Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Black & Decker Pivot Plus Cordless Screwdriver for Father's Day

When we were growing up, our mother was the primary handyman...uh, handyperson of the house. Our father could assemble a computer from parts alone in an instant, but changing a lightbulb would cause him to throw up his hands in horror...yeah, it didn't make much sense to us either. The one tool he held with complete confidence though, was a screwdriver.

We never realized how often we would have to use a screwdriver until we bought our own house. Thank goodness we have our Black & Decker Pivot Plus cordless screwdriver. It is, without a doubt, the most utilized tool in our home...and it's so amazing, we really believe that no Dad (or Mom, for that matter) should be without one on Father's Day. This tool is perfect for those everyday household maintenance jobs, from changing toy batteries to assembling furniture. Black & Decker really did a terrific job with this one!

The Black & Decker Pivot Plus cordless screwdriver has many, many features that (in our opinion) make it the best out there for the money. The dual speed range offers a choice between high speed drilling and low speed driving. The clutch comes with a remarkable 23 different positions to prevent stripping of screws (a common problem in The Daily Kool household), and the forward/reverse rocker makes it easy to back screws out of any surface. We absolutely love the locking, three position tilt option for tight or awkward spots and the small LED light for (albeit slightly) improved visibility. Our Black & Decker Pivot Plus cordless screwdriver included a 5ft. measuring's not a very necessary feature and one that doesn't seem available anymore. It's not pictured on the company's website or on Amazon, but the Target picture includes it (which is why we link to them)...however, keep in mind that if you order the Black & Decker Pivot Plus cordless screwdriver, it may not come with the measuring tape.

We have very few complaints about the Black & Decker Pivot Plus cordless screwdriver, but they are worth noting. The location of the connection of the charger plug is right in the pivot point and it doesn't allow for use while charging. Therefore, there have been times when we've had to stop in the middle of a project to recharge our cordless screwdriver. Definitely inconvenient, especially since it takes a long time to charge completely. To save the 6V battery, we try to only recharge it when the power is clearly diminishing and we give it a good six hours or so to complete. Now, we always make sure to plan ahead and charge it fully whenever we have more than a 3 hour project to help circumvent this problem.

The Black & Decker Pivot Plus cordless screwdriver is a terrific gift idea for Father's Day. Comfortable to hold and oh so handy, it is an absolute must-have for any household. You really can't beat the value, and it's one powerful tool that even our father can use. When we bought it for Dad a couple of years ago, Mom thanked us as well! Power and convenience at a great price...definitely a "kool" idea.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Today's Kool Idea: StockCast Wireless Stock Market Tracker for Father's Day

Over the past year, people have been keeping a close eye on the stock market more than ever. Our parents at The Daily Kool are no exception. Our father, in particular, is almost obsessed with keeping track of how the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P500 are doing at any given time. Unfortunately, as a result, he spends too of his day feeling tied to his computer and internet connection...much to our mother's annoyance.

Check out this StockCast wireless stock market tracker as a gift idea for Father's Day. Designed by Brookstone, this product is perfect for the Dad who wants his stock market information but doesn't want to spend a lot of time getting it. What a great way to monitor the movement of the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P500...without a computer. This completely wireless gadget features free updates every 15 can also view overall market gains and losses for the day. Simply insert three AAA batteries and you're ready to go. Be very careful not to use coppertop batteries with it, though...for some reason, they are not compatible.

We love the sleek, professional look of the StockCast wireless stock market tracker...although it comes with a refrigerator magnet mount, we can easily envision it as a great conversation piece for any office. No subscription is needed to use this product to track the three major markets...however, a monthly service is available so Dad can take advantage of the ability to track his personal portfolio. Like with most wireless devices, the StockCast wireless stock market tracker works best when in close proximity to a window.

If your father is one of those people who likes to stay up to date on stock market fluctuations, the StockCast wireless stock market tracker might be just the Father's Day gift you've been looking for. One quick glance is all it takes, so Dad can spend less time on the computer and more time with Mom...uh oh. Well, it's a "kool" idea anyway. Brookstone does it again!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Corby 7700 Pants Press for Father's Day

Though many professionals are recently adopting a more informal attire in the workplace, the males in The Daily Kool family are die-hard suit wearers. Sorry, President business casual in the office for our men, especially Dad. He is meticulous about his appearance, even on the weekends...he wears a polo and dress pants to clean the pool, for goodness sake! Okay, we are the first to admit that his standards may be unreasonably high (and quite possibly, unnecessary)...but, the majority of men (and women) we know do like to look good. Unwrinkled, pressed pants are often high on their list of wardrobe priorities. After all, who wants to come to work looking like they've just rolled out of bed (even if they have)?

The Corby 7700 pants press is the company's number one best selling model for the past five years...and for good reason. This is terrific Father's Day gift for the man who takes pride in his appearance. We first came across the Corby 7700 pants press
at a hotel stay in New York City. This particular stay was for business purposes, and having the pants press right in the room was really convenient. As soon as we got home from our trip, we went online to purchase one for ourselves...Dad got his for Father's Day last year. Its walnut finish is actually pretty attractive, and the combination of the pant presser design with personal valet makes it a convenient piece of bedroom furniture.

Though it is quite a pricey investment, the Corby 7700 pants press will more than pay for itself in dry cleaning savings over the long run. It's designed to refresh the original crease a dry cleaner creates, and to ease out the back of knee wrinkles. This helps keep trousers in shape longer, reducing unnecessary trips to the cleaners. We love how easy it is to use the Corby 7700 pants press, and the fact that is is gentle enough for all fabrics. The front panel opens to access the pressing area. Just raise the levers to reveal a cushioned heating pad. There are two stretcher bars which grip gently eases back into shape and slightly refreshing the crease. Insert trousers, close, set the timer (to 15, 30 or 45 minutes) and walk away. The presser cuts off automatically when ready. The Corby 7700 pants press can even be wall-mounted...keep in mind though that this will eliminate the jacket hanger feature...if you mount it in your closet though, it shouldn't matter much with your jackets already hanging nearby.

The Corby 7700 pants press is a great way to help Dad keep his pants beautifully pressed and presentable every day. The price of this particular model is in the mid-range...though there are more expensive ones out there, we really feel that this one is the best value overall. Check it out...if your Dad is anything like ours, he'll love it. With its quality and functionality, the Corby 7700 pants press is definitely a "kool" Father's Day gift for the special man in your life.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Monogrammed Golf Club Links for Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up soon, and it's time to start thinking about how to honor him for the special man he is. We have always been able to count on our father for unconditional love, support and guidance. Dad (okay, we still call him "Daddy") is an extraordinary man...why should he receive an ordinary gift for Father's Day? That's why The Daily Kool will be featuring some unusual and "kool" gift ideas for Father's Day all this week.

When we saw these monogrammed golf club links at RedEnvelope (love this company, by the way), we knew they had to be our first Father's Day gift idea. Our father is an avid golfer...he simply loves the sport and plays it every chance he gets. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to lay his clubs on the ground when he switches them out. Yep, you guessed it...he forgets about them. We can't tell you how many clubs (especially putters) Dad's had to replace over the years because he's left them on the course.

RedEnvelope's monogrammed golf club links fit perfectly into the handle of most golf clubs. The set includes 14 links, engraved with Dad's full name, phone number and a single-letter monogram (first letter of the last name). They even come with a matching ball marker. The monogrammed golf club links are offered in both silver and gold finishes, giving each club an elegant, custom made look. Keep in mind that these links are as light as a feather...this might give the impression of low quality, but it's actually the opposite. Don't be fooled...the super-lightweight Alcoa aluminum material was specifically selected so that these beautiful links won't impact the swing. Anything heftier would likely throw off Dad's game. Also, since they are personalized, these links cannot be returned...we can't imagine you wanting to, but it is something to remember.

If your Dad loves to play golf as much as ours does, these monogrammed golf club links will definitely get you a "hole in one" (oh, come you didn't see that pun coming) this Father's Day. He will absolutely love them, and he'll be the envy of all his golfing buddies on the course. RedEnvelope is known for prompt delivery, so there should be no problem getting this gift in time for the holiday. A simple, yet classy absolute winner "fore" Dad!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Friday, May 22, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan

Every week, we try to spend a little time in the kitchen, fostering our love for baking. Lately, The Daily Kool family has become obsessed with baking the perfect brownie. You know which one we're talking about...moist and extravagant truffle-like brownies that have a crackly top, yet are tender with slightly chewy edges. Yum. A perfect edge is the pride and joy of any brownie baker, yet is often unattainable with a standard brownie baking pan.

Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan is definitely not standard...but, it has certainly exceeded it! Look at how "kool" this gourmet baking pan is...its award-winning design has these patented sidewalls that circulate heat more evenly throughout the pan. No more mushy middles, and every individual serving boasts two perfect edges...fabulous if you're an edge family like we are. These days, we expect all high quality bakeware to have a premium nonstick coating for easy removal, and the Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan does not disappoint (though we tend to grease our pans regardless). We love the recessed handles that make it easy to turn the pan upside down
, but also appreciate the flexible nylon spatula the company has provided in case we want to take just one piece.

The Daily Kool simply does not believe in investing in a one-dish wonder. So, it's nice to know that the Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan has been designed to fit all 9" x 13" recipes. Not only is it great for brownie, cookie bar and cake mixes...but, we can also use it for most of our casserole recipes. The company is coming out with a nonstick edge lasagna pan in the near future, but we actually plan on trying this dish out in the brownie pan...should be fine for a family of four. Plus, the Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan is oven safe up to 500 degrees and broiler safe for even browning. Keep in mind that the interior volume is sized to accommodate approximately 11 cups, so make sure to plan your recipes accordingly. And, please do not put the Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan in the fact, all bakeware, regardless of whether it's dishwasher safe, will last much longer if hand-washed.

If there is one thing we've learned about kitchen items, never skimp on bakeware, and always get the highest quality your budget can possibly afford. It might seem a little extravagant, but indulge yourself with Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan...and the reward will pay for itself in the years to come. This pan makes a fabulous gift for the home baker, and is bound to become a staple in your own kitchen. Now that we've completely worked up our appetite, we've shared our favorite brownie recipe for you below. Enjoy!

Cocoa Fudge Brownies

Ingredients for Brownies:
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (we use light brown, but either is fine)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional (but no brownie is the same without them!)
Ingredients for Frosting:
  • 2-3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-6 tablespoons warm water, as needed.
Brownies: In a bowl, blend the melted butter and the sugars together. Blend in the eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda and nuts (if using) in that order to make a smooth batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the middle is just set and does not seem wet and jiggly when touched. Check the brownies after 20 minutes so you do not overbake them (depends on how your oven cooks). Cool thoroughly in the pan.

Frosting: In a bowl, combine the confectioners sugar with the cocoa. Add the butter and cream with the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla and water as required to make a fluffy, spreadable frosting. Frost the completely cooled brownies and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. We prefer to eat our brownies cold, right out of the fridge.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Collapsible / Pop Up Mesh Food Covers

Once a month, The Daily Kool family gets together with a group of friends at the park for a great big picnic lunch. We have such a good time! We all split the cost of a pavilion, and each family is responsible for bringing one food dish and at least one game for the kids to play together. This has to be one of the best ideas we've ever afternoon of fun in the sun, coupled with great friends, yummy food and our children's infectious laughter in the background. Did we mention the food? Imagine a picnic table filled with delectable delights...salads, dips, sandwiches, casseroles, desserts...the list goes on and on. The one thing that has always put a damper on our picnic though, is the sheer number of pests that inevitably try to horde in on our buffet. Seriously, folks...we're tired of constantly shooing flies away from our food...sure, it gives our arms a good workout, but this is just not the way we want to tone up our biceps. We needed to find a better way to protect our goodies.

Well, guess what...those little buggers better watch out, because their days of crashing our party are definitely numbered. We first came across these collapsible / pop up mesh food covers on QVC. After reading the reviews on both QVC and Amazon, this is definitely the answer we've been looking for! Check it out...this set is much better than the angled food domes we've seen. The sides go straight up (8 inches high), giving us more room to pile food high on each serving plate without worry. These
food covers also seem much sturdier...the wired bottoms look like they'll even keep the crawly bugs away. The mesh makes it really easy to see what's underneath the food covers, and the three sizes make it easy to accommodate all types of dishes. We love how these pop up mesh food covers collapse down to practically nothing when not in will be a cinch to find a place to store them. The only complaint that has been fairly consistent across the reviews is that the collapsible / pop up mesh food covers are unlikely to hold up on windy days. This is not much of a surprise, since ease of lifting them to get to the food is a major selling point. It should be solvable with a simple tablecloth weight, though...definitely not enough of an issue to prevent The Daily Kool from buying them, but something to keep in mind.

Amazon and QVC seem to have slightly different versions of the collapsible / pop up mesh food covers. Amazon's comes in a set of three...costs less, but the shipping is higher, so it evens out (both Target and HSN are higher priced). However, this version uses a nylon mesh ring to uncover the food instead of the full length strap found on the QVC
model. The centered ring might actually make it easier to keep the food covers steady when lifting up and putting down. Also, QVC's five piece set only comes with one of the largest size. So, we decided to place our order with Amazon for this one. We purchased three sets, so we can easily accommodate our large gatherings...the reasonable price (about $10 per set) was certainly worth it.

We can absolutely see getting a lot of use out of our collapsible / pop up mesh food covers. They are a great idea for picnics, barbecues and even camping trips. They are also ideal for indoor use...the food covers should be a useful deterrent to prevent pets and little children from getting into the dishes unsupervised. What a fabulous gift idea! Hopefully, these "kool" food covers are as terrific as they seem. We can't wait to try them out at our next park get together!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's Kool Ideas: Aerobed for Kids and Aerobed Sports Overnighter

This Memorial Day weekend, our kids are having a couple of their close friends at the house for a sleepover for the first time. They've been planning it for a week. They've picked out games, snacks, movies, crafts...they are so excited! We do have a bit of a challenge, though...our entire downstairs has hardwood floors. Even though we have a regular sleeping bag in the house (our beloved Puff the Magic Dragon one from about thirty years ago), unfortunately, it is pretty much out of the question for this weekend. There isn't enough room in our kids' two twin-size beds for the four boys to share either. How can we have a successful sleepover when we have no comfortable place for the kids to sleep?

We were discussing our problem with our neighbor, and she couldn't believe that we didn't already have an Aerobed for Kids in the house. We never even thought about it...hey, it's our first kids' sleepover, remember? Luckily, she has two, so we went ahead and borrowed them to test out for this weekend. Let's put it this way...the kids thought the Aerobeds were so "kool," they insisted on sleeping on them the other night right on the living room floor. The Aerobed for Kids was a bit too small for our seven year old (not that he complained), but it was a perfect size for our four year old.

There are so many terrific things to say about the Aerobed for Kids. It inflates quickly and effortlessly, and has far exceeded our expectations for comfort. The four inch safety surround kept our kids snuggled in tight...they are not very restless sleepers, but it was still nice to know that we were unlikely to hear any thumping from children falling off of the Aerobed during the night. The stars and moon cover is really cozy...again a bit too young for our older son, but adorable nonetheless. We will say that the Aerobed for K
ids actually takes up more space than we would have expected, mostly because of the safety border...our sons share a room, so it's a good thing we plan on camping out in the living room this weekend. So convenient, and yet so comfortable...this product is definitely an infinite number of steps above the traditional sleeping bag...yes, even a Puff the Magic Dragon one (feeling a little nostalgic here).

Our children slept through the night beautifully on their borrowed Aerobed for Kids. So, we went ahead and purchased two new Aerobeds for our home. Since our older son has definitely outgrown the Aerobed for Kids and our younger one is getting bigger every day, we decided on two twin Aerobed Sport Overnighters (one red, one blue). This way, we can use the borrowed Aerobeds this weekend for the younger boys and the larger beds for the older ones. The lightweight backpack will make the Aerobed Sport Overnighters so easy to take on road trips and camping...we can even take them on an airplane for our visits to relatives up north.

The Aerobed for Kids and Aerobed Sport Overnighter are wonderful products to have on hand, especially for a family with children. They are so convenient for vacation travel, family visits, and yes...even sleepovers! We can see getting a lot of use out of our Aerobed Sport Overnighters, and are very grateful to our neighbor for letting us borrow her Aerobeds. Assuming the company lives up to its reputation for quality, ours will hopefully last for many, many years. Definitely a "kool" idea!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Chauvet Bubble Machine

Is there any child who does not love bubbles? There is just something so magical, so alluring about the way these iridescent spheres float in the air and drift slowly down in mesmerizing fashion...then, POP! Such a simple pleasure for kids and the parents who cannot help but be drawn into their bubble ecstasy. Bubbles are such a world-wide phenomenon, it has even become a recognized art form. Don't believe us? Check out "The Gazillion Bubble Show", produced by Fan Yang who holds 14 Guinness World Records for bubble artistry. If you are ever in New York City, this is an absolute "must see" for the entire is spectacular! The Daily Kool family has seen the show, and we cannot recommend it highly enough! But we digress...

We purch
ased the Chauvet Bubble Machine for our son's backyard birthday party a few years ago. Though it is much pricier than other, more kid-grade models, the durability makes it a completely worthwhile investment. The Daily Kool has wasted a lot of money in bubble machines over the years...none of them have held up like the Chauvet Bubble Machine. We also have the Gazillion Bubble Machine in our home (a gift from a family member). It's not a bad machine, but it doesn't work very well with anything but the gazillion bubble solution. Don't get us wrong, gazillion bubbles are the best, but they are very, our $20 machine costs us much more over the long run. The Chauvet Bubble Machine, on the other hand will take any solution, or even a homemade one and produce thousands of bubbles in just seconds. Of course, the higher the solution quality, the longer lasting your bubbles will be. Be aware though...bubble machines go through solution very quickly, so make sure to keep plenty on hand!

Our Chauvet Bubble Machine has given our kids and their friends countless hours of delight. Nothing can put a smile on a parent's face faster than hearing their child's infectious laughter as they are swarmed by a bubble storm. The
Chauvet Bubble Machineis perfect for larger outdoor areas (we don't recommend it for indoor use), yet meets our portability needs. Keep in mind, does not run on batteries, like less expensive models, so make sure you have some kind of electrical outlet close by. It also features an all-plastic construction to prevent rust, and the fluid tank is easily removable for cleaning.

If you are looking for a simple alternative to a bubble machine, check out the bubble solution recipe below. We often put out tin foil pie plates filled with our homemade solution, and give the kids an assortment of bubble wands so they can do it themselves. The Daily Kool uses our Chauvet Bubble Machine so much that it has paid for itself time and time again. We will be taking ours out again this weekend for Memorial Day...the kids are really excited about having their friends over this weekend for a holiday barbecue. Our party is bound to be a hit!

Simple Bubble Solution Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon glycerin (can be found in most drug stores)
  • 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap
  • 9 oz. water
Directions: Mix ingredients up the day before you plan on using them for the best results. Also, you can replace the glycerin with corn (like Karo) syrup, but the sweetness is bound to inadvertantly invite some unwelcome insects to your party. Enjoy!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Monday, May 18, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Misty Mate Hand Held Personal Mister

Memorial Day weekend is coming up soon, and it seems like almost everyone we know is taking a family vacation to Disney World. What's wrong with you people? Are we the only ones who think that it is going to be much too crowded...not to mention, blistering hot? Okay, we confess...there have been times that we've also given in to the lure of our Magic Kingdom addiction during almost unbearable climate conditions. How on earth are we supposed to stay cool in the blistering heat of the Florida sun?

For our last Disney trip, we borrowed the Misty Mate hand held personal mister from a friend of ours. All we can say is "aaaahhhh." What a lifesaver! Our friend has the least expensive
Misty Mate personal mister, which is the 10oz. pump model. This product really made a big difference in our comfort at the amusement parks, and the kids really loved the feel of the mist on their overheated faces and bodies while waiting in the long lines. We liked that we never had to worry about the Misty Mate hand held personal mister running out of battery doesn't use batteries. Just pump and spray for a gentle mist without drowning. Misty Mate ensures a quick temperature drop by up to 30 degrees below the outside temperature...perhaps it wasn't that drastic a reduction for us, but it was certainly refreshing enough for our needs. We also appreciated the portability of the Misty Mate... it fit right in our stroller cup holder and was a snap to refill whenever we needed to throughout the day. Oh, and the Misty Mate was so lightweight, it was a breeze (yeah, we love puns...sorry) to carry when we needed to.

Misty Mate hand held personal mister really made our last summer trip to Disney much more tolerable. Yes, we realize it's still spring, but the weather is already really hot. We love this product so much, we purchased one to keep on hand for trips to the park, ballgames and other outdoor activities or events we have coming up (there are a lot of them). We may even test out the Misty Mate Sport Breeze, which includes a mini fan that can be used with or without the pump. So, if you are headed out to battle the Disney crowd, check out the Misty Mate hand held personal mister...and remember to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration! Definitely, a "kool" idea if you're headed outdoors this Memorial Day weekend.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Friday, May 15, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Dog Crate Furniture

Many of you may know about our beloved pooch Pepper from PoodlePicks. It may surprise you to know that he has been, by far, the most challenging dog we've ever had. At almost eight years old, he still suffers from separation anxiety. We've never had to baby-proof our house with the kids, but to this day, we do have to Pepper-proof. Before we leave the house, we have to go through the routine of closing every door, completely cleaning off the dining room table, locking the pantry and strategically putting up gates to block off the kitchen and the stairs. Heaven forbid we accidentally skip anything...we will undoubtedly come home with garbage all over the kitchen (he figured out how to open the can), empty bags of baking chocolates strewn across the floor (he breaks into the pantry and zooms right in on them), or even smelly feces on the stairs. Of course, he only does these things when we're not home...when we are, he's a perfect angel. So tell us...who's trained who here? This situation is completely our fault, of course. When Pepper was a puppy, we were told that we should purchase a dog crate for him. But where on earth would we put a large, ugly and obtrusive wire crate in our small home?

The only place we could possibly fit a crate large enough to hold Pepper is in our living room. Since this is the first room everyone sees when they come in the house, we cringed at eyesore it would create. Check out this terrific company called Crate Haven. They have actually created beautiful, functional furniture designed to perfectly fit a standard wire dog crate. After much research, Crate Haven was our top pick for quality dog crate furniture. Be aware,'s also possibly the most expensive solution...these prices are not for the faint of heart, folks! Crate Haven's products require a separate crate purchase. However, this is actually an advantage, since the wire crate insert will provide protection and longevity...particularly for dogs who scratch or chew on furniture (yep, you guessed it...Pepper). Crate Haven offers three different styles with several sizes and finishes to match any decor. The contemporary lines of the Harrison collection are a particular favorite of The Daily Kool.

There are a couple of other notable options for those of us who want to eliminate the wire crate altogether. The Dynamic Accents end table dog crate is constructed of durable hardwoods, featuring a swing-through door that can be fastened shut or rotated inside the crate for open access. Check out Pets2Bed for the Dynamic Accents dog crate furniture. Again, be warned...this solution is not for dogs who may chew on a wooden door! If you don't have this problem,, what a gorgeous addition to any home! If you prefer a more modern look, the zen pet hideaway and AlumaDen are other terrific options.

Even after centuries of selective breeding and living in people's homes, dogs still retain some of their ancient instinct. Like their wolf ancestors, dogs are den animals and prefer a small, cozy place of their own where they can feel safe and secure. Crates are not just for training puppies...they provide a sanctuary for retreat from confusion or strangers and a comfortable place for relaxation. Dog crate furniture offers a perfect solution to bridging the gap between our pets needs and home decor. The privacy and comfort of a crate, plus the beauty of quality furniture...what more could a loving pet owner want? Dog crate furniture will improve your relationship with your dog...a worthwhile investment and definite "kool" idea!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Appetizer on Ice Serving Center with Vented IceTray and Lid

Last year, we were having an outdoor birthday party for our oldest son at the local city pool. His parties are always a hit, not because we go overboard, but since his birthday always falls on Labor Day weekend, it's inevitably the first party of the school year. And since he's in a smaller private school where all the kids know each other, we make sure to invite all of the children in his class...26 kids and everybody showed up, with siblings and both parents in tow. Seventy-five people were coming...yikes! We needed food...lots and lots of food. Fruit and veggie platters were a plenty of candy (our son loves M&Ms) to keep the kids on an energetic sugar high. There was only one would we keep everything fresh in the scorching Florida heat?

We had seen the Appetizers on Ice serveware at our local Bed Bath and Beyond, and thought it might be the perfect solution. Then, we came across an even better version of this innovative product on QVC. When we saw the Appetizers on Ice serving center with venting ice tray and lid, we absolutely had to buy one...or three, actually. Wow...this was one purchase that absolutely exceeded our expectations. How often does that happen, and why didn't we think of it first? The large, revolving server holds vented food trays over a bed of ice. The bottom tray holds the ice, while the vented food trays rest on top and hold the food. There are three double section food trays (six in all) and a dip holder, complete with three fitted lids...all on a lazy susan base. We particularly appreciate that it's made of break-proof polycarbonate and is top-rack dishwasher safe. Fabulous!

The serving possibilities are endless for the Appetizers on Ice serving center with venting ice tray and lid, but we pretty much stuck to the basics. We had one fruit tray, one veggie tray and one for chips and dip. The center tray was a little too small for the dips and salsa for our huge we used a couple of the larger sections to accommodate both, and put our son's beloved M&Ms in the center trays. This wouldn't be a problem for a normal sized event, though. To prevent the dips from leaking into the ice, we took QVC's recommendation and lined the bottom of those trays with large lettuce leaves. Instead of buying pre-cut produce, we saved a ton of money by cutting up our own, and kept extra in a large cooler so we could easily refill each individual tray as necessary. The covers certainly helped keep our food even colder, and also protected it from any little critters (the bug kind, not the child kind) who decided to crash our party. We loved how the lazy susan base ensured easy access to everything on the tray. The Appetizers on Ice serving center worked so well, we only had to refill the ice trays once...which was a breeze to do.

The Daily Kool is so impressed with the Appetizers on Ice serving center with venting ice tray and lid, we have given several of them as house gifts for friends and family who enjoy entertaining. We cannot imagine how we would have done without this product for our son's birthday party. It's durable, convenient and affordable...a must-have for any household. We would like to see serving center in other colors, but the clear acrylic certainly works with any decoration. An absolute value and terrific investment for any gathering. Our Appetizers on Ice serving center was the best way to keep our food "kool" in the hot summer sun.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Travel Yahtzee Game

A couple of months ago on a rainy day, The Daily Kool family took on an insidious task...we decided to clean out one of our overflowing "junk" drawers. You wouldn't believe how much...well, junk...we had accumulated in one relatively little space. Oh, yes...we were lucky to get out alive. So here we were, arguing over whether we should toss out a key chain version of a shrilling chicken, when our children picked up a set of dice and began rolling away. We looked at each other and, expert procrastinators that we are, immediately said, "Break time!" Our children were about to learn an old classic...Yahtzee.

Why it never occurred to us to buy a
Yahtzee set before is a mystery...but as parents, we are masters at improvisation. We just went on the computer to print out a free Yahtzee score card, made sure we had five dice and we were ready to go. The kids had an absolute did we! It's easy to understand why Yahtzee is the world's most popular commercial dice game. To play this addictive classic, you roll five dice (three times per hand) in an effort to make different combinations for the most points. Shoot for a three-of-a-kind, a full house, a straight and more. Get five of the same number and you've gotten a "Yahtzee" for 50 points. The "rolls" are based on standard poker hands, with a few extra bonuses thrown in. Don't worry, we're not training our children for the World Poker Tour just yet...but Yahtzee is certainly a great prelude to other card games, including Gin Rummy. It's also a terrific way to practice math and introduce the concept of probability to children.

Though we were certainly able to come up with a quick makeshift version of a family
Yahtzee game, our kids love it so much, we just had to find a portable version to take with us on the go. Travel Yahtzee became a terrific solution for long waits at restaurants, doctors' offices and even on an airplane. There were a few options for us to choose from, but we ultimately selected the Folio edition of the travel Yahtzee game. It comes with everything we needed to enjoy a quick family game on the go. The felt-lined play area keeps the roll confined...very important, especially with over-exuberant children. The dice rolling cup is also lined with felt, perfect for keeping the noise down in places that require quieter play. The special compartments keep the dice in place during the game and prevents them from rolling around when put away. Complete with a soft side-zippered case, deluxe dice, scorepad and pencil, the Folio edition is a great way to shake up some Yahtzee wherever we go.

If you'd rather, there are several Yahtzee Jr. editions that are ideal for preschoolers and other younger children. These greatly simplified versions of the original use character pictures instead of numbers, and the scorecard uses tiles to keep track of hands. Yahtzee Jr. is a great introduction to the game...we were given a Mr. Potato Head one (we think it's discontinued), and have found several others, including Disney Princess and Pokemon. Don't underestimate your younger ones, though...regular Yahtzee may not have the engaging characters, but it does provide a better learning experience, more player options and is more ideal for children of varied ages. We tend to use our Yahtzee Jr. edition when we are playing alone with our own preschooler, and regular dice or our Folio travel Yahtzee game when our older children join in.

Our Folio edition of the travel Yahtzee game is one of the best ways to keep the entire family entertained on the go. Quick play, simple rules, educational and just plain fun, Yahtzee is one of The Daily Kool's favorite games. After more than 50 years, Yahtzee is still a very "kool" idea.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Fuller Brush Foaming Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Periodically, areas in The Daily Kool home fall victim to the chaos of a busy life filled with activity, children and pets. Okay, are you ready? We confess that sometimes, we are just too busy (or too tired) to clean. There, it's out. Whew! Don't get us's not we spend our time living in squalor. But, at some point, just about every room of our house has seen a period of what we consider unmitigated disaster...except, the kitchen. We are absolutely fastidious when it comes to the appearance of our kitchen...this is our domain, the room held in highest regard. We keep every crevice absolutely pristine, so imagine our surprise, when we realized we were missing the boat with our garbage disposal.

Our garbage disposal is like any's a magnet for dirty, greasy build-up and offensive odor. Sure, we'd been using the Plink garbage disposal cleaner and deodorizer tablets every few days, but we really weren't getting down into the nitty gritty of our disposal's grossness. Plink smells great, but its effects are very short, it seems to be more of a deodorizer than a cleaner. We've tried it all...baking soda w/vinegar, ice, even citrus peel...all okay, but not exceptional. We really use our garbage disposal a lot, so it was definitely time for a more effective solution. Enter the Fuller Brush foaming garbage disposal cleaner.

We have to tell you...many many years ago, our grandfather was a Fuller Brush salesman, so we've always known just how amazing their products are. Seriously folks, we actually have hairbrushes from this company that are more than...achem...well, let's just say we've had them a long time. We never thought to look at Fuller Brush for a solution to our problem, but thank goodness for QVC...they reacquainted us, with their feature of the Fuller Brush garbage disposal cleaner. Oh, yes...we just had to get this one.

All we can say is, wow. We aren't plumbing experts, but the Fuller Brush foaming garbage disposal cleaner certainly seems to get the job done deep down into pipes. And it is so easy to use! All we have to do is shake the can, attach the extension tub and press the button. The concentrated foam fills up and pops right out (pretty "kool" to see). We let it sit for a little bit, give a little scrub with a multi-purpose kitchen brush, and voila! Our disposal is clean with a long lasting citrus scent that smells fantastic. We love that the Fuller Brush foaming garbage disposal cleaner can be used on the bathroom sink's not just for disposals. Imagine how much toothpaste, makeup and other products build-up in the bathroom drain...we use it on every sink in the house with amazing results.

We cannot say enough about this terrific household solution. It's nice to know that the company has stayed loyal to its commitment to providing quality products for so many years. The Fuller Brush foaming garbage disposal cleaner gives us peace of mind that our kitchen sink is clean, degreased, deodorized and mold-free...even the underside of the splash shield. Our pride in our kitchen remains intact. This is definitely a "kool" idea!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email

Monday, May 11, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: 6-Way Folding Trunk Organizer w/ Waterproof Thermal Carrier

Today, The Daily Kool has decided to play hooky. That's right, folks...we are taking the day off from school and work to do absolutely nothing but have fun together as a family. Novel idea, huh? Since we are a group of classic workaholics, we occasionally need the break to reclaim our sanity. Yes, we realize this is why we have weekends, but ours tend to be spent running around to birthday parties and catching up on all of the chores/errands we've neglected throughout our hectic week. This calls for a day at the waterpark, complete with a picnic...without the weekend crowds.

Hmmmm...what do we need to bring today? Drinks, snacks, lunch, blanket, towels, sunscreen, extra clothing, balls, frisbees...sheesh, when did a simple family outing become so complicated? Good thing we have our 6-way folding trunk organizer with a waterproof thermal carrier. We first came across this particular
trunk organizer on QVC, and we have to tell you that this is probably one of the most practical products we have ever purchased for our beloved Saturn. We actually keep two of them in the is the absolute best idea for clutter-free trunk storage.

There are so many things we like about our 6-way folding
trunk organizer. We love the flexibility of being able to adjust the compartments to securely fit whatever items we need and that it folds completely flat when not in use. This trunk organizer really holds a lot, and is terrific for keeping groceries from spilling out into the, the anti-skid pads keep everything from sliding around during transit. Trust us...the way we drive, this is a particularly important feature! It's 30lb capacity can handle almost anything, including groceries, plants, sports equipment, auto supplies, books, kids name it. We absolutely love the thermal waterproof carrier that comes with this particular keeps our perishables cold (or hot) for hours and conveniently fits right in the carrier. The straps are a little too short, making it cumbersome to carry, but otherwise, the thermal carrier is a great added feature. Unlike other trunk organizers, this one comes in a variety of colors...we chose the sage for our car.

Okay, our 6-way folding
trunk organizer with waterproof thermal carrier is packed and ready for today's adventure with the kids. Pathetic as it may sound, we feel all warm and squishy when we open our trunk to find it all clean and organized, as opposed to a chaotic mess. This trunk organizer is a great investment and the best version we've seen. We understand that the company has a special on a 7-way folding trunk organizer combo pack (set of two) with the waterproof thermal carrier (red and pink colors only). Though a 7-way fold may be a bit overkill, this combo pack is less expensive than the one we have...great value, and worth checking out. Regardless of which you choose, this trunk organizer is a great gift and a must-have for every driver. Definitely a "kool" idea!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to The Daily Kool by Email