Browsing Category

REVIEWS

MEDIA buzz REVIEWS

Guest Blogging on Affordable Decor for Your First Apartment

Guest Blogging on Affordable Decor for Your First Apartment on Style Sheet :: blog of HGTV.ca

I compiled a list of attractive decorative items for people on a budget. I wrote this for Style Sheet, the blog of HTGV.ca.

My guest post goes beyond the college and university students who wish to decorate their dorm. The list suits anyone who moved out of his or her parents’ house for the first time.

Because I prefer buying stuff that can stay with you for a while, I selected items that would look great in your subsequent homes.

To prove it can fit in a grown up home, the first item is an IKEA hack done by one of my girlfriends in her apartment. I want to thank the photograph Elizabeth Delage for taking the pictures.

I invite you to have a look at my finds and to share your opinions on Style Sheet.

MEDIA buzz REVIEWS

Guest Blogging on Desk Chairs

guestblogging_threedeskchai

Style Sheet, the blog of HGTV.ca, published my latest guest blogger post this morning.

I went on a hunt for three desk chairs that would look great in a home office.

I selected three styles that suit three budgets from home furniture stores across Canada. If you enjoy, leave a comment on Style Sheet.

If you wonder, I sit all day on an Aeron chair by Herman Miller. I felt for this icon ergonomics chair ten years ago. I feel that it is money well spent since I passed long hours at my desk.

Via Style Sheet

MEDIA buzz TRENDS

Come to my Sessions at PodCamp Montreal

podcamp montreal unconference 2008 :: fall foliage print by sixhours on etsy

I will go sidetracks today for my first post. I wish to talk about what is happening in my life.

Some of you may be aware that I worked for 15 years in the IT and Web industry. I gained a pretty good understanding of the challenges and processes governing the online and offline universes.

I coupled my Web expertise with my design skills to build and operate At Home with Kim Vallee. My husband is a bright system architect and Chief technical officer. So I am still connected to that previous career. All this brings me to my participation at PodCamp Montreal this fall.

What is Next?

The world of social media is so exciting. For the first time in the history, non technical people, like most of the bloggers in our circle can participate actively and build a business around their passion. The female and mommy blogs are booming at an accelerated rate. It is normal that women embrace social communities because we like to converse.

I am reflecting about that because I am preparing for the two sessions I will give at PodCamp Montreal on September 20-21, 2008

  1. Beyond the Blog – How to Better Serve the Woman Market Through Social Tools: I am really excited by this topic.
  2. Managing the PR Beast : Building Relationships With PR Practitioners While Maintaining Credibility With Your Audience. This is a panel made of Michelle Sullivan, Rayanne Langdon, Eden Spodek and Kim Vallee. I am lucky to sit on a panel with these three talented women.

August 22, 2008 Update: The PodCamp Montreal schedule is out. My first talk (Beyond the Blog) is at 3 pm on Saturday and then at 4pm, it is the panel. So I got a busy afternoon.

Register for PodCamp MTL

The line-up is incredible at this unconference. So register, the event is FREE and you will get to visit the beautiful Montreal. The weather will still be nice but bring a light coat as nights are colder.

Love Links

Since I am talking marketing and bloggers, why not share blogs I enjoy reading but that are in a different sphere.

I feel guilty that I did not respond earlier on my blog to Renée from En Direct Des Iles who awarded me an Arte y Pico at the beginning of the month. I do not follow the rules on her award but I respect the spirit. Here are five blogs outside the niche of my blog that I enjoy for their creative thinking.

  • Six pixels of separation by Mitch Joel: I listen to Mitch’s podcasts while I do my daily exercises. If you see me smile or laugh at the gym, this is why. Mitch Joel has two upcoming sessions. His company, Twist Image is a major sponsor of PodCamp Montreal. First Mitch will talk with David Usher, the singer about the music industry. Then, his second session will be with C.C. Chapman, a new media maven living in Boston.
  • By the way, David Usher has a blog on art, technology and the communications revolutions called CloudID. There are good discussions on David’s blog.
  • Problogger by Darren Rowse: I go there for tips on how to build a more successful blog.
  • Innovation Playground by Idris Mootee: I enjoy his blog because it talks about innovation, brand development and consumer experience in an easy to understand way. It is easy to read.
  • Community Divas: Introducing a newcomer by veteran bloggers. Community Divas is the new podcast started by two of my friends from Toronto, Eden Spodek of Bargainista and Connie Crosby. Eden and Connie are doing a session at PodCamp Montreal about her podcast.

I will go back to my original programming now. But first, do not forget to register for PodCamp Montreal if you are free for a week-end of great networking, sharing and learning. If you there, please come say hello.

SOURCING:
+ Sessions at PodCamp Montreal
+ Fall foliage – 4×6 print by sixhours on Etsy – price: $10 USD

REVIEWS

Introducing a New Navigation System

I am happy to introduce the phase 1 of my improved blog. The goal is that you find the right information quicker. More changes are scheduled to accomplish that goal.

For now, remember that the pink navigation menu brings you to 8 top categories.

  1. ENTERTAINING covers party ideas, mood boards, tablescapes, paper goods, event planning and manners
  2. HOME + GARDEN covers home décor, garden and outdoor living
  3. DINING covers food and drinks, cakes, tableware, cooking gadgets, kitchen design, restaurants and caterers
  4. KIDS + BABY covers kids party, furniture, gift ideas, baby showers
  5. GIFT IDEAS covers hostess gifts, housewarming, weddings and for all occasions
  6. TRAVEL covers hotels, destinations, travel accessories
  7. TRENDS covers decoration and living trends
  8. REVIEWS covers books, tv shows, magazines, and my press coverage
MEDIA buzz REVIEWS

I Talked about the Wii Fit on The Radio

Kim Vallee and Karine Larose at Sans Détour with François Bugingo :: Wii Fit

Friday morning,  I did an interview for Sans Détour, a show on Radio-Canada hosted by François Bugingo. I was there as a fan of the Wii Fit. Karine Larose, a fitness expert at Nautilus Plus, participated to the discussion.

My Assessment

I am happy to have one. The Wii Fit has great value as a motivator. It is fun to see the avatars of your friends while you are bouncing the soccer balls.

Wii Fit also scores all your exercise performances. I noticed than when I did not execute well the exercises, my score is lower. Like any computer game, higher marks or playing for a certain time will open new exercises.

The Hula Hoop is quite fun and can make you sweat. I enjoyed doing the balance exercises of the Wii Fit program. The balance exercises are the most playful. The slalom ski, table tilt and ski jumping are my favorites so far.

I used the Wii Fit regularly after my surgery to gain back my balance. I used to put less weight on my injured leg and the Wii Fit spotted this fact. It forced me to correct my posture.

Right now, I do not use it every day because I already follow a strict exercise routine for my ACL rehabilitation. I do not like going to the gym. Once I am back in form, I am planning to practice yoga and a program with the Wii Fit. By that time, new sport games will probably use the Wii Fit Board.

Click here to listen François Bugingo interviewing Karine Larose and I. Take note that the interview was done in French.

Picture: Kim Vallee and Karine Larose in the studio of Sans Détour
Wii Fit Pictures by Nintendo

REVIEWS

Festivities for the Opening of Apple Store in Montreal

Apple's flagship store on Sainte-Catherine Street West in Montreal

Yesterday, I went to the opening of Apple’s Montreal flagship store on Sainte-Catherine Street West.

I met a few friends on my way there. I did not spent a lot. I just bought a sport armband for my iPod Touch. I selected the all black Sportsuit Convertible by Marware. I tried it this morning. It feels comfortable and sits well on my arm.

Artist Live Performances for Several Weeks

What is cool is that Apple hosts a series of free 1-hour concert at 7pm almost every night. Amongst the list, I would like to hear and see live performance from :

  • Alex Cuba – Sunday, July 27, 2008
  • David Usher – Tuesday, July 29, 2008
  • DJ Champion – Friday, August 8, 2008
  • Simple Plan – Monday, August 18, 2008
  • Alfa Rococo – Wednesday, August 20, 2008
  • Creature – Thursday, August 21, 2008

David Usher has an interesting blog called CloudiD, where he talks Art, Technology and the Communications Revolution. He writes interesting posts. David called himself an Apple freak, and he has been using Macs for music and writing since.well the beginning.

I discovered Creature at Soirees Nocturnes du Musee d’Art Comtemporain last month. My husband and I like their music. We bought their CD to play while we are driving.

Feeling Welcome

At the event, they let us in group of 20 people at a times. We entered the store through the sounds of acclaimed. It was fun. Have a glimpse of the entrance with this video filmed by my friend Laurent of Videopresse.

Give a Useful Gift

I got my official Sainte-Catherine’s store opening t-shirt. I am just said that Apple went with a single size. The best practices in event treats say that you should offer tailored products. I find it is no excuses from their store designed towards a tailored service and unique customer experience.

At the least, they could have supply a woman t-shirt and a man t-shirt. We got an XL American Apparel, which means that my husband and I can fit in a single t-shirt. Useless! BTW, I went to a BarCamp MTL last fall and they gave me a small American Apparel t-shirt.

MORE READING:
+ Apple Store, Sainte-Catherine 

MEDIA buzz TRENDS

Guest Blogging about Color Trends for HGTV.ca | News Flash

summer 2008 colour trends in style sheet from hgtv.ca

I am talking about summer 2008 color trends on Style Sheet, the blog of HGTV.ca.

Go ahead and learn about my color ideas for a fashionable home this summer.

English from Canada

You can spot the British heritage of Canadians in the way we write colour. And the Canadian spelling is grey instead of gray. We also follow some American rules. For example, we prefer organize to the British spelling (organise).

If the topic interests you, the Cornerstone’s Canadian English Page summarizes the specifics of Canadian English.

Why I write in US English instead of the Canadian English? The answer rests in the fact that the majority of my readers are from the United States.

Via: Summer 2008 Colour Trends [Style Sheet]

MEDIA buzz REVIEWS

At Home with Kim Vallee is a Favorite of The Nest magazine

favorite blogs from the nest magazine summer 2008Nestie’s favorite blogs are must-reads and guilty pleasures from the staff of The Nest.

The summer 2008 listing is out. I am glad that At Home with Kim Vallee is listed as a “favorite” under Entertaining.

Nesties’ Favorite Blogs

I share this honor with three other amazing blogs:

The Nest magazine is only available through subscription for delivery in the United States. I was looking for an issue so I want to thank Katie, a Public Relations Manager at The Knot for sending me this material.

I also want to thank Heather, Alex, Carole, Melanie, Nathalie and Colin for trying to find the magazine in a newsstand.

SOURCING:
+ Subscription to the Nest Magazine – price: $14.99 USD for 4 issues
+ Nesties’ Favorite Blogs

MEDIA buzz REVIEWS

I am featured on The Gazette Montreal Today

planning an outdoor party :: The Gazette montreal outdoor living section

I was interviewed two weeks by Ian Howarth for a story about planning an outdoor party.

Ian interviewed before me Kelly Deck who hosts Take it Outside on HGTV for a segment of outdoor rooms and high-end barbecues. I spoke about her show when I gave you my 5 design tips for the perfect backyard for entertaining.

You can also learn useful tips from Leslie Hoppenheim of The Party Planner who is used to plan big events. My published contributions relate to down-to-earth tips when you host a casual outdoor party.

The story is on a special Outdoor Living section included on the May 28, 2008 edition of The Gazette. There is some type to grab a copy at the newsstand. Otherwise, The Gazette is one of those friendly newspapers that published their stories online.

I want to thank again Ian Howarth for this opportunity. I enjoyed talking with him.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more:  Planning a party by Ian Howarth [The Gazette]
Learn more: BBQ & beyond: patio parties go high-end by Ian Howarth [The Gazette]

MEDIA buzz REVIEWS

Call for Help with The Nest Magazine

featured in The Nest magazine Summer 2008

A Montreal Girl Geek told me last week that At Home with Kim Vallee is featured on The Nest magazine. As far as I know, my blog is the favorite blog of their readers and staff in the Entertaining category. Sadly for me, this magazine is not available in Canada.

I just sent an email to a Public Relations Manager at The Nest Magazine. We will see what they answer. In the meantime, I am asking for help from my US readers.

Did you read that article? Can someone send me a copy of the Summer 2008 edition of the Nest magazine? I will send a thank you gift. If you interested make sure to fill the email text box (not published) and write a comment.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: The Nest

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus REVIEWS

Reviewing The Main with Anthony Sedlak

The Main hosted by Anthony Sedlak

You won’t be surprised if I tell you that I watch lots of cooking shows. We have a Media Center at home so for the past three years I stopped listening to live TV. I watch about thirty minutes of TV daily. That explains why there is usually a delay between the start of new shows on TV and when I effectively watched them.

That is the case with The Main, a show that was first aired October 1st, 2007 on Food Network Canada. A second season is already produced. I watched a few episodes this week and I like it. The Main is hosted by the first winner of Superstar Chef Challenge on Food Network which was an adorable Canadian guy from British Columbia named Anthony Sedlak.

November 3rd, 2008 Update:
The cookbook is now on store. Get the details on The Main: Recipes by Anthony Sedlak.

About The Show

The Main is fresh and dynamic cooking show. Anthony is about 25 years old. I feel that the music theme wants to portrait an edgier side than your typical cooking shows. But really his recipes target the average family and singles.

The featured ingredients are easy to find at the grocery store or at most city markets. The Main featured Mediterranean style recipes that take their roots in the traditional repertoire. That suits me since Mediterranean cuisine is my favorite.

A course mixed with recipes

Each episode of The Main revolves around one ingredient. Anthony Sedlak typically prepares two dishes based on the main ingredient. What is interesting is that Anthony gives excellent cooking advices about how to cook with the main ingredient on every episode. These important facts are summarized and accessible online in several articles.

You should not have any problems to reproduce his food presentation and to cook his recipes. To give you a taste, I selected four recipes for every day entertaining:

If you really want to experience the vibe of The Main, watch the step-by-step videos for making the Lamb Chops and the Black Olive and Goat Cheese Tart. You will know if this cooking show fits your taste.

No fuss cocktail tips of Anthony Sedlak

Last Christmas, Anthony Sedlak made the promotion of some ready-to-drink cocktails. Although I prefer the real thing, I know that sometimes you are stress for time. My husband is a great bartender, so I never need to worry about the bar when I entertain. But if it is not the case for you, stock up these ready-to-drink cocktails and simply cook some harmonizing appetizers when you are having guests over for a drink.

Here are three economical recipes and drink suggestions, courtesy of Anthony Sedlak, that were published on the National Post last December (December 08, 2007) – new link:

  • Sip a Jose Cuervo Gold-en Margarita with a Hot, Sweet and Sour Tropical Salsa Canapé
  • Sip a Smirnoff Grand Cosmopolitan with Watermelon Cubes and Crumbled Feta
  • Sip Smirnoff Vodka Mojito with Grilled Sausages with Fine Herb Pesto

MORE:
+ The Main microsite
+ Airing Schedule of The Main on Food Network Canada