Story By Hilary Brady
1980s Cell Phone Case $20
how cool: Love the technology of the smart phone but miss the totally awesome style of your ’80s bag phone? Well slap on your stirrup pants and get ready to rock the rad ’80s cell phone case for iPhone. Compatible with 3, 3GS and 4 models, the iPhone simply slides in the black plastic case that measures a whopping 2.75” w, 2.5” d and 7.5” h. Goodbye discreet and sleek geek, hello hot stuff in the hammer pants.
Puzzle Board $29 per puzzle piece
how cool: Get ready to impress your party guests with this super-functional cutting board/serving plate. Made from beech wood, these beautiful puzzle pieces can be used independently for a cutting board or snapped together to super size your workspace, perfect for baguettes and other awkwardly shaped foods. The wow factor, though, is in the serving function. A wine glass fits perfectly in the blank space of the puzzle board, enabling guests to hold both their appetizer and refreshment in one hand. Talk about a great way to lift the spirits of a social gathering.
Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System $26 to $30
how cool: With summer behind us, it’s time shed the sunspots and reveal the beauty of a fresh fall glow. The Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System offers daily deep cleaning and gentle exfoliation minus the price tag of a trip to the dermatologist. The at-home cleansing tool uses cutting-edge technology to fight the signs of aging, removing dry skin cells and promoting cell turnover. With a two-speed brush head that spins on the skin, the bristles lift and remove impurities and dead skin cells 6 times better than a basic cleansing treatment. Just $30 for the feel of a micro-massage and the look of supermodel skin? I’m off to CVS.
how cool: Charger mats are so 2011, and charging docks are so dull. Next up, solar chargers for the smart phone. But they’re not just boring black chunks of plastic, we’re talking solar style. Check out the Electree, a beautifully designed product created by French designer Vivian Muller. The bonsai tree design offers 27 leaves of solar panels, all helping to charge a 13,500mAh battery. A USB connector and A/C outlet are concealed under the charger base to keep the aesthetic clean, and the branches rotate to customize the exact look desired. Welcome to the 21st century, Mr. Miyagi.
Polka Dot Dunk Mug $25
how cool: The summer steam has settled and the leaves are beginning to change. Although it’s not “wintry” just yet, those of us in the South consider anything under 80 degrees to be hot-beverage-with-whipped-cream worthy. If you’re having trouble juggling your coffee, scone and iPad, enter the Polka Dot Dunk Mug, the vibrant polka dot design with a biscuit/cookie holder built right into the bottom. It’s genius, and pretty stinking cute.
Lunch Boxes $34
how cool: Finding the perfect lunch box may seem an absolutely impossible task. If metal boxes with Care Bears and Superman are too old school for your modern man, or if those plastic princess containers aren’t quite cool enough for your little queen, check out this contemporary yet classic line of playful and pretty lunch boxes. The insulated, heavy-duty nylon is machine washable and free of PVC, phthalate and lead. There’s even a nametag and a zipped pocket on the back for those days when you want to sneak in a sweet treat or a special note for your little one.
CatIt Drinking Fountain $39
how cool: As humans, we are obsessed with filtered water, spring water, sparkling water. Anything but tap water. If pets are our best friends, why do they deserve anything different? The makers of the CatIt Drinking Fountain agree. Marketed as a “hydration oasis” for small pets (not just cats), the drinking fountain provides a continuous flow of filtered water. After filling up the fountain with tap water and plugging it in, water is continuously recirculated through the unit: up through filters, then through a top, down a dome and out into the bowl. The filters collect food pieces, pet hair and debris, which improves taste and removes impurities from tap water. So grab your Evian, pull up a chair and sip water in style with your fancy feline.
Fall’s Favorite Chunky Sweater $-varies
etsy.com (pictured), any clothing retailer
how cool: According to the fashionably blessed in London, Milan and Paris, this fall’s fashion trends include several surprisingly wearable items. The chunky sweater tops the list as the most accessible (and least intimidating) item, as most people already have at least three of these in their closet. Fashion-forward folks say the chunkier the sweater the better. Favorite fall colors include mustard, jade green and rust and popular patterns will be polka dots, “granny plaids” and (gasp) camouflage. Other trends to try are wearing bright pants to brighten up fall’s dark layers, jackets and blazers that are fitted at the waist, a maxiskirt and sweater combo, high-slit skirts for a sexy fall party outfit, ’70s inspired day dresses, choker necklaces, lace dresses and gauzy skirts paired with … you guessed it, a chunky sweater.
The Nike+ SportWatch $199
how cool: Nike has developed the perfect product to keep you moving this fall, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS with TomTom technology. With the Nike+ Sensor, track your runs instantly, viewing speed and distance information. The TomTom technology tracks time, distance, pace, heart rate and calories burned, as well as showing a mapped route with changes in elevation marked. USB contacts are built directly into the watch so when it’s time to upload your workout data and recharge the battery, simply plug the watch into your computer. The best part, though? The built-in workout buddy. Get a run reminder when you haven’t logged a workout in more than five days or hear an “attaboy” when you run a personal record. What’s next? The watch that actually runs for you.
Aqueduck Faucet Extender $12.99
how cool: Those of us with little ones know that it’s extra important to wash regularly but we also know that it’s very difficult for these vertically challenged children to reach the faucet. The Faucet Extender was developed by a mother with this exact problem. With her children growing bigger and heavier and the awkward lift-to-the-sink stance getting more and more uncomfortable, she developed an apparatus that brings the faucet to little fingers. Available in pink and aqua, the Faucet Extender snaps gently and easily onto any faucet, creating a water flow that extends forward several inches to reach the germy paws of little folks. Finally, a way to fight the flu and save Mommy’s thighs from Sammy’s shoeprints.
Lighted Bocce Ball Set $99.95
how cool: Let’s face it, a perfect fall evening on the beach with friends is not complete without Bocce ball. And now you don’t have to worry if dusk sneaks up on you too quickly. This lighted Bocce ball set by HammacherSchlemmer includes eight balls that each have an LED that allow you to see from up to 100’ away and weigh one-third less than a competition ball, making it even easier to play on sand. Choose from lighted or flashing lights to truly impress your Bocce buddies.
New things you never knew you needed — until now.