Feel the Love for Your Furry Friends

While the Westminster Kennel Club was crowning CJ, a German Shorthaired Pointer, as its top dog earlier this week, millions of American households took comfort in knowing no other animal could ever be loved as much as their own dog or cat. 79345_1000x1000

From a faithful four-legged friend to fur babies and granddoggies, many of us feel our pets are true family members. To celebrate the warm connection between humans and their dogs and cats, tomorrow is National Love Your Pet Day. Explore these suggestions from Hammacher Schlemmer that will help you give your own animal the unique gift of the extra comfort it deserves. 79686_1000x1000

This Warming Cat Bed generates a gentle heat that’s especially soothing to older or arthritic pets. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, its integrated heater produces a mild, radiant warmth to ensure your cat or small dog always has a comfortable place to lie. The cover is easily machine-washable, too. 79687_1000x1000

Mattresses sold today sit higher above the floor, making it difficult for smaller or older dogs to join you in bed for a restful sleep. This Pet Ramp and Staircase provides a means for small, older, or arthritic pets to reach sofas or beds without putting undue stress on their joints. The two-step staircase converts into a ramp in seconds, plus it folds down for ease of storage. We also offer a three-step version87767_1000x1000

To guard your chairs and sofas against fur, scratches, moisture, and other pet messes, we recommend the Non-Slip Furniture Protecting Pet Covers. Made from plush, deep-pile velvet, you need not shoo your faithful friend to the floor nor follow behind with a vacuum cleaner. The quilted, padded sections provide so much comfort, you might consider these covers as a unique gift idea even for a petless friend or human family member.

Recent statistics show 37% of U.S. households have at least one dog and 30% have one or more cats. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy these unique gifts of unconditional love, show your pet a little extra care tomorrow and break out a special treat for your favorite furry friend.

A Day to Wine About

This Thursday is National Drink Wine Day…like we need a special day. 82643_1000x1000

You can bet we have a bottle of our favorite Cabernet ready, along with The Best Electric Wine Opener. This opener requires virtually no effort at all, so we’ll have that bottle uncorked before you can say Vitis Vinifera86245_1000x1000

It might seem indulgent to mark a day devoted to drinking wine, but there truly are many reasons to celebrate. Wine—in moderation, of course—can reduce one’s risk of heart disease. It enhances the flavor of food. Vino holds an important place in history. And its properties as a mood elevator need no explanation. 86428_1000x1000

If you’re looking for a unique gift to help a friend celebrate Drink Wine Day, The Mirthful Sommelier’s Wine Glasses are just the ticket. These glasses have bent stems that add a touch of whimsy to one’s wine service. Set a lighthearted mood from the start, or slyly switch out conventional stemware with these when guests are about to start on their second Syrah and let the laughs begin.

Proper storage of fine wine, however, requires a more serious focus. This countertop wine refrigera
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earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it maintained the perfect temperature for wine most consistently and is extremely easy to set up. It holds up to eight bottles of your favorite red or white.

While we have the wine open, we’d like to raise a toast to our company namesake, Albert Hammacher, today on the 177th anniversary of his birth. While his focus was on providing hardware items for the growing New York City of his time, we know he would appreciate his company’s unparalleled selection of unique gifts today.

Exercise Your Options for Fitness Resolutions

How did you do with your resolutions from 2015? Don’t worry, neither did we. Even halfway through February, it’s still not too late to turn over a new leaf for real in 2016.

You see, the latest technology makes it easier than ever to track your fitness goals. You might even find exercise and eating right is more fun when you have manageable daily goals, not to mention a little help from your technology “pals”. You’ll be enjoying the unique gifts of better health in no time! 83741_1000x1000

Monitoring your progress has never been easier than with the Wellness Monitor Wristband. It automatically tracks daily movements, as well as sleep cycles, to help determine if you are getting sufficient exercise and sleep. It automatically uploads the information via Bluetooth when within 15 feet of a compatible paired device. Data can also be synched into popular fitness apps such as SparkPeople and Lose It! 12341_1000x1000

Amp up your treadmill workouts with this dome-shaped monitor that takes you on a virtual adventure through some of the world’s most exotic locales. Found in Europe’s top-tier health clubs, the 38″ hemispheric, concave monitor sets up in front of your existing treadmill to create an incredibly lifelike portal. You can run through California’s Joshua Tree National Park, jog along the Pacific coastline, or even take a run through the mysterious Area 51. A wireless sensor automatically syncs the movie’s speed with your running pace. 87662_1000x1000

Measure your results with this behavior-influencing bathroom scale that uses a color-coded digital readout to display weight lost or gained since the last time you weighed yourself. The LCD’s background illuminates red if you’ve gained weight and green if you’ve lost weight, allowing you to quickly track your progress. Up to eight users can store their profiles and their results over up to 30 weigh-ins. This scale is a motivating and unique gift for your whole family when you’re in it together.

You will improve your odds of achieving your resolutions if you frame your fitness goals as a path to achieve better health and happiness. Break up your resolutions into smaller measureable goals that will give you a chance to mark success every few weeks and by this time next year, you’ll find keeping resolutions in 2016 was easier than you ever thought possible.

It’s All Fun and Games at Your Next Family Gathering

Perhaps it’s a backlash against the high-tech, screen-oriented world in which we live, but “family game night” is making a comeback.

Particularly this time of the year, we’re less active, more apt to stay home and find ourselves looking for activities that promote togetherness. For parents, it’s a chance to enjoy their kids’ company, not to mention the unique gifts of having the kids sit still and be engaged. For kids, it’s an opportunity to learn good sportsmanship and a chance to see that life exists beyond texting and the latest iPhone apps. 87709_1000x1000

Looking for some fresh and fun ideas for your own family game night? Check out these games that bring the action right into your living room or rec room. 84057_1000x1000

This air hockey table folds for unobtrusive storage. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the table has two legs that fold under the playing surface and the table tilts 90° until it is perpendicular with the floor, enabling out-of-the-way storage against a wall. Wheels on the base of the table allow you to roll it easily to another room. The table’s powerful fan ensures rapid puck movement and the PVC rails enable fast-action bank shots. 11258_1000x1000

Turn your dining table or kitchen island into a table tennis platform. This lightweight, yet sturdy set includes a 4″-high net that clips to the board at either end but won’t mar a dining surface’s finish. The table reverses to reveal separate chess/checkers and backgammon boards. When play is done, the folded table and all accessories store in the included canvas tote.

This Whac-A-Mole game can be personalized to replace the standard mole heads with molded caricatures of members of your family, past managers, your ex, or any combination of personalities. The game operates exactly like those found in amusement parks—five mole heads pop up randomly while you attempt to bash each with a mallet for points—but this one comes in a walnut veneer cabinet. When closed, the game assumes the form of a bookshelf. Inside, a storage shelf for your preferred beverages sits above the game, ensuring no family game night goes with thirsts unquenched.

Hosting a family game night is a great alternative to gathering at a restaurant. You can laugh as loudly as you like, play till the wee hours and enjoy the unique gifts of togetherness and fellowship with those you hold dear.

Give Flu Season the Cold Shoulder

Few scientific discoveries have had as much impact on public health and longevity as have vaccines against common illnesses. The now-ubiquitous flu shot, while not able to prevent 100% of respiratory ailments, is a unique gift for us all in that it prevents or reduces the severity of the flu for much of the population.

And yet, we still have not been able to cure the common cold. Layer on to that the host of stomach and intestinal viruses currently going around, and all the flu shots in the world can’t guarantee a season free of illness. The best defense is to wash your hands often and try to eliminate germs on frequently touched surfaces and in the air you breathe. 78660_1000x1000

This 10″-long Traveler’s Germ-Eliminating Wand stores unobtrusively in a purse or carryon, and in 30-60 seconds kills up to 99.9% of germs using safe UV-C light—the same technology trusted to sanitize hospital surfaces. Capable of killing even MRSA, H1N1, E-coli, mold, and dust mites, the light penetrates viral and bacterial membranes, rendering the microorganisms incapable of reproduction and survival. Its compact size makes this a unique gift idea for your favorite frequent flier. 81655_1000x1000

This Germ and Mold Destroying Air Purifier eliminates up to 99.9% of airborne bacteria, mold, viruses, pet dander, allergens and pollen without making a sound. The filter-free device uses natural convection to draw airborne impurities into its patented ceramic heating chamber that instantly destroys microorganisms with 400-degree heat. The sanitized air is cooled and recirculated into the room, providing a healthier breathing environment. This purifier is ideal for spaces up to 400 sq. ft. 83896_1000x1000

Perfect for kitchens and larger rooms up to 1000 sq. ft., the Air and Surface Sanitizer uses technology developed by NASA for purification aboard space shuttles: ultraviolet light inside the device combines with a nickel catalyst to emit safe molecules that destroy up to 99% of mold and bacteria on surfaces. A fan draws in airborne impurities and the UVC bulb instantly kills the nasties.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but if by chance, you do get sick, drink plenty of fluids, take vitamin C and rest for a few days. No one wants a cold or the flu, but a sick day can be a unique gift of time to catch some shut-eye, binge-watch TV and escape from your ordinary routine.

Time to Focus on Matters of the Heart

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Throughout February, we celebrate American Heart Month—it’s a great time to start taking those small steps that can make big improvements in your risk factors.

While you’ve certainly been made aware of all the steps you can take to enjoy the unique gift of better health, these measures bear repeating. We love our readers and want them around for a long time! 81590_1000x1000

Get a pedometer to record your daily steps. Physicians recommend a minimum of 6,000 steps per day for health maintenance and 10,000 daily steps for weight loss. If you’re looking for an easy-to-read device that displays steps walked, distance traveled, calories burned, time elapsed and average pace, check out this Full Screen Pedometer87662_1000x1000

Speaking of weight loss, we have a tool to help. This behavior-influencing bathroom scale uses a color-coded digital readout to display weight lost or gained since the last time you weighed in. The LCD’s background illuminates red if you’ve gained weight and green if you’ve lost weight, allowing you to quickly track your progress. As many as eight users can store their profiles and results over up to 30 weigh-ins. This scale is a motivating and unique gift for your whole family when you’re in it together. 87991_1000x1000

Know your numbers, especially your blood pressure. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this is the only home blood pressure monitor that can also assess the health of your arteries. Healthy results are clearly depicted in the green zone on the device’s large LCD screen, while numbers in the red zone indicate arterial stiffness. This healthy-heart tool also displays systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. 87759_1000x1000

You can keep tabs on your pulse rate and oxygen levels, too, with this Talking Fingertip Heart Rate Monitor. Eliminating the need to wear uncomfortable chest straps, visit a doctor or provide a blood sample, the pulse oximeter simply clips to a finger and automatically announces your blood’s oxygen saturation and pulse rate.

Finally, if you’re a smoker, we don’t have to tell you to quit. But if you do smoke, this is the one change you can make that will make the biggest difference to your health and longevity.

Singing the Praises of Low Tech Puzzles

Even in today’s technology-driven world, the old-fashioned puzzle maintains a certain allure. Today is National Puzzle Day and if you haven’t worked one in a while, it’s a great day to spend time with the family and enjoy the unique gifts of some low-tech togetherness.87690_1000x1000

A puzzle with a reward at the end is the best kind! This wooden puzzle secures a bottle of wine (or non-alcoholic cider, if you prefer). A wooden cage holds the bottle’s bottom while a mortise and tenon joint caps the bottle’s top and “locks” into place with a corkscrew “pin”. Testing one to the very brink of teetotalling temperance, only a patient application of friction and sequence—or careful study of the included instructions—solves the quandary. 74348_1000x1000

If you’re looking for a unique gift idea for a friend or loved one, this custom jigsaw puzzle can be personalized with a reproduction of a color or black and white photograph. Once you send a photograph or JPEG image to the manufacturer, a 408-piece jigsaw puzzle kit is created. It’s puzzle fun for today and a great keepsake for tomorrow. 78372_1000x1000

Here is, perhaps, the ultimate puzzle. This three-dimensional spherical labyrinth will challenge the limits of your manual dexterity and spatial understanding to maneuver a wooden marble through its course. The Superplexus is a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, spirals and staircases – even a vortex. The entire track, if laid out on a straight line, is longer than a football field and requires a minimum of 425 turns of the sphere without letting the marble fall off the track. Completion will be your life’s work!

Scientific research has proven that working a puzzle uses both sides of the brain and improves memory, cognitive function and problem-solving skills. National Puzzle Day is a great time to pledge to work on a puzzle every day for better brain health, not to mention rewarding family time.

‘Sno Better Time to Get Ready for More White Stuff

After an early winter of unprecedented mild temperatures, nature dropped winter’s full fury all along the northeastern portion of the U.S. The path of this colossal storm affected 85 million people, with records for snowfall totals smashed in New York, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.87095_1000x1000

If you’re a snow plow operator, you may be appreciating this as a unique gift from the skies. Most of us, however, are suffering the aftermath, dealing with the mess a blizzard leaves behind. Fortunately, we have some suggestions to make coping with this and future storms sure to come. 84283_1000x1000

It’s no fun when your car gets stuck in a pile of the wet, white stuff. This is the roll-up snow escape tread that provides extra traction for your car when it’s immobilized on ice or snow (it works on mud or sand as well). Unlike common plastic models that crack in cold weather, this tread is made of a heavy-duty rubber to deliver superior traction in even the harshest conditions. Consider these easy-storage treads to use as unique gifts for anyone who drives in cold-weather climates. 11976_1000x1000

Clearing snow from a driveway is never fun. A conventional snow blower either has to be maintained with gas and oil, or has a power cord that gets tangled and in your way. This is the snow blower that runs on a rechargeable battery, completely eliminating those hassles. This emission-free, environmentally friendly blower can throw snow for up to 40 minutes before needing a recharge. Spare batteries are available if you want to handle a bigger job without taking a break. 12719_1000x1000

Inside your cozy house, you may be cursing the snow that gets tracked in, messing up your clean floors. This low-profile doormat holds 12 pints of water per square yard, keeping entryways free of slush and melting snow, even after storms like this one. A grid of channels ushers water away from shoes and holds it in the mat’s commercial-grade base.

Finally, you want to make sure walkways around your home stay clear of ice so your family and visitors stay safe. This is the same professional-quality preemptive treatment used by municipalities and state departments of transportation to thwart the accumulation of snow and ice. The included battery-operated sprayer holds a gallon of solution, the equivalent to a 50-lb. bag of ordinary snow melt. Used as a pre-treatment before a storm, the patented solution helps to keep snow and ice from sticking, making for easier removal and reduced total accumulation on treated surfaces.

Weaving a Plan for a Warm-Weather Weekend

We’re planning our escape. Preparing for security checks. Laying a plot around the Presidents. Slipping out a side door early on a quiet Friday. Stealing a little time for personal benefit.12620_1000x1000

This furtive plan isn’t a clandestine caper…it’s making use of Presidents Day weekend to escape to warmer weather. By mid-February, we will be more than ready to bask in the heat of the sun, feel soothed by gentle breezes and enjoy all the unique gifts of warmth, like being able to shed these bothersome layers of excess clothing. 84042_1000x1000

You may be plotting your own secret escape. A golf junket, perhaps? Stow all the accessories you need to hit the links with this Leather Golf Organizer. The bag’s vented main compartment holds your shoes. Two additional interior compartments and two exterior pockets hold balls, tees, gloves and any other essential accoutrements for a sunny day on the course. 84084_1000x1000

To maximize your time for enjoying the unique gifts of a long weekend away, plan to pack smart. The Gentleman’s Superior Toiletry Bag was rated “Best Overall” by The Wall Street Journal. Durable, yet compact, it’s cleverly designed to hold everything you need. An internal shelf accommodates even full-sized bottles of shampoo and cans. The bag hangs conveniently unfolded from a hook or towel rack to make all grooming items easily accessible. A Lady’s Superior Toiletry Bag is also available. 86716_1000x1000

When packing for a long weekend, nothing beats The Sightseer’s Argentinian Leather Carryall. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it neatly handles all the essentials you require for a day’s excursion, with better organization than a fanny pack or backpack. Its surprisingly spacious interior and ample pockets can hold a tablet, smartphone, power chargers, maps, books, binoculars, a wallet, keys, and perhaps a snack or two. If you’re traveling by plane, its design makes airport ID checks a breeze.

Winter’s not about to give up its grip, so get planning and you, too, can find your February spot in the sun.

The Sure Cure for Cabin Fever: Get Outdoors!

Remember winter when you were a kid? You prayed for snow days. Frigid temperatures were not something to be cursed.

These days, you may avoid the outdoors during cold weather. But the common affliction of cabin fever can lead to feelings of lethargy, sadness, sleeplessness, and even claustrophobia. Instead of suffering through another year of seasonal malaise, why not embrace the weather. Get out with your kids or grandchildren and actually enjoy the unique gifts winter brings.

Have you been cooped up indoors so long you’re not sure how to get started? We have some suggestions for outdoor winter play, so put on your snow pants and let’s go! 
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This toy blaster makes softball-sized snowballs and launches them up to 80 feet, assuring victory in neighborhood snowball fights. Simply place snow in the forming chamber and close the lid; it instantly packs three perfectly spherical snowballs. To blast your target, place one ball in the muzzle, aim the launcher and pull back the slingshot. 86783_1000x1000

Even several weeks past the winter solstice, nightfall comes much too early. Don’t let darkness put an end to sledding fun. This Bavarian-style performance sled features LEDs that update the classic Alpine schlitten for evening enjoyment. Two stainless steel runners and an innovative, shock-absorbing steering system deliver responsive maneuverability in all snow conditions. Any sledder of any age will appreciate this unique gift. 12498_1000x1000

Perhaps you already enjoy snowmobiling or exploring snowy trails on an ATV. Use either vehicle to tow this two-person Snow Craft for an exciting winter trail ride. The craft will glide over snow, ice and slush on its two flexible steel skis. A gas-operated shock suspension system ensures a comfortable ride.

While much of the country has been basking in the unique gifts of a mild winter so far this year, we can be assured of more snow in our futures. Get out your mittens and get ready for enough fun to cure even the worst case of cabin fever!