Gabrielle Union Says Her Newborn Baby Smells Like ‘Heaven’ in Adorable Mother-Daughter Photo

Gabrielle Union is in baby bliss!

On Tuesday, just six days after Union, 46, and her husband Dwyane Wade welcomed their first child together via surrogate, the Breaking In star shared a sweet shot of her snuggling her new baby girl.

🍓x ☂ … this baby smell though?! Heaven,” Union captioned the Instagram, which shows her gently kissing the newborn’s head.

Khloé Kardashian wrote a sweet note in the comments section. “I am so so happy for you! It’s the best feeling EVER! May God bless you always.”

Jada Pinkett Smith, who previously cleared the air on her rumored bad blood with Union, also posted the photo, also commented, “When the joy is real. Much love to you and yours @gabunion.” Pinkett Smith also wrote, “I can feel your joy. I’m so happy for you!”

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🍓x ☂ … this baby smell though?! Heaven 👶🏾👶🏾

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Nov 13, 2018 at 7:00pm PST

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

Union also shared a image of her daughter’s feet on her Instagram Stories, simply writing, “Baby feet.”

The news that the couple, who wed in 2014, welcomed a child came as a surprise to many fans.

On Nov. 7, Union shared the big news on Instagram through a series of family photos from the hospital.

RELATED: Gabrielle Union Shares Adorable Photo of Dwyane Wade Holding Their Baby: ‘Daddy’s Girl’

“A LOVELY DAY 👶🏾👶🏾👶🏾 We are sleepless and delirious but so excited to share that our miracle baby arrived last night via surrogate and 11/7 will forever be etched in our hearts as the most loveliest of all the lovely days,” they both captioned the photos.

“Welcome to the party sweet girl!” the caption concluded.


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🎵 When I wake up in the mornin’ love And the sunlight hurts my eyes And there’s something without warning, love Bears heavy on my mind Then I look at you And the world’s alright with me Just one look at you And I know its gonna be A lovely day A lovely day 🎶 A LOVELY DAY 👶🏾👶🏾👶🏾 We are sleepless and delirious but so excited to share that our miracle baby arrived last night via surrogate and 11/7 will forever be etched in our hearts as the most loveliest of all the lovely days. Welcome to the party sweet girl! #onelastdance #skintoskin @dwyanewade ❤👑🥂 📸 by @awesomeedd

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Nov 8, 2018 at 12:51pm PST

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

The baby girl is the first child for Union while Wade is dad to sons Xavier Zechariah, 5 on Saturday, Zion Malachi Airamis, 11, and Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 16. He also raises nephew Dahveon Morris, 17.

Union previously opened up about her struggles with infertility in her 2017 memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, revealing she “had eight or nine miscarriages.”

“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle or coming out of an IVF cycle,” she wrote.

Read more: people.com

82-Year-Old Dance Researcher Judith Lynne Hanna on Starring in Her First Music Video

Egg Drop Soup’s “Partying Alone” video turns a run-of-the-mill dance team audition on its head with a vision of female power from a mature woman. The panel is stunned when a gray-haired, red-lipsticked 80-something tosses aside her cane and lets loose, flipping her hair—and the bird.


Egg Drop Soup – Partying Alone (Official music video)

Take a second look at that head-banging grandma—she is none other than renowned dance researcher and anthropologist Judith Lynne Hanna. An affiliate research professor in anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park, the author of numerous scholarly books and an expert witness in trials for exotic dancers, she has spent her career getting us to think about dance’s relationship to society. Hanna, 82, said she hadn’t performed since college when she got a call from a music video producer, who caught a video of her dancing with her 13-year-old grandson. The rockers of Egg Drop Soup loved her energy and flew her out to Los Angeles for a day-long video shoot. We spoke to Hanna about the experience.

You recently starred in a hard-rock music video for Egg Drop Soup in L.A. How did that happen?

The Fox Force producers knew of me through Merrick, my 13-year-old grandson who tells stories through hip hop. He performed on “America’s Got Talent” and I was filmed backstage.

NoneNone

Normally I take an hour class a day, maybe two hours. For the shoot, I did the routine about 10 times over seven hours with the camera people shooting from different angles. I was so exhausted, mentally and physically, at the end of the day. I was surprised at the choreography by Alexi Papadimitriou. It had movements from wild rock concerts and burlesque that I had never done before. The video directors wanted me to be an angry old lady astonishing everyone by dancing like a young person, so I just followed directions.

When did you begin dancing?

I was about 8. I studied ballet because I had flat feet and the pediatrician said ballet would make them strong. Alicia Markova’s experience with flat feet and taking ballet was different than mine. She grew into an astounding dancer. Well, my feet never got strong, but I got hooked on dance. I became a dance researcher.

NoneTell us about your research.

My research began when my husband and I spent a year in Africa—1963—in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Egypt. In Africa, the dance was incredible in telling people what it was to be a mother, a father, a warrior, a good wife. All of these things are reflected in who dances what, where, when and how. And it was through the dance that people could criticize leaders, often through metaphor, but people knew who the dancers were referring to. The dance is often a libel-free venue.

NoneAnd you’ve observed how the sexes encounter one another through dance here in the U.S.

I noticed that looking at dance in America, over time I saw different gender relations: First it was women flying into the arms of men, then you had men flying into the arms of women. Eventually you had unisex partners: men interacting with men and women interacting with women. Sexual representation onstage changed. It’s hard to know whether the arts influenced society or society influenced the arts. But some people will see those images for the first time and learn about social roles from them.

NoneYou’ve also researched and written about exotic dance and have served as an expert witness for more than 140 cases on trial across the country since 1995. Why is this important?

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of expression, and exotic dance is, in fact, a form of dance and communication with its own aesthetic, and therefore it is under the umbrella of the First Amendment. If expression of one group is suppressed, this can happen to another group.

NoneYour most recent book is Dancing to Learn: The Brain’s Cognition, Emotion and Movement. What can you share with us about it?

Dancing to Learn brings the dance field up to date on what’s been learned recently about dance from the brain sciences. One of the important elements about the mind-body connection is that you use the same parts of the brain for dance and for verbal language. Dance creates new brain cells and their interconnections, which help to improve cognition. Research has shown that dance can also help us cope with stress and contribute to improving Parkinson’s symptoms and preventing dementia and other diseases.

None

When dance is used in schools, it can improve academic performance because kids like to be active, and dance motivates them. For example, creatively dancing a mathematics concept means you have to know the mathematics to be able to translate it to dance—dance then enforces the concept. A lot of people focus on somatics and the idea of the body speaking. But the body can only speak through the brain because it interprets body sensations to make meaning of them. So this focus on somatics, without acknowledging the neuroscience research of the past decade, leaves out some pretty critical information.

Do you still dance every day?

Yes. I take flamenco and Middle Eastern dance at the Seber Method Academy in Washington, DC. I also do Jazzercise and go salsa dancing.

As an octogenarian, I’m the poster child for dance at any age.

Read more: dancemagazine.com

How to Make a Toddler Turkey Craft with Watercolors and Feathers

Inside: This toddler turkey craft can be adapted for younger and older toddlers, and even preschoolers. A fun way to work fine motor skills during the Thanksgiving theme. Every year I love doing a different turkey craft. We’ve done them with tissue paper circles and popsicle sticks, coffee filters and pipettes, as well as different…

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The post How to Make a Toddler Turkey Craft with Watercolors and Feathers appeared first on Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds.

Pelvic Floor Therapy: The Definitive Guide to Relief

Pelvic Floor therapy is something that nobody wants to talk about it, but it is something I need to address. Pelvic Floor Therapy is a sensitive topic that few women like to discuss in public–even with friends and family members, yet it is something that affects a MASSIVE population of women. More than one-third of American women have a Pelvic Floor Disorder, with almost one-quarter of females in the US suffering from more than one of these severe disorders. These disorders worsen with age, and nearly 400,000 women underwent pelvic organ prolapse surgery in a recent year.

 

The good news is that thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, more and more ladies are seeking relief for their pelvic pain problems, by way of an efficient and therapeutic procedure known as pelvic floor therapy.

 

 

picture of someone doing Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic Floor Therapy

 

What exactly is the pelvis, anyways?

 

The pelvis just may be the most misidentified and difficult to pinpoint anatomical region; and indeed, it is even rather difficult to describe the precise location of the pelvis in the human body. The pelvis comprises the area between the thighs and the abdomen (a component of the lower trunk of the human anatomy). The term pelvis also encompasses its bone components, otherwise known as the pelvic skeleton or the bony pelvis.

 

Who needs pelvic floor therapy? 

As noted, many types of women with a vast variety of pelvic conditions may find themselves in need of pelvic floor therapy, at some point in their lives. These include:

 

  • Pregnancy and Postpartum: As can be expected, the pelvis–along with the abdomen and other central lower body parts–undergo a great deal of stress, pressure, and change during pregnancy and childbirth; and may not spring immediately back into shape immediately upon the arrival of your bundle from heaven.
  • Pelvic Pain: Both women who experience mild or severe pelvic pain on occasion or during certain activities, and those who sadly must deal with constant discomfort in this sensitive region, may very well be in need of pelvic floor therapy. Sadly, the attainment of this therapy may be delayed because the sufferer is embarrassed to discuss any pain or discomfort originating in a private area, or they may fear that something serious or even life-threatening might be afflicting them. Yet in truth, the process known as pelvic floor therapy can allay or even resolve many instances of pelvic pain.
  • Bathroom Trouble: If you suffer from any number of difficulties in regards to your natural processes, be it incontinence, bladder abnormalities, constipation, bowel movement problems, etc., then you might find relief for these troublesome, embarrassing problems by way of pelvic floor therapy.
  • Menopause: Aside from widely discussed menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and sleep difficulties, that much-discussed change of life called menopause can cause pelvic issues as well. And again, it bears repeating that pelvic floor therapy can help alleviate these problems.
  • Painful Intercourse: The issue of painful sexual intercourse can be a traumatic one in the life of a woman, one that can severely impede her personal life, her marriage, her intimate relationships, and even her sense of femininity, self-esteem, and attractiveness. For these very reasons, it might be very difficult to discuss the quandary of painful intercourse with one’s physician. Yet it is only by sharing the details of this disorder with a trained professional that can you discover its solution; a resolution that also takes the form of pelvic floor therapy.

 

 

picture of women discussing Pelvic Floor Therapy Endometriosis

Pelvic Floor Therapy Endometriosis

 

Pelvic Floor Therapy Endometriosis

 

If you find yourself facing these all too common situations, or if you are dealing with related illnesses such as endometriosis (the term pelvic floor therapy endometriosis indicates the use of this brand of therapy to treat that prevalent condition in which tissue which generally lines the uterus is discovered outside this organ and across the surface of others, such as the ovaries, the bladder, the rectum, etc., thus causing pelvic, urinary, and/or bladder pain) or vaginismus, then consult your physician about the possibility and the procedure of pelvic floor therapy. And interestingly enough, males suffering from painful or premature ejaculation also can seek relief by way of pelvic floor therapy.

 

 

picture of Pelvic Floor Therapy What to Expect

Pelvic Floor Therapy What to Expect

 

Pelvic Floor Therapy What to Expect

 

No one exactly looks forward to pelvic floor therapy, as they fear that the procedure will be painful, invasive and even embarrassing. Yet the good news is that, when it comes to modern pelvic floor therapy, a variety of options are available; many of which are minimally invasive and relatively painless in commission.

 

As far as considering the subject of pelvic floor therapy what to expect, you can seek specific information from your doctor, a mental health professional, or a sex therapist. In general, though, some of the most common and ultra-modern forms of pelvic floor therapy include:

 

  • Vaginal Dilators: This unique form of therapeutic equipment is comfortable and easy to use method for relaxing and easing the pelvic muscles. These comfortable and easily inserted plastic tubes relax the pelvic muscles and are particularly helpful in combating the problem of painful or uncomfortable intercourse. Throughout the course of vaginal dilator therapy, your medical specialist may ask you to experiment with varying and perhaps increasingly larger sizes of vaginal dilator.
  • Manual Pelvic Floor Therapy: A physician may insert their own fingers for the purpose of massaging and/or stretching one’s pelvic muscles, starting with a mild and shallow digital penetration to test the tightness and sensitivity of the pelvic muscles. Although it is to be expected that most pelvic floor therapy patients will experience discomfort or even pain during initial manual pelvic floor therapy treatments, these feelings should ease if the therapy proves successful. Also be sure to research both the therapy itself and the presiding physician before you begin this form of therapy, to ensure that the procedure is properly and ethically performed.
  • Electric Pelvic Floor Therapy: We know what you’re thinking. “Ouuuccchhhh!!!! No way, unh unh!!!!” Yet please hear us out on this one, as this new age and high tech form of pelvic floor therapy ranks among the most efficient and accurate forms of diagnosis and treatment available today. In the electric pelvic floor therapy known as biofeedback, for example, an electronic probe is inserted into the patient’s vagina to record images of the patient’s pelvic floor images, with a computerized image appearing on a nearby screen. And in the form of electric pelvic floor therapy called electrical stimulation, the medical caregiver administers a low voltage electric current that will instruct patients in the movement and coordination of their pelvic muscular contractions.
  • Education: Perhaps the least invasive–and, in some cases, most helpful and certainly most informative–form of pelvic floor therapy is a matter of education. Some patients may not have a good working knowledge of their personal and reproductive systems. This may be because they originate from a conventional family in which such matters were never discussed, or because they may come from an impoverished background in which physical and health-related education was not readily available. This brand of education, as attained through books, doctor-approved medical websites, and a top quality pelvic floor therapy video, will inform the patient about the anatomical makeup of their pelvis and its inner working; as well as just how to tell as to when something down there isn’t working! And the patient also should learn about the proper maintenance and hygiene upkeep of one’s pelvic area, as poor hygiene or unhealthful personal practices can contribute to and even cause pelvic health disorders. The pelvic floor therapy video may be particularly helpful, as images can do far more than words in terms of displaying and demonstrating the anatomical location and inner workings of one’s pelvis.

 

 

 

picture of women doing Pelvic Floor Therapy at Home

Pelvic Floor Therapy at Home

 

Pelvic Floor Therapy at Home

Sure, you may just feel a bit sheepish at first while watching this video and perusing these materials; yet just imagine the relief that you will feel as you take your pelvic health in your own hands, perhaps even learning that a simple change in hygiene practices might eliminate your problem–no surgery or intensive therapy needed.

 

  • Pelvic Floor Therapy at Home: Those who may feel uncomfortable with learning about and practicing most forms of pelvic floor therapy may be relieved to know that multiple forms and varieties of pelvic floor therapy at home options are available. Under the care, supervision, and direction of your physician or sex therapist, you may be able to order plastic dilators for use at home, where you’d be far more comfortable using them anyway, as well as books, videos, and other educational materials. And of course, the most popular and widely used form of pelvic floor therapy would have to be…

 

 

picture of Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises

Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises

 

 

Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises

Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises: Many patients are relieved and even excited to learn that–instead of surgery, medicinal drugs or painful treatments, they may indeed be able to exercise away their pelvic pain, discomfort or dysfunction. Exercise is an invigorating and therapeutic form of physical therapy and is ultimately the key to good health. Ah, but before you go rushing into your workout room to put on your favorite aerobicize DVD, keep in mind that–in the big scheme of things–the average jumping jack or sit up ain’t going to do much to help the good ol’ pelvic floor muscles.

 

Rather, pelvic floor exercises (also known most popularly as Kegel exercises) involve the contraction and relaxation of pelvic floor muscles, with the ultimate goal being to strengthen, stretch and elasticize (or make more flexible) those muscles. Pelvic floor therapy exercises lend ultimate strength to those pelvic muscles beneath the bladder, uterus, and bowel. These exercises are known to do wonders for urinary and bowel relief problems. And, of course, they also can help those dealing with painful and/or uncomfortable intercourse and related issues.

 

Are you concerned that you may not be able to master the complex art of the pelvic floor therapy exercise? Well, to accomplish the feat of this exercise, just mimic the moves that you make during another important and relatively everyday physical ritual; one that is most tastefully known as answering the call of nature….

 

Yep. The basic and most essential pelvic floor exercise will feel a lot like going to the bathroom. Ah, but stick with us here; these exercises really work!

 

To perform a basic pelvic floor exercise, follow this step by step procedure:

 

  • Empty your bladder.
  • Clench your pelvic floor muscles and count to 10.
  • Release the pelvic floor muscles and once again, count to 10.
  • Complete 10 repetitions of this process, thrice daily.

 

 

 

 

After you listen to the podcast on pelvic floor exercises, be sure to consult your physician to make sure pelvic floor exercise is right for you. Also consult books, videos and physician-approved websites for details and demonstrations of these and other pelvic floor therapy exercises.

 

Also know that, on today’s market, a number of aids are available to facilitate all manner of pelvic floor therapy exercises. These include but are not limited to manual and electric exercisers, and kegel aids shaped in the form of common objects such as roses and eggs.

 

 



 

 

Although many people approach the concept of pelvic floor therapy with some shyness and trepidation, many find that the results of this therapy are affirming and life changing in nature. Depending on their specific pelvic problem, they may find their love life restored and rejuvenated and their marriages and relationships saved; their bathroom schedules returned to normal and their daily schedules and lives restored, not to mention their overall peace of mind; and their lives freed from the pain and discomfort that has held them captive for far too long.

 

To find out more about pelvic floor therapy near me, please visit Knocked-Upfitness.com

  

 

The post Pelvic Floor Therapy: The Definitive Guide to Relief appeared first on Knocked-Up Fitness.

The Ultimate Social Media Holiday Calendar for 2019 [Template]

Whether it’s International Cat Day, Pizza Day, or Talk Like a Pirate Day, it seems like almost every day, the internet is celebrating a holiday.

Whenever I log onto Twitter, I quickly scan what’s trending on the lefthand side of the screen.Manage and plan your social media posts with the help of this free calendar  template.

Have you ever had this experience — when you see an obscure holiday or observance day trending, and you think to yourself “Yup, I’m celebrating that”?

Some of these holidays might be simply too silly for your brand to engage with (and we certainly don’t suggest sharing content on social media and then tacking on a completely irrelevant hashtag for the sake of traffic — that’s just plain annoying). But others might not be. You could be missing valuable opportunities to take advantage of trending topics with fun and relevant “holiday” content on social media.

From food to politics to animals and everything in between, there is a plethora of observance days worldwide during which marketers can share content relevant to their industries, get involved in a movement, or simply generate more awareness.

To help you plan for trending holidays, we created a list that you can bookmark, as well as a downloadable calendar so you can get automatic reminders. The list isn’t exhaustive (there are a lot of food-specific holidays out there) and these dates and hashtags may still be subject to change. But this is a great starting point for social media marketers who want to learn more about what’s trending and how they can plan their content in a way that will be fun and engaging on Twitter and other social platforms.

Want to finish out your 2018 calendar with some upcoming holiday posts? Tap the “+” symbol in the lower righthand corner of the calendar below to add it to your own Gmail calendar.

Downloadable Holiday Calendar

National & Global Holiday Calendar: 2019-2020

January 2019
February 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019
September 2019
October 2019
November 2019
December 2019

January 2019

1. Tuesday, New Year’s Day #NewYearsDay

2. Wednesday, Science Fiction Day #ScienceFictionDay

4. Friday, National Trivia Day #NationalTriviaDay

5. Saturday, National Bird Day #NationalBirdDay

11. Friday, Human Trafficking Awareness Day #HumanTraffickingDay

13. Sunday, National Sticker Day #NationalStickerDay

14. Monday, Clean Off Your Desk Day #CleanOffYourDeskDay

15. Tuesday, National Hat Day #NationalHatDay

17. Thursday, Get to Know Your Customers Day (third Thursday of every quarter) #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

20. Sunday, Cheese Lovers Day #CheeseLoversDay

21. Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day #MLKDay

21. Monday, National Hugging Day #NationalHuggingDay

23. Wednesday, National Pie Day #PieDay

24. Thursday, National Compliment Day #NationalComplimentDay

25. Friday, Opposite Day #OppositeDay

28. Monday, Community Manager Appreciation Day #CMAD

28. Monday, Data Privacy Day #PrivacyAware

February 2019

2. Saturday, Groundhog Day #GroundhogDay

2. Saturday, World Wetlands Day #WorldWetlandsDay

3. Sunday, Super Bowl LIII #SBLIII

4. Monday, World Cancer Day #WorldCancerDay

5. Tuesday, Chinese New Year #YearOfThePig

5. Tuesday, Safer Internet Day #SID2019

5. Tuesday, National Weatherperson’s Day #NationalWeatherpersonsDay

7. Thursday, National Send a Card to a Friend Day #SendACardToAFriendDay

8. Friday, National Boy Scouts Day #BoyScoutsDay

9. Saturday, National Pizza Day #NationalPizzaDay

11. Monday, Inventors Day #InventorsDay

13. Wednesday, World Radio Day #WorldRadioDay

14. Thursday, Valentine’s Day #ValentinesDay

17. Sunday, Random Acts of Kindness Day #RandomActsOfKindnessDay

18. Monday, National Battery Day #NationalBatteryDay

18. Monday, Presidents Day #PresidentsDay

20. Wednesday, World Day of Social Justice #SocialJusticeDay

20. Wednesday, Love Your Pet Day #LoveYourPetDay

21. Thursday, International Mother Language Day #IMLD

March 2019

1. Friday, National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day #PeanutButterLoversDay

1. Friday, National Employee Appreciation Day #EmployeeAppreciationDay

2. Saturday, National Read Across America Day #ReadAcrossAmerica & #DrSeuss

3. Sunday, World Wildlife Day #WorldWildlifeDay

4. Monday, National Grammar Day #NationalGrammarDay

5. Tuesday, National Pancake Day #NationalPancakeDay

5. Tuesday, Mardi Gras #MardiGras

6. Wednesday, National Dentist’s Day #DentistsDay

7. Thursday, National Be Heard Day #NationalBeHeardDay

7. Thursday, National Cereal Day #NationalCerealDay

8. Friday, International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange

8. Friday, National Proofreading Day #NationalProofreadingDay

8. Friday, National Day of Unplugging #NationalDayOfUnplugging

10. Sunday, National Pack Your Lunch Day #NationalPackYourLunchDay

10. Sunday, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day #NWGHAAD

10. Sunday, Daylight Savings #DaylightSavings

11. Monday, National Worship of Tools Day #WorshipOfToolsDay

11. Monday, National Napping Day #NationalNappingDay

12: Tuesday, National Girl Scout Day #GirlScoutDay

14. Thursday, Popcorn Lover’s Day #PopcornLoversDay

14. Thursday, Potato Chip Day #NationalPotatoChipDay

14. Thursday, Pi Day #PiDay (To go the extra mile, post this at 1:59, as Pi equals 3.14159…)

15. Friday, World Consumer Rights Day #WCRD2019

15. Friday, World Sleep Day #WorldSleepDay

16. Saturday, National Freedom of Information Day #FreedomOfInformationDay

17. Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day #StPatricksDay

18. Monday, Awkward Moments Day #NationalAwkwardMomentsDay

19. Tuesday, National Let’s Laugh Day #NationalLetsLaughDay

20. Wednesday, International Day of Happiness #InternationalDayofHappiness

20. Wednesday, World Storytelling Day #WorldStorytellingDay

20. Wednesday, First Day of Spring #FirstDayofSpring

21. Thursday, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination #RacialDiscriminationDay

21. Thursday, World Poetry Day #WorldPoetryDay

22: Friday, World Water Day #WorldWaterDay

23. Saturday, National Puppy Day #NationalPuppyDay

25. Monday, Tolkien Reading Day #TolkienReadingDay

26. Tuesday, National Spinach Day #NationalSpinachDay

26. Tuesday, Purple Day #PurpleDay

26. Tuesday, American Diabetes Association Alert Day #AmericanDiabetesAssociationAlertDay

30. Saturday, Doctor’s Day #NationalDoctorsDay

30. Saturday, Earth Hour Day #EarthHour

30. Saturday, National Take a Walk in the Park Day #NationalWalkInTheParkDay

31. Sunday, World Backup Day #WorldBackupDay

31. Sunday, Transgender Day of Visibility #TDOV

April 2019

1. Monday, April Fools Day #AprilFools

2. Tuesday, World Autism Awareness Day #WAAD

3. Wednesday, Find a Rainbow Day #FindARainbowDay

3. Wednesday, National Walking Day #NationalWalkingDay

4. Thursday, Hug a Newsperson Day #HugANewsperson

7. Sunday, World Health Day #LetsTalk

9. Tuesday, Equal Pay Day #EqualPayDay

10. Wednesday, National Siblings Day #NationalSiblingsDay

10. Wednesday, Encourage a Young Writer Day #EncourageAYoungWriterDay

11. Thursday, National Pet Day #NationalPetDay

12. Friday, International Day of Human Space Flight #InternationalDayOfHumanSpaceFlight

15. Monday, National Tax Day #TaxDay

16. Tuesday, National Stress Awareness Day #StressAwarenessDay

16. Tuesday, National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day #PJDay

17. Wednesday, Haiku Poetry Day #HaikuPoetryDay

18. Thursday, National Columnists’ Day #NationalColumnistDay

18. Thursday, Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

18. Thursday, National High-Five Day #NH5D

20. Saturday, National Look-Alike Day #NationalLookAlikeDay

22. Monday, Earth Day #EarthDay2018

23. Tuesday, National Picnic Day #NationalPicnicDay

23. Tuesday, World Book Day #WorldBookDay

24. Wednesday, National Administrative Professionals Day #AdministrativeProfessionalsDay

24. Wednesday, Denim Day #DenimDay

25. Thursday, National Telephone Day #NationalTelephoneDay

25. Thursday, World Malaria Day #EndMalariaForGood

25. Thursday, National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day #COUNTONME

26. Friday, Arbor Day #ArborDay

29. Monday, International Dance Day #InternationalDanceDay

30. Tuesday, National Honesty Day #NationalHonestyDay

30. Tuesday, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day #AdoptAShelterPetDay

30. Tuesday, International Jazz Day #JazzDay

May 2019

TBD: Red Nose Day #RedNoseDay

1. Wednesday, May Day #MayDay

1. Wednesday, International Workers Day #IntWorkersDay

2. Thursday, World Password Day #WorldPasswordDay

3. Friday, World Press Freedom Day #WPFD2019 #PressFreedom

3. Friday, Space Day #SpaceDay

4. Saturday, Star Wars Day #StarWarsDay & #Maythe4thBeWithYou

4. Saturday, International Firefighters Day #InternationalFirefightersDay

5. Sunday, Cinco de Mayo #CincoDeMayo

6. Monday, National Nurses Day #NursesDay

7. Tuesday, World Asthma Day #WorldAsthmaDay

7. Tuesday, Thank a Teacher Day #ThankATeacher

8. Wednesday, National Receptionist Day #NationalReceptionistDay

9. Thursday, Europe Day #EuropeDay

12. Sunday, National Limerick Day #NationalLimerickDay

13. Sunday, Mother’s Day #MothersDay

15. Wednesday, International Day of Families #FamilyDay

16. Thursday, Love a Tree Day #LoveATreeDay

17. Friday, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia #IDAHOT2019

17. Friday, National Bike to Work Day #BTWD

17. Friday, Endangered Species Day #EndangeredSpeciesDay

21. Tuesday, National Memo Day #NationalMemoDay

24. Friday, National Scavenger Hunt Day #NationalScavengerHuntDay

27. Monday, Memorial Day #MemorialDay #MDW

28. Tuesday, Hamburger Day #NationalHamburgerDay

29. Wednesday, Paperclip Day #PaperclipDay

31. Friday, World No-Tobacco Day #NoTobacco

31. Friday, Heat Awareness Day #NoFryDay

June 2019

1. Saturday, Global Day of Parents #GlobalDayOfParents

1. Saturday, International Children’s Day #ChildrensDay

2. Sunday, National Cancer Survivor’s Day #NCSD2019

3. Monday, Leave The Office Early Day #LeaveTheOfficeEarlyDay

5. Wednesday, World Environment Day #WorldEnvironmentDay

6. Thursday, Higher Education Day #HigherEducationDay

7. Friday, National Donut Day #NationalDonutDay

8. Saturday, World Oceans Day #WorldOceansDay

8. Saturday, Best Friends Day #BestFriendsDay

14. Friday, World Blood Donor Day #GiveBlood

14. Friday, National Flag Day #FlagDay

16. Sunday, Father’s Day #FathersDay

20. Thursday, World Refugee Day #WithRefugees

21. Friday, National Selfie Day #NationalSelfieDay

21. Friday, World Music Day #WorldMusicDay

21. Friday, International Yoga Day #InternationalYogaDay

21. Friday, First Day of Summer

21. Friday, Take Your Dog to Work Day #TakeYourDogToWorkDay

27. Thursday, National Sunglasses Day #NationalSunglassesDay

27. Thursday, National Handshake Day #HandshakeDay

30. Sunday, Social Media Day #SMDay

July 2019

1. Monday, National Postal Worker Day #NationalPostalWorkerDay

2. Tuesday, World UFO Day #WorldUFODay

4. Thursday, Independence Day (United States)

7. Sunday, World Chocolate Day #WorldChocolateDay

11. Thursday, Cheer Up the Lonely Day #CheerUpTheLonelyDay

12. Friday, Malala Day #MalalaDay

15. Monday, Give Something Away Day #GiveSomethingAwayDay

17. Wednesday, World Emoji Day #WorldEmojiDay

18. Thursday, Nelson Mandela International Day #MandelaDay

18. Thursday, Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

26. Friday, Talk in an Elevator Day #TalkInAnElevatorDay

30. Tuesday, International Day of Friendship #DayOfFriendship

August 2019

1. Thursday, Respect for Parents Day #RespectForParentsDay

2. Friday, National Coloring Book Day #NationalColoringBookDay

8. Thursday, International Cat Day #InternationalCatDay

9. Friday, National Book Lovers Day #NationalBookLoversDay

10. Saturday, National Lazy Day #LazyDay

11. Sunday, National Sons and Daughters Day #SonsAndDaughtersDay

12. Monday, International Youth Day #YouthDay

12. Monday, World Elephant Day #WorldElephantDay

13. Tuesday, International Lefthanders Day #LefthandersDay

15. Thursday, National Relaxation Day #NationalRelaxationDay

16. Friday, National Tell a Joke Day #NationalTellAJokeDay

19. Monday, World Photo Day #WorldPhotoDay

19. Monday, World Humanitarian Day #WorldHumanitarianDay

20. Tuesday, National Lemonade Day #NationalLemonadeDay

26. Monday, National Dog Day #NationalDogDay

26. Monday, National Women’s Equality Day #WomensEqualityDay

September 2019

2. Monday, Labor Day #LaborDay

4. Wednesday, National Wildlife Day #NationalWildlifeDay

5. Thursday, International Day of Charity #CharityDay

6. Friday, Read a Book Day #ReadABookDay

8. Sunday, International Literacy Day #LiteracyDay

8. Sunday, National Grandparents Day #NationalGrandparentsDay

11. Wednesday, National Day of Service and Remembrance #911Day

12. Thursday, National Day of Encouragement #DayOfEncouragement

12. Thursday, National Video Games Day #NationalVideoGamesDay

13. Friday, Stand Up To Cancer Day #KissCancerGoodbye

19. Thursday, Talk Like a Pirate Day #TalkLikeAPirateDay

21. Saturday, International Day of Peace #PeaceDay

21. Saturday, Miniature Golf Day #MiniGolfDay

21. Saturday, Civic Day of Hacking #HackForChange

22. Sunday, Car-Free Day #CarFreeDay

22. Sunday, Hobbit Day #HobbitDay

23. Monday, First Day of Fall

25. Wednesday, National Women’s Health and Fitness Day #FitnessDay

26. Thursday, European Day of Languages #EDL2019

27. Friday, World Tourism Day #WTD2019

28. Saturday, World Rabies Day #WorldRabiesDay

28. Saturday, National Good Neighbor Day #GoodNeighborDay

30. Monday, International Podcast Day #InternationalPodcastDay

October 2019

1. Tuesday, International Day of Older Persons #UNDOP

1. Tuesday, International Coffee Day #InternationalCoffeeDay

1. Tuesday, World Vegetarian Day #WorldVegetarianDay

2. Wednesday, International Day of Nonviolence #InternationalDayOfNonviolence

3. Thursday, National Techies Day #TechiesDay

4. Friday, World Animal Day #WorldAnimalDay

4. Friday, National Taco Day #NationalTacoDay

4. Friday, World Smile Day #WorldSmileDay

5. Saturday, World Teachers Day #WorldTeachersDay

7. Monday, World Habitat Day #WorldHabitatDay

10. Thursday, World Mental Health Day #WorldMentalHeathDay

10. Thursday, World Sight Day #WorldSightDay

11. Friday, International Day of the Girl #DayOfTheGirl

13. Sunday, National Train Your Brain Day #TrainYourBrainDay

14. Monday, National Dessert Day #DessertDay

15. Tuesday, Global Handwashing Day #GlobalHandwashingDay

16. Wednesday, World Food Day #FoodDay

16. Wednesday, Bosses Day #BossesDay

17. Thursday, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty #EndPoverty

17. Thursday, Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

20. Sunday, World Statistics Day #StatisticsDay

21. Monday, Reptile Awareness Day #ReptileAwarenessDay

24. Thursday, United Nations Day #UNDay

25. Friday, Greasy Foods Day #GreasyFoodsDay

30. Wednesday, National Publicist Day #NationalPublicistDay

30. Wednesday, Checklist Day #ChecklistDay

31. Thursday, Halloween #Halloween

November 2019

1. Friday, World Vegan Day #WorldVeganDay

1. Friday, National Authors Day #NationalAuthorsDay

1. Friday, National Cook For Your Pets Day #CookForYourPetsDay

3. Sunday, National Sandwich Day #NationalSandwichDay

3. Sunday, Daylight Saving Time Ends #DaylightSavings

4. Monday, National Candy Day #NationalCandyDay

8. Friday, National Cappuccino Day #CappuccinoDay

8. Friday, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM) Day #STEMDay

11. Monday, Veterans Day #VeteransDay

13. Wednesday, World Kindness Day #WKD

14. Thursday, World Diabetes Day #WDD

15. Friday, Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay

15. Friday, America Recycles Day #BeRecycled

16. Saturday, International Day for Tolerance #ToleranceDay

17. Sunday, International Students Day #InternationalStudentsDay

19. Tuesday, International Men’s Day #InternationalMensDay

19. Tuesday, National Entrepreneurs Day #EntrepreneursDay

20. Wednesday, Universal Children’s Day #UNChildrensDay

21. Thursday, World Hello Day #WorldHelloDay

26. Tuesday, National Cake Day #NationalCakeDay

28. Thursday, Thanksgiving Day #Thanksgiving

29. Friday, National Day of Listening #DayOfListening

29. Friday, Electronic Greeting Card Day #ElectronicGreetingCardDay

30. Saturday, Computer Security Day #ComputerSecurityDay

30. Saturday, Small Business Saturday #ShopSmall

December 2019

1. Sunday, World AIDS Day #WAD2019

2. Monday, Cyber Monday #CyberMonday

3. Tuesday, International Day of Persons with Disabilities #IDPWD

4. Wednesday, National Cookie Day #NationalCookieDay

5. Thursday, World Soil Day #WorldSoilDay

6. Friday, Microwave Oven Day #MicrowaveOvenDay

8. Sunday, Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day #PretendToBeATimeTravelerDay

10. Tuesday, Human Rights Day #HumanRightsDay

10. Tuesday, Nobel Prize Day #NobelPrize

11. Wednesday, International Mountain Day #InternationalMountainDay

13. Friday, National Salesperson Day #SalespersonDay

21. Saturday, Crossword Puzzle Day #CrosswordPuzzleDay

21. Saturday, First Day of Winter #WinterSolstice

30. Monday, No Interruptions Day – Last Work Day of the Year #NoInterruptionsDay

31. Tuesday, New Year’s Eve #NYE

Sources: National Day Calendar, Sprout Social, TrackMaven, Holiday Insights, Brownielocks, National Peace Corps Association, Sparkflow

Free Template Social Media Content Calendar


Free Template Social Media Calendar

Read more: blog.hubspot.com

Camp Flog Gnaw Overcomes Some Growing Pains On The Way To A Bigger, Better Festival Experience

Getty Image / Uproxx Studios

When almost every new, small festival is starting out, their organizers often talk about “scale” — that is, scaling up as the festival becomes more successful, moving from small parking lots to larger venues and bringing in bigger acts and correspondingly huger crowds. For instance, when I attended Adult Swim’s inaugural Adult Swim Festival in downtown Los Angeles last month, representatives from the network told the small group of journalists covering the fest’s media walkthrough (every festival should have one of these, hint, hint) that they saw a much bigger draw in five years, using this one as kind of a “pilot episode” to determine what works and where they can improve.

But what happens when a festival gets too big, too fast? Is there such a thing as “too successful?” As it turns out, Goldenvoice, the organizers for Tyler The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival are finding out the complex answer to that question the hard way, through on-the-job experience, as 2018’s bigger, undeniably better festival met a few bumps in the road on the way to its most successful year yet.

First, let’s talk about some of the improvements. As I found out at last year’s Flog Gnaw, location matters more than just about anything, as the confusing layout of the Exposition Park venue played havoc with my internal compass — and my poor sneaker soles. With the move to Dodger Stadium a few miles north, the fest was able to both expand and streamline operations, making for a more straightforward experience getting around.

Taking place in the massive parking lot surrounding the stadium, the concrete — while being little nicer to the feet of attendees — kept dirt and dust from further polluting the air already tainted by the local wildfires in Thousands Oaks and Butte County. Meanwhile, the two main stages were situated at almost straight angles from each other, but given enough distance that neither interfered with the other, with Gnaw Village situated more or less in middle but off to one side up a small hill. It’s a great layout and I hope it sticks around for the next fest.

The walking actually turned out to be a bit of a benefit thanks to another improvement; Postmates partnered with the fest to allow attendees to order and pickup food from vendors without waiting in line — something I’m sure Post Malone probably appreciated. Given a semi-hefty credit to try out this new function, I appreciated the opportunity to burn off a few extra calories from my Kogi BBQ Black Jack Quesadilla and Sage Bistro jackfruit tacos. The usual assortment of games, rides, and concessions were sprinkled throughout the grounds, but mainly concentrated to Gnaw Village along with Okaga National Park Cafe and the DJ-focused Gnaw stage.

However, it was a lot of walking, and with all the extra space for the main stages, the crowds quickly became bigger than resources could handle. After threatening to shut down Jaden Smith’s excellent, uproarious set due to fans near the front being nearly crushed by the constant press of bodies pushing toward the stage, the fire marshal actually did cut Brockhampton’s set short several minutes after a few songs prompted even more near disasters. They resumed with the abbreviated setlist after around 10 minutes had passed, but it was enough time to suck much of the energy away from their bombastic — and much more polished — performance.

I was positively shocked at how much bigger the hip-hop boy band’s draw seemed this year than last, but encouraged that they, much like the festival itself, had managed to scale up their already improbably high performance energy, mainly by stripping some of their elaborate stage setting down, allowing them to better choreograph their movements and interactions with each other and the crowd. Maybe the Flog Gnaw festival itself might take that cue and pare things down next year, or maybe ramp them up. I’m not sure whether more space or stronger ticket limits would fix the issue, but it was definitely a concern that was harder to anticipate than simply increasing concessions.

Instagram Photo

Logistical issues aside, the best part about the fest was seeing just how much the repeat artists from last year had grown, as well as the increased capacity for pandemonium the larger space afforded. The best example of this was Flatbush Zombies‘ outsized set, where Meechy, Erick, and Juice still managed to befuddle me with their stunning breath control and rampant energy despite having more stage space to work with than I’d seen them use before. Believe me, they used every available extra inch. I didn’t know if or how Jaden Smith could ever match all three of them by himself… but then he did.

As he jokingly jibed Tyler in the crowd, it was apparent that he’s as at home on a massive stage as he is awkward in the intimate family videos his dad Will posts to Instagram. And while I was further skeptical of the downbeat Earl Sweatshirt’s ability to hold down such a big space, he was eager to meet the challenge with the addition of Rico Nasty, who appeared to perform some of her own high-energy hits. If she wore off on him musically, I’d definitely look forward to his next project.

Meanwhile, on the other stage, things got off to a bright start Sunday afternoon with Tierra Whack, whose relative novelty to the festival space didn’t stop her from controlling the crowd like a 20 year pro at all. Raveena offered a stunning, magnetic R&B performance, with all the simplicity of fellow revivalists Kali Uchis and Jorja Smith, but with approximately five times the charisma and charm. Taco, Odd Future’s resident DJ and Mr. Fix-It, brought out a pair of high-energy up-and-comers in Juice Wrld and YBN Cordae, who hyped the crowded Camp Stage after a musical tribute to the late Mac Miller.

And as often as sub-headliners Lauryn Hill and Post Malone are ripped and ridiculed online, both performed with polish, panache, and professionalism, with Hill’s band playing high-energy versions of her Miseducation hits while she took them all the way to church with gospel-inflected twists that breathed new life into the 20-year-old jams. Likewise, Post more than lived up to his billing; whatever your feelings about his attitude toward the genre he cynically co-opts to make his living, he has undeniable stage presence and the crowd — mainly made of young women and unconventional, un-stereotypical boys — loves what he does. If he’s more harmless pop than hardcore hip-hop, so be it — it’s enjoyable, catchy, empty-calorie pop, which is fine in moderation.

Instagram Photo

It was certainly better, at least, than watching Kanye fumble his way through his headlining set with Kid Cudi in their first appearance as Kids See Ghosts. Cudi was certainly the more interesting draw in that instance as they ran through hits spanning from Kanye’s 808s And Heartbreaks (the better parts of the set) to their recent, self-titled group debut.

Cudi was entertaining, engaging, and sincere as they roamed the inside of a transparent cargo container suspended above the stage. Kanye, on the other hand, mumbled his way through half-forgotten verses and only really came alive on his solo joints. Whatever has been going on with him all year, I think it’s safe to say Uproxx’s Andre Gee was right; his heart’s just not in music at the moment, and I hate to see him this way, as a fan and as a man.

But all in all, Flog Gnaw was a rousing success, despite its growing pains. Tyler’s festival demonstrates the potential of booking acts that all respect and like each other and their host, as shows of mutual appreciation rang off throughout the carnival, and stars could be seen roaming the grounds participating in the fun of the festival itself rather than cooling their heels in their backstage trailers. While in line to get some pictures from the ferris wheel, which was billed as one of the tallest traveling ones in America, I noticed Taco, SZA, and Tierra Whack go trooping past on their way to catch a ride of their own.

That sight summed up Camp Flog Gnaw in a nutshell; it’s really fun for everyone — including the talent, who aren’t just there to collect a check, but to catch up with friends and have a good time. If the festival can anticipate some of the kinks as it continues to grow and work them out ahead of time, Flog Gnaw might just rival some of the biggest festivals in world for sheer entertainment in no time at all.

Read more: uproxx.com

Dog Haus Opens Second Illinois Location in Decatur on February 10th

Dog Haus Opens Second Illinois Location in Decatur on February 10th

Acclaimed Gourmet Hot Dog, Sausage and Burger Concept to Welcome Community to the Haus with Free Hot Dog on Saturday, February 10th

Dog Haus Opens Second Illinois Location in Decatur on February 10thDecatur, IL  (RestaurantNews.com)  Dog Haus, the celebrated craft casual concept known for its gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers and one-of-a-kind creations, will open its next franchise location in Decatur, Illinois on February 10th. Located at 4405 Route 36 East, this will be franchisee Goalz Restaurant Group’s second location with the brand, which was founded in 2010 by Partners Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz, and André Vener to recapture the nostalgic childhood experience of eating a hot dog. To commemorate its arrival in the Decatur area, Goalz Restaurant Group will invite locals to swing by for a free Haus Dog on Saturday, February 10th. Additionally, Goalz is partnering with the Salvation Army Pantry and The Good Samaritan Inn, as well as local schools Eisenhower High School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

“We are thrilled to finally be opening Dog Haus in Decatur, and we can’t wait to share the excitement with residents during our Free Haus Dog Day on February 10th,” said David Clark, vice president of operations for Goalz Restaurant Group. “We know that Decatur residents will love Dog Haus because of our top quality delicious tasting food and our passion for giving back to the local community.”

Dog Haus Opens Second Illinois Location in Decatur on February 10th

As part of its introduction to the community and its surroundings, guests can stop by from 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 10th to enjoy a free Haus Dog from a selection of Dog Haus’ seven signature hot dog creations featuring signature all beef, hormone- and antibiotic-free dogs with no added nitrates, served up on grilled King’s Hawaiian rolls. Options include fan favorites like Sooo Cali, with wild arugula, avocado, tomato, and spicy basil aioli; Downtown Dog, featuring a smoked bacon wrapped dog topped with caramelized onions, pickled peppers, mayo, mustard and ketchup; and Chili Idol, an all beef dog topped with haus chili, cheddar cheese sauce and onions.

In addition to Haus Dogs, Dog Haus’ full menu includes gourmet sausages, burgers, corn dogs, a fried chicken sandwich, sides, beer, cocktails and shakes. Sausage favorites include The Fonz, which partners a spicy Italian sausage with pastrami and cheddar cheese sauce; and Das Brat, which features a bratwurst topped with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and spicy brown mustard. All sausages are nitrate-free and made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat.  Haus Burgers feature 100% genetically tested, humanely raised Black Angus beef using no hormones and no antibiotics – never-ever­ – in in one-of-a-kind creations like The Freiburger®, with white American cheese, fries, haus slaw, fried egg and mayo; and Holy Aioli, with white American cheese, smoked bacon, caramelized onions and garlic aioli. The Bad Mutha Clucka rounds out the menu offering guests a crispy fried or grilled chicken sandwich served with lettuce, pickles and miso ranch.

Dog Haus Opens Second Illinois Location in Decatur on February 10th

Lighter eaters and kids can indulge in smaller-sized portions – the hot dog slider is made with an all beef mini dog, haus made cheddar cheese sauce and smoked bacon; the cheeseburger slider has mayo, white American cheese and just the right amount of caramelized onions; and the corn dog slider features an all beef mini dog dipped in haus made root beer batter. Equal attention is paid to the quality-driven sides, like chili cheese tots or fries with haus made cheddar cheese sauce, haus chili and green onions; and beer-battered onion rings. Save room for dessert and finish off the meal with a salty caramel premium ice cream milkshake or soft serve.

Diners can complement their meals with a can of red or white wine, imbibe from a selection of draft and canned craft beer options or sip on hand-crafted cocktails. Each canned brew will be served in a Dog Haus koozie, a nod to backyard BBQs; alternatively, all those with a classic PBR craving can get their lager fix with a brown paper bag-wrapped can.

The fast-casual concept, designed to elevate the hot dog and burger-eating experience, serves up its quality meals within the contemporary aesthetic of a modern industrial space. After ordering at the counter, diners can grab a barstool at the communal tables, take a bench seat at one of the reclaimed wood and steel tables or step outside to the welcoming patio.

After Free Haus Dog Day, the new restaurant, located at 4405 Route 36 East, will be open for lunch and dinner daily with normal business hours of 10 a.m. until midnight. For more information call (217) 423-3646 or visit http://decatur.doghaus.com/.

Dog Haus Opens Second Illinois Location in Decatur on February 10th

About Dog Haus

Dog Haus is a craft casual hot dog concept known for its gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers and a one of a kind fried chicken sandwich.  Founded by partners Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz and André Vener, three friends who share a passion for good food, creativity, quality and commitment to community, the first Dog Haus opened in Pasadena, California in 2010.  Dog Haus has garnered critical acclaim and national attention for its signature all beef dogs and hand crafted sausages with no added nitrates, 100% Black Angus beef burgers, and a fried chicken sandwich, all of which are made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat.  All dogs, sausages, burgers and the fried chicken sandwich are served on grilled King’s Hawaiian rolls.  Guests can choose from signature Haus creations or customize their own from a wide array of unique toppings.  To chase it down, guests can select great craft beers from a tap list emphasizing local favorites, and they can finish their meals on a sweet note with premium shakes or soft-serve ice cream.  Open daily, Dog Haus currently has 27 locations open in 20 states with confirmed expansion of more than 450 franchise locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. For up to date location and brand information, visit doghaus.com or find us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram @DogHausDogs.

About Goalz Restaurant Group

Goalz Restaurant Group was formed by four restaurant industry veterans who had a goal to start and develop their own company that would focus around helping others. Goalz Restaurant Group is currently scheduled to open 265 restaurants over the next few years across ten states, (NC, SC, GA, FL, LA, OH, CO, WY, KY, IL) and has additional plans to grow further.

Contact:
Diana Leadley
Fish Consulting
954-893-9150
dleadley@fish-consulting.com

Read more: restaurantnews.com

Baby Boomers Marrying Again: Where Do Pre-Nups Fit In?

baby boomers marry again

 

Congratulations! You have found love again after your peaceful (or not-so-peaceful) divorce from your first spouse. You have decided that you want to live together and blend your lives, just like in your first marriage when you were fairly young. What do you need to know about baby boomers marrying again?

You (and your fiancé) believe marriage is an institution that will support your high level of commitment to each other.  You want to do more than just date, or live together without being married.  You see your relationship as permanent and wish it to be life-long and supportive throughout old age.

You believe you learned some lessons from your first marriage – both in terms of your choice of a spouse and how you can create a peaceful marriage.  You are better prepared to support a marriage through its ups and downs and handle the inevitable conflict that goes along with marriage.

However, there’s a little fly in the ointment.  Both you and Mr. Right #2 have children from your previous marriages. They are in high school, college, or are in the process of launching their young adult careers. You both also have assets accumulated during your first marriages – you each have a home, retirement accounts, and other assets. You’re not particularly rich, but you do wonder, what happens if you divorce again. You also may be wondering how to leave a legacy to your children if your marriage stays together, but you die before Husband #2.

Baby Boomers Marrying Again: Here’s Where Pre-Nups Fit In

Most people would like to leave a financial legacy to their children when they die. And many of our grown (and semi-grown) children need some financial help from us while we’re living, both in securing their education and helping them embark on their adult lives. Our parents helped us, and we want to help our children. It’s a natural inclination, and an embodiment of parental love, which is fierce and protective.

But you also have another intention that you want to fulfill – providing security for your new Baby Boomer spouse. You love that person, too, and with love comes a sense of protectiveness.

You are remarrying in your 50s, 60s or even 70s. One of the aims of a “gray” marriage is to support each other as you grow older, enjoy retirement together, and care for each other as you age. This is part of a long-term marriage. Your allegiance and commitment to your new spouse must be very strong in order for a second marriage to succeed. And that includes, in most cases, a financial commitment to your new spouse.

A challenge faced in Baby Boomer second marriages is how to balance the competing interests of our new spouse and our children. We want to support the well-being of our new spouse (who we love), and also to help our children by giving them a financial “leg up” during our lifetime and after our death.

What happens if I die without a prenup?

Most states have laws that protect the interest of a surviving spouse to inherit from his or her deceased spouse. If someone dies without a will (this is called “intestacy”), depending on the state and the family composition, a surviving spouse could obtain from 30% to 100% of the deceased spouse’s probate assets.  Non-probate property (such as life insurance and retirement accounts) is distributed in accordance with the account owner’s beneficiary designations.

You can enter into a discussion with your fiancé before the marriage as to what your estate plans would be after each of your deaths. Will your assets be split between your surviving spouse and children? Will the surviving spouse hold some of your property for future distribution to your children?

In all states, a spouse has the right “to elect against the will.”  That means, that if that spouse has been disinherited or receives an unreasonably small legacy, that spouse may apply for a statutory share of the deceased spouse’s estate.  Depending on the state, this provides a widow or widower somewhere between the income generated from 30% of the estate and 50% of the entire estate outright.

An estate plan that provides a surviving spouse at least what this spousal election against the will or intestacy would provide (if that’s consistent with a spouse’s estate distribution intentions) would be a good way to divide an estate between a person’s (second) spouse and his or her children from a first marriage.

However, sometimes the surviving spouse will need to be supported during his or her lifetime before assets are distributed to the children of the first spouse to die. This can be done by estate planning that includes QTIP trusts, credit shelter trusts, and lifetime interests in real estate. All these possibilities need to be thought out carefully, with the guidance of an estate planning attorney.

The downside of relying on premarital (or post marital) discussions and decisions is that people can change their minds any time before their death. Also, sometimes flexibility is important in estate planning. Things can and should change as events unfold.  But people can change their estate plans and beneficiary designations right up until the time they die. Sometimes this can result in a very undesirable surprise.

Then there’s the issue of divorce.

If the second Baby Boomer marriage ends in divorce, there is a full panoply of laws dealing with property division and spousal support.  These laws have developed over many years. Their intent is to provide an equitable result based on the facts and circumstances of that particular marriage.

But some Baby Boomers have felt burned by their first divorces, especially if they had the bad luck of having a highly litigated divorce.  (There are many better ways to get divorced!)

Where do Prenups fit in?

Prenups can provide certainty on these three issues: what happens if one of the spouses dies during the Baby Boomer marriage, what happens if there is a divorce, and if there is a divorce, how do you avoid litigation?  Prenups can also provide ground rules as to how the couple will spend money and support each other financially during the marriage.

In a prenup, children of the first marriage can be protected, while balancing the financial needs of the new spouse. Divorce terms that seem fair and equitable can be included, and even some flexibility can be built in if things change in the future.

If there is a divorce, the method used in the divorce can be specified. It can be an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation, collaborative law, or arbitration.

Prenups can also set the terms of how the new couple will financially assist their children from their previous marriages. Will there be lifetime gifts made equally to all of them? What if one child needs more help than the other children? What funds should this assistance come out of – previous premarital assets or assets and income earned and accumulated during the marriage?

Prenuptial agreements are not always the magic bullet they are touted to be. Because they are done right before the marriage, they often cause painful conflict between people who love each other at the very time feelings are the most tender. They pit people in opposition with each other, and often under the guidance of attorneys, the result ends up being extremely unsupportive of the financial needs of one of the new spouses, to the stark advantage of the other.

That’s because many attorneys view prenups solely as “asset protection” contract, without thinking about the health of the marriage or the well-being of a less-moneyed Baby Boomer spouse. Remember, showing caring and compassion to each other (even if you are negotiating a prenuptial agreement) bodes well for the health and survival of your new marriage. In fact, caring and compassion for the other is at the core of a successful marriage.

Prenups are generally enforceable, so the terms you have chosen will not be changeable unless you mutually agree on the changes. In this way, people entering into them can have peace of mind as to what will happen during their lives and after their death. But the downside is situations may change, and one of the spouses may be unwilling to change the terms of the prenup when the other spouse feels it’s appropriate to do so.

Remember to play fair.

If you’ve decided to negotiate a prenup, remember to play fair. Show your love of the person you are marrying by providing in the prenup for a soft landing in case your marriage ends in divorce. And as hard as it is (and despite a possible bad experience from your first divorce), remember that divorce laws can be good guidance when formulating terms in a prenup to address a split-up in a fair and compassionate way.

So, congratulations on your Baby Boomer second marriage.  You have some choices to make –including whether or not to have a prenup.  Also, you may want to have some serious discussions about the terms of your marriage and how you will handle your estates if one of you dies at a time when your marriage is intact. Be sure to get the guidance and information you need to understand the issues involved and how to address them. This will help make things clearer between you and will serve to make your marriage stronger when you tie the knot again.

The post Baby Boomers Marrying Again: Where Do Pre-Nups Fit In? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read more: divorcedmoms.com

The best football movies on Netflix

best football movies netflix undefeated

Each and every regular NFL season plays out like a soap opera. There’s never-ending drama. There are betrayals. There are storyline shifts you could have never seen coming. And if that’s not enough, there’s always football movies on Netflix.

Unlike the Netflix categories of boxing, soccer, and basketball movies, the football category on the streaming service features a few of the most well-known films about the sport. Of course, you won’t find some football classics like Remember the Titans, Rudy, Brian’s Song, or Varsity Blues, there are plenty of other hard-hitting and gut-busting football movies on Netflix to keep you entertained.

The best football movies on Netflix
1) Friday Night Lights

Before the five-season series became a critical (and somewhat cult-like) success, Billy Bob Thornton starred in the 2004 movie version of Friday Night Lights, showcasing what happens in a small Texas town when the high school football team’s best player goes down with an injury. There are all kinds of societal implications with the injury, and it’s up to the football coach to help solve the town’s problems. And yes, it would be his problem if the team isn’t successful. As Roger Ebert wrote, the town is filled with “adults who define themselves in terms of their relationship to the team. These people are obsessed beyond all reason with winning and losing.” It makes a heck of a setting for a football movie.

best football movies Netflix friday night lights

Movieclips/YouTube

2) The Waterboy

One of Adam Sandler’s most iconic films—for better or for worse—The Waterboy tells the tale of Bobby Boucher, the man-child who is living his dream of providing water for his college football team. But after he gets fired, he makes a dramatic turn as a hard-hitting player on a different squad. Thoughts on the film are mixed. It’s currently at 35 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but in a Daily Dot review of the 12 Adam Sandler movies on Netflix, it ranks No. 2. Either way, it’s probably the most famous football comedy since the Marx Brothers kicked around the pigskin in 1932’s Horse Feathers (which is sadly not available on Netflix).

Best football movies Netlix the water boy adam sandler

R N/YouTube

3) Happy Valley

Showcasing some of the worst attributes of college football fandom, this 2014 documentary explores the atmosphere surrounding the case of Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s former defensive coordinator who was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse in 2011. Despite the national scorn and disgust the story brought, many in the Penn State community rallied around the football program and legendary coach Joe Paterno, who was implicated by his feigned ignorance of the years-long abuse. This film explores the community’s reaction to the Sandusky nightmare—including from those who are mad that the news was even being discussed. The New Yorker called this film “mesmerizing.”

best football movies netflix penn state happy valley jerry sandusky

Movieclips Indie/YouTube

READ MORE:

The best Netflix original series of 2018
The best Netflix original documentaries of 2018
The best Netflix comedy specials of 2018
The best Netflix original movies of 2018

4) The 4th Company

As the Daily Dot’s Eddie Strait wrote in April 2018, The 4th Company is a movie that’s truly about dramatizing “the institutional corruption of the Mexican prison system.” But football plays an important role in the Netflix original drama. The film is set around Zambrano, a man who’s sent to a Mexican prison for car theft in the late 1970s. He brings his football gear with him to his new home and joins the prison’s football team, Los Perros. Quickly, though, he learns that playing football isn’t the most important aspect of being a Los Perros member. So, is this football movie on Netflix worth watching? As Strait opines, “The 4th Company reaches for a high bar but frequently loses its grip. If you enjoy crime films, this one will scratch your itch until the next one comes along.”

best football movies netflix the fourth company

Señor X/YouTube

5) Undefeated

On the opposite plane of a film like Friday Night Lights, which dramatizes a successful football program in a small town, this 2012 documentary tells the story of a historically inept inner-city high school team in Memphis. Before the 2009 season, the Manassas squad, which had been playing for 110 years, had never won a playoff game. It doesn’t matter if you care about football. This film will entertain and inspire you. It follows the path of a volunteer coach and three of the team’s players for a full season. The film—which won an Oscar for best feature documentary—doesn’t focus all of its attention on football. Instead, it shows what football could mean for the future of these teenage boys and how, in reality, it might be all that they ever have.

best football movies netflix undefeated

Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

6) Last Chance U

Pay attention all you Friday Night Lights fans out there. Last Chance U takes a look at the East Mississippi Community College Football team. As the players pursue their NFL dreams, they deal with hardships at EMCC and in their home lives. The show is an intimate, occasionally inspiring look at one of the most unconventional, unrecognized, and effective programs in college football. —Chris Osterndorf

netflix football movies last chance u

Netflix/YouTube

7) A Triumph of the Heart

In 1984, NFL running back Ricky Bell, who was the first player selected in the 1977 draft, died after suffering from diseases that affected his skin, muscles, and the tissues that connect them. His talent had been compared to that of O.J. Simpson, but he died at 29 years old in the prime of his career and of his life. This 1991 made-for-TV film, starring Mario Van Peebles, tells Bell’s story and the friendship he struck with a disabled boy. As People wrote, “You’re in for a tearjerker. And as onion dicers go, this is rather unimaginative. But Van Peebles’s completely charming performance and uncommonly good on-field and locker-room footage make this the most moving TV movie about football since James Caan and Billy Dee Williams starred in Brian’s Song.”

best football movies netflix triumph of the heart

filmnoir2019/YouTube

More football movies on Netflix
8) Friday Night Tykes

You’ve seen Friday Night Lights, but have you seen Friday Night Tykes? This documentary series—all four seasons are available on Netflix—shows just how young football obsession starts in Texas. You’ll be surprised at just how much pressure these kids face—not just from the coaches but from everyone around them as well.

football documentary netflix friday night tykes

Netflix

9) QB1: Beyond the Lights

A new documentary series from Friday Nigth Lights creator Peter Berg, QB1: Beyond the Lights follow three promising high school quarterbacks looking to make it to Division 1 college football. At only 10 episodes long and about 30 minutes a piece, you’ll fly through this series.

football movies on netflix - qb1

Netflix

10) Career High

Yet another movie about Texas high school football. The difference is that this one doesn’t focus on what happens on the field. It’s about what happens off of it, zeroing in on racial tension in the town and the impact the bad deeds of a few players can have on the whole team.

netflix football career high

Netflix

Bonus: Blue Mountain State

Imagine if Varsity Blues was a TV show and not a movie. That’s basically Blue Mountain State, a party-fueled sitcom about three freshman: the quarterback, running back, and refreshingly, the mascot. Three seasons are available on Netflix.

football shows on netflix blue mountain state

Netflix

Still not sure what to watch tonight? Here are our guides for the absolute best movies on Netflix, must-see Netflix original series, documentaries, docuseries, and movies.

Looking for something more specific? Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, true crime, food shows, rom-coms, LGBT movies, alien movies, gangster movies, Westerns, film noir, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, old movies when you need something classic, and standup specials when you really need to laugh. Or check out Flixable, a search engine for Netflix.

The post The best football movies on Netflix appeared first on The Daily Dot.

Read more: dailydot.com

Monochromatic Popping Bottles Baby Shower

Monochromatic Popping Bottles Baby Shower on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (29)

From the puff of the powder to the shake of the rattle, this Monochromatic Popping Bottles Baby Shower, is sure to have you dazzled!

Styled by Danisa Betances of ADAL Kreation, out of Brooklyn,NY; this stunning event is “popping” with adorable party ideas you have to see!

Some of which, include;

Monochromatic Balloon Garlands + Installations
Gorgeous Black & White Cakes
Cute Baby Themed Sugar Cookies
Black Sequin Runners
White Floral Centerpieces
Black & White Candlesticks
And adorable sweets with Macaron Bottle Toppers!

The post Monochromatic Popping Bottles Baby Shower appeared first on Kara's Party Ideas.

Read more: karaspartyideas.com

Halloween tricks (and treats) to save you money

Halloween costs can add up: decorations, costumes, candy and more! Here are some fun and easy tricks to save money this Halloween, while still enjoying the holiday to the fullest.

Easy tricks to save you money this Halloween
Candy coupons or sales

Check out if any local grocery stores have coupons or sales on candy. You can do this either by popping into the store or scouring their online coupons.

Halloween tricks (and treats) to save you money
Costumes

Consider doing a DIY costume with things you already have around the house. Another money-saving option is to do a costume swap with a friend (same can be done with the kid’s costumes). Or, if you have kids, consider going to a thrift shop and giving them each $10 to create their own costumes.

DIY décor

There are so many cute and creative ways to decorate without breaking the bank. Pinterest always has great DIY ideas for décor, as well as many other blogs and online DIY sites. Do some research and get creative. This can be especially fun if you involve your kids or grandkids in the process.

Timing

Consider buying costumes and decorations off season. You can do this by either buying everything last minute, or right after Halloween ends for next year.

Free local events

Community centres and libraries will often have information about free, family-friendly events during Halloween. Also, consider checking out the “events” section of Facebook to find free or low cost events in your area.

Halloween tricks (and treats) to save you money
Create free or affordable traditions

Not every tradition has to cost money. Help save yourself money by coming up with fun and memorable traditions that cost little to no money. For example: go for a nice long walk or hike every year, carve pumpkins and bake the seeds, watch a spooky movie at home, help the kids put on a Halloween themed play, and make decorations together.

Invest in items that can be re-purposed

If you do decide to spend money on something for Halloween, try to think of ways it can be re-purposed. For example, a pumpkin serving plate that can be used for Thanksgiving as well. Or consider buying costume pieces that can be used year after year for different costumes (like a wig or cape).

If you think we missed any awesome money-saving tips for Halloween, be sure to share them in the comments section!

Did you like this? You might like these posts too!

Trick or treat! Our top 5 Halloween safety tips
Answers to some of your money-related questions
Tips to teach your kids about money

About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.

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Healthy Cheese Balls for Kids

We knew there was a way to make healthy Cheese balls for kids by adding spinach, and they turned out amazing!

Parents seem to be split with the idea of hiding vegetables. Some think it’s a terrible idea and we should let the kids see all the veggies they are eating. Others think it’s a great idea, because it enhances the health of the dish, usually in a natural way.  We already don’t “see” everything in our food as it is.   Our cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals, yet we embrace it. I am in the second camp. I think it’s great. It doesn’t mean hidden veggies need to replace eating vegetables that the kids can see.  Instead we include veggies both ways- hidden and exposed.

So, with that set up I wanted to share the veggies we added to these AMAZING CHEESE BALLS!! Potatoes and spinach! 

Why potatoes are a great ingredient for your kids

Potatoes have lots of amazing nutrients that can not be denied. Potatoes

  • An excellent source of vitamin C  (at 45% of the Daily value, it’s more than a sweet potato!)
  • A good source of potassium. With 620 mg, potatoes have more potassium than a banana.
  • A good source of vitamin B6 : Vitamin B6 is important for carb and protein metabolism.
  • Fat-, sodium, and cholesterol free and 2 grams of fiber.

Why spinach is good for kids:

Spinach is actually well accepted by most kids.  It’s flavor is mild, and it blends well with many different types of dishes that kids are already familiar with. Green smoothies have been a key way that many parents have gotten their kids to consume spinach.  But recipes like these cheese balls are also great!  Some reasons we love spinach include:

  • Spinach contains almost 92% water, 3.5% carbs (mostly from fiber) and 3% protein.  (source)
  • Spinach is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K1, Folic acid, Iron, and Calcium.

Other Spinach recipes we have that kids also love include:

Other potato recipes that your kids will love:

The post Healthy Cheese Balls for Kids appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

Elderberries: Natural Immune System Support

Elderberries: Natural Immune System Support

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Black elderberries grow commonly in the wild in many parts of the world, and they are inexpensive to order online as well.  Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) has been studied in the medical literature, and when compared to placebos or other immunity treatments, it has been shown to be very helpful! We make elderberry gummies most often, but you can get elderberry in syrup, pre-made gummies, or even cook it into foods from dried berries.

Take as prevention

Elderberry isn’t something like antibiotics that you can build up a tolerance to, and studies are shown that it works both acutely (taken during an illness such as influenza) and preventatively (taken prior to air travel, where many people get sick).

We find elderberry to be most helpful in preventing illness, and if we do get it, allowing us to fight it off quickly. I try to have all of us take elderberry every day during the school year, and in my n=4 study (ie studying the 4 people in my house 😉 ) it helps tremendously!

Where to buy:

Dried elderberries
Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry Capsules (I take these, or sometimes I open them and put them into food- it’s just a dried berry and easy to add to applesauce, or even pureed soup!)
Elderberry gummies – These are not GAPS legal, but for most people, the trace of sugar and ease of delivery will be a preferred method to get these into children (or make your own using this recipe)

Elderberry in Medical Literature

In the abstract of these studies (done by medical professionals), it is stated over and over again that elderberry is well-known for its antiviral properties.

It is so encouraging that there is so much literature to support this natural remedy!

This study compares elderberry to echinacea, and Elderberry comes out on top, with the researchers advocating its use in those with influenza, as well as the immunocompromised like AIDS and cancer patients.
This study studied specifically air travel and upper respiratory (cold) prevention with elderberry.  Compared to a placebo, elderberry did not show a statistically significant reduction in the number of people who caught colds but it did show a significant reduction in both symptoms and duration of the colds when elderberry was taken.
This study of mice shows that elderberry may have significant antidepressant properties.
This study suggests that elderberry is not only anti-viral against influenza A but also helpful against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathological bacteria, specifically in the upper respiratory tract, suggesting that it can help with both viral and bacterial infections.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study in humans showed elderberry to reduce flu duration by 3-4 days and increase immune response to lessen symptoms and need for other medications. It was shown to have both anti-viral and immune-stimulating properties.  This means that it both fights a viral infection and increases the body’s ability to also fight the infection.
This study of 60 humans in Norway showed that both symptoms and duration of influenza A and B were reduced when using elderberry compared to a placebo.
This study shows that elderberry is effective against both viruses and bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.
This study in mice suggests that elderberry juice stimulates immune response and reduces viral infection.
This study of chickens suggests that elderberry is more effective than vaccination against Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV).

Flu Vaccine vs Elderberry

I try to avoid most of the vaccine debate, but it is worth addressing briefly. It is no secret that the flu vaccine is not very effective (Source: Immune History of Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness), and it is shown that the more often that you get the flu vaccine, the less effective it becomes.

Whether or not you choose to get the flu vaccine, elderberry IS shown over and over again to be very effective against many varieties of both viruses and bacterial infections and is worthwhile to add to your preventive medicine cabinet.

The reason elderberry works where the flu vaccine doesn’t is because it naturally stimulates your own immune system, allowing you to respond to whatever is thrown your way – not just specific strains. Elderberry also is made in nature and is so much more complex than something made in a lab, allowing it to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties against many many many different pathogens (things that make us sick!).

GAPS and Elderberries

Elderberries

In the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride talks about the immunity boosting properties of Elderberries:

Medicinal properties of this plant have been appreciated for centuries. Its flowers, berries, leaves, and bark were traditionally used for treating colds, pneumonia, flu, sore throat… and many other ailments. Black Elderberry has got strong immune-stimulating properties and it is one of the most powerful anti-viral remedies known to man. You do not have to be an experienced herbalist to use this plant.

Juicing Elderberries

Dr Campbell-McBride goes on to recommend juicing the berries with the daily juicing on the GAPS protocol (she recommends 1 teaspoon of fresh berries juiced per person per day), we don’t always do daily juicing so I’ve been finding other ways to get elderberries into our diets.

Elderberry Gummies

Elderberry syrup is good, the kids love the gummies though, and they can double as bribes when needed.  I keep them in the fridge, these don’t have as much gelatin in them as other gummie recipes, they’re more like a very firm gelatin than a fruit snack.  Easy for little mouths to chew.

These are also easy to portion out into lunchboxes, as I tend to pack a few days’ worth of lunches at a time.

Get the recipe for elderberry gummies here. 

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is easily poured onto pancakes, mixed with hot water as tea, or stirred into yogurt.

Elderberry Syrup

The syrup recipe is easily added to based on flavors you prefer, and adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand. In fact, the only mandatory ingredients in the syrup are elderberries and water!  The other ingredients  serve purposes of flavoring (vanilla), antiviral (cinnamon, ginger, and cloves), vitamin C (rose hips), and sweetening (honey) so they’re helpful, but not necessary in the homemade elderberry syrup.

1 cup dried elderberries (or 2 cups fresh ~)
2 tablespoons rose hips
2 cinnamon sticks
5 cloves
1 teaspoon dried ginger or one inch peeled fresh ginger
1/4 vanilla bean
4 cups water
2 cups honey

Over medium-low heat simmer the elderberries, rose hips, cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, vanilla bean and water.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until liquid is thick and syrupy and reduced by half.   While the mixture is still warm (or the elderberries will absorb all of your syrup!) strain the syrup through a sieve.  Combine with honey and store in an airtight container (I use a mason jar) in the refrigerator.

1-2 teaspoons a day is recommended to help prevent illness.  Honey is not recommended for children under 1 year of age, due to the very small risk of botulism.

Adding Dried Elderberries to Applesauce

I made my apple sauce in the crockpot, which can be further reduced to make apple butter if desired.

To make elderberry applesauce, simply core and slice 8-12 apples, place in the crockpot with 1/2 cup of water.  Add 1 tablespoon dried elderberries.  Cover, and cook on low overnight.

Add honey if needed to sweeten and blend the entire pot with an immersion blender to puree the skins and berries into the applesauce.

Enjoy warm or cool!  The berries do at a slight berry flavor to the apple sauce, and the tiny seeds are just barely noticeable.  Our family enjoys this version of apple sauce!

About Immunity Boosting Herbs

I believe herbs and other natural remedies, like cinnamon and honey for colds, can be very helpful for supporting our immune system, and promoting a healthy body.

But, I don’t want to overlook the fact that in order for our body, including our immune system, to work properly we need to make sure we’re feeding it nourishing health building foods such as good quality food; egg yolks from pastured hens, cream and butter and meat from grassfed animals, wild healthy seafood, fresh vegetables and fruits, properly prepared whole grains for those who eat grains, etc.

Without these basic building blocks to work with, the resulting malnourished body will constantly be run down and difficult to keep healthy through the cold and flu season! But when that foundation is in place, herbal and other natural remedies can be a wonderful addition to our medicine cabinet.

 

Other home remedies I use and have had success with:

Honey and cinnamon as a cold remedy
Ginger tea for sore throats
Dandelion root tea for fat digestion and liver health
Epsom salts for detoxification
DLPA to quit coffee
Oil Pulling for oral hygiene
Garlic Olive Oil for Ear Aches

 

The post Elderberries: Natural Immune System Support appeared first on Health, Home, & Happiness.

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Paintbrush Santa Ornament – DIY Christmas Ornament

If you are into recycled crafts, this adorable paintbrush Santa ornament makes a perfect Christmas craft for kids to make. You can even make other characters and all of them will look amazing on your Christmas tree. *this post contains affiliate links* This Santa Paintbrush is a fun and inexpensive way to create a unique […]

The post Paintbrush Santa Ornament – DIY Christmas Ornament appeared first on Easy Peasy and Fun.

Leaf Rubbings Wreath – An Easy Fall Project for Kids

Make leaf rubbings & create a colorful wreath that will last indefinitely in this easy fall project from Joanna of The Blue Barn.

Glueing leaves to wreath

Hi Joanna Walker here from The Blue Barn and today I’m sharing a project that involves one of my favorite simple fall invitations – leaf rubbings.

This activity is not new to many of you I’m sure. But I wanted to take you through the simple invitation I left out for my children after school one day.  This activity grew and evolved into so many different projects that are great for all ages–all from a simple leaf.

Fall Leaf Rubbings

So to start with, here’s a highlight of the materials we used to create our finished wreaths. However, to begin with a simple leaf rubbing, you will only need a few items from this supply list.

Fall Wreath Leaf Rubbings for Kids

How to Make a Leaf Rubbings WreathThis post contains affiliate links.

MATERIALS

  • Plain white paper
  • Oil Pastels (crayons will work too)
  • Tray
  • Watercolor paint – (we like liquid watercolors)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Cardboard hoop
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Materials for Fall Leaf Rubbings Wreath project

1. Prep supplies

I began by setting this project up on a sunny fall day, you know the perfect day where you need a sweater but the sun is warm and breeze smells good.

The kids were coming off the school bus and I didn’t want them to disappear inside and miss the last of the afternoon sun so I had laid out all that they would need to begin, right next to an afternoon snack. Because lets face it no–kid wants to get creative when they are hungry!

On a tray were a few sheets of the white printer paper, oil pastels in fall colors and a few leaves to get them going.

Autumn leaf rubbings

2. Create leaf rubbing

It didn’t take long for them to spot the oil pastels and leaves. I showed them how to take a rubbing from the back side of a leaf and they were off.

Detail of leaf rubbing

To make a good leaf rubbing, place a leaf bumpy side up under a sheet of paper.

Making leaf rubbings

Then, taking an oil pastel, rub the side of the oil pastel over the paper where the leaf is hidden. Note::  It works best to remove the paper from the outside of the pastel first. 

It was interesting to see how my kids all interpreted this simple invitation differently.

Autumn Wreath Leaf Rubbing

My youngest immediately took the tray and all the supplies and went off on a “leaf hunt”.  He wanted me to identify all the leaves he’d made rubbings of when he came back.

He would wander around the garden and when he found an extra special leaf he would bend down and take a print of it.

Boy making leaf rubbings on paper

My other son chose to take a few different shaped leaves and lay them under the paper. He then began to play a kind of hide-and-seek guessing game as to which leaf shape he was making a print of.

Leaf rubbings

My daughter, who is slightly older, took a more scientific approach and found great delight in very slowly uncovering all the different veins and lines on the leaf.

We talked about things she had learned in science and I answered questions it then triggered in my son about how plants eat and drink.

Fall Leaf Rubbings Activity for Kids

After a lot of leaf rubbings and easy chatter we had run out of paper so I collected all the different prints and told the kids we would take them inside and work some magic on them!

Painting watercolors over crayon leaf rubbings

3. Paint leaf rubbings

Next, I mixed up a wash of black watercolor paint. You could choose a more fall like color (yellow, red, orange) but I wanted the colors to pop through for the kids so I chose black.

Boy holding up leaf rubbing project painted with watercolors

We painted all the sheets of leaves and the kids were delighted to see how the paint ran off the oil pastels with the colors showing through.

4. Paint cardboard hoop

We couldn’t let all the pretty leaves go to waste, so while the leaves were drying we painted the cardboard hoops with acrylic paint.

Cutting out fall leaf rubbings

5. Cut out leaf rubbings

Once the leaves were dry we began to carefully cut them all out tracing around the outside of each of the leaf prints.

Glueing leaves to wreath

6. Glue leaves to wreath

Just add glue! Have the kids stick the leaves to their painted rings.

Fall Leaf Rubbings Wreath

 

Thank you for joining me, I hope you will go and enjoy some simple leaf art with your children. Let us know where it leads you.

About the Author

Joanna of The Blue Barn

Joanna Walker is the creator behind The Blue Barn which offers art experiences for children, and she teaches preschool art classes part-time. She’s a mom to four children ages 13, 11, 9 & 7.

If you’d like to see more ideas from Joanna, you can check out her blog, Blue Barn Living. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Her favorite place to hang out online is Instagram for the positive, supportive community of each other’s creativity– and there is SO much inspiration to be found.

Pin It For Later

Make leaf rubbings & create a colorful wreath that will last indefinteily in this easy fall project from Joanna of The Blue Barn. #fallcrafts #artsandcrafts #kidscraft #kidsactivities #craftsforkids #handmadegifts #recycledcraft #craftsforkids

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7 Advanced Research Methods To Find the Deepest Darkest Fears Of Your Audience And Use This Marketing Gold To Explode Your Sales

Ever seen an archer shoot an apple off someone’s head?

It’s a chilling sight, but the best archers do it without batting an eye.

But what if they had to demonstrate the same expertise in a dark room?

Would they still be so confident?

I bet they won’t be getting any volunteers for the act.

Starting a niche site without researching your target audience is exactly the same as shooting arrows in the dark.

You have no idea of what you’re aiming at (which makes the rest of your skills pretty useless)

No matter how good a writer you are or how easily you can rank sites in Google Search, if you don’t know your audience you’ll NEVER be able to understand their problems and find the right solutions for them (and make money online).

This is the biggest reason why most aspiring marketers fail.

They fail to develop any real understanding of the niche they’re targeting.

And just in case you’re wondering, knowing the age, gender or country of your audience doesn’t even qualify as “scratching the surface” when it comes to market research.

It’s common knowledge that all of your competitors already have.

And when you know only as much as your competitors, do you think you can outperform them? Pretty hard, in my opinion

You need to dive deeper to not only understand the real needs of your audience but also to get a grip on the emotions, the fears, the pains, and the experiences that shape and impact the decision making process of your ideal customer.

Not sure what that means and how it happens?

Keep reading with an open mind.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…

 

What You’ll Learn In This Post

Why you’ve been doing research all wrong till now
Why it’s so important to understand the decision-making process of your prospects
How you can use competitor analysis to understand your niche
Why it’s important to learn from the failed products in your industry

 

Audience Research: Go Beyond Demographics and Ask the Right Questions

As I said, knowing the age or the location of your target customers is great. But it’s the most basic information that all of your competitors already have.

You have a lot more to research and understand.

For example, a typical buyer goes through multiple psychological states and faces several mental barriers before making a purchase decision.

Are you aware of the objections or the biases of an average buyer in your niche?

Without in-depth research, you can’t figure out what’s holding them back from buying from you.

To identify the problems that your target audience faces on a daily basis, to find the right solutions for those problems, and to find the right angles to pitch those solutions so that your audience considers your offer a favor rather than a greedy sales pitch, you must dig deeper.

You need to think from every angle possible and ask more specific questions about your audience.

Understand their beliefs, cognitive biases, fears, pains, desires, hopes, aspirations, and their ideals in life.

There are some AMAZINGLY in-depth lessons and execution plans (templates you can follow) in NicheHacks Insider that’ll make it much easier for you to ask these questions.

But I’ll share just one lesson here (sshh! I’m giving out premium stuff here, don’t tell Stuart)

When trying to understand your audience, ask probing questions from the following angles

 

Emotions

Pains and Problems

Status Aspiration (Power, Prestige, or Possessions)

What’s the most common emotion your buyers experience every day with regards to your niche?

What are the biggest pains/problems (related to your niche) they are facing and how are they affecting other aspects of their lives?
How badly do they want to change/solve this situation and what kind of pleasure would they experience if it is solved?

Which of the ‘3 Ps’ (it could be one or more) of status does your target audience desire?
Which of the ‘3 P’s do they have now? (It may be none)
Which of the ‘3 P’s are they missing?
How would their life change if they managed to achieve these levels of status?

Hopes

Wants and Desires

Beliefs

In what ways does your target audience feel trapped now?
If they could escape any of these feelings and situations what would be the ideal outcome?
What does their perfect escape route look like? (i.e. how do they plan to escape from this situation)
What do they HOPE will happen in their lives to transform it into their perfect life instead?

What does your target audience want/desire from you? 
What do they actually NEED to get their end result/problems solved?
How will you give them what they WANT / DESIRE whilst also wrapping it up in what they NEED to succeed?

What do they believe about themselves in regards to your product?
What beliefs and feelings (right and wrong) do they have towards your niche and the people selling products in it?
What objections will this cause in your prospect towards you and the products you recommend to them?

 

The more you know about your audience the more they’ll trust you because they’d feel that you genuinely understand their needs and have the right solutions for them.

You’ll be able to mold your language, your content angles, and the tone of your sales pitches to match their needs.

So how do you find the answers to the questions I’ve listed above (and many other relevant questions) that’ll help you get a grip on the needs of your audience?

Here are a few ways to get you moving.

 

1. Define the Problem (Opportunity) That You’ve Identified

Every profitable business is built by solving a key problem of a well-defined target audience.

The bigger (and more urgent) the problem, the more money you can make by solving it.

But problem identification has several stages.

At first, you don’t have all the details of the problem. But you know that it exists and have a vague idea of who your target audience is.

It’s a great starting point for more research, but it’s not enough to build a strategy on its own (newbies, take note please)

At this point, you need to define the problem as you know it. State your current understanding of what the problem is, who is it affecting, where is it affecting them and how is it affecting them.

With this limited info, create a loosely defined sample profile (buyer persona) that you can focus on and start learning more about.

Based on some of the questions I mentioned earlier in the post, here’s a sample buyer profile

 

 

Here’s another example of a buyer persona template you can use.

 

Source: Digital Marketer

 

Of course, any information that you enter at this stage will be based on your assumptions and existing knowledge of your niche.

But it will give you a starting point for more in-depth research and help you stay focused

As you start learning more about your audience, you’ll need to keep updating your personas

In the next point, I’ll show you how to take your research process to a completely new level by using competitor analysis.

So keep reading.

 

2. Analyze Your Top Competitors and Their Best Performing Content

Competitor analysis is a great way to piggyback your competitors to understand how your target audience is responding to different types of content and what topics you should target first.

But your competitors are not limited to the blogs or websites that are promoting the same products or targeting the same topics as you are.

Any sites that are targeting the main problems and pains, plus any of the desires of your audience, are your competitors.

Let’s take the example of the buyer persona I created in the last point.

One of Eric’s (our sample buyer) desires is to wear fashionable clothes.

Most weight loss blogs don’t write about obese fashion.

But it’s a topic your target buyer wants to read about.

If you focus solely on the topics related to healthy eating and work out techniques, you won’t be able to address this particular desire.

You need to somehow connect your main topic with the supplementary topics that your audience is interested in

So the right way to identify your competitors is to target the sites that are writing about any of your audience’s desires or problems

If you can’t immediately think of any competitors, use SEMRush to get recommendations

Simply enter your website URL (or any other site) and SEMRush will give you 4-5 other sites that have similar audiences.

For example, here’s the list of competitors I got for NerdFitness, a popular fitness blog.

 

Source: SEMRush

 

These are the sites that are ranking in the top Google Search results for closely related keywords.

You can also simply search Google to find the competing blogs using search queries like “Top Blogs [Your Niche][Year]”, “Best Blogs [Your Niche]”, “[Your Niche] Blogs You Need to Follow” etc.

 

Source: Google

 

Once you have a decent list of potential competitors, start analyzing their content and the reader comments on each article.

In between the useless “Great Post!” comments, there are some real hidden gems that can tell you a LOT about what your audience really wants to know.

For example, look at this comment on a blog post published on NerdFitness sharing success tips for weight loss.

This comment must’ve given the blog owner plenty of content ideas for the future.

 

Source: NerdFitness

 

The commenter is essentially saying that she has already tried all the tips the article shares but she still hasn’t seen the required results. She goes on to share specific needs and asks the author to write something on it.

Isn’t that great info for you as a competitor?

Usually, the most popular posts of any blog have the most comments.

So it makes sense start your research from the top performing posts of your competitors.

You can either look for the top posts manually in the “Most Popular Posts” sections that most blogs have these days.

Or you could use BuzzSumo, search for your topic, and find the most popular posts on it.

For example, I searched for the topic “weight loss tips” on BuzzSumo, and here’s what I got.

 

Source: BuzzSumo

 

In my personal experience, this single technique can help you find amazing insights with regards to the needs and the problems of your audience.

But it does require some manual work and can take a lot of time.

In the next point, I’m going to show how you can use search trends and keywords to learn more about your audience much faster.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…

 

3. Study Search Keywords and Trends To Find What People Want

Whether they’re looking for a good restaurant or tips on potty training their kids, most people simply search for it on Google.

So naturally, it’s the best place to learn more about your audience and find out what they’re looking for.

First off, you can simply type your main niche keyword in Google Search to get keyword suggestions based on what the other users are searching for.

For example, let me type “how to lose” and see what comes up

 

Source: Google

 

Interesting…

You can see that people are searching for very specific weight loss tips like losing face fat, hip fat, belly fat etc.

Gives you some idea of what your audience wants.

But let’s take this step further and search for one of these suggested keywords, “how to lose face fat”, and see what comes up in the related searches section at the bottom of the screen.

 

Source: Google

 

The related searches tell you a bit more about your audience.

They’re looking to lose face fat quickly
They’re trying yoga to lose face fat
They’re looking for natural and home remedies to lose face fat
They’re also looking for different exercises to lose face fat

But let’s use Google Trends to see if this is a topic that people are really interested in or if it’s just a temporary trend.

Here’s the search trend for “how to lose face fat” for the last 5 years according to Google Trends

 

Source: Google Trends

 

As you can, it’s a pretty steady trend and people have been searching for this topic on regular basis over the last 5 years.

If you scroll down this page, you’d find the regions and cities where this term is searched the most. This would give you further insights on your audience and where they’re located.

 

Source: Google Trends

 

Scroll further down and you’ll the section titled “Related Topics”.

This is really important information because these are the broad topics that Google thinks your target audience is interested in.

 

Source: Google Trends

 

When you click on any topic in this list, you’ll be able to see the search trends and the related topics for it as well.

All these topics connect in some way with the search query “how to lose face fat” (which, of course, directly represents your main niche topic)

Right next to this section, you can find “Related Queries” that people are searching for

 

Source: Google Trends

 

“How to lose face fat and double chin” – very interesting search term which shows you a more common term that people use to describe face fat

You can keep exploring these related topics to find SO MUCH about your audience and its interests.

Google Trends really is an amazingly useful tool.

But you can make this whole process even faster by using Ubersuggest, a great tool that gives you a detailed analysis of any topics or keywords you want.

Here’s what I got from Ubersuggest when I searched for the term “how to lose face fat”

 

Source: Ubersuggest

 

If you’re wondering why there’s a picture of Neil Patel in that screenshot, it’s because he purchased Ubersuggest a few months ago and actually made the tool even more awesome.

As you can see, the tool not only shows you the monthly search volume and trends for a keyword but also tells you how easy or difficult it is to rank for.

If you scroll down, you’ll be able to see a list of suggested keywords and related topics (just like Google Trends)

 

Source: Ubersuggest

 

If you click on the “Related” link on the top-right corner of the screen, you’ll get a list of closely related topics that your target audience is interested in.

 

Source: Ubersuggest

 

All this data, of course, is fetched from Google but it’s presented in a much more user-friendly manner specifically for internet marketers.

Remember, our objective with this exercise is not to find keywords to rank for.

We’re trying to find the broad topics that our audience is interested in and the questions they’re asking.

Which is why we won’t stop here.

YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest etc. are all great places to learn about your audience.

YouTube, in particular, is a goldmine for marketers due to the sheer volume of content uploaded to it every day.

See if any of your competitors have YouTube or Instagram profiles.

If they don’t, simply search for your main niche topics to see what content is performing the best

 

Source: YouTube

 

Use search filters to sort the results by popularity

 

Source: YouTube

 

Watch some of the top performing videos on the topic to understand why they’re so popular.

Also, keep a close eye on the comments to see the questions people are asking.

The objective of all these activities is to save time and learn from the mistakes of your competitors so that you can create even better and more useful content that’s specifically targeted towards the needs of your audience.

In the next point, I’ll show you how to learn about your target audience using Facebook (because, literally, EVERYONE uses it)

 

4. Use Facebook Audience Insights To Understand Audience Preferences

Facebook is any marketer’s dream platform (I know I say this a lot but it’s the truth!)

According to Statista, Facebook has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users as of June 2018.

 

Source: DustnTV

 

So basically most (if not all) of your target customers use Facebook as well.

And you know why that’s a great thing for you?

Because studies show that people love to share their likes/dislikes, preferences, and opinions on Facebook.

The more they share, the more you can learn about them.

A study by the University of Arizona found that people who frequently updated their Facebook status and shared their opinions openly online reported lower levels of loneliness as compared to those who rarely shared anything about themselves on Facebook.

 

Source: SAGE Journals

 

This is why a person’s activities on Facebook can tell you a lot about them.

Fortunately, Facebook offers tools that you can use to learn about your audience.

It’s called Facebook Audience Insights and it’s located in your Facebook account’s Ads Manager.

 

Source: Facebook

 

Once you get inside the Ads Manager, you can find Audience Insights under the main menu

 

Source: Facebook

 

Once inside, search for your main niche keyword in the Interests section.

Again, I’ll take the weight loss niche example, plus a few other topics related to this niche.

 

Source: Facebook

 

Here’s what Facebook Audience Insights shows against the search filters I applied

 

Source: Facebook

 

Around 90 million Facebook users are interested in the topics I searched for, out of which 64% are women and 36% are men mostly between the 25-34 years age group.

Here are the top brands and pages they follow on Facebook

 

Source: Facebook

 

Pay special attention to the Relevance and Affinity scores in the screenshot above.

The pages with a high Relevance score are closer to the interests of your audience. The Affinity score indicates the likelihood of your audience following a page.

Both the scores will help you shortlist the most relevant brands or pages that your target audience follows on Facebook.

But don’t stop here.

Remember the competitors you identified in the last point?

Go to their Facebook Pages, analyze the content they’re sharing, and look at the engagement level of their posts.

Do you see any trends? Can you learn something from the comments on their posts?

The engagement level on most Facebook Pages has gone down in the last few years. But analyzing the pages of your competitors can still give you lots of cues about your audience and its preferences.

There’s one place on Facebook, however, where audience engagement is at its peak.

Facebook Groups (you guessed it right!)

Let me show you how to use Facebook Groups to get audience insights.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…

 

5. Use Facebook Groups To Engage With Your Audience

It’s no secret that the engagement level on most Facebook Pages has been on a downhill slope for the past few years.

Earlier in 2018, Facebook officially announced that it aims to make the News Feed of its users more personal by promoting meaningful interactions between actual people instead of branded content from different Facebook Pages

A recent study by Buffer found that the average Facebook Page engagement has gone down by more than 50% in the last 12 months – much more drastic than what most of us first thought

 

Source: Buffer

 

But that doesn’t mean people have stopped using Facebook.

The loss to Facebook Pages has resulted in a huge gain for Facebook Groups.

Millions of people are participating in different discussions in closed Facebook Groups.

Which is why your audience research cannot be complete without having a good look at the most popular Facebook Groups in your niche.

The faster way to look for really high-quality Facebook Groups, in my opinion, is to search for them on Google.

You’ll find list posts in every niche about the best Facebook Groups in terms of engagement and discussion quality.

Simple use any of the following search queries.

“Best [Niche] Facebook Groups”

“List of the Best [Niche] Facebook Groups”

“[Niche] Facebook Groups You Must Follow”

Here’s what I found when I searched Google for the best weight loss groups

 

Source: Google

 

The first result is an article with a long list of strictly moderated weight loss groups on Facebook.

 

 

Source: VeryWellFit

 

However, in case you can’t find any such posts in your niche, you can directly search Facebook for the relevant groups in your niche

 

Source: Facebook

 

Narrow your search down to closed groups only because most public groups are bombarded with spam posts.

Once inside a group, start analyzing the most popular posts and discussions, and see if you can find any particular trends in the way people are asking questions.

Do you see any question being repeated again and again?

Are people asking the same question from different angles?

Can you find the top 5 questions that are being repeated all the time?

The great thing about Facebook Groups is that people feel can express themselves more openly because their activities aren’t visible to people outside the group.

This often results in casual and detailed discussions in which people share some of their deepest concerns on different topics and are way more expressive than other public platforms.

But Facebook Groups isn’t the only place where people open up and speak their heart out.

In the next point, I’ll show you a platform that’s almost as useful as Facebook Groups (sometimes even more) for audience research.

 

6. Dive Deep Into Quora, Reddit and Niche Specific Forums To See What People Are Discussing

In many ways, Quora is an even better place to learn about your audience than Facebook Groups.

It has discussion threads on almost every topic in the world with detailed answers that can give you unbelievably useful insights on your audience and their thought process.

Unlike surveys where people are more cautious about their responses, forums like Quora, Reddit etc. allow you to study your audience when they’re speaking with their own free will and expressing their inner feelings openly.

Your job is to look out for such emotions.

Here’s the gold to look for:

Notice the things your audience fears, dreads or hates, and would do anything to get rid of.

Find things they love, crave for, or hope to achieve in life.

Discover the things they want to change about their lives.

Uncover the beliefs they hold about their current state, the pains/problems they experience, and the emotions associated with those problems that they feel every day.

Because each of those emotions and feelings points towards problems that can be converted into content ideas later on

And here’s how to find it:

To start your research, simply visit Quora and search for your main niche topic in a question style.

If you’re researching a niche like weight loss or any other condition that can have a negative impact on people, try rephrasing your search queries to find emotional threads.

For example, here are a couple of really long and useful threads I found on Quora by searching “overweight destroyed my life”

 

Source: Quora

 

Source: Quora

 

Both these questions have generated a lot of comments from people who’re overweight.

In response, many fitness advocates also jumped in with a completely opposite point of view.

As a result, both the thread turned into long heated discussions.

Goldmine for a marketer, really.

By reading just a few of the responses in these threads, I was able to identify more than a dozen excuses, mental blocks, and reservations that obese people have with regards to their appearance and the different weight loss programs available in the market.

Reddit is another place where you can find such threads and discussions.

Here’s a thread that alone can give you enough information to start a weight loss blog (just kidding, but you know what I mean)

 

Source: Reddit

 

And in case you can’t find any in-depth discussions about your niche on Quora or Reddit, try looking for any niche specific forums on Google Search using any of the following search queries.

[Niche Keyword]+forum

[Niche Keyword]+vbulletin

[Niche Keyword]+forum+discussion

 

Source: Google

 

Here’s a really sad (but useful from a marketing perspective) forum thread on a weight loss forum

 

Source: Beyond Blue Forum

 

Why are such threads useful to you?

Because they give you a direct understanding of your audience’s emotion, their needs, and their aspirations.

Using these insights you can create content and products that can actually trigger emotional and impulsive reactions from your customers.

But to give you even more actionable insights, I’m going to share a research technique that newbies rarely use (but the experts love it)

Keep reading.

 

7. Learn from the Negative Customer Reviews and Failed Products in Your Niche

Smart marketers learn from the mistakes of their competitors.

This not only helps you avoid those mistakes but also gives you an opportunity to learn what the customer wants.

But there’s one more reason why negative reviews matter.

According to Groove, unhappy customers are a lot more vocal about their dissatisfaction and tell around 26 (on average) about their negative experiences.

 

Source: VisionCritical

 

Clearly, you don’t want negative reviews when you launch a product, do you?

So pay close attention to what your target audience is saying about the existing products in the market.

The best place to start your research is Amazon (since it has every product under the sun)

Simply search for your niche products and sort the results by Average Customer Reviews

Taking the same weight loss example, I searched for the best weight loss recipe books and sorted them by customer reviews

 

Source: Amazon

 

On the product page, scroll down to the reviews section to read customer feedback.

In my experience, 5-star and 1-star reviews are mostly to biased to give you any real insights, so leave them out.

Click on the 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star reviews one by one to see what the customers are saying

 

Source: Amazon

 

Here’s an example of a great comment from a researcher’s perspective

 

Source: Amazon

 

The commenter doesn’t seem biased at all and shares some really good information about what she actually expected from the product.

For example, she says the book has a lot of non-scientific claims and had no substantial impact on her thought process about food

Very actionable learning that you can use while creating your own product or even when writing content for your blog.

Here’s an even better comment that shares both the pros and cons of the product

 

Source: Amazon

 

Pay special attention to the part when the commenter shares the things he doesn’t like about the product.

All of these are potential gaps in the market that you can exploit and consider for further research.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…

 

Turn the Problems of Your Audience Into Content Ideas

Now that you have gathered enough information about the needs, wants, fears, hopes, desires and the aspirations of your target audience, it’s time to turn this useful knowledge into highly actionable, in-depth and attention-grabbing content ideas that not only send you loads of traffic but also make the readers fall in love with your site.

Let’s look at the same Quora thread that I shared earlier, as a example

 

 

Notice the kind of emotions expressed in this post.

You can turn each emotion into several blog post ideas.

For example, look at this sentence at the start of the post

 

“….people in my family all have the tendency to eat more than they need.”

 

Here’s what I gathered from it

Problem: Belief that my family eats a lot which is why I eat a lot.

Emotion: Helplessness (“I’ve been raised this way”)

What he wants: To control his eating habits

There’s a lot for us to work with here.

Here a few titles that I came with from the top of my head.

11 Proven Ways To Control Your Eating Habits Even If You Thinks It’s Impossible

Feeling Helpless About Your Eating Habits? Here Are 3 Ways You Can Conquer Your Diet, Lose Weight and Feel Confident Again

Who Says You Need To Stop Eating? Science Shows You Can Eat Your Favourite Food and Still Lose Weight

Scientific Studies Prove You Can No Longer Use Your Family As An Excuse For Your Own Weight Issues

Makes sense?

Do you think readers would be interested in this? I think so

Here’s another sentence from the same thread

 

“I hate putting on clothes in the morning becuase everything makes me look fat becuase I AM FAT”

 

Problem: Feeling embarrassed at being fat

Emotion: Disgust, self-hatred, and the fear of being ridiculed by others

What he wants: To be able to confidently wear fashionable clothes, go out, meet people and be happy about his looks.

Here are a few ideas

Overweight and Feeling Ashamed? 11 Ways You Can Become Confident and Happy About Life Using Simple Hacks

How To Love Yourself [And Feel Confident] Even When You’re Far From Perfect

11 Obese Fashion Tips That’ll Reignite Your Passion to Look Good in the Mirror (Even If You Don’t Believe It’s Possible)

 

Are you getting my point?

I bet I’ve got your creative juices flowing

But these are just a couple of examples I highlighted from that Quora thread.

There so much more you can do here.

In fact, if you think hard, I bet you can create a complete 6-month content calendar from this one thread

There are many more advanced techniques and methods in Nichehacks Insider that’ll help you turn the problems of your audience into engaging content ideas.

 

It’s Time To Turn Your Research Into Action

There you go.

If you follow the research methods and steps I’ve shared in this post, you’d certainly know your audience a LOT better than most of your competitors.

Trust me, very few newbies take the time to research their niche in this depth.

But all this knowledge is useless if you don’t take advantage of it by taking action.

So go ahead, learn more about your audience and put that learning into action and see your sales explode.

Seriously, lack of understanding about their target audiences fears, emotions, problems, hopes and dreams are the reason most aspiring marketers struggle to sell a single item and make money online.

However, if you carry out this research process and use your audiences fears, emotions, hopes and dreams in your content and marketing you’ll explode your sales and change your fortunes.

The post 7 Advanced Research Methods To Find the Deepest Darkest Fears Of Your Audience And Use This Marketing Gold To Explode Your Sales appeared first on NicheHacks.

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WIN! Tried and tested: Baby Born Soft Touch doll and City RC Scooter

by Dave Hornby posted in Products & Prizes Since her brother was born earlier in the year, our four-year old daughter has excelled in her role as big sister. She loves helping out with all aspects of looking after him, even if she’s a bit too young – and he’s a bit too big -… Read more »

Want to get the full story? Click on the headline above. And thanks for reading the BabyCentre Blog.

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Industry roundup: Project EverGreen, Operation Gratitude to send thank you notes to deployed troops

At this year’s GIE+EXPO, visitors were given the opportunity to stop by Project EverGreen’s booth and write thank you cards to the men and women deployed around the globe. This year, nearly 400 notes were written.

Visitors at this year’s GIE+EXPO were able to go by the Project EverGreen booth and write thank you letters to deployed troops.Photo: Project EverGreen

The group says the cards will be delivered to military personnel through Operation Gratitude, a national organization that provides care packages and messages of appreciation to military members.

The group says that many of those writing notes related personal stories about their own military service and how much a letter from home, even from a stranger, meant when it arrived.

“As the mother of a son in the military, it was heartwarming to see the number of people who were willing to take a moment to express their appreciation to those who serve,” says Ki Matsko, a program manager for the GreenCare and SnowCare for Troops programs. “Reading through the notes confirms that people do understand and appreciate the sacrifices these military members make to protect our freedoms.”

This year, nearly 400 notes were written.Photo: Project EverGreen

Project EverGreen says one of the most poignant notes shared the following sentiment:

“There aren’t words to thank you enough for serving our country. You keep us safe, protect our liberties and ensure the United States is the greatest in the world. Your sacrifices don’t go unnoticed. You are in my thoughts. Stay safe always. Thank you.”

Nici Trem, a program manager with Project EverGreen, talked with many of the card writers and noticed a common bond between them.

“The number of people that stopped to write a thank you to our military, even when they were in a hurry, brought tears to my eyes,” says Trem. “Even children took the time to write a thank you. It made me feel like we are really all in this together.”

GIE-EXPO 2018 proves record-setting year

This year’s GIE-EXPO in Louisville, Kentucky, proved to be another record-breaking year.

It was reported that this year’s show topped the last four years’ records in both attendance and exhibitors, which makes it the largest ever for this mega show.

The show reports that there were more than 24,700 people from around the world in attendance, representing a three percent increase over 2017. And with 1,000 exhibits, the indoor show floor and Outdoor Demonstration Area were larger than ever.

GIE-EXPO is sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

“The 2018 GIE+EXPO was the biggest and best ever,” says Kris Kiser, president of OPEI. “Attendees and exhibitors alike know this is the place you have to be if you’re in this business. The whole industry gathers in Louisville to see new products, network and learn. And with Mutt Madness, our rescue dog adoption event held in partnership with OPEI’s TurfMutt and the Kentucky Humane Society, this year’s show was like none other. We’re already working on significant, innovative changes for the 2019 GIE+EXPO. Next year, when you land in Louisville, look for new spaces in new places – we’re still growing.”

Show highlights:

Lawn and Landscape Pro registrants were up 7 percent over 2017.
Servicing Dealer registrants were up 5 percent over 2017.
All 50 states and more than 50 countries were represented.
The indoor show floor was 40,000 gross square feet larger than in 2017.
The Outdoor Demonstration Area covered more than 20 acres.
250 new exhibitors in GIE+EXPO and the co-located Hardscape North America.
In order to accommodate the need for more exhibit space, the new product feature took a new form as a New Products Spotlight. Located in the registration area, this special display sold out, featuring more than 100 products that were introduced within the past year.
Two keynote sessions featured Dr. Robert Ballard. The session for dealers, sponsored by Stihl and Bob-Cat Mowers, drew more than 1,000 participants, while the session for contractors, sponsored by John Deere, brought more than 2,000.
Organizers partnered with the Kentucky Humane Society for an event called Mutt Madness, sponsored by TurfMutt. Thursday afternoon in Freedom Hall, attendees interacted with 21 dogs looking for a good home, and more than 10 dogs were adopted.
Food Truck Thursday coincided with Mutt Madness in Freedom Hall. Seven food trucks drove into the arena and provided a fun lunch experience.

“It’s exciting to keep pushing boundaries,” says Warren Sellers, show director. “With 250 new exhibitors, the indoor show floor was 40,000 sq. ft. larger than last year. Plus, we added the new features in Freedom Hall. Add to that the dynamic keynotes by Dr. Robert Ballard for both dealers and contractors, and the energy at the show was on a new level.”

In the $15,000 UTV giveaway, Russ Doszak of R&R Yard Design in Lansing, Illinois, won $15,000 towards his choice of UTVs. Participating manufacturers included American Land Master; Gravely, an Ariens Company; Bobcat Company; Hisun Motors; Hustler Turf Equipment; John Deere; Kioti Tractor; Kubota Tractor Corp; ODES Industries; Snow Dog and Yanmar America Corp.

Rodney Molder of Moulder’s Outdoor in Shelbyville, Tennessee, won the $5,000 Stihl giveaway during Wednesday’s dealer preview.

Other winners include:

CORTEVA AGRISCIENCE, Z-Max sprayer featuring Dimension and Defendor – Rich Vanderveen, Customized Turf Services, Dwaynesberg, New York
FENCE ARMOR, two VIP Hot Passes for the NASCAR First Data 500 – Jared Crouse, JCS Lawn Tips, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
PAVE TOOL, Starter Box Kit – Andy Hargrove, The Rock Place, Smyrna, Tennessee
WALBRO, LLC, fuel-injected golf cart – James Cooksey, Cooksey Lawn Service, Camden, Indiana
HALSTEAD, Project Documentary – Caleb Auman, Auman Landscape, Carroll, Ohio; Drone – Keith Weyrick, Plant Health Care Systems, Miami, Florida

Otis Orchards with Segmental Systems in Washington emerges as the winner of the HNA Installer Championships with a prize of $10,000.

Because of this year’s success, the show’s three-day format will continue in 2019. The show dates will be Oct. 16-18, and the indoor show floor will open exclusively for dealers, retailers and the media at noon on Wednesday. Beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing on Thursday and Friday, the entire industry will be invited to visit the exhibits. The Outdoor Demonstration Area will be open Thursday and Friday.

SiteOne introduces new Lesco smart guided precision spray system

SiteOne Landscape Supply recently launched a new Lesco smart guided precision spray system, which the company says revolutionizes precision spraying with its easy-to-install GPS.

The company says the system is designed to connect with most common sprayers, and SiteOne says it can save up to 75 percent of initial costs compared to buying a new sprayer unit with a built-in GPS.

The system offers:

TerraStar GPS satellite technology that allows the system to spray within a 2-inch level of accuracy so there are no missed areas, overspray or overlap.
Precise control of each separate nozzle to reduce overspray. If a nozzle is outside the defined application boundary, it will automatically turn off.
Tracking of when and where certain products are sprayed to simplify documentation and record keeping. This feature also allows the system to remember and repeat boundaries after they have been driven once and saved.

“The Lesco smart guided system is about working more efficiently,” says John Gertz, VP category management – agronomics at SiteOne. “We’re focused on bringing solutions to market that help our customers get more done with less budget and succeed in a very demanding business.”

LandOpt Contractor Network expands in New York

LandOpt’s Contractor Network has extended into Wappingers Falls, New York, with Lehigh Lawns & Landscaping becoming the second Powered by LandOpt Contractor in the state of New York.

LandOpt says Alan Lehigh, owner of Lehigh Lawns & Landscaping, chose to join the company’s network with the goal of achieving their next growth milestone by utilizing the streamlined processes, employee development and training programs LandOpt offers.

“Systems will make our business more predictable and allow our staff to focus on what they do best,” says Lehigh. “The unique skills, knowledge and abilities of each individual team member coupled with the continuous support of LandOpt will drive the future growth of our business.”

Lehigh Lawns & Landscaping is a full-service professional landscape design, maintenance and snow firm that serves both residential and commercial customers in the Hudson Valley area.

“LandOpt role definitions, coaching and training programs will provide a clear vision for every one of their career path,” shared Lehigh. “We are most excited to join a peer network specifically for the landscaping industry for myself [the owner] and for my team as well. With the help of LandOpt, we are hoping to increase our revenue and place the right sales and account managers to focus on growing our most profitable services.”

“A plan is only as good as its execution,” says Alison Blobner, LandOpt director of marketing and sales. “The steady growth of the network is an indicator of the ongoing industry quest for more formal business practices that provide both predictability and accountability for business owners. LandOpt’s solution provides the path to move forward with confidence because they depend on the systems and processes – not the owner.”

McHale Landscape Design acquires Green Gardens, Inc.

McHale Landscape Design recently announced the acquisition of Green Gardens, Inc.

“We have always had the highest regard for Green Gardens and are honored to continue their legacy of providing quality landscape services to some of the most discerning clients and properties around Washington, D.C.,” says company president Kevin McHale.

The company says a definitive purchase agreement was finalized in September 2018.

“We are very excited to be able to offer all that McHale brings to our clients,” says John Austin, Green Gardens principal.

The company says this partnership combines two of the most trusted residential landscape companies in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, boosting McHale’s high-end residential design-build locations to five.

“We’re merging two outstanding companies that share deep commitments to excellent customer service, design philosophies, attention to detail, and quality of materials,” says McHale vice president Steve McHale.

Since 1964, the company says Green Gardens has taken a revered three-step approach to customer satisfaction – practices employed, materials used and clients served. McHale says they will expand upon this excellence, marrying old-fashioned technique with its signature design-build process, while creating new job opportunities in the process.

“The impact of combined resources will be a huge benefit to our customers,” says Phil Kelly, McHale’s CEO.

“To partner with one of the leaders in our market and expand our presence together is an opportunity I fully embrace,” says transition team leader Keith Bowman.

Read more: totallandscapecare.com

New priorities for leadership in the new world of work


Posted by Steven Hatfield and Anne-Claire Roesch on August 22, 2018.

As machines augment people in performing routine physical and process-based work, thanks to robotics, automation, and cognitive computing, the work people do is changing, opening the door to new opportunities for people to add value to customers, companies, and communities. In turn, what leaders expect—and what is expected of them—is changing, too. How are you developing leaders for the future of work?

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Each day, our work and our lives are becoming more heavily interconnected with smart machines and robots—from smart warehouses to robotic surgery to cognitive investment advisers. The “what” (what work can machines do?), “who” (who can do the work, from our employees to gig workers to crowds), and “where” (remote, distributed, augmented reality) of work are changing. Much of the traditional organizational hierarchy is being reshaped around networks of teams to facilitate faster, more responsive, and more agile ways of working now possible with these new technologies.

These new realities have created different expectations for leaders and changed how companies should approach leadership development. Here are some ways today’s enterprises should reimagine leadership development programs as we prepare all levels of leaders to take the helm in an augmented workforce.

New experiences for faster times: Movement through the leadership pipeline needs to accelerate.The assumption that companies have the benefit of time to develop employees over the course of a single-thread, multiyear career may no longer be true. The half-life of domain skills (for example, a computer language) continues to fall—what was once useful for 10 years is now relevant for five, or less). The average worker might currently hold 10 different jobs before age 40, and this number is projected to grow1. Millennials born in the early ’80s held approximately seven jobs between the ages of 18 and 28 compared with their Baby Boomer parents, who held 12 jobs between ages 18 and 50.2 Adding to that, today’s worker is hungry for development opportunities now. Actively identifying critical and high-potential talent early is the first step to giving them the experiences they need and want. Then, once the pipeline is active, companies should engage identified leaders with experiences early and continue providing experiences to maintain engagement.
Meaningful experience will likely come from projects, not necessarily roles: Work in a digital world is typically no longer completed with the role or function as the unit of analysis. As technology introduces greater efficiencies into everyday processes, it also helps to break down the barriers that once made cross-functional collaboration difficult. In a recent report by Deloitte Digital and MIT Sloan, we see this playing out across digitally mature businesses, 70 percent of which are using cross-functional teams to organize work, compared to less than 30 percent for early-stage organizations3. Examining your operating model to evaluate how work is getting done across teams, rather than through traditional roles and responsibilities aligned to a hierarchy, is a critical first step. Forward-thinking companies bring leaders together from across functions for collaborative design and problem-solving exercises to form solutions to enterprise challenges. Getting leaders project-based experience and charging them with implementing digital business priorities can not only give them the experience they need to develop but can also serve as a retention strategy. Vice president-level executives without sufficient digital opportunities are 15 times more likely to want to leave within a year than are those with satisfying digital challenges4.
Earlier, later, ongoing. Leaders need to receive exposure opportunities sooner as part of their development: Now, perhaps more than ever before, leadership development should happen in the context of everyday work rather than in the classroom. The evolution of the “what,” “who,” and “where” of work has widened the aperture through which leaders must view their organization, requiring greater exposure to the kinds of challenges they will face, rather than the “art” of leadership. Our research shows that the most valuable learning happens in actual business situations that require leaders to stretch, and in workplaces that support leadership development objectives5. This shift has implications for formal leadership development programs, which should move from standard training, coaching, and 360 feedback to external experiences and stretch projects that focus on culture, context, knowledge sharing, and risk taking.
Personal and team reinvention is THE leadership capability. Enhance the development of expertise by teaching leaders how to learn; not just what to learn: In today’s increasingly fast-paced business environment, change is no longer the exception but the expectation. Organizations and their leaders will go through continuous evolution to keep pace with the competition. Our colleague, John Hagel of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, notes that in today’s world that demands accelerating learning, the mark of a strong leader is the person who has been trained to ask the most powerful questions. Formal leadership development programs have long focused on behavioral recipes or competency models to teach the right skills to leaders—emphasizing the individual’s capability rather than a view of the ecosystem in which s/he operates. As organizational contexts flatten and become more complex, we should instead focus our attention on teaching people the mind-set of a leader facing the pace and challenges of the current environment. For example, how do the most collaborative leaders think about teaming in the workplace? What do they pay attention to and how do they foster these principles at work?

The challenges leaders confront today are in many ways different from just five years ago, but the essential role of a leader remains the same. As Harvard Professor Ronald Heifetz posited almost 20 years ago, the “new” role of a leader is “to help people face reality and to mobilize them to make change.”6 Our emerging leaders will guide us through some of the most significant transformations we’ve seen in our lifetime. The success or failure of these individuals may rest with their ability to activate the organization to deliver value in a world where disruption lurks around every corner. Doing this successfully will require new ways of working, thinking, and leading, and it’s our job to make sure we’re designing the right experiences for leaders to succeed.

Steven HatfieldSteven Hatfield is a principal and leader in the Organization Transformation practice within the Financial Services Industry team of Deloitte Consulting LLP. He has over 20 years’ experience instilling confidence in clients when dealing with issues of strategy, innovation, organization, culture, leadership, and change.

Anne-Claire RoeschAnne-Claire Roesch is a manager in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Workforce Transformation practice, focused on helping clients reimagine work and workforce engagement in today’s era of disruption. In her current role, she leads the Workforce Transformation Growth Accelerator and supports clients across industries on workforce & people strategy, strategic change, and work redesign.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Number of Jobs, Labor Market Experience, and Earnings Growth Among Americans at 50: Results from a Longitudinal Survey, August 24, 2017.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Experience of Youths: Results from a Longitudinal Survey News Release, April 8, 2016; Baby boomers born from 1957 to 1964 held an average of 11.9 jobs from ages 18 to 502, August 28, 2017.
3 Achieving Digital Maturity: Adapting Your Company to a Changing World,” MIT Sloan Management Review, July 13, 2017.
4 Ibid.
5 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Rewriting the rules for the digital age, Deloitte Development LLC.
6 Ronald A. Heifetz, Leadership Without Easy Answers, Belknap/Harvard University Press, 1994.

Read more: capitalhblog.deloitte.com