Yellow Spot

We’ve been without Yellow Spot in this crazy, mixed-up world since the 1950s. Almost sixty full years later, back in 2010, they brought it back out in full swing. This UK-based Irish whiskey is aged for twelve years, triple-distilled, and gets you buzzed after the first shot.

 

This is a dry, raspy whiskey that’s going to be best served warm. Grab it from the cabinet and pour away. In the US, we’ve been able to enjoy it since 2015, and it’s absolutely flying off the shelves. While it’s not going to make your wallet very happy, how can you say no to a whiskey like that?

 

Get it here to get 5% discount using 14RVICES at checkout


 

UV Vodka

UV has become the go-to vodka for college students. It’s inexpensive, blends well into just about any beverage, and comes in a plethora of flavors. In my freezer right now, is a bottle of blueberry UV vodka that’s coated in ice, and blends perfectly with your favorite lemon-lime soda.

 

UV Vodka has an excellent strength to it, while also tasting clear and clean. You get the exact burn you’d expect on the back of your throat from an inexpensive vodka, and it burns so well.

 

You can click UV Vodka to see all the different flavors and styles that UV offers. If you grab a bottle tonight, you won’t be disappointed. It delivers on all the flavor you want, and your wallet will thank you.

 


 

 

Teaching Your Kids to Drive: The Positive Effects

Do you remember the first time you were able to drive with your buddies in the car, and how that felt? One of the best things in life is hitting the open road, and just gunning it. Going wherever it takes you. To a parent, that sounds terrifying, but there are a bunch of excellent benefits to teaching your children to drive. Let’s get into it:

 

  1. Viva La Freedom

 Not all parents are perfect. With teenagers, sometimes we end up yelling, saying things we regret, and the fights get out of hand. Nobody likes to hear it like that, but it’s true, and it’s part of the process of growing up. They’ll rebel, even in their own tiny ways. When they can go cool off with their friends or go for a relaxing drive, everyone gets a clearer head before the verbal warfare escalates. Let them hit the road for a few hours if they really want to; everyone is a lot calmer after some downtime.

 

  1. Teaching Responsibility

 It’s an exciting thing, but as we all know, cars are weapons in the wrong hands. Making this point clear without scaring your kid can help them come down from the adrenaline rush of learning to drive, and really see this for what it is: a privilege, not a right. This is your chance to teach them right so they don’t make mistakes that can cost accidents.

 

  1. Help When You Need It

We don’t want to use our kids as a package delivery service, but wouldn’t it be insanely helpful if they were able to drive the younger one to and from soccer practice? If you ran out of an ingredient while cooking; let them take the keys. It’s the start of letting go, piece by piece, and it builds on their responsibilities and skills.

 

  1. Turning It Into a Lesson

 I homeschool all four of my kids. They’re young enough that they don’t understand what money is yet, just that I need it if we’re going to do a lot of things. Teach them about the financial aspects: what does gas cost? What’s the wear-and-tear on the vehicle itself? How do you properly maintain your car? Use this as an opportunity to let them financially plan ahead for when they own their own ride.

 

  1. Bonding

 We’re in a day and age where a lot of us are working crazy workweeks, where everyone has their eyes glued to their mobile screen, so bonding time is at an all-time low. There’s a constant need to bond with our children, yet it’s an era where it happens far less. Take the time to build that connection with them, and blare your favorite tunes as you stroll through the parking lot, learning to parallel park. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing; make those memories last just as long.

 

When did you first learn to drive? Think back and remember what that felt like, and tell your son or daughter that you’re going to teach them from your library of wisdom.

 


 

 

Three Things You Always Need in Your Desk

Whether it’s to pay the bills or read one of the three most imperative books to your success, your desk is the throne of your home. Even if you’re not one of those “Dad’s Recliner” guys, you still have a proverbial roosting point. It’s the place your wife sees you when you’re managing the household and finances, where your kids see when you’re providing for their future. As such a seat of power in your home, there are three essentials that you should have in your desk at all times

 

  1. A Safe-Locked Loaded Gun

We can get into semantics all day long, but here’s the point: you need to protect your family, and you can’t dig out a safe from the top of your closet. One locked box in the top right drawer of your desk, or a gun in a drawer with a lock on the outside of it. Children won’t be able to reach it, and should an intruder break into your home, you’ll be able to defend yourself quickly, and effectively.

 

  1. A Plan

Not having a future plan for your family is like giving up. When you’re able to map out the money spent, steps taken, and battle scars you’ll be earning, it makes the path ahead more clearly. A notebook that hosts your information that a loved one may need should something happen to you, as well as a plan for what your family should do financially if you should pass, will be the best parting gift you can give to your loved ones.

 

  1. One Memento

 What drove you to pursue your career? What made you decide to walk up to your now-wife and ask her on a date? What made you want to be a father in the first place? We all have a handful of sentimental items. Whether it’s a prayer card, or a significant item that just resonates with us, having a memento in your desk—a reflective pool to grab and just hold when you need a moment of clarity—helps you stay grounded and focused.

 


 

 

Mulligan’s Bar and Grill

Deep in the roots of Farmingdale, there’s one of the best bars on the planet. Users on TripAdvisor agree; they have the best beer and the best wings in all of Jersey. It’s located conveniently near a few golf courses, making it the ultimate weekend retreat for the traveling businessman. Play around, peel off the singular glove and plop down in a booth.

 

I had the pleasure of stopping here on the way down from Boston to Miami. (I hate flying, you know? Seen too many Bruce Willis movies.) I’m not so much a wing fan as I am a steak fan, and I met my match.

 

Their garlic steak was probably the greatest steak I’ve had in recent years. I’ve been to a lot of steakhouses, I’ve been to a lot of bars, but I’ve never been to steak heaven like this. Just writing about it has me feeling nostalgic, and a bit hungry.

 

You land in that perfect atmosphere that’s certain to leave you feeling full, buzzed, and without lightening your wallet too much.

 

Price. Food. Booze. Check!

 


 

 

Empower Your Family With These Five Silent Rules

Media overload, exposure to violent news, the constant stream of negative information—does this all sound familiar? It’s new America. When we live in a world that’s constantly trying to bring us down, it’s up to you to bring your family up and empower them in this sea of uncertainty. Fourteen Robots are here to help.

 

  1. Keep It Positive

Silent rules are all about unspoken agreements. When you bring each other up, and you stay positive about everything, you’re going to see a rippling effect take place. Using positive words and staying away from negative tones will set your family on the right path, and help them keep their heads up even when they want to lean them down.

 

  1. Prioritize

 If you have a heap on your plate, prioritize tasks before you do anything else. Show your children and your wife that you’re able to handle things, do it in an orderly fashion, and maintain your family while doing so. Not everything can be done at the drop of a hat, and not everything should. This is also a silent lesson to show your family how it’s done.

 

  1. Pay Forward

 For no other reason than being a good person and following your moral compass, you should always pay it forward. Never do it in a way that shows your family, “Look at me, I’m paying it forward,” but just do it even when nobody’s looking. It pays off in the end (no pun intended).

 

  1. Take Care of Family First

 You can’t give everything away; you need to care for your wife and children before anything else. This shows them that you’re not only prioritizing properly but that you’ll do anything for them, as is your position as patriarch of the family.

 

  1. Settling Things Your Way

 That doesn’t mean “Highway or my way.” I can’t stand those guys. What it does mean is compromising appropriately, and showing your family that you can handle things in a non-aggressive, calm tone. Yelling and negative behavior damages your family’s psyche, piece by piece, brick by brick. When you resolve things calmly, it’s helpful for everyone.

The Best Apps for Android and iOS That Are Here To Stay

Apps come and go, but the best ones are forever (or about as permanent as you can affirm yourself in the media landscape). If you’re going to bench on a certain app to help you with your business, you don’t want the rug being pulled out from under your feet. That’s why you should go with the ones that are going to be around in a few years, and we’ve dug up the best ones for you. Some will be obvious, others won’t, but they’re all indispensable; we’d be shocked if any bad their plug pulled. Here are the best apps that strengthen your business.

 

  1. Microsoft Office Mobile

 This directly relates to every single app that Microsoft gives us. From Word to Excel, PowerPoint to OneNote, there’s an app for everyone. You may be wondering, “How are these organizational?” My friend, take a moment and look at fifteen seconds of a YouTube video regarding organizing your Excel or OneNote account; it’s mental, really. One of our writers (yes, I’m referring to myself in an obscure third-person perspective), uses Microsoft for everything, and so far, no broken bones.

 

  1. Google Suite

Sheets, Docs, the whole bit—Google’s a great competitor when it comes to Microsoft’s mobile office apps. One of the best things about using Google is the automatic cloud storage. Want to download a sheet to your phone or laptop? Fine, no worries—but, they are more shareable and collaborative than using Microsoft Online apps, so they win there. Google’s apps are perfect to get yourself organized and easily collaborate with others; a well-done sheet or doc is the key difference between your day going smoothly, or you mopping up a mess.

 

  1. Wunderlist

 You may have read our review on Wunderlist, and you may be wondering how it’s that effective. Well, once you hop into the interface, you’re going to be amazed. Unlike a lot of apps that have gone ahead and complicated things, forgetting why people loved them in the first place, Wunderlist has stayed true to their original design: a simplistic tool to help you manage your crazy, hectic, everyday life. It achieves it with flying colors.

 

  1. Evernote

So Evernote can be one of those tricky apps. It’s available for iOS and Android, but the apps are slightly different. You get a lot of the same functions as Wunderlist, but it’s more about collaboration than it is simple lists. You can stay organized and engaged with your fellow coworkers or employees, and you can even send updates, comment, and make annotations or edits on the run. It’s the perfect app to check in with progress and keep your tasks organized, and your business running efficiently.

 

  1. Asana

 Looking to manage content? If you’re running a digital business, like a digital marketing company, or you’re a content writer, you may have heard the name Asana tossed around quite a lot. It’s not just about the function of managing writing tasks, attachments, and so on, but everything is saved and recorded properly. You get to manage everything from a calendar, and just about every function is time stamped. Even if you have trouble with organizing yourself, Asana is going to help you stay on track.

 


 

 

Jefferson’s Reserve

Get ready to fall in love with the highest class of bourbon. Jefferson’s isn’t the first name when it comes to bourbon, but it’s certainly carved a path into my liquor cabinet.

 

Jefferson’s Groth Cask Finish Bourbon comes with a surprisingly full-bodied flavor for only being aged nine months inside of French oak barrels. You’re going to apologize to your wallet when you pick up a bottle, and you’ll pamper your taste buds later.

 

You know that perfect level of burn? Three to five seconds after swallowing one gulp, you’ll get those fiery fumes tingling the back of your throat, ensuring your next breath sends shockwaves all across the back of your tongue. To put it simply: Jefferson’s Reserve is kick-ass, and knocks every flavor out of the park.

 


 

 

Three Ways to Encourage and Lift Up Your Children’s Confidence

One of the biggest things that kids struggle with is finding their place in the world, or whatever their rendition of that “special place in the universe” is. Truth is, we still feel like that at certain intervals well into adulthood, but children, from the minute they can form a complete thought, and well on through their teenage years, are self-conscious, angsty, and nervous on a constant basis, even when they don’t show it. You have to encourage their confidence; it’s the building block of success.

 

  1. Support Them No Matter What

 When you support your kids in anything they do, they know one certainty in life: Dad’s got my back, and that’s enough. Don’t expect it to be a complete shield for them against the world, but when the day comes to a close and the dust settles, they know that someone believes in them, and that’s a confidence boost. Even if their interests aren’t your cup of tea, invest your time in them so that they can see how much you support them.

 

  1. Don’t Embarrass Them

 As parents, it’s heartbreaking to hear, “Dad, you don’t have to walk me to the door anymore,” from our kids. However, we’re not raising kids—we’re raising the next generation’s adults. You have to remember that your child, whether you like it or not, will take small baby steps towards independence, and this is one of them. It’s something you’ve been teaching them, and it’s paying off, but it’s always bittersweet. Embarrassment is hard to get over. Don’t be stubborn and insist on keeping to things that they find embarrassing now (within reason, of course). You have to give and take, pick and choose your battles with this one.

 

  1. Show Them That They Don’t Have to Stand For Everything

It’s a tricky, slippery slope here because, on one hand, you want them to respect the authority in your home. That’s not unreasonable. On another hand, you also want to raise someone who’s going to stand up for themselves (and others, should they need it) along the way. Show your children when to speak up, when to stay a gentleman/lady, and what shouldn’t be tolerated as normal human behavior. None of us would go back to being children—remember that, and teach them right from wrong to better distinguish when they should stand, and when they should open the door.

 

Being a dad isn’t easy. It’s a whole new level of difficulty, especially as you’re watching your oldest start growing up and taking shape as a full-fledged, independent man-in-the-making or woman-in-the-making. Foster their confidence, and you’ll be raising tomorrow’s adults that go boldly where their peers do not, who stand against the wind instead of going with the current.

 


 

 

 


 

 

To Get a Loan, or Not – That Is The Question

Don’t dock me for the cheesy title, you know it works. One of the biggest issues with taking your business to the next level is funding. Investors have turned their noses up (much like they did to Steve Jobs, and the original publishers who Rowling submitted to are still crying a river), and you’re planning on funding it yourself and growing at a slower rate, but keeping it steady. Slow and steady wins the race for a reason, you know—there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe, especially when you’ve got a family to feed, and a lifestyle to maintain.

 

But you don’t have the cash, so you need a loan. You don’t want to be locked-in to a loan, so you pay yourself. My head’s spinning just writing about it, so let’s look at a few pros and cons of doing it on your own, versus going through the bank and getting a loan to fund your venture.

 

Funding It Yourself

 You’ve been tucking away capital, or you’ve been using your own personal profits and rolling them in your account. You’ve been eating Ramen noodles every day and you haven’t bought a latte in a year—at least you have your shit together. Going at it on your own has its perks, and it’s drawbacks, mainly being…

 

Pros

It goes well, and you did great—fortunately for you, your likelihood of getting an SBA loan or credit union loan in the future has tripled. Your business is making money, and they love seeing you put your own cash, especially large amounts, into your business. Not only that but if you’re happy with where it’s scaled to, you don’t owe anything to anybody. The success is yours; the profits are yours.

 

Cons

There’s no loan insurance. No way to bail yourself out. You can’t pay back a loan because it simply doesn’t exist. There are a lot of failed business ventures (mostly restaurants) where the owner ends up working two jobs when it goes down in flames—one to live off of (yeah, you’re still going to be eating Ramen every night) and one to pay back the loan. You have zero umbrellas.

 

Getting a Loan

You either qualify for an SBA loan, or you’re able to get one through your local bank or credit union. Either is fine. But what are the terms and conditions? It’s not like the Apple Updates page, where we just click the little box, ignore the ever-accruing list of terms, and skip on our merry way—this is a big deal.

 

Pros

Even if you’re going for a microloan for a small one-man army shop, you’ll still be able to qualify, so long as you have some collateral and you can show your lenders that you’re making money. It’s actually fairly simple, so long as you’re not a fresh-out-of-the-gates business.

 

Cons

The higher you scale, the more you have to give as collateral. This can be in the form of a real estate piece, inventory, or anything that’s going to be worth money to these guys. It gets slippery, and you could be risking it all.

 

Resource To Manage Your Money Either Way

We’ve loved this excellent resource by Rachel Richards to get into the financial mindset, no matter which angle you choose.

 


 

 

Highlands Bar and Grill

Looking to grab a bite and get a fantastic selection of wines and draft beers? You’ve found the absolute perfect spot: Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL. Just when you thought nobody could seamlessly blend French and old-fashioned southern atmosphere and food together—they pull it off with superiority.

 

Don’t let the posh waiters fool you; any casual gent can stroll on through and plop themselves along the bar. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t been in Highlands before—it’s the perfect ambiance for every occasion. Taking the wife out for your anniversary? Getting off work after a long day? Highlands is where you belong.

 

Highlands Bar and Grill. Photo from Instagram: @highlandsbarandgrill

 


 

 

How to Budget For Your Family Vacation Without Bleeding the Bank Dry

Family vacations—they’re extremely necessary, but we never remember that until after we come home from one. You take a step back and tell yourself, “We really need to make this a thing.” Maybe you only go once a year. Maybe you splurge and go twice a year. The point is, it’s expensive every single time, and you have to know where you’re getting the money from. There are two models here that we recommend, so take a look and decide which is right for you.

 

The “Ante Up” Method

This is a more aggressive approach that involves taking your lifestyle, and making it a more minimalistic mantra. You’re probably going for two decent vacations per year if you select this method.

“Josh, I thought this was about keeping the bank in the green,” you may be thinking. It is, but if you want two vacations per year, and you’re making the median income (is there even a middle class anymore?) then you’re going to want to pay close attention to your finances. If you want this bad enough, you’ll be able to do it.

The first thing is this: cut back on your cell phone plan. Go for the most minimal option available. Most providers usually have talk, text, and unlimited data (slows down after X amount of GB), but it’s a surefire way to cut out, on average, about $360-$600 per year. That’s a few nights in a hotel and some road food depending on where you’re going.

Next thing, you’re going to take a closer look at your food budget. You want to keep the house stocked, but could you skim $10 worth of items from your list without it killing you? See what you can’t live without, cut back on those foods that aren’t necessary (even if you love them) and stick to meal staples and hearty ingredients. You can usually skim about $10-$25 per week off of this method, averaging a total of $520-$1,300 per year, which can account for a good amount of spending money and some travel expenses.

The big thing to remember is that you’re not going to auction off your stuff, no matter how bad you want that vacation. Don’t let the desire for it rip away the possessions and the lifestyle you currently have. You’re trying to add vacations to your lifestyle; not make a deal with the devil for them.

How many other things in your current budget can you think of that could be lowered? Do you have a monthly free-spending amount? Can you trim that? Assess your budget and really trim it back. All meat, no filler.

 

The “Micro Wager” Method

One stellar vacation per year for you. Doesn’t have to be too long, doesn’t have to be extravagant, but you need that time with the family. If you’re all about the bonding time and less about the destination and the amenities, you’re probably looking for a once-yearly trip that you don’t have to budget for.

In just about every household in America, we can think of one to five things, in the last week alone, that we shouldn’t have bought. Whether it’s a few $2 cups of coffee or take-out when we didn’t feel like cooking a meal, it’s important to take those moments, stow away the cash you would have spent, and call it a day. Distract yourself so you don’t reach into your back pocket and make that unnecessary transaction anyway.

If you’re usually seeing about $200 or more in free-spending per month, you’re going to restrict that number. Divide the average cost of your ideal vacation by twelve, and stash away one-twelfth every month. This won’t be enough alone, because you may just want to make that purchase from time to time, the one that will put you over. That’s why, on average, you’re stashing away those $2 blocks of money, to account for buffer room.

This method is all about being stress-free and making it work inline with your lifestyle so you can take a much-needed vacation without worrying all year long on how to achieve it. Calm mind, calm life.

 

Either Way, Enjoy Your Time

Family vacations aren’t supposed to be about work or devices—enjoy the time you have with your wife and children, because those days of fun in the sun are only around for so long before they start leading their own lives, or your other prospects start taking up most of your time. Enjoy it now, or you’ll miss it later.