Author page: Kim Vallee

Where to eat well in Gatineau and Ottawa with kids

We went for a weekend getaway last weekend with our 4 years old boy. I didn’t plan for anything except for meeting friends on Sunday and visiting the Canadian Children’s museum. Whenever I’m in vacation, I rely on Yelp to find restaurants. Once again, I was reminded of how practical Yelp is.

The filtering options make it easy to cut down on the number of reviewed restaurants. As a rule of thumb, I focus on restaurants with 40 reviews or more. I also take the time to read the most recent reviews to get a feel of the place, to see if it fits our criteria, what we’re craving for at that moment. Then, I check the food pictures and visit their web site. Frankly, I rarely made bad choices with this technique.

With Osmo, the games happen outside the iPad screen

What if I told you that there is an iPad app where kids interact with physical objects instead of the screen. It’s exactly what the makers of Osmo did. Their educational game set bridges between the physical and the digital world. By doing so, Osmo pleases kids, educators and parents.

Once you downloaded the apps, you simply insert your iPad on the stand and place the red reflective mirror over the iPad camera to be ready to play. This is when the magic of Osmo is revealed. Kids use real objects instead of the iPad screen to draw, write words or solve puzzles. They draw with any pen and paper. They play Tangram by positioning actual pieces with their hands to reproduce the shape displayed on the screen. They write words with cardboard letters. For me, it’s a must-have play set if you own an iPad.

Ecommerce: Talk to your sales team before producing a product page

Let me tell you a story about missing opportunities. The story highlights something that most retail shops failed to do when it comes to their ecommerce sites.

Last week, I stopped by Espace Ricardo, the retail store of the Canadian celebrity chef to buy some cooking gears. I immediately spotted a new collection of bento lunch box sets. I know a lot about Bento boxes. The ones by Ricardo caught my attention because they are made for the way we eat and live.

Celebrating the little shops

There is a breed of entrepreneurs that is often dismissed by the media. Since I started blogging, I saw and continue to see lots of innovative ideas from small businesses. Their innovation may be in the way they package their offering or imagine a service. Most often, you noticed these gems by how they promote their business and gather loyal fans for their little brand.

We all want to feel valued.

Over the last decade, I read tons of articles speculating about why highly educated, talented women are abandoning the corporate ladder for something else. I read two today. You hear all the time reasons like lack of maternity leave, how difficult it’s to find some kind of work-life balance, their desire to raise kids to explain it. These factors certainly play a role in their decision but, in my opinion, they are not the main reason for why they give up on corporate America or corporate Canada.

Does your attitude hurt or help your business?

Your biggest competitive advantage for repeated business could be that you are likeable and pleasant to work with.

Yesterday, I passed by my old home. When I saw that the door was open, I asked the builders if I could have a peak. I thought it would be fun to see what they did with the place. I left sad not because of what the new owner did to my previous home. I left sad because of the complaints of the construction workers.

Build an audience instead of worrying about SEO

building an audience

I didn’t need to listen to last week episode of Rand Fishkin on Whiteboard Friday where he discussed the impacts of the last Google’s evolution to come to that conclusion. I learned that lesson several years ago when I was a full-time blogger. Through my blogging and online presence, I became one the foremost lifestyle & entertaining experts in Canada. I did it with organic growth. If it was true then, imagine now!

Why you are better off with a Less is More strategy

less is more

Too many businesses and people try to be everywhere when it comes to establishing their online presence. It’s the fear of losing out that takes over. By trying to be everywhere, their initiatives often fail. If you want to have a chance to be successful with your online presence, you need to focus. The following goes whether you want to establish a personal or a corporate presence.