Monday, September 17, 2018

Craft Beer ATM Style at Brewport Tap House in El Segundo

Craft Beer ATM Style at Brewport Tap House in El Segundo

By Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny


Who’s down for some liquid dim sums?  A little while ago Edible Skinny explored craft beer ATM style at Brewport Tap House in El Segundo and all we can say is we had fun, fun, as Kelly and Kat’s Daddy (Tony) got to experience beer tech style! ;-)

Housed in a former downtown post office Brewport Tap House is a social dining experience that features a revolutionary gustatory experience, leveraging technology that allows patrons to access and pour by the ounce, a concept known as “self-pour.”  The space itself features 60 “self pour” taps for every adult beverage from craft beer to kombucha to even wine. 

Happy happy drinks are dispensed via iPour system.  Guests turn in a form of ID and a credit card, and in exchange get a wristband filled with a prepaid amount of credits to use at the requisite machine.  Bring the band up to the sensor point, pick your drink and number of ounces to enjoy, and wait for the pour. 

Two of my favorites were the 2 Towns Ciderhouse Cherried Away from Corvallis, OR and Boothcraft Kombucha from Chula Vista, CA.  Both perfectly fruity for a non-beer drinker who’s dragged to brewpubs because the other members of Edible Skinny LOVE them! ;-)

The food cuisine is New American eats offering a full kitchen under chef/partner Rob Rice  Try their “Tap House Tots” with parmesan, cheddar, green onion, blue cheese and tarragon dip and sriracha ketchup!  Another item not to be missed is their beer infused flatbreads.  That’s right, there’s no water in this dough, just beer from the taps.  Talk about a brew lovers dream bar food…

So if you’re hankering for an experiential brewpub tech experience look no further an Brewport Tap House and it’s 48 beers on tap!  Here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and flatbread pizza made with beer, beer, and more beer!

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com



Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Undiscovered Country of Voice-First Technology: The Alexa Conference Creator Bradley Metrock

The Undiscovered Country of Voice-First Technology: The Alexa Conference Creator Bradley Metrock Explains How Voice Will Allow Us To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before 

By Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny


To boldly go where no man has gone before.
-Star Trek

Bradley Metrock is a busy man in the world of Voice-First technology!

He owns and operates VoiceFirst.FM, the voice technology-oriented podcast network enjoyed across 50+ countries worldwide, and anchored by flagship show This Week In Voice, which has risen to the top 20 of Apple Podcast charts for technology-related podcasts. 

Bradley also produces the annual The Alexa Conference, a worldwide gathering of the Alexa development community and home of The Alexa World Fair and The Alexa Awards.  Held in January, this conference brings nearly 1,000 executives, developers, marketers, and strategists to Chattanooga (home of the nation's fastest internet) to discuss the state of voice.

Make it so!  We are now moving into the world of Star Trek technology where our first engagement with a computer is through having a conversation aka Voice-First.  Interfaces are said to be Voice-First when the primary interface between the user and an automated system is a voice based one.  Voice-First does not necessarily mean Voice-Only.  Voice is the next logical technological step, pretty much because it’s the first basic step in human communication. 

The classical Greek philosopher Socrates knew it best!  When you need to communicate an idea or solve a problem, the simplest way to do so is by having a conversation (aka the Socratic dialectic method).  And for this simple reason, in the last few years technologically we’ve jumped into a world of communicating with computers not with a mouse, a keyboard, or even a finger, but with our voices.  

The major players in voice platforms and devices are Amazon (with their Echo series), Google (Google Home), Apple (Homepod), and Microsoft (Invoke).  Like Apple’s iPhone and it’s App Store, third-party applications will be the primary drivers of innovation on these platforms, extending their features through “Skills” and “Actions” beyond what the assistants themselves are capable of. 

And because of this Voice-First technology expansion, Bradley Metrock also produces The Voice of Healthcare Summit, the world's first event specifically created to organize the growing intersection of voice technology and healthcare.  Oh, and he also produces The Voice of Restaurant Summit, as the world of how we dine is also changing.  And somewhere along the way he’s also raising a family (he picked up his son Mason from school while conducting this interview via (what else...) voice in his car.  

Like we said Bradley Metrock is a busy man!  And Edible Skinny was lucky enough to interview him on how Voice-First technology is augmenting the way experience life.

So read on below as you might learn a thing or two on how our lives are becoming more and more like Star Trek every single day!

So What’s Your Voice-First Origin Story?  
I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of the nation's fastest internet, as well as a burgeoning tech economy.  Another person who has an office in Chattanooga, Tennessee is Gary Vaynerchuk (the Belarusian American entrepreneur, author, speaker and internet personality who’s net worth is estimated at $160 billion). 

A little bit over a year ago, I got to see Gary talk in person.  He was speaking about Voice-First technology in a very Bullish way.  In the back of my mind, I had been thinking of creating a podcast but had yet to act  I took Gary’s words to heart and just start doing it.  Within a day the podcast was born. 

VoiceFirst.FM is now listened to over 50 plus countries worldwide.  Because of my work, I’ve gotten to know key players in voice technology.  My guests this season include Microsoft, Apple, and Google.  For this reason we call Gary Vaynerchuk “The Godfather of VoiceFirst.FM”

What Does The Alexa Conference Strive to Be?
The Alexa Conference allows you to get a grand view of Alexa technology; it’s a dialogue of the future of Voice-First.  This year's conference will run January 15-17 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, my hometown, and will draw as many as 750-1,000 people from around the world.  It’s the third year we’ve done it, and we’re still the only Alexa Conference out there.  Chick Fil A's Kesha Williams will keynote a powerhouse program featuring breakout tracks on Alexa + Storytelling, Alexa + Healthcare, Alexa + Consumer Marketing, and Alexa + Smart Home.

Tell Us One of the Best Stories When It Comes to Voice-First Technology!
It’s changing how people engage with technology in all walks of life!  Heidi Culbertson’s mother Marvee raised six children and was an active tennis player well into her late 80’s, but at the age of 90, she lost her vision due to macular degeneration.  Marvee had to deal with the loss of her visual independence and the increased isolation and dependence that followed.  In 2015, her daughter Heidi bought her an Amazon Echo.  This simple piece of technology changed her life.  That Amazon Echo put the wind in her sails, allowing Marvee to interact with world again. 

This prompted Heidi to create Marvee, an Alexa Skill for those hindered by limited vision, mobility or aging challenges.  Verbal commands allow the Marvee user to ask loved ones to call them or send along an I’m OK.  Marvee can also help reduce companion care costs by performing basic tasks and entertaining the elderly.  We’re treating our elderly better through Voice-First technology

Let’s Go Black Mirror for a Moment; Tell Us One of the Darker Sides of Voice-First Technology?
Many in our culture have eyes on 1984 in regards to Voice-First technology.  In May of this year, Melissa Campbell, who is the communications manager at Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, wrote an article in Fortune entitled: Parents, Stay Away From Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids.  It went viral. 

Her article voiced multiple issues with children’s privacy in regards to Amazon and its affiliates.  She also noted how Amazon responding to the phrase “Alexa, I’m bored,” with a game or activity is destructive to a kid’s development.  That constantly entertaining a kid blocked its ability to deal with discomfort.  All new technology brings debate on what it is to be human.  I interviewed Melissa on VoiceFirst.FM in June if If you want to hear this issues discussed more. 

How is Voice-First Technology Expanding Into Our Lives?
It’s augmenting every aspect of our lives from tech integration, to productivity, to entertainment. 
Marriott International is partnering with Amazon to turn Alexa into a “Virtual Butler,” allowing Marriott guests to order room service, order wake-up calls, and more.  Amazon itself then released "Alexa For Hospitality," a new push to integrate its voice assistant into hotels, restaurants, and more

We’re seeing the world of “the Connected Car.”  Automotive companies are picking their camps for seamless transitions from home to the car.  In June, BMW started rolling out to many of its drivers support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assist.  SoundHowl just raised $100 Million to insert Voice-First technology in every Hyundai vehicle.

Last year the Santa Monica-based video game maker Activision released a well-publicized Alexa Skill for its AAA-title Destiny 2, which serves a real-time companion for players as they play the game.  This allows players to ask Alexa and Ghost (a character from the game) to perform in-game tasks such as explaining more about Destiny 2’s world and its characters with a request like, "…tell me who are the Red Legion?"

What is the Most Expansive Aspect of Voice-First Technology?
Computers will find their voice.  Our interactions wll be more contextual, more meaningful.   The first television show I watched in years was Westworld, because of the incredible storylines in regards to humanity and technology.   Voice-First will change how we think, and feel, about computers. 

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Vortices Away! An Overnight Getaway to the Spiritual Smalltown of Ojai, California

Vortices Away!  An Overnight Getaway to the Spiritual Smalltown of Ojai, California
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief, Edible Skinny
 

A few weeks ago, Edible Skinny was lucky enough to do an overnight getaway to the ultimate spiritual smalltown of Ojai, California (pronounced Oh-Hi!).  Situated deep in Ventura Valley just 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, this tiny town is home to 7,500 residents who embrace the Woo-Woo side of life! ;-)
Ojai Valley’s original spiritual gangsters were the Chumash Indians before becoming one of many Spanish land grants along the California coast.  The local tribe named the area “Valley of the Moon” for its surrounding breathtaking mountain valley views.  Later, it became the home base for Indian sage, philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and his followers.

The Ojai space has long been a spiritual refuge for those who believe in its energy and mystic powers.  If you chat it up with any of the locals they’ll tell you of the town’s “magnetic pull” (created from the Topatopa Mountains) or how the area is situated on a vortex of energy that has medicinal healing qualities.

Last year the town was spared during the horrendous Thomas Fire, surrounded on all sides by a ring of fire.  The residents say the vortices saved the town, but the karma of the Ojai housing and feeding the firefighters for free didn’t hurt either!  But whatever the reason the Gods chose to save this little hamlet, Edible Skinny gave gratitude in our ability to embrace all that Ojai had to offer for 24 hours!

From mid-century retro boho hotels to the country’s largest outdoor bookstore to local organic wine tasting flights, read on!  Here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and all your travels involving magnetic pulls from energy vortices! ;-)

The Capri Hotel
The perfect writers retreat!   Our accomodations for the night were at the mid-century modern The Capri Hotel.  With a funky architecture, a hip bohemian design, and a FAB price point, the hotel is the perfect place to work on that screenplay for a couple of days...

With mint green Googie rooms and a GREAT pool, this classic 1960s getaway motel is a retro-hip favorite of baby boomers, pet lovers, young urbanites, and witches alike.  Plus, the hotel offers one of the the best views in town overlooking the Topa Topa Mountains. It’s the perfect refuge to craft the next Citizen Kane! ;-)
http://www.hotelojai.com/

Bart’s Books
Books, books, and more books!!!  Bart’s Books the home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A.

In 1964 Bart’s Books was little more than a sparkle in the eye of Richard Bartinsdale whose collection of books had gotten so overwhelming that he constructed a series of bookcases along the sidewalk so that passersby could peruse the titles.  In lieu of a cash register, “Bart” left coffee cans atop the bookcase shelves.  People would then select a title or two and leave payment in the cans, giving birth to Bart’s world famous tradition of selling books via the honor system.

Bart’s Books has become host to nearly one million books ranging from the thirty-five cent specials which line the outside walls and are still for sale on the honor system, to rare, out of print first editions, and art books valued in the thousands of dollars.  While there Kelly was able to grab The Sea by John Banville for half what she was planning to buy it on Amazon.  It seemed the energy vortices were alive in manifestation as two people had recommended the exact book to her in the week leading up to her trip to Ojai!
www.bartsbooksojai.com

Casa Barranca Organic Winery & Tasting Room
Drinking, organically.  There’s nothing more spiritual than a good glass of wine, and Casa Barranca Certified Organic Winery fit the bill!

Casa Barranca building, originally known as The Pratt House, was designed in 1909 by the nationally renowned and revered architects, Greene & Greene, and is a National Historic Landmark. Purchased in 1994 by Bill Moses, and restored over the ensuing four years to its current grandeur, the Pratt House is now more commonly known in the wine world as Casa Barranca.

Casa Barranca is the first certified organic winery in the Santa Barbara region.  With a tip of the hat to the Indian concept of Seven Generations, all the grapes used in winemaking are farmed without the use of pesticides or herbicides.  All the water used on the estate is drawn from an artesian spring and their power is solar. 

While there we enjoyed their sumptuous summer tasting flight ($15 per person, but waived with a 2 bottle purchase).  Our favorite was their 2016 Bungalow Red a Rhone blend consisting of Syrah and Grenache from two vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley.  The taste was bright with notes of crushed raspberry, cherry aromas, and white pepper.   Cheers to living the pesticide free life!
https://www.casabarranca.com/

The Wallace Neff Heritage Bar at Ojai Valley Inn
We finished our night with nibbles and drinks at The Wallace Neff Heritage Bar at the Ojai Valley Inn.  This luxurious five-diamond, award-winning resort features hotel accomodations, an award winning on-site spa, tennis courts, four pools, multiple dining venues, and a historic championship golf course.

The newly restored Wallace Neff Heritage Bar bonds the history of Ojai, California with a renewed spirit in a timeless setting.  Wallace Neff was an architect based in Southern California and was largely responsible for developing the region's distinct architectural style known as "California" style. 


With noshes from the award winning Olivella we knew were in good hands.  The space’s food philosophy is to embrace the seasonal whims of the region, focusing on the bounty of year-round produce provided by the California Central Coast.  While there we dined of some Spicy Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with local avocadio, micro cilantro, scallion, and crispy papadum, Crispy Calamari with spicy tomato sauce, and FAB truffle fries.  TrĂ©s Yummm (with 3 Ms!)!
https://www.ojaivalleyinn.com

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Thursday, July 26, 2018

From to Cash to Caffeine - Converted Banks Make the Perfect Coffee Shops Across the Country!


From to Cash to Caffeine - Converted Banks Make the Perfect Coffee Shops Across the Country!
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief, Edible Skinny

Edible Skinny has been traveling across the country (by our count we’ve been to 8 states so far...) and we’ve noticed an interesting pattern: converting older bank buildings to coffee shops.  From cash to caffeine, seems to be quite the trend!

With that in mind we thought we would note a few of these from money to mocha spaces!  Here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and your moments ALWAYS including mountains of cash AND caffeine! ;-)

Beale Street Brews in Kingman, AZ
In 2016 Beale St. Brews moved into a long forgotten and vacant bank built in 1965.  
Since then, Beale Street Brews has become a Kingman downtown icon for coffee connoisseurs, hipsters, business professionals, travelers and everyone looking for that small, home town feeling.  With art deco/ flair, the space cleverly blends post modern and industrial styles to create a comfortable spot that welcomes.  The menu is 1970s style cork board and marker drawn drink items.  The space offers free WI-FI, but make sure to come with your electronics fully charged and a good book because back in the day when this brick, steel enforced bank was built there were no computers or cell phones so the limited power was re-routed to accommodate modern machinery and most the outlets have been abandoned.  Try their Shot In The Dark, coffee with a shot of espresso housed inside. 

The Artistic Bean in Fort Smith, AR
Established in 2016, Artistic Bean in an organic coffee shop with an in house roastery.  The Artistic Bean takes green coffee beans from Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala to a higher level with on site roasting and an early 1900s-style Italian espresso machine from Victoria Arduino.  The massive railroad style space includes gobs of local artist’s work and a bookcase open for taking once you donate a $1 to their local library.  All of their lattes come with a double-shot of espresso, with a keen interest on showcasing the rich flavors and aromas of their special blend, which is two-thirds Sumatran coffee.  Try their Mountain Man Mocha and their Coconut Cream Pie Lattes.

Crop Bar and Bistro in Cleveland, OH
One of Ohio’s hottest restaurant (named one Cleveland’s best by Thrillist), Crop is housed in what was a massive Beaux Arts 1925 bank, complete with marble columns, huge arches, and 17,000 ft. of floor space.  The open dining room has been beautifully restored to its original glory.  The ornate coffered ceiling soars 35-feet, a wall of tall, arched windows bestow angelic light on the space, and a mural depicting an ancient market harkens back to its trading days.   Grab a coffee during their Sunday $39 buffet, featuring lobster omelettes, KIng Crab legs, and brisket.

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Pool Party Summer Product Review: PART TWO - Come In The Water’s Fine!




 The Pool Party Summer Product Review: PART TWO - Come In The Water’s Fine!
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief, Edible Skinny

There’s something about being next to a swimming pool with a cold drink or joint in hand that makes everything feel right in the world.  Being Poolside is an artform.  The art of being absolute cool, with not a care in the world.   

From the earliest depiction of pool life (which date back to The Great Bath in modern day Pakistan estimated to have been built in the 3rd Millennium B.C.) to our modern day depictions in movies (Pretty much every Esther Williams movie, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, The Garden State, and Sexy Beast) and advertisements (sexy model in a bikini plus product = hip, trendy brand).   

So as we enter the height of summer here’s a few suggestions to make your poolside adventure worthy of a Million Dollar Mermaid. 

HONEYWELLS EVAPORATIVE COOLER  ($397.29)
This product is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!  In case you don’t know (and we didn’t till this article), an evaporative cooler (aka a swamp cooler, desert cooler, and wet air cooler) is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water.  An evaporative cooler differs from a typical air conditioning system (which uses absorption refrigeration cycles) by utilizing the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor (aka evaporation).  If we lost you on that technical jargon, the bottom line is Honeywells Evaporative Cooler can cool air using on 220 Watts of electricity, which is much less energy than an air conditioner (READ the same amount of cool for A LOT LESS money).  Honeywells Evaporative Cooler can drop the temperature in your house or pool, since you can use it both indoors and outdoors, by 20 DEGREES.  Plus in extremely dry climates (like Los Angeles and Las Vegas), evaporative cooling of air has the added benefit of conditioning the air with more moisture for the comfort of building occupants.  And with a 15.8 gallon water tank capacity, you can fill the cooler up before bedtime for cool moist air throughout the night.  So stay cool morning, noon, and night!!!

BOTANICAL RUSH ($25-$79)
Keep your skin hydrated right!  As we inch closer to full on federal cannabis legalization CBD has become the hottest thing in the beauty world!  Botanical Rush is one of the first skin lines to offer a beauty line based on non-psychoactive, cannabinoid-rich full-spectrum hemp extract.  “CBD, which is loaded with antioxidants, helps nourish the skin while providing super free-radical defense and helping to reduce inflammation," noted founder Myra Michelle.  Our favorites include: Midnight Beauty, an anti-aging cream infused with hibiscus, green tea, helichrysum and 50mg organic cannabinoid rich compounds and terpenes; Beautiful Eye Cream, infused with 25 mg of organic cannabinoid-rich compounds; and Crow Be Gone Serum,a potent eye treatment delivering proven peptides, stem cells, and F extracts to smooth fine lines and crow’s feet.  

CAMERONS PIZZA GRILLING PAN ($14.99)
This is for the Grill Master (or Mistress) of your house! Camerons Pizza Grilling Pan has a perforated cooking surface to ensure even cooking and works great with pizza, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables.  You can even cook deep dish pizza (hence the name Pizza Grilling Pan…!).  100% non-stick grilling surface make sure you food doesn’t stick and extra-high side walls prevents food from falling off.  Once you're finished, the wooden handle folds in for compact, easy storage.  The pan is dishwasher safe, so clean up is easy peasy nice and breezy! 

MATRIX DECOR SCREEN ($259.79)
Decorate your poolside in style!  Matrix Decor Screens versatile screens are the perfect addition to your boring backyard concrete walls.  The versatility and style of these screens allows for installation both indoors and outdoors, in formal and informal settings.  With playful designs like Jungle (arresting leaf design), Sahara (inspired by North African patterning), and Rainforest (dense foliage pattern) it’s a simple way to make a big difference around your pool.  Made from 100% recycled plastic, these large scale screens are suited from all climatic conditions and will never rot, rust, splinter, or leach out their color.  So flare it up with Matrix!

JANE HUDSON JENNINGS SWING DRESS ($98.00)
For the last few weeks we’ve been living in this dress!   From the stadium to the street, Jane Hudson creates clothing that embody a lifestyle filled with adventures and spirit.  J/H’s elevated take on a swing dress, is the textbook example of perfect throw on dress for a Dodgers game attending, errand running, or grilling veggies by the pool.  The Jennings Swing Dress is designed with a viscose-spandex blend and deep pockets, this dress is as versatile as it gets! So swing into high gear with this swing dress!

PARA’KITO MOSQUITO REPELLENT ($13.00)
Buggers begone!  Make it harder for mosquitoes to find you with PARA’KITO a natural mosquito protection that utilizes natural essential oils to help mask the scent of your breath and body.  Housed in a comfortable, refillable, waterproof wristband PARA’KITO utilizes an innovative diffusion technology that releases essential oils (citronella, rosemary, geranium, mint, and clove) for all-day protection in any climate.  Easy-to-use band features an adjustable fastener that lets you wear it comfortably on your wrist or ankle.  Proprietary formula is free of DEET, GMOs, gluten, paraben, phthalates and animal testing.  So say goodbye to bugs bugging you!

I'D RATHER GO COMMANDO HEMP BASED SOAP  ($10)
The perfect solution to clean up all your Bumps and Grimes!  A co-creation between the vintage variety show Pin-Ups on Tour and the CBD based company This Stuff Is Good For You, this line of hemp soaps help support PUOT’s FREE SHOWS inside VA Hospitals and Veterans Homes across the country.   This FAB soap is infused with fresh rosemary, lemon, thyme, and coriander.  So lather up and just wait for those SAILOR BOY stares! ;-)

MATADOR NANODRY TOWEL ($34.99)
Jump out of the pool and into the best towel ever!   Matador’s NanoDry Towel is ultralight, super absorbent and quick drying, which makes it perfect for the 3 second towel dry.  At this point we all know about microfiber travel towels, but what about nanofiber?  Nanofiber is significantly lighter in weight than microfiber AND absorbs 2.3 times its own weight in water.  Plus the NanoDry Towel is much larger than most microfiber towels (many of them couldn’t even cover our nether regions).  Contrast this with the NanoDry Towel that is almost the size of a standard shower towel.  The NanoDry Towel comes with a silicone case with carabiner for the ultimate in portability; clip to or toss it into any bag and hit the pool, trail, or gym.  Oh, and it’s machine washable.  Drop the mic… towel.

5.11 Aerial Shirt ($49.99)
This is the perfect poolside shirt for that man in your life.  5.11’s Short Sleeve Aerial Shirt is designed to keep even the hottest guy cool and alert.  The Aerial Shirt is super duper light (seriously, it’s like wearing air), highly breathable, and comprised of moisture wicking fabric allowing for easy ventilation and superior airflow.  Plus it has snaps, which allows your man to indulge in that hidden dream of being a male stripper at a moment’s notice… at least it does with my boyfriend every time he wears it! ;-)  

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com








Thursday, June 28, 2018

From Portland to Phoenix, The Thomas Sisters Are Bringing Vintage On Demand Typewritten Poetry Nationwide with The Zelda Fitzgeralds

From Portland to Phoenix, The Thomas Sisters Are Bringing Vintage On Demand Typewritten Poetry Nationwide with The Zelda Fitzgeralds
By Matt Bourquardez, Edible Skinny

“She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and no doubt that’s one of the reasons why they did.”
--Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald was an American socialite, novelist, painter, and wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald; she was noted for her beauty and high spirits, and was dubbed by her husband as "the first American Flapper.  She had one published novel (Save Me The Waltz), and many more of her writings found their way into F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels (she once wrote in the New York Tribune of her husband that he “seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.”).  So it it would seem only fitting that a vintage inspired On Demand Typewriting Poetry brand would chose to honor her through naming themselves The Zelda Fitzgeralds.

“Zelda Fitzgerald was a whirlwind and wonder of a woman.  It is said, F. Scott Fitzgerald used to read her journal and steal snippets of her writing,” notes The Zelda Fitzgeralds Co-Creator Kelly Grace Thomas.  “My sister and I were saddened by how long her talent was hidden from the world.  For this reason, we created The Zelda Fitzgeralds to give Zelda, and really all poets out there, a voice, and a paycheck.  To put their talent in the forefront.   We hope to bring Zelda’s essence and charisma to every client we write for.”
In the last five years typewritten poetry has become quite “The Thing.”  From the release of the typewriter documentary California Typewriter to the emergence of typewriting poetry groups like the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, silent writers the Bumbys, and the in your face-ness Haiku Guys.  Tom Hanks is a collector of typewriters, famed to own over two hundred and fifty typing machines.   And in the midst of this “typewriting poetry revolution,” that the sister team of Kelly Grace Thomas and Kat Thomas created The Zelda Fitzgeralds.

The two gals have creativity in their DNA.  “Kelly’s a nationally ranked poet (though she doesn’t like me to call her that),” boasts The Zelda Fitzgerald Co-Creator (and the elder of the two) Kat Thomas.  “She’s the winner of the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and a Best of the Net nominee; that’s pretty impressive!”  Kat’s “Day Job” was specializing in vintage entertainment as Director of Development at Do Right Industries.  “I’ve produced and performed in events for the last six years, in 29 states across the country.  I definitely know how to entertain people!”     
And so, the sisters took the best of both their worlds to create The Zelda Fitzgeralds.  “Kelly and I were looking to go into business together.  We figured let’s take what I know of vintage events and what Kelly knows of the poetry world, to create something magical” notes Kat.  “We bought our first Royal Epoch Portable Manual Typewriters on Amazon (yes you can buy typewriters on Amazon), and the rest is history!”  

“We feel the best poetry is in person,” notes Kelly with a smile.  “Our Zeldas spend a few minutes getting to know each guest’s story: what brought them to the event, what brings them joy, what are their dreams.....”  From that in a fast five minutes, the Zeldas craft a one-of-a-kind original poem written just for them.  Since starting two years ago the Zeldas have been featured at events across the country from Portland to Phoenix, from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.  Clients have included posh weddings, cannabis speakeasies, and more corporate events then The Zelda Fitzgeralds can count.  
To both sisters, being able to give professional poets an outlet to do their craft and get paid was really exciting.  Poetry isn’t a high income, or really any income, career choice.   But with The Zelda Fitzgeralds in the game, poets now have the opportunity to make money at something love.  “I absolutely adore hiring creative people,” notes Kat. “We have some incredibly talented roster of writers: Poet Laureates, Neil Postman Award for Metaphor Winners, and Fellows for the Kenyon Review, just to name drop a few.”

The Zelda Fitzgerald’s overall mission is to give poetry to the masses of people who don’t normally get to experience it.  The Zeldas call them Muggles (the word for the Non-Magical beings from Harry Potter series), people who might not have encountered a poem since fourth grade.   “When our poets find out what these people love, and then write an individual poem for them in under ten minutes, the guests are floored.” 

We recently had our poets at a private event at The Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix.  The mansion is a landmark building constructed in 1931 by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.  “There were over a thousand guests at this Great Gatsby themed event, with tons of entertainment to delight them.  And we closed the party down,” notes Kat.  

These poems leave a lasting impression with the Zeldas guests.  They are taken home and hung on refrigerators doors and cork boards for days, months, even years to come.  A tidbit of information that has been fully recognized by the Zeldas’ corporate clients looking to promote their logo with some branded typewriting paper.  “Poetry is a window to the soul, and when we open that window, people allow themselves to embrace their emotional vulnerability,” states Kelly.  “I’ve seen people cry, I’ve seen people laugh.  Almost everyone ends up hugging our poets.”  

“We have always been fascinated by the way Zelda Fitzgerald drank in every ounce of life,” explains Kelly.  “She carried so many storms and celebrations inside her.”  And so dressed in Derby Hats, beaded dresses, and strings of pearls, The Zeldas Fitzgeralds bestow poems one click, clack, and ding at a time.  We think Miss Fitzgerald would celebrate by downing a glass champagne, smashing the glass, and dancing the Charleston in delight! 

Matt Bourquardez is a Writer for Edible Skinny. He has traveled the globe and rarely sees his house.
















Thursday, June 21, 2018

Surf’s Up Summer Product Review: PART ONE - Let’s Hit the Beach!


Surf’s Up Summer Product Review: PART ONE - Let’s Hit the Beach! 
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief,  Edible Skinny

“Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of course, the smallest tingling sip for children; change the season in you veins by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in.”
Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

June 21st is Officially... THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER.

The First Day of beach trips full of lifeguards, longboards, and life preservers.
The First Day of late nights sipping wine by the the pool and dancing till sunrise.  
The First Day of days that go on forever and ever!

So in honor of THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER we present Surf’s Up - Let’s Hit the Beach, our first of two Summer Product Reviews (Part Two focuses on Poolside Adventures!)  So here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and raising glass to lip and titling summer in! ;-)

Pinkly Perfect Avalon Sweatshirt ($48.00)
We’re a sucker for anything from our home state of New Jersey (Jersey Strong Baby!!!), and Pinkly Perfect’s Avalon Flamingo Sweatshirt (named for the seaside town of Avalon, NJ) fits like the piece of salt water taffy! Pinkly Perfect is a brand dedicated to living the beachlife, from their bags, to tanks, to sweatshirts, to accessories everything focuses on the toes in the sand lifestyle. The grey triblend wide neck Avalon sweatshirt is donned with a pair of pink flamingos and is perfect for throwing over you bikini when the ocean breezes pick up in the afternoon! 

Initials Inc - Bottom’s Up Lobster Tote Bag ($48.00)
For anyone who’s into LOBSTER LOVE (and there’s plenty of use that LOVE these mollusks!), the Bottom’s Up is “shore” to become your favorite beach tote!  This microfiber “Open Tote” features six open exterior pockets (as roomy as skyscraper), a top zipper closure, 14” handle drop, and an innovative reinforced mesh bottom that helps to leave the sand on the beach!  SCORE!!!  And because you’re grabbing the tote from Initials Inc, personalization is FREE!  Everyone clap those claws in applause!!!
https://initials-inc.com/

The Handloom - Hare Turkish Towel ($39.00)
We’ve tried A LOT of towels in anticipation of summer, but this was our favorite!  Made of 100% Turkish Cotton, the Hare Towel is a lightweight, ultra-absorbent towel.  Full of versatility, the Hare Turkish Towel is part beach towel, part chic sarong.  Hand-loomed in Turkey, the intricate design recalls exotic nights in Istanbul.   

nICE Coolers Tumbler with Straw ($9.99)
In the summer (and in the winter according to Jimmy Buffet) we need Boat Drinks, and we especially need COLD Boat Drinks.  Enter nICE Coolers Tumbler and with Metal Straws.  With a slogan of “official sponsor of having a good time,” they know what’s up! ;-)  Their Double Walled, Stainless Steel, Durable and Vacuum Sealed Tumblers allow you to keep drinks cool in style while enjoying time on the boat or the sand.  And we’re in LOVE with their metal straws, reusable they lessen our carbon footprint while allowing our Boat Drinks to stay as cool as possible before they hit our lips.  With the Tumbler by our side, we’re down to fly to “Saint Somewhere,” to quote JB! 

Vyve Capri Splashpants ($64.00)
Part swimwear, part yoga pants Vyve Splashpants, work in water and on land (or even air as they look perfect for skydiving too...).  These Splashpants offer fun and versatility to every activewear wardrobe as Splashpants work both in the water and on land!  They’re the perfect option if you’re not sure if you’ll get wet or not.  Vyve Splashpant works for water aerobics, swim workouts, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, a visit to the water park or pool (as they hold up great in chlorinated water).  Plus, you can wear them commando or over your favorite swimsuit. 

myCharge Adventure Max ($48.00)
The plain and simple is we do EVERYTHING on our phones, so you ALWAYS need to make sure that it’s full of juice. myCharge Adventure Max allows you that luxury while allowing you the ability to embrace your rugged (weekend warrior) lifestyle.  Complete with a carabiner clip, this powerup is the ultimate solution to charging your devices for up to SIX times (for phones, tablets, and other USB charging devices).  And with a rigged rubberized finish it’s splash resistant, drop resistant, and dirt proof.  Just don’t throw it in the pool!
TruSelf Organics - Detoxifying Mask ($19.00)
For your inner Summer Solstice Goddess: a 100% organic, vegan, and cruelty free Detoxifying Mask from TruSelf. Listed on PETA’s directory, this mask pulls out dirt and toxins from deep within your skin.  Prolonged use will minimize the appearance of pore and wrinkles, reduce scars and discoloration, and boosts effectiveness of other skincare products.  Since it comes in powder form it’s got a great shelf life.  To activate you just dilute with warm water and “paint” on your face with their bamboo brush. So bust out your crystals, down some Braggs Vinegar, and get to masking your suntanned summer face!

Hari Mari Lakes Tan & Pink Flip Flops ($75.00)
These are the perfect nude flippers (you know the ones, the ones that go with EVERYTHING!!!). Hari Mari’s clean aesthetic, innovative design, and “ahhh”-inducing feel are driven by a steadfast dedication to simplicity.  Plus they’re sooooooo COMFY!!!  Made with Full Grain Leather their Lakes Flippers pair perfectly with an itsy bitsy bikini or a $300 sundress.  Plus, beyond making a premium flip flop, Hari Mari is a proud committed partner in supporting kids battling pediatric cancer, donating 1% of sales on every flip flop purchased to help pay for hospital costs and medicine for children receiving treatment.  They call it "Flops Fighting Cancer"; we call it AWESOMENESS!!!

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com