Hard-to-reach dirt got you down? Suck it up Get 30 percent more suction power in hard-to-reach places with the new 18-volt cordless, pivoting...

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Hard-to-reach dirt got

you down? Suck it up

Get 30 percent more suction power in hard-to-reach places with the new 18-volt cordless, pivoting hand vacuum from Black & Decker.

Position the vacuum into any of its 10 positions to clean the tops of shelves or cabinets, under sofas and furniture and even into the deepest crevices of your car. An integrated extension nozzle pulls out to reach into tight areas such as window and sliding-glass door tracks, between your refrigerator and cabinets and up high to vacuum cobwebs. The Pivot Vac also comes with a two-speed power switch and one-handed, easy-empty dirt chamber.

$60. Available at major retailers and www.blackanddecker.com.

Keep little home fires

burning safely

Lighted candles create an inviting atmosphere during the holiday season. But keep in mind that to safely enjoy the soft glow, you must also exercise caution.

The Home Safety Council offers these tips:

• Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish all candles before going to sleep.

• Don’t allow children to use candles in their rooms. Candles should be used only with adult supervision.

• Keep candles at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including evergreens, decorations and wrapping paper.

• Place candles in safe areas where they will not be knocked down accidentally or blown over.

• Store candles, matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children.

Stick out power outages

with the StickUp Bulb

With the recent storms, it might be helpful to take an inventory of your emergency supplies and check out the new Westinghouse StickUp Bulb.

The portable light runs for four hours continuously on four AA batteries, and its base has a sticky adhesive so you can slap it on a wall quickly.

Sure, it’ll work in closets or outdoors. But its real value may be during a power failure, as an alternative to candles or flashlights.

$19.99 for two lights at www.stickupbulb.com. They’re also available at several chain discount stores.

Good dogs deserve

good poochy presents

Canines like presents, too. Planet Dog specializes in durable gifts for pooches.

There’s the squeaky Naughty or Nice package of two plush red balls embroidered with either “naughty” or “nice” in silver thread.

The Bulb is a dog toy shaped like vintage holiday light bulbs. Made from Orbee-Tuff, Planet Dog’s signature material, the bulbs are hollow for holding treats.

$9.95 each. Available at select pet stores and www.planetdog.com.

Compiled from the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.), Akron Beacon Journal, Washington Post and McClatchy-Tribune News Services