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DESIGN and style


Vintage Bikes, Food+Flower+Style and Hotel Chocolat

front door of hotel chocolat on newbury street in boston

delivery bike of food+flower+style

It seems that not only city cyclers fall in love with vintage bikes. Vintage bikes unite my story of two retailers. Plus, both brands rely on their unique creations to do business.


event design by food+flower+style

Food+Flower+Style is the retail place of two sisters with a background in food and floral arrangements. I like what they do. They specialize in event and floral design. One particularly is that they often flowers with their vintage style bicycle. They serve San Francisco and New York. They deliver by bike chocolate, flowers and home decor accessories (style).

days of the week dishtowels

The nostalgic feeling of their Days of the week dishtowels is cute and comforting. They are flexible on the tasks you can print on the dishtowels.

Hotel Chocolat

front door of hotel chocolat on newbury street in boston

Seeing the British old-fashioned bike in front of Hotel Chocolat invited me to enter their chocolate shop. This British chocolatier transformed me into a customer with their Less Sugar, More Cacao recipes.

hotel chocolat newbury street location

This British chocolate maker opens two stores so far in The United States. Both are in Boston. I took pictures at the Newbury Street location. If you wish to become more savvy with your cacao, Hotel Chocolat offers Tasting classes that cost $50 per person. This can be a fun event among friends.

inside view of hotel chocolat newbury street location

It was hard to decide what I wanted from their vast selection. Sadly, the US Web site only shows a few products. A cool thing is that they produce a seasonal chocolate collection where the fillings reflect the seasonal produces. I bought several bars and boxes that pleased my taste buds. I will definitely go back on my next trip to Boston.

+ Days of the week dishtowels $35 USD
+ Food+Flower+Style – via Design Mom
+ Hotel Chocolat in the United States
+ The British site of Hotel Chocolat that sells online


Winners of The Art of Marketing Giveaway and a Special Rate

The winners of The Art of Marketing Giveaway will receive one free ticket each, complimentary of  The Art of Productions Inc. The two winners are:

I will email or DM the two winners in order for The Art of Productions Inc. to register you at their conference. Thank you for everyone who participate. There is still time to buy tickets. I will attend. Come to say Hi if you are there.

Special Rate for my Readers

For the others, if you wish to register to be at The Art of Marketing, you can take advantage of our preferred price of $349 – saving $50 off the regular price by using promo code KV26. Plus, when you register 3 or more people you’ll save an additional $50 off each ticket! Hurry up since the the first ten people who register using your promo code KV26 a free copy of Seth Godin book Linchpin.

+ Register for the Art of Marketing conference in Montreal and enter the promo code KV26


Amy Butler’s Style Stitches

amy butler's style stitches :: sewing book for handbags, purses and bags

amy butler's style stitches :: sewing book for handbags, purses and bags

Fans of Amy Butler will be happy to know that she published a new sewing book. Style Stitches proposes 12 easy ways to make 26 wonderful bags. The book explains to you how to customize and tweak each bag to let your own style shine. There’s a wide range of great projects, from chic clutches, coin purses and wristlets to modern hobo bags and cool reversible totes.

amy butler's style stitches details

As you can see the projects covered on her book are diversified. If you are a sewer or have a girl friend who enjoy sewing, this would be a great addition to your book collection. As a bonus when you buy the book on Amy Butler’s web site, you get a signed copy by Amy. Otherwise, the book is available at a book store near you and on Amazon.

+ Amy Butler’s Style Stitches $29.95 USD with a signed copy
+ Amy Butler’s Style Stitches $19.95 at [affiliate link]


I’ll Be Speaking at PodCamp Montreal this Saturday

podcamp Montreal 2010

podcamp Montreal 2010

Update: You can watch a video of my PodCamp Montreal presentation on the blog of my company, Media Sidekick.

There is more to blog monetization than banner ads. I will talk about the ethical approaches that a few bloggers who I respect did to expand their advertising offering. We will talk about how you can do those. The session will also explore the distinction between content, PR and advertising.

I invite you to join this conversation on Saturday, September 11th at 1:30 PM. PodCamp Montreal will happen at a new location. It will be at UQAM’s Cœur des sciences located in downtown Montreal.

Plus, if you register to PodCamp Montreal, you can attend on Friday (tomorrow) a new unconference called MediaCamp. You can find MediaCamp’s schedule here.

PodCamp Montreal 2010’s official schedule
Register now for PodCamp Montreal 2010


The Art of Marketing Giveaway

the art of marketing conference in Montreal sept. 30, 2010

the art of marketing conference in Montreal sept. 30, 2010

If you didn’t hear, The Art of Marketing is coming to Montreal on September 30th, 2010. You will get a chance to hear and learn from 6 marketing thinkers and doers during a one-day conference. I will be there.

The organizers of The Art of Marketing wants to give a free ticket to two lucky readers of At Home with Kim Vallee. The 6 speakers will be in order of presentation at the conference:

  • Mitch Joel on Digital Marketing and Social Media – Best-Selling Author, Six Pixels of Separation
  • Seth Godin on Leadership and Creativity – New York Times Best-Selling Author, Purple Cow, Tribes & Linchpin
  • Avinash Kaushik on Brand Measurement: Metrics and Analytics – New York Times Best-Selling Author, Web Analytics 2.0 & Web Analytics: An Hour a Day
  • Max Lenderman on Branding and Experiential Marketing – Best-Selling Author, Brand New World & Experience the Message
  • Andy Nulman on Strategy and Innovation – Best-Selling Author, POW! Right Between the Eyes!
  • Jeffrey Gitomer on Customer Loyalty and Sales – New York Times Best-Selling Author, The Sales Bible & The Little Red Book Of Selling
  • And the host will be Ron Tite – Expert on Comedy & Creative Thinking

How to Participate and the Rules

Step 1 – Fill out all the fields of the form below before September 22nd, 2010 11:59 PM EST. Beware that each participant’s name will be published on this page. One form entry per person. People filling the form more than once will be eliminated.

Step 2 – Then, earn more chances to win by tweeting; make sure to use our tweet button so that we can record your tweet. Only tweets before September 22nd, 2010 11:59 PM EST will be considered. Participating tweets may take a while before they appear on this page.

The winners will be selected by a random draw. The winners will be announced on September 24th, 2010 on this site. The sponsor of this giveaway is The Art of Marketing.


Help Wanted: A Part-time Blogger

writer help wanted

writer help wanted

At Home with Kim Vallee has a part-time writer position to fill. We pay per post. We are looking for a talented writer with a good eye for a design or a foodie. Being a  savvy shopper is a plus. We are looking for candidates who could write 2 to 3 posts (150 words approx. each) every day of the week.

How to Apply

Send the following information by email at athome[at]kimvallee[dot]com

  • your CV
  • what are your specialties?
  • tell us why you would be a good addition to At Home with Kim Vallee?
  • provide 3 links to articles you wrote
  • pitch us 5 ideas of articles for At Home with Kim Vallee
  • what model of camera do you own?
  • links to photos you took
  • do you know how to use and do you have a version of Photoshop?
  • in which city, country do you live?

Kate Spade’s iPhone cases And The Need for iPhone 4 cases

kate spade iphone 3G cases

kate spade iphone 3G cases

I always put a case to protect my iPhone. Kim of The TomKat Studio talked about her Kate Spade’s iphone case. They are for the iPhone 3G/3GS. I wish I saw those girlie cases before. With the iPhone 4, I am not ready to invest in new accessories for my iPhone 3GS. I wrote this article to encourage designers to design iPhone 4 cases that are tailored towards women.

+ iPhone cases by Kate Spade $40 USD
+ kate spade new york Agenda Case for iPhone 3GS $39.95 USD
+ kate spade new york Agenda Case Flowers for iPhone 3GS $39.95 USD


Upcoming iPhone app for At Home with Kim Vallee

upcoming iphone app for at home with kim vallee

upcoming iphone app for at home with kim vallee

It is on my iPhone but in a few weeks, it could be on yours. We are working on a few refinements for my first iPhone app to be ready. Then, we will submit it to the iTunes store for approval. Once it is done, you will be able to read, search and share the content of At Home with Kim Vallee from your iPhone. The app will be free.

The iPhone app is a part of what Media Sidekick, my new company, offers as services to bloggers and publishers. We hired Yann Bouschet to do the programming. I will tell you more about the app features when the app is out.


Phase 1: My new Like and Post Redesign

new layout with like function

new layout with like function

Today was the day that we installed my new Like feature on At Home with Kim Vallee. This is the red heart that you see on the corner of the picture. The heart is positioned at the top and the bottom of every post. You simply click on it to show that you like the post. It records the number of likes and a cute arrow will indicate that you liked it. For the moment it is not linked to the Facebook Like feature but we plan to support that in the future.

We updated the home page, the category pages, the search results page to put emphasis on the pictures and a streamlined look. We also add a Tweet this! button and a Share on Facebook buttons. We repositioned the Nb. of comments since the old design was confusing. And the Continue reading… moved to the right.

homepage redesign

This marks the Phase 1 of my Web site redesign. We laid down the building blocks on which we will enhance the At Home with Kim Vallee’s site. I planned lots of great add-ons that will be implemented in phases until this fall. Some of the changes were done in the backend. They might be visible to you but it involved a good amount of development work.

Post Redesign

refined bottom of a post with next and previous navigation

We polished the bottom of a post. You can now navigate to the previous post or the next post directly from a post. The rest were cosmetics changes.

Finally, we removed the frame that characterized my pictures since I started blogging. I decided that with the heart it was time to streamline my look. This was a huge job that since it has impacts on posts. I want to thank my technical team, Chris Bavota and Jerome Paradis for making this a reality.

We are still fine-tuning little glitches here and there before we continue our work on phase 2.


The Golden Rules Sketchbook by Olivia Lee

golden rules sketchbook by olivia lee

golden rules sketchbook by olivia lee

As a mathematician and designer I could not resist the urge to talk about this product. The Golden Ratio first emerged as a mathematical term. It has fascinated mathematicians for thousands of years since Euclid first defined the concept in 300 BC. The Golden Ratio has many implications in geometry and mathematical properties. The Golden Ratio is an irrational number: 1.6180339887498948482…

Architects, artists and designers often used the golden ratio in their creations because it is believed to create aesthetics pleasing proportions. If you wish to explore the virtues of the Golden Ratio, you can buy a unique sketchbook designed by Olivia Lee. Her Golden Rules sketchbook contains grids that can help you draw objects with the golden proportions.

Refer to the review of Dezeen if you wish to better understand how to utilize the sketchbook.

+ Olivia Lee
+ Golden Rules sketchbook £6.50 at Spunique


Winner of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs Giveaway

So so sorry for being so late! While I was on vacation in Japan, Lisa Kothari of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs, who was a guest blogger, ran a giveaway here. Sadly, I forgot to draw the winner. Since it is better late than later, I am ready to announce the happy winner of a copy of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs…: What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties in which she answered non obvious questions that many parents will face.

The happy winner is Kim of Since we both followed each others on Twitter, I will ask Kim to send me her shipping address by DM. Congratulations! And enjoy the book.