Christmas Gifts for Co-workers



At work, during our final regional meeting of the year, each Managing Partner brings gifts for everyone.  The gift I brought this year was a cute mason jar mug, peppermint twist vodka (the bottle is festive, and the bigger bottles are scratch and sniff!), cute paper straw like this one, and a double shot Starbucks espresso to go in the mug.  It’s easy to put together and who doesn’t like a festive holiday drink?!


Some of the gifts that I received were homemade Christmas cookies, an adult coloring book with super-cute wooden colored pencils, a Fandango gift card for a date night with the hubby, Christmas themed lottery tickets (I didn’t win), Starbucks coffee packs and a mini-Kahlua, a bottle of wine, and my favorite gift: homemade apple pie moonshine!

What DIY gifts will you be making this year?

My Thanksgiving shopping haul – more browsing,less shopping

Thanksgiving is one of the days that brings many of smiles and excitement in people here in America. If I am not wrong, more women will be happier than men as shopping is our fantasy 🙂 Well, as many others, I have had an opportunity to do a limited list of shopping (limited because I never get satisfied with shopping). As I frequently visit my nearest shopping mall, I also had an idea about genuine price drops and offers. Along with this, I was searching online and researching about different deals from several days before the day.

Putting an end to my crazy research, I ended up buying some small items which include boots, jacket, laptop and handbag.

Boots: As I said, I had a good idea on what deals are going on in  the shopping mall. I was looking for some cute boots and stopped by ‘Charlotte Russe’. They normally had boots which are priced between $25 – $45. On that day, they are having a deal where we can select any of the boots for flat twenty bucks. Now that’s definitely a deal which I shouldn’t miss and yes I grabbed it.

Handbag: I passed by Burlington and thought of having a look as they normally keep ll the items in discounted rates. To my surprised, I was lucky to buy a nice and big handbag satchel of ‘Guess’ for $40. The original cost of it is around ninety.

Jacket: This is my another encounter in the shopping mall. Aeropostale seemed to have best and affordable deals where they gave 40-65% off on almost all items on that day. I bought a leather and fur mix jacket for my boyfriend and he loved it. By the way, it came for $38 and the original price is $85. Hurray!

Laptop: Now that I have bought gifts for myself and others, I too had a gift that day. It was a nice Dell laptop from my brother. I came to know that Microsoft had kept an awesome deal for a Dell laptop which contains latest configurations like i5 processor. When I talked about this offer to my brother, he bought it for me.

I also purchased some minor things like cosmetics, jeans, clearance tops and rings. So, that’s my shopping haul on Thanksgiving day and as I always say, I would have bought some more 🙂

Too Many to Chose From?

Have you seen the Walgreens commercial where they say something like, ‘when you want to get in, get what you need and get out, go to Walgreens’?

What do you immediately think of when you hear that commercial? I know what I think; the trip to Wal-Mart for 3-4 things that inevitably turns into a hour long scavenger hunt that usually ends with me having a whole shopping cart full of crap. Besides personal distain for Wal-Mart, the company’s code of ethics (or lack there of), the kid you can hear screaming all over the store, and the 50 check out stands of which only 3 are actually open, there are so many options to choose from for everything you look at. Good grief, there are 2 whole isles for shampoo. Thus the appeal Walgreens is trying to sell you is that they are small enough to get in and out with in a few minutes but large enough to have everything you need.

Until I read this article, Why Too Much Choice is Stressing Us Out, found at,

it never really clicked with me why I do get slightly stressed out and a little overwhelmed looking at 2 isles of shampoo. I go in there looking for a specific kind but when I get in there and start looking at all of the different brands, different types for the hair you have, different types for the hair you want, blah blah blah, before I know it I have spent 30 minutes trying to decide on one simple purchase. To make matters worse, this does not only happen with the shampoo. I will walk over to get my favorite yogurt and there are all these new kinds out that I feel I must examine and consider. At some point it will hit me, ‘holy crap you have been in here forever, just pick something and let’s go!’ For the rest of my shopping experience I feel rushed and irritated. Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.59.36 PM

Typically people view choice as freedom and the more you have, the better, but this is not the case according to Barry Schwartz in his book, The Paradox of Choice. He says that having more options should be good for society but that’s not empirically true. Buying the wrong shampoo isn’t the end of the world, but what if you were sick and your doctor told you to pick any one out of 50 medications to get well? Now things are getting a little serious and you can see why it would make you anxious to pick one. Regardless of what the item is, Schwartz says that the more choices you have, the less satisfied you will be with what you do purchase. Why? If you stop for a second and think about it, it shouldn’t take you too long to figure out. One of the main reasons is because no matter what, you will always wonder, ‘did I pick the best one?’ which is code for regret, fear of missing out on something better, lack of confidence in your own decision making ability, and insecurity.

Next time you are going shopping and your thought process starts going down the path of ‘the bigger store the better because there is so much to look at and chose from’ you might want to reconsider!

Your Dreams Are Always About Sex!

Have you ever woke up from a dream and though, ‘wow, were did that come from?’ If you answered ‘no’, I would be very surprised. Dreams are not meant to be interpreted at face value, but according to who you ask, you might get a different interpretation of it, however there are common dream themes that most will have at least a similar interpretation of. Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.23.39 PM

As crazy as some people say his theories are, I can’t help but be a Freud lover. I wouldn’t say I am a ‘Freudian’ because as a psychology undergrad, I have taken bits and pieces from here and there, mixed it in with some of my own theories, and came up with my own ideas about things.

Freud was one of the first to dedicate a lot of research to his interpretation of dreams and where they come from stating that dream interpretation is the ‘royal road’ to unlocking your subconscious. His book The Interpretation of Dreams has actually become one of the most significant books of the 20th century according to .

Freud says that dreams come from wishes or desires we have and they will represent that wish or desire in one of the following ways:

  1. the fulfillment of it
  2. a disguise for the fulfillment it
  3. a disguise for the fulfillment of a wish or desire we have buried in our subconscious
  4. a disguise for the fulfillment of a wish that is a repressed in infancy

Here is a list of the 9 most common dreams and their interpretations according to (F)reud,  and also a more (c)ontemporary explanation:

  1. Falling –
    • (F) You are trying to decide whether or not to give in to a sexual desire or that you are being too risky in your sex life and you need to be more careful.
    • (c) You feel out of control in some area of your life.
  2. Flying –
    • (F) If you are able to fly, you are secure with being able to get an erection; if you are unable to fly, you are feeling insecure about not being able to get an erection.
    • (c) If you are able to fly, you feel secure about yourself and your environment; if you are not able to fly you feel insecure about your life.
  3. Taking a Test-
    • (F) You are scared of not being able to achieve an erection when the time comes.
    • (c) You feel anxiety about being tested/challenged in some area of your real life or you feel like you are being judged by others.
  4. Someone is Chasing You –
    • (F) The person or object that is chasing you is something/someone you are sexually attracted to.
    • (c) You handle stress by running away from it and you are a coward; the person/thing chasing you represents something you are stressed out about or it is actually a part of yourself that you are not particularly fond of.
  5. Being Trapped –
    • (F) You are trapped by a desperate need of having an orgasm.
    • (c) You are very frustrated about something in your real life such as a job you feel like you are stuck in or a bad relationship. It can also be that  you are holding on to something that you really need to let go of – a fear of something, anger, sadness, bad habit – if you don’t let it go it’s going to overtake you life and pretty much every decision you make will revolve around it.
  6. Missing Teeth –
    • (F) You are worried about being impotent.
    • (c) You are worried about your appearance or you are feeling like you are not being heard about something you are concerned about in your life.
  7. Nudity –
    • (F) You are trying to rid yourself of feeling ashamed about something and want to get away from the rules of society and want to return to the feeling you had as a child, innocent and ignorant of society’s rules.
    • (c) The contemporaries actually agree with Freud on this one but add that it could be that you feel vulnerable and ashamed of something.
  8. Death –
    • (F) You secretly want the person you are dreaming about to die in real life.
    • (c) A phase of your life is coming to an end or there is a phase of you life or a part of you that you wish would end.
  9. Sex-
    • (F) This one Freud would say is literal!
    • (c) The person you are having sex with probably has a characteristic that you love about yourself; or you just really do want/need to have sex!

Now that you know what Freud’s interpretation of the 9 most common dreams are, you shouldn’t be surprised that his book about dream interpretation is so popular; after all, sex sales!

Why Aren’t you Listening to Hamilton?

I was introduced to the music of Hamilton, by my already obsessed husband. He has been listening to this cast recording of the broadway play for a few weeks before I finally broke down to listen to it. I thought how great could this be? Why is he so obsessed? Why is trying to get everyone he knows and the entire internet to listen to this music. Because it is wonderful that is why.


Lin-Manual Miranda has written a series of musical numbers around the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The music includes hip-hop, rap and even some British pop. A multiracial cast portrays the white founding fathers including George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This odd marriage of history and hip-hop make a great work of art that will come to be known as literature. The story of Hamilton is set as an inspiring and uplifting tragedy as an orphan rises to prominence in an emerging America. It is by his own hubris, thinking he can write his way out of anything, that he becomes the author of his own scandal, downfall and ultimate death at the hands of vice president Aaron Burr.


I am not a musician, but the Miranda masterfully weaves melodic themes in and out of songs to carry the emotions of the characters through the revolutionary war and into the first century of our country.


Phrases like “rise up” and “write like you are running out of time” and “fly above his station” stick with the listener even after the music has stopped. I have rarely consumed a piece of media that as soon as I am done I am ready to restart. This is that piece of media. If you like history, music, rap, politics, war or even rap-battle cabinet meetings this is the play for you.

To Meet or Not to Meet – Benefits of Virtual vs. In-Person Class Sessions


The trend in remote learning and virtual classrooms has grown significantly since I graduated from college in 2006. This semester I was able to experience both in-person (physical classroom) and remote, digital, virtual based class settings.


I still prefer the in person class sessions. In a digital setting you have the benefit of being wherever you are comfortable and maybe not having to rush to make it to a certain place at a certain time. Other benefits include the variety of perspectives that can come from people who may be more spread out than those in your community who can attend a local class. However, I still feel like an in-class experience is superior to a digital experience.


When students and teachers are in the room together there is a component of unspoken communication that occurs. This tilt of a head or small sound of understanding or frustration can communicate that a student is getting it or falling behind. It is easier for students to build relationships with other students to promote learning or studying together. These kinds of relationships are harder to build in a digital, remote setting. In the same way that reading a real book versus an eBook involves more of the sense, an in-person class provides a more complete sensory experience, which I find is more conducive to my learning.


Having a digital class requires extra communication and flexibility (not bad things to practice) to even just get people together and introduces greater likelihood of technical difficulties. For this digital marketing class I can see the benefits of meeting virtually occasionally, especially to experience the technology, but I always appreciated our in-person meetings more.

B&B for the win – What to expect

During our 10th Anniversary Trip we stayed at a bed and breakfast inn, the Lion and the Rose. This beautiful 120 year old house was a lovely place to stay. I have been wary to stay at a B&B for fear of having to be too buddy-buddy with other guests or the inn keeper over breakfast or social times. But after our second B&B experience I would recommend it to anyone. But you may want to be prepared for a few things that are different than your typical hotel stay.


Things to remember/plan for at a B&B.


  1. They are usually in older homes – you can expect lots of stairs and creaky floors. We were on the third floor of a house that was 10 steps up off the ground at the front door.
  2. The hot water may be a bit finicky – between old pipes, sharing a hot water heater and being on the third floor the hot water in your shower may be a bit come-and-go.
  3. AMAZING FOOD – breakfast was served between 8:30 and 9:30. The menu was posted the day before and was always tempting. Someone does not get into the B&B business and succeed if they are not able to provide a delicious breakfast. One morning the whole house woke up to the smell of BACON.
  4. Good company – now eating breakfast with and socializing with complete strangers is not the first thing on my list of fun. But getting to meet, even briefly, other people who have the same appreciation for food and cool old houses is kind of refreshing. It takes a certain personality to stay at a B&B so chances are if you are B&B person you are going to get along with other B&B people. The innkeeper is also successful because she/he is good at connecting with people and making them feel at home. So she will go out of her way to make you feel welcome – from coffee by your door in the morning to great shopping or dinning recommendations your innkeeper is there to make the experience wonderful.
  5. The bedding and towels will be comparable to or even better than your typical hotel.


So read some reviews – there of lots of B&B review sites out there and go start an adventure.

Brand Building in one of America’s Grandest Buildings

This weekend to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary my husband and I went to Asheville and visited the Biltmore Estate. You could say we contributed significantly to the preservation of an American treasure OR you could say that we bought a lot of wine. Either way you would be correct. Biltmore has is doing a great job of brand building. They charge a lot to tour their grounds, but you feel like you get more than your money’s worth. You walk a lot but you keep wanting to peak around the next corner because there is something new around every corner. They say they want to continue Mr. Vanderbilt’s tradition of hospitality and they do a great job of it, all while happily separating you from your money. The food is great and the views are gorgeous.


The thing they are doing the best is building a consistent brand and protecting that brand. The sign by the door strictly forbids food, drink and picture taking inside the house. And they enforced those rules. We saw over and over again “hosts” telling people to put away their cameras and camera phones. Why be so strict on picture takers? Biltmore is selling an experience based on seeing something like nothing else you have ever seen. They sell a well curated set of pictures in the gift shop, but preclude the lay photographer from posting taking pictures. This limits the number and protects the quality of images available on the internet. By limiting the amount of their product, which is essentially visible, they control the supply. They also create more demand by creating other hospitality experiences within your Biltmore experience. You not only get a peak at what a life of wealth was like 100 years ago you can experience that life of luxury now, for a price of course. The name is synonomous with luxury and hospitality and they deliver on that brand promise.

It’s not you, it’s me. Really. Hormones make you crazy.

After having a miscarriage which turned out to be at least physically easy to get over we experienced the joy of our friends having 11 children in less than 5 years. That was a lot of baby showers. After about a year of just being off the pill, we started noticing that we were officially not getting pregnant. We started to actually TRY at that point. I started taking prenatal vitamins, I stopped drinking alcohol and started eating better.  These weren’t big changes for me but just little adjustments to be supportive of pregnancy. When that didn’t work, We got to business. We started counting days, taking temperatures and trying (wink, wink) at the right times of the month. I made a spreadsheet. It was organization glory that would impress even Amy Pollar.

Some back story you will need food this chapter is that Scott’s first job out of college was for a fertility clinic. He developed their corporate identity, marketing materials and created how-to videos to step couples through infertility treatments.  So we were aware of the criteria for infertility. I eventfully went to talk to my doctor.  I had three years of menstrual cycles, migraine logs, and intercourse frequency all laid out, two of those years after our initial pregnancy.

  • The first treatment that was recommended was Clomid. I’m no medical professional or drug researcher but I think this drug is designed to turn people into demons or tearful babbling idiots. AND that is all the people in the world who are not taking that drug! On this medicine everyone and I mean everyone else in the world was the worst, EVER.  They were terrible drivers, they were incompetent servers. The third month, to help me get pregnant the doctor upped the dose. It was AMAZING how many stupid people there were in my home town. Why did they all move to OUR town? After the third month of Clomid, Scott was finally brave enough to tell me that it might be me who was crazy. I melted into a puddle at point. SO. MANY. TEARS. It was me. The medication was making me a crazy bitch and Not pregnant.

Preparing for a Business Consultant interview

Being an MBA candidate with IT background, I recently figured that Business Consultant position will be a good fit for me. Also, recruiters were showing interest on me where I applied to these roles. So, I started researching about the job details and factors that make a necessary contribution to become a good Business Consultant.

Firstly, the position requires that you are energetic and inquisitive. This is something that everyone fears, I mean; he/she should be able to ask the questions that other employees of the company will hesitate to ask. They should be analytically experienced and think in a different approach that helps the company to get value.

Then, preparing for an interview to this role is not normal. It is apparently different from other technical or managerial interviews I have attended. The main focus of these interviews will be to analyze your problem-solving skills from the least available resources. They pose lot of business cases for testing the candidate. Those cases will be somethinng like ” How many golf balls are there in air now?”. The main motto of asking these type of questions is to know how a candidate will perform in stressful conditions and how they might analyze a solution with limited information.

Rather than going blank in such situations, it is suggested to think deeply by asking questions to get some more detalis. The type of questions is to be identified first. There are many types like “Market-Sizing” and “Strategy”. Later, assumptions should be made to break down the problem into easy chunks of project. The last part should be doing simple mathematical calculations to find out anappropriate or possible answer. More information for preparing these kind of interviews can be found in these wonderful resources.

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