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WellHeeledBlog New Feed

If you are reading this, you have probably been missing out on my new feed.

Please subscribe to me here: http://wellheeledblog.com/feed

Thank you! ūüôā

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Yes, I am finally in the process of moving my blog to its own domain sweet domain.

Please find me now at wellheeledblog.com. I’m working on directing this blog directly to wellheeledblog.com, hopefully it will happen within the next couple of days.

If you can be so kind to update my link on your blogroll, that’d be very, very much appreciated.

Thank you all. I look forward to continue talking about money and everything else over there. ūüôā

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It’s summer time, and love’s in the air.

The whole thing started when RevancheGS and I were chatting, and I (somehow having momentarily regressed to 8th grade), asked her who her male PF Blog Crush is. And I thought it’d be funny to ask that question to, well, other people.

The “rules” are such:

1. Your PF Blog Crush can be any personal finance blog written by a member opposite sex (or, a member of the sex you are attracted to in real life).

2. Add a couple sentences (or more, if you really can’t hold back) on why you find that particular blog / blogger attractive. I.e.,¬† “The way he budgets just makes my knees go weak!” Or, “She sounds so exciting when she talks about the deal she got at the tire store.”

3. It doesn’t matter if that blogger is attached (it’s all just fun. No homewrecking on this blog, promise!).

4. You can be a blogger or a reader. You can comment anonymously if you’re shy.

5. Please send this to your friends / tweet (please use shortened url at moourl.com/blogcrush) – the more people who chimes in, the more fun it’ll be.

Next week, I’ll do a little summary post on all the crushin’ going on in the PF blogosphere.

And…. let the commenting begin! ūüėČ

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I caught the first episode of the new FOX reality dating show More To Love last night. It appears that thanks to Hulu, I can find ways to unproductively use my time even without a TV in my home¬†(see Exhibit A: Momma’s Boys).
 
After watching the premiere (full episode here), here are my thoughts.
 
1. It’s unnecessary to list each woman’s height and weight below her name. I doubt that many women (whether they are a 6 or a 16)¬†would want their personal information to be put on TV for the world to see.

2. Luke seems like a nice-enough guy, but 20 cute ladies + 1 single man basking in their attention = the balance of power is dangerously off.

3. The first girl out of the limo, Malissa, looked gorgeous in a deep cut blue sheath. And she’s studied abroad in Paris. Forget Luke, I’m a little smitten myself.

4. The rings. Oh my. The rings that signify “Luke’s promise to get to know each of the woman for who they really are”. Call me old-fashioned, but I thought there were engagement rings (i.e. you are engaged to be married), and maybe promise rings (i.e. you are making a promise to get engaged in the future). What do these rings represent then? Although… this can be a new marketing opportunity for jewelers: “A Promise To Get to Know You” ring, anyone?

5.¬†The script about the rings. Luke: “Will you¬†wear this ring?” Lady: “I will!” Luke said, “the future Mrs. Conley might be in this room.” I get it .There’s no need to knock us over the head with the obvious SYMBOLISM of the ring ceremony.

6. The giving back of the rings and the regiving of the rings. It’s mean for the ladies to have to¬†give back¬†their rings, then wait for it to be re-given. I prefer Bachelorette’s rose ceremony. At least the Bachelor ladies aren’t handed out a rose only to have to give them back.

7. The rocket scientist who kept apologizing to Luke about her rocket scientist job. I was bummed she was sent home (I hope it’s not because Luke was intimidated by her). But I hope she knows that she should never apologize for her intelligence. A man who “loves you for who you truly are” will be proud and supportive of your accomplishments.

8. It makes me sad to hear a girl say that this show is¬†her ONE chance at love, or something along those lines. That’s a lot of stock to put in a guy you’ve met once (and has 19 other girls competing for him).¬†

9. Reality dating shows remind me of group interviews, except a thousand times worse.

In a group interview, an applicant wears a suit and heels and tries to both play nice with fellow candidates and stand out from the crowd to attract the attention of the hiring manager.

In a reality dating show, a participant wears a party dress and tries to both play nice with fellow contestants and stand out from the crowd to attract the attention of the hiring manager man of the moment.

In a group interview, your prize will be the job you wanted. In a reality dating show, your prize is a relationship that past experience has shown will last a month after the show wraps up filiming (to be fair, except for Trista and Ryan).

10. I’d really like to see reality dating shows discuss the issues of money in relationships. But I guess that’s too boring of a topic for TV. But putting a bunch of people in a fancy mansion with no worries about money¬†doesn’t quite seem like a¬†“realistic” way to begin a relationship.

Have anyone seen More To Love? What are your thoughts?

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The title of this post doesn’t refer to me (the thrill of personal finance? Gone? Nonsense!), but to the recently-published New York Times article on the fate of “orphan” blogs left by their owners.

I actually have “orphaned” several blogs. Some of them I don’t even remember the addresses – I had one at angelfire.com and another one at geocities.com and another one at scribble.nu (which doesn’t exist anymore). I also have a brief, public blog at livejournal.com. But eventually, after a couple of months, I left every one of those blogs orphans of the blogosphere!

When I first started Well-Heeled, it was conceived as a blog devoted to lifestyle, fashion, decor issues. My first post (long edited away) had pictures of an Anthropologie dress, that, at $400+, I had no business owning. Then I started reading now-defunct blogs such as FreeTheCow, NYCMoney, and Laws of Finance (anyone remember them?), and I thought it was really cool that people are taking charge of their financial lives, and writing for the world to see. It was as if I’ve suddenly developed a taste for something that I not only find interesting, but is also GOOD for me (loving personal finance is like loving brussel sprouts?).

What has helped me continue blogging at Well-Heeled is 1. a genuine interest in my topic (and the fact that I can still write about decor and shopping and everything else, after all, the trademark of a personal finance blogger is that one can write about money and, well, anything!) and 2. all the reader feedback I get. If I haven’t gotten any comments, I probably wouldn’t have continued blogging for as long as I have. I expect that at some point I’ll stop blogging, but for now, I can’t imagine when!

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Rin!

Congratulations to Rin and thank you to everyone who participated!

Rin – check your email. I hope this gift card will help you get some nice new bedding for a low low price! ūüôā

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McDonald’s and Starbucks are two of the most successful and iconic consumer brands in the world. In recent weeks, I’ve received several new coupons for McDonald’s new McCafe lattes and mochas throuh it’s big marketing push for the new drinks. Starbucks (who has been struggling lately after years of outperformance) must be concerned about its new-found competition.

I came upon this piece on Pierce Mattie PR‘s website (note: I am not affliated with them in any respect), and thought they asked an interesting question:

Will this new campaign help McDonald’s become the coffee brand of choice?

Here’s what I think:

McCafe will not replace Starbucks. The consumers who are seeking the ambiance and the customization that Starbucks offers will not flock en mass to McCafes. McDonald’s, to me, appears “transactional.” People pull up to the drive-through and get a Big Mac and a diet coke, or stop by before work to grab a new latte. Despite the happy characterization of Mickey D’s commercials, few people I know would suggest that as a spot for an after-date drink or a catch-up session with girlfriends.

Starbucks, on the other hand, focuses on the “experiential”. At its best, the coffee giant truly represents the “third space” between home and work where a customer can chat with the barista, order a drink to his specification, then settle in for conversation, socializing, and relaxation. Before he leaves the store, he might pick up a CD or a Starbucks coffee mug

If McDonald’s can woo the consumers who go to Starbucks four times a week and convince them to frequent McCafe twice instead, it will have achieved great success. These consumers are likely to be more interested in a transactional experience even at Starbucks (i.e. the quick morning coffee vs. the drawn-out coffee date or after-work snack).

McDonald’s chose a very opportune moment to push the McCafe concept – in the recession all consumers are looking for a better value-proposition, and McDonalds seeks to deliver that with a lower (than specialty coffee) price point but a higher (than perceived McDonald’s coffee) quality. Before the recession, an office worker may have bought a $4 frappacino before her morning meeting. Now, with a tighter budget, she may instead grab a $2 McCafe latte.

I’m not sure if the McCafe concept as a stand-alone store will catch on – I’ve visited a McCafe, and while the space is nicer and more “coffeehouse-like” than a regular McDonald’s, it’s still a far cry from the styling and the comfort of a Starbucks. I’m very excited to hear that McCafe will be coming out with new drinks over the upcoming months. More coffee drinks are always good in my book!

What do you think? What were your experiences with McCafe drinks, and would you forgo Starbucks for McCafe instead?

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