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Summer Is Here Ladies!

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do no necessarily reflect my own.

You know what that means… Sunshine and adventure! Whether you’re lounging by the pool or catching a flight, Xehar has all your fashion needs. This summer we are all about confidence and the glow up! Wear that daring outfit, buy that bathing suit, wear those shorts!!!!! Below is our summer survival guide!

Beach Day? Yes Please!

Catching some rays or making some waves? This bold bikini is a must this summer!

We especially love it with this crotchet dress, the perfect cover up.

Another must have is this chic black one piece.  This is a perfect piece for vacation because it can be used so many ways.  Lounge by the pool in it or dress it up!

A definite must have this summer!!!

Whether its denim, patterns, or solid colors, summer dresses are always a yes. Pair it with some cute shoes and jewelry you have the perfect outfit in seconds.

Here are some shoe and accessory ideas below from Xehar Curvy.

Summertime is the perfect time to experiment with bright colored accessories. They really make your outfit pop!

 

Break out the wedges, sandals, and heels! These will have you set for summer!

Self-Love all summer baby!!!!!

We are celebrating Self-love and confidence all summer long! You can be a part of the movement by posting your favorite summer outfits on Instagram with the hashtag #AConfidentYou and we will choose one lucky person to win a 50 gift card!

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Feasible options for moms wanting to work from home

 

Photo Source: Dreamstimes.com

Working from home is a dream come true for many. You can spend the whole day in your PJs if you like, spend more time with your children, and distract yourself with a midday radio program as you eat your home cooked lunch without a boss looking over your shoulder. Where do you start when you want to work successfully from home? Here are three options.

Keep your current job but request a more flexible contract

If you have built a career that you are happy with, there is no need to throw it away in order to pursue that dream of working from home. Request a flexible contract with your boss that enables you to take your work home some days of the week and to come back into the office on the remaining days. This could be the perfect balance for you: too much working at home can leave you feeling isolated, particularly if you have hitherto been used to working with others. The government’s Acas code of practice for dealing with flexible working requests (this document is available online) stipulates that employers must deal with any employee requests for a more flexible working conditions in a manner that is ‘reasonable’. Getting a good grasp of the law around flexible working will provide you with the support you need when making the case for a flexible contract with your employer.

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Try out a new career

Working from home could be your opportunity to start up a new business or simply to take up something like freelance photography, blogging or copy-writing to make some extra cash on the side. You will need some startup cash to begin a business, though startup loans can be acquired from your bank if you can provide a feasible, accurate budget and business plan. If you have some money spare and have the patience to wait as your new business gains customers, now could be the perfect time to pursue a passion that you had not had time for earlier in your working life. Dust off that camera and print off some business cards and you could become a freelance wedding photographer. Advertise your tutoring or video editing skills. Give music lessons or write cookbooks: whatever stirs your heart and makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Many parents take a pay cut when they choose to work from home, but there are plenty of ways to supplement your income. Using an online trading platform (CMC Markets is a great choice here) can be an effortless way to do so. Using automated binary options trading software (which distills all of your trading options down to a simple either-or decision, and which can even be programmed to automatically make the best decision for you) will simplify trading and enable you to spend more of your day focusing on work.

Working from home can be a breeze

Consider the three options above and decide which one works best for you. You can also combine options, for example, you might choose to ask your current employer for a flexible contract that enables you to take some of your paperwork home on Mondays and Tuesdays, whilst also doing some online binary options trading on the side.

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own.

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Introducing Xfinity xFi – a new way to make the home Wi-Fi experience customized to suit your family

 

My husband and I often reminisce about how life was when we were younger. We didn’t have cellphones, Internet, cars that can stop before you hit something or e-readers. We used phones attached to the wall that you had to dial. We went to the library when we needed to do research as well as to take out books to read, and we certainly didn’t have cars that did some of the work for you.

I think the Internet is by far one of the greatest “inventions” (for lack of a better word) in our lifetime. To this day I am still amazed at all you can do on the Internet – research, shopping, find a recipe for dinner tonight, find old friends from school, get directions, buy movie tickets… the list goes on and on.

I try to explain to our kids (17 1/2 and 20) how life was BEFORE the Internet. They have a hard time grasping the concept of having to look at a map for directions or looking up a phone number in a giant book of phone numbers.

As amazing and indispensable as the Internet is… there are also negatives that many family find themselves having to address.

One of the biggest issues we used to have when our kids were younger was having them disconnect from the Internet during times they were supposed to be doing homework, dinner time and “Family Movie Night.” You can tell them to stay off their computers, but that was easier said than done. They would find ways to sneak back online. There was even a time we had to remove the computers from our kid’s rooms at night because we found them online in the middle of the night. We even went so far as to change their passwords so that they could only go online when we logged them in.

As parents we NEED to have control over our children’s Internet usage. The Internet is great for research, and for the occasional game, but school work, family time and play time are more important than “surfing the ‘net.”

There is a new feature now available for Comcast Internet customers called xFi. It puts YOU in charge of how your family engages with the Internet. Best of all, there is no additional cost for Comcast Internet customers.

Comcast Launches xFi home devices photo shoot on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Villanova, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Fusco/AP Images for Comcast)

With xFi YOU control your family’s Internet usage, giving YOU the ability to set parental controls as well as see which devices are connected to your WiFi.

We have A LOT of devices on our WiF. We have several iPads, five laptops, two e-readers, security cameras and more. We would appreciate a better way to keep on top of these devices as well as to easily add or remove them as needed.

It also shows which devices are most active, and which are least active. That is a great way to know which devices to deactivate from your WiFi. Why keep something connected that you barely use?

You can also set up profiles for each family member and include the devices they use. With this feature you can easily see which child is using what device, and what parental settings are set up for each one they use. With this feature, if your child is supposed to be doing homework, you can log on to their profile and see if they are currently using their gaming console. Kids won’t like that feature – but as a mom I think that is awesome!

With the profiles, you can clearly see how much Internet time each family member is using.

My favorite xFi feature is being able to pause the Internet. That means you can prevent devices, such as laptops or video controllers, from accessing the Internet. This feature is especially handy during dinner or homework time. You can even turn off the Internet at night time, preventing your children from sneaking on to their laptops at night when they are supposed to be asleep.

Check out this brief video that tells you more about xFi and some other great features that will be coming in the future.

 

You can even check out this blog post from Comcast to learn more about Xfinity xFi.

We don’t have Comcast, but after learning more about xFi I wish we did. I checked the availability, but it’s not currently available in my area.

You can check the availability of xFi by visiting the Internet Coverage Area page on the Comcast website.

I love how Comcast is putting control back into the hands of parents. It’s important that we continually monitor our children’s Internet usage. Children can easily have their time consumed by video games and social media, as well as other things they can access online.

I truly wish that other Internet providers would take a lesson or two from Comcast and provide their customers with similar controls – at no additional charge.

Once this is available in our area my husband and I are going to consider switching to Comcast as our Internet provider. Right now we’re stuck with the provider that we have.

If you would like to learn more about Comcast’s Internet service, xFi, you can visit them online at Xfinity.com. You can also check them out on social media (Facebook and Twitter). Those links, as well as their YouTube channel link, are found at the bottom of their website.

Are you a Comcast customer?

What feature (or features) do you like most about xFi? Is there another feature you would like as far as parental controls is concerned?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Comcast Launches xFi home devices photo shoot on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Villanova, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Fusco/AP Images for Comcast)

Kimberly

*This post was sponsored by Comcast. All opinions are my own.  

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5 Steps to Take Before You Grocery Shop

 

Healthy (and budget minded) grocery shopping starts before you leave home. There are steps you can do to ensure that your shopping cart reflects what you meant to buy, and not just the items you were lured to.

Keep an organized pantry and refrigerator: If you can’t see what you need, then how will you know what you need? A clean pantry and refrigerator will reduce waste (by ensuring you eat foods before they expire) and save money so that you don’t end up with a several bottles of ketchup (or none when you need it). Save yourself from having to do an extensive pantry/fridge check prior to leaving for the store by keeping a running list (in a visible spot so that everyone in the house can contribute to it).

Start with a helpful list: It may sound simple, but beginning with a list is essential. Your round up of needed groceries shouldn’t just be a quick review of the basics, but reflect the meals you intend to cook and the healthful convenience items you may need to get through a busy week like prewashed lettuce bags or microwave brown rice pouches. A list that is at targeted as possible will not only make your shopping faster, it will lead to a balanced cart of foods that actually work together to create meals (and avoid take out!).

Think about a basic meal plan: Whether you shop several times a week or just once a week (or every two weeks!), starting with an idea of what you want to make is crucial to ending up with the right ingredients. Nobody likes making “emergency” trips to the market for that missing item! It doesn’t have to be formal, just a simple plan of your main dish on each day is enough—you can often wing it on the side dishes provided you have a fairly well-stocked fridge and pantry (see #1 above).

PLAN to be flexible in the produce department: You know that you need fruits and vegetables, but unless you need particular produce to complete your meals, approach the produce department with flexibility to take advantage of seasonal savings and the best options. Keep color and variety in mind and you will be sure to have a cart full of antioxidants and other nutrients.

Have a balanced meal: You’ve heard that you should eat before you go to the store to avoid “splurchasing” on foods you don’t mean to buy (you know, those that simply “look good to you”). However, it’s important to recognize that simply “eating” isn’t enough and that what you eat matters. Choose a balanced meal or snack that includes protein and/or fat along with carbohydrate and possibly filling fiber, such as a piece of fruit with nut butter, a few whole grain crackers with cheese or a large salad with grilled chicken.

About the authors: 

Kitty Broihier MS, RD, LD, Scientific Advisory Panel at Guiding Stars

Allison Stowell, MS, RD, CDN, and dietitian for Guiding Stars

 

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Connecting and opening up conversation with your teenager

 

Our son and daughter

I have a hard time saying this… I’m the mother to a 17 1/2 year old and an almost 20 year old. How in the world do I have a twenty year old child? Wasn’t it just yesterday when she was staring Kindergarten?

Sigh… time flies by way too quickly.

I used to think that getting up at all hours of the night to feed babies and change diapers was rough (lack of sleep!). And that the “terrible twos” were not easy either. But that all changed when our kids became teenagers. The teenage years are by far the most challenging (and rewarding) years.

The “rewards” include seeing your teen get their first boyfriend or girlfriend, go to prom, get their first car, get their first job and of course graduate from high school.

The challenges… they will keep you up at night, stress you out and turn your hair gray practically overnight.

I remember being a teenager myself. The teen years were rough with pimples, puberty, peer pressure and trying to figure out who I was. That was back in the 80’s. We didn’t have social media back then. I think social media has put even more pressure on teenagers.

Me as a teen (18) back in 1986.

I make it a point to talk to our kids often about drinking, smoking, drugs, sex and peer pressure. They do feel awkward talking to me about these things, but they know that eventually I find everything out so they might as well get it out in the open.

Our son hasn’t done anything so far. He graduates from high school in June and he JUST got a social life at the start of his senior year. He’s been out a few times with friends but they mostly go to the mall or out to eat. He doesn’t go to parties or anything like that.

He does have his first girlfriend, and we’ve already given him “the talk” about what he shouldn’t be doing (mostly sex). My husband and I have faith in our son that he’ll “do the right thing.”

Our daughter… well, she’s another story. I think she is more like a typical teen who has experimented with things (drinking, smoking marijuana…). She KNOWS she’s not supposed to do things like that, and she has admitted to doing them (and being grounded for them). At least she feels comfortable enough to admit to me when she’s broken the rules, talking to me about it and accepting the consequences.

I know first hand that trying to connect with today’s teenagers is not an easy task. Luckily there are things you can do to open up the lines of communication.

Believe it or not, one way to start a dialogue with your teen is the watch the shows and movies that they enjoy watching.

If you are having a hard time reading the infographics above you can on these links to view a large image – Netflix US Infographic on Talking to Teens and Netflix Parenting Cheat Sheet – What Parents Should Be Watching.

According to a recent study by Netflix 83% of parents have watched a show their teen has seen to feel closer to them. The biggest surprise? 74% of teens are willing to open up and talk to their parents about the shows they watch.

Our daughter recently watched 13 Reasons Why. She read the book as well. It was written by Jay Asher.

Newcomer Katherine Langford plays the role of Hannah, a young woman who takes her own life. Two weeks after her tragic death, a classmate named Clay finds a mysterious box on his porch. Inside the box are recordings made by Hannah — on whom Clay had a crush — in which she explains the 13 reasons why she chose to commit suicide. If Clay decides to listen to the recordings, he will find out if and how he made the list. This intricate and heart-wrenching tale is told through Clay and Hannah’s dual narratives.

No one wants to think about someone they love committing suicide.

Did you know…

  • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24.
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
  • Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 attempts by young people grades 7-12.
  • Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

The breaks my heart to read those statistics presented by the Jason Foundation.

I was curious as to why our daughter wanted to watch the series on Netflix. It turns out that she read the book and she was curious to see if the series on Netflix was a lot like the book. She actually thought it was very well done and Netflix and actually encouraged me and my husband to watch it.

I did watch the first episode (in all fairness I haven’t had a chance to watch more of it, but I plan to).

We did have a discussion about suicide as a result of 13 Reasons Why. We talked about her friends and if any of them talked about suicide or if she knew anyone who died from suicide (thankfully she doesn’t know anyone and she says her friends never talked about it or showed signs they were going in that direction).

My husband really like the film Frank. It’s an odd movie. I don’t know what he sees in it. I’ve watched it and I thought it was really strange. He initially saw the film on Netflix at the recommendation of a friend of his. He loved the movie so much that he purchased a copy of the film as well as the soundtrack.

To our surprise our daughter and her ex-boyfriend (back when they were dating) actually watched Frank on Netflix. Our daughter wanted to watch it to see why my husband/her father saw in it. She actually liked the film (her boyfriend liked it more than her and actually watched it again and downloaded a few songs). It was interesting to see our daughter sharing her thoughts on the film that my husband likes so much.

Our daughter loves to watch One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy and Breaking Bad on Netflix. I can understand One Tree Hill since it’s about young adults, but I was surprised to learn she watched Grey’s Anatomy. I was fortunate enough to visit the set of Grey’s Anatomy a few years back and speak with a few of the actors. If you are interested you can read about my on set experience and see all my photographs in this post – On the set with ABC’s hit television show Grey’s Anatomy. *PLEASE NOTE there are some graphic photos in that post (FAKE intestines and such).

I never watched the show, but my daughter was more than happy to tell me all about it. When I told her I visited the set and shared my experience with her she thought it was the coolest thing ever! I should mention that when I did the site visit she didn’t watch the series and knew nothing about it which is why she didn’t care about it back then.

As for Breaking Bad, I don’t really know much about that show. I do know it’s about drugs. I asked her why she liked watching it and she said that her ex-boyfriend watched it and she got interested in it through him. To date I have not watched the series, but it’s on my list of things to watch on Netflix.

For my part, I do encourage our daughter to watch things that we watch on Netflix and recommend things to watch.

Being a young adult she’s not really into Disney or Pixar movies anymore. I have recommended a few to her that she should check out on Netflix like Zootopia, Pete’s Dragon and Finding Dory. She did watch Finding Dory. She loved Finding Nemo and was happy to check out Finding Dory. 

Our son doesn’t watch movies or television. He prefers to watch CNN and MSNBC. He’s more into world news then television shows or movies. In fact he recently went to the movies with his girlfriend and it was the first non-premiere movie he’s seen since Eight Below (2006).

Who would have thought that something as simple as watching a movie or a television show together, or on your own, could open up the lines of communication and discussion with your teen.

Is there a movie or television show that you and your teenager watch together? Have you ever watched something that helped to open the lines of communication with your teen? Feel free to share your story. I always LOVE to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I am a member of Netflix’s Stream Team. I was not compensated for this post but I do receive free membership to Netflix in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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How Do I Pay For An EIN?

 

An EIN is a tax identification number that will help the IRS identify your business. While the purpose of the EIN number is mostly limited to the tax season, obtaining an EIN and properly filing and paying taxes on your business is crucial. The IRS has long been a formidable entity and it does have the power to impose fines and liens if your taxes are not properly filed. Here’s a bit more information to help you get your EIN and avoid getting on the bad side of the IRS:

How to Apply for EIN: To apply for an EIN number, you will need to fill out Form SS-4 and submit that document to the IRS. The form can be submitted online, by fax or by mail. Applying online is the fastest method and will help ensure that you have your EIN in time for tax season.

How to Pay for EIN: When you apply for an EIN, you may need to pay administrative fees. Check the site that you are registering through for information on how and what to pay when registering your EIN. Fees can vary from registrar to registrar, depending on your specific needs.

How to Check your EIN Status: Once you submit your SS-4 form, you can check the status of your application online.  If you apply online, you will receive your number immediately in most cases. Keep in mind that if you choose to mail or fax your form, the information may not appear online for several days.

Once you receive your EIN, you will need to use that number to file the taxes on your business. Keep you EIN in a secure location as this will be the number that you use when filing your taxes every year.

Visit www.irs-ein-tax-id.com for more.

*I have partnered with the brand to bring you this information. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

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