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Trick Treats: Kit Kats, Imported Japanese Candy

This Halloween, when little ghosts, witches, and Justin Biebers knock on your door for a trick or treat, give them a little of both with ‘s selection of  candy, only available in Japan. The little ghouls will smile like the rising sun as you toss the Kit Kats into their waiting bags, only to discover the unique flavors of roasted corn, wasabi, or green tea when they check out their haul. Meanwhile, you’ll have the last laugh as you bite into “why-don’t-we-have-these, too?” flavors like caramel pudding and blueberry. $2 - $4 each, plus shipping from Japan.

Drive your Cat nuts with FroliCat’s Bolt

Lasers have etched diamonds, created new states of matter, and guided missiles to their unfortunate targets; however, some of us use our personal lasers to tease little kitties and cats with a desire to vanquish red moving dots. Frolicat has taken this idea to the next level, with their Bolt automated laser pointer. This bowling-pin shaped device projects your cat’s red moving prey on the floor and wall, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the show. With its 15-minute self-timer it might be the perfect “set it and forget it” distraction for your favorite fuzzball.  $19.95

Snuggie Sutra

As the temperature goes down and the heating bills go up, many of us will be digging through our closets to find our Snuggies. With its infamously funny info-mercial, the ubiquitous sleeved blanket was the hate-to-love-it gift of 2009. Now Lex Friedman and Megan Morrison, the authors of The Snuggie Sutra, are giving you another reason to shake off the dust bunnies. Their fully illustrated book shows you 100 ways to keep the home-fires burning with a little Snuggie-assisted warmth. From variations on time-tested favorites (“The Cuddly Puppy”) to Snuggie-only maneuvers like the “Amish Blanket,” there’s something for every couple. Available September 27th, 2010 for $9.99

Timeless Style with the Qlocktwo

At first glance, the Qlocktwo by German design haus Biegert & Funk appears to be the world’s most fashionable word jumble – its glossy 17”x 17”surface is etched with a matrix of stark letters. Plug it in and some of the letters glow white to tell you the time. 12:30 shows up as a scattered “it is half-past twelve.” The front panel is attached via eight magnets, allowing you to swap out any of the 6 front panels for a change in color (sold separately). The Qlocktwo is priced in Euros so the price depends on the exchange rate, but expect to pay around $1,150 for this high-tech time-teller. Feeling frugal? Then check out the 99 cent Qlocktwo app, which turns your iPhone or Droid into a pocket-Qlock.

Get Caught Flat-Footed: Foldable Fashion Flats

“Be prepared”; it’s the motto of the Boy Scouts of America, and not bad advice for the rest of us. You probably won’t see an Eagle Scout in this footware, but you might get a salute for thinking ahead when you swap out your broken, dirty, or uncomfortable shoes for a set of stylish flats pulled from your purse. These ballet-style slip-ons come in five stylish colors and can roll up for easy storage. A durable rubber sole means helping an old lady cross the street has never been easier. $20.00 (merit badges not included)  

Feeling Art-tea: Teavana’s Tetsubin Teapots

If you’re still sipping plain-Jane Earl Grey out of your “I shot J.R.” novelty mug, then it might be time to check out your local Teavana. Besides a wall of teas with worldwide inspiration, they also have a wide variety of beautiful, handmade cast iron and clay teapots. The cast iron Tetsubin teapots come in a variety of designs and gorgeous colors. From the black and gold “Koi Prosperity” set, to the gorgeous finish of the giggle-inducing Fuku pot, each is a beautiful piece of Japanese culture, steeped (sorry, I had to) in symbolism and history. Individual teapots start at $70.00, while full sets (including tray, matching cups, stand, and coasters), can take you over $500. The budget-minded can pick up each piece one at time, or opt for the adorable Yixing clay teapot line, which starts at $39.99 for a pot and two cups.

A Common Touch: The 6th Generation iPod Nano

Steve Jobs’ diabolical plan to conquer the world with black turtlenecks and tiny electronics continues as Apple debuts its newest Nano. Forgoing the famous iPod click wheel, the diminutive Nano now sports a Lilliputian multi-touch screen that translates your swipes and taps as well as its big bro, the iPod Touch. It also takes cues from the iPod Shuffle, with a built-on clip and an accelerometer that shuffles your playlist when you shake the device. Despite looking like only half an iPod, the Nano keeps the same 8 gig and 16 gig versions as the outgoing model. Unfortunately this slick 1.48” x 1.61” wunderkind does lose the video camera, speaker, and microphone that debuted with the 5th generation Nano. The good news? The price and available colors are unchanged; $149 for the 8 gig version, $179 for the 16 gig.

Morning Wood: LED Cube Alarm Clock

Whether you sleep like a log or snore like a chainsaw, chances are you’ll need an alarm to rouse you from your slumber. Whatever your sleep/lumber metaphor, the LED Cube Alarm Clock is a good choice. When dormant, it appears as a featureless block of finished wood. Clap your hands and this non-descript cube of black or natural wood veneer displays the time in a suitably minimalist fashion. After a few seconds, the display cuts off. At 2.375” on each side, this clock block is equipped with only the most basic features – an alarm, 12 or 24 hour time format, and room for the two required AAA batteries. $24.95 / Issue 113 - September 2311
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