condiments at poketo with zach negin


so, like i said, on sunday i took a condiment class at the poketo store as part of their new series of workshops. our instructor in the photo above, zach negin, is telling us about great books for homemade fermentations. he’s a co-founder at sono trading company whose product, the mustard, i was introduced to at my first artisanal LA event. so cool to see small, handmade food companies making success happen. zach talked about using only natural ingredients, cooking with lard, and highly recommended sandor katz’ books, so we are totally on the same page, food-wise.


we were 15 people, set up around 3 long tables covered with vinegars, syrups, herbs & spices. we had basic instructions and some mixing implements. yet, in a mere 3 hours, we flavored and blended our own mustards, chopped chilis and prepped sriracha to ferment for a week before finishing, seasoned and blended a lacto-fermented ketchup, and cooked up a vegan worcestershire sauce—all with time to spare for a tasting of some of sono trading’s “in development” creations with complimentary wurstkuche fries from next door. what a fun day!


i made a yellow mustard with lots of red flavors, including some red fruit vinegar, pomegranate molasses and cassis syrup. we all made notes about our flavor profiles so we could possibly try to recreate them again, or compare with future recipes. i can see that mustard on its own is a pretty exciting world of possibilities. i can’t wait to try some variations on my own, but i’ll try to eat this up first so i don’t end up with a fridge full of mustard.

poketo has a great write-up here. they were gracious hosts, keeping our equipment clean, visiting and saying hi to each of us, giving gift bags [!] and offering a discount on same-day shopping [of which i took advantage]. they announced that the next class will be about kimchi, so i know i’ll be watching the site to make sure to get in.

get design on a budget without a crowdsourcing contest

crowdsourcing & design contest vs. partnerships and volunteer opportunities

so, you find yourself in the position of needing design services, with the little problem of not having a budget for the designers you want to hire. and maybe you’re thinking “hey, let’s have one of those contests where people will design stuff for us as part of a competition, and we’ll award some kind of prize for the winner!” why not, we’re seeing all kinds of larger brands hold crowdsourced design contests, and it seems like a good deal for everyone, right? well, i can understand the eagerness to want to jump to this conclusion, but there are a few problems here, not least of which is that there’s actually no real benefit to your winning designer. big brands don’t hold design contests for the purpose of supplementing what their creative teams can provide, and this is where smaller businesses stand to make mistakes when they emulate big companies. we’re all in this together, and we all have valuable services that can add to each other’s businesses greatly if we trade them strategically. there are smarter ways to get the things we can’t yet afford by searching ourselves for equitable trades and creating volunteer opportunities, and i’m here to set you on the path that’s better for everyone.

so, what are crowdsourced design contests?

by definintion, crowdsourcing is the act of sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to an undefined large group of people or community (crowd) through an open call. When applied to a design project, the contest seeks to replace paid work with spec work, which is essentially work that is only paid for conditionally after completion if accepted, leaving the designer to put out effort on good faith of payment. [clue: professional designers usually work on a payment system, where a deposit and payments are made at project milestones along the way, not after.] the general feeling of the design industry is that spec work, including crowdsourced contests, are frowned upon. when a company decides to replace paid work with a contest, we talk about it and tend to agree it’s not worth our participation. believe me, designers are asked to work for free all the time, and unless you’re saving kittens for the greater good, or you’re my mom, we’d prefer it if you factor the cost of business into your budgets.

so, what’s the problem with them?

here’s what they look like: a company announces a contest to design them a poster or a logo or an ad, and after reviewing all entries, the company will select a winner who will get a prize of somewhere around 500 bucks. [clue: this prize is usually far below market value for the design work solicited] on the surface of it, it seems harmless, maybe even fun to the amateur on a lark, but let’s take a closer look. statistically speaking, the likelihood of winning is extremely slim. contests like these usually have legal provisions allowing them to take exclusive rights to ALL work submitted. if you were thinking of showing it in a portfolio as the winner or even as a contributor, think again—the company can demand you make no public reference to the work you did. so let’s get this straight: hundreds of people do the same job, one person gets paid below market value, and all of them get stripped of the ability to promote what they did. is this how we want to treat people who do free work for us?

so, why do big brands have design contests?

i’m of the firm belief that big brands have crowdsourced design contests for entirely different reasons than smaller companies, and that they’re not at all used for actually sourcing design. big brands all have budgets for the design they need done, and they know the value of having it done professionally. if they don’t already have a big in-house team, they have an agency they trust implicitly and use regularly. i promise you there are no creative meetings that result in the design team running in a panic to marketing, saying “we’re fresh out of ideas! quick—call in the public to help!!”

so, if they don’t need design, what are the contests for?

here’s where i’ll tell you a branding secret. creating a strong brand is about creating a lot of positive thinking around your company or product. designers start this by designing your brand for you, and you continue it by delivering good service and growing the brand in line with your core commitments. the reason good branding works is because allows the customer to project their strongest personal narratives when they interact with it. when i think about buying the running shoes i’ve been coveting, i think of myself a healthy person who likes running more than i do while promising myself i will go running more than i will. when a big brand launches a design contest, they get hundreds of thousands of people to think about advertising for them. even if they only get 5000 submissions, they may have gotten 50,000 people or more to imagine creating something for them—thinking positively about their brand—which is infinitely more valuable than getting free design. [clue: when they cast you in the role of their designer, they’re getting you to make positive statements to yourself about them—sneaky!] moreover, they can test the reach of their advertising and brand loyalty by seeing how many people participate. it’s actually a way to take the market’s temperature, get people rallied around them, appeal to our sense of narcissism [maybe i could win!], and get participants to take action in the name of brand loyalty. that’s the power of positive thinking, only they’re using your brains to do it!

the thing is, while we may write these contests off as publicity stunts, most people see them as legitimate, and they do a lot to create the perception that design is a simple thing that can be done equally well by anyone for about 500 bucks. with obama’s recent art works campaign [design of a poster in exchange for 1 signed copy of the limited edition print], common reactions to designer criticisms said “but this is volunteer work—just like the folks going door-to-door!” i’m sorry to say, but just because entry is voluntary doesn’t make it volunteer work. volunteers should have a connection to the effects of the work they do—that’s the rewarding feeling they’re working for. contests like this ask thousands of people to do work that no one will ever see, rewarding only 3 finalists—and not by using their art in the campaign, but merely selling prints in their store. they’re missing a bigger opportunity to show more of the work and celebrate being inclusive rather that just getting people thinking and talking. i could go on, but instead i’ll leave it at this: the design community respectfully asks bigger businesses to find more creative ways to increase brand loyalty than contests that cheapen the value of the design profession.

so, where does that leave smaller businesses?

here’s the big disconnect i see. while i’ve almost never seen the winning work from a big brand’s design contest [clue: big brands don’t break brand continuity for contest winners], there are lots of smaller companies and non-profits running similar contests for major parts of their branding. sometimes their logo, sometimes a major promotion poster—money-making promotional items they should budget in as the cost of doing business, but for whatever reason, they don’t. it might seem like a great benefit to the contest-holders to have hundreds of samples to choose from for the price of a prize, but you’re asking hundreds of people to all go through the same effort, rewarding only one. considering most professional designers abstain from participating, ask yourself who is even doing this work? unlike a big brand contest designed to excite people about a familiar brand, the participants of a smaller, lesser-known contest don’t have much to connect to. and anyway, do you really have time to review hundreds of mediocre samples, retrofitting a final choice into an appropriate brand for you? when small businesses do it, it looks a lot more like what it is: someone asking for something for nothing. there’s a much better way to get what you want without wasting the time and effort of everyone involved.

scrap the contest idea and get real

as i said before, we’re all in this together. we could be building lasting partnerships instead of trying to get stuff from each other for free while slapping the word “contest” on it. treat this work like what it is: a job. prepare a full creative brief and advertise for it with honest compensation. if you don’t have the budget to pay for it and you’re looking for an outright volunteer, say so, or start asking yourself what you can offer in trade and quantify these things in an offering. not empty promises of future work, unqualified referrals or portfolio building, because we’ve all heard that before, and they sound just like the lies they are. consider things you might normally charge for that have little overhead for you, that would be as valuable to your designer as their design work is to you.

dig deep and mine the value you can offer

for starters, you will want to take ownership of the work, but always allow your designer a credit in print on the piece, a link online [preferably in a “thanks to our sponsors” or similar credit], the right to display the work in a portfolio, and to enter contests for the purpose of garnering awards. [clue: this is what paid designers ask for, so it should be a given for in-kind trade work.] taking it further, write them a testimonial they can use on their site and on social media networks. if your site has a page of trusted partners or online advertising, link them up. if you’re in the business of putting on events where there is some form of collateral, offer them sponsorship placement on signage, an ad in the program book, and let them leave print matter for attendees to take. if you’re in a particularly related industry an there are speaking opportunities [say you put on a conference and have a panel your designer would be a good fit for, or if you run a trade show and can offer them a booth] see how you can work them in. if you deal in products or services the designer might be interested in, be open to offering an equitable amount of products or services in trade. make sure the things you’re listing have real value, and if you can ballpark what their monetary equivalent is, you can come up with a suite of offerings, perhaps a combination of promotion, service and product that comes in right around where the project fee would be. if you find a designer who is interested in these things, and whom you feel is a good fit for your design project, you’re in business! draw up a trade agreement of exactly what each party will do for each other, with a timeline for milestones and deliveries. lo and behold, we have reinvented the barter system!

what if i don’t think i have anything of value to trade?

hang in there kitty! if you’re in business in any capacity, you will have something to offer and probably just have to think harder, but if you’re not finding a designer who wants to take you up on your trade, start smaller. many new businesses think they have to come roaring out the gate with all the fancy collateral that larger, more established businesses already have in order to compete. here’s another secret: you don’t, because you’re not competing those businesses yet. start with what’s free and work your way up. can’t afford a web site? get all your social networks set up, add business pages and start communicating with people there. can’t afford a logo and identity? set your company name in a nice, clean, appropriate typeface, and make yourself a simple business card [clue: ask me for referrals on affordable printers]. look into networking events for small businesses, and for your industry, and get out there and talk to everyone you meet about what you do. tell them you’re just getting started, and you’re really excited about it. you can get much farther on good service and a good attitude with a simple identity than flashy design that attempts to cover unfocused service and untimely delivery.

…and save your money as you grow, because if you’re doing it right, you’ll have the beginnings of a brand promise people are eager to associate with visually, and for that you’ll need the budget for an awesome designer.

veer’s educational video about fonts

this video is super-cute, but let’s get one thing straight here … FONT just describes the electronic file that activates any one TYPEFACE. most of this video should be talking about using typefaces for their different styles—all you do is install & activate fonts on your computer to use each typeface. think of it like music and then every different format on which music is sold. sure you can say you’re listening to records, cds or mp3s, but essentially those are just delivery devices, what you’re listening to is the music they hold.

got it? now enjoy & have a lovely first weekend of fall!

event calendar: april 25 – may 1, 2011

happy monday
the music box keeps the marquee positive between shows

after a week of admin mondays, i’m jumping back in with lots to do. if you’re a student and you’re going to student portfolio day, i’d be happy to review your work!

here’s what i’m doing:

saturday, april 30, 10am – 5pm AIGA LA student portfolio day $15 registration fee, includes lunch.

other events for this week:

tuesday, april 26, 7 – 10pm AIGA LA studio tour: level LA $10 AIGA members / $20 non-members.

thursday, april 28, 7 – 9pm command cxv: cut, copy, paste FREE!

thursday, april 28, 7 – 9pm ideo’s fred dust presents: designed to scale FREE with rsvp.

creative mornings / los angeles: alissa walker

the creative mornings los angeles audience for alissa walker
[image: oscar rios]

as a graphic designer, i’ve been reading alissa walker in various design publications for years. she’s been somewhat of a household name for designers and architects, but when i started seeing her name pop up with other accreditations, like good, fast company, longshot magazine, helping produce dna for kcrw, speaking on and moderating panel discussions—it seemed like she was suddenly everywhere. it’s been really cool to watch a trusted & respected voice in design rise to so many other outlets.

as a lover of gelato, she got coolhaus to make a custom brown sugar & bacon ice cream you could have between either ginger or chocolate chip cookies. i got mine with chocolate chip, poured myself a coffee and got settled in for the talk.

alissa started off with a run-down of her previous writing engagements, beginning with a hilarious hand-drawn zine she made at age 10, think teen, and culminating with the impressive list of projects she currently produces. “it wasn’t always this way,” she admits, so she went on to share the ah-ha moment she had in italy, when she decided she wanted to get paid to do what she loved: eat gelato and admire design and architecture.

how do you do this? take cues from your obsessions, and decide to participate in them every day. talk about them, write about them, self-describe with them, and people will start to take notice. put yourself and your work out into the world, and as your work progresses, more people will recognize you as the person who is obsessed with this great thing you love. over time, you may find your interests build on themselves, allowing you to engage audiences in multiple formats.

alissa found that adding her love of writing about design to throwing parties led to starting delab, hosting events where she was able to showcase artists in a bigger forum, sponsored by organizations they wanted to work with. same love of art and writing, but a whole new level of visibility.

and it doesn’t stop there—bigger organizations then take notice. good saw what delab was doing and asked them to do a series pairing designers with civic leaders to solve urban problems, which not only did wonders for the credibility and influence of design—the designers would often be contacted by government agencies to collaborate on projects. one example includes the 30-year anniversary redesign of the farmer’s market to make it better fit the urban landscape, which may have started as a design project, but allowed good to participate in food legislation in LA. put energy into doing what you love, and you never know how your efforts might grow to do good around you.

another thing alissa touched on was changing your ritual, staying energized by mixing things up. choose to do something different and commit to it. when she committed to stop driving and chose to walk or take public transit, her perspective and relationship to los angeles changed profoundly, from noticing hidden treasures to creating a strategic game of how to best use public transit. this has led to a new focus in her writing and a renewed love of LA.

ever voraciously curious, alissa is in a new transitional phase, exploring what she can do to better advocate for the urban changes she’d like to see in los angeles. after seeing what she spun out of eating gelato and loving design, i have no doubt we’ll be hearing about all kinds of awesome developments in the works next year. the world needs more alissa, and we get the best of her right here in LA!

alissa walker at creative mornings
[alissa walker, wearing her very awesome california necklace]

creative mornings los angeles chapter, headed by jon setzen, is currently held monthly at ford & ching in chinatown. check their vimeo account in the coming weeks for a full video of this morning’s presentation. in the meantime, follow alissa walker on twitter: @gelatobaby!

creative inspiration

a cute little video on how paper gets recycled. parlato design studio uses high if not 100% post consumer recycled papers whenever possible. the holiday cards currently for sale were printed on neenah environment PC100!


hatch design wine country posters
[image: designworklife]
i’m loving these wine country travel posters by hatch for the sf moma wine exhibit, available for sale in the museum store. thanks designworklife for the link.

wine packaging

bottle of packaging
[image: thedieline]
beautiful typographic wine packaging for bottle of by swear words. some more nice type-driven pieces i found include adir winery and one-two punch wine.

design industry

so, what’s new this week? i’ve been writing for the creative freelancer blog, and lately i won’t shut up about year-end retreats. only 4 more days till mine starts! planning your year-end retreat, for

need things to incorporate into next year’s planning while you’re sitting by the pool in desert hot springs? see, i did it again. how about 10 reasons to rethink your web site, from [i am totally in need of an overhaul here], or these 2 from parse design your business plan, by doug powell and craft a more effective identity, by peleg top.

if you’re not into holiday cards but don’t want to miss the opportunity to connect with your clients & vendors, consider a transition to new year’s cards, alisa tells you how: do you have your new year’s cards ready?

beyond design

craft a paper star
[image: craft magazine]
the holiday how-tos are rolling in these days, i thought this paper holiday star was particularly cute, and something we could all probably do with some of the paper we’d normally throw into the recycling bin. decorate with it for a few weeks!

if you like baking cookies for the holidays, saveur compiled their 20 best holiday cookie recipes, and boy are they cute!

speaking of food [were we?] i’ve got another piece for LAist: seasonal eats: a little something about sunchokes.

creative inspiration

Hi-Fi from bante on Vimeo.


secca animated logo
[image: pentagram]
this brand & identity for secca by pentagram is not only stunning, it moves! read up on it here: pentagram’s luke hayman on how multimedia is transforming branding, from

print design

lan su visitor guide
[image: sockeye creative]
this lovely print specimen by sockeye creative for the lan su chinese garden in portland is rich in details that make the experience of interacting with it really rewarding. a custom die-cut window over a stylized illustration invites you in, then the unique binding of a gate fold over stepped pages detailing the vistas makes you want to flip through and study each one. fantastic work! see more here: lan su visitor guide, from

web design

a series i found on included some useful articles i wanted to share for web designers. a complete beginner’s guide to design research, overcoming the obstacles of usability testing and the complete beginner’s guide to web analytics and measurement.


bottle rainbows by johnny miller
[image: johnny miller]
amazing rainbows and color gradients created with colored glass and light, by johnny miller. thanks, oh joy for the link!

since creativity is about how you think, here are 2 articles i found interesting from around the tubes this week. seth godin talks about how we analyze our inner monologue to help define intuitive marketing: monitoring your internal monologue, and explores the einstein quote “imagination is more important than knowledge” here: be smart, know smarts ain’t the answer.

design industry

ravi sawhney talks about his new book predictable magic here:forget praying to the muse, create design magic on demand, from

tim lapetino of hexanine talks about how to get the most out of your kickoff meeting: the art of interviewing your client, from

a post chock-full of inspiring resources: 25 useful videos and presentations for designers, from

small business owners & sole-proprietors, take note: biz ladies: free online resources for business owners, from

LAUSD linked learning summer institute

LAUSD linked learnig summer institute

i’ve been working with the LA area chamber’s pillar program to link up with LA area high schools with graphic design programs, providing the perspective of a working designer for curriculum enhancement. most recently this took the form of the LAUSD linked learning summer institute with canoga park high school. several schools from LAUSD were present, and after a morning presentation, we split off into groups by school and worked on curriculum development.

the group of teachers included instructors in digital art & yearbook, drawing, printing, photography and english. they were a really great group of educators who have been working hard to improve school programs within tight budgets. i was really impressed with the curriculum they already offer. it’s so much more developed than anything my high school offered to potential designers, and while some of this is the natural evolution of education multiplied by the accessibility of the internet, some of it is old-fashioned care and attention being paid to our profession.

LAUSD linked learning summer institute

the focus of the consult was supposed to be about how i could help advise on real-world scenarios and help direct curriculum to address these things in the classroom before the students become employed. interestingly, though, we got into a discussion about the current perception of the school and how it’s not where they’d like it to be in order to attract students who want to participate in the design program. it had all the makings of a branding conversation, so i said it sounds like canoga park high needs a brand makeover! and they agreed.

we decided to start talking about it as a possible project for the design program to tackle. what i love about these teachers is that they were full of questions and had great ideas about implementation. one of them asked “if we were to conduct a rebrand project, how would you suggest we do it?” we went through having the students brainstorm on all their perceptions about the school, good, bad & ugly, and refining their thoughts to core ideas.

we talked about conducting an informal market research campaign where they could interview their parents, neighbors & local business owners on perception of the school and analyze it. we talked about developing a brief going forward and having students propose projects they’d like to do to support it [photo essays, psa poster campaigns, identity exploration, mood boards, poetry in a typography-only layout, etc.]. we talked about having kids in 3 different classes group up [a designer, an illustrator and a copywriter] to work to produce projects as creative teams. we talked about environmental and experience design—what’s it like to walk into the attendance office to get an absence slip, what about that experience is a reflection of the school? whether these things actually get redesigned or just remain projects isn’t important, but the process of identifying parts of a system and how to improve them is.

what i love about it the most, is that it serves multiple purposes. the students will be building amazing portfolios, the school will have attention to its image paid from the inside out, and the educators will have no shortage of artifact to send along with grand proposals to show the level of work they’re doing.

LAUSD linked learning summer institute

of course, it doesn’t stop there. one of the biggest challenges with a diverse group of students is relative levels of exposure to design. i’m sending over resources the educators can use to present all different types of design to the students, as well as offering to come in and talk about portfolio development and help give the students a good idea of what they’re in for with a career in design. i really hope they find a way to work up to the school rebrand project, it’s a big thing to organize, but it would turn out some really exciting work.

5 things you can do to build your business this summer

5 things you can do to build your business this summer

if you’re in an industry that experiences a slower summer season, it’s a great time to invest in your business so it’s extra-fresh for the next time you get busy. if you’re not sure where to start, here are 5 ideas to build on.

rethink your services
we all concentrate on our areas of specialty, but have you thought about related activities and services you could be offering that wouldn’t shift your focus too far? maybe you’ve been offering a couple services that would make sense to package and target a different sector of the market. perhaps you’re getting a lot of questions on similar subjects and an introductory consulting service makes sense. better yet, give your clients and prospects a little taste of your expertise and personality in a white paper or e-book. if you’re spending some of your extra time on education or professional development, maybe you’re able to branch out and offer a new product or service you hadn’t considered developing yet.

brainstorm: write out a list of all the services you currently offer. think about each one, and try to write one related service you’d like to add, or that could be included by someone who has the same expertise. google some of your favorites—what appears with these products and services that you hadn’t considered before? if you’re up to the task, consider adding the most viable to your repertoire. if you can’t incorporate it now, take a few days to see if one of your ideas appeals to you as a future goal to shoot for.

refresh your site content
building your web site is often the biggest project we work on in self-promotion, and once it’s done, it’s really easy to set it aside and let it do its work undisturbed. we may not be looking at it every day, but possible clients and customers are, and when they have new & interesting things to look at, they stay longer and engage more. additionally, search engines are regularly indexing sites on the web, but if it finds yours and you haven’t updated in awhile, they’ll pass you over for sites with more frequent content changes. you may want to consider an online editorial calendar, so you have a framework for adding new content regularly in different areas of your site [this can work in conjunction with social media, where you tell people about your new content and ask them to take a look].

brainstorm: chart out all the pages on your site and list what content is on each page. read through the content you have currently and see if it’s still 100% relevant or could use some improvement. decide on areas that just need a refresh once for the year, and other pages that could possibly have revolving content, such as announcements, new offers, or archived newsletters you’re sending monthly. if you can’t find current pages for revolving content, think of what you might add that is updated elsewhere, like a twitter stream or facebook business page. then chart out a rough calendar by month and see if you can commit to a schedule of regular updates, whether they’re quarterly or daily.

reconnect with your network
remember the last time someone caught you with a surprise phone call or a nice card just to say hi or catch up? it’s always a good feeling when friends and colleagues reach out, so why not be that person this time around? figure out your preferred method of contact and then do it up proper! if you like calling people, start with your favorite clients and vendors and call to say hello! if you’re more of an email person, write some thoughtful words personalized to the people in your network. as an alternative, you can use your newsletter service to send a graphic email to a larger list. if you prefer cards that arrive by post, pick up a set that appeals to the message you want to convey [or consider having some designed—just sayin!], get out your favorite pen, and author some nice notes. work your way out from your inner circle to those you speak to less frequently. get social media involved for the people you connect with online.

brainstorm: sometimes reaching out takes several forms of delivery. in fact, maybe it’s time to update your contact database with some of those cards you’ve picked up in your travels that are piled on your desk. you can use contact management software to note which mode of contact different friends prefer, and split them up by how you might contact them. then, get creative and make it happen!

revisit your brand touchpoints
you can get some great help identifying and brainstorming on all the possibilities for brand touchpoints here. once you have a solid list, take some time with each one, ask yourself if they’re reaching your clients and prospects in the way you want them to. maybe you’ve been working with some new niches or personalities that interact with different items or information sources. evaluate which efforts you want to stick with and which are ready for hiatus. take notes when you’re out and about, what catches your eye, how have other businesses decided to interact with you in ways you thought was clever or well-placed? are you missing some cool twist in the lifestyles of the people you work with?

brainstorm: list out the brand touchpoints you’re currently using, then write as many possibilities for interaction you can think of next to each one. do these modes of interaction give you any ideas on similar items or resources you could use in the future? have you asked clients how they’ve found you or do they report on anything you’ve been doing that got their attention? is it time to start asking those questions to settle any doubts about your efforts?

reward yourself for a job well done
every time you spend time improving your business services and communications, you’re investing in yourself, so set some of this summer fun time aside to celebrate with a reward. we all work better and smarter when there is balance in our lives. give yourself that afternoon hike, take a night of overtime off, get yourself or your business a gift, or take yourself out for ice cream or soda.

brainstorm: aside from the pure rewards for a job well done, find ways to infuse fun into your business. can you go analog for the day and review paperwork or resource material at the park or the beach? do it! are there wifi hotspots or cafes with free wireless where you can go mobile for a change of scenery? try it out!

me? i take breaks for walks, bike rides, or a run on different days, but my new goal is to find a public pool i like and jump in a few times per week. and i’m a big believer in homemade fruit pops on hot days. nothing like an icy blended fruit pop!