The Music Industry has always had an impact on popular fashion. Famous rock stars, country singers, and other musicians are in the public eye all the time and are sometimes worshiped and often adored. It would only make sense that what they wear would become popular fashion among their fans and the youth of the day. As far back as The Beatles and Elvis Presley in the days of poodle skirts, bobby socks and when kids asked for the best record player for Christmas (instead of an iPod), the music industry has influenced fashion.

Are Musicians Role Models?

www.flickr.com/photos/cwsteeds/

This phenomenon has become more prominent in today’s day and age with the increase of media and music videos. With computer technology, photos and videos of your favorite music stars are just few key strokes away on the internet. When each new hip hop star hits the limelight of the stage, their target audience, often our youth, just has to rush out and buy the clothes they see their role models wearing. This is why it is important that stars remember they are, in fact, role models and that young people are going to mimic their fashions. There are arguments all over the media, both written and on television, even on Social Media and the internet, about young girls dressing provocatively because of unfortunate role models in the Music Industry. I won’t name any names, I’m sure we all know who, and besides that I’m not here today to discuss the merits or morals of music artists; but merely to mention that they do indeed have an influence on the fashion of the day. It’s just coincidental that young children and teens are more influenced than most adults.

Technology Changes with Fashion

Whether you’re dressing like your favorite musician, or simply enjoying their songs in your own style, one thing remains important; how do you listen to your favorite albums? Are you a technology guru with an MP3 player or an Ipod who buys and downloads your music online or with a simple touch on your smart phone? Do you still purchase CD’s to play on your CD Player?

record player vintage

 

If you’re anything like me, you’re a huge fan of vintage record players, those dinosaurs of a past era, when music was a bigger part of our culture. Music sounds tinny on CDs and when downloaded, at least in my humble opinion. There is nothing like hearing it come from a vinyl record, the notes sweeping out from the player and through the air from your vintage turntable.

I’ve been running a small clothing boutique which focuses on Bali fashion imports for a number of years. When I first started I can remember I was full of enthusiasm and excitement, but most of all bewilderment.

bali- importing - shipping-2

Getting started

bali- importing - shipping-3I had NO IDEA what I was doing. As someone first entering the fashion industry I realized the hard way that there are a lot of things I wish people told me before I got started. So with that in mind I’ve decided to write a blog post that differs a little bit then my usual posts – I’m going to discuss three things I wish I was told before I setup my small clothing store.

  1. I’m fairly active in the entrepreneurial community and I hear this a lot “I’m so excited to be my own boss so I can set my own hours”. While I agree, setting your own hours is one of the perks you have to make sure you SET hours. Very early on I was working 14 hours a day running around like a mad lady. I would be at the store when it opened and still there when it closed.If you’re not careful you’ll wonder how you ended up working investment banker’s hours while getting paid like a store clerk. Chasing your dream is wonderful, but make sure you balance your life out.
  2. bali- importing - shipping-4Shipping is a nightmare. Seriously, shipping is the worst part of any physical goods industry. I can’t stress this enough, be prepared to spend a great deal of time figuring out how to get your logistical problems under control. I used to handle all of it myself until I realized I HATED that part the job. Truthfully it’s a lot easier to find clothing manufacturers in Bali then it is to move the goods across the worldOnce I began trying to figure out how to take my life back (read point 1) I decided I needed to outsource tasks that I disliked. Shipping was on the top of that list so I hired a medium sized Calgary based shipping company called Jori International to take care of everything for me. They handle all of my freight forwarding, customs clearance and logistics. It’s not a stretch to say that this saved my marriage and my sanity.
  3. Be prepared to live on debt for a while. Such is the price of following your dream, and not working for someone else’s. You’re going to be responsible for the risk. This isn’t actually as scary as it sounds and usually the worst case scenario isn’t nearly as bad as everyone thinks. I think it’s because the word bankruptcy has a stigma attached to it which people associate with “poor for the rest of your life”.With all that said, prepare to dive into your line of credit and loans. That’s usually part of the deal unless you already have a huge chunk of change. It’s also part of the fun. There is something run about running with the bulls.
11/03/2014

Bali Fashion: What’s Hot

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What is HOT in 2014

Fashion doesn’t just happen in Paris or New York anymore. Bali is the latest hot spot in the fashion world. Bali explodes with all that is hot and smart in fashion during fashion week, held in August annually since 2001. There were a few slightly strange fashions, like the Village People with their police officer, indian, and construction worker with a nail gun, that came out of fashion week. The cutting edge is only what is suitable throughout the week. Bali sets the international fashion trend the rest of the world follows.

This year the fashion trends derive from casual and soothingly comfortable for stylish women everywhere. The look may be casual, but is far from simply throwing on whatever is in the closet. The pieces are carefully selected to give a sense of a modern, breezy look. Yet, every woman knows that to truly be trending takes careful consideration and work. It’s casual but you can’t just stroll out to the cafe after home health aide training class in your health care uniform.

Here’s what’s hot:

Street Chic

Street chic is far from looking cheap. These styles pop with looks in leather and lace. A fine fashion touch for any woman, while conveying her worldly street smarts. Deliciously demure, yet with just a hint of her solid strength. The individual shines through with a combination of her unique personality completely in tune and in touch with her inner and outer self.

Certainly, the style is casual yet with a sexy undertone of all that a woman is and will become. Although street chic originated on the streets, the style has come to be recognized and has become a hot fashion trend throughout the world. The look may appear quickly put together, the truth is that the style are pieces that have been carefully chosen to be worn in eclectic style.

Equine Style

According to the Chinese New Year, 2014 is the “Year Of The Horse.” Designers the world over are trending the style with equine jewelry, purse clutches, sunglasses, and more. Charm him with block letter bracelets, that spell out his name or a simple word like ‘play’ or ‘love.’ These accessories show sensational style, while fashionably denoting and celebrating 2014.

Whether a rider or not, delight in playful, sensuous, and colorful rider English hats. The hats are banded in a different color to coordinate with a bright sun dress, perfect for spring. Vibrant and rich scarves printed with galloping horses are also a delightful addition to any casual or even, a formal outfit.

Spring Forward

Bright and vibrant are the watch words for keeping in step with the coming Spring. Gingham skirts, shirts, dresses, and sun dresses are all part of the top fashions for Spring this year. Blue flowers bursting from a background of orange or a toned down look of black flower on white are on the fashion scene for 2014.

Sandal footwear for both casual and formal wear are all part of the breezy, carefree look. Top with a colorful matching or equine scarf to complete the latest look. Further accessories, such as a broad leather belt shows off the classic hour glass figure. Still a bit too cool out? Throw on a tony man’s rain coat for a dashing and contemporary look.  

It can be exhausting to try and keep up with women’s fashions!  Boot cut jeans are in one year, and then skinny jeans the next.  I’m pretty sure everyone wants to trash their pictures from the 80’s with the big hair and the neon, too!  If you have limited closet space (not to mention a limited budget), here is one article of clothing that will never go out of style, and how you can dress it up or down for almost any occasion.

Of course, I am talking about the little black dress (LBD), and if you are like me, you may have several of them.  My tips for the perfect little black dress are 1) It should be comfortable and 2) it should be simple.  It should also be of an “all season” material (not heavy wool or linen) so you can wear it all year round.  Once you find a good little black dress, here are ways to dress it up or dress it down.

For Work

As long your LBD isn’t too short, you can wear it to work!  One of the great things with black is that it goes with just about any other color, so put on your sensible pumps and all business blazer and you’ve got yourself a cute work outfit.  Even better, if you are going out to happy hour at the end of the day with your coworkers, you can take off your blazer and all of the sudden you look ready to have a good time!

For Casual

Did your best friend just purchase what she says is the best electric smoker?  If so, put on a cute pair of flip flops with your LBD, a sun hat, and head outdoors for her barbecue party.  One of my musts in any article of clothing, if possible, is that it is machine washable.  If you’ve got a machine washable LBD, then don’t worry about standing to close to the grill or smoker.  It can even look like an old smokey electric smoker if your friend really likes the smokey flavor, but if you can throw that dress in the wash then who cares?   And, of course, don’t forget your cute denim jacket if it is going to be a cool evening (hmmm…and maybe a pair of cowboy boots instead of those flip flops).

For Dress Up

A great way to dress up any outfit (not just the LBD) is with jewelry and a wrap.  If you have a fancy party to go to, consider a great pair of dangle earrings and long knotted necklace.  Even if your LBD isn’t that fancy, no one will notice.  If it is a cool evening, partner with a sparkly and colorful shoulder wrap and no one would ever guess that you just wore the LBD to work a few days ago.

With limited closet space and limited money, it is always good to have a few versatile items of clothing that you can wear almost anywhere!

 

 

 

Let’s face it, the thought of decorating your home can be an overwhelming one as the options to how you do it are literally endless. But it is this wide scope that potentially makes it such an enjoyable business too.

And decorating on a budget makes things simpler, as it focuses your options on things that don’t break the bank. So with that in mind, here are 5 inexpensive decorating tips.

Be consistent

Before you even think about splashing out on new furnishings and expensive paints, think of a theme and be consistent with it throughout your spaces. It is no good copying a designer’s theme and then naturally trying to personalize it after with your own additions. This not only costs more money, it leaves your rooms looking like a jumble of ideas.

If you are decorating your bedroom, it should reveal a personal side to your character. If there is a headboard on your bed, echo that with the wall decorations. (Looking for some, ahem, other tips? How to last longer in bed guaranteed?)

Rethink what you have


It won’t cost you a penny to move around a few things already in the room. While you are doing it you can think of ideas and assess whether you want to re-use pieces of furniture or get rid of tired pieces that are only cluttering up your space.

Less is often more so if you don’t want to paint over old furniture and you don’t really need it, get rid of it. Take it to a charity shop or pop it on Ebay. Any sales can fund your decorations.

Consider lighting

Choosing the right lighting can truly transform the mood of your rooms and changing your lighting can be as cheap and simple as buying a new lamp shade. If you have a pair of odd table lamps, try buying a stylish matching pair. To get real cohesion in your room, place lamps either side of a bed or piece of large furniture.

New pillows

If you can’t afford or don’t want to get a new sofa, simply update your old pillows instead or buy new ones. You can buy cheap zip-up pillow cases from most home stores.

Create space with mirrors

Mirrors are excellent at creating an illusion of space and they also bring extra light to a room. As such, they are excellent alternatives to expensive works of wall art such as paintings but can be just as effective for creating a luxurious space.

30/07/2014

Foods in Bali

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Dreaming of the rugged coastlines and sandy beaches of a far-away and exciting destination? Dreaming of scrumptious food from traditional cuisines served to you during your nightly lounge on those exotic beaches? Think Bali. This Indonesian country is as dynamic in its food traditions as in its ancient spiritual heritage.

Balinese cuisine relies heavily on a variety of tasty herbs and spices to provide unique and tantalizing flavors. Traditionally, Balinese dishes are served on a banana leaf. If you’re fortunate enough to be invited into a traditional Balinese home during your stay, be prepared for a feast of fresh flavors in large quantities. Your host has likely taken multiple hours to prepare the feast.

However, you can still get a taste of great Balinese foods at a restaurant or from a local food cart. (You can even try your hand at making them at home!) Let’s have a look at a few traditional dishes.

Nasi Goreng is a simple rice and meat dish, but it includes a fantastic variety of fragrant spices, chilies, and fish sauce. It comes from the island of Java and is the best known Balinese dish. In the United States, it’s sometimes referred to as “Indonesian Fried Rice.” Though it may be simple, it’s far from ordinary. In fact, it was voted second for most delicious dishes in the world by a CNN pole in 2011!

Beef Rendang, while not as popular, was actually voted #1 in the above CNN pole! (Go Bali!) Tender chunks of beef slow marinated in coconut and spices will be a winner for all beef lovers.

Satay may be the best known among American travelers, as something similar often appears on our own grills. Skewers of various meats and vegetables rubbed with pleasing spices will tantalize any taste buds. These meaty treats are cooked over hot coals. If you want to make something similar in your own backyard, check out these for options to make your own mouth-watering skewers.

 

Bebek Betutu may be a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it for this spice-rubbed duck slow-cooked inside of banana leaves. Tender and tasty, you won’t be disappointed. This is the kind of dish you could recreate at home with the help of a great slow cooking method. You can get the best electric smoker under $200 and have your own personal feast!

Modern Balinese food still includes much traditional influence. Now, however, fusion style foods abound, and visitors will find many foods influenced by Spanish and Mexican cuisine as well as cuisines from other parts of Indonesia. For example, Gado Gado is an Indonesian food not originally from Bali, but is now very popular there. Gado Gado is a vegetable and tofu dish served with peanut sauce on top. Peanut sauce is popular within Balinese dishes, and this sauce has also seen the influence of India and Morocco.

Lest we forget about dessert, one of the most popular in Bali is Bubur Sumsum (also called Bubuh Injin). This is a black rice pudding that includes rich coconut milk. It will appeal to your sweet tooth for sure! It is sometimes served in Bali as a breakfast or snack item.

The above dishes are just a handful of what’s in store for you if you plan to eat Balinese style. Whether you love meats or vegetables, sweet or savory tastes, there is something to please every palate!

There are tons of ways to see a new city. I love flying in over city and getting to look out the airplane’s window to see the rivers, buildings, and the surrounding countryside. I am too chicken to go skydiving so looking out of the airplane’s window is the highest view of a city I will ever get to see. There are of course many other ways to see a city and by foot or bicycle is a great way to check out the streets. Most big cities are filled with side walked streets and broad avenues where the shops and museums offer points of interest. I have recently discovered a new way to see some cities.

kayaking NYC

 

There are some cities in this world that can be explored by kayak! Many cities in Europe are famous for their canal systems and there are tours popping up that offer a new way to see the old world. The U.S.A. has several big cities with rivers running right through the center and can give you a vantage point that is truly breathtaking. I recently kayaked through the harbor in Sydney, Australia, and then went on to beach after cove hidden beach.

I was recently in Malmö, Sweden, where I rented a tandem kayak and spent the day with a friend going through the city center and even stopped off and had lunch at a café with our kayaks parked right beside us. It was awesome. After lunch we lazily cruised through the city’s harbor and out to sea before coming back in the evening. We had so much fun hanging out in our kayak all day.

I have even heard of a free kayak tour in New York City that takes you down the Hudson River alongside Manhattan Island. Now that is the way to see New York City! Imagine cruising past the gondolas in Venice, Italy, and the pictures you could get. Amsterdam is another city with an extensive canal system that has kayak tours. Stockholm’s kayak tours through the city offer some of the best kayak fishing you can ever imagine.

 

More and more cities are catching on that this is a fun and environmentally friendly way to have an adventure in their city. I am not looking for another city to go to just to get to kayak past other tourist and wave. Kayaking is also a great way to stay and shape while checking out a new city. A hop-on-hop-off buses will have you waiting in line most the day just to make a loop, instead check and see if there is a water way that goes through your next destination so you can slide into a kayak and paddle your way from museum to museum.

 

I always think of makeup as the finishing touches to an outfit. If I really want to dress to impress, then coordinating my makeup to my clothes is essential. To many of you out there, I’m sure such a statement sounds horrifying and brings up images of your grandmother with her matching pastel blue dress and eye shadow. However it doesn’t have to be that way, matching doesn’t mean choosing the exact same shade and plastering it everywhere, it means choosing complimenting shades that when seen together really make the individual and the outfit stand out. So here for those of you who want to really bring an outfit to life are some general rules for perfectly matching your makeup to your clothes.

Avoid Using the Same Shade Everywhere:

This one really goes without saying, if you don’t want to look like a nineteen fifties housewife, then you should avoid using the exact same shade all over the place. The key here is balance and contrast, by choosing shades that are either darker or lighter than your outfit but still within the same color range, you can make your personal appearance and your clothes really stand out.

As an example, imagine you are wearing a light grey dress, you can match your makeup to your dress by creating a metallic smoky eye that is darker than the dress.

Choose One Area and Accent it:

This is important, because you don’t want to drown yourself in your makeup. Make a decision early on what area of your face you are going to highlight and keep the rest of your face neutral. So for example if you are going to a cocktail party and decide to wear a red dress, you can accent your lips by choosing a red lipstick and keeping your eyes neutral. Whatever you do, never wear heavy colorful eye makeup and lipstick at the same time, always choose one area and keep the rest simple. And always remember never to do an exact match, choose a color that is either lighter or darker than your clothes.

For Eyeshadow Try Mixing Bold with Metallic:

If you want your eyes to really stand out and bring life to an outfit, then try choosing a metallic shade to mix with one that matches your clothes. So for example if you’re outfit is in the green range, you can choose a lighter or darker shade of green for your eyes and mix it up with a metallic gold or copper. For this type of combination less really is more, the key here is to blend well so that the outfit corresponds and stands out against the eyes.

Choose the Right Foundation:

Think of foundation as an artists canvass, it needs to be perfect before you apply anything else on top. For this reason it is really important that you choose the right type of foundation for the occasion and the clothes. You should really have a range of foundations in your makeup cabinet, ranging from light coverage in the form of a tinted moisturizer or a bb cream for oily skin, to a more full coverage foundation that is perfect for that night on the town. Foundation is tricky, and some education is necessary in order for you to pick ones that are perfect for you and your skin type to get the best coverage foundation. But with careful selection, you can create a beautiful artists canvass, upon which you can paint on your colors.

So there you have it, some simple, general rules, that can help you choose the perfect combination for a stellar fashionable look. There are of course many other ways to do this, but for beginners, this list is a great place to start experimenting.

20/05/2014

Tropical Fruits

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Great Fruits you can only get in the tropics

Oftentimes when we go to the store and shop for fruits and vegetables we do not consider their origin.  Little do we know the path that some of this produce takes to get from nature into our stores.  While a lot of the produce can be grown in the US, there are a select number of fruits that come specifically from the tropics.

Most of these fruits that come from the tropics are also available all winter long, whereas the local fruits probably are not.  There are many health benefits found in tropical fruits and one can even be used as an IV!

Coconuts

Arguably the most popular of the tropical fruits would be the coconut.  Coconuts provide many healthy alternatives for us, including coconut oil, coconut milk and even coffee creamer!

Coconut oil is more commonly used in today’s world as a replacement for other types of oils, more specifically olive oil.  The health benefits of coconut oil far outweigh any benefits that are found in olive oil, even in its purest form.  Below are some common uses for coconut oil:

  • Cooking with high heat
  • On bread instead of butter
  • A spoonful each morning!
  • As a replacement for vegetable oil in cooking
  • Popping popcorn
  • As a hair product
  • As a facial product
  • Body scrub

And the list goes on and on!  Most people do not know of the extensive uses of coconut oil, however it has proven to be a very beneficial commodity.

Coconut milk has quickly become an alternative for people who are lactose intolerant and want a dairy free alternative for milk.  Even more convenient is the fact that coconut milk can be made at home with the use of a consumer juicer, such as a masticating juicer.

Avocado

Most people do not realize that an avocado is in fact a fruit and not a vegetable, but it is!  We mentioned before that coconuts are probably the most popular fruit, but currently I would say avocados are the most popularwith the recent trend.  Fast food chains, such as Subway, have included avocados on their list of produce that you can add to your sandwich.

So what is it about avocados?

Avocados, much like coconuts, offer many health benefits.  The fruit itself has been shown to lower cholesterol, and contains folic acid which can aid in preventing birth defects.  Furthermore if you eat avocados with other produce you will actually absorb more nutrients from your meal.  Add a couple of slices of avocados to your salad, and voila, you will absorb far more nutrients from the meal.

Another way to get the benefits from avocado is to throw them into your favorite green juice or smoothie.  One of the most popular green juices contains spinach, celery, avocados, broccoli and cucumber.  The trick is to juice all of the ingredients using a masticating or centrifugal juicer with the exception of the avocados and then blend them in once the juice is ready.

Overall, most people may underestimate or not even realize the amazing fruit that comes from the tropics.  Coconuts and avocados are two of the most “trendy” fruits currently in the US.  Everywhere you go you find avocados being added to your meal, and coconut oil and milk continues to gain popularity with the masses.

 

 

When you are shopping overseas for gifts for friends and family (or treats for yourself), and important consideration that you need to be aware of is the potential liability for local taxes or duties.

Depending on which country you are visiting, the tax may be referred to as a customers charge or levy. Effectively this is an indirect tax that works as a kind of consumption tax because it is attached specifically to the goods that are being purchased internationally. (My brother in law ran into issues with this as well with his business making knives. I’ll list some references below if you need to contact someone on the details.)

Lots of countries make a tax allowance for people who are traveling overseas for holidays or short trips – this is generally known as a Duty-Free allowance, setting limits which effectively means that smaller purchases are exempt from the customs levy.

Research Duty Free Before you Go

Before you travel it is important to research what your Duty-Free allowance is for you – this will vary on different types of products such as alcohol, cigarettes, and electrical goods.

One of the common ways that people look to benefit as much as possible from the duty-free allowances is to do plenty of research in advance. If you can create a target shopping list of all the things that you want to buy for yourself and your friends and family, you can then document the price that you would pay if you bought it domestically and compare that to the price you would pay if you bought it at the price being advertised as duty free. In this way you can ensure that you are using your duty free allowance to purchase those products and gifts where you are getting the maximum benefit and making the most savings.

Always Buy Quality Products, Regardless of Duty

However it is important to make sure that you are buying quality products and not just being persuaded by a big saving on the advertised price. Again, this is where research plays a really important party. For example, say that you want to buy a bread maker, and your research shows you that you could buy a bread maker within your duty free allowance and that it would deliver you big savings against the advertised domestic prices. For an important purchase like that you are not just going to go for the cheapest one – you need to do your research and read the bread maker reviews and work out which product is going to be the right choice for you. This same approach should be used for any of the potential purchases that you are thinking to make as part of your duty free allowance.

Traveling and holidays are a lot of fun – make sure you use your time at the airport wisely and put all of your research into good use so that you can snap up the bargains!

 Camping in Bali on the beach, provides you with an experience of a lifetime,

including beautiful beach views and an adventurous overnight stay. 

Bali is a small island located in Indonesia. It is one of the most beautiful islands on the planet. It’s toasty, golden sunsets, cozy, white-sand beaches, and exotic, tropical atmosphere makes it one of the hottest destination spots in the world. Camping in Bali is one of the best ways to experience this beautiful island at its best.

Beach Camping - Tent need to be waterproof

Be sure to get a family friendly tent.

There are a number of different camping excursions and tours in Bali that offer a number of exciting adventures such as camping on Mount Batar, trips to Marina Harbour, the Munduk waterfall, Nungnung waterfall, Lake Beratan, Taman Ayun Alas, Tabahan, Belimbing Sari, Singaraja City, treks through Monkey Forest and Mount Herap, white water rafting, bike tours, boat tours, air conditioned transport tours, shopping in the market place and more.

Most tours offer their own camping equipment, however, if you opt to bring your own, the #1 voted best family tent is the Coleman 6 Person Instant Tent. This tent can be set up and down in about a minute. It’s made of durable material that is sure to keep you comfortable through any weather, and it is large enough to fit two queen sized air mattresses. The poles come pre-attached to eliminate the risk of lots parts. Simply, unfold the tent, spread the fabric, extend the poles, click to lock in place, and you are ready for an exciting night under the Bali stars.

For maximum protection, you should always waterproof your tent. For instructions on waterproofing a tent, simply follow this waterproof tent guide. According to Backpacker Magazine, there are 5 easy steps to waterproofing your tent (waterproof tent guide).

Step 1

First decide which seams will be exposed to rain, puddles, or runoffs. This usually includes the seams on the fly and the tent floor. If your tent comes with taped seals, then you do not need to bother with weatherproofing them.

Step 2

Carefully, read the instructions to determine which side of the fabric to seal, before applying the sealant.

Step 3

If you are using a used tent, prepare the seams by using a toothbrush to remove any old sealant residue, then swab the seams with isopropyl alcohol. Allow it to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Step 4

Apply a generous amount of sealant to the seams, using long even strokes. Allow to dry for up to an hour, then apply more sealant to gaps.

Step 5

Set the tent under the sprinkler for a few hours to check for leaks. Seal any gaps.

Happy Camping!