5 Ways Apple’s iOS 13 Public Beta Can Improve Your iPhone Privacy Right Now

Apple’s iOS 13 public beta for iPhone has finally released to early adopters everywhere. Even though iOS 12’s sequel doesn’t officially launch until fall, Apple is offering an unfinished version of the software, containing most of the upcoming features. Unlike the previous beta release for app developers, the iOS 13 public beta (despite having a few bugs) is meant for average consumers. And if you’re brave enough to jump the gun, you’ll find some upgrades in your privacy settings.

Block unknown callers

iOS 13 beta’s ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ setting

Apple’s new call-blocking feature is sure to be one of the most popular additions to iOS 13. In the Settings app, under Phone, you’ll see a toggle titled, “Silence Unknown Callers” towards the bottom. Tap this and only phone numbers in your contact book will be able to ring your phone–all other callers go straight to voicemail.

Sign in with Apple

iOS 13 beta’s ‘Sign in With Apple’ login page

Apple made a big deal about their sign-on feature during their developer showcase in early June. Similar to sign-in options from Google and Facebook, Apple will let you sign up for new services using your Apple ID as a login. But what separates Apple’s solution from Google and Facebook’s is privacy: Apple can hide your email address from sites you sign up with, offering the site a randomly generated email address instead. The randomly generated address will forward messages to your actual address.

With iOS 13, Apple is mandating that third-party apps include a Sign in with Apple button. While most apps haven’t made the switch yet, the feature is built into the iOS 13 public beta. A site like Card Pointers allowed us to test the new service. After signing into our Apple ID account, we were taken back to the third-party site. Apple’s sign on solution allowed us to hide our email and even change our name to whatever we wanted.

Better privacy for location sharing

iOS 13 beta’s ‘Location Access’ permissions alert

iOS 13 improves the relationship between using third-party apps and keeping your location private. Beta users now have the option of giving an app access to your location just this one time. The feature, presumably, is meant to thwart apps that continue to track users, even if they switched location sharing to “On” one time long ago and eventually forgot about it.

iOS 13 beta’s ‘Location Access’ setting

In the Settings app, under the Location Services section of Privacy, a new option has appeared in iOS 13. Apps requesting access to your location have always had the option of “Always,” “Never,” and “While Using the App.” A new, fourth option, “Ask Next Time,” allows your iPhone to regularly check-in with you regarding location permissions, in case you don’t want your favorite ice cream app keeping tabs on your whereabouts.

Apps must ask for Bluetooth device access

iOS 13 beta’s Bluetooth permissions alert

If you’d prefer certain third-party apps don’t connect to your Bluetooth devices, you can now choose so. In the iOS 13 beta, when you have a Bluetooth device connected, a pop-up will note that the app would like to make use of Bluetooth. From here you can choose if the app can push sounds into your headphones, for example. Want to reverse a decision you made earlier? You can find a new Bluetooth section under Privacy in the Settings app.

iOS 13 beta’s Bluetooth privacy settings

Websites must get permission to use camera, microphone, and location

iOS 13 beta’s Safari camera privacy settings

Safari’s got a few new tricks in iOS 13. One of which pertains to how sites can use your camera, microphone and phone’s GPS chip. The browser will now remember your camera/microphone/location sharing preferences for each site. Or you can mass ban or allow sites from accessing these three data points in Settings under Safari. Simply scroll down to “Settings For Websites.”

How do I sign up to use the iOS 13 beta?

To install the iOS 13 public beta on your device, you’ll have to join Apple’s beta software program. Head to the portal on your iPhone here. Scroll down and you’ll see a bright blue “Sign Up” button. Here, Apple will ask you to log into your account. Once you do, scroll down. Under the iOS section, tap the link that says “enroll your iOS device.” From here, Apple suggests you backup your device (we do too). Once that is complete, download and install Apple’s beta profile (found here). This will allow you to update your iPhone to the iOS 13 beta from your Settings app, under General > Software Update.

iOS 13 is expected to officially release sometime this fall.

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No Corkscrew? 3 Better Ways To Open Wine | Better | NBC News

NBC 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

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!

8 of the Smartest Ways to Save Money When You Move

Moving is expensive. Whether you’re moving to a new place down the street or crossing state lines, the costs add up quickly. In the United States, the average price of move within a state is $ 2,300. If you’re heading to another state, the average is $ 4,300—and prices go up as the distance and the amount of stuff you’re moving increase. There are, however, steps you can take during this notoriously stressful process that can help you save a few bucks and ensure that your move goes smoothly.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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The 10 Best Ways to Spend $10 at Walmart

As one of the largest retailers in the United States, there’s not much that Walmart doesn’t offer. From the fun to the functional, the budget-friendly store has you covered. While the price tags are nice for the pocketbook, it is easy to lose track of what you’re adding to the shopping cart. We gathered a mix of practical and playful household products—and a few in between—to grab the next time you’re at Walmart. Every item is $ 10 or less, so even if you do stray from you shopping list, you won’t be met with any surprises at check out.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Ways Women Soften Their Behavior For Male Colleagues (And Shouldn’t)

being a woman in the workplace

Source: skynesher / Getty

I’m guilty of doing it myself: softening my behavior to make the people I work with feel more comfortable. It’s not like my true inclination is to be a raging b*tch or an overly assertive, bossy type. The way I really want to do and say things falls more in the firm but fair region. However, I believe that, for some reason (let’s say, centuries of misogyny) when a woman is just firm and straightforward, others can interpret that as her being mean. And, to give many of the progressive men in my life some credit, not everyone feels that way—but a lot of people do. I’ve experienced it too many times. A man I work with asks me a question, I give a simple, emotionless answer, and he asks, “Are you okay?” or “Is something wrong?” The mere fact that I didn’t add some nicety to my response—that I didn’t put some sugar on top—made the guy think something must be wrong. That’s why I adjust my behavior, even if I don’t want to. Maybe many of us do. Here are ways women soften their behavior to make male colleagues comfortable (but shouldn’t).

 

via GIPHY

“If it’s not too much trouble”

Why do I say this? Why do I add this comment when giving an instruction or directive to someone? Whether or not it’s a lot of trouble shouldn’t concern me if it’s the person’s job. It’s not like, if he were to say, “It actually is too much trouble” that I’d say, “Oh okay. Then just don’t do it.”

MadameNoire

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Lori Chennault, Georgia-Pacific Executive, Offers 5 Ways to Successfully Navigate a Corporate Career as a Black Woman

As the VP – IT, Consumer Products Group at Georgia-Pacific Group, Lori Chennault is an example of a black woman who found her way through the often-turbulent corporate career waters. At the 2019 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, Chennault shared her views on how black women can not only navigate corporate careers but how they can achieve success.

During the “An Honest Conversation About Gender in the Workplace,” a session sponsored by Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries, Chennault, a wife of 22 years and mother of two children, offered these tips:

  • “There will be times when I have to ask for help to manage the priorities. And that is OK.”
  • “We spend so much energy on things we can’t control, and we lose sight on things we can control.”
  • “As you navigate, take time to look in the mirror and laugh at yourself. That’s the best thing—personal feedback, as well as seeking feedback.”
  • “Take time to stop and say, ‘What happened today? Were those good decisions? Did I get off-course?’ And if you get off-course, it’s OK. I haven’t met one perfect person yet.”
  • “Stop seeking titles. Take some risks and be passionate about learning to grow. When you step out there to take risks, do it with what’s in your toolbox. Find things that play to your strengths.”

Watch the entire video of the session below:

The post Lori Chennault, Georgia-Pacific Executive, Offers 5 Ways to Successfully Navigate a Corporate Career as a Black Woman appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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Here are some very practical ways to love your body, courtesy of yogi Jessamyn Stanley

Here are some very practical ways to love your body, courtesy of yogi Jessamyn Stanley


Here are some very practical ways to love your body, courtesy of yogi Jessamyn Stanley

Alongside videos demonstrating yoga poses and offering motivational inspo, Jessamyn Stanley’s Instagram features a lot of very sensual photos of herself in various states of undress. Given the way she proudly shows off her fat, gorgeous body to hundreds of thousands of followers on a regular basis, you might assume Stanley is the most confident person in the world. (“Sexualizing my own ass cheeks feels like a very important step in my body liberation journeys,” she writes in a caption on a shot of her backside in a striped yellow swimsuit.)

But the truth is, even this badass, stereotype-smashing yoga instructor—who helped set in motion the larger movement for body inclusivity in the yoga world—still has her own share of body insecurities. “I still struggle with the same body image issues as everyone else,” Stanley tells me. “I really think that I’m addicted to body shaming, and I’ll be in recovery for the rest of my life.”

Her words are a breath of fresh air in a world that, these days, outwardly celebrates the idea of body positivity but has failed to dismantle its sexist, unhealthy beauty standards, and offers few tangible ways to really engage in the practice of self-love (other than buying unnecessary stuff).

Learning to love your body really is a journey that almost everyone needs to go through, and for most of us—even for bold, inspiring wellness leaders like Stanley—it’s an ongoing process. This focus on body-positive wellbeing and the practice of self-love is at the heart of Stanley’s newly launched digital yoga studio, The Underbelly, which is geared toward offering “yoga for the rest of us.” The app guides people into developing a yoga practice through three courses (with delightful names: Air to learn to breathe, Earth to get grounded in basic vinyasa postures, and Fire to turn up the heat). Notably though, her program emphasizes yoga as a means of self-inquiry and self-learning, focusing on the inner emotional benefits instead of the external physical ones.

For Mental Health Awareness Month, I spoke with Stanley about the universal struggle to be at peace with our bodies and real, practical ways to engage in this process of reclaiming and appreciating them.

jessamyn stanley
Bobby Quillard

HelloGiggles: These days, it feels like body positivity has become part of the cultural mainstream. The movement is thriving on social media, and many brands and media outlets are going out of their way to have more body diversity and representation. So why is it still so hard as individuals to love our own bodies in our day-to-day lives?

Jessamyn Stanley: The mainstream body positivity movement has nothing to do with the actual message of body positivity. Body positivity makes the assumption that every human being is perfect at the current moment. Most brands and companies need for us to believe that we are imperfect in order to sell us their products. So while the mainstream body positivity message sounds cute, it doesn’t actually uplift the message that would encourage us to love our bodies on a day-to-day basis.

HG: Do you have any good strategies for getting yourself out of a negative self-talk spiral?

JS: When in doubt, meditate and practice yoga. I mean, but I would say that, right?

HG: In past interviews, you’ve described the nude and semi-nude photos you post on social as being part of your “body reclamation work.” What do you mean by that?

JS: In order to accept the physical body, one must observe it organically. That means naked. The fact that so many of us are afraid to even look at our own naked bodies is a huge part of why we hate our bodies. You have to start with acceptance and work from there.

HG: I’ve heard you say your new yoga studio app, The Underbelly, approaches yoga specifically through the lens of body-positive wellness—not fitness. Why was this distinction important to you when creating the platform?

JS: The fitness bullshit isn’t cutting it anymore—people want to learn about yoga from someone who looks, talks, and lives like them. The Underbelly yoga classes are completely different from other yoga resources—they’re taught by a teacher who swears like a sailor, belches like a frat boy, and who is unapologetically fat, black, and queer.

HG: What does it mean to “take care of your body”? People usually talk about exercise and eating habits. What do you think?

JS: I think the first step of “taking care of your body” is respecting your body. Exercise and eating habits mean absolutely nothing if you fundamentally do not respect your body.

jessamyn stanley
Bobby Quillard

HG: Why did you decide to name your yoga studio The Underbelly?

JS: The Underbelly is named after the softest part of our emotional and spiritual bodies—the part that we fear showing to other people. The Underbelly is what yoga makes us see and accept, and I felt that it summed up so much of what I love about yoga.

HG: Are you a fan of journaling? I noticed your app encourages people to journal after taking a class. Why?

JS: I think journaling is a very helpful tool in any practice of the self. Photo and video journaling played a key role in my yoga journey, and I wanted The Underbelly to include a space in which practitioners could log and share their journeys in a safe space (aka the opposite of Instagram, which has become a somewhat brutal place to log a yoga practice.)

HG: What are some tangible ways to practice loving your body?

JS: Listening to your body is the best way to practice loving your body. Also, say nice things about it. All the time. Any chance you can.

HG: Other than yoga, what’s one go-to self-care practice you use to take care of your mental health?

JS: I turn off social media and read a book instead. It’s a game-changer.

The post Here are some very practical ways to love your body, courtesy of yogi Jessamyn Stanley appeared first on HelloGiggles.

HelloGiggles

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Here Are All The Ways You’re Accidentally Ruining Your Tile

Durable, easy to clean, and available in many colors and shapes, it’s easy to see why tile is such a popular option for kitchens backsplashes, bathroom walls, and floors throughout the home. But before you get carried away on your next reno, take note that tile, a relatively low maintenance addition, does require some attention. Read on to learn some of the most common tile maintenance mistakes, and how to avoid them.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Here are all the ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have broken protocol with their royal baby

From water births to baby showers…

REX

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child together any day now, with the royal baby due this month.

The future arrival, referred to as the couple’s ‘little bump’, is already one of the most talked-about people in the world, with the public already speculating about everything from baby name predictions and god parent choices to nursery colour palettes.

However, Baby Sussex is most talked about for having rule-breaking parents, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex proving unafraid to rip up the royal rulebook for the sake of their little one.

Here are all the ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are breaking protocol with the royal baby…

The privacy:

While most royal couples have held a sense of privacy when it has come to royal babies, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have broken tradition in how guarded they have been – and understandably so.

The royal couple have faced more online backlash and speculation than most, with Meghan in particular getting vilified during her pregnancy. It was hardly surprising therefore when the royal family announced that the couple would be celebrating in private.

‘Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private,’ the statement read. ‘The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.’

prince harry meghan markle

REX

The baby shower:

Meghan Markle’s New York baby shower made news for various reasons – partially for the star-studded guest list, but mostly for its break from royal tradition.

The 37-year-old’s ‘extravagant’ baby shower saw A-listers from Serena Williams to Amal Clooney congregate in The Mark hotel’s penthouse suite, something that the Queen was rumoured to have disapproved of. But while sources have insisted that the monarch wasn’t fazed, royal expert Victoria Arbiter among others explained that baby showers are ‘inappropriate’ for members of ‘The Firm’.

The babymoon:

It’s hardly surprising that a lot of the couple’s breaks from tradition are americanisms, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following a modern US trend this year, taking a babymoon before their arrival.

The couple reportedly had a lavish three-night babymoon at Hampshire’s Heckfield Place, spending some quality time together in the Georgian manor house.

‘Meghan is only a couple of weeks away from giving birth, so Harry really wanted to treat her,’ a friend told The Sun, going on to explain that their break was filled with eating Michelin starred food as a two and going for long walks through the 400 surrounding acres.

REX

The delivery team:

It has been reported that the former Suits actress is breaking tradition with her delivery team, opting out of using the Queen’s doctors, not wanting ‘men in suits’ delivering her baby, with royal gynaecologists, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston having to take a backseat.

‘Meghan said she doesn’t want the men in suits. She was adamant that she wanted her own people,’ a source told the Daily Mail. ‘It did leave a few of us a little baffled’. Another source reportedly added: ‘It is slightly surprising. These people are the best of the best, and when it comes down to it, their role would actually be very limited in the birth itself, assuming all goes to plan.’

Meghan is reportedly opting out of having the two male gynaecologists leading her delivery team, apparently going for a woman instead, though it is not known who she is.

The home birth:

While home births used to be the royal tradition, the protocol for the past four decades has been a hospital birth, with Princess Diana starting the current tradition of posing for a photo post-birth on the Lindo Wing steps of the hospital.

Meghan however is set to break the tradition, with sources close to Vanity Fair claiming that the Duchess of Sussex is considering a home birth. And that’s not all, with Meghan said to be additionally considering a natural birth, with her mother Doria Ragland said to be involved in the birthing plan.

REX

The water birth:

Not only is Meghan apparently parting with four decades of tradition to have the royal baby at home, it has also been reported that she is planning on having a water birth, which would be a royal first.

‘Obviously Meg’s into all the homeopathy, so none of us were shocked when we found out she’d been talking about a water birth,’ a friend of Prince Harry reportedly told the Daily Star Sunday. ‘Apparently she wants it to be as natural as possible: no drugs, no caesareans and so on. It’s the next logical step from all her yoga, meditation and so on. Obviously when she goes into labour she might end up, medically speaking, having to go the more conventional route. But for now a water birth is absolutely her plan, is what they’re saying.’

The paternity leave:

Prince Harry is breaking tradition once more, following a modern post-birth approach rather than a traditional royal one. The Duke of Sussex is reportedly taking paternity leave to support his wife and spend some quality time with his newborn.

‘He doesn’t need to take paternity leave because he doesn’t work in the way most people do,’ a friend of Prince Harry’s told The Express. ‘But he thinks it’s a very modern Dad thing to do.’

REX

The manny:

While nannies are customary for royal babies, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are apparently going against tradition with their choices. According to The Express, the royal couple are taking a ‘modern American approach’ to the nanny they hire, reportedly opting for a ‘manny‘.

‘Hiring a “manny” is far more common in the U.S. — a nation that Meghan is more in tune with — than in the U.K. She’s keen to introduce the royal family to what she considers a more enlightened, modern American approach,’ a source explained. ‘[Prince Harry] and Meghan have discussed nannies and both have an open mind to a male nanny. They will definitely try to shortlist one.’

Congratulations again to these two royal rule breakers!

The post Here are all the ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have broken protocol with their royal baby appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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

Left Over Nail Polish? 4 Better Ways To Use It | Better | NBC News

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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!

4 Ways To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids Without Electronics

Black Family Sitting Together

Source: Hero Images / Getty

These days we are all glued to our electronics, cell phones, televisions, video games, fitness watches, tablets, and more. More and more we are becoming virtually connected and less actually connected. This is especially the case for our children, who are part of the generation known as “digital natives.”

Via Madamenoire:

I‘m not anti-electronics; I live on my devices as much as anyone. However, I am about electronics in moderation and quality time with our children in abundance. Like anything in life, technology is about balance and it’s important for us and our children to understand how to make and nurture relationships without the intervention of electronics.

Here are four ways to spend quality time with your kids without electronics.

1.) Eat Dinner Together: Eating dinner together or at least one meal per day together creates the opportunity to talk to one another. During the meal make sure electronics are banned for everyone. Focus on the conversation, ask questions and answer the questions your children ask you. Mealtime conversation is one of the best ways to find out about your child’s day and to keep the connection going.

2.) Do Something Active: Our collective attention spans are getting shorter, which means a good way to engage with your child is by doing something active that requires movement. For example, I often exercise at home and my kids “help” me by joining in.

We stretch, do crunches, squats and more together because they love to watch me struggle and I love to have their company. In the end, we both get a work out in, have some laughs, and make some memories. Other examples of active things you can do are go outside and play catch, go bike riding, take a walk, go to the park or on a hike or create a scavenger hunt for them that requires them to go out.

3.) Work on a Project Together: Depending on your child’s age, the project can vary from putting together a jigsaw puzzle to having them help you paint a room. Find something engaging and age-appropriate. Spending time together engrossed in a project is the perfect opportunity to have conversation and spend quality time together.

Listen to your child’s favorite music while you do the project if it isn’t disruptive and introduce them to music that you love. My kids and I have put together puzzles, built marble mazes, done science experiments, and planted and took care of a garden.

4.) Have a Family Night: Set aside time for a family night and make it a tradition. Whether you watch a movie, play board games, go out to dinner, or take in a show, make sure the entire family is involved and make sure you do it consistently. Spending time together as a family, without electronics, is important towards building quality relationships with your children.

The key to all of this is making real connections in real-time. We are all busy, so don’t focus on how much time you spend together, focus on the quality of the time you’re together. But no matter what you do, remember to turn the electronics off.


HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

 

 

Life & Style – Black America Web

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10 Ways Your Body Changes When You Start Drinking Enough Water

The research is clear: Staying hydrated is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt. Here are all the ways your body—and brain—get better when you chug, chug, chug.

The post 10 Ways Your Body Changes When You Start Drinking Enough Water appeared first on Reader's Digest.

Reader’s Digest

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5 Ways to ‘Boss Up’ Your Career with These Career-Coaching Tips

According to Forbes, career coaching is a $ 2 billion, global industry. It seems you can’t sling a hashtag without finding a career coach online. This is partially due to the internet enabling the growth and popularity of the profession within the last 15 years. It is clear that digital and social media are driving the services that coaches offer.

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing a career coach on episode 14 of The Culture Soup Podcast. In speaking with Tristan Layfield, a recent BE Modern Man, I discovered that his role isn’t always about critiquing and improving résumés. He really has to be a social media expert with a strong grounding in what it means to manage one’s personal brand.

Layfield is a former recruiting manager at a Fortune 500 and currently a project manager at IBM. In his spare time, he was helping friends and family improve their résumés, and he noticed that they were actually snapping up the jobs they were after as a result. So, he decided to take his knack for résumé writing to another level by starting a business.

career coaching

Career Coach and Résumé Writer, Tristan Layfield. (Photo: Clyde Barnett III)

Layfield provided some very useful tips on improving your résumé, personal branding, and how to leverage LinkedIn and other social platforms so that a job hunter or even people who are happy in their current position but are looking to be more marketable can improve their searchability online.

 

5 Career Coaching Tips to ‘Boss Up’ Your Career

Focus: Understand what you really want to do.

The internet empowers us to research what we want to be when we grow up. Before we had robust search engines like Bing and Google, we were left to figure things like this out on our own, and mostly to no success. So, Layfield says, often people just remained stuck in whatever role they found themselves. The internet allows us to dream big, look into what it will take to achieve that dream, then execute against it. It’s a new day! Seize it.

Engage strategically on social media.

If you are one to shy away from being too vocal on social media, or perhaps you aren’t that great a writer, so content creation is something you’d rather stay away from, consider engaging with other people’s content instead. Layfield says that on platforms like LinkedIn, a simple “like” of someone’s content share or even a re-share can go a long way toward positioning yourself as a thought leader in any space. Just ensure the content always aligns with your personal brand.

 

Own your story.

Your uniqueness is your story, and it isn’t always pretty. People like authenticity, so sharing the learning experiences as well as the wins not only makes you more approachable, but it also makes you relatable. Layfield walks that talk by sharing about how he was fired from one job, which was a catalyst for him starting his own business. He says getting fired shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of because most people have experienced this in their careers at one time or the other.

 

Tailor your résumé to the job description.

This extremely smart and practical tip is one that many people overlook. Layfield says that before your résumé makes it to the recruiter, they use algorithms that search your document for certain keywords—words from the position description.  His suggestion is to ensure that your résumé has those words in it and often so that your résumé will not wind up in the “no” pile before it even sees human eyes.

 

Be your own best advocate.

In this highly-competitive, fast-moving, digital and cluttered world that we live in, it is no longer advised to wait for someone else to merchandise your work for you. Layfield advises his clients to be their own best advocates. That means it is OK to share your successes in a grounded and non-boastful way. He told the story of how he became a BE Modern Man.  When it came down to it, he nominated himself. He reasoned that he would either live up to the requirements or not; and why not practice what he preaches to his own clients. It resulted in a prestigious recognition. What if he hadn’t entered his name?

Listen to the entire episode on The Culture Soup Podcast.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

 

 

 

The post 5 Ways to ‘Boss Up’ Your Career with These Career-Coaching Tips appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

Ways to avoid overweight bags while flying

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We’ve all been there – it’s the night before the vacation and you’re picking up the suitcase to see how heavy it feels, believing your arm can somehow transform itself into a human weighing machine – or even balancing it on your dodgy bathroom scales hoping it’s not over the maximum.

When all is said and done, it is best just to be safe and take all the vital steps to ensure you don’t go over the limit. Ultimately, no one wants to be paying the extra hefty fees. Here’s how to avoid it!

Put the heavy items in your hand luggage

Usually, you don’t need to put too much stuff in your on-flight hand luggage – be it the essentials like your passport, wallet, etc. – so why not make the most of the extra space and put some of your heavier items in there. But beware of forbidden items like liquids…Always check the small print and legal regulations to be sure.

Buy souvenirs at the airport

Even though the cost of airport shopping does vary, often tax and duty-free shops can provide some fantastic deals on some great souvenirs. If you’re the type to go a bit overboard on buying loved ones vacation gifts – and then wonder “How has my suitcase doubled in weight in two weeks?” – then maybe give this one a try.

Buy essentials at location

Toiletries are the notorious culprit for adding on the unwanted weight to your luggage. Sure there are travel size bottles to squeeze your best conditioner into, but generally it’s hard to know what you really need. One way to get around this is to buy some of the essentials when you’ve arrived at at your location to free up some well-needed space in your luggage beforehand.

Choose the right suitcase

Having the right suitcase can make a massive difference. It may well be worth it to invest in a new one. The most cost-efficient ones to buy are hard shell material suitcases, usually made of a lightweight plastic that is easy and light to carry but does not compromise on impact protection. With the suitcase itself light, then you have the extra weight of more important stuff to add.

Wear the bulky sweater

Really think about what clothing items you can take. If you don’t need it, don’t take it. Basically, if you’re going on a week-long beach trip to the sweltering south pacific, then chances are you’re not going to need two weeks worth of socks…flip flops will do! And if you’re really struggling to compromise, you can always wear the biggest and heaviest items you plan to take (sweaters, cardigans)….airplanes are always cold anyway.

First class anyone?

Bit of a last option this one, and probably one very few of you may be able to choose, but going first class usually means having a minimum to no restriction on how much luggage can be taken on board. If it is a special occasion and you’re willing to pay for the privilege, why not upgrade yourself.

Flying should be an enjoyable experience and not a stressful one. If you are the type of person who tends to over-pack, take these few tips on board and hopefully next time you’re at the check-in, they may save you from having to reach into your wallet once again.

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Bigger Paydays, Famous Friends and a Little Heartbreak: All the Ways Life Has Changed for Queer Eye’s Fab Five in Only a Year

Queer Eye Season 3All things just keep getting better.
At least, that’s been the case for Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness–aka your new Fab Five–ever since…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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A Black Man’s View: 5 Ways To Be A Better Male Ally In The Workplace

#MeToo, #TimesUp, and terminations of high-profile executives accused of sexual misconduct has spurned a conversation among some men asking, “How can we promote gender equity in the workplace?” Here are five ways we as men can make work environments safer and more inclusive for everyone. These tips can help a man be a better ally in the workplace.

5 Ways To Be A Better Male Ally In The Workplace

Don’t ask her out

At work we interact with many different people. We may have similar interests with some women — get along and become friends. As we socialize, feelings may grow and you could start viewing her romantically. Full stop. Most women do not come to work to get a date. This is not the bar. Don’t ask for her number. She is not there to be objectified. Keep it professional.

Do not talk over her

Many times in a meeting, a man will take over the conversation and interrupt a woman when she is speaking. Whether intentional or not, this is a malicious act which sends a message that her contributions are not important and hold little value. We need to stop doing this. Let her talk and finish her thought. You can wait.

Do not gaslight

A woman’s experience in the workplace will always be different than ours. From subtle microaggressions to blatant harassment, her existence in a business environment is full of challenges we cannot imagine. This is why it is important for men to believe our female coworkers when they say they have been victims of abuse. Believe her when she says someone has been harassing her. Do not downplay it and tell her it is something she imagined. In doing so, you create a distrustful work environment by not encouraging other women to come forward.

No foul language

One of the best things a man can do when he hears misogynistic and sexist remarks from other men is to push back. Gently, but firmly, tell them those type of comments are not OK. It creates a hostile work environment, which helps no one. We need to let our fellow male coworkers know this is not acceptable, nor is the workplace the setting for that kind of language.

Hire more women

In my time in IT, there has always been an overwhelmingly male environment. I would always wonder why aren’t their more women working in technology? The simple answer is because we are not hiring them. Evia, a virtual event solutions company conducted a poll and found that women hold only 20% of tech jobs. In order for us to make the work environment more balanced and different points of view found, we as men need to hire more women.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post A Black Man’s View: 5 Ways To Be A Better Male Ally In The Workplace appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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Tax Refund: How to Spend Yours in Smart but Fun Ways

Tax season is in full swing and that means if you’re one of the many of Americans that get a large tax refund, it’s time to plan how you’ll spend it. First off, be smart. There are many things like saving for retirement, investing in stocks, or paying off debt or mortgages that are smart and savvy ways to use this extra cash to make life a bit easier for you. But if you want something a bit more self-serving, here are a couple of other ways to spend that refund. Instant gratification can be a smart use of money, too.

Upgrade Your Gadgets

New versions of your favorite smart gadgets come out regularly and it’s sometimes hard to justify purchasing a new model just because, well, it’s new. If you have a smart home device, or really any tech accessory, that’s in need of an upgrade, getting one with your tax refund is a great idea. Think the newest Echo, or the new waterproof Kindle, or the all-in-one Google Home Max.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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Entrepreneurs: Here Are 3 Ways Bad Health Habits Can Cut Into Your Bottom Line

Not living as healthy a life as possible can lead to more than just physical challenges. The fiscal results can add more problems to your life—but some are avoidable. Here are three bad health habits and how they can affect your financial health and that of your business.

Smoking: Quitting smoking is considered one of the hardest endeavors to take on (and science backs this notion.) Besides the fact that a pack of cigarettes can cost you up to $ 17, the American Cancer Society reports that tobacco-related healthcare costs are more than $ 130 billion and the direct healthcare cost for those who smoke cigarettes is about $ 35 per pack. (So, let’s say you smoke only a pack per day. That’s more than $ 13,000 per year.)

Recent Wallet Hub research also indicates that smokers can lose up to $ 5,932 per year in income, and more than $ 156 billion is lost in productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke. In some states, health insurance premiums are higher for smokers—up to 50% higher than those who do not smoke.

The American Cancer Society and healthcare professionals cite options for quitting including counseling, nicotine-replacement therapy, and prescription drugs. Smokers are also advised to seek help from a licensed medical professional or to take advantage of cessation programs covered by insurance.

Overworking: There are several health-related effects of overworking and researchers have found that the resulting stress can lead to depression, heavy drinking, impaired sleep, diabetes, and other conditions and illnesses. It can also lead to a loss in productivity, which is quite counterproductive. The domino effect: absences at work, appointments, and business meetings, which then leads to a breakdown in your reputation and credibility as a leader. If you’re missing a meeting that could have netted you that lucrative partnership, that’s money lost to your business. And even if you show up, you won’t be at your best—yet again risking the loss of money-making opportunities.

Productivity experts suggest working in 60-to 90-minute intervals throughout the day, and to manage your time in a way that promotes a healthy balance between professional and personal time. Prioritizing deadlines, being prompt for meetings, and avoiding distractions are all ways you can avoid unnecessary midnight oil-burning sessions.

Skipping Doctor’s Appointments: No-show rates for doctor’s appointments can range from 5% to 55%. Not scheduling routine exams, especially for conditions and diseases that disproportionately affect black women and men or people of a certain age range, can mean missed diagnosis and exposure to health challenges that could have been avoided or treated earlier.

The CDC indicates that getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, help your chances for living a longer, healthier life, and catching things early can help to avoid the healthcare and insurance costs that you could face if a condition is not detected early enough, gets worse, or leads to a more serious one. It’s definitely less expensive to go to the doctor regularly than to avoid it for years and end up having an extended stay in a hospital or high costs of a lifetime of prescription drugs or medical treatments.

Editor’s Note: This article originally published on July 2, 2016 

The post Entrepreneurs: Here Are 3 Ways Bad Health Habits Can Cut Into Your Bottom Line appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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15 Ways Presidents Made the White House Feel Like Home

A house isn’t a home until you’ve filled it with creature comforts, decorated it to suit your taste, and customized it in ways that bring you joy—and the White House is no exception. Click through for a list of the most memorable, heartwarming, and at times eccentric renovations that past presidents have made to transform the White House into their family home.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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No Valentine? No Problem: 9 Ways To Spread Love This V-Day

Portrait Of Smiling Young Woman Holding Heart Shape

Source: Sol Vazquez Cantero / EyeEm / Getty

Valentine’s Day is recognized around the world as the day of love. You’ve probably noticed the giant bears. pink and red themed gift items and candy when you enter the supermarket. For many. this elicits warm and fuzzy feelings, but for others, it may just elicit an enormous eye roll.  Instead of looking at February 14 as another ridiculous consumer holiday or a reminder that you’re single, look at it as an excuse to spread some love to others.  These activities and small gestures will definitely fill you up and add some joy to someone’s life.

MadameNoire

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5 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth Through Your Network

You’ve probably heard the saying, “your network equals your net worth,” or to put it another way—it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Those with affluence and influence tend to network with those with similar attributes. You can increase your net worth through your network.

However, networking isn’t just about connecting with people who have money but with those who have influence and can open doors for you. But how do you become a master networker?

Five Ways to Increase Your Net Worth Through Your Network 

Go where you’re most uncomfortable 

Lisa Nichols, a transformational coach says, “You will never find your next best version of you sitting inside of your comfort zone.” If the opportunity to rise to the next level means getting into rooms, showing up in places, and having conversations with those whom you wouldn’t normally talk to, then it’s time to take a deep breath and step out on that limb.

Assess your network 

Your network is bigger than you think. It’s your classmates from every level of education. As an alumnus of Northwestern University, I was able to connect with classmates, professors, and other graduates to land one of my highest paying jobs back in 2008, and increase my income by $ 25,000 when I switched jobs. Unfortunately, most people discredit their connections with their colleges even though every college has an alumni association and network. Also, don’t disregard your church connections, or people you do business with like your doctors, hair stylists, bankers, and others.

Prepare in advance for networking events 

Prepare for networking events by knowing beforehand what you want to discuss and who you want to meet.

Show up early to networking events

Busy people often show up early to networking events and don’t always stay the entire time. The person you may want to meet at an event may not be there if you arrive too late.

Follow Up 

It’s important to follow-up after a networking event. Not only with new relationships, but with those you may have met before. Another way to reconnect is to share an article that might be beneficial to them or invite them to an event that they could benefit them.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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YOUR MONEY, YOUR LIFE: EPISODE 6 – “Ways To Finance Your Emergency Fund”

Establishing and maintaining a cash emergency fund, with an amount equal to six months up to a year’s worth your annual living expenses, is a foundational principle of financial wellness. Author, speaker, and financial coach Tarra “Madam Money” Jackson answers the question of where to get the money to finance your emergency fund



The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests, including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

The post YOUR MONEY, YOUR LIFE: EPISODE 6 – “Ways To Finance Your Emergency Fund” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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4 Ways to Help Loved Ones Dealing with Financial Hardships

After experiencing the longest government shutdown in history, many federal workers and contractors who experienced financial hardships are still trying to recover.

The government shutdown tested people’s financial preparedness, and many unfortunately failed. Also, with another possible shutdown looming, many people are frightened that this will catapult them into homelessness.

Approximately 1 in 3 Americans do not have emergency savings to cover a $ 500 emergency, according to personal finance website Bankrate. This statistic became a heartbreaking reality when real life financial hardship stories recently surfaced due to the federal furlough.

Unexpected emergencies like medical bills, the death of a family member, job termination, or an unwarranted furlough, are common causes of most financial traumas. The reasons people do not set aside money for these unexpected emergencies range from unlivable wages, sluggish salary raises with rapid inflation, unfair wage gaps, or even poor financial habits.

When a loved one is dealing with a temporary financial hardships, there are ways to provide assistance or relief.

4 Ways to Help Loved Ones Dealing with Financial Hardships

 

Lend money

If you have the financial ability to lend money to a loved one and are confident you will be repaid, offer a short-term loan. Treat the loved one with compassion, but explain the offer is a loan and is expected to be paid back.

Write up and sign an agreement between you (lender) and the loved one (borrower) to clarify the financial transaction as a loan.

Debt.org shares that a loan agreement between loved ones should include:

  • The names of the parties involved
  • The date of the loan agreement
  • The amount borrowed (principal)
  • Interest rate (if applicable)
  • Repayment terms (monthly payments over a specific period or a lump sum on a certain date)

In the event of nonpayment, the loan agreement should also include:

  • Modification of loan terms
  • Taking ownership of collateral
  • Possible legal action

Hard feelings and arguments between relatives and friends occur when money is lent in good faith but not repaid. So, take the advice I give to my clients who consider lending a loved one cash …

“If you can’t afford to give the money, don’t lend it.”

 

Give money

Instead of lending the money, give the loved one the amount of cash you can afford as a gift.  By giving money as a gift you release the possible future tension in the event the loved one does not pay you back. Consider it as a few early birthday or Christmas gifts.

When giving money, do it privately, discreetly, and without pity. Many loved ones suffer in silence, financially, because they do not want their business shared.

Assure the loved one that you will not share the monetary gift to anyone. Respecting the loved one’s need for privacy is important, especially if they are a very private or prideful person.

 

Pay a bill directly

Consider paying a specific bill or expense directly if you prefer not to give a loved one cash, or they do not want to accept your loan or monetary gift.

Paying a utility, car payment or insurance, or even a rent or mortgage payment, will release a significant financial burden.

Some companies, like PECO, formally Philadelphia Electric Company, allow people to help out and pay a bill on behalf of their customers.

 

Provide a service

Perhaps you may be unable to give a loved one money.

An act of service will go a long way when it comes to helping a loved one experiencing financial hardship. Sometimes, taking time to do something for someone is more helpful than giving money.

Some amazing acts of service can include:

Care for the kids

Offer to babysit or care for their elderly family member who requires special attention. This will free up some time for the loved one to work another job, or get some much-needed rest.

Cook a few meals

You may be aware of a loved one who is struggling to feed their family. Cook and deliver meals for a few days to offset their grocery bill, and relieve the burden of cooking.

Chauffeur for a day

If a loved one does not have transportation, be their chauffeur for one or a few days. Driving them to appointments, run errands, or their job will be much appreciated.

Clean up the house

Clutter can sometimes cause just as much stress as the financial trauma. Offer to clean a loved one’s kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, or the entire home to eliminate that responsibility from their list. Often a clean environment can calm our consciousness to better deal with difficult situations.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

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People Share Why They Don’t Use Financial Advisers; Some Alternative Ways to Get Financial Help

Many people just do not want to meet with a financial adviser despite the fact that using one may provide numerous financial advantages. Financial advisers provide objectivity of financial situations and give advice to help establish a more secure financial position.

A few personal finance professionals, authors, teachers and bloggers, from the Elevate Community, dedicated to uplifting people of color financially, shared their perspectives:

“Just Not Ready”

Just like weight loss, financial wellness is one of the top three new year resolutions and personal goals. Most people generally know what to do to improve their financial situation, but some are just not ready to do it.

“We like comfort!” says Andre Albritton of The Millennials Next Door. “A financial adviser will give recommendations outside of our comfort zone which can be a frightening experience.”

Money mantras like “save more and spend less” and “pay yourself first” have been stated by every financial expert. The reality is if a person is not mentally ready, they will not execute any plan.

Cost

On television, rich and famous people seem to be the only ones talking about meeting with financial advisers. This creates the perception that it takes thousands or millions of dollars to work with a financial adviser. The consumers living paycheck to paycheck with minimal or no assets (like a home, investments, etc.) may presume it is too expensive to meet with a financial adviser.

Many middle-class Americans are working hard to pay their bills and make ends meet. Paying to meet with a financial adviser may seem premature or unrealistic.

Denial

“People put off seeing a financial adviser for the same reason they avoid going to the doctor or dentist” shares Alfred Edmond Jr., BLACK ENTERPRISE Your Money Your Life Podcast host and co-author of Loving in the Grownzone. “They don’t want to deal with the choices, remedies, or lifestyle changes that will likely be necessary to improve their condition.”

People that practice avoidance in the hope that the problems will go away, or correct itself will deny the problem, and chose not to deal with the financial situation. Unfortunately, avoiding the dis-ease in the bank account will leave a person vulnerable to more financial hardships.

“People are embarrassed about their current (financial) situation and believe their choices got them in that predicament” explains Atiya Brown of Live Financially Savvy Podcast. “Since they don’t know the extent, they may tend to ignore and avoid.”

Pride

Almost 10 years ago, my pride almost put me in the poor house. I remember being ashamed to admit my major money mistakes and felt like a failure. I locked myself in a self-inflicted private prison of shame.

People suffer in silence because of their pride and the shame they feel because of making money mistakes. Making the decision to let go of the shame and ask for guidance will help to release the guilt.

Product Pushers

Julien Saunders of rich & REGULAR states, “Some financial advisers have a tendency to be pushy. Although well-intended, some (financial advisers) can make a person feel pressured. Consumers must fully understand the implications, alternatives, or cost to them as the investor.”

Some financial advisers are perceived as product pushers. Product pushing financial professionals turn off and scare away many consumers. Even though consumers know that financial advisers sell products, they do not want to feel pressured into purchasing products they don’t understand.

Stranger Danger

People do business with people they like, know, and trust. Sharing secret financial skeletons with  someone you don’t know can be extremely uncomfortable. It is even more frightening to give control of your money and assets to that stranger.

Patrina K. Dixon of It’$ My Money says, “Some people have trust issues. Therefore, if they do not trust the financial advisor, they will not be safe to share relevant information the adviser may need to assist the client.

 

Some Alternative Options to Using Financial Advisers 

Many are not ready for the financial commitment to meet or work with a financial adviser. Here are some alternative options and resources to help you “start where you are.”

Financial Blogs and Podcasts

Financial blogs are an excellent resource for free money tips and strategies. Here are a few blogs and podcasts to check out.

Tanya Rapley’s My Fab Finance Blog teaches millennial women of color how to regain control of their finances, overcome financial challenges, and pay off debt.

Talaat and Tai McNeely host the His And Her Money Podcast. Their podcast and blog aim to help married couples reach their financial goals together.

Marsha Barnes’ The Finance Bar Blog connects individuals to their financial wellness. She offers one-on-one coaching and an app that shows where your money is going.

Online Financial Tribes

John Hope Bryant, the founder of Operation Hope stated, “If you hang around nine broke people, you will be the tenth.” Connecting with people who have similar financial goals or have achieved the success desired is essential to financial success. Here are a few online financial tribes to check out.

The Live Richer Academy founded by Tiffany Aliche, who is known as The Budgetnista, is a membership-based online platform that offers courses designed to help participants take their finances to the next level.

Founded by Sandy Smith, of Yes I Am Cheap blog, Hustle Crew is a private Facebook group community that provides resources on entrepreneurship and starting a side hustle.

Financial Coaches

Financial coaches educate clients on the basics of money and credit management. They help their clients establish financial goals and create a customized plan to reach those goals. Financial coaches act as accountability partners to encourage and challenge their clients to success.

Financial coaching services range free through a non-profit programs to a few hundred dollars per hour to work with popular financial coaches privately.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post People Share Why They Don’t Use Financial Advisers; Some Alternative Ways to Get Financial Help appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Here Are 3 Ways to Be Prepared for Tax Season 2019

While many have concerns about filing 2018 returns in the dawn of the federal shutdown which ended temporarily on Jan. 25, the government has assured taxpayers that the IRS will process returns in  the event the shutdown continues after the Feb. 15, the date government goes back to the table to hash out border negotiations.

Regardless to what goes on in the government, as residents we are required to file taxes. That said, it’s important to stay current with tax laws and any income tax changes — most of which can be found on the Internal Revenue Service website: www.irs.gov

Here are three things to get in check for tax season ’19 

Verify Credentials

When it comes to choosing a tax preparer be sure the person has verifiable credentials. Many consumers are unaware that you can only legally file a tax return for someone else in exchange for compensation, if you have a PTIN – Preparer Tax ID Number. A PTIN is numeric identification for tax preparers which may also be used for credentialing. To verify this credential, go to the IRS website, click in Renew Your PTIN, which allows people to not only sign up for the program, but look up tax preparer credentials.

Understand Tax Law Changes and Deductions

Tax laws change each year and its important as a taxpayer and consumer to understand how changes will affect your tax return and liability. The IRS website typically announces changes with credit, deductions, etc., each year. Taxpayers can also call IRS with questions at 1-800-829-1040.

Make A Tax Checklist

The best thing to do prior to filing taxes, is make a list and check it twice because no one wants to be audited. Create a checklist of everything you may need to file on your taxes, this includes, W-2’s, school documents, self-employment forms, childcare expenses, donations receipts, healthcare expenses, interest documentation from banks accounts, retirement account documentation 401k/IRA, student loan interest, etc.

Join me on Facebook to ask your tax questions or for complimentary tax checklist.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post Here Are 3 Ways to Be Prepared for Tax Season 2019 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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The Right And Wrong Ways To Look At Food

healthy eating habits

Source: skynesher / Getty

Whether you realize it or not, you hold certain beliefs regarding food. You have general ideas about what food is, what it is not, what it should do for you, and how you should approach it. These beliefs play a role in every decision you make around food. If you carry snacks in your car, if you skip breakfast, if you only eat meals by yourself, it is these subconscious or perhaps conscious ideas revolving around food that drive those actions. If you are unhappy with the results you are seeing in your body, both how it looks and feels, making the changes you want on the outside may require changing your perspective on food. Here are the right and wrong ways to look at food.

healthy eating habits

Source: Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty

Wrong: Food is just calories

When we think of food as just calories, we fixate on only counting calories and not considering the value of each calorie. That means we feel guilty about 700 calories no matter where they came from.

MadameNoire

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Eight Responsible Ways to Pass on Wardrobe Items

When editing your wardrobe you’ll need to pass some items on. Instead of throwing them away and sending them to a landfill, give them a second life. Here are eight ways to do just that. 

1. Give Items to Friends & Family

Think about friends, acquaintances, and family members who would enjoy receiving some if not all of the items that you’re passing on. If the recipients live far away, take them along the next time you visit.

2. Have a Swap Party

Get a group of friends together who have wardrobe items to pass on. Turn up the music, provide snacks and libations, and begin to swap. Clothing sizes might differ between the participants, but remember that footwear and accessories can be easier to fit. This is also a very cost-effective way to refresh your style.

3. Consign or Resell on E-Bay and Poshmark

You can resell wardrobe items at consignment stores in your area. Or take photos of them and sell them on sites like eBay and Poshmark. Or collect the items for a Summer garage sale to have outside with a tall glass of lemonade.

4. Donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army

Items that are donated to Goodwill are resold for very low prices. Items passed on to the Salvation Army go to those who are less fortunate.

5. Donate to Dress for Success

Drop dressier items off at your nearest DFS where they’re used to dress women who are re-entering the workforce. Many DFS clients come from homeless shelters or are in temporary YWCA housing and desperately need an interview outfit and work-appropriate attire. DFS provides them with a mini workwear capsule for free to get them on their way. They are especially in need of sizes US12 to US20, and petites and talls across all sizes.

6. Upcycle

Convert T-shirts, clothing made of terry cloth, and sweats into wash rags and dust cloths for housecleaning and gardening chores. Or if you sew, enjoy DIY crafts, have a little time and are feeling creative, here are 100 ways to create new items out of old wardrobe items.

7. Send Clothing back to Retailers that Recycle

Retailers like H&M, Nike, Madewell and Patagonia will often take back items you bought from their store and recycle them for you. I’ve seen clothing bins at our flagship Nordstrom store in Seattle offering the same recycling service.

8. Drop items in USAgain and Planet Aid Bins

USAgain is a non-profit organization that collects textiles, and resells them so that they can be made into reusable and valuable products. Planet Aid does a similar thing of recycling and repurposing textiles. Worn clothes can be repurposed into products like athletic tracks, pillow stuffing, carpet padding, baseball filling, and home insulation.

I edit my wardrobe frequently, and collect items in a bin in our garage before taking them to their next home. Most of my items are donated to Dress for Success Seattle, where they are either used to dress DFS clients for interviews, or sold at their regular Closet Treasure sales. The money goes straight back into the non-profit that empowers women, which makes me feel very good about passing on my clothes to the organization. Some of my handbags are passed on to friends. Some items are dropped off at the Salvation Army, and the rest is dropped into USAgain bins in our neighbourhood. I’ve also attended the a few fun clothing-footwear-accessory swaps.

Over to you. How do you pass on your wardrobe items?


YouLookFab

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Using Flooring in Unexpected Ways

Photo by Stephani Buchman

When it comes to flooring, there are many options to choose from and wood is still a timeless, luxurious look we all love. Today, you can create that look using hardwood, engineered hardwood, luxury vinyl, laminate and more. The wonderful thing about the variety of choices available is the endless creative possibilities of using flooring in unexpected ways.

FEATURE WALL Using an engineered hardwood or luxury vinyl plank on a wall is a great way to create a feature wall in any room of the house. It adds a natural warmth, texture and authenticity to your space. You can use the same planks you would use on your floor or go for a three dimensional look with a 3D wall product!

FIFTH WALL Interior designers know the importance of considering the ceiling a fifth wall in the room. Applying flooring to a ceiling is an innovative way to add texture and style to the room. Natural wood tones added to a ceiling is quite common but painting it white and adding beams in a contrasting color can also be quite striking.

BACKSPLASH Engineered hardwood, luxury vinyl plank and laminate products all offer properties that hold up well to moisture making them both a functional and stylish way to create a unique backsplash for a basement bar area.

MIXING WOOD AND TILE I love the idea of integrating tile with wood for a look that is both stunning and practical. Entryways and bathrooms seem to be the most popular places to use this combination. Tile is placed by an outside door or surrounding a freestanding bathtub where moisture may be an issues and then hardwood is used to bring warmth into the space. Cutting the wood planks to meet the shape of the tile creates a natural, seamless effect with a very designer touch. – Text by Christine Da Costa, www.decorbychristine.com

The post Using Flooring in Unexpected Ways appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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7 Ways to Help Your Kids Unplug This Winter

With darkness falling early and cold weather often limiting regular outdoor activities, your kids are apt to spend more time in front of screens during winter, using phones, computers, TVs, and other electronics and filling their hours with games and social media.

While media and digital devices are an integral part of our lives today, research has shown that face-to-face time with parents, family, and friends is even more important in promoting your child’s healthy development. By thinking creatively and being proactive, you can ensure that your kids enjoy a wintertime filled with fun, unplugged activities, and family connections.

Make a plan
Start by talking with your kids and creating a media use plan that you can all agree upon, then stick to it. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a useful template, including a digital time calculator.

Much like the way you plan your child’s nutritional diet — ensuring lots of healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains and limiting extra sugar — you should be intentional about your kids’ daily “activity diet.” Prioritize those activities that are important for healthy development: 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day and one hour of daily exercise, plus family time, outdoor play, reading, and hobbies. Then create space in the daily schedule for the “dessert” of screen time and be consistent in enforcing daily limits.

Get outside together
A nightly walk can be a fun and easy way to get outside and get exercise. To keep the kids engaged, create a scavenger hunt-type list and bring flashlights. One night you could focus on spotting (and hearing) different types of animals. Another night could be devoted to scents (fireplace smoke, pine, etc.) or sounds (barking dogs, a siren, branches creaking). On weekends, head to your nearest park for a nature walk. Buy a bird book and encourage your kids to keep a list of the feathered friends they spot. End each walk by enjoying a warm mug of hot cocoa together.

Get your game on
Winter is the perfect time to break out the board games that have been gathering dust in the closet. For preschoolers, board games are a fun way to learn to follow rules, focus, and take turns. For older kids, these games offer a chance for healthy competition and face-to-face interaction. Old-fashioned favorites like Monopoly and Risk can be strung out over several nights or long afternoons. Or keep things interesting by having a running tournament (chess, checkers, backgammon), with results posted nightly. Share the fun by inviting other families over for Game Night and ask them to bring their favorite game to share.

Set up a creative corner
Tap into your kids’ inner artist by creating a space for them to draw, color, paint, sculpt, or construct every day. Just as schools have begun recognizing the value of providing a “maker space,” you can help your children unleash their creativity by setting aside time and providing the resources they need to create and build.

Encourage your bookworms
Cold weather offers a cozy time to curl up with a good book. The most important thing you can do to encourage your kids to love reading is to read aloud to them, notes the American Academy of Pediatrics — even after they know how to read for themselves.

Plan a weekly trip to the library and encourage your kids to use the hour you spend there choosing reading material from a wide variety of genres: poetry, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, science fiction. Whether they are 4 or 14, help them find some non-fiction books or magazines that speak to their passions — baseball, dinosaurs, bugs, or the American West. Find a book series that appeals to the whole family and carve out time each night for a family read-aloud hour, with family members assigned different characters to read.

Tap into the power of play
For kids of all ages, unstructured play is serious business — helping them build thriving brains, bodies, and social bonds. In fact, many pediatricians have begun to write a “prescription for play” for kids of all ages. The key is to create an opportunity for your children to take the lead and follow their own curiosity.

The tools you provide don’t have to be flashy or fancy.By simply equipping them with boxes, blankets, and chairs, kids can spend hours building a fort in the family room. Or put together a basket of “grown-up” clothes or inexpensive props or costumes from the local secondhand store and encourage your children and their friends to put together a production to perform for the family.

Keep an eye on the weather forecast: Whenever the temperatures permit, make plans to meet up with other families at the local playground or ball field and let the kids run wild together. Unstructured play, inside or outside, has the added benefit of being a stress-buster. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: Kids who engage in play build safe and nurturing relationships that protect against stress and help build social-emotional resilience.

Safeguard screen time
When your kids do spend time enjoying the treat of screen time, there are steps you can take to ensure their safety and prevent negative outcomes. Co-viewing or co-playing a video game with your children is one way to stay engaged and give you a better idea of how your kids are spending their time. And younger kids learn better from media when they share the experience with an adult, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Stay plugged in to who your child is playing with online, as well as the software, apps, and websites they are visiting. Make sure TVs and mobile devices are turned off at least an hour before bedtime, since the blue light can interfere with sleep. Recharging devices overnight in the kitchen or living room will ensure kids aren’t tempted to wake up and use their devices during the night.

Above all, be a good digital device role model and limit your own use so that you can be fully engaged during meal times, car trips, vacations — any time you spend with your kids.

Main RSS Feed – Kaiser Permanente

NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

10 Unique Ways Homeowners Saved to Buy a House

Tired of rising rent prices? Looking for a place to really call home? The lack of quality affordable housing can make the dream of homeownership seem unreachable. It doesn’t have to be this way! Take heart from these 10 hopeful stories, along with some practical tips and insights for making the dream a reality.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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11 Easy Ways to Be More Likeable

I’m a big believer in being myself but sometimes, it can really help to get through life more easily and to get what you want if you adapt in a certain way so you become more likeable.

So first of all, what’s a likeable person and what are their traits? Likeable people are often considered down-to-earth, open, authentic, interested, self-deprecating, trustworthy, and a bunch of other things. Usually, they’re warm and emotionally stable people that others want to be around.

So are you a likeable person? The first thing to consider is that if you think about this question, you’re probably too hard on yourself. Four university studies found that people often underestimated how much their conversation partner liked them. So you’re probably already more likeable than you think you are, however, there is always room for improvement.

11 Easy Ways To Become More Likeable

Social Media platforms
Social Media platforms

1.Be Yourself!

I know it’s a super cliche answer but sometimes, the person you want to be doesn’t line up with the person you actually are. The perfect example is social media; the way people portray themselves on Instagram or in Facebook rarely matches the real-life circumstances. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to get people to like who you want to be rather than who you actually are, you may come off as insecure and unreal.

Often, people can sense this and they want to know the real genuine authentic you, not the idealized version. So let them see the real you even though at times that might seem embarrassing, it really helps to increase your likability because people can relate better with you and they don’t put you on a pedestal that is just an ideal of everything that they can’t have because obviously, they know about the things that are not perfect in their own lives and they like to see it in others.

Have a few conversation starters ready
Have a few conversation starters ready

2. Learn Great Conversation Starters

Other people will be relieved that they don’t have to start the conversation. Those could be things like “Did you choose your profession or did your professions choose you?” or maybe “What makes you laugh the most?”. Having a few good starter questions ready every time before you attend a social event will make you more secure and you will probably end up having more good conversations. It will also avoid awkward moments and people will thank you for it because they know when they talk to you, it’s never embarrassing or strange.

Accept a compliment gracefully
Accept a compliment gracefully

3. Give Out Compliments

Most people think a lot more about themselves than others do think about them. So they may put a lot of effort into a hairstyle, their outfits, or the way they dress but others won’t even notice it. So by picking up on something that is special about a person and by complimenting them on it makes you instantly more likeable.

Why? Well, you actually stand out from the crowd because you noticed something others don’t and it flatters the other person and honestly, who doesn’t want to be flattered? That being said, it’s best not to comment on body parts or ideally, things that people can’t change anything about. Instead, compliment them on something they do or they did.

Denying a compliment is never appropriate
Denying a compliment is never appropriate

4. Accept Compliments Gracefully

Often, when people are complimented, they don’t know how to respond. They try to diminish the compliment. Instead, you should accept it gracefully. What does it mean specifically? All you need to do is to say thank you and smile.

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 in Burbank, Calif.

5. Show Some Self-Deprecating Humor

The perfect way to utilize humor to become more likeable without distancing others is to use self-deprecating humor. So what does it mean? Just make fun about yourself. That means, maybe share weird things about you or share a time when you look like a loser or when you did something that looks really stupid. I know it seems weird and hard but by doing that and getting other people to laugh about it, they will instantly like you more.

Another good way to add self-deprecating humor is to compare yourself to others so you can say “Oh wow you’re just twenty-two when you’re running your own business; when I was 22, my mom did my laundry for me”. That way, you put yourself in a light that lets others shine and that makes you instantly more likeable even though you may feel like you look like a loser.

In my opinion, a master of self-deprecating humor is Ellen DeGeneres. She utilizes this technique all the time in her show and people love her so next time you watch that show, pay attention to it and you will see how she utilizes it to become instantly more likeable.

Listen
Listen

6. Listen!

So far, we all talked about active steps you can take but one of the easiest way to become more likeable is to really in genuinely listen to what other people say. No, if you’re just waiting for the other person to finish before you can give your reply, you’re not actively listening. Actively listening means that you comprehend what they’re saying that you repeat what they’re saying and that you later follow up with a question pertaining to it so they really know that you listened and also cared.

So always try to paraphrase what people said in a quick way without going into too much detail. You can also have follow-up questions that show that you comprehended what was said and you just keep the conversation going. In general, people like to feel like they’re heard and understood and by actively listening, you achieve exactly that. An even bigger step is not just to listen but to act on what someone just said.

Ask smart questions
Ask smart questions

7. Ask Questions

It goes slightly into the same vein as the active listening but more questions keep a conversation going and the more smart questions you ask, the more understood and heard the other person feels and the more they feel taken care of and comfortable in your presence.

two men having a conversation
two men having a conversation

8. Be Vulnerable

Most people engage in small talk but small talk doesn’t allow you to really be vulnerable and it’s not well-suited to get to know someone. Mostly, it’s just tedious and boring and frankly, it can be much harder than having a genuine conversation about things that actually mean something to people. So try to stop yourself from engaging in small talk and get real.

That means you can be a leader in a conversation who dives deeper first without waiting for the other person to expose themselves or show a vulnerability. Of course, this has to be a gradual process. If you tell people about your financial problems the first time they meet you, they think of you as being weird. So a good starter question that I always use is “What do you do when you don’t work?”. Most people have the impulse to tell me what their job is because that’s what they usually hear but then it usually takes a second for them to realize I’m actually asking about their passions and you can see a little smile, they’ll light up and they tell me more about the things they like to do.

Now, that is a first step to create a connection, to create something where they feel they can share with me and usually, they have an interest in it so they don’t get tired of talking about it. Once we’re at that step, you can ask deeper and deeper questions and that way, you have a conversation that is quite meaningful and both people will walk away without feeling like they wasted their time and that they were bored.

Always keep in mind, people love to talk about their passions and not so much about their insecurities yet everyone has them and by opening up and sharing your struggles and your insecurities, you become instantly more relatable and thus likeable.

9. Minimize Complaining

We all feel like we want to complain every once in a while and that’s okay, however, if you complain constantly, you carry a negative aura with you and others don’t want to be around you because you just bring them down or make them feel bad. So what if you just have a natural negative outlook in life and that’s simply who you are? Well, in that case, I suggest you try to flip it around and try to see the positive things and frankly, if sometimes that’s too hard and you can’t find anything nice to say, it’s better not to say anything at all.

Pitti Uomo 82
Pitti Uomo 82

10. Make Everyone Feel Included

If you have a group conversation, there’s usually someone who speaks a lot more than someone else. If you pick up on that and you notice that someone is being quiet or just alone, it really pays to loop them back into the conversation by asking them a question.

Sven Raphael Schneider in White Tie keeping it real
Sven Raphael Schneider in White Tie keeping it real

11. Embrace A Positive Attitude

It makes sense to embrace a positive attitude because other people will like to be around you because it makes them feel positive. Usually, positive people uplift other people and don’t drain their energy. Sometimes, just reminding yourself of that is all it takes to be more positive.

Finally, it’s only fair to acknowledge that people have their own will and chances are some people will never like you and that’s okay. In those cases, it’s best not to focus on things you can’t change but the things you can do. If you apply these eleven tips in your social life, I guarantee you, you will be more liked.

So what are your secret tips to become more likeable? Please share with us in the comments and give us a thumbs up.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

Scientists Seek Ways To Finally Take A Real Measure Of Pain

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Is the pain stabbing or burning? On a scale from 1 to 10, is it a 6 or an 8?

Over and over, 17-year-old Sarah Taylor struggled to make doctors understand her sometimes debilitating levels of pain, first from joint-damaging childhood arthritis and then from fibromyalgia.

“It’s really hard when people can’t see how much pain you’re in, because they have to take your word on it and sometimes, they don’t quite believe you,” she said.

Now scientists are peeking into Sarah’s eyes to track how her pupils react when she’s hurting and when she’s not — part of a quest to develop the first objective way to measure pain.

“If we can’t measure pain, we can’t fix it,” said Dr. Julia Finkel, a pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, who invented the experimental eye-tracking device.

At just about every doctor’s visit you’ll get your temperature, heart rate and blood pressure measured. But there’s no stethoscope for pain. Patients must convey how bad it is using that 10-point scale or emoji-style charts that show faces turning from smiles to frowns.

That’s problematic for lots of reasons. Doctors and nurses have to guess at babies’ pain by their cries and squirms, for example. The aching that one person rates a 7 might be a 4 to someone who’s more used to serious pain or genetically more tolerant. Patient-to-patient variability makes it hard to test if potential new painkillers really work.

Nor do self-ratings determine what kind of pain someone has — one reason for trial-and-error treatment. Are opioids necessary? Or is the pain, like Sarah’s, better suited to nerve-targeting medicines?

“It’s very frustrating to be in pain and you have to wait like six weeks, two months, to see if the drug’s working,” said Sarah, who uses a combination of medications, acupuncture and lots of exercise to counter her pain.

The National Institutes of Health is pushing for development of what its director, Dr. Francis Collins, has called a “pain-o-meter.” Spurred by the opioid crisis, the goal isn’t just to signal how much pain someone’s in. It’s also to determine what kind it is and what drug might be the most effective.

“We’re not creating a lie detector for pain,” stressed David Thomas of NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, who oversees the research. “We do not want to lose the patient voice.”

Around the country, NIH-funded scientists have begun studies of brain scans, pupil reactions and other possible markers of pain in hopes of finally “seeing” the ouch so they can better treat it. It’s early-stage research, and it’s not clear how soon any of the attempts might pan out.

“There won’t be a single signature of pain,” Thomas predicted. “My vision is that someday we’ll pull these different metrics together for something of a fingerprint of pain.”

NIH estimates 25 million people in the U.S. experience daily pain. Most days Sarah Taylor is one of them. Now living in Potomac, Maryland, she was a toddler in her native Australia when the swollen, aching joints of juvenile arthritis appeared. She’s had migraines and spinal inflammation. Then two years ago, the body-wide pain of fibromyalgia struck; a flare-up last winter hospitalized her for two weeks.

One recent morning, Sarah climbed onto an acupuncture table at Children’s National, rated that day’s pain a not-too-bad 3, and opened her eyes wide for the experimental pain test.

“There’ll be a flash of light for 10 seconds. All you have to do is try not to blink,” researcher Kevin Jackson told Sarah as he lined up the pupil-tracking device, mounted on a smartphone.

The eyes offer a window to pain centers in the brain, said Finkel, who directs pain research at Children’s Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

How? Some pain-sensing nerves transmit “ouch” signals to the brain along pathways that also alter muscles of the pupils as they react to different stimuli. Finkel’s device tracks pupillary reactions to light or to non-painful stimulation of certain nerve fibers, aiming to link different patterns to different intensities and types of pain.

Consider the shooting hip and leg pain of sciatica: “Everyone knows someone who’s been started on oxycodone for their sciatic nerve pain. And they’ll tell you that they feel it — it still hurts — and they just don’t care,” Finkel said.

What’s going on? An opioid like oxycodone brings some relief by dulling the perception of pain but not its transmission — while a different kind of drug might block the pain by targeting the culprit nerve fiber, she said.

Certain medications also can be detected by other changes in a resting pupil, she said. Last month the Food and Drug Administration announced it would help AlgometRx, a biotech company Finkel founded, speed development of the device as a rapid drug screen.

Looking deeper than the eyes, scientists at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital found MRI scans revealed patterns of inflammation in the brain that identified either fibromyalgia or chronic back pain.

Other researchers have found changes in brain activity — where different areas “light up” on scans — that signal certain types of pain. Still others are using electrodes on the scalp to measure pain through brain waves.

Ultimately, NIH wants to uncover biological markers that explain why some people recover from acute pain while others develop hard-to-treat chronic pain.

“Your brain changes with pain,” Thomas explained. “A zero-to-10 scale or a happy-face scale doesn’t capture anywhere near the totality of the pain experience.”

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5 Fun, Alternative Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve

Who says going out to a party is the best way to ring in the New Year? Some of the most satisfying moments in life are when we’re having fun in an intimate setting with friends and family. Below, we’ve rounded up a few unique ways you can celebrate New Year’s Eve.

 

Plan a game night. 

Whether you want to put an adult twist to one of your favorite childhood games, such as Jenga and Tic-Tac-Toe, or opt for a new game like Black Card Revoked; an Afrocentric trivia game; there are plenty of fun options to keep you having fun into the early morning hours of New Year’s day. Add some delicious food and spirits, and you’re in for a great New Year’s Eve.

Host a New Year’s Eve dinner party with friends.

 A classic way to bring in the New Year, but classic doesn’t mean boring, right? A New Year’s dinner party with family and friends is a great way to reflect on the past year and chat about plans for the New Year. Perhaps you can host a cook-off or prepare a tasting menu of festive finger foods. Check out a few New Year’s Eve recipes on Food Network and MarthaStewart.com. And, for champagne cocktails–check out Bustle.com.

Host a masquerade party. 

Plan an evening of mystery and magic with a themed masquerade party. Beyond requesting that guests wear masquerade masks, you can ask them to bring their favorite dish and bottle of champagne, or you can feature several drinks from around the world.

Attend church. 

From plays and musical concerts to games and speakers, many churches plan a series of watch-night events to usher in the New Year.

Plan the ultimate date night.

Looking forward to some quality time with your sweetie? Whether you’re in the mood for a romantic evening of food and bubbly at a great city restaurant, or a bonfire on the beach with a sparkling fruit sangria, there are several great ways you can ring in the New Year with your love. Check out PopSugar for a great list of fun and sexy date ideas.

The post 5 Fun, Alternative Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

10 Ways to Find Your Personal Style

Websites including The Gentleman’s Gazette possess an encyclopedic amount of content on how to dress well, while thousands of images of iGents, dandies and influencers dance across Instagram feeds every day. Faced with all the content online, how do you know what suits you?

Those who are new to the game of classic men’s style can quickly become overwhelmed when trying to determine what they might like to wear. Even men who have been into classic style for years can fall into a rut. So, how do you go about discovering your personal style in the face of all the advice and information out there? Here are our top 10 tips.

Spezzato Suit Jacket and Matching Vest with Contrasting Yellow Pants and Brown Oxfords

Not everybody likes the idea of yellow pants, but they perfectly suit Sven Raphael Schneider’s style

1. Put Your Style into Words

If you’re reading this article, it’s established that you like to dress in a certain way, so you already have some sense of what you like and don’t like. Take out your favorite fountain pen and try writing it on paper (or just use your computer). Describe your style in a sentence or even a few words:

  • How would you describe your ideal look? It might be “vintage academic” or “Italian sprezzatura,” but it could also be “put together” or “preppy.”
  • What do you enjoy wearing? Do you do vests? Do you like bombers and safari jackets or prefer a regatta blazer?
  • What are your strongest likes and dislikes?
  • Who are your style icons? What do you like about their look?
Fountain pen paper and a Lamy Safari fountain pen

Engage in a writing exercise to define your style

2. Gather Inspiring Images

To help you describe your style, you can save images of styles, outfits, and pieces that you like. Pinterest is one of the largest social media sites in the world, behind only Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and is the easiest way to do thisLinkedIn and is the easiest way to do this. Classic style boards on Pinterest

A set of Pinterest boards used to collect classic menswear images. Although it has a reputation for photos of craft projects and recipes, it is an easy way to capture and store images that you like related to classic men’s style.

If you have the Pinterest app on your phone, you can grab any image from any site and put it in your digital scrapbook or board. Looking at your pins will then not only help you remember clothes you want to buy but, viewed collectively, will give you a holistic sense of what your style is like. Of course, as you gather images, you may do so from other people’s Pinterest boards, which brings us to item 3.

3. Find Style Role Models (Plural) to Follow

As you go through social media, you’ll encounter numerous well-dressed gents whether on the number one source of online style inspiration–Instagram–on Tumblr microblogs or Pinterest boards. It’s important to realize though that even though you may like the personal style of someone with 15,000 Instagram followers, what he wears may not necessarily work on you.

The Style Icon - Cary Grant in Berlin in 1960

The Style Icon – Cary Grant in Berlin in 1960

The same goes for well-dressed men outside of social media whether Cary Grant to David Beckham or Idris Elba. You may be older or younger and have a different body type or skin tone, to name just a few things that can influence what looks best on a specific individual. However, with so many people posting to social media, odds are you will find somebody on Instagram with a body type or general appearance similar to yours.

Style icons Samuel Jackson, Andreas Weinås, and Alan See

Style icons Samuel Jackson, Andreas Weinås, and Alan See

Everyone’s style is really an amalgam of their influences, from family members to friends to celebrities and random strangers online. Along the same lines, the best approach with style icons is to take note of specific things you like from different people. It’s important not to imitate just one person because you risk coming across as a mere copy.

If you wear your watch over your sleeve cuffs, it’s obvious you are just copying Agnelli. You can admire the way Sven Raphael Schneider wears accessories like cufflinks, boutonnieres and pocket squares while also liking the contemporary urban edge of Dan Trepanier. You can love how Mark Cho effortlessly combines colors but realize the fuller cuts of his jackets is not for you. Pick and choose from the smorgasbord of influences with the understanding that you don’t need to be loyal to any one style guru.

Gianni Agnelli and his Patek Philippe 1415 HU, or Universal Time

Gianni Agnelli’s characteristic sprezzatura style is difficult to copy

4. Be True to Yourself

Even when you follow multiple influences, aim to be authentic. Do what’s true to you, not what’s popular. There are popular sprezzatura style choices seen everywhere online like keeping your button-down shirt collar unbuttoned or wearing the back blade of your necktie longer than the front and below your waistline. These are trendy, fashionable approaches that are more about uniformity than originality.

Color, texture and hats at Pitti Uomo 88 - photo by Pitti Uomo

Beware imitating what’s popular online, such as the Pitti Peacocks

It can be tempting to buy tight suits, wear a suit jacket with sweatpants, or have your pants hemmed above your ankles because “everyone” is doing it in Suitsupply ads or photos from Pitti Uomo (and getting 2000 “likes”).

Sven Raphael Schneider in Three Piece Suit with double breasted waistcoat

Sven Raphael Schneider only wears pleated pants, because they are his style, not because they are popular (which they aren’t!)

Unless this really makes you happy and is how you see your personal style, be cautious of following the crowd. The key is to be comfortable–both physically in the clothes you choose and the way you look. Dress for yourself, not for others.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

To get to your personal style, there’s really no substitute for hands-on experimentation. If you see someone who wears an olive green linen jacket, you may want to try it yourself.

Green linen and gingham

Linus Norbom wearing a green linen jacket with a green and white gingham shirt and white pants

You can look at pictures all you want, but you won’t know whether you like pleated pants until you put them on. Though in theory, your rounded face shape would look better with a point collar shirt, you won’t know for sure until you wear one and compare it with a spread collar.

Collars formality scale

Try different collars in different formalities to see what suits you

I tried point collars, cutaways, spreads, long points and button downs for shirt collars before settling on which I liked best. The first few years of my interest in menswear, I bought almost the full range of colors in sport coats, but since then I’ve boiled my favorites down to blues, browns, and beiges.

Spezzato with vest and pants

Try experimenting, such as wearing wristbands or splitting up a suit

If possible, you can try things in boutiques and stores to see how you look at them. Alternatively, for pieces you aren’t too sure of, you can buy thrift or used. Yes, you will make mistakes and buy something experimental that you won’t like, but that’s what return policies are for.

If it takes you longer to figure out something is not for you, there’s always reseller markets like eBay or Grailed. Even if you sell at a loss, try not to look at it as wasted money. Instead, think of the journey as part of the reward. It’s like ordering a new kind of sushi or visiting a city you’ve never been to before. You’re in it for the experience, and there should be no regrets. It’s all part of the learning process.

6. Understand Your Physical Characteristics

One the reason we’re not into trends is that they rarely suit everyone. The skinny fit of suits today, for example, only works well for certain body types. If you want to capture your “own” style, it’s better to work with what you have rather than trying to conform to trends. Start by considering your body – your physique, your age, and your skin tone, for instance.

If you have pale skin, a dark navy shirt will wash you out. If you have brown skin, you can pull off more vibrant or hotter colors. If you’re over fifty, maybe slim fit trousers and a loafer without socks wouldn’t look best on you.

Grimod in Sky blue linen suit

Great style is possible at any age; here, Herbert Stricker in sky blue linen suit

A mistake is trying to impose a style on yourself that doesn’t work for you just because you saw someone else do it online. The desire to wear anything you want is strong but not always possible. It’s a sign of stylistic maturity to realize that just because you admire how someone wore an item, it doesn’t mean you can or should wear it yourself.

7. Understand Your Environment

As you form your style, realize that it will be influenced by where you are situated. The way men dress on the internet often has very little to do with real life. What someone wears at Pitti Uomo or to sell a product is designed first to get attention in a medium full of so many competing images. Something may be photographed such a way to make it desirable, but ask yourself whether your personal environment would suit the style.

David Evans in Denim and brown country sport coat with sweater

David Evans showing a country style

If you live in Manhattan, you may be able to wear suits most of the time if you want to, but if you’re in rural Kentucky, this stylistic choice will make you stick out like a sore thumb. If you’re in Italy, you can wear bright, fitted jackets that are at home there, but in London, they’ll look out of place. Realistically, part of your personal style–what you wear–is dictated by your environment.

Cri De La Soie Silk Knit ties by Fort Belvedere

Knit ties might be part of your signature look

This can be as basic as not wearing an elaborate pocket square because you are dressing for a conservative workplace or wearing sports coats and knit ties instead of suits and printed silk ties because you are never in a formal setting.

This may seem like it’s forcing you to compromise, but unless you want to march entirely to the beat of your own drum, you will have to fit your style to your milieu. Even within these limitations, you’ll still have a lot of possibilities.

8. Realize That You Can Have Multiple Styles

Kids may also ruin your hair but they will have a blast

Many people are surprised to find that Sven Raphael Schneider’s summer uniform is a polo with shorts and boat shoes

A further consolation is that you’re never really bound to a single authoritative “look”; the reality is that you’ll have multiple styles, and it would be rigid to assume that you need to wear the same sort of thing no matter where you go.

Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson

You don’t need to wear a suit on every occasion like Barney Stinson

You can wear suits for work but sport coats without ties on the weekend. You don’t need to be Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother and suit up all the time.

Ralph Lauren's Country Lifestyle

Ralph Lauren’s Country Lifestyle

When you visit the countryside, you might wear sweaters and tattersall shirts with a Barbour jacket. When you’re taking a beach holiday, perhaps you’ll put on a linen shirt and espadrilles. You may still have certain common threads through all your looks–like always wearing a bit of blue–but odds are your style will really be multiple styles.

9. Assess Your Closet

Once you have accumulated a decent wardrobe, you can get to your core style by auditing and managing your wardrobe. If you have a social media presence or just for yourself, take a selfie when you wear something you think looks particularly good on you or that you get compliments on. When you have a bunch of photos, review them to see which pieces repeat the most often; these are the foundation of your personal style.

The Closet if Giancarlo Maresca

Take occasional stock of your closet contents

If we break it down, finding your style really comes in two major parts. The first is casting a wide net and trying a lot of things. The second is culling things you don’t ‘wear to get to a core wardrobe.

Culling

Besides looking at photos, look at your closet itself and get rid of things you haven’t worn for a long time, whether a certain number of months or a year max. If you don’t pick them, it’s a sign that they’re not your style. When you first start out, you’re enthusiastic and want to have more outfits, but eventually, you’ll reduce your choices and settle on a sort of uniform that represents you. For me, it’s sports coats and ties with interesting woven textures.

Spezzato with jeans

The author wearing two of his favorites: a sports coat and a textured tie

The more you try, the less you continue to experiment because you learn what does and doesn’t work for you and settle into “your style.” This can change depending on factors like age or weight, but for the most part, you engage in less trial and error.

This doesn’t mean that you have to stop adding to your wardrobe, though. If you find you like wearing navy wool trousers, you’ll soon want navy cotton pants, wool flannelpleated and flat front, high rise and medium rise.  The fact is if you’re serious about style, you’ll never want to stop working at it. The difference is that, after a time, you’ll buy from a more limited range of things because you know you look best in blue, that you prefer a spread collar shirt, and that you like an unlined tie.

Short Vintage Tie - excellent if you are a shorter man

You may prefer a spread collar shirt or a short tie

As your eye develops, you can know at a glance whether an item you see is suitable for you. You’ll be more discerning and purge things from your closet that you no longer wear because they don’t fit your core style.

Pharrell Williams Hat

Your signature items don’t need to be as showy as Pharrell Williams’ hat

What you’re left with will include signature pieces that define you. I don’t mean something like Karl Lagerfield’s sunglasses and stiff collars or Pharell Williams’ hat–these are more celebrity costume than classic style–but your signature look may be a penchant for pocket squares, odd vests (meaning not part of a matching suit) or colorful shoelaces. Think of it as your brand in terms of style–an aspect that is recognizably and consistently you.

Colorful shoelaces like these from Fort Belvedere can be a signature of your look

10. Know that it’s a Continuous Journey

Once you go down the rabbit-hole of traditional men’s style, you have a lifetime to enjoy the fruits of the hobby (obsession?), and even when you have a good sense of your style, things will not get stale.

If you relocate, change the sort of job you do, gain or lose weight or simply get older, your style will change in some way. When you reach a certain age, you may wear more comfortable or less showy clothes, probably of higher quality, but then again, you may always like a good Prince of Wales check.

Tight vs. Comfortable Suit Fits

Your taste in clothes may change over time from fitted to more comfortable.

Conclusion

A given is still that your style won’t (and shouldn’t) ever be static. I’ve shared some of the aspects of the journey you are likely to encounter but can tell you that there’s no substitute for experiencing it firsthand yourself. There will be errors and missteps, but this is part of the learning and the fun.

Have you already experienced some of the stages mentioned? What other advice do you have for finding your personal style? Share in the Comments section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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