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Some of the best gifts and gear of the year - 2013

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Toys, Games, and Gear Examiners are able to try all kinds of stylish, innovative, and unique products. This year's products and gift guides included gear for every age group. The following are favorite finds for the year 2013.

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For Anyone

The George Foreman 5 Serving, Removable Plate Grill is a light-weight, compact grill that fits easily on a kitchen counter. There's basically no assembly required. Just open the box, remove the protective plastic wrap, sponge off the grill plates, and you're ready to cook. The non-stick grill plates make cooking and clean up super easy. Variable temperatures result in endless meal opportunities. Cooking both sides of food at the same time saves time. Juices are locked into meats instead of being drained out. Dual cooking positions also allow for tilting the grill for thick cuts of meat. (Available at Walmart)

The 5 Quart Bialetti Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid is excellent for boiling and draining the liquid off of pasta without the use of a strainer . It's easy to drain the pot completely once the lid is locked into place. The Bialetti Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid isn't round. Its "oval-ish" in shape. So lasagna noodles can actually cook standing on their sides. No more stuck together noodles! The Bialetti Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid accommodates all pasta shapes and lengths. A non-stick interior makes clean-up easy. The 5 Quart Bialetti Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid is available at, a national catalog company owned by a mom/grandmom. Everything sold online is guaranteed for life.

BUILT has kitchen products, baby gear, cosmetic bags, travel totes, and more. BUILT products come in a variety of prints and colors that merge usefulness with style. The products are designed to withstand wear and tear and look good at the same time.

The Original Muck Boot Company specializes in all types of insulated, waterproof, footwear designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind. Their footwear is comfortable, functional, and made to be worn in harsh outdoor conditions. The Original Muck Boot Company product line includes shoes and boots for children, women, and men. Shoes and boots for working, sporting, and braving the cold weather can be purchased from the USA based company. There are dozens of color and style options.

For Her

Civic Duty shoes are just as stylish as other sneaker brands, but they're recyclable. The sneakers are light-weight and comfortable to wear. Each year an exclusive Civic Duty shoe is designed with 100% of the profits going to a social cause benefiting citizens in the United States.

Pouchee is a purse organizer that makes switching from one purse to another quick and easy. The Pouchee line of products has grown to include the Pouchee Plus Deluxe and the Tabee Tablet Tote.

Karma Gifts sells items that are bright, bold, and beautiful. Each of their three collections includes eye-catching accessories. The Marrakech Collection includes colorful damask, floral, and paisley printed items. The BOHO Collection features colorful cosmetic bags, purses, wallets, wristlets, and more - embellished with intricate images. The Global Color Collection includes beautiful scarves, tote bags, and home accessories. Karma Gifts gives back to worthy causes.

The Overland Equipment Donner Bag and the Overland Equipment Urban Pack are two bags that can hold what a woman needs to take care of business. The Donner has a mini pocket, a 6-pocket front organizer pouch, a side pocket for a water bottle, and an exterior back stash pocket. An adjustable strap makes it even more functional. The Urban Pack converts from shoulder bag to backpack. The main compartment is zippered. Built-in credit card slots eliminate the need for a wallet. An internal sleeve makes it possible to carry a tablet. The cell phone pocket in the back and the zippered currency pocket in the front are very handy. There's also a hidden, zippered back pocket for added security. The Urban Pack is made from water-resistant fabric.

The GoCaddy is a compact bag with multiple compartments that will allow moms to travel and move about easily. It holds drink bottles up to 1.5 liters in size. It even comes with a removable drink sleeve. The front pocket has a flapped Velcro closure. There's an additional hidden interior pocket. The back pouch is roomy and the elastic allows room for cell phones, cameras, and more. The GoCaddy has a 54" adjustable strap for sling style wearing and a metal clip for holding small items. It packs flat for travel.

For Him

AirBac Zoom Backpack reduces stress on the spine and shoulders. It has a large pocket with multiple adjustable Velcro compartments for electronics. It makes keeping pieces of equipment organized simple. The Zoom Backpack has three smaller front zip pockets. It also includes iPad and laptop pouches, plus side mesh pockets. Photographers will love this backpack. AirBac bags are available at retails stores around the U.S.

LAMO Footwear has a smart looking pair of Suncrest Sandals that fashion conscious guy will really like. The neutral chestnut color makes them pair well with most outfits. The leather foot strap and rubber bottom make the Suncrest Sandals durable and comfortable.

For Children and Babies

SuperME is a line of extremely functional superhero themed backpacks and bags for children. The lightweight, water-resistant backpacks and bags are sized for preschool and elementary school aged children. What makes them so fabulous is that each child can become a unique superhero when carrying the SuperME backpacks and bags (which can be personalized). Parents will love the safety features of the SuperME bags.

The GoPillow! by Simply Necessary, Incorporated is portable, multi-use baby and toddler gear. Use it as a wearable cradler, nursing pillow with a built-in privacy cover-up, changing surface, infant pillow with attached swaddle blanket, toddler travel pillow, and more. A retractable blanket tucks neatly inside an invisible compartment. The blanket can be used to provide privacy during public breast feedings. The blanket also doubles as a changing pad for caregivers on-the-go. Supervised infants can be propped up on the pillow while lying on the outstretched blanket. The GoPillow! is a portable pillow and blanket combination. Type in the keyword "GoPillow" to see demonstrations on YouTube.

My First Green Toys™ Shape Sorter is made in the USA from food-safe, 100% recycled plastic milk jugs. It helps develop recognition of shapes and colors while encouraging eye-hand coordination, problem solving, and fine and gross motor skills. The Shape Sorter and eight colorful shapes (2 stars, 2 circles, 2 squares, 2 triangles) are the right size and weight for little hands. Each piece slides into the chute cut-outs on both the top and bottom of the sorter. The two halves of the sorter can separate, letting the pieces out again. No BPA, phthalates, PVC, or external coatings are used for this toy. This Green Toys product meets FDA food contact standards. It's dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Even the packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy inks. My First Green Toys™ Shape Sorter is recommended for babies 6 months old and up.

The RACE 'N DROP TRACK by B Kids is a toddler-friendly toy. It features a wooden frame with cushioned corners. This drop, roll, and race toy has curved ramps. It comes with two colorful cars and a light-up ball. The race track is colorful to stimulate the senses of tots, who will spend hours playing with this toy. The track set is recommended for toddlers 18 months old and up. View a video demonstration on YouTube.

The Beatrix Girls are new "pop-star" dolls. They have their own original music. Each member of the band sings, plays a different instrument, and writes songs. The four dolls (Ainsley, Brayden, Chantal, and Lark) have distinct personality traits. Like the 'tween girls that would enjoy receiving the dolls as gifts, the Beatrix Girls are into fashion and trendy hair styles. Their songs are available on iTunes. The songs are up-beat with a positive message.

Please be advised that all product recommendations are solely personal opinions. In cooperation with the FTC's guideline regarding disclosures to consumers regarding the receipt of sample products from a company in connection with a review of such company's products and for services, please be advised that products mentioned in this article were provided at no cost for review purposes.



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