Do you Stash? I just started.

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The experts say that you need to start investing for retirement by the time you are 30. I’m well past 30 and haven’t a single dime in my savings account. Isn’t that horrible?

I know I should. I always mean to and even sometimes I do. But life happens and it seems like every time I start to get ahead, something blows up.

 

But recently I discovered an app called Stash. They have a 30 day free trial so I decided to check it out.

Basically it’s an investment app. You put money into mutual funds. I intended to start out slow with $5, the minimum required. I messed up by clicking buttons without reading and ended up with $15 instead of $5 but that’s okay. I went ahead and pushed forward.

I spent $5 on three different funds.

Okay I know investing $5 in something isn’t going to make me rich. But that wasn’t really my point. I was just trying to learn how it all worked.

After two weeks I put another $5 into my Stash account, and then invested that in another fund.

At the end of the month, I seen a small return on all of my investment funds, except for one. I picked “All That Glitters” because someone told me that investing in things like Gold and Silver during times of political turmoil was a good idea. I put $5 into my fund during the Trump and Clinton election. So far I’m down 2.16%.

Overall though I was still ahead, making more than I invested, so I put another $5 in. This time I put it in a fund that I had previously invested in. The Raw Earth fund had the most gains so now with a $10 investment into Raw Earth, I’m happy to say that I now am showing a 4.27% growth.

By investing small amounts, $5 or $10 here and there, it makes saving money easier. My sister invests 4% of her check every month into her retirement account. That’s only $250 a month, and I know I should do that too but I just don’t. I’m sorry I’m just not that responsible.

Instead I’m going to try it this way. I’ll put $5 in every time I have a little bit of money. During the first 30 days of using this app that turned out to be $30.

By the way, you can find the STASH app in iTunes. It’s free to use for the first 30 days and then after that it cost $1 per month.

If you don’t know anything about investing, don’t worry. They make it easy.

  • Step 1: Deposit some money into your Stash Account
  • Step 2: Tell it something you like. ie: Movies, Jewelry, The Environment (You have a lost list to pick from)
  • Step 3: Invest the money you put into your Stash account in one of the suggested funds.
  • Step 4: Wait and watch your money grow.

You won’t get rich over night but it’s nice seeing that $5 you put in turn into $5.10 and then $5.43 and then who knows how much.

This isn’t really meant for short term earnings. It’s about the long haul. Put some money in today, invest it and forget about it. Over time that $5 will grow. It will one day because $10.

If you put just a tiny bit of money in your Stash account every time you can, it will start to add up.

 

 

Are you descended from royalty?

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Someone once said if you go back far enough, we are all related in some way or another to a member of some royal family.

The question is, what if you really can prove you are an heir to a long lost aristocratic title. Can you claim it?

Most counties, including the British peerage, pass title titles based on the eldest son. If a titled person dies with no son, it reverts to the line of the second son of the previous generation and if that fails it reverts to the third son an so on. For this reason it’s rare for their to be no heir to a title or go into abeyance as they call it, but it could and has happened.

For example, the 9th Baron De La Warr and 6th Baron West died in 1554. At his death, the baronies of West and De La Warr fell into abeyance because he had no children. This meant the co-heirs were the two daughters of his half-brother, Sir Owen West, who was the eldest son of his father’s third marriage.

The barony was eventually reclaimed and re-created by William West, the elder son of Sir George West, second son of Thomas West, 8th Baron De La Warr, by his third wife, Eleanor Copley, and Elizabeth Morton, widow of Robert Walden, and daughter of Sir Robert Morton of Lechlade, Gloucestershire. He was nephew and adopted heir of his uncle of the half blood, Thomas West, 9th Baron De La Warr, eldest son of the 8th Baron’s second wife, Elizabeth Mortimer.

But what about one that has been in abeyance for a really long time? Well it is entirely possible for a peerage to remain in abeyance for centuries. The Barony of Grey of Codnor was in abeyance for over 490 years. It fell into abeyance in 1496 and was only reclaimed in 1989.

That being said, as of 1972 it’s not easy to claim a title that has been in abeyance for more than 100 years. There are exceptions to the rules, but as I said before, it won’t be easy. You’ll have to no doubt do a lot of homework, have a lot of proof and get some legal help.

There are a lot of extinct British peerages. Here are just the Baron’s alone from the last 100 years and next to that is the year they went into abeyance.

  • Baron FitzHardinge 1916
  • Baron Colchester 1919
  • Baron Seaforth 1923
  • Baron Abercromby 1924
  • Baron Ribblesdale 1925
  • Baron Bateman 1931
  • Baron Emly 1932
  • Baron Wenlock 1932
  • Baron Castletown 1937
  • Baron Tenterden 1939
  • Baron Alington 1940
  • Baron Bingley 1947
  • Baron Berwick 1953
  • Baron Seaton 1955
  • Baron Egerton 1958
  • Baron Tredegar 1962
  • Baron Dorchester 1963
  • Baron Nugent 1973
  • Baron Romilly 1983
  • Baron Ormathwaite 1984
  • Baron St Leonards 1985
  • Baron Sherborne 1985
  • Baron Greville 1987
  • Baron Lurgan 1991
  • Baron Calthorpe 1997

These are the Earls

  • Earl Brassey 1919
  • Earl Brownlow 1921
  • Earl Farquhar 1923
  • Earl Loreburn 1923
  • Earl of Ashburnham 1924
  • Earl of Northbrook 1929
  • Earl of Lathom 1930
  • Earl of Orford 1931
  • Earl of Camperdown 1933
  • Earl of Dartrey 1933
  • Earl Buxton 1934
  • Earl of Londesborough 1937
  • Countess Cave of Richmond 1938
  • Earl of Berkeley 1942
  • Earl of Sussex 1943*
  • Earl Wavell 1953
  • Earl Manvers 1955
  • Earl Roberts 1955
  • Earl Jowitt 1957
  • Earl of Athlone 1957*
  • Earl of Feversham 1963
  • Earl of Danby 1964
  • Earl Alexander of Hillsborough 1965
  • Earl of Chesterfield 1967
  • Earl Stanhope 1967
  • Earl of Kilmuir 1967
  • Earl Poulett 1973
  • Earl of Stamford 1976
  • Earl of Midleton 1979
  • Earl Beauchamp 1979
  • Earl of Ancaster 1983
  • Earl of Birkenhead 1985
  • Earl of Avon 1985
  • Earl of Ypres 1988
  • Earl Amherst 1993
  • Earl Sondes 1996
  • Earl of Munster 2000
  • Earl of Halsbury 2010
  • Earl Kitchener of Khartoum 2011

If you want to claim claim to an Earldom, all you have to do is prove your claim. However it may not be easy. Abeyant titles can be claimed as of right, but only by someone who can prove that he (or she) is the sole surviving legitimate descendant in the entire world of the last holder.

Getting a hundred+ years worth of verified documents won’t be easy but it’s not impossible.

What are the official rules for wearing a tiara?

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In America we usually associate a tiara with royalty but it got me thinking. Just what are the rules of wearing a tiara if you are a member of the royal family or a member of the aristocracy?

tiara

Tiara’s were a mark of rank but were usually reserved for married ladies. Young, single ladies almost never wore them. Tiaras were commonly given as a wedding gift.

At that those were the rules during the olden days, during the times of Downton Abbey. The only other rule back then was to make sure that the size of your tiara wasn’t bigger than someone who outranked you, especially a member of the royal family. In other words, it wouldn’t be appropriate for a daughter of an Earl to wear a tiara that was larger in size than a Duchess.

During the Victorian era, Tiara’s were worn all the time, well for events that took place in the evening. Obviously you would wear them to things like weddings, but also they can be worn during formal dinners, and a night out at the ballet or a play.

Today though, we have gotten far more casual about the rules of wearing a tiara.

Really any formal (white tie) event in modern day, is a time for a tiara. If the event includes an evening gown, then you could wear a tiara.

Black tie events, with a few rare exceptions usually mean no tiara for the ladies.

You don’t have to wear a tiara if you don’t want to or down own one. But if you want to, and I mean, who doesn’t? Then consider the event. If it’s a formal affair then you can probably get away with wearing a tiara.

And before you ask what the difference between a white tie and black tie event is, a white tie event is something you would wear a full evening dress or formal evening dress to.

White tie is the most formal style. It’s usually reserved for state dinners, formal balls and evening weddings. White tie events are only appropriate after 6 pm.

 

 

Should you really not wash your hair?

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There have been a lot of confusing information out there about washing your hair.

I’ve decided to do some extensive research into the subject matter and find out what the answer really is.

So should you wash your hair daily? The answer is it turns out is no. Your hair will be healthier if you wash your hair only every two or three days.

I have a friend who has very long hair. In fact her hair is more than 4 feet long. It’s so long she can’t even wash it herself. So once a week she goes to the salon and has it washed for her.

Washing your hair every day removes the natural oils and proteins, which will cause your hair to dry out. Dry brittle hair leads to breakage down the entire strand.

Beyond washing your hair only two times a week, my friend with the really long hair also suggests doing a monthly deep conditioning. When you wash your hair, put in your conditioner but don’t rinse it out. Now wrap your hair in a warm towel and leave it on for 30 minutes.

 

Fiverr is now Sixerr

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Well not really, but they should be because recently they started adding $1 for every transaction as a “processing fee”.

So now when you go to Fiverr to buy a simple $5 gig, you’ll actually have to pay $6.

I still use the site, but I’m also far more selective when hiring someone. I almost never hire someone to do anything for me unless they are from the US or the UK. Just far to much scams or problems otherwise.

Still, for the US and UK guys, you can find some good deals.

 

Who will be the first trillionaire?

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For years Forbes has been tracking the wealth of the riches people in the world. Back in the day, you just had to have like $75 million to make it on the list. Now to get even on the low end, $1 billion is needed.

Some financial experts think that as billionaires become more commonplace, a select few will reach trillionaire status by 2039.

Having just one million dollars today doesn’t even make you rich. With a million dollars you are barely upper middle class.

A trillion dollars is a million million dollars.

A packet of one hundred dollar bills contains $10,000. It would take 100 packets of $10,000 to make a million bucks.

stack-100-bills

So who will the first trillionaire be? It could be Bill Gates. At the current rate of projected growth of Bill Gates wealth, he’s on target to hit trillionaire status in his old age.

But there are others that could hit it as well, perhaps Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecoms mogul or maybe Warren Buffett.

Some project that the first trillionaire will be an inventor, someone we don’t even know right now, someone who creates something world-changing, like Bill Gates did with the PC.

 

Let’s talk about Coconut Oil

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It’s seems that not a week can pass that I don’t hear someone talking, no make that raving about coconut oil.

Coconut Oil

Just this week a good friend of mine tweeted that she was going to give it a try for her dry hair and another friend from high school posted on Facebook how she uses it for a moisturizer and saves $100 a month and has better results.

So I decided to do my research. According to a bazillion different articles on the internet, coconut is the answer to any and every problem you can think of.

Dry hair, dry skin, dry and cracked lips, dandruff both both humans and dogs. It can reduce the signs of scars and stretch marks.

I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Coconut oil is fabulous. The only problem is, I’m not a fan of coconuts. I really don’t like the taste or the smell. That is honestly what has always held me back. Until now …

But I gave in and decided I would give it a try anyway. I have two specific problems … first of all, a few years ago my forehead of all places started itching. It was oddly dry. I never really had an issue with dry skin on my face before but for some reason my forehead decided to get weird as I aged.

The next problem I have is my hair. About a year ago I cut all my hair off. I had such a serious problem with dry and damaged hair in the back that it would get all twisted and knotted up when I slept.

My solution – cut it all off! Yes, I know never cut your hair when you are PMSing. Lesson learned!

But the benefit of this insane act is that now my hair would grow in all healthy and wonderful, right?

Wrong!

While that was true for the rest of my hair, since I don’t use a blow dryer or anything like that on my hair. For some reason, the very back of my hair was still having problems. It was growing back like the rest, only the damage from before was still there. It was still extremely dry and unlike the rest of my hair.

Everyone in the world I spoke to about this suggested … you guessed it … coconut oil.

So hell, I did it. I purchased a jar of coconut oil from my local grocery store. I made sure that what I was buying was pure. In other words, the only ingredient should be coconut oil. You want to make sure you get 100% pure coconut oil.

Much to my surprise, when I opened the jar it wasn’t a liquid. Turns out coconut oil is a solid that melts extremely quickly with even the slightest heat. In fact, if you were to scoop a little bit out with your fingers, just the head of your own body would melt it into a liquid state.

I started with my forehead. I scooped some out with my fingers and rubbed it in. The first thing I realized is that I didn’t really even notice the smell. That made me happy. I really wasn’t a fan of coconut. It reminded me of those cheap tanning stuff.

It felt soothing and so I decided to just keep going and rub it all over my face and my lips. I don’t know why, but I did.

Next I took a bigger scoop, again still using my hand. As I rubbed my fingers together it melted and I put it in my hair, specifically the back part of my hair that was so dry and icky.

It soaked up the first application rather quickly. So I took another scoop and did it again. By the time 15 minutes had passed, my hair was completely dry, as if I hadn’t put anything on it.

I decided to give it another try, only this time put it in my entire hair.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect some magical fix in just one application. I really was just experimenting.

So I used about three scoops with my hands and rubbed it all over my hair, making sure to massage it into the scalp as suggested by one of the zillion other articles I read about using coconut oil on your hair.

When I was done and I was sure my hair was thoroughly saturated, I took one more scoop and again rubbed it into the worst part of my hair in the back.

I then left it on all night.

When I woke up the next morning I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I took a shower, I had to wash it twice, but when it was all said and done I was very happy with the results, even after just one day.

The part of my hair that was normal, the non weird dry patch, was shiny and smooth. I had never had any conditioner that gave it that look.

The back of my hair, the problem area, was still not perfect – but I didn’t expect a one day, one application cure. But it was noticeably improved. I think in time if I continue to apply the coconut oil on my hair every day or at least a few times a week, I may very well solve that problem.

Now as for my skin. I didn’t think I noticed a difference. That was until I went to put my makeup on the next morning. Right away I noticed a difference. My liquid base went on smoother than before and it was at that point, I was hooked.

I got what my friend was saying about using coconut oil on her face as a moisturizer. Even with just a single application, one day of using it, I noticed a real result.

I hate to say it, but I’m hooked!

Fad or not, I don’t care. I love coconut oil.

 

My Problem with 2 Broke Girls

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I want to start by saying that I like the show 2 Broke Girls. In fact I found their crude humor down right funny. But there are a few flaws with the show that really bug me.

First and foremost is that fact that Caroline Channing has a degree from Wharton Business school and yet she chooses to work as a waitress in a dive.

Really? Why? At the very least should could use her degree to get an office job which would pay way more than waitress and be better working conditions.

2 Broke Girls

Next is their apartment. We all know that New York City rent is insane. There are people who tell stories about living in a studio apartment (with no bedroom at all) for more than a thousand dollars a month.

Their extremely high NYC rent is one of the reason why I assumed they are always so broke.

But in the episode from 2012 called “And The High Holidays” they mention that if they sold all the cupcakes it would be $540 which would cover their rent. How in the heck is that possible? $540 a month for a huge, albeit one bedroom apartment in New York City? Really?

That can’t be right. If their rent is only $540 a month, between the two of them how are they broke? That’s INSANE!! That’s only $270 each.  I’m sorry but no way can their rent only be $540 a month in New York City.

I checked out Zillow and found a ton of 1 bedroom apartments available in New York for anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 but not a single one of them were as big as the one they have in 2 Broke Girls

Anyway, just wanted to rant about those things because they were annoying me. Now I’m going to go back to watching re-runs of 2 Broke Girls.

I get that TV isn’t meant to be 100% real, but at least they can make an effort to be somewhat realistic. Don’t you think?

 

Just how racist is Hollywood?

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It turns out, not so much … because as it turns out, The number of black actors winning Oscars is in line with the size of America’s overall black population.

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For the 20 actors nominated for an Oscar all to be white could at best be seen as a surprise. For that to be true two years running is, to many, a scandal. They are calling it a “whitewash”. But if you take a closer look at the actual numbers, you’ll find that the number of black actors winning Oscars in this century has been pretty much in line with the size of America’s overall black population.

Now if you want to talk problems with racial bias, look at the Hispanic or Asian population.

Blacks are 12.6% of the American population, and 10% of Oscar nominations since 2000 have gone to black actors. But just 3% of nominations have gone to their Hispanic peers (16% of the population), 1% to those with Asian backgrounds, and 2% to those of other heritage.

Black actors get speaking roles in rough proportion to their percentage of America’s population, according to a study of 600 top films from 2007-2013 at the Annenberg Center for Communication and Journalism. But Latinos and Asians do much worse.

So is Hollywood really racist? Maybe not as much as some people would have us believe.

The Very First Ever Miss Universe Crown

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The very first Miss Universe crown was worn by Miss Finland, Armi Kuusela in 1952. It wasn’t just any crown though that they placed upon her head. She wore the Romanov Nuptial Crown. Probably the only time ever that a pageant winner wore actual royal jewels.

Armi Kuusela - Miss Finland

Alexandra of Hesse wore the crown when she wed czar Nicholas II of Russia on November 26, 1894.

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The nuptial crown was then used by all Russian grand Duchesses and wives of grand dukes on their wedding day. Here you can see Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna when she was to wed Prince Nicholas of Greece. wearing the crown on August 29, 1902.

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The Romanov Imperial nuptial crown was thought to originally be made in 1840 or 1844 by the jewelers Nichols & Plinkle. The crown was thought to be made from diamonds which were used as trimming for clothes and in a belt by Catherine the Great.

 It’s a crown entirely composed of double rows of fine brilliants in borders of smaller stones, and surmounted by a cross of six large brilliants – on a setting of red velvet. It is thought to include approximately 1,535 old mine diamonds.

Nuptial Crown

It was sold by the Bolsheviks in 1927 through Christie’s. It was bought by Marjorie Merriweather Post, an American billionaire who was a passionate collector of imperial memories.

Her third husband was the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union in the 1930s, and during their tenure in Moscow she turned her collecting eye to the spoils of the Russian revolution. She amassed what is said to be the finest collection of imperial art outside of Russia. Upon her death she turned her home the Hillwood estate into a museum, which is where the Romanov Imperial nuptial crown is currently located.

Nuptual Crown