Category Archives: Regular Post

Kutcher Butcher

Photo by JD Lasica

Ashton Kutcher has been the talk of the town lately. From taking over for Charlie Sheen on the Two and a Half Men series, his twitter oopsie, and his recently announced divorce with Demi Moore, it seems as though he can’t stay out of the media.

I love Twitter simply for the fact that I can follow my favorite celebrities without having to turn on the news or read a magazine. It is the means for instant communication between celebrities and their fans. One thing I dislike about celebrities on twitter is when they have someone else take over their account and tweet for them. It completely takes out the personal connection and intimacy between a celebrity and their fans.

Kutcher tweeted a misleading protest about the firing of Penn State’s coach Joe Paterno and was attacked with angry responses. After realizing his mistake he gave his twitter account over to “handlers.” I don’t think he took care of this twitter scandal well and instead caused himself more controversy. I read an interesting article about what brands can do to learn from Ashton Kutcher’s mistake.

By erasing his controversial tweet about Penn State he violated the code of ethics. It is understandable how he would just want to rid his account of the unfortunate tweet, but once something is on the internet it is never going away. It is a little disappointing to hear that someone has taken over his account because now it becomes unclear when and if it really is Kutcher talking…or tweeting. Kutcher is definitely not the first to do this and surely won’t be the last.

Check out another good article about celebrities not thinking before tweeting. Celebrities are people just like us and it is unavoidable that they make mistakes too. An apology can always be given to clear the air, but they need to be remember that when they are under an intense microscope they better be ready to take the heat when voicing their thoughts. A few typed words can turn around a career at the click of a button.

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Food for Thought

Photo by St0rmz

I spend more time stressing out about everything I need to get done before I actually start working on something. It took me about an hour to start actually writing this blog post. I am all for finding ways to make myself more productive, so when I ran across a plan called the Pomodoro Technique I had to take a closer look.

The Pomodoro Technique can be mastered in 5 easy steps.

1. Choose a task to be accomplished
2. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break

You can find a more in depth explanation here. Or download the FREE EBOOK to get a really good grasp on the Pomodoro Technique.

Task management is a really difficult thing to grasp especially when you have a million and one things that need to get done by tomorrow. Take a breath, slow down, and finish one thing at a time. The Pomodoro even offers ways to become less distracted! I know that is something I could really use help with.

This techniques even has its own website! Check it out.

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Sustainable Oregon. Keeping it Local.

Usually I hate most commercials, but today I was pleasantly surprised by a commercal made by the Widmer Brothers Brewery. They have teamed up with Urban Timberworks to salvage fallen urban trees and turn them into tap handles. What a cool idea, and such an Oregon thing! Take a look at the commercial.

This is some of the best public relations and advertising I have seen in a while. People in Oregon love sustainability and Widmer Brothers has done a good job of creating a buzz about their beer while staying local and resourceful.

This commercial creates positive communication about the Widmer Brothers brand. Consumers love to purchase an item that is supporting a good cause and I believe it sways the way a person spends their money if they believe in the campaign surrounding the product.

Consumers are given the chance to take an inside look at Widmer and their attempt to be a little more sustainable. It creates a personal connection to the beer and generates a form of communication from company to consumer that was lacking before. Commercials are meant to send a message to viewers, and the Widmer Brothers commercial does just that. It gives viewers the idea that if they drink Widmer beer they will add a little more sustainability to their lives.

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Buy a Hat: Change a Life.

I am constantly amazed by how selfless and creative people in our country are. Through all of the negative things going on within the world, there are people out there trying to make a difference.

Photo by Jason Bachman

Crocheting is not just for your grandmother anymore. The Krochet Kids have recently become popularized within the media. A trio of best friends found their love for crocheting in high school. They made themselves handmade headwear for the snow season and quickly became a business among their peers taking custom orders.

After college the three friends started exploring the world quickly realizing the need other countries were in. In 2007 the boys reached non-profit status. Teaching Ugandan women how to crochet would allow them to make products for a fair wage making it possible for them to stop depending on governmental funding. Today over 100 people a day go to their compound in Northern Uganda to work.

The popular brand Volcom Stone hopped on the Krochet Kids cause. The two came together to create Youth for Empowerment Krochet Kids International x Volcom. Take a look at the video they made.

Volcom took the opportunity to communicate with their consumers the importance of supporting this cause by showing how we can help make a difference in the lives of someone less fortunate. The video is simple yet so powerful. The participation with this organization makes good press for the Volcom name and also brings a large customer base to the Krochet Kids organization. The Volcom brand is a name many know. Within the extreme sports community, participators trust Volcom to perform in tough conditions. Because of their participation with the Krochet Kids, Volcom is communicating to their customers and supporters that this is a cause worth supporting.

What these three have done is truly amazing. It’s as simple as buying a hat to change a life.

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For Love… or Love of Money?

Photo by bdhq

The biggest news that came out on October 31, 2011 was that after 72 days of marriage, Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from Kris Humphries. We may have seen this coming, but maybe not as quickly as it happened. Throughout the last 24 hours, the media has become a whirlwind of Kardashian news.

One of the biggest questions about the Kardashian divorce, has been if the marriage was just a hoax to make money. Rumor has it, that Kim Kardashian sold the rights to her wedding for $17.9 million, while her marriage only lasted 72 days. That would mean that her marriage to Kris Humphries cost $10,358.80 per hour. This causes one to question, did she really marry for love, or just the money? Consumers must also realize that during big scandals like this one, the E! Network will be making money as well. Magazines will be flying off shelves and viewers will be tuning in to the daily E! News specials. Scandals = viewers, viewers = revenue.

Celebrity news and gossip has become a major part of our media today. There are networks on television, such as, the E! Network, which are dedicated solely to celebrity news. The industry has found that our society absorbs anything that has to do with celebrities, and it has allowed for celebrities to recognize this as well. This has opened up a whole new form of communication with the media and its viewers. Where there once was only the evening news concerning societal issues, now there is the celebrity gossip news communicating to an entirely different basis of consumers. Networks like E! have found how large of an influence they have on viewers today, from who is dating who to the latest fashions. Celebrities and the E! Network communicate together to create a buzz about each other. Celebrities know they should go to the E! Network if they have big news, and views know to watch E! News if they want to hear more about the latest celebrity gossip.

It’s pretty crazy how influential celebrities have become in our society today, and how consumed we can become with the latest gossip rather than being concerned about the other major worldly issues going on. Take a look at this, she even made it into the New York Times.

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Birthday Bash on a Budget

Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Living with four girls, we have a lot of birthdays in my house, and unfortunately they all happen within two months of each other. We have had to get creative in how we plan a birthday bash without breaking the bank. I thought I would share with you a list of ways to plan a great birthday party at a low cost.

1. Have your cake and eat it too.

Buying a store bought cake is out of the picture if you’re trying to save money. Instead go pick up a box of cake mix, some sprinkles and frosting and whip up a cake on your own. Not only will the personal touch add more thought to the cake but you can also get away with making a cake that only costs about $5.

2. Cocktails

Who doesn’t love a pretty cocktail! Instead of making expensive, extravagant cocktails try pink panty droppers! The name is a little odd as are the ingredients, but it is a tasty drink that can be made cheaply!

What you’ll need:

– 1/2 Gallon of vodka

– 12 cans of beer

– 7 cans of pink lemonade concentrate

– 6 lemons

Mix together vodka, beer, and lemonade then transfer the mixture into a pretty vase or container of some sort. Since the mixture is so delicious you can use cheaper brands of vodka, beer, and pink lemonade and no one will tell the difference. Use the lemons as a garnish to class up each glass!

3. Decorations

Flowers are key! If weather permits, walk around your neighborhoods and clip some flowers…don’t take your neighbors entire plant of course, but I’m sure they won’t miss a couple! Create a couple eclectic bouquets and place them around the house for a little color.

You can find some surprising gems at the dollar tree. Look for fun streamers and confetti that you can add to the room. Remember, you don’t want it to look tacky, a little goes a long way. I love this fabric party garland. So simple, yet so cute.

Old news papers are also a great touch and they are free! use them as a tablecloth or scrunch them up into flowers. Don’t be afraid to get creative. The black and white effect will add a nice modern, sophisticated touch to the room.

Decorations are the perfect way to test your creativity. Think outside the box!

4. Gifts

Everyone loves getting a gift, especially on their birthday. Recently I found this great gift idea at Walmart. Ready in one hour you can create a professional looking photo book with up to 600 pictures! This book as been a hit among many of my roommates. It is a great keepsake they can keep forever. For $15.96 you can create an 8×10 book full of memories. The receiver is sure to appreciate the thoughtfulness of the book and it won’t break your bank.

5. Party Favors

Although they aren’t always necessary, party favors are a nice touch to end the evening on. They are a great way to say thank you for coming…but they can also be pricy. Sparklers are a great little parting gift. Bunch together 3-5 sparklers and tie a cute ribbon around them. It’s a simple gift but also very cute. You can find sparklers here.

Parties are fun, so have fun with the planning process! Be creative and use recyclable items around the house to save a little money. Party away the night!

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Bang for Your Buck

There are few things in life I love more than a great deal and fashion. When the two can be combined my life feels just about complete. About a year ago I was introduced to two online shopping sites built around offering designer brands at great prices. I was in disbelief until I checked them out myself.

The first site is Gilt Groupe. Gilt Groupe was launched in 2007 and has grown dramatically over the last four years now with over 3.5 million members. The idea of this site is to offer high-end brand names for 50% to 70% percent off for 36-48 hours. It works on a first come first serve basis offering a limited amount of each item. Some of the great brands I have seen come through this site are Zac Posen, Michael Kors, and Seven for all Mankind. The list goes on and on.

Another great aspect to this website is their Gossip Girl section where they find clothes similar to the ones seen on the Gossip Girl TV show and offer them at an affordable price so we can all attempt to look like Blair Waldorf or Serena van der Woodsen. It’s a stretch but worth a try! Gilt is working with the media to communicate with fans. It is a win win for both Gilt and The CW, because it draws in a fan base and creates excitement about the show while bringing it to life. They are working to communicate with people like you and me who love the glamour of TV but can’t afford to drop a thousand bucks on a sweater.

The next site is HauteLook, which is essentially the same idea as Gilt Groupe but they offer different designers. HauteLooks goal is to give shoppers more bang for their buck. This site is awesome because it offers more affordable prices to brands that some of us otherwise couldn’t wear. This gives all shoppers the opportunity to add a little sophistication to their closet without breaking the bank.

Sites like Gilt Groupe and HauteLook are changing the fashion industry rapidly. These sites are reaching a clientele base that was once never reachable. They are opening doors to the “average” shopper who is unable to spend thousands of dollars at Saks or Nordstrom but are able to buy some Chanel for half the price. The websites offer luxury without cheapening the brand, which is an important thing for the high-end brands featured on these sites. These sites are offering an opportunity that designers don’t want to miss. It is a new way for designers to connect with consumers.

It takes a quick second to sign up for both of these sites and in the end it will be well worth it. If you have an iPhone or Smartphone go download the apps available for Gilt and HauteLook. These apps make it possible to check the sites as often as you desire, letting you stay on top of each new deal. These are two sites you don’t want to overlook if you’re like me and love to save while filling your shopping addiction at the same time. Now you can feel a little less Gilty about spending money!

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