Gift Guide #3: Ben Blair

November 23, 2010

It’s time for gift guide number three and I think it’s my favorite one yet. This is a collection of gifts inspired by Ben Blair. The sort of things he might like. Some are expensive. Others are easily within reach. Some are practical. Others are just for fun. Hopefully this will help you shop for the Ben Blairs (the husbands, brothers, cousins and uncles) in your life.

[ This holiday gift guide is underwritten by Pier 1. Pier 1 is your one stop for unique, imported decor, gifts, furniture, glassware and more this holiday season. I've included a few of my favorites from Pier 1 among the items below.]

mens gift ideas 2010

- Subscription to Wired. At $10, it’s hard to beat this year-long gift.

- Diana F+ Camera. Go old school with a film and flash Diana camera. It looks super hip and takes amazing images through it’s plastic lens.

- Peter Luger Steak by Mail. From our favorite steak house in New York. Hello Manly!

- Chalkboard Carafe. Ben Blair’s preferred drink is fresh-squeezed orange juice. I could serve it up in a chalkboard carafe with a sweet note on the label.

- Post Industrial Globe. Globes are irresistible and this one looks especially cool.

- Readeo Subscription. He travels. He works late. If he has a Readeo subscription he can still read the kids a bedtime story.

mens gift ideas 2010

- Packhorse Duffel Bag. The entire Packhorse line by Eddie Bauer is excellent. But the duffel is my favorite.

- Goal & Wish Clipboards. Help him map out his future.

- Mad Scientist Blocks. Even grown men like a good toy. These blocks feature all 26 letters of the alphabet. F is for Freezeray. Q is for Quantum Physics. Z is for Zombies.

- Jambox Speaker. This small speaker produces great big sound. In several colors, and totally portable, it gets rave reviews by everyone.

- Cormia Leather Slippers. Handmade in Canada, they have a simple profile and will keep the crumbs off his feet during midnight snack forays.

- Urban Rocking Chair. He loves to snuggle up with the kiddos and this manly, wideset rocking chair is the perfect place. In five colors.

mens gift ideas 2010

- Framed Giglee Comic Book Print. We have this Spiderman print hanging in Ralph’s room. It is really good-looking. And there are tons of other choices.

- Giant Wall Clock. He has a boring office. A huge 42″ wall clock will un-boring it.

- Go Pro Helmet Camera. Skiing, long-boarding, mountain biking. They’re all cooler if you’re filming the action as you go.

- Recycled Glass Head. Put it on his dresser so he’ll have a place to hang his fedora.

- Tretorn Skymra Sneakers. Retro styling in modern materials. The dark color is ideal for a winter sneaker.

- Stanley Classic Thermos. Fill this with something warm for the next football or hockey game. Stanley actually has an entire line of great looking classic thermoses in red, vintage green and silver. Even a cool lunchbox. (Bonus for me: Stanley is my maiden name.)

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nancy November 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Thanks for the idea…just sent the link to WIRED to my daughter to get my son…perfect for a computer nerd like him…
Stanley products are the best….the thermos keeps coffee hot for up to 6 hours…even when you are sitting in a deer stand in the cold…


2 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Six hours? I’m impressed!


3 Laura November 23, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for the great ideas! I just ordered a pair of the Cormia slippers for my mister.


4 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm

So glad. I’ve yet to see a pair in person, but they look so luxurious and comfortable.


5 the sleepy time gal November 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm

i love the globe. of yeah, this is supposed to be for the men! i mean, i bet my husband would love the globe!


6 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I love the globe too! (Probably more than my husband would.)


7 Rik November 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Your Ben Blair must be twins with my Kevin Hein. Thanks for making my Christmas easier! :)


8 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Glad to help!


9 stacey November 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm

on one of your other gift guides you had posted a thin leather ‘bracelet’ that wrapped around your arm and said inspirational things like : ‘make a difference’ and others…i can’t find it now and i’m sad! can you help please? :) thank you!


10 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Hmmmm. In the Gift Guide #2 I included a leather bracelet. Hopefully this leads you in the right direction:


11 Anna Lewis November 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm

We have some of the blocks ordered from I have to say they were much smaller than I anticipated. And unfortunately our set does not include every letter – I think we only received 4 or so. (In fact, I think we have two of the same ones!) It would be better if there were more, for sure. It’s a really fun idea!


12 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Thanks for letting us know, Anna. Sounds like it’s a smaller gift than I have in my head. : )


13 naomi November 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

These are some wonderful and unique ideas. I’m off to look up Readeo . . . your link is not working. : )


14 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Definitely worth looking up, Naomi. And not sure what’s up with the link — it’s definitely working for me. Mysterious.


15 Sara November 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Love it! So fun!

I have been eyeing that rocker for a while… :)

Ok, mostly unrelated, but I went to Pier 1 today…definitely reminded to stop by b/c of your posts, and I have to say one of my favorite things were the beaded mirrors in fun shapes.


16 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm

That rockers is on my wishlist too. Beaded mirrors? I think I must have missed them. One of my next gift guides has a “sparkly” theme. I’ll have to investigate.


17 Michelle T. November 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

My mom has a Readeo subscription so we can read to my nephew, who lives in China. We LOVE it!


18 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Always good to hear from someone who has tried and loved the product!


19 lisa November 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm

what does that mean: ‘underwritten’? it’s too bad you sold your gift guide. it’s far more interesting when creative people like you come up with their own guides, irregardless of ad dollars.


20 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Good question, Lisa. In this case “underwritten” means Pier 1 paid for my time to put together 6 gift guides. There were no stipulations for what should be included, themes, number of items, or really anything. Specifically, I was not asked to include any items from Pier 1.

But, I shop at Pier 1 all the time and have since I was a teenager, and I was grateful for their support, so I’ve purposefully included a few Pier 1 items among my gift guides. I’ve also included my favorite finds from all sorts of places — like Target, Etsy and everywhere in between.

Please know that every single item on these guides was picked out by me. And that having the series underwritten allowed me to spend a lot more time searching out the coolest things I can find and gathering beautiful images.

I’m bummed out you are not finding the series interesting, but a well-thought-out gift guide takes a significant amount of hours to put together and I’m so pleased I could find a sponsor to pay for that time.


21 Holly November 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm

That was great!


22 Design Mom November 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Thanks, Holly!


23 Heidi November 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Thanks, Gabrielle. Love these. And $10 for Wired – irresistible!


24 Tabitha (From Single to Married) November 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I have an obsession with wooden blocks, don’t know why as my son isn’t even old enough to really know what they are (they just go straight into the mouth at this point) but I LOVE the look of those blocks! :)


25 april kennedy November 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I got my hubby the GoPro camera last year. He loves it! So much fun for dirt bike riding, surfing and even family bike rides!


26 betsey November 24, 2010 at 1:26 am

Maybe because my husband is away on business and we just moved across the world to Hong Kong, but I teared up thinking about the Readeo subscription. I can’t wait to get this for my husband, his parents and my parents. This is the perfect gift! Thanks so much for putting this together. I adore your site and appreciate all your hard work! Thanks!


27 McKay November 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I just ordered the GoPro helmet cam for my dad for Christmas after reading about it here. So add a notch to your sales tally. :-)


28 sherri/the claw November 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

those tretorns are cool!


29 Kathleen December 1, 2010 at 7:10 am

I love so many of the products, especially the globe. If I love globes so much, why do I suck so much at geography? Thanks for the chance to win. Cheers!


30 laura December 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Oh yes, my husband is going to love the camera! This way I can see exactly where he goes when he leaves me to go do his crazy off-trail skiing. And maybe I can get a few glimpses of myself and the kids, provided we ski ahead of him. Thanks for the great idea … I was really stuck this year!


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