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Gift Lab

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Aging Wine in Seconds with Legit Science

November 11, 2015

Louise - Gift Lab

Product: Wine Aging Tool

Research:
When I first read about the Wine Aging tool, I reacted with skepticism, as I imagine most folks would. Replicating the effect of cellaring a wine for a year in ONE SECOND? How can this be? It’s tempting to be dismissive, but like many 30-something women, I love my wine, and if there’s a way to enhance my wine-drinking experience, I want to know about it.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Making Quick Work of Kabobs

October 29, 2015

ClaireandNequana_Giftlab_forblog - cropped

Product: Kabob Maker

Research:
When we saw the Kabob Maker, we were interested in testing it out, because you can make meat and vegetable skewers IN THE MICROWAVE! We wanted to see how true this was and if they would be fully cooked and taste good.

Kabob Maker - cropped

The kit comes with the Kabob Maker, 40 wooden skewers, and an instruction booklet. We first read through the booklet (English directions start on page 10 and recipes start on page 38). Before reading the recipes, we had an idea of what foods we wanted to try. We wanted to test poultry, something dense/firm, along with something soft. With this in mind, we purchased chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, eggplant, and green peppers.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Ctrl+Alt+Del (iciousness) with the Keyboard Waffle Iron

October 8, 2015

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Product: Keyboard Waffle Iron

Research:

I used to love waffles, but forced myself into pancakes. I didn’t want to be bothered with finding a place to store a waffle maker once I purchased it or the hassle of having a bunch of cords in the kitchen. The Keyboard Waffle Iron, without explanation, is pretty cool, but the fact that I could (possibly) make a good looking waffle and be able to store it is what especially caught my interest.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Easy Weaving Without Jumping Through Hoops

September 29, 2015

Valerie

Product:  Easy Weaving Loom

Research:
I already know how to knit and crochet, so I’m ready for a new textile challenge. The Easy Weaving Loom caught my eye the minute I saw it in This Just In. After watching this video I was sure I was up for the challenge. It seems simple enough, and once I get the hang of it I can begin to explore different materials and textures. There are endless possibilities!

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Hypothesis:
I completed my experiment in June, and I wanted to make something that would be useful right away. The product story claims that when using this item, “In no time you’ll have a professional looking woven masterpiece than can become a stylish scarf, or cellphone or sunglasses case.” A stylish scarf, while fun to make, would not have be seasonally appropriate. And while the projects that are possible are not limited to these three, I decided a sunglasses case was a good place to start. It’s basic and small enough to finish quickly, so I figured it was good practice and I’d be making something to accompany me to the beach in no time!

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Fun with Fabric–Solar Photography & Tie-Dyed Textiles

August 27, 2015

Jille | DIY Textiles Kit | UncommonGoods

Products: Indigo Textile Dye Kit & Solar Photography Kit

Research:

As a Graphic Designer who studied painting and drawing in undergrad, my entire life has revolved around different craft projects. Lately, I’ve gotten too far into the computer and am looking to take a step away from pixels to explore some analog creativity. I’ve decided to pair these two items  together because they both deal with positive/negative space relationships, one additive and one subtractive. Both kits also use the color blue and involve fabric. I remember doing tie-dye and photo imprint in high school, but haven’t experimented with it since then. I’m excited to jump in!

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: How To Produce a Peppery Pickle

August 19, 2015

simon_giftlab_forblog

Product: Global Peppercorn Sampler and Pickling Jar Set

Research:
I’d like to speak about something really important to me and millions of other Americans like me: my personal relationship with the dill pickle. Consider this a Pickle Monologue.

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The first batch of pickles I ever made was bittersweet –and I’m not talking bread & butter: those are nasty. No, I’m talking about a metaphorical kind of flavor, one that you can’t actually taste over the vinegary brine, fresh dill, or zesty peppercorns, but is nonetheless real. It was the summer before I would be moving to Brooklyn for my last year of high school, and I made pickles late into the night for a pickle-party where I would be parting with several friends. The secret ingredient that made the brine so good? Tears.

No – I really decided to make pickles as a selfish and misinformed act of appropriation. I had this idea that Brooklyn was full of bearded men making sun tea (see below), and I wanted to make sure I would fit into place.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Rolling Out DIY Sushi

August 11, 2015

NeQuana_sushi_giftlab_forblog

Product: Sushi Making Kit

Research:
I typically eat sushi 2 – 4 times a month and it has never crossed my mind to make it myself. Upon seeing this product, I suddenly became obsessed with wanting to create it for myself and others – I craved sushi almost every day. The kit looked like it would be easy and not a fussy/stressful meal to prepare, which made me more eager to try.

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The Uncommon Life

Gift Lab: Creating the Spa Experience at Home and On the Road

July 10, 2015

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

Product: Spa Experience Tin

Research: 

Remember that bit from My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the patriarch of the family insists that Windex is the cure-all for everything, from pimples to mysterious rashes? All you ever have to do, he says, is “put some Windex on it!” I’m kind of like that with tea tree oil. I never travel without it.

I am fascinated by natural beauty regimes. I love experimenting with DIY body scrubs and lotions, and learning about alternative beauty trends like the “no-poo method.” Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time to make my own products, and truly natural beauty products can be outrageously expensive. So when I first noticed the well-priced Spa Experience Tin in our assortment, I knew I had to check it out. I jumped at the chance to relay my spa experience for the blog.

Before trying out any new products, I’ve become much more conscious about looking up the ingredients first. (Especially because I’ll probably always be worried about the effects of my Lip Smackers chapstick addiction during my youth.) I’ve definitely fallen victim to “greenwashing” in the past, purchasing “all-natural” products only to discover that their ingredients looks like a chemistry experiment, with one or two organic ingredients mixed in for good measure. I was pleased to see that this handmade collection is assembled by 1818 Farms, an idyllic farm in Mooresville, Alabama. But I still wasn’t convinced that these handmade products would meet my standards until I saw this short list of recognizable ingredients for each product:

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