Archive for October, 2011

Bargains & Budgets

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

With three teens and a tween, there is a good amount of focus on shopping and spending in our house.  I am pleased that all of them understand the value of saving and budgeting.  When shopping for school clothes, they know that not only are we looking for items that are attractive and fit well but also items that are fairly priced.  They also have learned that better prices equal more items bought.

With our economy in the shape that it is, there are many more families that have tighter budgets.  It is no longer a “buy what you want, charge it, and pay for it later” mentality.  However, when you are raising a family, you can’t just skip on shopping.  Kids grow or wear out their clothes, and items need to replaced.  For the adults, even though you may not have a growth spurt or wear a hole in your pants during recess, you also need to replenish your wardrobe from time to time.

Our shopping site, Go Shopping Info, has been refocused to help with these purchases.  We’ve redirected our vision from shopping for the fun of it to shopping with saving in mind.  Of course, that still can be fun; we simply have added the benefit of making it budget-friendly shopping.  Additionally, Go Shopping Info now publishes our Shopping Secrets column on a weekly basis. There’s no need to wait for biweekly hints on how to make better use of your family’s budget, it’s available every Wednesday.

Before you take your next trip to the mall, give Go Shopping Info a peek to find some money-saving suggestions.

Catching Your Eye

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Driving to a meeting, I glanced at a business on the side of the road.  It had been there for years, which I knew, but today something about it caught my attention.  As I continued driving, I realized that they had added a new sign.  While the new sign was not illuminated or huge, nor was the previous sign unattractive, it simply was the new look that grabbed my attention.

The addition of something new almost always attracts our attention.  Whether it be the new car that your co-worker is driving or the new sweater that your best friend is wearing, you are likely to notice the new item.  Although many find comfort in routine, there is something exciting about newness.

At Wasabi Media Group we embrace creative change.  With twenty-four properties in addition to our corporate site, we constantly are brainstorming new features to be added and designs to be implemented.  To keep our publications timely, we need to do more than publish articles on a regular basis.

So, what have we done lately?

  • Added Ask the Bartender– Located at Parched No More, this feature allows our readers to submit their cocktail queries for our bartender.
  • Refocused on holidays- While Holidays Helper always has focused on holiday preparations, articles now will be more timely, providing hints and tips for upcoming celebrations.
  • Redesigned our corporate site- All of our publications receive an annual redesign, so it seemed time for WMG to receive one also.

As with any changes or additions, we love feedback.  By feedback, I don’t mean praise.  We want to know what you like AND what you don’t.  Feel free to leave a note in the comments, or send an email directly to me.

Expand Your Mind

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Instead of starting my work day at my laptop yesterday, I attended the CEO Breakfast at St. Anselm College, my alma mater.  Like most business functions, we had time to mingle before heading to the breakfast.  I used this time to meet a handful of people, all with different careers and interests.  I learned about new architectural projects, city planning, graduation requirements, and more.  In this mere half hour I gained a library of facts that were quite interesting.

From there I headed to breakfast and specifically chose a table with a new group of people.  With more time to converse, why not meet more people and continue gaining knowledge?  After speaking with my dining partners, the morning’s program began.  The keynote speaker was Robert Brown, President of the Money Market Group at Fidelity Investments.  While we finished our breakfast, he discussed the current state of the economy in the US and abroad.

I have to confess; while I understand the economy and finances, neither is a favorite topic of mine.  However, sitting in the dining hall, I felt inspired to absorb as much information as possible.  Sure, it would have been easy to work on my BlackBerry or nod appropriately while not listening, but what a waste of time those choices would be.  Instead, I listened intently and again learned a few new facts.

Driving from breakfast to the office, I was glad that I made the most of this breakfast.  Not only did it serve as a fabulous way to network with local businesspeople, it also provided the opportunity to expand my mind.  If you are seeking a way to expand your mind, listen attentively when speaking with others, choose a talk radio station in your car, or find an article at WMG.  Here are three recently published options:

  • Have you been to a ryokan? If not, you should learn about this interesting type of lodging.
  • How can you maximize your garden when you only have a 4’x4′ plot?
  • Did you know that dogs, like humans, have different blood types?

 

Individual Opinions

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I spent yesterday at a conference.  As I slowly inched through downpours and heavy traffic, I pondered whether the conference would be beneficial.  From the list of speakers and topics, it seemed worth a day away from the office, but one never knows.  I entered the conference with a positive mindset, deciding that even if the seminars weren’t fulfilling, there would be the opportunity to make new contacts.

Thankfully, I found almost all of the seminars to be inspiring and informative.  Additionally, I was able to meet an assortment of people during the day, many of whom also were inspiring and informative.  Making new connections is valuable, but it also is interesting to watch how different pairs connect or don’t.  Every person I met was kind, yet not all of them were people whom I considered to be great connections.  I am sure others thought the same of me.

Reflecting on the various people I met, it seems that meeting people is akin to reviewing new items.  What is delightful to one may be merely mediocre to another.  Looking at a handful of the reviews on WMG this week, the opinions vary greatly:

  • Enjoyable– This reviewer found A to Z Pinot Noir to be a delightful accompaniment to dinner, even worthy of drinking on a weekly basis.
  • Mediocre–  50/50 received a split review from He Said/She Said.  For He, it was worth seeing in the theatre, while She thought it would be worth seeing in the theatre, but only for the matinee pricing.
  • Unsatisfying– The newest Red Hot Chili Peppers’ album received a less than favorable review.  Deemed a “playing it safe” album, it doesn’t exactly ring of 4-star reviews.

Of course, others will have different opinions than our writers.  This diversity in thought is what makes each of us unique and makes meeting others an interesting part of any event.

Inspire. Inform. Engage.