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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween fun!

Week 1: Dogs in costumes could be considered incredibly cute or woefully cruel. On a rising estrogen day, we're betting cute will win out. You get a chance to decide with this super-fun 2:42 minute video.
Treat yourself: Dogs in costumes montage, YouTube.com

Week 2: Seriously, Week 2 gals, don't let peaking hormones lead you to overindulging in Halloween cocktails. You could end up in a video like this one. 2:07 minutes of sheer humiliation.
Treat yourself: Dancing goblin, YouTube.com

Week 3: Rising progesterone loves little kids. But it loves them even more when they're a) someone else's and b) dressed in adorable Halloween costumes. This 1:52 video gives you both.
Treat yourself: Kids in costumes montage, YouTube.com

Week 4: Let's not forget that Halloween is a perfect opportunity to scare the bejeezus out of someone and call it "holiday fun". No doubt it'd trigger a laugh on most days. On descending hormone days it just seems a tad funnier. Count the heart attacks in this 1:06 montage.
Treat yourself: Boo!, YouTube.com
 

Monday, October 30, 2006

Week 1: Dress up your wine glass with these playful custom-made beaded wraps that curl around the stem. You get to mix and match the glass beads, sterling silver charms or semi-precious stones you want, then have the artisan make them for you.
Treat yourself: $18.50 to $24 per set of six decorations, BuyGlasswear.com

Week 2: Confuse—then amuse—your guests when they use your bathroom and find in place of hand soap a bowl full of beautiful polished pebbles. They may eventually figure out that they're soaps. Or they may need a helpful hint.
Treat yourself: Soap stones, $10.95, for a box of about two dozen stones, Wrapables.com

Week 3: Week 3: Hate soggy, drooping centers when you bake brownies, cake or lasagna? Does everyone in your house fight over the crispy edges? Then use the nonstick Baker's Edge pan—its unique zig-zag design ensures that every piece is an edge piece!
Treat yourself: Baker's Edge Pan, $36.95,  Amazon.com

Week 4: Homemade pancakes and waffles are a delicious indulgence. But if you don't have the time to whip up a batch from scratch, turn to a decadent gingerbread pancake and waffle mix from Williams-Sonoma that's made with ground ginger, fragrant Korintje cinnamon and Indonesian nutmeg to ensure a rich gingerbread flavor.
Treat yourself: Gingerbread waffle and pancake mix, $14 for 20 ounces, Williams-Sonoma.com
 

Friday, October 27, 2006

Freebies Friday!

Week 1: Get your Wild West on with a sample of the new Shania by Stetson fragrance from country crooner Shania Twain.
Treat yourself: Shania by Stetson, free, ShaniabyStetson.com

Week 2: Trojan is offering a sample of their famed product. You get to choose from several varieties—including extended pleasure, warm sensations and mint tingle. (Based on a recent test drive, we definitely recommend the warm sensations.) For extra fun, couple it with a free sample of Astroglide personal lubricant.
Treat yourself: Trojan condom, free, TrojanCondoms.com; Astroglide, free, Astroglide.com

Week 3: If you're in the market for a new smudge-free deodorant, try a sample Degree's Ultra Clear for women.
Treat yourself: Degree deodorant, free, DegreeDeodorant.com

Week 4: Discover secrets about yourself by taking an easy, free handwriting analysis test.
Treat yourself: Handwriting analysis, free, HandwritingWizard.com
 

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Instant happiness boosters!

Week 1: Schedule an activity that will make you and your friends laugh. Whether it’s planning a game of Pictionary or watching a funny movie, anticipating a fun time will put you in a great mood, according to a study by the University of California-Irvine College of Medicine. The reason? ”It reduces levels of stress hormones in the blood and increases levels of chemicals known to aid relaxation,” says Lee Berk, Ph.D., a researcher at the Susan Samueli Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Treat yourself: Board games, prices vary, Amazon.com

Week 2: Sip a cup of hot mulled wine. This popular holiday favorite makes you feel better thanks to the alcohol it contains, which boosts endorphins, neurotransmitters that produce a good mood. Plus, the alcohol triggers an increase in the production of testosterone in women, according to Finnish researchers. And studies show that higher levels of testosterone in women result in a better mood!
Treat yourself: Hot mulled wine recipe, free, Recipezaar.com

Week 3: Take a moment to look at the clouds, autumn leaves or flowers. Studies show glimpsing any kind of nature works better and faster at improving your mood than reading or listening to calm music. In fact, just looking at a picture of nature is enough to lift your spirits, decrease stress and irritability, increase your satisfaction with life and re-energize you, according to researcher Terry A. Hartig, Ph.D., M.P.H. What makes nature such a potent mood booster? Our innate fascination with it distracts us, which reduces our stress and makes us feel better. 
Treat yourself: Photos of nature, free, DeviantArt.com

Week 4: Give yourself a mini-makeover! Turns out, altering a physical traitsuch as getting a new outfit, trying out a new eye shadow or changing the color of your hairhas been proven to "improve attitude, personality and self-esteem," according to Gordon Patzer, Ph.D., a researcher at California State University in San Bernardino, who's been studying the psychology of physical appearance for 30 years. That’s because, when you change your physical appearance, you feel more attractive and confident, and this makes you happy, his research shows. 
Treat yourself: Coupon codes: Kohls.com, NEW9829, 10% off online order, expires Oct. 28, 2006; Sephora.com, JACKPOT, free 11-piece deluxe sample collection of order of $50 or more, expires Nov. 13, 2006; LaneBryant.com, 050003532, $25 off online order of $75 or more, expires Nov. 10, 2006; Esprit.com, esp12, 10% off online order, expires Oct. 31, 2006
 

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Week 1: We don't know if we should give away this uber-fun mini Etch-a-Sketch lollipop combo away as the world's best Halloween candy or keep it for our greedy little selves. We're leaning toward the latter.
Treat yourself: Etch-a-Sketch Lollipops, $39.60, CandyWarehouse.com

Week 2: We had the opportunity to sample famed chef David Burke's unusual gourmet pops in his New York restaurant—and we're excited to share that they're now available online. Flavors include smoked salmon, goat cheese and cheesecake. (We told you they were unusual!)
Treat yourself: David Burke Gourmet Pops, starting at $17.67 per dozen, GourmetPops.com

Week 3: Get the sunlight you crave and privacy you need with this semi-opaque adhesive-free flowerpot window screen film from designers Sofia Löfstedt and Johanna Lindgren. It's a stylish, feminine and modern alternative to curtains and blinds.
Treat yourself: Window screen film, $19.31, ScandinavianDesignCenter.com

Week 4: A new puppy in our house has revealed a few things: dog teeth work better than paper shredders, especially on important documents you really need to keep; early morning sleep is entirely overrated; and Skecher slippers are the world's most indestructible slipper, like, ever. That they're comfy, warm and cute are just wonderful bonuses.
Treat yourself: Skechers Shindigs, $42, Skechers.com (Using your Visa card? Click this link from Visa.com to get 25% off your entire online Skechers order plus free shipping! Expires: 02/28/07)


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

DIY Tuesday!

Week 1: Cupcake queen Cheryl Porro: We love her. And she loves you. Proof: This week's recipefresh pumpkin cupcakes with white chocolate chunks and cream cheese frosting. As fancy as it sounds, this decadent autumn-themed cupcake is easy enough for even a kitchen novice to bake.
Treat yourself: cupcake recipe, free, CupcakeBlog.com

Week 2: Impress—and perhaps frighten—the neighbors with an "extreme" Jack-o-lantern, such as a puking pumpkin, suffocated pumpkin, electrocuted pumpkin and pumpkin on fire. Check out the gallery, then follow the free tips.
Treat yourself: extreme pumpkin carving, free, ExtremePumpkins.com

Week 3: What we adore about Kathy Cano-Murillo aka Crafty Chica is not only her imagination, but her vast scope of home craft projects. A five-time DIY author and nationally syndicated columnist, Kathy's blog dishes instructions everything from bejeweled champagne flutes and flowers preserved in wax to chili can candelarias and ghoulish Halloween costumes.
Treat yourself: home crafts, free, CraftyChica.com

Week 4: Anne-Marie Faiola, owner of Bramble Berry soap-making products supply store, shows you how to make your own night foot and hand creme with a simple recipe. Infused with moisturizing aloe, shea butter and coconut butter, this is a must-make for anyone dreading a dry, chapped winter.
Treat yourself: hand creme recipe, free, TeachSoap.com


Monday, October 23, 2006

Week 1: It's lip balm season again. Before you pick up your usual whatever-Stick, you should know that there are hundreds of other delicious balms available. With so many to choose from, it probably sounds hard to pick. Luckily, KissFix.com makes it easy. They've rounded up over 500 of the best lip balms and divided them by category—brand (there's 95 of 'em), organic and vegan (for the health and socially conscious), flavor (includes everything from banana cream pie and butterscotch sundae to cardamom and calendula), exotic and foreign (just try finding these at Sephora) and fun and different (ditto on the Sephora thing). To make it even easier, KissFix.com includes a search button and reviews from loyal customers.
Treat yourself: Over 500 lip balms, $2 up, KissFix.com

Week 2: Ever had a hard time getting off the phone with someone who kept yakyakyakking away? Stop wasting your time waiting for the talker to run out of steam. Instead turn to the Excuse Box, a keychain-sized gadget that plays a variety of sound effects in the background to provide the perfect getaway—including sirens, a baby crying, and static that makes it sound like the call is breaking up. Yeah, it's sneaky. But it's either that or losing another hour to the yak-attack. It's your call.
Treat yourself: Excuse Box, $12.99, ThinkGeek.com

Week 3: If dust, cigarette smoke and other air pollutants bother you, but you can't lug one of those weighty room-sized HEPA filters everywhere you go, then take heart. The AirPoda lightweight (under two pounds), compact iPod-sized personal HEPA hybrid air filtermakes HEPA filters portables so you can clean the air everywhere you go, for instance, in your cubicle, car or bedroom. Removes 99.9% of airborne particles and is quiet as a falling piece of lint. Comes in stylish blue, black paisley and, our favorite, white tree.
Treat yourself: Blueair AirPod, $99.95, BlueairStore.com

Week 4: There's no doubt that pampering your feet can make you feel rejuvenated and destressed. But what if you don't have the time for a nice, long toe soak? Then it's time to try Tired Tootsies Foot Spray. All it takes is a pump or two anywhere you can take off your shoesat your desk, in the bathroom, waiting online while holiday shopping—to get the energizing (and deodorizing) effects from the Tea Tree oil, peppermint and spearmint it contains.
Treat yourself: Tired Tootsies Foot Spray, $8.25 for 4 ounces, Flower-Peddler.com (limited quantities available)

 

Friday, October 20, 2006

Week 1: Hostess Aprons by Jessie Steele give the term "packing heat in the kitchen" a whole new meaning. Not your mother's aprons, these A-line styled pieces come in a wide selection of prints, ranging from cute pink-and-red polka dots to punk-inspired black-and-white skulls. Machine washable and armed with large, convenient pockets, you won't mind getting a little messy with these adorable aprons to protect you.
Treat yourself: Hostess Aprons by Jessie Steele,  $32 - 39.95, WishingFish.com

Week 2: If something like a little snow or negative-degree weather doesn't stop you from having outdoors fun, then make your next cold weather ski or camping trip more comfortable with this warming innovation: Selk Bags, human-shaped sleeping bags with arms and legs. It's kinda like those puffy snowsuits we were all stuffed into as kids, only toastier.
Treat yourself: Selk Bags, $225 - $292, TheParkaShop.com

Week 3: Baby seals are cute, they're cuddly and they're entirely defenseless. So why does the Canadian government still allow hunters to kill baby seals for their fur in the largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals on the planet every year? If you're outraged by it, there are simple steps you can take right now to help put a stop to it. The Humane Society of the U.S. shows you what they are. 
Treat yourself: Save baby seals, free, HSUS.org

Week 4: There's nothing that can turn the joy of a receiving a present into a full-blown stress-out like those impenetrable plastic packages that make it impossible to get at your gift. No doubt you'll run across at least a few of these packages this holiday season. Spare yourself the stress and avoid the risk of losing a finger to a slipped knife, scissor or exacto blade with the OpenX, a device made specifically for opening plastic packages safely and easily.
Treat yourself: OpenX, $4.95, MyOpenX.com

 

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Week 1: Birdfeeders aren't the only things you can make from empty plastic soda bottles. See how innovative artist Miwa Koizumi turned hers into colorful floating jellyfish.
Treat yourself: Miwa Koizumi jellyfish, free, MetM.org

Week 2: Thinking of buying yourself or someone else an iPod in the near future? You might want to put it off for a month or two. Rumor has it that iPod is coming out with a brand-new touch-screen version of their ubiquitous music player. Timing it with the holiday season pretty much makes this the adult version of the TMX Elmo (which parents should be buying now on eBay before they jump to $1,000 in December).
Treat yourself: Touch-screen iPod, price tbd, rumor, free, TrustedReviews.com

Week 3: Now that you've got another use for your recyclable soda bottles other than bird feeders, you need to use something else to nourish your feathered friends. Try the minimalist Feeder String, an elegant and space-saving option. Made of a simple soft black rubber cord weighted with two cone-shaped frosted glass beads, you simply thread food onto the string, such as piece of bread or fruit. Then hang it over anything that sticks out, like a branch or fire escape railing. The much-appreciative birds will take it from there.
Treat yourself: Feeder String, $22.74,  ScandanavianDesignCenter.com

Week 4: Haven't yet checked out Dove's latest Campaign for Beauty video, "Dove Evolution"? In about a minute, it fast-forwards through the hours-long process a model goes through to become transformed from her natural self (which isn't much different from what the rest of us look like) to the type of unachievably beautiful women we see in advertising...and why it's unachievable even for the model. Yeah, it's from Dove, which means it's a marketing video for a major corporation with the goal of selling you stuff. But it's no less intriguing and self-affirming.
Treat yourself: Dove Evolution video, free, YouTube.com
 

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Week 1: Relive your glory days or make up for lost time with tabletop versions of the '80s arcade games Frogger and Space Invaders. Comes with a color LCD screen, authentic arcade sounds and stands a compact seven inches. 
Treat yourself: Classic Arcade Games, $28, FredFlare.com

Week 2: Like playing Sims? Like watching Desperate Housewives? Then, boy, does Disney have your number. They've just released the first Desperate Housewives Sims-like video game that lets you become the latest housewife on Wisteria Lane.
Treat yourself: Desperate Housewives Video Game, $19.99, BarnesandNoble.com

Week 3: Have a broken iPod and don't have the cash to replace it or want to spare your local landfill more electronic garbage? Then don't throw it awayget it repaired by iRepair, which specializes in affordable iPod fixes and quick turnarounds so you don't have to be without your tunes for too long.
Treat yourself: iPod repair, prices vary, iRepair.ca

Week 4: Anything that reminds us of dessert is fine by us. So the Whipped Cream dessert-themed body moisturizer from The Body Bakery really caught our attention. Lightweight and infused with softening aloe, it comes in dozens of mouth-watering sweet scents including our favorites: angel food cake, jelly doughnuts, marshmallow fluff and peanutbutter cookie.
Treat yourself: Whipped Cream, $5 for one ounce, TheBodyBakery.com
 

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Week 1: Throw some funky femininity on your fingers with one (or two or 12) of these colorful rings made out of lucite, plastic, jade, wood, stone, resin and bakeliteeverything but metal, which the store owner behind The Carrotbox ring shop is allergic to. Choose from dozens of ring designs including our favorites: Japanese Kimono, Carved Flower and Glass Fiction.
Treat yourself: The Carrotbox ring shop, $3 and up, TheCarrotbox.com

Week 2: A modern interpretation of elegant, this ahead-of-the-curve necklace is accented by a single small battery-powered light. Available in green, amber and white.
Treat yourself: Moi lighted je25 - $28, MoiNewYork.stores.yahoo.net

Week 3: Love the romantic crackle of a roaring fire, but don't have a fireplace? You're in luck: WoodWick aromatic candles have a natural wick made from organic wood that crackles just like the real thing. Choose from 24 scents including amaretto latte, gingerbread, fireside, pumpkin butter and sandalwood clove.
Treat yourself: WoodWick Candles, $16.95 for 11.5 ounces (lasts 100 hours), $22.95 for 22 ounces (lasts 180 hours), OldVirginiaCandle.com

Week 4: Jacques Torres is one of the newest and most decadent chocolatiers in New York City. Their online store offers their signature handmade chocolates and unusual cocoa combos (chocolate-covered Cheerios, anyone?). But we're jumping for joy over the free recipes for some of Torres' delights that are right on his website including bite-sized chocolate almond brownies and individual chocolate indulgence cake.
Treat yourself: Jacques Torres chocolate recipes, free, MrChocolate.com
 

Monday, October 16, 2006

Week 1: Here's your chance to stamp your personal message on every bag of candy you hand out this Halloween. Want to remind trick-or-treaters who gave them their killer Peeps Spooky Cats? Want to warn everyone to stay away from your private stash? Want to advertise your band's upcoming show or new website? This personalized Halloween ribbon makes it all possible.
Treat yourself: Halloween Personalized Ribbon, $29, Willliams-Sonoma.com

Week 2: Part paperweight, part updated version of the Sea Monkey, inside this handblown glass sphere lives an entire ecosystem complete with earth, air, algae and the the same brine shrimp that donned crowns and played ball in those back-of-comic-book ads. It's entirely regenerating, so unlike the Sea Monkeys of old, allegedly you won't be watching these die after a week. It's so easy to take care of, all you need to supply is indirect sunlight and endless fascination.
Treat yourself: EcoSphere, $59.99, Target.com

Week 3: Spruce up your digs with a lush, sweet-smelling potted rosemary bush that's been pruned into the shape of a Christmas tree (or Hanukkah bush). Decorate it for the holidays, then use its clippings for your favorite recipes. Arrives at about 14" tall from a California grower in a gold-painted terracotta pot and can reach as high as four feet.
Treat yourself: Rosemary Tree Topiary, $49, Williams-Sonoma.com

Week 4: Hate the name; love the site. RapeTheWeb.com saves valuable DVD shelf space by bringing you all your favorite episodes of Family Guy, The Simpsons, Drawn Together, Futurama, American Dad and South Park with a single click and no membership mumbo-jumbo.
Treat yourself: Your favorite TV animations, Free, RapeTheWeb.com

 

Friday, October 13, 2006

Week 1: Stumped for a Halloween outfit? Don't have room in your Geo for last year's angel wings? Or just want to avoid getting caught on camera doing something that only alcohol mixed with a dozen bowls of sugar-coated candy can inspire you to do? Then snag these caught-in-the-act censor bar glasses. They put a black bar over your eyes, just like you wish there was in all your past Halloween pics.
Treat yourself: Black Censor Bar Glasses, $10, StupidIdiotic.com

Week 2: Be the most popular (or infamous) house on the block this Halloween by projecting a whole host of flying ghosts or bats on the outside of your home with this all-weather outdoor projector. Comes with  falling snowflakes, too, for a winter wonderland even in the snow-free states.
Treat yourself: $89.95, Light Display Projector, $89.95, Hammacher.com

Week 3: Oranges are so much healthier than orange juice, which is stripped of the fruit's healthy micronutrients. But peeling oranges makes such a sticky, gooey mess. Till now, that is. The Emma Orange Peeler is an adorable snail-shaped plastic device that makes peeling oranges super-easy and unbelievably mess-free.
Treat yourself: Emma Orange Peeler, $5, Satinbox.com

Week 4: Pancakes are fluffy, warm, they're a perfect excuse for indulging in obscene amounts of syrup and butter without anyone casting a withering glance. Make yourself (or get the S/O to make) a batch of homemade pancakes using the mouth-watering recipes in The Pancake Handbook from the breakfast-loving chefs at Bette's Oceanview Diner in Berkeley, California. Sample their many artistic creations including butter pecan, banana upside down, chile-cheese and their signature souffle pancakes.
Treat yourself: The Pancake Handbook, $11.01, Amazon.com
 

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Week 1: It's time to start seriously thinking about what kind of candy you're giving away this Halloween. You could go for the bag of bite-sized Milky Ways from CVS. But that's just one step better than pennies. Better to thrill the little ghoulies with the best haunted new candies made specially for Halloween. I-Mockery's review guide makes it easy to choose the most impressive treats. Our favorites: Tremors Subterranean Sour Sand Worm and Peeps Spooky Cats.
Treat yourself: I-Mockery's Ultimate Guide to the Halloween Candies of 2006, free, I-Mockery.com

Week 2: Clock/radio alarms are so passe. The newest high-tech way to wake up is with the Sleeptracker Watch. Simply strap it to your wrist and the watch monitors your sleep cycle. In the morning, it wakes you up at the precise optimal wake-time depending on where it determines you are in your sleep cycle. The result? You wake up refreshed and alert instead of dying take a hammer to your alarm and crawl back under the covers.
Treat yourself: Sleeptracker Watch, $148.99, SmartHome.com

Week 3: Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes today. Protect yourself with the desktop manual Mini Paper Shredder, which makes sure all your receipts are thoroughly shredded without the hassle of a noisy, bulky machine.
Treat yourself: Mini Paper Shredder, $11.50, SpoonSisters.com

Week 4: Wrap yourself up in a cozy Autumn color-inspired polka-dot throw blanket with matching sphere pillow. Blanket measures 60" x 45" and is made of machine washable. man-made fiber with satiny-polyester lining. 
Treat yourself: Throw/Sphere Pillow Gift Set, $75, RealmDekor.com
 

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Week 1: Continue your celebration of autumn (and impressing of the neighbors) by baking homemade muffins in the shape of seasonal Maple leaves. Makes six.
Treat yourself: Nonstick Maple Leaf Muffin Pan, $29.95, Cooking.com

Week 2: Add some adorable to your Halloween with a fun and unusual Nyokki, a handmade ceramic spooky-faced egg from Japan that has grass seed for hair. As you water the Nyokki, the grass/hair grows. Cut it and watch it grow again. Consider it Japan's way cuter answer to the Chia Pet. Available in skeleton, black cat, pumpkin and traditional Nyokki faces.
Treat yourself: Nyokki, $9.49 - $9.99, PerpetualKid.com

Week 3: You've got walls. They need art. Instead of opting for Le Target or the local poster store, head to DeviantArt.com where you can get prints from emerging artists who may or may not end up becoming so obscenely famous that they may or may not make you obscenely rich one day.
Treat yourself: Artist prints, prices vary, DeviantArt.com

Week 4: A recent UC Irvine College of Medicine study shows that looking forward to a good laugh boosts endorphins and other relaxation-inducing hormones. With that in mind, here's your chance to pre-order Try Rebooting Yourself, the latest installment in the hilarious Dilbert comic book series. It ships October 20, so luckily you don't have to wait too long.
Treat yourself: Try Rebooting Yourself, $8.76, Amazon.com

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Week 1: Discover the odd side of America with Weird U.S., a compendium of the best and little-known spooky, unusual and kitschy sites around the country. 
Treat yourself: Weird U.S., $19.95 (hardcover), BarnesandNoble.com

Week 2: You could try to stuff your ear buds under your ear muffs this winter. Or, you could simply wear these nifty insulated lightweight ear muffs with headphones built right in.
Treat yourself: Ear Muff Headphones, $34.95, HammacherSchlemmer.com

Week 3: Impress guests with your ability to turn beautiful fall leaves into a stunning rose centerpiece. It's easier than you think. Just follow this handy step-by-step photo guide.
Treat yourself: Free, HaHa.nu

Week 4: Immerse your tired tootsies in a nourishing bath of fizzy bubbles. Natural aloe moisturizes. And the fizzy bubbles, well, they just feel really good.
Treat yourself: Footloose & Fancy Fizz™ Bubbly Foot Bath, $15 for 11.5 ounces, BathandBodyWorks.com
 

Monday, October 9, 2006

Week 1: If you like the comfort and functionality of Croc shoes, but wish they were a little more, well, feminine, adding butterfly charms are no longer your only option. Now Crocs come in slip-on ballet slippers! Choose from black, silver, lime, gold or fuchsia.
Treat yourself: Croc Prima Ballet Slippers, $30, Bloomingdales.com

Week 2: If you want to call in sick to work, but don't want to be bothered to get out of bed to call your boss, you're in luck. A new free service will do the calling for you! You simply pre-record your message the night before (you even get several tries to get those coughs and sniffles just right). Then set the time that you want your message sent and the service sends it for you. We don't exactly know why it's free (though we're pretty sure it's not a trap set by a group of vengeful bosses), but we suspect it may be a clever way to advertise the Group2Call fee-based messaging service. Who cares, though, when it saves you from the dreaded snooze bar one more day?
Treat yourself: Call in sick message service, Free, Call-in-Sick.com

Week 3: When the editor of this mag recently was forced into graciously entered into jury duty, the first thing she remembered was the incredible lack of healthy, edible food near the courthouse. So she ran out and bought this updated, more stylish version of ye ol' lunch sack to carry a nutritious meal prepared from home. Made of water-resistant and insulating neoprene (the stuff of wetsuits), this Gourmet Getaway Tote is roomy enough to hold a healthy tuna sandwich, chicken soup, fruit, low-fat granola bars, snacks, a thermos of tea latte and a bottle of water. (Stop judgingthere's not much else to do but eat during jury duty.) A convenient inside pocket holds an ice pack that keeps your food chilled all day long.
Treat yourself: Gourmet Getaway Tote, $24.95, WishingFish.com

Week 4: Wrap up your feet in plush, washable booties that come with removable microwavable inserts that are not only cozy when heated, but are also filled with fragrant and soothing lavender and flaxseed.
Treat yourself: Sonoma Lavender Spa Booties, $39.95, SoftSurroundings.com
 

Friday, October 6, 2006

Week 1: Impress the Halloween out of your neighbors, friends and co-workers with homemade muffins baked in a fun Jack-o-Lantern-shaped muffin pan that puts a different face on each muffin.
Treat yourself: Pumpkin muffin pan, $25.50, NorthlineExpress.com

Week 2: Sure, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream are delicious. But peaking estrogen and testosterone this week have you craving something a bit more exciting, like, say orange-cardamom, root beer granita and pomegranate. Unfortunately, you won't find these flavors on any store shelves. But you can make these and other exotic ice creams yourself using easy recipes from A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti using your nifty Cuisinart Pink Classic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, that makes creating homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet as easy as pie a la mode.
Treat yourself: A Passion for Ice Cream, $12.95, Amazon.com; Cuisinart Pink Classic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, $45.95, SurLaTable.com

Week 3: Have you been avoiding killer spinach this past week? Don't forget the threat of death (or at least really bad stomach problems) the looms over anyone who eats spoiled meat or poultry. Unfortunately, it's often hard to tell when they're past their eat-by date because of dye and gasses added to them. Now you don't to worry thanks to SensorfreshQ, a handheld device that tells you whether or not you meat and poultry is fresh or spoiled by measuring the bacterial growth on it. Yeah, that's kinda disgusting. But if it means it keeps you from eating rancid burgers, you can probably get over it.
Treat yourself: SensorfreshQ, $89.95, SharperImage.com

Week 4: Relax, rejuvenate and give your face a refresher with indulgent aromatherapy gel eye packs. Choose from blue (reduces puffiness), lavender (help fine lines) and orange (diminished dark circles).
Treat yourself: Aromatherapy Gel Eye Packs, $25.95, SoftSurroundings.com

 

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Week 1: Impress your friends (or weird them out) with this incredibly silly tool that magically turns everyday ice cream into spaghetti, lasagna and asparagus. Well, it looks like spaghetti, lasagna and asparagus, anyway. But if you top them with cherry sauce and white chocolate shavings, they really do pass for the real thing. 
Treat yourself: Ice Cream Spaghetti Maker, $22.95, SpaghettiIceCream.com

Week 2: The latest innovation in mug design comes from Brugo, which introduces a mug that solves the eternal hot beverage conundrum: how to keep your drink the perfect temperature, not scalding hot and not ice cold. This novel mug comes equipped with two compartments, one on top to cool off a few sips, and a one down below which keeps the rest of your drink hot till you're ready to take another sip.
Treat yourself: Brugo Mug, $19.95, BrugoMug.com

Week 3: Hey, Mom, your voice can be your kid's lifesaver, according to a new study published in Pediatrics that found  personalized voice smoke alarms with a mother's voice are nearly twice as effective at waking up kids in the event of a fire compared with traditional smoke alarms.
Treat yourself: SignalOne Vocal Smoke Alarm, $24.95, Amazon.com

Week 4: Once you're done pimping out your bathroom, add the Tranquil Sound Massaging Bath Pillow, a waterproof pillow that attaches to your tub with suction cups and pulls double relaxation duty as a massager and digital audio player, surrounding you in soothing ocean surf, rain, rain forest and woodlands sounds.
Treat yourself: Tranquil Sound Massaging Bath Pillow, $39.95, HammacherSchlemmer.com

 

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Week 1: Carry your tampons in a case so sassy, you'll want to spill your purse so everyone can see it. Choose from three designs by Karyn Cantor, including the mermaid, hot canary and swingin' secret agent.
Treat yourself: Karyn Cantor Tampon Case, $28, UncommonGoods.com

Week 2: Make it easier to snub someone's phone call with the Color-Call Caller ID system, a stylish device that glows different colorsred, green, blue or purpledepending on the caller (for instance, sales calls, survey takers, Mom). It's bright enough to see across the room, so you'll never waste time running for the phone again.
Treat yourself: Color-Call Caller ID, $29.99, Brookstone.com

Week 3: Want to fill your room with a delicious scent, but want an alternative to chemical-filled air fresheners, incense smoke and candles that make you too afraid of falling asleep while they're still lit to enjoy the scent? Try scented ceramics! These Paris-made micro-porous pieces are infused with a slow-release fragrance that give off a delicate aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
Treat yourself: Teck and Tonka Scented Ceramics Potpourri, $35, AromatixNYC.com

Week 4: Get comfy this fall in the Cherry Blossom Robe by Bedhead. This pink 100% cotton robe has a silky-smooth sateen finish and is decorated with a pattern inspired by a vintage painting.
Treat yourself: Cherry Blossom Robe by Bedhead, $135, RedEvelope.com
 

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Week 1: Celebrate the best part of Halloween (the candy, of course) with these playful candy corn silverplated enameled crystal earrings.
Treat yourself: Candy Corn Earrings, $7.98, NaturesJewelry.com

Week 2: You could use a steak knife and make the smiley face version of the Jack-o-Lantern you make every year...or, you could use this handy Dremel cordless pumpkin carving kit to create an impressive work of art that will make the neighbors seriously jealous. Comes complete with templates (you just trace, what could be easier?). Of course, the gooey mess is still all yours.
Treat yourself: Dremel cordless pumpkin carving kit, $29.95, CPORotaryTools.com

Week 3: Doggy booties make Fido feel like a real wuss. That is, when he's not eating them. But the salt and ice in winter really play havoc with your furry guy's feet. What can you do? Apply Heal My Paws all-natural paw balm. From the makers of Heal My Hands, this paw balm contains beeswax, cocoa butter and other edible, nontoxic ingredients that moisturize. The balm also provides a protective layer to help seal out salt and ice and ward off snow damage.
Treat yourself: Heal My Paws, $12 for 1 ounce, HealMyHands.com

Week 4: Take your bubble bath to a whole new moisturizing level with foaming milk made with organic coconut milk from Fresh Body Market. Comes in three soak-yourself-silly flavors: coconut milk, strawberry milk and chocolate milk.
Treat yourself: Foaming Milk Bath, $18 for 32 ounces, FreshBodyMarket.com
 

Monday, October 2, 2006

Week 1: Pimp your Crocs! These colorful charms add a touch of femininity and individuality to popular Croc shoes. Choose from dozens of designs including butterflies, candy corn, daisies, rhinestones and clown fish.
Treat yourself: Croc charms, starting at $2.50 per set of 7 charms, Abernook.com

Week 2: Swap out your usual fragrance for one with a decidedly autumnal theme. Ralph Lauren's HOT is infused with the sweet scent of real maple. Mixed with mocha cream and cinnamon, we're not sure if this one's for eating or for wearing. But with such a decadent aroma, we're hoping both.
Treat yourself: HOT by Ralph Lauren, $28.50 for 1 ounce, Sephora.com

Week 3: Get prepared for hurricane season with a handy self-powered all-in-one flashlight, am/fm radio and cell phone charger. Just a few hand cranks and you can light your way, listen to the news and charge your phone whenever you need to. 
Treat yourself: Self-powered all-in-one flashlight, am/fm radio and cell phone charger, $49.95, AmbientWeather.com

Week 4: Let the Halloween-inspired candy eating begin! And let it start with these humorously costumed 7-ounce giant Hershey's milk chocolate kisses. These handcrafted treats are available online only.
Treat yourself: Hershey's hand painted giant Halloween Kisses, $20 for a box of two gift boxed Kisses, HersheyGifts.com
 

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