Category Archives: Summer

Weather the Wetter Weather Better

This past Wednesday, meteorological Spring began, although the official first day of the season is not until March 20. We’re happy to start enjoying now all the unique gifts of the season: increasing warmth, longer days, budding flowers…and frequent showers.

Plan ahead and you’ll find rain is no problem—we have some great suggestions to help you maintain dryness in wetter weather.

Compact enough to carry in a purse or pocket, this is the smallest umbrella available that opens with the push of a button. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, the umbrella is only 8″ long when closed and instantly deploys its generous 40″ diameter canopy at the press of a button on its handle. A second press of the button collapses the canopy, so you can then manually retract the shaft.

For wind-resistant protection in a storm, this packable auto-open umbrella defies gusts up to 35 mph. A patented overlapping vent system disperses wind through reinforced slits in the nylon canopy to eliminate inversion while shielding you from the driving rain. With pinchless runners, corrosion-resistant fiberglass ribs and spreaders, and a nylon storage sleeve, this is an umbrella that will last for years.

Save your good floors from wetness tracked in from the garage. This absorbent garage mat features a patented two-layer design that soaks up water, snow, and mud. Its permeable surface sponges up outdoor muck from car tires and shoes, preventing water and dirt from being brought indoors from your garage floor. You’ll save your carpeting from stains and yourself from unnecessary cleaning.

With record rainfalls on the west coast and March and April the wettest months for the east coast, Mother Nature seems intent on showing us her mettle this year. Don’t let her ruin your day: prepare yourself now and later you’ll be singin’ in the rain.

Unique Gifts Provide a Sweet Treat

Not everybody has a sweet tooth, but those who do know if you don’t answer its call, the craving will just keep nagging you.

If you’re one of those folks who needs that sweet taste virtually every day, we have some unique gift suggestions that satisfy your taste for a treat.

This is the best frozen soft-serve dessert maker we’ve found. It earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it made the smoothest, soft-serve ice cream-like desserts. Lesser units produced frozen treats that had an uneven consistency or were too chunky, while The Best unit’s powerful-yet-quiet motor purees frozen bananas, chocolate chips, and marshmallows into a healthy alternative to Rocky Road, with a super-satisfying mouth feel. 

Who doesn’t love s’mores? Now, you don’t even need a campfire to make them. This indoor roaster produces perfect toasted marshmallows without an open flame. The puffy confections are toasted over a stainless steel electric heater, making it safe and easy to use with kids.

Here’s another unique gift reminiscent of summer. This snow cone cart recreates the treat found at beaches, parks, and zoos. The fun starts under a classic ruffled red awning as the cart’s electric grinder produces finely granulated ice from ordinary household ice cubes. You can make up to eight snow cones at a time, while your fortunate guests apply their choice of flavored syrup from the included rainbow of one-gallon containers of cherry, grape, blue raspberry, lemon-lime, or orange syrup.

Studies have shown that a little bit of sweet at the end of a meal signals your body that it’s time to turn the appetite off. Just don’t go overboard and be sure to balance your treats with plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and your sweet tooth can be satisfied, even while you maintain your good health.

Fishermen Get Another Chance as Dog Days Breeze into Fall

Fishermen agree springtime is the most productive season for catching the big ones. But there’s a time before the first hard freeze when ponds, lakes and rivers cool down and our fine finned friends surface for the last time before winter takes hold.88659_1000x1000

The kids are in school and the boat is out of the water, but you know your pond holds Nessie-sized secrets so you need – no, you are compelled – to wet a line just one more time. To outfit you for last minute spontaneous angling, we recommend this compact portable fishing pole that fits into your car’s glove box. A quality rod and reel constructed from aluminum, zinc alloy, and fiberglass, it’s ready to land a fighter on a moment’s notice. It even includes plastic worms, hooks, and a sinker.86966_1000x1000

To reach hot spots and honey holes where you just can’t cast far enough, try this unique gift: the replica fish-catching radio controlled bass boat. At just 17-1/2″, it’s able to slip into small areas otherwise out of reach behind weeds and tree roots. Just bait the hook and cruise the boat out to where the fish thought they were untouchable and lure them to the frying pan with a systematic sweeping motion just like commercial fisherman do.11302_1000x1000

Perhaps you or your family view fish as cute cartoon characters rather than dinner, and you dream of snorkeling through a Caribbean reef. In that case, you’ll love the unique gift of this aquarium coffee table. Gazing through the glass is a dream of summer’s fleeting sun and sand. The acrylic sides provide clear viewing of the interior, while the removable glass tabletop is large and sturdy enough to accommodate coffee cups and cocktails, a sculpture, and hardcover books.

With fall upon us, just mullet over: you need to go fishing. For one day, leave work and chores to salmon else. Any fin is possible, and once winter’s snow flies, you will thank cod you didn’t let this oppor-tuna-ty pass you by. We’re not squidding.

Extend Summer with Warmth of Hospitality

So soon, summer comes to its unofficial close on Labor Day. Already, we see the marked difference in darker, cooler mornings and noticeably earlier sunsets.12298_1000x1000

But for many folks, the best weather of the year is yet to come, and even when earlier darkness brings a chill in the air, many weeks still lie ahead to entertain outdoors.

Help your guests enjoy the unique gifts of a crisp fall evening with accessories that will add light and warmth to your yard or patio. This hearth table, for instance, features a granite top cut from the mountains in China’s Shanxi province, so each handcrafted table is one-of-a-kind. A cutout section in the center contains a stainless steel fire pit, powered by a propane tank or a connection to a natural gas line86860_1000x1000.

In smaller spaces, this tabletop fireplace88478_1000x1000 provides the color, charm, and comfort of a wood-burning fire without the smoke, smells, or sparks. It’s fueled by recycled liquid ethanol, so the 7″-high flame gives off only carbon dioxide and water vapor, making it suitable for use indoors or out. Consider this mini fireplace as an appropriate and unique gift for a housewarming, too—pun intended.

Provide illumination along with an architectural element with these all-weather obelisk torches. The elegant torches continue a long sculptural tradition begun in ancient Egypt, where similar obelisks were first fashioned to flank temple entrances. They have extra-long cotton wicks to fill the evening with soft, romantic light.

Pair these unique gift ideas for warmth and light with rustic fall decorations and hearty, seasonal dishes such as chili or pumpkin soup. Your outdoor parties will be a success even through the end of October and will keep guests feeling cozy, comfortable, and relaxed.

Unique Gifts for Olympic-Sized Fun

Promising pageantry, spectacle and plenty of Samba dancing, tonight’s Opening Ceremonies kick off the 2016 Rio Olympics. For the next two weeks, we’ll be captivated by this all-you-can-watch buffet of sports, awestruck by the athletes’ unique gifts of natural talent, strength, speed, and focus.

If you, however, are less of a viewer and more of a doer, consider creating your own Olympics right in your backyard.11841_1000x1000 We have some suggestions to get you started on fun events for a friendly neighborhood competition.

Diving—Combine the inflatable Floating Jungle Gym with this body-launching attachment at the lake.  It will launch a person sitting on its surface into the air when another person jumps on the inflatable, providing airborne fun for somersaults, flips, cannonballs and belly flops. The commercial-grade jungle gym itself is strong enough to support leaps from the apex, too.12671_1000x1000

Table TennisThis table tennis table features an integrated 2,800-watt audio system and LED lighting to impart thrill and excitement to any tournament. Connecting to smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth for music, the table also includes a microphone input and volume and track controls that allow ambidextrous karaoke enthusiasts to sing a victory song while delivering a game-winning backhand or for an announcer to add color commentary to each volley. 87413_1000x1000

Pickleball—Though not an Olympic sport – yet – pickleball is among the fastest-growing sports in the country. This complete pickleball kit sets up in minutes for fast-paced fun for two picklers. This unique gift is available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer and sets up on any hard surface. The game combines the volleys of tennis with oversized paddles, a badminton-size court, and a perforated plastic ball. Balls travel at one-third the speed of a tennis ball, making the game easy to learn and fun to play for all experience levels. 12110_1000x1000

Award Ceremonies—Close our your games and present your winners’ medals around this handcrafted replica of the Athlete’s Village Fire Pit Globe from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The unique globe-shaped design, with cutouts in the shapes of the continents, evokes the international spirit of the Games. The fire pit is forged from heavy-gauge carbon steel with an iron oxide patina to last for many Olympics to come.

Bug Off! Unique Gifts Keep Insects at Bay

West Nile virus…Zika virus…yellow fever. Virtually every day, news reports relay more potential dangers from mosquito bites.

Even if these viruses are not yet prevalent in your area, there’s no denying a mosquito bite causes unnecessary discomfort. The same goes for bites from spiders and flies and stings from bees, wasps and yellow jackets. Yet, there are simple, chemical-free ways to protect your family. We have several unique gift ideas to keep insects at bay both inside and outside your home.81846_1000x1000

This chemical-free trap attracts and kills mosquitoes in yards up to one acre. The trap mimics the natural conditions of human habitation by emitting heat, odorless carbon dioxide and light to lure mosquitoes. Carbon dioxide is generated when ultraviolet rays from two fluorescent bulbs react with a titanium dioxide coating inside the trap. When mosquitoes are drawn inside the device, a built-in fan traps the insects and sends them to a removable net where they die of dehydration.84925_1000x1000

This completely portable enclosure slides over a patio table’s umbrella to provide a protective canopy. Eliminating the need for sprays or candles, its sturdy polyester netting is too small for pests to penetrate. It fits over umbrellas up to 9′ in diameter, extending all the way to the ground or deck floor. The bottom’s entire perimeter stays in place even in the breeze using an integrated PVC ring that can be filled with water. A zippered flap provides easy entry and exit.86575_1000x1000

Should a pesky bug find its way inside your home, here’s the handheld cordless bug vacuum that earned The Best rating from The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it captured the most bugs in the shortest time and was easiest to handle. Its powerful motor generates more airflow than lesser vacuums to draw flies, bees, spiders and other insects into its telescoping tinted nozzle that lets you capture stationary bugs from arm’s length.

We have many other unique gifts designed to keep mosquitos and other insects away from you and your family. Visit our online Mosquito Protection Center today for ideas.

Unique Gifts that Make a Splash

With summer in its prime, you may be whiling away many hours at the pool. We can’t think of many better ways to appreciate a lazy summer afternoon.88422_1000x1000

But for some, boredom may be setting in. If you’re looking for some new ideas for pooltime, here are a few unique gifts to get you in the swim of things.

In-pool socializing takes on a shady nature with this floating 7 ft. umbrella. Five built-in cupholders keep both bathers and beverages out of the sun, while encouraging shaded socialization. The umbrella is supported by a 6 lb. counterweight at its bottom so it stays in an upright position in both breezes and waves87339_1000x1000.

For some quiet “me time”, this unique floating hammock supports your head and feet, while your core remains pleasantly in the cool water. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, this hammock’s unique design offers a blend of support and buoyancy that mimics the feeling of swaying in a favorite hammock, while giving you the unique gift of floating in soothing water.12425_1000x1000

When you want to simply sit poolside, this motorized entertainment lounger has built-in misters, speakers, and a USB charging port, all powered by the sun. A control pad on the left armrest provides push-button operation of the backrest’s reclining position. The integrated Bose speakers sync wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled device to provide the music. While this lounger can’t make you another frozen margarita, it can keep you just as cool by emitting a refreshing mist.

So get ready to make a splash…much of the U.S. is predicted to hit the 90s in the coming weeks, but you’ll have your fun in the sun when you keep cool at the pool.

Stress-Free on the Greens

For those of us that play golf as a way to combat stress, we have a few unique gifts that can help make your golf outing a more leisured experience. 84961_1000x1000

Why wait until the 19th hole? The Golfer’s Clandestine Cooler enables sly swingers to enjoy chilled libations on the links from an insulated cooler disguised as a golfer’s shag bag. Providing a welcome alternative to lukewarm refreshments smuggled in via shorts pockets or an hours-long wait for a chilled clubhouse beverage, this bag maintains propriety on the course while avoiding harassment by caddies, pros, or other spoilsports.12245_1000x1000

Professional golfers are forbidden to use golf carts at PGA tournaments and must walk the course. Thankfully, those of us in the amateur ranks have no such restrictions. But why limit yourself to common carts that roll on wheels? The Golf Cart Hovercraft lets you one-up the pros while assuring your popularity with your foursome. This cart glides over hazards on a cushion of air as easily as it does over fairways and the rough.12620_1000x1000

Stow all the accessories you need to hit the links with this Leather Golf Organizer. The bag’s vented main compartment holds your shoes, allowing proper breathability after 18 holes. Two additional interior compartments and two exterior pockets hold balls, tees, gloves, and any other essential accouterments for a sunny day on the course.

So leave the stress on the greens for the professionals and enhance your golfing pleasure with any of these unique gifts.

Our Picks for Perfect Picnics

Back in the day, when you wanted to go on a picnic, the only thing you had to worry about was ants.

Today, it isn’t as easy as “grab a wicker basket, a blanket and go”. You have to think about avoiding exposure to the sun, evading virus-carrying insects, and eliminating food-borne illnesses by keeping dishes at proper temperatures. We make the perfect picnic easy with these unique gifts that will help you enjoy your al fresco dining experience.11679_1000x1000

Stay in the shade. This portable clamp-on canopy mounts to any rectangular wooden table and provides up to 75′ sq. of shade. An adjustable bracket clamps onto the table, the three-piece frame sets up in seconds, and the canopy simply slides over the frame. The canopy tilts in either direction and locks into place at the desired position. For portability, the entire unit folds to fit in the included duffel bag.78830_1000x1000

Keep bugs away. This personal mosquito-repelling device clips to your belt like a smartphone and repels insects within a 7.5 ft. radius for up to 120 hours. Eliminating the need to apply chemical-based sprays to your skin and clothes, the device emits the subtle floral scent of geraniol, a plant-derived essential oil that naturally repels mosquitoes, ticks, and no see-ums. Laboratory tests proved geraniol to be more effective than DEET—the chemical in most bug repellents—at warding off biting insects. This is the perfect unique gift for gardeners, hikers, and fishermen, too.12617_1000x1000

Make sure food keeps its cool—in style. This is no ordinary cooler…this is the rideable, three-wheeled cooler. It has a 1,000-watt electric motor that propels the unit up to 12 mph, for transporting chilled food or beverages up to 10 miles. The unit has a chain drive, disc brake, and variable-throttle control, ensuring an adventurous ride. Thirsty? A conveniently located cup holder opens to allow access to beverages stored in the cooler while seated.

Don’t save all these picnic picks for yourself—if you’re looking for a unique gift to take to the hosts of a summer party, any of these items or another product from our Outdoor Living selection will make a great choice!

Enjoy the Sounds of Summer

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and live music under the stars. These are the makings for one of our favorite summer pleasures, a concert in the park.

Whether you take in the symphony at one of the country’s fabulous outdoor venues like Wolf Trap, Tanglewood, or Ravinia, or go to your neighborhood park to hear a local band on the rise, when the weather’s right, we can’t think of a better way to enjoy the unique gifts of a summer evening.76519_1000x1000

Typically at such venues, you need to bring your own chair. This portable director’s chair folds to about the size of a laptop and stores in an easy-to-carry messenger bag. It weighs only 9 lbs. and straps over a shoulder and across the chest for easy hands-free portability. Rated “Best Overall” by The Wall Street Journal, with this chair, you’ll be ready to take in a concert at a moment’s notice.88337_1000x1000

Turn the evening into a movable feast with this ingenious cooler cart. This folding beverage cart has an integrated cooler/tabletop to transport your family’s feast over any terrain. The flexible cooler insert holds up to 225 lbs. of ice, drinks, and food. Its rigid cover doubles as a tabletop when closed. The cart pulls easily with a telescoping handle and heavy-duty rubber wheels.89360_1000x1000

After sunset, you’ll need some light and a way to keep mosquitos at bay. This 300-lumen outdoor lantern uses a synthetic repellent made from a naturally occurring insecticide found in chrysanthemums. Field testing proved it repels up to 98% of mosquitoes. Eight LEDs inside the lantern produce an efficient glow for up to 50 hours and may be used with or without the repellant. This lamp makes the ideal unique gift for anyone looking to keep pesky flying insects away in any outdoor setting.

Whether you favor classical, pop, rock, or jazz, with a symphony of crickets as backup, you can’t beat the sum of a picnic plus live music to really appreciate the unique gifts of a summer concert in the park.