Imperial Puzzle Rug
Sometimes the hardest piece of the home-design puzzle is finding that right rug for tying the whole room together. Why not try a rug that’s a puzzle in itself? Imperial rug pieces each measure 15.75 inches wide by 17.75 inches long and made of synthetic carpeting with rubber backing. Each set features 10 pieces and can be arranged into any pattern that fits your personality. Find them at www.gnr8.biz for $99 apiece.
Winky the Face Jug Planter
Don’t ask us to explain it, but there’s just something about Winky the Face Jug Planter that makes us crack up every time we look at him. Maybe it’s that knowing, “Dear God, this is good cannabis” expression that gets us. Whatever the reason, this high-fired ceramic stoneware planter will liven up any garden. The 5-inch-diameter planting cavity runs 5.5 inches deep. Buy it for $84.99 at www.modernartisans.com.
Beats by Dr. Dre Studio High-Definition Headphones
If you think music is serious business, consider going pro with these seriously high-performance, studio-quality headphone collaboration from Dr. Dre and Monster Cable. Super comfortable and foldable for easy transport, Beats carries every bass and timbre with a clarity unlike anything you’ve heard outside a $500-an-hour studio. Monster’s trademark ambient noise-isolation system allows you to capture every nuance and detail without a quantum of distraction. It’s priced accordingly: $349.95, which you can buy at www.monstercable.com.
While we highly recommend not even thinking about gifting your sweetheart a cleaning appliance for Christmas, this niftily designed Dirt Devil just might be the thing to give yourself. Cordless, bag-less and rechargeable like any Dirt Devil, the Kone Vacuum is so cool-looking you may find yourself looking for messy excuses to whip it out. Find them at www.dirtdevil.com—they’ll set you back a mere $35.99.
Imagine a computer that fits in the palm of your hand, has no hard drive or moving parts and accesses all your computer data anywhere and at any time. Just hook up any keyboard and monitor to the Pano Device, and all your personal data and applications are at your disposal. The device works via cloud computing, meaning that all that bothersome “computing” stuff is handled somewhere off in the clouds (or, really, at a Pano centralized hub, which you can access via subscription). Cost: $300. Visit www.panologic.com for more info.
i.Tech Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard
Tired of needing two toothpicks and a magnifying glass to text on your tiny PDA? This space-age gadget uses laser beams to turn any flat surface into a working keyboard, complete with the sounds of key typing. It works with any Bluetooth-enabled PDA or smart phone, recharges in only two hours and stands only 3 inches high. Tell us the future isn’t now. You can find them at www.microcenter.com for $169.99.
Desktop Carnivorous Plant Set
This hilarious novelty is either the fastest way to start a conversation or the slowest way to dispose of a corpse. Along with all the essentials for setting up a miniature garden, each Desktop Carnivorous Plant Set contains seeds for Venus fly traps, hooded and purple pitcher plants, cobra lilies and other assorted flesh-eating flora. Place three or four sets around your stapler to ensure it’s never stolen! You’ll find them at www.thinkgeek.com, where they sell for $24.99.
Light Up Beer Pong Table
For serious Beer Pong players (if there is such an animal), this portable table has everything: lighted cup recesses to prevent cups from being knocked over when you hit them; running lights that strobe different patterns at the push of a button; a two-sided bounce plate that can be flipped for playing Flip Cup and more, including cups and balls. Don’t ask us what Flip Cup is—we weren’t invited to those parties. Cost: $399.95 which you can spend by calling (800) 381-6433, or visiting www.wowcoolstuff.com.
Show your roommates and co-workers how much you care about them eating your food. The portable Fridge Locker enforces dietary control by keeping your munchies safe within high-density polyurethane walls and behind a chromed metal combination lock. Once unlocked, the door becomes a sliding shelf for easy access. Fridge Lockers measure 7.5 inches wide, 7.5 inches tall, and 11 inches deep—roughly enough space for six boxes of Ding Dongs, by our calculation. Find them at www.perpetualkid.com, where they retail for $19.99.
Retro MP3 Speaker Amp
It doesn’t have to be big to be powerful. Hook up any MP3 player to this 5-inch-by-3.75-inch amp-style speaker and you’re instantly blowing 5 watts and 200Hz of music power. Each speaker amp comes with three controls for volume, bass and treble, and a USB cable for attaching it to your computer. Now all you need are four miniature musicians and you’ve got yourself a rock band. Get one at www.thinkgeek.com for $19.99.
Cooper Rapid Beverage Chiller
Let’s face it: When you need a drink, you need it now—not three hours from now. The Rapid Beverage Chiller turns just about any bottle of tepid liquid into a frosty container of icy refreshment in just six minutes. It’s the perfect gift for friends of friends who like to pop in unannounced. The Chiller even warms bottles, too, so your baby need never go without. Find it at Walmart, Best Buy and www.amazon.com, where it retails for $69.98.
Electronic Guitar Shirt
Millions of would-be inventors must be kicking themselves for not having thought of this first. It’s a stylish shirt with an honest-to-god working electric (well, electronic) guitar, complete with a mini-amp that clips to your belt and a volume knob that goes to 11. Strum all the major chords with the wave of a magnetic guitar pick (included)—and when you’re done, you can detach the electronic components and throw the shirt in the washer. ThinkGeek also sells an electronic drum kit shirt—start your own shirt-playin’ band! The Electronic Guitar Shirt sells for $29.99—find it at www.thinkgeek.com.
Personalized Laser Etching
Sure, anyone can get their loved one’s photo printed on a T-shirt or coffee mug. But can they get it on a block of mahogany or granite, a skateboard or Christmas ornament or, well, just about anything? Immortalize your beloved’s face—or company logo, or whatever else floats your boat—by having it laser-etched through SoCal Laser. The Cypress-based company teamed up with Psyc-O-Products in Garden Grove to provide rich, high-quality laser etching on demand. Prices vary depending on the project. To find out more, visit www.SoCalLaser.com, or call (714) 229-9263.