing in your Chanukah gelt for more! Choose from dark or milk chocolate--or purchase both!
Hey, most of us are not car mechanics. And who hasn’t wondered if the repair shop was “taking them for a ride,” with replacement and repair costs—not to mention the fee for them to tell you why your “check engine” light is on? Just because you or your loved one is no engine Einstein, that doesn’t mean you can’t seem like one with CarMD®! Because you don’t have time for car trouble to slow you down this holiday season (or ever), easy-to-use CarMD® Vehicle Health System™ helps you catch problems before they snowball into expensive repairs, and make sure you’re not overcharged for car repairs.
Visit thechocolatetraveler.com to see other products and flavors, including the spicy TABASCO® Brand chocolate tins – perhaps for that person on your “naughty” list! Enter code “SWAY25” at check out, and receive 25 percent off (excludes shipping, offer expires 12/31/10).
An ideal gift for anyone who owns a car, truck or minivan, including you! Buy today at CarMD.com. Use promo code “SWAY” for $10 off when purchasing!
STUFF YOUR STOCKINGS Everyone’s Having One
Accessorize Your Cell!
Give the gift of passion this holiday season--along with the gift of better blood flow, energy, focus, alertness, brain function! Stuff some lucky person’s stocking this year with GASM… NeuroGasm® that is! This delectable beverage has a exotic fruit flavor to it and it’s perfect for when you’re getting ready to go paint the town red! Add to champagne or other cocktails when you want to celebrate at home! At only 35 calories, this bottle of passion is one of Neuro’s eight lifestyle enhancement drinks, and the go-to juice to get those juices flowing!
Winter’s all about layering up, but that doesn’t mean bulky is the new black! The clever people at case-mate are here to help you keep your pockets from puffing out like a chipmunk’s cheeks! Their iPhone 4 I.D. Credit Card Case is the next wave in convenience for lifestyle engineers. Case-mate’s stylish iPhone 4 I.D. Credit Card Case features an ultra slim slot for bare necessities—ID, cash, debit or credit card. The case can be used for work or going out to the club- just slip two credit card-sized items in the case and leave your wallet at home! The iPhone 4 I.D. Credit Card Case is a gift that offers more for less and is guaranteed to delight anyone on your list—especially those who tend to lose track of their wallets!
Learn more about the science behind the stimulating Gasm® drink and the whole Neuro® lineup at drinkneuro.com. You can order it by the case online or enter your zip code to find out where you can find it by the bottle locally.
Available in black, metallic silver, pink, green, and purple, you can order the iPhone4 Credit Card Case and many other items online at case-mate.com.
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
Products to Pamper and Prettify Your Peeps!
Snowboarding season is here! And who doesn’t want to look their best in their brand new Snow Bunny outfit? However, keeping those lips moist and soft on the slopes can be challenging, but with a new Lip Balm Set from Kiehl’s, you don’t have to worry about that. Instead you can focus on strategically placing mistletoe to stand under with your luscious lips!
Who doesn’t need the full spa-treatment during the stressful holiday season? But who has time to schedule an appointment? Let Vitabath® take you away this winter! Their full line of products will make for a great gift for your stressed out sisters, and don’t forget to get a set for yourself! With the Vitabath® travel kits, which are conveniently sized within TSA regulations, you can take your favorite soaps, lotions, and shampoos wherever your holiday travels take you.
Since 1851, Kiehl’s has brought you the most unique and natural beauty products available on the market. Their Lip Balm Set, featured here, has been their No.1 bestseller since 1969. We’re pretty sure Mommy was wearing Kiehl’s when she was caught kissing Santa Claus! The Kiehl’s Lip Balms have an SPF 4 and come in four distinctive flavors, Cranberry, Mango, Vanilla and Coconut. Available at kiehl’s.com and can be purchased for $27.
Developed by European skincare specialists and with four formulas to choose from, the Vitabath® brand represents the utmost in quality and care for the skin. Whether you are using their all-in-one cleansing and moisturizing set or the new tube sugar scrub, you or your gift recipient will no doubt love these little luxuries in a bottle.
Light My Fire
Sets retail from $20 to $30 and can be purchased at any Ulta retail store, AJ’s Fine Foods or at myvitabath.com.
You probably know more than one person who is a music junkie. They’re the first to download the latest hot album as soon as it’s available, or perhaps they’re the person who’s got 47 bootleg editions of their favorite band. Whether they’re devoted to vinyl or all about the iPod, for every music-minded person, there’s an equally unique way they deliver their fave tunes to their ears. Fantastic gift ideas for a budget-conscious giver are the hippest headphones around, found at Merkury Innovations!
One super easy and quick way to set the scene for the holidays is candles. Timm Rivera, is an independent consultant for PartyLite Candles. He’s got the holiday hook ups when it comes to giving a pillar to Prancer or a votive to Vixen! If you’re not into roasting your chestnuts over an open fire, there are tons of flameless fragrances available. Beyond candles and accessories, Timm’s Web site boasts Bath & Body Care products and items from Two Sisters Gourmet! If you like your buying buck to help others, 10 percent of all profits benefit the Arizona Humane Society and American Cancer Society. Want to win a $50 Gift Certificate or a $10,000 room makeover? Visit partylite. biz/Timm daily until Nov. 30th to enter; special code: WC3XR4. Interested in having a debt-free holiday by becoming a PartyLite consultant? Ask Timm how!
Timm Rivera, Independent Consultant Phone: 602.481.5003
From funky earbuds, to wireless headphones, Merkury Innovations has it all! Our favorite are the old-school Retro Headphones. They come in several color options. All headphones at Merkury Innovations retail between $9.99-$24.99. And if you’re thinking your recipient already has headphones they love, check out their striking speaker collections, including those made from recycled candy boxes! All these items can be purchased at merkuryinnovations.com.
Therapearl For those stressful days after work, Thereapearl is one of the leading revolutionary ice packs of its time—and so much cuter than a bag of frozen peas! Whether you want to keep it cold or heat one up in the microwave, Therapearl will automatically go to room temperature in 20 minutes, the recommended time for heat or ice. Therapearl products are perfect for the avid jock or those who suffer from chronic pain. Developed by a leading doctor, Therapearl items have been designed to conform to problem muscle areas and relieve pain and tension in affected areas, and are perfect for post-surgery pain, sprains and muscle aches, post-waxing, postworkout, migraines, headaches, toothaches and bruises. Trust us, your body will thank you for unwrapping Therapearl this December. Retailing at $29.99 for the neck wrap and $12.99 for the eye mask, Therapearl products may be purchased at therapearl.com and local spas throughout the Valley.
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
GAME ON! If you’re looking for something more for your Gleek friends and family, Glee: The MusicThe Christmas Album, available Nov. 16, is sure to warm the heart of any Grinch—or Sue Sylvester—out there!
If you’re a fan of YouTube sensation Susan Boyle, get ready to rejoice in anticipation of her first Christmas CD. The new CD, titled The Gift, will feature standards like “The First Noel” and “Away in a Manger.”
For those of us who have been playing that same Mariah Carey Christmas CD for the past 16 years, Santa has read your letters begging for more! Mimi is releasing her new Merry Christmas II You CD.
Just Dance 2, the sequel to the widely popular Wii game which was introduced in 2009, is the current dance sensation that’s sweeping the nation! This game lets you learn choreography to some of the seminal dance hits of today and yesterday including the Pussycat Dolls’ “When I grow Up,” Britany Spears’ “Toxic” and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.” And to add to the fun, Nintendo has thrown in a ‘duets’—the equivalent to a dance off—competition to see just who has got their iconic dance moves down. But would you be able to Keep up Kim Kardashian? You’d have to have some pretty stellar moves to beat the Just Dance spokesperson, so keep practicing! This game retails at $39.99. This year Konami has teamed up with the Fox Television show to produce Karaoke Revolution: Glee. This takes the classic Karaoke Revolution game where players try and hit the right notes in every song and pairs it with tunes from the hit television show. And, not only can you sing the solos like Rachel Berry, you can play her as well, so bust out those gold stars! The game takes you through the entire Season 1 in sequential order starting with their classic hit “Don’t Stop Believing,” and moving on to others like “Don’t Rain On My Parade” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Whether you can wail like Mercedes or squeak by on your dance moves a la Mike Chang, now is your chance to sing your heart out; watch out for slushies! This game is for Wii and retails at $59.99.
Find these games and more at gamespot.com. swayevents.com
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Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
Sway Holiday Gift Guide 2010
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What do you buy the friend that has absolutely everything? Debating on what to give that special someone for the holidays? Planning the pe...