Free News Articles

Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey Now On Sale at Binny’s, Mariano’s and Treasure Island

CHICAGO, Ill. -- The first-ever whiskey based on Mike Mignola's legendary "Hellboy" comic book character was recently announced by Dark Horse Comics, XXX Distillery LLC and Prestige Imports LLC. Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey is a craft distilled, small batch, naturally flavored cinnamon whiskey retailing for $19.99 for a 750ml bottle.

The 66.6 proof Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey is available at Binny's Treasure Island and Mariano's.

"It's appropriate that Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey was made in the Smokey Mountains," said Dark Horse Comics Publisher Mike Richardson. "At 66.6 proof, Hellboy Hell Water packs a punch worthy of Mike Mignola's iconic creation."

Hellboy Hell Water is micro-distilled, hand bottled and styled in the old traditional process of making Southern Corn Whiskey. Old fashioned corn whiskey uses only the finest corn, natural ingredients, spring water, glassware and craftsmanship.

On shelves now at Binny's Mariano's and Treasure Island

"We're very excited about the success and potential of our hand crafted whiskeys, especially that of Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey," said Teddy Jones, XXX Distillery, Sevierville, Tennessee. "At XXX Distillery of Tennessee, we take great pains to ensure the quality and taste of our products are second to none. If you put Hellboy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey up against any other, there's no comparison. It's the finest cinnamon whiskey on the market, period."

Since Mike Mignola's "Hellboy" first hit the stands in 1994, it has become a cultural sensation, racking up a dozen Eisner Awards and inspiring numerous spinoffs, from a novel line, to video games, to animated films and live action feature films.

Learn more: http://www.hellboyhellwater.com/.

XXX Distillery LLC reminds you to drink responsibly.

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Business, Free News Articles, Restaurant, Hotel and Hospitality

Famous Japanese-style Creperie B-Bee Crepe & Boba Announces Its Reopening with New Menu and Special Promotional Event

CHICAGO, Ill. -- B-Bee Crepe & Boba, beloved Japanese-style crepe specialty restaurant located inside Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights, Illinois, is delighted to announce its reopening on June 19, 2017, featuring a new selection of savory and sweet crepes made of fresh fruits and special whipped cream.

In celebration of its reopening, the store will offer a special promotional event titled "All Menu Buy 1 Get 1 Free" for TWO DAYS from June 19 to June 20, 2017.

B-Bee Crepe & Boba welcomes both old and new customers to join the event. In order to get the special offer, customers only need to "LIKE" B-Bee Crepe & Boba on Facebook OR "FOLLOW" B-Bee Crepe & Boba on Instagram, and show it to the staff while placing an order. Don't worry if you are not on Facebook or Instagram; for those customers who are unable to like or follow B-Bee Crepe & Boba's social media, they could still enjoy the special offer simply by visiting the restaurant together with one of their friends or family.

Craving crepes? Let B-Bee Crepe & Boba be your top choice!
B-Bee Crepe & Boba Location:
100 E Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
in Mitsuwa Marketplace.

Day:
Monday, June 19 to Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

To learn more about both of the B-Bee Crepe & Boba as well as their event, please visit: http://www.b-beecrepeandboba.com/.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/B-Bee-Crepe-Boba-149958462212718/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bbeecrepeandboba/

About B-Bee Crepe & Boba:
B-Bee Crepe & Boba, beloved Japanese-style crepe specialty restaurant located inside Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights, Illinois. B-Bee Crepe specializes in authentically made crepes, where dairy whipping cream and Mascarpone cheese are combined to create a unique, addictive mixture of rich texture and extraordinary flavor. A diverse menu including fresh smoothies and tasty boba drinks is also available to match the store's irresistible original crepes.

With a relaxed atmosphere and an update in ingredients and menu, B-Bee Crepe is excited to continue providing the best crepes to crepe lovers both in the community and nationwide.

*LOGO for Media: b-beecrepeandboba.com/media/06-2017-LOGO_72dpi.jpg

Photo by Ocean Photo Studio / WANANN, Inc.

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Awards and Honors, Business, Free News Articles

Phil McCall of ARMCO Wins Prestigious 2017 Tech All-Star Award from the Mortgage Banking Association

CHICAGO, Ill. -- National Technology Conference & Expo - ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), the leading provider of financial quality control and compliance software, announced that Chief Operating Officer Phil McCall has won the Mortgage Banking Association's (MBA) 2017 Tech All-Star Award.

The MBA started the award in 2002 to recognize executives who have made significant technology innovations and contributions to the mortgage industry. Each year the award is given to a select group of highly successful mortgage technology leaders who, over time, have made major strides with various types of technology automation. There are only a handful of winners that win the coveted award each year. Mr. McCall is one of only five technology executives selected for this prestigious award in 2017.

"Technology is critical to the growth of our industry and the success of our members' businesses," said MBA Chairman Rodrigo Lopez, CMB. "We have been fortunate to have a dedicated and diverse array of true innovators who continue to push the envelope and move our industry forward. MBA is honored to recognize the men and women making significant technological contributions to the real-estate finance industry."

Mr. McCall has more than 20 years of executive-level experience in the mortgage industry. He is a seasoned expert in quality control, loan origination and underwriting, forensic loan auditing, mortgage fraud, loss and litigation, and real estate-based transactions. Notably, Mr. McCall has experience working both as a mortgage banker and a mortgage technology leader. This unique blend has been instrumental in helping him fully understand, work hands-on with and develop technologies that benefit the mortgage industry as a whole.

"Phil is a highly respected subject matter expert on the topic of loan quality control and compliance. He is also a proven developer and implementer of enterprise-class technology solutions that enable lenders and servicers to meet their organizational, GSE, CFPB and investor audit requirements," stated Avi Naider, chairman and chief executive officer at ARMCO. "We are excited that the MBA designated Phil to its Tech All-Stars list comprising highly accomplished mortgage technology executives. Phil has given a great deal back to the mortgage industry to help move it forward; this award is well-deserved and we congratulate Phil on his ongoing success."

Mr. McCall was the primary designer of ARMCO's ACES Analytics(R), the first mortgage quality control benchmarking platform in the industry, which aggregates anonymized data from many companies to produce industry benchmarks. The ACES Analytics benchmarks are published in ARMCO's Mortgage QC Quarterly Industry Trends Report. This groundbreaking report breaks down loan defects identified during the post-closing quality control process by utilizing the Fannie Mae loan defect taxonomy along with trending, detailed analysis and key benchmarking data.

"To win the MBA's Tech All-Star Award is an enormous honor for me and I'm humbled and flattered," stated Phil McCall, COO of ARMCO. "I've been a technologist and business person my entire career helping to develop and evangelize high-impact software. I'm elated to join the ranks of other winners who have done positive things for the mortgage industry."

About ARMCO:

ARMCO - ACES Risk Management delivers web-based audit technology solutions, as well as powerful data and analytics, to the nation's top mortgage lenders, servicers, investors and outsourcing professionals. A trusted partner devoted to client relationships, ARMCO offers best-in-class quality control and compliance software that provides U.S. banks, mortgage companies and service providers the technology and data needed to support loan integrity, meet regulatory requirements, reduce risk and drive positive business decisions.

ARMCO's flagship product, ACES Audit Technology(TM), is available at any point in the mortgage loan lifecycle, to any size lender, and is user-definable. ACES standardizes audit requirements, ties pre-funding reviews to post-closing quality control audits, enables seamless trend analysis, identifies credit, compliance and process deficiencies and helps create manageable action plans.

For more information, visit http://www.armco.us/ or call 1-800-858-1598.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Joe Bowerbank
Profundity Communications, Inc.
949-378-9685
jbowerbank@profunditymarketing.com

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Free News Articles, General Editorial, Home and Garden

Body Pillow Therapy – An All-Natural Method of Physical Therapy During Sleep

CHICAGO, Ill. -- The world is finally waking up to healing their bodies during sleep. Body Pillow Therapy(TM) from Earthy Pillows (formerly The Curvy Pillow Company) is a new concept in maintaining proper posture for comfort and healing during rest and recovery from injury.

Pam Blumenthal, the creator of the all-natural head and body dual-pillow sleep system called Body Pillow Therapy(TM), contends that "Setting your body up (when you go to bed) with the natural kapok-filled Curvy Head Pillow and Body Pillow Therapy Body Pillow will give your whole body a stable supportive environment for restorative rest as well as injury recovery."

Body Pillow Therapy is a new concept in maintaining proper posture for comfort and healing during rest and recovery from injury. Specially positioning oneself with the therapeutic head and body pillow allows the body to achieve a state of profound comfort and relaxation for healthy rest and the promotion of healing. There are various positions that physical therapists have found helpful for specific injuries.

More information on the therapeutic positions can be found on the company's website: http://www.bodypillowtherapy.com/.

The Body Pillow Therapy(TM) Body Pillow is available on Amazon for $59 plus shipping. Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043ERIHC.

Washable 100% cotton cover sold separately for $26 plus shipping. Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043FQFQG.

The Body Pillow Therapy Sleep Set which includes head and body pillow and washable 100% cotton covers costs $125 for small set and $150 for large set. Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K55V7NO.

According to one owner/reviewer of the product: "I bought this pillow to provide leg and back support due to pain I was having. I haven't had the pain wake me at night since the pillow arrived in my home. It doesn't lose shape and is long enough for me to vary positions. It provided exactly what I needed. I've recommended it to anyone who asked!"

Created in 1988, the Original All-Natural Body Pillow Therapy(TM) Body Pillow was the very first body pillow on the market. Soon after its creation, it was discovered by physical therapists as a special positioning tool to help with patients' rest and recovery. As the company evolved, they paired a special, curvy head pillow along with the original body pillow, and thus the Body Pillow Therapy(TM) Sleep Set was born. The Body Pillow Therapy Sleep Set provides total body comfort and healthy posture from head to toe.

Learn more at: http://www.bodypillowtherapy.com/.

View our other pillow creations at: http://www.earthypillows.com/.

*PHOTO for media: Send2Press.com/mediaboom/17-0126s2p-pillow-300dpi.jpg
*Photo caption: Earthy Pillows - Body Pillow Therapy.

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Entertainment, Free News Articles, Regional Events, Travel and Tourism

The Dead of Winter: Mediums at Large Paranormal Seminar and Ghost Hunt Comes to the Plum Tree National Golf Resort

CHICAGO, Ill. -- A host of famous mediums, psychics, ghost hunters, authors and more will gather January 28, 2017 for Chicago Hauntings' annual "Dead of Winter" paranormal seminar at the Plum Tree National Golf Resort in Woodstock, Illinois.

The popular event this year focuses on mediumship, the talent of talking to the dead, and stars Chris Fleming of the Travel Channel's smash hit, "Ghost Adventures." Five other mediums will be on hand for readings throughout the event, and other presenters include paranormal authors Ursula Bielski and Scott Markus and "ghost box" expert Daniel Reiter, who will demonstrate life after death communication via "spirit radio."

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food and drink will be available all day, and attendees may also purchase tickets to an evening bonfire and ghost hunt of the premises, guided by mediums and psychics. No experience is required, and all are encouraged to attend. An optional ghost tour of McHenry County will be given via deluxe coach bus on Friday, January 27, 2017.

Event organizer and owner of Chicago Hauntings Tours Ursula Bielski says that wintertime is one of the best times for paranormal investigation: "We usually associate ghosts with October and Halloween, but research demonstrates that the winter months are some of the most active times of year paranormally. Mediums tell us that, like the living, spirits also frequently 'come home' during the holidays and sometimes remain for months."

Bielski also says McHenry County, where the Dead of Winter event will be held, is one of the most haunted counties in Illinois, and that paranormal activity is currently being experienced by the workers rehabbing the old Plum Tree Golf Resort, which will be totally refurbished by the New Year holiday.

For further information and ticket purchases, please visit http://www.chicagohauntings.com/ or contact Ursula Bielski at ursulabielski@sbcglobal.net or 773-733-2711.

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Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities, Real Estate

Council of Residential Specialists and Move For Hunger Announce Collaborative Effort to Help Feed Families In Need Nationwide

CHICAGO, Ill. -- The Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) announced today a partnership with Move For Hunger, a non-profit organization that works with real estate agents and moving companies to combat the growing hunger problem across the country.

Nearly 50 million Americans - one in six - face hunger every day. The Food Research and Action Center reports that hungry children are two to four times more likely to develop health problems, ranging from relatively minor to potentially fatal; while hunger shortens life spans in adults and make them more prone to mental illness and deadly diseases.

"CRS is proud to partner with Move For Hunger," said Janelle Pfleiger, CRS President. "Together our organizations can help make a significant impact in fighting hunger nationwide. As real estate agents, we can connect people who are moving to Move to Hunger's relocation companies who will help pack and deliver their non-perishable food items to local food banks."

CRS is the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS(R) and has a membership of over 32,000 REALTOR(R) members located in cities across the Unites States and overseas.

"We are an international organization of real estate professionals, who are committed to making a difference in the communities we serve," Pfleiger added.

"We are excited to launch this partnership with CRS. Our goal is to expand our impact on hunger relief. Together, we can make fighting hunger when moving an industry standard," said Adam Lowy, Executive Director, Move For Hunger.

About CRS

The Council of Residential Specialists is the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS(R) (NAR). CRS is comprised of over 32,000 REALTOR(R) members and supports them with training and education, events, mentoring and networking opportunities. It also awards the CRS Designation to experienced REALTORS(R) who have completed advanced professional training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate.

About Move For Hunger

Move For Hunger is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that mobilizes the relocation industry to fight hunger and reduce food waste. In addition to collecting food from people who are moving to new homes, Move For Hunger helps companies and individuals across the United States and Canada organize successful food drives. To date, they have collected more than 7 million pounds of food. For more information, or to find out how you can host your own food drive, visit http://www.MoveForHunger.org/.

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Entertainment, Free News Articles

Are The PondHawks Chicago’s Best Kept Music Secret?

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Riverpool Records and The PondHawks announce the release of the new focus track, "Wire Me" from the album "Blue Light."

The up-and-coming indie band is making waves not only on the radio, but also in social media. They have a quarter of a million likes on Facebook and thousands of followers on Twitter, MySpace and Reverbnation.

WHAT IS THE SECRET?

Formed in 2007 by songwriting partners Mario Novelli and Jorie Gracen, The PondHawks have since captured a worldwide audience with catchy melodies and a pioneering approach to music. Some may call it retro-rock with a now sound, but the band's unique signature style falls into its own category.

The PondHawks have an artistry for storytelling, which evolves through meticulously crafted passages that create atmosphere and mood. Their music is driven by poetic lyricism that is clever and compelling. Stellar vocal harmonies intertwine seamlessly through musical interludes that unfold with stunning synchronicity and energy. Instruments are carefully selected to drive the melody and the emotional power of the song.

Both of their critically acclaimed albums, "The PondHawks Have Landed" (2010) and "Dreaming Over Ireland" (2012) received extensive Triple A FM radio airplay in the U.S. and massive Internet radio play worldwide with albums selling out their initial runs. "The PondHawks Have Landed" reached the #7 spot in the Top 10 (USA) Regional Albums of 2011.

The band's hit song "Drive," from "Dreaming Over Ireland," charted at #1 on Music World Radio's Top 20 Alternative Songs Euro Chart. Votes from thousands of fans from around the world kept the song at #1 for 13 weeks.

When The PondHawks' new holiday song "Winter Wine" premiered on a UK radio station in December 2015 - their first new music in three years - 45,842 listeners from around the world tuned in to listen. At the time the song aired, it was 11:50 p.m. EST and 4:50 a.m. in Europe.

At a recent outdoor concert headlined by the band, 8,000 fans showed up. Some traveled long distances from other states and many sported PondHawks T-shirts.

In The PondHawks' hometown of River Grove, a suburb of Chicago, phone calls from fans flooded the Mayor's office when the band's June concert was cancelled due to weather.

THE SECRET IS OUT:

The PondHawks newly-released third album "Blue Light," their first new album in four years, is making an impact on popular streaming services. Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music are driving album sales on iTunes (U.S., Europe) and Amazon.com (U.S., UK, Russia, Europe).

The album is receiving robust radio airplay in the U.S. and Europe with all 10 songs popping up on radio station playlists.

Two days after the album's first single, "Bitter Game" was released, it charted at #3 in the Top 15 Reverbnation Picks of the Week posted by A Journal of Musical Things.

Alan Cross, music critic at A Journal of Musical Things, writes: "The PondHawks have a mid-to-late '60's sound that brings to mind a combination of The Beatles and David Bowie."

Alan Haber of Pure Pop Radio said this about Blue Light: "This Chicago trio is a melodic treat, melding retro and contemporary influences for a decidedly catchy listening experience. Clever touches delight across the whole program, from the mandolin-powered 'Armadilla,' with its playful vocal harmonies, to the pop pleasures of four-on-the-floor pop-rocker 'Bitter Game.' Mario Novelli, Jorie Gracen and Michael Gillespie deliver a highly desirable album and win on all cylinders."

After one listen to "Blue Light," fans of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings and ELO will be delighted to find a happy mix of pop, rock, and classic rock influences jam-packed with tasty Beatlesque flavors and psychedelia.

The PondHawks are currently the #1 ranked Indie band in the USA and the world on the Reverbnation charts. They were selected out of 3.7 million bands to join the prestigious Reverbnation Connect A&R group based in New York City. Connect's A&R Director, Matt DuFour described The PondHawks' music as "timeless."

On Aug. 29, The PondHawks release their second focus track "Wire Me" from "Blue Light."

Information: http://www.thepondhawks.com/ and https://www.reverbnation.com/q/6pi4bs .

"Blue Light" on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/blue-light/id1124221127

IMAGE: Send2Press.com/mediaboom/16-0829-bluelight-300dpi.jpg

"Wire Me" Video (YouTube): https://youtu.be/GVi3ehnAnC8

"Midnight Howl" Video (YouTube): https://youtu.be/clZHNT1PbJU

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Free News Articles, Insurance, Long Term Care

Shopping for Long Term Care Insurance Easy — Plans Affordable

CHICAGO, Ill. -- More people than ever are looking at ways to safeguard their future retirement income from the financial costs and burdens of Long Term Health Care, says Matt McCann, a nationally known expert on Long Term Care Planning. These costs can have a dramatic impact on a person's 401(k), 403(b), IRA and other assets.

Many experts recommend Long Term Care Insurance as a way to protect a family's assets and ease the burden on loved ones.

"Some people feel frustrated on how to find the right plan and design it correctly," said McCann.

McCann says shopping for the right plan can be very easy if you find the right expert to guide you with recommendations based on your individual situation.

"Unfortunately not many insurance agents or financial advisors understand how these plans work or how they are underwritten. They just do not have the experience. The good news is there are LTC specialists that exist that, like myself, help people throughout the country find affordable plans so they can have the peace-of-mind that the consequences of an extended care situation will be lessened on their family," McCann said.

The risk of needing LTC is high and so are the costs. The US Department of Health and Human Services says if you reach the age of 65 you will have a 70 percent chance of needing some type of LTC service before you die. The better health you have now the longer you will live.

"People require LTC due to illnesses, accidents or the impact of aging. As we live longer more of us will suffer from memory issues. The Alzheimer's Association says 1 in 3 seniors will die with some form of Alzheimer's or dementia. In 2015, more than 15 million caregivers provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care. When people don't plan ahead with affordable LTC Insurance the burden of caregiving is placed on a person's family and their wallets," McCann explained.

"Cost of care can vary depending on location. A LTC Specialist will ask you about your retirement plans and make recommendations based on where you live or plan on living, how your future retirement will be financed, your health history, your family history and other concerns you may have. A real specialist will work with all the top insurance companies and design an affordable plan based on your situation," said McCann.

Most states have partnership plans that provide additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection - or what is referred to as asset disregard.

"My philosophy is to make a catastrophic situation manageable so you can address the physical, emotional and financial burdens that LTC places on the American family. Most people I speak with are in their 40's and 50's and want to add affordable LTC insurance as part of their retirement plan," McCann noted.

He says a good plan will also allow adult children to be loving and supporting and not start fighting about who is doing what and how much money is being spent.

Less people are willing to risk 'self-insuring' these costs because of the high cost of care and the market fluctuations like we saw just recently in the aftermath of Brexit and other world events. He notes that most plans include provide discounts and case management which make it easier on family members.

You can Visit Matt McCann's website for information on LTC Planning including quotes and personal consultations: http://mccannltc.net/.

McCann also uses a number of other websites as outstanding resources:

LTC Planning News is an outstanding resource that has articles, links, and videos on LTC Planning: http://longtermcareplanningnews.com/.

The US Department of Health & Human Services LTC site: http://longtermcare.gov/.

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI): http://www.aaltci.org/.

"Don't just let things happen and place the burden of caregiving on your spouse or adult children. LTC insurance is affordable and easy," McCann said.

You can call McCann's office at 866-751-7957. His email is: matt@mccannltc.net

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Entertainment, Free News Articles

The Blue Danes Release Sensational Debut Album ‘Invisible and Untouchable’ on Chicago Label, Loki Valhalla

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Midwest-based alt-rock band, The Blue Danes have released their debut album "Invisible and Untouchable" on Chicago label Loki Valhalla Productions. This haunting lyrical masterpiece includes the highly anticipated release of the popular single "Beautiful and Sad," which has earned over 26,000 YouTube views.

Formed after the breakup of the local alt-rock band Toast, ex-bassist Shaun Courbat and ex-guitarist Frank Hansen partnered with veteran drummer Skip Lowe (Billy Lee Janey Band) to form The Blue Danes.

Their name stems from an ironic blend of lead singer/songwriter Frank Hansen's melancholy melodies with his red and blue-blooded Danish upbringing.

Produced by GRAMMY(R) nominated producer Tom Tatman (Stone Sour), "Invisible and Untouchable" is a lyrical and composition masterpiece that will give you goose bumps.

"One of the main draws of the band is the performance from lead singer and songwriter Frank Hansen. His hauntingly lyrical displays and melancholic melodies really come to the forefront, especially in tracks 'Fade,' 'Hurricane' and the lead single 'Beautiful and Sad.' In the latter you can really get a taste of Hansen's quirky performance quality in the music video whist he parades before the camera menacingly sounding like the great John Grant," explains Samuel Mensah, Daily News Service.

"Invisible and Untouchable" can be downloaded on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

LISTEN TO IT ON SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/thebluedanes

For more information visit http://www.TheBlueDanes.com/ or email Frank Hansen at frank@thebluedanes.com

Twitter: @thebluedanes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBlueDanes

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgLvJzA_cYLpdDRjAvG2urg

VIDEO (YouTube): The Blue Danes "Beautiful and Sad" --
https://youtu.be/4fflxDcypto

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Awards and Honors, Books and Publishing, Free News Articles, Internet and Websites

What Does an Award-winning Website Look Like?

CHICAGO, Ill. -- The Independent Publisher Book Awards presented the 20th annual IPPY awards in a special ceremony at the Willis Tower Skydeck. In the Best Publisher/Author/Book Website category, Snowflake Stories, LLC, created by San Fran developer James Stone, was honored with a bronze medal.

So what does it take to create an award-winning website? A lot, actually. Stone's challenge was to develop a website that would allow for the customization of Snowflake Stories' line of award-winning, bilingual personalized children's books. This was no easy task, as Snowflake Stories books are unlike other personalized books currently available.

When Snowflake Stories founder and Connecticut resident Jill Barletti set out to create books for kids, she truly believed that it shouldn't matter if a child has blue eyes or brown, speaks English or Spanish, or has a single mom or two; her books had to reflect all of those children. The solution? A book, customizable for one special child, which allows for the selection of characters (up to six), each of which is tailored so that the entire cast closely reflects the appearance of that child and his or her loved ones. Language(s) must also be chosen as the book is available in bilingual and single-language versions in any of five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian.

Stone created the publisher's site using ZURB Foundation's responsive framework, which allows the website to resize automatically for different screen sizes. One of the biggest challenges Stone faced was making the book customization process effortless. His innovative solution was to create the proprietary Character Builder, which allows visitors to the website to select each character's physical traits, such as skin color, hairstyle, and eye color, with a few clicks of the mouse. Instead of filling out a boring questionnaire, visitors to SnowflakeStories.com select and customize a book effortlessly and in just a few minutes. The real genius of Stone's work lies in the website's usability. Stone cooked up a way to see each character as it is built; and that's no small feat as some characters have over 6,000 possible combinations.

Another hurdle Stone thought he would face was finding an ecommerce partner that would allow a highly customizable product to pass through to the checkout process. However, FoxyCart was the perfect solution, as it supports passing custom data into its cart system, as well as providing advanced customization options.

Once the website was completed, Stone called in user interface designer Marcus Handa to give the website a more polished look. Handa liked the feel of the website's original design, which was reminiscent of paper dolls. He streamlined the site with light colors and thin dotted lines, resulting in a clean design while retaining a handmade feel. Although the judges' scorecards were not made public, the creative problem solving and emphasis on creating a great user experience are two of the distinguishing factors that likely helped to win the award.

About James Stone:
James Stone is the author of "ZURB Foundation Blueprints," an adjunct professor at the College of Arts & Architecture at Penn State, and a top contributor to the ZURB Foundation project. The award-winning web developer has spoken at the HTML5 Developers Conference and TEDxPSU and aims to bring world-class sites and web apps to self-funded startups using the power of ZURB Foundation. For more information, please visit JamesStone.com.

About Marcus Handa:
Marcus Handa is an award-winning user-interface (UI) designer, from the UK. Marcus is the principal of Marcus Handa Design, which provides design services to web/app developers, startups, and solopreneurs. Marcus is known for his clean and modern style as well as his intuitive interfaces. Additional information available at MarcusHanda.co.

About the Snowflake Stories:
After publishing the award-winning "Dance Recital" for young girls, Snowflake Stories will release a second award-winning bilingual personalized children's book, written by Jill Barletti and illustrated by Jelena Brezovec. The second book, "The Big Soccer Game," can be personalized for either a girl or a boy and will be available later in 2016, exclusively at SnowflakeStories.com. The company is guided by the principle that just like a snowflake ... every child's story is unique.

About ZURB Foundation:
ZURB Foundation is a family of open-source responsive frameworks used to create websites, apps, and emails, built by California-based ZURB. The company's clientele is an impressive list of the world's largest, most innovative corporations, including Disney, Samsung, Adobe and the Washington Post. To learn more, go to foundation.zurb.com.

About FoxyCart:
FoxyCart provides web professionals with a powerful, secure, and flexible ecommerce platform for their clients. FoxyCart continues to solve ecommerce challenges in unique and better ways for thousands of its clients all over the world. More information about this ecommerce company and its platform can be found at foxycart.com.

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