You can put a name, a design or even a personal photo on tumblers when you order them from Tervis Tumbler, which has been producing drink and barware since 1946. The tumblers are double-walled, with designs and emblems between the walls.
Tervis, based in North Venice, Florida, offers many designs including those licensed from Fiesta, Margaritaville, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and many colleges. Since the tumblers are made to order, they can also be customized with names, nicknames, monograms, designs and photos.
The tumblers are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. They are insulated to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, and they also resist condensation, reducing the need for coasters. They don’t shatter so they are safe around a pool and, as an added bonus, they float. The tumblers are priced at $40 to $64 for a boxed set of four, and also can be purchased individually. They are available in retail stores and online at www.tervis.com.
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy, an infrared propane heater that can be used for temporary indoor use as well as outdoors, has been updated with new features, including a larger heating surface to direct radiant heating over a wider area.
A new fold-down handle has been added for compact storage on hunting and camping trips, and a swivel-out fuel connection allows for easy installation of LP cylinders and hoses. The unit delivers radiant heat for up to six hours on a single one-pound disposable propane cylinder or up to 110 hours when connected by a hose to a 20-pound LP tank.
The Portable Buddy weighs just eight pounds, so it can be conveniently carried from place to place. It includes a low-oxygen shut-off system and a tip-over safety shut-off to make it safe for both temporary indoor and outdoor recreational use.
Mr. Heater, which is headquartered in Cleveland, sells the Portable Buddy through retailers, including outdoor, hardware and home center stores. Suggested retail price is $99.99. For information, visit www.mrheater.com.
Canyon Country National Parks Map & Guide
Anyone planning a trip to national parks in southern Utah, northern Arizona, eastern Nevada and western Colorado could use this comprehensive map and guide to the region. It includes highways, scenic byways, mileage, elevations, points of interest and locations of eight national parks—Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Mesa Verde and Great Basin.
On the back of the large map are individual maps and photos of the parks as well as must-see points of interest and activities in the surrounding areas. Printed on tear-resistant and water-resistant paper, it is durable and designed for use by active RVers planning a trip to these incredibly scenic places. The map and guide is priced at $9.95. For information, visit www.utah.com/store or call (801 356-9077.
Cookies from Home
There are more than 150 grandmas on the staff at Cookies from Home, which bakes fresh cookies every day and guarantees their delivery by FedEx within 48 hours. The company ships 12 million cookies a year from its headquarters in Tempe, Arizona.
Susan and Barry Brooks started with a retail store in 1977, baking fresh cookies daily and creating customized gift packages. As the business grew, it began shipping cookies worldwide.
All cookies are baked from scratch, and many varieties are offered, including those that are gluten free. Most cookie gift packages are in the $20 to $50 range, plus shipping. Cookies are available at the Cookies from Home Bakery and Gift Shop in Tempe, online at www.cookiesfromhome.com and by phone at (800) 543-8133.
Heat Factory Holiday Warmer Pack
Heat packs for the hands, feet and body are included in Heat Factory’s Holiday Warmer Pack, designed to keep snow-goers warm and frostbite-free as they enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding, making snow angels or just being outside in cold weather.
The pack includes six pairs of hand warmers, which can be stuffed in gloves or pockets to ward off the chill. Each warmer emits heat for 10 hours or more. Three pairs of toe warmers are included. They can be stuck to the bottom of socks to keep toes warm for more than six hours. Three large body warmers provide 20 hours or more of heat each. They can be used to pre-heat a sleeping bag or can slide into a jacket.
Heat Factory, based in Vista, California, is selling the Holiday Warmer Pack for $14.99. Other products to keep warm are also available at the company’s website, www.heatfactory.com or by calling (760) 734-5300.
23andMe Home DNA Kit
If you are looking for a really unusual gift, you might help someone explore his or her genetic traits. For $399, you can buy a friend or family member a home DNA test kit.
Here’s how it works. 23andMe, a company named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in each individual, sends you a kit. You spit into the kit’s tube, mail the sample to the lab and six to eight weeks later you can begin exploring your genome online. You can learn about your ancestry and your propensity for more than 100 health traits and diseases.
23andMe, a private company whose investors include Genetech and Google, is devoted to making DNA information available to individuals. The company’s offices are in Mountain View, California. For information, visit www.23andMe.com.
RV Poles and Holders
If you want to mount a flag or a satellite dish on an RV, you can find a number of choices at polesandholders.com. Poles and Holders has about 30 styles and sizes of flagpole mounts to fit virtually any RV.
The company’s flagpoles are made of fiberglass, so they don’t attract lightning, are lighter than steel or aluminum, and are strong enough to withstand high winds. The hard polyester finish won’t rust, rot or corrode. The company offers telescoping poles with nesting sections that can draw out to 22 feet, and can easily be closed and broken down for storage.
Pole and Holders offers hundreds of flags to go with the poles. The flags can be useful in marking beach, desert or river campsites and also can be used for tailgate parties and sporting events. Besides flags and flagpoles, the company offers mounts for satellite dishes, and solar, 12-volt and battery operated lights, beacons strobes and string lights. For information, visit www.polesandholders.com or call (562) 946-9019.
Invisible Glass Kit
Everything you need to keep windshields and other glass in your RV clean can be found in the glass cleaning kit from Invisible Glass.
Invisible Glass products do not use soaps, foams, scents or dyes and are designed to evaporate quickly so that glass is left clean and clear, without streaks, haze or residue. The cleaning kit contains three cans of glass cleaner, three canisters of Invisible Glass wipes, 20 individually packaged Invisible Glass Wipes, a microfiber towel, a lint-free towel, a Reach & Clean glass cleaning tool and a windshield chip repair kit. The Reach & Clean tool has a 14-inch handle and a flexible pivoting head to help the user clean hard-to-reach areas. The kit is priced at $39.95, plus shipping and handling.
Invisible Glass products, made by Stoner Inc. of Quarryville, Pennsylvania, are available at major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target and Lowe’s and online at www.invisibleglass.com.
Zoom Q3 Handy Video Recorder
Zoom, which makes professional audio recording devices, has launched a new video recorder that the company president says is “the best sounding video camcorder you’ve ever heard.”
Scott Goodman, president of Samson Technologies, which distributes Zoom products, said professional audio quality has been the missing ingredient in portable camcorders, and so his company is filling that need. The Q3 has two condenser microphones to record stereo sound, and the microphones can be focused on the sound source in a way that amounts to an “audio zoom” function.
The Q3 has a 2.4-inch LCD display and accepts the 32 GB SDHC card that delivers up to 16 hours of recording time. Users can upload videos to their computer with a USB cable and there is built-in software for editing and for sharing on YouTube and other Internet sites. Retail price of the recorder is $249.
Samson Technologies is based in Hauppauge, New York, and manufactures and distributes products in the U.S. and 106 countries abroad. For information, visit www.samsontech.com.
If you make a tax-deductible donation to a charity in the name of a person, many charities will send that person a holiday gift card. Among the organizations offering that service are Habitat for Humanity and Doctors Without Borders.
With Habitat for Humanity, which helps people in need build homes, a $10 donation will buy a box of nails, and $100 will buy a kitchen sink. The gift card program requires a minimum gift of $10, and in order to mail gift cards by December 18, Habitat for Humanity must receive the donation by mail by December 7 or online by Dec. 14. For information, visit www.habitat.org/donation.
Doctors Without Borders will send personalized e-cards in return for donations to assist its humanitarian work in 60 countries. A gift of $10 can vaccinate 10 people against meningitis, and $50 can provide treatment for malaria for 50 adults or 100 children under the age of 5. For information, visit www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate.
Roy Toy Building Sets
Roy K. Dennison introduced Roy Toy classic log buildings to the toy market in the 1930s, but their manufacture ceased when he died in the 1960s. His grandson, Bruce Dennison, set out to revive the company as a hobby in 1992 and the classic toys are now back on the market.
The logs are all hand-cut, made of smooth sanded pine. They are stained with a non-toxic dye to create bright red gables and the traditional green wooden roof planks of the original design. The logs have a realistic appearance, fit together snugly and result in structures that are larger and more stable than many other toy log sets.
Roy Toy log sets are available at Whole Foods markets at prices ranging from $9.99 to $59. For more information, contact Roy Toy Manufacturing of East Machias, Maine, at www.roytoy.com or (800) 530-0003.
If you have an iPhone or iPod, you can hook them up to Livespeakr for all to hear. The portable sound system has a “super cradle” that locks the iPhone or iPod in place and amplifies the sound through two speakers that have an output of 15 watts peak to peak.
The Livespeakr has a rechargeable lithium ion battery and also includes an AC adaptor. It works with a variety of devices including the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch, iPod Touch 2G and iPod Classic. A shield against radio frequency interference protects against static on the iPhone. When the iPhone receives an incoming call, the music automatically fades and the device acts as a speakerphone.
The Livespeakr is the first electronic consumer product from Digital Group Audio, a company founded by two 25-year-old entrepreneurs, Erik Groset and Robin DeFay. Suggested retail price is $79.99. For information, visit www.livespeakr.com.
If you are on a boat or at a dock and drop your keys in the water, they won’t be lost if they are attached to the Key Buoy. The Key Buoy is a self-inflating ring that automatically pops open, inflates its air tube and rises to the surface.
A bright orange 14-inch air tube makes it easy to spot the Key Buoy in the water. It will stay afloat for more than an hour.
The Key Buoy is made of plastic and designed for single use. Besides keys, it can be attached to small tools or other items weighing up to 2.6 ounces. Suggested retail price is $6.99.
The device is produced by Davis Instruments of Hayward, California. For information, visit www.davisnet.com or call (510) 732-9229.