Felix Assivo

7 Tips On How To Get Fit Fast

Posted by Felix Assivo on
Health & Wellness
7 Tips On How To Get Fit Fast

Do you want to get fit but have a hard time getting to the gym? Well, a lot of people skip their gym sessions because they don’t have the time to do it. Yes, going to the gym has a lot of benefits such as improving your mood and reducing stress. However, many people can’t spare a few hours to do it because of chores and errands.

Packing a bag, going to the gym and getting started on your workouts takes a lot of time. However, with the right techniques, you can get an effective workout in the shortest amount of time. Here are some of the best tips on how to get fit fast.

  1. Superset Exercises

Supersets are the oldest exercises in the book since they work. You can perform 2 exercises back-to-back and get your workout completed in a shorter time. Also, you should be able to increase the number of calories burned. If you want to maintain a high intensity and get the most benefits out of back-to-back exercises, you should alternate between lower and upper body movements. That way, as one muscle group recovers, the other one is working.

  1. Time Your Rest Periods

There are so many distractions in the gym such as TV, cell phones and friends that will make it hard to stay on task. According to Thomas Paddock of Home Gym Review, it’s a good idea to bring a timer the next time you go to the gym and time your rest periods. You should limit your rest periods to 90 seconds or less. However, you can adjust the rest periods depending on your specific goals. It’s important to choose the best rest time and stick to it. When the timer goes off, you need to get back to your workouts without any excuses.

  1. Keep It Moving

When you are resting, you don’t have to sit idly on a machine. Some of the most neglected exercises include foam rolling, stretching and supersets. Therefore, you can do these during your rest periods. When stretching, you should target areas that are not part of your current workout. For instance, when doing an upper body workout routine, you should stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors during the rest periods. If there is adequate space to roll out, you should definitely consider foam rolling in between sets.

  1. Try High-Intensity Interval Training

Interval training has become very popular over the years. Sandeep Bhandari from Ask Any Difference informed us that the Tabata protocol is quite popular where people work out for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds in between the sets. Yes, these workouts might be shorter, they are not easy. By increasing the intensity, they can boost cardiovascular health.

If you want to get started with interval training, start incorporating some short and intense bursts in your regular cardio session. You can push the pace for 20-30 seconds before resting for the same amount of time at a lower intensity. You can repeat the sequence 3-4 times and increase it as you become comfortable with high-intensity workouts.

  1. Plan Your Workout Ahead Of Time

After a set, one of the biggest distractions is wondering what to do next. Failure to plan your workout sessions will kill the efficiency of your sets. Therefore, you need to write down your workouts in advance, suggests Maria of Bespoke Fitness Buddy. You can take a screenshot with your phone for better efficiency. If your workout routine requires special equipment, you need to get them beforehand to allow faster transition between sets.

  1. Have A Backup Plan

If you have written down your workout routine but find that all the machines are taken, you should have a backup plan in place. If you visit a busy gym, you will find that it’s hard to get a machine when you need it. Rather than waiting for another gym member to finish using the machine, you should have a backup plan ready for every exercise.

Remember, not all workout machines will guarantee results. If the squat racks are busy, you should use dumbbell goblet squats or try walking lunges. Both of these exercises use the same muscle groups in different ways. You need to keep moving rather than waiting around.

  1. Warm Down

A lot of people don’t warm down after their sets and this can end up resulting in far worse pain than they would otherwise need to be concerned with. Make sure to stretch and even use a suitable cream or balm afterwards to help prevent stiffness and injury.


Workouts don’t have to take a lot of time to be effective. If you have the right methods in place, it should be easy to get through your workouts within the shortest time possible and enjoy all the benefits.

Landscaping for Fire Prevention

Posted by Felix Assivo on
Landscaping for Fire Prevention


By Cynthia Brian

“Fire is never a gentle master.” Proverb

This past year most of our conversations have revolved around the pandemic, masking wearing, and questions about recovery and normalcy. With the impending drought, an urgent topic that is on the minds of Californians is the potential for wildfires. With increasing climate changes and the trend of global warming, it is not a matter of if we’ll be faced with fires, it is when. 

We can do our part to protect our property as best as possible through firescaping, a landscape design that reduces house and property vulnerability to wildfire. While enhancing the beauty of the property and creating a defensible space, we surround the house with plants that are less likely to ignite. Fires respect no boundaries and fires don’t honor property lines. With enough heat, almost everything burns.

Our neck of the woods is rural and wooded. We have minimal escape routes and must be extra vigilant. Many of the plants and trees growing throughout our area are highly flammable including pines, cypress, cedar, fir, bamboo, acacia, juniper, Pampas grass, rosemary, ivy, arborvitae, miscanthus, and eucalyptus. Coyote brush, although moderately fire-resistant when it is young and green, is highly combustible as it grows. It depends on fires to regenerate and grows everywhere in our hills. These plants need to be removed or carefully supervised. Since heat moves up, fire speed and severity are stronger on slopes where vegetation management is crucial.

A defensible space is an area around a structure that has been cleared of ignitable debris and botanicals that may cause a public safety hazard. A watered, green lawn can be considered a defensible space. A large brick, stone, or gravel area could be part of a defensible space.

sprinklers on lawn.jpeg

No plant is fireproof. 

Under the right conditions, every plant will burn, especially those that are drought-stressed or not maintained. Pruning of all plants makes them less flammable. A “fire-safe” plant means that it tends not to be a significant fuel source with a chemical composition that resists heat and combustion. It is critical to keep plants around our homes well-tended and pruned as a fire protection tool. The closer plants are to the house, the more care is needed. 

Every homeowner is responsible for managing their vegetation to meet Fire District requirements. For MOFD requirements, combustible materials must be two feet away from a structure and plantings no taller than two feet high. Low-growing ground coverings and green grass are suitable as well as river rock, gravel, or crushed granite. Trees that are within six feet of the structure need to be removed, specifically eucalyptus, pine, bamboo, and junipers.

Neighborhoods are encouraged to form a committee to receive advice from local fire professionals on how to be Fire Wise. Being Fire Wise is dependent on the diligence of everyone in a neighborhood to keep a property fire safe. All properties become indefensible when one neighbor has overgrown bushes, brush, or low hanging trees. Neighbors must protect neighbors by making certain their properties are maintained. Again, fires do not honor property lines.

Characteristics of highly flammable flora

  • o Dry and dead leaves, twigs, branches
  • o Abundant, dense foliage
  • o Needles
  • o Low moisture foliage
  • o Peeling, loose bark
  • o Gummy sap
  • o Leathery, dry, or aromatic leaves
  • o Content of terpene, oils, or resin
  • o Dry uncut grasses

Characteristics of reasonably fire-resistant plants?

  • o Hardy, slow-growing plants that don’t produce litter or thatch.
  • o Drought tolerant natives with internal high-water content. Generally, but not always, California natives are more tolerant of fire and deer.
  • o Trees with thick bark that restrict the growth of invasive shrub species and hardwood trees such as walnut, cherry, maple, and poplar are less flammable. Deciduous trees and shrubs are more fire-resistant because they have higher moisture content when in leaf, lower fuel volume when dormant, and usually do not contain flammable oils.
  • o Supple, moist leaves with little to no sap or resin residue.
  • o Low growing ground covers.
  • o Bulbs with dried leaves cut to the ground.
  • o What can you do now to create a more fire-resistant landscape?
  • o Include pavers, bricks, pavement, gravel, rocks, dry creek beds, fountains, ponds, pools, and lawns. 
  • o Select high moisture plants that grow close to the ground with a low sap and resin content
  • o Plant the right plant in the correct location. Leave space between plants.
  • o Minimize the inclusion of evergreen trees within thirty feet of structures. Clear the understory. Keep trees twenty feet away from chimneys. 
  • o Remove invasive species or swaths of flammable plants including ivy, rosemary, broom, coyote brush, chamise, and juniper.
  • o Keep mulch moist. Create zones of rock, brick, or gravel. Bark and leaves are not mulches recommended near structures.
  • o Prune trees 6-10 feet above the ground to hinder fire laddering.
  • o Keep appropriate clearance to reduce the threat of burning embers from decorative features such as gazebos, fences, sheds, porches, and junk areas.  
  • o Irrigate and maintain all flora, lawns, and hillsides. Clover, groundcovers, and grasses that are kept low and green are excellent alternatives. 
  • o Due to soil erosion, bare ground is not recommended.
  • gravel path.jpeg

Prone to Ignite Plants

If you have these specimens in your garden, prune and maintain appropriately or eliminate them.


Arborvitae or Thuya


Greasewood or Chamise

French, Spanish, and Scotch Broom





Burning Bush or Gas plant

Pampas Grass





Douglas Fir

Coyote Bush

Pride of Madeira 

General Rules of Fire Safety

HEED the checklist from our local fire departments to create a defensible space around your home.  Follow fire district recommendations:

  • o Prevent embers from igniting your home by clearing leaves, needles, and debris from gutters, eaves, porches, and decks.
  • o Mow grasses and weeds.
  • o Keep your garden watered.
  • o Prune tree limbs to keep the lowest branches 6-10 feet from the ground.
  • o Reduce “fire fuel laddering” by not allowing bushes or trees to touch one another.
  • o Keep combustible materials 15-30 feet away from structures.
  • o Maintain your property and be alert for any fire danger.
  • river rock canal (1).jpeg

Weed abatement must be completed by June 1st. Get out there and get your landscape more fire-resistant. We all have a responsibility to one another to help keep our community from experiencing a wildfire. 

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Be fire safe.

Photos: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1507/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Wildfire-protection-through-landscaping.html

cyn-flowering cherry.jpeg

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD.

cyntha brian with books.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.



Listen to StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are! on the Voice America Radio Network Wednesdays 4-5pm PT LIVE or in the archives at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

Movie Review: Super Women Of Film – From Nashville to Santa Fe

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Movie Review: Super Women Of Film – From Nashville to Santa Fe

June 2, 2021. Santa Fe, NM. Lynda Evjen and Ranny Levy have earned the right to be called “Superwomen” of the entertainment industry.  Lynda is President of WIFT Nashville, “Nashville Women in Film and Television” while Ranny is President of CQCM, “Coalition for Quality Children’s Media/KIDS FIRST!” from Santa Fe., New Mexico.  Both are non-profit 501(c) (3) organizations.

Lynda Evjen is also the Publisher of REEL LUMIERE, the digital monthly publication that spotlights women in leadership positions along with newsworthy film festivals and key events that domestic and international filmmakers should add to their schedules. Ranny Levy is the June cover story for Reel Lumiere, and her organization is a B.I.G. story that proves kid entertainment reporters add to the success of media including press, films, TV shows, music, and other forms of digital entertainment. 

Nashville Women in Film and Television is committed to advance professional development and achievement for women working in film, video, and interactive media in Nashville.  

Lynda Evjen is not just an accomplished actress and community leader.  Her diversified career achievements include developing sales campaigns, collateral and market strategies for Fortune 500 companies.  She has earned these and other awards: AAUW’s Women in Leadership Award; Optimist of the Year; Nashville’s Women Making A Mark; and two consecutive years as Outstanding Professional from AFP.  Lynda served on the Arts Commission for the State of California and was appointed to the Tennessee Visitors Commission by former Governor Bredesen. In addition to currently overseeing activities and growth for WIFT as its Founder/President, she serves on the boards of Wang Foundation and Rhinestone Cure andis the Founding member of HolidayFest of Sumner County, Tennessee which has given over $2.9 million to charities in Sumner County during the past 16 years.

KIDS FIRST! was founded by Ranny Levy thirty years ago.  It is a collaboration of 17 million concerned adults and is the key program of CQCM, the Coalition that reviews and rates films and other media and is committed to teaching children critical viewing skills and increasing the visibility and availability of quality children’s media.  The Coalition is a voluntary collaboration of more than 10,000 media professionals, lobbyists, policymakers, child advocates, educators, parents and families nationwide.  KIDS FIRST! is the much sought-after marketing asset of film studios and movie stars, directors and producers of film, music, books and entertainment.  Ranny looks forward to working closely with WIFT in providing “learning by doing” for kids to review and interview current stars of media and filmed entertainment.

The combined readership of the two non-profit organizations, estimated to be 20,000,000 people internationally, will have access to this issue of Reel Lumiere, including film studios, writers, actors, directors, publishers, kids who want to work in film and television, and their parents. 

For Interviews or More Information, Contact:

Ranny Levy, admin@kidsfirst.org; 505.989.8076

Lynda Evjen, levjen@gmail.com; 615-517-5714


10 Effective Ways To Save Your Business Energy

Posted by Felix Assivo on
10 Effective Ways To Save Your Business Energy

Your business can use different ways to save money on your monthly expenses and energy. Josco Energy’s NJ Conference will provide many ways to implement energy-saving into your business. Here are some of the best ways your business can use to save money on energy:

1. Use Energy Saving Light bulbs

Use greener lightbulbs to reduce your energy consumption and save money. Unlike the standard lamps, energy-saving light bulbs can reduce your energy usage by 80%. You will not have to replace them regularly, so they can lower your maintenance cost.

2. Installing Motion Sensitive Lighting

Your employees may leave lights on when they are not using them. Install motion-sensitive lights to turn off your lights automatically when nobody is using the room. Open window blinds during the summer months to take advantage of the natural light during the day. This can lower your business energy expenses.

3. Do Not Rush to Turn On Air Conditioning

You may not want to use your air conditioner during the spring and autumn months. If the temperature is 21°C, you can turn off the heating. You do not really need air conditioning until the temperature is over 23-24°C.

4. Maximize the Efficiency of Your Air Conditioner

If you must use your air conditioner, close your windows and windows to help your air conditioner stay efficient. You can turn off your air conditioner during the night.

5. Invest in Microgeneration

You can produce your own energy to reduce your bills and cut down the carbon footprint of your business. Install solar panels since they use sunlight to generate electricity and they can work on any building.

6. Turn Off Computers at Night

If you turn off one monitor when you are not using it and over the weekends, it can save your business on electric bills.

7. Boil Water When You Really Need It

Your employees will boil water to use to make tea during tea break. Therefore, you need to check the water that your workers boil. If they can only boil just enough water to make tea, they can save your business a lot of money in electric bills every year.

8. Upgrade Your Technology

Do not use old and outdated models of fridges, computers, and boilers since they are not energy efficient. Upgrade to energy-efficient models to save you money.

9. Hang Energy Saving Posters

Hang energy-saving posters to remind your workers to save energy. You can get a poster on the website of British Gas.

10. Energy Audit

Conducting an energy audit can help you know your business’s energy consumption. Therefore, you will find out the processes using the most energy and know the areas where you can make savings.

How to Prepare for Divorce: Divorce Support Guide

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How to Prepare for Divorce: Divorce Support Guide

Are you going through a divorce? Here is a good guide to help you in the process.

1. Do not Believe What You Might Have Heard

There is a good chance you have heard a lot from friends, family, co-workers, and tv characters. This “legal advice” should be written down then shredded. You should not put any value in such advice. Lawyers are used to hearing people saying “my friend got X amount of money in spousal support, why am I not getting the same” or “my co-worker got sole custody of his children, why can I also get it?”

It is not a good idea to let those who have been through separation or divorce to set your expectations when it comes to legal entitlements and obligations. You will often end up disappointed.

Each case has to be analyzed individually by looking at the unique set of circumstances: the assets and liabilities of this particular couple, their income, and the interest of the children. Cookie-cutter or prototype approaches don’t apply in family law matters. You cannot relate two different cases because the outcome might not be the same. You can still listen to and value what it is they are saying because you can know how they felt about the process.

2. Making Sure You Have a Reliable Support Network

During the divorce process, you are going to need a lot of support; both emotionally and financially. Emotional support can be in the form of counseling, a solid core family and friends you share with, or even an online support group. There are times when you might start feeling like the walls are closing in. When you have the right people in your corner who are ready to listen to you during those bad days, then you can expect to have an easier time. It is advisable to look at any form of emotional self-treatment because it is how you are going to find your happy place. Visit clarityclinic.com for support.

It can be a challenge to deal with the legal fees involved with Divorce and Family Law matters. Make sure you choose a lawyer who is within your financial means. Make sure you have a plan for financing their fees, upfront payments, and other related costs.

3. Choosing the Right Lawyer

The lawyer you are going to work with needs to be someone who is experienced and ready to help you with your case. Take the time to choose the right lawyer because he/she is going to have a big impact on your case. Different lawyers have different levels of experience and also different styles. If you feel like your spouse is going to use the “scorched earth” approach, then it might be better to look for a lawyer experienced in cases involving high conflict matters. A lawyer with a more collaborative style is a great option when you have a good relationship that you want to salvage and cultivate even after you have divorced.

4. Distinguishing Battles from the War

There are Divorce and Family Law issues that might come with a high degree of urgency and have to be resolved in the shortest time possible. There are issues that can be considered as “low-hanging fruit” because the fair and just outcome can be seen by all. It is important to resolve them upfront, even if it is on a temporary basis, as you wait for the final decision.

Talk with your lawyer about your priorities and triage the issues. The genuine impasse is going to reveal itself with merit, urgency, and priority assigned to your case. The remaining part will be about solving these issues.

5. Looking at Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The court is not the only option for solving issues. The best way to look at it is as a final resort. There are many models of ADR out there and they are becoming more and more popular. This is usually referred to as “mediation”, and the forum is going to provide amicable, economical, and emotionally healthier ways for both parties to resolve any issues they might be having.

There are no limits on where ADR can be applied. It is going to be a good option whether it involves child/spousal support, parenting matters, or property division.

The Ultimate Shoe Fix: Solving Your Various Shoe Problems

Posted by Felix Assivo on
Health & Wellness
The Ultimate Shoe Fix: Solving Your Various Shoe Problems

Due to the corona pandemic, it is more common to do shopping online. Perhaps, you order a pair of your favorite shoes and you end up getting a bigger size. No other size is available and you don’t want to return it. Or perhaps you are wearing them for the first time and the experience is not comfortable. Sometimes, the shoe’s material becomes hard after a couple of weeks of wear. If you are facing all these shoe problems then here is a good guide to fix your shoe problems at home.

  1. You’re unable to get your shoes off without loosening laces.

How To Fix: Size up a full size. For proper fitting shoes, your feet should be able to be slid out with your shoes completely laced up and untied.

  1. Whenever you are walking or running up a hill, your heel suffers from slippage.

How To Fix: Try to lace your shoes to the final hole to reduce slippage. While there is still likely to be movement in the heel area, you don’t want it to be to the point where your heel is getting blisters. Your foot’s heel should fit solidly in place in your shoe, but not overly tight. You can use this guide to see whether or not you are lacing your shoes as they should be.

  1. Your toes are meeting the front of your shoe which is causing your toenails to get bruised after running sessions or you’re developing hammertoes.

How To Fix: You need to remember that your feet are going to swell when you exercise and when you’re in the middle of the summer. Because of this, when you are trying on your shoes, you need to look for a minimum of a thumb’s width of space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe. This is typically the toe directly next to your biggest toe in most people. Your toes need to have plenty of room in the toe box for maximum comfort. Try extra wide shoes.

  1. The arches of your feet are sore or your Achilles is constantly sore after a long run and you even feel strain in your calf muscles.

How To Fix: One of the most common reasons for having sore arches is having a poorly aligned flex point. Whereas, shoes that have poor heel support typically lead to Achilles problems. Thus, you want to ensure that you are measuring your foot’s natural flex point accurately. The best way to do this is by getting and using a Brannock Device which is the metal measuring tool you’ll typically find at brick and mortar shoe stores. From there, you want to find the shoe’s flex point by bending the shoe. You want it to bend where your foot bends for the best fit and comfort.

  1. You’re experiencing straining or numbness on the top of your foot.

How To Fix: If you are experiencing this, it typically means that the upper portion of your shoe is too loose or too tight. You don’t want to have any gapping around the upper portion of your foot when the shoe is properly laced. The upper portion of the toe box needs to be snug, but not overly tight to the point where it’s restricting blood flow and it’s uncomfortable.

  1. You’re developing bunions or corns.

How To Fix: If you are finding that you’re developing either bunions or corns on your feet/toes, you are going to want to go up a size in terms of width for extra wide shoes visit here. It means that the toebox on your shoes is too small for your feet. When your shoe is too narrow, you are going to feel the edge of your pinky toe rubbing against the outer portion of the shoe. You want to be able to move your foot side to side when your foot is inside of it. You want to be able to pinch as much as a quarter of an inch around the widest part of your foot to give yourself ample room.

  1. Your toes are burning after a long run.

How To Fix: If you are suffering from this, you are experiencing what is known as having hot feet. This typically happens when your shoes have too stiff of a sole for you to run with. You need to identify shoes that have better cushioning for your feet.

  1. You feel stabbing sensations in your knees when you are running downhill with new shoes.

How To Fix: This is when you are suffering from IT Band syndrome. It typically happens when your tendon becomes inflamed. This can occur for various reasons, but it is typically the cause of when your gait is changing because you don’t have optimally fitted shoes. The best way to correct this is by finding new shoes that fit better.

  1. You are experiencing excruciating pain in your foot that only becomes increasingly worse when you’re active in your shoes.

How To Fix: You will find that stress fractures occur around the foot and ankle area when the muscles are weak from either repeated use or having too little use. If your shoes aren’t fitting properly and they are allowing your feet to either move too much or too little, it could cause serious problems with your bones. It will result in having too much impact which can result in stress fractures that can be debilitating and take a long time to heal.

5 Tips to Start a CBD Business: A Discussion with Joy Organics

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5 Tips to Start a CBD Business: A Discussion with Joy Organics

Over the last 5 years, the cannabis industry has really grown. This is because cannabis is now mostly used for medical treatment. A lot of studies have proven CBD oil provides several benefits to people with pain conditions and chronic conditions.

It is now the best time to start a CBD business because the number of potential customers keeps increasing every year. Starting a CBD business? It’s time to check out Joy Organics.

The value of the international cannabis industry was $9.3 billion in 2016. The value is expected to increase by 34.6% by 2025. It is now the best time to get into the industry before a lot of people get into the industry. Here are the best tips for starting your CBD business:

1. Do Proper Research

If you are thinking about starting your own CBD oil company, you may know something about cannabis and CBD oil. If you do not know anything, you might want to start there.

You need to know the laws relating to cannabis in your state to ensure you do not get into any legal troubles. You will take the same steps as those for setting up shop, including getting a license, a tax EIN, and incorporation.

2. Create a Business Plan

You must create an actionable business plan and write down your business goals. You need to include the following into your business plan:

A marketing plan, including both offline and online marketing strategies

A plan for financing your business and getting funding

Your target audience

Products and services you will provide or sell

Sales forecast with reasonable timelines and steps for reaching your goals

You can add more factors to your business plan, but the ones mentioned above are the most important.

3. Use Top Suppliers

If you decide to either distribute or manufacture CBD oil, you need to choose a legitimate supplier. You must check where potential suppliers get their CBD to ensure you are working with a reputable supplier. Suppliers used to get their CBD in Europe. However, there are more hemp growers in the US these days.

Make sure you are getting CBD oil with a certificate of analysis (COA) from your supplier. The COA confirms the purity and levels of THC, CBD, and other chemicals in the product.

4. Create a Website And Use SEO to Optimize It for Search Engines

It is difficult to succeed these days without a professional website. It is easy and secure for users to navigate a website and purchase your products through your website.

You need to pick the best website platforms for your CBD e-commerce business. Create original and useful content for your website. And use SEO to optimize your website for the search engines to increase its rankings.

5. Build and Market Your Brand

Once you build your brand, you can now market it. Make sure you can answer the questions your potential customers may have. Answering their questions can help you build your reputation since your customers will see you as a CBD authority.

Use social media to promote your brand and use your website to build an email list. You can even follow online tutorials on how to promote a small business.

Use the advice in this article to start your CBD business. However, the advice also applies to other businesses in different industries. The most important thing is to create a good business plan and build a professional website. Then, use SEO to promote your website.

If you are looking for the best business tips for boosting your revenue and making your customers happy, visit the Small Business Brief blog for the best tips for small business owners.

Author Bio: 

Robert is an MBA graduate. He loves to write about tech and marketing. In his free time, he plays football.

TIME TO GO! Emergency Prep

Posted by Felix Assivo on
TIME TO GO! Emergency Prep

Go bags.jpeg

If an emergency occurred while you were at home, work, or play, and you are forced to evacuate to another location, would you be prepared or panicked? This scenario could happen anywhere at any time.  With preparation, you will be ready to go.

A “Go Bag” is a bag filled with all the necessities you, your family, and your animals will need for one to three days. You will want to pack this emergency kit for every vehicle as well as have an additional one in your home in a closet or space closest to your exit door. The reason for keeping a “Go Bag” in your car at all times is because you may be caught in an earthquake, fire, or another disaster when you are not at home. By also keeping a “Go Bag” at home, in the event of an immediate evacuation, you will have additional reinforcements.


Here’s what you need to pack an emergency “Go Bag”

In a backpack, small suitcase, shoulder bag, or roller bag pack the following:

First Aid kit

Duplicate chargers for phones, tablets, and computers

Copies of important documents including passport, drivers license, credit cards, insurance

Work gloves

Warm gloves


Small towel

Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)

Thick Blanket

Walking shoes


Warm jacket

Peanut butter


Protein bars

Personal hygiene kit with a toothbrush, soap, medications



Flashlight and headlamp with extra batteries

Eating utensils and plates

Breathing masks (Niosh-N95)

Clothing change

Reading Glasses

Extra set of keys to home, office, etc.

Pet necessities: food, leash, medications


Toilet Paper

At your home, have a sign already made with your name, phone number, address, and the words “SAFELY EVACUATED” sitting on top of your “Go Bag” accompanied by a roll of blue painter’s tape. In an evacuation, when you exit your home, tape the sign (time permitting) to the door so the first responders will know that you have left. When told to evacuate, do so without question.  Take one vehicle to avoid clogging escape routes. Stay calm.

Other things to do in preparation for an emergency:

  • Make a rescue plan with your family and practice an evacuation.
  • Decide where you will meet up if separated and where to go in an emergency.
  • Back up important documents to the cloud or keep paper copies in a safe deposit box.
  • Get a landline phone for emergency purposes only. They work without electricity.
  • Know how to manually open automatic gates and garage doors.
  • Connect with neighbors to create a support safety team.
  • Keep your gas tank full on all vehicles.
  • Store your laptop, keys, purse, wallet, and other “must take” items in one place for swift retrieval.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts vis nixle.com and www.cwsalerts.com

Earthquakes may not provide any warning, and a devastating wildfire may give you only a minute or two to grab your family and your bag.  Natural disasters are on the rise and catastrophes can happen to you. Get ready to go!

More at: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1507/Packing-an-emergency-Go-Bag.html

©2021 Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best-selling author of several books, TV/Radio personality/producer, lecturer, columnist, enrichment coach, and Founder/Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. In her spare time, Cynthia can be found working in her garden or playing with her barnyard of adopted animals. www.CynthiaBrian.com

Listen to StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are! on the Voice America Radio Network Wednesdays 4-5pm PT LIVE or in the archives at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

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Movie Review: Launchpad

Posted by Felix Assivo on
Movie Review: Launchpad

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Launchpad is an emotional and uplifting collection of Disney short films that are great for teens and
adults. Every one of the six movies features excellent acting, impressive cinematography, great special effects and storylines with meaningful themes.

Launchpad includes six different shorts, each with its own unique plot. American Eid and The Last of the Chupacabras are both centered around religion; American Eid is about a young girl finding out she has to go to school on the Muslim holiday, Eid. The Last of the Chupacabras  is about a lone Mexican-American trying to keep her culture alive. Growing Fangs is a fantasy about a half-human/half-vampire trying to hide her identity from both worlds. Let’s Be Tigers is about a young girl, Avalon (Otmara Marrero) trying to process the loss of her mother while she is babysitting for a 4-year-old. Dinner Is Served follows a Chinese student trying out for the top position at a fancy restaurant. The Little Prince(ss) is a story about a young boy who loves ballet and whose best friend’s dad comes to talk to his parents about his “girlish behavior.”

With emotional and deep storylines, these short films need great acting to convey the strong messages of the films. These actors deliver. Every character is portrayed by a passionate actor that deeply understands their character and performs with passion. Even for films with no dialogue, you can understand what they are thinking and feeling. Otmara Marrero who plays Avalon in Let’s Be Tigers, delivers an unforgettable performance as such a sorrowful character. The change as she plays with Noah (Dash McCloud) is visible as the film develops. In American Eid, Jenna Qureshi, who plays Ameena’s older sister, Zainab, also delivers a stunning performance, making her teenage, trying-to-be-cool character relatable in every way. The cinematography is equally excellent. The special effects in the fantasy films are wonderful, particularly in Growing Fangs with its vampire effects. Magic is the main component in this one, but there are other effects as well. The stories are all well-written. Some of the shorts are heart-breaking and emotional, while others are more uplifting and creative. There’s a variety of wonderful ideas spread throughout.

These shorts have many themes, some overlapping others. A central point for all of them, is to recognize other people for what they are, not for how they appear.

I give Launchpad 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. Launchpad can be viewed on Disney Plus beginning May 28, 2021.

Movie Review: Cruella * A Very Audacious Take For A Disney Movie – Bold, Strong, Raw And Filled With Creativity

Posted by Felix Assivo on
Movie Review: Cruella * A Very Audacious Take For A Disney Movie – Bold, Strong, Raw And Filled With Creativity

Before she becomes Cruella de Vil? Teenaged Estella has a dream. She wishes to become a fashion designer, having been gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition all in equal measures. But life seems intent on making sure her dreams never come true. Having wound up penniless and orphaned in London at 12, four years later Estella runs wild through the city streets with her best friends and partners-in-(petty)-crime, Horace and Jasper, two amateur thieves. When a chance encounter vaults Estella into the world of the young rich and famous, she begins to question the existence she’s built for herself in London and wonders whether she might be destined for more after all. When an up-and-coming rock star commissions Estella to design him a signature piece, she begins to feel as though she has truly arrived. But what is the cost of keeping up with the fast crowd- and is it a price Estella is willing to pay? KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “Cruella, the film, is a very audacious take for a Disney movie. It is bold, strong, raw, and at the same time flourishing with creativity and joyful to watch. The acting is superb and all aspects of production—costumes, locations, art and design—are on point. Last but not least, the soundtrack is definitively one to remember.” Tiana S. adds, “The message of this film is that sometimes the worst memories are the ones that have the greatest impact on your life. In this film, Estella experiences different events in her life that would break the typical person, but it led to her experiencing some of the greater moments of her life, such as meeting Jasper and Horace or having a chance make clothing.” See their full reviews and interview below.

Cruella By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Cruella, the film,is a very audacious take for a Disney movie. It is bold, strong, raw, and at the same time flourishing with creativity and joyful to watch. The acting is superb and all aspects of production—costumes, locations, art and design—are on point. Last but not least, the soundtrack is definitively one to remember.

This origin story tells how the well-known villain from the original book and subsequent animated movie The Hundred and One Dalmatians becomes Cruella. Sadly, it takes bullying, cruelty and hate to turn a wonderful character to evil. In Cruella we see a young Estella (Tipper Steifert-Cleveland) surviving as an orphan, struggling to create a family with two boys she meets on the street, along with the noble company of two dogs that are humans’ best friends. This is one of the aspects I love about Cruella: despite that Cruella de Vil is well known for animal cruelty, this movie honors dogs by having two canines, Buddy and Blink, as important cast members.

Tipper Steifert-Cleveland’s performance is the perfect predecessor to the stunning grown-up Estella (Emma Stone) to shine in a multi-layered character. We see how 12-year-old Estella is bullied at school which is one of the most important messages of the movie to its younger audience, showing how people that surround you can hurt you when your appearance doesn’t match what they see as “normal.” As Estella, Emma Stone is full of creativity and ideals and an absolute survivor. She’s a hard worker who’s determined to make her dreams come to life. We see her cleaning floors and toilets at the iconic fashion store Liberty of London, pursuing a career in fashion design—but society sabotages her plans.

The Baroness (Emma Thompson) is despicable and charming at the same time. Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser play Jasper and Horace, respectively; little thieves that show unconditional love to Estella and are literally partners in crime. John the Valet (Mark Strong), besides being perfectly cast, should have had more presence in the storyline since he could have brought more humanity and hope to the film. My favorite part? The music, brilliantly composed by Nicholas Britell to match the narration and the era. And the visuals and cinematography are just stunning.

The story of Cruella is fascinating, but my only issue is how long the storytelling takes, including scenes that could have been edited out. At times, there are a couple instances of self-explanatory dialogue related to the turning point in the story: the world is cruel, making Estella become the meanest villain in response. Ultimately, the message of the film is that environment, nature and nurture play a decisive role in one’s being and in our role in society.

I give Cruella 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 13 to 18, plus adults. There are some mildly violent scenes and themes that can be inappropriate for the very young. Cruella opens May 28, 2021 in theaters and on digital platforms.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Cruella is an all-new, live-action feature film that is fashion-forward and villainous! The fashion and soundtrack really help drive the film. The camerawork is astonishing and connects you to the protagonist’s journey.

Based on the novel The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, Cruella takes you on the journey of how the most fashionable villain goes from being a mischievous, rebellious and fashionable young girl (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland) to becoming Cruella De Vil (Emma Stone). After suffering a great loss, Estella meets two young homeless thieves, Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and they instantly become family. Estella uses her fashion sense to design costumes to allow them to run scams to survive. Then, she gets the job of a lifetime, creating outfits for the chic, terrifying fashion legend, the Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson). After a revelation connecting the Baroness to a horrific event from her childhood, Estella seeks revenge and gets a chance to let out her inner “Cruella.”

The main characters in this film are Estella/Cruella de Vil, the Baroness von Hellman, Jasper, Horace, Anita Darling (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and Mark Strong (John the Valet). Cruella is narrated by none other than Cruella herself and is set in 1970s London during the punk rock revolution. The camera techniques used are sensational; at times they make you feel like you are walking with the characters. The party scenes stay true to the red, black and white color pallet Cruella is known to wear. My favorite part is when the rebellious Cruella goes to a black and white ball wearing an all-white outfit and drops a match on it. The dress burns up and reveals a red dress underneath. It is also remarkable how costume designer, Jenny Beavan up-cycled materials, such as trash, and uses the infamous Dalmatian pattern, to create Cruella’s outfits.

The message of this film is that sometimes the worst memories are the ones that have the greatest impact on your life. In this film, Estella experiences different events in her life that would break the typical person, but it led to her experiencing some of the greater moments of her life, such as meeting Jasper and Horace or having a chance make clothing. The only parent warning I have is a short scene where Estella is drinking.

I rate Cruella 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18; adults are sure to love it too. Cruella releases simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on Friday, May 28, 2021.

Key words: Craig Gillespie, Dana Fox, Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, John McCrea, Emily Beecham, mark Strong, Kayvan Novak, Kirby Howell Baptiste, Jamie Demetriou, Niamh Lunch, Andres Leung, Ed Birch, Disney, Cruella de Ville, Disney +, Disney Plus

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