Archive for March, 2013

Will this be another Starbucks Reserve?

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

starbucks-marin-mall

back in november, we were invited to the opening of starbucks reserve at the avenues phase 3 - during the event, we heard that the next reserve might be at marina mall, the center dome.

a few days ago, we noticed that starbucks marina has closed down for renovation, so our guess is the new shop will be a reserve concept - will it be a replica of the avenues' reserve or a totally new one? we believe it will be something totally new, but we have no clue hat it might be so let's wait and see..

Have you tried Camel meat?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

camel-meat

i was at carrefour the other day where i spotted a camel meat corner at the butcher's fridge - it seems that this corner serves fresh camel meat every day, not sure though if it's baby camel or adult as i've been told that baby camels taste better.

prices range from 2 to 3.2 kd per kilo, so not a big deal - i wanted to buy some and cook them at home, but for some reason i couldn't... do you recommend camel meat and what is the best way to cook it?

Code’s second workshop: Social Media Marketing

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

code-kuwait

after the spectacular success of code's first workshop, my friend is conducting a second workshop on social media marketing with the same digital marketing guru paula gignac - below the outline of the 2 day event, it sounds very interesting - you can book your ticket online here and benefit from an early bird discount.

Course Outline:

1. Social Media Today

  • Who’s On + What They’re Doing

2. Planning:

Setting Priorities + Creating A Social Media Brief

  • Can Social Media Help Solve Your Business Problems?
  • Where Key Consumer Insights, Trends + Concerns Come Into Play
  • Where Social Media Fits In An Integrated Business Strategy

Do you need and Internal - as well as external facing social strategy?

3. Measurement:

Understanding Social Media Currency + Metrics

  • What Can + Can’t Be Measured
  • Metrics: Likes, Shares, Fans, Posts, Reviews, Follows, Tweets, Connections, Endorsements, Pins, etc.
  • Best-Practices, Data Sources, Tools

4. Defining Success:

  • The Difference Between Metrics and ROI
  • Determining ROI

5. Listening:

  • Developing Sector, Competitor Overview
  • Benchmarking Share Of Voice, Reputation, Key Influencers
  • Best-Practices, Data Sources, Tools

6. Group Exercise:

Explore capabilities within one of the typical “Listening Tools” commonly used within the industry today.

7. Managing:

  • Deciding Who Manages What (Internally and Externally)
  • Preparing For Success + Failure
  • Posting Guidelines
  • Crisis Response Plans
  • Best-Practices, Data Sources, Tools

8. Building Awareness + Engagement

What Makes A Social Brand?

  • What Authentic Voices Sound + Look Like
  • The Difference Between Social Media Strategy, Channels, Tactics
  • The Link Between Strategy + Creative

9. In-Bound Marketing: How content drives results

Choosing Channels, Tactics to support your strategy:

Understanding Social Media Foundations

  • RSS + Tagging

Social Media Networks

  • Facebook, Google + LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Content Sharing Sites / Networks

  • Audio, Video (YouTube, etc.)
  • Photos, Images (Flicker, Instagram, Pinterest, Visually, etc
  • Blogs, News, IDEAS (Digg, Reddit, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, SlideShare, etc.)

Social Commerce / Shopping

Apps + Gamification

Mobile

  • Location-Based Social

10. TARGETING, SEGMENTING, REWARDING, SELLING:

  • Using Research Gathered From Listening
  • Social Advertising: Where Programmatic + Other Forms Of Social Advertising Fit In
  • Social CRM

11. OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITE, EMAIL + OTHER COMMUNICATIONS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR EFFORTS:

  • Best-Practices, Tools

12. EXECUTING/ANALYZING/OPTIMIZING::

  • Getting The Data Flowing
  • Adjusting + Optimizing: Strategy, Tactics, Content, Ads, Resources
  • Best-Practices, Data Sources, Tools

13. ADDITIONAL ISSUES FOR CONCERN:

  • Privacy Considerations

14. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

  • The Power Of Integrated Media
  • Project Re: Brief

15. Individual/Group Exercise:

Take what you’ve learned over the past two days and make either a “Classic” or one of your own Campaigns Digital.

Your grandma is on the line

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

native-union

native union is a company that specializes in making phone accessories mainly for apple - one of their products is this retro handset that you can hook to your iphone and satisfy your nostalgic needs - the design is beautiful, however at first sight you wonder about the practicality of the device due to its bulkiness.

nevertheless it seems that some people, like my friend zeina, have identified a number of benefits:

  1. though you shouldn't use your phone while driving, the size of this handset allows you to simply use your shoulder & your neck to hold the device and still be able to get a grip of your steering wheel (let's assume that earphones don't exist for a while)
  2. because of its size, you are less likely to forget the phone anywhere
  3. in case of attack, it is the perfect weapon for self-defense!

i would add that this device is a good ice breaker during formal meetings, so now i'm looking at this with a new perspective - maybe i should carry one at work and walk into important meetings making a grand entrance using the opening line: "hey, your grandma is on the line" :)

native union has been in the market for quite some time, but you can still find them at icity the avenues.

Sorcery, what a lucrative business!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

black-magic-woman

sorcery and black magic have been on the rise, there is not a single day that goes without a story related to that matter - reason why? i guess it's a lucrative business and some desperate people are being easily tricked into its traps.

the latest was this about this expat woman who got arrested in salmiya for practicing sorcery inside her apartment, but guess how much she was charging for 1 session? 500 kd!!!!!! WTH???? 500 kd for a session of deception and bullshit! if we do the math, she can make 4,000 kd/month with a couple of clients a week! can a doctor beat that? we work like donkeys from dusk till dawn for what?? well at least we don't risk going to jail for what we do but this is seriously frustrating!

Wonderful Wonderful Desserts

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

wonderful-desserts

i was working on a presentation the other day and someone stepped into my office to offer me some dessert - i welcomed the unexpected break and got totally blown with what i had just tasted! the desserts cups are branded wonderful, and i guess it makes perfect sense!! the flavor i chose was mango, however the box looked awesome with other shiny small cups screaming strawberry, chocolate and what have you...

i recommend you try these mall jewels of cakes, you can call for delivery on 1 80 80 84 or visit their facebbok page here, twitter here and instagram via @wonderful_kw - you can also visit their stores at al-yarmouk & jabriya coops.

related stories & pictures:

wonderful cupcakes dessert now in jabriya coop

wonderful cups dessert!

wonderful dessert

A wake-up call by Alnowair

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

alnowair1

we've been blogging for 2 and a half years and this is probably one of the most interesting & well thought events we've ever attended - the idea is already brilliant, bringing positivity to kuwait, and the execution is so cleverly done it builds a story and feeds into the theme very smoothly - the invitation card already told a great deal about the event and the people behind it..

alnowair event took place in an old villa in salmiya, dusty rusty but oozing charm and beauty, the contrast created by the beautiful designs and journey made all the difference - the first station of the journey started with bright yellow umbrellas, the color of sunshine, associated with happiness creativity and enlightenment - the following step was a yes/no illusion, basically it's about training your brain to see the positive in negative things, to see the yes in the no - i think it is a great insight that we, as a family, have learned the hard way - but now we know that when negative things happen to us, they happen for a reason, and most of the time it's a positive one - we learned that everything changes when you look at negative events in retrospect, sometimes you go ah! now i see.. thank god it happened that way! this step also has a nice surprise, but i promised not to reveal it so i'll keep quiet :)

helium balloons station came next, basically it's about letting go of your grudge, hang it to a helium balloon and let it take all that negative energy away - i couldn't think of a grudge so i skipped this station, good news i guess :)

alnowair2

and since i am not exercising nowadays, i also skipped the hopscotch station dedicated to leading an active lifestyle, which makes you a happier person - the flowers station was cool, dedicated to kindness that make people happy - there were some flowers planted in that station for visitors to share with each other and i guess i found the right person who truly deserved a "positive flower", the wonderful woman behind this initiative - my next station was the gratitude wall, it seems that gratitude encourages you to find some goodness in your life, so i wrote down my gratitude and posted it on the wall, the answer was a no brainer, my wonderful family.

alnowair3

i won't dwell on each and every station, however one of the interesting corners was called pencil - basically it has been proven that if you bite on a pencil, you kind of force yourself to smile and your brain will associate your face muscles action with the feeling of pleasure, hence you will automatically feel better.. never knew that!

alnowair4

the last step was a summary wall with an invite to stamp "like" on your best station - for me it was the yes/no station as i personally related to it - though our blog is not the epitome of positivity, i signed the pledge to spread positivity - mind you our goal has always been to change things for the better, even when we harshly complain..

thank you alnowair for the invite, this is truly a brilliant idea that will grow in giant strides - wonderful event, beautifully organized.

Hilarious Asian signs!

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

emergency-door-cock

we sometimes laugh at signs in the arab world but it seems that asia, and specifically china, is no better! daily mail online has published this hilarious post called lost in translation, with a number of side-splitting advice signs from foreign airports - as usual, we've picked the worst sign to show you, however there are many other funny ones too.

English in Asian Airports

so if you face delay due to some reasons, do not worry or even ask, you'll eventually get on that plane - however in case of emergency, just pull the emergency door cock, as mail online mentioned :)

Wonderful news!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

animals-ambulance

i learned from bananaq8 that an animal rescue service will be launched next week with a hotline number for that matter - this rescue service will take care of injured animals offering hospital care and ensuring full recovery - not sure though what happens to those stray cats & dogs, post recovery, nevertheless this is an awesome initiative by the kuwait society for the protection of animals and their habitats - way to go guys!

Olive Garden, average plus at best!

Monday, March 18th, 2013

olive-garden-1

we were planning to visit olive garden for quite some time, however the mixed feedback from our friends kept us from making a decision - this weekend, we made up our minds and headed to the avenues - the place is nice, though we would have loved to sit at the balcony, it was packed so we settled for a table inside.

we ordered some appetizers and they were very good, the calamari, stuffed mushrooms and fried mozarella were awesome - however the artichoke-spinach dip was ok, it could have had more spinach but it was fine - what was really really good, like amazingly good were the soups! the minestrone is out of this world, everything in it screamed fresh, especially the tomatoes, i think it is by far the best minestrone soup in town! the chicken & gnocchi soup was also very good, so were the chicken caesar salad.

olive-garden-2

as for the main course, we had the same issue we faced at cheesecake factory! the food took forever to be served, it came a bit stale and we waited so long we were already full! we had a tour of italy, some kind of lasagna with lightly breaded chicken parmigiana in fettuccine alfredo sauce, that was cold and the lightly breaded chicken was heavily breaded and the fettuccine was not that good.

the cheese ravioli was average, also a bit cold and stiff and the pizza was fine - the steak gorgonzola alfredo was supposed to be awesome, but we were so full we couldn't savor it, however our verdict was average as the dish is very heavy! the gorgonzola cheese is not light on the stomach, but the steak was great!

we're not so sure about this one, will we ever go back? maybe for "free-refill" soup & salad but the main courses did not impress, so if you want to try olive garden it will be at your own risk, our advice is not to order appetizers at all and make sure your main course is served fast.

one last thing we appreciated is the fact that the waiters wrap your food to go in front of you as we noticed from the table behind us - at least you make sure that your food going into your bag with little room for imagination :)

Meet AUB confessions!

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

aub-confessions

i came across this insane article on beirut.com about this facebook page called american university of beirut - confessions - it's an anonymous online survey that feeds into this facebook page about students confessions, and it is alarming! the page is still very new, it is only a couple of days old but if you read what's in there, and if it is true, you'll be shocked! here are some confessions:

"I have been in porn films in order to pay for me tuition at AUB. AUB is a great school, but it's not cheap."

"I blew my professor for an A and I'm not ashamed of it!"

"A bodybuilder got me pregnant, and he paid for me to have an abortion in order not to derail his future. It is what it is."

"If I had a nickel for every time I have had sex in college, I'd have 15¢."

not sure where this page is going, but this is scandalous!

A true survivor!

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

mug1

some things are just meant to stick around against all odds, like my starbucks mug - i've had this stainless steel mug for years and it is my favorite - 4 years ago i left it on the roof of my car but my wife picked it up by cheer coincidence hours after i had left home - it was still laying on the parking ground, bleeding coffee!

mug2

2 years ago i left it again on the roof of my car and a few hours later, while i was gazing at the parking from my office window, i discovered my mug tanning under the crashing summer sun! i rushed down and saved it from a passing snitch.

mug3

a few days ago, i lost my mug again and failed to find it - so i went down to the parking and found it on my windshield!!! how did that happen? i had no clue... it was laying there, neither bleeding nor tanning, just waiting for me to pick it up...

i'm sure i'll have more stories to tell about my mug, it is quite a survivor, but i hope i won't lose it for good one day..

starbucks-create-your-own-mug

finally, i'd like to leave you with this awesome starbucks mug, basically it is labeled "create your own mug" - it comes with a pen that allows you to write different messages depending on the occasion, you can find it on starbucks' store here.