All Articles Tagged "lifestyle"

Things You Can Stop Fretting About And Start Changing Right Now

April 27th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Worry is one of our least productive emotions. Not only does it make you feel terrible (and give you worry lines), it doesn’t help you solve your problems. In fact, it can make them seem even bigger than they actually are. Unfortunately, for most of us, worrying and complaining is natural: The day is not long enough, we’re stressed out, and our to-do list just keeps getting longer.

So how do you give yourself some space to relax? Sometimes it’s as easy as turning all of that worry and negative energy into action. Simply switching your focus to a creative and positive head space to solve the problem when you have something bad to say about it can change your outlook — and the things about your life that are getting on your last nerve.

From problematic boyfriends to salaries that seem too low, here are all of the struggles we can shake off and stop complaining about right now.

Party Over Here: Get Your Celebrations Popping With Balloon Time

April 18th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Shutterstock

Whether you’re throwing a Mother’s Day brunch, a party to celebrate the grad in your life, a kid birthday party or baby shower – Balloon Time can help you do so with fun and easy DIYs. You can also check our website for plenty of party inspiration – including these daisy patterned balloons.

Balloon Time

Balloon Time

This lightweight, portable tank with 8.9 ft3 of helium/air mixture is perfect for mixing and matching balloons to customize your celebration. The easy-to-use tank inflates up to 30, 9″ latex balloons; 16, 11″ latex balloons; or 16, 18″ foil/Mylar balloons. Included in the box with the tank is white ribbon to tie the balloons. Here’s where you can find the Balloon Time tank.

Here’s a few great party ideas from Balloon Time:

Spring Party – DIY Daisy-Patterned Balloons

Balloon Time

Balloon Time

DIY Projects, Styling and Text by Studio DIY
Photos by Jeff Mindell

These easy DIY daisy-patterned balloons add the perfect touch to a spring party.

Supplies:

Balloon Time Helium Tank

Yellow latex balloons

Mini faux daisy flowers

Hot glue

String

Balloon Time

Balloon Time

Instructions:

  1. Heat the hot glue gun on a low-heat setting.
  2. Inflate the yellow balloons with helium and tie with string.
  3. Place a bead of hot glue on the back of a few daisies at a time and adhere them to the balloon in a random pattern.
  4. Continue until there are daisies around the entire balloon.

Bridal Shower – DIY Glitter-Dipped Balloons

Balloon Time

Balloon Time

Photos by Jeff Mindell
DIY Projects, Styling and Text by Studio DIY

Glitter makes everything better, including balloons. Jazz up a plain latex balloon with a little sparkle with a few easy steps.

Supplies:

Balloon Time Helium Tank

Clear latex balloons

Spray adhesive

Chunky glitter

Ribbon

Paper plate

Balloon Time

Balloon Time

Instructions:

  1. Inflate the balloons using the Balloon Time Helium Tank and tie with ribbon.
  2. Pour glitter onto a paper plate.
  3. Spray the adhesive on the bottom third of the balloon and roll the sticky part of the balloon in the glitter until it is completely covered.
  4. Tap the balloon to shake off any excess glitter.

 

Table Top Balloon Arch

Party, Styling, Text and Photos by Sara Schmutz of Confetti Sunshine

Balloon arches are very fun, but they can be incredibly time consuming and intimidating. So, instead of creating a traditional balloon arch, we came up with a way that is fast and easy for every. Whip up this table top balloon arch for your next party.

Balloon Time

Balloon Time

Supplies:

Balloon Time Helium Tank

15 latex balloons

Sewing needle

Sewing thread

Tape

Balloon Time

Balloon Time

Instructions:

1.Thread your needle and sewing thread. Cut your thread longer than you need for your arch, and tape the end of your thread onto one end of the table.

2. Inflate one balloon using the Balloon Time Helium Tank. Use your needle to thread the bottom, knotted end, of the balloon onto the thread. String the balloon all the way to the taped end of the thread.

3. Continue inflating and stringing balloons onto the thread until you have all 15 balloons on the thread.

4. Tape the other end of the thread onto the tape to create an arch.

5. Decorate your table with all your party food and supplies.

Click here for more party inspiration from Balloon Time.

How To Be A Better Mom In 20 Minutes Or Less, Seriously

April 15th, 2016 - By MommyNoire Editor
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Shutterstock

We all wish we were SuperMom, but that goal seems so far beyond reach at times. We’re sharing one mom, Brandi of MamaKnowsItAll.com, story as she realized just how accessible the title of SuperMom could be.

This year has been incredibly hectic for me, both personally and professionally. First I got a new job, then I got engaged, and after that I got married. Of course, with all of that came lots of work, travel, wedding planning, and everything else that comes along with impending nuptials and a career advancement. The one constant in all of that was my Ayva. My little girl is seriously amazing. She is so flexible and open to new experiences, and even when I feel like I’m not being the best mom, she still thinks I’m the greatest. 

It’s because of Ayva’s confidence in my mothering abilities that I made a commitment to being a better mom. I beat myself up pretty bad, y’all, over my parenting deficiencies. I wanted to be that mom that baked delicious treats, and always engaged my little one with crafts. The truth is, I’m always so exhausted, and the thought of being SuperMom seemed daunting. Ayva deserves a SuperMom, though, so I’ve been making a few adjustments that are helping me to be able to give her more attention, and create more meaningful interactions with her. Really, with just a few simple changes and intentional additions to our routine, I’m becoming a better mom every day in 20 minutes or less.

READ: How To Be A Better Wife In 20 Minutes Or Less

Make being a mom a priority.

So, what did I do? The main thing was to make being a mom a priority. It’s true, I have my shows that I like to veg out to. All of “The Real Housewives,” as well as anything reality based that I can indulge my voyeur tendencies on. Well, some of those had to go. I needed more rest in order to have more energy during the day when Ayva was awake and needed me. I also started saying no to non-essential travel that would take me away from her, and declining opportunities that would decrease the time we could spend together.

Be realistic about the time that being a better mom takes.

The greatest lesson I learned, though, was to to be realistic about the time that being a better mom actually took. For example, a few months ago, Ayva went to a friend’s house for a playdate. While she was there, the mom made muffins. Of course, the next day Ayva came home and asked for muffins. My first reaction was, “I don’t know if we have time, Ayva.” Then I pulled up a muffin recipe and realized that it’d take me about five minutes to mix everything up (eight minutes if Ayva was helping), and 12 minutes to bake. I had 17 minutes. So, I made the muffins. And Ayva and I have been baking at least once a week every since.

Listen.

Learn how to listen better. If influence is something you think you may need in your arsenal once children are beyond the phase of simply being told what to do, consider learning how to really listen.

Get up earlier.

Get up half hour earlier than the kids to get yourself together & have alone time so you can be refreshed & mentally available for the kids.

Read together.

Reading together is awesome. Even when you have a teen.

Look at your child.

Look into your child’s eyes when you talk to them. Be focused on them and them alone when you are engaging with them. This lets them know you value them and are not distracted by life not to look them in the eye when you are talking.

 

Unplug.

Just put away the screens. Telephone, computers…put them away.

Schedule time for your child.

When working from home with a little one, take a 20 minute break to read a story, color a picture or work on puzzle. I think of it as a person working outside of the home would: when you have a scheduled break you aren’t doing any work…same goes for your scheduled break with the kid. No work, no phone calls, no quick emails. You are off the clock! 

How are you becoming a better mom?

Celebrity Perks You Didn’t Know You Could Afford

April 14th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Most of us dream about living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Whether you’ve fantasized about living in a house worthy of MTV Cribs, or imagined yourself in designer couture on the red carpet covered in flashy jewels, most of us would love to be pampered like a celebrity — at least for a day. If only.

And you can! Living a celebrity lifestyle is much less expensive than you think. Thanks to new technology, companies, and services, the lifestyles of the people you see on screen are more accessible than ever. Whether you’re looking for a brief taste of celebrity life or a way to make it part of your day-to-day routine, get ready to be surprised at what you can afford.

So try out some of these celebrity perks. Get your own personal chef, rock designer threads to your next outing and drive the fancy ride you’ve always dreamed of.

Image Source: Instagram

Image Source: Instagram

A Personal Stylist

You can find anything online these days, especially a personal stylist service available for surprisingly cheap!

#FirstTimeIWasCatcalled: Has Street Harassment Negatively Affected You?

April 11th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Do you remember the first time that you were catcalled? For most women, especially those of us living in big cities, catcalling is almost a way of life. It happens to us on the way to school, work, while we’re in sweats just trying to pick something up from the grocery store — we’re basically at risk anytime we walk outside. And since it starts from a very young age and continues to happen for so long, most of us don’t think about how it affects our lives — until now.

Thanks to #FirstTimeIWasCatCalled, thousands of women have been sharing their first experiences with catcalling and how it has affected them ever since. Their goal? To dispel the myth that catcalling is a compliment and not that big of a deal, once and for all.

Do you remember the first time you were catcalled? And how does being objectified as you walk down the street affect your life negatively — or does it?

Surprising Body Changes To Take Advantage Of In Your Late 20s

March 22nd, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Women’s bodies are always changing. Puberty hit us all with hormones, mood swings, bigger bras and temporary attitude problems. But not all body changes are bad. Your late 20s are a big time for body change and those changes can be pretty amazing — if you know how to take advantage of them.

Get ready to give up your battle against chocolate cravings without anxiety, lighten up on your workout in the gym and say goodbye to all of your former insecurities. Learn how to manage your body the right way and your late 20s will have nothing but great surprises in store — give or take a bout of bad cramps or two.

The best change in our book? Finally being able to say goodbye to some of our worst cravings. Goodbye late-night chocolate cake binges, hello skinny jeans. What’s your favorite part of your late 20s? Let us know in the comments section!

Stopping To Smell The Roses: What I Learned When I Became Anti-Social

January 5th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

I lived independently in the city of Newark after graduating from college. In those years, I managed to build a life full of freedom, fun and established a name for myself in the city. Like most of us in our 20s, we reach a point of either social burnout or a financial burnout. Three months ago, I was hit with both, which forced me back to the other side of Jersey with my parents. After establishing a life where I was, I fought hard to maintain it from a distance, which meant weekend trips up north to party with friends between Newark, Jersey City, and New York City. But when funds started to dry up, I knew I had to cool it. So I slowly became a social hermit. During my period of isolation, I began to slow down and really smell the roses. In that time, I learned a lot about myself.

The Word “Friend” Shouldn’t Be Used Loosely

When I lived in Newark, my social hotline was always blinging. Monday through Sunday there was always a “wave,” whether it was a happy hour in the downtown area, coming home at the crack of dawn after a fun-filled weekend partying in New York City, or finding an art opening, brunch, dinner or house party because I knew the right people. But when the train rides became exhausting and I started to say no and decline invitations, phone calls started to come few and far between. There were no texts to check on me to see how I was handling the transition, no “Hey, how are you” messages. Nothing. That’s not to say my social circle was filled with shady people, but I have learned that outside of the social scene, we really didn’t have anything else in common that is beneficial.

Less Time Out Allows You To Focus On What’s Important

I didn’t realize how much my social life was a distraction to my work. When I had nowhere to go, I suddenly became more focused on my work. My productivity increased, and I accomplished a lot more in the day. When I became less social, I became more financially responsible and cautious of my spending. I was also able to hit the reset button and brainstorm how I was going to gain my independence again, from obtaining an affordable apartment to more writing opportunities and just knowing how I was going to do things differently.

You Need To Make Time To Rest 

Being away from all the hustle and bustle of the young, wild and free, and worrying less about trying to keep up, I found myself experiencing brighter mornings and less tiring evenings due to a night of staying in rather than staying out late after work. When you have a reputation for being a social butterfly, it can be hard at times (especially on your mind and body) to live up to that.

I Learned To Appreciate The Company Of My Family

Living in Newark, I was always too busy to catch the train to Trenton to visit my family. It was too much of a hassle for me. I missed birthdays, dinners and family gatherings, and for a time, it didn’t really bother me. I’ve become a better daughter, cousin and more to my family now that I am back home with them and focused less on my social life. I’ve even learned how to look beyond the differences in lifestyles between myself and my cousins, and invite them to hang with me sometimes, accepting them for who they are.

As I slowly transition myself back into the social scene, I have a plethora of lessons to take with me. Most important of them all, everything has a balance, but sometimes you have to play both sides of the scale in order to find that equilibrium.

When You’re Too Old For A Roommate

October 21st, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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bad roommates

Corbis

If you want to get technical, I’ve had roommates all of my life. I went from living with my parents, then off to college where I had roommates. I’ve lived with my boyfriend, and as a single woman, I have lived in shared apartments with other women. There are some upsides to having a roommate, like splitting the cost of utilities, cable, Internet, and most importantly, rent. There’s an abundance of shared food unless you buy your absolute favorite things and make them off limits to others. There’s never a lonely moment because you always have someone to talk to, and it makes for a more lively environment. All these things sound good, but now that I’m in my mid-20s and not far from 30, I feel I am too old for roommates. Why? For the simple reason that there’s never a moment where I am truly alone. I am sharing space, which means that I have to compromise. I can’t decorate how I want, and I always have to consider someone else before I make household decisions. I’ve realized that there are a plethora of reasons why I am too old for flatmates, roomies, and/or bedfellows. Here’s why I need to ride solo.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I’m young, and I am on the market for dating, as is my roommate. Still, I respect my space enough not to bring men back with me. If things don’t work out, I don’t want them to know where I live. However, some people are a bit more free than others. Imagine waking up early in the morning to make a cup of coffee or tea. You still have crust in your eyes and last night’s makeup is smeared all over your face because you were either too lazy or too tired to wash it off. You only have a T-shirt on, and as you’re making your way down the stairs to the kitchen, you see a strange man sitting on the couch staring at you. He doesn’t speak or anything, and it is the most awkward five seconds of silence ever. You hurry up and make your tea, running back in your room where you stay for the remainder of the day.

Yes, this really happened.

I mean, we’re grown, we date, it’s a part of life. But it’s also common courtesy to let your roommate know when you will have a guest over who will be occupying public spaces. It would also help so you’ll know whether to wear headphones to prevent yourself from hearing the morning delights taking place in the adjacent room. Having a roommate, you have to consider these things. It’s liberating living away from your parents, but when you have a roommate, there are still a few restrictions. Same goes for walking around in your birthday suit. Even in terms of dating and getting serious with someone, you want to be able to navigate those intimate spaces with that person, but you have to keep in mind that you aren’t the only person occupying your place of residence.

The Weakest Link

We joke about how we always have that one broke friend who always want to go out and do stuff. Well, it’s funny until they become that broke roommate who can never pay their expenses on time. And depending on whose name these bills are in, it could mean some pretty hostile situations. Again, the upside to having a roommate is supposed to be the splitting of utilities, cable, Internet and most importantly, rent. But the downside is splitting these expenses with people who are struggling financially. My landlord once told me that if for some reason you feel like you can’t afford something then you shouldn’t get it. And I know that it’s time for me to go after having to continuously get utilities and other apartment expenses put in my name. I figure if I can afford to pay my rent and pick up someone else’s slack then why not just live alone?

Pet Peeves

When having a roommate, there are just shared responsibilities that people need to be aware of. For example, washing the dishes or taking out the garbage and cleaning the public spaces are just things you should both do. I’ve learned that everyone has a different cleaning style. Some clean as they go, some pick a day or time to devote to cleaning and some just don’t clean at all. I realized I was too old for a roommate when I started to clash with one because of our different cleaning styles.

I also like having and entertaining guests, but I also love my alone time, which involves peace and quiet. I can’t always get that, and I can’t really get too mad about it because that’s what happens when you live with someone. And just as I have the freedom and choice to be quiet, my former roommate had the choice and freedom to be loud.

All in all, I could go on for days sharing nightmare stories about living with people, but these are the things that helped me realize I am too old for this s–t and better off living on my own. What did it take for you to get proactive and move out on your own? Do you have any nightmare roommate stories?

 

 

You Can Do It: 4 Easy Steps To Create A Vision Board For Your Life

September 23rd, 2015 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Shutterstock

Do you feel stuck in your relationship, finances, career and life? Worry no more. It’s time to channel your inner Oprah and create your best life now. If you’re a stay-at-home mom CEO or seeking career change/positioning and individuals, I can help.

As a PR Expert/Brand Mom, I have created strategies and vision for A-list celebrities, athletes, corporate executives and most importantly, self. You see, my life was in turmoil seven years ago. From being 40 pounds overweight to being unemployed, I had to follow my own sage wisdom and envision a better life.

Every day is about living your best life no matter what. Will it be easy? No. But if you are willing to fight for your vision and commit, then you will see results.

Right now: take a moment to exhale, get still, tap into your inner child and allow your imagination to go bold with can-do thoughts. Now think about your immediate short-term goals (30 days) and your long-term (1-10 years). What would you like to see happen for yourself? What are your biggest dreams? How do you want to feel everyday? What do you want your legacy to be?

Create a vision board.

1. The sky is the limit. Unleash your creative side and start with a scrapbook, journal or vision board (get a large mounting board, cut out images from photos/magazines and paste them up). Set-up categories on the board: Spirituality, love, heath, hair, finance, career, relationship, family, inspiration, celebrity crush, etc.

2. Stay focused. Put the vision board in a prominent place you can see each day.

3. Reminder. Make a mini version of your vision board, put it in a journal and take it with you each day.

4. Do the work. Consistency and practice makes the dream and vision real.

 

Karen Taylor Bass is a best-selling author and PR Expert who understands that life only gets better when you press RESET. Follow her @thebrandnewmom

Let’s Just Be Honest: Why New Millennials Stay Broke

August 19th, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Shutterstock

If we’re keeping it 100, a big part of why new millennials are broke is that we often live beyond our means. Trust me, I’ve done it too. We go to brunch with friends when we know we don’t have the money to do so. Endless mimosas, buffet-style brunches…it’s all fun and games until a bill shows up in your mailbox and you can’t afford to pay it. We’ve adopted the model that our 20s are our fun years. It’s the time to explore, be adventurous and be fully alive, which is why we have such a hard time saying no to invitations to things that are going to end up costing us in ways that we know we shouldn’t be spending our money. We’ve followed the happy hour crowd Monday through Friday to the bar, spending money on drinks and running up tabs. But yet we carry on being financially irresponsible while struggling to keep our heads above water and money in the bank. Yes, for some of us, being broke is a result of poor budgeting. But for others, it’s from a lack of stability and opportunities.

For new millennials who have accepted the fact that we can’t afford the lifestyle we want, saving isn’t even a priority, especially when the bills keep piling up. Although jobs are being created to combat the unemployment rate, they aren’t necessarily jobs that we qualify for. So these days you’re either overqualified for the retail position or underqualified for the entry-level job.

Over some drinks, a group of friends and I were talking about how no matter how much we try to save, there’s always a bill blasting our accounts. One bill gets paid just for us to be faced with another hefty one. Thorough grocery shopping has become a luxury and it’s a wonder if your fridge and cabinets have food in them throughout the week. Trying to balance our budgets leaves hardly any room for a social life if activities aren’t free. And contributing to the national debt in student loans, we’ve cried about how life would be so much easier if our salaries matched that of our student loan debt. But truth be told, it is nowhere near what we owe, and while we plead with Sallie Mae and Navient each month when we don’t have money to pay them, they remain relentless.

Even with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, certifications, and credentials, the only full-time job some of us have been able to land is the full-time hours that we place into searching for a gig. While this may sound depressing, it’s a story that a lot of new millennials share. It’s the reason why many of us have pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and have created our own way, starting our own businesses and creating our own platforms. But even in creating our own way, we need the money to fund it. It’s the never-ending cycle of broke.

I recently saw a meme that read “Livin La Vida Broka” and I almost lost it in laughter. But after associating it with the Ricky Martin song, I realized that, yes, we new millennials are some broke asses. But like those before us, we sure know how to find and make a way.