Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Decorate your Home with the help of your Virtual Room

Can’t decide if you’re ready to give your antique room a modern twist? Not sure if you want to come across as a big city lover or a beach bum? Stop watching home decorating shows and start designing your real place with inspiration from your virtual space at MyWebRoom.com.
First, choose a theme ranging from Ocean Deep – if you want something sophisticated and subtle, to Pintoresco – if you’re going for the one-walled kaleidoscope of colorful art look. Play around with the themes until you find one you can see yourself living in. Perhaps zen Asiatica if you need a serene place to relax, Penthouse if you’re looking to impress, or Green if you want to bring the outside indoors.

Next, choose objects to fill your room. Want to snooze under British bed covers? Then Hail the Queen. If you’re more of a Francophile, go for the purple Parisian sofa. You’ll probably need a book stand. Perhaps the fiery red Puerto-Rico, or keep it cool with white Cubic Stairs. Besides looking good, these objects are the portals to your favorite websites.
Finally, go to the store or browse online retail sites from the shopping bag in your room! Pick out paint to splash on the walls and furniture to reflect your virtual dream room to make it a reality.
We’d love to see how your home designs are inspired by your virtual room, so send your best shots to us at  marketing@mywebroom.com and we will post it to our Facebook  and Pinterest fan pages!
Discover the web from your online room | MyWebRoom.com
Originally Posted on The Startup Diary

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Santiago Sacatepequez

Since I've hardly touched this blog in a while anyways, I've decided to rewind time to one year and one day ago. I was in Santiago Sacatepequez, Guatemala for a Day of the Dead festival. Here are some pictures from that day. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Beggars CAN be Choosers?

I was on my lunch break, sitting outside at Union Square, about to enjoy the free lunch I received from a "Lunch and Learn" held at my office that I didn't have to attend when a bum came up to me.

He walked over to my table and said something along the lines of, "Hey, can I have some of your food?"

I was quick to say "No."

Then I scanned my free lunch: a Cuban panini, pasta salad, fresh fruit salad, a piece of caramel cake and a Ghirardelli chocolate square.

I handed him the piece of chocolate. It was wrapped up and easy to pass along. I thought he would appreciate the shiny packaging.

He took it and then he said, "How about the cake?"

And I'm like, "NO!!!"

I was annoyed that he still wanted more after I gave him a nice piece of chocolate.

Right after he left I felt bad and remembered what I had eaten up until then: two fried eggs covered in Sirachi sauce and soy sauce for breakfast, the brownies somebody brought to the office for a snack, the two cups of coffee with half & half and lots of sugar for a pick-me-up.

It didn't help that the woman at the next table was not eating anything, just reading a book...but she looked like the type that would have given the guy her whole lunch if she had one to give. Damn her.

I ate everything except for half the cake.

The cake was good for the first two bites and then it was too much. The woman reading probably saw that I ate less than half of it and she probably thought I should have given it to the bum from the beginning, as I probably should have instead of being so gluttonous and then feeling guilty about it afterwards.

Then the next day while I was sitting in Union Square, there was another bum on a bench near me. First he took off his shirt and was sunning himself, and then he began to reach down into his pants. He reached down into his pants several times while I was eating my Chicken Pra Ram. Kinda makes me not want to eat Chicken Pra Ram for a very long time. I know peanut sauce is not good for me, but that was not the way I wanted my lesson to be learned.

Then i suddenly hear a big SPLAT!!! And two feet away from me is a huge pile of bird droppings covering a massive amount of cement. The culprit was perched atop a lamp with his bum still hanging over the edge of it. At least I wasn't sitting two feet closer.

As much as I enjoy eating outside at Union Square, especially when it's so nice and sunny out, I need to enjoy a lunch soon that does not involve bums or bird shit. Or I'm giving up on lunch altogether.

Then the next day I was waking along the Union Square sidewalk back to work and I found a paycheck on the ground. The check had the guy's hourly rate, overtime rate, home address, work information, etc. on it.

I called his office, he wasn't on-site, they called his cell phone, he called me, he was across town, he said he'd drop by my office later in the afternoon to pick up his check. He had a nice name. He had a nice voice. He had a nice hourly rate.

I was hoping for a hottie but I was severely disappointed.

He said it was his first paycheck from the company and that it would have been an ordeal to get issued another one. He said he was very thankful. He was not thankful enough.

Did I get rewarded in any way? NO!

He could have at least given me a piece of cake. Or a piece of chocolate. I hadn't had any dessert THAT day.

Friday, October 03, 2008

You Betcha!

Thanks M. for passing this along. 

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Guatemala Trip: Part 1

I'm posting some emails I've sent about the trip so far so I when I come back, I don't have to recall everything I've done since I have short-term memory! Just come to this blog and read about it for yourself!

Oct. 25

Safe and sound in Antigua, a pretty colonial city 45 minutes from Guatemala City. Lots of students here to study Spanish for cheap. I have a cold! Snotty nose and everything, but other than that, everything´s good so far. Buenos Noches!


Oct. 27

Flight was good. Hiked up and over to an active volcano (Pacaya) yesterday, saw the lava flowing and everything...it was RIGHT THERE! Perfect weather for hiking, overcast and cool, yet nice. Someone on our tour brought along a pack of marshmallows and toasted them in the volcano fires, I got to eat one. No stitches this time, even though the volcanic rock was a lot sharper. Went dancing in a little club last night called La Casbah, danced to Reggaeton and House music.

Today, beautiful weather, clear skies and very warm. Taking a shuttle bus over to a town called Chichicastenango to get there a day early before their huge market on Sunday. Snotty nose is getting better.

- a

Oct. 29

Made it to Chichi. Small town, but with a huge market. Got there the night before to see it all set up and woke up early to see the place being transformed. Followed loud music in the street in the evening and we ended up at this little place where the locals give alcohol and money to a god called San Simon, or Maximo, a cigar-smoking, alcohol swigging deity. They invited us inside. 4 guys playing a large xylophone, two drunk guys dancing and several people in the small room eating and drinking. We gave them 10 quetzals, well, to Maximo, $1.25 total and they brought out dishes of rice, beans and beef , homemade tamales, a white drink and a shot of alcohol. It was really cool to see. We were the only non-locals there.

Market was great, the main church, a beautiful white building, is where they have shamans burning incense, piles of flowers and a ton of people resting on the stairs leading up to it. Hills like San Francisco. Mayan women all in their traditional, colorful skirts and shirts. They carry loads of things on their heads and there´s an area where they sell live chickens and roosters.

Then we took chicken buses (local buses) crammed full of people over to Fuentes Georginas, a natural hot spring place set in a jungle-like setting. The ride up there was gorgeous, right at sunset with valleys and mountains all around. It was great because we got there just in time for dinner and then had all of the hot spring pools to ourselves for the night since only people who are staying there can use them in the evening. Not sulphorous smelling at all, and we stayed in a rustic cabin there with a wood fireplace. Stopped in a town called Zunil briefly, a very authentic Guatemalan town set in the valley, and then on to Panajachel, just got here tonight.

It´s a touristy, yet cute town right on the shore of Lake Atitlan, considered by many to be the most beautiful lake in the world!

- aubrey


Nov. 2

So my $400 digital pocket camera was stolen (we think) at the hot springs place... I'm so bummed about that!

When we arrived to Panajachel on Lake Atitlan, we took a boat over to the lakeside village of San Marcos La Laguna. A very small village with a very hippie vibe. There are holistic centers, massages, tarot readings and so on. We stayed the night there in a cool hotel, like a big cozy cabin. Went kayaking on the lake in the morning and then back to Antigua. We are planning on returning to the lake at the end of the trip.

Woke up early the next morning for this big kite festival in a nearby town's cemetery. It was Day of the Dead. The town's called Santiago Sacapatequez. The kites are handmade of bamboo and colorful tissue paper and there were some as tall as 3 stories high. A lot of the kites were crashing to the ground too, and then everyone would run or get hit by a kite. It was a spectacle! The streets were filled with vendors, games and taco stands. Rode on the rickety ferris wheel there too, pretty scary, but very fun since it was going fast.

Woke up this morning to catch a 4am shuttle bus to Copan, Honduras, a 5 hour ride away. We went and saw the Copan Ruins today, the remains of a big Mayan city. There were colorful macaws and weird creatures that looked like giant, tail-less rats, but cuter, at the entrance to the ruins.

Tomorrow we are taking a bus over to the beaches of Honduras on the Carribbean side.

- aubrey

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Going to Guatemala!

I had a trip all planned out…for Mexico. I was going to go on my first solo trip, stay in the lovely town of Oaxaca, take day trips from there to visit the ruins of Monte Alban and the surrounding villages, take cooking classes in the “land of the seven moles,” try grilled grasshoppers, drink mezcal, stay in hostels that I had pre-booked and catch a bus down to the beach.

I was planning the trip around the Dia de los Muertos festivities. I wanted to see the elaborate altars and cemeteries covered in candles and offerings. I wanted to capture on camera the haunting visions that I had imagined would appear to me.

There were signs everywhere telling me to go to Oaxaca, a city that I had never even heard of before (but apparently it’s been in the news within the past year or so because of teachers’ union strikes…shows how often I read the news…and it’s pronounced “wa-HAH-kah,” by the way):

I was at Safeway to pick up a sub sandwich and a small display of smoky Oaxacan sauce was on sale for a dollar in the corner of the counter. I bought two. I opened up my University of Miami School of Communications newsletter and a photo of my teacher from the one photography class I ever took (yes, I got an A) had a caption next to her saying that she had just come back from being an editor at a National Geographic photo workshop in Oaxaca. Okay, well there were only two signs…but I couldn’t get the thought of the place out of my mind.

I spent weeks reading through guidebooks and researching online. I had racked up enough miles for a free plane ticket through Continental and I was ready to book it. But THEN I figured out that my miles would also take me to Central America. So I decided that I HAD to go to Guatemala instead. After hearing of my roommate’s wonderful time there and reading up on it a little, I knew I would get there soon, but I didn’t think it would be THIS soon.

So my friend who was considering going to Mexico with me suddenly received an e-mail from me saying:

“Forget Mexico, come to Guatemala!!! I just realized that my plane ticket will take me to Central America too (and the Carribbean or Hawaii/Alaska). I already have some awesome places picked out along the shores of Lake Atitlan, considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world (a trio of volcanoes make for a great backdrop) - but you probably already know that. Villages surround the whole lake and you can take boats or hike along the shores to different ones, and each village has a different vibe. Guatemalans also celebrate Day of the Dead...and on Nov. 1 there's this great kite festival in one of the towns closer to Guatemala City. I REALLY want to go here! Come on!!!”

My friend then sent me a link to all-inclusive resort deals in the Caribbean.

I thought…hmmm…the Caribbean would be nice, and considered it for about two seconds. Soon after we put plane tickets on hold and we were potentially booked for a 10-day trip to Guatemala.

But then I read on Lonely Planet online about flooding throughout the country.

And then I went to weather.com and looked up various cities and there was a 60% chance of rain every day during that timeframe throughout Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

And then I panicked and proposed other options in a frantic e-mail including a week in Bali (I even called up a travel agency to get specific details about their RED HOT deal they advertised online) or a shorter jaunt across the Pacific to Hawaii.

I eventually posted to the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum to see how the floods were affecting things in Guatemala and got reassuring responses. So we booked the tickets for a 10-day trip.

BUT…my friend JUST found out that a project at work is finished. So we JUST turned it into a 3-week trip.

Instead of exploring only the Western Highlands, we have time to crisscross our way across the country. The ruins of Tikal, crowded and colorful markets, the turquoise pools of Semuc Champey, bat caves near Lanquin, the mesmerizing region of the Ixil Triangle, breathtaking hikes around Xela, mysterious Lake Atitlan and more await!

The tickets are booked - there’s no backing out now. The dates are set: October 25th-November 15th.

Now I’ve found someone to come with me on my former “first solo trip.” Now instead of having everything mapped out, I’m going with the flow.

So what happens when you suddenly change your plans and ignore the signs, however small they may be?

We’ll see…after all…“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

Monday, October 08, 2007

Take My Breath Away - Class of '87

Red, Gold and Greeeeeen

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

I Got Asian Barbie...and Cruella de Vil

Jen's Blinging it Back

The School Mascot

With Corey Haim, a.k.a Frenchy #1

Belting Out the Best of the 80s

Pretty in Pink and Pearls

A Little Tipsy and a Whole Lotta Tulle

...And it's not even Halloween yet...