Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Minientrepreneur coming out of stealth

For the past two years, I've been working on a small project on the side, bringing to market an ergonomic laptop stand. When I first saw the stand, I fell immediately in love with it because it makes you look at your laptop in a completely different way. You open your laptop completely flat and then stand it up on it's end. That's why we call it the Laptop Stand Up.

My partner, Cori Clark, was introduced to me by the designer of the stand, Joe Betts-Lacroix, who is the CTO for OQO. Cori is based in Toronto and it's been a long-distance labor of love getting the company off the ground (that's also her in the photo).

Lord knows why I'm doing this as I'm not exactly twiddling my thumbs (full time job, two active kids, blogging on the side). I guess I'm really enamored with the stand, and also, I'm just too stubborn to leave it and really want to make it into a success! There's a growing trend toward mini-trepreneurship, enabled by such

Disclosure: This venture has nothing to do with my work at Forrester. In fact, I've gone through great pains to keep it separate, even to the point of using my married name in all business dealings. My manager at Forrester also is aware that I am manufacturing and retailing the stand. I'm not planning to leave my day job anytime soon, but as the business takes off, we'll hire managers to run the day-to-day logistics.

So if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the product, the site, or the marketing of it, please let me know. Also, check out the stand's blog at laptopstandup.typepad.com.

The Adventures Of Condiment Boy

Our seven year old son is really into condiments. His usual morning breakfast is toast with peanut butter dipped in a sauce made of ketchup, taco sauce (Taco Bell mild), and BBQ sauce (KC Masterpiece Original, but Bullseye will also suffice).

This morning, he asked for some cottage cheese -- and promptly poured taco sauce all over it. I asked him how it was and he said it was "good." Other previous adventures have been watermelon with ketchup and my all time favorite, a chocolate cupcake dipped also in ketchup. Some would say "yuck", others would say "inventive". We just grin and marvel at the capability of a child to have such adventures in eating, and then turns his nose up at green beans.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Giving up Diet Coke

I have now been free of Diet Coke for six days and 4 hours, not that I'm really counting! The last one I had was last Tuesday for lunch and I'm finally feeling better.

Why give it up? I came to the realization that Diet Coke, even the caffeine-free version, just wasn't that healthy. The epitome came the other day when I was grabbing lunch at Whole Foods and asked where the Diet Coke was. The worker (rather snidely) told me that the store carried only natural products and that Diet Coke was definitely NOT natural. So instead, I investigated their cold drinks section and discovered a wonderful world of really cool drinks! I grabbed a bottle of MetroMint Peppermint Water which was, well, minty.

I've since been trying all sorts of new waters out, ranging from Propel (which I drank all the time while training for the Wildflower triathlon earlier this year) to the Vitamin Water series. It's actually pretty fun!

The downside was the caffeine withdrawal -- I just felt out of it for several days. The benefit has been that I'm sleeping a lot better a night (I'm a chronic insomniac -- note the title of this blog!) and the cravings for that Diet Coke are starting to wane.

So I bid adieu to a beloved friend that has served me well for decades. And onwards to new drinks! So if you have any suggestions on caffeine-free drinks (and preferrably, somewhat low calorie), please add them to the comments!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Cooking with romanesque

I picked this up this week at Whole Foods in San Mateo and couldn't resist trying it out. It's called "romanesque" and is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. This picture doesn't do it justice. To cook it, cut up like cauliflower and boil for about 3 minutes or until tender. We kept it simple with the preparation, just plain with a bit of salt and pepper added for taste (the way we usually have our veggies).

To my kids' credit, they tried it...and promptly spit it out.

It's definitely crunchier than cauliflower, not as sweet, and the nubby texture adds an interesting feel to the vegetable. I think it was the texture that threw the kids off. My husband and I enjoyed it, and his words, "I'd eat it again" mean that it's a success. But as I'm trying to simplify, not complicate weeknight dinners, I'll probably make it only for company, and then, as an interesting conversation side dish.