Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sleeping arrangemments

The number of guests, we're going to be getting of which the number of kids that will visit, made us seriously consider getting bunk beds to tackle the sleeping arrangements. There is something so fun about bunk beds, and even though I had them when I was in boarding school, I've still not had my fill of them. We have really high ceilings here anyways and utilizing the vertical space just seems to make sense. Nothing concrete decided as yet, but a good idea for now.

Setting up house

Just a couple of days left, before I go on a trip back home, mostly for a wedding, but also to spend some time with my family. It's been over two years since I last went home and spend more than 24 hours there. Hard to believe just how fast time flies. Things are going to get really hectic once I get back as we're going to start getting a continuous stream of guests for the next 5 months at least. We still have a ton of work to do around the house as yet, things to buy, things to organize and so on. As much shopping as we've done already, it's hard to understand how we need more things, but then we came here just with a couple of suitcases and needed to buying everything from scratch, so the things to add up then.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Outer Banks homes

I've heard some really great stuff about the Outer Banks region of North Carolina and really want to plan a vacation there sometime soon. The houses there are said to be really nice there and the value of property is rising in value quite fast, according to a colleague who recently purchased a property in the area. There is something quite special about having vacation home near the ocean, a place that one can go to as often as one likes without have to make any bookings etc. It's so much more fun that staying at a hotel each time.

Pending work

Still got quite a bit of work pending as yet, before I go on my trip and it's getting to be a bit worrying now. Besides regular work, I also have a ton of chores pending for before I leave. There are things that need to be bought to take home, things that need to be organized for leaving behind and so on. All my trips recently have been sudden ones, where I've barely had enough time to sort out all the stuff I needed to do, before it was time to go. Do hope this is not a pattern that's being established.

Buying on tv

There are lots of great deals available on the Internet, which everyone is already quite familiar with, but how about those great as seen on tv deals, which are pretty great as well. While earlier these deals were only for really offbeat items, now tv deals are some of the coolest items around, stuff that one really needs anyway, making it so much easier to take a decision to buy them. I've bought a couple of things from tv deals and so far have had a good experience of it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Snobby food

Dinner last night was at Macaroni Grill, which was pretty good. I had not eaten there before but had heard good stuff about the food there. While the food was good, there was an air of superficiality about it that I did not like, which is not there at similar restaurants. Even if you were to rate the food alone, I would say that I could find a better place for the same dishes. So, while we enjoyed ourselves and liked the food, we knew there are other places that are better than it out there. And, so we're off to find them....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Being connected wirelessly

I can't believe I never got a wireless router before. It makes everything just so much simpler, as I can now work wherever I want to in my apartment, and am not tied to my desk anymore. I had asked my earlier ISP to install one, but they could never get their paperwork done so I forgot all about it. Well, now I am really enjoying having a wireless router, which both of us can use simultaneously.

Finishing off my work

I've been working hard the past few days to finish all my pending work before I take some time off to go home for a wedding. The trip was planned all of a sudden, so I had already accepted several assignments, so now I have to finish a lot of stuff in the next few days itself. I usually end up taking my work with me, since it is all on the internet, but I'd rather not do that this time, and just concentrate on relaxing and catching up with friends and family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Understanding real estate markets

With the real estate market being as up and down as it has been in the past, it is a time to really spend time researching the markets that you are interested in. There are lots of cities that might currently be facing a downturn but have generally have had very upbeat real estate markets in the past 10-20 years. Take Phoenix for instance, where the real estate market has been rising for several years due to the rise of the city as a commercial center and also due to increasing popularity of its well-known sports facilities. The Phoenix real estate is a good place to understand how the market works and to gauge at what will happen next i the real estate market.

SceneCaster: a great new way to utilize your space

I came across a really cool new site today and it's called SceneCaster. It's all about creating a room and filling it with furniture etc to see how it will look. I think it's a superb idea and I have signed up for it already. I need a bit of time to test it out fully, but I plan to plug in my apartment configurations in and select some furniture that is similar to what I have and then look for all the other pieces that I need to buy as yet. There is also a way to share your rooms or 'scenes' with friends as well as explore other's scenes. Check it out, but make sure you have plenty of time first, cause it is addictive!

Decorating dilemmas

In decorating our new home, we've gone through several different options of arranging our furniture and placement of our dining table. Ideally we would also like to have a breakfast nook off the kitchen, with some bar stools, that can be used for a lot of different uses. I quite like the idea of having a separate dining area for casual eating and also a handy extra flat space which is always in high demand. I have some extra space just off the kitchen and am still not sure what to do with it as yet, but hopefully will be able to figure it out soon.

Letting go

So, I will be going on a slight break in a week. This time I do not plan to do any work while I am away, and I certainly do not plan to feel guilty about it. What usually happens is that I go on vacation, but since I cannot cancel assignments, I end up doing them while I am away, making it not much of a vacation nor much of work and pay. So I end up losing both ways. This has got to stop, so this is my first attempt at just letting go.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Installing ecommerce software

As a retail analyst, I spend a lot of my time discussing strategy and goals with retailers, especially small retailers who are yet to find their success. What I have noticed is that for the most part, smaller retailers do not place as much emphasis on retail software as they should. Having a website with an integrated shopping cart is pretty basic for today's standards, but you would be surprised at how many small retailers don't think so. Shopping cart software is easily available and one of the most reputable sources is Ashop Commerce which is the leading provider of hosted ecommerce software in the US. Installing a shopping cart software system and maintaining it is just as simple as checking email now, and Ashop Commerce provides all round support for all its services. For any retailer to become known beyond their local community, it is essential to invest in such a system. Ecommerce is making brick and mortar retailers sit up and take notice, so it really is the right time to invest in such a system.

Balancing work and life

The weekend went by rather quickly and since I had a ton of work to complete, I didn't get much relaxation either. And so goes the story of my life. I really need to be able to say no to work sometimes, and just put things off for a while. I end up overdoing it and then feel really exhausted and miserable from it. I do hope I will be able to get the balance right soon. This really is the hardest part of working at home, since one tends to go a bit overboard.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Window perfect!

Over the years, as we have moved to several cities and lived in an assortment of apartments, I have been able to make a list of sorts of the things I absolutely must have when we build our own home. One of the most important things we want in our home is natural light, no matter how hot or how cold it is outside. I want to be able to have light streaming in, with maybe a window bench to sit and read and even take naps on. This will only be possible if we have windows like the way Anglian does them, which is the only way to do them actually.

Having been doing home improvements business for over 36 years, Anglian certainly know their business and are complete especially when it comes to doing the windows in your home. Whether it is setting up a conservatory or doing window replacements, Anglian is simply the best there is. I certainly want to have products in my home that I do not have to worry about for a long time to come, and the only way to do it is to invest in the best. There really is nothing like sitting back and relaxing with the knowledge that you home is constructed in the very best way possible.

Dinner at Chop Chop

We had a wonderful dinner at Chop Chop last night, which was a nice combination of Chinese and Thai food. The ambiance of the restaurant was really great as well, with its wonderful orangy-yellow lanterns modern furnishings. Overall, this kind of decor is quite unusual for a restaurant at a mall, which are usually just bare bones basic and to the point. The place was absolutely packed and as soon as one table emptied, it was taken immediately. All in all a good meal and an enjoyable evening.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Plan your holiday shopping

Even though it's only mid September as yet, consumers are already planning their holiday shopping, since it's a good time to start looking around for great deals, such as these Chrysler 300 accessories which a lot of people would really love to have. It seems that the holiday season starts off a bit earlier every year. It's hard to even think of snow and Christmas when its still 75 degrees outside, right? But if you want the good deals, then its the only way to go. So, be smart and keep your eyes open for all the specials.

Movie time

Nothing quite like settling in to watch a movie at the end of a long tiring day, right? How about the same comfort and styling as one gets at the premium theaters? It sounds like a really great idea to me to invest in some discount home theater seating for movies at home. It's the best way to watch movies and one should get to do it in comfort and style as well. I love watching movies, but hate dealing with the crowds at the movie theaters on the weekends, so this is a great alternative for us.

Taking care of your car

Cars have become so efficient these days that one even forgets to check the basics like one used to earlier. In the winter, one had to make sure the battery was in good condition and would be able to take the freezing cold temperatures, but with advances in technology, one barely even remembers that these things need to be checked. I've usually had pretty good luck with my vehicles so far and hope to continue doing so in the future as well.

A bit low lately

Been a bit unwell, so not been posting too regularly here. The pace of the past few months just caught up with me and got me down all of a sudden. I felt absolutely miserable and didn't know what it was that was bothering me, but now some tests have been done and it was an infection and other than that all is ok. So, that is quite a relief for me. So, getting back to normal now, trying to keep up with work etc etc.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The power of good lighting

Setting up a new home is never an easy talk. Especially if you've not done it before. While we've moved several times, we usually move into homes that have all the fixtures already in place. In this apartment, we had to work at getting some of the lighting fixtures in place ourselves. I find that to have the right kind of home lighting, it is essential to select the right kinds of lights. So if you're going to be reading in one area of the room, it must have the appropriate lighting. Mood lighting is also very important since it sets the tone and creates a wonderful atmosphere.

Weekend diatribe

Why is it that the weekend takes so long in coming and goes by so fast? It seems that one waits and waits for the weekend to come, and they it whizzes by all too fast. As much as I love Sundays, I have the feeling that they are the end of the weekend. While I'm at it, I might as well say that I hate Mondays as well, and can't wait for them to get over as soon as possible. OK, that's my little diatribe and now its over!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Is your home insured?

While the anticipation of the weekend is great, there is still a lot of work to be done and one of them is to do some research on insurance companies, since we're planning to get some insurance for our home. It's been rather confusing, since this is the first time we're going in for an insurance other than the regular automotive, dental and health which one usually has. I've been spending quite a bit of time on the Internet reading on how to select the right company and tips on what items and options to look out for.

One of the sites I visited was called and seems like it is one of the more popular sites when it comes to insurance related queries. Besides offering cheap home insurance, they also have a wide variety of other insurance options which can be combined or taken individually as per your requirements. The company specializes in providing online insurance quotes for home insurance, but has experience in other areas as well. To find out what your insurance premium would be is as easy as filling in the basic form on the site and getting 5 quotes. Take a look and see if it is something that would work for you.

weekend planning

Getting closer to the weekend!! Isn't it really a great feeling, this anticipation of the weekend, especially when it's getting nearer. I simply love it and am really looking forward to this weekend, since it's going to be the first weekend since I've gotten back to work, which always makes them even more worthwhile. So, it's time to start planning what to do for the weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A good time to head to Florida

Summer is the busiest time of the year in Florida, especially in the Orlando area where all the theme parks are clustered. If you like the crowds then its a good time to go then, but I prefer to visit when the rush is slightly less so you don't have to fight the crowds everywhere you go. I'd much rather take a Florida rental vacation at a time when I could have some rest and relaxation along with the hustle and bustle of the city. Most people actually prefer the rush times though, which I find rather odd, but that's the way it is.


I wonder what's happened to There have been no new cartoons there for the longest time and I'm having serious withdrawal symptoms now. I loved checking their site out for new stuff every couple of days, and while they usually are quite erratic with their updates, this has been the longest period of silence, I think. I do hope they will be back to releasing more cartoons soon!

Time to start the holiday shopping

It's getting time to start thinking about presents now. Contrary to what a lot of people think, September and October are great months for stocking up on Thanksgiving and Christmas presents. It's also a good time to start searching online for ideas for each person on your list, so you can come up with something creative for everyone. I'm always on the lookout for Banana Republic deals and found a good coupon for shopping there. Getting coupons to help you get special deals and discounts is one of the best ways to maximize your spending. Besides buying things, it is also possible to get budget coupons for car rentals as well. So, if you're planning to go on a weekend trip in the next couple of months, that'll really come in handy. While I haven't got my list finalized, I have a pretty good idea of what kind of things I want to by for my family.

The importance of subject lines in emails

According to e-mail service company SubscriberMail CEO Jordan Ayan, most retailers never bother checking email subject lines to test if the words or phrases are being filtered by a spam filter or if they are being deleted without being read by the recipient. It was found that close to 40% of the attendees at a direct marketing trade association event never tested subject lines. Most consumers never bother opening a mail from someone they don't know and if you add words like 'free' or write all in caps then you are only ensuring your email goes straight to the trash can.
SubscriberMail recently listed problematic words and phrases in a white paper entitled “The Seven Dirty Words you can’t say in subject lines; plus 100 others.”

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's all about the strap!

I've always been a big fan of watches. Ever since I could tell time, I wanted my own watch and have been collecting watches since then. I have been partial to leather watch straps until the past few years, since I always felt they were more my style than a flashy metal watch strap. Thankfully, the kinds of metal watch straps one gets now are amazing and have been added to my collection of watches. One of the most famous names in watch straps is Hirsch, which has made a name for itself for providing some of the most beautiful, yes you can call a watch strap beautiful, watch straps ever possible.

I actually had no idea that Watch Bands could even be so expensive, but with the kind of quality that Hirch stocks, it easy to see why they cost as much as they do. Take a look around the site and you'll see exactly what I mean. With some of the world's most famous celebrities as their clients, is the only source you ever need for a watch band of any kind, and stocks over 8,000 watch bands and watch straps, so you are sure to have plenty of choice as well.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What season are you?

I did a fun test on and I am supposedly winter, which I find really odd, since I don't deal too well with the cold although I love to feel all cozy and warm with a cup of hot chocolate when it snows outside! Anyhow, it's all for fun!!

You Are Winter!


Making choices

Being a kid is really tough these days, where everything around you is tempting you and pulling you in a thousand different directions and pulling you towards all the wrong choices. It's no wonder that so many young people are getting involved in drugs and need to go in for drug rehab which is now becoming something of the norm and quite accepted by society. This last part is definitely a good outcome, since it is a problem that we have to deal with as a society and making it acceptable has definitely made it easier.

Enjoying a new car

As I was writing the last couple of posts, I remembered my college friend Sarah who had been given a car as a graduation present from her parents. She selected a Ford Mustang convertible and from then on, her entire life seemed to revolve only around her new car, goodies such as car and truck accessories, add-ons to make her car look even better than it already looked and lots of music accessories so that she could create an impact where ever she went. We took several road trips in this car and it definitely has a fun time.

on driving

I've been missing out on driving lately, well for quite some time now, since we've had a driver for the past couple of years and I don't really get a chance since everything we need is either a few minutes walk or comes with free delivery. I did get to do some fun driving in the hills in my dad's SUV, which is a really fun vehicle to drive, and I was completely relaxed driving it, even though it was the first time that I driving it. Here's to more driving in the coming months!

Fitting out cars

Although I love cars and driving, I'm not too much into all the technicalities behind them, such as when it comes to a transfer tank or other stuff stuff. My friend Ken in college was a complete car buff and would try to teach me as much as he could about cars, engines, fixing them up, jazzing them up and so on. I managed to grasp all the basics of car maintainance, which I must say came to my rescue several times, the fine details escaped me.

Handling peer pressure

I've been reading quite a bit, while I've been away from work and I've been quite saddened by the number of young people that are getting involved in drugs due to peer pressure and don't know how to handle their lives. The drug rehabilitation center of Cliffside Malibu is known to be one of the best and focuses on fixing exactly this sort of problems. For some reason the concept of being bad is glorified to such a level by the media and entertainment industry, that the younger generation has a hard time staying away, which is the saddest part of it all.

Getting back to work

It's been the beginning of a good weekend and I'm ready to get back to work in full speed now. I've got a ton of work that clients have suddenly decided to send me, which is a great thing for a freelancer to know that you're in demand, but it also means that I've got to get serious again about work and get back to my old working routine. Here's hoping that it will happen and quickly too.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

and back to normal now...

As much as I was looking forward to starting working again, when it has finally happened, it feels too sudden somehow. I think I had got used to doing other stuff, buying things for the house, organizing it, relaxing a bit etc and getting back to my old routine of working seems a bit harsh all of a sudden. Well, in a good way though, since I am so thankful to be connected again and to be able to keep in touch with everyone. It's a bit of a conundrum, where you want something so much that when you get it, it feels a bit odd. Hmmm, maybe that it...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Looks like there have been lots of changes while I've been away for just over a month. Blogger has added a button to add video's to blogs, which is a really great addition and a much simpler way to add video. Not that I'm likely to be adding them to my posts anytime soon though, but it is a nice addition nonetheless. Here's to newer and better things in blogging and on Blogger!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Surfacing again

Well, we're on our way to being settled and hopefully will be able to back to a working routine soon. It's been a up and down ride, with endless amounts of work needing to be done and lots of procedures but once you're in the groove, it's all quite straightforward. Let's hope the process continues on in this vein and we can get back on track on the basics of working again.