Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Königstrasse in Stuttgart

When in Stuttgart, you shouldn't miss going to Königstrasse, the city's main shopping street and the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe, stretching 1.2 kilometers. With hundreds of shops to choose from, there is always something to do here. Whether it be shopping or just windowshopping, take a walk, dine or just simply being there, this stretch of pedestrian street has a lot to offer for people of different ages.

Along the Königstrasse one can find shops like Zara, Mango, Swatch, H&M, Fossil, Esprit, Hugo Boss, promod and hundreds more and two big department stores: Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt. In the Königstrasse you can find the Schlossplatz where the Neues Schloss (New Castle) is located. The adjacent Schlossgarten houses the Stuttgart Opera House where world-class musicals, opera and ballet performances are staged. Then there are also street artists, singers, musicians with violins or hohner accordions or wineglasses, caligraphers and pantomimers, even clowns and balloon artists. There are also coffee and ice cream shops scattered everywhere. For those who love art and history, the Landesmuseum Württemberg and Kunstmuseum are within easy reach.

Annual events like the International Animated Films Festival in May, the SWR3 Summer Festival in May, and The Christmas Market in December are also held here.


My daughter loves them a lot! They begin to bloom just about anywhere at the beginning of Spring and continues to do so until the summer. I actually didn't know until today that they are called dandelions since I only know their German name: Löwenzahn, which literally means "lion teeth". What is amazing about dandelions is that after it blooms, it produces seeds, each attached to a stem with white fluffy stems and turns into what the Germans call Pusteblume, because it when you blow on it, they scatter in the wind.

It is interesting to note that while many people see it as a pesky weed, herbalists see them as a valuable herb and medicine, and a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Many of its parts are edible, e.g. the leaves are used in salads to add flavor, roots are used in some coffee substitutes and the flowers are used to make wine.

And here is my little girl, picking up some dandelions. We were Berlin at that time and she picked these up, along with some Pusteblume while waiting for our turn for the boat tour around Berlin. This photo was taken at the park near the main train station.

Five Online Startups That Can Help Your Business Save Money

The world is vast and so is the Internet. In a world filled with possibilities, here are a few smaller niche websites that can help businesses save up on costs. Interested? Read on.


Effective communication among employees is substantial for the success of a business. With Bitrix24, a business with 12 employees or less can have the basic package for free. This package includes a fully functional CRM, activity streaming where every team member gets updates as events unfold, calendar, activity planner, sales funnel plus other features at exactly no cost to one’s business.

If you have more than 12 employees, not to worry. For only $99 a month, you can use all of Bitrix24 services.

Logaster for one is a great tool for making unique and beautiful logos without any hassle. You can create a logo yourself or choose from a hundred other pre-defined templates that you can use right away. For  a subscription fee of $4.99, you can also get designs for business cards, letterheads, envelopes your business needs.

Thinking what domain name to use for your brand or company is critical. Some people do the nasty habit of domain hoarding that when the time comes you need to pick a domain, they are owned by somebody else. Hence you try to think of the next possible domain name that fit your brand.

Save yourself the trouble of doing this and let others do it for you. For only a small fee, all you need to do is register, pay a deposit ($50 for a domain, brand or name and $75 for a slogan), specify  parameters then choose among the suggested domains.

JetRadar helps users find cheap flights, compare airfares from hundreds of airlines and hundreds of travel sites and pick the cheapest plane tickets available. Now, this is what travel should be all about.

iSpionage is a good service to try out to know what your competitors are up to. It is always in the best interest of a company to be on the alert what competitors are doing so you can counter their activities with your own and stay at the top.

Are they spending money on Google and Bing ads? which keywords they bid on, which keywords generate most of free traffic for them, and ton of other valuable data. One can do a free search 3x a day or $59 a month for unlimited searches.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On Traveling

Traveling will always be one of my favorite hobbies. It may be expensive sometimes but the joy of discovering new things and experiencing something new to the senses is priceless!

We usually travel with our own car because it gives us the flexibility and comfort that we need. But for longer distances, it is more practical and faster to travel by plane. Although not really a "jetsetter" in the literal sense of the word, I also dream of flying to a secluded and private island on board a private jet. I know how expensive it could be to charter a private plane so for now, that is out of the question and will remain a dream. Who knows... maybe we will be able to in the future?

It is good to know though that there is now a Private Jet Rental that is more affordable than most private jet charter flights. Wouldn't it be great to fly to your dream destination in the privacy, luxury and comfort of a private jet?

My Little Girl's and Her Bicycle

It is important that children get a lot of exercise so that they sweat and are able to develop their motor skills. The mom of my little girl's friend from the Kindergarten offered to give her daughter's old bicycle to Samantha since her daughter got a new one from her grandmother. Because my little girl doesn't have a bike yet and it was a really nice offer, I gratefully said "yes, we will accept it, thank you very much!"

And so one day, Samantha got her very own kiddie bicycle. Now we have more than enough reason to go outdoors, take a walk in one of the many public parks and let her pedal around. The first time we went out was Father's Day here. Luckily, the weather was very nice and she had a lot of fun going round in circles at the Schloßgarten and at Schloßplatz. I also had a blast taking her photos. I must admit, it has been a while since I took photos of my favorite subject and here are some of the shots that I particularly love:

She was so happily exhausted by the time we decided to go home that she instantly slept in the car and only woke up after sleeping for 14 hours. She woke up for a few minutes (I think it was around 2:00AM in the morning) to ask for something to eat and then went back to dreamland after having her fill.

I guess I can look forward to more days outdoors, especially now that the weather is getting better and warmer. I also have a feeling that I, too, would need to learn how to ride a bicycle if I want to stay fit like my little girl! 

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