Thursday, December 27, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Asks

We Want Your Feedback--Take the Survey!

After 3+ years of giving you a lifestyle site about fashion, law, entertainment, business, charity, and more, we want to be sure you are still and always getting what you want when you frequent B.A.F.F.L.E.D. 

We've added some features, gotten rid of some, and have guest contributions as much as possible.  Hopefully, what we provide is keeping you interested, but we must be certain this is always the case.

Please take just a few moments to let us know what you think about the blog.






As always, you can share your thoughts with us at any time.  Whether you want to use the Comments section below, Tweet us, Facebook, or email: adeptadmin@thebaffledblog.com - m@thebaffledblog.com we completely welcome your questions, comments, concerns, ideas, suggestions, and complaints.

Let us know what you think, so we can continue to take B.A.F.F.L.E.D. to the next level!

We appreciate you!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Wishes

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

Whatever it is you are celebrating or not celebrating today, we wish you joy, peace, and love in your world.  No matter what your challenges or circumstances are, those things at a minimum make everything better.



All the best to you and yours!
~B.A.F.F.L.E.D.

Friday, December 21, 2012

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

The Victims of the Sandy Hook Tragedy...and All Gun Violence Victims--



Let's all do more today than remember the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, but also take action to reduce the chances of something similar happening again.  No one wants to infringe rights, but we must have laws fitting the world we live in and keep our loved ones safe.

Here are 4 reasons we need better gun laws.  We hope the sadness of those we lose will turn into action for a more peaceful society.

*Please take part in the national moment of silence at 9:30am EST to remember those impacted from last week's shooting.  Keep in mind all victims of gun violence.  This epidemic is not unique to Newtown, CT.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Technology

The Nexus 4: A Product Review--

Just a couple weeks ago, our tech guru, GuyverV and I got the new Nexus 4.  This LG device, powered by Google's Android platform, has been quite a treat.  I was concerned about losing the 4g feature, but find now I don't miss it.  




4g v. hspa+
Jumping right in, I was concerned about going from 4g to hspa+.  I had 4g on my HTC Sensation, but when my signal was weak, it would revert to 2g.  Having the phone in the 4g zone was critical.  2g pretty much made it useless.  According to GuyverV, one of the biggest knocks of the device is that it doesn't have 4g.  This shouldn't be a knock at all.  The 3g/hspa+ is perfectly ample for web browsing, messaging, calls, and mapping.  

Multitasking
GuyverV said he prefers the workflow of the Nexus 4 to an iPhone or any other Android phone.  Multitasking, when used correctly, is a dream.   He shared, "speed is relative; I can move fluidly through the phone and that saves me time, too."  The multitasking key is extremely helpful for sharing, copy-pasting, and seeing the apps or programs you've recently used.  Navigation from 1 screen to another is extremely easy.  

Viewing and Sharing
I asked him about the need for 4g when using powerful features like video.  He told me "the only time I imagine I'd want 4g is for watching video.  The occasions I do that without Wi-Fi are few and far between. I'm more likely to stream music, which loads up quickly."  The Nexus 4 also allows for zooming in videos, which the iPhone 5 does not. Check out this great camera.  The panoramic is amazing.   

 GuyverV said sharing is probably his favorite thing about Android.  It's so easy to move things to and from Dropbox, saving things to Pocket, tweeting pics, etc.  
  
What this all means...
I was delighted to experience this phone because although my last 3 phones have been Android-powered, they have not been run on "pure" Android platforms.  What this means is this: Many phone makers, like Motorola, HTC, and Samsung use the Android operating system, but also integrate features and programs of their own--like MotoBlur and HTC Sense.  So, despite having an "Android", the phones are also packed with other apps and things compromising the Android operating system.  Neither good nor bad, just different.

The "pure" Android does in fact offer easy sharing, more updates, customization, and does not have to account for the 3rd party technology phone makers include.  It is definitely a matter of personal choice, but for us, a "pure" Android Nexus is it.

After 4 weeks with this device, I can absolutely say it was a great choice.  Don't misunderstand-- Apple products are great.  This blog is written on an Apple device, and I have no complaints.  However, I am beyond pleased with Android phones--particulary the Nexus 4.  

Give it a try!

For more tech guidance from GuyverV, check out these Flashbacks.




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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

Top 4 Reasons We Need Stronger Gun Laws...or Maybe Just Less Guns?

That second part has people all riled up, but it's true.  Guns have changed the lives of so many Americans for the worse, and it's time to stop just the candlelight vigils and take real action.  Sure the Constitution provides for a right to bear arms, but are we certain it wasn't geared toward the Militia mentioned?  The role of legislators is to keep our laws current and relevant to the times.  Can we be sure it has been done in this case?  


It has gotten to a point where getting weapons of permanent destruction is easier than it should be.  Constituent services events--with the legislator on site, college lectures, high school hallways, movie theaters, places of worship, and even now elementary schools have been shot up with the unfortunate ease obtainable weapons.  Let's look at this some more:

1.  Gun results are pretty permanent.
Of course, people have survived gun shot wounds, but for the most part, there is no turning back from a bullet.  The reason for it's use is to kill the target.  This is also a great contributor to murder-suicides--because once the killer realizes they've done something permanent and can't live with themselves--they don't.  We need to make sure our laws are deliberate about who can get and keep weapons.  

2.  Accidents happen.
Everyone has wondered if they've turned off what they needed to before leaving home, or put things away they should have.  Guns are included.  Guns in households make for an added stress to keep vigilance over and be sure no accidents occur.  Guns at home increase the chance a child will find it, and misuse it to detrimental results.  It's not quite the same as leaving a curling iron or television on.  

Just last week a father accidentally shot his 7-year old son after leaving a gun shop.  In September, a father shot his teen son in error.  These things happen all the time, and it's not just people with mental issues.  Anything can happen, anywhere.  

3.  More guns, more problems.
With the exception of hunters---I'll say again--with the exception of hunters, we really don't need guns. If PETA has their say, we probably don't need them at all, but let's stick to people for now.  A major reason people feel they need a gun is because others have them.  If no one has one (and you're not hunting your food for the night) no one needs one.  Many Americans feel they need a gun to protect themselves or not be disadvantaged against others.  But there's not the same disadvantage if no firearms are involved.  With the chance of increased suicides, homicides, accidents and more, less guns is really our difficult, yet optimal solution.  (Obviously this is quite unrealistic, must still be mentioned.)

4.  Our laws should protect, not hurt.
As mentioned before, the wording of the Constitution is, well...dated.  With all due respect to our founding legislators and the work they did, a lot of what they had to address in the 1700s is not relevant today--guns particularly.  The 2nd Amendment states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
Do you talk like this?  Is it easy for your to understand?  This provision has been in court for interpretation time after time.  It's largely because it has not been updated over the years to keep up with what's happening in the country and how people communicate.  Think about it this way:  Why is a ban on texting and driving missing from the Constitution?   Bottom line here, we need social policies fit for our current society, not from a society which had no way of knowing what would come ahead.

It is always sad when we have to address issues like these, but the task is addressing them and doing something about them for better days ahead.  Let's make sure the right message is out there, and protect ourselves against the next tragedy.  

When is enough enough?


Monday, December 17, 2012

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

Official Anais PR Presents a 2nd Toy Drive--

This time, the Blessed 2 Be a Blessing Toy Drive is benefitting the little ones at Gary Comer Youth Center.  Grab something nice for them, stop by the toy drive, and enjoy a presentation by our photo fave Words Scar!

Sunday, December 23
6pm


For more details, check out Official Anais PR!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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

Top 5 Legal Tips for Holiday Shopping--

Of course the holiday shopping season is well underway, but it is never too late to be mindful of safe, legal shopping.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you finish your shopping.


1.  Be vigilant.
Whether you're shopping online or at brick and mortar locations, being cautious of what you're buying is important.  Check out the authenticity of the item.  Watch for knockoffs and counterfeits, and be certain you are getting what you're paying for.

2.  Shop online with caution.
The little padlock icon in the address bar or at the bottom of the screen is critical to online shopping.  Sure, most large retailers have secure websites, but you want to be certain whatever program they are using for e-commerce keeps your financial and shipping information secure.  Look for signs the site is protected.

3.  Shop in person with caution.
When shopping at brick and mortar stores you must be cautious of those around you.  Although many of us feel very comfortable at shopping malls, you have to be on the lookout for those seeking an easy win.  Theft and pick-pocketing crimes rise during the holidays, so be sure to lock your cars, don't leave valuables visible, pack light when shopping, and keep your wallet close to you.

4.  Watch your receipts.
This one applies online and in person.  Make sure your receipt reflects what you sought to purchase.  Also, be sure your card was charged properly if you're using credit or debit.  You should be mindful of sales and clearances, too.  When you see them, see if you can get a price adjustment!

5.  Spend wisely.
The true meaning of Christmas is often lost in all the retail glitz and capitalism.  We all need money to survive, but things do get a bit overdone this time of year.  Your credit and financial health are never worth over extending yourself during the holidays.  Be careful what you spend on, and make sure you'll still be afloat in the new year.

We hope these reminders are helpful to you.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2012

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

Official Anais PR Presents:  Blessed 2 Be A Blessing Holiday Toy Drive!

Add something special to your holiday shopping list to help out children in need.  Proceeds from this great event will benefit A New Me Foundation--helping break the silence for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

Saturday, December 15
4pm-7pm




For more details, click here!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

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

Table for 1's Purple Fridays!

This fab charity is doing something great you should know about.  Their Purple Fridays program seeks to raise money to support upcoming outreach programs, including helping singles, at-risk youth, and women live independently. Table for 1 focuses on drama and music workshops, self-esteem building, mission work, and more.  




Purple Fridays takes donations of dresses.  If you have any-- gently used of course--please add them to the collection!  Those wanting to have a dress of their own, or swap around, can make a donation of $75, and "Pick a Dress" of their liking.  Donations of all amounts are appreciated and welcome. *Donations of $75+ are tax deductible.

Check out more on Table for 1 and spread the word!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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

Top 8 Reasons I Love My Line Sisters!

For any of you who are members of a sorority, fraternity, or similar organization, you know just what I'm talking about.  Today, I celebrate my 8th anniversary as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  I was initiated with 21 other remarkable women, in the organization's Gamma Chapter, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  

Since then, we have bonded together like no other.  My life would not be the same without these ladies.  Of course I love them for so many reasons, but here's a sample:

1.  21 people have my back.
There's no love like the love between line sisters, and I have the BEST ones.  We look out for each other, support each other, and celebrate our many accomplishments.

2. We grow together.
When we first met, we were so young and just learning what sisterhood of this type was about.  Over the last 8 years, we've spent a lot of time together, learning personalities and how to help each other be the best we can be.  We're doing very well.

3.  We look good together.
Check the picture.  It was years ago, but we were fabulous then, and even more stunning now.

4.  We have everything.
Our line is stocked with everything we need to continue being successful.  We not only have lawyers (4, so watch out), a doctor, educators, law enforcement, entrepreneurs,  consultants, stylists, models, and more, but a strength unmatched.  We have supportive families, cute and smart children, prosperous careers, and the drive to keep us on top for many years to come.

5.  We're family.
Line sisters are built-in family members.  Whether it's a night of dinner or drinks, shopping, traveling, or just hanging out, we know we have each other to lean on at any time.  Who could ask for anything more?!

6.  We stay connected.
Often, people join organizations in college and never look back.  Not us.  We can call each other at any moment, and we try to see each other as often as possible.  Of course email and social media makes things easy, but we put in real effort to stay connected.

7.  Our bond is genuine.
Sorority life is not easy, and sisterhood in any form comes with challenges.  But, the key is being real with each other--and we are.  We want to see each other improve.  We want to see each other happy, and we do all we can to stand by one another.  

8.  We're not done yet.
At just 8 years old, my line sisters and I are just getting started.  We have so much more to accomplish and so much more time to spend cherishing each other.  

I can't wait.



Love you, Sisters xoxo
V

Monday, December 3, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Business

Perception is Everything. By Contributing Editor, Eric Butts, CPA--


I've been working at a large consulting firm for almost three years now. You probably can infer quite a few things from that but one thing is for certain, I have a passion for upgrades. In case you were unaware, that happens to be one of the fundamentals of consulting. What I failed to mention is there is one instance where the upgrade can come back to bite you - the rental car. Either that or it inconveniences you so much that you don't even want it anymore. See exhibit A.



When I landed in Boston Monday morning, my heart rejoiced when I got the email saying that I had this Mercedes GL 450 waiting for me. I thought it had to be a mistake or I accidentally reserved the wrong size car. I didn't. The upgrade gods had smiled upon me. The car was beautiful with all kinds of nice features:
  • Built-in blue-tooth
  • Sirius satellite radio
  • Leather/Seat warmers
  • Steering wheel that automatically adjusts height when you start the car
  • Reverse camera
  • Side mirrors that automatically retract when you park!
Everything about the car was smooth, the kind of car you enjoy driving and would love to show off to your colleague to see if they had the same good fortune. There's only one problem - I can't be seen driving this!

Consulting is a business where perception plays a HUGE role in what we do - the way you speak, the way you dress, the way you sit in meetings - nothing is exempt from scrutiny. A lot of people, whether true or note, will assume that when consultants come around people are going to lose jobs. And if people are going to lose jobs, why on earth would the company be paying for the already overpaid consultants to drive around their fancy cars.  That's the mindset. Nobody knows or cares that this Mercedes SUV was the same cost to rent as a Toyota Corolla. It just doesn't look right, and you don't want to risk a client complaining over something you can so easily avoid.

What that means is when I get an overly nice upgrade (I can't believe I'm even claiming such a thing exists), I can either argue with the rental car company for who knows how long about why I don't want an upgrade, which causes me to arrive later to the client site (another perception risk), or I can park in some obscure spot where I have a bit of a hike but limited visibility to the masses (don't forget it's 33 degrees outside). When I mentioned above that the upgrade can become such a nuisance you might be better off not getting it, this is the situation that I had in mind.

Have you ever had to deal with a perception issue that didn't reflect reality? How did you handle it?

On a side note, I flew to Minneapolis, Minnesota tonight and had the good fortune of having my room upgraded to a suite*. I couldn't even find the bed when I came in the room! I figure the fashion-friendly folks are a visual bunch so I'll leave you with a few pics of my home away from home for the night.









*Bitter sweet because I'm usually home with the family by this time on Thursday night.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

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

Today is World AIDS Day - 


World AIDS Day is one of the most recognized health awareness days across the globe.  The commemoration began in 1988 by the International AIDS Society at the international AIDS Conference.

AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is the final stage of HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.  The disease compromises the immune system, putting the body at risk for infections, resulting from a weakened immune system.  


The World AIDS Campaign takes the initiative to spread awareness about the disease and increase research as much as possible.  Informed by those most affected by HIV, the World AIDS Campaign’s goal is to ensure that governments and policy makers meet the HIV targets they set, the commitments they made, and mobilize the necessary resources for a world where people do not die of AIDS and opportunistic infections.

One of our faves, The Red Pump Project takes on the challenge of spreading awareness--not just December 1st, but everyday.  The organization sponsors events, programming, fundraising, and shares critical knowledge for fighting this life-threatening condition.  Check out their site for more!


For more information on World AIDS Day, click here.

Also check out:  
AIDS.org
Center for Disease Control
AIDS.gov


Support AIDS research and prevention today, and everyday!



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