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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

SPONSORED:  Get Inspired With Invaluable Advice For Graduates Of Any Age With AT&T #GradAdvice

June 7th, 2016 by Christen


Disclaimer:  The following content has been sponsored by AT&T in partnership with the AT&T Aspire and #GradAdvice campaign.  All opinions and experiences shared are my own.

 

The month of June is one of the most joyous times of the year. Winter weather is long forgotten, warm sunny days reign supreme and new beginnings surround us all. Graduation season is in full swing and students everywhere are getting motivated to mature, succeed and impact the world.

 

Advice for graduates

Celebrating the latest graduate in our family at MSU’s commencement ceremony.

 

It feels like just yesterday I was straightening my graduation cap and ready to walk across the commencement stage at Michigan State University. I was so hopeful & excited to start my journey into adulthood and couldn’t wait to discover what was to come. My graduation day flew by in a blur, but I do remember taking plenty of pictures and reliving my graduation ceremony through videos the next day.  Another thing I remember the day after my graduation, that I was gifted with the most valuable advice that I’d ever received in my life.

att gradadvice

From one MSU graduate to another, my sister Sophia and I.

A great piece of advice often comes in the form of commencement speeches, graduation greeting cards and even intimate conversations between friends.  Thoughts of support or encouragement often follow the themes of “Work Hard”, “Dream Big” or “Follow Your Passion” – but there are additional lessons that stood out during my graduation season that could benefit this year’s graduating class.

 

Advice for graduates

The latest Michigan State University graduate, my sister Sophia.

 

 

Just moments after waking up a college graduate, I got a phone call that would change my life forever. There are life changing moments that can impact a person forever.  This was my moment.  My grandmother, called to encourage my post collegiate walk and her words have been a guiding light impacting daily decisions ever since.

 

“Never compromise your morals & values to make others comfortable.”

 

Owning your individuality & walking in your purpose can sometimes be easier said than done. But if you stay true to yourself & confident in the face of adversity there’s nothing that you can’t achieve. So to the graduating class of 2016 — I’d like to extend heartfelt congratulations and if I could leave you with one piece of advice, I’d echo the wise words of my grandmother (with a twist) …

 

“Never compromise yourself online (or offline) for acceptance. Be who you were before the internet & live your best life!”

 

Advice for graduates

Celebrating the newest college graduate on the campus of Michigan State University.

 

 

Living in a post graduate world is all about perceptions, reactions and choices.  Many celebs have shared sentiments of advice that shape how graduates view success and failures for years to come a few of my favorites come from Oprah, Winston Churchill and Salman Khan.

 

“The biggest difficulties in life come from not being present, from ignoring what life and others are trying to tell you.” – OPRAH WINFREY

 

“Your greatest fears are created by your imagination. Don’t give in to them.” – WINSTON CHURCHILL

  

“Live your life like it’s your second chance.” – SALMAN KHAN

 

 

This season I’m celebrating graduation season with AT&T and its Aspire initiative – an initiative that powers technology, relationships, and social innovation to help students make their biggest ideas their reality. Together, these networks are helping students and communities across America.

 

What does graduation season mean to you? Reflect on what your favorite graduation memories, share your best pieces of advice to graduates and join the AT&T #GradAdvice conversation today.

Do You Stay Hangry? Score A Free Lunch With The New Chick-Fil-A One App!

June 2nd, 2016 by Christen

There’s a new app to cure your hunger pangs and take the ease off of expensive lunch meals.  For the first time ever, you won’t have to camp out or wait in long lines to experience Chick-Fil-A’s newest opening…because it’s already here and waiting on your smartphone.

 

Chick-Fil-A One app

 

On Wednesday, Chick-fil-A announced the launch of pay-ahead mobile ordering via its new app Chick-fil-A One. Guests can customize orders, and skip the long lunch lines by paying in advance of pickup. Food is prepared once customers officially “check in” at the pickup location so a little waiting time could still be involved.

 

 

Chick-fil-A is one of many chains looking to capitalize on the explosive growth of mobile app usage in the fast food industry. Starbucks says approximately four percent of sales across all US stores come from mobile orders—but some stores receive up to 20 percent of their orders via the Starbucks app during peak hours.  Personally, I use most of my foodie apps a lot more (including the Starbucks & Chipotle app) to avoid time spent in restaurant lines.

Chick-Fil-A One app

 

To celebrate the launch of Chick-fil-A One, the chain is giving away one free sandwich (per user) to customers who download it from now until June 11. Simply download the Chick-Fil-A One app, via the iTunes Store or Google Play, to receive a QR redemption code for a free original, spicy or grilled chicken sandwich.

 

Chick-Fil-A One app

 

What are some of your favorite foodie apps?  Will you be downloading the new Chick-Fil-A One app?  Tag your favorite Chick-Fil-A loving friends on Facebook/Twitter and let them know – SHARING IS CARING!

 

Enter To Win A Fully Furnished Smart Home + Mercedes Benz And $100,000 From HGTV #HGTVSmart

May 19th, 2016 by Christen

How would you like to win a fully designed, super connected smart home?  What if you could win an awesome 2016 Mercedes Benz and $100,000 in cash too?  From bluetooth enabled locks, wireless home security and of course a state of the art home entertainment system – this smart home has it all.

 

 HGTV Smart Home 2016

 

This HGTV Smart Home 2016 with a two-car garage was designed for a family to enjoy, with Southern traditional craftsman style, cottage details and a subtle color palette that creates a memorable welcome.

 

 HGTV Smart Home 2016

 

HGTV and DIY is offering one lucky winner the smart home of their dreams in the Smart Home 2016 giveaway.  Awarded to one lucky winner later this summer, the grand prize includes the home, its furnishings, a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC and $100,000 from national mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

 

sh2016_media-room-tv-and-stairs_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

 

NOW through 5 p.m. ET Thursday, June 2, 2016, viewers can put technology to work for their chance to move into the HGTV Smart Home 2016. Eligible viewers can enter twice per day — once at HGTV.com and once at DIYNetwork.com — for their chance to win the grand prize package valued at more than $1.2 million.

 

sh2016_master-bedroom-wide-shot_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

 

 

 

What would you do if you won this amazing  HGTV Smart Home 2016 prize?  Tweet us at @DivasandDorks #HGTVSmart

We’re Looking For The Next Generation Of Social Media Superstars!

April 18th, 2016 by Christen

How would you like to learn the business, social and entrepreneurship skills in the new media industry? We’re looking for the next generation of social media superstars to join the class of 2016 summer internship program!

 
internship program

 

Do you love media, travel, entertainment, cars and technology?  Can’t stop obsessing over the newest Apple or Android gadgets?  Are you a social media butterfly? If so, we want you!

Learn how to make money using social media, create awesome partnerships with brands, review and write shareable content and engage with others in our community online and IRL!

 

Who is our next Internship Star? Someone who is…

  • Highly motivated and wants to hit a homerun every time
  • Creative and always looking for ways to innovate
  • Committed to building and developing new relationships

 

What Skills Do You Bring to the Party?

  • A desire to learn PLUS 3-5 years experience using social media preferable
  • Professional demeanor, and excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Successful track record working with others

 

What roles do our internship stars play?

  • Superior business and clerical management impacting client accounts
  • Prospecting, cold calling, and development of new sales opportunities
  • Creation of client-focused plans to meet/exceed goals
  • Participation in team/market efforts, meetings and events

 

If this sounds like you, apply today and gain the in-demand skills that will impact your career tomorrow!

 

Internship Program Application

 

 

[Review] Plantronics BackBeat Go 3 – Could The Right Headphones Improve Your Fitness Health?

April 18th, 2016 by Christen

Spring is here, Summer is right around the corner, and you’re still flaunting your fluffy, winter hibernation body.  It’s time to step up your fitness routine, but how do you find the right tech accessories that work for you?

 

BackBeat Go 3

 

Workouts are easier when you don’t have a ton of distractions in the way.  Hardwired headphones can be cumbersome, but Plantronics has upgraded the wireless audio game with the new Backbeat Go 3 earbuds.  The Plantronics BackBeat Go 3 earbuds have been redesigned to look better and sound better than ever before.  Discover how you can upgrade your pre-summer workout routine and get in fitness formation with the new BeatBeat Go 3 earbuds below.

 

BackBeat Go 3

 

The set up and pairing of the earbuds is pretty quick and easy.  The lightweight BackBeat Go 3 earbuds are above standard Bluetooth audio earbuds with cushioned eartips and design features that create a comfortable fit for all day wear.  The earbuds (which come in multiple sizes to fit almost any ear) are equipped with a sweatproof nano-coating, which protects the technology from sweat and rain. The inline controls are easily accessible with volume controls that let you adjust sound, shuffle through playlists, accept calls or access voice commands on your smartphone.

 

BackBeat Go 3

 

The BackBeat Go 3, lets you go wire-free with a unique power charging pouch.  The lightweight charging pouch comes with a built in rechargeable battery supply & charging chord that provides a total of 13 hours of recharging power.  If you prefer bluetooth earbuds for phone and conference calls during the day, yet you need that power mix for an after work gym run, the pouch comes in handy for all day use – morning until night.

BackBeat Go 3

 

The BackBeat Go 3 keeps the music going non-stop and the Bluetooth enabled sound, is enough to make most audiophiles rejoice.  From bass-heavy hip hop to melodic live music, the Bluetooth earbuds delivers a wide-variety of solid sounds and vocals in your ears, while filtering the ambient outside noise out.

 

 

Overall the Plantronics BackBeat Go 3 is just the motivation I needed to add more fitness activities to my routine.  I’ve even started a morning run routines, that just wouldn’t be the same without the superior sound quality, look and feel of the BackBeat Go 3.

 

backbeat go 3 workout

 

Available in three colors Colbalt Black, Copper Grey (plus an exclusive Best Buy release in Granite Grey) the BackBeat Go 3 is stylish enough that you’ll want to show it off with your Android or iPhone device.  Plus the improved sound and quality from it’s predecessor (BackBeat Go 2) makes it great accessory to while on your journey to improved fitness, health and beyond. ($99.99) Plantronics.com

This New Website Will Turn You Into A Beloved “Powerpuff Girl”

April 1st, 2016 by Christen

Fighting crime, trying to save the world. Here they come just in time, The Powerpuff Girls!

 

It’s been years since I’ve tuned into reruns of my favorite cartoon ever, and just in time for the Powerpuff Girls reboot premiering Monday, April 4th (6pm ET), Cartoon Network launched the “Powdepuff yourself” website transforming fans everywhere into little crime-fighting heroes made of sugar, spice and everything nice!

Christen Powerpuff Girl

No matter your skin tone, if you’ve ever wanted to animate your #BlackGirlMagic – now you can! Users can create a pint-sized superhero in their own likeness by selecting skin tone, hairstyle, eye color, outfits, accessories and even animated backgrounds.

 

powerpuff girls

 

Fans have been sharing their Powerpuff Girls looks online and it’s become a huge promotional hit, just in time for next week’s premier.  For more information or to Powerpuff yourself visit PowerpuffYourself.com and CartoonNetwork.com.

 

animated

How To Spring Clean Your Junk Drawer Of Gadgets And Earn Instant Cash

March 31st, 2016 by Christen

Whether you’re looking to earn extra cash for Spring Break or need to update your closet with a few Spring wardrobe essentials, there’s a ton of cash hidden in your home and all you need to do is Spring Clean to cash it in!  If you’re like me, you probably have an oasis of electronics that you’ve been hoarding since 1983 – and it’s time to let go.  How else do you expect to keep up with the latest technologies, if you can’t let go of the nostalgic gadgets of the past?  There’s no better time to include electronics on your spring cleaning agenda and with so many options to earn instant cash, you’ll be rolling in the dough in no time!

 

How to spring clean your junk drawer

 

Here’s a few steps on how to spring clean your junk drawer of gadgets and earn instant cash below.

First, take inventory of all unused electronics in your home, and separate them into two piles.  Everything that’s two years old and older, place in pile A and all of your newer (unwanted / unused electronics) place in pile B.

Research:  Now that you’re ready to sell some of your electronics, you need to know how to price those items and make some money.  Take your newer items (Pile B items) and research the retail prices online and on sites like Craigslist and eBay. You can also find out the value of your gadgets on Amazon here.

 

List:  Based on your preference, you can then list those items on Craigslist, eBay or other sites like Gazelle.com or for a quick fix EcoATM examines your device and offers a price based on its condition. If you decide to sell it, you’ll drop in you device and receive cash right away. You can search for the nearest EcoATM on the company’s website.

 

 

 

Must Read: Spring Cleaning Your Smartphone: Declutter Your Device and Free Up Memory

 

hopeline-by-verizon

 

 

Donate:  You might not do much with the hundred or so dollars you get for that used laptop, but a local school or library could benefit greatly from having more working computers. There are many options for donating your old devices, from local charities to larger established programs.

Goodwill and Dell teamed up for the Reconnect program, which accepts donated computers at select Goodwill locations. The official site has a full list of items it will accept and locations near you. The Salvation Army also accepts used computers and electronics.  If you’re donating a cell phone, the Verizon’s Hopeline program and the 911 Cell Phone Bank are just some of the many charitable projects that can do good with your old handset.

 

Recycling:  Now for Pile A.  If your device is too old or damaged to sell, don’t just chuck it into the trash can, recycle it.  Many electronics manufacturers also have mail-in and drop-off recycling programs for their old devices, including Apple, Samsung and Sony. Wireless carriers will take old flip phones at no cost.  Sometimes, recycling older electronics can become costly with processing fees, but I’ve found Best Buy’s Recycling Program to be the best and easiest of them all.  Head to the nearest Best Buy and they will take electronics off your hands for free.

 

spring clean gadgets

 

Now that you have a few tips to get you started, how do you plan to tackle your spring cleaning projects?  If you plan on donating, recycling or selling your electronics in the process, sound off in the comments section below.  

Five Organization Accessories I’m Totally Crushing On For Spring!

March 23rd, 2016 by Christen

No doubt about it, SPRING has sprung and it’s in full effect. Every year around this time most people get into “out with the old and in with the new” mode.  It’s a time to deep clean homes and really get organized for the new season.  If you haven’t gotten your spring cleaning game tight yet, I’ve got you covered with spring cleaning and home organization accessories that I’m totally crushing on right now.  All of these favorites are in my home and get major use in keeping my home spring clean and organized all year long. 

 

Textured Serving Tray

 

Organization Accessories

 

Nothing says “An organized adult lives here” quite like a luxe serving tray.  It’s the perfect organization accessory that compliments any style of home.  Placed on a accent table or ottoman, it instantly doubles as a entertaining accessory for serving food and drink – plus it’s a great way to keep random items like remote controls, keys and other gadgets in its place.  (I purchased a faux alligator tray like this one and it immediately upgraded my ottoman into a classic entertaining area.)

 

Decorative Boxes

kate spade box

 

I love boxes! Big boxes, little boxes – boxes for your jewelry, glasses and more.  Nothing says “you’re officially organized” like a room filled with these stylish and chic containers.  I typically keep a variety of boxes in my home for files/paperwork, small accessories, cords and more.  Some of my favorites are boxes from Kate SpadeIkea, HomeGoods and even these from Amazon are perfect for organizing accessories with a little style.

 

Adult Penny Bank

gold bank

Not all penny banks are for kids.  I believe that every adult home should have a bank or nesting area for spare change hidden in pants pockets or weighing down your favorite designer bag.  I’ve always kept a penny bank on deck to purge my purse of pennies, dimes and quarters at the end of the day.  These chic ceramic banks for your spare change will do its part to keep your home clutter free, are the perfect organization accessories – plus it’s a great way to keep change accessible for that unexpected morning coffee run.

 

Photo Frames

 

gallery wall

 

With everything going digital, it’s so easy to forget just how much photo prints makes a space look and feel special.  On the other hand, if you’re like me and find a photo kiosk you probably print way more photos than you need.  That’s when a surplus of photo frames come in handy.  Adding a custom gallery wall in your home is a great way to organize and display your favorite photos for friends and family to enjoy this season and beyond.  I scored my gallery wall frames (tutorial here) from Ikea but you can get a full set of frames from Amazon here.

 

 

Ladder Bookcase

 

ladder bookcase

 

No matter if you’re in a spacious home or small NYC apartment, every home could use a little organization with a chic ladder bookcase.  Whether you use it to store home electronics, a small book library or framed photos that didn’t make the gallery wall, its a great way to add storage space that doesn’t clutter a room. (If you follow me on Snapchat, you know I loooove a good bookcase and these ladder bookcase units from Amazon looks a lot like mine that were super easy to assemble and look great in any room.)

 

These are just a few of my favorite organization accessories to keep my space so fresh and so spring clean.  How do you organize your space in time for spring?  Drop your favorite organization accessories, tips and tools in the comments below!

 

organization accessories

Happy Birthday Twitter! 10 Amazing Reasons Why We Still Love Twitter!

March 21st, 2016 by Christen

love twitter

It’s been 10 years since the 140-character or less social platform has taken conversations online, offline and beyond.  Despite the ups and downs, Twitter is celebrating it’s 10-year achievement by sharing cleverly crafted thank you messages and milestone dates tracking the growth of the service.

The series of Twitter thank yous will roll out across the planet as various regions wake up to the exact anniversary date of March 21.

 

 

 

“As March 21st begins around the world, each of our global offices will kick off the day by showing our appreciation and gratitude,” reads the announcement from Twitter posted on Sunday. “Starting in Sydney and following the sun to headquarters in San Francisco.”

 

 

 

 

We’ve asked our readers about social media and they’ve shared why they’re still in love with Twitter! Check out a few of our favorite responses below!

 

NoniShay C.  – “Other than Facebook it’s where I can communicate with a wide demo of people. I can go anywhere in the world and find people tweeting.”

 

Brittany A.“Twitter lol the shade is to real! And I love watching tv shows with such comedic strangers.”

 

Can we remind you that we’d never have priceless clips of famous people reacting to “Mean Tweets” on TV if it wasn’t for Twitter…and The Jimmy Kimmel Show!

 

Mean Tweets – President Obama Edition

 

Mean Tweets “Live”

 

 

Jen L-S. – “That’s where most of my engagement happens.”

 

Brandi M.“Because it’s a live feed. And always entertaining!”

 

Taylor B.I love Twitter because I find people who are interested in what I am really quickly!”

 

Twitter Turns 10: How Tweets spread across the world

One of the company’s thank you treats is an interactive graphic that shows the spread of several major Twitter events as they were retweeted around the globe.

Some of the major Twitter events covered included the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012, Germany’s epic World Cup win in 2014, the break up of One Direction in 2015 and even the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011.

 

 

 

When did you fall in love with Twitter? Who are some of your favorite Tweeters to follow? Share why you’re still in love with Twitter below!

Beyonce’s Stylist Launched A Smartphone Case That Does A Lot More Than Upgrade Your Selfie Game!

March 18th, 2016 by Christen

 

If you’ve ever wanted to save space on your smartphone while achieving the ultimate selfie, Beyonce’s stylist – Ty Hunter, has got you covered.  Ty Hunter has successfully launched the newest style innovation that offers more than you think, the Ty-Lite.  Produced by his company Passion Projects, the Ty-Lite is the only protective smartphone case that has three lighting settings, ensuring everyone looks “FLAWLESS” in their best selfies.

 

Ty Hunter

 

“Being that I’m the selfie king, I came up with the idea because we really wanted to have a case with a light setting because the sun doesn’t always shine in the daylight, so light is very important and that’s kind of how the process of the Ty-Lite started,” – Ty Hunter.

 

Ty lite

 

 

The Ty-Lite is much more than an accessory to upgrade your next selfie.  It’s the perfect boost of instant light when you’re out and about from day-to-night.  From lighting the abyss of a huge tote bag to entertaining small kids while on babysitting duty, my Ty-Lite has replaced all my designer iPhone cases just like that.  (Beware, it’s a bit clunky, but with “tough-as-nails” protection – your entire smartphone will be safe from unexpected nicks, bumps and drops.)  Not only does it supply great light for any purpose, but now that my photos are guaranteed to be well-lit, I can delete unnecessary photo editing apps and free up some space on my smartphone!

 

ty lite

 

I’m not the only super fan either, celebs like as Kerry WashingtonNeNe LeakesOprah and more are already fans of the new phone case and now you can become a fan too!  The Ty-Lite is currently available for the iPhone 6/6s and retails for $79.99. Don’t fret Droid users, according to the website, the Ty-Lite will be available for Samsung Galaxy devices later this year.

 

Ty Lite

 

Are you a fan of the illuminating Ty-Lite case?  What’s your favorite smartphone accessory?  Sound off in the comments section below!

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