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10 Distinctive Decor Ideas to Set Your Home Apart

distinctly decorated living room

You want your home to be different than other run-of-the-mill residences. You are drawn to the unique, the bold, and the eclectic. Quality and good taste are still your main goal, but you want your individualism and originality to shine through. If this sounds like you, here are some helpful decor tips to make your home reflect your own unique personality.

Exterior Colors

If you want your home to draw attention from the moment people see it, paint the exterior an unusual color. (Check with your homeowner’s association before buying the paint and supplies, though.) Shades of yellow, orange, mint, teal, navy, lavender, and pink can be tasteful while still making a bold statement. Make it pop with the addition of flowerbeds full of complementary blooms.

distinctive red, orange, white, and yellow houses

Wall Colors

If you hesitate to go crazy on the outside of your home, try it on the interior first. Choose an accent wall in your living area and family room and make it truly pop by painting it a dark or contrasting color relative to your other walls. Eggplant, dark teal, chocolate brown, or navy are perfect examples. Wallpaper is also coming back into style, and there are many patterns to choose from to express your taste.

Artworkabstract art

Strategically-placed and displayed art pieces can do a lot for making your mark on a house. Go beyond wall art—you can display small sculptures on coffee tables, place artistic lamps, or create fun centerpieces. If you’re stuck on paintings, choose those with bold colors and distinctive designs to really make your home a showcase. If you have the means, purchase originals rather than prints for additional conversational value. You can find original art for sale on sites like Zatista, Saatchi Art, and Vango.


Outdoor Lawn Ornaments and Statues

Who said that art belongs on the inside of your house? Dress up your yard with a few well-placed sculptures and/or statues. If you like to hunt or are a wildlife enthusiast, a few well-made yard deer statues may do the trick. Or if artificial animals aren’t your thing, Greek statues or wind spinners might be more up your alley.


If your floors are old and dull, it might be time for a change. Swap it out for wood, stained concrete, or tile. If a floor overhaul isn’t an option, get a distinctive rug. New flooring will give your rooms new life and create a backdrop for other interesting elements such as furniture, art, and architectural additions.

wood floor in a uniquely decorated home


Unusual or eclectic furniture choices can also be a real eye-opener. Add a coffee table made from old pallets, use an old-time sewing machine cabinet for a sofa table, or bring a decorative outdoor table inside for a totally new look.

Book Displays

Books are always attention-getters. Take out that cookbook collection and proudly display it in your kitchen above your kitchen cabinets or on open shelving. Carve out a niche in your stairway for an innovative way to display your most beloved classics. Or, create bookshelves above doorways—although you might want to keep a stepladder nearby.

bookshelf in a distinct home


Vintage china or art deco patterns will look great on your dining room table. Add an unusual centerpiece for a real conversation piece. Contrasting linens will assist in bringing out the details of your settings.

colorful lampLighting

One element that most individuals do not think of when deciding on decor ideas is to change the lighting. Light fixtures come in a variety of styles, and you can almost completely change the look of a room just by changing out the fixtures. If yours are outdated or just too plain, go for those with a little pizzazz to truly magnify the beauty of your home.


Plants, both inside and out, will add warmth and beauty to your home. What you choose may depend on the climate in your area and the style of your home. A southwest home will look great with cacti and lemon trees, while a Midwestern house will look amazing with white and lavender lilac bushes.

How to Make an Old House “New”

an old house that still looks new

Moving into a new home is exciting, and you worked hard to unpack and set up a beautiful new space to call your own. After investing so much time, energy, and money, you understandably want to take every step possible to keep it looking like that first day. But from dirt to malfunctions and more, it may feel like the house itself is working against you. But by setting up a routine and taking preventive measures, you can preserve your home in mint condition.

Purchase a Home Warranty

Even the most well-maintained home, things break. It’s a frustrating fact of life—appliances break down, plumbing leaks, and roofs get damaged. These issues can be expensive to deal with, and the last thing you may want is to be in a position where you need home repairs, but lack the money to address them. Buying a home warranty is a cost-effective way to get coverage for when disaster strikes. If you do not currently have a home warranty, consider purchasing one today.

Set Up and Execute a Maintenance Plan

No one likes doing chores, but if you want to keep your home like-new, you need to take a proactive approach to maintenance. This includes everything from regular cleaning and lawn care to making a schedule for maintenance on your household appliances and systems. The following maintenance actions make a huge difference in keeping your home and garden pristine:

  • Change air filters
  • Clean HVAC ducts
  • Re-stain deck
  • Wash walls
  • Clean oven/refrigerator
  • Clean carpet
  • Clear gutters
  • Wash windows
  • Power-wash fences and siding

So get out the calendar—with a good home maintenance schedule in hand, your home will be the talk of your friends.

Evaluate Your Home Security

Break-ins, theft, and vandalism can severely damage your property, your bank account, and your peace of mind. Take the initial step of investing in a professional security system. Professional security systems come with a range of high-quality technology like emergency alert systems, near-invisible security cameras, home automation, and smart locks. And then, if you chose an ADT system for example, don’t forget to protect your ADT security system with a quality service plan so it can protect you at top functionality.

Everything from general dirt to appliance breakdowns and criminal activity can wear your home into disrepair without proactive action. But with some thoughtful planning and the help of outside homeowner services, you can fight back.


Why Would You Sign a Prenup?


Prenuptial agreements can be a bit of a sticky topic. Many people consider them to be something only for celebrities or for people who aren’t committed to their relationship. That isn’t true. According to Tad Nelson & Associates, “what you really do when you have one of these agreements drafted is prevent a lot of trouble, stress and expense if, and only if, the marriage should fail.” So why would you sign a prenuptial agreement?

Divorce Can be Costly

It’s not surprising that divorce continues to remain at a high rate in the U.S. Nearly 50% of marriages will end in divorce and fighting it out with attorneys on both sides can be quite costly. Many couples have built a life for themselves before they get married. Signing a prenup can protect that life in case your marriage does end. There are a variety of reasons to initiate a prenup, some of which include:

  • One partner is much wealthier than the other—A prenuptial agreement will help the wealthier spouse make sure that his or her partner is marrying them for the right reasons, and not just for the money.
  • Avoid getting hit with huge alimony payments—In some states, this contract can be used to ensure that the amount of alimony awarded to your ex-spouse is not egregious.
  • Protecting Your Business—When one person owns a business, they may wish to protect the company’s assets from future litigation.

What You Should Include in a Prenuptial Agreement

Some typical examples of what to include in a prenuptial agreement are:

  • The purpose of the contract
  • When the agreement takes effect
  • How property will be divided
  • What is considered joint or separate property
  • Full financial disclosure of both parties
  • How debts will be handled
  • Tax implications for both parties
  • Define who gets what upon the marital split
  • Responsibilities of both parties during the marriage

Legally speaking, the laws don’t allow you to limit the amount of child support that will be awarded after a divorce. You also cannot specify how the children will be raised and who will get custody of them.

When a Divorce Attorney Can Help

Hiring an attorney who specializes in prenuptial contracts is the best thing to do when creating a prenup.  As you talk with the attorney about what you want, they will draft a contract that fits the best interests of all the people involved. This is especially important if your prenuptial agreement has any requirements that are unconventional. In that case, the attorney can make sure that the request is legal binding and enforceable.

Are Landlines Obsolete?

behold the obsolete landline

Approximately 100 million people in America today still have landlines. However, that number is rapidly diminishing. In 2006, only 10.5 percent of homes did not have a landline. Today, 32 to 45 percent of households do not have a landline. That means that the number of people who have landlines has decreased by 55 percent within the past 10 years.

While many still use landlines, the technology is slowly becoming obsolete. In fact, experts speculate that landlines will completely be obsolete within the next 10 years. This decline in popularity can be attributed to the following reasons.

Landlines Are Unnecessary

Landlines were considered a necessity before cell phones became popular. Today, cell phones have replaced them as the main mode of communication. With more people using cell phones than landlines, it’s only a matter of time before lack of demand removes landlines from the market.

Cell Phones Do More with Less

Cell phones are still primarily communication devices, but they provide several methods of communication. You can communicate with people via text, email, and social media. You can surf the Internet. You can use an ADT cellular system or similar to control your home security. And you can play tons of time-wasting games! For these reasons, keeping a landline may feel more like an aesthetic choice than a practical one.

Landlines Are Expensive

When you’re already paying a monthly cell phone bill, why add to the expense with a landline? Not only can people communicate via cell phone, but they can also use Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime. It is free to use those services. Most people today who have house phones have them included in a bundle plan. The cost of getting a landline is on the rise in many areas—another reason that many simply choose to go without.

Landlines Are Inconvenient

We live in a time where convenience is king. If you have a landline, then the only place where you can use it is in your home or building. However a cell phone allows you to communicate just about anywhere. It is also more practical for increasingly mobile career men and women to communicate using a cell phone.

Although landlines are not dead yet, they will be soon. And why not? Cell phones do everything that landlines can do, and much, much more—while saving money, to boot. So prepare your farewells, friends; this technology will soon be joining the typewriter and Walkman as a modern relic.

Lego Batman – Better Than the First Lego Movie

Lego Batman - Better Than the First Lego Movie
Lego Batman - Better Than the First Lego Movie

The LEGO Batman Movie opened in theaters recently, and there is only one way to describe this awesome movie. It is so much better than the first LEGO movie! The PG-rated still animation movie was 90 full fast-paced minutes of pure entertainment. It is perfect for the entire family!

A spin off of the original LEGO movie, The LEGO Batman Movie focuses on the now-main character, Batman (voiced by Will Arnett). In past films, the vigilante was dark, vengeful, and brooding. This side of him is especially prominent in The Dark Knight. However, in this LEGO movie, the caped crusade learns to lighten up a bit. Why, do you ask? Well, Batman needs to save Gotham from despair and the Joker’s total ambush of the city. Yes, the Joker is back! Although the character is not voiced by Jack Nicholson (the best Joker ever!), Zach Galifianakis does a fine job. 24

Robin is also in the mix of LEGO characters, and he is voiced by Michael Cera. Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth(voiced by Ralph Fiennes) joins Batman and Robin on the crusade to defeat the Joker. What’s not to like? This film is packed with random bits of humor that will send into anyone gales of laughter. Jokes range from Batman humor to funny plays on words, and they keep coming one after the other.

The movie’s visual comedy and references to pop culture are also a source of much-welcomed humor. The Joker is not the only character who gets some screen time (and a lot of it!) in this movie. There are appearances made by Doug Benson as Bane, Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face, and more. The LEGO Batman Movie is a smart and funny animated movie that is more than just a spin off. Offering a great story line and humor, the film is perfect for some laughs!

What the Hell is a Hipster?

What the Hell is a Hipster?
What the Hell is a Hipster?
What the Hell is a Hipster?

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who are called hipsters and those who call others hipsters. Almost nobody self-identifies as a hipster, as the label is seen as rather undesirable and something that isn’t ingrained in you, such as your race, gender identity or sexuality.

However, it still begs the question: just what exactly constitutes a hipster? The invaluable Merriam-Webster dictionary defines one as “a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns.”

So, is that it? A hipster is somebody who favors things that are out of step with conventionality? Well, that’s the dictionary’s definition, and it might be a lot of people’s definition. However, it’s not everybody’s definition. Hipster is a label with so much flexibility that the definition of one now might be completely different that it was ten years ago.

Where the Hipsters Are
Being a hipster is as much about location as it is about attitude. You might hear somebody decry big cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as being “full of hipsters.” Why? Because they’re urban environments, which is where hipsters thrive. You can find hipsters in smaller, more homogenized populations. However, they won’t be as readily apparent as they are in eclectic neighborhoods in large cities.
What Do Hipsters Do?
Being a hipster is not a paying job. (If you have a lead that says otherwise, we’re moving to Brooklyn right now). However, the typical hipster lifestyle is rife with hobbies and interests. It is established doctrine that hipsters must have a strong opinion on music. Conventional wisdom used to be that hipsters exclusively liked indie rock bands. Now, it is acceptable for hipsters to like all sorts of music, ranging from classic rock to current radio pop. However, they cannot just like music passively. They must have strongly formulated opinions on a variety of music and be willing to bring them up at a moment’s notice. If a hipster comes across somebody criticizing Katy Perry, they must immediately come to the defense of Perry, using phrases such as “subversive” and “commentary on gender roles.” Whether a hipster actually agrees with what they’re saying does not matter.Hipsters should have creative pursuits. They don’t need to be particularly talented or even choose a hobby with a steep learning curve. They just need to be able to convince others that they’re doing things. Learning a couple songs on the ukulele or being able to draw semi-decent portraits are examples of hobbies a hipster can take up without taking too much time out of their lives. However, they need to make sure they update their Facebook and Instagram accounts with news about their hobbies. After all, if they don’t use their hobbies to help craft an image for people online, then what’s the point in having them?

Hipster Fashion
If you see someone in a record shop with a pair of black-framed glasses, then you can all but guaranteed that person has been called a hipster before. (Also, you might be something of a hipster too for being in a record shop) Still, fashion choices for hipsters are not universal. While some embrace style and will spend a significant amount of their income on nice clothes (or t-shirts that cost $40), others embrace a low-cost lifestyle and shop at thrift shops for hidden gems or clothes so very unfashionable, they become chic by virtue of a hipster wearing them.However, a hipster never willingly admits to trying to impress anyone with their clothes. They might agonize over a purchase and have an internal debate about which ironic T-shirt would suit them best for this particular day, but once the clothes are on, there should be no visible trace of caring.

Hipster Spending
Hipsters are very conscious of their purchases. They are less concerned about the price or usefulness of something then they are about its value to their image. If a hipster comes across something that no one else in their neighborhood or social circle has, they will buy it and share their amazing find on social media. A hipster might not have essential things like a first aid kit or ironing board in their residence, but you can bet that they’ll have plenty of cool things.
The Hipster Diet
Hipsters have to eat, but it doesn’t necessarily have a huge impact on their lives. Your stereotypical hipster has a thin build and will subsist largely off of junk food. They will receive enough nutrition to stay alive, but their smoking and drinking habits aren’t particularly beneficial to their bodies’ well-being.Some hipsters adhere to strict diets, such as vegetarianism or veganism. Others will embark on “fad diets” such as the Paleo diet. Some hipsters are interested in fitness, but few are committed enough to fully disband their bad habits.

What the Hell is a Hipster?
What the Hell is a Hipster?
Am I A Hipster?
Did you read through this article and find yourself relating remarkably to all/most of these descriptions? Well, if you did, you might be a hipster. We’re not saying you are for sure a hipster. It’s just that if somebody were to ever derisively call you a hipster, you shouldn’t be too surprised.You might protest and say that you’re not a hipster for a variety of reasons. For instance, maybe you’re a diehard sports fan or you like Will Ferrell comedies. Surely, those aren’t hallmarks of a hipster, right? Well, a hipster can like just about anything, and nothing makes you look like more like a hipster than vehemently denying that you are, in fact, a hipster.

The good news for you is that being a hipster is nothing to be ashamed of. As a hipster, you are immediately assumed to have better taste in everything and to be smarter than everyone else. Your cutting-edge ideas are sure to astound the world, as will your free verse poetry. We say to embrace hipsterdom and never give it up. That is until the skinny jeans don’t fit as well anymore. (probably around age 30)

Armchair Activism Doesn’t Count as Doing Good

Armchair activism slactivism

The world as we know it is coming to an end. Well no, maybe not actually coming to an end, but there is plenty of turmoil and angst to go around. While many are contributing to the upheaval, there has also been a surge in goodwill amongst people as well. There are some who wholeheartedly wish to do their part in trying to make this a better world. Unfortunately, these people are also lazy. These are the armchair activists. Sharing a link to a good cause, retweeting a powerful message, hashtagging to spread awareness… sure it sounds nice, but is that actually doing anything to help? Most likely not. Remember #BringBackOurGirls? Or #IStandWithStandingRock? Yeah, a lot of good those tweets did to create real solutions. So what can YOU do? Plenty. First, you have to figure out where you want to help – the rest will come easy.

How To Choose The Charity That Is Right For You
There is a never-ending amount of charities, good causes, and missions all over the world, in every state, and in every city, so finding one shouldn’t be all that difficult. Ask yourself, what are your passions? Do you feel strongly about animals? Poverty? Do have a strong political stance? Take a step back and think about what good you would like to see in the world. Where does your attention lie? Take a note from Dan Pallotta, creator of Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks and AIDS Rides that raised millions, anyone can make a difference. “I want people to consider themselves a philanthropist no matter how much or how little they are giving. Even if you are giving $25, you are still a philanthropist. I advise people to figure out what cause they want to have an impact on, and take time doing research to find out the organization they feel is doing the best work on that problem. Then, make them your charitable partner for life,” says Pallotta to the TED Blog.

Once you have nailed down where you would like to put your efforts, there’s a slew of different ways you can make more of an impact than just clicking and sharing. From the hands-on activist to the check writer, there’s something for every giving heart.

Contribute Financially
Although many would say it is the easiest way to help out, financially supporting a charity can help set the groundwork for all the positive things that can come from such an organization. Writing a check, donating a sizable amount, or even just collecting your daily pocket change can all be viable ways to give back. Charities may provide services to others who don’t have such means, but they need funding to be able to do such things, so your money can help others even if it’s not coming directly from your hands. Your pennies can a long way to help an organization helping those less fortunate. If you’re too busy, too far, or even too shy, financially contributing can make a world of difference without much effort on your end. Find out if your employer has a foundation or charity where they match contributions. Check out how to make your dollar count here.

Volunteer Your Time
Writing a check may be the easiest way to lend a hand, but it’s not always an option if you don’t have any wiggle room in your personal budget. The most fundamental (and cheapest) way of giving back is to volunteer. At the root of volunteering is time – the most precious gift we receive each and every day. What could be more valuable than giving your time to a greater good?! The only question is, where do you spend your time? From reading to small children to building a home with your own two hands, there are an unlimited amount of places you can volunteer your time. A great tool to help you search for where to get started is VolunteerMatch. Here you can find any and all kinds of organizations that would love to have every minute you can spare. Your time can stretch further than any dollar, good, or like whether it is an hour a week or hours every day.

Donate Goods
One of the most popular ways of contributing to a cause is by donating goods. Used clothing, furniture, household items, and even your old car, are all items that may be extraordinarily beneficial to someone in need. Your interests in giving back may lead you toward or organization that helps clothe people living in impoverished areas with nothing to cover their backs or one that provides struggling families with appliances for their homes. Any such organization would be thrilled to receive your donated goods. This is also a fantastic way to rid your home of clutter and things you may not have any use for. What better way to help someone less fortunate than by donating your own items to them? Don’t know where to send that pair of jeans you can no longer squeeze into or that pair of boots that has seen plenty of snow storms? Check out this article for ideas on where to go.

Get Vocal
Outside of charitable organizations, taking an active part in giving back can also include making your voice heard on issues that affect your life. Given the ever-changing political climate of the world, activism in the form of taking a stance on the issues we face on a daily basis is a hot button topic for nearly every individual. Even though news and opinions spread via social media, commenting on an article or visiting a fan page are not always enough to be heard. Often, we are encouraged to contact our lawmakers directly. But how do you reach an individual with such a position? Writing letters and making phone calls, that’s how! Learn how you too can make a difference by expressing your thoughts to those that can help mold your future. Visit this site for more information.

Armchair activism is most definitely lame. With plenty of options available to help you do your part, there is no reason why the extent of your efforts should be at your computer desk.

How to Spot Fake News on Facebook

How to Spot Fake News on Facebook
How to Spot Fake News on Facebook

The primary reason that fake news flourishes is because people do not do their due diligence in researching where a claim is originating from before spreading the rumor. You must put in some real investigative work to determine if a headline is blatantly false, true, misleading or simply an opinion piece. Fake news outlets capitalize on the fact that humans are naturally inclined to emotionally react to information before they will truly test the validity of it. Mainstream media and alternative media alike are both guilty of casually tossing in bias or misleading “alternative facts” to appeal to their known reader base. The only way to steer clear of fake news is to investigate the source, verify the story with other sources and seriously examine the author’s claims.

2016 Election “Fake News”

This out-of-control “fake news” phenomena played a major role in the 2016 election. During the first presidential debate of 2016, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton made the bold statement, “Well, Donald, we all know you live in your own reality,” to highlight this glaring fact. Various media outlets including PolitiFact, NPR, Bloomberg TV and FactCheck.org offered real-time live fact checking during the first debate. Each candidate’s respective websites, hillaryclinton.com and donaldjtrump.com, even became live fact-checkers during the debate. The real problem was that each fact checker was so biased that they only served to reinforce the relative reality they were representing in the first place.

One of the most shocking “fake news” stories during the election was the beginning of the now infamous Pizza Gate conspiracy. Rumors that the New York Police Department had found incriminating evidence in John Podesta’s emails that indicated an ongoing democratic involvement in a pedophilia ring caused a major stir in the alternative news community. These claims were never verified, but the rumor continues to provide fuel for independent truth seekers.

Similarly, the mainstream media picked up on and spread an unsubstantiated claim that Trump supporters were chanting hate messages like “We hate Muslims, we hate Blacks, we want our great country back,” as a celebration to Trump’s victory. Upon closer inspection, the original tweet came from a parody fake-news journalist who never intended the message to be taken seriously (http://www.snopes.com/trump-rally-chant/).

Know the Source

If you suspect that an article may be misleading or misrepresenting certain facts, then the first thing you should do is investigate the source of the article. Always navigate to the website’s contact information to build some credibility for the source. Any reputable source will have an authentic way to contact the company.

According to BuzzFeed, the most widely spread fake news story of 2016 was published by ABCNews.com.co and was shared, commented on or reacted to on FaceBook over 2.1 million times (https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/top-fake-news-of-2016?utm_term=.kjLllXzBO#.dyqYYoQwe). At first glance, this source appears credible because it contains the reliable and well-known ABC News stamp. Upon closer inspection, however, it’s clear that this website is a fraudulent site made to look like the real ABC News site.

To the trained eye, the URL of the above article would be a huge red flag. Any “com.co” website should be investigated. Major news companies typically purchase the established “.com” domain name.

Trusted Sources

This election cycle has thrown into question the legitimacy and bias of some of the most well-respected mainstream news sources. Donald Trump has called CNN a “fake news” source, while others have bashed Info Wars as fake news.

Melissa Zimdars, a professor at Merrimack College, created a list of “fake news” websites that commonly show up on your Facebook feed to help her students stop the spread of misinformation. Some news sources included on the list were InfoWars.com, Project Veritas, Independent Journal Review, CoastToCoastAM.com and WorldTruth.Tv (http://d279m997dpfwgl.cloudfront.net/wp/2016/11/Resource-False-Misleading-Clickbait-y-and-Satirical-%E2%80%9CNews%E2%80%9D-Sources-1.pdf). The list went viral and furthered the ongoing debate over what should be considered a trusted source.

Chris Rossini published a counter-list of “fake news” sources that singled out journalists who directly colluded with Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Fake news perpetrators included representatives from ABC, Bloomberg, CBS, CNBC, CNN, Huffington Post, NBC, MSNBC, Politico and New York Times (http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/revealed-the-real-fake-news-list).

As a rule, know that every single article is written with some bias. The only way to combat consistent bias is to trust your sources, but always verify them.

Trust, But Verify

If the headline story is real news, then it’s likely being reported by other news sources at the same time. In many cases, a simple Google search can quickly verify or debunk a story you read on Facebook. Other well-known and reputable news sources should be reporting the same event or facts. When in doubt, verify a story by comparing it with other sources.

In some cases, corporate media bias or other factors can prevent a story from being covered in the mainstream media. When this happens, alternative media will typically pick up the story and it can still be found on multiple alternative news outlets. Scan the article for indicators of the original source of the story, and use this information to research the original source.

Those who primarily use only a few outlets or news sources are the most likely to fall into a fake news trap. Avoid this pitfall by creating more balance in your news feed. You may not literally “like” Fox News or CNN, but giving them a like on Facebook will help keep your perspective balanced. A more well-rounded perspective will help you recognize when an article is overly biased or glaringly false.

Examine the Author’s Claims

Take the time to examine each of the article’s claims. Is the article mostly opinion based with very few sourced facts? Does the news story include sourced research studies, witness accounts or reports from credible agencies? Fake news stories rarely include any real, provable data or any accounts from verifiable agencies.

You look like a bot: How I Went from Bot to Hot

You look like a bot: How I Went from Bot to Hot
You look like a bot: How I Went from Bot to Hot

As a blogger, it was important for me to get my ideas across various platforms. I have over 3,000 followers on Tumblr, over 5,000 on Instagram, and even 2,500 subscribers on YouTube. For the longest time, I ignored signing up for Twitter. I heard from fellow bloggers that the site was full of celebrities and users who tweeted about mundane things like going to the bathroom. So I put off of Twitter for years, but without my knowledge, I was selling myself short in doing so.
When I tried to reach out to my followers, they felt intimidated by me and my strong social media presence on Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube. I felt as if my blog was too professional to make announcements or small text posts about cool small things about me or my life. When I met my followers in real life, they asked if I had a Twitter and were disappointed when I inevitably replied, “No, sorry.” Even on television, shows held contests involving Twitter and voting for your favorite contestant. I quickly realized I had to sign up for Twitter if I wanted to remain relevant on social media.
So I finally signed up for the site. It was nice to start from scratch with no followers, but I wanted to start posting cool tweets with lots of ‘likes’. I announced on all my other social media accounts that I created a Twitter account and would love to gain some followers. I waited a day before logging into Twitter and checking my follower count. Shockingly, I had only gained six returning followers from my other social media accounts. How could this be? I had to fix it quickly but to my dismay, my follower count would stay frozen at six for months.
I felt like a failure. How can you raise your follower count? It wasn’t as easy as other sites. I asked my friends who had follower counts towards the thousands, about what I could do. All of them replied with, “Well, to be honest, you sound like a bot. You never talk about what’s hot and trending.”
I was shocked to hear this feedback from them, but as I scrolled through my tweets, I realized they were right. I sounded like a spam bot. I began to research some way to improve my tweeting and this is what I came up with: The Three Golden Rules of Twitter.
The first rule was to correctly tweet using the trending hashtags. They’re hot and trending for a reason. People want to hear about what’s fresh and new, not about generic stuff like what cereal you ate for breakfast.
The second rule is to follow celebrities and retweet interesting posts or announcements from them. Celebrities are tied in with the hot and trending hashtags and people want to hear about the things they have to say.
The third rule is to share cool announcements about yourself and things you have discovered, and make an effort to engage the material with your followers. Don’t just tweet a couple lines about what you had for dinner, instead share pictures of your fancy dinner. Followers love pictures of food. There are whole Twitter accounts dedicated to food and celebrity chefs sharing pictures of meals they prepared.
After a month of following these rules, I noticed my follower count was rapidly growing into the hundreds and eventually the thousands. I was ecstatic! I didn’t sound like a bot anymore and my followers returned to turning to me for hot news and trends. My followers felt like they could approach me and have casual conversations. Try out these three golden rules and you will sound real, rather than some spam bot looking to steal credit card numbers.

The Best Memes of 2016

The Best Memes of 2016
The Best Memes of 2016
The Presidential election, record heatwaves, dearly loved celebrities dying left and right, and those were just a few of the things that made 2016 such an incredible, dumpster fire of a year. At least it left us with these top ten memes of 2016.

10. Left Shark
Oh Left Shark, you were so long ago, it doesn’t even seem like you should count in 2016, does it? Nevertheless, Katy Perry’s Left Shark who didn’t know what was going on during the Superbowl. XLIX Halftime Show was 2016’s first big meme, and probably one of the funniest.

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9. Miley, What’s Good?
Another blast from early 2016, after Miley Cyrus was quote in the New York Times saying, “What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite.” Nicki responded with this endlessly useful phrase, “Now, back to this bitch who’s had a lot to say about me in the press. What’s good Miley?”


8.Crying Jordan

This was the year that Crying Jordan reached its height. Both the original photographer and Michael Jordan himself have spoken about the meme, that is largely used to show extreme devastation, particularly in sports. Crying LeBron takes a close second.

7. Sad Ben Affleck
2016 was a sad year, and Sad Ben Affleck was everywhere. Originally from an interview where it seemed he suddenly realized “Batman vs. Superman” was a steaming pile of crap that no one wanted to see, Ben’s dropping face was used everywhere that Crying Jordan wasn’t appropriate for.

6. Obama + Biden Bromance
President Obama and Vice-President Biden truly have a bromance for the ages. In the closing months of 2016 as we all counted down to the installation of President Cheeto the Obama Biden bromance memes came fast and furious. Many show Uncle Joe trying to get Obama to go along with a practical joke on the incoming president, while others depict Biden sad that Obama is going forward without. These memes were hilarious, but they gave us all the feels at the same time.

5. Tea Lizard
This one is kind of a two for one. The original Kermit the Frog sipping tea meme is used to indicate, “That’s none of my business, but also you’re totally wrong.” When ABC’s Good Morning America erroneously referred to Kermit as “tea lizard” the internet blew up, making the hashtag #tealizard forever burned in our brains.

4.Me to Me
This is another meme featuring Kermit. In the meme, he appears to be facing himself in the mirror, but the mirror image wears a hood, much like the hood of The Emperor in the Star Wars films. The good Kermit typically suggests doing the right thing, while evil Kermit suggests doing the wrong thing in an exaggerated way. One of our favorites is:
Me: So tired, can’t wait to go to bed.
Me to Me: Pick up your phone

3.Bernie or Hillary
As election season started to heat up, the Bernie or Hillary meme popped up everywhere. A poster showing both the candidates faces, with a topic at the top, each candidate answers in kind. As you would expect, Bernie typically gives a laid back answer such as offering his answers when the topic is “homework” or saying “I love the little guys!” when the topic is “lizards.” Hillary, however, is always depicted as a by the book rule follower, responding only with the page number of the questions for the homework topic, or simply saying, “No” in response to lizards. This one gained so much traction because it could be used for simply any purpose, and each candidates answer was always readily apparent.

2. Netflix and Chill
Netflix and Chill has been around for awhile, and it doesn’t have a specific image associated with it, but it really blew up in 2016. Netflix and Chill is, of course, slang for come on over for some sexual activity.

1.Me at the Beginning of 2016
Nothing sums up the horror of 2016 like the Me at the beginning of 2016 versus Me at the end of 2016 meme. This is often Luke from Episode III of Star Wars versus Luke as shown at the end of The Force Awakens. Its popularity was surely due to the fact that we were all a bit of a mess by the time this dumpster fire of a year was over.