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Designed to Engage, Convert & Retain: A Look at Sitefinity's Content Management Philosophy

Telerik Sitefinity is the latest platform to receive our featured week treatment, and it’s now time to delve into the philosophy behind its powerful content management features.Telerik Sitefinity is an ASP.NET web content management and marketing platform. Some of the world’s biggest brands trust Sitefinity with their websites, including Toyota, Audi, Kraft Foods and NASA. Recently, the platform received the 2014 Critics' Choice CMS Award for Best Enterprise .NET CMS.Mike Johnston recently interviewed Robert Mattson, Telerik's Director of Product Marketingwhile on the CMS Critic North American Tour. He also had the pleasure of witnessing adetailed product walkthrough delivered by Telerik’s Product Marketing Manager, Svetla Yankova.Now, back to those content management features.Great Customer Experience Starts with Great ContentThe act of producing and presenting content is at the heart of every website and digital marketing campaign.Sitefinity CMS empowers marketers with user
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Telerik Sitefinity Walkthrough Video with CMS Critic

In this video, Svetla Yankova, Product Marketing Manager for Telerik Sitefinity shows Mike Johnston of CMS Critic (https://www.cmscritic.com) through the product and answers his questions while demonstrating the powerful new features that are included with this release.For those who are unfamiliar with Sitefinity, this video really covers the product well. Tune in for all of the details on this great release!For more details on Sitefinity visit http://www.cmscritic.com/dir/products/sitefinity or visit them on the web at http://www.sitefinity.com/
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Movie Night Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites

No bake recipes are my favourite ones to make with the kids because the term “no-bake” usually indicates that it’s fairly easy, not that messy and something that the kids can really get into and have fun with. The new Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipe is all three things, but it also had an added element of fun; you get to customize it any way you like! When it came time to come up with a delicious twist on these little peanut butter bites of heaven, I thought about our family and what we like to do. The very first thing that came to mind was movies! Then my mind wandered further, to my favourite snack at the movie theatre which is buttered popcorn and peanut M&M’s. Together. Have you ever tried this? I’ll warn you now that it will replace your usual popcorn at the theater. Sweet and salty bliss, there’s nothing better! There are many different types of Kraft Peanut Butter out, but since I wanted to make a new recipe riffing on my favourite treat, I used the Kraft Pea
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Qards 1.2 For WordPress Released

DesignModo, the company behind Startup Framework, has released a new version of their increasingly popular WordPress plugin, Qards.Qards brings drag-and-drop website building features to WordPress, enabling users to visually edit their pages. Each "Qard" makes up an individual page section, which come together to form a one-pager style end result.Qards 1.2 focuses on speeding up the drag-and-drop page building process, eliminating the lag found in previous versions. Also, users can now activate Qards on any page, instead of having to set up separate "Qards Pages". Furthermore, Typekit integration brings a wider range of fonts to the Qards experience.To get the full breakdown of Qards 1.1, checkout the official features page.
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Watergate Salad & Weird Parenting Advice

If you ve been reading this website of mine for any time now at all, you ll know that I have an obsession with pistachio pudding. OB-SESH-SHUN, folks. There s obviously something wrong me with, but packaged pistachio pudding is seriously one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Which is why I can t believe that I ve never read the package and made Watergate Salad. Again, there s that getting back to something s wrong with me. How could I have been ignoring a fabulous retro recipe all these years? Granted, I do only allow myself the pistachio pudding indulgence every few months, otherwise it might get out of control and you d start seeing pistachio pudding chicken, pistachio pudding beef it might get a little crazy on here. When we were at the Phoenix House (which is what it shall be called from here on in) I actually turned over a package in my hands and read the recipe. My whole family was in town (that town being Phoenix) at that time, and I was making dinner. Let s remember that I was
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Mike Interviews Navin Nagiah, CEO of DNN Software (Video)

During my recent visit to the DNN Software office in San Mateo, California, I took some time to sit down and have a chat with CEO Navin Nagiah. Topics discussed include the recent release of Evoq 8, expectations for the future, his thoughts on customer experience management and more. What's funny about this interview is that there was a spot during the interview where I had a great question ready to go but ended up getting too wrapped up in what he was saying and completely blanked. We had to pause filming so I could get refocused. Watch for the transition to see where that happened. Interestingly enough, that's never happened before so kudos to Navin for being too interesting ;). Check out the video below:Learn more about DNN Evoq 8 here: http://www.dnnsoftware.com/products/evoq-content
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Walkthrough of DNN Evoq Content 8 with CMS Critic

As part of our North American tour (which you can learn more about here) we are visiting a number of vendors throughout North America. One such vendor was DNN Software. In the following video, I had an opportunity to sit with Will Morgenweck, VP of Product Management for DNN Software and have him show me through their latest release, Evoq Content 8.Let me tell you folks, this is one impressive looking piece of software. They have completely done away with the dashboard (in the manner that there is no longer a back end admin interface to log into) and moved into a more "website builder look". The good part being that there was no loss in functionality so I consider Evoq 8 (and you can quote me on this) a website builder for Enterprises.Check out the video in which Will walks me (and you as you watch) through this great release with the occassional question from me along the way.Enjoy.Interested in learning more about Evoq 8? Check out their listing in our directory or visit them direc
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Visiting Bar Tartine in San Francisco (Plus win a signed copy of their new book!)

Oh, San Francisco I do love thee. Your beautiful waterfront, your hip vibe, your famous restaurants how can you not leave your heart here when you have to go home? I also love thee more when I don t have my kids with me. Sorry kids, but San Fran is a whole new ball game when Mama has some time alone. I ve been to San Francisco twice before, but always with the kids. Don t get me wrong, it is one of the best family vacations that we have ever taken. There is the California Academy of Sciences, the Pier and so much more for families to do that you could happily spend time there with the littles. However this trip without kids let Mike and I eat wherever we wanted when we wanted..hit whichever bars we wanted..sleep when we wanted. While we did have three days of work meetings while we were there as well, we had 4 glorious free days to do whatever we wanted in San Fran. I wanted to visit Bar Tartine. Bar Tartine is a famous for its innovative, multi-layered-taste creations. Their dishes a
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Agility CMS Launches First Iteration of Major Product Release for Testing & Feedback

This week, the Agility CMS Team began the process of pushing its brand new user-interface live.The Beta One Release is the first iteration of a major Product Release that includes a brand new user-interface, robust workflow improvements and big performance updates.This Release was made available to a small group of Agility CMS power users, the company’s most active development partners, to test on a sample site.Their feedback will be gathered and used to make changes and improvements before the next iteration of the Release, which will be rolled out to a select group of customers for continued testing and feedback.“We’re very excited to get feedback on our updated content management platform from our power users,” Jon Voigt, Agility's CEO and co-founder, said. “We began working on redesigning and rebuilding Agility CMS a year ago, so it’s great to share the hard work that the team has put in to make this Release possible.”Agility’s CMS new user-interface and updates wi
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Cheesy Beef Lasagna

My daughter, for all her pickiness, is a lasagna connoisseur. I do believe she is a reincarnation of that orange cat we all loved in the 80 s, Garfield. She will always eat lasagna, unless, of course, it s seafood or vegetable. That kid loves beef lasagna and don t you dare try to feed her anything else. This time around for my latest recipe for Campbell s I tackled their Cheesy Beef Lasagna. She ate it. It s a win. I always use whole wheat noodles when it comes to homemade lasagna and I urge you to do the same. They never overcook and become soggy, they are healthier than white pasta and they honesty lend this toothiness to the lasagna that makes it perfect. I hate soggy noodles. Try it and see. I doubt anyone will even notice that you used whole wheat in the middle of all the sauce and meat! I found the lasagna really filled up my 9
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These Thoughts of Mine On Writing A Cookbook

I ve noticed a trend, it seems when a blogger makes the transition from writer to cookbook author. There is a huge announcement post not unlike the one I have written myself- and then a very large period where nothing is said. A lull, it might be called, in the posting of anything cookbook related. Sure, busy bloggers keep up on their blogs, like I have, mainly because some of us do it for a living. However I always want to read about the experience while it s happening. I always wanted to live through them vicariously while trying to figure out if I was even going to take the leap into the hallowed grounds of cookbook writing. To all of those that I have followed and thought to myself Blast it, write! Write more! I want to hear it! What s it all about? What s it like? I apologize for any dark thoughts I might have once had. Truth is, if anyone told you what writing a cookbook was like, we might not have many cookbooks out there. I knew this coming in, however, and that s why it s tak
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Blueberry Apple Swiss Salad with French’s Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

This post was brought to you by the makers of French’s Dijon Mustard. I received compensation to write this post through the French’s Easter Program … all opinions expressed are my own. Let’s play some word association. I’m going to say two phrases and I want you to tell me in the comments below the first thing that pops into your mind, ok? French’s Dijon Mustard and Easter dinner. I am going to bet my purple Easter hat that you thought of ham, didn’t you? I’m going to admit it, I thought of ham right off the bat as well when I was contacted to create a recipe using French’s Dijon Mustard for my Easter dinner. A juicy, gorgeous ham with a sweet Dijon mustard glaze…pure heaven. However, while I fully encourage you to put a fabulous mustard glaze on your ham this Easter, I went completely in the other direction for this recipe. I absolutely love that this website of mine gives me the opportunity to work with companies whose products I use on a regular basis and Frenc
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Red Velvet Cake Batter Pancakes

So I totally fed cake to my kids on Monday morning. * ducks as the Super Parents start throwing things at me * Now, what s really funny about this is that I totally contradicted myself. Or lied? Did I lie? I posted a while back, perhaps two years ago on my Homemade Funfetti Pancakes recipe that There are few truths in this world that I can truly say I will stick to resolutely, but this recipe definitely covers one of them. I will never feed my children cake batter in the morning and then send them off to school. I remember almost everything I write but I also admit loudly, freely and unashamed, that I contradict myself all the time. It s ok, you know, to contradict yourself. Your opinion changes so very much from year to year and it s very hard when you lead a public life like mine and write everything on the internet for everyone to see, all the time. I m totally flawed and I like it that way. Sure, I could have erased that part of my post, but then I couldn t have had all this joy
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An Overview of The Sitefinity Platform's Content Management & Digital Experience Features

As we enter our second featured week here at CMS Critic, our focus turns to the Telerik Sitefinity platform.Recently acquired by Progress, Telerik Sitefinity is an ASP.NET web content management and marketing platform. The solution is trusted by some of the world’s biggest brands, including Toyota, Audi, Kraft Foods and NASA.Mike Johnston recently travelled to Telerik's California headquarters  while on the CMS Critic North American Tour, where he interviewed Robert Mattson, Telerik's Director of Product Marketing. Mike was also given a highly detailed product walkthrough before his visit was over.Crowned winner of the 2014 Critics' Choice CMS Award for Best Enterprise .NET CMS, Sitefinity is a platform to be reckoned with.To kickstart our featured coverage, let's begin with an overview of the powerful features of the Sitefinity platform for both enterprise-grade content management and digital marketing.Simple, Even When Complex“There’s usually an ease of use to complexity curv
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Karlynn & Mike’s Excellent Adventures

I m not gonna lie, I might just be having a panic attack this morning. Someone pass me a paper bag to breathe into and everything will be ok. In all honesty while I m not having a real panic attack (those are usually solely reserved for when I have to fly) I did have one of those random sit up in bed and gasp for air moments in the middle of the night last night. I can t even remember what I was dreaming about, but it had to do with the trip and with Pyrex. Maybe I had a dream that someone got to a piece of Pyrex at the thrift store in France (do they have thrift stores in Paris?) before I did. That s what I get for surfing Ebay last night looking for Pyrex pieces while planning the last few details of our trip. Gotta loves when the anxiety courses through your veins at 3 am. (insert eye roll here) This is my reading room at this very moment this morning. This actually makes me feel happy. We ve been packing/unpacking for almost two weeks now, narrowing everything down to ONE suitcas
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CMS Critic interviews Robert Mattson of Telerik Sitefinity

As part of the ongoing CMS tour, I've been visiting vendors throughout the US, Canada and (soon) Europe.  During my recent trip to California, I had an opportunity to touch base with the fine folks at Telerik.In this video interview, I chat with Director of Product Marketing for Telerik Sitefinity, Robert Mattson about their recent acquisition by Progress Software, Sitefinity CMS and more. Learn more about Sitefinity here: http://www.sitefinity.com/web-content-management
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Classic Weeknight Tacos

Today will not be known as Taco Tuesday. It will be known as freedom Friday, but still on a Tuesday! Just kidding. But seriously, can you name the movie that quote is from? If you guessed the Lego Movie, you are correct. You also probably have it memorized like I do, am I right? That movie is the #1 watched movie of ALL TIME in my house. When we road trip, Mike and I will actually listen to it as well because it s seriously so darn funny and cute. Other than that craziness, two more things came to mind when I was writing up this recipe. 1) Man, I stinkin love tacos. So much. They are so easy and no one in my family complains because they can customize them to their own tastes. Let s repeat that last bit no one in my family complains. Miracles do happen. 2) I can t believe that this is my last recipe as a Campbell s ambassador! Where did time go? I ve had a great time testing out eight recipes for Campbell s and writing them up on my site to share with all of you. This is my last one f
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The Best Deep Fried Battered Haddock

I was told the secret for a proper, crispy batter for deep-frying fish a long,long time ago by a chef friend. Indeed, not only a friend, but the head of a culinary arts program at a local post-secondary school. It s so very simple. It s cornstarch. While I have sadly lost the recipe he gave me in his cooking class that day (and truth be told, he told me it was an old fisherman friend who gave it to him ) I have always remembered that secret. So when it came time to try out the new Highliner Simply Fish line of products, I knew that I would be trying the haddock and that I was deep-frying it. For those of you who like to know where your seafood comes from, Highliner has criteria for their responsibly sourced seafood. It includes important criteria such as being OceanWise recommended or Seafood Watch rated green or yellow.  Their six varieties of fish are sourced from the following places: Atlantic Salmon – Chile, Atlantic Cod – Iceland, Tilapia – Indonesia or Malaysia, Trou
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28 Days With Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream

It’s twenty-eight days later and I’m back for a recap of the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream that I’ve been trying out! No video this time, just a post. I have been actively using it while paired with the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Eye Cream while travelling to California and back, then on our four-day road trip home. In that time, I also turned 39. I was talking to Mike on the long drive home about how I am really lazy when it comes down to taking care of my skin and that I guess I better start. I vividly remember my mom and her ritualistic night creams when I was younger and I guess it’s my turn to start. Better late than never! Am I the only one who has these vivid memories of their Mom’s love for night cream? To this day, she still takes care of her skin nightly. I think that the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream is doing a good job on the skin don’t you? Here’s a non-photoshopped photo of my eye area this morning. Not bad for 3
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Featured Weeks Start Tomorrow

What are Featured Weeks?As part of our efforts here at CMS Critic to enhance your exposure to the amazing products on the market, I have decided to offer featured weeks on the site. The purpose of these is to provide you with everything you need to know about a specific CMS including product walkthroughs, interviews with executives and articles about their products.Nowhere else can you get as much information about a product than on CMS Critic and when combined with our in depth CMS directory, I think this new opportunity for you to learn more will help both customers and vendors connect in a unique and meaningful way.How did this come about?I began this year by deciding to do something that has never been done before. I am touring North America and Europe  visiting and connecting with interested CMS vendors in order to learn more about their products, interview them and dig deeper into who they are and what they do so that I could bring this valuable information back to you, the con
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Squarespace Reveals Customizable Lock Screens

Squarespace, one of the world's most widely used and respected website builders chosen for coverage over at Website Builders Critic, has released a small yet notable update.The newest Squarespace feature allows users to select their own design, layout and imagery for their password protected site or pages.Protect Client Areas, Pages & Entire Websites Your WaySquarespace claim that these new customized lock screens can serve as a client area for photographers, who can inform clients that their photos are now ready for viewing behind a password-protected page.Customizable lock screens can also be used to inform visitors that a website is under construction, or that changes are coming soon. Finally, it can also make visitors aware that they are entering a secure area.The new lock screen feature includes six different layout options, each of which can be further customized in the Squarespace Style Editor.Users can also upload their own images for their lock screens, with Squarespace rec
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White Bean Ranch, Bacon & Cheddar Dip With Breton Popped! Beans Cracker Chips  

I think that my favorite part of working on my website is getting to try out all sorts of new products and coming up with recipes using them. I love recipe development, there’s nothing that inspires me more than coming up with a new recipe for you guys using products that you can readily buy yourselves from the store shelves. This time around, I am working with Breton, trying out their new line of gluten free Breton Bean crackers and Breton Popped! Beans cracker chips. There are quite a few of you readers that ask me for gluten free recipes on a regular basis, so I knew that this was an important one. I needed to make this dip healthier, but still delicious and most definitely gluten free so that all of you looking for a delicious gluten free recipe can enjoy it! So let’s get into the details of the new crackers before I get to the recipe. They are most definitely gluten free, certified by the Canadian Celiac Association. There are two new flavors in each type, Breton Bean Cracker
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Saving Money With My New Frigidaire® Freezer!

Part of the reason I was so darn excited to be a Frigidaire® Ambassador and talk about the benefits of owning a freezer (or in my case, a secondary freezer) is that I am a huge putting up kind of girl. At the end of summer, there s nothing I like more than canning up a storm (and a storehouse) worth of beets, carrots and jams. I m not sure if you knew this, but I am darn cheap, er, frugal at times. We aren t rich by any means and as you know, our vice is travel. We love to travel. Travel equals money. So there are ways that I like to save money in other areas and a huge one is growing  my garden and then canning food for the winter months. That said, there are some things that are better frozen and not canned. Having a secondary freezer reminds me of my Grandma who had two large freezers full of everything from frozen wild fish, her dainties, (baked goodies) and of course, her fabulous Strawberry Freezer Jam. Freezer jam has to be my favorite use of my freezer, bar none. Capturing
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LightCMS Introduces Default Page Elements & Heading Levels

LightCMS have released another short list of updates, allowing users to set default page elements, heading levels and favicons.LightCMS, is a website builder suited for building blogs, online stores and more in a matter of minutes, as demonstrated on Website Builders Critic. LightCMS was recently voted the People's Choice for Best Cloud CMS for SMB.New Pages & SEO SimplifiedDefault Page Elements are designed to simplify how you create new pages, particularly if you use the same "template" over and over.It stops you having to create elements all over again whenever a new page is created, because they're already there are a default part of the new page.Default page elements which can be set include; blogs, images, links, calendars, forms, donation buttons, and so forth. Furthermore, the introdction of the Element Title Default Heading Level feature enables you to set a default heading level to apply to each element title displayed on the page. This means when you create an element an
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I Left My Heart in Sedona

Sedona, Arizona is amazing. Breathtaking. Utterly majestic and magical. Full of mysterious magic that lures you into the arid desert, heeding the siren call of the red rocks that beckon you to wander into the mystical forever of those iron-dense hills until all that s left of you is your sun bleached bones that some poor hiker finds in 2 years. And they think oh, that s what happened to Magpie. Or you could just take a Jeep tour, like we did. When our buddies Phil and Robyn Wilson came out from Edmonton to visit us a few weeks ago, Sedona was on their must-do list. Which was a short list really. consisting of : Sit on our deck and drink in the sun Jeep Tour in Sedona Eat some Phoenix Food And do some more deck sitting/drinking I am happy to confirm that as hostess-with-the-mostest we manged to cross everything off of their list. Sedona is one incredible place. While theories abound of UFO s, mystical properties and magic, there truly is something that pulls you closer. I m not s
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