Changing Your Life for the Better

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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of discontentment. You’re dissatisfied with where your life is right now, but you don’t know the first step to getting to where you go. Or maybe you’re just dissatisfied with one area of your life, or a part of yourself. There may be other people in your life, family and friends, who are unhappy with their own lives. It makes for good conversation over drinks, or during lunch period at school, or while the kids are outside playing in the yard. And generally speaking, for a lot of people, that is the most action taken – talking about your problems and then returning back to them, only to repeat the cycle once you get close to another breaking point.

Why is it that so many people allow their own discontentment and dissatisfaction to continue? Why do so many of us complain about our problems ad infinitum without making a serious attempt to change them? Most of the solutions to our problems are obvious.

I’m unhappy with my weight; I want to lose twenty pounds. The solution? Drop twenty pounds. So why is it, then, that instead of making the decision to lose those points and take the necessary action to do so, I whine about it for months on end, diet for one week, go back to my original unhealthy eating habits, and then whine some more?

Female became skinny and wearing old jeans

I’m unhappy with where my career is; instead of working in a deadend entry level office job, I’d rather be a singer. The solution? Get my songs out there for public consumption to help increase your chances of becoming a professional singer. So why is it, then, that I continue suffering through the commute to work, suffering through the work day while feeling increasingly irritable as the days and months elapse?

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Chloe and Halle

There are reasons why we do this. Sometimes it’s because our cause seems hopeless. We focus so much on the statistics, the odds of making it, that we can’t imagine ourselves succeeding. So instead of trying, we just find a way to halfway tolerate the cards we were dealt. Sometimes all we see is the position we are currently in and the end goal, the position we would like to be in. The distance between the two seems so vast, so far off in the distance, that we can’t even begin to try to determine the proper steps to getting where we want to go. And sometimes we’re just lazy. We want the payday without a bunch of grunt work.

In order to start improving your quality of life, you must first determine exactly what you’re unhappy with. Make a list. This is a list you can easily make on a lunch break at work, or during the commercials of watching your favorite show. Once you’ve made this list, you have taken the first step to making your life better. And all you had to do to take this first step was take ten minutes out of your life and sit down with a pen and a sheet of paper. Since lists are broken out in an easier to read format, I’m going to proceed by outlining the steps to improving your life.

  1. Determine exactly what about your life you are unhappy with – make a list.
  2. Take each area or element you are unhappy with, and list the steps it would take to improve or rectify the issue (I’ll provide examples later on).
  3. Prioritize which of the steps you should take action on first – you may want to prioritize by either which steps you can take action on immediately, or by which areas of your life are in dire need of change.
  4. Designate time for working towards the change you need in your life.

These steps look simple enough, don’t they? Whether or not task is simple or difficult to achieve is relative, of course – but most of the things we wish to achieve aren’t nearly as difficult as they at first seem to be. Most of the things we want to accomplish just need to be broken down into smaller steps.

I wanted to give a few examples of this, because it’s easy to give the advice to take what you want to do and break it down into steps. Some will still have trouble with applying that advice to their own goals.

From a teenager’s perspective, let’s say that an area of your life that you are unhappy with is the fact that your parents don’t take your dreams seriously. Let’s say that your dream is to become an actor. This is a multi-layered goal really, because you’re wanting both to become an actor and you’re wanting your parents to take that seriously. At the end of the day, your parents want what is best for you and they want you to secure a happy future. When it comes to dreams relating to the arts, there are a ton of question marks there. Will you be able to step foot inside of the industry you’re aiming for? Once you do, will you be able to obtain any measurement of success? Is this something that will allow you to afford to sustain your living and recreational expenses? These are all questions that your parents want you to consider. For this example, I’m going to display two lists: the list I would create for getting my parents to take my dreams seriously, and the list I would create for my dreams of becoming an actor. First things first in getting your parents to take your dreams seriously is to demonstrate to them that your dream isn’t just fluff, isn’t just a whimsical hobby you’re using to pass the time.

Showing the Parentals I’m Serious About My Aspirations

  1. Research dream or aspirations and take notes. Print out informational pages and keep them in a binder. Continue adding to these notes.
  2. Participate in my craft (if acting is my dream, try out for school plays and community theater; if music production is my dream, work on making music, or volunteer that music to your school plays/community theater/local nightclubs/local radio shows; if dancing is my dream, dance in the school musical or talent show; if art is my craft, submit artwork to local art shows, or give a piece of art to your parents for their birthday)
  3. Invite parents to the events I participate in, so they have a chance to see my performance. This gives them a chance to see my talent.
  4. Look into art colleges, and research scholarships that could be applied to those colleges. Since this is my dream, it proves to my parents that I’m taking my goals seriously when I’m willing to do a lot of the legwork.
  5. After having completed some of these steps, sit down and have a serious heart-to-heart with my parents to explain my aspirations to them, how seriously I take them, and if I want to go the extra mile, ask if I have their support.

Acting Aspirations (How to Become A Successful Actor

  1. Study and practice my craft (this would involve watching behind-the-scenes documentaries, or movies with the director’s and actors’ commentary on it, so I can see the challenges and rewards the actors were faced with during those productions)
  2. Participate in my craft (see list above)
  3. Look into acting schools or art colleges and research scholarships (see above) – and while doing this, also looking for productions that are casting for parts.
  4. Audition for roles in local plays, commercials, television show productions, and films – commercials, TV shows, and films aren’t only filmed in Los Angeles, Vancouver, and New York City. The vast majority of The Vampire Diaries is shot in Convington, Georgia. The television show Empire is usually filmed in the Chicago area. Check for anything being produced locally.
  5. Network with other actors. In most industries, networking is key – even if I don’t hear of certain opportunities, my fellow actor friends might hear of an opportunity that is a good fit for me. Or maybe there’s a project they’re already working on that I can be involved with.
  6. Be creative and think outside of the box. Document my journey to becoming an actor and post it on YouTube to start building an audience/following. Create a blog for it and share it with the world. If nothing else picks up, then my YouTube video or blog might, which could lead to opportunities.
  7. As you are auditioning and networking, continue working on my craft, as this should be an ongoing thing to help ensure I am nurturing my talent.

aspiringactor

We live in an information age where there is so much information at our fingertips. The information is just there, waiting for you to take advantage and sift through it. If I’m an aspiring actor, I can Google forums where current actors in the industry are griping about the challenges they’re faced with. I can Google the different things that actors find rewarding about the job. I can go to YouTube and check audition videos to see what production teams liked or didn’t like about a certain audition, or check their blogs to see what they say they like and don’t like about auditions. Or I can view the audition videos just to see what a real audition is like, so I know what to expect when I get there. This age that we’re in can give us a helping hand in getting to where we want to go, if only we’re willing to do the research and do the work.

You can create lists like this for just about any goal you want to achieve. It might be the single most easiest and most enriching things that you will do for yourself. At times we can feel helpless, or like we aren’t in control of our own lives. But writing everything out and seeing how easy some of the steps can be, can help to motivate you to get off of your can and actually make progress.

If you’re wanting to make the needed changes in your life, self-motivation is key. Someone else shouldn’t have to nudge you to do it. Other people will rarely take the time to nudge you to handle your own business. After all, they have their own lives to worry about. The responsibility, then, for you to get your life together rests fully on your shoulders. And if a better life won’t motivate you, you need to determine what will.

You are in control of your own future happiness. Now, it’s time for you to start acting like it.

The Inspiration Behind ThaBossCode

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For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Kaliamena Brooklyn Starr. And for those of you who screwed up your face, like How the hell am I supposed to pronounced that, you can call me “Kae” for short. I am the founder of ThaBossCode.com. I am also a student in college; don’t mistake that to mean that I am in my early twenties. I’m not. I’m in my early thirties, and made the decision to go back and get my degree to teach secondary education. In addition to school and this website, I also work a full-time job. In addition to that, I run the Drake fanpage on Instagram, @ovo_fans_ovo (yes, I’m in my thirties and I run a fanpage – sue me). And some of you out there don’t know me as Kaliamena Starr, but as Shi1ohSanders (on Wattpad). A lot of different plates to juggle. Why, then, would I add to those plates by throwing this website into the mix? There are very valid reasons for that. In due time.

This website is currently in its fledgling stages. You are witnessing the very beginning of a site that I hope will become a way of life. Let me fall back a few steps and explain why that is my sincere hope for this site.

Let’s talk about where I came up with the idea for this site.

I look around at a lot of entertainment news today and I see a lot of messiness. I see a lot of inaccurate/untrue reporting, a lot of unethical reporting. I see a lot of negativity, a lot of shading artists who are simply trying to make a living while performing in their respective art fields. I see a lot of slow news days filled with reports on reality show “stars,” and I see a lot of superficiality. There is nothing wrong with focusing on reporting entertainment, but what I wanted to see more of were sites that also promoted the betterment of all of us as people. What I wanted to see more of was ethical reporting, straightforward and direct reporting without angles, praising our stars rather than tearing them down, only to placate them later, and articles aimed at improving the quality of life for the average person – not just for our celebrities. Surely, there had to be a way to bring all of this together in one cohesive site. There had to be a way to give people their guilty pleasures, their celebrity reports, videos, and interviews, while also encouraging them to improve their careers, their love lives, their family lives, their school lives, and their overall quality of life. And there had to be a way to give someone all of these things, without the need for clicking on a ton of different websites.

This site has a little bit of everything, quite literally. You’ve got general entertainment news, entertainment-themed articles, a hip hop section, featured artist section, indie section, Drake literally has his own section and I’ll explain why a bit later, career/business articles, dating advice, lifestyle articles and advice, teens have their own section, health and fitness, beauty, fashion, finance advice, and there are more sections coming up soon, once I find dedicated writers for them (such as sports and politics). This site has content that you can trust, which should reduce the amount of YouTube videos you click on, only to realize you’ve just been RickRolled or fooled by a video with a deliberately misleading title.

My goal is for this site to have an overall theme: that the celebrities we report on aren’t the only bosses around. You, yourself, are a boss in your own right. And if you’re not and you want to be, you can be. A mantra that you will often see me incorporate into the articles I write is that we tend to make life more complicated than it needs to be. All we know is, we want to be a rapper. We think of where we are now, and we think of what Drake is doing now, and can’t make a connect as to how to get there. There are steps, especially with today’s technology, that can help set you onto the path of becoming a successful rapper. It doesn’t always consist of forcing your music onto whoever will listen to it. It doesn’t always consist of begging a celebrity to check out your demo. If this is what your dream is, then we should talk about it. Start an open discussion for anyone who wants to join in. We have forums where you can talk about anything under the moon, including your dreams and making them come true. Maybe there are others close to you, in your general location, working towards the same dream. You know never what you’re going to stumble across on this site and that is what I feel is so beautiful about it.

Speaking of Drake, why the hell does he have his own dedicated section on this site? We can start off with the fact that he deserves it. He is a music industry phenomenon, having carved out his own lane in the hip hop industry. This isn’t a fact that I’m willing to even argue over at this point. It is fact. Moving on from that, if you feel that he personally doesn’t deserve his own section, this his fans most certainly do deserve it. His fans are some of the sweetest, most adorable people I’ve come across while running the fanpage. They are insanely loyal, incredibly funny, and have become like a second family to me. The Drake section is dedicated to them. From a journalistic point of view, I’ve seen certain media outlets report on him with a very…slanted, biased viewpoint. Their stories are tainted with disdain or outright judgemental, or some are only reporting whenever they get the chance to shed a bad light on him. Granted, I am also a bit biased, but know this: if he does something wrong, I have no issues with saying he has done something wrong. Just because I admire the man’s music and the way he carries himself, doesn’t mean that I don’t have the common sense to question some of his dating habits. But because my main focus is his music and his personal life is ultimately none of my damned business, my viewpoints of him as an artist are based on his actual music and artistry. As I’m typing this out, I’m wondering whether or not I should also give Nine Inch Nails and The XX their own sections as well, as these other two music acts have also created music that moves me.

All in all, this website is supposed to be a place where you can relax and review content relating to your field of interest. Since this website is WordPress-based, you can comment and like posts. This is the best way to let us know whether we are doing a good job or not, and this is the best way to express your own opinions about any given topic. Please keep responses respectful, when opposing someone else’s viewpoint. You are also able to communicate on the forum. I am still working on this forum, and get threads added for each topic category. That will be complete over the next few weeks; feel free to add threads, if there is something on your mind.

That is pretty much it.

The only things left to say at this point are, thank you for stopping by, and welcome…

To ThaBossCode.

 

Best Regards,

Kaliamena B. Starr

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Know Yourself, Know Your Worth 

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Today I want to speak on knowing yourself and knowing your worth. Many people go day by day without even knowing who they are. If you asked yourself Who am I, and couldn’t come up with an answer, then you don’t know yourself.

A lot of people think that they know themselves until they realize they’ve been allowing people to treat them any kind of way. A lot of people think they know themselves, until they swear they’re done with those people, but end up running back to the ones that are doing them harm either mentally, emotionally, or physically.

The most important part about knowing yourself is self-love (check out this article on recognizing self love Are You The Love Of Your Life ? by Esme – I’ll be doing a follow up on the paths and journeys of self love).

The topics I’ll be covering are:

What is knowing yourself?

What is self Worth?

How do I know myself?

How do I know my worth?

I’ll be doing a follow article on how to get people to treat you according to your worth, but first things first: What is knowing yourself?

Does knowing yourself have to do with what you do and how others view you? If you say yes to this question, then you’re already on the wrong track. Knowing yourself is actually the opposite, because you don’t define yourself by what people say about you or how they treat you. Only you can define who you are inside.

Knowing yourself to me is standing in your truth, discovering new things about yourself like self-control, resistance, acceptance and patience; there are a lot of things you can discover about yourself. Taking time to figure out what those things are is important, because it effects the way you move, the things you do, and the things you say.

Another element of knowing yourself is staring at each flaw and owning them, loving them, striving to improve them. You want to mentally list your wrongs and that includes factoring in the things others have observed and work on those wrongs. Knowing yourself is also a healing process working through the damages that’s been done and growing pass them.

Now let’s move on to knowing your worth. Knowing your worth comes after knowing yourself. Your worth is who you’ve become after the journey of learning who you are.

Knowing your worth is more about strength, mental growth into a better you; you either walk different, talk different and act different for the better of yourself.

You no longer look for acceptance because you’ve accepted yourself. You no longer accept the definition of what others have said about you because you found your true definition of yourself. When you know your worth, you don’t accept anything less than who you are now and you must remove anything or anyone that threatens that growth and continued growth.

I can stand today and tell you who I am. I’m more than what people think of me. I don’t need approvals. I’m no longer scared –  I’m fearless. I’m pure, I’m kind, and I’m a warrior of God. I am ,I know me, I know my worth, and I know what and what not to accept.

So if you’re reading this and you want to be more aware of yourself, take those steps and get to meet yourself; each and every day is a learning growing process.

Sometimes you are going to misstep and take steps back… but you must aim to take more steps forward. Learning who you are is a never-ending journey; you’ll always discover more of yourself daily, and you’ll always continue molding and shaping your self-worth daily.

If you’re reading this it’s not too late: know yourself, know your worth.

Walk with Yourself

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Walking the path and journey to a pure love, a love that’s undeniable, a love that’s true; to receive that love from a person you must first find that love within yourself.

Recently, I’ve talked about knowing yourself and knowing your worth (Know Yourself, Know Your Worth) and also there’s a article about recognizing self-love (Are You the Love of Your Life?) .

I want to discuss the journey and paths of self-love. When you recognize that you need to take that oath of self-love, it can be a struggle because you can slip back into your old ways or get frightened by what you see, what you must accept.

Self-love is as powerful as your thoughts. Just like your mind you must be taken care of, you must speak positive words to the part of yourself you feel was ugly but never was. You must think positive; sometimes, you have to shift your entire thought process in reference to how you regard yourself.

Self-love is a slow process, but I’ve been on this journey awhile now. I went from never picking up a camera to becoming a self-proclaimed selfie queen; I went from gym crazy because I hated the way my body looked to eating, being healthy and accepting the way my body looks. It’s a tough process.

I want to share some things with you all today to bring you from being super insecure to secured with confidence. In reality, we will always have some form of insecurity, but the key is to fight and accept those insecurities. They key is loving them – which is the definition of self-love.

Here is a list of thing you can try to strengthen your esteem:

1: Start off by taking five minutes out of the day. Do this until you can take ten minutes out of the day and stare at yourself fully. Find those things that make you want to cover up or hide, and compliment them. Become body positive.

2: Take pictures of yourself and challenge yourself to post the worst picture of yourself that you feel is bad. We are often our worst critics, but you need to realize that no matter how bad you feel a photo is, you’re beautiful.Stare into your camera and be you, and watch how your view of yourself begins to change.

3: Become your biggest fan – cheer yourself on with everything you do.

4: Change the way you think, change your life and how people treat you. People will start to see your confidence and will want to know how

5: Love yourself and you’ll attract people that will love you.

6: Become okay with being alone and loving your presence, become selfish with yourself and time.

7: Pray for strength, give love, and accept love.

Those are the main keys to self love. There are so much more, but when you start that journey you’ll soon figure that out on your own.

I challenge you today to take time and love yourself.

FANdemonium!

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fa·nat·ic
fəˈnadik/
noun
noun: fanatic; plural noun: fanatics
  1. 1.
    a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.
    synonyms: zealot, extremist, militant, dogmatist, devotee, adherent; More

    informalmaniac
    “a religious fanatic”
    • informal
      a person with an obsessive interest in and enthusiasm for something, especially an activity.
      “a fitness fanatic”
adjective
adjective: fanatic
  1. 1.
    filled with or expressing excessive zeal.
    “his fanatic energy”

Selenators, Beliebers, TeamDrizzy, the BeyHive, Directioners, and I’m quite sure I’m leaving some out…fanning has become a culture in its own right. Some of the first exhibitions of fandom were displayed back when the Beatles were heating up the music charts. Then it was Michael Jackson driving people crazy, causing them to cry just at the sight of him walking to the stage. These days, it’s Justin Bieber, Drake, Beyonce, and One Direction bringing out these emotions in fans of all ages.

There is quite a handy tool that fans today have that the Beatles and Jackson fans didn’t have back then, though: social media. Social media has seemed to give fanbases quite a certain measured amount of power. If someone attacks a celebrity that a fandom like, all it takes is typing as many little bee emojis as a fan’s index finger can take. Pages full of bee emojis in the comment section of the new enemy’s Instagram post – check.

The hostility that some of these fanbases exert can get to disturbing levels. If Justin Bieber dares to date anyone other than Selena Gomez or anyone at all, that new girlfriend is harassed endlessly in her comments. Fans ask each other why he’d date a girl that is so unattractive. The girlfriend receives threats, both in her comments and in her personal messages. Celebrities have been driven to a point of turning off the comment sections on posts showing them with their significant others, just to protect the people they love from an onslaught of hate and negativity.

Granted, not all fans are created equal; for every obsessive fan, I’ve seen level-headed fans that try to preach common sense to the others. It still doesn’t help the fact that fandom is becoming more cult-like by the day.

If you don’t believe me, check Drake’s comment section whenever he and Rihanna have gone from being reportedly on to reportedly off. Fans are dreaming up fictional soap opera storyline plots describing that possibly happened between the two stars, casting blame on either Drake or Rihanna and then arguing with anyone who opposes their views. They often have usernames such as AubrihForLife, Aubrih being a concoction of both Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham) and Rihanna’s names. Even when the two are reportedly off, these usernames don’t fade along with the rumored relationship; the users keep their usernames and continue to post Photoshopped edits of the two celebrities together.

What happened to your feelings about an artist centering around their art? When did we as a society become so immersed in the personal lives of these people, who just like us want to love and be loved in return? And when one of their relationships go awry, do they deserve to receive harsh criticism and nastiness in their comments? We received a taste of cheaply produced reality television shows geared to making television networks countless amounts of money, and had to apply that reality show mentality to every aspect of our existence? Is that what happened? I see drama on tv and therefore, I make more drama in my own life and if that doesn’t satisfy me, I extend that need for drama into my social media interactions on behalf of an artist who doesn’t know I am alive and will continue to live their lives, whether I’m typing long ass paragraphs to defend them or not?

And while there is nothing wrong with fantasizing about being with a celebrity, there is something wrong with threatening or spewing hate to someone they’re dating. If this celebrity is one of your favorite people in the world and he/she is happy, why can’t you congratulate them? Why do you find yourself throwing insults to an innocent person who you don’t even know? Does that sound right to you? As people, we need to really think about our actions. You never know who your actions will affect and in what way. You never know the insecurities you’re touching on when you throw those insults around. Essentially, you are allowing your love for an artist turn you into an online bully. Is that the type of person you want to be? Seriously take a minute to think about it.

If you fell in love with an artist because of their music, love their music. At times it may feel like you know this person, because you’ve heard their music for years and you’ve seen their interviews, but the reality is it takes more than those elements to truly know a person. Some of these celebrities are still learning who they are. So casting judgements on them, and lecturing them about how to live their lives is not the best use of your time. The best use of your time is getting your own life together, focusing on bettering yourself, and your relationships. The best use of your time is spreading out love into the world, instead of hate and negativity. If you don’t like an artist or don’t care for them, then there is no need to comment on their posts at all. Focus on the things and people in your life that you do love.

Instead of vowing to end the career of someone else who has spoken out about your favorite celebrity, and spamming their comment sections in the hopes of doing just that, how about putting that energy into your hopes and dreams, to help those dreams become a reality? Your “fave” has their career today, and will have their career, nice house(s), and nice cars tomorrow.

We currently live in a “must do anything to get noticed/acknowledged” culture, a culture where any publicity is good publicity. I’ve seen fans make negative comments to the people they claim to love, just because they believe that their favorite celebrity responds to more negative comments than positive ones. This mentality is whacked. And if you don’t realize that right away, it’s time to start climbing out of that rabbit hole you seem to have fallen in.

At the end of the day, the majority of your favorite celebrities, if they are truly good people, wouldn’t want you arguing back and forth on their behalf. They certainly wouldn’t want you slandering and crucifying them on a public forum, just for the sake of getting noticed. They would want you to live your lives and be happy. And even the most bored teenager in the world can find something better to do than argue; if not, feel free to comment and I’ll throw out some suggestions for you.

Men’s Fashion

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There are a growing number of men who want to have a trademark look, men who go out of their way to throw on articles of clothing other than a faded t-shirt and a pair of jeans. While a faded t-shirt and a pair of jeans can certainly be fashionable, it’s always fun to shake things up.

Men’s fashion isn’t just something you see on designer runways or wealthy businessmen anymore. Average men are interesting in stepping up their clothing game, which is a beautiful thing to see.

But where does a man start when he’s looking to look sharp, without paying thousands of dollars for Italian designer threads? If you dare to look, there are blogs that provide insight to this probing question. One of these blogs is: SydneyFashionStyle. I love this blog and his correlating Instagram page because he doesn’t just throw pictures up; he has running themes and explains why clothing choices look good together. Now…beware, some of the threads shown on this blog are actually expensive. As a man interested in improving his fashion, though, you’re going to want to get creative. Take a look at some of the looks on men’s fashion blogs, and decide what you like. At that point, you can use the blog looks as a guide and hit up your local stores for lower cost pieces.

When deciding what your trademark style is going to be, you’re going to want to decide what your everyday look will be, what your evening look will be, what your overall casual look will be, and what your formal look is going to be. Depending on where you live, you may also need to determine your winter everyday/casual/formal looks, versus your summer everyday/casual/formal looks.

Let’s start with casual looks. For some, casual automatically means jeans and a t-shirt. There are actually multiple casual looks you can adopt. One question I’d like to tackle, though, is How can I dress up the classic t-shirt and jeans look? Valid question, and also a fairly simple one to answer. Let me preface the visual aids by saying that there is absolutely wrong with keeping it simple and throwing on jeans and a well-fitted tee:

mensfashion

The result can actually be quite appealing. But if you were interested in dressing up the look, you can add a classic leather jacket and designer shades.

You can dress up the jeans look with sharp accessories and a nice pair of boots:

There are other casual looks as well, not just the t-shirt and jean combo. This is where you can start to play around a bit. You can swap out the t-shirt for a button-down shirt and keep the jeans, or keep the t-shirt and swap out the jeans for a nice pair of khakis. You can go with a nice, fitted polo shirt. You can rock a nice pair of dress shoes with jeans and an untucked button-down shirt. Don’t limit yourself; there are so many choices out there.

As far as eveningwear goes, a lot of people think: Hey, a basic suit and tie and that is pretty much my only option, unless I want to walk around looking like a pimp in a royal purple suit with a feather in my cap. Pimp fashion tastes aside, you can also play with your evening look. Suits are designed in a ton of different colors. You don’t have to go with basic black. You don’t even have to go with just basic blue. There are cream colors, charcoal grays, and yes – even royal purple hues that you can play with.

Complete outfit by Swuav'e. Available to purchase on Swuave.com . Shipping Worldwide 🌎 . . @swuave.official #swuavestyling

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Ice Blu ❄️ Style. Check out my official website for more outfit styles. SydneyFashionStyle.com/gallery #SwuaveStyling

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It's all about the refined details to finesse a styled outfit #SwuaveStyling @Swuave_Sydney 💭

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With a term like formalwear, you would think that you’d have to take it seriously. Super seriously. All the time. Just because it’s called formalwear doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it, and doesn’t mean that you can’t deviate from some of the norms. You can play around with the color of the vest you’re wearing beneath the suit jacket, the tie color, and the style of tie you’re going to wear. You can play around with the pattern on the dress shirt, the pattern on the suit jacket, the pattern on the vest, or the pattern on the pants. It’s all up to you. As children, we’re encouraged to play and then when we become adults, we’re encouraged to be serious all the time, about everything. Life is too short for that. So, experiment. Determine what you like.

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If this is a project you’re taking on, you’re going to want to make sure to create a list. There are certain pieces you want to make sure to incorporate into your new an improved wardrobe: a few nice coats, a nice jacket, expand your shoe collection, a few nice jewelry pieces, a few nice hats, an assortment of ties, a few nice belts to start, and whichever other clothing articles that spoke to you when you started to research different styles. Also, do not forget that style isn’t limited to your jewelry or the clothes that you wear. If you have any ink tatted on your body (like Stephen James, the model pictured in the featured image), or any gauges in your ears, you can show that off and coordinate your fashion along with it, to make it pop. Your hairstyle, the glasses you choose to wear, all of that plays into your overall image. Regardless of what your personal style is, make sure there is confidence in your stride. Because you make the clothes; the clothes don’t make you.

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Meal Preparation

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At the forefront of a lot of our minds when discussing health and fitness is weight loss. By no means the only health and fitness goal out there, weight loss is a major concern for a lot of people. There is a well-known quote stating that abs are built in the kitchen, meaning that one of the most important elements of weight loss is what you’re putting into your body.

Eating healthy is easier said than done, though, right? Every time you shake your fist to the sky vowing to eat healthily, it seems like that’s the week management at your job decides to spoil the employees with free food. Bagels, sandwiches, the like. Calories can quite easily add up, and losing weight is tough when you’re eating impulsively, or taking your company up on their bread-laden offerings.

So how can you make sure that you’re disciplining yourself to eat healthy, and keep yourself on task? One of the best ways is meal preparation. This is a practice of preparing your meals in advance, to help take the guesswork out of what you’re going to eat for the day. There are no question marks, no “Should I order a salad from Subway, or head to Burger King which is right across the street?”

When it comes to preparing your meals, you’re going to want to choose food items that cover the different food groups that are as nutritious as possible, while also low in calories. The normal players for this are: baked chicken breast without any breading, baked turkey without any breading, or fish, along with veggies such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, etc. You can throw in an apple, quinoa, low, non-fat, or Greek yogurt, and other healthy foods that you enjoy. The options are endless.

Where the challenge often lies is remaining consistent. Food preparation looks like it would be relatively easy; throw in baked salmon, some broccoli, and add a cup of yogurt and call it a day – not quite, unless you are preparing for shorter periods, 1-2 days in advance. Meal preparation is often done by the week, which takes a more substantial amount of time for that day. Only you can decide the frequency at which you prepare, but the key is making sure that you are carving out the time and making it a priority. Get into the habit of preparing meals at a certain time. Using a planner or setting an alarm on your phone to jolt you into action could help to keep you consistent until the action has become a habit for you. Make sure that you are eating what you prepare and not going for that bag of chips in the vending machine at work. Hold yourself accountable for what you’re taking in. If you need a cheat day, take the cheat day, and then hop right back onto the horse.

In life, we tend to make things more difficult than they need to be. The same is done for weight loss. We take a cheat day, and then that becomes a cheat week, and falls into a cheat month and before you know it, we’re looking at the calendar and saying, “Well I have a whole ‘nother five months until summer, so I can start eating healthy next month.” Let’s not postpone what we can start today. The next time you’re in the grocery story looking at your food options, you can decide to go for the sugary stuff, or you can decide to go for the stuff that your body will thank you for later. It’s all up to you.

When it comes to food preparation, two interesting sites that I stumbled upon are: PeanutButterAndFitness.com and FitMenCook.com . Both sites have great food recipes, great healthy eating options and meal prep ideas. PeanutButterAndFitness even shows different ways to meal prep. If you’ve recently evaluated your eating habits and decided you want to make a change, this may just be the change you need.

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