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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

To beknown or not to beknown?

Today I found out that monster has an app called Beknown. I guess it's trying to compete with LinkedIn but it works through Facebook.

"BeKnown makes it easy to build your professional network on Facebook - while keeping your personal and professional lives separate."

BeKnown users on Facebook can now:

Create professional networks within an environment created by Monster without ever leaving Facebook
Easily invite contacts from other social networks to expand their BeKnown network beyond their existing Facebook friends
Keep social activity with friends and family separate from work-related activity with professional contacts
See who among their professional contacts on BeKnown is connected to a company or job opportunity they are interested in
Connect professional networking to Monster’s job search and browse tools and import their Monster profile to BeKnown from right within the app

I think this is a good idea but I'm not sure I'd want my social circle to be so close to my networking/job search. I feel like it's important to keep my facebook life separate from my career. Plus, Monster is like stage 5 clinger status. Once you give them personal information, they never leave you alone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Girly Flash Drives

In the spirit of gift-giving, I decided to check out a few great tech gadgets for all you working girls who like to bring a bit of flare to the office. Why not use a cute USB instead of a plain one right? I saw on a blog:

Marc Jacobs has a heart shaped USB key chain that is too adorable! It's for sale on ShopBop for $42:


Also, from my very own collection LittleMissCrystal, I have a black and white checkered flashdrive for $40 with genuine Swarovski crystals.


It is screams bling and is super useful!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Accessories

Today I saw on Daily Candy a great variety of holiday accessories! My favorite earrings were the green emerald Kenneth Jay Lane Swarovski earrings but they are clip.

Kate Spade always has super cute jewelry for the holidays. Also, J. Crew has some great affordable favorites too!

16 Festive Holiday Accessories
Outsparkle the blinking lights

Check out these adorable bracelets from J. Crew for under $30

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sample Sale Alert!

I was reading AM newspaper and saw that Lauren Mirkin is having a sample sale this week! Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tea time for two

The plaza at Christmas is gorgeous! It's charming and blends classic with chic. I recently went for tea and fell in love all over again. It's something every girl should experience.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Windows on Fifth - Bergdorf Goodman

After Thanksgiving I walked around Fifth Ave to take some pictures of the fabulous window displays. This year, I saw Tiffany & Co., Saks, Barney's, Bergdorf Goodman and have yet to see MACY's or Lord & Taylor.

My favorite was Bergdorf Goodman! Hands down, they have attention to detail and the imagination that creates a fantasy world behind the glass.

Below are a few of my favorite shots.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top 10 Christmas Activities NYC

It's hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner! Christmas in New York is always memorable. Here are a few fun activities to do in if you are in Manhattan:

10 Best Holiday Attractions

Some of my personal favorites are: The Nutcracker Ballet, The Tree at Rock Center, The Windows on Fifth and Dyker Heights (Many large mansions in Brooklyn decorated with extravagant lights)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Staying sane in the workplace

Do you face 30 mini-crisis per day? Well, you're not alone. According to a recent article from, most people face about 30 frustrations a day.

I think the key take aways from this article are 1) tune out when you can. Take breaks for lunch/coffee or listen to tunes. Maybe you don't have time for a full 1 hour lunch break, so take a 10 min coffee break or vice versa.

Even though it's getting to be a bit colder, I still think it's great to be able to grab lunch outside and get some fresh air. Don't get me wrong, I love my office. I work in a gorgeous skyscraper overlooking central park but it's important to change it up a little. Everyone needs a change of scenary every once in while. So get out and take a quick break or plug in those earbuds for a musical break.

Lastly, leave your work at work. I love that when I go home I know the next morning I will have a sharp mind and be able to give it my all. By the end of the day, it's time to unwind and de-stress.

7 Tips to Stay Sane at Work

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Networking Events w/ your co-workers

Tomorrow evening I am attending a networking event in Manhattan for the Cosmetic Executive Women organization (CEW) aimed for "young executives." This will be my first networking event at my new job in a new industry. I am very excited to see how this organization will be different from the previous one I belonged to.

I think the Cosmetics industry is wonderful because it is an industry full of women leaders. If you are lucky enough to form connections to people at other companies or within your company it is a tremendous help. No matter where you are in your career, it can't hurt to find a mentor.

I already know a small handful of women from other companies through my alumni networking events in the city and my previous employer. However, it will be exciting to meet new people and share experiences with them as well as hear from the panel. I can't forget to bring my business cards!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Table manners that would make grandma proud

Although I have posted about table manners before, it seems to be a hot topic that was recently featured on Yahoo.

Knowing the correct fork placement and positioning for placing your silverware is important but so are the basics. The article mentioned:

* If you are the recipient of a toast, keep your glass at arm’s length—never drink from it. Instead, simply nod your head and graciously say, “Thank you.”
* Never take your cocktail to the dinner table.
* Allow your food to cool on its own—never blow on anything.
* If you wear lipstick, keep it off your plate and napkin by blotting it as soon as you apply it.
* Your napkin is there for you to dab your mouth only. Do not use it to wipe off lipstick or (God forbid) blow your nose.
* Keep your elbows off the table at all times.
* Don’t put your purse, keys, sunglasses, or eyeglasses on the table.
* Take food out of your mouth the way it went in. If a piece of steak fat went into your mouth with a fork, spit it out onto the fork.
* Remove an olive pit with your thumb and index finger.
* Taste everything on your plate before you add salt or pepper.
* Leave your plate where it is when you are finished with your meal—don’t push it away from you.

You’ll find even more good-behavior tips at

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shopping Spree Alert!

Lilly Lilly Lilly! Celebrate holiday and resort fashions!

Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale

I wish I could go but it's in King of Prussia area.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Handy shortcuts on your computer!

I must admit, I use excel everyday at work! Sometimes I love it and sometimes I wish I could just press one button and have everything I want done to magically be finished. However, there are some useful shortcuts that can be time saving regardless of how often you use excel or other software programs.

Check out this article published from woman's day last year

15 Keyboard Shortcuts You Probably Don't Know

Some of my excel favorites:

To toggle between tabs in an excel document - alt tab

To find out where a formula is pulling from - ctrl left bracket

What are some of your favorites?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vesting: we're not talking about a piece of cloth here

Recently while out to dinner with some friends, one of them had mentioned that she might leave her job and I said she should make sure she is vested. She didn't know what that meant. So, if you are thinking about jumping ship, you should make sure you fully understand the vesting policies.

Taken straight from an on-line financial dictionary: Vesting is "The process by which an employee with a qualified retirement plan and/or stock option becomes entitled to the benefits of ownership, even if he/she no longer works at the company providing the retirement plan or stock option. Vesting occurs after an employee has worked at the company for a certain number of years; once vesting occurs, the benefits of the plan or stock option cannot be revoked." Basically, once you are vested you get to keep the money you have saved/contributed towards retirement. If you leave your job before you are vested you are not entitled to the savings etc.

This is important because if you are unhappy at a company but have been there a few years, it could be a big mistake to leave before you are vested. Make sure you weigh the options and understand the penalties if you decide to switch positions!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Favorite Fall Activities

Fall is a beautiful season. I love the foliage, the crisp smell in the air, halloween/my birthday and picking pumpkins! Every year my boyfriend and I pick pumpkins and do intricate carvings. He usually does something that involves lots of different shadows and layers but I tend to go with easier things like logo's or things that are authentic to halloween. This is a picture of a tory burch logo that I carved into a small rounded pumpkin. It was very cute. This year I am going to go a haunted house and he is going to do the New York City skyline.

Living in New York, there are always tons of fun fall festivals and it is a great location to be able to drive to see the colorful leaves outside of the city. I can't wait to visit friends in Boston next month for a haunted tour of the city, that is always creepy but fun. So, go outside and enjoy the weather and this time of year!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Shopping Spree Alert!

Hugo Boss - starts tomorrow at the corporate office! Just saw on Mizhattan.

Where: 601 W. 26th St. (bet. 11th & 12th Ave.), Suite 845

When: Monday, October 3rd, 9:30am~5:30pm
Tuesday, October 4th, 9:30am~5:30pm
Wednesday, October 5th, 9:30am~5:30pm
Thursday, October 6th, 9:30am~5:30pm
Friday, October 7th, 9:30am~1pm

Monday, September 26, 2011

Essie Lovers - Check out new Duane Reade club!

Do you love Essie nail colors just as much as I do? Duane Reade is offering a great new perk to Essie lovers.

If you purchase 7 bottles of nail polish you get one free! At $7-8 a bottle that is a pretty sweet deal. Especially if you buy a new polish every few months or every season.

I love the new FALL COLLECTION!


Check it out on the Duane Reade site!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google Wallet - coming to a phone near you?

I have been hearing a lot about Google Wallet - basically a tap and pay system set-up on your cell phone instead of using a credit card when paying for things. This seems like a revolutionary idea but guess what? Asia is one step ahead of us, they have been doing this for a long time. However it would be super convenient to be able to one day cut up all my credit cards, loyalty cards and bills to consolidate into just having a phone.

I am a bit nervous about hacking and identify theft etc. Basically, loosing your phone could be a lot more damaging than calling up Verizon to tell them to cancel your number! I guess with the newest technology there are always more risks but humans must constantly keep up with the latest.

When you go to pay for your groceries, would you find it easier to just tap your cell phone on the key pad or sift through your bag to find your wallet and open it swipe your card and place it back in?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The "fuzziness" in how race and ethnic groups will be defined

I read in a National Geographic article that soon there will be great fuzziness between how race and ethnic groups are defined. As I work in my job on tracking different ethnic groups and understanding their different buying habits and spending power, it is amazing to think that within the next few decades minorities will grow tremendously and everything will become less black and white (no pun intended).

Coming from a White + Asian household, I think of how I identify myself when I have to classify my race. My last name is Asian but I grew up with a lot stronger influence of my mother's family which is Italian. So I don't really consider myself 100% Asian nor 100% White since I am mixed. While this combination is pretty common now, not too long ago it was unheard of to mix 2 different races together. The statistics stated are that in the 1960's interracial marriages were about 1 in 1000 and now they are 1 in 60. Also, mixed unions have reached a record of 14.6% in the year 2008. People are no longer 100% of one race. They are 1/2 this, 1/4 that and 1/8 of something else etc.

Some other interesting statistics are cited on this graph taken from the magazine:

Out of White + Asian marriages: 74% are White groom with Asian bride
Out of White + Black marriages: 75% are Black groom with White bride

but then on the other hand

Out of White + Hispanic marriages: 53% are Hispanic groom with White bride due to the fact that their populations are most widespread and intertwined.

To me, this information is absolutely fascinating. Could race one day evolve into having a classification for people who are half Asian/half White or half Hispanic/half White etc.? I think it is becoming more difficult to refer to interracial as the typical scenario of half Black/half White.

The needs and values of multicultural populations will be vastly different than that of the "majority" races in today's world. However, companies are already beginning to take note of that and are marketing towards those needs and desires. How will this impact your life?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Out of Stock: Missoni for Target

Apparently Target could not handle the volume on their website when they launched Missoni so it crashed and now e-bay is already flooded with items! Everything seems out of stock.

What does this tell us?

1) Target's online capabilities suck
2) People are still craving fashion on a budget

However, I'm not a huge fan of Missoni. That being said, they have some great home items and I do love the story about how it all started. I read about it in my book 50 fashion designers you should know. He was an olympic runner and his wife was a language student and they began knitting and experimenting with different colors and created a zigzag style which eventually became the trademark. It is a family owned business and continues to be timeless. Check it out:

Missoni for Target

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Expiration Dates

Have you ever wondered how long your lotion or cream is good for? Most cosmetics don't have expiration dates but some jars or creams have a little symbol that actually tells you how long it is safe to use.

I actually just picked up a tube of Lilly Pulitzer body lotion in "beachy" and turned it over and found it. How cool is that?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FNO tomorrow!

Originally created a few years ago to help attract consumers back into the stores during the gloom of the recession, Fashions Night Out has become bigger and better than ever! It truly has expanded to nearly every big retail store in the NYC area. There are so many different events happening it really is a difficult decision but I am excited that my office is only blocks from the 59th street flagship Bloomingdales so what will be in store for me? (no pun intended)

Rachel Zoe will be there around 6:30pm and she just launched a new line so that will be interesting. I also love love love MILLY (designer Michelle Smith) partnering with Clinique debuting Fall beauty must-haves. A few blocks away - I heart NY: Barneys will be donating 10% of proceeds to the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. Wow, cannot believe that is just around the corner too.

Haven't decided what to do, check out the website and get excited!

Fashions Night Out

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Business Cards: old fashioned or highly effective?

I recently got business cards printed at work and I must admit I still love them. To me, a business card is more than just a little card with contact info on it. I think a business card is a powerful way to provide communication between people who may be good to network with, keep in touch with and/or help you professionally.

In Asian countries, the exchange of business cards is almost a sacred act. One must look at the card, read the details and treat it with the utmost respect (basically you wouldn't want to be caught dead writing on it or putting it in your pocket).

However, with technology becoming such an important part of the business world I can't help but think that business cards are becoming more and more obsolete. When I send an e-mail, all the information on my business card is attached in my signature. When I read the Little Red Book of Selling the book suggested that each time you hand out your card, you should have a wow factor - whether it be a bright color, an embossed logo or some sort of unique symbol that stands out. In the future business cards may change form but I will still cherish them for now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shopping Spree Alert!

Just enter your e-mail address and zip to view private sample sale!

Kate Spade

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nail polish sites that rock

Have you ever wondered where to find pictures of what nail polish colors actually look like on actual nails? Have you ever wanted to know what the "hottest" new color is? Have you ever felt like you need some creative inspiration when doing your nails? Well, I recently discovered 2 awesome new websites that will rock your world.

1) All Lacquered Up - Founded by Michelle in 2007 it started as a creative escape but has managed to rake in over 3.5M unique readers. You go girl!

All Lacquered Up

2) The Daily Nail - It was started as a concept to literally do 365 different manicures in 365 days back in 2010. Once you visit this site, it will put your local "nail art" at a nail saloon to shame. This girl is a true artist and some of the nail creations are literally works of art. I don't think I could get away with half of them in the office but they really are fun!

The Daily Nail

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seriously, can Uncle Sam repay its loans?

With so much going on in the news over the past few weeks, I've decided that I wanted to make sure I understood what exactly was going on when I heard that the U.S. credit rating was downgraded. Luckily I got this really great e-mail from DailyWorth that happened to explain it and answer questions. Here are some of the tidbits:

What is a “downgrade” exactly?
It’s similar to when your credit score takes a hit; lenders question whether you’re going to repay your debts.

Similarly, the credit rating of the U.S. was knocked down from AAA to AA+ by Standard & Poor’s, a credit rating agency. That downgrade sends a signal that maybe the U.S. will be less reliable in paying back its debts.

What U.S. debt are you talking about? Mortgage debt? No, consumer debt and government debt work differently. You might take out a car loan, and agree to pay it back at, say, 7%.

U.S. debt is considered an investment. Investors (e.g. you, your mom, China) loan money to Uncle Sam in the form of government bonds (including U.S savings bonds, Treasury bills, notes and bonds)—and Uncle Sam agrees to pay back that debt, depending on its maturity, at a certain interest rate.

Now the downgrade is raising a question, for the first time in financial history: Can Uncle Sam repay its loans?

This is a historic event and will have a huge impact on the future of America. It will be very interesting to see how the stock market reacts. Overall, it might just be a good time to take advantage of low prices and good interest rates!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shopping Spree Alert!

Barney's warehouse sale starts August 25th!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Robots are coming to a home near you

Today I read an article in National Geographic that talks about how robots are in the future and how even though they have come a long way there's still more room for evolution. In parts of Asia, there are robots that are designed to help out in the house and perhaps one day they may even be incorporated in every day life (babysitting children, caring for elders or doing household chores).

In the picture, the robots are made to complete tasks such as delivering toast to a human. Yet, the army already uses robots to fire bullets or hurl grenades. I am very open to new technology but it is strange to think of a world where we may not be able to distinguish the true differences. Movies like iRobot sort of remind me that we have already began to invent machines that are interactive and able to mimic human thoughts, movements and feelings etc. How much longer until that line will be blurred between human and bot?

The article mentions the Roomba vacuum which is basically a robotic vacuum that memorizes where doors are corners are and automatically cleans your house or apartment based on the mapping of the space. So, is Rosie from the Jetsons a reality?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shopping Spree Alert!

For all you Lilly fans in the NYC area, get ready!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ratings and Reviews

I must admit I am a bit of a YELPaholic and I've recently discovered LookVille and MakeUpAlley. Why is it that I trust people's ratings and crave feedback from strangers? I think part of it is that sometimes you second guess yourself and want the opinion of others and the other part is that you want to be certain that what you do is correct. Whether it's choosing a great date spot or figuring out what outfit matches your new shoes you want to ensure that everything works out perfectly.

I am huge fan of ratings and reviews because it makes me feel engaged in something that I am passionate about. I love food. I love to cook and I want to make sure that each meal I eat is worth every bite. Now, that doesn't mean it has to be ritzy but I want good food period. I will pre-YELP every restaurant I try and I am not ashamed.

I also really enjoy sites like LookVille because it gives you inspirational ideas of new ways of doing things. Wearing red pumps with a blue polka dot dress was something I never would have suggested but hey, it works out nicely.

Being active in a community full of people that share the same interests as you do is a wonderful feeling (even if it's mainly online). Connecting people from all over the world is beautiful and I wish I had more time in the day to rate and review things besides food and fashion!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Elephants and Ivory: Central Park Zoo Event 2011

Recently, I went out with a co-worker and friend to a charity event held in the Central Park Zoo. It was a lot of fun. All of the proceeds go to support efforts to save important remaining elephant populations around the world. The gala highlighted the WCS’s century-long commitment to elephant husbandry, research and conservation. The park was decorated beautifully with colorful lighting, huge flower arrangements and of course lots of food and drinks.

There are so many events happening in New York City and especially during the Summer. I think going out with friends is a great way to broaden your social circle and network with groups of people that have similar interests or occupations as you do. This event in particular had a younger crowd after dinner which was fun because the DJ played some great music and people were able to mix and mingle. It was on Thursday which wasn't ideal but it was still a fabulous event. Check out this intricate flower sculpture of an elephant!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Your classic statement pieces

Have you ever wondered if there was a guide to essentially "the top" fashion items that never go out of style and are worth the investment? Well, search no further! I recently discovered Nina Garcia's The One Hundred - A guide to the pieces every stylish woman must own and I fell in love. I could not put this book down! From sunglasses to investment bags to suits to sneakers this book has every name brand item and affordable alternatives you could imagine.

Nina Garcia gives you the confidence you need to try something new and be comfortable in your own clothes. I must admit I smiled when I read that a few items I own were written about in this book but it also opened my eyes to various designers and looks that I might not have thought were classic but truly are.

One of my favorite parts of the book was when she described cocktail rings, "a big vintage fake is even preferred" because you don't always need to shell out tons of money to feel and look glamorous. I think that accessories can say a lot but I am usually a minimalist so I should push myself to try layering bangles or every once in a while flaunt a huge cocktail ring!

These fabulous pieces are all under $20:


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shopping Spree Alert!

It's that time of the year...Tory Burch sample sale! The first one in 3 years I won't be attending.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Inspirational Ideas turned into Fantastic Businesses

Have you ever thought of an idea that would be a great business concept? Well so did these girls!

I came across an article on regarding some of the top female entrepreneurs. I have previously blogged about LearnVest but now I am even more inspired after reading about some of the other women. I also knew the story behind rent the runway: 2 Harvard Business School classmates started the company's concept which was recently referred to as being the "netflix" of fashion.

However there were a few new faces and businesses. The trendy reusable bags that say FEED on them, give proceeds towards feeding the hungry. GREAT idea and they are cute. Not only are they useful but by purchasing them you are actually helping do something for those in need. Similar to TOM's shoes (which I love!) this concept is wonderful. I never would have thought a young female created the bag!

PaperlessPost is another great website. Although the idea is similar to an "e-vite" the elegance and realistic look are far superior. I often think about how much paper is wasted in old fashion invites but will e-vites ever catch on for wedding invites? I guess the trends are changing.

Overall, this was a great article and I truly enjoy reading about young women starting their own businesses.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Checking e-mails 2 times per day, is it really possible?

I just started reading The 4-Hour Workweek and I am amazed at the concept of being able to limit checking e-mails to just 2 times per day. The author suggests that you maximize your time by eliminating lots of useless activity (checking personal e-mails, facebook, news etc.) and spending time more efficiently.

I think humans have a natural curiosity and constantly want to know what the latest news is or how many new messages are waiting in the inbox. I am anxious to read the section that suggest you "outsource" your life to a virtual assistant. I don't think I could utilize the service at this point in my life but certainly if you are the type of person with a busy job, a family and other people depending on you I can only image trying to juggle scheduling and personal tasks.

Seriously, how many hours a day are spent in front of electronics: ipads, TV's, laptops, cellphones, e-readers and the list goes on and on. I mean how much time is spent face to face anymore? Yet, e-mails are so convenient and make communication much faster and more straightforward then a phone conversation. How many times is considered overkill? 4 times, 8 times, every hour?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The lure of discount websites

I have never used Groupon but I have definitely taken advantage of travel deals from TravelZoo e-mail blasts and dinner discounts. Actually I just discovered blackboard eats and VillageVines this year (they both offer discounts off your bill).

Over the holidays, I received a photography class as a gift from my parents and I had a really good time (despite the fact that I was using a point and shoot and everyone else had $1,000+ professional cameras!). I never would have thought to sign up for it but I learned a few new tricks and took great photographs.

Some of the discounted daily deals are really random things that I would never use. For example, I once saw a discount for a professional closet organizer for $100+ which was a little bit ridiculous to me. I am a neat freak and I would never pay someone to organize my stuff! Yet, a lot of the restaurant deals sound appealing. The fact that Groupon changes it's deals so often is nice because I think it lures new customers in. Trying something that you would not normally try and paying 1/2 the price sounds like a plan. A lot of my friends have tried things on Groupon and recomended them to me. I found my old hairstylist through a friend that used a Groupon deal at a hair salon. I don't know if I could ever buy something on one of the sample sale sites like Gilt unless I knew my exact size because when I shop I like to see it in person and touch the material or try it on etc. However, dinner discounts never fail!

Hopefully, I'll get a bit more adventurous and try something out of the ordinary!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Global Fashion: Spotlight on Hong Kong!

On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I did some serious shopping! There is one district in Hong Kong where I find myself falling in love with trends from all different parts of Asia. The area is called Causeway Bay. There is a huge department store from Japan called SoGo as well as tons of little shops that import clothing from Korea and Japan.

I took a picture of an adorable little shop that sold jewelry and accessories with the cutest pink decorations. I find that the Asian culture enjoys cartoons, stuffed animals and anything with rhinestones (oh and of course HELLO KITTY).

I bought a blue button up t-shirt from Korea as well as 2 jackets and 5 pairs of shoes! I could have spent the whole day shopping but I had other things to see and do. I love the fact that you get access different trends from surrounding countries in Hong Kong because when I traveled to Tokyo a few years ago I found it fascinating to see how dressed up all the women were. They dye their hair, wear tons of makeup and always walk around in high heels. I also loved visiting harajuku to see how all the teenage girls looked in real-life. They had some really interesting outfits and were happy to pose for pictures.

However, in New York, you can shop at many stores which have global fashion trends but in Hong Kong it is so fun because you are shopping near the source (China) where nearly all garments and shoes are made!!!

Ladies Market for example, had tons of bootleg Tory Burch shoes and handbags for tourists. However, I never purchase fake items because aside from being illegal the quality is always terrible and often not even real styles of what is actually produced.

By the way, over 70% of the worlds shoes are made in China. Another interesting fact: Luxury designer items often hide the fact that items are made in China: How do the brands get away with this? Some hide the “Made in China” label in the bottom of an inside pocket or stamped black on black on the back side of a tiny logo flap. Some bypass the “provenance” laws requiring labels that tell where goods are produced by having 90 percent of the bag, sweater, suit or shoes made in China and then attaching the final bits — the handle, the buttons, the lifts — in Italy, thus earning a “Made in Italy” label. Or some simply replace the original label with one stating it was made in Western Europe.

Made In China on the Sly

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How to make a few extra bucks: Consignment 101

The catch phrase from SecondTimeAround is "Recycle your unwanted clothing and start earning money today!" Now consignment is certainly not a new concept but I think that it is becoming more popular because people are getting more and more into recycling/reusing everything.

Usually, I try to clean out my closet 1-2x per year. I analyze each item of clothing and ask myself: does this fit me? is this style still popular? will I wear this again? If the answer is no to any of those questions then I usually I chose to donate. I have a few cousins or family friends that are younger than me and would probably fit into my old clothes so that is option #1. Then, if that doesn't work out I usually donate to salvation army or something along those lines.

This year, I happened to be walking around shopping and I found this great store that was selling near-new used clothing but really upscale designers. I figured it would be worth a shot to consign considering the items I was going to give away were Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren and BCBG!

Well, it was a great decision - I made over $100 and I still have a few more months to continue to consign. It is a great idea so check out the site for more details:


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Same price but less product?

Recently, an article from The New York Times mentioned that many companies are putting less products in their bags/packages but keeping the prices the same in order battle price increases. Is food inflation here? The article mentions one shopper who said she began inspecting her other purchases, aisle by aisle. Many canned vegetables dropped to 13 or 14 ounces from 16; boxes of baby wipes went to 72 from 80; and sugar was stacked in 4-pound, not 5-pound, bags, she said.

Being in the CPG industry, I can relate to this. We have taken price increases on certain items in order to keep up with increasing costs related to the raw materials. Although it's not that noticeable in household goods, I think when people are grocery shopping for food items it is more obvious. Companies aren't going to advertise that the prices are staying the same but customers are getting less. However, there are "creative" ways of marketing the new changes such as promoting the fact that snack sizes may be more healthy a.k.a. 100 calorie packs or emphasizing how the packaging may be more green and smaller etc.

Kraft's CEO even mentioned that the company must closely watch the rise in commodity prices. Whether they introduce smaller packages, smaller serving sizes or begin lowering costs across the chain there is no doubt that companies will start to be more conscious about costs and portions in each item they sell.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How much do millennials crave feedback?

Today I read an article mentoring and millennials where the author mentioned how millennials crave feedback. If you don't know exactly who millennials are, read on...

By definition:

The Millennial Generation, born between 1977 and 1998, are the latest generation to enter the workplace. They are 75 million strong in size and are characterized as being self-confident, focused on learning and moving up quickly, team-oriented, well networked, and technologically savvy.

I agree with the fact that because we are new to the workforce we want feedback. However, I think that trait can be applied across different generations. We are much more socially connected and obsessed with updates and instant feedback i.e. facebook vs. other generations. I think we do crave feedback and I personally find it easier to find mentors that are baby boomers because they are parental figures in the workplace. Whereas a gen x may be more competitive or less open about sharing insights or advice.

One-on-one mentoring is extremely valuable and I think our generation has a lot to teach!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Texting and Walking: Fail

New Yorkers are forced to be aware of what is going on around at all times. There are dangerous streets to cross, people walking around, people in motion on bikes, skateboards, scooters etc., people walking dogs, and hazards on the ground (pot holes/unpaved streets) just to name a few obstacles. However, being aware doesn't equal being safe. I admit that sometimes I get brushed by people if I am trying to text while walking but if I ever feel like I can't do both safely, I just stop walking and go into a corner and finish my text.

The fact that a woman fell into a fountain is just sad. What has the world come to? We need to be accountable for our actions. I think it's dangerous to multitask so much to the point where your vision or your capability of remaining alert is compromised: texting and walking, driving and talking or being distracted in general. Technology is advancing quickly but I think people get caught up in it. We are all human and to think that this lady didn't even glance up to see what was in front of her long enough to see that there was a huge fountain is a mistake on her part. We have to learn to utilize technology and media in a way where we are not loosing focus of the most general abilities such as walking.

I'm sure one day there will be an app where you will be alerted if you are about to walk into a fountain or get hit by a car!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Facebook stalking on a whole new level

CNN recently published an article that mentioned a new app that allows you to follow people's relationships on facebook and can notify you when the person you are stalking is single! This is so creepy but the truth is, it will probably be a big hit. I think posting personal information on facebook can be too invasive. Engagement announcements, pregnancy announcements, announcing that someone has died etc. These are the types of things I'd rather hear about personally rather that via my facebook feed but I have also accepted that the new age of communication is blurring so much that what was one taboo is now popular and vice versa.

Is it really necessary to be notified exactly the moment someone is single? I mean if you are obsessed with checking updates and people's status messages I think you would be first to know whether or not someone was single. I guess if the timing mattered that much it would make a difference?

Where do we cross the line between stalking and being curious?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tweeting + interacting with a community savy about investing = stocktwits

A few days ago, I discovered a really interesting site called stocktwits. If you don't know what it is, here's an explanation from the site:

StockTwits® is an open, community-powered idea and information service for investments. Users can eavesdrop on traders and investors, or contribute to the conversation and build their reputation as savvy market wizards. The service takes financial related data and structures it by stock, user, reputation, etc.

Log into the site with your Twitter details or download the StockTwits Desktop and you will be joining a community where market participants share their very best ideas in a continuous real time and open conversation.

Interesting idea: by combining twitter accounts with short and simple messages regarding stocks. I just joined and it's fascinating to see the different interactions and feeds that are published so quickly. It would be nice to see more females involved but I think it will gain more popularity soon!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do you consider your job one of the "happiest" jobs in America?

Recently, Forbes published an article from a survey on which discussed what the "happiest" jobs in America are. I found it really hard to believe that customer service and administrative jobs ranked within the top 10. I would think that these types of jobs potentially involve dealing with unhappy customers or the workload could be extremely routine. I was not surprised to see that education ranked within top 3. I think that being a teacher would be a very rewarding job and who can complain about 3 months off for summer vacation?!

I just returned from a huge national sales meeting and found that despite the bad economy, employees were still happy and full of passion and determination. I can't speak for other industries but I think that people in sales are usually friendly and very engaging because so much of the business is dependent on relationship building and negotiating.

To me, a happy job truly relates directly to the people that you work with and the work culture. Corporate jobs can foster a cut-throat environment but working with people who have positive attitudes and cultivate your development can make a huge difference. At the end of the day, being happy at work is essential to being Happy in life. I think a happy job cannot be simply classified by industry but more by the people, the results and the environment.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Keeping track of accomplishments at work

Something that I've always found useful at my year-end review is compiling a list or a portfolio of projects I've completed. I recently read on a career blog from U.S. News that the #2 bullet on how to set yourself up for a promotion is to demonstrate your value to the company. If you don't show all the hard work that you've done, there's no one else that is going to do it for you.

I like to print copies of presentations that I've helped create and present as well as other projects or duties that show my achievements throughout the year. Although it's hard to keep track of each and every project, at least keep a running list of large and important projects that way at the end of the year you can talk about them.

I got this idea from an interview that I had for a summer internship because I was asked to submit a portfolio of my work. I quickly bought a black binder, created an appendix and printed out about 5 different class projects that I completed in college. The person I was interviewing with was extremely impressed and from that point on, I continued to do this on an yearly basis at my current job. Not only is it useful at review time but it is a great reference guide throughout the year of what projects were successful and which ones were not.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top 11 "must-haves" for 2011

As stores start to bring in Spring clothes and new trends, I have started my own personal list of 2011 must haves. Although stores like H&M, Forever21 and other similar chains can have good staples for office clothes or "disposable" club attire, I think that it is a better long-term investment to be able to buy quality pieces that will last longer than a few months (even if you have to, gulp, spend more money up front!) However, this is just a list of suggestions and obviously it would be a lot of money to purchase all of these items. Take a peek and let me know if there's anything else you think could be added?

A boyfriend jacket - perfect for a night out with friends or at the office with black pants or casual jeans.

A LBD - a little black dress. I have quite a few and I always think that they are great because you can do some much with them.

A bubble umbrella - these are absolutely necessary for rain and wind. They not only protect your entire upper body but also make walking in crowds a piece of cake.

A colorful scarf - every girl's got to have one. Silk scarves can be a great accessory for a dull office suit or can serve as a hair wrap for the summer with a pair of awesome sunglasses.

A pair of designer glasses - Not saying you have to drop hundreds of dollars but let's face it, higher quality glasses not only look better but last longer and you can change the lenses if you ever scratch or wear them out.

A Brooks Brothers wrinkle-free shirt - OMG these things are amazing. I know they are expensive but if you think you spend about $25-30 per H&M shirt, you can buy one of these and save yourself having to toss the others. All you have to do is stick it in the dryer and it comes out perfectly pressed.

A playful or chunky necklace
- J.Crew has some wonderful necklaces and bracelets and when they are on sale they are definitely affordable.

A pair of black leather boots - preferably ones that can be used for multiple occasions. I have a pair that fold over for a more casual look or can be wore up when going out at night.

A trench - Burberry would be nice...but I've seen some really nice trenches from Zara, Club Monaco, Banana Republic or even H&M.

Something vintage - whether it is your grandmother's ring, a piece of vintage clothing or even a bag you gotta have a throw back. Last year, I went to this amazing private clothing sale and bought a silk jacket that was made from a vintage skirt. It is gorgeous.

Something hand-made - always a conversation starter. I make my own jewelry and have an obsession with rhinestoning but if you don't feel creative enough to try something like that there are other options. Etsy has really taken off but even stopping at a craft fair or flea market can be exciting because there's always something unique or hand-made.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

30 habits to break by 30 from LearnVest #26

After recently reading about Alexa von Tobel's site
, I decided to check it out. The site offers tons of different sections to explore: bootcamp programs, living frugally or a money tune up area to name a few.

There is an amazing feature "budget for your life" where you can input all your expenses, your salary and taxes and come out with a budget in this great little pie chart. You can truly understand and visualize where your money is going and it even has little red flags if there is an indication of a problem for example: you aren't saving enough etc. Also, I stumbled upon a quick list of items under an article titled "30 habits to break by 30" which had some great pointers.

#26 was particularly interesting because it stated Ignoring your FSA. If you are lucky enough to work for an employer who offers a Flexible Spending Account, take a long look at your out-of-pocket medical expenses and see if you can't lower your costs by using pretax dollars to fund qualified FSA expenses (which can include doctor visits, prescription co-pays, braces & glasses).

This is something that I really need to look into and understand better because I can't help but feel like each time I get a prescription filled or go to the doctor that I'm getting robbed! I have tried to record doctor visits and amount spent on medical expenses but I must admit that I have fallen behind and I think moving forward I have to be more on top of it. Next week at work I will make sure to log-into my account and try to better understand the options. Overall, LearnVest really has some relevant articles and the concept of empowering young women financially is something I love!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions from GlassDoor

Today I got an e-mail from GlassDoor which highlighted 25 Oddball interview questions. I always find these types of questions amusing. I'm curious to know what types of answers the interviewers actually receive. I certainly would not be able to answer math-related questions on the fly without a pen, paper and time to think. Logic questions are interesting too because I always think there's a catch. For example the famous question "Why are manhole covers round?" which certainly doesn't have one right answer. I originally thought the logical answer is because it is the only shape that doesn't fall into the hole but after doing a bit of research there are other shapes that meet that criteria and there are tons of other answers.

When preparing for an interview it is easy to prepare yourself for the anticipated questions but just as important to be able to think on your feet. Essentially your reputation and abilities are being tested and screened throughout the entire process. The last thing you want to happen is leave a bad impression by not being able to respond to a question. It doesn't make sense to "prepare" for unpredictable or oddball questions but you should be able to react quickly and at the very least try to create an interesting or memorable conversation!

The funniest answer on the site was when Google had asked "How many basketball[s] can you fit in this room?" and a person responded "Google it." This could be taken as a joke but since it was Google I think it would have made an interesting conversation to then discuss how people who grew up with Google use that term on a regular basis and heavily rely on the site for knowledge and answers. Then some people actually did the math assuming the volume of the room, the basketball and how many times the ball might fit. Then someone said 2 because that would fit nicely and that there is no right answer. Overall, I found reading the answers extremely interesting and insightful. I could only imagine people's responses in a real interview!