4 Fun Ways to Take a Home Sports Viewing Party to New Heights

There’s nothing better than having all your favorite people over to watch a sporting event together. No matter the sport, team, or event – be it a random NBA game, the Super Bowl, or March Madness – there’s just something fun and relaxing about watching with your own crowd. And you can make the experience even better by shaking things up a bit, and upping your watch party preparation to include more than chips, dip, and beer.
Amp Up the Eats

Chips and salsa may be easy to dump into a bowl when company’s coming, but it’s usually nothing special. And if it’s become a common staple at watch parties, it’s time to try something else anyway! One way to spice it up (pun fully intended) is to try a nacho-style fondue station. You can add something like Ro-Tel dip to the cheese if you want it to be hotter, and then give guests dipping choices besides tortilla chips. Add in extras like pretzels, bite-size sausages, or even french fries. It’s basically the ideal snack station, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, and everyone will wind up satisfied.

Have An In-House Betting Pool

If you and your friends are all into it, you can certainly have fun getting your own game going while you watch whatever event is on TV. Online sports bookie sites are becoming more readily available and more user-accessible than ever before, which in turn means more people are becoming familiar with the ins and outs of betting (in terms of how to read odds, which tips to trust, etc.). You might all simply place bets together at one of these sites, but you could also use them as a basis to set up your own, in-house betting pool. And really, it doesn’t even have to involve money. Betting candies, gift cards, or anything else fun and innocent can be a great way to give everyone a stake in the action. And for that matter, if you have regular watch parties, you could even organize season-long betting pools!

Watch Outside

Another very fun way to spice up a watch party is to structure it like your own home tailgate, no matter the season. You can get some lawn games going, set up a tent outside, and move a TV out under the shade if it’s super hot – or put the TV in the garage and set up heaters if it’s a cold fall day. Supply extra jackets or mittens for your guests, and even a hot coffee, hot chocolate and/or cider station. (If you’re feeling extra festive, add single shots of whiskey to make those hot drinks even more delicious.) Whatever the case, you can set up a grill outside, embrace the elements, and make whatever you’re watching the game with that much more satisfying in the process – be it a cool beer on a hot day or a piping-hot burger in a chilly garage.

Go Virtual

While watching at home generally gives you a better view than nosebleed seats at the stadium, there is now a way to get an even better angle. Watching a game through a VR headset is becoming an option, and allows you to enjoy the best seats in the house even though you’re at home. Not all leagues and games facilitate the option yet, but if it is an option, your friends might love getting in on the action together. Granted, it takes a little bit of the communal fun out of things, in theory, but particularly while it’s still aa novelty, we don’t think that will be a problem. It will be a blast to sit and talk with friends on comfortable couches while all enjoying first-person stadium views together.

You can always find fun ways to change up watch parties according to your personal interests and those of your friends as well. Maybe there’s something you all like to eat or drink every time, or maybe you have your own sort of betting or fantasy side game to go along with the action. But for more general ideas that anyone can try, the above options can make watching sports with the gang more fun than ever.

Pumpkin Spice Latte, Fresh, Organic & Made From Scratch

Want to spice up your fall? Ditch the hot chocolate and keep warm with the delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte. Created by Hudson Tea House & Co.’s Executive Chef, Becky Geisel!

A tasty, organic & healthy fall treat is just what we’ve been waiting for. Made with a  mixture of fresh and homemade ingredients, topped off with a sweet dollop of whipped cream and nutmeg, it’s safe to say your favorite fall indulgence is finally here!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Makes 2 cups

2 cups of 2% milk or homemade Almond Milk*
3T of fresh Pumpkin Puree*
2T maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
½ vanilla bean
 1 1” ginger knob cut in half
2 whole cloves
¼ tsp of fresh nutmeg
2 shots of espresso (or strong coffee)
Add milk (your choice 2% or almond), homemade pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, ginger, ½ vanilla bean, cloves + nutmeg to sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer.  DO NOT BOIL.  Allow the milk and other ingredients to simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend together.  
Remove from heat and strain into another sauce pan. Discard solids.  Bring milk back up to a simmer.  Again do not boil or the milk will burn.  Now with a balloon whisk, froth the milk on the stove. It usually takes me about 1-2 minutes of whisking to triple the volume of milk.  It should triple in volume.  Remove from heat.
Make your espresso shot.  
Add your espresso to your favorite mug.  Top with your frothed spiced pumpkin deliciousness. Spoon the froth carefully into your mug and then top with a pinch of fresh nutmeg. Or if you would like to indulge add a dollop of whip cream. Makes 2 cups, Enjoy!

New York Based Accessories Atelier Partners with Nigerian Artisans to Create One-of-a-Kind Fashion Pieces

Uchenna and Chioma

Uchenna and Chioma

Cee Cee’s Closet NYC was created by Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo in New York City. This sister duo created an adage to their West African roots by crafting unique accessories with prints relevant to their cultural background. Each product is designed by the Ngwudo sisters and then handmade in Nigeria by female tailors and artisans. Their fair trade goods include headwraps, handbags, jewelry, and clothing pieces.

“Having our accessories made in Nigeria allows Cee Cee’s Closet NYC to have a transformative impact on the lives of our artisan partners,” states the Ngwudo sisters. “ This project is dedicated to our amazing parents, aunts, friends, and all women who boldly decide to pursue their passions.”

The vision of Cee Cee’s Closet NYC  was manifested during a trip to Nigeria. They were inspired by the expertly crafted garments and accessories they saw in the marketplace and decided to bring a piece of Africa back to Brooklyn. Seeing the demand for the authentic pieces, the sisters launched Cee Cee’s Closet NYC in 2015, and it has quickly morphed into the go to destination for fashionable women who love to add meaningful color to their looks with a pop of West African prints. Their brand has grown in popularity in the states, all while having a positive economic impact on Nigeria.

The Ngwudo sisters’ approach to African prints is creating attention-grabbing pieces that fit seamlessly into your closet. They give the fashionable woman an assortment of products that are well priced and perfect for both everyday wear and special occasions.

You can join #TeamCeeCee by visiting their website www.ceeceesclosetnyc.com. To interview the sisters, contact their publicist Demia, Owner, and Director of The Couture Agencydemia@thecoutureagency.com.  

Featuring Supermodel Camerone Parker McCulloch in Our 8th Anniversary Edition of InFluential Magazine

Former FORD supermodel and actress, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and radio host, Camerone Parker, has emerged as the leading powerful celebrity voice in patient advocacy for multiple sclerosis (MS) and treatment. Today, she delights audiences nationwide as a highly in-demand speaker, sharing her unbelievable story of being diagnosed with MS and hiding the disease in a highly competitive world of international fashion so she could earn money to pay for treatment.

Having been featured throughout her storied modeling career in over 350 magazines around the world, the former face of Olay has walked the runways for designers like Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, and Bagley Mischka, to name a few. She’s been seen on billboards around the country for brands like Ralph Lauren POLO and has made appearances on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, The View, and more. But while she’s lived a very public life, she’s guarded quite the secret.

Parker’s story is one of trepidation, strength, and determination.  She’s lives her life in a manner best for her; with no apologies.  I’m thrilled to share our candid and honest conversation. Hopefully, you’ll come away as awe inspired as I was after learning her fascinating story.

We proudly invite you into our 8th Anniversary Edition to learn more about Camerone in an interview written and conducted by our Founder & Publisher William Jackson.

Photo credits are as follows:

PHOTO: Robert Kazandjian


BALL SKIRT: Check Please! Silk Dupioni by Peach Carr | Peach Carr Designs

TOP: Black Silk Turtleneck by Cop Copine

FEATHER BELT: Emil Gampe | EMIL Couture

10 Common CV Mistakes You Should Avoid

Written by Ben Fielding, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

  1. Poor Spelling and Grammar

Poor spelling and grammar can make or break your chances of landing the job. This is probably the most common mistakes people make in their CV. Everyone makes mistakes right? Well, that might be okay if you didn’t list yourself as a perfectionist 2 minutes later.

A few examples you should avoid at all costs;

  • Their vs. They’re vs. There
  • Accept vs. Except
  • Calendar vs. Calendar
  • Than vs. Then
  • Affect vs. Effect

Before printing or sending your CV to any potential roles you’re applying to, ensure you proofread it. If you’re using spellcheck on your PC, ensure the language is set to the correct version (US English vs. UK English).

Potential Damage Rating: 5/5

  1. Lacking Details

Now I know we said there’s no set limit to the length of a CV, and that’s true there really isn’t. However, you should always ensure you’re including enough detail in your CV and cover letter. If you’re describing a past role and how you were able to achieve a goal, you should probably be writing more than two sentences. Recruiters will often scan your CV and then jump right to your previous role to see what you’ve been working on, so make sure you spend some time and effort when writing your CV – It could be the difference between being hired or not.

Potential Damage Rating: 5/5 

  1. Not Tailoring your Application

While having a general version of your CV is a great idea, as it allows you to jump in and make small changes when needed. Sending the same CV to multiple different job roles isn’t so great. This is because you should be personalising your CV to fit the vacancy and job role you’re applying for. Your proficiency with Microsoft Word isn’t very good when you’re applying to become a veterinarian.

Potential Damage Rating: 5/5

  1. Becoming a Cliché

Imagine you’re receiving a CV from someone applying for a role you need filling, what are some of the first things you think you might see on their CV? Do “Strong work ethic”, “able to work well as part of a team” or “can-do attitude” come to mind?

Your CV should focus on FACTS, like skills or achievements you have, while avoiding general cliches that everybody uses. “Works well in a team” is great, but it’s so cliche and tells your potential employer nothing about yourself. Instead of being generic and using cliches that everyone can use, focus on what it is you’ve actually done for your employer and how that’s been a benefit for your team/company. “Worked alongside colleagues to increase sales by 46% by implementing…”. This way, you’re telling them that you’ve worked as part of a team successfully in order to achieve a personal goal or target.

Potential Damage Rating: 4/5 

  1. Poor Formatting

A poorly formatted CV is a huge turn-off, the whole idea of a CV is to be concise. It’s claimed that recruiters spend an average of 5-7 seconds looking at your CV (theundercoverrecruiter.com), meaning yours needs to make an impression.

Keep the formatting of your CV simple and easy to read – if you’re using a CV template, try to choose one that, while looking great, is uncluttered. Avoid using complicated layouts, fonts and sizing – Unless of course designing things is part of your job, then you might have a little more freedom to spice things up and showcase that artistic ability.

Damage Rating: 3/5 

  1. Wild Claims

We’ve already touched on it once, but your CV should be focused on facts about you, your life and your achievements. While claiming your “the best salesperson in the World” is great, and you really could be, it’s a silly claim. You have no proof, and you’re likely never going to get any proof. Use facts and real examples of your success within a business and the results you achieved to prove your value to employers.

Potential Damage Rating: 3/5 

  1. You’re Not Writing a Novel

While the idea of a CV is to let your employer know all about you, your strengths, weaknesses and hobbies etc. You shouldn’t go overkill. You don’t need to write a 12 page CV, with a 4-page cover letter. You’re applying for a job not writing your autobiography.

While there’s no set limit on the length of a CV, one page is usually more than enough for a new graduate or someone with limited job history, with a two page CV being about average in length.

Potential Damage Rating: 2/5

  1. Ridiculous Email Address

We’ve all been young. We’ve all created a crazy email address or two. However, you’re not young now, you’re applying for a job at a real-world business in order to earn money and start your life. Email addresses like “ItzYaBoiDan@gmail.com” should never be put on your CV, if that’s really your only email address…. Make a new one for job hunting and more professional circumstances.

Potential Damage Rating: 2/5 

  1. Poor File Naming

This one is pretty harmless, but it’s more about presentation and appearing organised and collected. If you’re sending your CV to someone online, just rename the file to something simple like “Dylan Twisterfield CV” instead of “Dylan CV – Final Copy (READ)”. This just makes you look unorganised and rushed.

Potential Damage Rating: 1/5 

  1. Focusing on Duties Rather than Achievements

The idea of a CV is to show yourself off to your potential employer, not let them know the job description of your previous job role. While the things you did in your previous job role are important, you should be focusing on what you achieved during the role, instead of what you did.

Think about new procedures you helped to implement, sales increases drive by you, any measurable KPI’s you might have hit etc. Try to show off reasons and examples of why you should be hired and what you can bring to your new employer.

Potential Damage Rating: 1/5

This post was written by Ben Fielding on behalf of Amber Jack the global experts in future talent and volume recruitment outsourcing, technology and assessment.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya Launches Daily Happy Hour Starting Tuesday, October 1

Photography courtesy of Julia Keim.

Acclaimed Texas-influenced Japanese izakaya Kemuri Tatsu-Ya is excited to announce the launch of daily happy hour, beginning Tuesday, October 1. Happy hour specials will be available every day from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. throughout the restaurant, and reservations via Resy are highly encouraged, although walk-ins are always welcome. 

The happy hour menu will feature a mix of Kemuri favorites and new additions, all at discounted prices. Classics added to the happy hour lineup include skewers like chicken thighs & scallions, Kurobuta pork belly, and head-on prawn, as well as the three-pickle plate, chicken karaage, and the crispy onigiri. Kemuri will also add new menu items available only during happy hour, like the Niku Dango skewer — Japanese meatballs in sweet soy sauce, pork croquette with braised pork, kewpie mayo, negi and bonito, and a rotating chef’s choice steamed bun.

Kemuri will also have specials on Kirin Ichiban lager, by the glass or pitcher, and new cocktails to complement the happy hour bites. Drinks include the Gold Rush with Kikusui Funaguchi Nama sake, brandy, honey syrup, bitters, and citrus; the Yopun-ki made with junmai sake, yaupon tea, Thai basil falernum, and citrus; or the Snow Plane with nigori, aperol, loquat syrup, bitters, and citrus.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya is open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.kemuri-tatsuya.com

Ethnic Dishes to Celebrate Diversity

Incorporating the tastes and traditions of Hispanic-style cuisine into at-home meals is as simple as choosing your favorites, preparing with quality, authentic ingredients and watching your family devour them.

If you’re looking to elevate your dishes with new flavors, Hispanic Heritage Month is a perfect time to experiment with recipes celebrating and inspired by classics, like Cuban Sandwiches or creamy Rajas con Crema. Made with dairy products from California, the nation’s leading producer of Hispanic-style cheeses and crema, these easy-to-make meals provide loved ones with a cultural dinner experience.

Visit realcaliforniamilk.com for more ways to add ethnic inspiration to your family meals and to find a variety of products with the Real California Milk seal at a supermarket near you.

Cuban Sandwiches

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 4          teaspoons Real California butter, softened, divided
  • 4          telera breads or French rolls, split
  • 8          teaspoons mustard
  • 24        thin slices smoked ham
  • 3          large dill pickles, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2    pounds roast pork, sliced
  • 4          slices (6 ounces) Real California Hispanic-Style Manchego cheese
  1. Spread 1/2 teaspoon butter on outside of bottom halves of each roll, arranging buttered side down on work surface. Top each with mustard, ham, pickles, pork and one slice cheese. Spread 1/2 teaspoon butter on outside of top halves of rolls and arrange buttered side up on top of sandwiches.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-low heat. One or two at a time, place sandwiches in skillet, place heavy skillet on top and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Wipe out skillet as necessary.
  3. Cut each sandwich in half and serve.

Note: Panini maker can be used to cook sandwiches.

Rajas con Crema

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: 4-6

  • 5          poblano or pasilla peppers
  • 1/4       cup, plus 1 tablespoon, vegetable oil, divided
  • 2          cups thinly sliced white onion
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt, to taste, plus additional (optional)
  • 1          cup Real California Mexican crema agria or sour cream
  • 1          cup white corn (fresh, frozen or canned and drained)
  • 1/2       cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3          cups shredded Real California Oaxaca cheese
  • corn tortillas
  1. Rub peppers with 1 tablespoon oil. In medium saucepan, cook peppers, turning occasionally, until well charred, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cover and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
  2. Rub charred skin from peppers. Remove stems and seeds. Cut peppers into 1/4-inch strips. Set aside.
  3. In large saucepan over medium heat, warm remaining oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5-6 minutes. Add peppers and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers and onion are tender, 5-6 minutes. Add crema, corn and broth; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is thickened and saucy, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add cheese, stirring until melted, and additional salt, to taste, if desired. Serve with tortillas.

Substitution: Canned roasted poblano strips (2 3/4 cups, drained) can be used in place of fresh peppers. (Family Features)

Real California Milk

Wearable Fall Trends

The fall season is all about remixing modern classics, which means some fall trends may already be hanging in your closet. However, if you decide to upgrade a few basics, you can find plenty of worthy investment pieces this season that you can wear again and again for years to come.

Be Romantic

Shift your favorite summer florals forward with a cozy knit cardigan and military-esque boots. A zip-up sweatshirt, sneakers and a choker can add a little grunge to a midi or maxi skirt.

“I love the unexpected touch of punk paired with softer pretty pieces,” said Bobbie Thomas, NBC’s “Today” style editor and author of “The Power of Style: Everything You Need to Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow.”

Your 9-5 tops can also work for evenings and weekends – a soft tie-neck blouse can elevate a pair of faux leather leggings; just add a blazer and some heavy metal with chains. Or add a touch of lace with a camisole under a v-neck sweater.

Do Denim

Jeans – along with jean jackets, dresses, skirts, jumpers and more – are en vogue. In fact, denim from head to toe is definitely a do and serves up an effortless cool factor, Thomas said. Advanced textiles offer new washes and game-changing fit options.

“When it comes to your basic blues, style and science are blending seamlessly to better fit our figures today,” she said. “The optic technology in Lee’s Shape Illusions collection exemplifies a 360-degree design approach that lifts, lengthens and flatters from every angle. My favorite part is that they’ve applied this to both tops and bottoms with strategic seaming, side panels and enhanced pockets for under $30 – and it’s size inclusive.”

Go Green

A treasure trove of jewel tones is in store this season. However, Mother Nature inspires a fresh, standout shade of green – from pistachio to emerald to forest – for a way to layer in color this season. If you’re looking for just a dash, a chic pair of earrings or a bold manicure is an easy way to go green.

“Its organic essence allows green to mix well with any hue,” Thomas said. “A kelly green handbag pops against a classic black and white ensemble while hunter green is a sophisticated compliment to pale pink. Mint looks delicious when mixed with rich browns and chartreuse is the perfect jolt to navy.”

Borrow from the Boys

While suiting is on the scene, oversize blazers are really back, Thomas said. Though models in editorials often sport them draped over the shoulder, she suggests a more practical way to wear the look.

“Keep your look sleek underneath to avoid losing your silhouette and consider making it your own with the definition of a belt or cross-body bag,” Thomas said.

From laid back lumberjack to traditional tartan, fall is also the perfect time to be mad for plaid. The pattern is dominant in stores this year with nearly every colorway imaginable and options like coats and carry-alls.

Boot Up

Kick your look up a notch this fall with a boot. From pointy to square toe styles, chunky combat lace ups to western ankle booties and everything in-between,  there really is something for almost everyone.

“I’m not sure there is a boot that’s not in style this season,” Thomas said.

Find more inspiration to make a fall fashion statement at Lee.com. (Family Features)


The Importance of Recycling Old Electronics


Old electronics can pile up fast. With so many different types of tech available on the market these days, it’s easy to have a drawer absolutely stuffed with discarded phones, old chargers, and forgotten flash drives – or even a bin in the garage with an old computer, broken monitors, and a TV you’ve been meaning to get rid of.

  • The problem: e-waste

There’s no denying it: Americans produce a lot of electronic waste, or e-waste.

Did you know, however, that this buildup of e-waste isn’t just a nuisance for your spring-cleaning schedule? It’s actually environmentally disastrous. Our hunger for ever-newer, ever-sleeker tech has a huge toll on the earth. Most electronics require rare metals that must be mined from environmentally sensitive places.

In addition to this, once an electronic is thrown out, it can be an environmental hazard, filled with lead, mercury, and other chemicals that can leech into soil and damage ecosystems.

With our addiction to electronics causing such terrible environmental hazards and damaging vulnerable ecosystems, you might wonder what you can do to help. Consider these options when purchasing new electronics or disposing of old ones, and do your part to preserve the earth we all rely on.

  • Solution: responsibly recycle e-waste

It may be tempting to toss that old computer monitor in the trash can to simply be picked up on garbage day, but you should think twice before you take the easy road. Remember that it will take centuries for the electronic device to decompose in a landfill and could damage the soil with lead leakage.

There are plenty of ways to recycle your old computers and other electronics if you do some research about it out. But be careful: it’s not as easy as tossing your used laptop in the recycling bin once you’re done with it. You have a few options when it comes to recycling your e-waste:

  1. Vendor trade-ins: some vendors will take your old electronics for a trade-in when you’ve decided to upgrade. Not only does this save you money, it also helps the environment by keeping that old electronic out of a landfill.
  2. Donations: see if any charities in your area are accepting electronics donations. Plenty of folks in the developing world and in struggling communities at home need computers and phones but can’t afford new ones, so charities exist that help connect them with someone’s old electronic. See if any local charities are doing an electronic drive, and help both the environment and people in need!
  3. Find a responsible recycling center: unfortunately, some places claiming to offer electronics recycling simply ship electronics off to developing countries to be processed there under dangerous working conditions. Be sure you know what your local recycling center plans on doing with the electronics they take off your hands before you feel confident in handing it over.

Recycling your e-waste is a great start when it comes to responsibly handling old electronics, but what else can you do?

  • Solution: skip that upgrade

The e-waste environmental crisis is caused by people’s insatiable lust for new electronics. Many times, people choose to upgrade from their old model before it even stops working. If you’re concerned with the amount of e-waste in the world and want to do your part, the next time that new generation of smartphone or laptop comes out, just skip the upgrade.

Most of the time, software updates will keep your current electronics up and running without any issue, so there’s no real need to take advantage of every new tech toy out on the market.

  • Solution: buy refurbished

Another great solution that’s both environmentally and budget-friendly is to buy refurbished electronics. Because so many people opt for that brand-new upgrade every time it comes out, there are tons of only one- or two-year-old electronics available from licensed refurbishes. Refurbished electronics can be every bit as good as the new model, at a fraction of the cost. Consider refurbished models for:

  1. Phones
  2. Laptops
  3. Desktops and monitors
  4. Televisions
  5. High-end accessories, like speakers and ergonomic keyboards

There are tons of great options online for refurbished electronics. All it takes is the willingness not to have the shiniest and best!

We all have a small part to play in reducing the amount of electronic waste damaging the environment. If you’re concerned with doing what you can, consider implementing these solutions in your life today.