The Cybersecurity Mistakes Startups Make When They Get Big

When small businesses start to boom, upgrading their cybersecurity usually gets left off the to-do list. WSJD


Bortles: Can’t be worried about making mistakes

Jags QB Blake Bortles knows he could permanently lose his starting job if he continues to turn the ball over the way he has the past three weeks, but he says that’s not going to affect the way he plays against the Eagles on Sunday. – NFL

Michelle Obama Says ‘Making Mistakes Was Not an Option’ for Barack as the First Black President

During a recent speech in New Orleans, former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about race and the unique pressure she and husband Barack Obama faced in the White House during his time as the nation’s first black president.

“Barack and I knew very early that we would be measured by a different yardstick,” Obama, 54, said during a talk at the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans on Friday. “Making mistakes was not an option for us. Not that we didn’t make mistakes, but we had to be good — no, we had to be outstanding — at everything we did. … When you’re the first, you’re the one that’s laying the red carpet down for others to follow.”

She also touched on the dangers of judging people by the color of their skin, something she says she’s experienced first-hand.

“It’s just a shame that sometimes people will see me, and they will only see my color, and then they’ll make certain judgments about that,” she said. “That’s dangerous, for us to dehumanize each other in that way. We are all just people.”

Obama’s appearance comes a few months before the release of her upcoming memoir, Becoming, due out in November.

The former first lady announced the title and release date for her book in a February statement to PEOPLE, saying, “Writing Becoming has been a deeply personal experience. It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life … how a little girl from the South Side of Chicago found her voice and developed the strength to use it to empower others.”

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Drafting Josh Allen could end 20 years of Bills QB mistakes

After going through a litany of quarterbacks, the Bills are hoping investing their top pick in Josh Allen gives them a long-term answer under center. – NFL

The Most Common Wedding-Planning Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

1. Doing anything before setting a budget
Weddings – Ideas, Dresses, Songs
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Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Made Mistakes on ‘Fake News,’ Privacy

In testimony to Congress, the Facebook chief is set to say the social-media giant didn’t do enough to prevent its tools from being used for harm. WSJD


Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes over Cambridge Analytica

Mark Zuckerberg promises changes will be made following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
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Zuckerberg: ‘We made mistakes’ over data scandal

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted his company “made mistakes” over the alleged misuse of users’ data.
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SNES Classic: Will Nintendo Learn From its Past Launch Mistakes?

I’m probably not the only old-school Nintendo fan with conflicting emotions today. On the one hand, the long-rumored/expected Super NES Classic was announced, and it sounds awesome! Two controllers, 21 games including several bona-fide all-time classics, and even the unreleased Star Fox 2. Yes!! On the other hand, Nintendo flat-out bungled the launch of the NES Classic, which was a gimme putt as far as system launches go. What should’ve been a uniting moment of universally celebrated nostalgia was instead a months-long slog of frustration, unceremoniously capped off by the quiet discontinuation of the NES Classic in April, assuring that many fans would never get their hands on the tiny trip down video game memory lane.

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3 Toxic Mistakes That Can Tear Young Married Couples Apart

Even strong relationships are susceptible to marriage mistakes, particularly if the marriage is relatively new, according to Pastor John Gray of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Pastor Gray often counsels couples and newlyweds in matters of marriage, and he says there are three particular marriage mistakes that are toxic enough to tear two people apart.

MISTAKE #1: Holding your spouse hostage to past mistakes.

People make mistakes. When your partner says or does something that offends you, it’s important not to harp on that mistake in the future. Instead, Pastor Gray says, you must give your spouse the opportunity to learn and grow. “That can mess up a young marriage because nobody knows how to do it right at the beginning,” he points out.

MISTAKE #2: Assuming married life won’t be different from dating.

What does a little piece of paper end up changing? A lot, says Pastor John. “When you engage another human being willingly with the opportunity to walk away, which is what dating is, there’s less pressure,” he explains. “When you get married, now you’re saying, ‘I’m building with this person.’ … There will be tension.”

MISTAKE #3: Telling your business to your parents.

Pastor John calls this one of the biggest mistakes young married couples make. “Lady, if he offends you, don’t tell your mama. Because when he ends up apologizing and getting it right, and you’re healed from it, the mother still remembers it,” Pastor John says. “Keep your business to yourself.”

Pastor John’s new series, “The Book of John Gray,” premieres Saturday, April 15, at 10 p.m. ET, but you can  watch the first episode in full now on

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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How NOT to Play Golf: Game-losing Mistakes to Avoid

How NOT to Play Golf: Game-losing Mistakes to Avoid

If you’re on the mailing list of some catalog companies (Heartland is one of them), you may notice that in some of their monthly mailings there is a golf gadget on almost every other page. You can get a new and improved driver that guarantee at least 30 to 50 additional yards every time you tee off; you can also get new and improved golf balls that are ‘banned from tournaments’ because they will eliminate 75% of your unintended slice; there’s even a new and improved putter that will help guide your ball to the hole. and each one of these devices claims that by using it, your game will improve by at least 10 percent. This means that if you buy and use at least 10 of these sure-fire gadgets from their catalog you can be a scratch golfer. Okay, for purposes of conversation, let’s say that all of their claims are true. You now are ready for the tournaments. but if you don’t know the Rules, you’ll still be a loser – and this book tells you why. If you haven’t heard these horror stories before, you’ll be educated and entertained when you see the stupid mistakes that the best of the professionals on the tour make. Bottom line: Forget about the gimmicky catalog items that promise to improve your game: if you follow the examples in this book and avoid many of the stupid mistakes that even the pros on the circuit make, your game will definitely improve. But if you want to continue with your consistent losing streak, then this book will show you the rule-breaking ways that famous professionals have perfected.

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Everyone Makes These 5 Mistakes When Shopping for an Engagement Ring

You can’t shop for an engagement ring like you shop for new jeans, trying on every option and then slapping down cash for your favorite in a matter of hours. You’re likely looking at an…

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8 Common Selfie Mistakes You’re Definitely Making

Nailing the perfect selfie isn’t easy—it’s about the right combination of light, angle, setting, and photo filters. But by avoiding these common mistakes, you can get a selfie that is, to use a horrible cliché, picture perfect.
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7 Grooming Mistakes to Never, Ever Make During Your Morning Commute

The morning struggle is real. We get it. But whipping out a full makeup kit, complete with an eyelash curler and pencil sharpener, isn’t just distracting to people around you—it’s also pretty unsanitary and maybe even a little dangerous (moving train, vulnerable eyeballs…need we go on?). Don’t be that person. Here, the must-know rules for primping and grooming on the go.
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Risqué necklines at Céline and Nina Ricci, glimmering sequins at Sonia Rykiel and Lanvin, ruffles at Miu Miu, and Kenzo: The best looks that went down the runway during Paris fashion week were anything but quaint. Ahead, 24 of our favorite fashion moments from the runways of Paris fashion week.
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7 Wedding Gown Shopping Mistakes That Every Bride-to-Be Makes

Shopping for a wedding gown is one of the most exciting experiences you’ll likely have in your life. But, like any crucial task, it’s rife with the possibility of error.

The blunders I’m talking about, however, have little to do with the type of dress you buy (the shape, the style, and so on) and more to do with the overall process, which can be quite overwhelming. (This shopping excursion will be unlike any you’ve had before!)

While some of the following mistakes may sound like they could be avoided simply by having some common sense, I have often found common sense to be in fact the least common of the senses. Especially when you’re in the midst of wedding planning.

Since you already have so much on your mind by the time you’re ready to try on some gowns, here’s my advice for making your shopping experience as smooth as possible–and some insider tips on how to avoid the biggest mistakes brides make while trying to find their dream dresses.

1. Not wearing great undergarments. Certainly, you won’t purchase your wedding undergarments before you’ve chosen a gown, but you do need excellent support for the gowns you’re trying on to look great. (And if you are not sample size, as most women are not, an ill-fit will be exacerbated without them.) A well-fitting strapless bra is often key.

You also will be in and out of the gowns for at least 30 to 60 minutes and in-between you may stand there in nothing but your skivvies. So your undergarments should at least be clean and without tears.

2. Not wearing deodorant. I’m going to be perfectly frank: The excitement of the salon experience could likely cause more “shvitzing” than you typically experience. You don’t want to be nervous about sweating all over the gorgeous gowns. Plus, imagine the person before you trying on the same merchandise and stinking up the dresses you’re trying on. You don’t want to be that person.

3. Not having clean hair. This is another case of courtesy. Typically, you will try on veils with the gowns, but you may even just run into a salon on your lunch break and without a shopping buddy. Remember that every veil you try has been put on by many others and all you can hope for is that they were courteous and had clean hair, too. Pay it forward.

4. Ordering a gown in a projected size. Today, you may be five, ten or even twenty pounds bigger than your “ideal” wedding day weight. Your professional stylist, however, will try to dissuade you from ordering any size other than the size you would fit into today–and you should listen to him or her. A gown can always be altered to fit perfectly. But it will be a disaster if the gown arrives too small.

5. Buying a gown without knowing your anticipated heel height. It is always best to shop with a heel that’s the approximate height of what you will wear on your wedding day–and not just to see the general way a gown falls but for the sake of alterations. You want to make sure that if there is any intricate lace on the hemline, it won’t be compromised.

Often, a lace hem is separate from the actual lace on the skirt and you can request to send “hem lace separately” to avoid costly removal and adjustment in alterations. And, if the designer’s standard “hollow to hem” is too short for you to begin with, it is best to have the heel height right so that even the most experienced stylist doesn’t overlook this extremely critical detail. Human error can happen and it can really be a nightmare to fix later on.

6. Not having a budget in mind. This typically happens because the majority of brides have no idea what things cost, so it’s important to look at gown shopping as a perfect opportunity to educate yourself and ask questions. If you can add to your budget once you’re in the salon, great! But to try on gowns that are over-budget and risk falling in love–only to have to severely compromise later–will leave you feeling dissatisfied.

7. Not knowing the religious standards of the officiant marrying you. Often, we know that if a wedding is to be held in a church or synagogue there may be a dress code to follow. But if the ceremony is to be off-site, it is best to clarify any requirements with your officiant well in advance of the buying trip. This way, you can ask the stylist what ideas he or she might have if the neckline or sleeves on a gown you love are not quite right for your clergy.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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11 Party Mistakes That Almost Every Host Makes

Maybe it’s your birthday. Maybe your godson is graduating from college. Maybe it’s a Saturday night and your name is Emily Gilmore. Maybe it’s a Thursday night and you’re the Entertainment Chair of your fraternity. But for whatever reason, you’re throwing a party. The invitations have gone out, and you’ve figured out the lighting, decor and music.

But you also need to figure out the food and beverage situation. You’re entering perilous waters, full of rocky shoals and hungry sea monsters. But don’t worry: HuffPost is here. We’ve identified 11 common food-and-drink mistakes that party hosts make all the time. As long as you avoid these snafus, you’ll be just fine. You’ll throw a great party, and all your friends will love you forever, and all your enemies will rue the day they crossed you.

Mistake #1: Not Having Enough Ice

This is the most common mistake party hosts make, which is frustrating because it’s really cheap and easy to rectify and ice is SUPER IMPORTANT. If you have ice, you can make pretty much any simple mixed drink taste good: cold and dilution can make even straight whiskey or tequila palatable. But without ice, you can’t really make any mixed drink taste good. (Except, I suppose, a hot toddy?) The dozen ice cubes that have been collecting dust in your ice trays for a week won’t cut it. When you throw a party, buy some bags of ice. More than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have leftovers — which keep pretty much forever — than to run out halfway through the night.

Mistake #2: Not Having Enough Cups

This is almost as bad as, and even easier to fix than, not having enough ice. But I also understand it: You might think you should buy as many cups as there will be guests, plus maybe 20 percent for people who lose theirs. But the truth is that a good party will be so chaotic that many guests are likely to go through not one or two, but easily three or four cups. So buy a ton! Just be sure to recycle them the next day, or, better yet, wash and reuse them.

Mistake #3: Having Too Low A Ratio Of Mixers-To-Liquor

Here’s a common sight: You walk into a party, you go to the makeshift bar the host has set up on some credenza in their living room, and you see exactly as many bottles of juice or soda as there are bottles of liquor. This is wrong. Those mixers will run out. You should always provide at least three times as much mixer as liquor. Especially because there are bound to be some people who won’t want to drink alcohol, or much alcohol, and will want cups of plain Diet Coke or cranberry juice.

Mistake #4: Serving Drinks That Are Too Fussy


This is, in some sense, the inverse of the first three mistakes. It comes from a noble place in the heart of a party host — the desire to serve delicious beverages. But it, too, is a mistake. Fussy drinks take a long time to make, which can create bottlenecks of sobriety at the party, especially if a bunch of guests arrive at the same time. And it forces the host to focus on mixology rather than talking to their guests and having fun. If you’re insistent on serving a fantastic, elaborate drink, make it a punch that you can mix one huge batch of in advance: My favorite is the Original Chatham Artillery Punch. It’s never been anything less than a smash hit when I’ve made it for a group.

Mistake #5: Not Serving Food

You don’t have to feed everyone at your party a full dinner. Certainly not. You don’t have to serve delicious food. (Though it helps.) But if you are serving alcohol, you must provide something to eat. Chips and salsa, olives or a bowl of nuts, at least. Otherwise, people will get wasted far more quickly than you want them to — or, just as bad, they’ll leave when they get peckish.

Mistake #6: Serving Messy Food
messy food

On balance, serving messy food may actually be worse than serving no food. Nothing ruins a party like getting sloppy joe meat all over your nice shirt.

Mistake #7: Serving Clichéd Party Food

You wanna see someone’s eyes roll back all the way into their head? Invite me to a party and serve one of two kinds of food: a grape-and-cheese plate or a crudité platter, the pre-fab kind that comes from Costco. It’s lazy, boring and totally basic. I’d prefer a bowl of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. This is, I admit, better than no food at all — but only by a hair.

Mistake #8: Putting All The Food And Drink In One Place

A subtle mistake that has consigned countless parties to failure. Here’s why: If you put the beer, the liquor, the Cheetos and the cake all on one table, or, God forbid, in your narrow kitchen, all your guests are going to congregate there. That’s a recipe for heat, discomfort, accidental pushing and early departures. Instead, if you have any space at all, spread the different types of comestibles throughout your home. That way, your guests will be forced to move around the party all night, and thereby be thrust into all sorts of the random encounters that are the lifeblood of a proper party.

Mistake #9: Not Accounting For Dietary Restrictions

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If you have no dietary restrictions whatsoever, it’s easy to be annoyed by them, or even to forget that they exist. But when you’re throwing a party, you have to think about them. Because if you don’t, you run the risk of having multiple people feel uncomfortable, hungry and sad at your party. You should be safe as long as you have options for people who are vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten-free. That’s not particularly difficult: get some wine for the gluten-free people to drink instead of beer, and serve some pita and hummus, or other meatless snack, alongside your platter of prosciutto and foie gras terrine. Easy peasy.

Mistake #10: Not Making The Menu Personal

This one’s a little nebulous, and related to the injunction against clichéd party foods. But the idea is that if you’re throwing a party, it should feel like your party. Not your mom’s party or your friend’s party or a party you saw on Pinterest. Some of this work can and should be done through decor, but food and drink with personal significance can be great too. So if you just moved back to Chicago after spending four years in San Diego, get some craft beer from that great San Diego brewery you toured! Or if you’re known as an obsessive “Breaking Bad” fan, serve some meth-inspired blue drinks! Bake some of your trademark blondies!

Mistake #11: Not Serving Jell-O Shots

jello shots

I’ve saved the most important rule of party-throwing for last: Always serve Jell-O Shots. Preferably in a piñata .

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes

Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes

New – Government media-making, from official websites to whistleblowers’ e-mail, and its sometimes unintended consequences.

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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Planning Your Wedding

There is nothing more frustrating to me as a wedding planner than a client not taking my advice. As the expert, when giving a suggestion or advice, I back everything up with stories from previous clients who didn’t listen. I’m not saying that I know everything. I am saying that I know more about planning weddings than your sister’s friend’s mother’s aunt’s cousin who “does events” in her spare time. I know this seems harsh but it needs to be said.

These are the five most common mistakes that couples make during the planning process and how to avoid them:

1. The on-site coordinator at your venue is not a wedding planner/coordinator. Often times a venue will add in a “wedding coordinator” as an incentive for you to book your wedding. What they don’t tell you is that they don’t do the same things that an independent wedding planner/coordinator does. They won’t call your vendors to finalize payments and when you realize that you forgot to get a garter two hours before you walk down the aisle, they aren’t hopping in their car to buy one for you. It’s a huge pet peeve because it is incredibly misleading. Brides normally find out how different the on-site coordinator is from an actual wedding planner when it’s too late.

I had a client a few years ago who called in hysterics because the on-site coordinator told her two days before the wedding that she wasn’t going to be at her wedding. She told the bride as if it was obvious that she wouldn’t be there. They had worked together for over a year. I stepped in two days before the wedding because of this very reason.

2. DIY doesn’t always mean cheaper. Pinterest has fooled brides into thinking that they can do anything just by looking at a pretty picture. If you weren’t crafty before your wedding, you’re probably not crafty now. There is nothing worse than seeing a bunch of DIY projects strewn throughout your reception that look like your 5 year old neighbor put them together for a pack of gum. If you can’t afford exactly what you want, find another alternative.

3. Stop trying to replicate someone else’s wedding. Make your wedding YOUR wedding. A few years ago I had a client whose wedding everyone dreamed of having. From the bridesmaid’s gowns to the centerpieces, this wedding was in high demand. I don’t discuss client’s budgets with anyone so they didn’t know how expensive everything was. One of my clients printed out pictures from my Instagram account and brought them to our design meetings. I gently would tell her that those particular centerpieces were extremely expensive and I’d present a few alternatives. Determined to have those exact centerpieces, she and her family put them together themselves. Once she saw them in the room, she had me remove them from each table and asked me to put the flowers directly on the table. I’m not an “I told you so” person but…

4. Just because someone has a “nice” camera, doesn’t make them a photographer. This is one of the biggest challenges that I face when it comes to my client’s booking a photographer. I cringe every time I hear, “my cousin has a nice camera so she’ll be taking our pictures.” Why would you spend thousands of dollars on the most important day of your life but not invest in the photos that will last forever? I’m not saying that you have to break the bank but if you’re spending more money on your invitations than your photographer, there is a problem.

5. Don’t lie about your budget. If your budget is $ 60,000 but you’d like to stick to around $ 50,000, tell your planner that. Whenever a client gives me their initial budget, I ask them if that’s the actual budget or if that’s the number that they want to stay close to. Believe it or not, knowing how much we have to work with in the beginning will possibly save you money in the end. Weddings are expensive and most people don’t know exactly how costly they are.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Real Talk: 10 Brides Share Their Biggest Wedding Day Mistakes

No woman ever wants to make a beauty mistake, but never is the fear of a beauty blunder greater than on her wedding day. With so much planning, effort, and love that goes into the big day, it’s just a bummer to look back and feel anything less than amazing. So we spoke to ten real brides about the beauty lessons they learned the hard way, so you don’t have to.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Let’s Talk: Mistakes You Probably Make When Talking To Your Spouse

By Katie Parsons for

If you’re married, then you’re probably familiar with the knot you get in your stomach when you have to bring up a sensitive issue with your spouse. Discussing difficult topics — whether it be about money, parenting, sex, etc.– is never easy, and there are many things you can say or do that make the situation worse.

Tension arises over an array of issues, according to Catherine Bronza, an Orlando, FL-based psychotherapist who uses a short-term structured psychotherapy approach with clients called the Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Model (EFT). But no matter what the hot button topic is, Bronza says that there are seven conversation habits that you should STOP doing so your discussion doesn’t spiral into a heated argument.

1. You’re ready for combat.

Avoid combat mentality when you enter, or are invited, into a difficult conversation with your spouse. The discussion isn’t about winning points by cutting down your opponent. It should be about working together to find a solution to the problem.

Both parties need to feel safe and supported in order to take the risk and muster of the courage to present a tough topic. “It takes vulnerability, honesty, courage and a bit of risk to get difficult topics aired out and addressed productively,” says Bronza. Put down your boxing gloves and navigate the conversation with care.

2. You blame your spouse.

It’s not easy to take responsibility for problems in a marriage, especially if you don’t feel that you’re at fault. But don’t assume that your spouse is completely to blame either. You need to listen with an open mind and heart and remember that there are two sides to ever situation. Marriage is a partnership and you need to play fairly.

3. You resort to name calling.

Please don’t act like you’re 9 years old when you’re not getting your way! Respect for your partner is the first step toward resolution, says Bronza. This means knowing what topics may be super-sensitive and not reacting harshly. “Even if your spouse resorts to name calling, try to keep your cool and bring the discussion back to a positive place.”

4. Your tone is nasty.

Your approach to the conversation is just as important as the message. “What’s more, the message will be completely lost or misinterpreted if the other person feels attacked,” warns Bronza. Remember that you’re not scolding your spouse; you’re looking for a way to find answers together.

5. Your timing is off.

Even if you’re ready to boil over with all that you want to say to your spouse, pick the right time to have the conversation.

The topic should be addressed as an invitation to discuss something that’s important to you, and you should be clear-headed and calm. “It helps to start with an ‘I statement,'” suggests Bronza. “This is when a person will say something like, ‘I’m struggling with something right now. I need your help in figuring this out. Are you open to talk for a little while?'”

If your partner isn’t in a space where he or she can be fully engaged, then plan for a time to talk when he or she is totally available.

6. You bicker in front of others.

Keep your struggles between you and your spouse… period. “Bringing up negative issues around others, even children or other family members, brings a natural defensiveness that can be difficult to break down later on,” says Bronza.

7. You use negative body language.

The way you feel on the inside will manifest itself in your facial expressions and the way you carry yourself, so be conscious of this barrier. When possible, be on the same level as your spouse (so you’re either both sitting or standing) and even try to hold his or her hand if the moment feels right. “Show that you’re not walled off from your spouse, but that you’re open to working through the problem together,” advises Bronza.

Couples should never completely bottle up negativity out of fear of backlash, though. It’s important to keep the lines of communication clear and open in order to grow together.

“When issues are left to simmer, they eventually boil over and cause damage to the relationship,” warns Bronza. “It really helps to stay in the moment with each other and talk things out as they occur. Relationships thrive on good clear communication.”

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10 First-Date Beauty Mistakes He Will Definitely Notice

First dates can be both a blessing and curse. When things go right, that first night out can be an awesome opportunity to impress a new beau, but a first date gone wrong can potentially ruin your chances with your man crush forever.

To help you keep him coming back for more, we’ve partnered with P&G to bring you the only guide you’ll ever need to prepare for a first date. Here are 10 of the most common first date blunders and how to avoid them using award-winning beauty favorites. Go get ‘em, Tiger!

Style – The Huffington Post
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The Biggest Mistakes You Make Shaving Your Legs

The Biggest Mistakes You Make Shaving Your LegsChances are you're sick of stubble, razor bumps, and always missing that one spot.

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As a Wife, I’m Guilty of These 5 Mistakes (And You Probably Are, Too)

After writing “I’m Guilty of These 5 Parenting Mistakes (And You Probably Are, Too),” I knew that I needed to write a post that pays homage to the major muck-ups that I make as a wife. Maybe I’ll also blog about the mistakes that I make as a rainbow loom maker, Turbo Tax user and fitted sheet folder. Seriously, when it comes to mistakes, I’m experienced on how to make them in all areas.

My husband and I have been together for 12 years. It’s sometimes hard to believe that if our relationship were a person it would be in the seventh grade, donning shiny braces and saying asinine things like “cray cray” and “totes.”

Like all relationships, we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve had arguments that ended with slamming doors and Michelin tires screeching down the driveway. We’ve declared our love and apologies over the phone once our tempers and transmissions cooled down. We’ve talked out our problems until the sun came up or one of husband’s farts lightened the mood. We’ve prayed together, cried together, laughed together and gotten food poisoning together after eating disgusting undercooked burgers doused in Heinz 57.

Most importantly, we have prevailed. We have persevered. We are raising two unbelievable children (despite our parenting mistakes), and we both have the same vision of someday pointing our rocking chairs towards the west, watching our grandchildren score major grass stains on the lawn and sharing Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements.

However, as a wife, I make mistakes. And I make them often. I don’t need other wives telling me what mistakes I make, because I’m aware of them. You don’t need me telling you what mistakes you make, either, but you probably make these.

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I sometimes forget that my husband is my husband. He’s been around for so long that it seems like he’s just some dude leaving crumbs of Wavy Lays on the couch and dirty boxers on the floor right next to the hamper. I forget that he’s a hard worker, a wonderful provider and a loving father. I forget that sometimes my sarcasm and jokes hit below the belt. I forget that my job as his wife is to encourage him, compliment him, value him and support him. I often forget that he deserves my utmost respect.

2. Let’s Get It On

I’m tired. I’m tired a lot. By 9 p.m., the only things on my mind are folding the laundry, putting the kids’ snacks in their backpacks, locking the doors, feeding the malnourished fish, setting the clocks, brushing my teeth, lotioning my ashy elbows and getting into the bed to watch a show that does NOT involve animated pirates, sappy music while Danny Tanner resolves an issue, restoring cars or selling rare finds at a Las Vegas pawn shop. I want to relax and heave a collected sigh of relief that the day is done. I have no desire to play birds and bees. But, by God, men need it. They might just implode if they don’t get it. My husband is just as in need as the hungry Beta Fish. I often forget that I’m the one that must meet the need, whether or not I’m in the need-meeting mood.

3. Nothing Compares 2 U

Since the day my first child was born in 2006, she has been my reason for living. When her brother came along in 2010, he ranked right next to her on my priorities list. My children’s happiness and well-being far trumps anything in my life. Sometimes their needs trump my husband’s happiness and well-being. Date night shouldn’t solely be about my SAHM batteries recharging and how many margaritas I can consume before it’s time to go home. It should be about refreshing our relationship. I often forget that my husband needs my attention, my encouragement and my admiration as much as, if not more than, my children.

4. Control

I may make a ton of mistakes, but I know how to properly load a dishwasher. I also know how to hang a picture where it will be the most aesthetically pleasing in our home. I can discipline a kid and cook a meatloaf and I can pick out window treatments. I don’t need help in any of these areas, but my husband sometimes thinks that he should deposit two pennies into those accounts. Before I even hear his suggestion on how to cram more dishes into the dishwasher or where to hang the portrait or how to spice up dinner, I shoot him down (see no. 1, R-E-S-P-E-C-T). Sometimes I make him think that his idea is the worst idea since Miley Cyrus squatted on a wrecking ball. I often forget that my husband has pretty good ideas and although I’ll never admit it to him, that picture would look better over the mantle.

5. Pretty Woman

I once sent my husband the most brutally honest text message: “Let me know what time you’ll be home so I can get out of my pajamas and appear to have been productive today.” Some days the extent of my beauty regimen is brushing my teeth and popping the zit on my chin. If it’s a particularly cold day, I refuse to wear anything that didn’t come from the Gap Athletic Wear Collection. (FYI — you don’t have to actually be athletic to wear athletic wear). But, I know my husband appreciates it when I look nice. He never fails to tell me that I look beautiful when I’ve cleaned up and accessorized with scarves and dangly earrings. Some women like to believe that “inner beauty” is all a man needs. Newsflash — it’s not. Inner beauty is a wonderful, pure, lovely, noble thing. But a man also appreciates a nice-looking woman. I’m not saying that all women should morph into June Cleaver and mop Kool-Aid from the floor while wearing stilettos, but I often forget that removing eye boogers, washing the Crisco from my hair and trading the yoga pants for regular clothes once in a while is a step in the right direction.

Some days I feel as if I’ve really mucked up the whole wife-y thing. I rudely rolled my eyes at my husband, I didn’t pat him on the back when he really needed it, I put my own needs and my children’s needs before his. And the guilt sets in because I’ve got a really good man — he’s faithful, he’s hard-working, he’s kind, he’s easy-going. Watching him interact with our children still melts my heart and makes me smile.

I often forget to do the right thing in our marriage, but I’ll never forget how much I love my husband. That love is what fuels my desire to be better. That love is what makes me better today than yesterday. That love is the same love that will be in my heart when we rock on our back porch and watch our children and grandchildren. That love will be there when I forget to buy him Miralax or put tennis balls on his walker. I’ll always make mistakes, but that love will always remain.

Like Susannah Lewis on Facebook here.
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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5 Eyeliner Mistakes to Avoid

5 Eyeliner Mistakes to AvoidIf you're not a natural wiz at eyeliner, you probably just go ahead and leave it to the experts. Instead, use a lighter version of the eyeliner shade you're using for a softer touch. Another option: use a powder eyeshadow instead of liner. An easy solution is dotting the eyeliner along the base of the lashes and then connecting the dots with a sweep of liner after.

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New Year’s Resolutions: The 5 Mistakes to Avoid to Create Resolutions That Stick

Yes, I know. You likely loathe New Year’s Resolutions because you never keep them and usually just end up regretting ever uttering any declaration on New Year’s Eve. I know how it feels. How many times have I told myself I’m going to rid myself of my love handles, get up at 5 a.m. each day to meditate, cook a new recipe every week for my family, curse less, drink more (water, that is), and on it goes?

But, as much as you may not like to hear this, research has found that people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

The problem lies in both what we resolve to do and how we go about doing it. Often with too little thought and too much bravado to be able to stick with it until Valentines day… if that. Indeed there’s a hard science to success when it comes to achieving goals, making life changes, and cultivating new habits — whether on January 1st or any other time of the year.

So rather than give you a long list of TO DO’s, here are the top five ‘NOT TO DO’s’ (aka mistakes) that people make. Avoiding them will help you set yourself up to move beyond the default course of least resistance in 2014 and make those changes you know, deep down, you want to make.

1. Not Meaningful Enough. For a resolution to stick, it has to be aligned with your core values. Most people want to look better or be wealthier, but your resolutions have to go beyond superficial desires and connect with what truly matters most to you. If they don’t connect to something you care about deeply, you will be hard-pressed to hold your resolve at the first temptation to ditch it.

2. Too vague. Resolutions like ‘be happier,’ ‘have more life balance,’ or ‘get fitter’ are doomed to fail because they lack specificity. If you’re currently a couch potato who eats a tub of ice cream each night after your take-out dinner, then simply eating half a tub of ice cream and walking an extra 10 paces a day won’t do the trick.

The more specific you are, the more likely you will be able to succeed. Describe your goals and resolutions in ways that allow you to track your progress and measure your success. For instance, if you want to build a better relationship with your partner, schedule at least one date night per month, or, as I’ve done with my husband, one weekend away — sans kids — per year.

Likewise, if you’re committed to a better health and exercise regime, schedule how many workouts you’ll fit into each week and how long they’ll be. If you want more balance, decide exactly what would need to be added or subtracted to/from your life to bring it into greater balance.

3. Insufficient Accountability. Never underestimate the power of your environment to support or sabotage your success. As much as you might want to make a change, the environment you live in — from the state of your closet to the people you hang out with — can pull you back into your old default habits of thinking and acting in no time flat. It’s therefore essential to create an environment of accountability that makes it hard for you NOT to do what you’re committed to.

Design a progress chart, recruit a cheer squad from your family and friends, post your goal to Facebook, ask a friend to hold you accountable, hire a coach or trainer (and pay for 3 months upfront!), join a group of likeminded people, create a blog. Likewise, if there are people or things in your life that pull you down or off track, address them directly and set whatever boundaries you know you will need up front.

4. Overly Ambitious. Trying to do too many things at once can make you so unfocused that you just bounce around like Tigger on Red Bull, not quite sure in which direction you are going. Set yourself up for success and start with JUST ONE major undertaking come January one. Then break that goal down into small bite-size steps. Small steps, strong start!

5. Unrealistic Expectations. It’s easy to get caught up in an initial wave of enthusiasm as you imagine yourself looking svelte in a bikini on the beach next summer, only to come crashing down when your initial efforts don’t produce immediate and spectacular results. So focus on the process itself, and develop greater competence of the actual activity, habit, or skill you want to acquire. For instance, if you want to become more fit, focus on being able to jog a little bit farther every time you go for a walk, rather than being able to run 5 miles within a week.

Likewise, expect hiccups, ‘bad days,’ and setbacks as you start out. If you happen to mess up, lose your resolve, press the snooze button, or revert to a familiar well-practiced behavior, don’t beat up on yourself. Okay, so you didn’t get to the gym like you’d planned. How about 5 minutes of stretching? When it comes to slipping up and tripping up, you are in very good company (yes, including my own).

Don’t make your failings mean more than they do. Reflect on the lessons they hold, make adjustments accordingly, then tap your inner John Wayne and get back in the saddle. Life rewards those who work at it.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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