8 Superheroes Who Would Be Lost Without The Women in Their Lives

Scott Lang is lovable in spite of all of his flaws, but no one’s going to accuse the Ant-Man of having his life together any time soon. It’s a miracle that he can even tie his shoes without Hope van Dyne, but, lucky for Scott, she remains in his corner (mostly). Don’t take any of that as a shot on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s favorite gone-straight criminal, there are plenty of superheroes, just like Ant-Man, who would be nothing without the women who support them.

With Ant-Man and the Wasp buzzing into theaters next week, let’s take a look at eight superheroes who are strengthened, supported, and improved by the women in their lives:

Iron Man and Pepper Potts



Whether it’s in the comics or on screen, in a relationship or merely partners, Tony Stark is nothing without Pepper Potts. Billionaire, genius, playboy philanthropist he may be, but not knowing your own social security number is a little bit more restrictive than one might think. It’s not all Tony’s fault, Howard couldn’t function on his own either, but that’s what Jarvis and Peggy were for. As hopeless as he may be, let’s call it a good thing that Tony’s found his soul mate in the saint that is Virginia “Pepper” Potts.

Superman and Lois Lane



Lois and Clark are the quintessential comic book ship. Even when Superman ends up in other pairings for one reason or another, it always comes back to one woman: Lois Lane. Lois doesn’t give Superman his powers. She can’t stop bullets, or run faster than a train, but she is a huge part of Clark Kent’s most important power: his humanity. The Man of Steel might be able to snatch a plane out of the air, but he’s nothing without his ace reporter.

The Green Arrow and Felicity Smoak/Dinah Lance



Good old Oliver Queen has all the charm in the world and could split a strand of hair with that bow and arrow of his. He also happens to be a mess and a half without the women in his life. Dinah Lance is the perfect companion for Ollie’s comic book antics, falling in step with his swagger and having absolutely none of his nonsense. Television’s Oliver Queen might be a few shades darker than his comic book counterpart, but his sometimes agonizingly slow progress wouldn’t have even started without Felicity Smoak.

Zan and Jayna



It’s impossible to have a list of male heroes who can’t function without their female counterparts without including the Wonder Twins. Their powers literally don’t activate without each other! Jayna needs Zan for her powers as well, but with Zan only able to become objects or substances, his super sister is still critical to his functionality as a hero.

The Human Torch and the Invisible Woman



Despite his occasional efforts to act otherwise, Johnny Storm is a hero. Each member of the Fantastic Four makes the team work, but no one has pushed Johnny harder than his sister, Sue. She’s calm in all the ways that he’s rash, and in turn he helps her take risks that she might not have every now and again. Like the Wonder Twins, this sibling superhero pair compliments each other nicely, but it feels safe to say that Johnny wouldn’t be the hero he is without Sue Storm.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl



If there’s one thing Hawkman makes abundantly clear, it’s that he can’t survive without Hawkgirl. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are literally linked across time and space through the power of mutual resurrection. On Legends of Tomorrow, their relationship was less than healthy, but once Hawkgirl started to get her memories back things got a little less pushy on Hawkman’s part.

Spider-Man and Aunt May



They say behind every good man is the woman that raised him. That phrase couldn’t be more right when it comes to Peter Parker and his Aunt May. Uncle Ben might have been the one to bestow the knowledge of great responsibility to Pete, but it was May who had to keep on living and raising a teenager who was still trying to figure out how to deal with being a superhero.

Mon-El and Supergirl



Kara Zor-El might have been a touch discriminatory towards Mon-El because of his Daxamite heritage when the two first met, but eventually they overcame their families’ prejudices and found themselves in a pseudo-relationship. When Mon-El returned from the future, he was hero who had realized that he needed to use his powers for good. This was all because of Supergirl’s influence. He founded the Legion of Superheroes in her memory, making her the reason Mon-El became the hero she knew he could be.

All of this is to say that Scott Lang, lovable mess, isn’t alone in his need for a smart woman to help him out every once in a while. All of these incredible heroes acknowledge that there’s no shame in that either. Just another trait they all share that helps make them incredible.

Review: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Is Marvel’s Strongest Family Film

The post 8 Superheroes Who Would Be Lost Without The Women in Their Lives appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

Meet The Central Americans That Washington DC Can’t Live Without

STR

INTIPUCA, El Salvador — In a little town in eastern El Salvador a statue has been built in honor of the first resident to make it to Washington D.C., way back in 1968. Since then, thousands have followed, both legally and illegally, forging a bond so close and so extensive that many of the folks here think what the North Americans call “the nation’s capital” could hardly function without workers from this sleepy, coastal town in El Salvador.

The streets are lined with houses in pristine condition, painted bright colors and built with remittances sent by workers in the United States, and long before El Salvador ditched its colón for the U.S. dollar in 2001, that was the common currency here.

While walking around town, residents commonly greet each other saying, “Hey, how’s it going?” rather than, “Hola, que tal?’ Many of the migrants who have returned, either by choice or deportation, are eager to speak the language that became familiar to their tongues during their years or even decades in D.C. and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast Latest Articles

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Trump: Deport without ‘judges or court cases’

Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson said Sunday the laws and practices of the US have encouraged undocumented immigration to levels the nation cannot handle.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Maria Shriver: “I Was Always a Kennedy Without a First Name” | SuperSoul Conversations | OWN

OWN

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Pagan paradise: Glastonbury without the festival

What’s Glastonbury like without the bands and the fans? As the festival takes a year off, it turns out there’s still plenty to enjoy, from ethical taxidermy to wall-to-wall druids

‘Summer here is something to behold,” says Kevin Mitchell from behind the counter of Knight’s, his chippy on Glastonbury’s Northload Street. “Hippies, druids, goddesses in their finery, people dressed as elves: you never know who – or what – is going to walk through the door.”

Knight’s has been run by the same family on the same site since 1909, although the building itself is medieval, constructed from stone taken from Glastonbury Abbey after it was sacked by Henry VIII. If that stone could talk, it would tell of a town much changed from its roots as a place of Christian pilgrimage to its present reality as the new-age capital of England.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

TRAVEL DEAL UPDATE:

Gatorade launches new version ‘Zero’ without any sugar or carbs

Gatorade is releasing a new sports drink with “zero” carbs or sugar.

It’s called, of course, Gatorade Zero, and will be available on U.S. shelves this week in orange, lemon lime, and glacier cherry flavors. The new thirst quencher will be priced in line with the rest of the company’s beverages,…

Life Style – New York Daily News

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

‘Roseanne’ spinoff making progress at ABC without Barr

What’s “Roseanne” without Roseanne Barr? ABC is about to find out.

The network is close to securing a spinoff of the recently rebooted, then canceled comedy without its controversial star, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Barr, whose show was axed after she called Valerie Jarrett, the former…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Baby might be first in UK to be ‘born without a mother’

A transgender man in the United Kingdom is fighting for his right to be identified as the father on his child’s birth certificate.

In his historic suit, the parent — who was born female but now identifies as male — claims that forcing him to be labeled the baby’s “mother” is discriminatory and…

Life Style – New York Daily News

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

How to create a website without knowing a thing about coding

TwitterFacebook

What do Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Arianna Huffington all have in common? They all started their multi-billion dollar empires with a simple website.

If you want to achieve even a quarter of their success, you should create one for yourself, too. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t have a business yet. You can use it as a digital business card for the time being, because in this tech-driven world, a website is a way of saying, “Hi, I exist!”

You don’t need coding skills to create a professional-looking website. A service like the Dragify WordPress Builder and Hosting Bundle will take care of the technicalities for you. This two-product bundle features an intuitive website editor that allows you to choose from over 200 pre-designed blocks, which you can then drag, drop, and edit according to your liking. The package also includes hosting with enterprise-grade security, so your website will be protected from hackers. Read more…

More about WordPress, Website, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, and Shopping Solo


Business

BREAKING NEWS:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

10 things you should never get on a plane without

ADVERTISEMENT


If you’re just as obsessed with traveling as we are, you’ll know that packing for a vacation is one of the hardest things to do. Sure, you can get excited about wandering around temples, frolicking on a beach, exploring rainforests and other fun activities, but if you haven’t packed the right essentials you might be turning as red as a tomato on the beach, being bitten within an inch of your life in the rainforest, and walking around with broken shoes in the temples. It’ll be a mess. Want our help? We travel all the time, and these are the 10 things we never get on a plane without.

A multi-functional carry-on

Gone are the days of simply taking a backpack as your flight carry-on – the world of traveling has advanced. Nowadays, you can buy awesome multi-functional bags that is a mix between a backpack and a tiny suitcase. Despite their size, these kinds of carry-on cases have enough space to carry everything you need for the plane journey, as well as being both practical and fashionable.

Wireless earbuds

There’s nothing worse than opening your bag to find that your headphones have got caught up in all of your other belongings, or saturated with the hand lotion that popped open mid-flight. This is why we always opt for wireless headphones that you can simply keep in your pocket – away from anything that might hurt or harm them. Nowadays, these kinds of headphones normally have a 6-8 hour charge on them, which is perfect for a mid to long-haul flight.

Comfortable and supportive socks

It’s no secret that sitting on a plane for hours on end is not comfortable in the slightest, which is why should always take it upon yourself to try anything to be comfortable. One of the best ways to do this is to wear your most comfortable and most supportive socks. This way, your feet will feel warm, toasty and soft as you sit in the stagnant air of the airplane.

A multi-purpose toiletry bag

If you hadn’t already guessed, we’re all about using things that can be used for different purposes, which is why you should get a multi-purpose toiletry bag. When you’re traveling a lot, it is not practical to carry various different bags for different categories of cosmetics and toiletries. By buying yourself an all-in-one bag that has separate compartments, you will save yourself a lot of hassle.

A toothbrush you’re used to

During ours travels, we’ve realized that the toothbrushes you receive in hotels or on long flights are often painful and uncomfortable – which is why it’s always important to travel with a toothbrush you’re used to. Whether you want something a bit fancy, or whether you’re used to a cheap dollar toothbrush from the local store, it’ll save you a lot of hassle and bleeding gums.

A multi-purpose wallet

You might be wondering what other purpose a wallet could have – but it’s actually pretty nifty! You can now buy wallets and purses that double up as battery packs for your cell phone, which is perfect for a long flight or a day of traveling. Instead of finding yourself with no battery, you can simply plug it into your purse and charge it up as you go.

A personal backpack

You may have your multi-purpose carry-on, but this bag is not practical for wandering around small side streets, checking out traditional markets, or even surviving a flight. This is why a personal backpack is one of the 10 things we never get on a plane without. This is where you can carry everything from your water to a good book, to your sunglasses, to your headphones and more. By using a personal backpack, you can separate your important flight essentials from your luxuries.

A fancy phone case

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the items you need to take on a flight, which is why it’s best to keep as many things as possible together. This is why it’s a good idea to invest in fancy phone cases that have space for important cards such as ID or bank card. This way, you do not have to fumble around for a purse if you need these items, as they will always be with your phone.

Comfy clothes

Just as you don’t want to step on a plane without comfy socks, you also don’t want to step on a plane without comfortable clothes. When you’re stuck in one position for a few hours, the last thing you want is to be constricted by your clothing. So, steer clear of tight clothing such as denim, and opt for looser items such as leggings, sweaters and more.

Quality skincare

There are a few issues with airplanes; they’re not totally clean, and they’re extremely dry – and these factors can wreak havoc on your body. If you find your skin feels dry during every single flight, then start arming yourself with quality skin care, such as hand lotion and cleansing lotion to avoid bacteria.

If you travel as much as we do, you’ve learned what works and what doesn’t when you’re in-flight – and after many years, we’ve come to the conclusion that these 10 things are essential. Trust us!

ADVERTISEMENT

The post 10 things you should never get on a plane without appeared first on Worldation.

Worldation

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

7 ways to cool your home without an air conditioner

No AC? No problem.
FOX News

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

<

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

How ‘Krypton’ Expands the Superman Mythos Without the Man of Steel

When the SyFy channel announced the Krypton series, questions immediately arose as to whether a prequel centering on Superman’s grandfather’s quest to save an already doomed planet was actually needed. But now, after the show’s first season, Krypton has more than justified its existence.

The series delved into previously unexplored aspects of the history of Kal-El’s home planet and his lineage in an exciting yet thought-provoking manner that quickly established Krypton as the Superman origin story we never knew we needed. Yet, the question still remains as to how a Superman-centric show can effectively expand on his mythos without actually featuring him.

Not Just Another Prequel


Seg-El and Lyta-Zod
Krypton further explores the dynamic between the House of El and the House of Zod.

Krypton differs from other DC television prequels like Smallville and Gotham. Instead of just reimagining the early years of a known hero’s journey, the series is set some 200 years before the hero we know is even born. This allows Krypton to tell a unique story that isn’t confined by our expectations as to how Superman ultimately becomes a hero.

In fact, the only thing we think we know about Krypton is that the titular planet must meet its destruction for Superman to exist. This allows a lot of leeway for the show to dive deeper into the folklore of the ill-fated planet. The series builds on the images we have seen of Krypton in Man of Steel and other Superman stories by further exploring the planet’s culture and society. It also examines the legacy of the House of El, depicting how the family regained its prominence as a symbol of hope after the shame of being stripped of its rank.

However, the underlying premise of the show presents an interesting dilemma. If Superman’s grandfather is successful in his efforts to save Krypton, would the events that led to Superman’s escape to Earth cease to exist? Krypton is not just another prequel in that changes to the planet’s timeline have the potential to shift or even erase the existence of the superhero we know and love.

A Cape Is All We Need


Seg-El and Val-El
Superman’s cape looms in the background as a symbol of the success or failure of Seg-El’s journey.

Krypton focuses on the journey of Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El. As the series takes place over 200 years before Superman was even sent to Earth, the only physical reference we have to the Last Son of Krypton is his cape. Amazingly that’s all we need.

In the series, Seg-El is befriended by Adam Strange, a time-traveler from Earth’s future who has come to warn him of the danger to his grandson’s legacy. Adam presents Seg-El with Superman’s cape as a proxy as for how his actions impact his grandson. This creates an odd dynamic between the two as Seg-El struggles with Strange’s true motivations. But, as the plot unfolds, we see parts of the cape change in ways that keep the viewer tied to the fate of Superman without actually having to see him onscreen.

Other Familiar Faces


Brainiac
Brainiac on screen in a way that truly pays homage to the character from the comics.

Besides Adam Strange, Krypton features a few other familiar characters that have had dealings with Superman. Among them are some of his most revered enemies including Brainiac, General Zod, and Doomsday.

Brainiac serves as the series’ primary antagonist. He is a perfect character for the role as his history with Krypton far outdates his rivalry with Superman. We know Kandor is a city that somehow ends up in Brainiac’s collection, but how will Seg-El’s efforts to thwart his conquest affect Superman’s fate?


Dru-Zod
Kneel before Zod! General Zod travels back in time to reshape the history of his doomed home planet.

And what of General Zod? He has also traveled back in time, but his motivations to reshape the history of his doomed home planet appear to be more focused on conquering it for his own self interest. Krypton adds another layer of complexity to his relationship with Superman by further exploring the dynamic between the Houses of El and Zod before the planet’s destruction.

But, even with the existence of some of Superman’s deadliest foes, Krypton never feels like you need Superman to swoop in to save the day. Seg-El and his allies appear to be more than capable to hold their own. Superman’s cape is the only acknowledgment of his existence that we need to advance the story.

No Need for a Crossover


Doomsday
The perilous threat of an awakened Doomsday lingers.

Krypton benefits from being outside of the collective universes of the DCEU and Arrowverse. One reason is that it allows for greater flexibility when dealing with the time travel aspects of the show. The other shows or movies don’t have to immediately explain the ripple effects that come from changes occurring in the timeline. Similarly, the series doesn’t need to apply limitations to storylines that feature characters who appear in other properties.

Krypton has its own distinct dark tone that naturally fits for a program about a planet destined for destruction. The standalone nature of the program allows it to provide a more in-depth imagining of what life would have been like on Krypton without forcing it into the overarching theme of some other universal narrative. As such, there is no need for Krypton to crossover with any other properties. It can stand alone with the freedom to extend the Superman mythology beyond what we have come to know in other associated media portrayals.

Unique Perspective of Life on Krypton


The Voice of Rao
Krypton provides a unique perspective into the planet’s societal structure including its religion.

Krypton provides a unique perspective on what life was like on the planet before its destruction. The show explores the planet’s culture and provides a glimpse into its religious and social structure in a way that no other Superman property has been able to do.

Krypton is not just another prequel that leaves viewers waiting for Superman to evolve and save the day. It is an epic journey that immerses viewers into Kryptonian culture and helps them understand how Superman’s heritage ultimately contributes to him becoming a legend. While its possible Superman may one day appear on the series, Krypton is effective in adding to the Superman mythology without actually having to have him in it.

Season 2 of Krypton will return in 2019.

Brendan Fraser Should Play Superman in a DC Standalone Movie

5 DC Superheroes LEGO Needs to Make a Movie About Next

The post How ‘Krypton’ Expands the Superman Mythos Without the Man of Steel appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

How do you travel with a child but without a car seat?

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

Years ago I went on a year-long backpacking trip that took me through Southeast Asia, where I fell in love with golden temples, kind people, night markets, scooters, khao soi soup, elephants, monkeys, and what humidity does to my hair.

At the time, I was childless, but I wondered what the trip would be like if I had a child with me. I wondered about my interactions with people, what foods my child would like, how my child might make friends with other little kids.

A Caucasian woman with curly hair poses with an elephant that doesn't fit into the Frame because it's a dumb selfie

Now this summer, my dream trip is becoming a reality. My son will be turning 4 years old, I saved up a little bit of money, and I think/hope we are ready to endure 20 hours of travel to get to our first destination, Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Fingers crossed, toes crossed, everything is crossed.)

Along the way we will also visit a friend in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before we explore Indonesia, a country that will be as new to me as it is to my son.

The world's cutest toddler rolls a leopard-print suitcase in front of a White House with a pink door

We’ll be traveling in multiple planes, taxis, buses, rickshaws, boats, and possibly scooters, which begs the question: How can I keep my son safe in so many modes of transportation?

I quizzed several travel writers about this topic, and they gave me some advice based on their previous trips. However, most of these writers are experienced in traveling to international locales with similar car seat regulations as the United States. The question becomes stickier in places where seatbelts themselves are a suggestion, not a rule.

Seriously cute little girl in Cambodia standing up on a bus seat

Here are my options, as I see it:

* Bring a traditional car seat along. This is impractical, as we will be using several modes of transportation without safety belts, so there’s no way to secure the seat.

* Bring nothing. This is probably the easiest, but the worst for my anxiety. If you are traveling without a car seat this summer (not recommended!), the Car Seat Lady has several suggestions for making it as safe as possible.

* Purchase a special travel seat to make do. Options here include the inflatable BubbleBum seat and the MiFold, which folds up into an unbelievably tiny package. Like, wallet-sized.

It’s true that we won’t always be traveling in vehicles with seatbelts during this trip. But when we are, I want the peace of mind that comes from having a booster seat. I still haven’t decided which seat we will take along — the BubbleBum or the MiFold — but I’ll definitely be bringing something to keep our dream going while staying as safe as possible.

Have you traveled internationally with your child? What did you use for a car seat?

BabyCenter Blog

BABY CARE UPDATE:

Perfect Gifts for the Perfect baby

Cannes’ swankiest party goes ahead without ‘driving force’ Weinstein

CAP D’ANTIBES, France (Reuters) – Stars, models and the super-rich gathered on the French Riviera on Thursday for a charity dinner considered the most glamorous night of the Cannes Film Festival, but there was one notable absence: Harvey Weinstein.


Reuters: Entertainment News

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Google is the one tech company we could never live without

Google AI Duplex

If the stream of big Google-related news so far this week — from details about Android P to some of the wow moments at I/O like Duplex — has reminded us of anything, it’s this. A fact that’s easy to overlook about the Mountain View giant, when companies like Twitter and Facebook, with all its recent mishaps, are the focus of so much media obsession:

If there’s such a thing as an indispensable company, Google may definitely be it. For better or worse.

Continue reading…

BGR Top Deals:

  1. This is why my iPhone X looks so much better than yours
  2. A surround sound system that costs $ 53 really has no place sounding this good

Trending Right Now:

  1. Two more reasons I’ll never switch from the iPhone to Android
  2. 10 paid iPhone apps you can download for free today
  3. The ‘black dot of death’ is even worse on iPhone than Android

Google may be the one tech company the world can’t afford to lose originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 9 May 2018 at 18:01:29 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


BGR

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

All Deals on HP, Dell and Lenovo!

In response, Iran warns it’s ready to start nuclear enrichment without limitations


CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Trump divines his own truth without consequences

Donald Trump has learned he can get away with anything.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Blac Chyna’s Club Appearance Fee Has Reportedly Dropped From $30,000 to $7,000 Without Rob Kardashian

We now understand why Blac Chyna is trying everything to sue the Kardashians.

According to a new report, her going rate for club appearances has tanked ever since she split from Rob Kardashian.

via TMZ:

BC’s turning 30 next week, and we’re told she’s spread the word to promoters she’s available for club bookings. We did a little digging and turns out Chyna’s earning power has fizzled since breaking up with Rob Kardashian (unless waging courtroom war counts).

The numbers are staggering — BC went from booking gigs that paid her up to $ 30k not too long ago in her heyday with Rob & Co. … to now struggling to snag more than $ 7k per gig.

That’s what several top club promoters in Cali told us, and it gets worse. One promoter said he wouldn’t pay her a penny more than $ 5k because Chyna without Rob is like Sonny without Cher.

A top Miami promoter said the max he’d shell out is $ 2k because she’s not relevant anymore.

BC’s new boo isn’t helping financial matters … this according to one promoter who said her relationship with 18-year-old rapper YBN Almighty Jay, who can’t even get into a 21-and-over club, is just wack. 

Hopefully she invested well.

The post Blac Chyna’s Club Appearance Fee Has Reportedly Dropped From $ 30,000 to $ 7,000 Without Rob Kardashian appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity gossip and entertainment news.

lovebscott – celebrity gossip and entertainment news

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Here’s what front pages look like without men

If you’ve been harboring a faint yet nagging suspicion that white middle-aged men dominate our media landscape — you’re right. We might be living in an era of #metoo and Time’s Up but the disturbing reality is that the gender pay gap and workplace discrimination aren’t the only situations we have to deal with as…
Media | New York Post

SPECIAL DISCOUNT DEAL:

Comey’s media tour shows why we’re better off without him

You don’t have to be a cockeyed optimist to believe that, although times are tough, they could be worse. Just imagine the mess if James Comey were still running the FBI. Near the end of his forceful Thursday interview, Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Comey if he would have kept working for President Trump…
Opinion | New York Post

SPECIAL SHOE DISCOUNT:

Everyday Savings: Up to 40% Off on over 2,000 Styles at DSW! Shop Now!

Without mentioning his buddy Trump by name, France’s Macron just tore into the US president’s policies

French President Emmanuel Macron addressed Congress Wednesday, warning against embracing isolationism and nationalism.
Politics

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Save 50% Today! Get 24/7 Access to Your Credit Scores & Reports with TransUnion

Stars without the warpaint

See what your favorite celebrities look like before they hit the makeup chair… and after.
FOX News

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

<

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Could you raise your baby without gender?

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

Is it possible to raise a child without gender?

A recent story from New York magazine’s The Cut explores families who raise theybies — “babies whose parents had decided not to reveal their sex, who used they/them pronouns for their children, and whose goal was to create an early childhood free of gendered ideas of how a child should dress, act, play, and be.”

These are parents who know the anatomy their child was born with, which is biological sex, but reject designating the child’s gender, which is how someone identifies. (Want to know more about the difference between sex and gender? The Genderbread Person is super helpful.)

The article mostly follows one couple, Bobby McCullough and Lesley Fleishman, who were inspired by a news story about a Canadian baby born without a gender designation, and decided to raise their own baby in a more gender-creative way.

“Definitely the concept of not enforcing gender stereotypes was something that was on our radar, but we simply didn’t know or have the idea on our own to not assign the baby a gender,” McCullough told reporter Alex Morris.

The couple spoke openly to friends and family about their decision and answered questions. They found a midwife who was on the same page and was willing to not register a gender. They researched how to register a birth certificate without a gender listed and started referring to the baby only with neutral pronouns like their/they, not he/she.

Several pieces of chalk in an array of rainbow colors

The goal was to allow the child to embrace their own identity, not to force one on them. 

“We wouldn’t tell somebody else how they should identify or who they should be or what they are,” McCullough said.

You should know that even if this idea feels new, it’s not. The classic feminist Lois Gould short story, X: A Fabulous Child’s Story, about a family who raise a gender-free child, first appeared in Ms. Magazine in 1972. The story reveals how uncomfortable people become when they don’t have a gender to assign to a person — in this case, a baby.

“When the (family) smiled and said, ‘It’s an X,’ nobody knew what to say. They couldn’t say, ‘Look at her cute little dimples!’ And they couldn’t say, ‘Look at his husky little biceps!’ And they couldn’t even say just plain ‘kitchycoo.’ In fact, they all thought the Joneses were playing some kind of rude joke.”

I read X: A Fabulous Child’s Story when I was in college, and it had a lasting effect on me. It’s also made me painfully aware of how often I say gendered things to babies. I remember one moment in particular, in which my friend’s son kicked his legs wildly, and I said, “He’s definitely going to be a football player!” — and then I stopped. If the baby had been a girl, would I have said the same thing?

It happens even with my own child, whom I’ve described on more than one occasion as “all boy,” even though I don’t know what that means exactly. I know many different kinds of boys.

A baby sits on the floor and plays with a red toy. It's unclear what gender the baby is.

I never considered raising my son in a more gender-creative way, although I’ve tried to avoid giving him obviously gendered toys and clothing. His preference is the color orange, which has made buying gender-neutral clothes easy, and I follow his lead for toys. He loves stuffed animals, unicorns and sparkly things, and he loves garbage trucks, monsters, and my old set of Hot Wheels cars too. None of those toys are inherently masculine or feminine, a point I’ve tried to drive home to him.

It’s getting more difficult the older he gets, however. My son is three now, and he likes to categorize things. He sees pictures of actresses and says, “Mommy,” and recently told a man on the street, “You are furry like my daddy.” He has already assigned genders to his own stuffed animals. Recently he said he didn’t want to dance, an activity he loves, because he said it was “for girls.”

I guess it’s just up to me to pose the question, “Why?” — then take his hand and encourage him to dance anyway.

Could you raise your baby without gender?

BabyCenter Blog

BABY CARE UPDATE:

Perfect Gifts for the Perfect baby

This College Dropout Made a $1.9 Million Clothing Business (Without a Loan)


Kyla Smith was exhausted, working 15-hour days, unsure if this whole entrepreneurship thing was worth it.

She was sitting in a coffee shop chatting with some friends, when a woman interrupted them.

“Excuse me, are you talking about Evolve Fit Wear?” she asked. “My friends and I love that site!”

And in that moment, Smith’s exhaustion evaporated. Seven years into her business, she finally felt like she had made it.

She, a college dropout, had built a successful fitness clothing website — without any investors, without any loans.

“Just to hear that out of a random person was the most rewarding feeling,” she says. “When you’re completely burnt out, life will bring up these little moments to remind you you’re on the right path.”

From Shoe Saleswoman to Pop-Up Shop

In 2007, Smith was in her early 20s, living in Los Angeles and working as a sales representative for a shoe brand.

Although she spent most of her time traveling around the country, she had several months off each year. She grew bored during those periods and started brainstorming ways to make extra money.

Since she had sales experience, enjoyed exercise and yoga and had attended a year of fashion school, she thought selling workout clothing might be a perfect fit.

“I love how good I feel when I put on a new workout outfit,” she says. “It makes me feel so healthy. I chose to sell workout clothing because I love that feeling, and think it inspires people to work out.”

She contacted several workout clothing brands and asked for a “line sheet,” which lists wholesale prices and minimum orders (often between $ 500 and $ 1,000).

“It was all about repping the smaller brands,” she says. “Finding cool unique ones that weren’t Lululemon, because they have enough representation.”

Eventually, she settled on three lines from Brazil and one handmade line called Sandra McCray.

Then she took $ 5,000 of her shoe saleswoman savings and bought clothing from each.

The next Saturday, she packed her call full of inventory and set up shop in the lobby of a high-end gym.

She nearly sold out.

With her profits, she purchased more inventory and began spending all her weekends selling clothing at the gym’s different locations.

Each day, she paid the gym a flat fee of $ 150 and then sold between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000 of clothing at a 50% profit margin.

“I just kept bankrolling the money into more and more inventory,” she says. “After nine months of doing that every weekend I was home, I had a 14-foot trailer and five racks of clothes.”

That added up to about $ 30,000 worth of inventory, which Smith calls the “sweet spot” for retail.  

At this point, she was three years into an international business degree, and still working her full-time job at the shoe company. Something had to give — and she dropped out.

“I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” she says. “I don’t regret that.”

Taking Her Operation Online

About a year after starting her business, Smith realized she needed a website.

“I was hauling this trailer around LA, which isn’t good for parking or driving,” she says with a laugh.

And since she was only at each gym every few months, customers started asking her to meet up in gas stations and parking lots around the city.

A website was the obvious solution — but one big thing stood in her way.

Smith was, as she puts it, “the least technical person ever.”

Deciding to persevere anyway, she worked through the process step-by-step and took photos of her inventory with a cheap camera. Much to her surprise, it started selling.

So, determined to improve her technical skills, she took online courses on topics such as Photoshop, search-engine optimization, Quickbooks, photography and marketing. And, alongside her knowledge, her online business grew.  

Drop-Shipping to Success

Women have a pool party for a photoshoot.
Evolve Fit Wear now has an office, warehouse, photo studio and five staff members, as well as an in-house clothing line. Photo courtesy of Kyla Smith from Evolve Fit Wear

For five years, Smith kept her full-time job while hustling Evolve on the side.

“A lot of entrepreneurs think they’ll quit their job and live happily ever after,” she says. “But it takes a long time [to build a business].”

Finally, in 2012, she quit her job and moved to Portland, Oregon, where overhead was cheaper than LA.

With the move, she also took her business entirely online.

Today, 50% of her sales come from “drop-shipping,” which means Evolve doesn’t keep the physical inventory at its location.

Instead, if it gets an order for, say, a Spiritual Gangster muscle tank, it’ll send the order details to Spiritual Gangster, which will then ship the shirt to the customer directly from its own warehouse.

“Any new brand, we drop-ship,” Smith explains. “That way, we can offer a large selection from that brand and see what sells before we invest in inventory.”

It’s an interesting business model that, according to Smith, works well with smaller brands who also want exposure.

“If you’re selling something online, sell the brands that no one really knows,” she says. “They’d be more likely to drop-ship because they want the opportunity for growth, too.”

Another 30% of Evolve’s sales comes from Amazon: Two years ago, the web-retail giant approached Smith to see if Evolve would be its vendor for yoga clothing. It didn’t want to deal with the myriad smaller vendors, preferring instead to go through one store.

“I was hesitant at first,” says Smith. “But it’s turned out to be a great channel.”

Positivity #FTW

Evolve now has an office, warehouse, photo studio and five staff members. It also has an in-house clothing line, which includes the most incredible goat yoga leggings.

The company’s sales have almost doubled each year since 2014 — in 2017, they totaled $ 1.9 million, with a profit of $ 325,000.

Smith attributes her success to several factors.

The first is smart marketing: 65% of the website’s traffic comes from organic search, which she helped by writing keyword-rich blog posts about Evolve’s products. The company also gets some sales through affiliates; bloggers who earn a 5% cut if customers find Evolve through their sites.

Another key to success has been excellent customer service, with Smith explaining: “We talk to people like they’re our friends.”

And the last? Evolve’s body-positive messaging.

“We steer away from ‘here’s how to look skinny’ or ‘these pants make your butt look great,’” Smith says. “It’s important for me to spread the message to be healthy in your body.”

(She even organized a yoga-pant parade last year, in response to a man making the ridiculous statement that women over 30 shouldn’t wear yoga pants.)

Smith, who’s now been selling workout clothes for over a decade, applies that positive thinking to all aspects of her business.

“There are some days when I’m like, ‘What am I doing?’” she says. “But there’s always a new day. There are going to be ups and downs — and there’s always going to be an up around the corner.”

Susan Shain is a freelance writer and digital nomad. She covers travel, food and personal finance (basically, how to save money so you can travel more and eat more). Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Sam's Club Membership Offer

$39 device adds a real head-up display (HUD) to any car without using your phone

HUD For Any Car

Plastic mounts that turn your smartphone into a makeshift head-up display (HUD) are very neat, but not everyone wants their iPhone or Android handset tied up when they drive. Also, the resulting display isn’t on your windshield like a real HUD. If you want the real deal without spending $ 50,000 on a luxury car with a built-in HUD, you’ve got to check out the Yonda Head Up Display on Amazon. It’s easy to install and it works great, plus it doesn’t require you to stick one of those ugly pieces of reflective film to your windshield in order to be visible.

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

  • 【ENJOY DRIVING】We only do good HUD,Simple display,without all of the unnecessary info that would create distractions, make your driving more comfortable
  • 【DON’T NEED REFLECTION FILM】3″ screen HD display – nano-technology to eliminate double reflections,more clear and easier to read. Automatic and manual brightness adjustment mode,driving without glare.
  • 【EASY TO INSTALL】Available for 95% car with an OBD2/ EUOBD interface (NOT Compatible with Blade Electric Vehicle), easy to install, plug and play.
  • 【MULTIPLE DISPLAY FUNCTIONS】Vehicle Speed KM/h 、MPH,Engine Speed,Water temperature, Voltage. Four alarm functions – Overspeed alarm, High temperature alarm, Low voltage alarm,Fatigue driving warning (Please read the user manual)
  • 【PROTECTION OF VEHICLES】Normal Auto power on and off with vehicle started and shutdown, effective protection of the car battery

Car HUD Head Up Display 3inch Windshield Projector OBD II/EUOBD Interface Plug & Play Speedomet…: $ 38.99

BGR Top Deals:

  1. 10 hottest upcoming Nintendo Switch games you can preorder right now
  2. The ridiculously popular Nighthawk Wi-Fi router you can control with Alexa is discounted on Amazon

Trending Right Now:

  1. T-Mobile just quietly killed one of its best deals
  2. Galaxy S9 owners are complaining about a big problem with the phone’s best feature
  3. 10 paid iPhone apps that are free downloads today

$ 39 device adds a real head-up display (HUD) to any car without using your phone originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 13 Apr 2018 at 21:01:45 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


BGR

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

All Deals on HP, Dell and Lenovo!

Sammi Stirs Up Drama on ‘Jersey Shore’ Premiere Without Even Being There

Is it still a family vacation without the entire family? That was the question during the Thursday, April 5, premiere of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadagnino, Deena Nicole Cortese, Paul “DJ Pauly D” Delvecchio, Jenni “JWOWW” Farley and eventually Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino all reunited in Miami for the revival, and it only took “13 seconds” to bring up Sammi Giancola, the original cast member who turned down making an appearance.

Most of the cast (and fans) assumed it was because she was in a new relationship and didn’t want to live with her ex Ronnie. Right away, Deena revealed she was pretty upset Sam decided not to come. However, since they were so close, the 31-year-old took on the responsibility of defending Sam — that was a pretty big role, though. Little did she know, Pauly D, 37, would bring a Sam doll along that had a sound box inside it so that it could repeats Sam’s famous sayings — you know, like, “Ron, stahp!”

Sammi Giancola Ronnie Ortiz-Magro Jersey Shore
Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro arrive at Jet Nightclub at The Mirage on March 6, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Denise Truscello/WireImage.com

Ronnie, 32, who dated Sammi on and off during the original show and for a bit afterward, admitted he was “so confused” why Sam wasn’t there. He also revealed that after the show wrapped in 2012, the pair dated for a while and moved in together, but she wanted to get married sooner than he did. Once she gave him a timeline, he cheated and they didn’t work out.

It didn’t take long for Deena to get irritated when the entire house started playing with the doll and making jokes. “If I have sex with her, is that still cheating?” Ron asked, picking up the doll. “I’m just carrying her like I did the past seasons.” The rest of the cast seemed to agree that since Sam wasn’t there, making fun of her with the doll was OK.

After a few drinks, Ron brought it up to Deena. “She’s not here. She’s not our friend. She doesn’t have our back,” he told her. “Cause if she did, she’d be here with us. Bottom line. I’m having a motherf—king kid, do you understand? And I’m still here. She’s seven months pregnant. What the f—k does she got going on that’s more important than me?”

Deena claimed Ron felt that way because he was “still not over” Sam. However, it turned out that Deena and Ron’s issues actually went deeper. Their fun drunken night quickly turned into crying next to the pool when Deena revealed Ron was the only cast member who didn’t reach out to her when her dad died 2016, and she was still upset about it.

He felt so bad that he broke down crying as well, saying that Sam came between their friendship and that after his split from her, he was in a bad mental state and was depressed, so he messed up and didn’t reach out to Deena.

The next day, Snooki tried to drown the Sammi doll in the pool. Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs on MTV Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.

Us Weekly

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Afghanistan’s Peace Talks Won’t Succeed Without Women

Over the course of nine years, peace talks were held in Afghanistan 23 times. Women were in the room only twice.

UN Women / Creative Commons

Women are often the first to feel the effects of extremism, conflict and war, but they are notably absent from peace tables around the world. Despite the foundational opportunities they could have to write their equality into policy during constitution rewrites, they’re often not a large share of drafters. Despite their leadership in civil society, their efforts too often go unrewarded and unrecognized by formal governments. And in the face of a flood of concrete data that proves that their presence in peace-making improves success for entire nations, they’re still missing from critical conversations about paths forward in countries around the world.

In Afghanistan, the presence of women in peace talks could not be more pivotal. Afghan women were explicitly targeted by the Taliban and continue to be under siege by extremist groups in the region. Activists on the ground have made major gains, but they remain fragile—and leaders are wary of what lies ahead.

Jamille Bigio, a senior fellow for women and foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Rachel Vogelstein, the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the council and director of its Women and Foreign Policy program, explained why women should be at the table—”not simply as a matter of fairness, but as a strategic imperative”—in an opinion piece published in USA Today.

Women and girls have made notable progress since the fall of the Taliban, which adheres to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam in which women are considered second-class citizens. Under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, Afghan women were banned from schools and work, faced public beatings and executions, and endured severe restrictions on their movement. Today, women and girls enjoy more opportunity to attend school and participate in political and economic life.

However, these gains have not translated into opportunities for women to participate in the peace process. In 23 rounds of peace talks between 2005 and 2014, women were at the table on only two occasions. When officials from over 25 countries recently gathered for the Kabul Process, an Afghan-led peace conference, the room was overwhelmingly filled with men. If the conference is at all indicative of what future negotiations will look like, Afghan leaders should rethink their approach and pursue instead a proven strategy to improve the chances for peace: the participation of women.

In a new interactive report, we present in-depth case studies and an index tracking women in formal roles in peace processes from 1990 to the present. This and other research suggests that including women in peace processes advances security, and that their participation in negotiations makes the resulting agreement 64 percent less likely to fail and 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years.

You can read the full piece here.

Carmen Rios is the Digital Editor at Ms. and Contributing Editor and Co-Founder of Argot Magazine; her work has also appeared at BuzzFeed, Bitch, Mic, MEL, Everyday Feminism and Autostraddle, where she was previously Community Director and Feminism Editor. Like everyone else in LA, she once had a podcast; unlike everyone else, she stays pretty zen in traffic. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

ms. blog digest banner

The post Afghanistan’s Peace Talks Won’t Succeed Without Women appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

Ms. Magazine Blog

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

‘A Way Out’ Review: Perfectly Paced Cinematic Action Without The Script to Match

Dreamed up by award-winning indie film director turned award-winning indie game developer Josef Fares, A Way Out is a unique cinematic offering relishes in transporting players from lavish set piece to even more lavish set piece.

Despite looking just as polished as your average Naughty Dog adventure, this narrative-led epic is actually the first game to attempt a cinematic, story-driven co-op experience. If that wasn’t impressive enough, it was made by a team of just 15 people.

Ever since its reveal at E3 2017 then, it’s been clear that A Way Out is an incredibly ambitious undertaking. But now that it’s finally here, has Fares and his tiny team managed to deliver upon that promise of a cinema-quality co-op experience?

The answer is both yes and no.

On the one hand, EA’s second foray into indie publishing offers up a perfectly paced and surprisingly varied experience that’s quite unlike anything else, pitting players against everything from deadly crime bosses to unforgiving rapids and a seriously intense game of Connect 4.

Yet, despite consistently being a blast to play, unfortunately, a woefully lacklustre script prevents A Way Out from reaching the giddy heights some may have expected it to.


Leo hangs out in the rec area in prison
Fares and his brother performed all the motion capture for the game, delivering slick animations on a shoe string budget.

Tiny Teams and Big Ambitions

As our thirst to explore sprawling and immersive worlds grows, so do the teams that make them.

Where back in the low polygon PS2 era 40-50 person teams brought us the latest best-selling RPG, now, pulling off a modern cinematic experience like Uncharted 4 requires hundreds of extremely skilled developers. It’s been worth it though, with the latest interactive entertainment giving Hollywood blockbusters a run for their money.

Unsurprisingly, this has led to rapidly rising production costs — and with them many talented mid-tier game studios shutting their doors for good. Sometimes though, it takes a fresh pair of eyes and a hungry creator in order to see (and do) things a little differently.

That’s where A Way Out comes in. It’s a different take — though despite its makers’ filmmaking background, it excels in areas that might surprise you.

Well Scripted action, bad script


Trying to escape jeeps while on motorbikes
From high-speed vehicle chases to white water rafting, A Way Out offers up some pretty spectacular set pieces over the course of its 7 hour run time.

While Fares’ cinematic expertise is immediately evident as the camera swoops seamlessly from one expertly paced action scene to another, whenever the two protagonists open their mouths, we find ourselves immediately yanked out of the experience.

Despite Fares’ making his name in Hollywood and coming from a scriptwriting background, bafflingly, much of the dialogue in A Way Out feels shockingly ham-fisted. The opening hours are especially guilty of this – offering up more halfbaked exchanges and genre clichés than you can shake a Van Damme VHS at.

In other words, for a game selling itself as an engaging cinematic experience, the dialogue often feels disappointingly amateur. Thankfully, this became less of a problem as the story unfolded, but we’re not entirely sure whether that’s because the writing genuinely improved as their journey unfolded, or we simply got Stockholm syndrome.

Still, at least A Way Outs‘ premise sounds Hollywood enough on paper. Taking control of two very different convicts whose paths cross behind bars, one player is put in the shoes of tough guy Leo while the other sees the world through the eyes of the more wary and thoughtful Vincent. With both men desperately seeking their freedom after being framed for different crimes, the two reluctantly agree to work together to find – you guessed it – a way out.

Convicts and Conflicts


Leo and Vincent in prison yard fights
While they’re both embarking on the same story, each player can find themselves experiencing the game’s world very differently.

Where most co-op games see each player experiencing the same story from an identical perspective, interestingly, A Way Out allows both of you to explore your surroundings in your own way. As each character leaves their cell and makes their way towards the rec area in the middle of the heavily guarded penitentiary, players are free to go their own way, taking in the sights as they see fit and talking to whichever guards and inmates they please.

This means that Fares’ latest offers the rarest of things in gaming — something that’s never been done before. Finally being given the freedom to explore a game world as two individuals — rather than just tied together at the hip — makes for a remarkably refreshing and novel co-op experience.

It helps of course, that Leo and Vincent are two very different characters. While most multiplayer games offer up an AI friend, A Way Out is an experience that is only playable with a human partner in tow — and it’s all the better for it. As our two protagonists learned to slowly trust each other and work in sync, the bond between ourselves and our partner quickly mirrored that of our on-screen avatars.

Except with more swearing, and slightly less wooden conversations.

Despite Fares’ insistence that you go on this journey with another human being, he’s aware that time is a precious commodity for most adults and has made one small concession — the implementation of online co-op.  While this is undoubtedly an experience that is enriched by yelling at the person next to you as you leap off of a virtual ravine, getting a friend over to play a seven hour game with you may not be the most practical thing.

Thoughtfully then, buying A Way Out allows you to gift a digital copy to one of your friends.

Swapping Violence for Variety


A game of Connect 4 between Leo and Vincent
Whether its scaling prison walls or enjoying a quiet game of Connect 4, A Way Out is a wonderfully varied experience.

Refreshingly though, this is a narrative-driven game that doesn’t just task you with killing people. Where Uncharted’s cutscenes depicting protagonist Nathan Drake as a loveable goofball feel bafflingly at odds with much of the series’ murderous gameplay, A Way Out ’s two relatable leads rarely take a life over the course of its seven-hour playtime.

More crucially, when they do it’s only because they’re in mortal danger. This may sound like an eye-rolling-ly simple thing, but it’s this kind of thoughtful convergence of narrative and game design that helps make (most) scenes feeling so grounded — even if the dialogue can be pretty ropey.

It’s what you’d expect from convicts on the run. Escaping is their number one priority – not slaughtering cops who are merely doing their jobs.

Yet, it’s not just how combat is used here that should be applauded, but also how sparingly virtual violence is implemented. While there’s certainly fun to be found in mowing down polygonal baddies with a friend at your side, playing a co-op game where combat only made up a small part of the overall experience was a refreshing change of pace.

Is ‘A Way Out’ Any Good?


Each player with a musical intrument
Whether its jamming together on random instruments or hauling each other over prison fences, the fun each player shares together helps to counteract the dodgy dialogue.

Whether its one player keeping a lookout for patrolling prison guards as the other burrows out of their cell, or simply playing basketball with Leo’s son, great care has been taken in order to make sure that no two sections of A Way Out ever feel the same.

Where cinematic gaming experiences usually favour gunplay over character building, it’s great to see Fares and the team at Hazelight make the effort to double down on more original types of gameplay — and one that’s made all the better by an interesting narrative shift that creeps up on you later on in the journey.

Where many game makers struggle to marry their storytelling vision with the unpredictable actions of a single player, the fact that this cinematic-driven interactive opus works as well as it does is a huge achievement. Ropey dialogue may keep this from being a must-play experience, but if you’re looking to embark on a compelling and surprising co-op adventure with a friend, A Way Out is more than worth the price of entry.

The post ‘A Way Out’ Review: Perfectly Paced Cinematic Action Without The Script to Match appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

In response to Putin, Team Trump is going ‘multilateral’ without the United Nations

Monday’s coordinated Euro-American action against Russia may signal the end of an era: Goodbye, empty UN blather, hello again, coalitions of the willing. And welcome to John Bolton, President Trump’s soon-to-be national security adviser. Caricatures of his “unilateralism” aside, Bolton is a big proponent of coordinated action among allies, like this week’s bright display of…
Opinion | New York Post

SPECIAL SHOE DISCOUNT:

Everyday Savings: Up to 40% Off on over 2,000 Styles at DSW! Shop Now!

New Facebook-Backed Law Would Let Foreign Governments Get Your Data Without a Warrant

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Facebook, plunged into crisis by the Cambridge Analytica revelations, is now scrambling to assure users – and investors – that this time, their data really, truly is secure. And on a recent post-crisis media blitz, founder Mark Zuckerberg has emphasized that the mass exfiltration of scads of profiles from unsuspecting Facebook users was a vestige of a past privacy practice, not a symptom of anything wrong with current Facebook policy.

Yet Facebook urged Congress to pass a measure, the CLOUD Act, that privacy advocates warn makes it easier for a foreign government to acquire Americans’ emails, pics, videos and other online data, and then share that with U.S. law enforcement. It also makes it easier for those foreign governments to get the online lives of their own citizens from the servers of companies like Facebook.

Congress tucked the CLOUD Act into its omnibus spending bill – the measure it passed in the wee hours of Friday morning to avert a government shutdown. President Trump, after vacillating, signed it into law today.   

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast Latest Articles

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Martin Shkreli launched ‘unmonitored’ trial in Cyprus for Retrophin drug without FDA oversight

Shkreli's "insistence on taking shortcuts … drastically delayed the development of the drug," prosecutors said.
Health Care

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Who is Marilyn Manson, what does he look like without makeup and is his name really Brian?

MARILYN Manson is one of the world’s most controversial musicians, who’s best known for his outrageous stage personality and image as the lead singer of the band Marilyn Manson.

But, what else do we know about the rocker, and what’s his real name? Let’s get the lowdown…

Marilyn Manson is a shock rocker, whose songs became hits in the '90s
Marilyn Manson is a shock rocker, whose songs became hits in the ’90s
Hulton Archive – Getty

Who is Marilyn Manson?

Marilyn Manson’s real name is a little less glamorous than his stage name – he’s called Brian Hugh Warner.

He was born in Canton, Ohio, on 5 January, 1969 – that makes him 49.

He’s a singer, songwriter, musician, composer, actor, painter, author, and former music journalist.

Manson – whose stage name was formed by combining and juxtaposing the names of actress Marilyn Monroe and criminal Charles Manson – is best known for his ’90s records Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals.

He has previously revealed he has trademarked his famous name.

He said: “I trademarked the name ‘Marilyn Manson’ the same way as Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. It’s not a stage name. It’s not my legal name … Marilyn Manson is owned by Brian Warner, my real name.”

Aside from music, Manson has also acted. He made his movie in 1997, appearing in David Lynch’s Lost Highway.

He’s also appeared in Rose McGowan‘s 1999 film Jawbreaker; The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Rise; The Hire: Beat The Devil.

He also claimed that he began his career as a watercolour painter in 1999 when he made five-minute concept pieces and sold them to drug dealers.

Marilyn Manson without makeup
Marilyn Manson without makeup
AFP – Getty


What does Marilyn Manson look like without makeup?

Marilyn is rarely seen in public without makeup on. However, he did sport a makeup-free face when he had to go to court in 2001 (pictured above).

He has previously described his love affair with makeup, saying it all stems from childhood.

He revealed to Fader: “My mom used to put her wigs and lipstick on me when I was little. I have one weird picture of me as a toddler with an unlit cigarette in my mouth, wearing her blonde wig and a diaper, sitting on the couch. Wonder how I ended up here.

“I suppose my fascination with makeup comes from me having a great imagination and not being able to contain it just to a piece of paper or a piece of music. When I was a kid, I used to do the KISS makeup with watercolour paints.

“I was into KISS mostly because I was told not to listen to it in Christian school. But Alice Cooper and Bowie were more important to me. KISS wore too much of a mask; it was too much kabuki.

“I wanted to be seen, I just didn’t want to be seen the same way that I was. Ziggy Stardust first led me to shave off my eyebrows. People look at you trying to figure out what’s missing or wrong, and you can do a lot more with makeup when your eyebrows are out of the way.

“In the beginning, I was never intending to be androgynous in the sense that people thought. I wasn’t trying to look like a girl; I was hiding something. I had a really bad complexion as a teenager, but I wasn’t insecure: I tried to look worse. I liked to put lipstick on my teeth because it was always something that people didn’t like to have.”

TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun

BEST DEAL UPDATE (UK):

‘Airline’ offers full flying experience without ever taking off

You know what gets me through those long hours of uncomfortable sitting, aching legs, mediocre meals, screaming kids, rude passengers, long waits for the bathroom and mind-numbing boredom on a flight? The promise of what awaits me on the other side. It’s often said it’s not about the destination, but the journey. I say air…
Tech | New York Post

SPECIAL SHOE DISCOUNT:

‘Dunkirk’ may win without it being anybody’s favorite movie

TwitterFacebook

Danielle Radford (@danielleradford) of Screen Junkies, Tights and Fights, and more joins us this week to weigh Dunkirk‘s chances of winning Best Picture. Is the movie even worth it if you’re not seeing it in IMAX? Or is it going to skate on a technicality all the way to the big win?

Subscribe to CineFix for more movie-related content Read more…

More about Movies, Mashable Video, Oscars, Analysis, and Academy Awards


Entertainment

BEST ENTERTAINMENT DEALS UPDATE:

10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting

Despite what the latest fad plans may tell you, you don’t have to restrict and starve yourself to lose weight. Making a few easy-to-follow changes can go a long way when it comes to hitting your goal.

Health – Good Housekeeping

HEALTH CARE UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Get the Health Benefits of Owning a Pet Without Straining Your Finances


Breaking news: Pets make people happy.

OK, so that’s not really breaking news.

In fact, it doesn’t even seem like news.

But a new analysis of academic research suggests that pets are, in fact, good for your mental health — and we’re taking that as a sign that we should all have a furry friend to brighten our days, (situation permitting, of course).

However, while it seems like common knowledge that pets boost happiness levels, and while animal lovers everywhere can subscribe to the idea that a feisty pup or a snuggly kitten would be a welcome addition to the family, the decision to bring a new pet into your home is anything but simple.

Pets can be expensive, and adding a new little guy to the family is no small commitment. Food, toys and general care items can add up quickly. Throw vet bills into the mix and suddenly your precious, furry bundle of energy is a big-time expense.

But here at The Penny Hoarder, we love doing things that make us happy — and pets just so happen to make us very happy (and the research checks out!).

Here’s how to know whether it’s the right time for a pet — and if it is, we’ve got info on how to keep costs manageable so you and your pet can both stay happy and healthy.

How Pets Are Good For Your Mental Health

According to Medical News Today, a systematic review of multiple studies on the benefit of pets for people with mental health issues revealed what we all knew to be true: Pets make positive contributions to our mental health.

Dr. Helen Louise Brooks of the University of Liverpool led a team of researchers as they combed through more than 8,000 articles across nine medical databases. After narrowing their search down to 17 academic papers, the team looked at the effect of owning a cat, dog, hamster, goldfish or finch on people living with a mental illness.

The findings were pretty consistent: Pets were recognized for helping to ease feelings of distress, worry or loneliness and were often viewed as a source of unconditional love and support.

Additionally, many people said having a pet forced them to stay connected to the outside world and engage in physical activity. Dogs in particular were found to encourage social interaction. (An aside: Cats might encourage the opposite, but that’s just me and my personal experience talking.)

A participant in one study said feeling needed by an animal helped curb unhealthy thoughts, while another said the ability to care for a pet was the person’s best quality.

One study found that pets enabled people to keep a sense of “identity, self-worth, and existential meaning.”

In another study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that pets are good for kids and that having a dog was linked to a lower body mass index and could even “stave off anxiety” in children.

If nothing else, the article claims that keeping a pet offers a sense of “ontological security,” which Medical News Today describes as “the feeling of stability, continuity and meaning in one’s life.”

(Note: Pets are excellent and supportive companions, but if you’re struggling with a mental-health issue, you may need a different form of help. You can find a list of free and low-cost mental health services here that will help you get started if you’re seeking treatment.)

The Finances of Pet Ownership

At this point, there’s no (or at least very little) question that having a pet can be beneficial to your mental health.

But you know what isn’t? Being stressed about money.

Here are some tips for keeping pet ownership affordable so you and your new furry friend can live a happy, healthy life together:

  • Before you adopt your pet pal (no matter what kind of animal) consider the big picture and make sure you have enough wiggle room in your budget to cover everything from adoption fees to regular replacement chew toys. This calculator can help you estimate the cost of a pet over its lifetime.
  • Be prepared for vet bills. Cats and dogs (and other, smaller buddies) can get sick or injured at pretty inconvenient times. Pet insurance is a great option for many pet owners, especially if you’re not too keen on being surprised with a whopper of a vet bill. If you decided against pet insurance and you’re facing a scary number for that emergency surgery, don’t panic: This guide to dealing with a hefty vet bill will help you decide the best course of action. And if you want to keep costs low from the get-go, consider adopting one of these dog breeds — they generally require fewer trips to the vet.
  • If you wind up in a tight spot and are worried about feeding your pup, these resources can help. You can find more tips on how to keep the kibble coming in this guide that features tips for everything from stacking coupons on cat supplies to how to make your own pet furniture (if you’re feeling adventurous).
  • If you’re craving the company of a pet but don’t have the resources to commit to a lifetime of puppy love, consider fostering a furry friend. Most foster programs will provide food, toys and veterinary care at no cost to you.

However you choose to welcome a furry friend into your life, just make sure you’ve considered the commitment from all angles. You don’t want to make an impulsive decision only to realize that you can’t handle the financial burden of bringing home a new little buddy.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Sam's Club Membership Offer

DOJ Says It Would Be “Reckless” To Release Nunes Memo Without Proper Review

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it “would be extraordinarily reckless” for House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes, R-CA, to release a classified memo to the public “without giving the…
The Ed Schultz ShowThe Ed Schultz Show

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

How to Pay a Crazy Expensive Vet Bill (Without Making Your Dog Get a Job)

The first time my dog, Wrigley, had to take a trip to the emergency veterinarian was after he vomited blood on the carpet in my bedroom. He ended up being OK after being hospitalized for 24 hours, but when I arrived to pick him up, I was panicking inside.

Emergency vet costs are notoriously expensive, and I didn’t have pet insurance to help pay the bill. I was a college student on an intern budget and had no idea how I was going to come up with enough cash to make a dent in the bill.

I had regular credit cards, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay off the balance within the next month –– meaning I would be stuck paying even more because of interest.

What was I going to do?

“Have you heard of CareCredit?” the receptionist asked me. “If you can’t afford this bill, you should give it a try. It’s interest-free.”

Flustered, I applied on the spot. I got approved and charged the entire bill, which was about $ 500, to the card. The receptionist told me I had 18 interest-free months to pay it back.

Interest-free financing sounded good, but was it my only — or best — option?

Should You Put Vet Bills on Your Credit Card?

Often, those “interest-free” periods on health care cards are actually deferred-interest periods. That was the case for my CareCredit card.

When a credit card comes with a truly interest-free period, you’ll accumulate interest charges only on the remaining balance when the promotional period ends. With deferred interest, if you don’t pay the balance in full during the promotional period, you’ll be charged all the interest you avoided during that period and whatever interest you incur afterward.

For example, say you charge $ 1,000 on a health credit card with a deferred-interest period of 12 months. Let’s say the card has a $ 26.99% interest rate, which is what CareCredit advertises for new accounts. After that period is up, if you haven’t paid the balance in full, you’d owe the remaining balance, plus interest on the full amount you financed. So if you hadn’t paid off the account in full, you’d pay $ 269.90 in interest (26.99% of the original $ 1,000) on top of the remaining balance.

If it’s an emergency, you have to choose the best option for you. Sometimes, that might mean opening a CareCredit account. Approval takes only a few minutes, and you’ll be able to charge to the account right when you open it. CareCredit now offers rewards benefits, too, meaning you can stretch your money further.

Going another route, like taking out a personal loan or applying for a regular credit card, could take much longer. You might get instant approval when you apply for a credit card, but you’ll have to wait for the card in the mail. If you have a credit line open already, you might want to compare its annual percentage rate (APR) to that of a health care credit card. Most regular credit cards have lower interest rates than health care credit cards.

Personal loans can give you money on the spot, too, but they might not offer an interest-free period.

Just remember: Always consider all potential repercussions before opening any line of credit.

To Avoid Vet Shock, It Pays to Be Proactive

People wait with their animals to have them examined at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, Fla. Tina Russell / The Penny Hoarder pet insurance, pets, cats, dogs, animals in Tampa, Fla.

People wait to have their animals examined at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, Fla. Tina Russell / The Penny Hoarder

Ashley Skalko, a customer service manager at BluePearl Emergency Animal Hospital, often recommends CareCredit to pet owners who can’t pay a large bill upfront. However, she says there are a few other routes you can take before you reach for the plastic.

Many emergency vet hospitals are expensive because they are specialized, have wider access to resources and are typically open 24/7. These emergency hospitals typically don’t negotiate bills with pet parents, but Skalko says BluePearl does everything it can to address any financial concerns before treatment.

If an owner expresses cost concerns, we can tweak the initial treatment recommendation,” she said. “And if there are still concerns from there on, we would consider sending them to their primary veterinarian first.”

Primary care veterinarians are generally cheaper, and Skalko says this option can help offset costs. But it’s a difficult option to recommend in the middle of the night, when primary care offices are closed.

She does, however, offer a few free ways to avoid costly emergency vet bills in the first place.

“You can prevent big pet emergencies from happening by being proactive,” she said. “We try to teach pet owners to always use a leash to prevent animals from getting struck by cars, or we even recommend ‘baby-proofing’ their homes so cords are hidden, trash cans have lids on them, and toxic cleaning supplies are up high where animals can’t get to them.”

Skalko also stresses the importance of keeping up with routine care at a primary vet. Keeping your pet up to date with vaccinations can prevent illness, and it gives your vet the opportunity to catch chronic issues early on and work to maintain them before they develop into bigger issues.

Pet insurance can be an incredible way to offset costs. While most pet insurance companies don’t pay for bills upfront, Skalko has seen pet parents get as much as 90% of their total bills reimbursed.

How to Get Help With Vet Bills Without Using a Credit Card

If you were proactive and engaged in preventative care, yet Fido still manages to give you a scare, you could find yourself facing a huge vet bill. As a result, you may be overwhelmed with figuring out how to pay for it.

Not sure where to start? Consider these alternatives to putting the bill on your credit card:

Seek Help From Nonprofit Organizations

There are many organizations that are willing to lend a hand in covering vet bills. Often, these organizations run low on funds, so they may not be able to cover all of your costs. However, they may still be worth applying to.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some of these organizations pay the vet office directly and will not cover bills you have already paid. Be sure to think ahead!

A few nonprofit organizations you can reach out to for help include:

Paws 4 A Cure: This organization offers up to $ 500 in financial assistance to dog and cat owners who need help paying bills for illness or injury. The best part is it doesn’t discriminate based on breed, age, weight or diagnosis. To apply for help, visit its “Ask for Help” page. You should receive an answer in as little as 48 hours.

The Pet Fund: If your pet has a nonemergency chronic condition, keeping up with its maintenance and care costs can quickly add up. The Pet Fund helps pay for these types of treatments. If you struggle to pay for your pet’s cancer treatment, physical therapy, arthritis treatment and more, check out this list of qualifying conditions, then consider applying for assistance from the Pet Fund.

RedRover: This organization helps animals and owners who are survivors of domestic violence, along with animals rescued from disaster or neglect, or those that have a life-threatening illness. It also offers resources and support to low-income individuals by offering grants for urgent care, boarding for pets whose owners are escaping domestic violence and pet food. To apply for help through RedRover, visit its relief page.

Crowdfunding

If you’ve tried all avenues to get assistance with your pet’s vet bill and still need help, you can consider crowdsourcing to cover some, if not all, of the balance.

Crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe have become increasingly popular ways to raise money in recent years. Keep in mind, though, that some charge service and processing fees, so you may not receive all the money you raised. Here’s how much of your crowdfunded money will make it to your bank account.

So, Did I Make the Right Decision?

For me, CareCredit was the best choice for paying Wrigley’s vet bill. The monthly payments fit into my budget, and I paid it off before the promotional deferred-interest period was over. As a result, I was able to pay a large bill in manageable chunks –– without having to pay extra for interest.

Here’s to many more years — hopefully debt-free years! — with Wrigley.

Kelly Anne Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.  

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Sam's Club Membership Offer

Buyers jockey for indie films at Sundance without Weinstein

PARK CITY, Utah / LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For the first time in three decades, producer Harvey Weinstein will not be trudging down Park City’s snowy Main Street when the Sundance Film Festival opens Thursday, leaving the independent movie festival marketplace without its most-watched tastemaker.


Reuters: Entertainment News

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Helping the People Without a Country

For Mayssoun Alhariri, MD, the Syrian refugees she thinks about most are the children.

“One girl was about 7 years old, yet she was carrying her baby brother on her shoulders, trying to calm him down. The look in her eyes really struck me; she was no longer a child. A 10-year-old boy was in charge of making sure his disabled father was taking his medications.”

Dr. Alhariri saw this and much more when she went on medical missions with the Syrian American Medical Society to Turkey in 2014 and to Jordan in 2015. SAMS is a nonpolitical, nonprofit medical relief organization saving lives and alleviating suffering of Syrians in their homeland and in neighboring countries.

A Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara internal medicine physician, Dr. Alhariri is native to Syria. She received her medical education in Damascus and joined SAMS in 2011, even bringing her two teen daughters on one medical mission.

“I am surprised by how resilient the people are,” she said of the refugees. “They can’t wait to go back to their homeland despite losing everything. But they can’t go back until it is safe. And it is not safe. Now they are in camps where in winter there are puddles up to their knees.”

Civil war and suffering

Syria’s conflict started as an uprising for human rights in March 2011, then turned into civil before becoming a “proxy war” involving other countries and factions. The United Nations estimates that 400,000 people have been killed during the conflict. Among the pre-war population of around 22 million, up to 13.5 million Syrians have required humanitarian assistance and around 5 million are now refugees.

Early on, SAMS physicians served on missions inside conflict-torn regions in Syria. But now the country is so unsafe that Dr. Alhariri and other physicians are deployed by SAMS to neighboring countries, including Greece. That’s where Michael Drusano, MD, a Kaiser Permanente Richmond adult and family medicine physician, volunteered for two weeks last winter.

“I saw a lot of chronic untreated conditions we normally see in primary care as well as outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses due to the collapse of the health system,” said Dr. Drusano. “Additionally, due to the very cold winter, there were respiratory infections and complaints such as body aches.”

Dr. Alhariri, who was in camps earlier in the conflict, saw up to 50 patients a day, with conditions ranging from migraines to malnutrition.

Each physician encountered many refugees with acute stress, including depression and anxiety brought on from leaving one country and being in limbo in another.

“Sometimes you would meet a child who had lost both parents or a mother who had lost all her children,” Dr. Alhariri said of the trauma of loss.

Children play in a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey.

Children play in a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey.

Bearing witness

As part of the U.N. resettlement, refugees are given a list of countries to choose from, Dr. Drusano explained. While they may rank their top 3, there is no guarantee where they will go; they may end up living anywhere from the U.K. to Estonia.

Dr. Drusano has been volunteering on missions since medical school. He said that while refugee camps are known for hardship, even a few creature comforts make an enormous difference.

Children play in a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey.For the Syrians, children have missed entire school years and adults have been unable to work. “One camp had a falafel café, a library and a weight room for exercise. The mood seemed lighter at that camp.”

SAMS and its volunteers are now focusing on hiring local physicians to help the refugees and people inside, as well as building hospitals in some areas inside Syria.

“The intensity of the situation makes you realize what we take for granted and how difficult life can be for some,” said Dr. Alhariri, now a SAMS board member. “But you can still offer help, even with limited resources. I can’t see ever stopping this work.”

“We provided medical care, but we also bore witness to what the Syrian refugees are going through,” said Dr. Drusano. “And through that we learned how to provide better care for all displaced people.”

The post Helping the People Without a Country appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

rss-feed – Kaiser Permanente Share

NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

Get MBA skills without the debt in this $15 course

TwitterFacebook

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

The business world is a perennially competitive field. To make it out alive, you have to have all the skills of a well-rounded entrepreneur. Traditionally, to learn all the ropes in business you have to get years of experience or go to business school. But getting an MBA degree is mentally, emotionally, and financially taxing.

More about Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Shopping Solo, Shopping U25, and Shopping Onlinelearning


Business

BREAKING NEWS:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Trump Says He Won’t Extend DACA Protection for ‘Dreamers’ Without Money for a Border Wall

President Donald Trump said he would insist legislation extending deportation protection to those brought to the U.S. illegally as children include funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump also said he would demand an end to a program that allows immigrants to sponsor family members to join them in the U.S., and a State Department program designed to offer immigrant visas to people from countries with low rates of migration to the U.S.

Read: First Latina Fortune 500 CEO: Here’s What Should Be Done About DACA

“The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration,” Trump said in a Twitter message Friday from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Trump earlier this year announced that he was ending the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, saying Justice Department lawyers had concluded it was unconstitutional. DACA protections are set to expire by March 1 if Congress doesn’t take action.

Democrats have said they don’t support the president’s effort to construct a border wall or impose new limits on the immigration system. It’s expected they will attempt to use the expiration of government funding in January to pressure the White House to strike a deal on immigration that pairs a renewal of DACA with moderate new immigration enforcement measures.

Read: What DACA Has to Do With a Government Shutdown

Congressional leaders of both parties are scheduled to meet with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Jan. 3 to discuss the spending bill, immigration and other matters.

“We’re not going to negotiate through the press and look forward to a serious negotiation at Wednesday’s meeting when we come back,” Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, said in an email.

Bigger Changes

Trump has sought to build support for his more significant changes to the immigration system by pointing to recent terror attacks in New York City.

Akayed Ullah, 27, a green-card holder from Bangladesh accused of detonating a bomb in a New York subway tunnel this month, came to the U.S. in 2011 on a visa available to nieces and nephews of U.S. citizens. Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old from Uzbekistan who’s alleged to have mowed down people on a bike path with a pickup truck in New York on Halloween, came to the U.S. in 2010 on a visa obtained through the lottery program.

Read: Apple, GM, and Best Buy Join Dreamers Coalition Lobbying for DACA

“Both terrorists came to our country through the dysfunctional immigration system that we are correcting, rapidly,” Trump said earlier this month during a speech at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

Kelly met with Democrats last week in Washington to discuss a path forward on a possible immigration bill.


Fortune

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Dear Santa, stop giving my kids crap (and no gift receipt) without asking me

by

Becky Vieira

posted in Parenting

I feel compelled to begin this post with a disclaimer: I’m grateful. I’m appreciative and thankful for anyone who cares enough to bestow a gift upon my child.

I’m just a mom standing in front of her friends and family asking them to help me control the clutter. Also, one who is trying to be financially responsible. With your money. What I’m asking feels awkward. And icky. Yet has to be asked. So here goes:

Please communicate with me prior to buying my child a gift. Or at least include a gift receipt.

Phew. I said it. It’s been brewing inside me for some time. Now, before you snap to judgement please re-read the first paragraph. And allow me to explain further.

Toddler drives small convertible

We don’t ask for gifts. We’re blessed to have friends and family who generously give our son things. I think I’m allowed to appreciate this and ask for a little mercy from the various Santas in our lives. The two feelings can co-exist. Asking for gift receipts doesn’t make me ungrateful.

Yes, we’ve tried to ask for no gifts. Several times, but our requests fell on deaf ears. And we’re okay with that. We’ve enjoyed choosing presents for the little ones in our lives over the years. Gift giving is fun. Besides, have you tried telling first-time grandparents they can’t bring a present to their grandson on his first birthday? Easier said than done.

I don’t see why the options have to be either banning gifts entirely or ending up with a pile of things you can’t use or return. There has to be a way to meet in the middle. People are going to give gifts. Period. I’m trying to find a balance between being grateful and ensuring my son isn’t overwhelmed.

Finally, let’s talk gift receipts, essential little pieces of paper. These allow me to exchange or, if needed, return presents. Maybe you paid full-price, but when I go to return it the item is on sale. That means your $ 50 gift leaves me with $ 4.99 in store credit.

I don’t return every gift. Just the ones I can’t use. And I have reasons, legitimate reasons. Seven of them, actually.

1. Size matters. Meaning, clothes may not fit. There is no consistency in sizing across children’s clothing brands. Period. My son wears 18-24 months at Target. 2T at BabyGap. And H&M shirts run huge while the pants are short. I need a flow chart to keep track.

2. Space is finite. I don’t have excessive storage space. And while we love the adult-sized bike you sent for Valentine’s Day, I have nowhere to stash it while we wait for him to grow. Into an adult.

3. Seasons change. I like that you tried to get creative and buy something we can use down the road. Except the math was off, and by the time his new swimsuit fits it will be November.

4. Three’s a crowd. We love the toy you gave him. He unfortunately already received it on his birthday. And again as an early Christmas present. I can’t justify keeping a third.

Please stop buying crap for my kids without asking

5. Again, size matters. We’re lucky to have a separate playroom. But I still don’t have room for a miniature castle. Yes, I said a castle.

6. Because I said so. Look, at the end of the day I’m the parent. I’m not sure how to soften it. Your gift may not be something I want my child to have. Whether it be a toy weapon or a creepy clown. Sometimes mom says no.

7. Money matters, too. If we can’t use or return it (that pesky gift receipt business again) the gift is donated. That’s a wonderful thing, but I’m guessing your intention was to give something we’d use ourselves.

To all the Santas in my son’s life, thank you. For your kindness and generosity. We truly appreciate you. We’d also like to work together to live merrily ever after this holiday season.

For more of my mom journey follow me on Instagram at Witty Otter.

Does your family ask before buying gifts? Did you make that request?

Images by Becky Vieira

The post Dear Santa, stop giving my kids crap (and no gift receipt) without asking me appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

BabyCenter Blog

BABY CARE SPECIAL DEAL UPDATE:

Aden & Anais Logo

How to navigate the holidays with homophobic family members without losing your mind

How to navigate the holidays with homophobic family members without losing your mind


How to navigate the holidays with homophobic family members without losing your mind

Going home for the holidays usually brings an overwhelming sense of joy, but for some, seeing family and friends comes with an extra serving of uncomfortable conversations fueled by homophobia. As we get older, we start forming our own ideas and stances on issues in the world around us. And more often than not, those ideas and stances will gravely differ from at least a few of the people you hold dearest (or are least obligated to spend time with a few times a year). Navigating the holidays with homophobic family members can be tricky, but there are ways to do so and still enjoy your holiday festivities.

According to Psychology Today, “the term homophobia was first described in 1972 by George Weinberg, and defined as an irrational fear, hatred, and intolerance of being in close quarters with homosexual men and women.” And it’s not always so blatant — homophobia can manifest in many different forms. Your family member could be the really loud, overt homophobic, all-gays-are-going-to-hell type, or they could be a bit more subtle with their disdain, only peppering conversation with the occasional off-handed comment.

We know there are very few families are totally free of members who fall into one or even both of these categories. But either way, if handled incorrectly, you may end up ruining your time home, and even if that would never be your fault, that might be last thing you want.

We also know it can be difficult when you become aware that a family member isn’t actually supportive, especially when the LGBTQ community faces so many challenges on a daily basis, and there have been so many attacks against the community this year alone.

The first thing you need to do (we know, this should not be your responsibility, but we like to think of it as self-preservation for the sake of enjoying your holidays), is remind yourself that homophobia usually stems from a lack of knowledge on the subject, and that your relatives may only be repeating stereotypes and opinions they have been exposed to in their environment. Or they could just be assholes. Maybe both. Probably both.

Take a breath before you proceed. Then try using one of these four ways to navigate conversations with your homophobic family members this festive season.

1. Point out their behavior for what it is.

Whenever you hear a family member (or anyone) making a homophobic comment, it’s important to not brush it off or just offer an awkward smile to avoid confrontation. Try bringing the offensive comment to their attention. Hopefully, this will spark a conversation that will allow you the opportunity to drop a bit of knowledge.

2. Find your support system.

Use the time that you’re home for the holidays to spend time with loving, open-minded family members during your celebrations. It’s unlikely that your entire family is homophobic (and if they are, we’re truly sorry), so maybe you can seek refuge in the company of cousins or siblings or aunties that accept you just as you are. Maybe even start your own mini family traditions of doing just that.

If you’re unable to find a safe space among your family members, Christina Miller, a current student in the Master of Public Health program at the University at Albany, says it’s smart to plan ahead for these overwhelming situations by finding your outside support system ahead of time. “Identify a self-care buddy. This is someone you can text, Facebook message, etc. when you are feeling overwhelmed, isolated or unsupported over the holidays,” she says.

“Along with reaching out to this person during more challenging moments, you can also exchange silly Snapchats [and] pictures or play Words With Friends in a way that makes you feel supported or cared for.”

3. Stand up for what you believe in.

In some instances, simply pointing out the hateful comment might be enough to quiet a homophobic family member or lead them to evaluate the way they think. Other times, there might be confrontations, and you should never be afraid to stand up for yourself during these moments. To deal with this, Anne-Sophia Reinhardt, self-love expert and blogger says, “Speak up for yourself. Don’t let people walk all over you.” Also, use logic, statistics, and facts when defending LGBTQ rights. If you believe it, defend it!

4. Don’t be afraid to step away.

While we’re huge advocates of standing up for your beliefs, please remember your sanity comes first. Miller says, if speaking up is too much for you, “Allow yourself to ‘tap out’ from conversations that are too challenging or too triggering. Sometimes we may feel the constant need to justify ourselves, our communities and/or our values to our families. That being said, you by no means must continue within conversations that feel unsafe or too draining. Sometimes self-preservation is the most effective form of rebellion.”

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. So, do yourself a favorite and try to have a great time regardless of the negativity you may be facing. Also worth noting: There is absolutely no shame is deciding to stay home this year and chilling with your chosen family instead.

Keep in mind that the most important thing you can do for yourself is to live your life freely while staying true to who you are.

HelloGiggles

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

This $16 gadget lets you make s’mores indoors without burning your house down

How To Make Smores Indoors

If you’re looking for the perfect gift this chilly holiday season that’s sure to warm the hearts and stomachs of anyone you give it to, we’ve got just the thing. The Sterno 70228 Family Fun S’mores Maker is quite possibly as close as you’ll ever come to the perfect gift. Is there a single person on this Earth who doesn’t love s’mores? Of course not, and now anyone can enjoy the greatest gooey treat on the planet from the comfort of his or her own home for under $ 16.

Here are some highlights from the product page:

  • S’mores maker kit features two built-in s’mores making stations for easy and clean fun
  • Includes one can of proprietary Sterno S’mores Heat Fuel for marshmallow roasting
  • Roasting screen for even toasting and flame protection
  • Includes two stainless steel roasting forks; Designed for indoor and outdoor use
  • Food not included

Sterno 70228 Family Fun S’mores Maker, Red: $ 15.99

And don’t forget the fuel:

Sterno 20261 S’mores Heat Fuel Cans (2 Pack), Silver: $ 10.74

BGR Top Deals:

  1. If you have a Fire TV or Roku Stick, this will be the best $ 6 you ever spend
  2. Today’s top deals: Killer Logitech Harmony deal, wireless chargers, GoPro Hero5, OneBlade, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Scientists claim humans have peaked, and will never be taller, stronger, or live longer than we do today
  2. If Samsung’s foldable Galaxy X phone looks like this, it’s doomed
  3. SNES Classic Edition consoles are back in stock at Best Buy right now

This $ 16 gadget lets you make s’mores indoors without burning your house down originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 8 Dec 2017 at 20:00:01 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


BGR

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

All Deals on HP, Dell and Lenovo!

Without Trump, Kennedy Center celebrates Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the notable absence of President Donald Trump, the Kennedy Center on Sunday celebrated singers Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, rapper LL Cool J, television producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade with honors for the arts.


Reuters: Arts

SPECIAL DEAL UPDATE:

Save anywhere from 35-55% off combined admission prices with the Explorer Pass from Smart Destinations!

Kennedy Honors Recognize Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, Without Trumps

(Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — This year’s Kennedy Center Honors recognizing outstanding artists and performers managed to skip the political drama that loomed over it earlier this year — just ask honoree Norman Lear.

Ahead of Sunday night’s festivities at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the longtime television producer behind “All in the Family” and other hits reacted with mock surprise when reminded that President Donald Trump was not attending.

“Really? Wow!” Lear said as he entered the building. “I’m expecting a warm, funny, wonderful evening. My guess is that the focus tonight will be on the arts.”

The president usually sits with the honorees and other guests. But Lear threatened to boycott the event over his opposition to Trump, and other artists expressed unease with the idea of meeting the president. A showdown was avoided when Trump announced in August that he and first lady Melania Trump would not attend.

Another honoree, rapper and actor LL Cool J, called the evening “an amazing, amazing moment” for a hip-hop artist who officials said was the youngest-ever Kennedy Center Honors recipient at 49.

He said there were many deserving rappers and performers from his generation but would not go so far as to say that anybody deserved the honor over him.

 

“I’m humble, but I’m not going to play pseudo-humble,” he said before the program. “I’m the one!”

The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony also paid tribute to dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and musicians Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan.

Honorees each received a lengthy and personally tailored onstage tribute sprinkled with surprise guests.

Estefan was greeted with performances of her greatest hits and a solo performance by her daughter Emily.

For LL Cool J, they recreated a club onstage with performances by Busta Rhymes and members of The Roots as well as a testimonial by Queen Latifah.

For Lear, a series of quick changes transformed the stages into the sets from “Good Times,” ”All in the Family” and “Maude,” with testimonials from Rob Reiner, Dave Chappelle and Anthony Anderson from the current hit show “Black-ish.”

In addition to the Sunday ceremony, this year’s recipients were honored Saturday at a gala State Department dinner. The program was to be televised Dec. 26 on CBS.

In the past, most U.S. presidents have attended the ceremony, but it’s not unprecedented for a sitting president to skip it. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all missed ceremonies during their terms in office, but in all previous cases the first lady attended.

Kennedy Center officials didn’t hide their relief when Trump announced he wouldn’t attend. Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter and Chairman David M. Rubenstein released a statement saying they were “grateful” to the Trumps for avoiding a conflict that would overshadow the ceremony.

“In choosing not to participate in this year’s honor’s activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees,” the statement said.

Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Share your email below to receive our daily newsletter!


Entertainment – Black America Web

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

How to Run a Business With Your Spouse Without Ruining the Relationship

If you’re considering starting a business with your spouse, you might want to discuss a few things with one another to avoid ruining your relationship. So to get some insight on how to divide responsibilities and shut down work issues at home, we asked husband-and-wife co-founders Holly McWhorter and Bjarke Ballisager of Plant Apothecary to share their perspective.

 

(Image: iStock/izusek)

 

As co-founders of a successful makeup line and beauty brand, you both bring a mix of skills in architecture, journalism, and music. What transferrable skills did you bring into running the business every day? Architecture demands a high level of problem-solving skills, so we’ve both been able to bring those to the table for this business from our work in that field—along with visual presentation and design skills. And I’ve been able to put my writing skills to use with our marketing efforts—the blog, social media, and written interviews. We haven’t found a place for the music yet, but maybe that’ll come later!

What’s the hardest part of working together as a team every day? The hardest part is the creative conflicts. No two creatives will ever have exactly the same ideas about how best to present a brand, and being married doesn’t change that at all. And then there’s the difficulty of rarely having any time away from each other during the day, so we can start to miss each other. Time apart is good for any relationship!

After a challenging day at work, how do you turn off work mode? We wish we could say we’re always out and about on the town, taking in art and music and socializing, but the truth is we’re both usually so worn out after work these days that it’s usually Netflix. Or soccer, for Bjarke. But we’re hoping that as the business grows and we’re able to expand our staff, we’ll be less stressed and have more energy after work!

Can you provide any tips or advice for working with your spouse? Here’s the main one: Try to divide and conquer, as in being responsible for separate parts of the business. Consistent agreement about every single aspect of a complex business (or complex anything) with one’s spouse is not something that occurs in the natural world, so if you can avoid having to do that, do.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

What it’s like to be pregnant without a mom

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

This is not a feel-good story about how I got pregnant and developed a deeper bond with my mother. It’s not about all the text messages we sent or how I called my mom at all hours to ask questions about pelvic pain and morning sickness.

I wish it were that story.

Unfortunately, my mom died in 2011, three years before my son was a reality.

There are a lot of things I wish, but probably the biggest one is that I could have experienced pregnancy with my mom by my side. And it was something I never thought about until the hole was already there.

Black and white photo of a woman in the 1970s with a tiny baby (adorable!) in a bonnet.

 

Suddenly the woman who brought me into the world and nurtured me into life – the woman who sweetened my oatmeal with mashed strawberries and rocked me to sleep in the ugliest, 1970s yellow rocking chair – was no longer with me.

 

A gorgeous little girl in pigtails sits behind a chocolate cake with a candle shaped like a 3. Next to her is her mother, an elegant woman dressed in gold.

 

When my mom died, essential things died with her. All the memories of my birth and early childhood, all her advice about pregnancy, any pearls of wisdom about motherhood – they disappeared the day she drew her last breath in hospice. She was gone before I ever thought to capture any of this information. (I don’t even know if I was born vaginally or via c-section.)

What this means is that pregnancy felt like a very solitary experience. I had my husband and friends, of course, but nobody else had a history of the body like my mom and me. I look into the mirror and I see her – I live with her stately nose and her pale complexion, even her stubbornly jiggly upper arms (curse you, mom!). It only stood to reason that she would understand my pregnancy in a way others couldn’t.

A pregnant woman wearing jeans and a striped tee-shirt holds a hawk on one gloved hand.

 

For that reason, my mom actually remained with me in a way I didn’t expect.

Every Braxton-Hicks contraction, every twinge of back pain, every time my arm weirdly went numb – every symptom led me down a path of thinking about her. I spent nights awake with searing heartburn and wondered if my mom experienced that too, and I dressed for the day daydreaming about what weird maternity clothes she might have worn. Finally, at the end of my pregnancy, when I was induced, I recalled my dad once said I needed a nudge to be born too.

I made it through the 9 months, because that was the only choice I had, and I did it with a shadow of my mom, as she was both present and gone. I guess this is what it means to love somebody and to be loved – my mom was by my side even in her absence.

And when I came home with my baby boy, the very first thing I did was to plop myself down in an ugly, yellow rocking chair, and rock my child to sleep.

Somehow I think she’s with my boy too.

What do you know, if anything,about your mother’s pregnancy with you?

BabyCenter Blog

BABY CARE UPDATE:

Perfect Gifts for the Perfect baby

Stars without the warpaint

See what your favorite celebrities look like before they hit the makeup chair… and after.
FOX News

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

<

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Beyoncé Dedicates Halloween 2017 to Lil Kim: ‘Hip Hop Would Not Be the Same Without Our Original Queen B’ [Photos]

Beyoncé transformed the front page of her website to honor Lil Kim.

As you’ve probably seen, Beyoncé celebrated Halloween dressed as Lil Kim from Missy Elliot’s “The Rain” music video — and Jay went as Biggie.

Accompanying dozens of photos of their costumes (Bey recreated several of Kim’s iconic looks that we haven’t seen yet), Bey kicks off the tribute with the following note:

We have to agree.

Check out the rest of Bey’s photos here.

The post Beyoncé Dedicates Halloween 2017 to Lil Kim: ‘Hip Hop Would Not Be the Same Without Our Original Queen B’ [Photos] appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

B. Scott | lovebscott.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

How to Have a Disagreement Without Getting Sucked into the Negativity | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN

OWN

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Don’t Travel to Hawaii Without These Key Vacation-Ready Pieces

Do you ever find yourself living vicariously through the far-flung tropical destinations bloggers always seem to travel to? While it feels like everyone is traveling halfway around the world to destinations like Bali or the South of France, there’s one place that’s much more accessible to those living in the continental U.S.—Hawaii. Though it’s roughly a six-hour flight from the West Coast, the islands that make up our 50th state feel like a world away. While some of you may call Hawaii your go-to spot for a beach vacation, others among us (myself included) will settle to scroll through these gorgeous images and plan our dream Hawaii wardrobe.

While other beach vacations might have you exploring a local town or being more active, Hawaii is a place where you can hit the beach and maybe go snorkeling. In other words, it’s easy to live in your bikini all day, every day while soaking up the vitamin D. Which is why we’ve put together a seven-piece wardrobe to wear in Hawaii with a lot of inspiration from our favorite blogger’s dream vacations.

Go on to see the seven beach-ready pieces bloggers have proven are perfect for a vacation in Hawaii (or any other tropical destination, for that matter).

The one staple for any kind of tropical getaway is a breezy white dress. This is your hero piece that will be both your beach cover-up and your daytime exploring dress.
You’ll need a linen top to throw on over your swimsuit when you hit the beach. Opt for a slightly oversize one that you can tie at the waist to show off a cool suit.
A sun hat is an obvious necessity. Try a neutral-toned or woven topper to practice safe sun in style. A simple striped tee and white shorts make for an easy, laid-back combo that still looks fresh.
If working on your tan all day is not in your plans, try a one-piece suit (beware of the one-piece tan lines, or else pile on the sunscreen). These options are so cool they might convince you to wear them away from the beach, too.
If Instagram taught us anything, it’s that the basket bag is a summery style staple that you can’t go on vacation without. Grab an Insta-worthy tote, and snap those tropical pics.
For when you’re not just living in a swimsuit, try a maxi dress as a go-to dinner-and-drinks option. Plus, the breezy shape will ease the pain of that inevitable sunburn.
Next up, the picture-perfect Zara items one editor wore on her Bali vacation.

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

BEST DISCOUNT UPDATE:

Up to 50% Off Original Price @ BCBGeneration.com!

Patients with Serious Mental Health Conditions Receive Preventive Care at Rates Similar to Those Without These Conditions

PORTLAND, Ore. — People with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder received preventive health screenings at rates similar to or higher than people without mental illnesses, according to a study of more than 800,000 patients published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Nearly 10 million people in the United States live with a serious mental health condition, and they have higher early death rates compared to those without these conditions. In fact, one study found that patients with schizophrenia were 3.5 times more likely to die early, compared to the general population.

The disparity is largely due to preventable causes such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, and to modifiable risk factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and medications that cause weight gain.

Researchers hypothesized that people with mental illnesses might receive less preventive care than people without these illnesses. However, this study, which included patients within the Kaiser Permanente system and patients who get their care from safety-net clinics, found just the opposite.

Kaiser Permanente patients who were diagnosed with a mental health condition received between 80 and 81 percent of the recommended preventive care, while people with no diagnosis of a mental health condition received about 80 percent of the preventive care recommended for them.

In safety-net clinics, there was a larger difference between the two groups. Patients diagnosed with mental health conditions received between 62 and 70 percent of the preventive services recommended for them, while patients without a diagnosis of a mental health condition received about 60 percent of the recommended care.

“We were pleased to learn that people with mental health conditions received as many or more preventive services as people without these conditions,” said Bobbi Jo Yarborough PsyD, lead author and researcher with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

However, Yarborough added, the finding doesn’t answer the question of why, according to national statistics, these people die earlier.

“It may be that people with mental illnesses aren’t getting the support and treatment they need to prevent chronic disease. For example, we know that the medications people take to manage serious mental illnesses can cause rapid weight gain, but there are few programs to help these people manage their weight while they are on the medications,” said Yarborough.

To address this need, Yarborough and her colleagues developed a successful weight loss and diabetes risk reduction program, but she says few health systems implement these types of programs.

For the current study, researchers compared the proportion of recommended preventive screenings received among more than 100,000 adults who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar or affective psychosis, or other mental health conditions such as anxiety or major depressive disorder, to the proportion of recommended screenings received among nearly 700,000 adults without a diagnosis of mental illness.

Study subjects were members of the Kaiser Permanente Northwest health system, or patients who received care in clinics that serve low-income individuals and those without health insurance. During 2012-2013, the researchers examined the medical records of these patients to find out if they were eligible for and had received 12 preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

The services included screening for obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as the pneumococcal and flu vaccines. And for women, screening for breast and cervical cancer, and chlamydia and osteoporosis were also included.

The study was funded by a grant (R01 MH096795) from the National Institute of Mental Health. In addition to Yarborough, study authors include: Nancy A. Perrin, PhD, Scott P. Stumbo, MA, and Carla A. Green, PhD, MPH, of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research; and John Muench, MD, MPH, of Oregon Health & Science University.

About the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research
The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, founded in 1964, is a nonprofit research institution dedicated to advancing knowledge to improve health. It has research sites in Portland, Oregon, and Honolulu, Hawaii. Visit kpchr.org for more information.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to share.kp.org.

The post Patients with Serious Mental Health Conditions Receive Preventive Care at Rates Similar to Those Without These Conditions appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

rss-feed – Kaiser Permanente Share

NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

George Michael’s ‘Listen Without Prejudice’ Reissue Sets Release

In coordination with the Showtime documentary George Michael: Freedom, the singer's Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 will be reissued as a multi-disc set featuring Michael's MTV Unplugged concert as well as B-sides and other rarities.

Originally scheduled to arrive in November 2016,

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: George Michael’s ‘Listen Without Prejudice’ Reissue Sets Release

Rolling Stone Latest Music News

ENTERTAINMENT UPDATE:

Doctor’s Order: No Trick-or-Treating Without the Flu Vaccine

That’s right – early autumn marks the start of cold and flu season. So Margaret Khoury, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and the regional lead of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Flu Vaccination Program, is encouraging parents to protect their children against the flu before the end of October.

“Every year, around Halloween, we begin to see an increase in upper respiratory illnesses in children,” says Dr. Khoury. “The reasons are multifold. As the days begin to cool down, viruses like the rhinovirus – the virus that causes the common cold – begin to replicate. Cooler weather also tends to keep people indoors, thus increasing a person’s exposure to germs and ultimately, increasing their risk of illness.”

Dr. Khoury adds that there are some Halloween-specific reasons people also become ill at this time of year.

“Keep in mind that flu and cold germs spread from person to person by way of coughing, sneezing or simply talking. When we attend gatherings – including Halloween parties – we risk being in close contact with others who may be ill. So, if your child is feeling sick, it’s best that he or she stay home. Not only will rest help him or her feel better, but it will also protect other children from becoming ill. Last, while one late night out may not do much harm, it’s important that we ensure our children are getting a good night’s rest every night. Lack of sleep can weaken a child’s immune system.”

In addition, says Dr. Khoury, it’s especially important for children who suffer from chronic respiratory conditions, like asthma, to stay healthy. Both a cold and the flu can trigger an asthma attack, cause shortness of breath, lead to serious infections like pneumonia, or result in other life-threatening complications.

The best way to ward off the flu? Get flu shots for you and your family. It can take up to two weeks for the body to develop immunity, so it’s important to vaccinate as early in the season as possible. Also, when shopping for that perfect costume, take advantage of the time to review germ prevention strategies with your children. This includes avoiding touching their eyes, nose or mouth. They should also wash their hands frequently – and if soap and water are not available, encourage children to use an alcohol-based hand gel.

“I tell kids to wash their hands for as long as it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice,” says Dr. Khoury. “I also tell them to cough – or sneeze – into their arm like Dracula.”

The post Doctor’s Order: No Trick-or-Treating Without the Flu Vaccine appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

rss-feed – Kaiser Permanente Share

NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

A huge unsung milestone: Our first trip without a diaper bag

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

It finally happened. The day I didn’t believe would happen, the milestone I never saw coming, the definitive sign that I no longer have a baby.

The diaper bag is gone!

Toddler boy in pajamas jumping off a rock

I’ll admit I’ve had a rocky relationship with diaper bags. By the time my son was born, I owned three of them – a practical one that I registered for, an impractical one that I didn’t register for, and one I ordered off eBay in a wild, 9-months-pregnant-and-I-need-more-stuff panic.

I ended up keeping just one bag – the most massive one, because I thought carrying around a mini version of Target in bag form made sense. Diaper rash cream, bandages, bananas, water, packets of Starbucks instant coffee, a full first aid kit, a muslin blanket, an extra set of clothes for both baby and me, utensils, hand sanitizer, nursing pads, diapers, teethers, toys, I was PREPARED.

After about a year of dragging that bag to play dates and the park, the bag’s straps shredded, the bottom was threadbare, and I had a perpetual achy shoulder.

Next my husband surprised me with a new diaper backpack, which was glorious. I don’t know why I ever wasted my time with anything other than a backpack. It was roomy, easy to haul around, and the knots in my upper back almost disappeared.

I carried that bag for two years. Then I went away for a week without my family, and when I returned I never wore the bag again. It wasn’t a purposeful decision; this coincided with my son being potty trained, and I didn’t need all the stuff anymore. I didn’t even notice for a while that I wasn’t carrying it.

A selfie with a white woman who has curly brownish hair and her son, the world's cutest toddler, who is wearing a straw fedora and some cool shades.

Last week I made a road trip to Las Vegas with my son, and the diaper bag stayed at home. That made it official. A diaper bag was no longer necessary.

Sure, it only makes sense that the diaper bag would disappear eventually – like, around the same time my son finished with diapers. But over the past three years, the darn thing became such a constant companion, I grudgingly accepted it. It became a part of me. We were one.

And now? I feel like a camel that has just shed a hump.

I currently have an extra set of boys’ clothes and a travel package of wipes stashed in the trunk of my car. If we need snacks, a toy, or a bottle of water, I put them in my son’s backpack, which he loves to carry. (And why not? I carried him for 42 weeks, then all his stuff for the next 156 weeks. The least he can do is haul around our granola bars.)

A tiny red-haired girl and her toddler boy friend, who is wearing a backpack

As for me? I have the tiniest, most frivolous handbag. More like a wallet. It’s so slim, sometimes it slips under the seat in the car and I can’t immediately find it. If I sneezed, it might blow away. It’s like Tinkerbell’s purse or like something a mouse might carry. I can’t even fit anything in it. I adore it.

Every time I grab my little purse, a tiny sparkler of excitement sizzles within me. This is something I never thought would happen again.

Walking upright with no back pain is just a bonus.

How long did you carry a diaper bag?

BabyCenter Blog

BABY CARE UPDATE:

Perfect Gifts for the Perfect baby

Wearing Shoes Without Socks Is Bad for Your Health, Experts Say

It goes beyond stinky feet.

Health – Good Housekeeping

HEALTH CARE UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Uber will die without a serious attitude adjustment

With the British prime minister calling London’s refusal to extend Uber’s license “disproportionate,” and Uber’s chief executive heading to London to talk to regulators, a compromise is in the offing. But it shouldn’t give Uber a false sense of security: Isolated regulatory demands aren’t its biggest problem. Viewed in isolation, each of Uber’s setbacks this…
Opinion | New York Post

SPECIAL SHOE DISCOUNT:

Everyday Savings: Up to 40% Off on over 2,000 Styles at DSW! Shop Now!

Adults should celebrate Halloween without dressing up

America is in the throes of a serious and troubling trend that needs to stop and it needs to stop now. We’re talking about Halloween and adults dressing up in costumes. Enough! The National Retail Federation reports that 48 percent of US adults will, on purpose, dress up as a pirate or flirty waitress or…
Media | New York Post

SPECIAL DISCOUNT DEAL:

Mountain highs: trekking without borders in the Balkans

It’s no easy stroll … but a spectacular new Balkan trail provides soaring peaks, lake views and memories of friendly locals – and real endeavour

The views from Kosovo’s highest peak are incredible. Or so I’m told. It’s a tricky thing to confirm in blanket murk and howling winds. I’ve just leaned into a gale to reach the 2,656m summit of Mount Gjeravica, where a shabby concrete marker displays a defaced plaque commemorating Kosovo’s first and only Olympic medallist. At this point, the marker and the plaque are the only things I can see. All around, clouds rush and squalls blow. “Yesss!” shouts the man next to me, holding on to his hat. “I love it!”

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

TRAVEL DEAL UPDATE:

Puerto Rico without power as Hurricane Maria heads north

CNN

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

All of Puerto Rico Without Power Amid Hurricane Maria

All of Puerto Rico lost power on Wednesday, just hours after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island as a Category 4 storm, ABC News reported. The Puerto Rico Office of Emergency Management Agency said that anyone with electricity is relying on a backup generator. Ricardo Ramos, the director of the island’s only electrical company, told reporters last month that storm damage to the U.S. territory’s electrical system could leave it without power for three to four months. The National Hurricane Center warned that the situation is “extremely dangerous and life-threatening.” The cyclone is forecast to move away from Puerto Rico in the next few hours and head westward towards the Dominican Republic.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Cheat Sheet®

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Is it actually possible to live without plastic for a week?

Our digital features editor Delphine Chui gives it a go

plastic free

I’ve always considered myself a mindful person when it comes to the environment. I’m vegetarian, I try to be conscious of the origins of my food, I take public transport as much as possible and I’m an avid recycler.

But, if I’m being honest, I’ve never delved into what actually happens to my rubbish or recycling after I chuck it into the respective bins.

So, I took on a challenge to live without plastic for a week and the statistics and realities of what I learnt was shocking. And, although I may never be ‘zero waste,’ I can certainly put a dent in how much I’m contributing to landfill and that’s a start, isn’t it? Here’s what I learnt…

Watch video

No one is recycling enough

As a nation, we only recycle 14% of recyclable plastic. And around 50% of the plastic we do recycle is never actually recycled because it’s not been properly disposed of. I admit I never looked at my local council’s recycling policy before this week so was guilty of putting things like plastic bags in my green lid wheelie bin (rather than at a specific plastic bag collection bin) and being completely confused about what I should do with bubblewrap (which can jam recycling machines if not put in the right place.)

Our coffee consumption is getting out of control

Think about how much coffee you drink every day. Now, think about how many cups you chuck in the bin. Yeah, I quickly realised that it all adds up, with 7 million coffee cups thrown away in the UK every day – which adds up to 25,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste every year, to be exact. So, I got a bamboo forever cup instead since bamboo is the world’s most sustainable crop. And, it’s worth noting that coffee shops don’t even bat an eyelid when you hand it over for them to fill.

London consumes the largest amount of plastic bottled water in the UK

I’m guilty of it. I constantly buy multipacks of bottled water to bring me to work every day. I liked the convenience of it but considering that by 2050, there will be more plastic bottles in the oceans than fish, we really need to fix this. Plastic bottles make up 10% of all litter in the Thames, with ¾ of the fish inside consuming it, and considering how much I care about animals, these stats really hit home for me.

You can’t really recycle plastic bags

It takes the average plastic shopping bag 100 years to decompose and that’s only if it’s exposed to sunlight and air (which landfill rubbish often isn’t) so that plastic bag you chucked in the bin last week will probably outlast us all. So, now I have a ‘dirty’ tote bag that I put shoes in, a ‘fresh food’ tote bag for any fruit and veg and a ‘dry’ tote bag for everything else.

The sea floor is pretty much plastic

Considering 12.2 million tonnes of plastic litter enter the marine environment each year, it’s no wonder that 94% of the plastic rubbish that enters the ocean ends up on the sea floor. It’s not realistic for me to think I’ll never buy another plastic bottle of water again but I can make sure I only bin it in a recycling bin and never in one that’s overflowing (as these will just end up blowing away)

Plastic is seriously unhealthy for you

Chemicals like BPA and phthalates are used to make plastics and resins and when plastic is heated up (which can happen if your plastic bottle is in the sun for example), these chemicals can leech into the contents. And, since they’re known endocrine disruptors, they can cause a whole load of health issues so I’ve traded in for a glass and stainless steel as they’re both natural elements so are free from chemicals and wholly recyclable.

Plastic cutlery and straws aren’t ever recycled

I’m normally the first person to choose a plastic fork rather than a metal one. But, as it’s too small to recycle, it just adds to our ever-growing landfill. There is, however, a way around it. If you store it in a plastic takeaway container and recycle the whole thing, that works – but otherwise, just choose metal cutlery or invest in a stainless steel foldable spork! And, after finding out that the UK and US use almost 550 million straws a day – most of which end up in the ocean or take 200 years to break down into toxic particles – I’m all about refusing the straw, or using reusable stainless steel, glass and bamboo straws (I got mine from eco straws.) 

What I bought to start my no plastic life

BKR glass bottle, £30

Pukka bamboo coffee cup, £8.99

Cleeve Outdoors stainless steel folding spork, £2.49

Wasara compostable tableware, from £12.99 – 

Alphabet big canvas tote bag, £22

Stasher reusable silicone food bags, £9.99 

Le Parfait Familia Wins Terrine jars, from £5.25, 

Bobble Insulate Stainless Steel bottle, £24, 

Who Gives A Crap 100% Recycled Toilet Paper, £24 for 24

Nature and My bamboo toothbrush, £7.99 

Odylique 2-in-1 shampoo, £12

All Naturals soap, £4.99

Myroo facial cloth and cleanser, £27

Friction Free Shaving razor, from £5

Kjaer Weis make-up, from £20

Woobamboo! biodegradable silk floss, from £4.15

The verdict?

Heartbroken by what I learnt we’re doing to the environment and wildlife (as well as to ourselves), I finally saw just how unnecessary so much of my disposable plastic use was so, not to sound like a poster but really, it’ amazing how much a difference we can all make by refusing, reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling everything we can.

The post Is it actually possible to live without plastic for a week? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!

Sisters Launch Way For Women to Buy Car Tires and Auto Services Without Getting Ripped Off

Pink Rubber Tires creators - the Pruitte Sisters - with Steve Harvey on Steve Harvey's Funderdome

Marcia Pruitte-Coleman and Marla Pruitte are the co-founders of Pink Rubber Tires, a service that sells used automobile tires and tire services—and is targeted to women.

The twin sisters recently pitched their product on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with both for an exclusive interview about their business and appearance on the show.

 

STEVE HARVEY’S FUNDERDOME - "Episode 105" - The seed-funding competition reality series "Steve Harvey's FUNDERDOME" featuring two aspiring inventors going head-to-head to win over a live studio audience to fund their ideas, products or companies airs SUNDAY, AUGUST 13 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose) MARCIA PRUITTE-COLEMAN, MARLA PRUITTE (PINK RUBBER TIRES), STEVE HARVEY (Marcia Pruitte-Coleman and Marla Pruitte with Steve Harvey on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))

 

 

Brandon Andrews: Pink Rubber Tires will provide automotive services in a space crafted for female customers. Why are you passionate about delivering these services for women?

 

Marcia and Marla:  We are always passionate about meeting a need, especially for women. They say necessity is the mother of invention, so our goal is not to simply open a tire shop, but to enter into a male-dominated industry serving a market that has been historically under-represented, tear down barriers for women and shatter the concept of the glass ceiling. We plan to show the world that we have what it takes as much as any man. Being women and mothers, we know the importance of helping others make it. This is about empowering other women; it is a movement!

 

How much money can someone save by buying used tires versus new tires?    

That is a great question. They could save upwards of $ 100 per tire depending on the type, size, etc. Our tires come wholesale from a distributor that takes the time to inspect every tire. Some are virtually new and most will have great tread left that will extend the life of the tires.

 

 

(Pink Rubber Tires rendering on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))

 

How did you feel pitching your business in the Funderdome?

It was an amazing experience. Of course, we were a little nervous in the beginning, but once we were on stage we knew we only had one shot. We were prepared and went for it BIG.

You won $ 10,000 for your business! What did you learn from your experience on the show?  

We learned that our idea is not only viable, but based on the serious response, there are many who are interested in making history in the automotive industry with us. The number of people that bought into our business concept, both men and women, and are interested in franchising is overwhelming and exciting. We learned that the world is ready for us and this is substantiated by research in the market regarding women and tire purchases. Women are truly an underserved market. We are committed to providing a top-notch product.

 

Give us a post-show update. How do you plan to grow your business in 2017?    

Since the show, we have had to update our business plan and investor pitch as we currently have several serious investors interested. We are projecting a first-quarter opening and want to set a precedent for future franchises. The idea that we will be creating more women entrepreneurs empowers us and pushes us to make this a reality sooner rather than later. This is bigger than just the Pruitte twins.

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

I went on a trip without my kids and I did NOT miss them

by

Deidra Romero

posted in Parenting

Since having kids, I have never spent a single night child-free. But that all changed last week. My husband and I had 3 glorious nights away for the first time in FIVE WHOLE YEARS.

And it was the stuff of dreams.

We stayed up late talking with friends and watching Game of Thrones. We had long, lingering brunches. We traveled light without the strollers, car seats, and baby wipes. I even carried a small cross-body purse.

mom on vacation wearing cross-body purse

I thought: Someone pinch me.

I enjoyed the most mundane activities like standing in line at Starbucks. It was amazing not answering one million questions about all the things in the whole wide world.

I will be honest, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to click out of mom-mode.

I was worried I would miss them so much I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself. I was worried I would be worried the whole time.

But when we got to the airport, we had so much time before our flight (it’s amazing how quickly you can move kid-free). So I snuck in a pedicure and manicure with my favorite podcast and one of those massage chairs.

That was enough to put me right into vacation mode.

I was afraid to Facetime my kids who were staying with my mom. I had heard stories of kids breaking down over Facetime and I just didn’t want to deal with all that guilt on my vacation. But my husband insisted we try it.

They were 100 percent fine. Happy, even. They loved spending time with my mom who was spoiling them.

There were very few tears shed in our absence. None of the things I feared happened.

happy woman jumping on bed holding pillow

Do you remember that weightless feeling you had before kids?

When you would wake up and the entire day was yours? You could literally do whatever you wanted. I had forgotten that feeling.

I had forgotten that feeling.

While we were away, it was as if my husband and I were visiting our life before children. I felt like a time-traveler in a sacred land.

husband and wife smile

Until this trip, I didn’t realize how quickly I move through my days. I rush from the moment I get up in the morning until bedtime. I was expending so much emotional energy every single moment so I could maximize my productivity while parenting effectively.

That time away provided me with so much clarity. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought I would come back feeling rested, but I didn’t foresee this renewed perspective.

Now, I’m trying to move through each day at a well-measured pace. These days with small children are marathons, not sprints. I got into the habit of rushing all the time and the seconds I save are not worth it.

I’m organizing my days much better and I’m learning new ways to incorporate rest and relaxation. I’m putting my phone away more too. It’s a time suck and emotionally draining. I can’t go back to the hectic life I created before.

Even though I didn’t miss my kids at all, I was so happy to come home to them. That weightless, child-free feeling is euphoric, but I live a life tethered to this earth by these two precious children. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Have you managed a child-free getaway since becoming a mom?

BabyCenter Blog

BABY CARE SPECIAL DEAL UPDATE:

Aden & Anais Logo

Authorities evacuate about 115 people from the South Florida facility in a region without power after hurricane

At least two people have died at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said Wednesday. She said she did not have any details about the causes of death, and that authorities are investigating. Firefighters are helping evacuate about 100 people from the nursing home. CNN affiliate WPLG reported that the home’s air-conditioning had been out since Hurricane Irma struck Sunday.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

How to Enjoy Prom Season Without Breaking the Bank

prom season

You can enjoy prom season without breaking the bank.

Find a quiet space and repeat this to yourself until you believe it. Then, have an annual conversation with the teens under your parental authority—starting their freshman year in high school, ideally—so that they understand this (even if they don’t like it), too.

According to a recent prom expense survey by Visa, an average of $ 919 was spent per prom-going teen in 2015. Fortunately, that’s significantly lower than when that spending peaked at more than $ 1,100 for prom season in 2013. However, depending on other factors, prom spending can be much higher than these averages. According to Visa’s survey, elaborate prom invitations alone—or “prom-posals,” which rival fancy wedding invitations—cost $ 324 on average.

Even scarier, households with lower incomes were more likely to spend more money on their teens’ prom season experience. According to Visa, families with total household income below $ 50,000 a year planned to spend $ 1,109 on the prom. Families making under $ 25,000 planned to spend $ 1,393. However, families with more than $ 50,000 in household income spent an average of just $ 799.

Whatever your financial situation, it is neither necessary nor financially healthy to break the bank for prom season. Here are tips to save money without losing the magic of prom night.

 

The Tux: Don’t Rent It; Buy It

 

Go with the traditional black tux, so you can continue to wear it to formal events in the future, getting more bang for your buck. Buying a tux may not cost more than renting one. It’s possible to buy a nice tux for less than $ 150, especially if you avoid the fancy designer brand names that no one will know or care about on prom night. Also, you don’t have to worry about returning it or getting charged cleaning or other fees if it is soiled or damaged.

If your prom date is worried that your black tux won’t match her dress, match her chosen color with accessories, such as your tie, vest, pocket square, suspenders, or even socks! However, if your goal is to coordinate your outfit to match your date, resist the urge to splurge on accessories that you probably will never wear again, such as a top hat, cummerbund, walking stick, or shoes in a color that matches her dress. With a black tux, a pair of black leather dress shoes, which can be worn long after the prom (and you may already own), works just fine.

 

The Dress: Don’t Buy It; Rent or Borrow It

 

Parents of daughters (I raised three) already know that this is the most sensitive part of prom spending, because they (and other relatives) really get caught up in the excitement of prom season. Because of the emotions associated with this event as a rite of passage, it is easy to overpay for prom gowns. But trust me, she’ll still look like a princess, even if you consider two cost-saving options:

  1. Borrowing a Prom Dress: You can ask to borrow from an older sister, cousin, another relative, or maybe a friend, whose prom dress was worn in a totally different school, in another town. As long as the dress is the right size, your daughter will still look lovely in a borrowed gown, and no one will know, notice, or care.
  2. Buy a Used Prom Dress: Search online, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what’s available. Pre-owned dresses are usually in great shape, since most haven’t been worn much. Again, no one will be the wiser.

If You Just Have to Buy the Dress…

The options of borrowing or renting a prom dress might be tough sells, but do your best to remind yourself (and your princess) that it doesn’t make sense to break the bank for a dress she might never wear again after prom night. But, if she (or you) can’t bear the thought of not buying a new dress for the prom, at least follow these tips to save money:

  1. Don’t Get Caught up in Brand or Designer Names: Doing so can easily add hundreds of dollars to the cost of the dress. She’ll look just as amazing in a non-brand name dress, and no one will know the difference or care. Insist that she try on as many dresses as possible, not just window shop or look at pictures. The more dresses she actually tries on, the more likely she’ll see that the more expensive dresses do not necessarily look any better on her than non-brand name dresses.
  2. Don’t Overspend on Shoes to Match the Dress: Depending on the color, it’s likely that she’ll never wear them again.

By the way, unless you’re sure she will wear the dress in the future (again, not likely), be willing to loan it to another family member for their prom night. Or better, consider donating the dress to a nonprofit organization that collects them for girls from families that cannot afford to buy prom dresses, such as Project G.L.A.M.

 

Create a Prom Budget and Stick to It

 

Resist the urge to splurge, even if prom night only comes once in a lifetime. You and your teen should create a budget for prom season expenses, covering everything from the dress and shoes to transportation. Clearly determine who will pay for what—including what your child’s date or their parents will cover—when payments are due, and where the money will come from.

Then, stick to the budget—period.

 

Other Cost-Saving Ideas

 

Take your own pre-prom photos, instead of paying a professional photographer. Your kids will likely value the selfies with friends they’ll take on their own phones that night far more than the traditional prom night portrait shots, anyway. Most phone cameras are of high enough quality to deliver great digital photos, which you can convert to print inexpensively.

Split the cost of a limo with other couples attending the same prom. Of course, hiring a limo greatly reduces the risk of drunk driving accidents—every parent’s prom season nightmare. That’s money well spent.

Also, remember, this is not your prom night. Insist that your teen pick up at least half—if not all—of prom-related expenses. The definition of “must h