Shopping: Gifts for dad come in practical and fun

News-DemocratJune 6, 2014 

With Father's Day on June 15, you'll find a few gift ideas, big and small, here. If you want more help, make sure you check the BND Magazine on Sunday for three more creative buying solutions.

Dad can take a nostalgic step back in time with a practical gift from At Home in O'Fallon. The retailer has a selection of wood storage units and bookshelves that resemble down-sized, old-fashioned gas pumps, juke boxes, tall fire hydrants and an English phone booth. Prices range from $59.99 to $129.99.

If Dad is handy and needs something a bit bigger and sturdier to store his stuff, Lowe's has a stainless-steel, three-drawer workbench for $199, regularly $299, from Kobalt. It also has a pegboard, lower shelf and attached fluorescent light bar, solid wood work surface and even liners for the drawers. This price is good through Monday, with two workbenches available at the Fairview Heights store and one at Granite City. It also can be ordered online at lowes.com. Yes, somebody will have to put it together.

One of the things that drives me crazy about oven mitts is that I can never attain any kind of dexterity when wearing them. But, then I heard about the Charcoal Companion Barbecue Pitt Mitt ($15.95 for one) and the Weber High Temerature Premium Gloves ($29.99 pair). Both are black cotton knit gloves (not mitten-shaped) with a tight-fitting sleeve and silicone stripes for a good grip. They also are woven with Aramid, a fire-resistant product and heat-resistant to 475 degrees. Reviews are excellent, with the only major comment being that the Pitt Mitt will not fit extra-large hands, while the Weber gloves are sold in the L/XL size -- probably right for Dad. You'll find the Pitt Mitt at Sur La Table at Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis, but you can also order them at surlatable.com. The Weber gloves are sold at a variety of retailers (Walmart, Target and Home Depot), but I checked availability and the two Ace Hardware stores in Belleville and the one in O'Fallon each had two pairs in stock as of Thursday.

Ahoy, mateys! Dad and the kids will find lots to swash and buckle about with foam swords from Five Below in Fairview Heights. There are a couple of handle styles and each costs $2.50, a slight sum to get anyone young at heart outside and running around a backyard transformed into an imaginary pirate ship or castle. Great for water fun, too.

If dining outdoors includes taking meals at a classic patio table with a hole in the middle for the umbrella, you might like this accessory from Menard's in O'Fallon: It's a 20-inch diameter smoked, tempered glass lazy susan for $19.99. Perfect for condiments and other small dishes, it has a 360-degree rotation. Look for it in the store near the lawn and patio accessories.

Gordman's in Fairview Heights always has a huge supply of luggage, though most of it is not high-end brands. Still, if you need something colorful that will stand out on the airport carousel (and you're not worried about longterm wear and tear), you'll find it at Gordman's. Spinner suitcases in solid colors, plus leopard print, plaid and other patterns range from about $40 to $60, depending on size. You'll find hard-side and cloth luggage.

Dermablend for years has been the go-to foundation to conceal facial scars, burns and skin-pigment issues. Now, the company has created Quick-Fix Body ($28), a "high-coverage stick foundation for localized areas of the body," says Dermablend. Available in nine shades, it is advertised to hide hard-to-cover tattoos, varicose veins and birth marks, with 12-hour coverage and transfer/water/smudge resistance. You'll find it at Ulta Beauty in Fairview Heights.

IKEA fans, here's an update on the future St. Louis store. Groundbreaking is set for June 24 with opening fall of 2015. What will be inside? Three model home interiors, 50 room-settings, a supervised children's play area and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties (the meatballs are my favorite!).

Another update: With Coldwater Creek closing all its stores soon, price reductions are now half-off for all jackets and sweaters, with other items up to 60 percent off.

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