Today, I want to share my new music set up. For months, I lived almost without music and it was getting boring in my house. It all changed when the PR agency of SONOS sent me a free Play:3 Hi-Fi speaker system with a bridge. I got rid of my updated sound system one year ago because I found that the components took too much space. I do not use CDs anymore and I rarely listen to commercial radios. Therefore, I did not see the point of keeping a full sound system in my living room. I had to listen to music on my laptop or from the TV; none of which was ideal. Now, I have a wireless music system that truly fits my lifestyle.
Where should I start on all the positive things that I can say about the SONOS wireless music system? As a mom, what I need is to be able to control the system from anywhere in the house. SONOS uses my iPad or my iPhone as a controller. It also works on Android. We even installed the easy to use SONOS app on the iPhone of our babysitter. When she takes care of my son, she can access our iTunes music library or stream music from local radio stations or from the music services that we subscribe to. She loves it! SONOS is simple to setup and to operate. It delivers good quality sound and gives me access to the music I like when and where I want it.
The true power of SONOS comes from its multi-room capability. For that to work, you would need multiple speakers and the bridge. In return, you can play the same music in multiple rooms or your family can enjoy different tracks in every room. You decide how to group the rooms on the spot. Their sync function is awesome. You can add or drop rooms from your room grouping and still be in sync. I can use my iPhone to start playing and my husband can use his iPad to shut it down.
You can save your own playlists and build listening queue as you go. I like that I can replace the queue with one button. Playlists can be assign to room or room groups. A cool thing is that you can save playlists that mix your own music with tunes from music services. Another thing that I like is that you control the sound level per room or you adjust it for the room group.
The Play:3 speakers are powerful enough for an urban dwelling and regular size rooms. If you need more power, you can opt for the Play:5. I can hear the Play:3 speaker located in the living room when I am cooking. But I felt that adding a second speaker in our open kitchen/dining room would deliver a better sound experience. And it did! My husband listens to my wish and bought me one Play:3 for Christmas for our kitchen/dining area. You can say that SONOS really simplifies his Christmas shopping by sending me a sample. If we had two more speakers — one for the master bedroom and another for my son’s bedroom — I could claim that I have the ultimate wireless music system.
+ Play:3 speaker system by SONOS $299 USD at Sonos
+ Sonos Play:3 in white $329 CAD at Future Shop
I love spending time in the cookbook section of the bookstore, ogling creative food styling and searching for dinner inspiration – but it takes some serious salivating to get me to actually purchase a cookbook to take home. I’ve often judged a cookbook by it’s photography, only to discover same-old recipes that fall flat on the plate and the palate.
Something tells me that won’t be the case with On A Stick!, the first book by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites, a fave foodie blog of both Kim and I.
For some reason, food just seems to taste better when it’s on a stick (cake pops, anyone?). Matt’s book goes beyond popsicles and kebabs, skewering culinary classics like spaghetti and meatballs, mac and cheese, and fish and chips. Don’t worry, sweet tooths: the book isn’t without its share of desserts. Smores, chocolate-dipped waffles, caramel popcorn balls and plenty of others make an appearance.
And, since food on a stick is just asking to be dipped and dunked in a sauce, the book includes recipes for a few of those too, as well as an overview of skewer suggestions. I, for one, can’t wait create to create an entire skewer-based meal: no cutlery required!
+ For Americans: On A Stick! from $10.93 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: On A Stick! from $13.68 CAD at Amazon.ca [affiliate link]
+ All photos by Matt Armendariz
Last November I received an email announcing the new Elan Form Chilewich Case for iPhone 3G and 3GS. I like the placemats from Chilewich. Therefore, I was intrigued by their design. But not long before, I bought a Paul Frank Julius silicone case that got too big after a couple weeks of usage. For that reason, I wanted to give a thorough test drive before introducing the Griffin + Chilewich case.
I love it! It looks great and it stays in place. I selected the light grey, which I think is more feminine than the gravel (dark grey). Do not worry about the pale color. The outer layer is covered with the same woven vinyl that Sandy Chilewich designed for her placemats. If you are looking for an iPhone case, this is one you should consider.
The Griffin + Chilewich Collection is available at the Griffin website, the Apple Store, and the MoMA Design Store.
Griffin + Threadless Collection
But Chilewich is not the only design brand that collaborates with Griffin. Threadless is another one. You can add original art from the Threadless community of designers to smooth, sleek shells designed by Griffin. So far, only one pattern is available in the Griffin + Threadless Collection.
+ Griffin Elan Form Chilewich Case for iPhone 3GS – Light Gray $39.95 USD
+ photos: Griffin Technology’s Co-op Initiative
I told you on my other blog that Twitter can be an efficient marketing vehicle for businesses. One type of business that benefits well from the free marketing platform that Twitter provides are local restaurants.
What I like is that I decide which local stores and restaurants I want to follow on Twitter. This way, I can learn in advance what is on today’s menu and when they host special events.
Cheap and On the Spot Survey
The benefits for small businesses do not stop there. Twitter is great to survey the opinions of customers. You can directly ask questions. Or you can set up a Twitter poll in less than a minute. I recommend twtpoll.
Myers + Chang‘s chef and co-owner Joanne Chang used this method to validate a request from a customer. She tweeted: “Should cilantro be listed on menu item when it’s an ingredient?” Four hours later, she received enough answers to be convinced that plenty of customers would like to know which dish has cilantro in it. She went further and decided to give the option to have the dishes without cilantro.
Twitter allows businesses to quickly find information, features and services valued by their customers and to react accordingly. In a competitive market, it is an opportunity that small businesses cannot afford to miss.It costs almost nothing to tweet a few times a day. You can tweet with any smart phone. It does not require a computer or any technical knowledge. Your account can be up and running in less than a minute. Unlike a blog, it could take only a few minutes a day to maintain.
I now follow a few Boston restaurants and restaurant reviews accounts on Twitter. I will be in the know when I will go there next August. You could also explore the Alfresco dining options in Boston for some clues on where to eat.
+ Restaurants using Twitter for cheap, effective marketing by Devra J. First for The Boston Globe
+ Pictures: L’espalier on Twitter and Myers + Chang on Twitter