Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lucktastic Solar Eclipse Showdown

Lucktastic, a pure play, free app and entertainment destination that is reimagining winning experiences, rewards, and discovery has today announced an exciting new in-app event in honor of the upcoming solar eclipse. The "Total Eclipse Showdown" event starts Friday, August 18th and will run until the end of the eclipse. The ‘Showdown” culminates with a dramatic Facebook Live event on August 21st starting at approximately 2:35 PM ET set on a majestic New York City rooftop where the winning team of the event will be announced.

At the start of the event Lucktastic players will choose “Team Sun” or “Team Moon” in the Lucktastic app and will receive 20 free tokens for joining a team. The in-app tokens can be redeemed for prizes, such as restaurant and retail store gift cards, or used to gain entries into Lucktastic’s major giveaways and sweepstakes. After the event on August 21st, the winning team will be announced live and awarded 100 in-app tokens a piece, while the other team will receive 50 tokens each. The winning side will be based off of which team has accumulated the most votes throughout the event.

“Our goal was to create a fun, engaging in-app experience for our fans,” said Alex Betancur, co-founder of Lucktastic. “This celestial event happens only so often and was the perfect opportunity for us to connect with our users and bring them closer to the eclipse with our popular Lucktastic Live show on Facebook. We’re very excited to watch this historic event and give our fans the chance to engage by asking us questions, in real-time, and shouting out to watching viewers.”

Lucktastic has been using Facebook Live weekly since January 2017. In that time the team has filmed over 40 Facebook live shows and drove 680K engagements from the live event into the app. The team has seen 117% lift in reach and a 590% lift in views from the beginning of the year to present. Lucktastic is currently averaging 300K people reached, 51k views, 7k comments, 4k likes, and 2k shares for each Live event.

About Lucktastic
Considered one of New York City's fastest growing mobile-first companies, Lucktastic, a Jump Ramp company, is the leader in delivering innovative promotions, rewards, and instant winning experiences. The company connects consumers with top partners in mobile gaming, commerce, branding, and product discovery. The pure play, free-to-play Lucktastic app launched in 2014 and has quickly built an engaged and loyal customer base. With over 20 Million installs and a dominant social footprint in excess of 7 million US consumers that includes nearly 3 million Facebook fans, the Lucktastic brand reaches 15 million weekly unique American consumers through its app, mobile web content and it’s leading Lucktastic Live broadcast. For more information visit www.jumpramp.com.

Sweepstakes: What Kind of Hot Dog Are You?

It’s the dog days of summer, which is the perfect  time to enjoy grilling season, and renowned Abeles & Heymann (A&H), makers of award-winning premium kosher hot dogs, is hosting a HOT DOG personality  quiz that  offers fans a chance to win  a TV!  Anyone can enter daily to win a new TV worth $250 by taking the A&H Hot Dog Personality Quiz to determine what hot dog style you are! The “What Kind of Hot Dog  Are You” quiz asks you where you are going for the weekend, and runs through September 4, 2017 11:59 pm EST. All online entries must be received by September 4, 2017 11:59pm EST
Entering is simple. Submit an entry and learn more about this giveaway by using the online form provided at  https://a.pgtb.me/s3sBD8 Or, you can enter on Facebook at   https://www.facebook.com/abeles.heymann/  .Your entry must be filled out completely to quality to win a prize. You may enter once a day. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified by email seven days after judges final selection.

Abeles & Heymann (A&H) are celebrates the debut of a totally new look and feel for the products.  While the A&H packaging has been revamped, the recipes and quality standards have not changed since 1954.  A&H hot dog and deli meat fans will still enjoy the same good old fashioned New York butcher shop goodness they have come to know and trust.  A&H Hot Dogs are now packaged in bold Red, White and Blue patriotic colors with an iconic label. A&H Hot Dogs are a must have grilling item for your summer BBQ and for Baseball Season! They are consistently voted as the “Top Dog” in America because they are produced in small batches, use only premium quality ingredients and are slow cooked to perfection.

Parenting Pointers: 5 Signs That Your Ex May Be Neglecting Your Children


In the best-case scenarios, both parents in a divorce strive to make sure the interests and needs of the children are paramount – lessening the impact of the parental split as best they can.
But scenarios aren’t always best case, and in some instances the parent who is awarded custody neglects the children – putting those sons and daughters at risk of emotional harm, physical harm, sexual abuse or even death.
That means it’s important for the other parent or other adults to watch for red flags that indicate the children aren’t getting the care they need, says Yoni Levoritz (www.levoritzlaw.com), an attorney who specializes in matrimonial law, including divorce, child custody and child neglect cases.
“Kids don’t always talk about what is happening to them,” he says. “That could be because they are afraid of further abuse, they want to protect the abuser, or they simply believe no one will listen to them.” 
Levoritz says some red flags include:
  • Failure to thrive. This is a general term that addresses a child’s failure to gain an age-appropriate amount of height or weight. Slower development may also include inability to master the skills and abilities already demonstrated by their peers, such as talking and socializing.
  • Poor hygiene. Matted hair, dirty skin, and prevalent body odor are all signs that a child’s physical needs are not being attended to at home. “If the child says that Mom or Dad never makes him take baths, you have to wonder why,” Levoritz says.
  • Malnutrition. Malnourished children are easy to spot. They are thin in a way that has nothing to do with high energy levels, and go to great lengths to steal or hoard food. “If your son has a huge appetite and his pockets and backpack are loaded with his favorite foods prior to leaving your home,” Levoritz says, “that’s a sign he’s not getting much nutrition at his other home.”
  • Frequent illness. Neglected children are often sick because they aren’t eating enough at home, their clothing may be inappropriate for the season, and any physical or medical problems are being ignored by the primary caregiver, Levoritz says.
  • Comments about being alone. Sometimes a child will confirm your suspicions by letting it slip that no one is ever home to care for them or that they are left unsupervised for long periods. “If your son says that your ex is out every night with her new boyfriend while he puts himself to bed, the child might be living under the wrong roof,” Levoritz says.
“If you become worried that a child is being neglected, you should share your concerns with your attorney or the proper authorities,” Levoritz says. “Fortunately, most children in divorces do get the proper care, but it’s critical that those who are at risk get the help they need as quickly as possible.”
About Yoni Levoritz
Yoni Levoritz, founder of the Levoritz Law Group (www.levoritzlaw.com), practices matrimonial and family law, business law and civil law, and is an AV-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. In 2008, Levoritz was named Professional of the Year in Matrimonial Law by Strathmore’s Who’s Who. At the time, he was the youngest attorney to be awarded this honor.

Pet Pointers: Pet Ownership

Tuna is a 6 year-old Chiweenie with an exaggerated overbite, recessed jawline and a magnificent wrinkly neck (a.k.a shrivel neck). He was rescued by Courtney Dasher in December of 2010 in Los Angeles when he was a four-month old puppy. A year into their friendship, Courtney created an Instagram account, @tunameltsmyheart, dedicated to Tuna’s photos. He now has more than 1.9 million followers on Instagram and more than 2 million on all of his social channels combined. Watch this interview to learn more.


Shopping Savings: Pilot Flying J Solar Eclipse Promotion

The total solar eclipse is on Monday, August 21, and to help people celebrate, consumers can get their hands on freebies from a number of retailers and quick-serve restaurants nationwide.
With more than 750 locations, Pilot Flying J is the latest to get in on the fun.
Guests of Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers can receive a FREE standard size Milky Way candy bar or pack of Eclipse chewing gum when purchasing any beverage in-store (excluding alcohol). This offer is available in the myOffers section of the myPilot mobile app. The solar eclipse promotion is valid for customers in the U.S. from Aug 21 until Aug. 25.

Parenting Pointers: Overcoming Childhood Adversity

In her new book, The Adversity Advantage: Turn Your Childhood Hardship into Career and Life SuccessJude Miller Burke, PhD, former Vice-President of Operations, Optum, at United Health Group, psychologist, and executive coach discusses how childhood trauma and adversity, in all forms ranging from abuse and neglect to poverty and violence, does not have to deter you from attaining personal happiness and career success. Rather, survival skills learned during childhood can be used to enhance and propel your career. 
Through conducting, studying, and interviewing over 300 men and women, each earning an average income of $250K a year, Dr. Burke presents an in-depth glimpse into the lives of highly successful artists, business owners, CFOs, CEOs, VPs, architects, attorneys, therapists, medical doctors, and many more. By telling their stories, she describes their turning points and how they worked hard to reduce their shame, improve their self-confidence, manage their emotions at work, learn conflict negotiation skills, improve their communication, and ensure their leadership skills were not compromised by their childhood problems. Dr. Burke's previous book, The Millionaire Mystique, focused on the stories, advice, and pathways to success as described in research by 100 self-made female millionaires. 

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.


Most people would look at childhood adversity as an obstacle - what made you decide to write about how it can be an advantage?

I had worked at Honeywell and United HealthGroup in Minneapolis and observed many people working hard and becoming successful and others fail. One of my duties as an employee assistance psychologist was to consult with managers about how to best supervise their employees with issues and so learned quickly what was working for employees on the road to success and what increased their chances of failure. I then moved from rural Minnesota to a suburb of Phoenix where the homes were beautiful, cars expensive, and lawns impeccably groomed. No one openly acknowledged issues, but over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee many people revealed their difficult family beginnings of poverty, child abuse, domestic violence, and having an alcoholic parent. My own upbringing was challenging and I did not have someone to coach and guide me for job interviews or help to pay college tuition. I wanted to create a roadmap for others to ease their difficulties.

What are some key leadership traits that can be strengthened by dealing with adversity? 

While half of the 310 people I studied described experiencing childhood abuse, witnessing domestic violence, or having an alcoholic parent resulting in anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, shame, and problems in relationships; they also went on to clearly describe how they became students of life capitalizing on childhood survival skills, such as patience, intuition, determination, conflict negotiation, communication, and leading a values-driven life. Many leaders described how they were more compassionate and wanted to help the 'underdog'. For example, watching dishes break or yelling matches at the dinner table, created the necessity to be successful at work, to learn strong communication skills. Becoming a student of communication eventually improved their communication where they became far above average. Each chapter in The Adversity Advantage: Turn Your Childhood Hardship into Career and Life Success has self-assessments to help you recognize where you stand on many issues, such as self-esteem, confidence, shame, conflict management, communication, adult healthy relationships, and how your childhood impacts your leadership style.

Why is it important to recognize and avoid potential workplace triggers? 

We all react to situations and people as if we are still in the past. Someone at work that has the characteristics, whether that be behavioral or physical, can trigger deeply buried reactions that may not be necessarily helpful at work. Conflict, competition, and performance are common triggers for many people. Recognizing the type of situations or behaviors that increase your anxiety and hinder you from being your best self, are important to recognize to enable you to moderate your feelings and be your strongest and best self at work. The same applies to parenting. If a parent recognizes their childhood adversity and how it impacts their own self-esteem, thought processes, and behaviors, it is less likely it will come spilling out in their parenting style. Let me give you an example. As a young adult I lost my younger brother in a car accident. Of course, my own grief and my family's grief was tremendous. Twenty years later, I was a very protective parent. Today, I realize the connection between the loss of my brother and being possibly overly focused on safety with my own children. Whether it is work or parenting, understanding the connection between your childhood adversity and your adult life, increases the chances of acting from a mindful and thoughtful place.

How can adults have a healthy perspective on both previous trauma and future goals? 

Childhood trauma is common, and yet incredibly impactful. Recovery is a lifelong process. Thefirst step is to acknowledge the childhood adversity you experienced. Write about it. Seek a counselor to give witness to your experience. Admit it to yourself. I have talked with many people who say things such as, "Well, I was hit a lot, but I was a difficult kid." Or, "My Mom was drunk frequently and I was the primary cook and took care of the younger kids." Second, identify how it has impacted you. Common outcomes are anxiety, low grade depression, low frustration tolerance, low self-esteem, shame, and lack of hope for the future. Third, spend lots of time looking at your strengths - survival skills- as a result of your childhood hardships. Write them down. Repeat them to yourself. And, fourth, seek counseling for yourself with a counselor experienced and credentialed in the area of trauma recovery. The more severe troubles from childhood can be helped immensely with the right counselor. Whether you seek counseling or not, reading The Adversity Advantage: Turn Your Childhood Hardship into Career and Life Success can take you step by step through the process to help you understand the impact of your experiences and what you can do to find greater peace. The Adversity Advantage has people's real stories and concrete recommendations on what helped them become happy adults.  Being compassionate with yourself, as hopefully, you would be with your own child is helpful when seeking future goals. Self-compassion is a skill that can be learned and practiced to better weather the inevitable detours and failures on the pathway to success.
In The Adversity Advantage: Turn Your Childhood Adversity Into Career and Life Success, you will learn:
·       How common and impactful childhood abuse, witnessing domestic violence, and having an alcoholic parent is 
·       The Big 5 Personality Traits that enhance success regardless of one's childhood
·       How to Rebuild Shattered Self-Confidence from Past Trauma
·       How to Recognize and Resolve Your Emotional Triggers at Work
·       The Connection Between Childhood Adversity and Leadership Abilities
·       The Importance of Setting Healthy Boundaries in Your Career
·       The Negative Impact of Adult Toxic Relationships
·       Creating Resiliency and Rewriting Your Story

Thrifty Thinking: Avoiding Travel Mistakes

For your readers that love to travel but don't want to break bank on reaching their destination, leading online travel website, CheapOair, has released their top tips and tricks on how to make sure you save.
It's no fun coming back from vacation and realizing that you spent more money than you were planning to— especially when it was money that you were planning to put towards your next trip. Fortunately, there is an explanation on why you went over your budget.
Below, are the six most commonly-made (and expensive) mistakes travelers make when visiting a new city, in addition to how you can avoid them.
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  1. You Made a Booking "Boo-boo"
    • Problem: Sometimes things come up and you have no choice but to change or cancel your flight. In any case, ALWAYS take the time to read the fine print and those dreaded Terms and Conditions on cancellation/exchange policies. Hidden fees are, unfortunately, pretty common, so the least you can do for yourself is prepare for the fiscal damage you may have to do to your wallet if you need to switch or cancel your flight.
    • Solution: Between rebooking, paying for meals while you wait, and potentially even having to reserve a hotel room for the night, missed flight mishaps may mean you have to dish out some extra cash. When planning your itinerary, make sure you factor in time zone differences, give yourself enough time between connecting flights, and if you're flying to or from a city with multiple major airports (i.e.: JFK or LaGuardia in NYC), make sure you triple check that you've booked and are headed to the right one! 
  2. You Forgot to Check the Baggage Allowance
    • Problem: Some airlines can be quite tricky about baggage allowance. If you find that you must check luggage make sure to do so online, as the fees can more than double once you reach the airport. Most airlines strap on heavy fees to overweight luggage.
    • Solution: If your suitcase is too heavy, while you try to lighten the weight of your bags, you might be lightening the weight of your wallet too! The good news is that even the airlines that charge for checked or carry-on luggage, they still allow for a free personal item. Small backpacks, purses, and briefcases are free — so maximize that space if you can!
  3. You Purchased the Onboard Wi-Fi to Stream Videos or Music
    • Problem: Unless it's for that project or presentation you're scrambling to finish by the time you land, you're probably only purchasing that onboard Wi-Fi to stream your favorite show or music station. If this is you... stop right there, because this isn't a cost you need to incur!
    • Solution: Premium versions of music radios or podcast stations like Spotify and Pandora have downloadable options for their media, which enable you to listen to all your favorites, offline. Similarly, Netflix and YouTube now offer the option to download full videos ahead of time, meaning you can watch those last few episodes of that show you've been binging on, while you're up in the clouds and venturing off to your destination.
  4. You Didn't Eat Before Your Flight . . . 
    • Problem: . . . and now you're stuck on the plane swiping your credit card for a bag of potato chips and a ginger ale to suffice as a meal (because you can't afford anything else).
    • Solution: Make sure your belly is full before you embark on your flight. If you're on an extra tight budget eat a full meal at home before you head to the airport and pack some snacks to munch on while you wait to board.
  5. You Didn't Change Your Cell Phone Plan
    • Problem: If you didn't Snapchat it, did you even travel? Chances are that cell phone of yours is also going to come in pretty handy when you're lost and trying to find directions back to your hotel.
    • Solution: Check with your cell phone provider about international plans and rates. Some companies have one-time data packages for as little as $2 a day!
  6. You Didn't Purchase Travel Insurance
    • Problem: One of the least obvious and most important things to "pack" for your next trip is a travel insurance plan! We know, we know... we're supposed to be showing you ways to save your money, so why are we telling you to spend it? Because emergencies happen and medical bills are expensive.
    • Solution: Travel insurance often covers emergency cancellations, so you're not losing out on hundreds of dollars. If your own health insurance company doesn't provide any coverage, many travel plans cover emergency medical costs or have the option to purchase such coverage.

Healthy Habits: Shriners Hospital Scoliosis App

Many parents don’t know if their kids have been checked for scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine that can limit mobility and affects millions of Americans. Shriners Hospitals for Children® doctors say that finding the condition early is key to the best treatments, and kids should be screened every year. Scoliosis is most commonly diagnosed between 10 and 15 years of age, when children grow rapidly. Some cases, however, can go undetected for periods of time because during this point in a child’s life fewer vaccinations are required, so they may see a doctor less often.

I actually have scoliosis, luckily a mild form, so I definitely want to keep an eye on it with my kids. When I was growing up, scoliosis was checked with hearing and vision screening, but that's not necessarily the case anymore.

Shriners Hospitals for Children doctors teamed up with developers and parents to create the new SpineScreen app to give parents a quick, informal way to regularly monitor their child’s spine at home. The app detects curves when the phone is moved along a child’s back in addition to providing resources about scoliosis. For more information, visit shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/scoliosis.

 I have a chance to post this interview with Amer Samdani, M.D., chief of surgery for Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia to demonstrate and discuss the new SpineScreen app and answer questions about scoliosis.


Thrifty Thinking: Millennials and Credt

LendEDU just released the results of a new survey that uncovered how much millennials know about credit scores. They asked 500 millennial respondents (ages 17-37) 17 questions related to credit reporting, credit scores, and responsible credit usage.

Here a few highlights:

20.64% of millennials have never checked their credit score.
43.69% of millennials believe that you can improve your credit score by increasing your credit utilization, while 36.27% believe their credit score could be improved by maxing out, but paying a credit card on time. Only 17.23% knew they had to decrease their credit utilization.
- Some millennials believe that race (8.42%), or gender (8.22%), or political affiliation (8.82%) are factored into your credit score.
-4.81% of millennials would rather have a low credit score!
-57.58% of millennials have a FICO credit score that is either "fair" or "poor."

I had a chance to interview them to learn more.

Why do millennials have so many misconceptions about their credit score?
The most likely reason why millennials have so many misconceptions about their credit score is simply because of the lack of financial literacy education throughout their lives. LendEDU has conducted multiple financial-related polls that all point towards the same thing: We need to do a better job educating young Americans about financial topics and how to best utilize the various financial tools that surround their everyday lives.

Why is it important that young adults know their credit score?
It is important that young adults know their credit score because one, you should know where you stand financially so that why you can plan accordingly. Also, knowing your credit score can allow you to be more financially aggressive if you credit score is good and more financially conservative if your credit score is bad. For example, if you have a high credit score, maybe you can look to finally get a car by taking out an auto loan that has a low interest rate because of your excellent score. 

What are some things that can build credit for young adults?
Young adults can build credit in a variety of ways. One, if they have student loans they should make sure they make timely payments. For many young Americans, student loan debt is the first type of debt they will incur so it is important to get off on the right foot. They can also look to open up a credit card or maybe even two. But, they must make sure to pay off their credit card balances on time and to keep their credit utilization low so that they can establish good credit with lenders.

If millennials have poor or damaged credit, how can they work to bring it up?
Similar to the above answer, millennials can work to bring their credit back up by repaying any loans they may have on time, especially student loans. Also, instead of carrying balances month-to-month on their credit card, they should try paying off their bills in full each month. Another great way to build up credit is to keep a low credit utilization so that lenders know you are not a risk to max out and not repay your credit card.

Thrifty Thinking: HipCamp Eclipse Camping Spots

With the eclipse weeks away, public campgrounds, hotels, and Airbnbs are either all booked up or charging exorbitant rates for the last available spots. Unbooked spots are few and far between—let alone affordable ones.
 
Enter Hipcamp —a startup that creates new campsites by unlocking access to beautiful private lands such as nature preserves, farms, and ranches. With over 1,000 new campsites (and counting) unlocked in the eclipse “path of totality”, Hipcamp has just compiled a list of their top 23 unbooked campgrounds offering spots for $25 to $87 — everything under $100. They also have the most comprehensive map of all camping options in the path.
 
Plus, the solar eclipse is really a great natural phenomenon…. Where better to experience it than in nature?
 
*** HIPCAMP.COM'S TOP 23 ECLIPSE CAMPGROUNDS UNDER $100 ***
Each campground hyperlinked below contains multiple discrete campsites.
 
>> OREGON: 258 CAMPSITES
Eclipse Budget Tent Camping at Sieg’s Valley View Ranch - $25
Eclipse Budget RV Camping at Sieg’s Valley View Ranch - $50
Tent Camping at Sunset Solar RV Campground - $87
Fully Contained RV Sites at Oregon Solar Eclipse Campground - $75
 
>> IDAHO: 258 CAMPSITES
Solar Eclipse Idaho Tent Camping at Wyatt J’s Land - $50
Tent and RV Camping at TJ Ranch - $50
Tent Camping Solar Eclipse Camping at Gene R’s Farm - $50
Tent and RV Sand Dunes Camping at Zach's Land -$50
 
>> NEBRASKA: 99 CAMPSITES
Eclipse RV and Tent Camping at Eclipse Camping - $50
 
>> MISSOURI: 20 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping for a Cause at Beacon Farm Ministries - $10
Eclipse Campsites at Camp Eclipse - $60
 
>> ILLINOIS: 99 CAMPSITES
Eclipse Camp Tent Camping at Community of Faith - $30
 
>> KENTUCKY: 30 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping at Wild Dunbar Hill - $20
Solar Eclipse Tent Camping at April W’s Land - $50
 
>> TENNESSEE: 56 CAMPSITES
Mountain Farm Meadow Tent Camping at Cowgirl Glamping Cabin - $25
Pigeon Roost Tent Camping at Richard B's Land - $25
Private Forest or Field Side Tent Camping at Belle and Beau Acres - $50
 
>> NORTH CAROLINA: 62 CAMPSITES
Total Eclipse of the Century Tent Camping on Historic Christmas Tree Farm - $30
2 Ol’ Foxes Farm Tent Camping at 2 Ol’ Foxes Farm - $20
 
>> SOUTH CAROLINA: 12 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping at Modern Harvest Farms - $28
Cali Oh Farm Tent Camping at Haflinger Heaven - $45
 
>> GEORGIA: 11 CAMPSITES
Tent Camping in the Woods at Sole Farm - $40
Tent Camping at Spotted Fawn Farm - $50
 
Eclipse-goers can see a map of all the campsites in the path of the eclipse here:
>> https://www.hipcamp.com/discover/eclipse-2017
 
You can check out the blog post here:
>> https://www.hipcamp.com/journal/land/eclipse-campsites-under-100