Five things for the week of January 30.

Here’s five things for the week of January 30.

1. #benspotting

I love local inside jokes. If you don’t know Ben Boudreau, you should. His blog is LOL funny and I’ve almost caused a few traffic accidents with the recent #benspotting game with the Bell Aliant billboard (and TV and online) ads he’s featured in. Yep, I legitimately know someone who is on a billboard (and, it’s not one of those creepy ambulance chasing lawyers)!

2. People watching

If I could make a living out of people watching, I’d so do it. IT’S SO MUCH FUN. It is possible that I’m the weird loner girl in the corner of the cafe hiding behind my laptop, and people think it’s weird that I’m staring off into space, but really, I’m watching YOU. Yep, you there. Mostly, I like to observe (that sounds way more legit than “people watching”) couples. It’s so nice to see people in love – young or old – just enjoying each others company. We should appreciate people around us more often. Also, the more you watch, the more you can pick out key events like blind first dates, pre-divorcees, and the like.

3. Starbucks blonde

I read in the Globe and Mail that Starbucks Canada is having a hard time with profit margins due to product costs north of the 49th. Starbucks, I could have told you it’s more expensive here ages ago  – just look at a basic grocery bill! However, what’s interesting is that in the race to increase profits (and for the Canadian President to keep his job) we’ll likely see some breadth in the products that Starbucks Canada offers. I’m always excited to see new things in one of my favourite places, and there’s no surprise that I like the new Starbucks Blonde blend. I still love Pike Place, but I think the Blonde will capture that crowd that says Starbucks coffee tastes “too strong” (aka, my mother). This new product is unrelated to the profit struggles in Canada, but I figured they were both interesting things. PS: The packaging is pretty.

4. A boy’s take on Match.com

I love me some good online reading about 20-something relationships! This article was featured on imboycrazy.com this past week, and as someone who is constantly interested in learning more about the way our generation hooks up, meets up, shacks up and breaks up, this was such a funny account of a blind/online first date from the male point of view. I’m sure it’s not representative of the masses, but at the very least it’s funny.

5. Cool business concept (please come to Canada soon?)

Loved this post on Cup of Jo this week about a NYC business called Drybar. It’s a blowout salon that quickly gives you a great look without cutting and major styling. Good for when you need a pick me up, you know? I think I can see this catching on in wider markets. Either way, I’ll make a stop in when I next hit NYC.

25 things for the year of 25: Facing my fear of donating blood

Here are some fast facts I recently learned:

  • Every  donation of blood can save up to 3 lives
  • Donating blood doesn’t take long – about 15 minutes to have the blood collected
  • You can donate blood every 56 days*

Until recently, I’ve been chicken to give blood.

Yeah, I’ve seen the ads, I have friends who’ve done it and I’m no stranger to regular medical bloodwork, but sitting for a long period of time and watching my blood drain out of my arm never seemed all that appealing to me.

But, I’ve learned there is nothing to fear, and that the feeling of helping save lives (I’m overusing these words, but I don’t care. They sound damn good.) completely outpaces the fear. And they give you cookies when you are done!

Maybe it was the promise of cookies that made me add this to my list of 25 things for the year of 25, or maybe it was the opportunity to face fear, but whatever it was, I’m so glad I did it.

Some things are better done with friends, and what better way to spend a Saturday AM than by warming up with a skate on the Oval and then doing a little something that would make us feel good and help others?

BloodClinic

Happily saving lives while sitting pretty

The best part is, I already know I’ll go back when my 56 days of waiting are up. It’s so easy, how could you not give blood?

If interested, visit blood.ca and sign up for your own appointment in your area. As they say, “It’s in you to give”.

*as long as you fit the criteria and can withstand answering a lot of repetitive questions about having sex with prostitutes, having sex for money, and having sex with men who’ve had sex with other men. Oh and you need to have the right amount of iron in your blood. But don’t worry, they test you for that.

Five things for the week of January 23.

Here’s five things for the week of January 23:

1. [Web] intrade.com – This neat little site is designed to let you bet on anything. Yes, literally anything. Betting can include sports speculation, weather speculation and even real events like the recent Golden Globes. It’s heralded as the World’s Largest Prediction Market. Thanks to @jjpk for the tip.

2. [Book] The 4-Hour Body – Want to know more about Slow Carb, how to get a better night’s sleep or how to become  “superhuman”? Not all the topics are for me personally, but the content of the book is completely engrossing. A page-turner for the health/life section of your bookshelf.

3. [TV] BBC’s Sherlock – I’m a massive Sherlock Holmes fan, both the books, the movies and now the TV version set in modern day by the BBC. Two seasons (six 1.5hr episodes total) have been released, and thank goodness, there’s a third set to go into production. Benedict Cumberbach is my new favourite Brit.

4. [Thing] Moleskine Agenda – Every year I have a moleskine agenda that I carry relentlessly in my handbag. I may love technology, but nothing beats the cream-coloured pages, the helpful pocket in the back, and the knowledge that I’m using a product that so many other famous people have loved over the ages. I’m a convert, for sure. This year I have a red, hardback weekly, like this one.

5. [Thing] Leather Mittens – My mom kindly gave me a beautiful set of leather mittens for Christmas this year, and they are amazingly warm in this cold weather. I can even drive with them!

One hundred trends for the year 2012

I love to speculate on trends.

Fortunately, lots of large organizations love to do this, too, and each year as I anxiously await a new calendar year, firms like Trendwathcing, TrendHunter, and my personal favourite, JWT are compiling their lists of trends that they think will make it big in the year to come.

For a look at the 2012 JWT slides, see below:

Check out slides 4 to 6 for their astonishing track record. They just knew that things like Lady Gaga, Wikileaks and Foursquare would be big, and boy, were they right!

Among the 2012 list of speculated trends there’s a few that don’t really surprise anyone, a few that seem completely outlandish, and others that are somewhat on the rise already.

I love this stuff because it really highlights the changes that are happening in the social fabric we live and breath every day.

My personal favs for 2012 are the following:

  • 1 – Access Everywhere (I already am starting to implement / see the benefits of this type of technology via Google Docs)
  • 5 – Anywhere, Any-way Shopping (think of grocery delivery, buying from your phone etc)
  • 9 – Baktua (I don’t like Zumba, and I doubt I’d try this, but I can easily see this ballooning in North America)
  • 12 – BYOD (I found this fascinating, and for whatever organization supports, like the Airline examples, kudos!)
  • 21 – Facial Recognition Fury (This is crazy…)
  • 22 – Fat Tax (I have read a lot about the Denmark laws and I think this is awesome)
  • 23 – Flipped Classrooms (Video content alone is an amazing teaching tool – think TED – but the evolution of education is coming)
  • 28 – Gen Z (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! THEY ARE COMING)
  • 37 – Internet Enabled Cars (Love this. Already happening in the US of A)
  • 52 – Online Lives, In Print (Been seeing various iterations of printed online activity for some time, but I think the evolution of how nice it looks and what the quality of the final product will be is what will push this forward)
  • 76 – Stationary (I’m so already bought in on this trend and love local retailers, like Inkwell)
  • 87 – “Ultra” (Huh. The new “buzz word” for marketers, I guess)
  • 98 – YouTube, the new BoobTube (Yes, this is totally coming true. I watch at least 3+ YT videos a day, and if you want more crazy proof, just look at these statistics, straight from the source)

What are your picks for 2012?

I love Allan Hawco … I mean Republic of Doyle.

So this one time in 2011, Allan Hawco tweeted at me.

So personal!

Swoon.

Allan Hawco, dreamboat

I love the show Republic of Doyle, and I’m a big fan of witnessing something that is produced in Canada get some fame and fortune. Well, I don’t know how much fortune the CBC really brings people, but one can wish.

Season 3 Trailer

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, here’s three great reasons to turn in:

  1. Russell Crowe is playing a guest star role this season. Apparently he and Great Big Sea’s Allan Doyle go way back. Who knew?
  2. Newfie accents. This reason is sufficient alone. I mean, who doesn’t love a good newfie accent? For more exciting newfie speak, check out this video, featuring another beloved newfie, Mark Critch.
  3. Allan Hawco tweeted at me is a sweetheart to everyone. Have you seen his twitter feed? Tune in and see what a sweetheart, er, suave dude his character Jake Doyle really is.