1. Ninjabread men: Thanks to our friend Nicole Sugihara!
This is one of the types of Novelty gifts I typically do not go for. Sometimes I hate that our culture is so focused on buying things... even worse, the buying of things that are so novelty that you lose interest in less than 5 minutes after opening the package. However this clever kit encourages all sorts or superDUMBFUNwhichweLOVE! I have always had much more fun turning cookie shapes into monsters or zombies and now - we have ninjas to add to the kit!!! We normally would have had a bunch of pics of this since we got our amazingAWSUMsurprisePACKAGE from our friend Nicole....but lil Stoke-o-nut Deeestroyed the cookies before we even had a chance to take any pics!!!! we shall try again sneeekywun!
Ninjabread men kit
2. Paddle Grip Wax: for those with supahslick hands!!!
Some people have no issues with their hands slipping on paddles whatsoever, but I have always been one to have very clumsy platypus hands that trap loads of sunscreen. I have tried using tape, and grips in the center section of the paddle and I really don't like the feel of those as I find them to be limiting..... Most of the wax I've used in the past have been surf wax that is chunky and does not stay on for very long... in fact some of them actually break down and get slimy when blended with sunscreen and deelishus sweat. This stuff from Paddle Grip Wax is by far my fave that I have tried so far. It goes on super clean, it is sticky without being chunky, and a little goes a long way...... and no residue mess that slimes the inside of your car too!!!! For those of you who don't paddle - you can very easily use this product on things like yard tools..(like axes and machetes) snow shovels, spears...... Some of you might think - whoah, it's just wax....but to those who understand......this wax is AMAZING!!!!!
Find them here on Facebook
3. Rice Pillows: One of Coli and Maia's fave items around the house!!!
This is an item that started off as a simple sewing project that we did for the frigid Washingtonian weather we get here. It is essentially a woven square...filled with rice that you can pop in the microwave for heat, or stick in the freezer to use as a cold pack. We have all used this for sore muscles, sore neck from strain, and mostly to warm up Coli's unbelievably cold popsicle feet!!! We have made these for a ton of friends from old shirts, pant legs, you name it - super functional and you'll find that in a very short time that there are a bagillion uses for these!!! You can even get creative and put some lavender in with the rice to get some extra scentage.... we used Cocoa mulch shells.....which can be extremely dangerous, especially if you like chocolate!
Rice Pillow Instructions
4. Headlamp: for all sorts of mischief after the sun goes down!
There are many overly fancy headlamps out there and it is almost overwhelming to choose from a list of what you can find these days. However, from all of the headlamps I've owned in the past and broken, or left out to have the batteries to corrode into a yummy juice all over the batterybox.....this particular headlamp has been nothing but BADASS for me. I was looking for a headlamp for night paddling.... mainly for the getting to - and getting out of the water. I needed something that was cold weather resistant, clumsy drop resist, and if it fell into the frigid water I wouldn't be S.O.L... I found this little gem in the aisles of Home Depot and was rather shocked at what it promised of the HUGE PRICE TAG of $14!!! no fake marketing - no weird promises of finding Unicorns that barf glowing sqigglies in the night...... it is simply a rugged drop proof headlamp that does the job well.
wicked little Rayovac-Indestructible-3AAA-100-Lumen-Headlight
5. Headhunter Sunscreen: Yes - Sunscreen in winter - why not???
We have multiple shades of skin and a varying array of skin sensitivities in our household. We have tried everything from the industrial chemical nastikus sunscreens to the overly priced frufru sunscreens that comprise of berries wax and possumpoop and it has taken us a very long time to find a sunscreen that: we all like, will not get super greasy, will not slither off your skin the moment you touch water, does not smell like some form of artificial febrezeNAST (although I have some weird connection to the chemical smell of Hawaiian Tropic), does not give break outs, cause asthma-migraines-bowel irritations-blindness-or leakages in places that you would not find convenient, and finally not break the bank! Thank you Headhunter Sunscreen! you are Village of Stoke Approved!!!
Headhunter Surf Sunscreen
6. Onit Pro: whatisthisstuffanyway?
Every racer out there has their own routine on what they do for race prep. Some like to visit the Voodoo doctors, some eat roadkill, others get into costume. For some reason I find it very therapeutic to clean up and polish a board. Everyone has their own secret sauce. I have always loved the smell of 3M rubbing compound that I used in the past for smoothing out surfaces. I would look for something that I could wet sand and polish just to satisfy my need to play with sandpaper and 3M compound.... Onit Pro sells a duoset
with Blue Goo and the Xtreme creme (yes it is really called that) The BlueGoo takes off all the nastiness off your board from paddle scuffs, and films of pond scum and enamelled duck poop. The XtremeCreme is a hydrophobic candycoat layer that keeps it all clean and the water constantly beading off your board....it's like Rain-X for your board and keeps it nice and slick!!!
7. Indosole Flips: So what do people do with all those tires????
Flips are good year round in our books! Who doesn't want to have flip flips for Christmas!!! There is a huge difference between companies that market eco and re-purposing hype and those that actually do it! The guys at Indosole have quite an awesome story and a good product to back it!
Find them here on Facebook
8. Raw Cocoa Pow: not that Coli or I need to be more buzzed......
I did a promo package a while back where I was having fun playing with different formulas on the most potent cocoa mix you could configure.. After many a cup of cocoa, Maia and I figured out that the best cup of cocoa you are going to experience is from the rawest of ingredients you can get. I know it's super convenient to get the instapacks of choco-flavored chemicals and dump them into a cup of hot water and put in as many marshmarrrowhs as you can - however, to truly experience a taste where you can feel a growing deep winter buzz from within by the fire, we highly recommend that you try some raw dutched cocoa powder and make hot cocoa the old school way - and use some dark brown sugar for sweetener (muscovado if you can get some) and have a taste of the super tummy deep richness of non-tampered cocoa!!
*Dutch-Processed or Alkalized cocoa powder which means it has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its acidic nature
** Your Cocoa Pow should only have 1 ingredient: Dutched Cocoa Powder and a percentage (10-12&, or 20-22%)
Make some of this - and get back to us on what you thought of the experience!
9. Brain food:
There are so many books and DVD's out there that you can pick and....go WRONG with for the holidays!! I have seen so many junk flicks out there that I'm surprised that the FFWD button on the DVD player isn't broken yet. Below are a few that we like that we found to be truly inspirational that made us want to go ride.
-> The Bones Brigade Autobiography: If you do not know what the Bones Brigade is, you need to pick this up....... Guaranteed you will want to go ride after!
*this is also available to watch on Netflix - but be warned - there is some explicit language for the little ones! screen it first
-> H2Indo - Of all of the super bad SUP flicks that are out there - this is one that I really wanted to watch and finally caught it on the plane!!! It is unpretentious, and makes it really difficult to sit still on a 14hr flight after you've seen it. You will be itchin to be on the water after this.... sop have your gear ready when you put it on!
-> Books: Okay this is a touchy subject since we all have very different reading material tastes so I will only name a few books that have really done something for me:
Disposable by Sean Cliver - this is as valuable as the Bones Brigade Autobiography, if you are into Skateboard Art, history, where it all came from - you will have your nose buried in this book for hours!
Vans - Off the Wall: The story of Vans - one of Coli's faves!!!! whether you're a FootwearNERD like me or not, you'll find lots of stories in this book to satisfy your sk8/surf/snow footwear needs.
Vans: Off the Wall
Outliers - by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point - by Malcolm Gladwell
both of the books above have helped me out quite a bit during a time where I've had to make some very hard decisions on where I wanted to be.... and I am where I want to be, and very thankful for all the help, support, and inspiration that has lead me here
Stand Up Paddling: Flatwater to Surf and Rivers - Rob Casey: This was a super easy read that I got into when I first got into paddling with lots of extremely useful information and techniques to get into. A great stocking stuffer for all of our friends that are getting into paddling and want to know more! I still pick it up occasionally and flip thru it! http://www.salmonbaypaddle.com/
10. Rumble Roller - Maia's pick!Not that this will fit into a stocking in any way - but I thought this deserves quite the honorable mention. When she first brought it up - I thought she was nuts. However, now that we own one, the best way to loosen up those knots is with this crazy contraption!!!
Stay tuned for our next post on our list of Gifts - from small to large!!!!
*Thanks for all of the input you guys gave on this!!! it has come to good use!
Stoke-o-nut Addition: 16oz Stainless Vacuum Bottle - these little guys are super badass to pack with Hot water/Coffee/Tea especially if you're out paddling, snowriding, or simply dorking about in the cold getting snotty and dripply down the front side of your face. The 16oz size is small enough to pack with you without being cumbersome, and has just enough to keep you going and stay warm (we have tried larger sizes and it just ends up being a pain) The ones we really like are the simplest ones that are easy to clean. Coli's fave is the 2Cup Vacuum Bottle by Stanley because she really loves the dual lid design. I love it because it does not leak, and Maia loves it because it does not have a complicated contraption in the lid to clean afterwards! Win!
Stanley Vacuum Bottle - there are 2 cups in this lid
REI also has a close second with their Classic Vacuum Bottle which I like. Sleek, simple, highly functional, and a good array of colors!
*one cup in the lid
Happy excellent weekend folks
One of the best gifts I've received - from Maia and the Stoke-o-nut