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4 tips to help kids be kind online

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It’s all too easy to write hurtful comments when you’re looking at a screen rather than a human face. That’s why it’s important to teach your kids how to be kind online. Here are four tips to get you started.

1. Set a good example
Children learn through observation, so show them when you post uplifting comments on social media or reach out to a struggling friend in a private message.

2. Implement the IRL test

Remind your kids that what they post on the internet affects people in real life. If they wouldn’t say the words to someone’s face, they shouldn’t be writing them online.

3. Write reviews together
If you have a good experience at a local shop or restaurant, sit down as a family to write a positive review. This will help your kids practice posting kind messages online.

4. Emphasize empathy
In addition to calling out cyberbullying behavior, encourage your kids to send positive messages to friends or classmates they notice are being bullied online.

If you’re looking for a fun way to teach your kids more about internet kindness and safety, play the action-packed game Interland at beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com.

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3 frequently asked questions about saving for retirement

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You know that it’s important to save for retirement, but are you familiar with the best way to go about it? Here are the answers to three common questions people have about putting aside money for the future.

1. Is a traditional 401(k) your best retirement saving option?
A traditional 401(k) is a great retirement saving tool that allows you to set aside and invest your earnings. The key point to keep in mind is that you won’t pay any taxes on the money until you withdraw it in your retirement years. However, some employers also offer the option of putting money in a Roth 401(k), which allows you to contribute after-tax dollars and withdraw the money tax-free during retirement. If both options are available to you, speak with a tax professional to find out which is most beneficial.

2. Should you put more money aside as you get older?

It’s wise to review the amount of money you put aside every year to keep up with inflation. Moreover, many people are able to save more as they get older because they have a higher income and decreased debts.

3. How much money should you set aside at a minimum?
Experts recommend setting aside at least 15 percent of your pre-tax income. That said, you should have an emergency fund with enough money saved to cover living expenses for three to six months.

If you have more questions about saving for retirement, reach out to your financial institution.

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3 tips for a memorable first dance

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Your first dance as a married couple can be as exciting (and as nerve-racking) as walking down the aisle. Here are a few tips to ensure it’s a moment you’ll look back on fondly for years to come.

1. Choose a well-known song, or ask your DJ to create a mashup of genres, so you can transition from a graceful waltz into an energetic salsa or swing dance routine.

2. Hire a professional to choreograph the dance, and be sure to rehearse it (in the shoes you’ll wear at the wedding) until you feel comfortable with every step.

3. If neither of you is particularly good dancers, opt for a slow romantic song and go all out on light or smoke effects to make your simple moves look more dynamic.

Above all else, don’t worry too much about putting on a show for your guests. It’s your day, after all, so make your first dance a moment you’ll enjoy.

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Treat yourself to an at-home honeymoon

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Restrictions put in place during the pandemic make it challenging, if not impossible, to travel to most prime honeymoon destinations. And once you arrive, who knows what restaurants and attractions will be open. So, while white sandy beaches and European cafés may be out of reach, a romantic staycation should hardly be considered settling for second best.

All the comforts of home
First and foremost, you don’t have to worry about contracting the coronavirus if you choose to honeymoon from the comfort of your home. Additionally, you’ll avoid the hassle of preparing for a trip — no need to renew your passport, get vaccinated, convert your cash, or buy travel insurance. Plus, you won’t have to pack, and you can be sure that the bedding hasn’t been used by strangers.

Indulge in an array of luxuries

Under normal circumstances, a trip to Paris or Tahiti would set you back a few thousand dollars. Without airfare and hotel bookings eating up your budget, you may be able to afford one or more indulgences. For example, you could:

• Order all of your meals from restaurants and get them delivered right to your door.

• Splurge on a high-end sectional sofa, king-size bed, or home theater system.

• Surprise your partner with designer lingerie and drink only fine wines every night.

Honeymooning at home allows you to start your life as a married couple in the comfort and privacy of your own home while indulging in food, wine, and gifts.

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The perfect dress for your body type

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One of the most important factors to consider when searching for the perfect wedding dress is what silhouette will best flatter your figure. While the consultants at a local bridal boutique can offer more personalized recommendations, here are a few basic tips for some common body shapes.

• Hourglass. Show off your natural curves with a sheath dress or a mermaid gown, and accentuate your chest with a sweetheart neckline.

• Pear-shape. Choose an A-line or ballgown silhouette to accentuate your natural waistline, and balance the full skirt with a boat neckline or cap sleeves.

• Rectangle. Create a sexy silhouette with a bias cut or fit-and-flare dress in a lightweight fabric, and opt for a V-neckline and low back.

• Diamond. Select a gown with a flared skirt and thin straps or a detailed bodice that will draw attention to your upper body.

• Inverted triangle. Balance your proportions by pairing a high neckline and long sleeves with a slit or asymmetrical skirt that emphasizes your legs.

• Round. Opt for the flowing skirts of an empire-waist gown, and provide support for your chest with a boat neckline and an elegant off-the-shoulder look.

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines, and the important thing is that you feel comfortable and beautiful in the dress you choose.

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5 things to consider when choosing your wedding cake

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As one of the key components of most weddings, decisions about the cake shouldn’t be left until the last minute. Here are five factors to consider before you order yours.

1. The number of guests
You want to make sure there’s plenty to go around. However, it would be a shame to waste your money on an excessively large cake and have to throw some out.

2. The wedding theme

The cake is as much a part of the decor as the flowers. Don’t hesitate to bring a copy of the invitation, color samples, and pictures of the decorations to guide the baker.

3. The design
In addition to choosing the shape of the cake and the number of tiers, consider what decorative elements you’d like to incorporate. Fresh flowers, edible gold leaves, and chocolate lace are just some many choices.

4. The flavor
From praline mouse to passion fruit, you might be surprised by how many options are available. Fortunately, most cake shops offer tastings to help you make your choice.

5. The ingredients
If you have a limited budget, determine if you favor high-quality ingredients over a refined look. You should also consider if any of your guests have allergies.

Contact cake shops in your area to schedule a consultation and make sure your cake checks all the boxes.

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Who can you turn to for help investing?

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Whether you’re working toward purchasing a home, financing your children’s education, or enjoying a comfortable retirement, you need to invest your money wisely. For most people, this means turning to a qualified investment professional. Here’s who you can count on to help you grow your savings.

• Stockbrokers. A stockbroker can buy, sell, and monitor investments on your behalf or simply give you advice on how to invest your money.

• Financial advisers. Also called a financial planner, a financial adviser can assess your current situation and help you develop a comprehensive financial or retirement plan.

• RIAs. A registered investment adviser (RIA) performs the same tasks as a stockbroker, but with an important difference: they can’t receive commissions by recommending specific financial products and are compensated by taking a percentage of the assets they manage for you.

• Accountants. A chartered accountant can review your tax situation and help you save on your tax return. They can also assist you when making a large purchase such as buying a home or after receiving an inheritance.

When deciding whether to work with a particular investment professional, always ask about their education, experience, and certifications. In addition, find out how they’re compensated (through client fees, commissions, or a combination of these) to determine whether there are potential conflicts of interest.

Finally, bear in mind that even when working with an experienced professional, investing always entails some amount of risk. Before making decisions about how to manage your money, you should evaluate your ability to withstand financial losses if your investments do poorly.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jan
29
Fri
12:30 pm Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Edu... @ Online Event
Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Edu... @ Online Event
Jan 29 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education @ Online Event
Save a Life: Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education January 29th The Northwestern Prevention Collaborative and Northwestern Community Services Board will offer a free virtual REVIVE! Training on January 29th from 12:30 pm to[...]
Jan
30
Sat
2:00 pm Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Jan 30 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
We will paint these beautiful camellias on Saturday, January 30th at 2 pm at The Studio. This will be the first in a series of floral paintings we will do over the course of 2021.[...]
6:00 pm Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Jan 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parent's Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Help Code Ninjas Front Royal celebrate our Grand Opening! We are hosting our first Parent’s Night Out! $35 per child, space limited to 5! – Drop them off. Go have fun. Just remember to pick[...]
6:00 pm Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Jan 30 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Known in medieval Celtic culture as a storyteller, verse maker, and composer, the word ‘Bard’ has become synonymous with the world’s greatest poets. However, few are as celebrated as Scotland’s own ‘National Bard’, Robert Burns,[...]
Feb
9
Tue
10:00 am Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 9 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
11
Thu
6:30 pm Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
13
Sat
6:00 pm Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Feb 13 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parent's Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Help Code Ninjas Front Royal celebrate our Grand Opening! We are hosting our first Parent’s Night Out! $35 per child, space limited to 5! – Drop them off. Go have fun. Just remember to pick[...]
Feb
15
Mon
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Feb 15 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]
Feb
16
Tue
10:00 am Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 16 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
17
Wed
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Feb 17 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]