5 Places you Shouldn’t Use Your Cell Phone

Written by Salina Jivani

Think back to your childhood and likely the only distraction at the dinner table was the TV. Fast forward nearly two decades and all you see around you—any place, any time of day—is people glued like zombies, to their cell phones, unblinking. You see mommies pushing strollers while snap-chatting their walk in the park with their newborn, teenagers taking selfies, and people checking their email alerts neurotically while picking up prescriptions from the local pharmacy.

Cell phones are pretty much an appendage nowadays, and a vital one at that, permanently affixed to us and within our lives.

And if you’ve ever misplaced or broken your cell phone, you understand how handicapped, even lost, you might feel without it. It’s…debilitating, crazy as it might sound.

But it’s the sad truth: a measly 3×5 screen now dominates our lives from instructing us on when to wake up to commanding us to try for that baby now! Right now! However, it shouldn’t wield power over us completely and thoroughly.

In fact, if it all possible, be particularly mindful of using your cell phone in the below instances to make sure you’re practicing a healthy dose of safety as well as common courtesy to those around you.

The Dinner Table

Dinner time is sacred because it’s one of the few times the entire day most families are able to spend together. Be respectful of this time by giving your loved ones the attention they deserve by filing away your cell phones and devices and focusing on talking about your day or asking your spouse or children about theirs. Keeping this time distraction-free ensures you’re making the most of time of your time with one another.

The checkout counter

A common pet peeve cashiers and receptionists share is serving people who refuse to get off their cell phones while they’re at the checkout counter. Talking on the phone while you’re face-to face with someone is not only rude, but it can also delay the people in line behind you as you try to focus on speaking to two people at once.

The amount of time it takes to check out is minimalistic, so don’t be rude—ask your phone buddy to hold or ask if you can call them back in a few. Not only will you be minding your manners to the cashier, but you might also catch a sneaky pricing error as your ring up!

In quiet, public places

If you’re in a public place that requires some semblance of quiet, like the library, a church or a waiting area, stow away your cell phone or at least silence it. If you must use it, be sure to speak softly and mind the people around you. Though most people are civil and won’t complain, no one cares to hear a blaring rendition of how your blind date went last night or how gassy you were because of that milkshake you drank. Better yet, if you can walk out somewhere and take your conversation in private, do that.

When you’re in company

There’s no better way to make someone feel ignored or insignificant than by pulling out your cell phone while they’re talking to you—even if they’re just discussing the weather. When in company, use your phone only when you absolutely have to—say for a personal or work emergency. Otherwise, screen your calls so that you’re inclined to answer only those that are most important, like from your family, filtering the rest to voicemail. This subtle action goes a long way in conveying to someone that they deserve—and have—your complete attention.

While you’re driving

Most states have laws against texting and driving, but talking on the phone can sometimes be equally as distracting. With roadway fatalities on the rise, especially on highways, minimize your chances of getting into a wreck by placing your cell phone out of sight. Instead, turn on the radio and enjoy some time to yourself. If you must talk on the phone, use your car’s Bluetooth or put your caller on speaker so you can still use both hands freely.

Of course this in no way a comprehensive list of all the times you absolutely should NOT be on your phone. Use your judgment and respect the presence of those around you by putting it away when you feel its use is least appropriate. Doing so will score you brownie points from those around you and prevent you from morphing into a complete cellphone zombie.

Top 5 Ways To Get Your Body Summer Ready

Written By Ariel Wallace

Summer time is approaching! No more flat tires, or muffin tops allowed! We all desire that wash board abs firm bottom, or just plain old celebrity phisque. I know a lot of fad diets that will but go out the window by third day. Join the 20 day challenges on social media would be one way, but these five ways are a sure way to get the Best Results.

Waist Training: Waist Training is a quick fix, it helps you shed off inches on your waistline, sure to give you a coca cola shape that eyes can stand to bare. Celebrities like Pre Madonna make a living in perfecting the Women’s body for better looking curves and flatter tummies. You can find these at your local mall or order them online.

Water Intake: Just by drinking two small cups of water before dinner studies show that you may loose up to five pounds alone. Trading in your favorite sugary drinks for this pure nutritionist liquid is sure to keep the extra pounds off. Eight cups of water is good for your body alone. Not only your body, it cleanses and brightens your skin. If intaking water is hard for you try adding fresh fruit to your water to flavor it, or Propel flavored water will work just fine.

Joining A Gym: Find a local gym you can join. Couples workouts are the best. Nothing better than love and motivation at the same time. Doing Cardio 3x a week for 30 minutes a day will give your body toner results, long walks in the park or neighborhood, or excercising with can goods instead of dumbells, start a workout regime. Everyone loves Exercise Guru Sean T, creator of Insanity sure to get your body fit and right.

Balanced Diet: the key to a healthy lifestyle is to eat a balanced diet. Making sure your body is consuming from the basic food groups. Lean proteins, Fruits, Vegetables, and Whole grains. Subtracting carbohydrates and keeping calorie intake under control. Try a homemade smoothie with a blend of vegetables and fruits.

10 Facts about Entrepreneur and Shark Tank Star Mark Cuban

Written By Ariel Wallace

Mark Cuban is an Entrepreneur and Co host of the hit television show Shark Tank. We all know he is owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, but here’s 10 cool facts you didn’t know about him!

1.Mark Cuban was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2.When Mark Cuban was a child he sold sets of garbage bags to save up for a pair of shoes he liked. Cool beans, looked like the business ethnic was already inside him.

3.Mark was such a genius at a young age , he started taking Psychology classes at the University of Pittsburgh during his Junior year of High School.

4.Mark’s Grandfather Morris Chobanisky, emigrated from Russia. He fed his family by selling merchandise out of back of a pickup truck. I guess Cuban took a page out of his Grandfather’s book.

5.Mark paid off his College tuition by giving dance classes to cover is education. Who knew this Jazzy guy had dance fever in him!

6.Cuban was the first Basketball team owner to launch his own blog.

7.Mark Cuban was more business minded than we thought, he purchased the Landmark Theaters Chain and Magnolia Pictures in 2003. There’s popcorn and lickerish sticks laying around somewhere in his bedroom.

8.When we thought Mark Cuban could become anymore strategies, he goes on fourth to launch a Social media app called Cyber Dust in 2014.

9. Mark also wears the producer hat as well. Turns out this talented guy was Executive Producer for Akeelah and the Bee movie.

  • 10.The last interesting fact about Mark Cuban , he gained his revenue by selling companies like Micro solutions and Broadcast. I will surely take a lecture from this man any day of the week. Certainly he did it by hard work, patience, and leadership skills.

5 “da bomb” Lip balms for Chapped Lips

Written by Salina Jivani

Every time I think of the bitter cold, I imagine pasty, flaky skin and dry lips. Maybe because that’s the kind of damage I’m used to witnessing in my mirror during the ruthlessly cold winter months.

Given in Atlanta we’ve been extremely lucky this winter, with temperatures topping the 70s on occasion, but I can’t say my lips have been completely safe from harm.

If your lips are feeling a little rough around the edges and you don’t want to look like you just escaped a Saharan desert, give one of these candidates on our “da bomb lip balm hit list” a try:

Aquaphor

Popularly used on infants as a diaper rash deterrent, Aquaphor also has a line lipcare line that’s equally as effective for doing what this brand is best known for: sealing in moisture in areas of your body that are most susceptible to dryness. With a petroleum-like consistency, this formula is pretty thick and heavy duty but extremely effective at leaving your lips moisturized and dryness free!

Badger Balm Organic Cocoa Butter Vanilla Bean

Are you all about organic, nature-friendly products? If so, you’ve met your match in Badger Balm Organic Cocoa Butter Vanilla Bean. This lip balm is both made from natural ingredients plus essential oils that are known for their healing and repairing properties, giving your lips the loving they need sans addictive, harsh ingredients.

Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum butter

One of the most popular brands out there with a varied line of products to boast, Burt’s Bees just had to be on our list. If you’re looking for something to condition your lips but not weigh them down with heavy wax, this one’s for you. Plus benefit from the Kokum butter in this product, popularly known for its ability to heal skin.

Carmex

If all else fails, pull out the Carmex! An extremely effective lip balm that almost instantly repairs the worst of the worst dryness, you won’t be disappointed. Apply overnight and you’ll awaken to a seemingly brand new pair of puckers. But wait. Are you allergic to menthol or camphor (both ingredients contained in Carmex)? Or not a fan of the cool, tingly feel of menthol on your lips? Read on.

Vaseline

Lightweight and great at repairing any chapped or dry skin (whether on your lips or elsewhere on your body, including, yes, even feet!) Vaseline is dry skin’s best friend. The best part? It’s fairly cheap (commonly found at dollar stores) and can double as an effective makeup remover. Also, it’s petroleum based, so it doesn’t have that tingly sensation common to some other lip balms.

There’s nothing worse than chapped lips to ruin your look. So make sure you find a lip formula that works best for you and gives your lips the tender loving care they deserve!

5 Superbowl Snacks That Lead to Diet Victory

Written by Salina Jivani

One of the most awaited sporting events of the year is just around the corner. And typically the fierce competition of the Superbowl accompanies an even fiercer craving for all your favorite action-packed foods and snacks, often ones that contain an abundance of saturated fats, carbs and excessive calories. Unfortunately, these very culprits can put a damper on a (so far) head strong effort of eating lean and staying fit—a goal that many of us aspire to at the start of the new year.

But you can’t starve yourself while everyone is busy stuffing face during the most important football game of the year, right? Right (you didn’t think we’d say otherwise, did you?)!

If you’re watching the game at your own place or someone else’s, plan on working in one of these healthy options into your Superbowl spread to make sure the game doesn’t pack a punch on your waist and leave you feeling defeated.

Veggies

Are you a veggie lover? Offering a veggie tray is a covert way of contributing a delicious, popular, yet tasty Superbowl side dish while allowing you the option to indulge in a snack that’s chockfull of fiber and boasts low calories and fat. If you’re not a fan of the readymade veggie trays, opt to create your own with an assortment of your favorite vegetables. What to dip? Try one of the below complementary options for some added yum.

See other foods on the Superbowl buffet you’re vying to get your hands on? No worries—fill up on your veggies before you proceed to other less healthier options so you don’t end up overindulging on them.

Kale chips

Looking for a leaner alternative to potato chips minus the excessive levels of oil and sodium? Try kale chips. Cut off the kale stems, place the kale leafs on a conventional oven tray, spray lightly with cooking oil (or not) and add a sprinkle of salt before you bake. In no time at all, you’ll have yourself a tray of crispers that’ll give potato chips a run for their money.

Looking for something with more of that potato-ey flavor? Making your own homemade potato chips can help cut back on a lot of the unhealthy ingredients found in the packaged versions. Cut a potato into thin, round slices, place on a baking tray, spray lightly with oil (or not) add salt, bake to a crisp and voila! You’ve got yourself a healthier, fresher version of potato chips!

Cucumber/turkey rolls

If you’re cutting back on carbs or looking to eat clean, look no further—we’ve got the perfect snack for you. All you need are some cucumbers and turkey (or your choice of lean meat). Cut the cucumbers into tall, thin slices, place a layer of turkey on top, and maybe a slice of tomato (if you’re a fan), roll it all up and hold in place with food picks for a fresh, delish, pick-me-up finger food. Want condiments? Try healthier variations of mayo (like Tzatziki sauce or hummus) for flavor.

If you’re a vegetarian put hummus (or something similar) on the cucumber and add in your own choice of veggie favs, like shredded carrots or pimento olives for a special zing.

Homemade dips

Buy a dip from a grocery store and you’re likely to ingest several preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients, like excess salt and saturated fats. Make your own dips from natural ingredients and you’ll relish the fresh taste plus your body will thank you for the vitamins and minerals more densely present in the homemade versions.

Dips popular with the crowds include salsa, hummus and avocado, so consider experimenting with at-home recipes for these.

Crispy Chicken

Of course no Superbowl is complete without an ample dose of chicken, right? Good news is, now you can have your chicken and eat it too without the telling residue of oily fingers (and clogged arteries!). Try a crispy homemade oven fried chicken recipe that allows you to still preserve and relish the crispy breadedness of fried chicken, while eliminating the excess fat and calories.

If you’re going to a venue or other place where you won’t be able to bring your own food, no worries! There are always healthier alternatives you can look for, such as those that are baked, or are as close to their raw/natural form as possible (variations of fruits, veggies and lean meats).

And remember, if you do overeat, don’t berate yourself—it’s never too late to get back on the health bandwagon (or burn off those calories at the gym). So put your game face on and eat to diet victory!

5 Neat Things Your Handwriting Reveals About You


Written by Salina Jivani

Ever notice how most doctors’ penmanship looks like chicken scratch? Or that people with an artistic flair tend to write in beautiful bubbly letters? It might seem coincidental, but really, is it?

I remember in elementary school the girls in my class were obsessed with writing neatly. And no matter how much I tried, my handwriting was…not so great. Okay. It was terrible.

But maybe that’s because I was naturally dispositioned to be penmanship challenged. No, I haven’t completely fallen off the cuckoo train(though I’ve been told otherwise). According to graphology experts, or people who study the characteristics of handwriting, your penmanship can clue in to your personality or your state of mind at the time you’re writing.

Want to learn a little bit about yourself? Jot down this very sentence on a sheet of paper and then read the tid-bits below to see how accurate the experts are.

The size of your writing

Take a quick peek at your writing. Do you write big or small? People who tilt toward writing big are known to have big personalities, meaning that they’re more likely to be outgoing extroverts, while those with smaller print are usually the more timid introverts. If you tend to have average-sized writing, it’s said that you’re balanced and can remain focused.

Dotting your T’s and crossing your I’s

Can you imagine the dot on an “i” being an indicator of anything? Most of the time, I leave mine off! But believe it or not, that seemingly insignificant mark can indicate a lot about you.

If the dot on your “i” falls high above, you probably have a rampant imagination. On the other hand, if your dot is more closely placed toward the tip of your “i,” you’re probably very organized and astute with details. Does your dot swagger to the left? Lollygagger!—stop waiting till the last minute to get things done! Dot your “i” with a circle? You’ve got a good-natured, vivacious personality full of sparkle!

Now, look at your T’s. If the line going across is short and blunt, you’re likely lazy, but if it’s wide, it means that you’re ambitious and eager but might also be bull-headed. Also, notice how far up or down you cross your T’s. The higher you cross, the greater the expectations you hold yourself to.

Round or pointy

As you can imagine from their very appearance, letters that are devised round and bubbly are produced by someone who is creative while pointed letters are crafted by those more intellectual, who perhaps have a hint of suppressed aggression.

Spacing

How much space you leave between letters and words says a lot about your desires. Those who leave larger gaps tend to be more independent than those who leave smaller spaces, who are people-friendly and have a greater desire to be around others. But beware if you squish your words together—you probably have a tendency to hover over people or be unnecessarily meddlesome.

Writing speed

Do you write quickly or do you take your time drawing out each letter? People who are rushed with their writing are usually in a haste to complete tasks and, therefore, typically impatient by nature. However, quite the opposite is true of people who take time penning their words. These individuals are known to be more reliable and strategic.

Find these theories to be accurate? Maybe try testing it out on your co-workers or friends or perhaps even on that blind date you agreed to. You might find it to be more reliable than a fortune teller—and perhaps an effective ice breaker as well…

5 Celebrity Men That you Thought Were Black

Written by Ariel Wallace

1. Dwayne “The Rock Johnson”, Wrestler , Actor, and model is actually Canadian, and his mother is Samoan with looks like his who cares? The Rock was named Sexiest Man Alive back in 2016 for a reason. He surely still add sugar to my coffee.

2.Terrance Howard

Not the beautiful hazel eye bandit that everyone loves! He stole our hearts with Empire, not he’s making us guess what he is? Terrence’s parents are actually both Bi- racial. Terrance parents both have blue eyes. Beautiful genes flowed to such a handsome Man.

3.Jim Jones

The former Diplomat member who America loves, is bound by another race. Jim’s mother is actually Aruban and his later father Puerto Rican. Can you say double the trouble! Nothing like a Latin lover.

4.Boris Kodjoe, this tall glass of water is actually German and Austrian. Speaking German is a plus! Big ups for Nicole Ari Parker snatching him up in time. Happy 11th Anniversary to the beautiful couple!

5.Swizz Beatz, The Rapper, Producer, and lyrical genius. Is ravishing with his exquisite taste! Go cutie, ” you hit the hammer on the head” with this one. Turns out he is actually Puerto Rican.

Hot up-and-Coming Fashion Trends of Spring 2017

Written by Salina Jivani

You’re pouring through magazines, scoping out your favorite department stores and eyeing every woman up and down (surreptitiously of course!) trying to uncover this year’s most happening style. It’s early yet, but a fashionista can’t get started soon enough, right?

How do we know? Because we’re doing it too! With 2017 already underway, we’re eager to uncover its chicest styles—and ASAP. So we took a quick peek at this year’s spring runway designs and collaborated a list of five easy ways you (ahem, and we) can get an early start on 2017’s spring wardrobe.

Choose vibrant colors

This year, you’ll notice a shift from the neutral, “safe” colors like black and taupe as we dab with more vivid ones such as shades of pinks, bronze, reds and yellows. The great thing is that these hues work with nearly every skin tone and can help you stand out in pictures and apart from the crowd.

Flaunt those legs

Get that cardio in early this year, because spring 2017 is the season of legs! Dresses and skirts will be either mini or mid length, meaning you’ll be baring a lot more skin just shortly after weathering these colder (calorie-laden) winter months.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

If you’ve already gotten a good grasp on accessorizing and aren’t yet ready to see those long necklaces and arm candy disappear around the bend of 2016, you’re in luck. This year, you’ll see even more of an emphasis on accessorizing. So gather your treasures and get ready to use them in more fabulous, creative ways!

Be comfortable

Luckily for those of us who’ve grown accustomed to the comfort of sweats and leggings in the winter, spring styles won’t require a drastic transition. This year is all about comfort, comfort, comfort with flowing pants, loose clothing and even (gasp!) PJs on the streets! So long as your look is put together and not sloppy, this is one season you’ll be able to get away with a lot of the “comfort crimes” that haven’t been so openly embraced in years past.

More 80s style

Fads, as we know, are cyclical and pull from trends of previous decades. This year, we’re veering away from the 90s and shifting toward 80s styles, which sport leather pants and miniskirts and nod to tops that emphasize more prominent shoulders.

If you’re excited about what’s to come and can’t wait to get your closet in order for an onslaught of new wardrobe goodies, consider doing an early spring cleaning by gathering your gently used clothing and donating them to organizations that will make the most use of your contributions. Check out our earlier post of best places to donate your items here. In the meantime, let’s give a quick cheer to 2017—off to a spectacular start with great styles and comfort in mind, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Is Your Partner a Compulsive Cheat?

Written by Salina Jivani

No one ever steps into a relationship thinking that one day, they may be the victim of cheating or infidelity. It’s one of those things you simply can’t imagine happening to you, but unfortunately, people fall prey to cheaters all the time.

With Facebook and online apps making it easier than ever to mingle and meet, it’s no wonder all of a sudden finding your beau in the arms of another is an all too common, but still devastating, experience.

And maybe you’re aware of a slip or discrepancy on his part that took place years ago, but your partner has vowed since then that it’ll never, ever, ever happen again. And you believe him. But how can you tell whether he’s really cleaned up his act, or just preparing for an encore?

These three telltale signs reveal the characteristics of someone who is compelled to cheat…and more than just once.

Your relationship is an emotional roller coaster…and they love it

Most people are very content, even placid with having a smooth sailing, emotionally stable relationship. But run, run as fast as you can if you’re with someone who seems to thrive off the constant highs and lows of your relationship battles while you’re left to feel emotionally drained and exhausted. Why? Because people who enjoy these kinds of thrills (in this case, the thrill of making and breaking up) are usually those most susceptible to seeking the thrill of an affair or an extramarital relationship.

They have a fear of being lonely

No ones like feeling left out or alone, but cheaters often have an overwhelming fear of becoming lonely. So to create a sense of security, they keep their prospects open, seeking a constant supply of love and support from multiple people just in case one of their relationships do go awry. In their short sightedness, however, what they don’t realize is once they get caught, they’ll end up losing it all and in turn inviting the very loneliness they fear.

They’re not content

As humans, we always yearn for that one thing that life lacks—and for the most part, that’s normal. But cheaters cheat because a significant need—either emotional or physical—is not being met in their current relationship to the point where they desire its fulfillment. And so they seek that fulfillment elsewhere.

If you sense your partner is unhappy, try talking to them. If that still doesn’t resolve anything or help you gear your relationship in a more positive direction, consider stepping out.

Admitting your relationship is on the rocks or nearly over is difficult, particularly if you’re in a long-term commitment. But remember that allowing yourself to become prey to the destructive behaviors of a cheater can be more damaging and draining in the long haul. If you’re not sure you’re ready to break off your relationship, at least consider healthy ways to repair it, such as through counseling or therapy. And remember, any relationship that’s worth keeping takes time, patience and tons and tons of love.

3 Spectacular Credit Cards for People with Crummy Credit

Written  by Salina Jivani

You’re scoping out homes, cars, maybe even furniture. If you’ve got great or decent credit, these purchases probably don’t require a second thought. But the big, fat ugly C word can be quite a deterrent for those who are credit challenged. Unfortunately, bad credit can cost you great opportunities or even steep interest rates for things you dream of one day owning. But, luckily there is a silver lining to your credit woes.

A few credit card companies have programs designed specifically for not so great credit—and they’ve got some good benefits to boot. If you’ve got shoddy credit and are looking to either rebuild it, get access to quick cash or at least benefit from the perks of a good credit card, give one of these three candidates a try:

Milestone® Gold MasterCard®

The Milestone® Gold MasterCard® is a great unsecured credit card, meaning you don’t have to hand over a security deposit. (With a secured card, if you put a $100 as a security deposit, you’ll be able to use only $100 on your card, whereas with an unsecured credit card, you can spend whatever credit limit the credit card company approves you for.)

The good news is that this card is easy to qualify for if you’ve got bad credit, has a simple and quick qualification process and doesn’t post as a hard inquiry on your credit when you apply.

The cherry on top: previous bankruptcies are usually acceptable, given that you’re currently responsible with your finances.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® Credit Card

This credit card boasts a less-than-60-second approval process and is a solid choice for those who are looking to repair their credit because it reports to all three credit bureaus. Plus, it offers a flexible payment date to make sure you’re able to comfortably and timely make your card payments. Do this repeatedly and consistently and you’ll increase your credit score in the long run. And if you make several payments on time, you’ll be able to successfully request a credit limit increase—which equals more purchasing power!

The cherry on top: Earn 1% cashback on your gas and grocery purchases (terms apply).

Total VISA® Unsecured Credit Card

One of the last-ditch efforts for people who need a credit card in a hurry but have not-so-great credit. The bad news is there’s no rewards or cashback to be earned, but on the plus side, at least you have access to quick cash. Also, since it’s a Visa, it’s accepted worldwide and at many retailers across the nation. The card does report to all three major credit bureaus, so you’ll have a shot at improving your credit score if you make consistent, timely payments.

The cherry on top: Approval is often quick, if not instantaneous.

With credit cards comes responsibility, so do make every attempt to make your payments on time and remember that although not paying your credit card bills on time or in full might seem insignificant in light of other bills that pile up, it can have long-term, adverse effects on your credit—and your standard of living.