Faerie Fashion for the Fourth of July

The 4th of July is for good food with good people. No matter if you’re at the hottest party of the summer or just chilling in the backyard, make sure your outfit is both comfy and classic to enjoy the 4th in true patriotic style.

Here are a few of our favorite fashion essentials for the 4th.

Promenade Top 
Between hot dogs, ice cream, and adult beverages, you’ll want to make sure you wear the right top to accommodate a day of eating. Consider a flowy top like this option, which provides both style and comfort from day to night. The navy stripe print makes this top perfect for the 4th and beyond.

The Bombshell Short
Distressed denim is a must for your 4th of July ensemble. These cut-off shorts feature a classic high-rise fit and medium light wash that make them universally flattering. Wear with your top tucked in or pulled out for instant Americana style.

The Sixth Man Sunglasses
These hand-crafted, stainless steel sunglasses are equal parts cool and chic. Gold rivets surround the circumference of the lenses to add style and edge. Try them in black for a fail-safe option or pink if you’re feeling bold.

Stockpile for Kids that Want to Invest

5 Tips For Kids And Teens Who Want To Invest In Stock

By Avi Lele, Co-Founder and CEO of Stockpile

Most people put off investing in stocks because it seems intimidating and expensive -- and many never end up doing it.  But the earlier you start, the more likely you are to build some serious wealth. Here are five easy tips to help kids and teens get started.

1. Ask yourself:  Do I want to be rich?  The secret to building large amounts of wealth is to invest your money, which means getting your money to work for you.  Let’s say you save up $1,000 and store it in a shoebox.  If you come back a year later, or 100 years later, you’d still have $1,000 in that shoebox.  Now let’s say you invest that $1,000 in the stock market.  Stocks can go up and down in value, but on average, they went up 9.8% a year from 1928 to 2014.*  So if you had invested $1,000 in 1928, you would have had more than $3.4 million by now!

*Source:  S&P 500 rate of return

2. Start with the right kind of brokerage account.  Brokerages often require thousands of dollars just to open an account.  And many stocks are hard to afford – a share of Tesla costs about $200, while a share of Amazon costs more than $700.  At Stockpile, there’s no account minimum, and you can buy and sell stock in fractional amounts.  So if you want to buy $50 of Tesla stock, no problem – that $50 translates into a quarter of a share.  You can invest as much or as little as you want, without overextending yourself.

You’ll also want to make sure you won’t be paying big monthly fees or trading commissions because they’ll eat into your investment return. Stockpile doesn’t charge a monthly fee, and the commission is just 99¢ -- not the $7.95 you might pay elsewhere.

Finally, you’ll want to keep track of your investments on your own, without having to bug mom or dad.  Stockpile is the only brokerage that allows kids and teens to use their own login to check up on their stocks and place trades that go to mom or dad for approval.  It’s like being a student driver – you get to be in the driver’s seat, with an adult as your co-pilot.

3. Start early, invest regularly, and diversify!  Remember how we said the stock market went up an average of 9.8% a year between 1928 and 2014?  The thing is, you can’t predict which stocks are going to go up, or when.  Since you don’t know which years will be the good ones, starting early will (on average) be better than starting late so your investments have more time to grow.  If you invest regularly, you’ll be spreading your risk over a bunch of years, so you don’t end up overinvesting in a bad year.  And if you diversify, you’ll spread your risk over a bunch of different stocks instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.

4. Have a strategy. One good strategy is to “buy and hold” a stock, because you believe in the company and think its stock will go up over the course of months or years even though it might be bouncing around a lot day-to-day.  Buying (and holding) a little stock every month is called “dollar cost averaging.”  You can also “buy on the dips,” where you pounce on a stock you’ve had your eye on when its price dips.  Or, buy stocks you think are underrated or “undervalued” and hold onto them until they make a comeback.  None of these strategies is foolproof, of course. You could buy on a dip and watch the stock go down even more.  But having a strategy, sticking to companies you know, and staying informed about them usually gives you a leg up.

5. Enlist friends and family to help!   Build your stock portfolio faster by telling friends and family you’re investing for your future.  At Stockpile, you can share a wish list of your favorite stocks so friends and family know just what to buy you for your next birthday or special occasion!

About the Author
Avi Lele is the Co-Founder and CEO of Stockpile, a company whose mission is to make the stock market accessible to everyone in an easy and affordable way.

Wear the Crown #mermaidmonday

Mermaid shell crown by AutobotShadedown

You are a queen baby girl, always remember that. Keep your head up and wear that crown.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads, step-dads and single moms pulling double duty. 

Is It Possible That You Have PTSD?


Possible Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Typically, when we hear PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, we think of military veterans who experience vivid and often debilitating panic-inducing flashbacks of their time at war. With June 27th being National PTSD Awareness Day, a condition resulting in over 3 million cases in the US annually, we thought it best to gain some clarity. We connected with Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a PTSD expert and NYC based neuropsychologist and Teaching Faculty Member at Columbia University Teacher’s. Dr. Hafeez who shared some common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder and how to cope.

Understanding the symptoms of PTSD

Typical symptoms of PTSD include distressing nightmares, that awaken you in a state of panic, persistent thoughts and recurring flashbacks about the traumatic experience, numbing or avoidance of memories of the trauma, triggered emotional responses and just an overall on-edge feeling. “Anyone can have PTSD symptoms and oftentimes they may feel judged for not being able to shake off something others may perceive as not being a big trauma. Many people suffer in silence,” cautions Dr. Hafeez who helps people after exposure to these traumas.

Possible Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Motor Vehicle Accidents

One quarter of the population will be involved in automobile accidents that result in serious injuries. “For those who come seeking mental health treatment after a car accident, 60 percent are diagnosed with PTSD, it’s quite common.” Symptoms may include feelings of anxiety, increased heart rate, and a fear of driving or even being a passenger in a car. “Oftentimes people who were injured in a car accident or even perhaps witnessed a fatality will be in shock. Then over time they begin to reply the accident. This is when it’s advised to seek therapy to cope with this trauma, advises Hafeez.

Military Combat
As stated earlier PTSD is commonly associated with combat veterans with 31% diagnosed. Combat PTSD symptoms can include carrying a weapon when not necessary, seeing threats where none exist, and outbursts of physical violence. “Having these symptoms just means that you are have a reaction of stress to a nearly impossible situation,” says Dr. Hafeez.  Service animals and emotional support pets are a start. Meeting with a PTSD specialist for therapy along with self-calming activities such as meditation, deep breathing, painting or yoga are recommended.

Personal Assaults

Sexual assault, mugging or robbery are life-threatening situations that can instantly trigger post- traumatic stress disorder. When events like these occur, victims will try to avoid reminders of the trauma, always be on guard, and may have problems in daily living. “People who went through assault often report feeling unsafe and on edge as if they are expecting someone to attack them again. They also experience terrible flashbacks with disturbed sleep. Turning to alcohol or drugs isn’t uncommon which is why it’s so important to seek therapy,” explains Dr. Hafeez. Group therapy could be very helpful because there’s comfort in not feeling alone.

Natural Disasters  

Natural disasters cannot be controlled which makes it more difficult to prevent the anticipatory anxiety. Devastating life altering events such as tornadoes, earthquakes to hurricanes, and fires often put people into a survival mode for up to 18 months, studies show. Symptoms usually peak during the first year and in most cases, survivors get better with time once they have accepted the reality of the event. “When we look at natural disasters that result in loss of lives, assets, and personal property, there’s a sense of hopelessness that can be incredibly overwhelming. The best way to deal with this situation is this is through therapy which is often difficult to receive right away given people get displaced and are focused on basic survival,” says Dr. Hafeez.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is an attempt to control, it’s more about manipulation through put downs, name calling, blame shifting, instilling fear through ultimatum and threats, and making the person question their recollection of conversations and events. Typically, there is an overstepping of boundaries and the person feels as if they are walking on eggshells. Their every decision comes with doubt and anxiety as whatever they choose may upset their abuser. “Usually the PTSD begins after the relationship has ended or in the case of emotionally abusive parents, when the child leaves the home. They may feel depressed and fearful of being manipulated without knowing it. Helping people establish firm healthy boundaries and identifying “red flags,” empowers the victim,” explains Dr. Hafeez. “Emotional abuse is particularly insidious in that it’s feeds off the vulnerabilities and insecurities of its victims,” she adds.

About the Doctor:
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens.

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com

4 Tips If You Plan To Get Your Dental Work Done Abroad

You’ve heard of vacations spoiled by a terrible toothache. Now more Americans are actually taking a vacation to get dental work done outside the states. 

“Dental tourism” has been trending in recent years, with numerous news outlets reporting that almost a half million Americans seek dental care away from the U.S. annually.

Most are trying to save money. Major dental work is often expensive in the U.S., and anywhere from 75 million to 114 million Americans have no dental insurance, according to various estimates. Visiting a dentist in another country can save Americans over 70 percent on procedures such as crowns and root canals, according to medical publisher Patients Beyond Borders.

While the savings is appealing, finding the right quality dentist outside the U.S. requires thorough preparation, says Dr. Ramon Duran (www.drramonduran.com), a dentist in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and author of Your Best Smile … For a Lifetime: Achieving Your Optimal Health.

“The reality is that many thousands of Americans are looking for dentistry in places they don’t know outside the country, and the main reason they do it is with some procedures they can save 50 percent or more from what it would have cost in the U.S.,” Duran says.

“It would be ideal if you could find a dentist at a convenient location in the U.S. with whom you could get the dentistry you need done properly, but more than that, a dentist you could establish a long-term relationship with. But if you choose to go outside the U.S., there are things to consider to help you make the best decision.  You have a lot to learn not only about the dentist but post-treatment considerations as well.”

Duran has four tips for anyone seeking dental care abroad:

  • Do extensive research on dentists. For most destinations, Google searches bring up numerous dentistry sites. Websites such as WhatClinic.com provide client reviews. PatientsBeyondBorders.com only admits clinics that have passed a stringent vetting process, including U.S. board certification and patient referrals. “This would be a more intensive kind of research than any kind of search for a dentist you would do locally,” Duran says. “Look at the dentist’s website, their affiliations, their training, testimonials, reviews, everything.”
  • Research the procedure you’re having done. “Try to understand as much as possible the procedure you’re going to undergo,” Duran says. “It will help you know what questions to ask the new dentist. One example would be knowing the type of implant or crowns and the top brands. Know what that dentist uses; is it top quality? That’s important, too, if there are issues later; repairs or follow up may easily be facilitated in the states when you know the materials, sizes, etc. that were used.”
  • Set up a video meeting or call. “You don’t want to just rely on your initial research,” Duran says. “When you’re establishing a relationship with a new dentist out of the country, it’s important to build trust and for the patient to look at the dentist as their mentor, coach and personal trainer when it comes to their oral health.”
  • Research your dental legal rights in that country. “What are your rights if something goes wrong, and what are the entities that regulate dentistry in that country?” Duran says. “Do you have recourse? We have seen horror stories. It can get very complicated outside the U.S.”

“Dental tourism can be really attractive for the average American, but you have to do your due diligence,” Duran says. “Given how many are doing it, they are finding who they think is the right dentist for the type of procedure they need done.”

About Dr. Ramon DurĂ¡n

Dr. Ramon Duran, DMD (www.drramonduran.com), is a dentist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a public speaker and author of Your Best Smile … For a Lifetime: Achieving Your Optimal Health. Dr. Duran is part of just 10 percent of dental professionals in the U.S. who practice the concept of complete dentistry, helping patients to identify potential problems before further damage can occur. He is a former faculty member of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Duran also is a graduate of The Dawson Academy, a world-renowned continuing education institution for dentists.

My Lovelies #mermaidmonday

Summer Mermaid by MissMandyMotionless

Hello, my lovelies! How are you this wonderful week? I am happy to say I have lost 3lbs and feeling great. I rejoined Weight Watchers after some self-debating I figured it was worth it. So far it has been the only diet or life change that works for me.

What have you guys done lately? 

Fae Lore with K. Kibbee

I’ve always been fascinated by Fae lore. I grew up devouring Henson and Froud, and reading flashlight Grimm tales beneath my bedsheets far into the wee hours. And while the wondrousness of it all captivated me, I was never drawn to Hollywood’s version of what I would feign to call a Faerie, but rather a cutesy-tootsie “fairy.” Every time that Tinkerbelle wiggled her perfect little pixie nose and sprinkled her stardust like confetti, I just rolled my eyes. No . . . I was intrigued by the dark, visceral Fae creature . . . the one whose tales kept children from wandering into the woods. I longed for the Faeries of days past . . . the wicked, malevolent things that represented the wildness which we once feared; those things that went bump in the night . . . those things that, in darker and more dangerous days, posed a true threat to our safety.

As such, when I set out to write a YA Fantasy trilogy surrounding Fae folk, I insisted that they be the dark creatures of a bygone era. I knew that they must be of the dirt, and of the swamps, and of the wet, miserable bowels of the earth. And yet . . . because our forests are now all neatly trimmed with proper pathways, park rangers, and GPS signals, I knew that I must give readers another reason to fear the lofty outdoors. Enter--the Faerie changeling.

While Fae folk and Changelings have not always been a package deal, I saw it as a natural fit. These bestial, maligned creatures who existed in the harshness of the elements whilst we curled up on our downy couches and ate fistfuls of popcorn would surely covet our lifestyle. Surely they would want to partake of it. But I had made them so hideous, so repugnant . . . how could they walk side by side with us? Why . . . by stealing the body of a human child, of course!

I quickly found that the introduction of a malicious, child-snatching element led me down an entirely new and rather compelling path. Particularly into book 3 (Lang’s Labyrinth), I expounded on the idea that the entertainment industry’s softening of the Faerie/Fairy image was an orchestrated one.

My familiarity with Andrew Lang’s compilation of historical Fairy Tales hatched the imagined notion that Lang himself was at some point switched with a Changeling, and banished to the land of the Fae. Meanwhile, Lang’s now-Fae counterpart began marauding around in its human suit, urging a makeover of the Fae image in an effort to banish the long-standing fear of the wood, and the creatures that made their home there. In doing so, Lang would lure more starry-eyed children into the forest . . . children who were expecting a delightful little Tinkerbelle, rather than a creature bent on taking their place in the human realm.

This rather ‘grim’ (forgive me my pun!) image of the Fae isn’t for everyone. For those who enjoy the sparkle, and the light, and the altruistic little creature who grants wishes and sneezes stardust, I’d suggest that they stick to Disney. But for those of us who are drawn to the macabre, and the “old ways,” perhaps what awaits behind Devlin’s Door will mesmerize you in a way that Peter Pan’s pocket pixie never could. 

About the author: 
K. (Kristine) Kibbee is a Pacific Northwest writer with an affection for all things literary. Kristine’s passion for creative writing began in her early youth and led her to the doors of Washington State University, where she studied in the Professional Writing program. Kristine followed her scholarly pursuit of writing by publishing works in The Vancougar, The Salal Review Literary Review, Just Frenchies magazine, and S/Tick Literary Review. She is presently a regular columnist for Terrier Group magazine.

Kristine’s novella, The Mischievous Misadventures of Dewey the Daring, was her first and only self-published release, and is still currently available on Amazon.com. Her middle-grade fantasy novel, Whole in the Clouds, was released in November 2014 with Zharmae Publishing, with a subsequent, expanded edition published in October of 2017 by Incorgnito Publishing Press. The first installment in her YA fantasy series, Forests of the Fae--Devlin’s Door, was released in early 2016 with Incorgnito Publishing Press. Book two in the Forests of the Fae series (The Raven Queen) followed in February of 2017, also with Incorgnito Publishing Press.

For more information visit incorgnitobooks.com, and connect with K. Kibbee on Facebook @KKibbeewrites and Twitter @K_Kibbee.

Happy Monday #mermaidmonday

Ariel by gintrax13

6 Ways Women Can Empower Themselves And Inspire Others

Women have faced many challenges throughout history, and the list is long of those who overcame adversity and became influential, inspirational figures.

Often, though, a young girl doesn’t have to read about famous females to find her heroes. Her mother’s actions while overcoming challenges and taking care of the family can influence and even help transform that daughter’s thinking well into her adult life.

Among the main life lessons that author, speaker and tech entrepreneur Betty Ng learned from her mother, Po-Ling, was that adversity doesn’t have to define you. Rather, it can strengthen, shape and liberate you to do important things and bring people together.

 “Anything is possible, regardless of your background, as long as we help each other to succeed,” says Ng, author of PO-LING POWER: Propelling Yourself and Others to Success and CEO of Inspiring Diversity, LLC (iD) (www.inspiringdiversity.com), which builds inclusive, collaborative and high-performing communities.

Ng’s mother, Po-ling, was widowed and left to raise four young children. She earned two master’s degrees, became devoted to the community and was honored by the Chinese government for her work. She became her daughter’s inspiration in the process.

Now Ng focuses on the ability of people to inspire and lift each other to achieve goals. She offers six tips to women about empowering themselves, inspiring others and making a difference:

  • Set priorities. “These are individually-defined and should also take into consideration your personal vision and passions,” Ng says. “It’s critical to align what you do or plan to do with your personal vision. This is how you find your authentic self.”
  • Turn focus to others. As you make progress on becoming your best self, the focus, Ng says, can shift to finding ways to elevate others. “You should think about how your personal success should be tied to the success of your community, organization and those around you,” Ng says. “You are now empowered to do more for others.”
  • Learn to Lead. “Being proactive is where leadership starts,” Ng says. “You take the initiative to drive change, not just waiting for others to act.”
  • Inspire. “Inspiring others to follow you, exuding that confidence and conviction for what you believe in, makes good things happen,” Ng says. “And with people drawing that energy from each other, the possibilities are endless.”
  • Network. “Establishing and leveraging your network brings strength and knowledge in numbers,” Ng says. “Building strong relationships leads to group opportunities they would not have had before. You collaborate and elevate.” 
  • Grow. “We learn from all our experiences, both good and bad,” Ng says. “Mistakes and failing are ultimately about helping one to learn to succeed sooner. Embrace adversity, diversity, and change by taking every opportunity to challenge and reinvent yourself.”

“Life stories that you get from anyone about dealing with and overcoming significant challenges can inspire you to strive for more than you ever thought was possible,” Ng says.  “They will motivate you to persevere for your priorities and personal vision every day of your life.”

About Betty Ng
Betty Ng is the co-author of PO-LING POWER: Propelling Yourself and Others to Success, and founder/CEO of Inspiring Diversity, LLC “iD,” (www.Inspiringdiversity.com), which builds inclusive, collaborative and high-performing communities.  iD is a collaborative community with members of all backgrounds who inspire, empower, and elevate each other to achieve goals. iD also works with organizations to drive profitability through increased employee inclusion, engagement, and performance. A graduate of Stanford University (B.A.-economics) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A.), she is a tech entrepreneur, media and content creator, author, trainer, public speaker and consultant. Ng was a high-level executive at Citigroup and Moody’s.