#Over40: How To Survive Valentine’s Day

When you’re single and over 40, Valentine’s Day can seem like the longest day of the year. Either you’ve never had a great love and at this stage it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change, or you had a great love who you either broke up with, they broke up with you, or who sadly passed away.

Whatever happened, you now have none of the starry-eyed romanticism of the 20 and even 30-somethings that splash their perfectly filtered love all over Instagram. You have bills, kids, grandkids, stretch marks, grey hair and more aches and pains than dates. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, you just try to get through the day until it finally ends.

But here’s what you should do instead. Focus the day on your greatest love – you. Or, enjoy a Galentine’s Day or Palentine’s Day outing. Or treat a child, a parent, or a your best friend to a great Valentine’s Day.

Here are 7 things you can do to survive V-Day.

TAKE THE DAY OFF:

No one needs to know that you haven’t had sex or a significant other since the first Bush was president. If you keep your personal life quiet, your coworkers and even your friends may think you’ve taken the day off to rendezvous with a secret love.

Well, you have. That love is you. Plan for the kids to be babysat, order in, take a bath or do some pampering you’ve been putting off for a long time. Yes, fellas, you too, can do this, even if your ideal day off consists of watching ESPN in your boxers all day with a remote in one hand and a brew in the other. You might be able to get that hair, barbershop or mani/pedi appointment you’ve wanted since a lot of people will have already done their pampering in anticipation of the big day. Or you can put on your favorite trap or old school music and dance naked when no one is there to judge you.

 

Instagram Photo

 

Don’t go out unless you have to, and stay off social media, unless its to go on the Whisper app or website where people anonymously tell their biggest secrets. After reading a few entries in the Love and Relationships category, you’ll be happy you’re single.

PLAN YOUR EXIT:

It’s not just single people who can be miserable on Valentine’s Day. It’s married people and people in relationships who know their relationship is coming to an end or should come to an end. If you’ve been putting off the inevitable breakup or divorce, you can spend Valentine’s Day planning The Conversation and your exit. You can find a lawyer, make sure you have your financial information straight, look for a place and figure out solutions for the kids, but you have to start making the calls.

 

Instagram Photo

 

If you know he/she is cheating, never going to get a job, won’t ever treat you well, or you’ve just grown apart after so many years, it time to make this the last Valentine’s Day you have to deal. If you know you are divorcing and your divorce is uncontested, legalzoom.com can help you do it online. Yes, you can get divorced online!

GET AWAY:

While everyone else is coupled up with balloons and flowers on Valentine’s Day, you can be planning a getaway. Using sites like Travelocity or Expedia or taking advantage of the V-Day airfare sales via JetBlue and Southwest, spend your day initiating the process of taking a trip solo, with your girlfriends or your family.

Look up flights, hotels, and double-check your unused personal time and make a commitment. If you’re months away money-wise from any travel that doesn’t involve your work commute, try the Qapital app, which allows you to connect an account to save from. You can develop rules that allow you to save for special goals without even thinking about it.

 

Instagram Photo

 

USE MEETUP

Meetup is a great app for one reason – it connects like-minded people without the stress and drama of using a dating app. It’s exactly what it says – a website where folks form affinity groups to meet other people. There are book club meetups, brunch meetups, Black women meetups, Black networking meetups; basically it’s a place where you can join whatever group sounds like the most fun and hang out. There are very likely other singles looking to meet up on Valentine’s Day so it’s a low pressure way to meet new people. It also works well for meeting people when traveling or at any time when you want to connect.

CELEBRATE WITH YOUR FRIENDS

In the movie Valentine’s Day (worth the Netflix time) Jessica Biel plays a PR exec who hates being single and throws and annual Anti-Valentine’s Day event. I won’t spoil it for you, but her party, which at first looks like a bust, turns out surprisingly well. Re-appropriating Valentine’s Day as Galentine’s Day and Palentine’s Day were meant for people who want to embrace the day but not the forced coupledom. Enjoy it with your friends. Look in local listings for friend and single-friendly events in your city or throw one yourself.
Instagram Photo
GO OUT ALONE:

If you hate the thought of being around lovey dovey couples out on V-Day, then think about this – if you get dressed to the nines and go out alone to an upscale bar or lounge, it’s likely that if you meet anyone else alone, they are also legitimately single. Since Valentine’s Day is a holiday where even cheaters have to be with the person they are in their primary relationship with, chances are higher that anyone you meet alone on Valentine’s Day is unattached.

Instagram Photo
Instagram Photo

 

FOREVER FLOWERS

If you’re buying a gift this year, it’s likely you are a man, because men are twice as likely than women to spend $ 100 or more on Valentine’s Day. If after all these years, you’ve run out of ideas for what to get for V-Day, then give the gift of flowers. But ones that last. Boxed flowers are the new way to give because the flowers are guaranteed, through some kind of floral magic, to last a full year. And there are different styles and colors and options for all budgets.
Instagram Photo
Check out Eternal Fleur or Venus de Fleur to see if same-day V-Day delivery is available in your market.

 

PHOTO: Think Stock


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How to Survive a Sartorial Emergency

You probably know how it works; you have this important event and something goes terribly wrong, your shirt gets stained, your bag gets lost, or maybe your pants don’t fit you anymore.

Not long ago, I flew to Europe with my family and Delta and KLM lost three out of five checked in pieces of luggage. Now, that was particularly bad because we were on our way to the wedding of my best friend and of course, I was the best man. With my suitcase gone, KLM told us that they found it and that it was with a delivery courier and we should get it any day. Turned out it was a lie and something was wrong in their system. They never located our suitcases even three months afterward. Unfortunately, we had just a day left, we were in a small town, and I’m a pretty difficult person to fit off the rack so it was a real challenge to find a suit or an entire ensemble that I could wear as the best man to the wedding.

My Samsonite polycarbonate luggages
My Samsonite polycarbonate luggages

Fortunately, I always put on nice clothes when I travel and that turned out to be a lifesaver. I had a safari jacket with many pockets because it’s practical but a white dress shirt, a pair of seersucker pants, and a nice pair of dress shoes. That way, I was able to find a jacket and because it was really hard to find something, I ended up with a jacket from CNA that originally costs a hundred euros, it was marked down to 29, it was like a navy simple hopsack blazer and I found a tie with it that was blue and that was my outfit for the wedding. If you know me, you know clothing is a big deal for me, at the same time, I got over it, enjoyed myself, and had a good time.

Of course, that was only until I talked to Delta and KLM again, let me tell you, what a *******. They really didn’t know where our luggage was but they kept telling us “oh it’s in Amsterdam, it’s in Frankfurt, we’ll deliver it” but at the end of the day, that was all wrong. Now we have to go through the claims process which was even worse, they only want to reimburse us 1500 bucks even though our stuff was worth 10 times that much. They want you to create detailed lists of all the things that went missing then they want you to submit receipts, what about gifts? Nope, they don’t accept that. what about photo and video proof from our videos that I own it? No, that’s not enough. What about the things that you don’t have the receipts anymore, they don’t care.

So overall, they lose your stuff, they make you work for it, and then they pay you a very small amount. So even if I had my receipts from five years ago, they’d probably be faded by now and illegible. So at least, if you do online shopping, you can still find your receipt in your inbox very easily. If you work for Delta or KLM, let me tell you, the way you treat customers whose luggage you lose is really really atrocious. On top of that, I’m a SkyTeam elite member with gold standards. I wonder what it would be like if I wasn’t that, probably even worse!

After this whole experience which ruined our experience for a few days, I reflected a little bit and came up with a number of tips that can help you to survive such sartorial emergencies.

How To Prevent A Sartorial Emergency

The essentials
The essentials

1.Evaluate The Risk

In my case, we went to a wedding, it was on Friday. We came in on a Wednesday, that didn’t leave me much time. I should probably put up my suit in a carry-on just to be safe. So for you, that means weigh out the importance of the event that you’re going to attend with the risks that you have when you travel with checked luggage.

2. Always Be Prepared For Common Sartorial Issues

A stained tie is not a great sight
A stained tie is not a great sight
  • For example, a tie can always get stained, that means you should have backup ties maybe in your car, maybe at your office, or in your carry-on. It doesn’t take much space and if you roll it up, it’ll come out and won’t be destroyed but it will save your life in case you need it for an important business meeting or for a wedding.
  • It’s also great to have some stain removal wipes in your wallet because they are flat, you can carry them with you and chances are you have your wallet with you at all times.
Ribs smoked to perfection
Ribs smoked to perfection
  • If you travel and you have a limited amount of clothes, maybe avoid the barbecue ribs because chances that you stain your outfits are a lot higher that way.
  • I suggest dressing a bit more formally because you can always take your tie off but if you don’t have one but you need one, you can not just make one up. For example, I dress more formally than 99% of the people on that plane, if I would have worn a hoodie and sweatpants, it would have been a terrible disaster at the wedding.
A classic derby shoe is your best bet
A classic derby shoe is your best bet
  • It’s really important to wear a versatile well-fitting pair of shoes. Having shoes that don’t fit well is painful and will cause blisters so instead of traveling with sneakers, I opted for a burgundy pair of derbies because I knew I could wear it with a suit, I could wear it with a more casual pair of pants and it would always look good and it would minimize the number of shoes I had to bring. 
  • When you travel, make some extra considerations for clothes and toiletries that you put into your carry-on. If you truly can’t live without a particular outfit or a tuxedo, travel with it and carry it, it may suck at the moment but it’s a lot better than being there without it when you really need it.
  • If you have an important thing coming up, try to fly in a few days early, that gives you an extra buffer to deal with issues.
Make room for repairs
Make room for repairs
  • I suggest picking out your outfit three weeks in advance. That way, if something doesn’t fit anymore or something is stained or a button is missing, it gives you enough time to get it all fixed before you need it. That also means you pick out the entire outfit so you can see if there are any shortcomings or anything that needs to be changed.
  • When you travel, bring a little bit of laundry detergent powder, it gets you through the TSA and you can always handwash something in a sink and it can be a lifesaver if you’re just at a hotel for example, and the turnaround time for dry cleaning is too long.
  • Invest in luggage insurance. It is quite inexpensive and chances are some of the credit cards you use especially the travel-focused ones, they already have a luggage insurance built-in.

How To Deal With Sartorial Emergencies

Suit for Weddings, Cocktail Parties & Events
Suit for Weddings, Cocktail Parties & Events

1. Lower Your Standards

You’re ruining any chance of enjoying yourself if you can’t just give yourself a break and just accept the situation for what it is. Personally, I was pissed every time I got off the phone with them and they were telling me a different story but after three days, I just decided to move on and it was possibly the best thing I could have done.

I was there to be the best man and to support my best friend and I had a wonderful time with the people there. I also tried to laugh about it or make jokes about it and most people didn’t even notice but it will certainly be a good story to tell in a few years time.

2. Move On

I mean it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, you didn’t do anything wrong and someone else is taking zero responsibility for it, come on! Of course, it feels unfair to just let it go but at the end of the day, you’re not in control so rather focus your energy in something positive that you can control.

3. Be Creative

If your stuff is stained and you cannot clean it, well, maybe you can take it off or hide it or get a scarf or find a way around it so it looks presentable.

Grosvenor store
Grosvenor store

4. Head To The Nearest Store

The problem is, in other countries, sometimes they have different opening hours and that may not be an option.

5. You Judge Yourself Harsher Than Other People Do

Some people don’t even notice that this was an emergency outfit I was wearing because they didn’t know I really cared about clothes. In the grand scheme of things, maybe my seersucker pants were a little loud for a wedding in Germany but I accepted it for what it was.

Be yourself, be confident.
Be yourself, be confident.

6. Be Confident!

Obviously, it was not an ideal outfit for me but I still wore it confidently and people didn’t really notice. If I would have been sorry for myself, they probably could have seen that and sensed that and I would have looked off or weird to them.

7. If All Else Fails, Explain Your Situation

People will understand, they know your situation, they will feel sorry for you, and they will accept you and not look at your clothes in that instance.

Dinner Party
Enjoy and make memories!

8.  Enjoy!

Never let a sartorial emergency ruin your trip, your event, or the thing you worked so hard for because it’s simply not worth it. You’re there to enjoy and make memories. Clothes are a way to express yourselves but sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. Just accept that and be happy.

What sartorial emergencies have you experienced? What were the steps you took to resolve them? Share with us in the comments below!


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How Taylor Swift helped Lupita Nyong’o survive a hard time

PARK CITY, Utah — One song holds a special place in Lupita Nyong’o’s heart: “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. “‘Shake It Off’ means a lot to me,” the “Black Panther” star told the audience at the Sundance Film Festival Tuesday after a screening of her new comedy “Little Monsters.” In the film, Nyong’o plays…
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How To Survive The Government Shutdown

Where do we currently stand on the government shutdown? 

As of today, the federal government has been partially shutdown for 31 days and counting – the longest stretch in history. While most of us know about the shutdown, not everyone understands how it is playing out for workers, for millions of Americans who rely on federal programs, and for the economy. Today I want to talk about how we got here, what to expect in the days and perhaps weeks to come if the federal government remains shutdown, as well as some options for those affected.

First, let’s talk about the basics: why did it happen, how long could it last, and who has been affected?

 This shutdown started last month when Congress and the president failed to reach an agreement to appropriate money to operate several sectors of the federal government, including everything from the departments of Urban Development, Interior, State, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security, to national parks and the Peace Corps. The sticking point is funding President Trump requested for a border wall. Here we are a month later, and the president has said this impasse could last months.

The lack of funding is affecting millions of Americans. Roughly 380,000 federal employees have been furloughed without pay, and 420,000 people are working without receiving paychecks because they provide “essential” services. Nearly 4 million government contractors are also furloughed, and are likely to go uncompensated for the time they did not work during the shutdown. On top of this, millions of people rely on numerous federal programs could be in for pain if an agreement is not reached, and the economy is starting to show signs of damage.

 What can workers who have been affected do?

For those workers, there are a few things I would suggest. If you have not already done so, reach out to your creditors and inquire about leniency or about programs they available for situations like this. Some lenders have options specifically for furloughed workers. If they do not offer that option, ask what if anything they can do for you in the short-term that will allow you to prioritize the most important costs such as food and housing.

YOU CAN CLICK HERE FOR INFO ON RESOURCES FOR FURLOUGHED WORKERS. 

You can also visit 211.org, a website that helps connect people to local social services, like help with prescriptions or other medical issues, and childcare.

If you are not getting a paycheck, consider no-interest or low-interest loans. Some credit unions and banks are offering them to those affected. Several lenders have been working to lessen the blow in other ways, by waiving fees or postponing payment deadlines. Credit card and mortgage late charges might also be dropped. Some banks are waiving some fees for government employees who have direct-deposit set up.

Finally, if you have been furloughed, you are likely to be eligible for unemployment benefits in your state, though it varies. It is certainly worth exploring. Just remember, employees who receive unemployment benefits and also later receive a retroactive payment from their employer for the same time period, will be required to repay the ui benefits received.

Beyond the labor force, how is the shutdown playing out?

Federal programs that millions of low-income Americans depend on are already being affected. Contracts for more than 1,000 government-funded properties that house low-income renters have already expired, and over 1000 more set to do so by February. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will also run out of funding at the end of next month. The National School Lunch Program (NSLC), a federally funded initiative that provides more than 30 million at-need youth with nutritious meals, could be at risk if the shutdown continues. Some districts are already cutting back on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Most Americans will feel the effects on air travel, as the nation’s airport security screening system battles high absenteeism as a result of TSA workers going unpaid. Some airports have started closing terminals due to staffing issues. The federal court system is running out of money. Vacationers are missing out as many national parks and museums have been shuttered.

Disaster relief is likely be hampered, as thousands of emergency responders are missing courses in firefighting and emergency response. There were concerns that 6 million Americans expecting tax refunds would not be receiving them during the shutdown. However, the IRS has said it has called over 40,000 employees back to work without pay and it will be processing tax returns, though we can expect delays.

When it comes to the economy, the ripple effects are also starting to show. The agriculture, real estate, and energy industries are all looking years of setbacks caused by pauses in federal loans, permits and other regulatory permissions. Investors are looking at delayed deal-making approval. Retailers that depend on consumers spending – particularly in states with concentrations of federal workers like Virginia and Maryland – are certain to suffer.

Even the analysis from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggests that the shutdown has already weighed significantly on growth and could ultimately push the United States economy into a contraction. So, while the workings of the federal government can seem far away to some, its import to remember how important they actually are.

What about the rest of us Americans who rely on the government for services?

We have never had a shutdown last this long, so we are in unknown territory. For those affected by the lack of funding for programs for low-income Americans, the consequences of a shutdown through February could be dire. It is hard to say if states will step in, or if leaders in DC will pass smaller bills to address some of these issues piecemeal. Right now, we just have to hope we do not reach that point.

Mellody Hobson is President of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves individual investors and retirement plans through its no-load mutual funds and separate accounts. Additionally, she is a regular financial contributor and analyst for CBS News.

 


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Life & Style – Black America Web

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How To Diagnose, Treat And Survive The Flu

WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT THE AVERAGE PERSON WILL COME DOWN WITH THE FLU DESPITE PREVENTION STRATEGIES?

5 – 20% of the US population gets the flu each year.

 WHAT ARE THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE INFLUENZA?

Early warning signs that you may have flu include sudden excessive fatigue, body aches and chills, persistent cough, sore throat and fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

 ARE FLU SYMPTOMS DIFFERENT FOR CHILDREN?

Young children have their own flu warning signs including: not drinking enough fluids, crying with no tears, not waking up or interacting, not eating or having a fever accompanied with a rash and difficulty urinating.

 IF FLU STRIKES, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO CUT DOWN THE DURATION OF THE ILLNESS?

You have to have a game plan on day one of your flu symptoms to dramatically cut the duration. The key is to recognize, respond and relax if the flu strikes, and to know when to go see your doctor if conditions get worse.

 CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH A DAY-BY-DAY STRATEGY FOR ADDRESSING FLU SYMPTOMS EFFECTIVELY?

Day 1-2: Don’t go to school or work. Do stay home and take Oscillococcinum to reduce the duration. A study found that 63 percent of patients who took Oscillococcinum within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms showed “clear improvement” or “complete resolution” within 48 hours

Day 3-4: Don’t try to get an antibiotic. Do confirm the symptoms with your doctor and get complementary remedies to fight viral infection.

Day 5-7: Don’t lie down, sit up to clear your lungs. Do rest and relax, and get plenty of fluids.

 HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET A FLU SHOT?

Although controversial, it’s very important especially for the immune suppressed and especially after what we experienced last year.

IN YOUR NEW BOOK, “BOND” YOU DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PATIENT-DOCTOR RELATIONSHIP. HOW DOES THIS COME INTO PLAY WITH FLU SEASON? WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR FLU SYMPTOMS AND WHEN IS IT A WASTE OF TIME/MONEY?

Ask to spend more time with your doctor if needed. Find a doctor that’s a good fit for you.  If flu conditions worsen after 3 days, seek medical attention right away.

ONCE DIAGNOSED WITH THE FLU WHAT FOODS SHOULD YOU AVOID?

Any foods with sugar that can compromise your immune system.

 SINCE FLU/COLD SYMPTOMS ARE SIMILAR HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE THE FLU? 

According to the CDC: Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

 WHAT SHOULDN’T BE OVERLOOKED WHEN DEALING WITH THE FLU?

Getting plenty of rest. Your body is it’s best healer.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS WE CAN DO TO HELP BUILD OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

Supplement with vitamin D and omega-3.  Get plenty of rest. Exercise and reduce or eliminate alcohol intake.

Dr. Redcross answers your ‘Text Tom’ questions on the next page.

Life & Style – Black America Web

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How to Survive a Divisive Election Cycle

It comes around every few years like clockwork, arriving like an uninvited houseguest that sets up shop and refuses to leave. Like it or not, the divisive election cycle is upon us once again, and the contentious and divisive political environment is worse now than ever before.
Partisan politics have been part of the American landscape for quite some time, but it seems this election cycle is like nothing we have ever seen. From married couples torn apart by their choice of candidates to ruined friendships both online and off, political differences have reached a breaking point, and many voters are feeling the pain. There has been a marked increase in people seeking professional counseling as a result of the current election, and if you are looking for ways to cope, you are not alone. Here are some practical tips to help you survive the current election cycle and come out whole no matter which candidate ends up on Capitol Hill.

Resist the Urge of Social Media

 

Social media, in particular, has become a partisan swamp this election cycle, and resisting its siren call is one of the best ways to cope. Avoiding political posts on Facebook and staying out of political discussions online can give you a refreshing break from the current election cycle.
Instead of focusing on politics and political discussions, delve into the things you really like to do. Whether it is going to the movies, reading a good book, or just relaxing, finding an alternative to politics will make your life better and more fulfilling.

Do Your Own Research

 

Determining what is true and false can be difficult even in the best of times, but in the heat of a contentious election cycle, the truth often gets lost in the shuffle. The fractured nature of news coverage and the Internet makes getting to the truth that much harder, but it is important to persevere.
“Seeking out independent news sources with a long track record of impartiality is the best way to sort out the facts and get the truth about what the candidates say and what is really true,” stated Walter Powell, NFL veteran, African American tech expert, and CEO of Politiscope.
If you find yourself bothered and offended by slights to your own candidate as well as the other guy (or girl), chances are you are on the right track.

Break the 24-Hour News Cycle

 

Being able to access news and information 24 hours a day is good in theory, but the reality is a lot less attractive. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the current news cycle and unduly worried about the outcome of the election, it is time to take a step back and break the 24-hour news cycle. You can be just as informed watching the evening news, and you will feel a lot better.
No matter how you feel about the current state of the mid-term elections or the quality of the candidates in contention, you can rest easy knowing that it will all soon be over. No matter who wins, life will go on, and the sun will rise the morning after election day.

The post How to Survive a Divisive Election Cycle appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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How did we actually survive without this new iPhone hack?

Minds blown.

Instagram pods
REX

Words by Emily Lambe

Food blogger and now certified genius, Krissy Brierre-Davis, discovered an iPhone hack that sent Twitter into shock.

Last Saturday, the Atlanta-based blogger stumbled upon a hack that makes moving the cursor way easier. Just click and hold the space bar instead of trying to drag it manually.

‘How come you guys never told me this iPhone trick? I feel duped,’ she tweeted with a screenshot of her discovery.

‘I thought I was an idiot for never having discovered this gem myself,’ Brierre-Davis told BuzzFeed News. ‘My mind was blown. Literally.’

The hack isn’t just limited to the space bar. You can press anywhere on the keyboard for it to work, according to one user.

And it doesn’t stop there! Pressing down while holding the cursor makes highlighting easier as well.

Apparently, we’ve been sleeping on this for three years. The 3D Touch feature was introduced in 2015 with the iPhone 6s.

It’s safe to say most of us feel pretty shocked by this monumental discovery. ‘This is LIFE CHANGING INFORMATION,’ a user tweeted. Even Mike Issac, a Technology Reporter for the New York Times, is amazed. He tweeted, ‘this just changed my entire life.’

Well, it’s safe to say this new iPhone discovery has changed the way we type forever, but how on earth did we not notice this before?

Be right back – off to look up new hacks!

The post How did we actually survive without this new iPhone hack? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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Lakers Survive Luka Doncic-Led Rally, Free-Throw Misadventures to Beat Mavs

The Lakers overcame a late rally led by Luka Doncic and a couple (more) missed free throws to narrowly beat the Mavericks in a game that saw L.A.’s starters get out to a bright start. 

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Beach home survives storm nearly untouched: ‘We intended to build it to survive’

The seaside community of Mexico Beach, Florida, was demolished by Hurricane Michael — but one family’s newly-built concrete home survived virtually untouched.
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