I’m Still Here, Folks

April 3, 2009

Hi, all!

Up to my eyeballs working on a new division and a few really cool projects. I can’t elaborate quite yet, but expect some big announcements next weekish!

Room Candy Games logo

Linny

www.roomcandygames.com – coming soon!

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy

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My Fifteen Minutes of Game

October 30, 2008

Hello, has it been a couple of weeks since my last post? How ironic is it that I’m slacking off at blogging when my last post was on the most industrious and hardworking blogger/mommy/designer from allthingscupcake.com? For shame, Linny! (wiggle your forefinger at the screen – I deserve it!)

Anyhoo, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time lately playing casual games online. Call it my form of escapism from all the never ending stream of bleak news all over the news these days. Here are a few that were particularly amusing to me (click on the game names for links).

1) Makeover game (80s style)

This is the look I came up with for my model. I call her Lucy Lookie. Heck, with legs like that, any outfit would look good!

Check out those accessories! I am especially taken by those flared, white wrist thingies on the bottom right (I’ll have to google the proper name). Did girls actually wear those back then?

2) Music Catch

A very nice, melancholy piano piece plays in the background and you basically “catch” the shapes that come on screen.

Supposedly, you can also download your own songs with the full version. Cool!

3) Ping Pong game

Wow, this one was soooooo much fun, but it can be a real time suck. I grew up playing ping pong, and the sound effects of this game are awesome! The game is developed by Nabisco, so there are a few Nabisco product placements throughout the game. And yes, I did get strangely hungry after I played the game!

Hmm, I wonder what Nabisco product they’re touting in the game…could it be Jello?

Well, I don’t have the kind of budget that Nabisco has for product placement (even a casual online game costs easily as much as a car to develop), so here’s my attempt at subliminal branding. See if you can count the number of “x”s there are in the next sentence:

xxxRxxOxxxOxMxxxCxxxAxxxNxxxDxxxYxxxIxxxSxxxYxxUMxxxMxY!!

Linny

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

You ever watch that show called Heroes? Well, I happen to know a real superhero living amongst us (more specifically, in sunny Florida), and her name is Jessica Bailey.

Unlike us mere mortals, Jessica has the supernatural ability to bend time and stretch it out so that she can on any given day be simultaneously: a mommy to a 1 1/2 year old daughter, a website designer with her own swanky company, a blogger to three very active blogs, and who knows what else she hasn’t told me yet!

Here’s Jessica’s little blond cutie having a very serious discussion about being green with our Freddie frog toys.

The princess and her loyal subjects!

I’m sure being a devoted mom to the Princess takes up the bulk of Jessica’s day, and yet she finds time to blog about her life as a wifey/mommy/techie on her mommy blog: thetattooedmama.com

Come night time, Jessica dons on her tech head and designs website and blog designs via her company, Delicious Design Studios. If I were to try a similar feat, I would have probably named my company Sleep Deprived Inc.

True to its name, Jessica’s designs are simply digital yumminess. It’s hard to pin down her style of design, but what I’ve noticed is that Jessica leans toward happy girly colors (yay, pink!), and she could easily start another company designing scrapbook paper because many of her designs feature patterns that would look great as scrapbook paper. If you’re thinking about starting a blog or itching to update the look of your current site, this is the first site you need to check out because Jessica has a whole slew of ready made designs for the super impatient, and even a few freebie designs! For those of you who want something more customized, you’ll have to book your spot with Jessica quickly because a girl this talented is in very high demand. Last I checked, she’s taking on new customers for Spring ’09.

Last but not least (I’m getting winded just writing down all the projects Jessica is involved in!), Jessica is the creator/editor/blogger for the super sweet site, allthingscupcake.com. I must warn you, this site is highly addictive, and although the site is technically calorie free, the side effects of reading through the posts about real cupcakes may include a sudden case of sweettoothiritis! What’s cool is that Jessica and her team of contributors also scour the net to find other accessories with cupcake designs (e.g. cupcake Xmas ornament, anyone?), so the site is really a directory of…well, all things cupcake!

I’m sure you are curious as I am as to what drives this supergal, so I had to ask her a few questions that were on my mind:

1) Jessica, do you remember how old you were when you tasted your first cupcake? Do you remember what it looked/tasted like, and why you fell in love with cupcakes?

I can only imagine my love for cupcakes started at an early age. My mother loved to bake and would always include me. I remember making mini-pies when I was really little. I had this little muffin tray that had… maybe, wild guess here… 12 muffin cups. They were the size of a quarter and so so tiny. I would take these little trays, and fill the bottoms with a piece of pie crust, topping it with some jam and baking them for a few minutes. These were my mini pies. I don’t have the same memory with cupcakes but I do remember eating them often.

2) Craziest cupcake you’ve tasted/seen over the years?

I made a green tea & tapioca cupcake last year around Christmas time. I couldn’t find any matcha green tea so I had to resort to green tea powder from the health food store. Wasn’t quite the same but still delicious. I then filled these cupcakes with tapioca pudding. Yum!

3) If you were to be stranded on an island and can only eat one cupcake for 30 days straight – what cupcake would it be?

Oh geez! You just had to go there, didn’t you? I’d have to say the Walnut Cupcakes Topped with Rose White Chocolate Mousse and Baklava. Recipe by Cheryl Porro of Cupcake Bakeshop.

4) Moving onto Delicious Design Studio – how did you get started with web design?

I remember when I was young, around the age of 11, I would always play around with HTML and create my own “websites” and “fan sites”. Often being scolded for being on the computer too long, little did my parents know that what I was being grounded for, would eventually be the same thing that would help support my family as I got older. As the times changed, and things became more and more complicated, I started reading books and browsing the internet for solutions and “how-to” guides. That is how it all began.

5) How long does it usually take you to finish a project? Where do you usually get your inspiration for all your fabulous designs? And how long is the waiting list if we want YOU to design our blog/website?

Oh gosh! We have waiting lists from 2 weeks up to 6 months. I recently hired another designer to help me with the work load and she is fun and amazing to work with. I would love to be able to have a waiting list of 2 weeks instead of 2-3 months.

My inspiration comes from many different sources. On my desk, I must have between 10-12 books. Books about scrapbooking, web design, color, decorating, interior design. I can find inspiration in almost anything.

6) As a newbie blogger and someone who thinks html, CSS, PHP, SQL are all jibberish, what advice can you give gals like me who want to be more tech-savvy?

Read! Read as many books as you can. There is so much information out there, you just have to start from the beginning and take time to read and understand it. If you can afford design books, the internet is a great place to start as well.

7) I can’t even imagine how you manage to be a full-time Mom to a darling little girl, blogger for two sites and run your web design business! Other than catch up on sleep, what do you like to do when you actually have some free time to yourself? :)

Excuse me? What is this “free time” that you speak of?

If you tell Jessica to take on the world, I bet she’ll think it’s a piece of cake. Or more accurately, a piece of cupcake!

Extra yummy: After learning about Jessica’s island-worthy cupcake, I contacted Cheryl Porro of cupcakeblog.com (another cupcake blog – hooray!) to see if I could reprint the recipe and post a picture of the said cupcake. I present to you: Walnut Cupcakes Topped with Rose White Chocolate Mousse and Baklava. Please refrain from licking the screen.

This cupcake is truly a labor of love because there are four different recipes for each component of the cupcake. To get the full recipe, check out the step-by-step directions by Cheryl on her blog. Thanks for the picture, Cheryl!

Linny

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

HH Backer Pet Trade Show

October 7, 2008

Every year, I participate in an industry trade show called the H.H. Backer Pet Show in Chicago, IL, and this year was no exception. For me, doing a trade show is similar to going to boot camp – it’s five days of very intense packing, unpacking, setting up, chatting with hundreds of people, furious scribbling, and more packing at the end of it all. It’s tiring as heck, but so much fun, though! Since I had my camera with me, I took some pictures of my booth for those of you retailers that couldn’t make the show last weekend.

Can you tell it’s a garden theme? :) It’s also a happy coincidence that the yellow spotlight that shone from the ceiling made the booth look like it’s a sunny day out.

I have to confess, I am such a procrastinator when it comes to planning these trade shows, I always drive myself crazy a couple weeks leading up to the trade show scrambling to get all the booth fixtures and materials (toys, beds) ready. I got my idea for the garden theme thanks to these wonderful tissue paper pom poms by Martha Stewart that I saw at Walmart.

Who knew you can get these fluffy looking floral pom poms just from a stack of thin colored paper? Beauty does come at a price, because it took me a good two hours to separate out the paper layers to get all five pom poms up. A few feet of fake grass turf, a lawn table and fold up chairs, and I’m all set for the show. If I weren’t so much in a rush, I would have also packed myself a straw brim hat and a pair of sunglasses to really complete the look!

Front view of booth. In the past, I had my dessert style dog toys on a cake platter, but kept it simple this year and put everything up on a peg board. Notice something new? Why yes, it’s our new Xmas-themed donut toys!

I know it’s only October, but it’s never too early to start planning for Christmas! If you need to stock up these toys for your stores, they are already in stock and ready to ship.

Talking about donut toys, the booth directly across from me were the folks from Rockin’ Doggie, and their two french bulldogs Louie and Lulu were just darling. Here’s Lulu having a field day with our pink donut toy.

She was a real pro at finding all three squeakers in the toy!

A girl needs a nap after all this sugar rush!

Jelly donut beds and hand knit toys.

Our new JUMBO toys. That Millie caterpillar toy is so long, it took up the whole width of the rack!

Our talking poodles, our rattling unicorn toys and our big head toys.

Sea animals and jungle toys. I usually sell my samples at the end of the show, and the first ones to go were the jungle toys and the shark toys. I guess I’m not the only one who’s a fan of the National Geographic and Discovery channel. :)

Our small dog toys all fit neatly in a rack. Needless to say, our toys have grown exponentially in both selection and size!

Extra yummy: We are honoring our show special until the end of the month, so give us a call at the office to find out which toys/beds qualify for the show special pricing.

Linny

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

Feeling A Little Blue?

September 29, 2008

I don’t know about you, but it’s been disconcerting for me to watch the financial markets yo-yo up and down like a roller coaster these past couple of weeks. Back in the day, I spent about five years working in the investment banking industry before I started Room Candy, so even though I’ve been out of that industry for a few years now, it’s still sad to see major banks just disappear in a blink. No one can predict what’s going to happen to the economy except that it’s going to be pretty rough for a while, so if you’re feeling a little blue like me, do what I do:

1) Hug your dog for at least thirty minutes a day. If you have more than one dog, all the better because you can easily double or triple your “dog hug therapy” time.

2) Take your dog out for a nice long walk. The exercise will do you good and help alleviate your stress.

3) Take a mini lesson in maintaining a happy attitude from my dog Tiki.

This nasty scar is from Tiki’s surgery ten days ago for his luxating patella on his left knee (he had his right knee operated on seven years ago for the same condition). It is ironic that I blogged about a maltese called Henry that had the same surgery on both his legs this past summer because now Tiki has something in common with Henry! The surgeon opted not to put Tiki in a cast, but to prevent him from gnawing at his sutures, put him in an Elizabethan collar until his sutures come out later this week.

Boy did Tiki hate, hate, hate that collar!! For the first few days, in spite of the pills he took that were supposed to sedate him, Tiki would howl all day and night and scratch/bite/claw at the collar to try to get out of it. You can see for yourself all the bite marks he’s inflicted upon that collar. On the fifth day, Tiki finally resigned to the fact that the collar is staying put for a while, and slowly reverted to his usual jovial demeanor.

There’s that smile again!

Tiki doesn’t know that the horribly uncomfortable collar is coming off in a few days, and that in a couple of months, he’ll be bouncing along like a puppy with his healed left knee. So I guess the moral of the story is this: even in his current state of daily discomfort with the collar and his temporarily bum leg, Tiki chooses to crack a big smile and be happy. Not a bad way to deal with whatever is going on these days!

The Tao of Tiki: Take time to smile everyday!

Linny

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

Alternative title: From Singapore’s Changi Airport With Love

Whenever I go back to Indonesia, I usually fly on Singapore Airlines because it usually means a quick stopover in Singapore. I myself spent six years in Singapore for school in my tween years, so I am rather fond of the country. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Singapore, it is a tiny little island of a country nestled between Malaysia and Indonesia, and is primarily known for three things – shopping, food and being “clean and green”. Not surprisingly, Singapore’s Changi Airport is an excellent representation of the country – rows and rows of high-end stores, food choices galore and even a little greenery along the way. My stopover was only 2 hours long, so it did not leave me much time to go shopping. I did make a quick stop to Toast Box, a local coffee establishment known for its Kopi O (black coffee) and Kaya Toast. Kaya is a jam made up of (roughly in equal parts) egg yolks, sugar and coconut milk. Definitely not for the faint of heart and those watching their waistlines! Kaya Toast is a sandwich made with two slices of grilled thick white bread, a generous heaping of kaya jam, and a thick pad of cold butter. I call it Heaven In A Bun, because when you bite down on it, you get (in order of taste/texture): crunch, pillowly soft bread, caramelly-coconuty jam and then salty melting butter! Sorry folks, I gobbled that thing down so fast I didn’t even think of snapping a picture! I did, however, manage to snap some pictures of the “green” part of the Changi Airport.

Here’s the Orchid Garden complete with a Koi pond.

Tiki The Monkey posing amongst a bloom of orchids. Singapore’s national flower is the orchid, and the country is also a prolific exporter of orchids.

Tiki gave the Orchid garden a big thumbs up!

I also saw a Fern Garden on the map which was located on the other side of the airport, so I’ll stop by that one during my next stopover.

I thought I was done with the tour of the airport and took a quick bathroom break en route to my gate, and lo and behold – tucked away behind the terminal and right in front of the restroom was a Butterfly Garden!


So surreal! I walked into an indoor garden and was immediately surrounded by hundreds of fluttering butterflies. There were quite a few species, but a majority of them were these JUMBO-sized butterflies that were literally the size of my outstretched palm.

Butterflies snacking on designated “flower stations”.

Told you these butterflies were gigantic!

It was so ridiculously easy to take shots like this when you’re surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of butterflies! I just checked on Singapore’s Changi Airport website and read that the Butterfly Garden was a newly opened attraction, which explained why there were only a handful of people in the enclosure including myself. All of us in the room kept giving each other incredulous looks because we all couldn’t believe that such a dreamy environment could exist within an airport. I noticed too that all of us were walking extra slow around the garden because we didn’t want to accidentally smash into a passing butterfly.

You can’t really tell from this picture, but that is a man made waterfall by the side of the garden. So cool!

Another butterfly feeding station with sliced pineapples.

Never mind the shopping and the eating spots, I’d say that just by the existence of the Butterfly Garden alone, I declare Singapore’s Changi Airport to be the coolest airport in the world!

Extra yummy: Talking about pineapples, I took a day trip to Bogor during my stay in Indonesia and came across these mini pineapples.

Them pineapples are the same size as those butterflies I saw at the Butterfly Garden! So cute! Bogor is a relatively small city known for its National Park and the large population of deer roaming all throughout the park. We didn’t have time to visit the park, but ran into this mini deer garden on our way to a restaurant.

Is that you, Bambi?

They look just like our deer cell phone charms!

Linny

http://www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

Hello, all!  I am currently in Food Heaven (aka Indonesia), and had planned to continue posting while I’m here for two weeks, but alas – while the food is spectacular, the internet connection here is slooooooooooow.  As such, I have made the executive decision to put the blog on a two week long hiatus unless I can find a better connection.  But worry not, yummy lovers, the blog will be back soon – sweeter than ever!

Till then – stay yummy!

Linny

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – if you haven’t memorized the company motto by now, you can probably guess it from reading this post and picking out the most used word!

Adventures In Lala Land

August 28, 2008

For the last two weeks, I’ve had the honor of being a tourist in my own city. Like so many SoCal folks, I moved here five months ago, seeking somewhat of a new start at life. Settling into my Torrance apartment, I promised myself I’d explore the sprawling megalopolis, taking full advantage of all its wonders. I’d learn to surf in the Pacific, Ski on Big Bear…maybe even plunge into Hollywood’s notorious club scene…where I’d be ::melodramatic gesture:: discovered! Because there _had_ to be parts for a chubby, alternative-looking chick out there somewhere, right?!?

I’m sad to report that I haven’t yet been ::melodramatic gesture:: discovered (to think – the world shall never know my bottomless raw talent). Really, after securing my job in Santa Monica, I’ve rarely ventured outside the general area. A brief dip in the ocean is the closest I’ve come to surfing, and the mountains remain lovely regions experienced from the comfortable climate-control of my car. Yet over the past two weeks, I’ve come a bit closer to discovering L.A. Thanks to the presence of my mom, whose return flight to Cleveland took off this afternoon, I’ve visited some fabulous attractions (unfortunately) likely to be ignored by any self-respecting Angeleno.

Sometimes residents of large, well-known cities tend to take pride in being “too cool” to visit “touristy” neighborhoods and attractions. Being open and comfortable with my utter lack of cool, I had no pretense to cast aside. However, even if you do – forgetting where you live and taking a few days as a tourist in your own city can rock. Below, you’ll find a few of the places my mom and I visited during her stay. Both out-of-towners and temporary tourists should have fun checking some of these out. Besides, in this city, we’re all from _somewhere_ else, right?

Image source: wikipedia

1) If you know a kid who digs dinosaurs, or if you’re into paleontology or geology yourself, you’ll probably love the Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits. The museum houses no dinosaurs, but it holds fossils from more than 40,000 ice-age mammals, birds, and insects. There’s even a stone-age human! Each member in the museum’s collection was excavated from the surrounding oily pits (“La Brea” means “tar” in Spanish, though the pits really hold asphalt). Kids will walk away with plenty of trivia for classmates and teachers (did you know the pits were usually only a few inches deep, and the animals become trapped in place, rather than slowly sinking? I didn’t either.)

In addition to the reassembled mammoths, saber-tooths and the like, there’s an area where curious parties can watch paleontologists at work sorting, scraping and polishing fresh fossils. The tar pits, scattered about the surrounding park, are a stinky experience not to be missed. If you visit on the right summer day, there might even be an in-process dig in Pit 91. I’d recommend the Page Museum for families first and foremost, but kids of all ages will be awed by the tar pits’ preserved denizens.

Image source: wikipedia

2) Prefer French Impressionism to Fossils? No problem. Next door to the Page Museum stands the first class Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Hidden among its sprawling wings are paintings, sculpture, textiles and other treasures form all corners of the globe. My mom and I came here after visiting the tar pits. On a positive note, after 5 PM there’s a pay-what-you-can admission. Unfortunately, as we discovered, there’s no way to see even a tiny fraction of what this museum has to offer in four hours. What we did explore was the LACMA’s excellent Japanese Gallery. The permanent collection is impressive, encompassing an excellect collection of Ceramics, sculpture, and prints from the Middle Jomon period (c. 2000 BC) through the 20th century.

Image source: LACMA

Through September 14th, 2008, the Japanese Pavilion’s featured exhibit is “The Age of Imagination: Japanese Art from 1615-1868. On display are Edo-period Japanese painted scrolls and screens from the collection of Joe Price. I’d highly recommend the exhibit, as well as the LACMA in general. Next time, I’ll just pay full price and spend the day…!

Japanese Garden, Little Tokyo

3) If the Japanese gallery has you jonesing for more modern J-culture, look no further than Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo. Every conceivable Hello Kitty plushie is available here.

Hawaiian themed Hello Kitty with our Tiki The Monkey toy. Aloha!

Seeking that new Polysics or Hikaru Utada CD? You’ll find that here too, along with anime collections and full Gothic Lolita outfits (be still my beating heart!) The area is also home to the Japanese-American National Museum, which chronicles the history of Japanese immigration to California and delves into the horrors of WWII-era discrimination.

When hunger strikes, why not head to Oiwake? It’s L.A.’s first, and I believe only, karaoke restaurant. Nine dollars buys you unlimited karaoke and access to an all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet that’s sure to soak up your liquid courage. Other nightlife options include Bar C, where you’ll be served drinks and tapas by super-kawaii Japanese “French Maids”.

4) Every city has at least one “Little Bohemia” — an area which attracts artists, intellectuels, and plain ol’ nutcases. As a child, it was a bit of a tradition for me to drag my mom into these cesspools of human waste. This time, however, it was her who discovered Venice Beach. Those seeking a fun time in this city to the north of Santa Monica won’t have to look too far. In fact, to be entertained, one need only choose a spot and watch as the endless multi-hued sea of humanity shifts, flows and dances about. It’s the classic California beach-scene from so many movies: The tanned muscle-hulks pump it at Muscle Beach as perfect-10 bikini babes frolic by and buskers ply their trades.

Yes, Virginia, Venice Beach actually has sand and water…

Cool Graffiti Art seen on Venice Beach.

Actually, the area’s buskers are, in my opinion, the heart of the beach. Their acts are far more varied and interesting than mch of what I see in other area of the country. In the few hours I spent along Venice Beach Boulevard, I noticed a man on stilts, dancing about in African war paint and leaves, a South American spirit-dancer in full regalia, and a piano virtuoso who managed to play beautiful, complex pieces without the aid of sheet music. Even a few homeless drunks got into the act — one referred to himself as the “World’s Greatest Wino”, and offered to tell jokes for a dollar. Far more entertaining than the old pitiful cardboard sign standby! My advice: if you like a performer’s act, tip them! The buskers of Venice work long hours in difficult conditions, boldly display their talents, and depend upon your tips for sustenance. Donating a few dollars will help to keep your favorite busker in business.

Jonathan, a Vendor’s Child at Venice Beach, poses.

5) The Queen Mary enjoyed multiple incarnations and adventures before assuming its current station in Long Beach. Larger than the Titanic, the ship began life in 1934 as a British luxury liner. It served as a troopship for the Allied Forces during World War II, but returned to its cruise ship capacity between 1946 and 1967. The Queen Mary has since been overhauled, and now serves as a floating museum and four-star hotel in Long Beach. Tours are available daily from 10 AM – 6 PM, but watch out! Rumor has it the ship is haunted by the spirits of WWII sailors who died at sea.

The Queen Mary’s Ballroom

6) Royalty of a different sort beckons from Arcadia, in the San Gabrial Valley — specifically, all the majesty of the plant kingdom. The 167-acre Arboretum houses plants from around the world, including some you may have thought existed solely in nightmares (look out for the Carnivorous Plants Greenhouse). Among the many specialty gardens here are an herb garden, a floating garden, and a tropical forest.

Cactus with Mickey Mouse ears.

Juniper Trees

Life is just peachy!

As if those weren’t enough reasons to visit, the park also houses its own extended family of peacocks. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. and, along with the LACMA, is my top recommendation.

Father peacock

Mother peacock and chick at play.

Although I enjoyed my brief stint as a hometown tourist, it wasn’t 100% perfect. There are some tourist attractions that I recognize as overpriced and overrated — Santa Monica Pier and Tours of “stars’ homes” being standout examples.

Santa Monica Pier

I mean, this is L.A. — celebrity sightings for us are as common as butchered versions of our favorite songs at karaoke — which, in the wake of my mom’s departure, I must be off to.

Tiger (cat): REOW!

Rachel: AFTER I feed Tiger!

Tiger: Darn skippy. Feed me and maybe I’ll let you pet me.

::Rachel feeds Tiger::

Tiger (running off): Sucker!!!

Rachel: In conclusion, don’t shy away from “touristy” attractions in your own city, people! You may be denying yourself a fabulous time — and in this city, even being ::melodramatic gesture:: discovered!

~~By Rachel~~REOW!! ~~AND Tiger…~~

Rachel, off to discover more adventures in LA.

http://www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

When people meet me for the first time and hear that my company is called Room Candy, the first question they always ask is, “Oh, so you sell candy?”. I would then have to explain to them sheepishly that it’s actually a dog toy/accessories company, and follow it up with my usual punch line – “Well, I wish I sell candy too!” Brian Pipa, founder of www.candyaddict.com, probably gets the same kind of question every time people hear about his site for the first time, and he has a way cooler answer than mine because even though he doesn’t sell any candy on his site, he and his team of writers get to write about candy on the site every day. Imagine that – a whole site dedicated to the finest food group of all (in my humble opinion!) – candy!

Let’s get to know the Internet version of Willy Wonka, shall we?

Linny (imitating Diane Sawyer’s voice badly): Brian, what was your favorite childhood candy? What is it now?

Brian: Atomic Fireballs. Love them! Now, it’s much harder to say. I have been able to try SOOOO many candies since starting Candy Addict. it’s hard to pick just one. Twix Java, Cinnamon Twizzlers, and Giant Chewy Nerds stand out though.

Image source: Ferrara Pan

Old packaging of Atomic Fireballs. They’ll set your mouth on fire!

Cinnamon Twizzlers.

Twix Java. I used to be uber fanatical about the regular Twix candy – I will have to try this version too!

The easter version of Chewy Nerds. These somehow look like colored dinosaur eggs to me.

Linny: How do people usually respond when they learn that you get to eat candy for a living?

Brian: Well, it’s not really for a living. I have a real 9-5 day job as a software engineer, but when people find out about my “hobby” they usually are very impressed when I tell them about all the free candy I get. :)

Linny: If you can invent your own candy, what would it look and taste like?

Brian: Wow – good question. I’d say something with chocolate, pecans, and caramel. Oh wait, that’s a Turtle isn’t it? I don’t know. I prefer to just try all the candy that other people invent.

Check out this gourmet Belgian chocolate turtle fudge available on www.amyscandykitchen.com! I’m sure Brian would approve of this one!

(Note to self: never write a blog post about candy on an empty stomach because it’s making me very cranky for some candy!)

Linny: Do you think men and women have distinct preferences when it comes to the kinds of candy they eat? (e.g. women liking chocolate type candy, men liking more sweet/sour types)

Brian: I don’t think so. I think tastes vary per person equally regardless of gender. Sweet, sour, chocolate, etc – it doesn’t matter. The cool thing about candy is that EVERYONE likes some type of candy.

Linny: What trends do you see in candy for this year?

Brian: Energy candy is still big and candy that is “healthy” – I don’t see either of those trends slowing down any time soon.

Healthy candy? Hmmm, that sounds like an oxymoron to me, but come to think of it, chocolate is known for its antioxidant properties, nuts are rich in protein, and sugar in general makes me mentally healthy and happy, so I’d have to argue that all kinds of candy is healthy for you if taken in moderation! :)

Extra yummy: Aside from the candyaddict.com site, Brian has also recently launched another site called snackerrific.com, where (you guessed it) you can read up on reviews of various snacks. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on visiting those two sites before I go to bed every night – that way, I can always end my day on a sweet note!

Linny

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!

I was browsing through my local toy store recently and found this Magic Garden crystal kit.

Image source: Schylling Toys

Oh my gosh, I used to looooove this kit when I was a kid! Of course, the one I played with was the single tree version, where you basically put a paper card shaped like a tree trunk into a shallow dish of the crystal solution, wait an hour or so, and voila! Instant crystal blooms!

This version is certainly more elaborate with the mountains and hedges and pink trees. Hold on, did I just end that sentence with just a period? Let me do a mulligan. Blah, blah….and PINK TREES!!!!!! I shall have to document the process so that I can savor the pinkness. Here are the shots I took of the kit over a period of six hours. I actually made a flipbook on Photoshop that I wanted to post here so that you get the cool National Geographic style time lapse effect in fifteen seconds, but alas, wordpress is not letting me upload the flipbook file, so here are all thirty pictures in sequence. If you just scroll down the page real fast, hopefully you’ll get the idea!

Ready? Scroll!

Cool, right? I suppose this is an homage to Japan’s Mt. Fuji and the country’s iconic pink cherry blossom trees. Did you know that on our cherry toy, there is an embroidery of cherry blossoms as well?

Real life cherry blossoms’ blooming period only lasts for a week, but our cherry toys are pretty hardy!

Closeup pics of the crystal version. So pretty!

So if you can’t travel to Japan for the annual Hanami Festival (flower viewing festival) or Washington DC for a similar National Cherry Blossoms Festival, you can at least get the Magic Garden kit here and enjoy a little flower appreciation day right at home!

Linny

www.room-candy.com

Room Candy – always yummy!