LIFE IS TOO SERIOUS

tumblr_mniandVQ7p1sn7lxto1_1280What does white whine, Suri Cruise, Goldman Sachs and babies crying all have in common?

They are all blogs, and today I am going to be wild and crazy and encourage you to read other people’s posts!

After all, I don’t want you to overdose on WTF so I thought I would share some of my favourite ones out there. But be warned some are for the not so faint hearted.

GS Elevator http://gselevator.wordpress.com
A very witty and sarcastic blog based on the world of finance. There are actually some smart tips in some of articles and I love the Twitter posts even more. It has received huge attention from the press and articles have been re-published all around the world. But be warned – it may offend.

Suri’s Burn Book http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com
Written by Allie Hagan who masquerades as Suri Cruise (by day she works in consulting in Washington DC). An amusing account of famous kids through the eyes of Miss Cruise – I am a big fan.

White Whine http://whitewhine.com
A site detailing the World’s “real” issues. People complaining about all manner of things, which of course are not life threatening or important. An amusing read that exposes the World’s biggest whingers.

And if you simply want a good old fashioned laugh try this one –
Reasons My Son is Crying http://www.reasonsmysoniscrying.com
A site where parents can post photos of their children crying and the funny reasons why

Enjoy!

What are your favourite blogs? (apart from WTF of course)

OUTSOURCE ME!

Child-cleaningI am the first person to admit I am a HUGE advocate of outsourcing whatever I can.

I have been known to be somewhat of a control freak (I can hear my family screaming yes at this point!) but over the years I have managed to let go of the need to make sure everything is 100% perfect and give way to someone else having a go at it.

The fact is, we have been outsourcing personal tasks forever, it just didn’t have a label.

When I was growing up it was called working for your pocket money. And if you have ever had the opportunity to have a personal assistant I would put money on the fact that they have carried out some “non-business related” outsourcing task for you at some point, whether it be booking personal travel or paying a phone bill.

Generally the most popular tasks to outsource are – housecleaning, laundry and ironing, grocery shopping, dog walking (not sure what the point is having a dog if you don’t have time to take it outside), car washing and good old lawn mowing. But more and more people are slowly trusting others to pay their bills, or to buy a gift for their loved one.

So how do you get on-board the express train to “easy life”?

The 4 Hour Workweek is really the original how-to guide for ideas on better managing your personal tasks

But if you want to jump straight in you can try some of the following sites (sadly these are not available in all countries).

My favourite one – www.fiverr.com
Basically a list of offerings from people who will do “X” for $5. There are real some gems on offer!

www.taskrabbit.com
One of the better known (and tested) sites

www.elance.com
A great resource for small business with everything from logo design to building your website

www.fancyhands.com
For $25 a month your personal admin issues are solved

Now all this free time now means more time to relax. I am off to order a bottle of wine online that will be delivered chilled to my door in under an hour… now that is service!

THE TOP 10 – WHAT NOT TO WEAR ON YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY

barefoot-in-publicI think I have a pretty good formula for packing when going on holidays, no matter what the climate. Being respectful of local cultures and having items that are practical while still looking decent are key on my list, but I often wonder what goes through other people’s minds when they pack their bags for a holiday.

Clearly a lot of people think that the usual rule of wearing appropriate clothing goes out the window, and anything goes. But then maybe it’s me who missed the memo saying if you are in another country go for it and wear something that usually a 16 year old does, even though you are 50 years old and not in good shape. Sitting on a beach in Thailand, Hawaii or Fiji, or even being at an airport for that matter, can be like seeing a real-life parade from one of those “People of Walmart” emails that gets sent around (www.peopleofwalmart.com).

So what are the top 10 must-not-do’s to keep you looking decent when you head overseas on a holiday.

1. Always wear shoes at an airport, even if you are there just to pick up someone. There is no excuse not to wear them, even just for health and safety reasons.

2. Bum bags, fanny packs whatever you choose to call them went out in the 1980’s so let’s leave them there (along with ra-ra skirts and large shoulder-padded jackets)

3. Socks and sandals. Do I really need to explain this one any further?

4. A g-string swimsuit. Unless your name is Giselle, avoid the embarrassment and leave it at home.

5. Hawaiian shirts. Guys – no one wears these any more with the exception of going to a fancy dress party.

6. Cut-out lycra dresses. If you are under 21 years age then ok, but over that it should be illegal to sell you one, let alone wear one. Think age appropriate dressing.

7. A matching Juicy Couture tracksuit. I totally get the comfort bit, and by all means pack a pair of track pants to change into once you are on the plane (I do), but wearing a bright pink matching towelling or velour tracksuit with the word “Juicy” on your butt is so 1990’s and best left for Paris Hilton.

8. Denim shorts that are too short. Ladies there is no need to see your butt sticking out from under your shorts no matter what your age. At no point is this is a good look. Gents… knee length denim cut-off shorts with frayed hems should come with a fine or jail time.

9. Beer branded fake singlets/tank tops. I have seen enough “Singha”, “Tiger” and “Bintang” tank tops to last me ten lifetimes. Every football team (of any code) on their end-of-season trip can be seen wearing them, purchased from the local street vendor. Which leads me into the final one…

10. Football shirts. The only exception to wearing one of these is travelling to play football or travelling to support your team.

With British women spending over $200 on clothing in preparation for their holiday and women in the US on average $380, I am hoping this isn’t going on any of the above items.

What is the worst outfit you have witnessed on holiday?

BACK SEAT DRIVER

car3On Monday while I was in my car heading home from meeting a friend for coffee, I passed three Ferrari’s in a period of a five minute drive (unfortunately I was not in one of them!). In many other countries that may be a rarity, but in Singapore it is a an everyday occurrence of being parked at traffic lights in between an Austin Martin and a Rolls Royce. And it isn’t because cars are a “bargain” here, in fact, it is one of the most expensive places in the world to own one.

So it got me thinking where is the best place to own a super-luxury car and who buys them?

Ferrari was named the most powerful brand in the world this year, which is judged on qualitative measures such as brand affection and loyalty (not to be confused with brand value – which Apple wins due to revenue size). So clearly while gold prices come crashing down, sales of the car that bears a prancing horse logo, are on the rise.

And most of the big ticket items are heading to China… of the eight Bentley Mulsanne Grand Tourers produced this year, six are going to China. Rolls Royce’s business is on the up there too, with 30 per cent of its business coming from China and an increase of 23 per cent in sales.

Not to be left out, Lamborghini had a 150 per cent surge in year-on-year in sales in 2010, and a 70 per cent rise in growth in 2011 in China.

While the USA still wins the prize for the most super luxury cars bought each year, China is expected to overtake them in the next year or so (a 1,550 percent growth between 2001 to 2012 sets a good base)

And if you just want a bargain and are looking to “down grade” to Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car the best place to buy it is the USA where you can pick it up for $77,200. In Australia it’s $223,000; Japan $134,000; and Britain $107,000.

car2

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

baconsundae-531x550I am certainly a big fan of eating (not so much the cooking part). And as the interest levels of dining have never been so high, there has been an abundance of food fads and restaurant trends – with some definitely more right than wrong, taste bud dependent of course!

So what takes your fancy, and what should you put on your must try list for 2013?

Bacon with everything. Don’t get me wrong I love a good piece of crispy bacon with my weekend breakfast, but when it is turned into ice-cream, chocolate or popcorn I have to say no.

Butchers opening up their own restaurants. The US leads the way in this trend, and now a ton of other countries are following. The best one I have been to is The Publican in Chicago http://publicanqualitymeats.com/

Every restaurant saying its menu uses local, organic or seasonal produce….zzzzzzz so 2012.

Frozen yoghurt is making a comeback! I am a fan but I can’t help think of the Seinfeld episode on low fat yoghurt – buyer beware.

Taking photos of your food and posting them everywhere. People please STOP this, no one cares!!!

Going Paleo. Hardcore, but I have to say it works. Basically cut out anything fun in your diet and stick to meat, vegetables, and some nuts and seeds. Grains, dairy, and sugar are a no, no.

Non-booking restaurants and queues to eat. Everyone is well and truly over this and restaurants are now reverting to reservations again. We aren’t at Disneyland or 18 years old trying to get into a nightclub.

Healthier kids menus. Say goodbye to hotdogs and mac n’ cheese as the stock standard on children’s menus. Restaurants are starting to step up and offer better alternatives for families, especially as couples with children spend on average 44% more at restaurants than those without children.

Bon appetite!

LIE YOUR WAY TO THE TOP

The CEO of Yahoo! has done it, as has the Department of Homeland Security’s Deputy Chief Information Officer, the Dean of Admissions at MIT and a Pulitzer Prize winner for Journalism. They may have achieved great things, but these were all short-lived as their downfall was lying on their CV’s.

As the job market get tougher, more people are tempted to “be creative”. After all, for every job 118 CV’s are received on average and only 35% meet the basic requirements and experience for the job. So where are people bending the truth –

1) Salary
2) Job titles
3) Duties and responsibilities
4) Managing a team
5) Dates of employment
6) Educational qualifications
7) Reasons for leaving

If you are a new to the workforce chances are you will bend the truth on education – giving a higher grade than achieved (47%); claiming to complete a course when only partially finished (29%); offering a different course subject to suit the job requirements (13%); and admitting to having a degree when they don’t (11%).

But if you really want to get that job, you had better change your name to Smith. It turns out having an easy-to-pronounce name gives you a higher chance of getting a job, as people with simpler surnames are perceived to be more “likable.”

OLYMPIC’S NOT SO “FINE” AT $30,000

It’s happening… 10,500 athletes from 204 nations competing in 26 sports across 39 disciplines for 302 gold medals in London’s Olympic Games.

There have been 8.8million tickets sold but most of us will be watching from our couch. TV rights were sold for the first time in Tokyo 1964 at $1.2million and in 2012 broadcast revenue has risen to a staggering $3.9billion! An advertisers dream…

The first sponsorship/licensing deals happened in 1912 when 10 Swedish companies were granted permission to purchase the sole rights to sell memorabilia and take photographs during the Olympic Games in 1912 in Stockholm. This grew in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1984 that the Los Angeles Olympic organising committee decided to pursue large sponsorships. It came after the financial disaster of the 1976 Montreal Games, where there were 628 official partners and no one could really see any real benefit or return on investment.

In 2012 there are eleven global “top-tier” sponsors, each paying around $100 million, and 44 other sponsors. These companies are the only ones that can display the London 2012 logo, or any Olympic branding.

The brand police (yes they exist!) have clamped down and fined businesses up to $30,000 that use pictures of the Olympic rings and words that include “Olympics,” “2012,” “medals,” “gold,” and even “London.” And no doubt it needs protecting as the Olympic brand (worth $47.5 billion) is rated the second most valuable brand in the world, just falling behind Apple ($70.6 billion).

Fast food giant McDonald’s has opened their largest restaurant with 1,500 seats in the Olympic Park, serving the Olympic drink of choice… Coca-Cola (both major sponsors)

But the one brand I am sure everyone will remember from these Games is Samsung, it’s everywhere you look!

Now, I hope I don’t get fined for saying the word Olympic too much!!