Whether you're fed up with using a design that hasn't changed for generations, or you just like to outfit your kitchen with nothing but the latest gadgets, pick up a Normann Copenhagen Nutcracker ($53) just in time for the holiday season. Unlike the nutcrackers you're used to — awful metallic contraptions that pinch skin and grow uncomfortable with use — this one features an aluminum middle covered in thick, flexible silicone, making it more comfortable to use. It's durable, dishwasher safe, comes in red or black, and is easy to use, so odds are, you won't be going back to that old nutcracker any time soon.
It's a delicate goal, and one that most men spend the majority of their young lives trying to achieve, the much-sought-after work-life balance. You get up early for your job, work until late, and head out to meet friends for drinks — only to get up the next day and do it all again. With Ficks Cocktail Fortifiers ($15), you can maintain that careful balance, without feeling like crap after an overindulgent night. Each of these bottles (available in ginger, lemon, and lime) mixes deliciously with your favorite cocktail, and contains all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to get you going the next day.
Relive summers spent in this great nation's greatest treasure, or just fantasize about the trip of a lifetime you always meant to take with these Muir Way National Park Maps ($35-$245). With beautiful color maps of national parks ranging from Acadia in Maine, and Joshua Tree in California, to Mt. Rainier in Washington and Zion in Utah (22 in total), you're sure to find your favorite outdoor destination. Also choose from a range of attractive color palettes, sizes from 13 by 19 to 24 by 36, each one printed in high-quality inks that will last for years.
Get a jump on your fall and winter holiday cooking preparedness with the Joseph Joseph Carving Set ($45). This set includes an eight-inch Japanese steel carving knife and seven and a half-inch stainless steel carving fork set that magnetically connect together for easy transportation, no matter where you find yourself cooking. The included chopping board features a no-slip angled cutting surface, an integrated meat grip, and corners made for easy pouring — so it's perfect for carving roasts or poultry, without wasting any of the juices.
Don't try to hide your addiction to singing in the shower — embrace it with the Kohler Moxie Speaker Showerhead ($150). This clever piece of bathroom hardware embeds a speaker in the middle of a full-spray showerhead. And not just any speaker — a Bluetooth-compatible speaker that lets you recharge it on the counter, snap it back into the showerhead using the embedded magnets, and play music wirelessly from your phone or tablet. Just don't forget to clean yourself up while you're at it.
You all know by now that locally-brewed beer is on the rise, and there are few things better than heading to your local brewery and grabbing a growler of your favorite fresh beer. With the Miir Growler ($60), you get that same great experience made better with inspired design. While most growlers are made of glass (or worse, plastic), these are made of stainless steel, and feature double-wall insulation, so your beer stays cold for up to 24 hours without it ever seeing a fridge. The threadless closure on the clamping lid means that your beer stays carbonated much longer, and provides an added bonus of making it easier to clean. In addition to getting a better growler, each purchase also helps people — they donate part of the profit from each sale to help with clean drinking water.
Finally, an electric grill for the culinary impaired among us who wouldn't know how long to cook a chicken breast if it came with directions stamped into the meat. The T-Fal OptiGrill ($210) comes programmed already with the ideal time and temperature for a range of common grill items — everything from fish and steak to poultry and sandwiches — taking the guesswork out of indoor grilling. It features a cooking surface that's large enough to accommodate a meal for an entire family (or one really hungry guy), as well as non-stick removable grill plates, a floating hinge that lets you fit large cuts of meat, and a large drip tray that makes cleanup a breeze.
If you're not lucky enough to have been passed down an antique cast iron skillet through the generations — seasoned by years of lovingly-prepared family meals — start your own cooking tradition with the Finex Cast Iron Skillet ($125). This is the cast iron skillet reinvented, with an eight-sided design that gives it six separate pouring points, making it much easier to handle. A coiled wire spring handle allows it to dissipate heat quicker, making it easier to hold and move. The interior is CNC machined, making it smoother than your grandma's skillet, so it's less prone to sticking and easier to wipe clean.
As part of an attempt to target an emerging market of guys who want to recreate the kind of premium draft beer experience they get at a bar, in their own homes, there's the Krups Heineken Sub ($TBA). This device, part beer cooler, part draft pouring machine, is made as a partnership between Heineken and Krups (known for their at-home coffee brewers), and works as a dispenser for a beer container known as a "torp." Each "torp" — short for torpedo — is delivered to your door, contains two liters of beer, and is available in a range of beer varieties. All you need to do is insert it into the Sub, close the hatch, and start pouring cold beer.
While it may look like a mad science experiment, or some weird art piece gone wrong, the NanoLeaf LED Light Bulb ($35) represents a huge leap forward in lightbulb technology. This bulb replaces the average incandescent bulb in your home, using much less energy thanks to its LED light source — it's so efficient, in fact, that it will pay for itself in energy savings over its lifetime. The bulb also maintains a comparatively low temperature, making it safe to touch even after extended use. Unlike fluorescent bulbs, it contains no mercury, and unlike most other bulbs, it casts light in all directions, due to its unique shape and LED placement.
While Baseball season may be winding down to a close, and your head is likely filled with thoughts on your Fantasy Football draft, it's never too late to show allegiance to your team. Topps Archive Prints ($65 and up) are wall-sized art prints of your favorite players in their prime (whether they played in the 70s, 80s, or 90s), framed and ready to adorn the walls of your man cave, living room, or garage. Each print is painstakingly recreated from the original baseball card design, and made to look like its source material, down to the worn edges and printing pattern.
With Halloween just around the corner, there's still time to step your party game up a bit with a Pumpkin Tap Kit ($30). It might just be the best way possible to pour your favorite autumnal beer, pumpkin-flavored or otherwise. All you need to make your own pumpkin keg is a big, hollowed-out pumpkin, and this kit -- it's that easy. The faucet is made of brass with a chrome finish, and features a lever for easy pouring, as well as an easy-to-assemble three-inch shank.