Archive for the ‘Viva-La-Vida’ Category

How to Bring a Sweet Valentine’s Day to Your Customer, Your Colleagues, or Your Sweetheart

In Advertising | PR | Creatives, Business, Inspiration, Viva-La-Vida on 2011/02/14 at 4:42 PM
Today is a day belonging to those who are in love. Yes?

Today is a day dedicating to Hallmark cards, chocolate, and bundles of roses. Yes?

Today is a day expressing your affection to those you’re in love with. Yes?


Chocolate for ValentineValentine's Day RosesWell, sort of. But not exactly.

I’d say today is a day making people around you to feel your love and appreciation, for being who they are.

And it’s never too much to say “Thank you, I love you” (or “I appreciate our relationship”) even Thanksgiving was only 3 months ago. After all, we all want to be loved.

Think about what you and I can do to make a sweet Valentine’s day (without filing a chapter 11 tomorrow morning).

  • What are the most valuable items of your recipient?
    Oftentimes we create surveys or ask questions to understand people we care about but then we miss the opportunity to take actions by showing these people “yes, we hear you and understand your needs.” I gave my boyfriend a pair of workout gloves because he once told me that he got callus by lifting weight on a regular basis. Even though I totally let off the secret by asking his hand size, I know that is something he will find it useful. And I guess we all want to deliver the same value by providing what our recipient wants the most.
  • What is your delivery method?How to deliver a Valentine's Day appreciation at workplace
    Have you every given something but did not get the expected feedback from the recipient? If so, consider how you deliver your message. For any type of appreciation, you want to make sure you find the right voice. If you’re in a B2B company and you would like to wish customers a Happy Valentine’s Day, utilize your staffs who are constantly in contact with customers. Your best delivery channel is your staff.
  • Are you creative enough?
    Let’s face it. We are all information overwhelmed. If you start typing “Valentine” on Google, you will find thousands of queries suggesting thousands of things whether it’s about dining location or gift selection. Among all the information we receive, only creative one stands out. I am often intrigued by creative messages coming from someone I’m totally not expected, and this year International Sign Association’s email message totally caught my intention. Do you have an event coming up? Do you have a new product launch? Consider utilizing Valentine’s Day to give your customer a sweet surprise!Creative email campaign - Valentine's Day
  •  What’s beyond an exclusive Valentine’s Day?
    I have seen some sites taking a step further and embracing the “pay it forward” idea by providing charity services or some very neat cause-marketing campaigns. (Read “Re-Booting Valentine’s Day for Good” from Fast Company) In a nutshell, Valentine’s Day is about love and making this world a warmer place. Yes?
What do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day?





No, you Do care.

In Inspiration, Viva-La-Vida on 2010/10/05 at 3:48 PM
Have you often heard people say, “I don’t care” whether at work or in life?

For some reason these 3 words annoy the crap out of me.

Maybe it’s because I take things/words too literal (because English is not my native language) or maybe it’s just my stubborn personality that I would rather take responsibility than kick it somewhere else. In short, I think I care.

I have been reading Seth Godin’s book “Linchpin” and a very big part of his idea of being indispensable is to ship and to deliver. And for me, caring about something means you want to take the ownership and you want to deliver the project/mission, whether finishing up a no-brainer project or figuring out everyone’s schedule to make a social event happen. Whether big or small, caring about something is the first step of being an artist, or, a linchpin.

For a while I was convinced that I don’t care. But I realize as I stop putting my heart and effort into projects or life circumstances I become less happy because it feels like I am not even making an impact to either work or life. I was confused, struggled, and frustrated; then I say to myself, “maybe I do care or maybe it’s time to start caring and getting my hands dirty.”

There’s no excuse for not caring. Because once you stop caring, you lose the strength to make a difference or even to find the meaning of what you are doing. Aren’t we all trying to find a “meaningful life”? A meaningful life doesn’t exist in billion-salary-jobs, doesn’t exist in gigantic mansion in Manhattan, and certainly doesn’t exist in times when one sits there and whines about “I don’t care.” A meaningful life resides in the moment you & I start to put our heart into trifle things we do, pleasant or not. Nobody said it will be easy, but by being passive and not caring, one forsakes the opportunity of being an artist to make something better happen at the very beginning.

So from now on, start to care.

I “Heart” San Francisco

In Travel, Viva-La-Vida on 2010/06/01 at 11:50 PM

Everyone knows I love to travel. Being up in the air, take off, few hours later a whole new different city.

San Francisco trip is a much-needed getaway since my Washington DC trip in April. Originally it was brewed between my cousin & I whether flying to Arizona experiencing the splendid outdoors or to Seattle bathing in the taste of coffee beans and romantic rains. But eventually the plan changed, I decided to visit San Francisco, a city I’ve been to several times, but also a city I never felt I’ve seen enough.

Regardless of the hassle in Atlanta airport, the places I went and experience I had totally served as the best stimuli for my desperation for a brand new start back to reality. If you haven’t been to the city, read on; and if you’ve already in the city, these spots are the places you don’t want to miss.

  • Arty in Japan Town: It took me 4 phone calls to get into their waitlist. This salon is located in Japan town run by an experienced stylist. This salon has a 4 star on Yelp review. Within 30 minutes I have a new hairstyle & a refreshing look. I barely like my new hairstyle every time I walk into a salon since I was little, but this time? Maybe I was just in the vacation mood, but I absolutely love it.
  • Anchor Oyster Bar: How long do you think it takes to get a taste of the freshest oyster & San Francisco clam chowder? Well, we waited for an hour. Located in Castro, this restaurant is a small yet always busy place because of its fame. We had garlic bread, oysters, prawns, and sea scallop. All of them were unforgettable. Seasoned in light sauce, each bite reveals the freshness of seafood and the tenderness of texture. Simply amazing.
  • Domaine at Yountville: “The top quality sparklers are made using the laborious methode champenoise (which means, among other things, that the bubbly undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle before the bottles are riddled, to nudge the sediment into the neck of the bottle)” (Fodor’s San Francisco, 2009) I am far from a wine tasting guru, I am just a fan of fine wine & the spirit of enjoyment. So we select their classic tasting including Brut Classic, Blanc de Noirs, Rose, and Extra Dry Riche. My favorite is the 3rd sparkle, strawberry interwoven with apple & stone fruit. There is no acid taste in the tip of tongue; purely the richness of fruit and intense booze after the liquor touches my lips.

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These are just 3 out of many fun times I had over the weekend. It’s hard not to fall in love with this beautiful city whether it’s for mesmerizing winery, breath-taking Golden Bridge, or every street with unique culture and lovely coffee shops. I think I would want to live in this city one day, and I’m working on it 🙂

Special thanks to my cousin, Alice, who introduced me this lovely city, and now it’s just impossible to not love the city less.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully charged after this wonderful trip. Now it’s time for some hard work!