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We are fans of the best hammock store online, www.HammockUniverse.Com. You can also enjoy this thick corded, durable Mayan hammock at 10% off discount using this code, betterbaking2008 in the shopping cart check out at their site. Our review is coming soon (and more photos). This gorgeous hammock swings two adults; the special universal stand is assembled in about 5 minutes.

Time to relax in a hammock vacation chez vous. 


Just check out this fabulous grill. It's what we make our Pizzas on the Grill with, Roasted Red Peppers, Beer Butt Chicken (all in our Archives) and more...

Our choice for gorgeous ceramics for tea, coffee and baking.

Home Weigh Scale - the best one?
Firstly, get a decent digital scale. I only found one that works perfectly. It is the The Life Source Precision Health Scale, ProFIT/Intelliscale. It is available from or Call 1-888-345-4858. They are the supplier for all of Dr. Phil’s dieters and offer the best scales and service bar none. This is the all in all, best scale to be found. It features a 3-year warranty, incredible accuracy, a memory function, BMI function and you can weigh on floor or even shag carpet. Once you are committed to a healthier lifestyle, commit to a better scale. If is the foundation of truth, so to speak. You will hate it at first because it will probably reveal you re 2-5 pounds more than you thought. But like your best friend, it will never lie to you and that is imperative if you are serious about slimming down. How do you know this scale works? Guests will sneak a weigh-in and you will hear a big yelp or 'Hey...did you know your scale is 5 pounds off?" And you will say -no. It is not. It is perfect. Some of the nicest, most nostalgic, and best made quality wood games of all time. Their Front Porch Classic Baseball game is a great gift - at any time - birthdays, Father's Day, (Mother's Day!) and for baseball fans. It has everything you need to play old-fashioned pinball baseball except caramel corn. This is a stunning item that endures - as any hierloom toy should. Forget Game Boy -bring back the....wood! Check the site for other items and classic games. - these are are favorite hammocks. Best quality, choice, price and the most amazing service on the Net. Use our visitor's code bbc5 to always get $5 off your orders and tell Phil, at Hammock Universe, that sent you. We recommend their Mayan hammock in the large size for starters.
888-574-7014 Light That Makes Life Better is how Full Spectrum Solutions bills itself and with good reason. This impressive and dedicated company created HD (High Definition) lighting units with dual missions of specialty lighting to offset seasonal blues some people experience as well as offer lighting that simply enables you to see(!) what you are doing. It sounds simple but how many lamps do you have that are ambient and pretty but are hardly effective reading, computer, or home office desk lamps? This company offers a full range of desk, task, and floor lamps that deliver the best possible lamp units that offer incredibly natural but high intensity lighting for reading, desk work, or for use on a piano as a piano light. If you are always straining to see things the Blue Max lamps, the trademark light of this company is unlike any other. It bathes a huge area in a natural sunlight, doesn’t give off undue heat, saves energy, and reduces eye strain and can be used at full setting or any point on its dimming switch. The real test is when we put this light alongside a florescent, traditional office desk lamp with a three way wattage bulb. The regular lamp was almost like working in the dark while the Blue Max was like a glow of clear sunlight light up a huge area, without being harsh. If you are thinking ‘green’ – this is also the light to turn to. The Blue Light has been found to actually improve your vision and offers a lifetime warranty. Lighting is always a great gift and if you are not getting a Blue Max, we suggest a halogen, brass desk or task light that are now in vogue. Affordable Lighting has about the best prices and best range of these trendy lamps on the Internet; they are also remarkably responsive folks if you are seeking information on products. Varieties of the brass, halogen desk lights are everywhere but qualities, prices, as well as design vary. We found a well-priced one in a classic design from Access Lighting in the offerings at Affordable Lamps.  

Lee Valley is a Canadian institution. They are the inventors of that neat rasp thingie called a microplane but also sell totally brisk, black tea in a cool, green tin. 7 big ounces of hearty Orange Pekoe make this a fine gift tea and a Lee Valley tradition. The Lee Valley Catalogue is another treat and you can spend hours studying their amazing crafters’ tools to suit everyone from a newbie woodsmith or a pro. We tried out their beginner carving set. It is cute and compact, with great quality basic tools for a new craftsman. Tools are their mainstay but Lee Valley also features some off the beaten track, specialty gifts. We recommend their hardcover journal for a manly journaller or crafter who wants a great journal of products but no hearts and flowers. Last but not least, we endorse the beautiful, pure brass, authentic miner’s lamp. This is the same lantern Welsh miners toted into mines. It is a hefty, heavy weight, piece of utilitarian art. It is decorative if you wish or fill it with oil fuel and let it bring a warmth to the autumn and winter air at the cottage, weekend getaway or at home. For someone who has everything and you cannot figure out what to get –this is the ticket. Or check out the Lee Valley website and/or ask for their one-of-a-kind print catalogue. They also offer gift certificates of course and that might solve all your gift problems.

Wind Chimes Grace Notes Wind Chimes

Chiming In
I love chimes – as most folks know. We profiled a few types over the years but keep coming back to the original and the best –Woodstock Chimes. These are durable, melodic, incredibly tuned, crafted ‘perfect’ pitch chimes of every size and description  -whether you need some peaceful music and meditative sounds, the gorgeous windy symphony of Pachebel Canon Chimes or the best-selling (and just in time for Valentine’s Day) Wedding Chimes.  Woodstock chimes weather winter storms well and even nicer, even with closed windows, you can still hear the beautiful music through glass as they blow around in the brisk February breezes. A beautiful gift of classic appeal, there is a size and style for any and everyone and one set is never enough – you definitely need a small, medium and large to enjoy the full spectrum of pitches each set of chimes offers. When winter passes (and it will!), there are those spring breezes that invite you to indulge in yet another set of chimes (I add a set a year). We recommend a medium or large set for gardeners who really appreciate the soothing sounds and for Mother's Day ahead, choose from their serene tonalities of all descriptions. It really is the perfect gift: it lasts, it bring music and beauty to your life, and Woodstock still, in a sea of chimes clanging all around, makes the best  ...which makes sense - they are the originals!

Wind chimes are always a favorite gift for me and almost anyone else for superlative chimes, are something to behold and listen to. While ordinary wind chimes abound, great, well crafted, amazing sounding chimes, made by specialists are hard to find, buried as they often are, in a sea of competitors of indifferent chimes (that sound bad, break often, and are more tourist attraction souvenir than instrument of the breeze). Even the best chimes will break occasionally, simply due to occupational hazards of being chimes (i.e. they are most often hung outdoors). But have I found a superior chime company for you. U.S. made Grace Note Chimes are lush, fully crafted chimes, each with a unique pinned suspension device that has, ‘earned them the reputation of being the most musical wind chime on the market”. Too right. They are! You can choose petite, small, medium, large and extra large (find a temple of some sort or estate to hang this statement chime in!) sized chimes and each one has a special character and special chord of notes. Earthsong is a pentatonic scale and an east-meets-West sound, whereas Island Memory will recall summery vacations and Stardust is definitely a meditative, relaxing chimes. Rust-free stainless steel makes sure these wear well, and large, full tubing ensures fuller sound, even in the smaller, higher chorded chimes. The tempered aluminum tubes are a better conductor of sound but the top, stainless steel ring, where other companies use wood that cracks, puts these a cut way above. To top it all off, Grace Note Wind Chimes are guaranteed for 10 years against breakage.  I could wax lyrical about these amazing wind ‘instruments’ but I simply suggest you visit Alan at and choose a few sets of chimes as gifts. This is also a most knowledgeable and responsive site, which helps when the offerings are that good and that broad. 

Watches and Clocks

Swiss Army  Watches, Gorgeous, Sporty and Glamourous plus
MP3 Playing Penknife, and Penknives with 64 MB and more...
The BB test kitchen bought a few Swiss Army items for BB gift giving and recommend them for their aesthetics and classic quality. That bit of gift giving drew us to scope out the whole line. Their Victorinox bread knife is fabulous and the entire Victorinox line is what hotel chefs depend on. But their watches, which are accurate as anything, are about the best in looks, design, and price. In watches, which are a hot trend the last few years, prices are either under $100 or into the thousands. Swiss Army has many below $500 that represent comparable timepieces far beyond that price but moreover, few watches are as cleanly designed, with bold clock faces for easy reading, and retain a sense of style as Swiss Army (and don’t buy the look alike – nothing looks and feels like Swiss Army but Swiss Army itself). The Officer 1884 watches for men and women come in a few styles and the newest addition, the diamond garnished model is perfect for beauty, elegance in a sleek, sporty every day or evening watch. It does double duty as a timepiece or jewelry. This is the one you see in the Oprah ads and on their website - which displays the full line so you can compare watch attributes. The two toned Officer in Gold tone and stainless steel is also one of our pics as the quintessential pretty and sleek watches that are office or party time perfect. We also were impressed with their range of penknives –which offer a perfect gift for anyone on your list, male or female, and their penknives, which ingenuously combine either a mini hard, drive (64 mb) within the knife casing or a penknife cum mp3 player. For gals, there are pink knifes, for lean, mean traveling friends, there are knife cards which look like credit cards, and tinker, huntsman, geek or chef, choose from the huge range of Swiss Army renown penknives. If you haven’t seen Swiss Army lately, you are in for a surprise. What we liked particularly about the penknife with the mini hard drive is that you can load up your recipes from mom while on a visit home for the holidays from school or, if you are a home baker and chef on the go - or on renting that ski chalet this season, you can tote your favorite recipes with you to the lodge, all tucked inside your handy Swiss Army knife.

Finest, custom made clocks.More soon. The products are widely available in the U.S. and Canada but Swiss Army can direct you for where-to-buy in your region. Trendy Timex Watches Cavatina, Easy Readers and Tank Watches…
Are you watching watches lately? Tank watches are in (those are the rectangular shaped watches) and styles are amazing. No one has responded better to fun, funky, retro, or simply elegant and classy, of late, (and all at an affordable price) than check out If you want the cutest of retro watches, snag This is the prettiest of vintage-style watches unless you prefer a leather strap, tiny, ladies’ watch in the T2K101 mode. Of course, for boomers, nothing beats Timex classic easy readers (which also help for timing cakes baking), now in a ton of styles. In a nutshell, if you haven’t looked at Timex lately, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. It’s a whole new Timex out there. In business since 1821under the name of Waterbury Clock, no company offers so much for so little, offering great prices points with some exceptional designs.  A great tank watch for me, that is both sporty and dressy is theT2K651. All styles are viewable at and widely available, although styles will vary per store, from retailers everywhere.

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