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.

Get to the Heart of Better Health

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. That’s why it’s worth recognizing February as American Heart Month.

Throughout this month, the American Heart Association encourages all of us to become more aware of the factors that lead to heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, a poor diet, and smoking.

By closely monitoring your risk factors, you can reduce your likelihood of heart disease and gain the unique gift of improved wellness. Here are some ideas to help you on the journey to better heart health.

The NASA Life Tracker, made by the developer of health monitoring technology for NASA astronauts, is an easy-to-wear fitness band that tracks ECG, heart rate, steps, natural light exposure, calories, and sleep. Data appear on the device screen or a paired mobile device running a free app. The tracker doubles as a watch and shows incoming smartphone messages and alerts via Bluetooth, and can even be worn while swimming or showering.

This fingertip pulse oximeter detects and records arterial pulsations. It uses the same technology found in hospitals to measure beats per minute as well as aortic pulse wave velocity. The unit provides insight into cardiovascular fitness, giving you information on your aortic stiffness and corresponding internal age. Results are tracked by a free iPhone-compatible app that stores the data for up to five users.

Work your body from top to bottom with a low-impact exercise machine that provides a complete cardio workout from the comfort of a favorite chair. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, this whole body pedaler combines bike-simulating exercise for the legs with an upper-body ergometer for cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone without strain on weight-bearing joints. The compact design allows the pedaler to sit between you and the TV, making it an ideal unique gift for anyone who claims to have no time for exercise.

The American Heart Association recommends wearing red this month to show support for the cause. Better yet, get out and move for the good of your own heart and health.

 

Unique Gifts for Him, Your #1 Valentine

Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to give the top guy in your life a unique gift he didn’t even know he wanted. Forget the old stand-bys of aftershave, shirts, and gift cards. This year, encourage him to appreciate softness and luxury with one of these ideas that put the emphasis on relaxation.

Incredibly soft, yet practical for everyday wear, these ultra-comfortable lounge pants are made entirely from washable cashmere. Hand-combed from the fine, downy undercoat of Cashmere goats, the fibers used in these fancy pants have been treated to withstand repeated washing without shrinking, eliminating the chore and expense of dry cleaning. The pants offer a relaxed fit for comfort, with unparalleled elegance and warmth. 

Create your own unique gift bundle when you pair the lounge pants with this genuine Irish robe from County Donegal, available only from Hammacher Schlemmer. Unlike typical flannel that’s napped only on one side and combed on the other, this robe’s cotton flannel is napped on both sides, resulting in a luxuriously soft hand and unequaled warmth for late-winter mornings.

To give your Valentine the unique gift of pure relaxation, this programmable massage chair tops the list. Storing up to three personalized massage patterns, the chair targets 61 different pressure points and provides a pulsing shiatsu massage that kneads arms, shoulders, the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. Infrared heat eases muscle fatigue in the middle back, lumbar region, and surrounding tissue. Finally, the chair connects via Bluetooth to an Android device to play music through a pair of integrated speakers in the headrest.

Still undecided? Whether he’s a sportsman, an A/V enthusiast, an at-home chef, or the consummate entertainer, our customizable online gift guides will help you choose the ideal unique gifts for him this Valentine’s Day. And of course, they’re all backed by our unconditional and unwavering Lifetime Guarantee, so you can relax, too.

Unique Gifts that will Win Her Heart

Thank you, Valentine’s Day. Thanks for giving us bright colors and thoughts of love and warmth to break up late winter’s dull days. Thank you for reasons to remember our loved ones and for motivation to seek the perfect unique gifts.

Particularly when the loved one is a lady, those unique gifts need to be expressions of the thought and care you put into the quest. We have some suggestions for gifts for her that will score you big points for thoughtfulness.

These lady’s pajamas, for example, combine the luxurious softness of natural silk with the carefree convenience of machine washing. The silk used in these pajamas, available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, deftly illustrates the Japanese word Habutai: downy soft. The silk undergoes a proprietary treatment allowing it to be machine washed repeatedly without discoloration or shrinkage, while maintaining an extravagantly smooth feel against the skin. These PJs can even be monogrammed, if you desire.

Create a unique gift duo by pairing the pajamas with these genuine Australian sheepskin slippers. Originally crafted at mills powered by the falls of the Androscoggin River in Maine, these slippers offer exceptional comfort and warmth. The natural fleece lining is left intact during tanning and sewing to provide unsurpassed strength and the supple suede slippers’ insoles are bolstered with extra padding for a more cushioned feel.

Trust us on this one: every woman needs more tranquility in her life. This unique tranquility pod uses pleasant sound, gentle vibration, and soothing light to transport her body, mind, and spirit to a deep state of relaxation. The pod’s ellipsoid exterior blocks 90% of outside noise while music plays from the integrated sound system via a smartphone or other device. Gentle vibrations throughout the bed impart restful harmony. A biofeedback system—a feature only available from Hammacher Schlemmer—uses a pulse sensor that synchronizes her heartrate with 50 controllable LEDs for a soothing light effect.

This is just the beginning. Our customizable online gift guides will help you choose the ideal unique gift to suit your special lady’s interests and personality. You’re guaranteed to win her heart for Valentine’s Day and every day.

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.

A Tip of the Cap to National Hat Day

Winter’s a great time to embrace headwear. Whether a beret, a bowler, a stocking cap, a fedora, a derby, or a jaunty driver’s cap, with about 10 percent of the body’s heat lost through the head, it makes sense to pop a top on your noggin. What’s more, this Sunday is National Hat Day, making for an especially worthwhile celebration of hats as unique gifts.

This winter driving cap protects against wind, rain, and snow. Made by Tilley Endurables, Canada’s premier purveyor of travel clothing, this hand-sewn hat features a windproof membrane laminated to the interior to keep you warm in cool weather and comfortable when the temperature rises. Knit earflaps extend easily and tuck away when not needed.

Here’s a hat that doesn’t just retain warmth, it creates warmth. This heated microfleece cap generates up to five hours of toasty, rechargeable battery-powered heat in wide zones directly over the ears. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, this beanie-style cap is equally at home on the sled hill or the 50-yard line. A simple temperature control under the brim can be operated even with bulky gloves, and color-coded LEDs indicate which temperature setting you selected.

It really won’t be long before we look to hats to block the sun rather than winter winds. This ventilated wide-brimmed hat provides sun protection while reducing heat build-up. The hat‘s nylon mesh sides facilitate cooling ventilation and the solid, cotton twill top and brim protect the head, face, and neck from sun exposure to reduce the risks of injury from UV rays. There’s a style for ladies, too, making these hats perfect considerations as unique gifts for Valentine’s Day.

Hang on to your hat – we have many more headwear choices, unique gifts for National Hat Day and all seasons of the year.

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!