Friday, June 28, 2013

Riley Blake Dress Up Days Scalloped Quilt

Back at the beginning of this year, I decided to make S.R. her own quilt, and to turn her room into a bigger girl room. When I was pregnant with her, I made one for E, which you can see here at the end of his bed. I felt it was time she had her own "made by Mommy" quilt. 
Her favorite color is purple, so I searched for several weeks to find the perfect combinations of fabrics. Riley Blake had a line called Dress Up Days, and S.R. and I both fell in love with the prints!
After seeing the Girl Inspired's Scallop Quilt, I knew that would be the perfect design for S.R.
I will have to say, this was a rather expensive quilt to put together. S.R. has a full size bed, so I had to purchase extra fabric. After all the blood, sweat and tears (yes, all three occurred), it was definitely worth the fuss.
I attempted to machine quilt it myself. However my machine messed up and the bobbin stitches were all loopy, so a very dear friend and I had to pick stitches for over 3 hours. Bless her! I decided to throw in the towel and send it off to be quilted. I'm so glad that I did. I love the end result. The flower stitching is a perfect match to this whimsical fabric.

I had a lucky find at Target the other day as well. They had this bed skirt marked 50% off. Just an FYI, purple really isn't "in" right now, so it was fairly difficult to find coordinates for this bedding. There is a lot of purple and pink, but not a whole lot of purple and orange.
The matching throw pillows were made with the ruching technique, and the puppy pillow was my first attempt at hand embroidery.  Pillows are one of the easiest ways to really dress up an area!
The sheets were purchased at Walmart, and I was really excited that the polka dots matched the colors in her quilt!
I have two or three more things to finish up in the room...a valance, an art project and an accessory or two to add, and her bigger girl room will be complete!
Stay tuned to see some of the other areas of her room! 
To see the before, you can go here!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why Firms Hire Their Employees' Friends

It is well-documented in the literature on labour markets that personal connections, friendships, and other types of networks matter a lot for finding a job. For example, applicants with friends in the recruiting organisation are more likely to get a job offer.

This may be perfectly rational for the recruiting firm; the friends of the candidate in the organization can be a great source of information about the applicant. As a result, the firm can be more assured of the job qualities of the person. Put differently, the candidate will pose less of a risk – in terms of potentially turning out to be a hiring mistake – if he or she has friends in the firm who have provided inside information. Therefore, employers may be more eager to hire new people who already have friends in the firm.

But professor Adina Sterling from Washington University suspected there might be another reason why job applicants with friends in the firm might be more attractive to an employer than those without. For quite a few jobs – especially if it concerns newly recruited MBA students – applicants will simultaneously apply for multiple jobs and then pick the most attractive offer they receive. And this can be very costly for a firm: the recruitment procedure can be very expensive, with multiple rounds of interviews and tests, but the time the candidate “sits on an offer” before eventually rejecting it may also precisely be the time that the numbers 2 and 3 on the list also secure and accept offers elsewhere. Therefore, understandably, firms are eager to limit the number of rejections they receive from candidates to whom they offered the job, and if they get rejected they want it to happen asap.

And Adina, who did a lot of interviews among employers, theorized that prospective employers would figure that candidates who already have friends in the firm might be more likely to accept an offer or, if they do reject it, do so soon. That is because the internal friendships might make them more attractive as an employee but also because the candidate has a reputation to protect with his or her friends, and feel an obligation towards them and the firm.
But that’s a nice theory and thought, but how on earth can you examine that? Because how could you statistically separate the two effects of 1) employers gain information about a candidate from his or her friends, and 2) the friends might make the candidate more likely to accept an offer?
To solve this problem, Adina chose a clever research setting. She looked at a 158 MBA and law students who had just completed an internship with a company, and then examined whether having friends in that company made them more likely to receive an offer from that firm. This was a clever setting because reason number 1 (gaining information about the candidate through his friends) no longer plays a role here; the employer already knows the candidate very well due to his recently completed internship! Hence, whatever effect is left could be attributed to reason number 2.
Adina indeed found that having friends in the company made it more likely that the applicant received an offer. Overall, her findings indicate that reason number 2 (friends make it more likely that the candidate will accept) is also an important consideration for prospective employers.
Paper to be presented at the “Sumantra Ghoshal Conference for Managerially Relevant Research” at the London Business School
Friendships and Strategic Behavior in Labor Markets, Adina Sterling (Washington University)
Paper summary published with the author’s permission.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Caste and Ethnicity still matter for Business in India

Ample research has shown that informal connections between people have a substantial influence on economic life, in terms who deals with whom and how well they perform. We call this “social embeddedness”, meaning that we are all embedded to different degrees in various networks of people, which influences our behaviour and success. One dimension which in a business context has received a lot of research is whether people have a joint educational background, particularly whether they are alumni from the same academic institution.

Guoli Chen, Ravee Chittoor and Bala Vissa thought that this embeddedness research that is focused on educational background could perhaps be especially valid in a Western context (where most of the research has taken place) but that in a different context, such as India, different types of affiliations might also play an important role. Specifically, they wanted to focus on the role of caste (i.e. people being of the same or different castes) and language (in terms of people sharing the same regional dialect).

Research setting: Equity analysts in India
To examine these different dimensions of inter-personal networks, they focused on a particular set of people and relationships, namely equity analysts. Firms listed on the stock exchange will often be followed and evaluated by analysts, as employed by banks, who make buy and sell recommendations to the public regarding the company’s stock.

Perhaps the most important task of such an equity analyst is to forecast – as accurately as possible – the future earnings of the firm. However, to make an accurate forecast, an analyst often has to at least partly rely on information received directly from the company; not seldom in the form of personal conversations with the Chief Executive. And Guoli, Ravee and Bala suspected that when the analyst happened to share the same background with the company’s CEO it would be much easier for him or her to get access to the CEO and his company information; making his earnings forecasts more accurate.

They tested this suspicion on a sample of 141 Indian firms, followed by a total of 296 equity analysts, between 2001-2010. First of all, they found clear evidence that equity analysts that are alumni of the same academic institution as the company’s CEO were indeed able to make much more accurate forecasts. But, in addition, the same was true for analysts who shared the same background in terms of caste, and in terms of regional language.  In fact, the effects were roughly the same size, meaning that these old historical patterns (around caste and language) were just as important in India as the more contemporary ones (i.e. university affiliation).

They then examined the conditions under which these different types of informal ties mattered more or less or whether such ties were indeed always beneficial. They found that older CEOs – who could be expected to be influenced more heavily by traditional patterns – were more susceptible to issues of caste and language than younger CEOs. They were less influenced by joint academic affiliation. Hence, although these old historical patterns matter a lot in India; they matter less for younger people, who are relatively more susceptible to joint academic affiliation.

In addition, they found evidence that these informal relationships were particularly beneficial if it concerned a truly Indian firm (part of a traditional business group). In contrast, such informal ties hurted more than they helped, when the firm in question was an Indian subsidiary of a Western multinational corporation.

Overall, what Guoli, Ravee and Bala’s research shows is that, in a country like India, old historical social structures still matter a lot in the world of business, especially when it concerns firms that are part of a traditional business group. The effect of language (which is analogous to ethnicity) was particularly potent. These effects may begin to matter a bit less for younger people (i.e. since they were especially strong for older CEOs) but they still wield considerable influence on economic life.

Paper presented at the “Sumantra Ghoshal Conference for Managerially Relevant Research” at the London Business School.
Which old boy network matters? Basis of social affiliation and the accuracy of equity analysts’ earnings forecast of Indian firms. Guoli Chen (INSEAD), Ravee Chittoor (Indian School of Business), Bala Vissa (INSEAD)
This paper summary is published with permission from the authors.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Business June 19th, 2013: The Birthday Bash Edition

Join us as we wish a Felix Dies Natalis to two of our regular businessmen, Sean Keane and Bucky Sinister!

Watch the aging process IN LIVE ACTION!  Marvel at how their youth slips away into the ether of time, JUST AS YOURS WILL!!  THRILL at the palpable mortality!
Plus guests!

It wouldn’t be a party without Kevin O’Shea.

Established in 1984 following the mergers of Steven and Cathy O’Shea, Kevin O’Shea has been one of San Francisco’s leading manufactures of mirth, laughter, hilarity and all around good times! Kevin has been commonly described as clever, absurd, awkward but in a funny way and too smart for his own good. He has been seen on the Independent Film Chanel and He is a favorite of comedy festivals such as: The SF Sketch Fest and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Go see him now as his 4th quarter productivity has never been higher!

New to our stage, but not to our hearts, Land Smith!

Land “The Wreckingball” Smith, the pitbull of comedy, is becoming a real force in comedy. He stands there and tells a one-liner, then waits too long to tell the next one. It’s not clear if there’s something wrong with him or what.  Land has been writing jokes for 10 years, but finally got around to telling them just now. He opened for W. Kamau Bell 2 months after his first open mic, and now performs all the time to always-receptive audiences across the Bay Area. He doesn’t do any jokes about his name being Land because that would be too obvious.

No gifts, your presence is present enough.

Do still bring $5.  It still costs $5.

We sell out!  Get there early for a seat!

BYOBurrito and party hats.

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Chore Charts

Now that summer break is here, I decided it was time to reinstate the chore responsibilities for the kiddos. Last year, I made a chore list, and my intentions were to teach E and S.R. responsibility and the value of hard work, but my system was truly broken and our excitement for it lasted all of one week. 
Expecting my kids to do the same things over and over again day after day was just expecting too much. I certainly don't do the same things day after day. We all need a little variety, right?
So to fix my broken system, I searched on line for age appropriate chores. 
It's truly amazing what little ones can do...we really don't give them enough credit. If you check my Pinterest board, you can visit the sites where I found my ideas...
This particular idea came from the Martha Stewart website.
 Thankfully this little project was mostly free to me. I had one sheet of magnet paper left. I printed the kids' pictures and the chores with the money value on them(in 25 cent increments). I had blue card stock, and cut it down to size and put the kids' pictures on top and made little button magnets to hold the bottom in place. 
The paycheck pad is something made on publisher. I used Vistaprint to print the notepad. Once it arrived in the mail, I attached magnets to the back.
We are now on week three and still going strong. The kids get to pick some of the chores to do and I delegate some as well. Saturdays are for make up work because sometimes we are gone and they don't get the chance to really make any money those days.
It is amazing how much cleaner my house is now. If you haven't started making your kids do chores, you are truly missing out....and so are they!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Applique' Outfits

Summertime is in full swing around here, and boy are we busy! Between VBS, swim lessons, piano lessons(which start next week), play dates, and visiting family, there isn't a whole lot of crafting going on here lately.
I have been able to sneak in some cute little applique outfits for S.R. though:o)
She loves all of the new outfits that I have made her...thankfully!
For all of these shirts, I googled the images, and found the ones I felt would be easiest to stitch. I copied the images, pasted in Word, printed them out, and used them as the templates. 
Super quick and easy.

 Crab with coordinating shorts.

Anchor with coordinating skirt
 Butterfly with coordinating shorts
 Watermelon (which will have coordinating skirt)...I found this idea on Pinterest. This one is my fave!
I have received permission from E to make him some shirts, so I will share those as soon as I get them made. 
I hope you all are having a great start to your summer break!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Business- June 12th 2013: The Family Jules Edition

This week’s Business is studded with precious gems.  Who are all studs.

Jules Posner has been described as a comedian who, “puts the ‘b’ in subtle”. Jules started performing at various open mics around the San Francisco Bay Area in January of 2009 and has quickly established himself in the comedy community. Recently, Jules was featured on’s No Drink Minimum. 

Mike Spiegelman grew up in New Jersey, and, like half his high school class, moved to San Francisco. He has opened for Neil Hamburger, Emo Phillips, David Cross, the late Mitch Hedberg, Robin Williams, and many more. He is a frequent host of the Darkroom Theater's "Bad Movie Night". His humor site is Luggage Tuesdays.

Red Scott never saw things the same way as other kids; he thought he was cool. Born in the early 80s, he established himself as a trend-setter — fat, asthmatic, and socially inept years before Asperger’s was a syndrome or obesity an epidemic. On his way to finding the stage, Red had several diversions, ranging from working as a Software Developer to delivering for Pizza Hut in South Central Los Angeles.  Red is free is not delivered within 30 mintues.

Josef Anolin was born and raised in Oakland, CA thanks to his parents. Josef likes to tell jokes that offer audiences fresh perspectives on "hot button" issues like race, class, gender that are simultaneously respectful and tounge in cheek offensive. Josef has been peddling his humor to audiences throughout the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii and may have been the first comedian to do a joke about NY Knicks Point Guard, Jeremy Lin (albeit back in 2010 when he was still a Golden State Warrior and irrelevant).

Plus resident studs of The Business Sean “Ruby Cheeks” Keane and Bucky “Brass Knuckles” Sinister.

$5.  Just $5!

We sell out.  Get there early for a seat!

BYOBurrito and if you love it put a ring on it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Business June 5th, 2013: The Competitively Erotic Edition

The line to get into the Business was thick and sinewy that Wednesday night.  It wound its way around the block, caressing it every crevasse.  The sidewalk groaned at the line’s mass, the pressure almost unbearable.  The grey stone yearned for the sweet release it craved, it needed to feel the door open, the door of the Dark Room.

The door is open for you, CUM INSIDE.  

(Please do not literally cum at The Business.)

But do COME, because this week’s guests are fantasy-worthy. 

Baron Vaughn.  BARON VAUGHN!

Baron Vaughn recently released his first album, Raised By Cable, produced by AST Records, is available at Amazon (mp3 and CD), and has debuted to a 5-star review on iTunes. Baron played Leonardo Prince, or “Leo“, on USA’s Fairly Legal, and has performed stand-up on Conan (below), Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and has made numerous appearances on Comedy Central, including Live at Gotham and The Awkward Comedy Show (DVD and soundtrack available). He’s performed in the 2006 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, The South Beach Comedy Festival, San Francisco Sketchfest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Vancouver Comedy Festival, All Points West, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival. He has also appeared in many shows on VH1, MTV, FUSE as well as the films Black Dynamite, Cloverfield, and The Other Guys. 

He is also in the new season of Arrested Development, a fact which caused members of the business to literally stand up and cheer. AND his Comedy Central Presents- The Half Hour premiers June 21!

PLUS the creator of the wildly fun, nationally acclaimed show, Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, Bryan Cook!

Bryan Cook originally hails from the barren hellscape of rural Maine, and began his comedy career in Seattle, before relocating to Los Angeles where he writes for Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police. Cook is the host and creator of Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, presented every month at the esteemed Nerdmelt Theater in LA, as well as all over the US. In 2012, he was featured as an opening act on Kyle Kinane’s Great Mistakes Tour, and has performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Fest, Riot LA, and Bumbershoot Festival. Cook has also performed at some of the finest alternative rooms in the country, including Holy Fuck (LA), Big Terrific (NYC), and The Grawlix (Denver). He has had the honor of sharing the stage with Nick Kroll, Hannibal Burress, Jen Kirkman, Todd Barry, and has contributed to McSweeney’s.

Your regulars will also be there, “Naughty” Nato Green, “BIG BIG” Bucky Sinister, “EASY Breezy Beautiful” Caitlin Gill and Sean “Lady in the Streets, Freak in the Sheets” Keane.

Just $5.  It’s a little price, but it’s not the size that counts, it’s how much you laugh when you see it.

BYOBurrito. A big, meaty, hot, wet, juicy, sloppy one.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Antiquated & to be Annihilated? Is an On-line Revolution Brewing in Business Education?

We hear more and more talk about how the traditional model of business schools will be annihilated by the disruptive innovation of on-line education, so-called MOOCs (massive open on-line courses). An increasing number of voices can be heard to proclaim that business schools with their lectures and study groups are doomed, antiquated, overpriced, and that people who doubt that are just in denial and one day will wake up finding themselves obsolete and plain wrong.

And, arguably, case studies on the effects of disruptive innovation conducted in industries ranging from airlines and newspapers to photography and steel mills, have shown that often the established players in the market are initially in denial, slow to react, suffering from hubris and, eventually, face crisis and extinction.

Yet, when it comes to on-line education, and its potentially disruptive influence on higher education, including business schools, I doubt that on-line education will replace face-to-face lectures and study groups.

The arguments that people use to proclaim that traditional business schools will be replaced by on-line education include the notions that it is much cheaper, can be more easily accessed by a much wider audience, and customers (students) can access the materials wherever and whenever they want.

And this just reminds me of the printing press.

Oral lectures have been around since the times of Socrates and Plato. I am sure when the printing press was invented and became more widespread and accessible, an increasing number of voices could be heard to proclaim that such lectures and schools were going to be replaced by books. That is because books are much cheaper, can be more easily accessed by a much wider audience, and students can access them wherever and whenever they want. But they did not replace face-to-face lectures and study groups.

And that is because books and on-line educational resources offer something very different than the traditional lectures and school community. They are complements rather than substitutes. Of course the arrival of the printing press quite substantially changed schools and education; business schools without books would be very different than they are today. Hence, it would be naïve to think that on-line resources are not going to alter traditional business school education; they will and they should. Business schools better think hard how they are going to integrate on-line education into their courses and curricula.

But this means that it offers opportunities rather than a threat. And research on the effects of disruptive innovation – for example in newspapers – has also shown that established players who treat the arrival of a new technology as an opportunity, rather than as direct substitute, are the ones that are most likely to survive and prosper.

Freek Vermeulen is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. In 2012, BestOnlineUniversities elected him number 1 in their global list of “top 100 web-savvy professors”. You can find him on-line at and at @Freek_Vermeulen. He regularly blogs for Forbes, the Harvard Business Review and The Ghoshal Blog.