We’re Going to Italy!

(Transferred from TripsWithUs, our travel blog.)

We’re off to another trip again! This time we’re avoiding the Asian continent and heading to Europe instead. And no more rush rush, gotta see everything! We plan to take it easy and stay in one country (at least this way we don’t have to worry about switching languages and time zones in a 2 week time frame).

With our Italian cultural knowledge limited to high school Roman mythology and Italian language classes, we chose to visit the better known Italian cities: Venice, Florence, and Rome.

Most European cities are packed during the summer time with tourists. So we decided to go in late October when the weather is cooler and there’s a little less tourists around major sites.

From JFK off to FCO

From JFK off to FCO

Continue reading

Are you planning to start your own business? A sneak peek on the loan application process

This is a guest post by Sophia Kinsella. Sophia is a financial writer and offers her advice to many people suffering with business related problem. She contributes articles to many sites and guides people through different forums.

The potential entrepreneurs who’re planning to start their own business often look for fund to start their own work. Well, the novice entrepreneurs are required to understand the process to obtain the fund to start their own business. Therefore, they need to be aware of the requirement criteria of the lender to get the loan to start their own business.

Here are some of the effective points that you need to consider when you plan to start your own business: Continue reading

Food for Thought: #FitchTheHomeless and Company Branding

I’m not usually one who keeps up with current events, but this news caught my attention (naturally because I shop at A&F). #FitchTheHomeless, a gimmicky campaign started off in LA to rebrand the Abercrombie image by having the homeless wear their clothes. See original article and video here.

Quick summary on the whole campaign: to ruin the Abercrombie brand and image, whose been notorious to target only skinny and good-looking people. The video even quotes Abercrombie CEO emphasizing his clothing line targets “good-looking” cool kids in an 2006 interview. And with this outburst, I have people on my Facebook that would go to the extreme of broadcasting the accusation to parents who buy their teenage daughters Abercrombie clothing. Continue reading

Keymans Hotel in Taipei (懷寧旅店)

(Transferred from TripsWithUs, our travel blog.)

For our first lodging in Taipei, we chose Keymans Hotel (懷寧旅店). We found this hotel while searching for hotels near the popular Taipei Main Station (台北車站). (For search terms, check out our previous post.)  We picked this hotel mainly because of it’s proximity to Taipei Main Station and affordability.

Keymans is one of the few hotels that have a website with both English and Chinese. They also provide a lot of detail regarding their room rates and room pictures. The reservation procedure on their website was fairly easy and clear. You can see exactly how many rooms they have available on each day of the month. They do require your credit card during reservation and will put a hold on it till you check in. Charges will be made after you check into the hotel. Also all charges are made in NTD (New Taiwanese Dollar). You can always e-mail them with any questions you may have regarding the reservations. Their customer representative usually respond rather quickly in fluent English.

Keymans is located about 4 blocks away from Taipei Main Station. It was easy to get to even with us lugging all our luggage. Here’s a quick road map of how to get to Keymans Hotel.

Keymans Big Green Sign. Beware! It's NOT in ENGLISH.

Keymans Big Green Sign. Beware! It’s NOT in ENGLISH.

Continue reading

2013 CD Ladder Updates

One of my CDs in my CD ladder initiative just matured, so I figure its a good time to give a update . If you recall from my previous post, my CD ladder is a little bit more complicated given the current interest rates. If anything I think it looks more like a slinky (I might be dating myself here). My approach is simply having 2 CD ladders, a short term one and a long term one at the same time. I wouldn’t want to confine myself to all long term yet, I want to make sure that a cycle is in place and that at least 1 CD is maturing every quarter.

As of right now, I have a total of 7 CDs, 4 of which are 1-year CDs and 3 of them are 4- and 5-year CDs from Ally Bank.  Continue reading