Dude Awakening: Rugged men who hate shopping might feel differently about a store displaying vintage Playboys and gin. At Federal (2216 14th St. NW), workwear labels (Leviâ€™s, Red Wing) are set off by wood paneling, U.S. flags and deer skulls, inviting guysâ€™ guys to nab plaid throws ($88) and Filson bags.
Buzzy Logic: That pod coffee system at your office is fine, if youâ€™re OK with bland stuff like Shivaâ€™s Moderately Pleasant Chai or Some Random Scenic California Bay Blend. But for javaheads who crave their beans strong, quick and not from a zillion lira machine, the Aerobie Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker ($25, Amazon.com) provides a jolt in a jiffy. Simply add ground beans to the thing, pour hot water over and press down the top plunger and sip or gulp.
The Bright Side: L.A.-cool clothing designer Trina Turk wins over boho fashionistas with her mod-print tunics and are-we-in-1950s-Vegas? bikinis. But her latest efforts â€” note cards she collaborated on with for Dempsey & Carroll â€” smack more of the country club than the beach club. Proper-yet-punchy missives ($65 for 10, A Mano, 1677 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-298-7200) boast bright paisley or geometric print envelope linings, which make it easier and chicer to write Aunt Wanda a thank-you note for the Christmas Chia Pet.
Game Changer: We canâ€™t condone (or afford) going on a wild game hunt in the Serengenti over the long weekend. But Ballard Designsâ€™ new, no-animals-harmed faux zebra-hide rugs (left, $200) provide a dash of wild chic sans any big guns or troublesome taxidermy bills. A similar leopard-print style also works well in both macho, Hemingway-inspired dens or in minimalist bathrooms. Similar patterns come on doormats ($30-$49) and outdoor rugs, too.
Nicely Spiced: Google â€śginger ale,â€ť and a sea of green cans and bottles come up, all bearing the warring houses of Canada Dry and Schweppes. But in a taste test, we preferred the new, less-carbonated, less sweet Q Ginger ($4, Whole Foods and Giant), which works nicely with bourbon or other mixings on New Yearâ€™s Eve, or with a handful of aspirin the morning after.
By Katherine Boyle and Jennifer Barger.