Wednesday, September 30, 2009

**See Your Name In Coffee**

If you have a coffee lover in your life and you're sick of buying them Starbucks gift cards, I recently read about these cute custom coffee stencils that would make a great gift. You could get a few other items with it to make it a gift with a bit more substance like a milk frother, beautiful coffee mugs/cups from Bodum or Nambe and a gourmet coffee like this one from Mariebelle

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Flip Through The News On The Go

I pretty much never shut up on this blog about how important it is to stay on top of what's going on in the world no matter what job you have. You need to be able to join in the discussion, have ideas and opinions if you want to impress people and it's harder to do that if you are only reading one source or just reading gossip. Technology has made this so much easier. There are million ways to keep on top of everything in an efficient way. A few weeks ago I wrote about about a new beta google site I like called Fast Flip that allows you flip through tons of news articles on every topic and see what's most popular and current. You can now also utilize it on the go on your iPhone. All you have to do is create a shortcut from this url to your phone.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ummm, What's Your Name Again?

The title of this posting would the least sophisticated thing to say when you don't remember the name of someone you run into. Yesterday, I read this interesting post on the Happiness Project blog that gives you tips on how to handle the situation with great tact and savvy. It's quick and for sure worth checking out. The impression you make on others as an assistant or an executive is vitally important and this really could help you make an uncomfortable situation have a much better outcome.

Texas Treats

I have no time today, so I'm just going to do a quick post. I know it seems like I'm fixated on doing food related gifts lately and truly, I'm not, but today I decided to send cookies to a friend in Austin for his birthday at the last minute and I found a great place to use. It's called Tiff's Treats. The deliver cookies in Austin and Dallas and their website was fast and easy to use. I logged on a few hours ago placed an order and he already got it by this afternoon. If you need to do a cookie gift in those areas, give it a shot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Redesigned Site Worth A Second Look

I've blogged about Foodzie before. It's a great online marketplace where you can buy really amazing food related gifts from small passionate food producers and growers. The reason I'm mentioning them again is that they recently redesigned their site a bit and it looks great. On Twitter today Kevin Rose mentioned that if you enter KROSE at the checkout right now you get 20% off. I have no idea how long that code will last, so take advantage of it while you can.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Blankie & Stuffed Animal Rolled Into One Cute Gift

I have had to buy gifts for babies a million times in every price range for friends and bosses and it's always hard finding new ideas. In the last year or two I found this adorable blanket/mini stuffed animal combo that every baby I get it for adores.

It's sweet and relatively inexpensive, so if you or your boss need to get a gift, I highly recommend it. If you need more ideas, check out this post or this one that I did about gifts for babies.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cutest Cake Toppers I Ever Did See

If you or your boss really wants to blow someone away with a unique wedding gift or one of you is getting married soon, check out this article in the New York Times from the weekend about custom cake toppers that look like the couple getting hitched. The article lists a few different companies that do them and I've included a sample from one of the vendors below.

This type of cake topper isn't cheap, but the wow factor alone that these will provide make it worth every penny.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bring Your Own Vino

Work is insane, so I only have time for a super quick tip. If you or your boss like to bring your own wine to restaurants, it's good to know which places you can do it and how much the corkage will be. Try this new site that has info for many cities. It's a useful tool if you are into the vino.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Take Me To Your Wi-Fi

I found a really cool new iPhone app that doesn't come out is the US until later this year, but I think it's worth keeping an eye on. The app is called Work Snug and it couldn't look easier to use. Once you launch the app you raise it in the air around you and it will tell you the best places nearby to work and rate various aspects of the places (noise, wi-fi, power outlets, etc.). The best part is that it's free! Check out the video below for a little preview.

Bake & Celebrate

I know that it seems like I'm focused on baked goods this week, but I read about a cute local kids party idea that I thought I would share. If you can't think of a good theme for your event or something fun to do , try hiring Play With Your Food Party to facilitate the whole thing for you. They come to you, bring the ingredients and make the whole thing happen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When You're Short On Time, Flip Through Your News

I'm a geek, but even if if you aren't, you will probably be excited by the newest experiment from Google Labs called Fast Flip that allows you browse sequentially through recent news, headlines and popular topics. The interface is really seamless and the site allows you to review articles at a quick pace until you find something that interests you. It's worth taking a minute out of your day to check it out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Custom Cookies On The Spot

How awesome would it be if you could go into a little shop, pick out the dough and mix in ingredients for a cookie and have it baked on the spot? Believe it or not, such a place exists, but unfortunately it isn't in the US (one can only hope it will come here soon). If you are visiting Toronto or perhaps your boss is going there for business, make sure to tell him to stop by Sweet Flour Bake Shop and create his own cookie that will be ready in only 2 minutes!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tech Tip Friday

This truly been an insanely bad day at work. If you're an assistant, an executive, no matter what you do I'm sure you've been there. Anyway I have like a minute to do a post, so here's my tip of the day. If you love Flickr and you have an iPhone, you might want to investigate the new iPhone App. It allows users to share photos, and videos that they take with the phone, geo tag them, and instantly upload them to the

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Something Old Becomes New Again

I've been so busy at work and with my writing that this is the first year in a long time that I didn't watch the Apple Keynote online the day it happened (yes, I'm a geek and if you want to make something of it we can take it outside and go pocket protector to pocket protector). If you want to check out all the new offerings, view it here. One thing I did hear about that gives a fresh perspective on a gift I once gave pretty often is the announcement of the new iPod Nano. The new Nano has a bunch of new features, but one of the coolest is that it records video. If you're thinking of buying a gift for a gadget lover this might be just the ticket. A few other added upsides of it are the cute colors it comes in and the fact that even the one with the larger memory is under $200.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hassle Free Art

If you want to do a whimsical and unique gift for the person who has everything, try one of the two photo sites below:

Photo Wow

Be Funky

Both sites allow you to create all kinds of art with your image and then put it on various products (mugs, t-shirts, etc.). You can create a bit of a masterpiece without every going to art school or lifting a paintbrush.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trades Schmades

These days with all the ways you can get entertainment news -- holding the physical trades in your hands to get up on all that's current is becoming passe. The content within the trades might be valuable, but waiting until you get to work to sit there and flip the pages is often a waste of time (especially if you're an assistant, but even if you're an executive) that you just don't have. The best solution to this dilemma is to get the Film News Briefs daily e-mail that consolidates all the info from the trades. I wrote about the site back in March, but they just relaunched with a great new look and new features and I hear even more will be coming in the future. It's invaluable to be able to read all important entertainment news in a quick digest e-mail and be completely informed before you even get to work or within a few minute of arriving. The site's creator, Jess Kantor and her Editor, Neil Turitz are a part of a growing community of people that are creating sites that want to inform, but also help up and coming creative types who haven't totally gotten their big break yet. If you're on Twitter, you might also want to follow Film News Briefs.

If you don't get the e-mail yet, take a minute to subscribe and check out the site, it will be well worth your while and you'll wonder after how you ever lived without it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Book Recommendations

I thought I'd share a few book gift ideas today, since I don't do that very often:

I'm really excited about Kathy Griffin's new book that sports the hilarious Official Book Club Selection as a title. If you like her humor at all or watch her show, you know that she truly is laugh out loud funny. This would be a great gift for anyone that likes comedy or is just having a hard time right now and needs a laugh.

The other book is one I just heard about today on a podcast and it sounded so great, I'm planning on getting for my stepdad. The book is called Are You Kidding Me? and it was written by golfer Rocco Mediate and John Feinstein, a well known sports writer, about the June 2008 US Open where journeyman golfer Rocco almost beat Tiger Woods. Any sports lover would probably be into this book and be inspired by the story of what happened during that fateful tournament, but for a golfer the gift would be a hole in one. Oy, even I cringed at that, but how could I resist.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Big Thumbs Up On One Toy For Kids & A Big Thumbs Down On Another

Tegu makes cool wood blocks for kids that have a little twist (hidden magnets that make them stick together). They aren't cheap, but they seem like a classic toy that a child would use forever and then pass down to a sibling or another generation. I give this gift a big Friday stamp of approval.

It's still unclear if this toy that Gizmodo wrote about is real, but if it is, I implore parents not to buy their daughters the Pole Dancer Doll unless you want them to change their name to Candy someday.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tech Tips Thursday

Here's two little useful tech tips to help you out in your daily life:

Did you hear that Google Translate has added 9 new languages to the list it already was able to translate for you? Check out this article re the update and see if a language you need is among the ones they have available. This is a simple and quick way to translate a bit of language or a website when you need to do it in a timely manner.

A few days ago I heard about Howcast and it looks pretty cool. I'm always saying that it's important to stay well informed and be an interested and interesting person and this site can help you. They have videos that can help you learn how to do all sorts of things. Check out one of the videos below about how to type faster on your iPhone.

Boss Dossier

I'm not including a link today, but instead sharing a simple, but really useful tip that I have always had success with as an assistant. From day one on a job, make sure to keep what I call a Boss Dossier. It's so useful to keep little bits of information that you will likely need again in a little password protected document, so that you don't have to ask your boss time and time again for the same information. If your boss always gets the same thing for lunch at a few places, write down the specific order with whatever preferences they may have (dressing on side, etc.) and then you will have an easy shorthand when they want to order or if you have to make a decision to get something for them and can't ask them because they are in a meeting. This is a simple idea and most people I'm sure already do it, but try it if you don't already, as it's an effective and simple tool.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A New Twist On An Old Favorite

I was eating an apple at lunch today and realized that I have not blogged about a food gift idea I love that's yummy, fun and has a reasonable price point - Caramel Apples. Now there are so many different types of apples that companies do and caramel is just the tip of the iceberg. My favorite company is Candy's Apples, but Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory also has some delicious flavors. In my experience, people are thrilled and surprised to receive them. It's a fun change from the typical cookies or brownies, so the next time you have to do a food gift for your boss or want a sweet treat for yourself, check them out.