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Afternoon Pick Me Ups

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afternoon pick me up

Did you know that there are solar powered human beings? As the sun rises, so does their energy levels. But as the sun goes down, energy levels get sapped. If you are one of these people, you might be looking for ways to charge your internal batteries. Here are some great ideas that does not involve coffee.

Workout

Avoid feeling sleepy and tired by hitting the gym during your lunch break. Do some light aerobic exercises that can boost energy levels while getting your heart going. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, try some deskercises you can do at work.

Go Out Into The Daylight

Step outside or have lunch in the sunshine instead of in front of your desk. Going out into the sunlight to eat, walk, or work can help reset your melatonin (sleep hormone) levels so that they are kept low.

Choose Protein Not Carbs

Carbs are energy sapping thanks to tryptophan. Carb-loaded meals make you drowsy, so choose energy giving protein instead of carbs for your midday meal.

Enjoy Teatime

Instead of a cup of java as a pick me up, switch to tea instead. Tea has less caffeine, so it’s perfect for the much-needed caffeine boost but won’t keep you awake all night. Get into the habit of reaching for a cup of tea as a midday drink.

Take A Powernap

Sometimes, the best way to get reenergized is to take a powernap. Catnaps are around 10-20 minutes and can power adults for an additional 4 to 6 hours, just enough energy boost to get through the day.

Avoid Sugar

Many people think that sugar gives energy. This is true but the downside to a sugar high is a sugar crash. Eating sugar gives you energy, but once the crash hits, you end up feeling sleepy.

Stay Hydrated

Being dehydrated has sleepy side-effects. Fight off sleepiness by making sure you’re hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Stand Up, Walk Around

Getting on your feet, stretching or walking around can help fight sleepiness during the day. This will get your blood flowing, clearing your mind and re-sharpening your focus.

Skip The Alcohol

We all know that wine and alcoholic beverage make us sleepy, so make it a point to skip it during the daytime. Aside from this, avoid getting drunk during the week, which can cause hangovers and sleepiness at work. If you must drink, keep it to a glass or two.

Get Enough Sleep

This should be a no-brainer, but many people are neglecting this. We all need different amounts of sleep but generally speaking, adults need at least 8 hours per day of shut-eye. Sleep is the body’s reset button. It heals the body so it can perform at its optimum during the day. Get at least 8 hours every night to avoid feeling sleepy during the day.

Try these tips instead of curling up inside your cubicle. By following these tips you remain productive and on top of your game.

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Influencers

The Dirt on Filthy Casual

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Darshelle Stevens Filthy Casual
Darshelle Stevens wearing Filthy Casual

These are the guys that created a community behind a brand. Jason Soprovich and Mike Gaboury are the creators of Filthy Apparel, a premium lifestyle brand based in Canada focused on the gaming industry. The beauty behind the Filthy Casual brand is the positive influence that it has on the people wearing the clothes. What makes their apparel different is that it is for gamers of every level, whether you are a professional or play casually every so often. This is about growing as an extended family, with people you meet virtually, at conventions, or through social media.

Jason Mike Filthy Casual

Photo by Darshelle Stevens

Jason and Mike began their adventure 7 years ago as nothing more than just a hobby. They were never the cool kids, but not quite the nerds either. Their similar interest in World of Warcraft brought them together as friends and decided to form a company together. Unsure of which industry to reach, they pursued music. They quickly learned that it was not something they had passion for, and discarded the idea soon after. Clothing sounded reasonable, they thought, and that was where they poured their creativity to this day.

What started as 50 shirts for friends became something much more, for a community with a large demographic. According to The ESA, in 2015, 155 million Americans play video games with an average of two gamers in every gaming household. With a large audience in the United States alone, Filthy Casual is quickly becoming the ultimate lifestyle brand for gamers. Their online store features a wide range of products, from graphic t-shirts and snapbacks to artwork in the form posters and prints. Their apparel is focused on comfort, made with premium fabrics and materials. Growing quickly, their product line will be expanding within a few months time.

The culture that Jason and Mike built for Filthy Casual is unique in the fact that they have remained humble throughout their success. Their appreciation for everyone involved thus far, from their photographer Darshelle Stevens to all the family and friends they have met along the way, is expressed through their language and stories shared. Filthy Casual Spotlights feature individuals that are equally as passionate about the gaming community as they are. Social media has been an outlet for Filthy Casual to reach and engage with fans. Their Twitter is flooded with people around the world wearing their apparel, while their Instagram gives you a behind the scenes look into the people behind the brand.

Filthy Casual Mike Jason

Photo by Darshelle Stevens

Keeping up with the gaming market is one of their priorities that has contributed to their success. Jason and Mike are constantly watching gaming trends and many times, designing on the fly based on what is forecasted. The Filthy Casual team has traveled around the world, with Vancouver, Austin, and San Diego being some of their favorites. Their growth is no secret, with companies actively reaching out to them. They have collaborated with some of the most respected people in the industry like Rooster Teeth, where Filthy Casual designed a shirt based on their aesthetic. Others include Kinda Funny Games, Deep Silver, and are currently in talks on secret projects in the gaming industry.

Filthy Casual is a brand filled with passion and their mission is to spread the positivity that they have seen in the community. They are the family that you wish you had growing up, and are pioneering the way for people to come together based on similar interests, just as Jason and Mike has. They made a clothing brand that they believe in and wear themselves. The best advice they can give is, “Be willing to be dynamic, find where you fit in, and don’t give up.” Filthy Casual is as respectable as the team behind it. What was once days filled with World of Warcraft is now an apparel company sought out by fans around the world. Because their foundation is built on connecting with people and building relationships, they do not offer sponsorships of any kind. Everyone that wears their clothing is a true fan, and they pride themselves on being authentic without having to spend any marketing dollars.

Jason Mike Filthy Casual

Photo by Darshelle Stevens

As Filthy Casual continues to grow, they hope to see their apparel on the average gamer. They have turned down opportunities for entering retail stores, but are considering opening a flagship store of their own within 5 years time. Jason and Mike want to give their customers a personal experience that only they are able to give. Fans from around the world are purchasing their product in their online store and at conventions. Some are collecting the apparel, such as one of their customers in the UK, who has 46 of their pieces. What they want their fans to know is that Filthy Casual is all inclusive and to not be afraid to say hello. Think of them as an extended family, the guys that have your back when there is no where to turn. That is the Filthy Casual lifestyle.

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Business

Moment Lens : The Perfect Accessory For the Casual Photographer In All Of Us

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Moment phone lens

Moment is aware of mobile photography’s significance in today’s world and has created what I think are some of the best mobile lens attachments on the market. The newest iterations of the Moment lens and case, dubbed the Moment 2.0 or V2 is what I’ve tested vigorously, almost cruelly (my phone died about 8 times during a city wide photo run), but with a great, guiltless pleasure. We live in a time where mobile photography has become an integral part of our daily lives. Personally, I can’t remember a day where I don’t stop to take a photo, which leads me to say that life is, well ironically, full of rare, snappable moments. Though professional cameras still have a dominating spot in the expanding world of photography, mobile cameras are rapidly improving. We carry phones everywhere we go, its versatility is unparalleled, and the fact that we can whip it out to take a picture or record with unprecedented speed makes me feel that mobile cameras might just be more important. The phone is the instrument of choice for the casual photographer in all of us.

Moment has done a fantastic job with these lenses. The size and quality makes it a perfect accessory for the traveler, but also for the everyday person stumbling onto or looking for any photo opportunity. Moment now has a battery case as well, also equipped with its new mounting system, because phones do deplete when you’re on a photo run. They also offer external shutter buttons, travel cases, and other accessories all on their website. As of this “moment” (get it), I’ve yet to see any other mobile lenses on the market that’s been made with such attention to detail, and really I have to say again, the craftsmanship on each Moment lens is masterful. If you’re looking to spice up your Instagram page, add to your repertoire, or get your feet wet in the glorious art of photography, these lenses are beautiful, valuable options.

We’ll take a look at all four of their lenses and compare photos I’ve taken using them. Please note, unless stated, all of these photos were taken with an iPhone 7 Plus, and are completely unaltered and unfiltered in any way. Results will vary depending on your mobile device.

First Impressions

During the unboxing, I picked up one of the microfiber pouches at random, and when I dropped the Moment lens onto my hand, I was immediately impressed. There is a solidness to them. The glass lens themselves were huge and attractive. The weight felt really nice and professional. Taking a few shots with the lens mounted were fine. The weight wasn’t noticeable at all. But, I felt they had to be removed once you put your phone away, lest you wanted a big ole glass eye protruding from your pocket. The rubber lens caps are sturdy and easy to keep clean. Cheap rubber attracts dust and hair, but these were stress free. Also, the pouches that the lenses come in doubles as a microfiber wipe for the lenses themselves. I thought that was really cool. It’s all in the details!

Moment lens

The back of a Moment 2.0 lens. The two wings on the rear lens opening are the clips that twist onto the Moment’s mounting interface, found on its new phone cases.

Moment Lens

The Case and Mounting Surface

The new lenses have a completely redesigned mounting interface. Whereas the previous Moment lenses attached via a mounting clip, these new lenses twist 180 degrees onto Moment’s lens interface found only on their new (and gorgeous) photo cases. This allows a few things to happen. For one, there is zero chance of user error. There is no need to attach a mounting plate, like with the Olloclip or Insignia clip on lenses, nor is there the adjustment issue you find often with said clip ons. Personally, I find the clip on lenses to be a bit frustrating in getting them to sit right and still, and because they are universal, there is a noticeable lack in photo quality. But Moment’s mounting system is super thin, yet rigid, so there’s no lens movement or shifting, resulting in no distortion, vignetting or corner cropping. It is an airtight system, and also allows for easy lens swaps to fit the nature of your photo.

Moment phone lens

Shot with a Sony DSC-HX400. This is the Moment photo case finished in real Walnut hardwood, sporting the 18mm Wide lens.

phone case

There is a slot in the bottom of the case to tie a lanyard or wrist strap around. Also shot with the DSC-HX400.

18mm Wide Lens

This is marketed as their bestseller. It allows the camera a wider angle without distorting the shapes. I found this to be the easiest and most versatile Moment lens to use, great for landscapes, narrow spaces, foodie photos, and everything in between. The wide angle gives it just enough of an edge to capture everything I wanted in a photo while retaining the same vision I had for the photo. This lens also underwent the most redesign for the 2.0 lineup, sporting new aspherical glass with the intent being to eliminate distortion and clipped corners. I realized very early on that this was going to be my daily driver, my bread and butter, my go-to for photos. I love that the Moment lens is so subtle, but it adds depth and power, traits of a well taken photo. A wise friend said in the simplest way, “I like the wide lens. It takes the same picture, but wide.” See for yourself!

Philadelphia

Delancey St. in Philadelphia taken from an iPhone 7 Plus without a lens.

Moment lens

Taken with the Moment 18mm Wide Lens of the historic Delancey St. in Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA.

 

pickle jars

No lens shot of a shelf of pickled tomatoes at The Twisted Tail, Philadelphia, PA

Moment lens

Taken with the Wide Lens 18mm. Notice that it is at the same position and distance, but there is an extra jar. I thought it was a subtle, but demonstrative nod to what the lens does.

 

Philadelphia

No lens shot of The Twisted Tail, Philadelphia, PA

Moment wide lens shot

Taken from the same position with the Moment Wide Lens 18mm

25mm Macro Lens

Moment’s Macro lens 25mm definitely has the most limitations, and is the hardest to use, but it is my personal favorite. This Moment lens lets you take photos of small objects with amazing clarity and with an almost artistic result. But, because the lens has to be so close to the subject that it’s touching, its usability is mostly limited to stationary objects under good lighting. But the results are fantastic. As pictured, the details captured, unseen by the naked eye, adds great texture to these photos. It isn’t a lens I’d use every day, but it’s one that’s just quirky enough that I always have fun when I do.

Moment lens

Get up close and personal with the Macro 25mm lens! This is a super close up of a morning glory flower, which was about the size of a nickel.

60mm Tele Photo Lens

This lens is used mainly for portrait photos. It provides a natural 2x zoom without any loss of picture quality, which is important for phones because they operate on digital zooms (as opposed to the more powerful optical zooms found on many professional cameras). Similar to the portrait mode function on the iPhone 7 Plus, the Telephoto is used for focusing onto a subject while leaving the background soft. If you have an iPhone 7 Plus, you could choose to forego the Telephoto Lens, but what the lens does is it allows you to further zoom in, while portrait mode does not, and you can record videos. If those are important to you, then this is a good lens to have! If you don’t own a phone with a portrait mode, then the Tele Photo lens is a great lens to have!

moment lens

The Twisted Tail, Philadelphia, PA taken with a 60mm Moment Lens

 

Philadelphia

No lens shot of the entrance to the Centre Square in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Moment lens shot

Same shot with the Moment Telephoto 2x Lens

170 degree Superfish Lens

The Superfish lens is perfect for capturing a lot of detail in small spaces due to its unique distortion quality, granting it a 170 degree field of vision. What I found to be most impressive about this particular fisheye lens is that it completely eliminates vignetting, which occurred on virtually every other fisheye lens I’ve tried to date. Also, because of the new mounting system, photo quality remains constant throughout the entire photo. On other lenses, there would be blurring as it gets closer to the edges. The Superfish lens really stands out in these aspects, so snap one on and take those big group selfies and sunsets! Photos taken by Vu Do.

national wildlife refuge

Marshes at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge without the Superfish lens.

Moment Superfish lens shot

Marshes at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge taken with the Superfish lens

 

bridge

A bridge at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum taken with no lens

Moment superfish lens shot

The same bridge with the Superfish 170 degree lens.

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Events

Supercharge Your Online Business With Offline Meetups

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offline meetups

Online entrepreneurs forget about the importance of connecting with other people locally. These types of relationships are still one of the best ways to get the word out about your online business to supercharge your opportunities to the sky. Although online businesses run 100% in the digital world and can operate from anywhere in the world, building face to face relationships is still one the best techniques for business development and to get the word out about your brand. Although online businesses need many factors in place for them to succeed, offline meetups has been one of my secret weapons through my journey. Small live events can turn any business around, especially when you’re starting out! Whether you have a B2C or a B2B, meeting people in an offline atmosphere will get you much farther than cold calling or cold emailing.

In 2015 I used local meetup events to turn my side-business doing web design and SEO services into a team making 6 figures in the first 12 months. I also used these same tactics to turn my side-business selling matcha green tea into a 6 figure brand with a physical location inside a mall. Now, keep in mind I don’t live in Silicon Valley or any sophisticated city, but this applies to really anywhere in the world where there’s more businesses around you!

As crazy as this story sounds (it was in fact a crazy ride), local offline meetups play a big role on many success stories out there. These types of events allow you to connect not only with potential clients, but also with local media celebrities or can open the door to connect with somebody else that can give your online business a huge boost.

Go out and meet people

Although social media makes it easy to meet new people, it takes a long time to build trust with somebody you met online. It’s much more effective to connect off-line on small live gatherings than it is to spam or stalk somebody online.

Most offline meetups are between 50-100 people sharing a meal or a cup of coffee. Not only are they useful, but they are so much fun! Is not necessary to introduce yourself to every single attendee; you only need to connect with key people on that event.

For example, introducing yourself to a few attendees will give you a generic idea of what type of people are standing around you. Most times, when you share more about your story and your online business, people will guide you in the right direction on who you should be talking to. You never know who you might run into on the next meetup event. It’s common to run into local PR and media people that are looking for stories like yours which could get you featured on a local magazine or TV show. It’s also easy to run into that one person who can help you get into the next retail store or simply connect you with one of the biggest players in town that might need your services too.

Find local meetups in your area

As you know, thanks to all the majestic tools we have on the internet, we’re only a few clicks away from finding what we need. The best tools to find a local meetup gather is meetup.com, or you can also look them up on Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Groups. Start by looking for groups that are in your niche. If you’re into fitness, it’s very easy to find fitness gatherings or classes that you can attend. On the other side, if you’re looking to connect with other entrepreneurs, type in “business” or “entrepreneurs” + your city and I promise you will find at least 1 group close enough to you to attend this week. After you have found that perfect meetup gather that you want to attend, these are some of the tips and tricks you need to know to get the most out of your first (and every other) meetup events.

  1. Find more about the organizer of the offline meetups and reach out to them. Organizers are passionate about meeting people, so they will be thrilled to hear from you!
  2. Shoot the organizers a message in a non-salesy way and offer value to them by offering some of your tips or knowledge on an upcoming event. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them solve any of their problems.
  3. Assist the next meetup event they have without making it a sales tactic. Make sure you introduce yourself to the organizers in person as well. Ask the organizers if they know anybody in the room that you should be talking to about your online business. They will be happy to introduce you to the next contact that can open a new door for you.
  4. The key to this technique is to focus on building strong relationships and to create opportunities, without selling anything! The moment you start selling your products, people will start stepping away from you. Focus on building strong relationships by offering value to everyone you meet and when the moment is right, you will be able to pitch to them if they’re ready for it.

Most online entrepreneurs are afraid to go to offline meetups and meet people and for that reason they’re missing out on huge opportunities. For this same reason, you need to go out and meet as many people as you can.

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