Simple Steps To Healthy Feet

These are the only pair of feet you’ll ever have. And during April, Foot Health Awareness Month, the American Podiatric Medical Association urges each of us to consider the impact foot health has on the unique gift of total body health. It’s a great time to focus on finding relief for those aches and pains below your ankles.

We have some suggestions for items that will improve how your tootsies feel. These products are a real shoe-in to provide the relief you’re looking for, or make for welcomed unique gifts for loved ones who are no longer so light on their feet.

83772_300x300These toe-aligning foot gloves have separate toe pockets and gentle arch compression to help realign toes, reducing foot pain. Designed like comfortable gloves, the socks reduce friction and moisture and ensure each little piggy has ample wiggle and breathing room. Spreading the toes also stretches foot muscles, promotes balance, and eases the discomfort of bunions, hammer toes, and other conditions.

86835_300x300Pressure on your feet day after day can lead to uncomfortable and unsightly calluses. Our exclusive callus-removing foot treatment is a natural therapy that removes layers of tough, dead skin in a single treatment to leave feet soft and smooth. The disposable booties are lined with a mixture of 18 natural moisturizers and exfoliants that slough away dead skin cells and help speed circulation.

84089A_300x300Using technology pioneered by NASA to heal astronauts’ injuries, this pain-relieving device’s 172 LEDs produce safe infrared heat to stimulate blood circulation, relieve swelling, and loosen muscles in the feet. Developed by Hammacher Schlemmer, it is the only of its kind made specifically for the feet. The safe and comforting LED light penetrates deep into tissue to help relieve the soreness common with plantar fasciitis, neuroma, and tendonitis.

So at the end of the day, if your dogs are barking, try these unique gifts for relief and you’ll feel toe-riffic in no time!

When Opportunity Ignites Innovation

Throughout our 167 years history we’ve earned a reputation for providing unexpected, unique gift items that are the best in their category and items that are the only ones that do what they do. But sometimes as we scour the globe in search of the latest innovations, we discover that an entire range of products within a certain category are lacking in quality, are inexplicably missing features, or just are not available in the marketplace. When this happens, we seize the opportunity to bring such products into existence ourselves.

84483b_300x300One example is The Rechargeable Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speakers—the result of four years of effort that involved the design of specific tooling, molds, our own production line, and several prototypes until we got it just right. They are the only pair of splash-proof speakers that can sit poolside up to 200′ from their music source and provide stereo quality sound, without the need for alkaline batteries or a power outlet.

86575_300x300Another is The Best Bug Vacuum—the result of one-and-a-half years of rigorous testing. Previous models had run times of less than one minute and could not vacuum even the ubiquitous fly, much less zap it to inertness. After a dozen attempts, we finally perfected a prototype that could pick up multiple medium-to-large sized crickets at once—several hundred unfortunate crickets later, The Best Bug Vacuum was born.

84872_300x300The Invigorating Heel To Toe Masseuse was the result of our buyers and product developer conducting on-site factory visits to research existing foot massage products. What they discovered was there was no existing model that massaged the heel in addition to the foot. We knew we were on the right track when we had difficulty getting product testers to return the prototype because they so enjoyed the unique gift of a vigorous kneading foot massage.

It’s innovation like this that truly pays homage to French writer Charles-Guillaume Étienne’s phrase from 1824: “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

We Put the Fun in Tax Refund

According to one of the popular income tax preparers, this year Americans are getting billions back in tax refunds. We hope you’re going to score your share.

So it’s time to dream…what will you do with your portion of America’s tax refunds? Go ahead and dream big. We have some amazing suggestions for unique gifts that let you really treat yourself.

12245_300x300Your golf game may not be outstanding, but you’re guaranteed to stand out with this hovercraft golf cart. It glides over sand traps and water hazards on a cushion of air as easily as it does over fairways and the rough. Its fan propels the craft, four passengers and two golf bags up to 45 mph and 9″ off the ground without harming grass, allowing immediate crossing of a pond or stream to follow-up a cross-water shot.

12472_300x300If you dream about traveling underwater as well as on the surface, this amphibious partially submersible watercraft provides both viewing options. Drive this craft right off a trailer and into the water without the need for a crane, tender vessel, or dock. There’s a buoyant above-water upper hull with a two-person cockpit that provides 180-degree surface views and an inverted 1.5″-thick acrylic hemisphere below that provides two additional passengers underwater views.

12540_300x300Perhaps your dreams include entertaining friends and family with the unique gift of professional flair. This is the computerized mixologist found at country clubs, stadium luxury suites, and fine hotels that automatically makes perfect cocktails at the touch of a button. You’re free to enjoy your guests, while users view any cocktail’s ingredients, invent new libations, and customize traditional cocktails.

12543_300x300And if your dreams are quite literally big, The Life Size Tyrannosaurus Skeleton spans 40′ from tail to snout. This is a life-size replica fossil skeleton of Stan, a Tyrannosaur unearthed in South Dakota in 1992. A museum-quality replica, it’s expertly crafted to impart stunning, authentic detail and would be an ideal unique gift for anyone with a penchant for paleontology or an excitement over excavations

New Designs Put Skateboarding on a Roll

No one knows who invented the first skateboard, but it’s certain the sport first became popular in the late 1940s. California surfers were looking for a way to “catch a wave” when ocean conditions weren’t good for getting out on the board.

Skateboarding’s not a sport for everyone. To be a skater, you need the unique gift of great balance along with a measure of fearlessness. Knee and elbow pads, plus a helmet, don’t hurt, either.

Thanks to pro skaters like Tony Hawk and the extreme-sports X Games, skateboarding is now more popular than ever. Many communities even build elaborate skate parks and plazas with a variety of obstacles to keep young skaters from pursuing their pastime on streets and sidewalks.87162C_300x300

It may seem that skateboarding is inherently low tech—nothing but a platform, wheels and a rider. But this is an electric skateboard controlled by a smartphone. A free app allows riders to accelerate, slow down, and stop simply by sliding a finger across the screen. An electric motor propels the skateboard up to 12.5 mph and provides ample power for scaling 10% inclines.

87067_300x300This revolutionary new invention challenges the whole notion of what a skateboard looks like. Like a cross between roller skates and a skateboard, these sidewinding skates are propelled by leaning side to side, allowing you to skateboard without having to push off the ground. Riders simply place their feet on the two platforms and lean side-to-side to rotate the rubber wheels around the feet, propelling riders forward in a serpentine motion similar to longboard skateboarding.

12657_300x300Another new design for foot-borne transport can be found in The Electric Gyroboard, controlled entirely by subtle movements in a rider’s feet. A rider’s balance is easily maintained even while stopped by the internal gyro stabilization. The gyroboard makes for an eye-catching recreational device, or could be a memorable and unique gift for anyone who works in a warehouse or has to get to and fro frequently.

From Ale to Zymurgy, a Cheer for Beer!

Prost! Let’s raise our steins today to celebrate National Beer Day.

Benjamin Franklin is often attributed as saying, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Whether Franklin actually uttered this quote portraying God’s unique gift to ale lovers is up for some debate. Nonetheless, this is a great time for beer and brewing.

Through the first half of 2014, the craft beer industry grew at a rate of 18%. By the end of last year, the U.S. boasted more than 3,200 commercial breweries, with an average of 1.5 new brewers opening every day.

86083A_300x300It’s a great time to try crafting your own beer at home, too. The Home Brewer’s Complete Beer Kit makes an ideal unique gift for even a home-brew novice. The kit provides all of the tools, ingredients, and easy-to-follow instructions needed to make two gallons of home-brewed craft beer. You’ll get ingredients for an IPA, plus 11 reusable 25-oz. plastic bottles. In just seven days, you’ll have a 5.5% ABV ale that may be bottle-conditioned for up to four months.

87379_300x300And what better way to serve your home-crafted beer than in these chill-maintaining beer mugs. The double-walled mugs have a viscous cooling liquid between both layers that freezes after one hour in a freezer, enabling the mugs to chill a room-temperature libation to 36° F in just 2.5 minutes. The mugs each hold 14 ounces, and their shapes reveal the color and carbonation of beer while maintaining a broad, foamy head.

82823_300x300Perhaps you know a beer buff who has pledged to drink only one glass a day. Here’s a unique gift that’s sure to draw a knowing smile. This glass holds just over four 12-oz. bottles-worth of one’s preferred brew. Hand-blown in the classic pilsner shape, its 50-oz. capacity is ideal for adhering to a one-glass-only temperance when sharing a six pack with a friend.

So whether you call it cerveza, bier, suds, hop juice, brewski or just plain beer, today’s a great day to tap into your favorite beverage and toast to National Beer Day!

I Spy With WiFi

Who’s in your house and what are they doing? Is it what you think, and how can you be sure?

A wireless security camera can help you monitor your home for break-ins or to check up on those charged to care for your property, your loved ones, or your pets. With a WiFi security solution, you’ll get the unique gift of peace of mind when you’re at work or traveling.

86342_300x300Be worry-free with this wireless home security system that sends real time video right to a smartphone. Two included wireless cameras automatically turn on when they detect motion and transmit the video to a free app on your phone, tablet or computer. Night vision technology even allows monitoring of a darkened room. Two included sensors attach to doors and windows and automatically sound the alarm and send alerts to your smartphone or to local authorities when the door or window is opened.

84650_300x300For a single-camera solution, this WiFi security camera earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it recorded the clearest HD video and was the easiest to set up. Unlike lesser models that provided fuzzy video and muffled audio, The Best model transmitted crisp HD video and crystal-clear conversations from 30′ away. Text notifications arrived in two seconds after motion was detected.

87207_300x300Ideal for monitoring an entrance door or the end of your driveway, this weatherproof WiFi video camera automatically records in real time when it detects motion. The camera connects to your wireless network and allows you to view the exterior of your home from anywhere in the world via a free app for smartphones, tablets, or computers. The built-in motion sensor detects movement up to 30′ away and turns on the camera to capture high-def color video that can be saved on a memory card.

All of these solutions provide security with no monthly fees. That’s a small initial investment for the unique gift of satisfaction that your house and your loved ones are safe when you can’t be there.

Bring It On…Time for Spring Cleaning

It must be something in the air. As the days grow longer and temperatures gradually warm, we experience the urge to get our house in order…quite literally.

Spring cleaning is a time to organize, to wash, to clear out the clutter. Time to get rid of clothes that no longer fit and appliances that don’t work right. And it’s even time to make room for those new and unique gifts you might receive for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

We have some suggestions to make your spring cleaning rituals easier and to help you organize your home.

84353_300x300On mild days, you may want to focus your clean-up efforts on the outside of your home and on your patio or deck. The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute found this electric power washer cleaned more effectively and was easier to use than other models. With its powerful 1800-watt motor, The Best Power Washer removed built-up grime from home siding and the majority of paint from a cement block, and it cleaned a tire rim in 38% less time than other models in the side-by-side evaluation.

86575_300x300As the weather changes, creepy crawlers may find their way into your home. Arachnophobes, never fear: this handheld cordless bug vacuum 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 15-watt motor and superior airflow draw flies, bees, spiders, and other insects into a telescoping tinted nozzle that captures bugs at arm’s length. An electric grid in the unit’s handle kills insects on contact.

83403_300x300Book lovers are legendary for leaving stacks of their latest favorite reading material piled around the house. Help your favorite bibliophile organize with a unique gift: this bookstand’s six open shelves help reduce clutter and hold enough newspapers, magazines, and books to sate even the most voracious reader, in only 11/2 sq. ft. of floor space. The shelves are open on two sides, allowing the reader to easily stack or remove reading material.

See all of our spring cleaning solutions and get started transforming your house into an inviting and sparkling clean home today.

Comforting Steps for Plantar Fasciitis Relief

Among the most common causes of aches and pains of the feet is plantar fasciitis. This condition results from inflammation of the plantar fascia – the ligament that connects the heel and toes. Plantar fasciitis is common in people past middle age, in anyone who is on their feet for long periods of time, in those who are overweight or those who wear ill-fitting or worn-out shoes.

There are a variety of ways to treat the condition, including surgery, steroid injections and orthopedic boots. Many plantar fasciitis sufferers, however, can get the unique gift of sweet relief simply by switching to shoes designed to help alleviate the symptoms.
We feature a large selection of podiatrist-designed footwear for both men and women to combat the effects of plantar fasciitis. Along with these shoes in styles that complement your day wear, we also recommend slippers that provide the support and comfort you need even while relaxing at home.

84848_300x300These gentleman’s moccasins will help relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis. The podiatrist-designed orthotic footbeds have deep heel cups to stabilize and realign feet to a neutral position for those who over-pronate, a common cause of plantar fasciitis. The outsoles are made from durable, molded rubber so these slippers can be worn outdoors, too, helping to reduce wear and tear on your daytime shoes.

81616_300x300Exclusive to Hammacher Schlemmer, these lady’s open-back slippers provide the same stabilizing support and also can be worn outdoors. The uppers are made from Italian boiled wool stitched with a Nordic pattern, making them attractive enough to be a unique gift for Mother’s Day.

Wearing slippers with the proper orthotic support can be extremely beneficial. Not only will they provide immediate relief, they will help you treat your plantar fasciitis condition, resulting in better foot health, and ultimately the unique gift of better health overall.

Spring for Spring Break without Going Broke

Spring break…it’s not just for college students. Co-eds may have put the party into spring travel, but the start of milder weather, combined with falling travel costs, makes now an ideal time to give yourself and your family the unique gift of a few days R & R.

Popular winter vacation areas in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida often lower their rates in April when winter-weary northerners head back home. And your kids or grandkids may have a weeklong break from work or school to tag along for a fun-filled family vacation. A myriad of travel websites can help you find affordable flights and discounted rates at resorts and hotels.

Once you have the airfare and resort booked, we have a few additional suggestions to make packing and traveling easier.

86969_300x300Most airlines levy fees for checked luggage these days, and some even have the nerve to charge for carry-ons. That won’t bother you with this extraordinary jacket, sporting enough pockets to hold two dozen different items, including your smartphone, iPad, and other gadgets. Made for travel, this jacket ‘s 24 pockets are designed to also hold a wallet, keys, passport, digital camera, pens, notepad, tablet PC, USB drive, glasses and even a water bottle. This three-season jacket has removable sleeves to convert to a vest, should you return home to find Mother Nature has finally given us the unique gift of mild, seasonable temperatures.

84042_300x300This gentlemen’s toiletry bag was rated “Best Overall” by The Wall Street Journal. Durable yet compact, it has an internal shelf large enough to accommodate full-size shampoo bottles and cans so you don’t need to buy overpriced travel-sized equivalents. The bag conveniently hangs unfolded over a door or towel rack to provide you extra space in hotel bathrooms, with easy access to grooming essentials. A lady’s version is also available.

86738_300x300Cold and flu season lasts through May and nothing can spoil a vacation faster than catching a virus on the flight down. This rechargeable, wearable air purifier eliminates airborne germs from one’s personal space. The palm-sized device hangs comfortably around the neck, purifying the air within a 3′ sphere around your head. It also combats tobacco smoke, pollen and dust particles.

The earlier you can book, the better for the best airfares and hotel rates. So call your family today and share your plans for a unique gift of travel that will create memories for years to come.

Is This the Year You’ll Win it All?

There are two ways to enjoy the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which begins today.

The first is to simply appreciate the young players’ unique gifts of athleticism, the coaches’ leadership and the pure excitement of viewing one game after another over the next three weeks. But our favorite way is to craft a bracket and be captivated by the suspense of how far you’ll go in the office pool and by the dream that this could be the year you win it all.

Here are some bracketology tips to help you build your bracket with winning picks:

  • Don’t pick a team seeded lower than four to win – sure, a school with a low seed could always be a Cinderella spoiler, but this comes down to simple odds. In the tournament’s history, there have only been three years in which a number 1 seed didn’t advance to the Final Four.
  • Look for experienced teams and coaches – statistically, nearly all winning teams played in the previous year’s tournament and nearly all of the winning coaches have been to the Big Dance at least five times.
  • Power conferences do better – generally, the winner comes from the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big East, the Big 12, the Pac-12 or the SEC.
  • High-scoring teams – winning teams have typically scored an average of 77 points or better in games and won their games by at least 10 points.
  • Momentum matters – Look at how a team has done late in season rather than their overall record. And put more weight on teams’ away games records. After all, the Big Dance is actually a series of away games.

If you’re not the gambling type, we have some other unique gift ideas to help you and your friends enjoy basketball at this time of the year when talk of the game is everywhere.

Become a better player yourself with this shot-improving basketball 86797_300x300 featuring built-in motion sensors that provide instant, accurate feedback about one’s shooting and ball-handling skills. This basketball immediately sends data for every shot and dribble to an app running on a smartphone. The app then offers more than 50 goal-based drills for individual practice and competitions for up to five players.

83898_300x300For play that’s more about pleasant diversion, this indoor basketball net automatically passes made baskets back to the shooter who can reload and take another shot. The chute swivels 180°, allowing players to set the direction of the ball return. The unit hangs over a door and includes a foam basketball.

87227_300x300Finally, for the obsessed basketball fan, this is a unique gift they’ll surely love. This fanciful hoopster’s mug has an integrated miniature basketball hoop that lets kids of all ages play with their food. Players can face off in games of hot chocolate H.O.R.S.E. using marshmallows, slam dunk cereal into milk, or launch three pointers of oyster crackers into soup.