Category Archives: Home Living

Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep

They say the best things in life are free. But some of those things can be difficult to achieve…like a good night’s sleep.

Especially as we age, quality sleep becomes elusive. Aches and pains may interfere with rest and many folks middle-aged and beyond awaken in the wee hours with night sweats. We have some ideas that can help bring you the unique gifts of better rest.88412_1000x1000

These Sleep Enhancing Sheets are made from a patented fabric clinically proven to promote better sleep. The sheets’ silky fibers are interwoven with strands of Celliant, yarn enhanced with titanium dioxide, a mineral that absorbs body heat and then converts it into infrared light that is reabsorbed back into the skin. This safe, invisible energy reduces pain, boosts blood oxygen levels, and helps to counteract aches, inflammation, and night sweats.78165_1000x1000

NASA has developed another fabric originally designed to keep astronauts comfortable in space. It’s used in this unique pillow, available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, to provide a comfortably cool sleeping surface. Inside the pillow, millions of invisible microcapsules absorb excess heat and move the warmth away from your head and neck until the pillow reaches the ambient temperature. As you shift positions during sleep, the vacated area of the pillow recovers its cooling properties.84920_1000x1000

Another unique gift for better sleep is this Instant Cooling Bed Pad. It uses a special gel that absorbs body heat. During eight hours of testing in an independent lab, this pad’s surface temperature rose only 1 degree. Requiring no refrigeration or electricity, the pad’s thin-yet-firm gel provides a comfortable sleeping surface, and unlike lesser pads, won’t emit sleep-disrupting popping noises when you roll over.

Multiple studies have shown that inadequate sleep may lead to chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, short-term memory loss, and weight gain. Vow to get better sleep starting tonight and give yourself the unique gifts of better health.

Unique Gifts Bring the Farm to Your Table

You wandered the farmers’ market to find the freshest, tastiest heirloom tomatoes. You battled to grab the last bunches of brilliant green broccoli rabe. You waited in long lines at the heritage beef butcher’s kiosk to get the finest grass-fed, free-range beef brisket—the one your friend told you was “to die for” after five hours of smoking and slow roasting.

Except now it’s noon and your guests are coming at 3:00.84974_1000x1000

Solve this culinary conundrum with the One Hour Indoor Pressure Smoker. It will cook that brisket in only one hour—five times faster than traditional methods. Combining a pressure cooker and smoker in one appliance, this 6½-quart device increases internal pressure by 15 psi, cooking food faster while still allowing wood chips to release their unique gift of fragrant, flavor-enhancing smoke. The cooker can also be employed as a cold smoker, steamer, or even just a traditional low- or-high-pressure cooker.84871_1000x1000

As for those heirloom tomatoes, a salubriously delicious sauce can be made with the Genuine Italian Tomato Press. Imported from Italy, it peels, seeds, and strains fresh tomatoes to create a smooth puree. Capturing the flavor of seasonal produce without the laborious process of manually blanching, skinning, and coring the fruit, this efficient Old World tool processes up to three quarts of raw tomatoes at a time by simply turning a crank.88905_1000x1000

The fresh broccoli rabe can be cooked without butter or oil—reducing calories and fat—in a nonstick pan. This set of Scratchproof Nonstick Pans feature a ceramic-titanium coating that makes for easy cooking and cleanup. In tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, fried eggs slid off the ungreased pan as if cooked on air, and the impervious non-stick surface suffered no damage when scrubbed with an abrasive pad and scratched with a metal fork. By the way, this pan set also make an ideal unique gift for a new graduate heading off to their first apartment.

The season for farmers’ markets is in full swing…make eating locally and eating well a fresh summer afternoon delight!

Some Like It Hot, Some ‘re Better Cool

Just past 6:30 last evening, the sun reached its northernmost point of the year, making today the first full day of summer.

While warm weather has been with us for weeks now, the hottest is yet to come. Statistically, the third week of July presents the warmest temperatures of the season. Some folks love hot weather, but others try their best to stay cool. If you’re in the latter group, these unique gifts will help you chill out, even when it’s blazing hot.82495_1000x1000

This low-profile window fan earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the highest air velocity and pushed the most air volume. Plus, with only 57.1 decibels of noise, this is one of the quietest fans around. The Best model’s dual fans are reversible and operate independently, allowing one fan to draw cool air in while the other pushes warm air out for optimal circulation. It has a remote control, too, so you don’t even have to break a sweat to turn it on.78165_1000x1000

Using patented fabric developed for NASA to help keep astronauts comfortable in space, this unique pillow provides a comfortably cool sleeping surface. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, inside this pillow millions of invisible microcapsules absorb excess heat and move the warmth away from your head and neck until the pillow reaches the ambient temperature. As you shift positions during sleep, the vacated area of the pillow recovers its cooling properties.87339_1000x1000

Little else provides the unique gift of feeling cool than floating gently in a pool. This floating hammock supports your head and feet while your core remains partially submerged in water. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, this float’s unique design offers a blend of support and buoyancy that gives you the sensation of swinging in a favorite hammock. It requires no inflation, just get in the water and while away the afternoon.

For most people, little else beats the feeling of summer and memories of long, carefree days. Take time to enjoy the unique gifts this season brings…but if you can’t take the heat, we are here to help you keep your cool.

Gentlemen, Start Your Burners!

It’s time to fire up the grill! Properly done, grilling is a healthy way of cooking. Fats drip off meat, plus the high heat of this method helps grilled meats and veggies alike retain more vitamins. That’s a unique gift we’ll accept any time!

No wonder 80 percent of American homes own a grill or smoker. And while summer is the most popular time for a barbeque, about 60 percent of backyard chefs report using their grills year ‘round. So if you’re looking for unique gifts for a homeowner, a grill accessory is practically a sure bet.83709_1000x1000

To maintain grilling as a healthy method of cooking, the grates should be kept clean of carbon deposits. This grill-cleaning robot automatically cleans your grates, removing burned-on bits of food and grease in just a few passes. The device can be set to operate for 10, 20 or 30 minutes, so you can get an extra-deep cleaning for the first barbeque of the season, or following a steak-heavy Father’s Day meat fest.88516_1000x1000

Freeing the grillmaster to relax or fraternize, this innovative thermometer wirelessly sends alerts to a smartphone or a tablet. Unlike typical thermometers that require personal inspection, this model’s wireless transmitter sends real-time data to an iPhone/iPad or Android app from 160′ away, alerting you when a pre-selected temperature is reached. Its water-resistant transmitter receives data from the probes and transmits directly to the smart device. It works brilliantly in an indoor oven, too.87471_1000x1000

Those who grill all year long likely do their share of cooking after sunset…and here’s the ideal unique gift for those folks. This cordless grill light earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it generated the brightest, most expansive light and was the only model with a timer. The Best model has 18 LEDs that produce crisp light six times brighter than lesser models. Its beam illuminates the cooking surface and a grill’s side table simultaneously. This light can be mounted to any vertical, horizontal or angled surface.

Memorial Day—one of the most popular days for grilling—will be here in less than three weeks. If you’ve not yet dusted off your favorite kettle cooker, flat top grill or smoker, now’s the time. Fill the propane tank or stock up on charcoal and get ready for the wonderful aromas and delicious flavors of outdoor cooking.

Ready Your Home for Spring

When sun streams through your windows at angles it hasn’t since last summer, you’re likely to spot dust and grime you didn’t see during the dreary days of winter. That can only mean it’s time for a good spring cleaning.

Getting a checklist together is half the battle of getting motivated. Here are a few tips to help jump-start the project and you’ll soon be enjoying the unique gifts of a sparkling-clean home.

Clean out the fridge. Toss anything expired, as well as sauces and dressing you’ll never use again. Wash each shelf with a mixture of two tablespoons baking soda to one quart of warm water. Don’t forget to clean out the vegetable crisper…you don’t want it to become a vegetable rotter! Vacuum dust off the coil behind the fridge to keep it operating efficiently.84816_1000x1000

Rent a steam cleaner (or hire a service) to deep-clean your carpeting. Then, throughout the year, plan frequent vacuumings to minimize the amount of accumulating dirt and dust. Hate to vacuum? We recommend this Superior Suction Roomba 880 to let it do the work for you. It forgoes typical brushes and instead uses two rubber rollers rotating in opposite directions to pick up more debris while it moves methodically from room to room. It can even be programmed to automatically clean seven days a week.84538_1000x1000

Tackle “hidden” dust. Don’t forget corners, dusty baseboards and those bits of cereal that find their way under kitchen cabinets. The Best Cordless Hand Vac was rated the most effective by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its cleaning power, convenient features and ergonomic design. Its hygienic one-button system empties waste directly into the garbage.87109_1000x1000

Get windows sparkling clean to maximize the unique gift of nature’s light. This Vacuuming Squeegee efficiently cleans windows and flat surfaces without drips. The included spray bottle accepts your preferred cleaning solution for wetting the glass. A press of a button starts its powerful motor to vacuum the dirty solution into the reservoir at a quiet operating volume.

Finally, have you changed your furnace filter recently? The filter should be replaced at least every 90 days, and it’s important to maintain a clean filter if you have central air conditioning. This helps your AC cool more efficiently and will cut down on dust in your home, too.

Squeezing Every Inch of Storage from a Tiny Home

Small-space living is more than a trend perpetuated by home-and-garden TV shows. For many residents of New York City, San Francisco, and other expensive urban areas, it’s a necessary way of life.

But, there’s a fine line between cozy and crazy. Fortunately, we have a few ideas to help you enjoy the unique gifts of downtown living, gain storage space, and still indulge in some of life’s little luxuries.86398_1000x1000

This slim-profile side table boasts hidden storage that keeps clutter at bay, while keeping indispensable items close at hand. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, the table has a hinged lift-up compartment at one end and a sliding lid on the other end to conveniently provide space to hide remote controls, eyeglasses, pens, coasters, and other small items. Below, a shelf holds books, magazines, or knick-knacks. The table’s slim design easily nestles between two chairs or in a tight entryway.88290_1000x1000

In a space-challenged bathroom, this cabinet’s narrow footprint and large capacity adds welcome organization and storage. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it’s only 9” wide, so it can slide beside a toilet or tub or next to a pedestal sink. Five separate compartments hold everything from a plunger to bath tissue, medications, cosmetics, 86670_1000x1000 and toiletries.

Living space in the city is expensive, but so are coffee-shop lattes and cappuccinos. Break up with your barista with this Italian espresso machine that takes up only 6″ of precious kitchen counter space. This slim machine sheds the bulk of similar models, yet brews professional-quality drinks using a 15-bar manual pump system to extract maximum flavor from the beans. It dispenses a single or double shot in only 40 seconds, while the built-in steam wand froths milk to a rich, creamy consistency. Not only a space-saver, this machine is the ideal unique gift for a coffee lover.

Small-space living helps one live contently with fewer possessions. You won’t waste time playing custodian to your stuff and you’ll appreciate experiences over things. Just stay organized and you won’t be made claustrophobic by clutter.

Gardening Improves Mind, Body, and Soul

Gardening is good for you, physically and mentally. It gives you the unique gifts of burning calories along with the therapeutic benefit that comes from raising your own flowers and vegetables. Tomorrow marks National Gardening Exercise Day, so it’s a great time to indulge in this popular pastime.

Whether you’re a long-time avid gardener or a novice hoping to develop a green thumb, we have some ideas that will enhance a day with your plants. These items make ideal unique gifts for your favorite gardener, too.

12583_300x300Worn by French winemakers and gardeners for hundreds of years, these handmade, natural rubber boots are supple yet sturdy, waterproof, and comfortable when worn whether harvesting from a backyard garden or tending to the vineyards in Bordeaux. The boots have deep rubber treads, a foam-lined insole, and an adjustable buckle at the ankle, ensuring ideal traction and comfort.

87330_300x300Aiming for exercise does not preclude the gardener from sitting while he or she works. This wheeled utility cart features a cushioned swiveling seat that provides 360° of movement. A feature exclusive to Hammacher Schlemmer, the seat is padded with 1/2″ of foam that conforms to its tractor-style shape. A basket in the rear and a tray underneath provide easy access to tools, gloves, and planting supplies.

87084_300x300If you lack space for a garden or have difficulty bending down to ground level, this vertical garden displays five planters that will let you enjoy gardening. The pots detach for easy planting and hook into place at staggered heights to maximize sun exposure. The garden can easily be rolled to chase the sun over the course of the day or moved indoors during cooler months for year-round enjoyment.

Even just walking around a garden can help you exercise and it will give you a feeling of well-being, too. So get outdoors, feel the breeze, hear the birds, and let gardening bring you the unique gifts of better health and peace of mind.

We’re Thrillin’ to Do Some Grillin’

It’s the season for seasoning…the spicy deliciousness of barbequing season, that is!,

There’s something about manning the grill that speaks to a primal instinct. It’s the aroma of an open fire, the crackling sound of juices meeting hot coals and the sight of a thick steak with perfect grill marks. And this year’s BBQ season promises to be one of the best ever, thanks to some new products that enhance the unique gift of being able to cook outdoors.

86107_300x300Why limit grilling time to the hours before sunset? The Grillmaster’s Cordless Task Light clamps to a barbeque lid or prep table, leaving your hands free for flipping burgers or checking a roast’s temperature. The weather-resistant lamp’s heavy-duty spring clamp also attaches to lawn furniture, tabletops, and headboards up to 3″ thick, making it ideal for bringing light to a campsite, workshop, or bedside.

87228C_300x300Taking a grill to a picnic is a great idea…except for transporting the messy grill. This is a portable charcoal grill concealed within a stainless steel briefcase. Instead of the traditional round design, this sleek briefcase model is easily carried by its handle and stacked among other tailgating gear thanks to its flat, rectangular design. The case stands up and opens to support a metal cooking grate. A removable ash basket catches debris for easy cleanup (without leaving behind evidence of a cookout). It’s the perfect unique gift for anyone who loves to tailgate.

84149_300x300A well-seasoned grill grate is good. A grate covered with burned-on chunks of last week’s cookout is not. This is the grill brush that uses steam to quickly and thoroughly clean grill grates. A chamber inside the handle holds water, and a spout set within the bristles releases water onto hot grates, creating steam that removes burned-on food and grease with little effort. The bristle heads remove and can be cleaned easily in a dishwasher.

So grab your tongs and get grilling. The season is fleeting and the time to enjoy the unique gifts of BBQ season is now!

And the Winner Is…A Unique Gift for Better TV Viewing

The 2015 awards show season is in full swing! Now is a great time to update your home entertainment options with unique gifts that will help you make the most of all the red-carpet entrances and the timely jokes from the ceremonies’ hosts.84896B_300x300

Here are notable awards broadcasts you won’t want to miss over the next few months:
Screen Actors Guild Awards – Sunday, Jan. 25. Broadcast on TNT and TBS. This ceremony honors theatrical motion pictures, actors, television and stunt ensembles.
Grammy Awards – Sunday, Feb. 8. Watch on CBS as the recording industry recognizes performers and song writers from all genres of music.
Academy Awards – Sunday, Feb. 22. To many people this is the flagship of the awards season; this year’s Oscar winners will be announced in a broadcast on ABC.
Kid’s Choice Awards – Saturday, March 28. Nickelodeon will air its annual awards ceremony for the younger set.
Tony Awards – Sunday, June 7. Tune into CBS as the theater industry recognizes achievements on Broadway.

Hear precisely who wins each award with The Voice Clarifying TV Speaker. This wireless speaker features an advanced microchip that amplifies human speech frequencies above background noise so that spoken words are clearly audible. The speaker has its own volume control, and a headphone jack for private listening.

Can’t be home to watch the event? No problem, this Portable Smart TV is a tablet that features a built-in digital TV tuner and antenna to receive free, over-the-air high-definition broadcasts and display them on its 7″ screen. This tablet also accesses the Internet via Wi Fi.

Some of the most popular awards shows go on till the late hours of the evening. A unique gift for viewers who prefer to watch from the comfort of bed, The TV Listening Headband has integrated ultra-thin wireless speakers and is comfortable enough to be worn as you rest your head on a pillow. Developed exclusively by Hammacher Schlemmer, the soft fleece headband’s stereo speakers receive audio from a Bluetooth transmitter that connects to your TV.

So pop the popcorn, dim the lights and get ready for a night with your favorite stars from film, stage, and music!

Turning Boredom into Action

Ennui. Lethargy. Tedium. However you label it, it’s all boredom.

Throughout July, the U.S. celebrates National Anti-boredom Month, and a chance to cure the call of “There’s nothing to do!” forever. We’re all for putting a bit of extra excitement into your life, and we can offer several ideas to banish boredom for people of all ages.The Backyard Zip Line Kit

The Seated Backyard Zipline Kit allows riders to swoop up to 90 feet through the air while remaining close to the ground. The system simply wraps around two trees at an incline and riders zip from one end to the other, similar to ziplines found at luxury ski resorts and adventure camps. It’s a unique gift for kids or grandkids, that helps make playing outdoors better than any video game.

You and a friend can tool around town on The Only Electric Bicycle Built for Electric Tandem BicycleTwo. The only one of its kind, this tandem electric bicycle assists riders up to 20 mph in relaxed comfort, up hills or across broad flats. Its step-through design provides easy mounting and dismounting for both riders.

For boredom that can only be cured with speed, The World’s Fastest Amphibious Car blasts over water at 44 mph and reaches 80 mph on the road. Powered by a 300-hp Honda engine, it operates like a regular vehicle on land with a four-speed manual transmission. Amphibious CarWhen it’s time to enter the water, the wheels rise above the bottom of the hull and the engine’s power is redirected to a Panther pump jet.

Time with friends is a sure cure for boredom, along with a bit of liquid social lubrication. The Aquatic Bar seats four around an integrated cooler, facilitating the unique gift of dazzling conversation. Four inflatable chairs let sitters’ legs dangle in the cooling water.

So turn the dog days of summer to the doing days of summer and your friends The Aquatic Barand family will jump up with joyful cries when they see these unique gifts perfect for Anti-boredom Month.