Guest Post: Cyber Monday: What to Buy & How to Save


Andrea Woroch

While Black Friday gets all the headlines, Cyber Monday quietly steals the show as the biggest online shopping day of the year. In 2014, the event pulled in over $2 billion in e-sales and became the heaviest day of online spending in history. Comparatively, Black Friday pulled in 30-percent less in online sales last year.

With an overwhelming number of online deals, knowing where to find the best prices and tracking hourly sales is tricky. Here are some tips to get the most use from your digital dollar.

Best Cyber Monday Buys
  • Apparel: Look for free shipping offers plus site-wide savings of up to 60 percent from a host of apparel brands including Express, Carter's, Joe's Jeans, Kenneth Cole, J. Jill and more.
  • Shoes: Like apparel, shoes are a popular Cyber Monday deal with stores like Famous Footwear offering the deepest discounts of the year. Look for free delivery as well as BOGO savings from online shoe stores.
  • Toys: Experts agree toys are a better buy after Black Friday, with brands like Mattel and Fisher-Price offering delivery deals and site-wide sales of up to 30-percent off.
  • Beauty Products: Stock up on cosmetics and skincare items at a discount for yourself and as gifts. In addition to deals from specialty retailers like Sephora and Ulta, look for savings from specific beauty brands like Clinique.
  • Travel: An oft-overlooked deal on Cyber Monday, hotels, airlines, booking sites and other travel companies woo customers with discounts. For example, Starwood Hotels and Resorts is already offering savings of up to 50 percent on over 1,00 properties (blackout dates apply), while Red Roof Inn is offering up to 30-percent off stays through March 31, 2016.
Cyber Monday Shopping Tips
  • Shop Safe: Never use public Wifi for online shopping as hackers can easily steal your payment info. Check the reputability of the sites you're shopping with at or
  • Take Advantage of Early Savings: Walmart is launching its Cyber Monday deals starting at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 29, while Target is continuing its 10 Days of Deals through Dec. 1. Start browsing on Sunday and snag early-bird deals. Plus, fill up your cart with coveted items and store payment info for quick checkout.
  • Know Price Histories: Like brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers will often inflate the original cost of an item to make their CyberMonday discount seem like a steal. Use to ensure you're getting a good deal, and try for price histories of products sold by Amazon.
  • Compare Offers: Find a comprehensive list of Cyber Monday deals and promo codes at sites like which aggregates top deals all in one spot for fast reference.
  • Think Fast with Doorbusters: If you've got an online doorbuster on your list, don't let it languish in your shopping cart while you browse for other products. It might be gone when you're ready to check out. Buy it immediately, then head back to shop for other items.
  • Review Return Policies: Review return policies so there's no surprise fees if you're dissatisfied with a purchase. You can snag free return shipping when you checkout with your PayPal account, or enjoy a no-risk money guarantee plus free shipping both ways from eBay.

Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more. In addition, Andrea's stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance,, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea's demo reel or visit her website at for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily money tips.

Chloe and Isabel Boutique Special

I have been selling Chloe and Isabel for almost a year now.  I love it.  Their jewelry is fantastic!  I'm very picky about my jewelry, so when I saw Chloe and Isabel, I was excited because it is LIFETIME GUARANTEED and Nickel free!  In future posts, I will be highlighting some of my favorite C + I jewelry pieces.  

I want to offer special deal to you.  Send me an email in hosting a popup in October.  You will love the experience!

How to develop your leadership skills

Could the secret to business and leadership success stem from something as simple as developing a peaceful core?

After suffering a massive stroke that nearly killed him, John Addison, president and CEO of Addison Leadership Group and former co-CEO of Primerica, realized that the power of positive thinking basically saved his life. For John, a peaceful core is the place inside each of us where we can celebrate all the things about ourselves that is great, completely accept all our imperfections, and where we can totally focus on the positive.

With more than 25 years of leadership and personal development experience, John can help guide your readers to find their own peaceful core, including tips/advice such as:

John Addison is the president and CEO of Addison Leadership Group after having served as the Co-CEO of Primerica, Inc. from 1999 to 2015.  During his more than 25-year tenure at Primerica, Addison rose in management and was critical to steering the company through many changes including the company’s separation from Citigroup in 2009, which resulted in one of the most successful IPOs of the decade.  A world-class speaker and motivator, Addison shares his business acumen and leadership insights through speaking engagements, consulting opportunities and an upcoming book (February 2016).

Enjoy the interview on leadership and developing a peaceful core.

Faten Abdallah (FA): Define leader and leadership.
John Addison (JA): Leadership is having the courage to live your true life—the one you were put here to live—and to do it in a way that makes the world a better place than it was before you got here. Great leadership, the kind of leadership that endures, doesn’t spring up all at once, fully formed, out of nowhere. Great leadership emerges over time as an expression of who you are and what you do every day. More than anything, it takes shape as a result of everyday practice.

From my perspective, a leader is a lighthouse, not a weathervane. Lighthouses are needed when it’s stormy and foggy to provide ships a safe way home. Similarly, a leader shines when times are tough. In addition, a cornerstone of being a leader is that people know what you stand for. After a while, people will know and anticipate how a leader will react without even asking. Leaders have a consistency to their approach, effort, and values. While there are clearly different styles of leadership, the one thing they have in common is they are a rock – a person others can count on.

FA: What percentage of men and women are in leadership positions?
JA: When it comes to men and women in leadership positions, too often people think leadership is related to a job and title. I think it is more important to realize that being a leader doesn’t necessarily have anything to do this at all. For me, my mother was by far the most important and influential leader in my life, but she was never in a VP position. She did, however, influence and inspire everyone she came in contact with in her life within our community and family. She provided a great example of how I wanted to present myself and interact with people.

From my experience in life, typically women are better than men at the kind of leadership I talk about and admire.  By nature, women tend to be programmed to be better leaders than men. Perhaps this is because women tend to be more empathetic and are better listeners than broadcasters, while men tend to be a lot more vocal – which sometimes can be mistaken for leadership!

And also to note, even if you’re not leading other people, hopefully you’re leading yourself!

FA: What are some myths about leadership?
JA: Many don’t realize, but leadership is pretty much timeless. It boils down to the ability to convince people of the right answer, to be someone who can inspire and show them the right direction to go in. The founding fathers persuaded people to have a rebellion through courage and inspiration. Today, however, many times leadership is style over substance, such as how politicians just react and respond to recent polls vs. real actions and events.

FA: Are leaders born naturally or trained? 
JA: We are all born with certain skills that can be developed into skill sets for leadership, such as the ability to communicate and speak in front of people. The world is full of great communicators who aren’t great leaders, as well as others who are nervous in front of a microphone but are exceptional leaders. Overtime, you learn what it takes to be an effective leader and how you allow your internal character to develop in life. The number one criterion a leader needs is character. Today, however, our society tends to value style over substance. Many historical leaders would probably be disregarded if they were in the running today – such as based on their looks or speaking voice. Real leadership, however, is about being the type of person people want to follow and these are traits we learn throughout life.

FA: What are some key areas one can strengthen their leadership skills?
JA: Authenticity and empathy are basic leadership traits. They each help people to first trust and then like you. Very few people will follow someone they don’t trust and like. In addition, key ways I suggest to strengthen leadership include:
-          Turn off the TV – the power of disassociation is more powerful than power of association
-          Read books, especially a biography of a great leader – read about people who made a difference in their life and overcame adversity (i.e., Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt)
-          Actually talk to people – learn to communicate in the real sense–not just through a text—and  actually show interest in people
-          “Unplug” – in the sense that your life shouldn’t be controlled by the news and technology 24/7. Get off the internet and look up from your phone; learn to have depth to what you believe

People need to have a conversation with others to actually develop speaking skills. I am always shocked how out of touch people seem to be. I am in the airport all the time traveling, and 9 out of 10 times I see someone under 40 with ear buds in their ears and tapping away at their phones or computers. They are surrounded by people but interacting with no one in person.

In addition, as the power of persuasion is going away, if someone has the ability to persuade people they will be ahead of the game in the long run. The world is rapidly changing and there is no doubt that technology has made how things are done dramatically different, so you have to be quicker, smarter, and more adaptable to excel.

FA: List resources where people can learn about leadership.
JA: While it can be destructive, the internet is equally powerful, as it is a wealth of resources. I would advise people looking to learn about leadership to find someone you admire who did something – someone who actually overcame great odds and achieved something – and then research them. Really immerse yourself in who they are; read about them, look at their quotes, discover what they stood for. Then, “copy” their style but adapt it to make it work for you and who you are.

You can find John Addison: 

-          John Addison, president and CEO of Addison Leadership Group and former co-CEO of Primerica
-          Website:
-          Twitter: @JohnAddisonGA
-          Facebook: JohnAddisonLeadership

Guest Post: How to Establish Emergency Savings During Market Uncertainty


Andrea Woroch

Wall Street sustained a major plunge after China's Black Monday spread stock market fears worldwide on August 24, but experts advise consumers to treat the bounce back with caution. Ups and downs in the economic and industry cycles are unavoidable, and with 47% of Americans admitting they have little to no savingsthere is no better time than now to establish and build an emergency fund.

Nothing can prepare you for a recession or layoff, but money to cover your expenses can help lessen the blow to your budget! Here are 6 tips for creating a cushion to give you peace of mind in these unpredictable times.

1. Track living expenses.
If you don't know how much you spend each month on the necessities, you can't plan accordingly. Track your spending for one to three months (use an app like Mint for help) to determine how much money goes toward essentials like mortgage or rent, insurance, food, transportation and utilities. Estimate the monthly average and multiply it by six or nine; this will give you the amount of cash you need to cover your bills for six to nine months.

2. Set a savings goal and plan.
Stashing away extra cash for living expenses will take time. In fact, you may feel discouraged after calculating the total amount you'd like to put aside, since it may seem like an impossible goal. To combat this, devise a savings plan with specific steps to help you reach that target figure, which may include cutting back on Saturday night dinner dates and saving a set amount of money each month.

3. Treat emergency funds as a bill.
When you're saving for an emergency fund, the goal may be hard to stick to without looming due dates, interest rates or late fees forcing you to pay up. Since there's no immediate or obvious repercussion for missing your savings goal each month, it's important to treat it like a bill. Better yet, automate the savings by setting up a weekly or monthly transfer of funds between your checking account and the emergency fund.

4. Slash everyday expenses.
Look for ways to slash your everyday expenses so you can reach your goal faster. For example, you can carpool or take public transportation to cut down on fuel costs. Instead of relying on takeout during the week, prep meals on the weekends and freeze them for quick access on weeknights. You can also try budget hacking, or the process of reducing your fixed expenses by calling up providers and requesting discounts or reduced payments on such things as car insurance, mobile plan costs and cable TV.

5. Get savvier with spending.
Cutting back on your discretionary spending can feel rough at times and can lead to burnout and goal abandonment. To avoid this, find savvy ways to curb your spending without cutting out all the fun. For example, tools like the Coupon Sherpa mobile app offer instant discounts to retail, restaurant and local service establishments. Currently, you can save up to 20% off your check from Olive Garden, or use a Macy's coupon for an extra 20% off sale and clearance items.

6. Diversify income.
Expanding your income stream will provide protection against the inevitable swings of the economic cycles. Plus, the extra money earned can be used to boost your savings budget and possibly set you up for a new career. Whether you want to turn a passion into a side job or believe your professional skills can help individuals or small businesses through consulting, check out and Fiverr to start the process. If nothing comes to mind, tap into where you can help other people with their errands during your spare time for a small fee. 

Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes and many more. For more information, visit or follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

Friday Feature: Meet Tina Aldatz

According to the Small Business Administration, about half of all new establishments survive five years or more and only one-third survives 10 years or more. One success story is the business of Foot Petals, founded by successful Latina entrepreneur Tina Aldatz. Sharing her success secrets, Aldatz announced the nationwide release of her new autobiography, “From Stilettos to the Stock Exchange,” a compelling and heartwarming story of success against all odds.

Aldatz made her mark on the world as a self-starting entrepreneur and founder of Foot Petals, the revolutionary line of designer insole cushions for women’s high heels. Derived from a severe burn injury on both her feet as a child, Tina created Foot Petals to help fill a gap in the market for women’s high-heeled foot support. Through her strength and tenacity, Foot Petals became a successful multi-million dollar company recognized by Inc. 500 as one of the “500 fastest growing companies in America.” She has also been featured in Forbes Magazine as an “entrepreneur to watch” and was honored to become the 2011 National Latina Business Women Association’s (NLBWA) “Business Woman of the Year.”

Meet Tina Aldatz, a sucessful Latina Entrepreneur.

Faten Abdallah (FA): What was your life like growing up?
Tina Aldatz (TA):  My childhood was full of socio-economical challenges, including being a pediatric burn survivor and a victim of domestic and child abuse.  My past experiences taught me to chose to be opportunistic rather than a victim. I do not let me circumstances define me, I believe in the American Dream. 

FA: As a minority in the US, what kinds of challenges have you faced? 
TA: I have faced challenges being a minority as both a woman and Hispanic. As a half-Mexican and half-Irish descendant, I witnessed racial discrimination from both sides – but it also allowed me to conveniently “blend in” to whichever culture I was immersed in. I have always related more to my Mexican roots, being a Republican has helped me to navigate political and social activism – I like being a voice for immigrants, like my grandmother from Mexico, who sought new opportunities in the United States. 

FA: What made you want to be an entrepreneur? 
TA: I am a creative person by nature and I was disenchanted by the traditional love, marriage, family at a young age…so I dreamed of a world where I could be a “business woman,” perhaps seeking to control my environment and the impact it has on others.

FA: What advice do you have for females of color who to become entrepreneurs?
TA:  I advise joining groups and organizations with like-minded people – it has been a long time tried and true business strategy formerly known as the “good ol’ boys’ club.” 

FA: You run a business with your best friend.  How do you keep the professional and personal boundaries separate?
TA: We don’t – we crack each other up so much – sometimes we are like two laughing hyenas while the younger associates keep it buttoned up – but really it comes from a place of total respect. Her qualities are very different from mine. We know what we are good at, but more importantly, we know what we are not good at and that simple equation allows us to sit back and let expert drive.  

FA: Anything else you would like to add? 
TA:  Dedicated to overall travel wellness while offering lifestyle components for both personal and surface use. Savvy Travelers high performance products are individually packed in a disposable sheet form that remove 99% of surface contaminationProudly made in California, Savvy Travelers' line of convenient, single-use, eco-friendly, disposable products help consumers carry all of their must-haves while they travel for a healthy, easy, on-the-go experience. Keeping travelers healthy for all their destinations! Follow @Savvy_Travelers on social media and like us on Facebook.

AMERICAN MASTERS | The Women's List Trailer | PBS

Meet 15 women who have created and defined contemporary American culture in the newest chapter of filmmaker/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' List film series (The Boomer List, The Black ListThe Latino List, The Out List), American Masters: The Women's List, premiering nationwide Friday, September 25, 9-10 p.m., on PBS (check local listings) and available the same day on DVD via Perfect Day Films Inc.

This documentary features intimate interviews with Madeleine Albright, Gloria Allred, Laurie Anderson, Sara Blakely, Margaret Cho, Edie Falco, Elizabeth Holmes, Betsey Johnson, Alicia Keys, Aimee Mullins, Nancy Pelosi, Rosie Perez, Shonda Rhimes, Wendy Williams and Nia Wordlaw. All trailblazers in their respective fields, these women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard and their influence felt.  Toni Morrison opens the film with a reading of an introduction she wrote specifically for the film. 

Recipe: Coco Joy’s Coconut Water Smoothie

Coco Joy offers a variety of all-natural coconut products including: Premium Classic and Flavored Coconut Waters (Watermelon, Strawberry, Pineapple, Banana), Flavored Coconut Water for Kids (Banana and Strawberry), and Natural and Flavored Coconut Milks (Chocolate, Coffee, Banana)Coco Joy’s products are never made from concentrate and are derived purely from fresh coconuts.

Enjoy the yummy Coco Joy's Coconut Water Smoothie.

1 cup Coco Joy Coconut Water
¼ cucumber, or 1 small cucumber
1 cup kale leaves, large
2 to 3 mint leaves
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 banana
1 cup ice *optional, if your banana is frozen
½ tbsp honey

1) Combine all ingredients into a blender
2) Blend until smooth, pour into a cup and enjoy!


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