As someone with absolutely no innate sense of direction, I think of GPS devices as no less miraculous than time machines. Several years ago, my brother gave me a Garmin GPS for my car, which I loved. Looking back, though, I remember how time-consuming it was to download maps and -- since it had no voice instructions -- how awkward it sometimes was to follow the maps. And, while it seemed small to me at the time, it was way too big and heavy to carry around. Now that these devices have become smaller and better, and now that there are more choices out there, I find that I'm almost impossibly demanding, though still in awe of the whole concept.
For me, the perfect GPS is one that I can use in my car and also carry around in my purse without weighing me down. Any new device I get has to share space with my Treo, a second cell phone, and an iPod, so size and weight definitely matter. Though I've been looking at GPS software for cell phones, I'm turned off by the idea of paying a monthly fee for GPS service, and I think I'd tire of looking at a tiny phone screen. I want something solid and powerful, but also very portable.
Garmin's Nuvi 350 is typically described as being about the size of a deck of cards, and I think that's about as tiny as I'd want a GPS to be. The Nuvi screen is still big enough that you don't have to strain your eyes to see the map. I mounted it on my windshield using the suction mount (which, unbelievably, did not slide off no matter how much I pulled at it), and each time I left the car for any length of time, I popped the unit off the mount and slipped it in into my purse. So, the Nuvi passed my test of easy portability.
Brookstone has these pillow speakers called (surprise, surprise) iPillow for those of you who like to listen to music in bed. Just plug in your mp3 player into the pillow. The pillow itself looks to be shaped more like a booster pillow with a visco-elastic foam interior and micro-suede on the outside. A zippered mesh bag holds the player in place. The iPillow's not really such a bad idea. I used to listen to music on headphones when I had insomnia - it helped me to fall asleep, but I'd always end up rolling on top of my music player, and sleeping with headphones isn't the most comfortable thing. If you're going to listen to music on speakers rather than headphones in bed I guess you can always just turn on the stereo or dock your iPod to a speaker base, but it wouldn't be as plush and huggable.
These solid brushed stainless steel cups designed by Carl Mertens are made with double wall construction for good insulation, but it's the change in balance of these cups that are unique. When empty, the cups sit askew, but gradually straighten as it fills up. Somewhat gimmicky, but the cups are beautifully designed and you'd always know when your guests need a refill!
FInd it at Embellish.
While flexible cutting boards aren't much of a novelty these days, here's one from Japan that you can use to measure your food as well. Use it to cut up ingredients into equal-sized bits (essential for even cooking results), or to make sure your cake or pie portions are identical in size. No more arguing over who got the bigger slice. I love the little reminder they've printed on it as well: "Please divide equally and eat happily!"
Like all flexible cutting boards, you can bend the sheet to slide chopped up food straight into your pot.
Find this at your nearest Daiso outlet. This well-known Japanese 100-Yen discount chain has several outlets overseas as well, including one in Singapore, where I found this.