Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Daily Kool is Playing Hooky Today

The Daily Kool is taking the day off today to enjoy some quality time with the kids. Have a wonderful Tuesday and we'll see you tomorrow!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Energizer Light on Demand Motion Activated Light

Our younger son is very afraid of the dark. In fact, his anxiety is so great, he insists on being carried into the house whenever we come home at night. The lack of street lighting in our neighborhood doesn't help...neither does the fact that our kid's going through another growth spurt and is definitely not a lightweight these days. We also tend to forget to turn on the outside light, especially when we leave the house earlier in the day when the sun is still shining. This is a particular sore point with our son, especially since the darkness makes it tough to see the keyhole on the front door and get us in the house quickly.

We came across a practical product on QVC yesterday that just might make our lives a bit easier, the Energizer Light on Demand motion activated light. Gotta love the bunny...by the way, it's his 20th birthday this year. Anyway, the Energizer Light on Demand motion activated light features a removable LED light stick, equipped with internal, rechargeable batteries. The light stick can function in its specific product, or is detachable to serve as an area light and/or flashlight. We love that the Energizer Light on Demand motion activated light is weatherproof with a 15 foot sensor for convenient use indoors and out. This feature is a particular selling point with us...we can put it right by the front door outside.

Okay we admit it, we might just get a tiny bit nervous ourselves when we have to walk Pepper (our pooch) at night...did we mention that our neighborhood doesn't have enough street lights? Think about the dual convenience of a motion activated light at the front door, with a removable LED flashlight to keep our path illuminated during Pepper's nightly stroll. Plus, the Energizer Light on Demand motion activated light is affordable enough for us to get an extra one (or three) for inside the house. The product boasts continual, emergency lighting whenever the power goes out with its rechargeable backup battery pack. Hey, hurricane season has just begun, and we've already lost electricity several times from thunderstorms this summer. As much as we appreciate the long, five-hour run time we'll get with the Energizer Light on Demand motion activated light when it's fully charged, it's nice to know we have the option of using three AAA batteries to get a continuous 12 hours in case of emergency.

We're in agreement with QVC host Lisa Robertson on this one...we can't imagine anyone who couldn't benefit from the
Energizer Light on Demand motion activated light. Easy to install and energy efficient, this product is ideal for mounting anywhere you need some extra light. Perfect in a garage, closet, attic, stairway and yes, by the front door, Energizer is definitely on the right track with this modular lighting system. Seriously folks, there's no reason to come home at night to a dark door. We do confess that we wish function met a little more with fashion in this case...it's kind of an ugly looking unit. Regardless, we think the Energizer Light on Demand motion activated light is a "kool" and practical idea for every household...definitely worth checking out on your own.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tiles - Imprinted Invitations

The Daily Kool recently received a wedding invitation for a business associate. We've been having some trouble coming up with a gift idea, though. Apparently, they've also been living together for a while, so they probably have many of the essentials. Plus, the couple hasn't registered anywhere, so we're clueless as to what they really need...sigh. Way to make it tough on your guests, guys! Sure, money is always an option, but our egos can't handle such a generic gift...we need to stand out, be remembered and yes, get kudos for our creativity. Okay, so we're a little self-absorbed.

Weddings are a sentimental business, so we've been thinking it might be a good idea to give the couple a gift to reflect the joy of the event itself. We recently came across the Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tiles website....hmmm. We just may have hit the jackpot with this one. This family-owned Louisiana business specializes in imprinting invitations on their hand-crafted keepsake tiles. In case you're wondering, the company uses an age-old process called sand casting, creating a lovely antique white patina. Plus, it seems incredibly easy to order...simply fill out the order page, download (or email, or even snail mail) the invitation, and the Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tile company handles the rest. Pretty "kool," huh?

There are so many things we love about the idea of giving a Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tile as a wedding gift for our business associate. The etching of the invitation in stone is permanent, creating an everlasting memory that is not only unique, but certainly elegant enough to display in their home. We also appreciate how reasonably priced the Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tile is. Assuming we decide to purchase the tile, plus the display easel they offer, everything (including the $10 shipping cost) would come out just under $75...this price falls within the spending range recommended by wedding etiquette experts.

Sadie Ryan obviously takes great pride in customer satisfaction...these keepsake tiles are offered in two sizes (8.75" x 7" or 10.75" x 6.5"), yet the company keeps the price the same, preferring to allow customers to pick the most appropriate size for their invitation. The company claims they can create a keepsake tile from just about any invitation or card. Plus, it's nice to have the option of including (or excluding) graphics, initials, emblem and even reception information. And, considering each Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tile is personally created at the time of order, a two week turnaround seems more than reasonable.

Although we admit that the fleur-de-lis & scroll antique finish that Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tiles offers looks stunning, keep in mind that it is the only style that is available. Also, all color ink is converted to black. Don't get us wrong...black is perfectly fine, especially since there are so many colors that would be unlikely to show up on the stone. However, a nice dark brown would possibly give the tile a softer look and be a viable option the company might want to consider offering their customers.

There is definitely something to be said for taking pride in doing one thing and doing it well. Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tiles are quite possibly one of the most unusual and timeless wedding presents we have ever come across. This is one gift that would undoubtedly become a treasured heirloom for any couple. We're definitely keeping this "kool" idea in mind for our colleague and his new bride.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Party on the Go Food & Dessert Travel Caddy with 4 Inserts

Every year, the summer is filled with picnics, barbecues and other casual gatherings for The Daily Kool family. Most of these get-togethers are pot-luck events where everyone brings a dish for the guests to share. Needless to say, tables are always filled with a ton deviled eggs, fruit platters, sandwiches and cupcakes galore. So much for shedding those last few (okay, or forty) pounds...sigh. Since most of us tend to bring homemade items as opposed to pre-made trays, we are always looking for convenient travel caddies to hold our food.

Check out today's special value on QVC...the Party on the Go food & dessert travel caddy with 4 inserts. Seems like a pretty "kool" idea, and just what we need to transport our munchies. The set includes four different interchangeable trays...a travel caddy with lid, cupcake/muffin tray, deviled egg tray, 12" round tray, and veggie/chip and dip tray. These inserts are perfect for customizing the carrier for the type of munchies we're bringing to the party. For about $26 (including shipping), the
Party on the Go food & dessert travel caddy is not a bad deal...The Daily Kool would certainly get our money's worth.

We love that the
Party on the Go food & dessert travel caddy has a lid (complete with handle) high enough to protect our goodies...too often, our food gets mushed on top from covering it with tin foil or plastic wrap. We also like that this product comes in five colors to choose from...we are partial to the purple and blue. Achem, excuse us...lilac and sky. The only thing we're not thrilled with is that the caddy can only accommodate one tray at a time. While we understand this for the food itself, it would be so much more convenient if it included some way to store the extra pieces we're not using at the time. At least all the trays nest together for compact storage when not in use, though.

Despite our little pet peeve about where to put the unused inserts, the
Party on the Go food & dessert travel caddy is certainly worth our order. Our plan is to test it out with our basic (and kid-friendly) deviled eggs for the pool party we're going to next week (see recipe below)...good thing our QVC orders tend to arrive pretty quickly. We even picked up a few extra sets as hostess gifts...we're sure our friends will appreciate how easy it is to create an attractive presentation with this product. The smart and stylish Party on the Go food & dessert travel caddy can be used year-round and certainly seems ideal for any type of casual entertainment...a definite "must have"...at least for The Daily Kool family.

Our Basic Deviled Egg Recipe

  • 12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (we like Hellmann's)
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black (or white) pepper
  • Paprika for garnish
  1. Remove the egg yolks and place into a small bowl, mash with a fork.
  2. Add mayonnaise, mustard powder, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. Fill the empty egg white shells with the mixture and sprinkle lightly with paprika.
  4. Select the deviled egg tray and place it in your Party on the Go food & dessert travel caddy.
  5. Place deviled eggs in the caddy, cover with lid.
  6. Refrigerate up to one day (but at least one hour) before serving.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: BirdieBall Limited Distance Golf Practice Ball

Golf is one of those sports that has earned much respect in The Daily Kool household over the years. There is just something about the mental and physical challenge, combined with getting out in the fresh air on a beautiful grassy course, that is both relaxing and stimulating. We admit it, though...our original motives for playing golf were not entirely pure. Yep, we used golf as a front to establish potential (and often profitable) business connections...we're so ashamed! There was only one problem...we didn't account for how hard it is to stick to the green. Oh, that darn Tiger Woods...he makes it look so easy!

We received a BirdieBall limited distance golf practice ball at a marketing convention we attended last year. We were intrigued by the idea of a limited flight (about 40 yards) practice golf ball with a long hang time, true-feel trajectory. Okay, we know it looks weird...but honestly, the BirdieBall is the best golf training aid we have ever owned. Because of the limited distance, we can create an impromptu driving range in our backyard or even at the park without worry. BirdieBalls are much safer than hitting real golf balls, with far better performance than you would ever get from a perforated practice ball or wiffleball. We love how the BirdieBall spins and flies exactly like a regular golf ball...just far enough to show ball flight, but short enough that you can hit and retrieve it with minimal effort. Plus, there is nothing quite as satisfying as the turbine hum that results from a perfectly executed swing.

The BirdieBall limited distance golf practice ball really performs just like a regular golf ball...hook, slice, chip and yes, even a worm burner (sigh). Regardless of whether your are giving a full swing or are in the chipping realm, you can count on the BirdieBall to behave appropriately. Experiencing the "true feel" and seeing the "true flight" of the amazing BirdieBall has dramatically improved our ability to control a real golf ball with only 15 minutes of practice per day. Not that the practice is a hardship anyway...BirdieBalls are amazingly addicting and have never failed to offer us a pleasurable, challenging and rewarding experience. Regardless of handicap or experience, this is quite possibly the "koolest" gift for any golf lover.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Miracle Blanket - Baby Swaddling Blanket

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, July is the most popular month to have a baby. Surprised? We're certainly not. It seems that everyone we know is pregnant these days...yep, we at The Daily Kool have been getting some major baby fever. This month has been filled with baby showers galore, and we have had the arduous task of trying to find that "perfect" gift that everyone will love. What do new parents need most? Well, sleep of course, but let's face it...we can't package sleep and wrap it in a pretty bow no matter how much we'd like to. Or can we?

Introducing the Miracle Blanket baby swaddling blanket. What is swaddling, you ask? Well, it's a way to wrap your newborn securely in a blanket, creating a slight pressure to give them a sense of security. Many experts suggest that swaddling in the first several months eases babies through the shock of suddenly being out of the womb by duplicating many of the same sensations. Many babies do not handle this transition well, and some recent research suggests that this may be the main cause of fussiness. Swaddling actually helps limit movement so the baby can relax and calm down.

Swaddling a baby properly has almost become an art form, and is often difficult to do. Most blankets do not provide for a secure swaddle, allowing the baby to squirm loose. The
Miracle Blanket makes baby swaddling incredibly easy and, most importantly, fool-proof. The Miracle Blanket is made of a breathable, cozy fabric that babies love, and because it doesn't use velcro, knots, buttons, straps, snaps or zippers, it will leave your baby in scratch-free comfort. The Miracle Blanket is endorsed by pediatricians and other baby experts everywhere, and has even earned the "thumbs up" from the Good Housekeeping Institute.

For many babies, the secret to a longer, more restful sleep is swaddling. A proper swaddling will help a baby sleep on his back to reduce SIDS concerns, and can often eliminate colic symptoms. We have yet to find a baby swaddling blanket that works quite as well as the
Miracle Blanket. Though it is a bit expensive, The Daily Kool would readily argue that the extra sleep it will give baby and parents is well worth every penny! Just be careful...there are many knock-offs available out there that are not made quite as well as the original. The Miracle Blanket is definitely a "kool" gift idea that every parent will appreciate.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Space Bag Under-The-Bed Vacuum Storage Tote

The Daily Kool family spent a better part of our weekend going through and organizing our closets. That's when we noticed that most of our closet space is taken up by bedding. Blankets and sheets and pillows...oh my! We have comforters for the winter, lightweight blankets for the summer, two sheet sets per bed, plus extras of everything (including pillows) for the occasional barrage of family house guests. Yikes! Unfortunately, our closet space is at a minimum, and it's tough to fit those large storage bins through our attic door. We needed a better solution.

The area under our bed has always been pretty wasted space...after all, you really can't fit much under there, and the under-the-bed storage containers hold practically nothing. Check out this Space Bag under-the-bed vacuum storage tote, though. The rectangular-shaped outer tote features sturdy, canvas-like material and closes with a metal zipper. The inner bag has an airtight and watertight zipper, plus a patented one-way valve to remove air and compress items. Like traditional Space Bags, this tote utilizes the power of your household vacuum to remove the air and reduce the volume of your bulky or seasonal items by as much as 75%. Simply pack clean blankets, comforters, sweaters and other items in the inner bag, close the seal and remove the air with a vacuum. Then, zip up the outer bag and slide it under a bed for out-of-the-way storage.

Though they have received many mixed reviews over the years, The Daily Kool is actually a big fan of this company...this Space Bag under-the-bed vacuum storage tote is probably our favorite version of the product. We particularly love the outer canvass...it gives additional durability and protection against bag abrasion, has handles for easy lifting, and even features a see-through window to help identify contents. Because there's no air, you don't have to worry about insects, mold, mildew, dust or moisture damaging your stored items.

There's something about Space Bags that makes us get carried away and try to over-stuff...if you want them to work as well as on TV, you must fight that urge. Also, don't ever expect to store as much as the infomercial boasts. Either the company exaggerates a bit, or there's some secret we don't know, but we doubt that anybody can fit as much stuff as they claim. Don't let this discourage you, though. You can still fit a lot more than traditional storage bins....just keep your expectations realistic. Also expect some major wrinkling, especially if you're using your
Space Bag under-the-bed vacuum storage tote for clothing. We prefer to re-wash anything we keep stored for an extended period of time anyway, so this is not a particular problem for us. Besides, we all know how to use an iron or the fluff button in the dryer.

So, if you're looking to maximize storage space under your bed, this might be the perfect solution for your home. Space Bag under-the-bed vacuum storage totes are really convenient for reducing clutter, particularly if your house is as overrun with bulky bedding as ours is. They store plenty, and zip into a very handy and neat package...what more could we ask for? An excellent way to stay organized all year round and a very "kool" idea.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Drinkwear Attachable Flip Flop Coasters

Last Saturday, we had a mom's only rejuvenation gathering at a friend's house, courtesy of our husbands. They really went all-out for this one...the men hired a massage therapist, manicurist and a server to take care of all twelve of us for the day. It was amazing! We spent an entire day, relaxing and rejuvenating ourselves at the pool...while the men took over taking care of the kids. We drank fabulous wine, and enjoyed massages, manicures and pedicures...all without lifting a finger to do anything. Yep, it was absolute bliss.

One of our girlfriends showed up to the event with a couple of bottles of wine and the cutest drink coasters we've ever seen. These Drinkwear attachable flip flop coasters were the perfect party accessories for our gathering. Designed to fit on the base of most stemware,
Drinkwear flip flop coasters stay appropriately attached to the "foot" of your glass. The EVA foam rubber material keeps stemware secure as you mingle and is easy to hand wash clean. The best part? Each one of us was able to identify our wineglass with our own flip flop style. They are simply adorable!

We just couldn't get over how fun and funky these
Drinkwear attachable flip flop coasters are. Each set comes with four unique flip flop coasters, secured in a drawstring tote to fit over the neck of a wine bottle. Our girlfriend found this particular set for only about $10 (minus her 20% coupon, of course!) at her local Bed Bath and Beyond store. After some research, The Daily Kool was able to find a larger (albeit, more expensive) variety of styles online at Perpetual Kid. What a fabulous housewarming gift idea for any outdoor celebration, and a great way to protect your tabletop with style. Drinkwear attachable flip flop coasters are, without a doubt, a "kool" idea for a hot summer day.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Wendy's Father's Day Frosty Weekend

When we were kids, we often spent the weekend enjoying the surf and sand of the beautiful Florida beaches. Money was tight, and it was the perfect solution for all day entertaining on a budget. Our parents would pack a picnic lunch and we would spend hours making sand castles, searching for seashells and just splashing away in the blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Then, for an extra special treat, we would stop off at Wendy's for one of their delicious Frosty desserts. Yummy!

The original chocolate Frosty is arguably the best dessert that any fast food chain has ever offered, and has remained a family favorite since Wendy's first opened it's doors in 1969. We actually had the honor of personally meeting Wendy's founder and philanthropist Dave Thomas once, and were saddened by his passing from liver cancer in 2002. A well-known advocate for adoption (he was raised by adopted parents himself), he established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in 1992. Today, the Dave Thomas Foundation continues to work in partnership with Wendy's to find adoptive families for the 150,000 children in the U.S. and Canadian foster care systems. One of the ways Wendy's supports the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is with their annual Father's Day Frosty Weekend.

This Father's Day weekend, we can all help change the lives of children in foster care, simply by treating ourselves and Dad to a Frosty. Seriously, folks...what's the hardship in that? For every Frosty product sold on Saturday and Sunday, Wendy's will donate $.50 to this worthwhile organization. Last year, more than $1.7 million was raised for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption during Wendy's Father's Day Frosty Weekend....let's do our part (albeit a small one) raise even more this year.

In addition to enjoying the cool and creamy goodness that is a Frosty, there are two other ways you can support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption this Father's Day weekend. Simply create a free Father's Day card on www.frostycard.com, and Wendy's will donate $.25 to the DTFA. You can also buy a Frosty Pinup for $1 at your local Wendy’s to be hung on the wall. 100% of Frosty Pinup Sales will benefit the DTFA.

Though we are fierce loyalists to the original chocolate Frosty, Wendy's has introduced some notable varieties that may interest you. From the vanilla Frosty to the Frosty shake, the Frosty float to the Twisted Frosty, Wendy's has a flavor that is bound to strike everyone's fancy. Make sure to check out Wendy's two new flavors, Frosty-cino and Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty...even we think they sound divine enough to tempt us away from our classic favorite...nah.

No matter which flavor you choose, you can't go wrong, especially during Wendy's Father's Day Frosty Weekend. So, create your Father's Day eCard today and make sure to bring your family to Wendy's this Saturday and Sunday for a Frosty...you'll be giving them a treat they'll love, while supporting this wonderful cause. Together, we can help children in North America's foster care system find loving homes.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Daily Kool is on Vacation

The Daily Kool is on vacation and will return tomorrow - enjoy your day!


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: The Swerve Neck Razor and Full Body Groomtool

A couple of weeks ago, we were waiting outside our favorite Mexican restaurant for our table to be ready, when our father started examining the back of his neck. Noticing that it was time to shave it again (yeah, Dad's a pretty hairy guy), he asked our mother if she could do it before his business meeting the next day. After some grumbling about last minute requests and a few Homer Simpson cracks, Mom said fine...after all, she's been shaving the back of his neck in between haircuts for the past 40 years.

Another one of life's strange coincidences. It just so happened that our friends at the
Swerve were in the process of mailing us a sample of their product to review for The Daily Kool. We had come across the Swerve the day before, and thought it sounded like an unusual Father's Day gift. Weird, huh? We just can't make these things up...well, we could, but we really didn't.

Swerve neck razor and full body groomtool is actually a pretty nifty little $5 invention. It has a patent-pending, ergonomic design that allows it to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. The Swerve contains a triple-action blade for swift cutting precision and a lubricating strip designed to help it glide smoothly along the contours of your body. Our tester loved how the Swerve gave him complete control when he used it to shave the back of his neck and upper body. He could definitely see purchasing one for himself...we gave him the sample to keep in the meantime.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind with the
Swerve neck razor and full body groomtool. It is disposable, so expect to replace it every 4-6 weeks or so when the blade gets dull. The price is more than reasonable, and the company offers a three-pack of the Swerve if you want to save a couple of dollars on the individual cost. We would really like to see an interchangeable blade system sometime in the future. We would also like a more convenient storing solution for our Swerve (maybe something to snap it in)...we are not confident that the plastic tube it comes in, though convenient for travel, will prevent the blade from rusting. Also, remember that you may still have to trim the back of your neck before using the Swerve, depending on how much hair growth you have...this would be the case with any razor, though.

Swerve neck razor and full body groomtool is a simple solution to unwanted hair growth. We love when products work as well as advertised...seriously, how often does that happen? We are definitely buying one for Dad (or is it for Mom?). A unique gift idea that any man would appreciate. The Swerve is absolutely worth the purchase and a great way to easily maintain your "kool" appearance. So tell us...do you have Swerve appeal?

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Decorative House Keys

The Daily Kool family has a tendency to take advantage of every opportunity to express our individuality, even beyond the basics of fashion and hair style. From coffee mugs to bumper stickers, we are not shy about letting others know what we are all about. Our kids are still young enough that our (achem) quirkiness is pretty amusing to them...give us a few more years, though and they'll be in a perpetual state of embarrassment...yeah, we can't wait either.

We went to get a key copied at The Home Depot yesterday, and came across some decorative house keys...oh yeah, we were all over this idea! This is definitely one of those completely unnecessary items that we can't imagine anyone resisting. Hence, much to our disappointment, the store was sold out of many designs they seem to normally carry. We were able to let each child pick a style for us, though. Our 4 year old selected Mickey Mouse (not a surprise) and our 7 year old settled for the Florida Marlins...he really wanted the L.A. Lakers. Apparently, our excitement over these decorative house keys drew a crowd, because before we knew it, there was a pretty long line of other people wanting to get theirs.

And why not? Not only are decorative house keys fashionable, but they are undoubtedly going to become a "must have" for any serious collector. Our Home Depot excursion yesterday prompted us to do a little online research...lo and behold, we came across this terrific website with a tremendous selection of decorative house keys. KeysRCool offers over 500 unique and stylish house keys...yep, including the L.A. Lakers. Don't be fooled by the amateurish design of the website...their collection is top notch. We have not been able to find any other site with as extensive a selection. Their prices are also pretty reasonable, even factoring in the shipping cost. Keep in mind though, you will be receiving the key blanks and will have to pay to get them cut at your local locksmith or hardware store.

Decorative house keys are both adorable and affordable. What a great gift idea for anyone who appreciates the unusual...and really, who doesn't? From sports to superheros, Elvis to Hannah Montana...KeysRCool has a design for just about everyone. This is definitely one of the "koolest" ideas we've come across in a long, long time. Check it out for yourself!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Original UNO Card Game

This week has marked the beginning of summer vacation for The Daily Kool family. Unfortunately, everyone's been sick for the past few days, so we've been stuck at home. Poor kids! They really just want to go outside and ride their bikes or swim in the pool. Instead, we've been raiding our closets all week, trying to come up with different ways to keep them entertained indoors. It hasn't been easy, especially since television is not our favorite pastime. It was time to introduce a classic from our own childhood to the kids.

The other day, we were digging through some old childhood boxes that our parents had finally given us, when we found an old (and we mean old) set of the original UNO card game. Oh, the memories it brought back! We were absolutely obsessed with UNO when we were kids and was the only card game we knew that could accommodate up to ten of us who wanted to play at the same time. The deck consists of cards of 4 colors: red, green, blue, and yellow. The ranks in each color are 0-9. There are 3 "action" cards in each color, labeled "skip", "draw two", and "reverse". There are also special black action cards, "wild" and "wild draw four". At each turn, a player may play a card from their hand that matches the color or rank/number of the top exposed card, or play a wild or wild draw four. When a player plays down to only one card, that player is required to say "Uno" to warn other players. The Daily Kool rules determine that whoever goes out completely wins...however, UNO was originally designed on a point system (each card has a numerical value).

Mattel has attempted to modernize the game with its introduction of versions such as UNO Attack, UNO Spin and UNO H2O Splash. Honestly, though...none of them can possibly compare to the original UNO card game. Perfect in its simplicity, UNO is a wonderful game for all ages...it never loses its excitement. Although it's labeled for ages 7+, the rules are simple enough (similar to Crazy Eights) that our four year old has learned it with ease. In fact, UNO has quickly become an obsession with both of our kids. We couldn't be happier, especially since it teaches valuable color, number, pattern and strategy skills. The only challenge for our youngest child is in holding the cards, but we help him by fanning them out for him a few times during play. We will say though that we much prefer the original UNO card design from 1995 (the one we have), which defined the action cards with words instead of symbols...too bad it's not available anymore.

The original (and still the best) UNO card game is an educational and wholesome game that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Portable enough to take anywhere, UNO will undoubtedly give your kids hours of television and video game-free entertainment. What a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with your children...nothing is "kooler" than that.

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Today's Kool Idea: Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush

Have you ever noticed how it's the simple things in life that give us the most pleasure? A child's laughter...a morning sunrise...the Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush. Okay, call us crazy (and trust us, many many people have), but we at The Daily Kool absolutely love it when a kitchen gadget gets the job done right. Those of us who own anything by Oxo know that their products usually do. Yep, we admit it...we are big Oxo fans, and have been since we got our first kitchen gadget about ten years ago (yikes, has it been that long?).

Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush may not be our first kitchen gadget by this top notch company, but it certainly is one of our favorites. In our humble opinion, this vegetable brush is, without a doubt, the best on the market today. Perfect for use on root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and beets, the Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush's strong and sturdy nylon bristles dislodge dirt deep in the nooks and crannies, regardless of how round, bumpy or odd the surface. Don't be deceived by the term "flexible"...there is nothing flimsy or floppy about this product. The handle is all Oxo Good Grips, ergonomically designed to comfortably fit the palm, while providing an outstanding, non-slip grip with less tension on the hands than a traditional vegetable brush.

We love how the Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush follows the contours of our vegetables for a thorough clean, without damaging the skin...all with surprisingly little effort. Keep in mind that this brush was designed for use with firmer vegetables...we do not recommend using it on the delicate ones, like mushrooms or tomatoes. We do find that the Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush is perfect for removing wax off of our apples and other fruit from the supermarket. Also great for removing the silk from a corn husk...just be careful not to scrub too hard.

It's truly amazing how much thought and effort has gone into the design of such a little gadget...no wonder the Oxo Good Grips line has earned the Tylenol/Arthritis Foundation Design Award and is regarded as on of the icons of Universal Design. The Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush is one of the most frequently used kitchen tool in The Daily Kool household and well worth the $4 price tag. How "kool" is that?

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