Sunday, April 25, 2010

photo: on my desk

Flowers on my desk in the evening sunlight. Even though all the winter flowers have finished and the summer ones are yet to start, I love to explore the garden and find fun stuff to put in arrangements for my desk.


I'll be back later.

trend: tshirts with a message

It seems that T-shirt shops are the new trend that all the teenagers are finding hard to resist these days. I've come across so many of them in town and on the Internet as well. Everything from funny tshirts to cheeky ones are in great demand. There is also a demand for underground text tshirts, such as for bands or events that are very niche and exclusive to only a select few, thus showing the wearer's knowledge of being in-the-know.

Of course, you cannot have any trend these days that does not have a connection of some sort with the Twilight series so Eclipse apparel are in great demand as well. And just in case, you crawled out from under a rock and are not quite sure what the fuss is about Twilight, then read up on Eclipse info on Wikipedia so you can hopefully be with-it for a while at least. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What does happiness mean to you?

Hema of Wading Through Words recently gave my blog a Happiness 101 Award. To accept the award I have to list 10 things that make me happy and pass it on to 5 more bloggers.

1. Anticipation of the vacation. I love planning, making arrangements, and everything to do with creating a wonderful vacation.

2. Rain. It's pure joy to me when the heavens open up. I love approaching thunderstorms, with all their bluff and bluster of thunder and lightning.

3. Reading a good book. After reading so many new authors, I really love going back to the classics, like East of Eden and Rebecca.

4. Finding and buying art. It's an addiction, but such a happy one. I love to buy art and it doesn't matter if the artist is well-known or not.

5. Springtime. I love the way nature showers it's bounty of flowers and fresh leaves on us.

6. Sipping a hot chocolate at a cafe with my hubby, and eating a slice of cheesecake. I love to take time out and go on a coffee/cocoa/tea date with my dearest one.

7. Lazy weekends spent at home. It's nice to sometimes plan to do absolutely nothing on the weekend, to just be lazy, to spend all morning reading the papers, to listen to so great music and have a nice relaxed meal.

8. Fresh flowers, leaves, twigs, stones collected from my walks. The simple pleasures of coming back home with something.

9. Photography. I'm looking forward to taking shots on my travels with the new camera.

10. Being creative. I love to be able to make things out of just stuff that I find at making a wreath out of wrapping paper, or coasters out of colorful magazine pages or bowls from modeling clay.

I'm going to pass on this award to fellow bloggers whose blogs bring them as much Happiness as it does their readers.

Lakshmi at Celebrations of Life
Kits at Life
Patricia at Colors Dekor
Quicksilver at A Slice of Happiness
Shilpa at The Reluctant Homemaker

Friday, April 16, 2010

this moment: week 8

Noting the contrast between the fallen jacaranda blooms and the new portulaca blooms. Summer is well and truly here.

Week 7
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Small cool contest on Apartment Therapy

Have you checked out the Small Cool Contest going on at Apartment Therapy? It's an annual feature where real apartments compete in 5 categories of small apartments. Voting is allowed only for 48 hours after the apartment link is posted. I've been voting for my fave ones for the past three years and really enjoy looking at "real" homes. Somehow this year, there hasn't been any stand out apartment so far. Lots are really very ordinary apartments, that should have done a bit of work before taking the shots, simple things like waiting for better light etc. New apartments are listed everyday, so hoping something more artistic, vibrant and put-together comes up.

Edited to add:
Yay, I've found one that I really like. Michael's apt in Traverse City, Michigan.
Also, check out Matt and Jac's apt in Winnipeg, Canada.
And, Lasse's apt in Herning, Denmark.

photo: the simple joys

Enjoying a cup of tea and chocolate is one of life's pleasures right! Too often we start doing things in routine and forget the little joys.

And old shot taken ages ago in Dubai.

trendworthy: reducing debt

I like to spend some time searching for new trends in marketing and retailing each week. Lately I have found that many of the trends that really catch on are to do with saving money, cost-cutting, finding lower prices and unusual ways to reduce your bills. It all comes down to the state of the economy, I suppose.

I came across a site called Billshrink, that helps people find ways to cut back on their bills, everything from gas bills to cutting back on credit card bills that will cut your monthly payments. From the feedback I have found, the section on reducing mobile phone bills is quite a popular section of the site, as mobile bills are already quite high, often charging for incoming calls as well as outgoing. Another popular section was for getting a small business started by using small business credit cards that would enable a SME business to get started as the economy starts to pick itself up.

niche selling is the way to go

Niche selling and marketing has been around a long while. It just makes sense to create niche selling groups to cater more directly to your core customer, instead of having a little bit of everything for everyone. Take for example, this hip hop clothing site, that is very strongly focused on it's rather narrow niche customer base. While it has opted to have a narrow customer base, it will be able to penetrate deeper into its segment than a regular store would have and that's why it makes sense to plan and cater directly to your core customer. As a retail analyst, I see so many stores bite the dust just because they are indecisive on who they want to cater to.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Making a simpler move

As much as we all love to move into a new house or apartment, you know the one with all the things that you've been wanting all along, the actual process of moving can still be quite a troublesome one. I know all about it, as we've moved so many times, sometimes just from one city to another, or from the city to the suburb, but several times internationally as well. That's when you really meet your mettle.

Luckily, thanks to the Internet, now one can find just the kind of help that is required to make the move a pleasant one. Yes, you read right, a move can be pleasant!

Companies like work on finding the best solution for you, and not the other way around. By using a reverse-auction system, customers can enter details of their move and post it on the CityMove website, and then just sit back and let the bids come in. Once you find the one that suits you best, accept it and then let the movers handle it all for you, right from getting the right kind of packing boxes to assisting with address changes.

I just wish a company like this had been able to handle my last move, which would have made it a lot easier to handle and more importantly, I would not have had to toss out so much of my stuff, since I had no other option at that time, which I really now regret. Considering that these New York movers have built up quite a reputation for themselves, and have been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines like the, Lifehacker,, CNET, NY1 and among others, just shows that they are not one of those fluke operators, but are someone who know their business and take the responsibility seriously.

Friday, April 09, 2010

this moment: week 7

A quiet moment from this past week. Pressing nasturtiums from the garden in the fading evening light.

Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

photo: in the evening

A slightly different version than what I posted on my flickrstream. Love how dramatic the light and shadow make just an ordinary scene into something so different. I've been enjoying changing around my desk every week or so, hope you have too.

do you read the ads at the back of magazines?

I'm always amazed at the lengths to make themselves look good. Buy any fashion magazine and you'll see the emphasis not on looking good but rather on looking thin. Forget slim, it's thin that everyone is aiming for. At the end of the magazine, you'll see lots of advertisements and reviews of a host of products, such as and so on. No matter what the product there are also positive reviews to be found, as well as celebrity endorsements, which are by far the most persuasive when it comes to convincing teenage girls, who are the most impressionable.

does this kind of competion work?

Flipping through the television channels this afternoon, all I got to see was a slew of infomercials on things like colon and body cleanse and the like. I wonder why 3 channels were airing these products at the same time... although they were of different companies, so maybe that's the strategy. Increase competition and get customers to think that everyone is buying into the product to make it more legitimate. I wonder if it's working out well for them.