Category Archives: Home Living

Fight the Flu Before It Hits You First

Peak season for the flu is here. While experts can’t predict exactly how long it will last, flu season generally persists through April.

This year’s vaccine is thought to be generally effective, but it won’t protect you from the common cold, nor from strains of the flu that were unpredicted and not included in the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control is reporting this is an especially bad flu season for children. To boost your chances of avoiding illness, and to give your family the unique gift of staying healthy, wash your hands frequently, avoid close contact with others who are sick, and get sufficient rest.

You may also want to consider an air purifier. This germ-destroying purifier quietly eliminates up to 99.9% of airborne bacteria, mold and viruses. It also removes pollen and other allergens that can tax your respiratory system. With no filter to replace or clean, the device uses natural convection to silently draw airborne impurities into its patented ceramic heating chamber. It instantly destroys microorganisms with 400ºF heat, then releases cooled, sanitized air into the room for a healthier breathing environment.

For areas such as your kitchen, consider this unobtrusive purifier that eliminates germs on surfaces as well as in the air. The device uses a NASA-inspired technology that’s also used in hospitals: ultraviolet light inside the device combines with a nickel catalyst to emit safe molecules that destroy up to 99% of bacteria on surfaces. Consider this unit as a unique gift for parents of young children to help them keep their kids healthier.

You can take light UV technology on the road, too. This pocket-sized air purifier reduces mold and bacteria in the air or on surfaces. About the size of a radar detector, the purifier sets up unobtrusively on a car’s dashboard, hotel nightstand, or office desk. Its filterless design eliminates the need for costly filter replacements and the three-speed fan generates only a whisper-quiet hum. It’s another great unique gift idea, this time for road warriors and office workers.

If you do succumb to the flu, you may get some relief from antiviral medications if taken within the first 48 hours of symptoms. Stay home if possible, for at least 24 hours after any fever subsides…we’d all rather you didn’t share.

Putting the “Super” in Sunday

For most Americans the Super Bowl represents a national celebration as much as a football game. It’s estimated that on Super Sunday we will host 43 million parties, munch a billion chicken wings, and guzzle 325 million gallons of beer. Whether you are a fervent football fan or just tune in for the commercials, we have some unique gifts to spice up your Super Bowl bash.

This outdoor LED projector casts the logo of your favorite NFL team on your home’s exterior. Displaying six images of an NFL team’s officially licensed logo up to 40′-tall, the projector notifies neighbors where the football enthusiast’s loyalties lie on Sundays. A built-in light automatically turns the light display on and off as the sun sets and rises.

Make sure there’s plenty of ice for thirsty guests with this portable tabletop ice maker that produces cubes more efficiently than lesser models. Yielding nearly 2 lbs. of conical-shaped cubes per hour, this unit also received praise from Hammacher Schlemmer Institute Analysts for its ability to quick-freeze a batch of clear, well-formed cubes in under 10 minutes.

During half-time, create your own plays with this NFL electric football game. This advanced model of the classic vibrating game invented in 1949 gives each side the option of equipping its 11 included players with different bases to grant speed to either receivers or linemen. A remote control provides quick starts and stops to the action to allow the re-positioning of players and determine scores.

So pull up a comfy chair and get the snacks and beverages ready, kick-off time is almost here! No matter the outcome of the game, these unique gifts will ensure that your “Super” Sunday lives up to the hype.

Creative Means to Tackle Workplace Problems

Many large, forward-thinking corporations keep their employees distracted with puzzles and games.  Sounds non-productive, right?

Just the opposite is true; research has shown that games and puzzles create the right distractions to stop the brain from dwelling on seemingly unsolvable problems. As little as a half hour of intense play and puzzlement gives the work-a-day mind the unique gift of a brief vacation to re-boot and find alternative solutions.  

To that point, this three-dimensional spherical labyrinth challenges the limits of manual dexterity and spatial understanding as the player maneuvers a wooden marble through its entire course. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the orb is a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, zig-zags, and channels—even a sliding gondola. The entire track laid out on a straight line measures up to 192′. Six intertwined pathways challenge players to complete each course without letting the marble fall off the track.

Set up friendly team building competitions with this vertical chess set that mounts to a wall, allowing games of indefinite length. Generating a sense of intrigue and anticipation–“did they move yet?”–it allows for weeks-long play without interruption. An included “last move” marker hung around a recently promoted pawn-turned-Queen signals to the opposing players that without an equally crafty counter, the game will end soon. The chessboard mounts on any wall like a framed picture with its included hardware.

Looking for an employee giveaway that displays corporate pride and is truly a unique gift? This custom jigsaw puzzle is created from a satellite map of your company HQ or any other address in the U.S. The full-color, 400-piece jigsaw puzzle is created from a view of the selected address as seen from roughly 7,500 feet. It includes surrounding details such as main roads, water features, and buildings.

Encourage coworkers and associates to regroup, relax, and play to allow their minds to think of lateral solutions. Your team will enjoy more job satisfaction and from them, you’ll receive the unique gifts of increased productivity and greater employee retention as a result.

Raise the Bar on At-Home Mixology

Impress guests when entertaining at home with a well-planned, well-stocked bar.

You don’t need everything in the liquor store, but you’ll need the basics on hand to create popular cocktails: vodka, rum, whiskey and/or bourbon, gin and tequila. You should have vermouth, an orange liqueur and grenadine. Don’t forget the mixers: soda, juice and tonic water, plus simple syrup, bitters, fresh fruit for garnish and plenty of ice.

And of course, beer. This personalized 64-oz. growler transports a beer connoisseur’s take-out draft safely from craft brewery to home refrigerator. This sleek, modern-age growler is crafted of stainless steel in a black or copper finish, with a swing-top silicone stopper and tight, air-proof seals. What sets this growler apart from others is your personalized monogram in 2-1/2″ tall letters. This growler is a great unique gift to yourself to distinguish your home bar.

Here’s another unique gift that’s beautifully monogrammed. Winner of the Queen’s Award for Innovation, this set of four personalized glasses is designed specifically for tasting whiskey. Made by Glencairn Crystal and developed with master whiskey distillers, the glasses have thick, sturdy bases that complement the depth of whiskey, thin sides that allow you to clearly see the whiskey’s color, and tapered mouths to accentuate aromas.

Those beautiful glasses deserve an equally distinctive tipple. This personalized aging kit allows you to craft your own whiskey at home. The kit comes with a genuine American white oak barrel (the same wood used for aging some of the world’s premier whiskey), flavored essences for making Kentucky bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, and Marks bourbon, and a spigot for pouring neat whiskey into a rocks glass. The 67-oz. kit comes with detailed instructions for curing the barrel, incorporating ingredients, and monitoring the whiskey for proper aging.

Finally, get yourself a good cocktail book. Choose one cocktail to hone as your specialty and practice mixing it several times. Become skilled at making it and it becomes your signature drink, putting you well on your way to mixology.

Cooking Up Something New for the Kitchen

We’ve become a foodie culture. Cooking shows enjoy expanding viewership, organic and locally grown produce is on trend, and those who love to cook can never have too many kitchen accessories. To that point, we have some new ideas for unique gifts the next time you want to surprise and delight your favorite culinary.

“Forno”-style pizzas are hotter than ever…and need not be limited to the corner trattoria. This stovetop pizza oven heats up to 600° F and produces crispy 12″ pies like a wood-fired oven. This efficient stovetop convection oven bakes a pizza in as little as six minutes by using concentrated heat conducted from a gas burner. The included pizza stones distribute heat evenly across the dough to eliminate hot spots and absorb excess moisture, resulting in fast cooking times and a delicious, thin crispy crust.

What’s not to love about butter…except when cold, hard butter tears up your fresh artisanal rolls. This spreading knife softens cold butter just by using your own body heat. Unlike an ordinary knife that struggles to slice cleanly through a cold stick, this handheld spreader is made with titanium copper alloy that conducts heat from your hand through the blade. It makes an ideal unique gift for those with limited hand strength, plus this knife also works well with jams, frosting, cream cheese, and other spreadables.

This set of three non-stick pans features a scratchproof ceramic-titanium coating that makes cooking and cleanup easy. In tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, fried eggs slid off the ungreased pan as if cooked on air, and the impervious surface suffered no damage when scrubbed with an abrasive pad and scratched with a metal fork. The pans also allow you to cook confidently without added fat, a unique gift for dieters. And this set includes clear glass lids—a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive.

With locally produced and natural foods now widely available, it’s easier, more enjoyable, and more nutritious than ever to produce great meals in your own kitchen. By cooking at home more frequently, you’ll save money, cut calories, and gain the unique gift of satisfaction from producing tasty and good-for-you food for your family.

Fast, Efficient Ways to Warm Your Space

Some of the season’s coldest air is gripping much of the U.S. If you run a ski resort, you might see this as a unique gift from Mother Nature.

The rest of us, however, are a bit chilly at work and at home…and feet meeting a cold bathroom floor first thing in the morning makes for a rude wake-up.

We have some suggestions that will gently warm your spaces without sending your heating bills sky-high. And you’ll enjoy a unique gift of your own: pleasant, toasty warmth that makes this wicked winter more bearable.

This unique bathroom heater features a digital thermostat that enables precise temperature adjustments anywhere from 65º F to 85º F using an easy-to-read LCD panel. It can be set with its integrated timer the night before to turn on automatically, ensuring your bathroom is warm when you wake up.

Is there a cold spot under your desk, around your workbench or in your favorite reading nook? This ultra-compact space heater is ideal for warming the immediate area of small, intimate spaces. This device plugs in flush with a wall outlet and is designed to provide supplemental warmth to your personal space. A digital thermostat lets you easily select a precise temperature, not merely “high” or “low”. It’s perfect for use in the office, making it a great unique gift for anyone with a desk job. 

If you’re looking to warm an entire room, The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute deemed this tower heater The Best because it warmed a cold room faster and distributed heat better than any other competitor. The Best Tower Heater’s dual quartz radiant heating elements and quiet fan evenly distribute warmth throughout a medium-sized room, unlike lesser models that created cold and hot spots.

Any one of these small-but-mighty heaters will help you cope with the cold till the first day of spring…hang in there, it’s only 69 days away!

Organizing Made Easy for the Clothes-Minded

After losing weight and banishing a few bad habits, getting organized is among the most common New Year’s resolutions.

When setting out to organize your home, it makes sense to start with the bedroom closet. It’s a spot you visit at least once a day, and starting out the morning feeling organized will give you the unique gift of feeling like you’re conquering the day.

A messy jumble of shoes on the floor is a sure recipe for closet chaos. This elegant wooden tower neatly stores up to 25 pairs and rotates 360° for easy access to all footwear. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, its five levels are each subdivided into five cubbyholes large enough for storing men’s or women’s dress and casual shoes of all sizes and types.

Extending only 16½” from a closet wall or door, this trouser rack keeps 20 pairs of slacks neatly hung and readily accessible. Also a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it easily mounts to a closet wall or door with a 10-gauge steel support bracket that holds 20 hardwood dowels so you can hang trousers flush against the wall, then swing them out individually.

For organizing the dressing area, this wooden vanity table adds sensible, yet tasteful, storage space. Another exclusive from Hammacher Schlemmer, it conceals cosmetics, jewelry, and personal accessories neatly tucked away with three hinged tabletop compartments and a pull-out drawer. Its center compartment opens to display 11 divided sections and a mounted makeup mirror. It’s a beautiful and unique gift to reward yourself for getting organized.

Once your closet is organized, you just might find your mornings are more efficient. And if perchance another of your 2017 resolutions is to be on time…you’re on your way to success!

Oenophiles Know It’s Wine O’Clock Somewhere

If you have wine lovers on your holiday shopping list, you are lucky.

You’re lucky because there are so many clever and unique gifts to choose from for the oenophile. Lucky because a bottle of wine is an easy accompaniment to round out the gift. And especially lucky because the appreciative wine lover just might share some of their favorite grape juice with you.84117_1000x1000

Here’s a suggestion for a unique gift for a real wine lover that’s a favorite among our customers: a seamless mouth-blown glass that can hold an entire bottle of wine. Its classic Bordeaux shape fits an entire hand, enabling effortless quaffing without abandoning social mores. It also serves teetotalers as an impressive display for olives, candies, or floating candles. This fun glass allows users to assure that they, in all honesty, had only one glass of wine…although we cannot bear responsibility for any next-morning hangovers.86245_1000x1000

These wine glasses lend a different touch of whimsy with a playful tilt. Their bent stems set a relaxed, lighthearted mood at the beginning of a gathering or add fun as a surreptitious stemware switch after guests are about to start on their second Syrah. Each glass is hand-blown into a unique vessel with stems that bend a bit more or bowls that tilt a bit more than others, supporting the adage that wine affects everyone – and every glass – differently.87690_1000x1000

To drink the wine, you must get the bottle open. This wooden puzzle keeps a bottle’s virtue intact by confounding quaffers from cracking its corded code. A wooden cage secures a bottle’s bottom while a mortise and tenon joint that caps a bottle’s top “locks” into place with a corkscrew “pin”. A cord connecting the bottom and top wraps around the corkscrew to deceive the desperate and the thirsty into thinking that a simple unraveling can easily release the bottle for indulgent imbibing.

These represent just a few of the unique gifts we have available for pleasing wine connoisseurs and others getting into the spirits of the holidays. Check out our full selection for wine lovers today.

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!