WIRED WEDNESDAY – Sports Watches

A great way to incentivize yourself and keep your new year’s resolution of getting fit going, is to of course buy another gadget that makes it more fun (but unfortunately no less painful) As running is my number one choice of exercise, here are the latest and greatest watches that will help track just about everything you do. Now all you have to do is lace up your shoes and go outside and run!

Garmin Forerunner 210 – $200
While not the most expensive in the Garmin series, it has a broad set of features that caters to everyone from the beginner to elite Triathletes. It is GPS-equipped and lets you check data like time, distance, and pace at a glance while you’re running. You can then review that same data, along with maps of your routes and more detailed workout information when you’re back at your computer. It can also be paired wirelessly with a heart rate monitor.

Garmin Forerunner 910XT – $400
Then grown up version of the 210, it is a serious watch for the serious athlete. If cycling and swimming are going to be part of your routine then this is the money!

Polar RCX5 – $350
A slimmed down version of the old Polar watches that were a chunky feature on everyone’s wrists for years. The ZoneOptimizer feature measures complex heart rate calculations (calculates your level of fatigue before each workout – very cool!) And of course it plugs into Polar’s web app, where you can view your progress, recovery time, and training loads. It’s like a having your own magic endurance coach, without the part where they yell at you!

Nike Sportsband – $59
I have an expensive sports watch, but personally I like simplicity and found it in the Nike Sportsband. Water resistant so you can run in the rain, and just one touch of a button to start it. You can easily toggle between time, calories, distance and average speed without losing a step. Easy to upload info, and the online program to track your runs is pretty good. Just one catch, you have to wear Nike shoes to run in!

TRAVEL TUESDAY – Taxis


Landing from a long flight and wondering how best to get to your hotel? Well 54% of travellers choose a taxi over getting the train (16%), catching a bus (16%) or walking (2%)

If you are flying into London then you are lucky, the famous black taxis are number one for safety, friendliness, cleanliness, quality of driving and knowledge of the area . But it comes at a price, as they are the most expensive globally.

Best value for money – Bangkok’s infamous Tuk Tuk. But it was also voted worst in the world for ‘Quality of Driving’, poorest cleanliness and safety, so you may want to rethink catching one if you are on your way to an important meeting.

Who are the best tippers? Hong Kong residents are the most generous, choosing to tip at least 20% of the fare or more. Argentinians are the worst tippers, most never tipping their taxi drivers.

World’s best taxis
1.London
2.New York
3.Hong Kong
4.Tokyo
5.Singapore
6.Bangkok
7.Berlin
8.Helsinki
9.Dublin
10.Madrid

Source: Annual taxi report compiled by Hotels.com (5,000 travellers from 23 countries) , a leading hotel booking website, travellers rank Singapore as the fifth best city in the world for taxis.

MUST HAVE MONDAY – Toys

Sound familiar… “Can you bring me a present home please Mummy?” The promises of gifts after you have been on a business trip need not be that hard, just stick with the mantra – old is still good! Here is some inspiration for children’s toys.

Barbie Doll
Introduced in 1959, Barbie’s real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts

• Barbie has four sisters Skipper (1964), Stacie (1992), Kelly (1995) and Krissy (1995)
• Barbie’s first pet was a horse named Dancer; since then, she has had more than 50 other pets
• Barbie’s first boyfriend, Ken, debuted two years after Barbie in 1961 and was named after the son of Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler. Ken and Barbie broke up on Valentine’s Day in 2004 after being together more than 43 years
• The best-selling Barbie doll ever was 1992 Totally Hair Barbie, with hair from the top of her head to her toes (over 10 million sold)
• Barbie had the fastest growing fan base in Facebook history – 80,000 fans in six weeks
• Mattel sells an astounding 1.5 million Barbie dolls each week — that’s two dolls per second.

Rubik’s Cube
Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik’s cube, was a lecturer in the Department of Interior Design at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest when he created his now-famous cube. The cube (which has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations and only one solution) made Rubik the communist bloc’s first self-made millionaire and Hungary’s richest private citizen.

Lego
The founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen, hit upon the LEGO® name in 1934. He took the first two letters of the Danish words LEG GODT, meaning “play well”, and put them together.
• There are about 2,350 different elements in the LEGO range – plus 52 different LEGO colours
• More than 400 million children and adults will play with LEGO bricks this year
• Laid end to end, the number of LEGO bricks sold in a year would reach more than five times round the world
• On average there are 62 LEGO bricks for every person on earth
• The world’s children spend 5 billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks
• With a production of about 306 million tyres a year, the LEGO Group is the world’s largest tyre manufacturer

Crayola Crayons
The average American child spends 28 minutes a day coloring and wears down about 730 crayons by the age of 10. Parents and schools purchase 2.5 billion crayons each year.

Scrabble
Unemployed architect Alfred Mosher Butts invented the game of Scrabble, which he first called “Lexiko” and later “Criss-Cross Words,” in the 1930s. Entrepreneur James Brunot acquired the game in 1947, but it wasn’t until 1953, when the president of Macy’s — now owned by retail giant Federated Department Stores — discovered the game on vacation that things really took off. More than 100 million sets have since been sold worldwide

The most popular toys of all time…
• 1900-1909 Crayola Crayons
• 1910-1919 Raggedy Ann Dolls
• 1920-1929 Madame Alexander Collectible Dolls
• 1930-1939 View-Master 3-D Viewer
• 1940-1949 Candy Land
• 1950-1959 Mr. Potato Head
• 1960-1969 G.I. Joe
• 1970-1979 Rubik’s Cube
• 1980-1989 Cabbage Patch Kids
• 1990-1999 Beanie Babies
• 2000- Present Razor Scooter

FASHION FRIDAY – London Fashion Week


London Fashion Week has just finished, and on the back of the report from New York Fashion week, let’s see which trends carried over and any new ones that are on the radar for our British and European friends.

Army Green/Military was the standout trend that continued in London, and is definitely set for a comeback this fall on both sides of the Atlantic

Quilted jackets are hot… and not just in temperature. Although be sure the buy something structured, not puffy, or you may look like a marshmallow!

Florals from summer will continue into winter for the Brits

Leather trousers of all length and widths featured, and in all colours from mustard to black
Tartan has evolved into block colours (thank heavens we can say goodbye to tartan again!)

Dungarees/overalls are back – you decide

Long, sleek evening gowns – definitely my favourite glamorous trend from these shows

Velvet – if done right can look fabulous in a jacket, skirt or trousers

Personally NY Fashion Week was far more inspiring (but that’s just my opinion!)

The highlight of the week – Stella McCartney’s flash mob fashion show

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Drinking on the Job!

Stuck on a conference call and no time to get down to Starbucks to grab a coffee. Do not fear, there are some super cool drink accessories on the market – so you won’t ever have to leave your desk (and all for under $20!)

COFFEE DRINKERS – Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer – $19.99
A one cup personal coffee brewer using coffee pods

TEA DRINKERS – IngenuiTEA 16oz Teapot – $18.99
After the specified amount of brewing time, just rest the pot over your mug, and the spring-loaded valve empties the tea into your mug, leaving the spent leaves behind.

SODA/SOFT DRINKS – USB LED Fridge Cooler – $19.99
Simply plug in this small single-can beverage cooler into a USB port and chill a can on your desk

WIRED WEDNESDAY – Sonos Music

All the music you want. All over your house. All from the palm of your hand!

A few months ago I did a review on Spotify (my music provider source) and mentioned using Sonos as my stereo at home. So what is a Sonos? Think of a magical spell that plays any song you want, in any room in your house.

The system can be controlled by Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Mac, Windows and is customizable – all you need is a zone bridge and player and you can control everything wirelessly via your phone. No need to plug in anything else.

Costs are approx. $299-$399 for the player and $49 for the bridge.

And of course it looks stylish too!

www.sonos.com

TRAVEL TUESDAY – Best Business Hotels

Booking your next business trip and trying to work out where to stay? The Business Traveller awards highlight the best hotels and hotel chains based on readers feedback, for those of us who spend time on the road for work.

Best Business Hotel Chain Worldwide
1. Four Seasons
2. Hilton Hotels and Resorts
3. Mandarin Oriental
4. Marriott
5. InterContinental

Best Business Hotel Globally
1. The Peninsula Hong Kong
2. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
3. Four Seasons Hong Kong
4. Shangri-La Singapore

Best Hotel Loyalty Scheme
InterContinental Priority Club
Hilton HHonors
Starwood Preferred Guest
Marriott Rewards

And to look stylish and make life easier when packaging the favourite Luggage Brands
1. Samsonite
2. Tumi
3. Delsey
4. Rimowa