Get the family and go

product reviews

Must-Haves for the Pool, Beach and Your Summer Par-tay

Two Tube

You neighbors will have floatie envy when they see you lolling in the cool-for-your-pool Airhead EZ Breeze Duo.  This heavy duty duo tube features an insulated cooler and two drink holders, offset mesh seats for easy boarding from the water and a comfortable backrest for all-day lounging.  A rope holder makes it ideal for docking or hooking up with another EZ Breeze.    $69.99.

Heat Waves

Anyone can afford to have a heated pool with Solar Sun Rings, inflatable floating solar panels that use sunlight to heat the water. Cover about 70 to 80 percent of your pool with the rings, and in a few days the temperature will rise.  The moving rings are safer than covers because you can see the pool bottom preventing accidental entrapment, and they don’t interfere with pool cleaners.  $24.95 each.  Find a dealer near you at

Swimsuit No Contest

Ladies, no matter what your body type, you don’t have to settle for a homely one-piece that is the swimwear equivalent to mom jeans.  Chat live with a Swim Expert from Lands’ End to find the most flattering style for your figure from their collection of tunics, swim dresses and other stylish  slimming suits, like the Lands’ End Tonal Ombre Tunic One Piece Slender Suit ($130), designed for comfort and fashion.  Pair it up with a flowy Ombre Chiffon Pareo Cover-Up ($35) so you can traipse around the pool or beach looking chic and feeling comfortable.  Lands’ End also carries great looking men’s and kid’s swimwear.

Ice Ice Baby

Always running out of ice?  Forget a run to the convenience store, make more at home with the Brylane Home Compact Ice Maker, small enough to fit on a counter top but powerful enough to produce 12-pieces of fresh-tasting ice within 10 minutes — and as much as 33 lbs. per day.  You fill it yourself with water, so there is no need to connect to a water source or have a drainage line.  Makes your choice of small, medium or large ice cubes.  $199.99.

Make your summer party a memorable one with all the latest grill accoutrement from Williams Sonoma.  Cook delicate whole fish over an open flame and turn it without it falling apart with the handy grilling Fish Basket $24.95.  Grill potatoes to a buttery-on-the-inside crispy-on-the-outside perfection with the Potato Grilling Rack ($9.95) that uses upright spikes to hold four whole spuds and conduct heat to the centers.  Grill all your foods to perfection at the optimum temperature using the compact easy-to-read Taylor Grill Surface Thermometer ($9.95) which you place directly on the grill grates.   Top off your burgers and dogs with your favorite fixins’ served in the adorably kitschy BBQ Condiment Set ($49.95), a tray full of glazed-earthenware jars rendered in the style of iconic condiment containers, with matching serving spoons, perfect as a conversational centerpiece and a cute alternative to setting out those enormous Costco-sized plastic bottles.

Setting Pretty

Give your summer dinner party table a vibrant, festive look with the Maxwell & Williams Paint Collection of plates, bowls and platters that will liven up your table with their 12 creative colors, like lime, cornflower blue, amber and maroon.  The durable yet light-weight collection features a thick double layer of fused glass that encapsulates the color so it can’t chip off.  $3.98 to $7.48.  Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Summer Scoop


What’s better than homemade ice cream on a hot summer day?  Nothing.  Churn your own smooth, creamy frozen heaven with a little ice, rock salt and flavoring in the White Mountain Appalachian Series Automatic Ice Cream Maker.  The machine’s 12,000 PRM motor and triple-motion action dasher system continuously folds the mixture to crank out four or six quarts of ice cream at a time.  Make of durable England White Pine wood and steel and cast iron, this classic ice cream maker never goes out of style and will be around for years and years.  $249.99/$269.99. Hardware channel, Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Frontgate, Outdoor channel – like Bass Pro & Cabela’s.