Merchandise Monday: Home for the Holidays

There is nothing better than coming home – whether home is where you grew up, or your grandparents’ house, being with your best friend or even a place you don’t get to too often. The definition of “home” is different for everyone but it evokes that same feeling of comfort, nostalgia – and longing to be there when you’re anywhere but. We’ve got a few things to make you feel right at home this holiday season and all winter long.

 Brookstone® Nap™ Robe

Step aside, pajamas. There’s a new favorite for lounging around at home. The Nap™ Robe is made of the softest fabric you’ll ever feel. Cozy, warm and irresistibly soft, this robe is perfect for lounging, cuddling or napping. You’ll want to wrap up in it first thing in the morning and at the close of every day.

CordaRoys Coduroy Beanbag Chair / Full Sleeper

It’s the chair that converts to a full-size bed. It comes with one changeable, washable and dryable chair cover and one full bed insert and is filled with premium super soft shredded foam. Seats one adult and sleeps two. A great night's sleep is in the bag.

Down Inc.® 12-inch Sewn-Thru Boxstitch Down Comforter – Twin; Full/Queen, Super Queen, King

Almost like sleeping on a cloud, the traditional design of this 12” comforter makes it a timeless treasure. The box stitch construction keeps fill in place while allowing for maximum lofting. The shell is a 230-thread count cambric cotton with cording at the edges. You’ll never want to get out of bed.

Everlasting Glow 3-Piece Flameless Candle Set – Medium

You will love the soft glow flicker of these candles. Turn them on and off with the included remote or use the timer feature. Includes 4.5”, 6” and 8” H candles. For use indoors or outdoors. Smoke-free and worry-free candles let you enjoy the ambiance of candlelight safely. Weather-resistant resin.

Fire Sense® Fox Hill Electric Fireplace Stove

The antique-looking Fireplace Stove features a durable composite construction, built-in heater with internal safety shut-off sensor and plugs into any household outlet. Its 3D patented flame provides 1350W of forced fan heat and 40W x 2 light power. Stay warm and cozy all winter!

Fire Sense® Wood Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace

This electric fireplace features medium-density fiberboard construction with glass front, natural stained wood and a soft touch control panel that offer elegant styling. Extending 6" from any wall, the fireplace also features a built-in 1400W heater with internal safety shut-off sensor and 3D patented flame.

Smart Solar San Nicola Triple LED Candle Lantern – Bronze

This battery-powered triple pillar LED candle lantern in Antique Bronze finish is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. It features durable poly construction with real glass and metal hanging loop. Set the timer for six hours on/18 hours off so the lantern lights up at the same time each day.

Yankee Candle® Classic Jar Medium Candle - Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home is a heartwarming blend of cinnamon, baking spices and a hint of freshly poured tea. The Medium Classic Large Jar is 4" in diameter and will burn 65-90 hours and is perfect in smaller homes with 2-3 rooms to be fragranced. Welcome them home with this familiar fragrance.

Yankee Candle® Crimson Flurries Easy Melt Warmer - Balsam & Cedar

Stylish and so easy to use, the Scenterpiece™ warmer lets you change fragrances without ever touching the wax. The electric warmer features a flameless heater to quickly melt the wax and a recessed heating dish that enhances any décor. Change scents in seconds! For use only with Scenterpiece warmers.

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Your Monthly Check-Up: Meditation, Down Time and the Power of a Good Night’s Sleep

Part III: Sleep

(Click here for Part I: Relaxation and here for Part II: Meditation)

So far we’ve covered relaxation and deep relaxation in the form of meditation. Now let’s talk about the ultimate in relaxation – sleep. Everyone needs it and most aren’t getting enough of it – to the detriment of every area of our lives. You’ll want to stay awake for this.

In “The Healing Power of Sleep,” Pamela Weintraub, Executive Editor of Discover magazine and author of Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic, uncovers just how sleep deprived we are as a nation, the detriment sleep-deprivation does to our bodies and minds and how we can turn this nocturnal habit around.

“People devalue sleep and are completely unaware of what happens to them when they have a deficit,” says James Maas, PhD, a recently retired Cornell scientist and one of the world’s foremost sleep researchers, according to Weintraub’s article. “As a society we are so habituated to low levels of sleep that most of us don’t know what it feels like to be fully alert and awake.”

University of Chicago sleep researcher David Gozal, MD, adds that we treat sleep like a “tradable commodity,” sacrificing it for everything from work responsibilities to entertainment or other lifestyle choices. We create this deficit because it can take upwards of months or years for symptoms of a sleep deprivation-related disease to surface, according to Gozal.

How many of you have used the phrase, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead?” I know I have.

According to Weintraub’s article, sleep deprivation, even by as little as one hour a night, can wreak massive havoc in the body and mind. Most people are aware by now that lack of sleep creates increased food cravings, increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and disrupted metabolism, all of which can lead to weight gain. However, not getting enough Zs can perpetuate a plethora of other lesser-known symptoms, such as hair loss, hearing loss, skin problems, insulin resistance, vision problems, sexual functioning and even cancer.

In her article, Weintraub recounts the story of Jason Karp, a 36-year-old hedge-fund manager and restaurateur who had reached a dangerous level of sleep deprivation before he sought help. An ambitious learner, Karp taught himself to speed-read and would spend long hours reading as opposed to getting adequate sleep – sometimes sleeping just two or three hours a night.

Karp began seeing double and was diagnosed with keratoconus, a disease that causes the cornea to progressively degenerate, sometimes necessitating a transplant. Then, he began experiencing prostate pain. His hair fell out in clumps and he broke out in a rash. Finally, one doctor told him his cortisol level was so high he may not live to see 40. Karp legitimately believed he was dying.

When Karp came across a bit of research that linked his rash to his keratoconus, he decided to try and cure himself by getting more sleep and altering his diet. Though it took some time for Karp to retrain himself to sleep, about six months later he had recovered from every symptom he was suffering with. And although Karp is an extreme case of someone who trained himself to forgo sleep, these are real symptoms that can occur in anyone suffering from lack of sleep.

Find out if you are sleep deprived by taking the quiz devised by James B. Maas, PhD. How else can you incorporate more rest, relaxation and sleep into your weekly agenda? Do you think you’d benefit from slowing down and taking time out for yourself during the day? What positive changes do you think you’d see? Talk to us in the “Comments” section below!

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Your Monthly Check-Up: Meditation, Down Time and the Power of a Good Night’s Sleep

Part I: Relaxation

We’ve talked a lot about exercising, eating right and the benefits of corporate wellness to your bottom line in our monthly column. But something we haven’t discussed is how sleep, relaxation and meditation all contribute to your overall health and well-being.

The March 2013 issue of EXPERIENCE L!FE magazine is chock full of information related to all three of these areas that seem to fly under the wellness radar. Many people don’t realize that rest, recovery and relaxation are just as important to a healthy lifestyle as nutrition, exercise and hydration. Relaxation in particular is beneficial in the workplace, since giving your brain a break lets it recharge and gear up for the next big task.

In “Take a Break,” the EXPERIENCE L!FE team urges that, “Random moments of ‘unproductive’ time don’t just make you healthier, happier and more resilient. They help you work smarter, too.” For example, have you ever come up with a brilliant idea whilst showering? We have, too – and so have plenty of other people, which prompted a discussion of this very topic in “Take a Break”:

You’ve no doubt heard the rumored story of Archimedes, who shouted his now-legendary ‘Eureka!’ when he stepped into the bath, saw his bathwater rise and suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he’d submerged, abruptly intuiting the answer to what had previously been an intractable mathematical problem.

“There’s a reason so much genius has occurred in bathrooms…and it’s the same reason we often get great ideas while puttering in the garden, getting a facial, taking a walk or just waking up from a nap,” the article states. “Because these are precisely the types of circumstances in which we’re not trying to come up with genius ideas, or really any ideas at all.”

Cognitive neuroscientist Mark Jung-Beeman, PhD, a researcher at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., has dedicated his working life to studying the brain circuits involved in these eureka moments and offered up his insight for the article:

The body is relatively relaxed; the brain is being allowed to do whatever it likes, its circuits freed up for whatever associations and information-shuttling activities it deems worthwhile. And it’s those random associations that seem key both to large-scale breakthroughs and handy “aha!” moments. … While the brain lays much of the groundwork for insight by expending focused attention on a particular problem, certain parts of the brain must actually relax and be allowed to wander a bit for the necessary connections and associations (most of which are churned up by the more loosely organized right hemisphere) to be made.

According to the article, psychologist Joy Bhattacharya, PhD, a researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, has perpetuated this point by using electroencephalography (EEG) to predict these aha moments up to eight seconds before they even occur. One key indicator is the presence of alpha waves – the brain-wave pattern associated with relaxation – emanating from the right hemisphere of the brain. Bhattacharya suggests this activity makes the mind more susceptible to new and creative ideas.

The moral of this story is that, “Beyond a certain point, sitting for hours at your desk and working harder to solve that problem or come up with that big idea may actually work against you.” The article suggests listening for your “ultradian rhythms” – bodily cycles that occur many times throughout your day – and paying attention to when your body is telling you it’s time for a break. Get up for 20 minutes after every 90- to 120- minute cycle of energy expenditure and let your brain recharge. You’ll end up being more productive than if you don’t!

Stay tuned next week when we cover Parts II and III of our series - Meditation and Sleep!

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Merchandise Monday: Here Come the Holidays!

The tricks and treats of Halloween are over and Thanksgiving and its subsequent landslide into holiday oblivion are in the not-so-distant future. Why not use the next few weeks to indulge in a little “me time” before the holiday onslaught?

Hinda has everything you need to help you prepare to get ready for the holidays and, by extension, the winter months. Looking for some R and R? We’ve got what you need. Trying to stave off that extra layer? You’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re getting energized for the season or gearing up by winding down, Hinda’s latest merch additions will help you through the next three weeks – and beyond.

Brookstone® OSIM® uSqueez® App-Controlled Foot and Calf Massager

The world’s first app-controlled massage for your feet and calves lets you customize your massage using a free app and your iPod® touch, iPhone® or iPad® devices via Bluetooth® wireless technology. No need to bend over to reach the manual controls! Full-coverage compression and roller massages work wonders on your tired calves and feet to Sooth, Pulse or Energize. Treat yourself to some true relaxation after a hard workout or a long day at the office.

Vision Fitness Elliptical Trainer

Don’t let bulky workout equipment hinder your holiday spirit! The Vision Fitness elliptical trainer features a highly durable welded steel frame design with a patented folding frame that allows for compact storage. The overlapping pedal motion and long stride give the elliptical its superior motion, while premium oversized footpads and multiple handgrip options provide a comfortable fit for multiple users. Work out, fold up, store away and get on with your pre-holiday preparations!

Heat Surge™ Accent™ Stationary Fireplace

The versatile Accent™ Fireplace doubles as an end table, nightstand or foyer accent table, and its innovative design is space-saving as well as practical so it works well for smaller-scale living. The classic style complements any home décor and the entire mantle is handmade and finished by the Amish in the heartland of Ohio. A realistic Hi-Def Fireless Flame® helps lower your heating bills while providing a touch of beauty to your home.

Vision Fitness Folding Treadmill

Chilly air and early sunsets are no excuse to miss your workout! The Vision Fitness folding treadmill will ensure you break a sweat on the regular. The workout area is a comfortable 20” x 57” and the all-new frame consists of heavy gauge steel tubing and extended support rails for added stability. It utilizes a 2.75 HP digital drive system and durable 2-ply maintenance-free belt. Assembled dimensions measure 80” x 43.5” x 63” and weight is 250 pounds. This machine was built to let you move.

Heat Surge™ Roll-n-Glow® Fireplace

Heat Surge provides the stunning visual of realistic fire powered by maintenance-free LED lighting and the bone-soothing warmth of Hybrid-Thermic™ heat technology warming both you and the air around you. On wheels, the Roll-n-Glow provides great maneuverability which enables you to quickly move your fireplace from room to room, thereby lowering your heating bills and saving money using zone heating in style. Handmade by the Amish in Ohio, there is no venting, no chimney and no mess involved.

Vision Fitness Upright Bike

Work off those extra pounds without missing your favorite cold-weather movies! The Vision Fitness upright bike is a great entry-level product loaded with features. Seven motivating programs provide plenty of variety and new challenges when you are ready to take your workout to the next level. A heavy, 21-pound flywheel and ideal gear ratio deliver a smooth, fluid motion. Assembled, the bike measures 40” x 26” x 50” and weighs 80 pounds, so you have no excuses!

We sure hope you’re feeling the burn – whether it’s from our fabulous new workout equipment or luxurious relaxation items. Merchandise Monday will be sure to keep you posted on any and all holiday-related merch, tips, trends, etc., so stay tuned and enjoy these next three weeks…

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Merchandise Monday: Say Spaaah!

These days more than ever, it seems harder to justify the little luxuries that we used to indulge in without even batting an eye – a massage, an extra round of golf, a mani/pedi or meal out. Luckily, it’s becoming easier to enjoy some of these things from the comforts of our own homes – and not to mention more affordable.

Today’s Merch Monday focuses on a few products that will help you unwind, feel pampered and restore you to good health without planning any special trips or taking a hammer to your piggy bank.

Homedics® EnviraScape™ Mariposa Illuminated Relaxation Fountain

Create a serene, stress-free ambiance with this floral-inspired fountain. The design draws inspiration from the natural beauty of a lotus-filled pond and brings the peace and tranquility of the outdoors into your home. Water flows down the flower petals, creating soothing water sounds. The natural flower blossom design adds romance to any décor and the fountain is illuminated for a more dramatic effect. 

Comfort Products 10-Motor Massage Seat Cushion

Get comfortable and soothe your aches and pains at home or on the go. The 10 Motor Massage Seat Cushion features ten invigorating vibration motors, five body zones and soothing heat treatment in the lumbar area. Adjust the settings to your specific needs with the easy-to-operate hand controller. The seat cushion is made from simulated suede fabric and the adjustable strap secures to most seats. 

Brookstone® Aqua-Jet Foot Spa®

There’s nothing nicer than coming home to the perfect foot massage. Get soothing heat and powerful hydro jets to all the right places in your tired feet.  Just choose your speed, sit back and enjoy as this roomy, oversized tub works to increase circulation, relieve tight muscles and relax tired feet. Two rolling nodes provide kneading massage to your arches, leaving no tired muscle untouched.

Hurom® Slow Juicer

You’ll feel good inside and out when you feed your body what it needs. Using the patented Low Speed Technology System, the slow juicer extracts the maximum amount of nutrients, vitamins, taste, and even enzymes from a minimum amount of food such as, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, wheatgrass, nuts and even soy beans. Get re-energized the natural way and skip the pricey juice bar.

Feeling more relaxed already, aren’t you? It doesn’t take much to de-stress and bring a bit of calm into your day, and you don’t need to go beyond your means to achieve tranquility. A few quick and easy steps are all it takes to bring balance to your life. Go ahead and chill out, and then talk to us in the “Comments” section below.

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Relax with Panasonic's Massage Chair

Frankie Goes To Hollywood had some good advice when they told us to "Relax" in 1984. Panasonic's Urban Collection Massage Chair helps us do that even better.

A more high-end, higher-point reward option, the Urban Collection Massage Chair offers four pre-set programs with eight additional manual modes that result in a combination of 44 different types of massage experiences. One mode in particular, the "Chiro Mode," which is specially designed to provide better muscle relaxation and eliminate tired, over-worked muscles.

The EP1285 model features a 14 airbag cirulation system that provides a more complete lower body massage. An adjustable ottoman is included in the chair that also fails to neglect the importance of a good old-fashioned calf and shin massage. While massaging the legs, the ottoman raises and lowers your legs in 20 degree increments to alleviate the stiffness in your lower back, hips and thighs.

Stress is a common thing in a work environment. Taking care of yourself, even with a quick 15 sitting time in a Panasonic Urban Collection Massage Chair, can do wonders for your health. Releasing tension in over-worked muscles while also helping alleviate stress can help yourself (or any worker for that matter) be more productive and efficient for the next working day.


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