These Star Wars art prints by Matt Ferguson allow you to pay homage to your favorite movies and add some artwork to your home or office. These prints are very limited edition. If you want one, you’ll need to place an order before Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 11:59PM ET. The actual number of prints will be determined by the number ordered during the limited sale period. The prints represent A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi (left to right). Each is printed on French Paper Pop-Tone in shades of Orange Fizz, Sno Cone, or Spearmint (left to right). Each measures 12″ X 24″. They’ll be numbered and come with a COA signed by Matt Ferguson.
These prints may be ordered separately for $35 each, or order all three for $100. If you’d prefer, you can order the complete set printed on wood for $350.00; there are less than 10 of these left for purchase. Expect delivery of your order in 4-5 weeks.
How can your SO complain about you displaying these prints even in the living room? They’re limited editions and come with a signed certificate of authenticity. That makes them art, not Star Wars collectibles! Quickly go to the Bottleneck Art Gallery website to place your order, before it’s too late.
Were you aware that it is National Preparedness Month? Are you part of the sixty percent of Americans determined by the American Red Cross that are wholly unprepared for a disaster? Emergencies don’t have to be huge things, like hurricanes, tornados, or floods; they can be smaller things like car accidents or smaller damages to your home. The Champ Prepared company offers a line of preparedness tools that can get you ready for large or small emergencies.
Their Survival Sidekick 10-in-1 Multi-Tool looks like a flashlight, and it has a 3-LED flashlight, but it also has a AM/FM/NOAA weather radio, an emergency phone charger, a glass breaker tool and a seatbelt cutter, distress light, siren, and a compass. The magnetic base sticks to your car, and it has a hand-crank for charging. It can charge Android and iOS devices, and it comes with a microUSB cable. It’s available in black or white for $44.99.
If your basement is prone to flooding in rainy weather, the Water Sensor Alarm lets you know when water is getting in. Or you could put it near a water heater, clothes washer, or dishwasher, if you fear leaks. The sensor is battery operated, so you can use it anywhere. Its loud alarm will alert you to water before damage is done. It’s $13.49.
The Survival LightStick Weather Radio is an AM/FM/NOAA weather radio, a reading light, and a flashlight. It has an internal battery that’s charged via USB or with the hand crank or built-in solar panel. Keep it on your nightstand to be sure you are aware of dangerous weather conditions, and you’ll also always know where a flashlight is when the power goes out. It’s $62.99.
Go to the Champ Prepared website to see their emergency checklist and check out the other preparedness gear they offer. Then head over to their Facebook page to enter their contest to win a Champ Prepared kit.
If you like to take along your phone or media player while you exercise outdoors, you probably have considered an armband at some point. These Armpockets from Herrington are more than just a phone holder. They have three internal pockets with room for IDs, cash, even keys in addition to your phone. The Armpocket is available in three strap sizes to fit male or female arms, and they are available in Standard or Large size to fit even big phones. The Standard fits “phones up to 5.5″, including Galaxy S4/SIII with thin cases, or iPhone 5/5s with large or battery cases (Otterbox, Lifeproof)”. The Large Armpocket fits “devices up to 6″, including Galaxy S5 with thin case, S4/SIII with case, Galaxy Note 3 (no case), or Amazon Fire.” The cases come in a variety of colors, but not all strap sizes are available in all colors. The Standard is $39.95 and the Large is $44.95. They may be ordered at the Herrington website.
My mission is to automate the lighting in my house. I don’t have to have every light connected to the internet, but I would like to have WiFi-connected and controllable bulbs in certain rooms in my house. I got the Hue Starter Kit for Christmas last winter, and I use them in my living room in some vintage Mid-century Moderne spaghetti lamps. I love how the various color schemes look in those special lamps, but I don’t need or want to have such “fancy”, expensive bulbs in all my rooms. I have some table lamps connected using Belkin WeMo Switches, which works great with regular CFL bulbs. I’d like just some white bulbs for my foyer, long hallway, and the bathrooms. I don’t want to use more color-changing Hue bulbs because they cost $60 each. Adding the Belkin WeMo LED Lighting system would mean I’d need another WiFi-connected hub. Using Hue bulbs would be very convenient and cheaper, though, because I already have the Hue bridge hooked up and connected in my house. Luckily, Philips now offers the Lux bulbs, which are compatible with the color-changing bulbs system but aren’t color-changing themselves.
Lux bulbs are 9W LED bulbs that produce 750-lumens of “high quality, dimmable warm white light” (2700K color temperature). (They use 0.5W of standby power and are only dimmable using the Hue app.) If you don’t already have Hue lights and a bridge, you’ll need to buy the Starter Kit. It contains two Lux bulbs and the bridge for $99.99. If you already have a Hue system set up in your home, you can add Lux bulbs for $29.99 each – still not cheap, but better than $60 each. Best Buy has the Hue Lux starter kit and the individual Lux bulbs ready to ship within 1 day. Learn more about the Hux Lux and the other components of the Hue Personal Wireless system at Philips’ Meet Hue website. You’ll need the Hue app for your mobile device to control the lights. The app is available for devices running iOS 6.0 or later, or Android 2.3 or later.
Each of these little 3.25″ diameter X 1.1″ thick canisters contain emergency supplies. The containers are made of 5000-series aluminum and have knurled screw-on lids; they are waterproof and have waterproof labels. When you pull the label off, the the lid is a serviceable signal mirror. What’s inside these little canisters are the kits that can stand between you and disaster. There are six different survival kits that are small enough, light enough (under 4 ounces), and inexpensive enough that you can stash them wherever you might need one – the car, at home, in your hiking kit, in your purse. Each kit addresses one emergency situation:
- Light: 2 mini flashlights, 1 mini Bic lighter, 4 5-hour candles, and a sheet of aluminum foil. $12.70
- Water: 50 water purification tablets (for 6.25 gallons of drinkable water), 2 water pre-filters, water pouch, drinking tube, and a sheet of aluminum foil. $17.75
- Fire: 2 Bic mini lighters, 12 solid fuel tablets, 1 steel bar grate to hold the canister (100ml capacity) while you heat water in it over a fuel tablet, 2 sheets of aluminum foil (to keep the fire off the wet ground as you try to light it or to act as a wind break or a heat reflector). $15.25
- Medicine: packets of extra-strength pain reliever, aspirin, ibuprofen, menstrual relief, anti-gas/antacid, antihistamine, electrolyte replenishment, antibacterial ointment, first aid and burn cream, anti-itch cream, and a pill bottle for your own medicines. $14.75
- First Aid: waterproof bandages, butterfly bandages, alcohol wipes, cotton swabs, sterile gauze pads, latex exam gloves, safety pins, adhesive tape, moleskin, antibiotic, burn, first aid, and anti-itch creams, metal tweezers, and a utility knife blade. $15.25
- Essentials: serrated 440 stainless steel lock-blade folding knife, mini LED flashlight, mini Bic lighter, signal whistle, magnetic compass, duct tape, aluminum wire, paracord, pencil, paper, safety pin, and a sheet of aluminum foil. $15.75
Learn more and purchase these kits at the Survival Pucks website.
Any new parent is aware of how much stuff a baby requires, and they’re also aware of how much room all of that stuff requires. While you don’t have to have a special tub to bathe the baby, those infant tubs do help make bath time feel a bit safer. We had a nice baby tub when our daughter was born, but it was huge and impossible to store. The Naked 2-Position Collapsible Baby Bathtub from Boon folds flat to make it easier to find a place to store it. If your child is too young to sit on her own, partially open the tub to recline the baby and keep her head out of the water. For older kids who can sit, completely open the tub. It even has a drain in the bottom to make cleaning up after bath time less of a chore. The Naked 2-Position Collapsible Baby Bathtub is available in green, blue, or pink for $69.99 from Boon. You can also find it at other retailers, such as Amazon (also has red and orange tubs) or BabiesRUs (only has blue).
When my daughter recently moved into her dorm room, the first thing I did was put a mattress encasement on that mattress that had been used for years by people doing who knows what. shudder! I wish I had had this Verilux vacuum with me, too. The CleanWave Sanitizing Portable Vacuum is a hand-held model that is not only convenient for vacuuming mattresses, sofas, and other upholstered furniture, but it also has a UV-C light in the head. This UV light is the “same UV sanitizing technology that’s been used for over 30 years in hospitals, food processing facilities and water treatment plants, CleanWave’s germ reducing light can penetrate a micro-organism’s cell membrane damaging the DNA, preventing growth and killing the organism.” Verilux says it has been proven in the laboratory to kill 99.9% of of H1N1 and MRSA in 1 second. It can combat certain molds and allergens without harsh chemicals or liquids, and it can even reduce pest eggs like bed bug, flea and dust mite eggs. The vacuum has a 400 watt motor and cyclonic action for effective cleaning, and a bag-less collection cup and 2-stage micro-allergy filtration.
You can order the CleanWave Sanitizing Portable Vacuum directly from Verilux for $129.99.
Actually, they’ll be shipping on September 18, 2014, but Belkin is finally taking pre-orders for these WiFi-controllable light bulbs. I’ve used Belkin WeMo Switches for a long time now. I have lamps plugged into them around my house, and the Switches are programmed to turn my lights on at sunset and off several hours later. The Switches work well with lamps, but I have a few rooms around the house that don’t have lamps, like my bathrooms and the hallways. I can’t use the Belkin Wall Switches with these ceiling fixtures because my house wiring doesn’t match. I don’t want to put the Philips Hue bulbs in those rooms for two reasons: I don’t need color-changing bulbs there, just white lights, and I don’t want to pay $60 for a bulb for those rooms.
The Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set has been “coming soon” for a long while, but Belkin has just updated their site to offer the set as a pre-order. It’s $99.99 for the set of two bulbs and the controller hub. The bulbs are “warm, bright light bulbs similar to traditional 60-watt incandescent, and they only consume 10 watts of energy and produce very little heat.” You’ll be able to turn the bulbs on/off or dim them from anywhere you have an internet connection. They’ll be controlled through the same WeMo mobile app that’s used for the other WeMo home automation devices, so you’ll be able to schedule them to come on or go off at specified times or at sunset/sunrise. You can use geofencing to turn bulbs off as you leave or turn them on when you arrive home, and you can just use the mobile app to manually control them at any time. The app is available for the following mobile devices: Apple (iOS 6 and higher), Android (4.0 and higher), and Kindle Fire (3.0 and higher).
You’ll need the Starter Set so you can get the bulbs connected to the internet with the hub. You’ll only need one hub, though, and you can add more bulbs throughout your house – up to fifty in total. If you want a way to easily connect your lighting system without any rewiring so that you can program and control your lighting from anywhere in the world, head over to the Belkin website and pre-order the WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set.
I thought of Jenga when I saw the Balancing Tree toy, but the Balancing Tree looks much less difficult and frustrating for children. PlanToys developed the Balancing Tree using its principals of sustainability. They are a”leading company that has created a new material and process as part of our zero waste goals. Continuing our commitment for a sustainable future, PlanToys has introduced PlanWood as another high quality, safe, and sustainable material in our toy-making process. This material will be used in harmony with our solid rubber wood.” This balancing game is designed for children ages 3 and up. Children develop motor skills by building the tree and adding the birds. The player who can stack and balance the tree and the birds without making it fall wins. The Balancing Tree game is $15.00 at PlanToys. It’s also available at Amazon for $14.95 and is eligible for free shipping for Prime members.
If you live in areas prone to natural disasters, you probably have made some preparations for emergencies. Do you have an survival kit for your pet? Quake Kare sells survival kits for dogs and cats, filled with products you’ll need to keep your pet healthy and fed until things start to return to normal. The kits come in either a blue bag for dogs or a red bag for cats. Each bag contains pouches of food and drinkable water, water purification tablets, collar and leash, first aid kit, poop bags, emergency blankets and lightsticks, food and water bowls, and more, including a couple of toys to help keep your little friend entertained and calm until things return to normal. There are even two decals to put on your doors to alert emergency responders to the presence of a pet inside. The kits are available in Ultimate ($79.95) or Deluxe ($69.95) kits for cats or dogs, with the difference being just the number of items included. Quake Kare sells survival kits, emergency kits, and emergency supplies for you and your family, too. You can get every member of your family outfitted for survival at one stop.
I’ve heard the expression that baking is science and cooking is an art (meaning that baking requires more precise measurements, temperatures, and times, while cooking is a bit more forgiving), but as any chemist knows, it’s all just chemistry. This cute salt and pepper set lends an air of the chemistry lab to your kitchen. The Lab Flask Salt & Pepper Shakers look like Erlenmeyer flasks with pseudo element labels. Their rubber stoppers are drilled with one or two holes for shaking out the seasonings. Each shaker is 4″ tall. A set of Lab Flask Salt & Pepper Shakers is $14.99 at Perpetual Kid.
Travelon, as you can guess from the name, makes great bags for traveling – around town or around the world. This particular wallet and bag combination is perfect for protecting your valuables and your personal data as you go about your daily travels. The Travelon Anti-Theft Convertible Hobo with RFID Blocking Wallet are made of 100% polyester. The bag has a slash-resistant bottom panel, straps, and exterior zip pockets, and the strap has a carabiner that is used to attach the bag to a chair so no one can walk away with it while you’re having a meal. The strap is adjustable, so you can even wear it cross-body, which prevents someone from snatching it off your shoulder as they walk by you. The bag also has a locking hook to keep the main compartment’s zipper closed so someone can’t just reach in and grab the contents. There’s a front zipper compartment with RFID shielding in the interior pockets to protect your passport and your phone from being scanned without your knowledge. The Hobo bag also comes with an RFID-shielded wallet with eight card slots, two bill pockets, ID window, and one zip pocket to keep your other RFID-chipped cards from being scanned. The bag measures 14″wide x 10.5″ tall x 3.5″ thick with a 17″ to 30″ strap drop; it weighs 13 ounces. The wallet is 7.5″ wide x 4″ tall x 0.5″ thick. The set comes in black, steel, navy, golden brown, olive, or orchid. It’s available at QVC‘s Today’s Special Value pricing of $34.92 until midnight ET today (August 29, 2014).
*That’s what the folks at AM Labs postulate, anyway. There’s no data that actually quantifies and compares the cleanliness of the two, but you have a pretty good idea from just looking that your mobile devices and computer keyboards and screens have “schmutz” on them. They have oil from your skin, dirt, dust, and grime from the environment, and germs, too. They look nasty, which can reflect badly on you, and they can pass along germs to you from others who may have borrowed your device. The products produced by AM Labs are designed to remove the schmutz with “completely non-toxic and alcohol-free” solutions that won’t damage your devices or harm your skin. The solutions aren’t gentle to germs, though; a single swipe removes up to 99.9% of common household bacteria on the surface. And the microfiber cloths remove smudges and smears, so your gadgets and gear look good as new.
AM products come in a variety of convenient forms: from wet wipes, to microfiber cloths and gentle microfiber sponges, to spray bottles wrapped in the microfiber sponges, to giant spray bottles for cleaning TVs and large computer screens. There’s even a refill pouch of solution for all refillable products. Prices range from about $10 for a pack of wet wipes to $30 for the biggest pump and sponge kit for cleaning giant TVs and big computer monitors. Learn more and purchase these products from the AM Labs website.
Although BiteMyApple populates their store with successfully-funded, commercially-available crowd-funding projects for Apple products, the Desktop Chair v2 will actually work with most any tablet. The Chair is made of “premium wood sheets that are cross-grained (layered perpendicularly) and hydraulic-hot-pressed to achieve maximum dimensional durability and precision.” It’s bent and folded, and each end has a lip to hold the tablet in place. You can set the Chair one way to support the tablet in portrait orientation or flip it to support the tablet in landscape. The Desktop Chair v2 has a furniture quality that will long outlast your current tablet and serve you well with future tablets. The Desktop Chair v2 is available now from BiteMyApple for $59.99.
The PURSE N’ BOOTS – EUROPEAN knee-high boots from Elizabeth Anne shoes are made of luxurious cowhide, and although they are made in a riding boot style, you can wear them for most any activity. They are available in brown or black, in sizes from 5-12, and in slim, regular, and wide calf widths. What sets them apart from every other boot on the market is that they have built-in pockets to carry your gear – a phone, a passport, credit or ID cards, makeup, house key, or cash. The first run of these boots for winter 2014 have already sold out, but Elizabeth Anne is taking pre-orders for a new run that will ship in December 2014. The boots are normally $399.99, but they are available for pre-sale for $309.99. If you place your pre-order quickly, Elizabeth Anne will give you another $50 off the PURSE N’ BOOTS – EUROPEAN if you enter the discount code PNB069 when you place your order. And if this particular style of boot doesn’t suit your fancy, Elizabeth Anne offers several other styles of the “purse for your feet” boots, including a cowboy style and a military style. You can use the discount code for these boots, too.
It seems many people are looking for the perfect method for buttering up their toasts and bagels. Julie was disappointed with the knife that promised to use the heat of her hand to make butter spreadable that she reviewed yesterday. As Julie mentioned, butter can actually be left out on the counter without refrigeration, but I don’t particularly care for just leaving the butter sitting out. I’ve tried two methods for keeping butter fresh and covered while keeping it soft and spreadable. I’ve tried the Butter Bell (two versions seen in the top row of images) and the Butter Boat. Both methods use the cooling properties of ceramics and water to keep the butter soft and fresh. Read More →
Do you have an aging parent or relative who wants to live on their own, but you are concerned about fading health? They don’t want to live with you or in an assisted living facility, but you’d like a way to know what is happening with them on a daily basis? There are various monitoring devices available, but they tend to be of the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up, send an ambulance” types. The Tempo Wearable Technology for Seniors monitors can give your relative some independence while keeping you aware of how their day is progressing. Tempo is seeking funding on the Fundable crowd-funding site.
The system consists of room beacons, a hub, and a wearable monitor that looks like a bracelet or watch. The bracelet and beacons track where the wearer goes in the house and how much time they spend there. “Tempo monitors motion (walking, sitting, lying down), location (bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen etc.) and activities (cooking, eating, sleeping, bathing etc.) to create a map of of your loved one’s day-to-day habits. Tempo even picks up on subtler, more gradual changes—like slower motion, more time spent sitting down, or cooking less often—that can often be indicators of a change in quality of life or even underlying medical conditions.” The hub collects data about the daily activity and sends it to the cloud, where it is analyzed for patterns and changes in patterns. When something unusual is noted, like spending too much time in the kitchen (which could indicate a fall), the system will send a notification to your computer, phone, or other mobile device. You’ll know when to make an extra call to see how they are doing.
For a pledge of $169 ($149 if you get one of the few remaining early-bird special pledges), you’ll receive a monitoring device, four room beacons, a communications hub, and three months of the monitoring service. A pledge of $269 adds a second monitoring device, one for each parent, and a total of six months of the monitoring service. There’s no date specified for shipping the Tempo Wearable Technology for Seniors on the Fundable site.
I’ve heard of people who make little photo books for their young children that contain pictures of their family members who live far away. The child may not see Grammy very often, but she’ll be familiar with Grammy’s face from looking at the photo album and talking with her parents about the pictures as they “read” the book to the child. This Memory Game from Pinhole Press takes this concept and adapts it for slightly older children. Playing games where the child has to find matching pairs of cards improves his memory skills, and this game simply replaces the pictures of animals or fruits and veggies with pictures of family members or pets. Choose twelve pictures to personalize this card game. And you know, it’s not just for children. It would make a wonderful gift for grandparents or aunts and uncles, too. A set of personalized Memory Cards is $19.99 from Pinhole Press.
The QiStone+ charger is described as the only truly wireless power bank. The charger has a 4000mAh battery that can keep your phone or other Qi-chargeable device powered up during your day. You can even charge two devices simultaneously with the QiStone+ charger – one wirelessly on the Qi transmitter on the top of the power bank and the other plugged in to the USB port. And the QiStone+ has a Qi receiver on the bottom, so it can be recharged with any other Qi charger you have. It measures 4.3″ X 2.8″ X 0.8″ and weighs only 4.8 ounces. The QiStone+ wireless power bank is $79.99 at Amazon.
If you have more things to plug in than you have outlets or if you just keep things unplugged to prevent power draw when appliances aren’t in use, you’d probably like a way to keep those unplugged cables in clear view and within easy reach. These Plug Out plug organizers are silicone strips that adhere to the wall under the AC outlet and hold the cables that aren’t currently plugged in. The strips use a non-staining adhesive, so they’ll remove without leaving behind marks on the wall. You’ll get two Plug Out organizers per package in your choice of black and white or green and orange. They are available for $7.49 a package from Perpetual Kid.
Your barware might not include expensive ceramic or metal beer steins, but you can simulate the look with these Das Can-In-Stein beverage can holders. Simply slip any standard 12 ounce can into the “scaffolding”, and you’ll have a stein, complete with handle and thumb-opened hinged lid. Although it looks like pewter, Das Can-In-Stein is made of pewter-colored resin. Whether you’re drinking a beer or a caffeine-free Diet Pepsi, Das Can-In-Stein improves the look of your beverage. At only $9.99 each, you may be able to add a set of these tankards to your barware and still have money to buy something to go in them. Das Can-In-Stein is available from ThinkGeek. (Das Can-In-Stein started out as one of ThinkGeek’s April Fool’s pranks, but it’s really available to purchase now.)