Friday, November 30, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Entertainment

Today "Thriller" Turns 30!

Of course as a big fan of Michael Jackson, there was no question there'd be a post commemorating the 30th anniversary of the best-selling album of all time.


Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was created as a "make-up project" for the alleged shortcoming of "Off The Wall".  Of course this entertainer had no musical shortcomings, but to him, "Off The Wall" should have done better--20 million copies sold just wasn't enough.  He felt he could do more and achieve greater.  Through "Thriller", he did.

"Thriller" not only crossed racial barriers, making MJ the first African-American to receive airplay on MTV, but also crossed musical genres with R&B, Soul, and even rock music. The feature project presented sounds provoking dance moves still relevant today and tracks able to take any party to the next level.  "Thriller" packed star power, too.  It was produced by Quincy Jones, had a guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen, and a duet with Paul McCartney.  It also produced my personal favorite song of all-time, Pretty Young Thing (PYT).  Michael was 24 years old, sold over 100 million albums, and won 8 Grammys. 



"Thriller" changed music, but it also changed music videos.  The video for the lead track was nothing short of a feature film, which preempted network television to debut.  The "making of" the video special broke sales records worldwide, and is the inspiration for many flash mobs today.  Michael's fashion swag changed the world, too--making aviator shades, leather and military style jackets, suits, and sequins staples in many wardrobes.  

Michael Jackson made history with this album and set the stage for the entertainment business with his creativity.  He raised the bar and gave us something to last a lifetime.  

Enjoy the album!






Thanks MJ!





Thursday, November 29, 2012

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

Chicago Chocolate Tours Presents: Hot Chocolate Tours!


Now you can enjoy a fabulous Chicago Chocolate Tour via a sleek vehicle and warm hot chocolate.  This Chicago jewel has done it again, and come up with a new way to highlight the chocolate spots in the City of Chicago.

We are thrilled to announce our newest offering, Hot Chocolate Tours, where you'll sample a variety of artisan hot chocolates from local chocolatiers and chefs!

Ride in style in a sleek, warm, luxury mini bus this winter - and learn about the history and health benefits of chocolate from your Tourguide, in a fun and entertaining presentation - as we traverse the city for the best hot chocolate, rain, snow, or shine!




Hot Chocolate Tours will run Tuesdays and Fridays at 3:45 pm, November through February. $99 per person. Bring friends, make new friends and join the group, or buy out the tour of 22 people for your holiday party. 




Click here for details, participating stores and cafes, and tickets!


Book your tour today...whether walking or riding, the chocolate will keep you happy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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


M's Top 10 Ways to Make Your Holiday Green

Here are our annual tips and great ideas for the holiday:

During the holiday season, waste disposal increases 25% in the United States, causing an extra 5 billion pounds of waste in the landfills according to the Medical University of South Carolina. Plus, travelers will be logging tons of miles and creating tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are tips to help you plan ahead to reduce your waste and green your gift giving this year:

1. Don't Buy Wrapping Paper 
Reuse old wrapping paper or put your gifts in reusable bags or boxes. Be creative about giving old materials new life -scraps of fabric, magazines, or calendars make great patchwork bags or collage wrapping paper.

2. Send Tree-free Holiday Cards 
Search the National Green Pages for cards made from kenaf, hemp, and other tree-free resources. Or, send e-cards and avoid the wait at the post office for stamps.

3. Hold a Zero Waste Holiday Party
Host a zero-waste party. Minimize the garbage by asking people to bring their own cups, plates and utensils if you don't have enough of your own. Use fabric tablecloths and napkins. Then be sure to recycle any post-party cans and bottles and compost food scraps.

4. Consider the Lifecycle of Electronic Gifts
Some of the most popular gift items for children and teens are electronics like computers, video games, and music devices. But the manufacturing and disposal of these items creates significant human health and environmental hazards. To learn more about the environmental impact of computers and electronic devices, check out the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. The Recycled Video Games Network is a great resource to dispose of old equipment or buy recycled games and systems for less, reducing the amount of new materials made.

5. Give Gifts from the Heart
Instead of spending money on commercial goods, give the gift of your time and talent to loved ones this year. Offer to make dinner, walk the dog, help with gardening or home repairs, or invite friends over for Fair Trade coffee and tea.

6. Give the Gift of a Better World 
Make a donation in honor of a loved one. Choose a cause that addresses an issue that you and your friends and family members care about and support. Green America offers gift memberships at special rates during the holiday. Green America gift memberships are a great way to support our work for a green future while introducing more people to the ideas of just and sustainable purchasing and investing. Give gift memberships »

7. Green Your Holiday Travel
If you are one of the many people planning to log a lot of travel miles this holiday season, don't forget to look into green options for getting around. Better World Travelers Club can help you offset the carbon emissions from your travel through their Travel Cool program. Plus, Green America has partnered with Native Energy to help you offset your energy impact, including travel impact, fund the production of more wind energy, and generate support Green America's Green Energy program.

8. Buy Green Gifts
If you choose to give presents over the holidays, shop with green businesses listed in the National Green Pages. This year, a number of green businesses are offering special discounts to make green gift giving even easier. Check out our Green Gift Catalog.

9. Avoid Toys Made with PVC plastic
70% of PVC is used in construction, but it is also found in everyday plastics, including some children’s toys. Vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, is a known human carcinogen. Also, additives, such as lead and cadmium, are sometimes added to PVC to keep it from breaking down; these additives can be particularly dangerous in children’s toys. PVC is also the least recycled plastic. Find safe toys in the National Green Pages™ » 

10. Recycle Packaging From Gifts
To reduce environmental impacts, it is important to recycle all cardboard packaging and peanuts or other Styrofoam packing that comes with gifts or purchases as these items will not de-compost in a landfill but can be used over and over again for packaging and shipping. The National Green Pages contains several listings for easy drop-off centers for both types of waste.

A few other things you can do are not to buy an actual or plastic tree (if that is your thing), but try to think of other ways to decorate without promoting the cutting and temporary use of trees or plastic. Also, since it is a bit colder and buying all those gifts can take a chunk out of your wallet, weatherizing your home and taking small steps (such as lowering your thermostat by 3 degrees or an optimal 68 degrees and lowering the temp by 8 degrees when asleep or away at work) will save you a lot!


Having a green holiday does not take a lot of work, and will not put a damper on the spirit of celebration; in fact, knowing that you’re keeping our planet cleaner should brighten your mood even more!

Enjoy, and have a happy green holiday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Shops

It's Black Friday! --Shop local; Shop small businesses.

We know you're looking for all the best deals.  Check out some of our small business faves, and always remember to shop local.



May Vora Jewelry
 - There's Only One



Bon Bon Vie T-shirt Collection
















B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Entertainment

Get Your FREE Download Today!!
---

Music Has No Color!

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are not ready for the talent this group is bringing to you, but we will do our best to prep you.  Music Has No Color (MHNC) is an amazing group with a unique, timeless sound. The best part--they're young, so you'll surely be enjoying them for a long time to come.  

Here's a little bit about them from their record label, Imani Faith Productions:



MHNC is a fresh new band from the south suburbs of Chicago with a mix of R&B, hip-hop, soul, rock, and funk. MHNC demonstrates real musicianship with instrumentation, ornamented with technology, in order to produce soulful, heartfelt songs with positive lyrics. 

On November 23, 2012, MHNC will release their EP entitled Rise and Grind. To celebrate this epic and historic event, and to show appreciation for your support, MHNC and IMANI Faith Productions is offering a “FREE” download of their Rise and Grind debut single. To get your free download of MHNC debut single Rise and Grind on 11/23/2012, go to MHNCBand.com.  

For more information on MHNC check out their website, follow them on Twitter @MHNCBand and Facebook .



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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

Top 6 Foods for Healthy Hair!

A couple weeks ago, we offered great products for healthy hair.  This week, we have some things you can eat to contribute to having the best hair possible.

Check out this quick list and get to shopping!


1.  Water
This one is obvious and goes without saying.  It's probably the most available food/drink we have.  It's everywhere, and you should take advantage of it in getting healthy hair.  It cleanses your system and pushes toxins out.  It's the baseline of optimal health. 

2.  Salmon
This yummy fish provides vitamin-D and protein, which keep hair strong and offers omega-3 fatty acids, promoting hair growth.


3.  Sweet Potatoes
The perfect source of the antioxidant beta carotene.  They turns into vitamin-A, giving your scalp the moisture it needs to reduce and avoid dandruff.  


4.  Greek Yogurt
This great low-fat option offers protein and vitamin B5.  B5 contributes to hair strength, something critical with all the products and hair tools we use.  


5.  Eggs
Again, protein. Eggs also have zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron.  These minerals are important for carrying oxygen to the hair follicles, protecting against hair loss.


6.  Blueberries
This superfood is good for optimal health in so many ways.  It provides vitamin C, promotes a healthy scalp, protects hair follicles, and prevents breakage.

What tasteful ways to keep your hair in the best shape!
We hope these tips are helpful to you.  Here's to your healthy hair!





Monday, November 19, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Entertainment

Music Has No Color!

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are not ready for the talent this group is bringing to you, but we will do our best to prep you.  Music Has No Color (MHNC) is an amazing group with a unique, timeless sound. The best part--they're young, so you'll surely be enjoying them for a long time to come.  

Here's a little bit about them from their record label, Imani Faith Productions:



MHNC is a fresh new band from the south suburbs of Chicago with a mix of R&B, hip-hop, soul, rock, and funk. MHNC demonstrates real musicianship with instrumentation, ornamented with technology, in order to produce soulful, heartfelt songs with positive lyrics. 

On November 23, 2012, MHNC will release their EP entitled Rise and Grind. To celebrate this epic and historic event, and to show appreciation for your support, MHNC and IMANI Faith Productions is offering a “FREE” download of their Rise and Grind debut single. To get your free download of MHNC debut single Rise and Grind on 11/23/2012, go to MHNCBand.com.  

For more information on MHNC check out their website, follow them on Twitter @MHNCBand and Facebook .



B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Cares

Fashion Delivers Collaborates with StyleMint for Hurricane Sandy Relief!


Every purchase made on StyleMint.com until the Thanksgiving holiday will be matched with a donation to Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation

Ladies, if you are doing any shopping, please support. Guys, please pass on to your female friends.


Fashion Delivers has been overwhelmed with clothing/home good donations to assist the victims on Hurricane Sandy. Now they need funds to deliver the products to those in need.

Please forward/post/tweet. For updates, check out the Facebook page!


*There's more...
Are you a designer/retailer with past season merchandise? Consider donating it to those in need @ https://fashiondelivers.org/donate-product.php.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

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

Models Face Labor Concerns, Too--

Niches in the fashion industry--you've obviously come to the right place!  Model Yomi Abiola has created an amazing segment of fashion, often dismissed by the world at large.  Typically, the labor issues in the fashion industry have to do with sweatshops and jobs outsourced from American companies.  Those issues are of critical importance--they hedge on human rights and proper wages.  However, the models face their own issues as well.  


Yomi launched Stand Up for Fashion (STUFF) to promote fair labor practices in the industry.  Her initiative opposes the use of underage models, promotes diversity, and improves working conditions.  
In their own words: 
STUFF stands for change in the industry
STUFF encourages diversity, equality, inclusion
STUFF transforms our society through the power of fashion

Yomi is a Nigerian model and contributor to Vogue Italia.  Her experience is greater than modeling--she also works on cultural issues with the UN.  Yomi is not only using her beauty to bring people together, but her brain and dynamic energy as well.  
The only time that people from fashion come together is at fashion shows or fashion parties, but in terms of having a real dialog about the business of fashion … it is not something that has been done at all,” Abiola said.

Labor issues in fashion are sometimes ignored because of the glam and glitz we see on the runway.  Surely there can't be problems.  Wrong!  Underaged models are not paid as they should be, child labor laws are broken, good health is not encouraged for many models of all ages, and diversity in ethnicity, size, and appearance in general are far from prevalent.  It's time the industry and its supporters take a stand to make things as fab on the inside as they appear on the outside.  

“Every industry comes together” to talk about pressing issues, “but the fashion industry never stands for anything beyond fashion,” said Shauna Mei, founder and CEO AHAlife, a high-end gift website supporting STUFF.

As she works to make this issue known across the world, Yomi has made the promotion of "true beauty" a priority, particularly with young women.  Often, we find beauty ads showing less of the product's ability, and more editing and Photoshop savvy.  This is not the message young women need, especially with bullying so rampant.  Yomi is working as a fashion model, model citizen, and role model.  

We are excited about STUFF and the awareness Yomi is working to promote.  You will find more of their projects here, as we all should take part in improving these conditions.


Keep up with her journey and follow Yomi on Twitter!
To learn more about Stand Up For Fashion, click here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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

Top 5 Things to Know About Diabetes--

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Diabetes affects million of Americans.  Sometimes referred to as "the Silent Killer", diabetes is  a group of diseases, characterized by high blood glucose levels, resulting from the body's deficiency in producing insulin.


As we continue raising awareness, there are some important things to know about diabetes:

1. Diabetes does not have a cure and needs continued awareness.   

As greater efforts and funding is put into diabetes research, we can get closer to combating its prevalence.  

2.  Diabetes can be from a number of sources. 
Diabetes can based on diet, genetics, access to health care and healthy food, or a combination of the 3.  

3.  There are three types of diabetes:

-Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood. Many patients are diagnosed when they are older than age 20. In this disease, the body makes little or no insulin. Daily injections of insulin are needed. The exact cause is unknown. Genetics, viruses, and autoimmune problems may play a role.
-Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1. It makes up most of diabetes cases. It usually occurs in adulthood, but young people are increasingly being diagnosed with this disease. The pancreas does not make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal, often because the body does not respond well to insulin. Many people with Type 2 diabetes do not know they have it, although it is a serious condition. 
*Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common due to increasing obesity and failure to exercise.
-Gestational diabetes is high blood glucose that develops at any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes. Diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans. 

4. Again, diabetes is an everyday condition, impacting people we all know.  

Well-known fighters include Halle Berry, Drew Carey, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Patti LaBelle, Jay Cutler, Bret Michaels,Nick Jonas, and Larry King.  They don't let it stop them.  No one should.

5.  Awareness and action make diabetes manageable.
Visit your doctor regularly and make sure you are doing the right things to remain healthy.  Eating right, watching your sugar intake, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle--including physical activity, will keep you in control of diabetes--not the other way around.

Be sure to take diabetes seriously.  It could be your condition or the condition of someone close to you, but it affects us all.

Here's some helpful resources:
Diabetes Efforts in Your Area
Diabetes Blog 
Diabetes Research Tool 
American Diabetes Association 
Diabetes for Your Life



Saturday, November 10, 2012

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

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps!

Established in 1775, the United States Marine Corps celebrates 237 years of excellence.  As America's first line of defense in any battle, long-time protectors of the President, and United States Embassies in all other nations, the USMC has maintained its title as "The Few, The Proud".  We love Marines.  



Latin for "always faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what.




Marines take their pledge and oath to protect our nation extremely seriously.  Equipped with the highest and most scrutinizing training of any armed force, this elite group produces fierce fighters and model citizens.



Hoo-Rah!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Events

Sewing Into Dreams Fashion Gala - Memphis, TN!

We are always excited to promote fashionable events and when they are paired with philanthropy it's even better.  Check out this great event coming up in Memphis, Thursday, November 15th.  More details on the Fashion & Philanthropy page!





Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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

Top 5 Reasons to Get Out & VOTE Today!

Today is Election Day in America, and every free citizen aged 18 and older should be hitting the polls--if you haven't already.  Early voting is a great new program many have taken advantage of, but there is also nothing like the rush of voting on Election Day.

Here's a few reasons why you need to cast your vote:


1.  It's your right. 
Adults have the right to speak up on who their leaders should be.  Why wouldn't you take advantage of the opportunity?!  Today, particularly for women and ethnic minorities, someone else has already worked hard and sacrificed to get you this right.  It's the least you can do in return.

2.  You want to be well represented.
Voting gives you the chance to contribute to the progress of this country by electing leaders to act on your behalf.  You should help them by working with them and advising them as well.  It doesn't end today, it begins today.  

3.  You've had complaints.
Everyone has complaints about their district, ward, state, and the country in general.  We'd all do things differently than the next person.  Today is your chance to do something, and act on your sentiments.  Don't just say what your don't like.  Do something to make it better.


4.  You should be well informed by now.
After debates, candidate forums, and endorsements, you've had plenty of time over the last few months to make informed decisions.

5.  It's the start of something better.
Voting today will allow you the chance to engage with your elected officials, and let them know what they can do to make your area better.  By taking part in the world around you--local, state, or national--you can feel good about doing your part to improve our society.  Who wouldn't make the most of it?!

VOTE TODAY!

Friday, November 2, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tech

A Chat With Our Tech Guru, GuyverV--

Often I get to chat technology, phones, tablets, and other devices with GuyverV.   But not often enough does his expertise reach this site for you to view.  Let's make him feel a little guilty about it.  In the meantime, as the holidays approach and new phones are ready to hit the stores, I'd like to share some highlights from a recent tech talk we had.

Surely this information will be of interest and help to you as you contemplate your next technological toy.

V: Apple has been in hot water with consumers over this new Maps/drop Google Maps thing.  What do you anticipate happening?

G:  They already have a significant number of people working on it. I think the issue was that the contract with Google ran out before they had a version of the software that would compete properly.  It's an interesting move because it's surprising that Apple would hinder user experience because of their backroom fights.

V:  So why break the partnership with Google?


G:  Steve Jobs and by extension Apple feel as though they were betrayed by Google.


V:  Why?  How?


G:  Because it wasn't until Eric Schmidt got on Apple's board that the Android phone began to look like the G1.  Allegedly.  Jobs was also supposedly mentoring some Google top guns.


V:  You think the decline in Apple loyalty is a result of the Maps debacle?  


G:  They said it's a lot of bad press about the lack of innovation as well.  Tech journalists have been saying for a while that the operating system (OS) is nice and works well, but it's boring.


V:  Do you agree Apple has stopped innovating?

G:  I don't think they can just throw around the word innovation like they do any not really do anything--which is what they have been doing.

V:  So do you think the iPhone 5 (iPhive as I like to call it) and mini were rushed? Too many devices all at once?

G:  They've released multiple products at once. I heard they terminated the maps deal with Google early.  Sounds like they should have just waited, gathered more data and then pounced.  My theory on their problem is that they came up with a winning formula first. Every other OS maker had to catch up to them in terms of polish and usability. Now that they've caught up, Apple's OS hasn't changed. It's stale.

V:  Will the changes at the top get them out of this? With their precedent, are other companies set to pass them?

G:  Scott Forstall was their OS guy, so I imagine that there will be some changes with the formula there. Google will and won't pass them because they haven't solved the carrier issue like Apple has. Windows is more likely to do it if they can catch on with their ecosystem.

V:  What's the carrier issue?

G:  Verizon is the #1 carrier, but they're very strict about their rules regarding LTE.  It pretty much can't be used without their say so. To get that, Google would have to compromise on their OS. They did that with the Galaxy Nexus and it was kind of a disaster. They could have done it with AT&T, but I guess they decided it wasn't worth it to them.

V:  So only Apple has the clearance to do what they want on the network without OS compromise?

G:  They built the brand and the demand.  When the iPhone first came out, Verizon said no.  So Apple went to AT&T who said yes.  

V:  You think Google should have gone exclusive with Android on T-Mobile at first?

G:  No.  Apple was able to create a product that everyone wanted through good design and marketing.  Google is only just getting there in terms of design, but their marketing strategy is crappy. Sometimes I wonder if it's because they don't want to compete with their OEM partners.

V:  I always wonder why they don't really market much.

G:  With phones I think I understand why. Everything else, I don't.

V:  Why with phones?

G:  Because it would depend on how they wanted to do it. If they promote Android, pure Android isn't represented by any OEM, not even their own.  They have no control over updates or patches, or design with those phones.  If they promote the Nexus line, they are directly competing with those hardware partners, again, even their own OEM.  It's kind of sticky.  Carriers, for whatever reason, don't want stock Android on their phones; probably because it gives them more power and leverage.  It prevents another Apple situation.

V:  So it gives Google the chance to have market share horizontally and vertically without offending partners in either direction?

G:  Yes. That's what I think their strategy is. I think it's a crappy one because people that want the cool new features don't know what to buy. Even buying a Nexus device last year didn't guarantee the latest updates because of Verizon interfering.


This is just a glimpse of the tech savvy GuyverV shares with us.  Hopefully we'll have more soon.  We wouldn't dare purchase a phone without his approval.  




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