Be Thankful for Family, Blessings — and Cheaper Gas Prices

Millions of drivers embarking on Thanksgiving travel this year will get an early holiday gift: lower gas prices very much like the same time last year.

North America’s largest motorist and leisure travel club reported Nov. 19 the national gas price average as $2.62. That amount is seven cents less than a week ago and the largest one-week decline in pump price this year.

“The nearly 49 million Americans hitting the road for Thanksgiving will find pump prices similar to last year,” Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson says in a press release. “When it comes time to fill-up during the trip, motorists should keep in mind that gas stations along highly traveled routes may find prices more expensive than in town. Before setting out for the long Thanksgiving weekend, AAA recommends motorists download the free AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices in their area.”

Plus, the AAA app can help motorists make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance and help with other resources.

Here are some tips from AAA to help enhance your driving to get better gas mileage:

  • Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
  • Anticipate your stops. When approaching a red light, let your foot off the gas as early as possible.
  • Avoid long warm-ups in the morning. They’re unnecessary and waste fuel.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.
  • Keep the air filter clean. Clogged filters reduce fuel economy and increase exhaust emissions.
  • Drive the speed limit.

For those flying, the Transportation Security Administration is projecting than 25 million travelers will pass through security screening checkpoints nationally from Nov. 16–26.

Travel experts suggest Americans flying home to gobble some turkey consider these tips:

 

  • Select your travel times carefully.
  • Get some rest before heading to the airport.
  • Wash your hands, often.
  • Be prepared – pack snacks and water in case you’re delayed.
  • Travel light – If going home just for a weekend, no need to check your luggage. The best option might be packing what you need in a backpack that will fit under seats.
  • Charge your devices – Be sure your mobile devices are fully charged before you leave. Don’t let your phone power down on a plane or train. Make sure you take a portable charger for gadgets.

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The Black Travel Box Provides Travel Size Hair and Skin Products for People of Color

While away on a vacation, one of the last things you want to deal with is an exhaustive search for products to fix a bad hair day. So when Orion Brown found herself in Japan “dealing with a major miscalculation of weather and a head full of hair with no hope,” she turned her annoyance into opportunity.

“I didn’t have enough product to get me through the trip and there was nowhere locally I could find the products I needed,” said Brown. “Dejected, I avoided the selfies and made the best of it. But upon reflection, I could only hope that someone would make (or would have made) a product company for travelers like me. There weren’t. So I created The Black Travel Box.”

The Black Travel Box provides travel size hair and skin products for people of color delivered to your door when you want. The product line includes a conditioner bar, hair balm, body balm, and lip balm.

“They say that necessity is the mother of invention,” said Brown. “Well, there’s no greater necessity for me than the “necessities” of travel when on vacation. We’re not a typical subscription box company. Our ‘subscribe and save’ model is similar to Amazon’s, where customers can choose products they know and trust, and then select a personalized schedule for receiving them right to their door. Subscribing is optional, but offers savings over one-time purchases, its flexible, and it can be canceled anytime.”

Travel size hair and skin products for people of color

Black Travel Box.com

 

With a background in consumer goods marketing and brand management, Brown leveraged her lessons learned, while working in corporate to build her business model and test the market for the products and service before launching it.

The Black Travel Box could not be where it is today without that working experience,” said Brown. “While I’m still learning the ropes of entrepreneurship, the corporate experience of building and maintaining brands is exceptionally relevant here, particularly as we come into a personal care space that is both vast and nonexistent.”

For instance, according to a Nielsen study, “African Americans have cornered the ethnic hair and beauty market, ringing up $54 million of the $63 million total industry spent in 2017. Black shoppers spent $473 million in total hair care (a $4.2 billion industry) and made other significant investments in personal appearance products, such as grooming aids ($127 million out of $889 million) and skin care preparations ($465 million out of $3 billion).”  Plus, according to data from Mandala Research, black Americans spend $48 billion each year traveling and are among the fastest growing segments in the U.S., with 68% surveyed wanting to learn more about their history and culture through travel.

Travelers of color who want to look and feel their best when traveling abroad are the primary consumers of the Black Travel Box.

“They take photos, selfies, and love to share their experiences,” said Brown. “They are avid social media consumers and content makers. While they travel far and fairly often, the challenge of easily getting their look “just right” hasn’t yet been met. They compromise on the products that they bring along, spending time filling travel sized bottles with their favorite products, purchasing “basic” skin and hair care ingredients abroad, or struggling to make what’s available to them work for their unique needs.”

Perhaps the biggest appeal of the Black Travel Box is the sense of community it provides for black travelers.

“I started The Black Travel Box to give women of color a brand they could trust for all their travel personal care needs,” said Brown. “Globally, Black travelers have few if any places they can go to find personal care products that work for their hair and skincare needs. As the culture of international travel continues to grow in our community – more and more of us are exploring the world with a level of freedom and wanderlust that our parents and grandparents could never dream of. Our brand is here to help these millennial explorers travel in confidence (we call it #TravelInColor) knowing they have the products to put their best foot forward and rock those selfies in Croatia, London, China… or where ever their travels may take them.”

The post The Black Travel Box Provides Travel Size Hair and Skin Products for People of Color appeared first on Black Enterprise.

9 Ways to Spend Thanksgiving Alone

As a busy, single, professional, the “singles’ table” may come with all kinds of connotations. You’re no longer defined by your professional title, but your relationship status. With all of your accomplishments and talents, everyone is the same at the singles’ table.

This year, it may be time for something new. But, no need to run away to an exotic island vacation to escape. Maybe you just want to see how it is to spend Thanksgiving alone–something you have never done before.

If you decide to spend the day alone at home for other reasons, please do not stress. Do not feel the need to defend why you want to spend Thanksgiving alone. Pick at least one thing from the list below to make your Thanksgiving Day the way you want to make it, on your own terms, while remaining ever grateful and thankful for your blessings.

  1. Movies, movies, movies–something funny and lighthearted usually does the trick.  Want to binge on something smart? Check out BE’s TechConnext On-Demand videos with leaders from Slack, Facebook, Ryan Leslie, and more.
  2. Indulge in one of your favorite high calorie treats–you have permission today.
  3. Start a project, list your goals in a journal, write that book, sort through mail. It will make you feel productive.
  4. Stay off of the Internet. Do not go online to Facebook or any other social networking site. Remember, this is about your solitude today, it’s not about making yourself feel bad.
  5. Get a pile of books together that you have been meaning to read or finish.This is supposed to be relaxing, so please, put away the GMAT books.
  6. If you have neighbors, offer to babysit their dogs or walk them on Thanksgiving. However, you must like dogs; you don’t want to get rid of one stress for another.
  7. Indulge yourself  with your favorite drink or an afternoon nap.
  8. Do a “thankful” ritual for what makes you feel grateful. You may light a candle, burn incense, or whatever you like.
  9. Go to Boston Market or order from your favorite restaurant. If that’s too much trouble, buy a box of macaroni and cheese. A bowl of macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food.

Spending Thanksgiving alone can hurt if it is out of your control, and you really want to be with someone. So, celebrate on your own terms. To give love to others during the holidays, you need to have some in your own life.

Parts of this article appeared on www.balleralert.com and www.alphanista.com by the author. This article originally published November 23, 2016. 

 

 

 

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Black Woman’s Beauty Product Lands On TIME’s ’50 Best Inventions’ List

As an international corporate lawyer and mother of two, Adiya Dixon-Wiggins understood the value of beauty-on-the-go, but she couldn’t buy a product that would allow her to apply makeup on the fly. Traditional makeup brushes, which are shaped like paint brushes, became a pain for her to travel with or use when applying makeup in the car. Meanwhile, she found that using her fingertips was messy and unsanitary. To solve this issue, she created Yubi Beauty, a cosmetic tool brand that allows women to quickly and effectively apply makeup. The brand was featured on TIME’s “50 Best Inventions of 2018” list.

“I’m humbled by this tremendous honor and I hope my example will encourage more women of color to pursue their passions in technology, beauty, and entrepreneurship,” Dixon-Wiggins told BLACK ENTERPRISE about receiving the prestigious recognition.

 

Adiya Dixon-Wiggins

The Yubi Buff and Blend set (Photo courtesy of Yubi Beauty, LLC)

 

Dixon-Wiggins says she invented the brushes out of the necessity to make beauty less of a burden for busy women. The patent-pending cosmetic brushes have a unique design and compact size that makes it easy to apply multiple products, from sunscreen to foundation, blush to highlight, and everything in between. The multipurpose applicator heads are also easy to clean and promises to provide maximum control, ease, and comfort. Plus, all of Yubi’s products are vegan and cruelty-free. “What you put on your face is as important as how you put it on,” Dixon-Wiggins said

The Yubi Buff and Blend set, which currently retails for $39, is set to debut on the Home Shopping Network in January 2019.

Watch Adiya Dixon-Wiggins’ interview and tutorial about the Yubi brushes at the Black Enterprise headquarters below.

For a longer demo of the Yubi, check out the video on YouTube. 

 

 

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How to Survive a Divisive Election Cycle

It comes around every few years like clockwork, arriving like an uninvited houseguest that sets up shop and refuses to leave. Like it or not, the divisive election cycle is upon us once again, and the contentious and divisive political environment is worse now than ever before.
Partisan politics have been part of the American landscape for quite some time, but it seems this election cycle is like nothing we have ever seen. From married couples torn apart by their choice of candidates to ruined friendships both online and off, political differences have reached a breaking point, and many voters are feeling the pain. There has been a marked increase in people seeking professional counseling as a result of the current election, and if you are looking for ways to cope, you are not alone. Here are some practical tips to help you survive the current election cycle and come out whole no matter which candidate ends up on Capitol Hill.

Resist the Urge of Social Media

 

Social media, in particular, has become a partisan swamp this election cycle, and resisting its siren call is one of the best ways to cope. Avoiding political posts on Facebook and staying out of political discussions online can give you a refreshing break from the current election cycle.
Instead of focusing on politics and political discussions, delve into the things you really like to do. Whether it is going to the movies, reading a good book, or just relaxing, finding an alternative to politics will make your life better and more fulfilling.

Do Your Own Research

 

Determining what is true and false can be difficult even in the best of times, but in the heat of a contentious election cycle, the truth often gets lost in the shuffle. The fractured nature of news coverage and the Internet makes getting to the truth that much harder, but it is important to persevere.
“Seeking out independent news sources with a long track record of impartiality is the best way to sort out the facts and get the truth about what the candidates say and what is really true,” stated Walter Powell, NFL veteran, African American tech expert, and CEO of Politiscope.
If you find yourself bothered and offended by slights to your own candidate as well as the other guy (or girl), chances are you are on the right track.

Break the 24-Hour News Cycle

 

Being able to access news and information 24 hours a day is good in theory, but the reality is a lot less attractive. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the current news cycle and unduly worried about the outcome of the election, it is time to take a step back and break the 24-hour news cycle. You can be just as informed watching the evening news, and you will feel a lot better.
No matter how you feel about the current state of the mid-term elections or the quality of the candidates in contention, you can rest easy knowing that it will all soon be over. No matter who wins, life will go on, and the sun will rise the morning after election day.

The post How to Survive a Divisive Election Cycle appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Don’t Want Turkey for Thanksgiving? Here are 5 Turkey Alternatives

Anyone else out there want another dish besides turkey for Thanksgiving? If so, believe it or not, you’re not alone. A recent Yahoo survey revealed many Americans are moving beyond making the turkey as the center of attraction. Why not try some of these turkey alternatives  this year?

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Black Cherry-Pomegranate Salsa
“One of the most exciting cuts of meat to celebrate with is a bone-in leg of lamb. The presentation is so luscious on a big carving board or platter. Up in Michigan, we are always looking for new ways to eat our abundant cherries–dressed with pomegranate molasses and spooned over the lamb, they taste just as striking as they look, a perfect sweet and tangy balance to the rich meat.” (Source:Maureen Abood of Yahoo.com)

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

 

Slow-Cooked Duck with Green Olives and Herbes de Provence

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“This is the most forgiving and delicious duck recipe you’ll ever find. By slow-cooking duck with aromatics until it’s as tasty and tender as confit, then broiling it until the skin is shatter-crisp, Paula Wolfert manages to play to all of the bird’s strengths.”(Source: Food and Wine Magazine)

Very Vegetable Lasagna

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“Spinach is the star of this vegetable lasagna recipe. The veggie-based recipe makes one large lasagna (9 by 13 inches) or two smaller ones (8 by 8). For the perfect make-ahead meal, prepare two vegetable lasagnas; bake one now, and freeze the other for later.”
(Source: Martha Stewart)

Cuban-Style Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

turkey alternatives

“This version of ropa vieja is made with beef and accented with olives and capers. The recipe first appeared in the April 2012 Saveur issue along with Kathleen Squires’s story, Spanish Conquest.” (Source: Saveur.com)

Smoked Pork Sausage with Hard-Cider Sauce

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“Classic autumn flavors come together in this crowd-pleasing dish of smoked pork sausage with a sweet-tart hard-cider sauce and sauteed broccoli.” (Source: Food and Wine Magazine)

 

The post Don’t Want Turkey for Thanksgiving? Here are 5 Turkey Alternatives appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Beauty Entrepreneur turned $100 into a Fully-Fledged Business [Video]

Model and beauty entrepreneur Tatiana Elizabeth Price created skinBUTTR out of the comfort of her home. Coming to the conclusion that she wasn’t the only person dealing with skin issues, she leaped into action and turned her passion into a business. After investing $100 into a Shopify account, she created a product, posted it on the site, and started generating revenue. The skincare line has now grown to include multiple products that consist of toners, facial masks, cleansers, exfoliators, and moisturizers.

“I started skinBUTTR about four years ago,” said Price. “I figured these products might help other people as well, so I went to school for esthetics and I figured how I could make my products appeal to more people than just myself.”

SkinButtr

(Image: skinBUTTR)

What was once a hobby quickly became a fully-fledged business for the young entrepreneur. She now balances her business with her modeling career—she is currently signed to State Management—and her day-to-day activities as a beauty influencer.

“As easy as it looks, it’s not that simple being an influencer,” said Price. “You have to conform to deadlines, make sure that your content is consistent, and make sure that your audience is actually relating to your content, all while making sure that you are staying true to who you are.”

Watch the full episode of Price’s inspiring journey and witness what one of her days consists of as she takes over the MGM properties with three other notable influencers: food stylist and blogger Megan Hysaw; model and actor Keith Carlos; and model, rapper, and actor Don Benjamin.

 


The Takeover is a web series that gives you a bird’s eye view into the life of four influencers and the BLACK ENTERPRISE team as they take over the MGM properties exploring all the amazing attractions that the resort has to offer. This series is powered by MGM Resorts. 

The post Beauty Entrepreneur turned $100 into a Fully-Fledged Business [Video] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Is Already Making Book History

For more than a decade now, we’ve watched Michelle Obama grow, stretch, and transform, becoming who she is today.

Black women, in particular, have observed her with great interest and great love. We have prayed for, cried for, and consistently rooted for her as she evolved from a deeply reluctant public figure into a global icon whose much-anticipated memoir, Becoming, is getting rock-star treatment.

We have revered and emulated her, seeing in her prominent service to our nation new possibilities for making a powerful impact of our own.

Women of color candidates increased by nearly 75% since 2012, according to a report from the Reflective Democracy Campaign. More than 400 black women ran in the midterm elections, including 19 black women in Harris County, Texas, who all won their races to become judges, and Stacey Abrams, who is still fighting to ensure that every vote is counted in her historic race to become the first black woman governor in the U.S.

Can it be mere coincidence that as Michelle Obama recounts her journey to marriage, motherhood, and the White House, becoming a richer, bolder, fuller version of her herself in the process, that generations of women who most identify with her are finding their own voices and becoming a greater force with which to reckon as well?

Just in Time for Christmas: Oprah’s New Favorite Thing

BecomingLaunched halfway between Election Day and Thanksgiving, no sooner did Becoming’s Chicago tour begin than Oprah announced it as her next book club pick—as if it needed the boost. Amazon and Barnes and Noble were reporting record sales weeks before the official launch date and tickets for seats on the former first lady’s 10-city stadium tour (at as high as $2,750 apiece) were selling out fast.

Her current megastar incarnation represents quite a shift for a woman who once not only resisted the spotlight—she appeared to recoil from and even resent it. After all, pre-marriage, Michelle Robinson had always worked toward a very carefully crafted vision for her life, and while it included some ambitious and unconventional goals, becoming the first lady or a political spouse of any kind wasn’t among them.

The confident woman who leans a bare shoulder and bright-eyed smile directly into the camera on the cover of Becoming has come a long way from the guarded working mom in sensible heels who routinely declined requests for interviews and speaking opportunities during Barack’s early political life. Back then, she also refused to upend her career or her young daughters’ routines to accommodate her husband’s DC-based job demands or his larger ambitions, which she had reason to resist.

For starters, Michelle Obama had her own career aspirations, a distaste for politics, and a strong attachment to her Chicago hometown. Add to that the brazen fear that you could almost read in her watchful eyes: `What if something happens to Barack? What if my children lose their dad? What if this country doesn’t allow this historic moment to fully play out after all?’

Redefining the Role of a Lifetime

Once the Obama’s made history, there was no time for fear and no turning back. Instantly thrust onto the world stage and into a hailstorm of dizzying expectations and change, she packed up her Chicago dream house (along with her mom and her own dreams of remaining there) and took on the role of a lifetime, one she neither sought nor wanted.

Initially, there was a slight tightness to her composure and an awkwardness to her style. But soon she was an absolute natural, wowing interviewers, world leaders, and her own swelling base of fans.

Smart, self-effacing and impeccably prepared, it was her authenticity that most resonated with people—especially black women. Although she went to Princeton undergrad and Harvard Law School and had worked in well-paying jobs in white-shoe settings, she still bore the recognizable hallmarks of an unapologetic black girl deep-dipped in the instincts, values, adaptability, and resilience of Chicago’s hardworking South Side. Forget trying to hide it, she wore it like the Hope Diamond—with fist-bumping pride.

As Benilde Little wrote in The Meaning of Michelle, a 2017 anthology of essays edited by Veronica Chambers, “It’s hard being oneself under a microscope and the miracle of Michelle is that she seems to have always held on to her authentic self—with lots of her middle name, LaVaughn—holding center.”

While her popularity soared, reaching a feverish pitch toward the end of the Obama’s time in the White House, she was never without her detractors. While she honed her famous “When they go low, we go high” approach to dealing with them, in her earliest days in the spotlight, you could almost see her bracing herself for the ignorance, the disrespect, the inevitable attacks every black woman knows too well.

With trademark restraint, she addresses the issue head-on in her book’s preface this way:

Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an ‘angry black woman.’ I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them most – is it ‘angry’ or ‘black’ or ‘woman?’

In Becoming, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama finally takes back her life and tells her own story, transcending all labels and rendering all outside opinions moot.

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Study: Black Millennials Are More Religious Than Their Millennial Peers

When it comes to religion, black millennials emerge above their peers in this generation.

In fact, based on several benchmarks, African American millennials are appreciably more religious than others in their age group, a new Pew Research Center analysis reveals.

In recent years, a number of Pew Research Center surveys have shown that Millennials in the United States—young adults born between 1981 and 1996—are generally less religious than older Americans, based on our core measures of religious commitment. This holds true for black people, in that black Millennials tend to be less religious than older blacks. That said, black Millennials are considerably more religious than others in their generation, reads the study.

Nearly 61% of black millennials report that they pray at least daily, much greater than 39% of nonblack millennials responding. Some 38% of black millennials say they attend religious services at least once a week, while only 25% of other millennials do.

About 64% of black millennials are highly religious on a four-item scale of religious commitment—including belief in God, the self-described importance of religion, prayer, and worship attendance—versus 39% of nonblack millennials.

Concurrently, black millennials are far less likely than older black Americans when it comes to praying at least daily. They also are less likely than older blacks to attend religious services at least weekly.

Further, African American millennials are more likely to read scripture when not in religious services than nonblack millennials. Some 61% of black millennials said they feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least weekly versus 50% of nonblack millennials.

Additionally, black millennials are more likely to believe in heaven than their non-black peers. But black millennials are no less likely than older blacks to retain this belief.

All groups surveyed are about equal when it comes to feeling a deep sense of wonder about the universe.

 

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Black Girl Travel Movement Takes Black Women Abroad to Heal

Black Girl Travel Movement was created as a Facebook group to serve black women looking to go aboard, and quickly turned into a full-fledged business. The group was started in 2014, and has amassed a total of 22,476 members.

“I wanted to empower women to connect and explore the healing power of travel,” said founder Shay Sane. It did more than that. Not only did women feel the satisfaction of traveling, they received information, tips, and tools to engage in safe traveling, and deal with any traumas they’ve experienced.

[RELATED: AMERICAN BLACK WOMEN ARE MOVING IN DROVES TO THIS ONE COUNTRY]

Sane was dealing with deep depression herself when she decided to create the community. “Sharing my story of dealing with grief, depression, and how travel is helping me to heal,” Sane told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “I used the Facebook group to share my travel experiences, and eventually started using Facebook ads to promote TTraVsperience,” and that’s how she built the company.

She then added the second layer of building relationships with mental health professionals to combat the issues she had originally been dealing with. This proved to be extremely helpful to the ladies, allowing them to have very transparent conversations within the community that they have grown to know and trust.

So how do they make sure a person is in the right frame of mind before joining? “We have always done a screening process to ensure that prospective members fully understood that BGTM was not just another travel group that hosts group trips,” said Sane. “Our TTraVsperience is focused on travel with the intention to heal from past trauma and pain.”

black women abroad

Founder, Shay Sane (Image: Black Girl Travel Movement)

Sane describes TTraVsperience as a unique one of a kind transformational travel experience curated to allow its members to experience the healing power of travel. They select the most sought-after destinations to serve as the backdrop for a once in a lifetime opportunity to reconnect with the most important person in your life — you.

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