Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Movie Blood Diamonds is a Huge Hit!

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05:  Actor and co-c...
(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Now filming on location in South Africa and Mozambique is Leonardo DiCaprio's new film "The Blood Diamond". The film will be all about the civil war and lawlessness in Sierra Leone in the 1990's.

Blood diamonds (aka conflict diamonds) are diamonds that are sold by illegitimate sources usually to fund illegal activities such as guerrilla movements in civil wars. The diamond industry has in recent years introduced the Kimberley Process which is designed prevent the trade in blood diamonds.

The process to limit the trade of conflict diamonds has purely been source driven. I.e. responsibility is put on the supplier of the diamonds. As a result, most of the awareness has been limited to the diamond trade.

The planned release of "The Blood Diamond" is in December. The strong casting of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connolly, Djimon Hounsou and Arnold Vosloo will guarantee that the issue of blood diamonds will be put firmly into the limelight. The diamond jewelry industry (especially at retail level) is preparing for a huge increase in public awareness of trading in conflict diamonds.

I wonder how many local jewelers are prepared for the launch of this movie. For certain, there will be a publicity campaign that coincides with this year's Xmas shopping season. It will be interesting to see how diamond jewelers cope! Also, speaking of sparkly stuff, check out this article on Michael Bolton that I just read. Brings back all the great memories, which were relived by all the Lonely Boys songs that I listened to just now. If there's another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Bolton better be in it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

TopShop Store Won't Open! Noooooo.

The Fall
Cover of The Fall

The opening date of America’s first Top Shop store in New York has been now pushed back to MARCH 2013. Yes, March.

I’m not sure if this is a big deal to you or if you are even familiar with  Top Shop  but here’s the deal…..
UK store Top Shop is one of the greatest, most overwhelming stores I’ve set foot in..and I’ve stomped my feet in many of stores. To people living in North America, it was a huge deal that they were going to open up a  Top Shop in New York. Think back to the first H&M opening in Manhattan …now, picture a store that is a billion times better. Every time I set foot into London, I make sure my Visa and schedule is cleared before heading to  Top Shop.

So here’s the bad news….. Top Shop’s Sir Phillip Green announced that the debut of New York’s TOP SHOP, which was suppose to open in Fall 12’ will now be pushed to March 13.

I wasn’t sure of the exact date the store was supposed to open but while I was in the midwest for a meeting with my Chicago financial advisor, I asked just about everyone where the  Top Shop was and what route was the quickest way to it.

Sir Green was quoted “America is a brand new territory for us and we have to get everything exactly right. This store cannot be a 9/10 when it opens; it has to be a 10 out of 10. So we’re delaying the opening until around mid-March.”

Whatever, thanks for breaking my heart and making me wait months and months until I get to walk threw the doors.

The sad thing is, I don’t even live in New York and I’m traumatized by this news. Imagine the fashion heads there. I bet you there’s a girl sitting outside of the renovated building, in the fetal position just waiting for someone to give her permission to start shopping..

Monday, July 23, 2012

Questions to Ask your Apartment

My small apartment
Apartment (Photo credit: kenny_lex)
If you're looking to move into an apartment complex for the very first time, you probably don't know all the questions you should be asking your apartment complex, or which ones are the most important to answer. Here a few of the most overlooked questions in my opinion that should always be asked before signing a lease.

When do you collect rent?
Especially early on in the lease, penalties and fines can come up for not paying rent on time. Hopefully your complex will be a bit lenient at first, but you should understand if rent is meant to be paid at the end of the month or some other time, who it should be made out to, and the proper method of delivery. Quite often apartment complexes will want you to pay the first month's rent with a cashier's check for security reasons.

What Changes can I make to the apartment?
This is widely different for every complex and you should understand exactly what changes can be made. Some won't let you even hang a poster, while other's let you do whatever you want as long as the apartment looks the same when you leave as it did when you came in. Most places are somewhere in between, and always ask before you do something major.

What are the Quiet Hour Rules/Guest Rules?
Most of the time, this answer will be plain and simple. Guests can come and go as you please, as long as they don't cause any trouble, and quite hours coincide with the quiet hours of the surrounding community. Many complexes have their own rules however, so just check in to be sure you don't break anything or get yourself into a messy situation.

If you happen to be looking for a place in western Ohio, take a look at the First Troy Corp. Rentals in Troy Ohio. They have a variety of rental options available in Troy,  Piqua, Tipp City, Anna and Sidney.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

4th of July activities

Lake Michigan peace
Lake Michigan peace (Photo credit: kevin dooley)
The 4th of July is just a few days away, and I'm getting ready for all the great festivities. Here's what I have planned out:

Grilling: Always a must on the 4th, even if it's raining, hailing, snowing... maybe not tornado-ing. Lots of brats and burgers, probably a chicken marinade if I'm ambitious.

Beaching: Heading out to Lake Michigan to soak up some rays (hopefully) and enjoy the salt free lake. My dog absolutely loves the beach and will try and catch any frisbee football or even rock you throw. Just in general, everyone should be outside on the 4th if possible.

Fireworks: I usually try and put on my own little show the day before or after the 4th, but I'll be seeing some big fireworks the night of the 4th. Even if you don't like fireworks that much, it's a great thing to go out and do with family and friends.

Hope you have a great 4th, I know I will!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Being Green this Summer

English: Series of air conditioners at UNC-CH.
English: Series of air conditioners at UNC-CH. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It's no surprise that energy bills are at the highest during the summer. Air conditioning is the number one reason for this, but this wouldn't be much of an article if I just told you to turn up your thermostat a few degrees. During the summer, Americans travel more, spend more time outside, and are just more active during the summer. Here are a few ways you can enjoy the nice weather, and save energy and money at the same time.

Get a bike! I know not everyone can do this, but riding your bike a mile down the road doesn't take long at all, and you get to enjoy the nice weather the summer has to offer. Plus it's great exercise, and if you get into a habit of riding your bike everywhere, you will be burning lots of calories in the long run.

Plan your trips out in advance. Everyone should go on a vacation this summer, but that means venturing out into uncharted territories. One small turn can lead you down a route that requires backtracking, and plain frustration. Wasted gallons of gas can be saved just be bringing a GPS along or just by mapping out your route well in advance. This saves both money and your sanity!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gardening Ideas

Mandevilla Flower grown in hanging basket. Tro...
Mandevilla Flower grown in hanging basket. Tropical flower that needs plenty of warmth. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mother's Day is just around the corner, and flower shops and nurseries around the nation are buzzing with families wondering which flowers mom would like the best. For most of us flower novices, there are a few things in particular you should look for before buying an expensive flat of flowers: The amount of sunlight it needs to have, how big it will grow, how often it blooms, and whether or not it will survive more than one growing season. Here's a few ideas of what you could do for your mom to make her garden or backyard awesome.

Take out a few feet of grass leading up to the house fertilize it, plant it with flowers, and mulch it. Not only will this look great, but the plants should help soak up rainwater, helping prevent leaks in your basement. This is especially helpful if you plant large bushes or shrubs. Be careful with your tools around the house though, especially if you have log siding or wooden products around your house that could be nicked or damaged by a shovel.

Hang a few hanging baskets around the house. Many hanging baskets don't require much sunlight and just need to be watered every other day. Tomatoes can come in hanging basket form as well, making it easy for those without enough space for a garden. Make sure you put it in a spot that will get plenty of sunlight, and can't be reached by any hungry animals! If you have a pool, hang a few of the hanging baskets around your pool liner, which will give it a professional look and natural look for something that isn't so natural in the first place.

Most of all, spend some time with your mom if you can, and have a great Mother's Day weekend!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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