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Ariel Gordon bezel rings

A well-selected piece of jewelry is a brilliant gift. Onward, fearless shopper! Here is your moment to shine. Nola Sarkisian-Miller CTW Features For those who want to stand out from the madding crowds this holiday season (does she really need another eternity scarf or a mass-manufactured cashmere sweater?), giving jewelry is one way to shine with your loved one. If buying jewelry instills a sense of fear in the buyer, relax. Thanks to the up and down economy,jewelry is in the midst of a renaissance,providing an easy update for a loved one’s wardrobe.These days,it’s not just about diamonds.Chunky necklaces,cocktail rings and cuff bracelets galore – layers upon layers - have burst on the scene, injecting a sense of fun and style into the bauble mix. “We’re not buying anything that’s not costume or coming out of India,” says Elyse Walker, founder and

Dannijo’s bib necklace with marbled resin beads and chain fringe

owner of her eponymous boutique in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and the fashion director for the Forward by Elyse Walker web site.“Everything is about making a statement.” How to buy with so much to buy? The key is to know your recipient and buy something up her alley, not yours.

“Keep in mind what she wears on a day to day basis,” says Joanne Teichman, co-owner of Ylang 23, a jewelry boutique in Dallas,Texas.“If she never takes off a particular necklace, either buy one to layer with it or buy some earrings or a bracelet.” Fashion-savvy loved ones would appreciate the bolder style of collar necklaces. Dannijo’s bib styles with marbled resin beads and chain fringe looks are popular at the Beckley boutiques in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, says Beckley owner Melissa Akkaway. Tom Binn’s tiered necklaces with epoxy-covered crystals are favorites at Elyse Walker. Good layering options are the initial pendant necklaces by Los Angeles-based Ariel Gordon Jewelry, crafted with a playful font and worn by A-listers such as Drew Barrymore and Jessica Biel. Jennifer Meyer’s jewelry is on fire at Ylang 23.The designer who is also the wife of “Spider-Man” actor Tobey Maguire has attracted a star following – Jennifer Anniston, Emma Stone, Katie Holmes – for her diamond-engraved initial necklaces and personalized nameplate necklaces. “Personalization in buying is key,” says designer it yours: Gold nameplate necklace by JenAriel Gordon. Make nifer Meyer “People like to connect to their purchases emotionally and that’s what sells the best. If you opt to buy bracelets, pile on the purchases. The more the merrier. It’s all about arm candy this season heaped with color.Think cuffs adorned with beads, screws or spikes, gold cuffs and bangles. Dannijo offers “arm party” styles, which can include up to 12 bracelets loaded with skulls, chain links, crystals and more. For an edgy gift, enamel skull cuffs from Alexander McQueen found at Forward by Elyse Walker are in vogue. Cont’d on page 3

Jennifer Meyer

Baubles, Bangles & Bright, Shiny Beads

Ariel Gordon | Wednesday, December 5, 2012




La Mer

Cont’d from page 2

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Bracelets “are ideal for all the ladies on the list – a wife, a girlfriend, a mother or a sister,”Akkaway says. Earrings are classic choices for a jewelry purchase even though styles are less than traditional this season.The trend is light and airy with a focus on cut-out options,Teichman says. Rose gold, which is a gold and copper alloy, is one of the industry’s hottest metals, known for its vintage feel. Laurent Gandini’s rose gold dangle styles, including birds, flowers and a heart, and lace-looking styles are in demand at Ylang 23. While rings are a more difficult purchase in terms of sizing and the emotions they convey, you have more options this year. Unusual stones – like quartz, moonstone

Pile it on: Dannijo ‘arm party’ bracelets, loaded skulls, chain links, crystals and more

and agates – mounted in large statement rings are one way to buy a one-of-a-kind style. Highlights include Jamie Joseph’s opal rings, such as the two-toned Mexican Fire Opal or the dimensional pink coral opal, which are “crazy strong” sellers,Teichman says, and Ariel Gordon’s bezel set rings with old-world-looking stones with faceted dome tops. Stacking is another way to showcase

Color punch: La Mer Collections neon pink leather wrap watch

rings. Jewelry designer Ioselliani offers sets of four or five stacked rings in irregular shapes with Swarovski stones.At Von Bargen’s Jewelry stores in Vermont and New Hampshire, customers are mixing a number of ring styles, such as artisan and steel bands. Pamela Love’s knuckle rings that can span a few fingers featuring spikes and antique patinas are top sellers at Forward by Elyse Walker. You can also keep it playful with a brightly colored watch. La Mer Collections, which are holiday favorites at Beckley, many of which are priced for under $100, come in a variety of hues, from shimmery metallics to vivid neons like yellow, green and pink.The triple wrap straps and chain/charm styles with multiple stainless steel layers fit in with the bracelet bonanza trend. “These are at a great price and are quite doable as a present,”Akkaway says. Not going overboard is the consensus advice when it comes to jewelry purchases, experts say. “There are no rules on what to buy or not based on the status of your relationship, but you should not make the recipient uncomfortable with overspending,”Teichman says.




4 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

6th Annual

Northern Lights Festival Photos by Kelly Bergman

The 6th Annual Northern Lights Festival will be happening atop Connaught Hill Nov 28-Jan1, 2013 from 5-10pm nightly. Tix $10/car load The northern lights opening night is in conjunction with the Civic Centre Plaza Light up. Â Families can have a hay ride, hot cocoa, live music and see the Tree Light Up at the Civic Centre Plaza from 5-9pm, then head up to connaught hill.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012





Power to the | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Taniesha Robinson | CTW Features


This year, give them the gift they need year-round: more juice for their favorite gadgets. These supplemental power supplies will keep their phones, tablets and any other digital device ready to go, around the clock

Duracell Powermat The Duracell Powermat is a sleek charging hub that will add convenience at home or in the office. When plugged into a wall outlet the Powermat’s surface serves as a wireless power transmitter. A smartphone needs to be inserted into a wireless case (sold separately) and placed on the mat to charge. The Powermat is available in white or black in sizes for one device ($34.99), two devices ($44.99) and three devices ($69.99). The wireless case ($34.99) comes in seven fashionable colors. Those still looking for the on-the-go convenience can purchase the complete 24-Hour Power System ($99.99), which features a two-device Powermat, a wireless case plus the Powermat Portable Backup Battery. Fitted with a micro USB and Apple 30-pin dock connector, the backup battery serves as a personal portable charger. It charges on the Powermat surface and fits easily in a pocket or purse for one full charge while out and about during the day.


very holiday season, the hottest digital devices fly out of stores and into homes across America.This year, help the tech lovers in your circle keep the party going with the latest power products.They’ll

thank you with a call, text or email the next time their powering up instead of dealing with a dead battery. Cont’d on page 8

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8 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

n POWER TO THE PEOPLE Cont’d from page 6

For the On-the-Go Phone User Energizer Portable Smartphone Charger and Energizer Charging Case Smartphones and other USB-powered devices (up to 5 watts) can get a full chargeup on the go with the Energizer Portable Smartphone Charger ($54.99).The charge time runs parallel to charging via a wall outlet.The Energizer Charging Case ($64.99) offers an even more portable solution for iPhones. Like any case, it fits snugly around the phone, but it adds close to a full charge when on.“The convenience behind this is that it does enable that mobility,” says Nadia Kowalczyk, Energizer’s marketing director for Portable Power.“It allows you to be on the go and still charge if you can’t find that A/C outlet.”

ChargeCard Cell phone, keys, wallet and charger? Sadly, smartphone users around the globe have

added the latter to their list of things to grab before leaving the house.Things can go back to normal with the ChargeCard ($25), a charging cable made in the shape of a business card. It’s only three times the thickness of a credit card for an easy wallet fit. It can get power from USB ports everywhere: cars, televisions, laptops, cable boxes, stereos and more.

For the On-the-GoTablet User Energizer Universal Multi-Port Charger Single tablet owners may fall for the Energizer Multi-Port Charger

($75.99). Users can operate their devices right away while charging.The dual-USB port also allows room for simultaneous charging of another lower-capacity device, such as an MP3 player or smartphone.A magnetic clip for the cable helps prevent cord tangles.

Sanho HyperJuice Plug Virtually any USB device can be powered up with the HyperJuice Plug ($159.95), but couples, families and techies with multiple iPads will especially be pleased. For the first time, they’ll be able to charge two iPads simultaneously from the same portable charger. The HyperJuice

extends the iPad’s battery life up to an additional 14 hours, depending on the model. Plus, it puts an end to disputes in the car about who gets to charge their device first. Cont’d on page 9

n POWER TO THE PEOPLE Cont’d from page 8

For the Outdoorsman Timbuk2 Power Commute and Power Q

to be charged while inside.Their Joey T1 power supplies have water resistant cases, button-free operation – so users won’t risk accidentally turning the unit on – and wall outlet charging options.

Solio Mobile Utility Device The Solio MUD ($150) is a battery pack powerful enough to charge a tablet, but it also has a solar-charging option.“This one is water-resistant, dustproof, heat-resistant,” says Courtney Brunkow, a Solio representative.“It’s very, very hearty, made up to stand up on backpacking trips even.” Leave it out in the sun for a day for a full charge to power Those who appreciate the great outdoors usually value a sturdy backpack.And although they may set out to escape the chaos or our wired world, only a true ascetic can resist the urge to send messages and pictures of what they encounter.Timbuk2 partnered up with Joey Energy to fit two bags, the Power Commute and Power Q ($199 each), with a power supply that’ll delight any world traveler. Both bags have dedicated interior pockets for multiple devices

Wednesday, December 5, 2012




devices, or recharge it when the sun goes down from a wall outlet or USB power. LED lights and radios powered by the MUD can run for days.Tablets get a 50-percent power boost, and smartphones go from dead to fully charged in less than 90 minutes.

For Universal Charging GearPower Mobile Pocket Power Not everyone is a loyal Apple customer with all the hottest new gadgets. But most people have a bundle of devices that may include a digital camera, cell phone, portable game console, MP3 player, Bluetooth headset and more.The GearPower Mobile Pocket Power ($42.95) from IOGEAR comes with interchangeable connectors that make it a one-stop-shop for charging any standard portable device.

Car Charging Scosche revolt c2 Many new car models come equipped with a USB port,but in the current age of multiple

devices,one port may not be enough.Car-audio hardware company Scosche offers a solution with the new reVOLT c2 dual-USB car charger ($24.99).Once plugged into the vehicle power socket,it supplies 10Watts of power through each port.That’s enough to charge any smartphone and most tablets. In today’s fast-paced world,not only do people dread draining their device battery, they dread being tethered to an A/C outlet,too. “Consumers are more on the go today than they’ve ever been before,”Energizer’s Nadia Kowalczyk says.“Consumers have an expectation that the device is portable,they can take it with them,and they should be able to do all the cool things they want to do with those devices.”

10 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Greg Scoblete | CTW Features

Rugged & Ready to Shoot

In an Instagram world, the smartphone has become to primary camera for any amateur photog. But on the bike, in the water or up in the air, it’s time to forget the filters and grab a camera that’s tough enough to take on an adventure Cont’d on page 11


Cont’d from page 10


or many of us, smartphones are our go-to camera, but there are still places they just can’t go. Underwater, for one, or buried under a pile of sand. Fortunately, you don’t have to risk your precious iPhone or Android the next time you hit the beach or hiking trail.Take along one of these rugged companions instead.They’ll not only survive whatever it is you can throw at them, they’ll snap better pics and videos than your phone ever could.

GoPro Hero HD 2 No other camera is so single-handedly responsible for populating YouTube with amazing first-person shots of the hairiest BASE jumps and death-defying outdoor stunts than GoPro’s Hero line. Outside of a nuclear apocalypse, there’s not much that can dent the Hero’s enthusiasm.The HD Hero 2 ($299.99) is an 11-megapixel still camera that’s capable of recording 1080p high-def video. It comes with waterproof housing that can survive up to a depth of 197 feet underwater; you can spring for an optional dive housing ($49.99) for improved underwater clarity. Dirt, dust, mud - none of it will harm the Hero. The glass lens offers a wide-angle field of view (170 degrees) and is very bright with an aperture of f/2.8.You won’t find an optical zoom on this camera, though, since the Hero is designed to be used mostly hands-free.You can shoot stills at 10 frames per second, or use the time-lapse operation to fire off a still photo every 0.5 seconds.There are a variety of video frame rates available for capturing smooth motion. The HD Hero 2 is sold in three kits with varying accessories and mounts based on need: There’s an outdoor edition, plus motor sports and surf kits.All carry the same price tag, but the activity for each edition may result in different hospital bills.

Fujifilm FinePix XP50 If you’re not interested in plumbing the deepest depths, the Fujifilm FinePix XP50 ($179.95) will get you under 5 meters’ worth of ocean waves and is shock- and dustproof to boot.The camera can survive falls up to 5 feet, and it also is freezeproof, capable of enduring temperatures as low as 14 degrees F. Simply put – the camera will probably survive longer than you will. The XP50’s 2.7-inch display has an anti-reflective-glare coating for easier viewing in bright light and a rubberized grip to help you maintain your hold, even if you’re wearing gloves. Fujifilm FinePix XP50 Beneath its brawny exterior you’ll find a 14-megapixel CMOS image sensor for HD movie recording at 1080p and a 5x optical, 28mm wideangle zoom lens with image stabilization.A Motion Panorama 360 mode lets you sweep across a scene while the camera automatically stitches together multiple images into a single panoramic image. Cont’d on page 12

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n RUGGED & READY TO SHOOT Cont’d from page 11 Additional scene modes, such as underwater, night, sunset and snow, will optimize your image based on the shooting environment.You can fire off bursts of up to 12 images at 10fps. Finally, no outdoor camera would be complete without an eye toward style and the SP50 doesn’t disappoint with a selection of five bold hues: orange, green, blue, silver and black.

Nikon Coolpix S30

Nikon’s Coolpix S30 ($119.95) is capable of plunging up to 10 feet underwater with a sturdy body that resists dirt and dust. Clumsy? The S30 can survive falls up to 2.6 feet high. It’s been designed with glove-wearers in mind with large buttons and a simplified interface that makes it easy to access the menus or camera settings quickly. The 10-megapixel sensor can record HD movies at 720p resolution at 30fps.The S30 packs a 3x optical zoom, 29mm wide-angle lens with electronic image stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD.You can focus on objects up as near as 2 inches away for those interested in macro photography.You’ll also have the option to create slideshows with animated effects or make albums with clip-art style effects that can be added to images in the camera. You’ll have a choice of silver, blue and bright pink body colors.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Best Cameras for Dry Land 3 digicams that can outpace your phone in the specs department – if roughing it is not your thing Sony NEX-F3 The NEX-F3 ($599.99, including a 18-55mm zoom lens) offers you the flexibility of interchangeable lenses without the size and bulk of a traditional d-SLR.

The 16-megapixel F3 can record high-def video and features 3-inch display that can be tilted 180 degrees for framing shots at difficult angles. Sony pushed the limits on the battery, too: The NEX-F3 is capable of a whopping 470 shots before needing a recharge.

Canon PowerShot Elph 320 HS

Sony NEX-F3

Thin and wide are not attributes normally associated together, but Canon’s PowerShot Elph 320 HS ($249) manages just that. It’s thin – measuring in at 0.82 inches thick –

and it packs a 24mm wide-angle lens, allowing you to swallow up more of the scene in front of you. It offers built-in Wi-Fi for wirelessly sharing images far and wide. The 16-megapixel Elph delivers a 5x optical zoom, 3.2-inch touchscreen display and HD video recording. It’s available in your choice of silver, red, blue or black.

Panasonic SZ7K If you need a bit more optical punch on a budget, the Panasonic SZ7K ($199) packs a 10x optical zoom, 25mm wideangle lens in a compact camera body. Panasonics’s on-hand, optical-image stabilization keeps your photos blur-free. It



Panasonic SZ7K

records HD video in both the AVCHD and MPEG-4 formats, so you can switch between the higher-quality video of the former or the memory-saving, computer-friendlier movies of the latter. Rounding out the SZ7K’s feature set is a 14-megapixel image sensor and a 3-inch display. –G.S.


Madelaine Chocolate Co. | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Sweetest Gift Hope for chocolate springs eternal – especially this time of year. Never have the choices been more artful or delicious.

Jessica Royer Ocken CTW Features


isions of many candies dance in our heads come holiday time: candy canes on the tree, peppermints fashioned into wreaths, allsorts stuffed in stockings. But one reigns supreme.The holiday season is practically drenched in chocolate. Chocolates, gift-boxed or pick your own, ranked as the No. 2 holiday gift last year surpassed only by books, according to Unity Marketing, a Stevens, Penn. marketing consultancy that surveyed 2,000 buyers. “Chocolate earns its top rating as a gift because it fits the bill. It is something everyone likes, yet it also feels like a treat,” says Pam Danziger Unity Marketing president. “Even though it is readily available and accessible, chocolate still makes the recipient feel special.” Happily for holiday shoppers, there’s a gobsmacking array of creative, delicious new offerings from which to choose. If you’re lucky, there’s a handcrafted chocolate maker on Main Street in your town who’ll offer a sample before you buy.

Happiness in a box A box of chocolates is a virtually goof-proof holiday gift. Easy to find, not too costly, impressively packaged and wrapped, a chocolate assortment offers something for everyone. (Not wild about nougat? Here, try the maple fudge!) It’s a gift that’s passed the test of time.

Simply Sweet: chocolate penguins, top, from Madelaine Chocolate Co. ; Godiva Holiday Trufflle Lollipops, right



The humble Whitman’s Sampler celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.Top seller: the 12-ounce sampler ($8.99, drug and grocery stores). “We’re just part of people’s traditions,” says Mark Sesler, chief marketing officer for Russell Stover Candies, owner of Whitman’s.“We’re part of the holiday feeling no matter how modern or advanced society has become.” While U.S. consumers have long preferred milk chocolate, our appreciation for dark chocolate is on the rise.“Consumers’ palates are changing and adapting as they learn about and try new, finer varieties,” says Joan Vieweger, president of the Fine Chocolate Industry Assoc. and co-founder of Choclatique, a Los Angeles artisan chocolate maker. A growing interest in the origins of chocolate and the conditions in countries where cacao is grown is shaping our tastes. Consultant Joan Steuer, president of Chocolate Marketing, LLC, describes this phenomenon as “chocolate with a purpose,” and notes that many brands now tout their earth-friendly practices and support for local farmers right along with the rich flavor of their product. New this year, the Feed 8 Origins Collection from Godiva ($25 for 8 pieces, Godiva boutiques) caters to this worldly perspective with a globe-trotting box of chocolates from around the world: Ecuador Dark, Costa Rica Milk, Uganda Dark and Venezuela Milk. Godiva provides eight school meals for children in these countries for every box sold. Cont’d on page 17

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16 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

n THE SWEETEST GIFT Cont’d from page 14

Why stop at one?


At the holiday time, chocolatiers pile it on, amping up the drama (and upping the price) by stacking box on box.A tower of boxed, beribboned chocolates is a generous gift, and the presentation can be thrilling,

A box of doughnut-shaped truffles from Choclatique

especially for children. Choclatique offers a Tower of Delight with more than 110 pieces of chocolate in 12 colorful boxes stacked nearly 2-feet tall ($195, online).The brightly wrapped

and beribboned 3-box holiday tower from Portland-based Moonstruck Chocolate combines a classic assortment, dark chocolate and milk chocolate ($60, specialty retailers and fine grocers).

Fancy that! Chocolate is easy to mold, shape and decorate, and season by season, chocolate makers vie to deliver the most fanciful designs.The Christmas season marks a pinnacle of their creativity. The Madelaine Chocolate Co., which makes high-end chocolates for many private labels, also produces an endless, charming parade of foil-wrapped novelty chocolate items designed to delight children at the holidays: Santas, snowmen, Hanukkah coins, angels, bells, bears, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, penguins, stars.The company will sell some 40,000 of the jolly 1-oz chocolate Mr. Santa Claus figures, says Estee Farber, marketing director. Mr. Santa “is adorable, he’s shiny, he’s very seasonal,” she says. The seasonal figures “are stocking-stuffers, and you can afford to buy one for everyone at your holiday table.” Cont’d on page 20

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18 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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20 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

n THE SWEETEST GIFT Cont’d from page 17 On the luxury end,there are shaped chocolates shaped and flavored for more discerning palates. For the young-at-heart and deep of pocket,Choclatique offers a box of 15 cupcake-flavored truffles – each tiny morsel shaped and iced to resemble a fanciful pastry ($35 for a 51-piece box). They’re also available as doughnuts. In the fancy-food-on-a-stick department, Godiva’s HolidayTruffle lollipops ($3) are intricately detailed,the wreath with a tiny red ribbon,the snowman with a carrot nose.At Moonstruck Chocolates the whimsical four-piece Mr.and Mrs. Claus or PenguinTruffle Collections ($15) are best sellers. Even mass-market chocolatiers strive for distinction at holiday time. For the second year, Nestlé is partnering with artist Paul Frank on a limited edition Nestlé Crunch bar.The 2.75oz. bar, packaged in a gift envelope, boasts a new wide-mouthed portrait of Julius the Monkey and his pal Clancy the Giraffe ($1.99,Target).

Bright Ideas for Holiday Candy bright foil-wrapped candies and • Place  chocolates in glass jars of different sizes. Wrap the jars with holiday ribbons. lovers can develop a “house • Chocolate  special” signature hot cocoa recipe (use Moonstruck’s version, below, as a starter). Rim the edge of the mug with crushed red and white peppermint candies. Add a peppermint stick as a beverage stirrer. a unique candy- or chocolate• Create  of-the-month club for someone special on your gift list. Spread the gifts over 12 months, and deliver a sweet, locally purchased treat to your loved one • W  rap holiday gifts in white craft paper and tie with a simple cord. Attach candy canes, ribbon candy or flat swirled lollipops. Source: National Confectioners Assoc.

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22 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Futurama Farmers of America:

The Whole Kit & Caboodle

Cheese, whiskey, apples, mushrooms. There’s a DIY kit to suit every back-to-the-earth fancy. Some assembly (and with apples, several years and favorable growing conditions) required.

T Fun with fungi: a mushroom growing kit

Lindsey Romain CTW Features

here’s a grassroots movement afoot.A new generation is looking to the past, swapping cars for bikes,planting gardens and seeking out organic,local sources of food. Finding a gift that passes muster with a sustainable-minded friend or loved one may seem like a tall order, but, in fact, it’s easier than ever thanks to a bounty of innovative do-it-yourself kits. Kits for growing or making foods and beverages are an easy way for folks to roll up their sleeves and get their hands

dirty – or maybe just a little sticky – in a new project. Chances are, there’s an intrepid soul on your shopping list who’d be thrilled with a gift that challenges them to make something new, from scratch. A kit “is cute, and it’s not a huge commitment in cost, time or amount of supplies,” says Claudia Lucero, co-founder of Urban Cheesecraft, a Portland company that sells DIY cheese kits ($19 to $50, specialty stores). Cont’d on page 23

Glee Gum


There’s a make-your-own-food kit for virtually every taste: clockwise from upper left, make your own gummy candy (out of seaweed), dark chocolate and chewing gum.

Cont’d from page 22

Potting Shed Creations

With a dash of citric acid and some milk, home-crafted fresh mozzarella, ricotta or goat cheese is ready to serve in an hour. Cheese making is “easy, accessible and empowering,” says Lucero, and brings people closer to their food source.“When people realize that an ‘old-world’ craft like cheese making can be taken on at home, they are immediately intrigued,” she says. That old-world vibe can be a plus or a minus, depending on the giftee; but it’s difficult to imagine anyone who’d be put off by the idea of creating something from nothing. The hands-on involvement “gives you ownership over the gift,” says Orlin Sorensen, co-owner of Woodinville Whiskey Co., a company that sells make-your-own whiskey kits ($149.99), available online or in Washington State and Oregon liquor stores.“For most people, there’s a lot more pride in earning a dollar than being given a dollar.” Many kits emphasize the grubbier aspects of the DIY process.The Apple Tree-

For budding Johnny (and Jane) Appleseeds: the grow-yourown apple tree kit

to-Be kit ($22) from Potting Shed Creations comes with 5 Ralls Janet apple seeds, a coir seedling pot, growing medium, a terracotta saucer, an aluminum tag, a hydrocarbon-free jute bag and a reference guide.Ann Killen, co-founder, says the company has been organic since the beginning, with products including wine bottles recycled to grow culinary herbs and contain terrarium gardens, and recycled steel and bamboo windowsill boxes for micro-greens. She also offers a Yule Tree-to-Be, for growing a Christmas tree. Killen attributes the growing interest in the plant kits to curiosity about food development. “Maybe it’s because there is so much unknown with food and where it comes from,” she says.“Maybe it’s wanting a smaller footprint.”The Apple Tree-to-Be kit offers something else: together time.“It is a project that people can do together,” Killen says. “The process of planting, watching it grow and transplanting the tree to its final spot creates a shared experience.” Patience helps. It can take up to 10 years for a tree to journey from seed to actual apple production. For less patient agrarians, there’s Back to the Roots ($19.95), a grow-your-own mushroom kit that promises a half-pound of edible mushrooms in just 10 days.According to Back to the Roots communications lead Megan Yarnell, the idea for the product came about when its co-founders, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, heard during a business ethnics lecture that it was possible to grow mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds.After some successful experimentation, they started growing mushrooms for area restaurants.When friends started asking how they could grow mushrooms, too, the kits were born. Yarnell thinks the advantages of Back to the Roots extends beyond just the growing process, which is why it makes such a great holiday gift.“People can use the food to cook a meal for their friends or family. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and it’s really distinctive.” Underscoring its community spirit, Back to the Roots donates a kit and a sustainability curriculum to the classrooms of choice of mushroomers who post a photo of their grown kit on the company’s Facebook page. Cont’d on page 34

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24 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

These 4 hot handhelds are the must-have device for the reader/browser/ gamer on your list Timothy R. Schulte | CTW Features

Tablet Time Microsoft Surface The Microsoft Surface (Price TBD) is perhaps the coolest new tablet of 2012 – and a big part of that doesn’t even have to do with the

tablet itself. The Surface comes with a 3mm cover that magnetically “clicks” into place along the edge of the device, similar to the iPad Smart Cover for all intents and purposes. But

when you open the cover, you’ll find a full keyboard, including trackpad, integrated on the inside. No need to lug around a bulky Bluetooth keyboard. The cover actually comes in two varieties: the Touch Cover and the Type Cover (Prices TBD).The 3mm Touch Cover is capacitive, responding to the force you put on a button, so it won’t start inputting a letter just because your fingertip is resting on a key.The 5mm Type Cover features movable keys for the feel of a traditional keyboard.The combination of a cover keyboard and built-in kickstand gives the ease and comfort of typing on a laptop with the portability of a tablet. Both covers are available in five colors. The Surface RT (a Pro model will be released later) features a 10.6-inch, 16:9 widescreen ClearType HD display, making it great for viewing downloadable movies from the Windows Store or streaming from apps like Netflix. Light and thin, the Surface weighs in at just less than 1.5 pounds (676 grams/1.49 pounds) and is only 9.3mm thick – specs that more or less match up with the iPad. Like the iPad, it has front and rear cameras for capturing photos and video-conferencing. Cont’d on page 26

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26 | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

n TABLET TIME Cont’d from page 24 It packs a USB 2.0 port for hooking up a printer or external drive, and it also includes a MicroSD slot for accessing your media collection. The Surface, available in 32GB or 64GB models, comes loaded with the new Windows 8 software. Users can create and share documents with Office, and Windows 8 apps like Mail, Messaging and People feature cloud connectivity to Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn. Music, movies, game and apps are downloadable via the Windows Store app, and users can browse the web via the new Internet Explorer 10.The Surface’s, er, surface also is interesting. It features casing made of a VaporMg (pronounced Vapor Mag), a magnesium-based material that offers molding that is thin, lightweight and strong.

Apple iPad For this year’s iteration of its marketleading tablet,Apple abandoned a numbering system and called the new iPad, originally, the new iPad. Shoot, edit and share And there is a ton that is new. photos on the fly with the The new iPad’s biggest improvement over new iPad the iPad 2 is the introduction of a Retina display.The pixel-dense, 2048x1536 display packs 264 pixels per inch.The result is a higher-definition picture in a 9.7-inch screen than you’ll get from the 50-inch HDTV in your living room.The iPad’s dual-core A5X chip features quad-core graphics processing, so it’s capable of powering those 3.1 million pixels in its display while still keeping an all-daylong, 10-hour battery life. The rear-facing iSight camera takes 5MP stills and records 1080p video (if you don’t mind holding up a nearly 10-inch device to take pictures or video).The front-facing FaceTime camera is available for video chatting and VGA-quality photos. Cont’d on page 27

n TABLET TIME Cont’d from page 26 Newsstand, a new iPad “folder” and digital store, offers an all-in-one place for your newspaper and magazine subscriptions.And, of course, an ever-growing number of apps – currently more than 225,000 iPad-specific apps – are available from the App Store. Available in black or white, the new iPad is the first version to feature 4G LTE cellular connectivity (data plan required). Price starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, with 32GB ($599) and 64GB ($699) models also available. For Wi-Fi + Cellular models, tack on an additional $130, plus a data plan.

Google Nexus 7 Those looking for a tablet that’s a bit easier to grasp – both

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in terms of size and price – might look toward the new Google Nexus 7 tablet.As the name implies, the Nexus 7 is a slim, light, ultraportable tablet with A scratch-resistant screen and 12-core graphics make a 7-inch, high-reso- the Nexus 7 a top choice for gamers lution (1280x800) display.The Nexus 7’s display also features scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, and there is a 1.2-megapixel frontfacing camera for video conferencing. Manufactured by Asus, the Nexus 7 has a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, with a 12-core graphics processing for an immersive experience on the more




than 600,000 apps and games available via the Google Play store.A 4325 mAh battery delivers a whopping 9 hours of high-def video playback or 10 hours of browsing or e-book reading. The Nexus 7 comes loaded with the latest version on Android software, 4.1 Jelly Bean, and is available in 8GB ($199) and 16GB ($249) models.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD With all the talk of pixels and Retina displays,Amazon made sure its latest Kindle Fire tablet/e-reader was no exception. The new Kindle Fire HD features a 7-inch, 1200x800 highdef display, just like the Nexus 7. Cont’d on page 28

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n TABLET TIME Cont’d from page 27 Unlike other tablets, though, the Fire HD features a single layer of glass, with the touch sensor and LCD display laminated together, which reduces screen glare, even in overhead light. Designed for HD movies and games, the Kindle Fire HD features a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor with an Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core, for smooth, responsive gaming. Cont’d on page 29

The Latest, Greatest Kindle Apps and games and web browsing are nice, but there still is something to be said for a plainold e-reader. Especially when it’s neither plain nor old. Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite (starting at $119), is the most advanced e-reader to date. The first thing you’ll notice is that the screen background actually is white, not gray. The Paperwhite features a 6-inch screen with 212 pixels per inch – a 62-percent pixel increase, and the display also boasts a contrast increase of 25 percent. It’s thinner, too, at just 0.36 inches (about the same width as an iPad), and weighs just 7.5 ounces. The Paperwhite, like other Kindles, features unlimited free Amazon cloud storage, but it also holds 1,100 titles on its 2GB onboard memory. Best of all is an eight-week battery life, which asks: How many books can you read before you need to charge again?


Cont’d from page 28 The Kindle Fire HD comes in both 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($249) models, and – in one of the biggest features for any Kindle device – offers free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content, which includes more than 1.2 million books and 400+ magazines from the Kindle Store.And with 11 hours of battery life, the Kindle Fire HD might spend more waking hours working than most people! For those looking for a bit larger device,Amazon also introduced an 8.9inch model ($299 for 16GB, $369 for 32GB).The new Kindle Fires HD also boast the first dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi on a tablet, for better wireless connectivity and more than 40-percent faster download speeds. For those interested in on-thego connectivity, the 8.9-inch Fire HD also is available in a 4GLTE model (separate AT&T data required), It comes in 32 GB ($499) and 64GB ($599) models.

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The Kindle Fire tablet/ereader ... now in HD.




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To book your career ad in Gateway to the North or The Prince George Citizen Classifieds call 250.562.2441 or 250.562.6666

Organization brings business expertise into the classroom


oday’s students are our nation’s future leaders, and school is where we prepare them for their life and their future success. We have the ability to provide youth with the tools they need to one day become responsible, productive and innovative citizens – and today, specialized organizations are dedicating their expertise to this goal. The Junior Achievement programs, for example, teach students about money management, the importance of business in shaping our lives, fundamental business concepts, building blocks for a successful career, the impact of technology and innovation, running a business, and more. Students don’t just learn in the classroom, but through the chance to become CEO of their own business venture. Each year, over 13,000 volunteers go into the class to help students to experience and understand business while encouraging them to do more with their lives. Last year, Junior Achievement programs reached over 226,000 students from elementary through high school across 400-plus communities. Think of JA as the link between education and the business world, between students’ dreams and the


confidence and knowledge they need to pursue them. The organization’s programs enable young people to gain financial responsibility, make confident decisions, and become innovators. Learning from real-life business leaders is the unique value of the programs.With the support of mentors across Canada, Junior Achievement is inspiring youth

to explore their career possibilities, to learn how to manage their finances, start a company and realize their potential. Mentors are providing youth with the skills and knowledge necessary to become innovative, productive and contributing citizens. You can learn more online at www.

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n THE WHOLE KIT & CABOODLE Urban Cheesecraft

Cont’d from page 23 Not every food-related kit requires soil and a green thumb. Glee Glum offers three fun candy kits: Make Your Chocolate, Make Your Own Chewing Gum and Make Your Own Gummies ($13.95 each, upscale grocers and specialty stores).These follow the same basic principles of most DIY kits – they’re all natural, with no artificial color, flavor, sweetener or preservatives – but they’re higher in sugar content and are more fun for kids. Kits offer something for everyone.Whiskey lovers will get a kick out of Woodinville’s product –“There’s nothing like pouring friends a glass of your own whiskey from the barrel,”says Sorensen – and there are plenty of other niche kits, for beer, root beer, soda and wine. Spreading the word about the rewards of cheese making was one of the perks for Urban Cheesecraft’s Lucero.After teaching herself how to make cheese and intriguing friends and family with the process, she started a cheese-making workshop.“Soon, it hit me that clear instructions, gathered ingredients and fast, simple cheese might be enjoyed

Cheese it!: mozzarela, chevre and paneer in minutes

by my friends and the Etsy community,”she says of the online marketplace where she started her business. At the end of the day,the real joy of kit giving isn’t just the idea of gifting a loved one something they’ll enjoy.Like any great gift,it’s about the shared experience. “With a DIY kit, you get much more than whatever you can make with it,” says Molly Lederer, Glee Gum director of marketing. “You get a memorable activity, a unique, hands-on way to spend time with friends or family.Time shared together is what makes the holidays special.That’s why more and more folks are choosing interactive gifts that everyone can enjoy.”

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Mathable board game is now adapted for iPads

ou know how sometimes while going about your daily business you’re suddenly blessed with a moment of inspiration? A great idea comes to you from out of nowhere, you tell yourself you’ll write it down, inevitably don’t, and later when you’re trying to remember this grand idea you had, it’s completely vanished from your psyche. Well, Francois Robillard is a perfect example of why you should stop and make more than just a mental note of these flashes of brilliance. In the 1980s, Robillard, a Montrealbased college professor, was up at his cottage one night enjoying a drink, doodling with a few math equations for fun, when the Eureka moment that birthed Mathable, a board game that’s since gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of units worldwide, abruptly popped in to his head.“I started playing

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it with my wife, altering it here and there, and by the end of the night I’d created this highly addictive math game,” he recalls.“It was simple as that.” Before you could say “two plus two equals four”, Robillard had licensed his game to a local toy manufacturer and over the course of the next two decades it became a must have item for people all over the world.“It was super easy game to sell,” he explains.“Everybody immediately recognized just how much fun it was—and it is great exercise for the brain, really educational.” To play the original board game, think of Scrabble, but using numbers instead of letters.The new game challenges players to use basic math equations to score points using the numbers provided to them throughout the game. You need to employ superior logic and strategy to win.




Now an app A recent partnership between Robillard and Montreal’s Wooky Entertainment, has now produced a version of Mathable for your Ipad. Downloadable from iTunes, the digital version of the game has many new features. Variations of the Mathable game include: Mathable Dominos, which uses domino tiles, Mathable Quattro, which provides cards for game play and Mathable Jr, which enables kids as young as five to play and develop their logic and math skills in a fresh, new way. So who would have known all this fun would begin with a few math doodles one night at a cottage in the Laurentien mountains?

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Last Minute Gift Guide  

Prince George and area Last Minute Gift Guide

Last Minute Gift Guide  

Prince George and area Last Minute Gift Guide