Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Flickr-based Mosaic

(click on picture for a larger version)

1. crowns and wands, 2. Shellfish over Grits, 3. The Carving on Stone Mountain, Georgia, 4. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, 5. movie night, 6. Sweet Tea, 7. Seagrove Beach, FL, 8. Five Nut Brownie, 9. Best gift a mommy can have., 10. Wonderment, 11. Unique, 12. My first Wawaya

1. What is your first name? Kimmy

2. What is your favorite food? Southern cuisine

3. What high school did you attend? Stone Mountain High

4. What is your favorite color? various shades of purple

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jack Black

6. Favorite drink? Sweet Tea

7. Dream vacation? Seagrove Beach, Florida

8. Favorite dessert? Houston's Five Nut Brownie

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A mommy.

10. What do you love most in life? Wonderment.

11. One word to describe you? Unique

12. Your Flickr name? KimmyDarling

If you have some time to kill, may I suggest creating your own flickr based mosaic.

Here's how: Go to flickr, type your answer to each of the above questions into flickr's search box. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URL’s into the Mosaic Maker (3 columns, 4 rows). Voila!

Thanks to Karin at What the Font for sharing this idea with me.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Winning contests, to be exact.

I've won lots of stuff lately-- mostly from my favorite beauty blogs (a few of which you can check out if you look to the bottom right of this page). I'll be blogging on the winnings with which I have fallen in love as time goes on, but today I'm talking about the thrill of winning stuff.

I love that feeling, and really do run around like the most frenzied of newly-picked-to-play Price is Right contestants when I win... on the inside. I don't really run around at all, truth be told, but the spirit of it is absolutely there. I bet the people who offer the contest have no idea how much I am delighted by being chosen as their winner, but I try to convey that if/when I can.

Anyway, today I came across a fantastic video of the announcement of a contest winner. It was awesome, and it made me wish I had a contest to offer all five of you who read this, just so I could do something equally as exciting when I pick one of you as the winner. Unfortunately, however, I have no such contest, so we must all live vicariously through the guy in the video...

Congratulations, Deb in Denver! I actually know a Deb in Denver, but it's not the same one. But damn, I wish it was!

Tell me-- what's the best thing you've ever won in your whole life? I would love to hear about it.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Hope you win something wonderful very soon.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

A haiku.

Entitled "Google Reader."

tell me right away
what Perez has said about
who has shown their ass

Hey, good-lookin! Whatcha got cookin?

When I was a kid, I always wanted one of those storybooks that was "written just for me." Remember? The kind that you could special order, that used the kid's name and hometown in the book? I thought it was the stuff dreams were made of-- my name in an actual story in an actual book! Alas, I never got one. I can understand why I never received one of those books, though, looking back, because they do seem to have simply been like bad form letters-- I imagine the publishers just duplicating the same story, over and over, but just changing the names in the [Insert Name Here] fields throughout. I'm not even sure they used the same font when they put the names in. So it wasn't seamless. Probably not all that fun, actually.

But now, as a grownup, and with newer/better technology, we can do better than that, and have the power to make personalization, well, more personalized.

A great example of that is in TasteBook.com, a service that allows you to create your own hard-bound cookbook, and I am In Love With It. You build your own book, from start to finish-- the title, the picture on the cover of the easy-open binder, the order of the tabbed chapters, and, best of all, the recipes. Add any recipe you have in your collection, whether it's tried and true, or brand new to you. (You can even upload pictures for each one!) Or, if you would like to browse recipes from various sources and add them, choose from the following HUGE collections.

* Allrecipes Recipes
* Better Recipes Recipes
* Coastal Living Recipes
* Cooking Light Recipes
* Epicurious Recipes
* Food Network Recipes

* Allrecipes Cookbooks
* Better Recipes Cookbooks
* Cooking Light Cookbooks
* Epicurious Cookbooks
* Food Network Cookbooks

* Oxmoor House Recipes
* Simply Recipes Recipes
* Southern Living Recipes
* Sunset Recipes
* 101Cookbooks Recipes

* MyRecipes Cookbooks
* Simply Recipes Cookbooks
* Southern Living Cookbooks
* TasteBook Cookbooks
* 101Cookbooks Cookbooks

The possibilities are endless! (And hello... I could drool for days over the Southern Living Cookbooks and the Coastal Living recipes alone.) Furthermore, you can add your own personal notes, tips, tricks, and stories to each recipe you add to your book. I think it makes for a great cookbook-- one that I see myself owning forever.

So those are some of the things that made it interesting enough for me to get one. But there are a couple of things I absolutely LOVE about it, that stand out as really smart design ideas.

First of all, it's a binder, so you can pop out the recipe you're going to use and return it when you're finished. This is perfect for me, because I like to be able to put my recipe under a magnet on my fridge while I'm cooking, so it's easy for me to see and read, but out of the way and off of my countertop. Others might like taking the recipe out so they can take it to the grocery store with them. You can also reorganize them as you see fit-- I group the ones I use most at the front of each section. I think it just makes a lot of sense to be able to take them out.

Another thing I think is brilliant is the way in which they let you fill your book. They have what they call Recipe Credits. Here's the how and why. Each book will hold 100 recipe cards. However, they have three pricing options, with different numbers of cards included with each. You can get a book with 25 recipes for $19.95, or one with 50 recipes for $29.95 (both with the option to buy more recipe cards later for .50 each), or (the best deal) one with 100 recipes for $34.95. But let's say you only have 19 recipes right now, but you still want to make a book. No problem. TasteBook will send you your book of 19 recipes, with Recipe Credits for you to use to complete your full set anytime in the future! When the recipes arrive in the mail, simply use the easy-open binder to slip them into your TasteBook.

Finally, I really love the gifting options TasteBook offers. Of course, they have the standard Gift Certificate option, in denominations of $25, $50, and $100, which you can either print at home or have emailed to the recipient. That's nice, but no big whoop, right? Yeah, but the coolest gift idea they have is the books you can make for others. Maybe fill one with all of your family recipes and give it to all of the cousins at the holidays. Or make one for your kids' teachers, filled with recipes from each student's family. Or you want to convince your friends that your Raw Foods recipes really are delicious. Maybe your husband's favorite ingredient is pesto, so you want to fill a book with pesto recipes! (Keep dreaming, Nerdboy. I'm not about to arm you with a Pesto Cookbook. Or a Garlic one. But doesn't a BACON one sound good?) My point is that there are all kinds of books you can make as gifts. But here's another idea-- you can create and send partially filled books as gifts, too-- which the recipients will receive with a redemption code for Recipe Credits, to be used whenever they want! I think this would be awesome for friends and family, or for a wedding party. For example, say the bride wants to give each of her bridesmaids a book she designs for them, to commemorate her wedding day, but to also share a few of her favorite signature recipes. Maybe she wants to do them all with the same cover picture, but wants them all to be able to fill the rest of the book with whatever they'd like. She could totally do that here, with ease! And the groom could give his groomsmen one that includes his favorite recipes for cocktails, game day food, or his grilling masterpieces.

Okay, I could come up with a hundred other ways in which I think it's one of the Best Gift Ideas Ever, but I think this is enough. They're actually having a contest right now where you can win a $1000 Gift Card to Cooking.com, so click on the link below for details, even though I plan on winning it myself. Otherwise, I'll be keeping a link posted on my site, because I think it's Just That Good.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

la la love you-- don't mean maybe

One of my faaaaaaaaay-vorite things in the world is finding a good bargain. Thanks to the interwebs, I am able to find infinitely more bargains than I ever could in "bricks & mortar" stores, so as time goes on, I'll be sharing some of the sites that give me great bang for my bucks. [Note-- a few of the sites I'll be sharing are "members only," but I can send you an invitation anytime to join if you send me your email address. Send it to StuffKimmyLikes (AT) gmail (DOT) com.]


This is one of my favorite members-only bargain sites, for a few reasons. First of all, they offer limited-time-only sales (they call them "boutiques") for a wide variety of high-quality brands. For example, they might launch a Vera Bradley boutique one day, with discounts well over 50% off, and Wustoff cutlery at a huge savings later that week. Or Gucci sunglasses today, and Le Petit Bateau infantwear tomorrow. Which translates to "full of surprises," in my world, so I like it.

They also send your order beautifully nestled in fuschia tissue paper, with a sweet thank-you note in an envelope with your packing slip. It's Marketing to Women done right-- something you'll hear me rant and rave about, ad nauseum, if you keep reading my blog. (Note: I am a big believer in the value of Paying Attention to the Female Customer, and think Marti Barletta's Marketing to Women should be required reading for all who do anything that Lloyd Dobler wouldn't.)

Another cool thing they do is give you the opportunity to invite your friends to join the site. If they make a purchase, and you were the person who referred them to the site, you get a $10 credit to your account. It's an added bonus-- fact is, I'd shop there with or without it, but I do think it makes it even more fun. I really think it's another brilliant Marketing to Women move, in that it keeps their customers talking about RueLaLa in an exciting way. I mean, if I get an email from them that says something like "Hey, Kimmy. Sharon loved the La so much she bought something, so we just put $10 into your account," the first thing I'm going to do is call or email Sharon, to find out and talk about (read: squeal over) what she ordered. BRILLZ! And fun.

So, anyway, I say "ooh la la" for the RueLaLa, and hope you'll like it, too. And if you have shopped with them, tell me what your experience has been.

La la la,

Monday, September 8, 2008

O yeah!

I can't do caffeine, so I drink water about 95% of the time. (The other 5% of the time, I splurge on the occasional Sprite.) After having seen the video about how nasty the lemons are, AND given the fact that citrus fruits trigger migraines for me, all that water I've been drinking has been plain. Bland. Boring. Blah. Until I had the big O.

O Water, that is! It's the brain child of one of the Toms from Nantucket Nectars, by the way. (No trivia in the bottle caps, though...) I am in love with their Unsweetened Water line, which has natural fruit flavor and electrolytes. I LOVE it. Somehow, it has some zip to it, without any carbonation. It is exactly what I have been wishing for! There are tons of flavored waters out there, but they're full of sweeteners-- just not for me. O Water is refreshing and light-tasting, and puts an end to my plain water doldrums.

So you can imagine my disappointment when, on Friday, I went to the ONE store where I've been able to find O Water, only to find that they no longer carried it. I almost screamed, right there in the middle of the bright, shiny, wide bottled water lane at the new Giant. Devastay-shonnnn. I immediately went home and fired off an email to the company, hoping (begging and pleading, truth be told) that they could tell me of any nearby stores that carry it. I NEED THIS STUFF!

Well, this morning, the DM for Canada Dry called. He not only looked up what stores carry which flavors, but he BROUGHT ME FOUR CASES, two each of strawberry and mixed berry (my favorites), "for my trouble." That's right. Brought. Me. Four. Cases. I am in HEAVEN. Not only does my primary grocery store now carry it, but I won't even need to buy some more for a couple of weeks! AND he told me to call him again if I am unable to find it in stores.

Anyway, I am beyond thrilled with the service I received, and am even more of a fan of the O than I was before. If you see O Water in your stores, and it piques your interest at all, just know that I absolutely love it, and definitely recommend it.