Nov 2010

Holiday Card Voter Run-Off

Would you believe that the two top holiday cards came in as an EXACT TIE? Literally, exactly at 36.49% each?!?!


So, here we go friends, in honor of election day, RUN-OFF!

Snowflake Reflections Cocoa

Holiday Berries


NOW, which holiday card should we get?Market Research

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


Oct 2010

What Holiday Card Should I Get?

I have to be honest. I go a little crazy about our annual holiday card every year. So when Clever Girls invited me to join a promotion to check out Shutterfly’s latest holiday photo cards I was pretty jazzed.

I almost always have my cards done, and in hand, by Thanksgiving weekend (psst, they have Thanksgiving cards too!) – so I can spend the long holiday addressing them.

Yes, I am THAT crazy.

I decided to use the promotion as a way to get a jump start on my cards and have YOU help ME in what also always turns into a a headache of epic proportions: deciding on the design.

As a graphic designer, I have to say – I used to be so disappointed in the selections online. It just seemed like a massive spray of clip art on a sea of red and green – basically, blech. But in the past few years, the look has much improved. Less clip art, more stylish fonts, and so easy to plop recent photos of my impish 8 year old into.

Here are the ones we all liked best.

Snowflake Reflections Cocoa

Holiday Berries

Family Ornaments

Snow Flurries Cocoa

Yeah, um, clearly I am digging brown for this year.

Now. You choose.

Which holiday card should Aimee get?online surveys

And even better! A chance for free cards for you!

Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Sep 2010

Wondering what SNIAGRAB is?

If you are from Colorado, you probably know. You probably have even been in the thick of it once or twice.

If not, you think I just sneezed.

It actually started with a sporting goods company named Gart Brothers 56 years ago (let me repeat that part: FIFTY SIX YEARS AGO), when they decided to have a huge sale to kick off the ski season. Gart was bought by Sports Authority in the late 90’s and SNIAGRAB has become bigger and bigger every year. Like crazy big.

My family headed down to SNIAGRAB at their largest location, the Denver “Sports Castle” bright and early this year (let me repeat that part: BRIGHT AND EARLY) and caught a bunch of video. And then I edited is all together. And I am pretty damn proud of the results, if I say so myself (let me repeat that part: REALLY REALLY PROUD).

Check it out:

So, why did they ask ME to cover the event for them? First, my husband Bryan is a long time snowboarder. (Let me repeat that part: LONG LONG TIME). Like, he used to get kicked off the hill because snowboarders were not allowed back in the day.

Also: who else would be so amused by the hard-core folks sleeping out on the street for a WEEK for a SALE. (Let me repeat that part: SLEEPING OUT, ON THE STREET, FOR A WEEK.)

Oh, and don’t miss the Banana Eating Contest footage at the end. That’s my favorite.


Blogger disclosure: Sports Authority provided me with a Flip camera and a gift card to the store for this coverage. But seriously. Look at the Banana Eating Contest. SO WORTH IT.

Apr 2009

When Big Companies Take Notice Of You (And Did You Know The Fusion Hybrid Has Leaves In The Dashboard???)

So, remember when I got all hot and bothered about bailouts, car companies, and all that other crap I get mad about? The funny thing about blasting your opinion out there is sometimes people listen. Sometimes BIG PEOPLE listen. MAJOR people, like Ford Motors. Ford Motors, who has NOT taken any bailout money and decided they want to try pulling themselves out of financial crisis with innovation and gumption.

I dig that.

So when Ford asked me to attend several hybrid car events, I was ALL for it. Then I looked at my calendar and realized I would be traveling for most of March and April, not able to sleep much less run around for Ford. So, we sent my best friend Jeff to one of the events because he is going back to school for environmental engineering. Sweet! Here’s someone who knows what he is talking about, can take my place, write up some awesome enviro-tech stuff, make me look super smart – all while I am off tubing with my kid!

AND THEN! The next event was when I got to test drive a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Ford was smart enough to send me out with 2 other ladies who know WAY more about cars than me, so I could suck up all their smartness on video, add my smartassedness and call it a day.

That works. So here is some info on the now and then of green.


Courtney (, Lucretia ( and Aimee’s Test Drive of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid


I’m No Gearhead

by Jeff M.

The Denver Auto Show came to our convention center last week, which normally would not be highlighted on my calendar. But my ears perked up upon hearing about one breakout session known as the 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Automotive Summit. The theme was green auto technology, and speakers included business leaders, state senators, and representatives of Volkswagen and Ford as well as regional non-profits. As a sustainable design/engineering student (and someone in desperate need of a reliable vehicle!), I was eager to attend; here are some items I’d like to share.

Despite negative press to the contrary, automakers DO understand the need for change.
For example, Ford’s Thomas Niemann spoke about his program known as Sustainable Business Strategies; it’s a major effort toward re-thinking their business model. They’re switching to more of a component-based manufacturing system, where different vehicle models might use the same “platform” (or chassis, for those of us who took auto shop in high school)… but the rest of the vehicle can be customized to local environment/demands. Also, watch for lots of press around their improved powertrain, called “Eco-Boost.” (See

Gunter Schiele from Volkswagen told us that their big focus is reacquainting North Americans with diesel. Similar to the slogan, “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile,” VW wants to show us that diesel-engine vehicle tech has matured… it’s no longer smoky and loud. In fact, the Jetta (clean diesel) TDI recently won Green Car of the Year 2009. (See

It’s not just about innovative technology and slick marketing.
Every speaker at the summit stressed that tech is just a piece of the puzzle. We must all conserve energy in general, relocalize, and support public policy that promotes the reduction of petroleum use while either saving or increasing jobs.

Although the marketplace already exists, we’re still developing the infrastructure for this transportation transition. For instance, one of the biggest challenges for a clean automobile industry is that we don’t currently have a plan for how to reuse or dispose of spent batteries (and an electric car needs plenty of batteries). Not to mention that recharging an electric vehicle with power from a coal-burning power plant isn’t truly a “clean energy” solution.

So while I’m very anxious to buy a highway-speed plug-in vehicle, it looks like I still have some time to ponder that purchase… as I pedal the miles to school and work.


Thanks Jeff!

Before I sign off, I just want to gaze lovingly one more time at the dashboard of the Fusion and the leaves that grow on the right side when you are being more economical with your gas. I need to figure out how to add this to my blog. Like maybe more monkeys jump around the page when things are groovin’? Can Dave from Ford can work on that for me?