Tuesday, February 28, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Tips from Lawyer to Author

In the past we've given tips to creative professionals like fashion designers and musicians, but we find it imperative to give the same to authors as well.  Whether you're self-publishing or writing for an entity, these tips should help you along your way.

1. Google
This tip is mostly for self-publishing authors.  There are a number of self-publishing companies out there to help you get your manuscripts on the market, but they are not all created equal.  Sites like Writer Beware can give you warnings from other authors on which companies to look out for--good and bad.  Starting your publishing efforts with a quick Google search can save lots of headache.

2. Copyright Never Hurts
As we've mentioned here before, an original work of authorship receives copyright protection as soon as it is completed.  However, this is not always evident to those who see it.  We always suggest using the (c) or "Copyright 2012" markings on your work, but there's more you can do.  An official copyright from the U.S. Library of Congress can take some time, but having it confirms federal protection for your work.  If the piece means a lot to you, the extra protection is worth it.

3. Use Self-Publishing Networks
If a tangible book is not your thing, you can post your work to sites like Berkeley Press or other similar portals.  These kinds of sites allow you to post your work, monitor downloads, and share by topic.  This is also a great option for students looking to get writings published and make a name for themselves.  Some even have relationships with universities and offer free student accounts.  With Kindles and iPads being so popular, many are skipping the book-in-hand method.  A publishing network is a great alternative.  

4. Find Your Niche and Make the Most of It
Some authors have a niche they enjoy writing about.  Social media and its many forms have given us various options for sharing what we know and do best-- and niche networks are no different.  If your interest is fashion, children's book, law, green living, or whatever, you are sure to be able to find networks across the internet where you can share your pieces and read those of others like you.  Be sure the work you submit is protected and if the site offers Terms & Conditions, be sure to read them.  Niche sites like J.D. Supra for lawyers, and Petite Fashion Blogs are great niche networks where you can find yourself in like company.  If you haven't found a niche for your area of interest....create one!

5. Keep Writing and Protect Your Work
The best way to create a presence in the writing world is to keep writing.  You'll create a name for yourself, and ultimately a brand.  The more name recognition you have, the easier copyright and trademark issues become.  Having legal counsel is never a bad idea, but we know it can be a task for an upcoming author.  Take advantage of the many options offered by social media and networking.  Your writing skills will improve, and you'll be able to share and learn from others.

Need more?  Just ask!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Gives

Bottomless Closet!

The Bottomless Closet is one of our favorite charitable organizations.  They pair fashion with philanthropy and the encouragement of success in women.  Check out their upcoming sale and donate if you can.  Visit their location and see what amazing things they are doing!

Support Bottomless Closet at:-
Friday the 24th from 11am - 4 pm
Saturday the 25th from 10am - 2pm

435 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60654

Gently used  Armani, Escada, Gucci, St. John, Vuitton and hosts of others.

Professional brand name business attire in abundance.

20% Off purchases over $100.00 for
Designer wear
Our fabulous gently used Designer Clothes 
Offer Expires: 25th February 2012

Visit them on the web!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 8 Things Costing Less in 2012

While you're recovering from Christmas shopping and gearing up to make more purchases, check out these items getting cheaper in 2012.

1. iPad 2
This phenomenal tablet is set to get a lower price tag in the coming weeks, as the iPad 3 is arriving this Spring.  Visit your local Apple store and see what they've got.

2. Roku boxes
Because tech manufacturers are getting the idea of watching TV and other programming over the web, more devices are being produced to make it easier. If you want to change your entertainment experience, and maybe even cut some cords, check out this post from Contributing Editor, GuyverV.  He was already ahead of the game.

3. GPS Units
Seeing as almost every cellular phone, and definitely all smartphones have GPS features, stand-alone GPS systems are getting cheaper. They are in less demand, because the 1-stop-shop of a phone and GPS is so much easier.  If you need a separate unit for any reason, now is the time to grab one.

4. 3-D TVs
The 3-D TV craze is not only catching on with consumers, but producers, too.  More and more brands are making these IMAX-esqe teles, so the more we have, the less they cost.

5. Volkswagen Passat
If you're in the market for a new car, you might want to add the VW Passat to your list.  It's been listed at $9,000 less than before.

6. Car rentals
While gas is going up, the price to rent a car is going down.  With so many people taking on public transportation, and even walking (New Year's Resolutions--remember) renting a car for a couple days is quite the deal.

7. Wine 
Since production around the world is on the rise, the price of wine is going down.  As we learned in Economics 101, increased supply makes for lower prices to consumers.  If wine is your drink of choice, buy now!

8. 17" laptops
Tablets are the new trend, and 14" laptops are coming with the latest software and features. For those of you into the larger screen, you'll be pleased as you shop for your next device.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, February 20, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago

It's Restaurant Week!

Chicago is known for many things--the Bulls, Skyscrapers creating a breathtaking skyline, 4 distinct seasons, and so much more.  This week, the city is highlighting its restaurant scene.  

During Restaurant Week, you'll find deals and specials across the city.  From bakeries to bars and fine dining, eating out this week--at least a couple days--is a must!

Check out more details here, try something new and enjoy!

If you need more reasons to love the city like we do, here are another 175 Reasons to Love Chicago.

You can also check out restaurant listings by neighborhood in our B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago feature.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix

Celebrating Black History Through Fashion

A Chicago blog and Twitter fave, @Chitown_Fashion has launched a feature highlighting fashion in black history.  We think the photos she's shared are great, and since we're all about fashion here, we're sharing some of our own as we direct you to her site!

These are just a few of the many who have made their mark on the fashion industry. 

Enjoy, and please feel free to share yours with both blogs!


Mrs. Coretta Scott King...the Queen

Trendsetter:  Entertainment Trailblazer - Love. Peace. Soul

Dorothy Dandridge

Langston Hughes

Lena Horne

Flawless at Every Age

Lola Falana

Louis Armstrong

Naomi Sims

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top Ways to Care for Your Heart!

Today may be Valentine's Day, but we are giving you ways to take care of your other heart.  Below are tips, warning signs, and risk factors for giving your heart all the love it needs.

Happy Valentine's Day!

7 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease - It's always important to get ahead of the game!

1. Quit smoking.

2. Control your weight.  
We shouldn't all be the same size, but keeping your weight at a controllable, healthy level is critical.  Tough work, but totally worth it!

3. Control your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Eating Cheerios and oatmeal are a start, and partaking in cardio regularly are great ways to achieve this one.

4. Reduce your stress level.
Whether it's making tough choices about the things, people, tasks, or foods in your life, always remember-- your health comes 1st!

5. Talk to your health care provider regularly.
This can be a family physician, or someone at a local clinic.  Just make sure you consult an expert on a regular basis.

6. Eat a nutritious diet.
4 1/2 cups of fruits and veggies, and 3 cups of low-fat milk or dairy products per day for a 2,000 calorie diet.  Calorie requirements depend on the person, so again, check with an expert.  Multivitamins aren't a bad idea either--at any age!

7. Get adequate rest
Often we underestimate the power and need for sleep, but it's more important than you think.  Sleeping allows the body to recharge, release some stresses, and prepare for the next 16 or so hours awake.  Do your best to get as close to 8 hours of sleep per day as possible. 

6 Heart Attack Warning Signs

1. Chest pain or discomfort; squeezing or full pain across the chest

2. Nausea/vomiting

3. Back or jaw pain

4. Cold sweat or lightheadedness

5. Pain or discomfort in both arms, back, neck, or stomach

6. Shortness of breath with, or before chest discomfort

5 Stroke Warning Signs - These would all be sudden instances

1. Severe headache with no known cause

2. Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg--particularly on 1 side of the body

3. Trouble seeing in 1 or both eyes

4. Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

5. Confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding

8 Heart Disease Risk Factors

1. Family history of early coronary heart disease

2. Age (for women, 55 and older)

3. Smoking

4. High cholesterol

5. High blood pressure

6. Diabetes

7. Overweight/obesity

8. Physical inactivity

*We hope all of these tips and signs are helpful to you.  For more important information, consult your doctor or the helpful links below.

Here's to your heart!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Remembers

Whitney Houston: August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012

CNN has just confirmed 1980s pop princess Whitney Houston has passed away.  Let us all pray for her daughter, mother, and family.  We should remember the amazing music she left us with, and note she was just as human as the rest of us.

Here's one of our favorite Whitney classics.  How appropriate.

Rest in Peace, Whitney.  We miss you already.

Friday, February 3, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Health

Wear Red for the Cure!

We hope you are wearing red today, as February 3rd is the day to commemorate the fight against heart disease.  February is Heart Health Month, and no better time to make sure yours is as healthy as possible. Heart disease is America's #1 cause of death, making heart health a seeeerious matter!

Anyone can suffer from a range of heart conditions. The heart is the core of the circulatory system and obviously a driving force in keeping us alive. As strong as the heart must be, it can be so easy to weaken it. 

Here are some great ways to protect your heart! 

-Regular visits to the doctor (yearly)
-Cardiovascular activities to keep the heart working at its best (walking, running, even jumping jacks in front of the TV if you must!) 
-Eating right. Apples, breads and pastas in moderation, and controlled amounts of red meat are important in keeping your heart healthy.

Check out these links to make sure you are up to speed and loving your heart as you should.

American Heart Association 

Heart Healthy Foods 

More to come.....stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Honors

Black History Month!

Although Black History is highlighted on the calendar during the month of February, the contributions of African-Americans are fundamental to society every day of the year.  Black history--like the history of every culture living in this nation--is American history, and we should take notice of what makes this country so unique.

If it weren't for many black inventors, our society would be so different.  No traffic signals, elevators, home security systems, or even potato chips!  We wouldn't have ironing boards to help us look sharp, and we wouldn't be living too long because we wouldn't have open heart surgery as an option.  For more inventions we can't live without, check out our 2011 homage to black inventors.   

This year, we want to hit closer to home and pay tribute to those on the rise.  Credit is regularly given to people like President and Mrs. Obama, Bill Cosby, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah, Michael Jackson, W.E.B. DuBuois, Thurgood Marshall, and a long list of others.  But we have people who are doing major things in our communities, social scenes, and professions, who should be recognized, too!  Yeah it's a long list, but that's a good great thing!

Here's our list and links.  Check them out and support!

DeVawn Jewelry, by Ashley Bonds
You have to buy your fancy jewels from somewhere, why not this energetic entrepreneur!  All the accessories you need on 1 site!

May Vora Jewelry, by LaReana Nichole
Need some personal touches to your fashion style?  Who doesn't?!  This fabulous jewelry line is taking the midwest by storm.  Order your personalized jewels now!  "There's Only One"

Swish Dreams, by Joshua Mercer
A sports-themed educational program in Chicago, growing larger and larger every year.  This program is not only providing fun for the youth, but raising test scores!  Can't ask for more!

Red Pump Project, by Karyn Watkins and Lovette Ajayi
This organization is not only a fixture in Chicago, but has ambassadors across the country!  Using Red Pumps as their Causemark, these ladies are making sure the awareness of HIV and AIDS is at the top of mind.  Join their campaign to keep the word out. Awareness is Always in Style!

Fashion for JoJo, By Ebony Tiggs
Fashion by day-- and night.  Ebony is not only a one-of-a-kind fashion designer, but blogger and public relations guru in politics.  She's everything we love on this site, and more!

Real Talk with Felicia, by Felicia Lewis
Wanna get the straight talk on what's going on in our world?  RTWF is all over current events and public affairs.  No sugar-coating, but plenty of knowledge and insight.  Felicia is also the force behind Purposed for Pink, to fight against breast cancer.  

B.M.M.O. Consulting, By Tonisha Hood
A market research business ready to take your business to the next level, and make it more appealing to consumers. You definitely want this analyst on your team, taking your brand to the top!

When it comes to music, this voice is one you need to hear.  After her long-awaited Liberation Day release, Esynaj has left us wanting more of her stories, melodies, and beats.  Rewritten is our favorite, but there's plenty to choose from!

Fashion Cloture, by Kenya Wiley
You know fashion and law are loves of ours, and Fashion Cloture shares in the passion.  This fab blog by a D.C. lawyer keeps us up-to-date on all things happening on the Hill from fashion, to textiles, and everything in between!

Vision Speaks Louder than Words, by Daniel K. Shannon
Inspiration at its finest.  You won't find a motivational speaker like Daniel.  From sports teams, to corporate morale-building, and more, no group can go wrong enlisting this gentleman for a speech.  

Hip Hop Democrat, by Todd Walton
Urban culture, current events, music, politics, and more.  This site is the brain child of an innovator with more ideas on deck!  Stay tuned for what he'll be launching in 2012.

Simone Butterfly, by Mariessa Terrell 
Specializing in intellectual property law, and loving fashion, Ms. Terrell is a fixture in the D.C. community.  Her background is unmatched, and having her on your team is a clear must!

Da Internz
Kosine on Da Beat and Tuo are not only making the hometown proud, but making everyone Dance...Dance..Dance in the club, lounge, party, drivers seat and wherever else!  Look out for more tracks by this hot producer duo.

Bon Bon Vie, By Shari Neal
Love t-shirts?  Of course you do!  This emerging business owner and amazing talent has the tees to keep you looking right, and representing unique creativity like no other.  Get yours now!

The Hoop Lab, by Quintin Garrison
Is your young hooper ready for the game?  Well, get them in shape at The Hoop Lab!  Helping make hoop dreams come true, Q is training basketball talent and certainly prepping the next NBA star!

Writer Chick, by Mel Hopkins
You're thinking it....she's putting it into writing.  For a straight up take on everyday happenings, Mel is giving you the insight you want on all things swirling across the airwaves.  Keep up!

My Lifestyle Zen, by Patrice Perkins
Want to enrich your experiences in business and leisure?  This social-savvy lawyer is giving you all the answers and tips for enjoying your craft, improving your position, and mastering work-life balance.  

Congressman Bobby Rush's Chief of Staff, Stanley Watkins
When it comes to political know-how and public service strategies, you won't find a better Chief of Staff.  With local and federal government experience, Stanley is making sure the Congressman and constituents are well served--a model for anyone looking for a future in government work.

Pretty Afrika Designs, By Sandra Enimil
Lawyer. Fashionista.  Designer.  We see only positives here, and find more when shopping for handmade designs.  From jewelry, to bags and more, Sandra is balancing 2 demanding fields with ease.

Legacy Venture, by Hallemah Nash
Branding and philanthropy at its finest.  Hallemah has taken dreams to another level.  Making a difference in the world of sports, education, and most of all the community.  She's definitely a leader to follow.

Gametime Pros., by Elliott Ivory
Got a highlight film for your high school athlete?  You need one, and Gametime is the only option.  They're showing onlooking colleges just how amazing their prospects are.  Check them out!

Treats by Teresa, by Teresa Cox
Cookies, cakes, cupcakes....yep, you want some.  And you'll want more once you order some of these custom treats.  Whether you want baked goods for a fancy, big event, or just to have around the house, there's really no other choice, but this one.

Look Alive for these up and comers!  Told you the list was worth it!  Check out more of our faves on Twitter @BAFFLEDblog.

We know there's more...add your faves in the Comment section.

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports

NBA Free Agency Popcorn Watcher By: Tonisha Hood,  BMMO Consulting NBA free agency started with a few bangs.  First, everyone was am...