Time to Address Stress in Excess

This month is National Stress Awareness Month, a time for healthcare professionals and the public alike to learn more about the causes and cures for the epidemic of too much stress.

Whether it comes from our jobs, our families, or self-imposed expectations, excessive stress is a condition that can lead to a myriad of health problems, including high blood pressure, insomnia, obesity, and digestive issues.

One way to deal with stress is to allow yourself to indulge in the unique gift of calm relaxation. Easier said than done, right? We have some ideas to help you relax and find stress relief in your day.12195A_1000x1000

For the ultimate state of relaxation, this Tranquility Pod uses pleasant sound, gentle vibration, and soothing light to transport the body, mind and spirit. The pod’s biofeedback system—an exclusive feature available only from Hammacher Schlemmer—uses a pulse sensor that synchronizes your heartrate with 50 LEDs to create mind-calming mood lighting. The pod’s four-speaker sound system plays music from your smartphone or iPod to impart restful harmony.84188_1000x1000

Massage is a great way to reduce stress levels. This superior handheld massager delivers up to 3,000 pulses a minute—about 50% more than similar devices—to deeply penetrate muscles and loosen tension-induced knots. An infrared heating element penetrates deep into skin to boost circulation, while the massager’s head uses the Swedish techniques of vibration and tapotement to knead out tension, ease stiffness and invigorate the body.84345_1000x1000

Sometimes, stress is best relieved by just getting it out of your system, so to speak. Put this petite punching bag on your desk for impromptu and immediate relief. The bag attaches securely with a rubber suction cup to any wood or metal flat surface. Withstanding hooks and jabs with aplomb, the leather ball rebounds reliably with a heavy-duty spring. And because humor is an effective stress release, this makes the ideal unique gift for that certain family member who loves to pick fights.

Along with any of these unique gifts for stress relief, experts also recommend 15 minutes of mind-clearing meditation, regular aerobic exercise, and indulging in stress-relieving foods such as dark chocolate and green tea. If all else fails, try to sleep on it—like Grandmother always use to say, it will all be clear in the morning.

Outdoor Clean-up Made Easy

Recently, we offered some ideas to make spring cleaning tasks inside your house a bit easier so you can enjoy the unique gifts of a sparkling house with less effort. Today, we have some suggestions to tackle spring clean-up around your deck, patio and yard.88328_1000x100087109_1000x1000

Get winter’s grime off hard surfaces. Cleaning dirt and debris from the deck, patio, walkway and driveway is extra-easy with The Best Electric Power Washer. In side-by-side tests conducted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, this power washer cleaned the most effectively and was the easiest to use. We also recommend it for cleaning dirt and mold from aluminum siding.

Squeegee your windows to let the sun shine in. You want your windows clean and free of streaks to maximize the unique gift of nature’s light. We recommended The Vacuuming Squeegee for cleaning the windows inside your home…of course, it works equally as well on the outsides of your windows, too.87417_1000x1000

Spring is a great time to prune and shape bushes. This Cordless Long Reach Hedge Trimmer prunes hedges up to 10′ tall while you stand firmly on the ground, not on an shaky ladder. The telescoping shaft locks in place and tilts up to 135 degrees to handle hedges of nearly any size or shape. Its cordless design eliminates the need for extension cords – and the fear of accidently cutting your own cord.87166_1000x1000

Seed any bare spots in your lawn. Spring is the time to spruce up your lawn with grass seed and an application of fertilizer. You’ll need to water the seeds frequently as they germinate and develop a root system. Watering’s a lot easier with this Auto Expanding/Contracting Hose. It uses only water pressure to automatically expand for use and contracts to 65% of the size of a typical hose for storage. Its patented design ensures against, twists, tangles and kinks. It’s the ideal unique gift for anyone who loves to garden, too.

The best thing about yard work is you get to be outside enjoying the mild spring days. Let these tools from Hammacher Schlemmer give you a hand, and you won’t mind the chores one bit.

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.

A Day in History that Deserves a Toast

Eighty-three years ago tomorrow, thirsty Americans lined up around the block. At the stroke of midnight, they’d be able to have a legal drink of alcohol for the first time since 1920; thus, April 6, 1933, became known as “New Beers Eve”. It was a unique gift to parched citizens everywhere.

In the decades since, we’ve progressed from the 3.2% beer mandated by Prohibition’s repeal to full-bodied craft beers that are culinary creations in their own right. Most recently, craft distilleries have emerged on the scene, with small-batch gins and locally produced artisanal whiskeys delighting imbibers nationwide.87326_1000x1000

We’d like to raise a toast to New Beers Eve with these glasses, designed specifically for tasting whiskey. The glasses have a thick, sturdy base to complement the liquor’s depth, thin sides to allow you to appreciate the liquid’s color and a tapered mouth to accentuate aromas. Recognized as the best glasses for tasting, they are used by every whiskey company in Ireland and Scotland for sampling their product.12157_1000x1000

Craft breweries have sprung up like weeds in recent years and many came from home brewers whose hobby, shall we say, got a little out of hand. If you’re a homebrewer no longer able to satisfy the ale cravings of friends and family merely with unique gifts of a few occasional bottles of unlabeled brew, it may be time to invest in this professional-quality microbrewing system, scaled for the home brewmaster. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, its 14-gallon fermenter could have you producing a batch in time for your own Maibock Fest.12225_1000x1000

If nothing else, the repeal of Prohibition brought responsible enjoyment of alcohol from behind closed doors and reintroduced it as a social activity. And we can’t think of a more fun and social way to responsibly enjoy a drink than The Pedal Pub. This human-powered vehicle accommodates 17 people who pedal, serve, drive and imbibe as it travels. With 10 pedaling passengers, the vehicle can hit 5 mph on flat terrain, but the real fun is in the party as you pedal.

Upon signing the legislation ending Prohibition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” And if you’ll excuse us now, we couldn’t agree more.

America’s Pastime Gets in Full Swing

The boys of summer take the field Sunday as the 2016 Major League Baseball season gets underway. This weekend’s feature game will be a World Series rematch between the New York Mets and the world champion Kansas City Royals.12433_1000x1000

In these days of constant screen time and never-out-of-touch connectedness, baseball remains steeped in nostalgia, decades-old stats, and old-fashioned tradition. You may even know someone who can recite years of baseball trivia from pure memory. A fitting and unique gift for a dedicated fan like that might be this personalized archive from The New York Times. This book brings together articles chronicling the exploits of a fan’s favorite MLB team, including articles spanning from the team’s formative years to today. The bound book even displays the recipient’s name stamped in gold on the cover.12355_1000x1000

As baseball season gets underway, imagine enjoying each televised game seated in this larger-than-life baseball glove chair, upholstered entirely in the same “Heart of the Hide” leather used to make a pro player’s glove. Each chair is built to order and is assembled by master craftsmen in Rawlings’ St. Louis facility, the same place authentic baseball mitts are made.86222_1000x1000

Among the treasured traditions of baseball is bringing up the next generation of fans, giving them the unique gift of appreciation for all the game’s nuances. Perhaps for this reason, youth baseball remains one of the most popular sports for kids. You can help an aspiring slugger hone hitting skills with this Batter Controlled Pitching Machine. The batter operates the machine from the bat’s wireless transmitter to practice hitting a plastic ball. The transmitter signals the machine to throw a ball, giving the young batter control over timing of the pitches. The machine can also be set to automatic mode, pitching a ball every eight seconds.

As the 2016 season gets underway, hope springs eternal. Odds makers are putting the Chicago Cubs as this year’s team to beat—will the Cubbies end their championship drought dating back to 1908? In April, anything and everything is possible. And if not, just wait till next year.

Tell Foot Pain to Take a Hike

Walking is heralded by physicians and physiologists alike as one of the best forms of exercise anyone can do. Tomorrow is Take a Walk in the Park Day, so it’s a perfect time to get outdoors for a long stroll and enjoy the unique gifts of a spring day.

Walking is great exercise for your heart. It tones your muscles, elevates your mood, and is at the same time both relaxing and reenergizing. Unfortunately, some people find walking for pleasure to be too painful for enjoyment because of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, arthritis, or other afflictions of the foot. These folks may find massage and other drug-free methods ease the discomfort enough to engage in a pleasurable walk. We have some suggestions that could offer sweet relief.86728_1000x1000

The Hydrotherapy Roller Masseuse is an at-home spa tub that pampers sore feet, as well as calves, with a relaxing reflexology massage. Warm water jets soothe each foot, while textured rollers apply gentle pressure to the soles and heels. Even for those unaffected by foot conditions, the soothing action of this device makes it an ideal unique gift for just about anyone.87728_1000x1000

With gentle, integrated massagers, these pampering slippers help ease aching feet and will keep them warm, too. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the slippers have a slim massaging device tucked within each contoured footbed. At the end of a long day, the massaging action helps melt pain away, while also promoting good circulation.

Here’s a breakthrough technology initially developed by NASA to treat astronauts’ injuries. The method uses LEDs to deliver infrared heat deep into tissue, reducing inflammation by up to 37%. This foot pain 84089_1000x1000reliever, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, features 172 LEDs that penetrate tissue to ease plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and neuroma. The LEDs stimulate circulation, relieve swelling and loosen the muscles in the foot using gentle, yet penetrating heat.

A walk in the park could well be the most enjoyable part of your day. Don’t let foot pain stand in your way when there are these drug-free, feel-good methods that will reduce your discomfort and allow you to join family and friends enjoying the unique gifts of the great outdoors.

Vehicles You Auto Know About

The 2016 auto show season is coming to a close. If you were fortunate enough to attend one of these events in cities around the U.S., you likely saw some of the latest concept cars.

We all know gas prices won’t stay low forever, and many of this year’s concepts focused on fuel economy with lighter-weight and aerodynamic construction or all-electric power sources.12273_1000x1000

Though you won’t see Hammacher Schlemmer exhibiting at the auto show, we do offer some pretty fantastic vehicles ourselves. In our line-up is the Authentic Morgan Three-Wheeler, manufactured by Morgan Motor Company in England, birthplace of the 1909 original. This vehicle seats driver and passenger within an aerodynamic aluminum “bullet” hull and a padded leather aircraft-style cockpit. The Morgan is powered by a 2.0 liter, 80-hp S&S V-twin engine that does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, to a top speed of 115 mph. Should you be feeling a little “middle-aged crazy,” this makes for the ideal unique gift to yourself. 11020_1000x1000

Interested in all-electric transportation? This highway-legal, three-wheeled, single passenger vehicle combines the functionality of an electric car with the maneuverability and scale of a motorcycle. With a range of 30 miles per charge, it operates with zero emissions and uses less than half the energy of today’s most efficient hybrids. The vehicle is powered by a 156-volt DC electric motor that generates 33 horsepower, with a top speed of 70 mph. The lightweight chassis is constructed of a three-layered, advanced fiberglass/rigid foam composite shell augmented by steel supports for a strong frame.12197_1000x1000

Here’s the ultimate unique gift for a comic book aficionado. This is the officially licensed, roadworthy replica of the Batmobile. Built on a custom Lincoln chassis, the crime-fighting cruiser comes standard with a 430-horsepower, 383 Blueprint Crate engine and a Monster TH350 automatic transmission. The vehicle’s cockpit honors the gadgetry of the TV series with a blinking Batphone, switch-operated electric actuators that open the hood and trunk, and a rotating red beacon. A rear-facing propane tank creates the same afterburner effect as the original. The vehicle’s exterior bears the hallmarks of its namesake, from bubble-canopy windshields to chrome “rocket” tubes behind the rear windshield.

According to the National Automotive Dealers Association, 2015 was a record year for light vehicle sales. While your hometown dealer looks to move volume, Hammacher Schlemmer, as always, prides itself on an offering that is unique and simply unexpected.

Zap, Trap, and Repel to Avoid Mosquito-Borne Viruses

What used to be a merely annoying mosquito bite now brings the threat of disease: West Nile virus, yellow fever…and the latest threat to hit America, Zika virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquito-borne diseases strike almost 100 million worldwide each year. How can you protect your family? Simple, says the CDC—avoid getting bitten in the first place.

At Hammacher Schlemmer, we’ve been helping our customers do just that for generations. Our mosquito abatement solutions follow a simple strategy to zap, trap, and repel pesky bugs—without smelly, greasy chemicals. And all of these items are ideal unique gift ideas for loved ones you wish to protect from mosquito-borne illness.79883_1000x1000

ZAPThis solar bug zapper eliminates insects without requiring a power outlet. Six UV bulbs, powered by solar panels on top of the unit, turn on automatically at dusk (and turn off at dawn) and lure mosquitoes and other flying insects to zap them with a 300-volt electric charge. This bug zapper can attract and kill insects within a 1/2-acre radius, providing chemical-free protection for an entire backyard.81846_1000x1000

TRAPThis 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.78830_1000x1000

REPELThis repelling device clips unobtrusively to a belt and repels mosquitoes within a 7-1/2 ft. radius for up to 120 hours. The device emits the subtle floral scent of geraniol, a natural plant-derived essential oil that repels mosquitoes, ticks, and no see-ums without harmful chemicals. Lab tests performed by a University of Florida entomologist proved geraniol to be more effective than DEET—the chemical in most bug repellents—at warding off biting insects.

Warm weather is approaching, which means hordes of blood-thirsty mosquitoes can’t be far behind. Take action against these disease-carrying pests now and you’ll enjoy the unique gift of carefree outdoor living all summer long.

Household Inventions with The Best Intentions

As the 1800s turned to the 20th century, Charles Holland Duell, commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is purported to have stated the Patent Office could be closed because “everything that can be invented has been invented.”

Though it’s widely disputed that he actually said this, we can all agree how far from the truth that idea was, considering the amazing inventions of the last 100 years.

Aside from innovations such as the Internet, life-saving medical devices, and jet planes, other common household items we use every day came about in the 20th century and are pretty amazing in their own right. For example, 85 years ago today, Schick introduced the first electric shaver, just one of the many innovative unique gifts Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced to American consumers over the years.87406_1000x1000

Today, we proudly offer The Best Gentleman’s Foil Shaver. It earned its rating from the
Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produces the closest, most comfortable shave. The Best model’s foils gently vibrate to lift hair follicles, enabling the five blades—the 87335_1000x100086846_1000x1000most in the industry—to cut below the skin. It can cut right through three days’ stubbly growth and is easy to clean, too.

In 1934, we introduced the Waring blender—considered a novelty in its day—and now there’s a blender in nearly every home. Today, we proudly feature The Best Blender which earned its rating from The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it blended more quickly and was the only tested model with six blades. It earned the highest score for ease of use, thanks to its dishwasher-safe pitcher and blades and dual spouts that enable easy pours.

When we debuted the Rovaphone, the first cordless telephone, in 1973, it was a groundbreaking achievement to wander around the room, phone in hand, without a cord as a tether. Today, Hammacher Schlemmer offers the Caller Announcing Large View Phone System. The base phone and its portable handset both have a large caller ID display and an audible feature that announces callers’ names. This phone is the best choice as a unique gift for folks whose eyesight and hearing aren’t what they used to be. You can adjust the handset’s audio to suit your hearing, plus oversized, backlit buttons make dialing easier.

We’re certain more amazing inventions are yet to come, things not even yet in anyone’s imagination. Count on Hammacher Schlemmer to offer amazing and unique gift ideas that are The Best, The Only and The Unexpected delights for family and friends to make our daily lives easier.