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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dating in NYC - A Single Girl Chronicle

How many of you has goes on Facebook recently and found out your ex(s) are getting married, your best friends are pregnant? Perhaps during family gathering your family would came up to you and said: "Hey you, time to settle down" . . . How many of you are in this situation? Welcome to the club. There were times I just thought about getting my best female friends to take some engagement pictures with me and upload to Facebook and say yeah! I'm engaged! Well.. Is a joke (I'm not into girls :-)

I'm a New Yorker, this is my home and of course I love it! I work mostly in the design industry, get to attend many events and dinner parties, life is great and I live alone with a dog! And oh, not to mention I love classical tunes like Pachelbel and Mozart.. But guess what I'm single! And yet is hard to meet someone "nice" in the city. When a girl went to a bar, sure guys will hit on that girl, but would guys really going to take the girl at the bar seriously? Yeah for some of you probably thinking about Grey's Anatomy, Derek and Meredith was the "person" at the bar started out with a one night fling. In reality, we just have to keep it real :)  

There's 8 million people live in the city, but when it comes down to single guys, there's only a few neighborhoods you can find those single lovely man. 

So now you've owned the map, so what? Are you just going to walk up to some guys and tell them "hey, I'm a nice girl, want to grab some coffee?" Of course not, most people will think you're crazy. Therefore New Yorker try online dating! Such as OkCupid, and Tinder. Oh well, I'm quite honest, I'm on tinder for 3 weeks now, have I met anyone from Tinder? Oh yes I did. One became foodie buddy and that's about it, too many creeps out there and sometime when I thought I have a connection with somebody, but can I really trust it since we never met? Probably 1 out of 10 people are trying to find love on Tinder while the rest just looking for a fling. Sad, isn't it? 

The big Apple is great, is the best place to stay single because there's so much to do in the city.. Broadway show, Chelsea piers, shopping, biking, happy hours, parades, parties, open mic and.... More! But just don't expect much when it comes down to finding the Mr / Mrs Right.. There's one thing I learned throughout my love life - that is "life" will start happening when you least expected. :-)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

When Black and White is Not Enough - Color

Every perception of color is an illusion, we do not see colors as they really are. In our perception they alter one another. 

Joseph Albers

Don't be afraid of putting on color, refine the work little by little. 

Camille Pissarro

Color is like music. The palette is an instrument that can be orchestrated to build form. 

John Sloan

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Another fresh new year is here... Another year to live! To banish worry, doubt, and fear, to love and laugh and give!

- William Arthur Ward

Friday, December 27, 2013

Times Square Lexicon New Year's Eve Countdown Party

Ladies and gentlemen, be prepared to party in Times Square this New Year’s Eve at Lexicon, NYC’s hottest ticket to dance, prance, rock, revel, and romance your way into 2014.

Get ready to ring in a grand New Year in Times Square’s Lexicon, the big, bold, beautiful venue for NYC’s hottest adults to get down. At Lexicon, you’ll enjoy all the hard-partying amenities, in a thoroughly modern space that’s seriously out-of-this-world: a 5 hour premium bar from 9pm to 2am will be pouring all the tastiest libations to get your night going long and strong while you dance to a hot mix of Hip Hop, House, and Top 40 courtesy of a live DJ performance. And while the state-of-the-art sound system is blowing your mind and getting your feet moving, you can indulge in early evening hors d’oeuvres between 9pm and 11:30pm.

Festive NYE party favors and a live NYE countdown will round out this epic evening…and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight will be provided so you can raise your glass to the New Year with all your hot new friends.

Ticket required. For ticketing please click here :


Lexicon's 5,000 square foot bi-level space is complimented by a massive sunken dance floor, state of the art sound and light system, multiple bars and plasmas galore – a perfect vantage point to view the live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop. Disco balls. Neon. Crazy light shows… With serious modern vibes and a consistently hot crowd of NYC’s finest nightlife revelers on hand, the party at Lexicon is one reeling, rocking affair, always roiling with energy and ready to take your party right to the edge.

This NYE, make sure your party is as seriously fun as you are, at Lexicon, NYC’s premier place to dance the night away with a hot crowd of sexy NYC nightlife aficionados. You know you’re ready for the best NYE yet. So get out and show the world what you’ve got. At Lexicon.

Don't forget to keep your ticket stub! With your ticket purchase is a complimentary After-Party pass to Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker st. Doors open at 2am, a $35 value

Dress Code :
Cocktail/Semi-Formal attire. New Year's Eve festive. Dress to impress!

Age : 21+

Menu : Stationed Hors D'oeuvres will be served from 9pm-11:30pm.

Sesame Crusted Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce
Mediterranean Chicken Skewers with Basil-Pesto Dipping Sauce
Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella Panini with Pesto Drizzle and Balsamic Reduction
Cheese Quesadilla
Vegetable Spring Roles
Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto and Mango Salsa
Gourmet Pizza Tasting
Mini Burgers with Vermont Cheddar, Caramelized Onions, Ketchup and Pickle
Artisanal Cheeses
Imported and Domestic Cheeses
Dried Fruits, Nuts and Grapes
Assorted Crackers and Sliced Baguette
Hummus with Pita Chips
Assorted Marinated Olives

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday House NYC 2013 Designers Lighting Collection

I was glad to have a chance to attend the Press Release party with Rio Hamilton. What else is better than viewing all the top notch designer's creation inside the Holiday House. In this article I will be focusing on the lighting collection inside HH. I will include more out and about in the next article. :) Ciao !

Holiday House Design Show was founded six years ago by Iris Dankner to raise breast cancer awareness in the design industry. Iris is a sixteen year breast cancer survivor, and has made it her mission to raise funds for breast cancer research and women who need help fighting this disease.

In 2008, combining her two passions, namely her love of design and her efforts to help women in need, Iris created Holiday House, the first designer showhouse held in New York City to benefit a breast cancer organization. Recruiting top interior designers in the New York City area, the showhouse was held in a historic mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and was a resounding success, with all proceeds donated to help the quest to end the scourge of breast cancer forever.

Since its inception, Holiday House has featured the top interior designers in the industry, received critical acclaim, been endorsed by some of the most celebrated global luxury brands, and expanded to a summer showhouse in the Hamptons. Holiday House is about the celebration of life, with each designer selecting a holiday or a special moment in life as an inspiration for their design.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

This Weekend: A Holiday Pop-Up Shop for Makeup Junkies.

To all of my New York City beauty seekers, step away from Sephora! This weekend (December 7 and 8) there is a holiday makeup extravaganza going on in the form of a pop-up shop. This pop-up shop is brought to you by The Makeup Show, which is the largest, pro-only event, traveling throughout The United States and Europe.

This one of a kind pop-up shop is for inspiring both consumers and beauty professionals on every level. The energy at the show is like Alice In Wonderland meets Rupal's Drag Race, and everything makeup inspired in between. I have been a makeup artist for over 20 years, and I LIVE for this show!

Walking the show room floor will give you the color you need to lighten up your holiday spirit, in shades you've never imagined. There will be over 40 brands under one roof, offering show only discounts of up to 60 percent off the regular retail price. Participating brands include: Kevyn Aucoin, Stila Cosmetics, Crown Brush, Ally's Atelier Armour Beauty, Beauty So Clean, Ellis Faas, Inglot Cosmetics, Jouer Cosmetics, Lashes in a Box,MAKE UP FOR EVER, Temptu, Tweezerman, Vincent Longo, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Kett Cosmetics and many others.

The show will also offer fun "Pro-Tip" seminars by James Vincent, the Director of Artistry for The Makeup Show. Vincent will take center stage, offering seminars about: makeup trends for the holiday season, building a better makeup ensemble as well as insider tips.

If you love makeup like I do, you won't be any other place this

The Makeup Show Holiday Pop-Up Shop will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 11am to 6pm and on Sunday, December 8, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Metropolitan Pavilion: 123 West 18th Street, 4th Floor, NYC 10011.

Tickets are $25 each day, and can be purchased here.

Here is a sneak preview of what to expect:

MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro: Will be offering a curated selection of best-selling and cult favorite products, perfect for filling up your makeup kit and even better for holiday gift giving. All products will be 50% off.

Karim Orange

Friday, November 8, 2013

Decorating Your Home: Five Tips for getting the Home You've Dreamed Of

Many people imagine having a well-decorated home that stands as a monument to who they are, but often think that it requires them to be an artist with a lot of money to spend. However, this is far from being the case. Even a person with no artistic ability or background can decorate his or her home beautifully using simple and inexpensive things. Here are five tips to help you get the home you've always dreamed of.

Let Nature In   
Every home needs a little piece of Mother Earth. Natural things promote a calm and relaxing atmosphere and can even make the air healthier to breathe. For starters, consider adding a few houseplants to every room. Besides providing natural beauty and livening up otherwise dull spaces, they also act as air purifiers. Driftwood, interestingly shaped branches and dried flowers also make fantastic additions.

Get Rid of Clutter
The first step in decorating any home is to get rid of clutter. A home crowded with too much stuff can feel cramped and stifling. Furthermore, studies have shown that it dramatically increases stress levels. If you're not attached to your clutter, throw it out or donate it. If you are unsure of whether or not you want to keep something, you may consider getting a storage unit. You can put the item in the storage unit and if you use it, keep it, but if you don't, you can feel free to get rid of it. Storage units make great in-between places for items you aren't sure if you want or not, according to a representative from Extra Space Storage.

Deck the Walls
A home with bare walls can feel empty and sterile, much like a hospital. This isn't very relaxing, and it's certainly boring. Take advantage of that space to add some character to your home. Framed photos, artwork and even wallpaper are all great ways to achieve this.

Get Your Kids' Help
They may not know it, but your kids are likely some of the best artists there are. Young children are not yet stifled by rules, preconceptions and social ideals regarding what looks good and what doesn't. Far from being a hindrance, this actually makes them very well suited to creating stunning pieces of artwork. Give your kids a paint set and a large sheet of watercolor paper and you might be surprised by what they can create. Plus, they'll be proud to have their work displayed where everyone can see it.

Start a Collection
If you've ever wanted to collect something, then here's your excuse to start. Collections make great home decor and can totally personalize a living space. Whether it's ceramic figurines, original artwork, antiques, vintage photos or clocks, it's sure to make your living space more interesting and unique.

Home decorating doesn't have to be a burdensome chore, nor does it have to cost a lot of money. What you do with your space is entirely up to you and your tastes, so take advantage of it today and get the home you've always wanted.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Simple Fall Decor Ideas

Autumn is the time for harvest, family and leaves! When it comes to decorating your home at this time of the year can be decorated with making major changes to your home or subtly with simple changes like replacing your pillows, or start a little DIY projects. Any change always means refreshing your home. Here is the few ideas I personally falling in love with :

Framed Fall Leaves . . .

Add a little seasonal flair to your home this fall with this gorgeous DIY decorating idea. Just pick up an empty frame and a few fall leaves from the back of your garden will complete the fall look.

When Antiques Meet Modern . . .

To updated your previous look, seek out vintage pieces that you can dress for this century with bold fabrics and colors, like the red woodwork and striped fabric Erinn added to this wingback chair.

Mini Fall Garland . . .

With a little yarn and loads of colorful felt plus simple cutting and stitching, you can create an adorable fall garland that's sure to look great in your home all season long.

Orange is the new black . . .

There's no better way to add a vibrant burst of energy to your interior space than with orange. As shown above is a room designed by Ally Coulter

Throw in a Little Knit Power . . .

Naturally beautiful with inherent texture, Pottery Barn pillow’s yarns are skillfully knit by hand using a seed stitch. Throw in one or two of these in your ordinary sofa will spice things up.

The joy of autumn is the colors that come naturally with the Earth, these are the same colors that most humans enjoy around them continually. As shown above is the new Natural collection from Robert Allen Fabrics.

Let me know if you have more ideas to share!

12 YouTube Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Your Channel

Considering the vast amount of time and resources that’s invested in search engine optimisation every year (the industry is worth over £500 million in the UK alone), it always baffles me how badly people optimise for the world’s second largest search engine. I’m talking, of course, about YouTube.

The Google-owned site welcomes over a billion users every month, and its gigantic community watches 4 billion videos a day, uploading eighty hours of footage every minute. Because of this, it’s surprising that so few people bother to optimise their videos and their channel for search, engagement and, ultimately, success.

Luckily, help is at hand – setting yourself up for greatness requires none of the lengthy link-building that an SEO campaign often demands, and it’s usually a matter of common sense. We’ve done the hard work for you, so sit back, log in and prepare to follow our steps towards YouTube stardom.

#1: Optimize Titles, Tags & Descriptions

YouTube allows you to describe each of your videos with tags, titles and descriptions – do so. Consider your keyword research – it’s likely that the keywords that you use on your website are applicable on YouTube, too. If in doubt, or if you’re looking for extra inspiration, use YouTube’s keyword suggestion tool. Remember your human visitors, too – they’ll want more information, so elaborate on the video’s content and include links to your website and social media profiles in the video’s description.

#2: Remember the Fold

By default, YouTube only displays the first 140 characters of your video’s description in search results, and the first 200 characters of the description on the watch page. Include your most important information, including your call-to-action and any links you want viewers to click, within the first 140 characters, so that you’re not requiring extra clicks before visitors can find your URL.

#3: Make Custom Thumbnails

YouTube allows its users to upload custom thumbnails for their videos, instead of using the automatically-generated thumbnails that the network provides for you to choose from. Take the opportunity to create an eye-catching design that’s more likely to make people click through from search results, but make sure that it’s not misleading – people will quickly click away if they don’t receive what they’re promised, and that will harm your search rankings. In fact, your click through rate is one of the things that YouTube considers when choosing where to rank your videos – improving the click through rate with custom thumbnails generates more traffic from your existing rankings and helps to improve your rankings in the future.

#4: Create and Embed Playlists

Remember mix-tapes? Playlists are the YouTube equivalent, but they’re not just for music – you can collect up to 200 videos in a customised playlist of your choice, and each playlist can be embedded on your website and discovered through search just like a normal video. By grouping videos in to playlists, you can encourage people to watch several of your videos at once, rather than risking losing them to a related video after a single view. You can even use playlists to showcase videos from other channels, allowing you to provide useful content without necessarily needing to release a video.

#5: Create an End-Slate

An end-slate is a template that you can use to encourage your viewers to take further action at the end of your video. Many YouTubers use an end-slate to encourage people to subscribe to their channel to receive updates in the future or to click through to a relevant video or a playlist. Combine an end-slate with our sixth tip for maximum effect.

#6: Use Annotations

Annotations are clickable overlays that you can add to your videos to encourage your visitors to take an action. YouTube allows you to add text as an annotation, but all of the pros tend to use a transparent overlay over text or graphics on the video itself for maximum customisation. Annotations can also include links, but only to certain sites – you can use them to link people to videos and playlists, and you can even prompt them to subscribe to your channel. Try to encourage people to subscribe at the end of each video as a minimum.

#7: Fill Out Profile Information

This might seem like a basic tip, but you’d be amazed at how many people fail to fill out their profiles in detail. Any text that you add to your profile makes it easier to discover in search, as videos are difficult to index and search engines are in desperate need of more information. Claim your vanity URL, add a channel banner, include a brief description of your brand or business and add links to your website and social networking sites.

#8: Enable Comments and Ratings

Too many businesses make the mistake of disabling all comments and ratings on their videos in case a disgruntled customer takes to YouTube to attack them. In social media terms, this is equivalent to launching a Facebook page and refusing to allow people to write on your wall or to message you. Enable both comments and ratings and monitor them over time, responding to any customer complaints or queries as appropriate. These interactions will also be shared to the users’ feeds, generating additional exposure for your channel.

#9: Regularly Check Analytics

Checking your analytics on a regular basis will help you to know what’s working and what isn’t, and you can adapt your content strategy as a consequence. YouTube can provide you with all kinds of information through its inbuilt analytics, including where your viewers are from, what age groups they belong to and even how long they watched your video for on average. If you’re creating more content without analysing your existing metrics, you’re going in blind.

#10: Don’t Monetize
Unless you’re one of the top (50,000+ subscribers) YouTubers, monetising your channel is counter-intuitive. Ads are annoying and off-putting for new viewers, and you’re not going to make enough money from them to cover your costs unless you’re filming on an iPhone and editing your videos yourself. Personally, I’ve been known to unsubscribe from channels and to stop watching them after they monetised their videos, particularly when it’s the channel of an organisation (as opposed to an individual).

#11: Keep it Short

It’s no secret that our attention spans are continually shrinking, driven in part by the ‘everything now’ society that we live in. Limit your videos to a length of 2-4 minutes, checking your analytics to see how they perform. The longer the video is, the more likely the viewer is to stop watching. YouTube also considers your audience retention level (how long they typically view your video for) when deciding where to rank you in their results pages.

#12: Shoot and Upload in 16:9/1080p

There’s nothing more irritating than a video that somebody has filmed on an iPhone in portrait mode – most of the pixels are lost, because YouTube displays video in the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Shoot all of your videos in 16:9, and export them to the highest quality possible – for best results, make all of your videos available in 16:9 1080p HD.

With these tips and tricks under your belt, you should be well on your way to creating and maintaining an active and engaging presence on one of the world’s most popular websites. Video is just one part of a healthy content marketing mix, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t aim to excel.

Remember, a sturdy presence on YouTube can make or break your brand, and while viral successes like BlendTec’s Will it Blend? series are hard to come by, you’d be daft not to make the most of what you’ve got.

What other techniques do you use to optimise your YouTube channel? Have you experienced success using the network to promote your products and services? Let us know with a comment!

Dane Cobain is a social media specialist at fst the Group, a creative agency with offices in Marlow (UK) and Singapore. When he’s not creating content at work, he’s writing articles for his book review site.