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Confidence Boosters For All

 

It is perfectly natural to go through a low period where you feel less than tip-top. Life tends to throw obstacles in the way, and over time, if you do not correctly deal with them, this could lead to a mini-depression or merely a sense of low self-worth. When this happens to you, you need to remember that most people, if not all people suffer from hard times at some point, but luckily that also means that there are many tried and tested ways to build your self-esteem back up and get you feeling like your old self again:

Identify the negatives 

We all do things that are not good for our health. Whether it’s spending too much time on social media comparing our lives to the highlights offered by fake friends, or smoking, or drinking too much alcohol. There is always something that can be identified as detrimental to mental and physical health. So, it may be worth your while creating a list of things that you know you should cut out. Next to this, you could make a parallel list of possible solutions, like visiting a drug addiction treatment center, for example. If you can identify what’s wrong, you can work on fixing it.

Exchange the negatives with positives

What is it that you could do that would make yourself happy? Is it changing a negative mindset? Simply swapping bad internal talk for good inner talk, by becoming aware of your thoughts, by being more mindful. So, basically, the moral is, be kinder to yourself to change your outlook on yourself. Don’t dwell on mistakes, as we all make them, learn from them and move forward armed with the knowledge of experience. In addition, is there something you have always wanted to do with your life, some skill you wish to learn or enhance? Maybe you have always wanted to write poetry, well, why not join a local creative writing class. Not only will you learn something, but you will also meet new like-minded people. If you spend time improving yourself in the way you want, then you will find you have more confidence in your daily life.

Exercise

Stop making excuses for not putting on those running shoes and just go out there and do it. You need to do some exercise every day to lose weight, feel better and become more confident. Once you get the exercise bug, you will find it easy to fit it into your daily routine. As with anything new, it’s only challenging to begin with.

Change

Embrace change, don’t fear it. Often people do whatever it takes not to change and will actually fight against it, but really change is what they need, and it can be good for the heart and soul. It has the power to give you a brand new outlook and can open your mind to things you never thought you could think or do. Do something that scares you, like a skydive. You only live once. You do not want to regret never having lived.

Starting A Home-Based Fashion Business Is Not Like Climbing A Mountain

 

A clothing business can be just about supplying all kinds of clothes for the average consumer, or it can be a very personal journey. It’s one of the most complex yet visually rewarding types of business in the world. You’re actually seeing people wear and share your products. Unlike other industries, your products will have an immediate effect on the culture of your nation and hopefully, the world. It’s not like a kitchen appliance like a blender, which you will never see being used. It’s not even like a banking app that may be used in public but the collective will never show it in unison. A fashion brand is visual, it’s able to be seen in the rest of the world. But do you need to hitch your wagon to a fashion brand? Do you need to beg and plead for the partnership of a multinational clothing line? No! You don’t have to do anything except being motivated to start your own fashion brand from home. You’ll need multiple skills but you can outsource much of your work. Be prepared to do a lot of business administration but never take your eye off the ball when it comes to the end product. 

 

Who are you?

The single most important question you need to ask yourself, is who are you? Clothes are incredibly expressive. They capture a mood, a feeling, a movement and a cultural phenomenon all in one. It’s vital that you’re able to decipher who you are into your clothing brand. In other words, what’s your niche? What kind of things are you interested in and how do they apply to your business? Maybe you would like to make a brand that captivates your personality in color schemes. Maybe you have always wanted to wear clothing that was a little more practical. It could even be that you want to design clothes for your body type and give women a similar figure more options. 

You need not follow the conventional route either. Maybe you don’t want to make clothes for women, perhaps you want to make clothes for men, babies or even pets. What inspires you? Look deep within yourself to find out why you want to start a fashion brand. The biggest concern for new brands is, not having a consistent and fully evolved narrative. So many young brands fade away because they set the tone and then don’t follow through on it. Knowing who you are, why you’re doing this and what kinds of designs you will have, will give your narrative firm grounding. In other words, you’ll find a niche and have enough substance to stick to it.

 

A budget justifies a plan

A business plan has to be costed. In other words, your plan is only valid when you have the funds to implement it. If you cannot financially justify your business plan, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. Hence, you must value your budget over your plan. It’s difficult to accept this because your vision might be bigger than your bank account. On the other hand, Rome was not built in one day. You must start modest, and then slowly work your way up. Look on the bright side, you won’t become sidetracked and squander your money on things that cannot be fully developed. Instead, focus on what you need to begin. 

What is your budget for materials? How much are you willing to pay independent textile workers or factories? Will you save any money by doing things at home, such as sewing? What is your budget for marketing? Creating a budget will help you realize which constrains you. When you know what you can’t do, you’re better able to focus on the things that you can do. 

 

What’s the financial upside?

A business plan is something that can be long-winded or kept short and sweet. Some of the biggest businesses in the world started off with a business plan that only took into consideration, what the first year would be like. However, the financial upsides are perhaps the brightest candle on the cake In essence, what will the profits be for the first year? Many business plans openly admit that the cost of starting the business will mean that you will either lose money or just about break even. Many business plans will only claim profits in the 3rd or 4th year. This is why many small businesses die out before the fifth year even ends. They bit off more than they can chew and decided to walk before they could crawl. 

The return on investment (ROI) is the most important factor. For the amount of money you put into the business, what kinds of returns will you see for each financial quarter? The common line is, you’ll break even for the first two financial quarters and then make a profit during the festive season in the final 6 months. Adaptive production of your products is, therefore, highly crucial for your success. The more products you order from a manufacturing facility, the lower the overall costs will be. Thus, can you make more money by increasing prices during seasonal times together with lower material and production costs?

 

Laying the foundations of infrastructure

Every business has to have a solid internal foundation. Without proper infrastructure, your actions will be scattered and far from organized. Hence why you should immediately look for an IT Support Partner who can work on IT problems within 10 minutes of the error or fault occurring. No matter what kind of software for task management, inventory management or invoice payment you’re using, an IT support company is vital for making sure everything runs as expected. They will keep an eye out for all kinds of updates and patches for the software you’re using. They’ll also work with you, to improve the efficiency of the programs your business currently utilizes. 

Then you must consider what the building blocks for your infrastructure will be. Will you use Microsoft Office Suite? Adobe software packages? Perhaps you’ll want to integrate most of your office by using G Suite. It’s vital that you have a software infrastructure than can link all your departments and or areas of the business. Marketing should be linked with design, your manufacturing should be linked with logistics and your accounting should be linked back to your financial plan. When you have this level of integration, you can swap and compare the information of all kinds quickly and clearly.

 

Sourcing the materials

When you’ve completed your infrastructure design, sourcing materials is your next job. It’s not going to be a tough task because you will have a range of domestic suppliers to choose from. That’s the thing about the fashion industry, there is never a shortage of options for materials. Unlike the metal industry that might suffer from this, the choice of quality materials is never a big concern. Whether your business is in the UK, US or France, to name a few, you’ll never have to worry about the overall quality of materials like cotton, wool, leather, etc. However, it’s the pricing and contracts that are the difficult part to nail down. 

It’s in your best interest to attend an industry event to see what kind of options you have. Bring a simple pen and pad, to write down all the details you require. For each category what kind of materials do you need? For cotton, what kind of quality are you looking for and how much? What’s the price of cotton fabric per square meter? Will you be using synthetic materials? Would it be best to go to a synthetic textile plant or a trade show? Synthetics are of a lower quality to wool and cotton, but if they’re the mainstay of your products then you should inspect the material face-to-face. 

Styling and outsourcing

Bear in mind, most of your business will be home-based. So you need to be sure that you’re able to design and create your clothes. Every fashion brand will run into the challenge of designing, cutting, fitting and sizing for the general consumer. Thus, you must style your products in a way that will fit the national small, medium and large size categories. It’s best to hire an artist to draw the designs of your clothes as well as a fashion adviser that can label the materials used and the inspiration behind the design. 

Outsourcing from home has never been as easy as it is these days. However, you must be willing to meet your production company in person. There are lots of pros and cons of outsourcing in the fashion industry. The main thing you need to watch out for is communication problems. When something goes wrong, you need a relationship with the company so you can effectively communicate with them to correct errors. 

Becoming a home-based fashion brand is not easy but it’s not as high a mountain as it once was. There used to be a time when you had to go to fashion and or design school to work in the industry. These days, however, with good infrastructure, a great plan, and costed budget, all you need to focus on is design and production. 

Movie Review: The Kitchen – Available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital

 

Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and on Digital is the crime drama, The Kitchen. 

The Kitchen stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, and Common, to name a few.

To be honest, I was surprised to see McCarthy and Haddish in a crime drama. I know they’ve done dramas, but I’m used to seeing them in comedies.

The film takes place in the late 70’s in an area of New York City known as “Hell’s Kitchen.”

McCarthy plays Kathy Brennan is married to a member of the Irish mob named Jimmy. Haddish plays Ruby O’Carroll, who is married to a man named Kevin, who is also part of the Irish mob. Lastly we have Moss, who plays Claire Walsh, who is married to an abusive man named Rob.

One night, all three husband’s are captured by the FBI and sentenced to prison. As a result, a man named “Little Jackie,” becomes the head of the Irish mob. He offers to help take care of the women while their husband’s are incarcerated, but what he provides is not enough for them to live on.

The three women find out that many of the local businesses are not happy with “Little Jackie,” so they start collecting collection fees and helping out the neighborhood. They start to turn a profit.

“Little Jackie” finds out about their arrangements and goes after them, but he is taken care of by a former Irish mob enforcer.

Now that “Little Jackie” is out of the way, the women take charge over the neighborhood.

When the Italian mafia finds out about the women and what they are doing in their neighborhood (and the profit they are making as a result), the head of the mafia, Alfonso Coretti, offers to make a deal with them, using getting their husband’s released from prison as part of it. Coretti offers to support the women, and give them mover of the city to control, if they make a deal with him.

Their husband’s do get released, but things are not for the better. In fact, everything they worked so hard on accomplishing starts to unravel. There is even a contract out on their heads by members of their own gang.

Will the wives go back to their old lives and let their husband’s take over again? Or will their husband’s have to take a “backseat” to their wives new, powerful positions? Will anyone find a “happy ending?” To find out, you need to pick up or rent The Kitchen. Look for it where ever movies are sold or rented.

There are some bonus features with this title.

“The Kitchen” Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • Running Hell’s Kitchen – Cast, crew and others talk about the making of the film, mob movies, and working together. 
  • Taking Over the Neighborhood – Several people from the film discuss shooting in New York City and recreating the film’s late-1970s look, as well as how expensive it is to love in NYC.
  • Deleted Scene between Ruby and her husband in a restaurant. This is one of those scenes where I don’t know if it would have made a difference in the overall story, or not. 

“The Kitchen” DVD contains the following special feature:

  • Running Hell’s Kitchen

Interestingly enough, there are not that many bonus features with this film. Normally films have a lot of bonus content, so this was a surprise to me.

I have seen McCarthy is more serious roles (but I do prefer her comedies). I just never saw her in a role such as this one. It was hard for me to disassociate McCarthy the comedian from McCarthy the ruthless and fearless mob boss.

It was even hard for me to see Haddish in this role. The only films I have ever seen her in have been comedies. I have never seen her in a drama before. As for Moss, I have seen her in serious roles, so that was easy enough for me to “get on board” with.

I’m more into comedies and horror films, but this one seemed interesting ever since I first saw the trailer for it (see below for the theaterical trailer). There was just something about it that I liked.

Overall I enjoyed the film. Its hard to think that mob/mafia stuff like that is real and it’s still like that today (although more ruthless, I’m sure).

What I find interesting about this film is that woman are the dominant characters in this crime drama. Normally it’s always men who are the primary characters and the women the secondary characters. I guess you can chalk this film up to gender equality, especially because the women carried this film so well.

There is a lot of violence in this film. I’m not particularly keen on that, but I suppose it was necessarily to show how heartless and mean the mob/mafia can be. It’s also not the type of film where you root for the main characters, or at least I didn’t feel that way. The women turned out to be just as cold-hearted as their male counterparts. Its hard to root for people who use violence to get their point across. This is far from a “feel good” movie too. It’s dark and violent, despite the comedic leads.

I did like this film, but I am not entirely sure if I would watch it again and again like I do Goodfellas, or my husband does with the 900 hour long Godfather films (LOL).

You can check out The Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The official hastag is #TheKitchen. Or you can try #TheKitchenMovie.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Making Extra Cash from Home for Your Family

 

 

When you are raising a family, there are always going to be times when you could use a little extra cash. Some people find that they could do with some extra money on the odd occasion while others find themselves in need of extra cash on a regular basis. The expense of raising a family can be very tough on the purse strings, so many have to look for ways to make additional income.

The good news is that internet technology could be the ideal solution for you if you want to make some extra cash. People go online for many reasons these days, whether it is to buy something, do some research, use specialist tools such as phone number search, or socialize with others. Therefore, running a small business online from home will make it easier for you to enjoy success and make some much-needed additional income.

Some of the Jobs You Can Do

So, what sort of work can you do online and from home in order to bring in some extra cash? Well, there are various different options available for those who want to earn some extra money on a regular basis. However, in order to decide which one is right for you, it is important to consider your interests and skills, qualifications, and experience.

One of the things you can consider if you want to make extra cash is to offer your services as an online content writer. This is something that many businesses and individuals are interested in because they need good writers for their online marketing materials, websites, blogs, and other digital publications. You will, therefore, find plenty of demand for your services as long as you are good at what you do, you research thoroughly, and you are reliable. You can work at your own pace from your home office and schedule your hours around your existing work and commitments.

If you like to buy and sell, one thing you can do online is to set up your own retail website or even an eBay store. You can then purchase items in bulk depending on where you feel there is a gap in the market, and then sell them on at a profit via your site or store. Lots of people have been able to make extra money doing this because of the popularity of online shopping. You could even turn it into a full time venture once you have a solid customer base and plenty of good reviews.

For those who have marketing experience and technical knowledge, digital marketing could be the perfect way to make extra cash. Businesses these days are keen to ensure they have a strong digital presence, and this is something you could help with. You can work from the comfort of your own home and help businesses succeed through marketing their brand, goods, and services via a number of different digital channels.

So, if you want to make money from home, consider the options listed above.

How to Talk to Your Parents About Elderly Housing Options

 

Talking to your parents about assisted living can be difficult. Explore all your options with this guide to how to talk to your parents about future housing.

As our parents get older and their health shifts and, in some cases, worsens, it may become obvious to us that they need assisted living accommodations.

Having that conversation, however, can be difficult. We may be afraid that our parents will be offended by the suggestion or that they are incapable of being part of the decision-making process.

One thing to remember during this time is that you are not alone.

Let’s discuss the subject of how to talk to your parents about assisted living and what your options are.

How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living

Don’t feel like you have to plunge head-on into making a plan. Start by approaching the subject with your parents in a way that does not make them feel antagonized. Say things like, “I’d like to get your opinion on something I’ve been thinking about.”

If avoidable, don’t go it alone. You don’t want to make your parents feel like they’re being ganged up on, but you also need to alleviate some of the pressure from yourself. Ask your siblings or other close family members to get involved in the conversation, as well as your parents’ doctors.

Make it clear that assisted living is one of a few options that are up for consideration and that you wouldn’t make decisions without their input. At the same time, once the conversation has been on the table for a few weeks or even months, it may be a good idea to set a firm deadline. Say things like, “This is still an on-going conversation, but I think we need to make a decision by this time and start moving forward.”

Finally, remind them that you’re having this conversation with them because you care. Some seniors feel like they are being put in assisted living because their family no longer wishes to deal with them, but you know that this is not the case. Try your best to help them understand that, too.

Assisted Living Options

Nearly one million American seniors are in assisted living homes, but those are not the only options you have for your parents.

There are retirement communities that offer the luxury of personal living space. The transition from their own home to a smaller home in a retirement community may be more comfortable for your parents. Retirement communities tend to have amenities such as nearby senior care, on-call medical staff, and coordinated social activities.

If your parents are very reluctant to leave their own home and aren’t in need of constant medical attention, consider elderly home care services. Depending on your needs, elderly home care workers can help with mobility, administer medicine, assist with hygiene, and more.

In the event that your parents are experiencing medical and mental changes that inhibit them from basic day-to-day functions, assisted living is certainly the way to go. There, they will receive round-the-clock care and attention and you can rest easy knowing that they are getting the help they need.

Be Kind to Yourself

This is not just a tough time for your parents. It’s also a tough time for you!

Have patience with yourself and with the process. Learning how to talk to your parents about assisted living isn’t always easy or linear. There will probably be good days and bad days, but remember that you are doing what is right for everyone.

Have any experience with talking to your parents about difficult subjects and want to share? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.

Tips for Celebrating an Old-Fashioned Christmas

 

 

While there is certainly a lot to be said for having a modern Christmas, and the internet has certainly made things such as sending a Christmas greeting card to each of your family members and friends a whole lot easier, there is a lot to be said for celebrating an old-fashioned family Christmas as well.

Many people would agree that Christmas has drifted far away from what it was meant to be, and that getting back to the good old-fashioned Christmas values of the past is a great idea. However, in a world that is all about commercializing the holiday, how do you even begin to make that happen? Well, it doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. Below, you can find a few tips for making your dream of an old-fashioned family Christmas come true.

Create a Christmas Budget and Stick to It

“Keeping up with the Joneses” is a saying that seems to be especially true during the holiday season. It seems that, instead of celebrating with family, people are trying to outspend and out give other family members and friends instead. This isn’t at all what Christmas in the past was about.

For an old-fashioned family Christmas, you might want to consider sticking to a budget. Create a Christmas budget and refuse to break it. Some of the best ways to ensure you stick to that budget is by only shopping with cash, starting a savings account in January for next Christmas, and not trying to keep up with everyone else in your family when doing your shopping.

Make Your Own Decorations

Everything from decorations for the tree to decorations for the outdoors seems to be bought in stores these days. If you’re intent on having a Christmas out of the past, try your hand at making your own decorations this season. Get the entire family together and string popcorn for the tree, make your own Christmas stockings to hang by the chimney with care, and even make a few decorations as gifts for family and friends to give them on Christmas Eve as a special present to hang on their own family tree.

Decorate with Decor from Nature Itself

There are no better Christmas decorations to be had than the ones that come from nature itself. Start by bringing home a real tree, instead of a fake one. It will be cheaper, and something the family can do together. Some of the best things to use for decorations are popcorn, pine cones, berries, cinnamon sticks, and even dried orange slices, will not only make your home look amazing but will give you the scents of Christmas wafting through the house as well.

Give Homemade Treats as Presents

Another way to make an old-fashioned Christmas for family and friends is to give homemade treats as presents, instead of store-bought gifts. In the past, women used to spend weeks making homemade treats for Christmas, then putting them in baskets to give as gifts to everyone on their Christmas list. Not sure what treats to make and give out? Here are a few suggestions to think about.

  • Christmas bark
  • Apple butter
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Turtle bites
  • Christmas pound cake
  • And more

There are also tons of ideas online for foods that are perfect as Christmas gifts as well.

These are just a few of the ways that you can have a good old-fashioned Christmas with family and friends this upcoming holiday season. Though a modern Christmas may be good for many people, for some, the idea of getting back to the basics and true meaning of the holiday is even better. In the end, the choice is yours.