Blog Archive

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online workshops, writing books, and more social media

Four years ago, I realised that my interest in writing about varied subjects could be fulfilled only by being a freelancer. Since then, I have been writing regularly for various publications on subjects ranging from elections to features on travel and cinema. But just as I was settling into a comfortable rhythm and the opportunities seem to be multiplying, the Covid-19 virus brought the world to a standstill.

Suddenly, I was staring at many months of no assignments. A column I had started at the beginning of the year was put on hold and a publication I frequently contributed to, put a pause to freelance contributions.

Romantic notions

Freelancers are looked upon as the lucky few who have managed to break the clutches of bonded employment by working on their own terms. Interestingly, in most of the professional fields/domains today, freelancers are known to have strong bargaining power for their

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Planning a Ride in a National Park? Here’s What You Need to Know

Photo credit: Courtesy Micah Ling
Photo credit: Courtesy Micah Ling

From Bicycling

For many cyclists, there are few things better than long and winding roads, minimal car traffic at low speed limits, and incredible views of nature. And at many U.S. national parks, this is just the case.

After closing in response to the coronavirus outbreak, most national parks have reopened to the public, with several safety precautions in place. And one way that people are especially encouraged to enjoy the parks right now is to do it on bike.

Cynthia Hernandez, the public affairs specialist at the U.S. National Park Service Office of Public Affairs, says that some national parks, like Yosemite in California and Acadia in Maine, are very popular among cyclists. But there’s plenty of great biking to be had at lesser-known parks as well—Hernandez suggests checking out Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Mojave National Preserve

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Here’s How 4 Brides Pulled Off Mid-Pandemic Weddings

If 2020 was a normal year, we’d be taking advantage of the summer season to write a whole lot about weddings and wedding dresses. But, with a global pandemic canceling almost everything about life as we knew it, we’re not. Instead, our carts are filled with bike shorts, WFH-friendly office chairs, and face masks (of both the beauty and PPE varieties). We do know, however, that people are still getting married — and that means they’re still finding ways to browse, try on, and ultimately purchase nuptial-ready frocks. Which begs the question: how exactly are they accomplishing this? We started asking around and as we talked to different women across the country, we learned a lot more than how they wedding-dress shopped during such strange times. The women whose weddings were derailed by COVID-19 still managed to have them and, although different, their ceremonies were just as special as what

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Calabasas Mayor Pens Letter To Community

Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub recently penned a letter to the community. The letter in its entirety is below:

Another week of summer has gone by and tomorrow we move into the month of August. Everybody thought we would be farther along in the journey to dealing with COVID-19, but the question we all wish we had the answer to is when will all of this be over?

One thing however is very clear and that is we all need to work together to get this virus under control. Getting our numbers down will allow schools to open more quickly and businesses to resume more normal operations. I am sure the goal of returning to normal is something that we can all agree on

The one thing that we can all do to help fight COVID-19 in Calabasas is to wear a face covering. I don’t mean to sound like a

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The best free games on Xbox One (August 2020)

The free-to-play genre is massive, with games like Destiny 2 and Warframe showcasing how sustainable the model can be. From massive, 150-player battles in Call of Duty: Warzone to relaxing management in Fallout Shelter, there’s a little something for everyone in the free-to-play genre. Here are the best free Xbox One games that you can download and start playing now. If you’re willing to spend a little money, invest in a

Game Pass subscription

. It’s a lot cheaper than buying video games, plus the library is packed to the brim with excellent experiences.

Bless Unleashed

<span class="credit">BANDAI NAMCO</span>
BANDAI NAMCO

A successor to Bless Online, which survived just a year on PC before getting shut down, Bless Unleashed is a new-ish free-to-play MMORPG option on Xbox One, the first from Bandai Namco on a console. Players start off the game as a ward of a powerful priestess whose island is attacked by

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People Always Compliment Me on These Slip-On Sneakers

athleticpropulsionlabs.com

Everyone has one item in their closet that’s all but guaranteed to elicit compliments from friends and strangers alike. For some, it’s a flashy dress or statement earrings. For me, it’s a pair of slip-on sneakers. The Techloom Bliss from Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL for short) has been my go-to shoe for years. No matter how many comfortable tennis shoes I add to my collection, I always reach for this pair first. They’re supportive, sleek, and functional; the fact that people constantly ask me where I got them and comment on their stylish look is just a bonus.

Perhaps it’s the sneaker’s versatility: Technically a running shoe, the Techloom Bliss is made for movement, making it a great option for a workout. It’s lightweight with a rubber outsole and stretchy upper for comfort and support. I’ve worn them on countless runs and to plenty of workout classes. Despite their

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A psychologist explains why people shouldn’t feel guilty taking time off from work during the pandemic

While the boundaries between work and life are blurrier than ever, many are realizing that their busiest days are still disguised as “leisure time” because they’re working from the comfort of their homes. This new work-life balance, or lack thereof, is causing some employees to be hesitant to cash in on their hard-earned vacation days.

Yahoo Life Mental Health Contributor Jen Hartstein shares ways why taking time off is more vital than ever.

“We’re at this very weird time where work and life are blending all the time. And for many we feel like it’s not the right time to take time off,” she explains. “Maybe we aren’t going anywhere, we’re not traveling, so we kind of figure, ‘Why bother?’” 

However, it’s important for us to take time off because “the more space we create, the better and more rejuvenated we come back to the office and to work,” she

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Small Businesses Got Emergency Loans, but Not What They Expected

A dress on a mannequin at the office of Caroline Keefer, a clothing designer, in Los Angeles on July 18, 2020. (Nolwen Cifuentes/The New York Times)
A dress on a mannequin at the office of Caroline Keefer, a clothing designer, in Los Angeles on July 18, 2020. (Nolwen Cifuentes/The New York Times)

For nearly 70 years, the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief program has helped companies recover from catastrophes including wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes. But it has never faced anything like the coronavirus crisis.

Besieged by more than 8 million applicants — and operating in the shadow of the hastily assembled Paycheck Protection Program — the disaster relief effort has given out more money in the past few months than it had in its entire history.

But the demand has created a problem that is hobbling hundreds of thousands of applicants: The agency, afraid of running out of cash, capped its coronavirus loans at a fraction of what companies can normally borrow — even though the program has handed out less than half the $360 billion

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Parents struggle as schools reopen amid coronavirus surge

DALLAS, Ga. (AP) — Putting your child on the bus for the first day of school is always a leap of faith for a parent. Now, on top of the usual worries about youngsters adjusting to new teachers and classmates, there’s COVID-19.

Rachel Adamus was feeling those emotions Monday morning as she got 7-year-old Paul ready for his first day of second grade and prepared 5-year-old Neva for the start of kindergarten.

With a new school year beginning this week in some states, Adamus struggled to balance her fears with her belief that her children need the socialization and instruction that school provides, even as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has hit about 155,000 and cases are rising in numerous places.

As the bus pulled away from the curb in Adamus’ Dallas, Georgia, neighborhood, the tears finally began to fall.

“We have kept them protected for so long,”

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Here’s how to stay safe in the water, according to a former lifeguard

According to the CDC, an average of 3,536 people unintentionally drown every year — that’s roughly ten per day.

As a former lifeguard, swim and CPR instructor, I’ve been schooled in the nuances of water safety. Here’s what you need to know to keep your family safe at the lake, beach, and pool this summer.

What does drowning look like?

Unlike what you might see on TV, drowning may not involve screams, thrashing or hand signals. Look for a weak or inefficient kick, attempts to reach for the edge, and neutral or negative buoyancy.

What can you do if you think someone may be drowning? Experts recommend throwing anything that floats to the person. It could be a life jacket, swim noodle, or even an empty cooler with the top closed.

“This is why ocean lifeguards use rescue buoys and tubes,” explains B. Chris Brewster, Chair of the National Certification

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