Saturday, November 29, 2008

Announcing Our Winners! NEW, revised for new winner!

We have the winners to two of our Holiday Giveaways!

Remember to check our sidebar for ALL of our giveaways--every time a new one goes up, it will be posted there, and we only take them down when the contest is over, so if it's on the sidebar, you can STILL WIN!

Now, on to the winners:

For our Scrooge and Christmas Spirit giveaway, Judy Brittle was the lucky winner of the Hannah Montana and High School Musical 3 Hallmark Collectible Ornaments AND the Christmas Sucks! book.

Amended: Unfortunately, Sena has an international shipping address, and all Cool Moms Rule! contests are only available to those living in the continental U.S.

We have picked a new winner for the Trendy Bebe plaid blanket!
The winner is: momofmaria!

Congratulations, Ladies!

I have Judy's address, so momofmaria, I just need your shipping address so that I can forward that on to Trendy Bebe!

Thanks to all who entered, subscribed to our feed, put up our button and all the rest--I really do appreciate all that you do for Cool Moms Rule! Keep on entering, we have lots more giveaways, including one coming up just for our feed subscribers!


Girls are Gamers, Too!

So, did you think I would forget about Girl gamers?

No way!

I'm one, myself. Except, you know, I'm old. ; )

There's no reason in the world, btw, why guys can't play these games, too, or why girls can't opt for the games I listed in the Gifts for Gamers section of our Holiday Gift Guide, Thursday's post. Which you should definitely read, also, as there is a giveaway in that one, too (yes, I said, "too". Hang on, and you'll see why).

But these games are targeted specifically to girls' interests, showing that these game makers recognize that girls like gaming, too, and they want to make fun games for them to play.

Our picks for gifts for girl gamers are:

Animal Paradise (Nintendo DS)
In this cute game, your biggest worry is keeping your animals--there are 18 to choose from--happy and safe. It's not a frenetic, fast-paced game; you might find, as one reviewer did, that grooming your animals is a soothing experience. The animals in the game, as you might guess, are absolutely adorable! Your child does need to be old enough to read to enjoy this game, so I think 'tween girls are just the right age to appreciate this offering (Animal Paradise, from Empire Interactive, 19.99).

Samantha Swift (PC)

In Samantha Swift, girls hunt down Secrets and piece them together to make even greater discoveries, combining both a Hidden Object game and a Puzzle-Solving adventure in one. Samantha Swift features an adventurous leading lady girls 8-14 will love. She's half Indiana Jones, half Nancy Drew!

Samantha Swift is set to come out on December 2nd, just in time for Christmas. (Samantha Swift from MumboJumbo, the same people who publish the Seven Wonders games, 19.99)

Build-A-Bear Workshop® A Friend Fur All Seasons (Wii)

Originally made for Nintendo DS, this Build-A-Bear Workshop® gsme allows up to four players to name, groom, feed and dress their bears in a fun twist on the real-life store experience. Players can also join their specially customized bear on adventures, exploring islands to meet the natives and help new furry friends. Another really cute game that will especially appeal to animal lovers (Build-A-Bear Workshop: A Friend Fur All Seasons, from The Game Factory, coming soon!).

Princess Debut (Nintendo DS)

Princess Debut is like an anime version of Cinderella: girls have 30 days to prepare for the big ball where they will meet not one but six handsome Princes and win him over. How to 'prepare for the ball'? Master your dance moves, of course!

Utilizing the Touch Screen on the DS lets girls guide their character gracefully across the dance floor in time with their partner's rhythm. And the dance moves are real, taken from moves the professional dancers use. So girls can watch their friends dance as they play (like when their brothers try to keep up with Guitar Hero!) (Princess Debut, Natsume, 29.99).

Cool Moms Rule! is giving away a copy of Princess Debut, JUST for our feed subscribers. If you subscribe to our feed, just leave a comment below to remind me. You can also sign up now for our feed to enter the contest and leave a comment.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from Cool Moms Rule!

Please be careful while you are out doing your holiday shopping, and keep safe, okay?

Photograph courtesy Gary M. Stolz/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
via National Geographic

Gifts for Gamers!

According to the 2008 Game Crazy Holiday Gift Tracker, a nationwide survey of kids and parents, a whopping 96 percent of kids have a gaming system, and 90 percent of kids are planning to ask for at least one game this year, up from 80 percent in 2007.

So begins an email from my friends over at Game Crazy, and I am not the least surprised to discover, hey, kids like videogames! So, without further ado, here are my top holiday picks for gamers.

First, if you aren't familiar with Gamefly, you should definitely give them a look. Why? Well, imagine this scenario: you buy your kids an expensive new video game, and after just a few weeks, they never look at it again. I'm betting you are nodding your head along with me; that's a familiar story to you, too, isn't it?

Gamefly is a the leading online game rental service, sort of like a Netflix for games. Kids play a game, then send it back once they have tired of it. Gamefly has over 6000 titles, on all the popular platforms--Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, etc. There are no contracts, due dates or late fees, so a Gamefly gift certificate makes the perfect gift for any gamer on your list (Gamefly gift certificates are available for as little as 15.95/mo for up to 12 month increments).

I want to be open with all of you and say that, since I am a gamer myself, I allow my kids to play M (Mature) games as long as I am with them. It's important, as a parent, to understand the ESRB ratings and make your own game-purchasing decisions based on them.

If you are interested, the M games we play include Call of Duty: World at War (the CoD games were previously rated T for teen), and Fallout 3 (Xbox 360). The Rhino has learned more history (really!) from playing the Call of Duty games than he has, sadly, from his social studies classes. He knows details about WWII that are really fascinating as a result of playing those games (just ask him about Operation Market Day, for example). And Fallout 3, a post-apocalyptic game that posits an alternate timeline in which a nuclear war took place early in the twentieth century, sending most of the population into fallout shelters (vaults), is full of historically accurate detail, like the Cole Porter songs officially licensed for the soundtrack, and the tongue-in-cheek title song, "I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire." You can check out local game stores, like Game Crazy, to find out more about those games.

I know that many of you feel uncomfortable with either some or all M (Mature) games based on the graphic content. I'm listing below my personal fave picks for computer and console games that are rated T or below, suitable for teens and 'tweens.

Need for Speed: Undercover (Xbox 360, Wii and PS3)
The Need for Speed franchise is insanely popular among teens who love racing games, while nowhere near as violent or lewd as the Grand Theft Auto series, which earns it a Teen instead of Mature rating. In my opinion, this latest version of Need for Speed is an excellent substitute for GTA that you can feel good about! It is sure to win over all the gearheads in your home (Need for Speed: Undercover 59.99).

Neopets Puzzle Adventue (DS)
Neopets are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, so the popularity of the Neopets cannot be questioned, and the (FREE!) virtual world is a friendly place for kids to hang out online and interact. In Animal Puzzle, kids can accessorize and customize one of 12 cute neopets on their epic journey through three lands of Neopia and over 150 puzzle quests. (Neopets Puzzle Adventure from Capcom, $29.99 ).

Seven Wonders: Treasures of 7 (PC)
This is the third installment in the 7 Wonders franchise, a puzzle matching game that has you building the wonders of the world each time you complete a puzzle. The rhino and I play the DS version of the original 7 Wonders all the time. The graphics are great, really colorful. Cute little dudes build the wonders as you make matches of three or more on the puzzle grid. In this newest PC version, Treasures of 7, there are nine new wonders to build, and the puzzle board actually rotates! (you can buy the PC version of Seven Wonders: Treasures of 7 for under $20 or download from Mumbo Jumbo).

Nintendo DS Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades We have the original Guitar Hero for the Xbox 360 and my kids love it, so I especially wanted to include a Decades review here. Now, having played the game myself, I can say that it is absolutely one of the hottest gift ideas for gamers ever. Not only does the game feature songs from a variety of artists, to please everyone from tween to Mom, but it also includes a special attachment for the Nintendo DS, as well as a guitar pick stylus, that lets kids play in style. You can see what it's like to actually play the game in this video.

Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades from Activision is obviously the next best thing to playing the original Guitar Hero games--but in some ways it's even better, since kids can play in the car, while waiting at the orthodontist offic, anywhere a real guitar isn't practical (which is a lot of places. Some people have no appreciation for guitar playing in public. Especially, for some reason, when it's me playing...hmm. Wonder why that is?)

I've also amended this listing to include names of some of the musical artists featured in the game, which is really important just now, as my fabulous contact came through with not one, not two, but FIVE copies of Activision's Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades for the Nintendo DS to give away! So you need to know these names: Blondie, Bon Jovi, , Linkin Park, Seether, Smashing Pumpkins. Got them? Good! Now go enter the giveaway. Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades from Activision, comes with guitar pick stylus and attachment for play on Nintendo DS, 49.99).

Now, if you are looking at these game reviews and thinking, "Is there anything else out there for my kids? Maybe something else that's fun AND educational?" Then don't worry, because I have the perfect solution for you!

Kidzui, The Internet for Kids, designed for kids from ages 3-12 , is offering gift certificates this holiday season to their--well, I honestly cannot say it better than they do--their "revolutionary new browser and service that offers youngsters the full wondrousness of the Internet, giving them access to over 1.5 million parent- and teacher-approved websites, videos, games, and pictures, as well as completely safe social networking features."

That's right, Kidzui lets your tweens, and even their younger siblings, have fun online, while you have the security of knowing that questionable listings will not even come into the equation, because your kids are protected. Kidzui gift certificates are available for 3-month and year-long subscriptions to the Kidzui service, beginning tomorrow, Friday, November 28th, right from the Kidzui homepage. (Kidzui 3-month subscription, 19.95, and year subscription, 49.95).

Now, I happen to think those prices for Kidzui are really reasonable, but because I am always working it for you guys, I went a little crazy, and I asked the Kidzui people, "Hey, can I get a 3-month subscription to Kidzui to give away to my readers?!"

And they said, "No."

But those Kidzui guys are not just crazy, they are insanely generous, and they followed right up with, "Let's give them a FREE YEAR of Kidzui instead!"

Yes, really!

So, to win a year's free service to Kidzui, the Internet for Kids, just comment on this post!

Additional entries for:

Visiting (you knew that was coming, right? It's a good cause, and thanks so much to all of you who have already visited the site through my link!)

Adding my badge to your blog

Blogging about this giveaway

Tweeting about this giveaway

Subscribing to my feed

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Favorite Toys and Plush for the Kids

What a fun time I had with this listing for our Holiday Gift Guide--I got to play with toys and hug stuffed animals! Hey, it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it, right? ; ) Here are my favorites (and I think they'll be yours too!) for the Holidays.

Like me, you probably know a little about the Build-A-Bear Workshops in your local mall. Maybe you even know that kids pick out their own bears, take them to the special stuffing station to make their bears soft and cuddly, and "pawsonalize" them with wardrobes (and even sound!) to make memories that will last. You may even know (which I didn't!) that each stuffed friend comes with a red satin heart warmed in the hands of a child and filled with wishes, a pawsonalized adoption certificate, and a code that brings the stuffed animal to life online at

But did you know that all year round, Build-A-Bear Workshop has bears priced as low as $10? And that, especially for the holidays this year, they are offering more $10 bears than ever?

Yeah, that price surprised me, too. Just $10 for some of the cutest critters around! “I have always believed a child should be able to visit our store and make a furry friend with their allowance, and that’s why we have always had a selection of bears starting at just $10,” said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. “This year we felt it was more important than ever to give our Guests a holiday gift and begin the season a little early.

Build-A-Bear Workshop also has a special couple visiting this holiday season--Hal and Holly Moose! Pictures just don't do them justice because they are SO darned cute, but here is one anyway. Hal's antlers are adorned with lights that actually light up in sequence when you squeeze his hand! The cute couple have a special Christmas story book all about them available this holiday season for free (while supplies last) when you pick up Hal and Holly Moose for $24 at Build A Bear Workshops all over the country (Hal and Holly Moose also available individually, $18).

Zoobies, like my friend Bobo the Baboon over there, are special to me because I discovered them just recently.

Zoobie pets offer big bang for your buck this holiday season--because they are not one, not two, but three products in one!

Just check out Lencho the Lion (pictured, right) and you'll see what I mean. Each adorable furry Zoobie pet is lovably huggable in its animal form, but tug a little here and there, and Voila!

Now your child has a comfy pillow to sleep on.

But wait, that pillow not enough for sleepy time? No worries! Reach inside, tug some more and your Zoobie pet becomes a soft blankie, too!

Now, little ones will surely enjoy Zoobie pets, and can curl right up with those comfy blankies, but I think older kids will love them, too, because they are cute and comfy for hanging out with, providing a soft pillow when your teen is on the phone or a warm cover-up for their feet when they're working on homework (or, more likely, chatting with their friends online when they are SUPPOSED to be doing their homework). There's also baby Zoobie pets available (Zoobies, at specialty stores or online, range from $25-36).

Now, on to the toys!

If your kids are movie fans (or just like the idea of exploring like a Junior Indiana Jones), these next toys make very cool gifts. The Indiana Jones Lost City Archeology Dig lets your child actually dig up "priceless artifacts and treasure" of their own! Plus, unlocking the Mayan archeological dig site allows them to discover a special secret of their own, as well (no, I'm not giving it away!).

Also available is The Indiana Jones Crystal Skull Image Projector, which not only projects images from the latest movie, but real archeological discoveries, making it both entertaining and educational--but your kids won't know that! (Indiana Jones Lost City Archeology Dig from Uncle Milton, 29.95, and Indiana Jones Crystal Skull Image Projector, 39.99).

But maybe the guy on your gift list sees himself as more of a junior James Bond than Indy--in which case, he'll need the latest in spy gear to keep track of the bad guys.

Enter the SpyVideo ATV-360, the kind of toy that will make Dad want to take over the controls himself and give it a whirl!

This ruggedly built remote-controlled camera/tank combo lets your guys spy from rooms away via a special LCD camera and single earbud headset. Here's what sets it apart: live images AND audio are transmitted to the headset, so your junior spy can see AND hear who's coming in real time!

Even the Engineer found the SpyVideo ATV-360 impressive, and that's saying something! (SpyVideo ATV-360, available through's online specialty store for $129.99, and also at Target and Wal-mart).

Finally, from our old friends at K'Nex come four new offerings to their Thrill Ride series of construction sets, a neat way to get the kids and Dad together for some quality building time.

Designed with older kids in mind (sets are intended for the 9+ crowd), these are challenging sets with hundreds of interlocking parts that will appeal to serious hobby enthusiasts, but they're also a lot of fun to play with once they're put together, since each one is, as the name implies, a Thrill Ride as well!

Pictured, for example, is the biggest of the bunch, the Motorized Madness Ball Machine, which, when assembled, stands over four feet tall. Included is a motorized ball-lifter (kinda like an elevator for marbles), and 3 unique tracks for the five balls to race down. With over 2000 parts, this will keep them busy on Christmas morning! (The four newest offerings in the K'nex Thrill Ride series range in price from 29.99 to 59.99) .

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eco-Friendly and Green Gifts

We all know we should be doing more for the environment, but are we really doing it? Sometimes it's hard to know what it is, exactly, we're supposed to be doing!

These products give you a simple way to help, while still giving a thoughtful gift to that special someone on your list. want to put this idea out there first, because it is not only unbelievably economical, but it can make a real difference, and the idea is beautifully simple in its execution. Mokugift will plant a tree, in anyone's name, in one of the most needy regions of the world, fighting against deforestation and global warming, for just. one. dollar.

You read that right. Just one dollar to plant a tree! Less than a cup of coffee. Not only that, but you can see a virtual rendering of your little tree on the Mokugift website, so not only will your gift recipient know the satisfaction of helping in this small but vital way, they can visualize just how their gift is helping! And the Mokugift site is so friendly and inviting, you just have to see it. Really, please click on the link and you'll just fall in love with the idea.

Here's another easy, inexpensive (in fact it's free) way to help the environment while you are out shopping this holiday season: bring your used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones to major retailers nationwide, like Best Buy, Target, RadioShack and Lowe’s, that participate in the Call2Recycle program, so they can be recycled safely. Just drop your used rechargeable batteries and cell phones in the branded Call2Recycle collection box. That's all there is to it!

Going one step further with recycled items, Eco Artware turns them into socks, accessories and even jewelry, like these bracelets made from a recycled bicycle chain and a recycled inner tube, respectively. The inner tube bracelet is adorned with flowers from recycled flip flops.

Check out more of their products, sure to be a hit with today's teens, at the Eco Artware website (bicycle chain bracelet, just $12, and inner tube bracelet with flip-flop flowers, $30).

Teens Turning Green, a nonprofit organization led by 'powerful and passionate' teens, offers healthy skin and body products made just for them, all with the environment in mind. The teens designed and created the products themselves, and even the packaging is eco-friendly. I was able to try out a sample and found them to be high-quality products that I would feel good about purchasing for my own kids.

As Carly Wertheim of Teens for Safe Cosmetics explains, "Our products are formulated with the safest ingredients and incorporate sustainable packaging with mindful business practices. These products are memorable with great scents and textures, but above all they really work.”

Right now, Teens Turning Green is offering a special gift pack with the entire product line for the holidays. Plus, part of your purchase goes to a good cause--10% of the proceeds help support the Teens Turning Green Campaign (Teens Turning Green gift basket, $125).

Lastly, just when you are running out of green ideas, Celebrate Green! comes to your rescue. Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family lists creative ways you and your family can incorporate Green into your life, making protecting the environment a part of your holiday celebration for years to come! Many of their ideas or low, or even no-cost, and as easy to implement as the ones I've listed here in our gift guide (Celebrate Green, printed, of course, on 100% recycled paper, $17.95).

Land's End Blows Us Away: An AMAZING Giveaway (and a Sneak Peak at Tomorrow's Daily St. Nick Pick)

Lands' End, which is just bowling us over with they're holiday offerings, has Daily St. Nick Picks running now on their website, offering different discounted offers every single day.

We have the insider info about tomorrow's Daily St. Nick Picks deal: Look for selected $89 cashmere items discounted to $50!

But that's not all: Lands' End has offered an amazing giveaway to Cool Moms Rule! readers.

You can win one of these fabulous prizes:

A comfy, cozy, super-soft Women's Regular Long-Sleeved Cashmere Tee Sweater available in 21 (I counted!) colors;


These super-warm Kids' Fleece Slippers, including the cute Scotties pair I profiled in the Cool Moms Rule! Holiday Gift Guide in either red or green, as well as penguin, ice skates, ski badge, dog and bear models;


This roomy, easy-wheeling, Men's Wheeled Duffel Bag, perfect for all those Cool Dads who have to travel on business, available in five different colors.

And Lands' End is making it really easy to win--just visit their site, take a look around, and then come back and leave a comment telling us which of the above items is your favorite!

I'm giving you two weeks to comment on this post. We'll randomly pick the winner on Tuesday, December 9th, and make the announcement the next day.

That gives you plenty of time to take advantage of the other great deals on the Lands' End site, enjoy the Daily St. Nick Picks, and decide which item you would most like to win from Lands' End!

So, see, you definitely have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

Good luck!

P.S. Visit the site for an additional entry!

Equal Time for Barnes and Noble

Just to make things fair, since I posted Amazon's specials, I'll put this out there as well:

Barnes and Noble is offering select bloggers a special coupon code that will save you 15% off of any one item in their online store. They will take 15% off of the most expensive eligible item on your order now through December 2nd!

Because this code was designed for Cool Moms Rule!, make sure you use the link below to click-thru. Enter the coupon code when you get to the payment methods page of your order:

Amazon Votes, Amazon's Black Friday Deals Are Up!

If you aren't familiar with Amazon Votes, it's a nifty little concept: beginning the day after Thanksgiving, select Amazon customers will get extraordinary deals on items they voted for in a 'contest' known as Amazon Votes, which is going on right now!

Here's how it works: Go check out Amazon Votes here and look at all the potential deals--three per day--and then pick which of the three deals you would most want if you were one of the winning voters selected. Some of these deals are inCREDible, like a Flip Video Camera for just $39, but all of them are outstanding values. The hard part is picking which one you would want the most!

Beginning on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Amazon emails select voters who chose that day's winning deal, and they can purchase the deal! Each day, new winning voters are chosen. It's a fun way to maybe try to win something for yourself this holiday season!

What I really like about Amazon Votes are the customer forums about them. Each year, the forums are full of people trying to convince Amazon to pick them to get their deal, whiners who didn't get picked or whose deal choice didn't make the grade and are just incensed about the whole thing, people who are sure Amazon Votes is a conspiracy or something--it's really a roll call of rowdiness there, and it's a lot of fun to visit the forums even when you don't win an Amazon Vote.

By the way, I actually won a deal one year, and was as excited as if I had won the lottery or something! ; )

Also, Amazon has what they say are their Black Friday deals already up on the site, and that's worth checking into, too! Here's a little tip for you that you might not notice otherwise--I don't see them promoting it anywhere, but if you go to the Black Friday page through my link, then look on the left sidebar, there's a chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Designer and Handmade Gifts

I know that we are all budgeting in these tough economic times, but I have run across some innovative designs that are reasonably priced for gift-giving, and I want to share those with you!

First, a couple of designs that you can actually make yourself and achieve impressive results (that's the "handmade" part of the title).

Shains accessories come as a kit containing the basic piece and then an icon or elements--letters, etc--that "encourage and empower people to make their own statements and change them whenever they want!" That's right, you can change your Shains accessories to say whatever you want them to say, from, "Thanks for being such a great friend," to "Please stop looking at me, you crazy stalker." Just kidding! A cool gift idea would be to give a girl a Shains bracelet with a positive message on it, like, "You are beautiful, inside and out." Or just give her a kit and she can make her own statement!

The Shains pieces--the original accessory, like a bracelet, cuff, earrings or hair barrettes, as well as the elements or icons that adorn them--are made from recycled materials, so they are also a green-friendly gift to give. The bracelets and cuffs are made of TRE (basically a recycled rubber), while the elements are made of recycled ABS. Even the packaging is made from recycled materials!

Any tween or teen girl on your list will enjoy customizing her own Shains accessories (prices vary, check the Shains website to order). Update: I just checked the website, and they also have pet collars now. Very cool!

Remember when you were a teen yourself (I know, seems like forever, doesn't it?) and you used to make your own mix tapes? Update that idea with the CD Packaging kit. Complete with 25 labels and CD sleeves and matching stickers to decorate your Mix CD, this is a designer gift with a personal touch! Themes include "Vintage Vinyl", "Surf and Turf" and my personal favorite, "Fauna Mendela," pictured. (CD Packaging kits, 15.95 from Chronicle Books).

If you'd rather leave the designing to the professionals, these next two designers' products, in my opinion, are jaw-droppingly gorgeous!

Lazuli jewelry is like nothing I've ever seen, with bright colors and exciting metal choices. Lazuli's Cubist section even includes Signet Rings for the men on your list, in gorgeous colors (Signet Rings, $85).

I'm especially fond of her copper pieces, like the bracelet shown to the right, but the whole site deserves a look. There's a wide variety of designer pieces available for under $50. Enjoy browsing the Lazuli site, you're sure to find something there to please (Lazuli Copper Slit bracelet, $50).

Equally stunning, and yet completely unique, are Kathryn Reichert's jewelry creations. Her "Le Petites Initial Charm Necklaces" are an..ahem...charming addition to any girl's jewelry box. They're understated and elegant, not at all overwhelming, and available for an unbelievable price (Charm Necklaces, 22.00).

Kathryn also has some beautiful posey rings in her Etsy shop, so if you know a girl's ring size (or just want a ring for yourself), take a look at them as well. Inscribed with phrases like, LOVE PASSIONATELY, KNOW THYSELF and CARPE DIEM, or adorned with an inscription of your own, they make a lovely gift (posey rings, 25.00)

Lastly, we move from designer jewelry to designer scent and two new designer perfumes from surprising (to me, at least!) creators: Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton.

Now, let me say this about Paris Hilton's Fairy Dust offering: I wasn't sure how I would feel about her perfumes, as I have not always been the biggest Paris fan, but I have to see that the Fairy logo is really cute and will definitely appeal to girls. Plus, I love the idea of the Shimmer body lotion being named, "Fairy Dust." It just fits so well. Paris asks with her line, "Do you believe in Fairy Tales?" And doesn't that make you wish you could sprinkle some Fairy Dust on and go flying to Neverland?

Jessica Simpson's offering is simply entitled Fancy, which is also the name of my cat, who usually smells pretty good, but I assure you Jessica Simpson's perfume smells FAR better! ; ) Fancy is a delicate floral scent, and it comes in a visually pleasing, vintage-inspired bottle. The pink color will appeal, I think, most to tween girls, to whom the fragrance is targeted. I also find that Simpson herself is a good role model for girls, as she comes across as both down-to-earth and gorgeous--and how she manages to pull that off, I have no idea!-- while still having real talent as a singer (Fancy and Fairy Dust are both available this holiday season for under $50).

Custom and Personalized Gifts

Don't forget to enter our Holiday giveaways:

Today is the LAST DAY for the Hannah Montana and HSM3 Hallmark Ornaments and/or Christmas Sucks book giveaway! Enter now.

You can still win a pair of One True Fit Premium Bootcut Jeans from Lee Jeans! They're giving us TEN pairs to give away!

Lastly, enter to win the beautiful Duck in New York City book and CD set from the Secret Mountain.

Sometimes you just can't find a gift for that one person on your list. The Hard-to-Shop-For person--you know the one, the person who has, it seems, everything already. They don't really have a specific niche like scrapbooking or model railroading to help you out when you are searching for gifts. He isn't a soccer coach or a coffee addict or a nerd. She isn't a Perfect Angel or the Crazy Cat Lady.

So then you scratch your head and think, "What can I get them that shows that I know them and didn't just pick something up at the corner drugstore on the way over?"

Don't worry, we've got your back. These gifts are perfect, because they are specially made just for THAT person.

I don't care who you are or where you live, you gotta sleep. And when you do, you want to lay your head down on your own pillow. Some even go so far as to bring that special pillow with them when they travel--you'll see them in airports holding onto their soft and fluffy savior for those red-eye flights. And when you have your own special pillow, why not your own special pillow case?

Pillowcasegram is a unique gift idea to charm even the most difficult person on your list. Each one is uniquely crafted with the recipient's name embroidered on the pillow for a lovely homey touch, and there's lots of different patterns and fabrics to choose from. Order now (up to December 10th), and you can have your Pillowcasegram by Christmas!

Here's another cool feature: you can order a leftie or a rightie, depending on which side of the bed they sleep! You can crawl in the window and spy on them to order the perfect one. I'm just kidding about crawling in the window, btw. Please don't do that. I don't want to be responsible for some poor kid thinking Santa's come early and then find out, no, it's just Aunt Debbie. You can pick a fabric with a design that doesn't matter whether it is facing right or left, instead. (Pillowcasegram, ~$20).

This next gift is just incredible to me, because not only does it make a personal gift, it does so in a unique way I've never seen before.

Frecklebox--even the name is fun--has the perfect gift for any child on your list. Really, just cross them off right now, because one you see them, I'm sure you'll want one of Frecklebox's personalized children's books.

While I'm familiar with personalized books for children, Frecklebox takes it to an entirely new level. Or even a new dimension--these books spell out the child's name in snowflakes, leaves, even shells on the beach! Every time I look at the products on Frecklebox's site (you can also order personalized placemats, posters and coloring books!) I'm just blown away by the artistry of these gifts. The personalized books for children, as you can tell, are my favorite, but these gifts would work for anyone who'd like to see their name up in lights! ;) (You can order Frecklebox books soft bound for 19.95 or in hardcover for 34.95.)

Now, if you really want to go whole hog, and just awe someone with your amazing thoughtfulness, you can't go wrong by visiting LifeOnRecord. You'll want to bookmark this page, or write it down, because the next time someone you know is getting married or having a baby, you'll want to find the website again!

LifeOnRecord offers two options. One is a Journal, the ability to record your own voice and thus journal, basically, anything you want to remember for playback later. It could be as trivial as a shopping list reminder or as profound as, "Today I met my soulmate." I actually am signing up for this service myself, to help me remember ideas for Cool Moms Rule! You just call a number on your phone and record anything you want. You could record your little one singing, "Itsy Bitsy Spider." You could even record yourself reading a favorite book, and present a gift of a personal audiobook for someone--really, the applications are endless!

Remember I mentioned there were TWO options? Well, the second one, Weddings and Events, is even better for a special gift (I think the Journal option is just a great thing for anyone to have for themselves).

Here's how Wedding and Events works: Suppose someone you know is getting married. LifeOnRecord gives you a phone number to share. Then you have family members call it up and share a memory for that special event--maybe you will call and share about how you introduced Jim and Sue and now you are maid-of-honor at their wedding, or your grandparents can share about the day they met each other, 50 years ago; it can be anything, any memory--and then LifeOnRecord makes you a keepsake CD of all those memories!

LifeOnRecord makes a unique birthday gift, and of course is perfect for the holidays, when the whole family is together and can share all those precious memories. (LifeOnRecord Events, 49.99, Weddings 79.99, and Journal available through subscription service. Subscription services run for less than a year all the way up to 3 years at a time, prices vary by subscription).

Finally, for a cute and personal way to send a special greeting, and, better yet, one that's absolutely free, I invite you to go Elf Yourself. No, that's not a slippery metaphor for something sinister--Elf Yourself is a free service offered by Office Max that lets you put your face on an Elf for a cute Holiday greeting. Kids will love becoming an Elf for a day, and receiving an Elf card from those silly grown-ups, as well!

Next up in the Holiday Gift Guide are Designer and Handmade Gifts!

We have some more giveaways coming up soon (here's a hint: you'll be thankful for them!).
Cool Moms Rule! is in full compliance of the new FTC rules concerning Bloggers. I disclose on all posts where a product was received for free and/or if there was any kind of financial compensation involved.