Category Archives: Home Living

A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Ideas

You might say hosting Thanksgiving is the pinnacle of entertaining. Little else distracts from the focus on gathering ‘round for the big meal…there are no unique gifts to shop for, no one is excluded because of their beliefs, and after the meal guests can simply relax over a football game or two.

However, if you’re hosting, it’s worth looking at a few unique gift items for yourself to ensure a memorable feast. We have a few suggestions to help the day go smoothly and wow your family and friends.84960_1000x1000

Make sure there’s plenty of ice for thirsty guests with this portable tabletop ice maker that produces ample cubes more efficiently than lesser models. Yielding conical-shaped cubes in batches of 12, the ice maker creates nearly 2 lbs. of ice per hour. Analysts from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute praise this unit for its ability to produce, “a batch of clear, well-formed cubes in just under 10 minutes.”12857_1000x1000

Whether you’re laying out hors d’oeuvres, displaying desserts or setting a more intimate-feeling dining table, this wooden lazy Susan will complement your beautiful décor while making it easier for guests to grab the goodies. It features a wooden top supported by a repurposed wine barrel metal hoop. The 23″-diameter tray rests flat on a table and smoothly spins 360° on steel ball bearings. And as you’re writing up your holiday shopping list, keep this lazy Susan in mind as a unique gift for any oenophiles you know. 12482_1000x1000

After the feast, coffee is in order to combat the effects of turkey and loads of carbs. Bring your favorite barista to your kitchen in the guise of this fully automatic, exactingly designed Swiss coffee maker. Built to standards coffee connoisseurs expect, this barista makes drinks from Espresso to Cappuccino and beyond. A simple turn of the dial selects one of 29 different drinks, all in perfect proportions. Two hoppers hold different flavors or brands of beans for customized blends.

Finally, as Thanksgiving approaches, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for your readership and your loyalty to our commitment to always bring you The Best, The Only and The Unexpected.

See the Light with Unique Gifts for Darker Days

Early Sunday morning, most of us will turn our clocks back one hour as Daylight Savings Time ends. Some folks will revel in the unique gift of an extra hour of sleep, while others will curse the early darkness.

No matter which side of the issue you take, this is a great time to evaluate your lighting and consider a new lamp for your home or additional lighting on walkways leading up to your house.88180_1000x100012778_1000x1000

This traditional brass apothecary floor lamp features a full-spectrum bulb to enhance contrast and reduce eyestrain and glare. Instead of the yellow glare produced by incandescent bulbs, the lamp’s full-spectrum white glow mimics sunlight, improving visual acuity. Its classic design has been preferred for task lighting since the late 19th century, when the advent of electricity enabled pharmacists to direct the beam downward over a work area, though its boom arm and shade can be positioned at any angle.

An ideal unique gift for readers, crafters or puzzle aficionados, this extra-bright lamp was created specifically for the U.S. Library of Congress. Providing scholars and researchers with clean, bright focused light that won’t disturb tired eyes, the lamp uses a patented halide-LED module to generate six times the light of a 75-watt incandescent bulb. When a lesser amount of light is desired, twin rocker switches turn on/off one or two LED arrays, which can be used with or without the halide bulb.88333_1000x1000

Outdoors, a well-lit walkway will be safer for you, your family, and guests. Producing the brightest, longest-lasting and most expansive glow, this solar walkway light ranked first in all tests conducted by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. The Best Solar Walkway Light generated 60 lumens and glowed 75% longer than other models. Even after eight hours, its bright LED beam had not diminished. The light automatically turns on at dusk and recharges in moderate to full sunshine.

Daylight Savings Time was initially introduced as an energy-saving measure during both World Wars. But what all these lights have in common is energy efficiency over traditional lights…so even with standard time in place, you will enjoy bright light while conserving resources. We think that’s a brilliant idea!

Staying Safe Starts at Home

As a person ages, it’s common to develop a stronger inclination to stay safe, while worrying more about potential dangers. We drive a bit more slowly, avoid the risk of falling as much as possible, and we start to imagine “what if” scenarios where things could go wrong.

The instinct for safety extends to our home surroundings, too. Recognizing that, today we have unique gift ideas for loved ones or for yourself that help promote personal safety and security 89019_1000x1000at home.

This German-engineered steel stepladder provides users with maximum safety and balance support. Sturdy handles help secure your balance when climbing up and down. An ergonomic knee rest at the top of the ladder provides additional balance support, so you can comfortably lean forward when hanging pictures, changing a lightbulb, or checking smoke detectors. Large risers provide generous footing, support up to 330 lbs., and prevent slips with rubber treads.88801_1000x1000

Avoid many trips up a ladder entirely with this telescoping magnetic grabber. It allows you to reach objects up to 44″ away. Ideal for accessing the highest, deepest cabinet or closet shelves, it locks into place at the desired length, grasping objects with 5 1/2″-wide jaws. Controlled from a trigger grip, the jaws come with a foam rubber insert that enables them to secure objects as small as a paperclip or as heavy as 5 lbs. It’s the ideal unique gift for an aging parent or anyone who just hates bending over to retrieve a dropped object.12825_1000x1000

For the kitchen, workshop and auto, this set of three handheld fire extinguishers safely store in compact spaces for easy emergency use. Each extinguisher is the size of a spray paint can and tucks perfectly into a glovebox, tool bench, or drawer. These ABC-class fire extinguishers put out small fires caused by ordinary combustibles (paper, wood, cloth), flammable liquids (gasoline, oil, grease), and electrical equipment (wires, fuses, circuit breakers).

Look around your house and you’ll find many opportunities for improving safety. Remove throw rugs that present tripping hazards. Add automatic timers to lamps so you don’t need to fumble for a switch when dusk falls. Put nightlights in hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms. Make sure your smoke detectors function – test them quarterly – and install carbon monoxide detectors, too. These small steps will add up to the unique gift of feeling safer at home.

Have the Most Boo-tiful Yard on the Block

With September now behind us, it’s time to get into the spirit of spirits…and pumpkins, skeletons, witches, and ghosts.

We’re here to help you create the most impressive Halloween display in the neighborhood. These unique gifts for decorating your yard will delight party guests, catch neighbors’ eyes, and draw trick-or-treaters to your door.

88550_1000x1000This 22″-tall possessed pumpkin greets Halloween guests and ghouls with spooky lights and sounds. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the grinning jack-o’-lantern invokes seasonal supernatural fun as fiber optic lights outline his mouth, eyes, and nose, while an integrated speaker plays eerie sounds. Ideal for graveyard gardens, haunted houses, and hair-raising Halloween parties, the paranormal pumpkin’s sounds scare the soul while its eyes illuminate with blinking lights.89049_1000x1000

Transform any window into a display of afterlife-like Halloween scenes with this scene-animating projector. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, this animator projects skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, and ghosts on your window so convincingly that even jaded trick-or-treaters may believe your home has been overrun by the paranormal. The Halloween video clips include giggling, bouncing jack-o-lanterns, dancing skeletons, and a spooky apparitions on the haunt.88560_1000x1000

With this 9′ inflatable entryway, you’ll invite treat seekers to enter Halloween Town from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, it inflates in three minutes using an integrated air pump, breathing life into Jack Skellington, Sally, and a pair of ghostly pals. The Pumpkin King’s petrifying portal is illuminated from within.

We have many more unique gifts designed to help you turn your home into a haunted house of Halloween horror. See our full collection online and let the boo-tiful decorating begin.

These Unique Gifts Go the Extra Yard

This week, fall officially begins, which can only mean one thing…it’s time to devote a weekend to cleaning up the yard, patio, and deck to prepare for the seasons ahead.

That’s not all bad–you’ll get some exercise, you’ll be able to enjoy the unique gifts of a pleasant autumn afternoon, and your job will be made easier by items we have available to help.88328_1000x1000

Take this electric power washer for starters. It cleaned more effectively and was the easiest to use in side-by-side tests conducted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. Analysts used each power washer on a variety of surfaces and compared the results. The Best model removed the most paint from a cement brick, quickly scoured mud from a car rim, and cleaned dirt and mold from aluminum siding faster than all other units.84791_1000x1000

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute also performed testing on leaf blowers. This cordless rechargeable leaf blower was deemed The Best because it cleared garden waste the fastest and had the longest-lasting battery. It cleared a 50-gallon pile of leaves from grass and paved areas 18 percent faster than the next-quickest model. The Best model also provided up to three hours of battery run time. It has 10 speeds and the most features of all the models, including a vacuum setting for suctioning waste into an attached bag.88781_1000x1000

Here’s another easy method for cleaning up. This push sweeper quickly collects fallen leaves from your yard and driveway without backbreaking raking and stooping. The sweeper’s flexible plastic combs spin rapidly as you push it, grabbing leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, and other small detritus, depositing them into the collection hopper. This sweeper makes an ideal unique gift for the environmentally conscious gardener with a compost pile.

Before you know it, your yard work will done and you’ll be relaxing in front of a football game, cold beverage in hand. Your neighbors might even line up to borrow these lawn and garden clean-up tools. No worries if they do…all these items are ready to go the extra yard.

Unique Gifts for Her Show Your Appreciation

This Sunday is National Wife Appreciation Day. While some of you might be thinking wives ought to be more appreciated every day, this unofficial holiday was originally conceived as an alternative to Mother’s Day for women who don’t have children.

Whether or not the special woman in your life has little ones underfoot, we can assure you it’s never a bad idea to present her with a unique gift to show your appreciation for the many things she does every day. 86408_1000x1000We have some suggestions to help you say “thank you” and gain valuable brownie points, too.

This massaging heated wrap soothes aching joints, while its invigorating vibration massage simultaneously relaxes sore muscles in her neck and shoulders. Unlike typical rectangular heating pads that don’t provide ideal coverage or contact, this model’s slightly weighted edges and magnetic closure provide a custom fit to deliver deep-penetrating, therapeutic heat in areas prone to stress-induced tightness.82643_1000x1000

Many wives find their relaxation in the juice of a grape. This electric wine opener earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its perfect worm insertion and rapid, effortless cork removal. The Best model was lauded by a wine industry expert for its flawless performance, unlike lesser models that were “incredibly awkward” or “required a lot of pressure.”77833_1000x1000

Here’s a wall-mountable, illuminated jewelry cabinet that keeps up to 160 pieces organized and easily accessible. Developed by Hammacher Schlemmer, the armoire has six LEDs that cast bright light inside the cabinet to help her quickly locate jewelry. You may even want to consider adding a shiny new bauble to the interior to make this unique gift even more special.

You might not even be aware of all the little things your wife does to make your life happier and easier. End the day by giving her a foot massage and telling her how much you appreciate having her in your life. We assure you, the dividends will pay off!

This Season, Pigskin is In

By this time of the year, baseball thrills only those fans whose teams are poised for the playoffs. For everyone else, football season is more than welcome!

Among the best reasons to attend a football game is the tailgate party beforehand. 12452_1000x1000It’s a chance to socialize with friends, trash talk the opposing team, and enjoy the unique gifts of a beautiful fall day outdoors. Some folks we know don’t even enter the stadium and just tailgate all the way from kickoff to the final whistle.

And why not, when you have this dual hammock that sets up on a trailer hitch in just 10 minutes. Two hammock chairs have hanging footrests, allowing tailgaters to relax in a reclined position while keeping feet and legs elevated. Any frequent tailgater would appreciate this unique gift.12410_1000x1000

No tailgate party is complete without a friendly “bags” competition and this tournament bean bag set comes decorated in the logo of your favorite NFL team. Equally suited for at-home halftime festivities or playoff-season pre-game hype, this set is constructed to ensure compliance with the exacting standards set forth by the American Cornhole Organization.12849_1000x1000

Back at the house, celebrate your team’s victory with this outdoor LED projector that casts the emblem of your NFL favorite on your home’s exterior. Displaying six images of a team’s officially licensed logo up to 40′-tall, the projector makes no mistake where your loyalties lie on Sundays. A built-in light sensor automatically turns the light display on and off as the sun sets and rises. We can’t think of a better unique gift for the ultimate football fanatic in your life.

So here’s to the still-fresh football season and best wishes that the sun does not set prematurely on your favorite team’s aspirations for victory.

Groundbreaking Video Format Turns 40

Last month, the lone remaining maker of the VCR ended production of these once-groundbreaking machines because sales had fallen to only 750,000 units per year. Ironically, this announcement comes as we mark the 40th anniversary of the VHS format. The once-ubiquitous VHS tape outlasted several of its competitors, including Betamax and laser discs.

But wait a moment…only 750,000 units per year? Clearly, there are significant numbers of folks with collections of VHS tapes containing favorite films, home movies, and treasured recordings. We know you value your video collection and that’s why we offer several unique gifts for enjoying and storing your VHS cassette tapes.84007_1000x100087173_1000x100082997_1000x1000

Nevertheless, you may want to consider transferring the contents of your tapes to DVD. This easy-to-use device will preserve cherished home movies on digital DVDs before they are lost forever. The entire process requires little more than inserting the source cassette and a blank DVD and following onscreen prompts. The finished DVDs play on any disc player or computer, creating unique gifts of memories to share with family and friends.

Add more enjoyment of your favorite VHS tapes with these wireless TV speakers that set up on a chair or couch backrest to provide clear, easier-to-hear audio. The speakers are designed to contour to a backrest and transmit audio wirelessly from a TV to the speakers. The speakers tilt inward to project audio toward the listener, allowing you to hear a movie more clearly without disturbing others.

For storing your irreplaceable VHS tapes alongside newer CDs and DVDs, this Mission-style media library holds them all. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, the unit has eighteen solid-wood shelves that can be raised or lowered to any height, allowing you to create custom storage configurations. Tempered glass doors with brushed steel door pulls help keep dust at bay.

So a final hats-off to the VHS tape as we celebrate its 40th anniversary. Festivities begin at 12:00…12:00…12:00.

Don’t Make Plans Today, You’re All Booked Up

A 2015 survey showed 72 percent of American adults read a book in the past year. And with good reason…reading is fun and lowers stress levels, too. Today is National Read a Book Day, a great time to indulge your love of reading and the unique gifts its enjoyment brings.81730_1000x1000

Some of us read less now than we used to because the print is just too small. This cordless LED-illuminated magnifier provides a 30% larger field of view than traditional circular lenses so you can see a full page of most books. The rectangular, 8″ x 10″ acrylic lens magnifies without distortion, allowing you to quickly scan with both eyes. It’s mounted on a flexible gooseneck for the optimal position for reading, as well as detailed crafts, or other up-close work. Consider this as a unique gift for anyone you know whose eyesight just isn’t what it used to be.81960_1000x1000

A good book deserves good lighting by which to read it. This daylight-simulating lamp has a beam that can zoom in or out to provide wide or narrow illumination. Simply pulling the shade adjusts the light beam to a concentrated focus that’s ideal for craft work, a mid-diameter beam for reading or a wide beam for softer ambient room lighting.88395_1000x1000

Avid readers love to save their books and may find the tomes have a way of taking up every flat surface in the house. This space-saving reader’s bookstand keeps reading materials organized for even the most voracious reader. The shelves are open on two sides to allow for easy stacking and accessibility. The stand’s warm cherry finish blends beautifully with most décor.

So for today, turn off the TV, put away the PC, and let go of your phone. Spend quality time with just a good book for company.

Shed Some Light for a Brighter Night

As we enter Labor Day Weekend and our approach to autumn, you may have noticed the later sunrises and earlier sunsets. Already in New York City, since the start of summer, more than two hours of daylight have been lost each day, and the city will lose almost 6.5 additional hours of light by the first day of winter.

Now, while we still have nature’s unique gifts of sun and warmth on our side, is a great time to think about beefing up your outdoor lighting. Improving illumination around your home’s walkways and entryways adds security and safety, particularly when we get to the darkest and iciest time of the year.88333_1000x1000

Producing the brightest, longest-lasting, and most expansive glow, this solar walkway light ranked first in all tests conducted by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. The Best Solar Walkway Light generated 60 lumens and glowed 75% longer than other models. Even after eight hours, its bright LED beam had not diminished. The light automatically turns on at dusk and recharges in moderate to full sunshine.82622_1000x1000

This cordless, weatherproof light illuminates porches, decks or patios with LEDs twice as bright as typical models. Its six ultra-bright LEDs produce 72 lumens of glare-free light, providing a 10′ wide-angle beam similar to a floodlight. The light mounts easily anywhere with no wiring required. Its motion sensor turns the light on at night when it detects movement from up to 25′ away and shuts off when no motion is detected for 30 seconds.84984_1000x1000

Ideal adjacent to an entryway, this attractive cordless coach light turns on automatically after dusk when motion is detected. Requiring no wiring, the sconce mounts to exterior walls, allowing you to place it virtually anywhere, while maintaining consistency with your home’s exterior décor. Its sensor detects motion up to 23′ away, stays on during continued movement, and turns off automatically after 20 seconds. The sconce casts white light from its built-in LED array, switchable between 49 and 83 lumens.

No one will argue the safety and security benefits of improved outdoor lighting, but it can also increase the aesthetics and curb appeal of your home, adding to the home’s value as well. Think of it as a small investment that brings all the unique gifts of safety, security, beauty, and financial return.