Sport Those Shades!

Sunglasses Day is on the 27th, and we’re celebrating with a free Gift and a hashtag contest!

Post a pic of you and your bestie wearing sunglasses to the Buzz with the hashtag #shades for your chance to win a pair of SKOUT sunglasses for you and your bestie along with 500 Points!

In addition to posting a pic to the Buzz, be sure to give your favorite Skouters the Sunglasses Gift located in the Summer category of the Gift Store. Remember: This gift will be free all day!

Happy Sunglasses Day, Skouters! Stay cool.

Learn how to give a gift to a Skouter! Click here.

Congrats to Our #K9Bestie Contest Winner

We asked the SKOUT community to show off their K-9 bestie by posting a photo to the Buzz with the hashtag #K9Bestie for a chance to win a SKOUT branded dog leash and 500 Points. There were some entries that made us LOL and a few that gave us all the feels. But, there was one in particular that takes the cake for the most adorable.

Congratulations to SkoutID: rrrenee for the winning post!

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We love a little friendly competition and will be posting another hashtag contest in the future, so stay tuned for a chance to win Points and swag!

Show Us Your #K9Bestie!

 

Whether you're able to take your dog to work or not on June 24th, we want to know who your K-9 friends are! We’re giving Skouters a chance to win a SKOUT branded dog leash and 500 Points!

All you need to do is post a photo of you and your K-9 bestie to the blog with the hashtag #K9Bestie. We’ll choose our favorites and award the winner SKOUT swag and Points!

Shout Out to Our #Besuper Contest Winner!

During Superhero Day, we asked our community to post a picture with their super squad to the Buzz with the hashtag #besuper.

We had several stellar entries, but would like to award one outstanding entry in particular with a SKOUT Superhero Day t-shirt and 500 points. Congratulations! 

  SkoutID: 2daifor

SkoutID: 2daifor

Stay tuned for more opportunities to win SKOUT swag and Points!

Congrats to Our Humor Month Contest Winners!

National Humor Month wrapped up last week, and we’d like to give a huge shout-out to our #LOL contest winners! We asked Skouters to post a picture of themselves laughing to the Buzz with the hashtag #LOL for a chance to win 500 Points.

There were too many fun entries to choose just one winner, so we chose four!

 SkoutID: arlzzzg

SkoutID: arlzzzg

 SkoutID: jldelosreyes

SkoutID: jldelosreyes

 SkoutID: surfkidd

SkoutID: surfkidd

 SkoutID: kitcattay

SkoutID: kitcattay

Thank you to everyone who participated! Stay tuned for more contests and a chance to win SKOUT swag or Points!

Celebrate the Superhero in All of Us!

In celebration of National Superhero Day, we conducted a super-hero inspired survey with more than 4,000 Skouters asking them about their favorite superheros. We were overjoyed to learn three out of four members of the SKOUT community say helping others in need is what makes a superhero, and nearly 80% say they want to be a superhero in real life. Check out more super stats from our survey:

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America’s favorite superhero is…

  • Well, it depends on whom you ask... Women said Batman. Men said Superman.

Which supervillain wins the popularity contest?

  • Women prefer Catwoman and men prefer the Joker.

Batman and Robin are the best superhero BFFs.

  • More than half of people surveyed (53%) said Batman and Robin are their favorite superhero friends.
  • 19% said The Thing and Human Torch are their fave friend duo, 16% prefer Green Hornet and Kato, and 12% said the Wonder Twins make the best squad.

Immortality is the most wished for superpower.

  • When asked which superpower they wish they had, 1 out of 3 people surveyed said immortality.
  • 29% said the ability to fly, 22% said superhuman strength and 17% said superspeed.

The Batmobile is the best superhero ride.

  • 49% of people surveyed said they would pick the Batmobile if they could have any superhero vehicle.
  • 20% would choose Wonder Woman’s Invisible Plane, 20% would prefer the X-Men’s Blackbird and 12% would pick The Green Hornet’s Black Beauty.

A mask is a must-have superhero accessory.

  • 57% of people surveyed said a mask is the most important superhero accessory, 19% said a cape, 14% said a ring, and 10% said a cool belt.

Nearly 80% of people want to be a superhero in real life. Here’s what it takes…

  • 44% of people surveyed said selflessness, 37% said no fear, 11% said technology and 8% said money.

GIVE A GIFT TO GRANT A WISH

Being a superhero in real life isn’t as far-fetched as people may think it is. In honor of National Superhero Day, we are partnering with Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area to grant a wish to a child in need of a superhero.

Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In 2016 Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area celebrates 32 years fulfilling magical wishes!

You can help Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area continue their incredible work granting wishes by giving your fellow Skouters a Superhero Gift! For every Superhero Gift given, SKOUT will make a donation to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area until we have reached our goal of granting a wish. Superhero Gifts can be found in the Superhero Day category of the Gift Store.

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Sending a Superhero Gift will help bring joy to a child who needs it more than ever. Help us make a wish come true for a child who needs a real-life superhero. Learn how to give a gift to a Skouter.

Inspired to do more? In addition to giving a Superhero Gift, you can donate directly to the cause and volunteer with your local chapter of Make-A-Wish!


WHAT SUPERHERO WOULD YOU KICK IT WITH?


REPRESENT YOUR SUPER SQUAD!

Is your squad worth superhero swag? Let’s find out! Post a picture of you and your squad with the hashtag #besuper to the Buzz. The Grand Prize winner will receive a SKOUT National Superhero Day T-shirt! Runners-up will get 500 points added to their account!

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WHAT’S IN STORE FOR SKOUT’S SUPER SQUAD?

Celebrate the Importance of Laughter

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April 1 kicks off National Humor Month! We’re celebrating by emphasizing the importance of laughter in our everyday lives. It’s true -- laughter is the best medicine. Anyone who’s ever watched a cat video on YouTube after a bad day knows this. But, did you know laughing can help you make more friends?

After examining a sampling of Skouters’ profile pictures, we found Skouters who share a profile picture of themselves laughing have their profile favorited 404% more times and make 324% more connections with others than the average Skouter. Laughter is contagious, and it certainly seems like people want to be friends with someone who has a good sense of humor.

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In addition to reviewing profile pictures, we surveyed more than 3,000 Skouters throughout the U.S. to learn their thoughts on humor and friendship. Highlights from the survey include:

We crack ourselves up.

  • 75% of people surveyed think they are funny.
  • People with a witty sense of humor are most likely to think they are funny (81%).

We enjoy laughing with friends.

  • 94% of people surveyed say they enjoy making other people laugh.
  • People who say their style of humor is slapstick are most likely to enjoy making others laugh (98%).

Practical jokers attract more friends.

  • Practical jokers and people who say “bathroom humor” is their style are most likely to have five or more close friends.
  • Least likely to have five or more close friends are people with a sarcastic or self-deprecating sense of humor.

Not everyone laughs at clowns.

  • 30% of people surveyed say they are afraid of clowns.
  • People with a sarcastic sense of humor are most likely (37%) to be afraid of clowns.

Women will pass on the chick flick -- they prefer comedy films!

  • Comedy movies trumped all other genres among women surveyed, with 26% of women preferring comedy vs. 23% who prefer action-adventure, 21% who prefer horror and 18% who prefer romantic films.
  • While 43% of men said they prefer action-adventure, comedy came in as the second most popular genre (21%).

Looking to laugh it up with the locals? Here’s where to go...

  • New Yorkers and San Franciscans are most confident (83%) that they are funny.
  • Houstonians want you to have a good time -- 100% of Houstonians surveyed say they enjoy making others laugh. 98% of Angelenos and Atlantans say the same.

Cards Against Humanity is a popular game among people with large groups of friends.

  • More than 50% of people with 5 to 9 friends enjoy playing this card game with their friends.

FREE HUMOR MONTH GIFTS EVERY WEEK!

Throughout Humor Month, we’ll be giving away one of the following gifts each week: HAHA, JAJA, Laughing Monkey and Laughing Panda. These Gifts can be found in the Humor category of the Gift Store. Stay tuned for the free Gift of the week!

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The simple act of giving a Gift to a fellow Skouter can really brighten their day. Click here to learn how!

SHOW US YOUR BEST #LOL FACE

Let the data speak for itself! Skouters who have a profile picture of themselves laughing make more connections than those who don’t!

We want to see a picture of you laughing! Post a picture of yourself laughing to the Buzz with the hashtag #LOL. We’ll choose our favorites and give them 500 Points!

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TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF COMEDY FILMS!

SKOUT Leader Board Round 1!

A couple of weeks ago, we asked Skouters what characteristics make a SKOUT Leader. Here’s a refresher:

  • The majority of Skouters, about 35%, like when fellow members of the community ask how they are doing or give them a virtual gift.
  • 33% of Skouters enjoy when fellow members of the community share fun pictures instead of only posting selfies.
  • 32% of Skouters appreciate when fellow members of the community take the time to fill out their About Me section.

We also asked you to give those Skouters you think best represent the above traits a SKOUT Leader Trophy Gift. We tallied the results of who received the most Trophy Gifts.

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Do you think you should be in the Top 5? Try filling out your About Me section or post fewer selfies. If you think a fellow Skouter deserves to be in the Top 5, give him or her a Trophy Gift! Trophy Gifts are located in the SKOUT Leader category of the Gift Store.

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Congrats to the Top 5! Stay tuned for Round 2 of the SKOUT Leader Board!

Skouters Chow Down for #SkoutChips

National Potato Chip Day was on the 14th, and we asked all of you lovely Skouters to post a picture of yourselves with your favorite flavor of potato chips to the Buzz with the hashtag #SkoutChips. The Grand Prize winner will receive a super chic SKOUT National Potato Chip Day t-shirt, and the runner-up will get 500 Points added to their account! Congratulations to the winners!

Grand Prize Winner: “Snack time, Chitato Bbq flavour.” SkoutID: kikyo82

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Runner-Up: SkoutID: msthinkerhan

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Thanks for entering the contest, ladies!

We will be doing more hashtag contests, so keep an eye out for them!

Celebrate National Potato Chip Day With SKOUT!

SKOUT National Potato Chip Day Infographic
SKOUT National Potato Chip Day Infographic

National Potato Chip Day is on the 14th of March, and to celebrate, we surveyed more than 3,000 Skouters across the United States to find out what their favorite potato chip flavor reveals about them. Are you a Hot and Spicy chip lover or a BBQ chip lover? Find out what your chip preferences say about you!

96% of people say they like potato chips. Well, obviously people like potato chips… But, here’s the interesting part:

ChipGraphic_BarChart_Friends_v1a
ChipGraphic_BarChart_Friends_v1a

Lime/Citrus chip lovers have the most friends!

  • 42% of people who prefer lime/citrus chips have 5 or more close friends.

Hot & Spicy in the bag = hot & spicy in the bedroom.

  • People who prefer hot and spicy chip flavors (including jalapeno, cajun and other spicy varieties) are most likely (47%) to say they are adventurous in the bedroom.
ChipGraphic_BarChart_Sex_v1a
ChipGraphic_BarChart_Sex_v1a

Lime/Citrus chip lovers have the most sex!

  • 19% of people who prefer lime/citrus chips say they have sex every day!

Men are from Mars, and women and from Venus. Maybe so, but they have a couple of things in common when it comes to potato chips.

  • Males and females between the ages of 21 and 30 are fans of Hot and Spicy potato chips. And, according to the results above, this means they’re more adventurous in the bedroom!
  • Males and females over 50 prefer Plain chips. Perhaps the older you get, the more you think a potato should simply taste like a potato.

Some chip lovers hit the gym more than others…

  • Low/No Salt chip fans exercise most frequently, with 14% saying they do so every day.
  • Least likely to exercise at all are people who prefer Plain chips (28%) and Cheddar chips (26%).
ChipGraphic_BarChart_LateNight_Host_v1a
ChipGraphic_BarChart_LateNight_Host_v1a

Late-night snacking, with Jimmy Fallon. When asked which late-night comedian they would most want to share a bag of chips with, Jimmy Fallon gained the most votes.

  • 39% for Jimmy Fallon
  • 22% for Jimmy Kimmel
  • 12% for Stephen Colbert
  • 11% for Seth Meyers
  • 7% for Trevor Noah
  • 5% each for John Oliver and James Corden

Speaking of personalities, let’s pop open a bag and see where the political chips fall…

Hillary – she’s all that and a bag of chips! When asked which Democratic candidate they would most want to share a bag of potato chips with, people (of all political persuasions) weighed in:

  • 57% of people say they would prefer to share a bag of chips with Hillary Clinton.
  • 43% of people say they would prefer to share a bag of chips with Bernie Sanders.
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ChipGraphic_BarChart_Dem_Canidates_v1b

On the Republican side, people most want to share their snack with Donald Trump.

  • When asked which Republican candidate they would most want to share a bag of potato chips with, Donald Trump got the most votes (33%) among people of all political persuasions. (As you can see below, when we conducted our survey the field of Republican contenders was wider than it is today.)
ChipGraphic_BarChart_Rep_Canidates_v1a
ChipGraphic_BarChart_Rep_Canidates_v1a

The Republican potato chip flavor poll results are in…

  • Donald Trump fans are most likely to prefer BBQ chips.
  • Marco Rubio fans are most likely to prefer Lime/Citrus chips.
  • Ted Cruz fans are most likely to prefer Cheddar chips.
  • John Kasich fans are most likely to prefer No/Low Salt chips.

CURIOUS TO FIND OUT WHAT YOUR POTATO CHIP PREFERENCES SAY ABOUT YOU? TAKE THE QUIZ!

SKOUT CHIPS IN TO HELP THE LOCAL COMMUNITY FIGHT HUNGER

In honor of National Potato Chip Day, SKOUT is partnering with our local SF-Marin Food Bank to help our local community fight hunger. With the help of donations and volunteers, the SF-Marin Food Bank provides food assistance to an average of 30,000 homes a week across the San Francisco and Marin counties.

Did you know that 1 in 4 kids in San Francisco and Marin counties is at risk of hunger? Last year, Skouters helped us raise enough money to serve 10,000 children with the SF-Marin Food Bank in honor of National Grilled Cheese Day.

This year, you can help us double our goal to try to serve 20,000 children! On National Potato Chip Day, SKOUT will donate to the SF-Marin Food Bank every time you give a Potato Chip Gift to another Skouter. Potato Chip Gifts can be found in the Potato Chip Day category of the Gift Store. If you’re not sure how to give a gift to a Skouter, click here to learn.

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On March 3, SKOUT employees volunteered at the SF-Marin Food Bank to provide meals for families across both counties. In three hours, we packed 700 pounds of food. That’s the equivalent of 583 meals!

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Interested in how you can help fight hunger?

  • In the Bay Area? The SF-Marin Food Bank is always looking for volunteers! Check out their volunteering opportunities.
  • Don’t have time to volunteer? You can always donate! For every $1 you donate, the SF-Marin Food Bank can donate $5 worth of food!
  • If you don’t live in the Bay Area, find a local food bank near you to learn how you can help out your local community.

SKOUT helps you meet new people around the world, but we also want to help you connect with your local community. Find a food bank near you to learn about opportunities for you to help and make a difference.

WIN A NATIONAL POTATO CHIP DAY T-SHIRT FROM SKOUT!

Celebrate National Potato Chip Day with SKOUT! Post a picture of you or you and your friends eating your favorite flavor of potato chips to the Buzz with the hashtag #SkoutChips. The Grand Prize winner will receive a SKOUT National Potato Chip Day T-shirt! Runners-up will get 500 points added to their account!

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HAPPY NATIONAL POTATO CHIP DAY!

#SkoutLeap Winners Enjoy Their Extra Day!

Leap Day was on Monday, and we asked Skouters how they planned to enjoy their extra day by posting to the Buzz with the hashtag #SkoutLeap. Congrats to the winners, who each received 500 Points!

“My boyfriend and I will be celebrating our first month anniversary on the 29th. Guess what? I met him here on Skout! First month and counting.” - SkoutID: ladyrenner

“I’m going paragliding one more time on Leap Day.” - SkoutID: decodeme

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“I am planning to stay at a beach with my Mom; we'll just chill and relax. I just want to be with my Mom because I love her so much.” - SkoutID: llelizalde

“Hanging out with my friends!” - SkoutID: maudsilva

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What Will You Do with Your Extra Day?

There are 29 days in February this year! We’re so excited, but can’t make up our minds about what we’ll do with our extra day. Perhaps we can finally go skydiving or take that hip-hop class we’ve been meaning to check out. We even have time to finally try out that new coffee shop around the corner. We’d love some inspiration from the SKOUT community on how to spend our Leap Day. What are you planning on doing with your extra day? Post your plan to the Buzz and include #SkoutLeap. We’ll choose those that most inspire us and add 500 Points to your account!

Be creative and have fun!

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Great Job #Skoutkind Winners!

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During Random Acts of Kindness Week, we held a contest asking you to post the best random act of kindness you’ve received or done for others. We were so overwhelmed with the amount of entries we chose not one, not two, but four winners! Congrats to the following Skouters who received 500 Points each!

“I spent the last amount of cash I had on me on a meal and gave it to a homeless man.” - SkoutID: marcus569

“I was standing in line at the store and the lady in front of me didn’t have enough to pay for her items, so I paid for her.” - SkoutID: sexylatessa

“A while ago I offered to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor.” - SkoutID: llirne013

“Every three months I pack a plastic bin with clothes for the upcoming season, easy-open can goods, a case of water, blankets, backpacks, personal care products, gift cards and a letter of encouragement. I drop the bin off at different homeless encampments in my area. I often speak with the people and offer a group prayer. This is not something I do for recognition but it is something I do to offer a little light in their darkest hour. I encourage you to try it!” - SkoutID: sweetmickii

We’d also like to give a shout-out to our honorable mentions!

“I sent some gifts to old friends who weren’t expecting anything just to put a smile on each of their faces.”

“Today I saw a homeless man holding a sign up that said, ‘please help money/food needed,’ so I walked up to him and gave him the last five dollar bill I had then I went home and grabbed some old blankets while my grandma made some food for him and when I brought it back to him he said thank you. After that I felt pretty happy with myself.”

“I go to school downtown and I always see this homeless man. I've kinda adopted him as my Pop-Pop. Every time I see him I always give him something even if I'm dead broke. He's so sweet and a really nice person. I wish I could do more.”

Thank you to everyone who participated! We are truly inspired by the kind acts you do for others; keep it up!

Stay tuned for future hashtag competitions!

Be Extra Kind This Week

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SKOUT_RandomActsofKindess_v1b (1)

In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 14th-20th, we surveyed Skouters to find out how important it is to perform random acts of kindness. More than 2,700 people took the survey and commented on the importance of everything from opening a door for someone to giving food to a person in need. The most heartwarming result from the survey was that 65% of our community perform a random act of kindness every day!

Highlights from the survey include:

Most people perform a random act of kindness on a daily or weekly basis.

  • 65% of people surveyed say they perform a random act of kindness daily, and 83% say they randomly do something kind for someone at least once per week.

People don’t need a hidden agenda to be kind.

  • Most people surveyed (56%) perform random acts of kindness because it makes them feel good.
  • Only 1% of those surveyed perform an act of kindness with the hope of financial gain.

Unexpected kindness from strangers makes people smile.

  • 93% of people surveyed say they have done a random act of kindness for a stranger.
  • 62% of people say they appreciate unexpected kindness from strangers even more than when friends and family do the same.

Digital acts of kindness are appreciated too!

  • 67% of people say they have randomly done something kind for someone online, such as sending an unexpected text or virtual gift, or posting a compliment on social media.

Kindness comes from all walks of life.

  • In looking at who performs random acts of kindness regularly, the survey showed very little difference between genders, income ranges and age groups.

Drumroll for the 10 most meaningful random acts of kindness ranked from most meaningful to least…

  1. Don’t just leave a 15-20% tip at a restaurant; leave a more-than-generous tip for your wait staff.
  2. Pay it “backward” at a coffee shop or drive-thru.
  3. Hug a friend when they least expect it.
  4. Take flowers to a nursing home and ask that they be delivered to someone who doesn’t get many visitors.
  5. Buy flowers or a piece of chocolate, and give them to someone who looks like they would appreciate it.
  6. Write a nice message on a sticky note and put it where it can be found by somebody else.
  7. Empty your spare change into the charity collection box at your local convenience store. For extra kindness points, break out the dollars!
  8. Send a text to a friend, just thanking them for being your friend.
  9. Hold a door open for someone.
  10. Borrow a friend’s car and fill it up with a full tank of gas.

Hopefully, these results inspire you to join us in stepping up our random acts of kindness game this week and be mindful of helping others on a daily basis. Get out there and make someone’s day!

Digital gifts can definitely put a smile on someone’s face. Tap here to learn how to give a fellow Skouter a gift.

SKOUT HQ HOLDS FOOD DRIVE FOR SF-MARIN FOOD BANK

In honor of Random Acts of Kindness week, SKOUT HQ is holding a food drive to help the SF-Marin Food Bank give back to the San Francisco Bay Area community!

With the help of donations and volunteers, the SF-Marin Food Bank provides food assistance to an average of 30,000 homes a week around San Francisco and Marin.

Our barrel is overflowing with donations, including the items the food bank needs the most:

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Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 4.23.17 PM

Skouters, we know giving back to people in need is important to you. We encourage you to donate to your local food bank!

If you’re in the Bay Area, you can volunteer or hold your own food drive through the SF-Marin Food Bank.

CELEBRATE KINDNESS WITH #SKOUTKIND

Are you one of the 65% of people who perform a random act of kindness every day? Have you recently received a meaningful random act of kindness from someone?

We want to hear about those random acts of kindness you’ve received or done for others. Simply post your act of kindness to the Buzz with the hashtag #skoutkind. We’ll choose our favorites and give them 500 Points!

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RAKWBLOG_skout

Looking for some good examples? We asked Skouters what the best random acts of kindness are and received several inspiring answers:

“There is a new thing in Iran called ‘wall of kindness’. You hang a jacket on a wall when the weather is cold for people who can't afford one and need one to get warm.”

“On Thanksgiving Day, I fixed a plate of food for a homeless man that lived under a bridge on a road I used to take to work everyday. He was asleep when I showed up, so I left the plate anonymously.”

“This last Christmas, as I was out buying gifts for my family, I bought three toddler outfits and took them to the kids that live down at the train tracks.”

“A lady needed a jump start and had no jumper cables, I gave her a jump start and gave her my cables to keep.”

“I work at Disneyland and one day a family of three came to the park. They didn't know the tickets they bought online were counterfeit. They were about to leave, but I told them they would be my guest here at the park. So I gave them my daily passes.”

“Lady where I work only drinks diet pop; I brought her two liters... just because.”

PLEASE DON’T BE RUDE… THANK YOU

 

If you’re wondering how you shouldn’t behave, check out our video explaining the biggest acts of rudeness.

Celebrate Your Online Friendships!

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February 3rd marks the second annual International Online Friendship Day! We kicked off this momentous holiday last year and are psyched to be celebrating it again a second time around!

In this digital age, online friendships are flourishing, and SKOUT is super proud to play a part in helping people make new online friends all over the world! We surveyed more than 23,000 members of our global community to uncover some of the most recent trends in online friendship. Here’s what we found:

More than 75% of people have an online friend they’ve never met in real life.

  • 85% of people surveyed in Australia
  • 83% of people surveyed in Brazil
  • 81% of people surveyed in Mexico
  • 80% of people surveyed in the Philippines and Chile
  • 77% of people surveyed in Argentina
  • 76% of people surveyed in the United States

Miss Popularity award goes to...

  • The United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and Malaysia where over 35% of respondents have more than 10 online friends.

Meeting your online friend in real life sounds like a fabulous idea to…

  • 80% of English people surveyed
  • 81% of Canadians surveyed
  • 84% of Mexicans surveyed
  • 86% of Filipinos surveyed

Online friendships span the globe.

  • 69% of Malaysian and Mexican people surveyed say they have an online friend who lives in a different country
  • 79% of Vietnamese and Costa Rican people surveyed say they have an online friend who lives in a different country
  • 83% of Filipinos surveyed say they have an online friend who lives in a different country

There you have it. Online friendships are increasingly becoming a thing. Even the experts agree!

“Over the past decade, dramatic changes have taken place in the way we live, work and communicate but the need for friendship remains unchanged and essential to our well being,” said psychologist Irene S. Levine, PhD, producer of The Friendship Blog, a popular advice blog that helps people better navigate the murky rules of making and keeping friends. “Online friendships can complement ‘in real life’ ones, providing many of the same vital benefits, such as social support and feelings of connectedness.”

We couldn’t agree more! Whether you’re the newbie in town looking to make new friendships or simply want new people to chat with, you can find genuine friends online.

SKOUT SHOUT-OUTS

We’d like to give a special shout-out to our Skouters who shared their success stories with us. Thank you for the stories and enthusiasm about your online friendships!

"I have met two of my best friends on SKOUT. As with all apps you are bound to meet one or two bad seeds, but SKOUT is the one app where meeting great people outweighs meeting bad people. If you are looking for someone local, or if you are looking for someone abroad, there's a little something for everyone." - Aaron, Virginia

"It was really a refreshing and unforgettable experience meeting nice people through SKOUT." - CJ, Philippines

“I thank SKOUT for giving me the opportunity to make friends with people all around the globe.” - Jhelum, India

“I’m from Pakistan and when I moved to New York, I was bored, alone and had no friends. When I started using SKOUT I made a lot of friends in New York and now I feel happy here!” - Aman, New York

“Back in 2014, one of my friends got me to join Skout, she said it was fun so I gave it a try. As soon as I got on I used the "Shake to Chat" feature. The third person I came in contact with was a guy named Matt from New Jersey. We talked for a while! It is now 2016 and I still keep in contact with Matt daily. We plan on meeting up over the summer. I never imagined SKOUT would bring me life long friendships and close, personal interactions with people. I love the app and will continue to use it to make new relationships. Thanks for the experience you have given us Skouters!” - Samantha, Canada

“I have made so many online friends but the best ones are Audrey from France and Manow from Thailand. I’m sure that I will meet them whenever I get a chance!” - Nishit, India

“I started using SKOUT to make good friends and see what was going on around the world. I never thought I would meet a guy and I met my husband! Thank you very much SKOUT!” - Betül, Turkey

If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.

SKOUT SUCCESS: DAVID AND YOSHIMI

Back in October of 2014, David (SKOUT ID: davidrf87) joined SKOUT to improve his English skills and meet new people. He used SKOUT Travel to check out the scene in Tokyo and met Yoshimi! They hit it off right away and soon developed an online friendship where they were chatting every day.

Sparks flew and their friendship soon grew into a romantic relationship. Almost a year into their online relationship, David traveled from his home country, Spain, to Tokyo to meet Yoshimi in person.

After spending two months of quality time together in Tokyo, David and Yoshimi got engaged.

“It was the best experience,” boasts David. “Thanks to SKOUT, I have met my future wife!”

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If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.

SKOUT SUCCESS: LADY TORO AND RIVER

Skouter Lady Toro (SKOUT ID: ladytoro1) has been making friends on SKOUT for three years. In July 2015, she noticed River (SKOUT ID: river1175) on the Buzz of a mutual friend. “Her sense of humor was spot on, and I knew immediately she was a cool chick,” remembers Lady Toro. River sent Lady Toro a private message, and they clicked right away! “Same sassy and snarky sense of humor,” says Lady Toro.

Lady Toro lives in Amsterdam, and River is thousands of mile away in North Carolina, but they don’t let the time difference get in the way of their friendship. They even plan to meet in person this year!

“She cracks me up so often! We can talk for hours sometimes (and totally forget about the time difference, as it's usually halfway through the night for me). We've been talking about meeting up at some stage this year. I'm not sure yet who goes where, but I'm positive we will meet in person and have a great time together. I have a lot of online friends but never had a bestie like her; she rocks!”

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If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.

SKOUT SUCCESS: RIH AND SALAR

Rih and Salar began their online friendship on SKOUT about a year ago when they encountered each other via SKOUT Travel. Salar initiated the conversation by sending Rih a chat message. They keep up their friendship via chat on a daily basis, despite the distance between them. Rih is in the Philippines, and Salar is in Canada.

“He’s always there for me, and I’m lucky to have him as a friend,” says Rih.

RihSalar.png

If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.

CELEBRATE YOUR SKOUT FRIENDS WITH FRIENDSHIP BADGES

Do you have the best online friends ever? Share your appreciation for them by giving a friendship badge from the Gift Store. They’re free during International Online Friendship Day! These badges are located in the Badges category of the Gift Store.

IOFDBadges_skout.png

Giving a gift is super easy! Tap here to learn how.

Congrats #SkoutBoost Winners!

Everyone loves a good compliment! We asked Skouters to post the best compliments they’ve received on the Buzz with the hashtag #SkoutBoost. It was difficult for us to choose the winners because there were so many amazing compliments submitted! But, we narrowed it down to four winners and awarded them each 500 points! Congrats Skouters! “The best compliment I've been given is that I'm smarter, braver, stronger and more beautiful than I realize.” - Jamie (SkoutID: ncbabygirl1982)

skout_jamie.jpg

“Well, aren't you the cutest little dumpling?" - Roger (SkoutID: tinhead)

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“The last compliment I got was from my Godfather telling me how proud he was of me because, no matter what happens in my life, I always follow my own course and I don't let others influence this course!” - Jonas (SkoutID: jonasv92)

“One of the best compliments I've ever received: "You're the type of person I need in my life.” - Faith (SkoutID: segov)

Keep your eyes out for more hashtag contests to come!

Your Friends Are the Key to Helping You Succeed in 2016

We can make awesome New Year’s Resolutions for ourselves, but they aren’t always easy to execute on our own. More than 3,700 Skouters recently took a survey about resolutions for 2016 and it turns out their friends will play a huge role in helping them meet their goals.

Your friends make great gym buddies!

  • The vast majority (78%) of people say they plan to exercise more in 2016, but 26% of people who make this resolution will only do it if they do it with a friend.
  • 84% of people say they get a better workout when they exercise with a friend.

New year, new relationships.

  • 82% of people hope to make new friends.

Blind date? Sure!

  • 73% of men and 60% of women are open to their friends setting them up on dates.

Movin’ on up!

  • 55% of people will look for a new job.
  • 92% of people are going to save more money in 2016.

More friends means more happiness at work.

  • 85% of employed people who have 7+ good friends are happy in their job.
  • 80% of employed people who have 4-6 good friends are happy in their job.
  • 77% of employed people who have 2-3 good friends are happy in their job.

Land a new job with help from your friends.

  • More than half of people (53%) have gotten a job as a result of a friend.

More friends = more likely to get promoted.

  • 62% of employed people who have 7+ good friends have received a promotion in the past year.
  • 57% of employed people who have 4-6 good friends have received a promotion in the past year.
  • 53% of employed people who have 2-3 good friends have received a promotion in the past year.
  • 48% of employed people who have only 1 good friend have received a promotion in the past year.

New year, new look!

  • 82% of women say they are going to improve their look in 2016.

Want to feel more stylish in 2016? Focus on your squad.

  • 73% of women who have 7+ good friends say their friends tell them they are stylish.
  • 65% of women who have 4-6 good friends say their friends tell them they are stylish.
  • 60% of women who have 2-3 good friends say their friends tell them they are stylish.
  • 55% of women who have one good friend say their friends tell them they are stylish.

LEAVE IT IN 2015

While the majority of people are looking to step up their style game, focus on health and fitness and land a new job in 2016, there are definitely trends they want to see left behind. We surveyed over 2,800 Skouters to learn what trends are officially out for 2016.

A cooked meal? Yes please!

  • Over 33% say the raw diet sounds disgusting.

Just hop on a regular bike already.

  • 18% of people want to the spinning trend to be a thing of the past.

Let that man mane fly.

  • 26% say man-buns are so 2015.

You're no Paul Bunyan, so stop dressing like him.

  • 18% think the Lumbersexual trend should die.

If we hear someone brag about how many steps they've taken, we will freak out.

  • 28% say to ditch the fitness bracelets in 2016.

SKOUTERS PREDICT WHICH TRENDS ARE GOING OUT OF STYLE IN 2016 https://youtu.be/njfVEz3fe8Q


FASHION AND BEAUTY

SKOUTERS AND EXPERTS TALK FASHION FOR THE NEW YEAR https://youtu.be/EUoIR1AlZyo


3 OUTFITS TO MAKE AN EXCELLENT FIRST IMPRESSION IN 2016

By Laura Ellner

No better time than the New Year to make new friends, connect with like-minded individuals, and expand that Rolodex. It is also the perfect opportunity to step up your style game. Laura Ellner from OnTheRacks, and a digital marketing pro who founded UNRACKED Marketing, is here to provide some fashion tips for any occasion that you and your gal pals can incorporate, and take inspiration from, for outings of all kinds!

From San Francisco, to NYC, and now Paris, Laura has had her fair share of professional play in the fashion game, and knows a thing or two about dressing right. Here her tips and tricks for looking good in 2016:

Whether you are heading out for a casual coffee, getting a taste of culture at the DeYoung or MOMA, or grabbing a glass of wine at Amelie, you want to be sure to dress the part! From “group dates” to prepping with friends for a solo meetup, here are a handful of styles that are sure to assist in making that perfect first impression:

Low Key Café Meet-up or a Daytime Lunch

The easiest way to meet new friends is over a casual cup of coffee. I am all about purchasing easy pieces that can work whether you are sneaking out on your lunch break or prepared for a conversational stroll after the initial “sit-down.”

  1. A collection of great basics is KEY for any woman’s wardrobe. This Tie Tee by Cheap Monday will have you feeling comfortable and looking cool, but it also takes simple to snazzy with its minimal detailing.
  2. The OVERT NOHO Backpack is a total lifesaver for the city girl on the go. It has a built-in laptop sleeve and detachable front pouch (allowing you to transition from day to night in a snap -- literally), and it doesn’t sacrifice style. High-quality construction, wearability and practical design make this bag a must-have.
  3. I am the queen of bedhead, especially on the weekends. A good hat is basically my best friend. I am currently coveting the Matador Felt Hat from ASOS! It’s the perfect way to top off just about any casual look.
  4. Denim can be an all-too-easy go-to (it is for me, at least -- I love a good pair of jeans). However, these Herringbone Trousers from Urban Outfitters are a little more fashion-forward and send a stronger message than “I woke up like this.” They are slouchy and structured at the same time – win-win.
  5. The Vail Slip On Mules by Kelsi Dagger BK have been my go-to shoes for months. They are completely comfortable, with soft leather and a heel that is just high enough to make it look like you tried (but not too hard, of course).
  6. A subtle lip color is ideal for daytime outings. NARS lip crayons (in just about every shade) have been a favorite beauty product for years. I am not the type to reapply every 20 minutes, and these last without drying out your pretty pout. The Velvet Matte version in Natural Rose Beige Sheen is subtle but adds an extra something that won’t go unnoticed.
  7. Looking to nix the tee and pants attire and go for a casual dress instead? This J.D.Y Shift Dress from ASOS is a great move. And it can be paired up with all of the other items listed above! If weather obliges, hey, why not show a little leg? Another great option, if you are looking for a slightly bolder color, is the Crepe Shift Dress in Royal Blue by Marine Layer.

Putting on a Professional Persona for the Business Get-Together

If you stumble upon a new friend on Skout who could be leveraged for potential job opportunities or a mutually beneficial business engagement, you might want to step your look up a bit (without going too far). “You can never be overdressed” is not necessarily a statement that reigns true in my book, especially if you run the risk of making someone feel underdressed. My advice is to dress like a “Girlboss,” but in the sense that Sophia Amoruso, founder of NastyGal, owned the term in her book (definitely worth a read, by the way).

  1. Hearing “pants suit” probably leaves most people feeling less than enthused. I am among this crowd, for sure. But think again, because these days, suits can be far from boring. The Checked Blazer and Cigarette Pants set from Topshop, for example, certainly shows personality while also sending a message of professionalism. If you want to dress it down, this ensemble can even be paired up with a basic tee from Wilt or Roots!
  2. These Jennie-Ellen Getaway Wedges that I discovered through Tictail are so unique and also comfortable as can be! One of my greatest passions when it comes to fashion is discovering on-the-rise designers who are creating really special pieces that stand out, and this gal hit the nail on the head with her entire collection.
  3. I am the kind of girl who always has a notebook on hand; honestly, I never leave home without one! Who knows when that genius idea can pop into your head -- you want to have something stylish to write it down on, right? This Marble Notebook from Urban Outfitters is a great professional accessory to carry around with you. Not only does it show that you mean business, but also that you are taking initiative to stay somewhat organized.
  4. Prescription or not, these Grayton Spectacles by Michael Kors are a chic way to look and feel a little smarter. Enough said.
  5. Strathberry is one of the most incredible handbag brands out there right now, in my personal opinion (I own three styles). The Classic Tote, however, is perfect if you are looking to fit your laptop and a few other must-haves while on the move! Another awesome option is the Midi Tote. Or if you are drawn to smaller styles, the MC Midi or MC Mini are absolutely stunning. The craftsmanship is top-notch.
  6. A girl can never go wrong with a classic wrap dress! If you are looking to splurge, DVF has been going strong with this style for years! However, there are so many stellar options out there, like this Obi Wrap Pencil Dress from ASOS in a lovely shade of faded forest green.

Stepping It Up for an Evening Cocktail Outing with Friends

A little black dress is always a good option, whether you are meeting a cute guy at a wine bar or headed out for a night of dancing with a group of new, like-minded friends! However, there are so many variations that can make you stand out in the crowd. In 2016, I say be the girl who takes this classic trend to the next level.

  1. If you ask me, the best way to hop about town is in a jumpsuit. I have always been an advocate of the one-piece. It is stylish and simple – one shot, and you are done! Just add on a few accessories, and you are good to go. The Short-sleeved Tie Waist Misguided Jumpsuit from ASOS allows for layering options that are vital this time of year. You cannot go wrong!
  2. The Oz Mini by Joseph & Stacey is the perfect handbag to add to your evening look. You can leave your wallet at home with the built-in credit card holders and clever pockets for cash. It is tiny but leaves just enough room for the essentials. Also, the best part is their bags are customizable – from color to fabrication!
  3. Rompers are always a fun alternative to the LBD as well! I’m all about this classy ASOS Romper with Shirt Detail. It looks like a two-part ensemble, yet it’s way simpler and saves the time and stress of finding a perfect top-to-bottom match! For colder temps you can pair it up with some tights and a cute cardigan, as well.
  4. Simple black pumps are a given! But these ASOS Stamp Heels have a subtle and sweet appeal with that Mary Jane effect. The wrap-around ankle buckle makes them easier to prance around in, and a thicker heel is a total must, with regards to practicality, if you are looking to stand a little taller.
  5. LBD may be the way to go, but a splash of color never hurt anyone! A Chocolate Fudge Cake Scarf by CJW is the perfect accessory to spruce up a simpler ensemble, without going overboard. Not to mention, these scarves are soft as can be and come in a variety of very fun prints and patterns -- a great addition to your 2016 accessory collection!
  6. And let’s finish things off by going back to the root of our inspiration here – a classic black dress! But keep it fun with a piece like this one by Pins & Needles from Urban Outfitters! Flared sleeves, a front keyhole and easy-breezy back vent – this look is a chic, classy and playful option to ring in a New Year with great style.

Here’s to a fashionable and friend-filled 2016 with Skout!

Laura Ellner - Born and bred in Orange County, California, Laura spent most of her childhood / teen years as a high-level competitive gymnast, which helped her become the proud misfit she is today…simultaneously teaching her the important value of discipline and hard work. She currently resides in Paris, where she’s continuing on her journey toward self-discovery. A nomad of sorts, looking to embrace anything and everything that comes her way!


FASHION AND BEAUTY SHINE IN THE GIFT STORE

Need a shopping buddy? Drop a not-so-subtle hint by giving your nearby Skout friend the Retail Therapy Gift, now in the Skout Gift Store!

Retail Therapy

Fashion and Beauty Gifts are brand-new in the Gift Store, and they range from pretty — Lipstick, Little Blue Dress and more ...

Little Blue Dress

... to fashion victim, including Manbun and Lumbersexual.

Manbun

Find these Gifts and more in the Fashion and Beauty category in the Gift Store. They're free for now, but don't let this opportunity fade away -- Fashion and Beauty Gifts are available on Skout for a limited time!

Tap here to learn how to give a Gift in Skout.


HEALTH AND FITNESS

SKOUTERS AND EXPERTS TALK FITNESS FOR THE NEW YEAR

https://youtu.be/FaybOGxT5_U


5 WAYS TO STICK WITH YOUR NEW YEARS WORKOUT RESOLUTION

By Ursula Dailey

You know how it goes. It's New Year's Eve, and everyone is going around sharing their resolutions. Chances are, you hear a lot of this: Spend more time at the gym, go to spin classes multiple times per week, lose some weight, gain more muscle. You'll all resolve to hit the gym hard starting tomorrow, filled with renewed vigor, recovering from champagne, and embracing visions of a whole new you.

I have always found New Year’s resolutions to be a bit of a Catch-22. I like them because they give us a universally recognized time to check in with ways we could improve and a solid starting point from which we can work toward personal and professional goals. Add on the fact that everyone is doing it all at the same time, and it's a little easier to get after whatever your goals are knowing that you're not alone in the attempt.

Yet year after year, once February rolls around and the residual New Year’s excitement has worn off, all these resolutions start to fade into the background. Crowded gyms clear out, and it's not as much of a struggle to find a place to put your mat in yoga class. The everyday demands of life catch up to us and shift our minds back to other things, because bottom line, it's hard to maintain changes in the long term.

So what can you do to avoid falling off the wagon come February? Never fear: There are a few easy ways to avoid New Year's resolution burnout, involving everything from getting a workout buddy who has your back to revamping your activewear wardrobe. Here are five tips to help you and your friends stay focused, engaged, and on top of your goals throughout the year.

Find your "ride or die" workout buddy. Workout partners are essential when it comes to getting yourself to the gym, a class, or out for a run. Choose your buddy with care. It can be a friend, family member, or significant other — but make sure they're someone who comes through consistently when they commit to something. Having someone there to motivate you, cheer you on, and (most importantly) be there on time and ready to work makes all the difference. There's also the additional perk of increased accountability when you know someone is counting on you to show up. If working out with a friend at the same time isn’t an option, try checking in with each other via text at the start and end of your workouts: Compare notes on what you did, your “wins” for the day, and your plan for your next session. You can use fitness apps designed to help friends hold each other accountable and even initiate a little healthy competition.

Make it manageable. Deciding you're going to hit the gym seven days a week is all well and good, but realistically, aggressive workout plans crumble the second work or social engagements get in the way. This becomes especially hard if you’re planning to work out with a buddy — trying to make two schedules mesh together becomes harder the more times you try to meet up each week. It will serve you better to start small and work up, and you can always increase your workout time once you know you and your buddy can maintain it. Commit to something you know both of you can stick with, even if that means just one to two times a week or cutting the workouts down into 15- or 30-minute chunks. If you’re flying solo at the gym but still staying in contact with your friends via fitness apps, try challenging each other to see who can hit their weekly workout goal the most consistently. You and your workout partner will find that taking on more as you go forward feels way better than having to scale back from where you started.

Pick and train for an event or a race. For those who need a goal to work toward beyond getting more fit or losing weight, signing up for a race — whether that be a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon, cycling road race, triathlon, or obstacle course race — gives you something a little more concrete to set your sights on. Get a buddy (or two) to sign up with you for extra fun and support, especially if you're planning to do a Spartan Race, Urbanathlon, or Tough Mudder. Challenge your friends to fitness tests to see how you’re progressing as you work up to your race!

Double up social time with a workout. Hiking, playing a pickup game of basketball or ultimate frisbee, going out dancing, biking to get coffee -- all these activities can help you break a sweat while spending time with friends. Get your friends in on making at least one social gathering per week exercise-based instead of hitting a bar or restaurant. This allows you to knock out a workout without missing out on hanging with friends or feeling like you have to sacrifice being active to maintain your social schedule.

Get some new gear. If you're looking your best, you'll feel your best. I find this principle holds true not just for everyday wear, but workout apparel as well. While it might seem like nothing, getting a new pair of shoes or adding other refreshers to your activewear wardrobe can help you feel more powerful and confident going into your workouts. While you’re shopping for yourself, consider gifting a friend with a pair of new shorts or yoga pants over the holidays to encourage them to join you at the gym once January rolls around.

Ursula DaileyUrsula Dailey - Born and raised in the East Bay, Ursula is a retired NCAA Division I swimmer (and single-sitting Haagen-Dazs pint-eater) who still enjoys being in the water and nomming on sweet treats every once in a while. When she’s not collaborating with the Spright editorial team, you can find her exploring the greater Bay Area, frequenting local breweries, and rallying friends to do triathlon relays, half marathons, and Spartan races.


RUN TO THE GIFT STORE FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS GIFTS

Flex your virtual muscles by giving the Kettlebell or the Punching Bag — now in the Skout Gift Store!

Kettlebell

The Health and Fitness category lets you serve up a tasty Paleo Plate or delicious Kale to your favorite Skout friends.

Paleo Plate

And let Skouters know you’re looking for a gym partner by giving the Workout Buddies Gift.

Workout Buddies

Find these Gifts and more in the Health and Fitness category in the Gift Store. They're free for now, but don't let this opportunity run away from you -- Health and Fitness Gifts are available on Skout for a limited time!

Don’t know how to give a Gift in Skout? Tap here!


GREEN SMOOTHIES NOT YOUR THING? TRY THIS!

I happen to be a fan of green smoothies. But if you’re like 18% of Skouters who’d pass on the green stuff, here is a non-green version that’s rich in vitamins -- namely, the good-vibes vitamin B12. I used four whole tangerines (without peels), which translates to about a cup of fresh juice. It’s easier than juicing, and the pulp is good for you!

THE HAPPY PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE Ingredients 1 cup of fresh orange juice 1 cup of frozen pineapple 1 banana 5 ice cubes 1/3 cup almond milk

Throw all the ingredients in a blender until smooth! This recipe makes two servings. Serve one for you and one for your bestie!

Happy Pineapple Smoothie

Nikki Castellanos

nikki_skout Nikki is a member of the Skout team. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, she’s been in the Bay Area for the past 3 years. A proud San Francisco 49er fan, she will always sport red and gold for her team. Go Niners! On weekends, she can be found taking her four dogs for walks around China Beach.


HOW DO YOU #GETFIT?

78% of Skouters are going to resolve to exercise more in 2016. How are you planning to meet your workout goals? Are you a fan of spinning, obstacle course races, yoga, running? Snap a picture of yourself or you and a friend working out together with the hashtag #getfit on the Buzz. We’ll choose our favorites and gift them 500 points!

#getfit


LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS

5 TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR BUDDY YOUR BESTIE

Interview with Rachel and Nikko

How long have you been friends? Nikko: We’ve known each other for a while, but we became close about six years ago.

Where did you two meet? Nikko: I remember meeting Rachel at her high school dance. A friend of mine also went to the same school and I attended the dance with her and then met Rach. We were re-introduced, years later, by mutual friends. Rachel: We ran in the same circles in high school, so we used to see each other around.

What personality trait about one another were you most drawn to? Nikko: Her modesty. LOL. Rachel: She’s a lot like me. And I like me. Sooooooo… How often do you call/text each other throughout the week? Nikko: Every time I am eating something really good. Rachel: We talk to each other every day!

What are your top 5 tips for sustaining a strong friendship?

  1. When I rise, you rise. Lift each other up.
  2. Know when to play devil’s advocate and when to just be my friend and hate all the same things I do.
  3. Be someone I can count on, no matter what.
  4. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  5. Food, wine, and shopping are a good idea for every occasion, good or bad.

Nikko is a member of the Skout team. She was born and raised in San Francisco, but she considers the world her oyster. Her passion lies in all things food and beverage. She works to travel, writes to stay sane, sings to be heard and, most of all, lives to love.

rachel_skout Rachel is a member of the Skout team. She’s a daydreaming, travel addicted, shopaholic, bossy-pants kinda girl who prefers to drink whiskey on the rocks.


CULTIVATE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP WITH NEW GIFTS

Giving Gifts is a great way to remind Skouters what they mean to you. Craving some girl talk with your bestie? Send her Friendly Drinks:

Find the Friendly Drinks gift in the Skout Gift Store.

Want to watch the game with a friend? Send him or her the Whoop Whoop Gift:

Check out the Love and Relationships category in the Skout Gift Store.

Find Selfie Stick, Movie Night and more in the Love and Relationships category in the Gift Store — all free for a limited time!

Tap here to find out how to give Gifts in Skout.


FRIENDS WILL PLAY A BIG ROLE IN HELPING YOU MEET YOUR 2016 GOALS


WORK AND MONEY

SKOUTERS AND EXPERTS TALK MONEY FOR THE NEW YEAR

https://youtu.be/dsumgrKNbZc

WHAT'S NEW IN TECH FOR THE NEW YEAR? SKOUT MAKES ITS PREDICTIONS https://youtu.be/lXDDMzl-Hvg


WORK AND MONEY GIFTS -- FREE IN THE GIFT STORE

Visualize success with Work and Money Gifts — free right now in the Skout Gift Store! Dolla dolla bill y'all:

Dollar

Congratulate that Skouter on his or her new job:

skout_work_newjob

And let people know it’s time for coffee:

Coffee Clock

Find these Gifts and more in the Work and Money category in the Gift Store for a limited time!

Tap here to learn how to give a Gift in Skout.


HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FRIEND NETWORK TO LAND YOUR DREAM JOB

By Jena Viviano

The Ball in Times Square hasn’t dropped yet, but you know beyond a shadow of a doubt what your 2016 New Year’s resolution is going to be: Find a new job, preferably, of the dream variety. You know, the type of job you thought you would have when you graduated from college with all that student debt (insert bawling emoji here). The kind of job where you are actually passionate about your work, like your co-workers and feel you’re being properly compensated for all your effort. The kind of job you are excited to get to every morning. Now that’s the dream.

It’s a fabulous resolution. But the biggest question is: Where do you start?

Well, you may be surprised that the answer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend hours sifting through job boards, career websites or attending stuffy networking events. In fact, the first step to finding your dream job lies with the people you spend most of your time with: your friends.

Pick their brains Maybe you’ve decided you want to find your dream job, but you don’t actually know what that is. Or maybe you think you know what you want to do, but you need to make sure it is actually for you. Either way, asking your friends what they like and don’t like about their jobs is really going to help you decipher if a certain occupation is for you. So pick their brains. Ask them questions about why they love (or hate!) their jobs. Is it the industry? What about the work-life balance? Is their day-to-day work challenging? What about the culture? Do they like to spend time with co-workers outside of the office? Is there opportunity for promotion? All of these questions will help you understand what you may love or hate about your future career.

Land the office invite It’s safe to say that most companies host some sort of networking events – whether that be a happy hour, holiday party or key speaker series. If there is an open invite, ask if you can join in on the festivities. And of course, return the favor by bringing them to your work functions as well. Think about it: It’s a win-win. More time with with your bestie, plus you’re expanding your professional network! It’s an easy, casual way to meet new people. Not to mention, if you want to work for your friend’s company, this is a smart way to get your foot in the door! You could even shadow your friend for a day - arguably, the best way to understand the culture, meet potential coworkers and showcase your dedication.

Get the inside recruiting scoop! Say you figured out your dream job and know exactly what company you want to be a part of. Because you have a friend who’s invited you to the office, you’ve spent time getting to know the company’s mission, meeting the people and realizing this is the place for you! Now it’s time to apply. Unlike most blind job applications, you have an advantage here. You have a friend who’s on the inside. They’ve gone through the process before. They know what the recruiters look for in a candidate and how best to prepare. Use them! Let them help you become the rock star candidate you know you are.

Ask for a referral Statistics show that referrals are the No. 1 source of hires in Corporate America. Hiring managers know that current employees won’t suggest a candidate unless they are incredibly sure they would be a good fit for the role and the company’s culture. Plus, some statistics show that referrals tend to stay at a company longer and perform better at their jobs. Basically, if your friend believes that you have a stellar work ethic and would be a good fit, your chances for landing that dream job exponentially increase. So when it’s appropriate and when you’re ready to apply, ask your friend to help a brother/sister out!

All in all, the job application process doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. It can actually be incredibly fun and a natural part of your normal social activity. So get your friends together and go after your dream job!

Jena VivianoJena Viviano - After escaping investment banking, Jena spent two years at the New York Stock Exchange, meeting with CEOs and reporting live from the Trading Floor. Now, she helps companies tell their story on The Muse. When she's not hustling away, you can find her running along the Hudson, hosting wine night for her Apostles' church crew, or doing some musing of her own, here. Say hey on Twitter.


Skouters Buzz What They’re #Thankful For

Skouters Buzz What They’re #Thankful For

When we asked Skouters what they’re thankful for, we didn’t expect such a broad response! People from all over the world posted on Buzz that they’re thankful for friends, family, Thanksgiving celebrations, pets and, yes, even pizza. We asked Skouters to post on Buzz what they’re thankful for, hashtagged #thankful, and we chose our favorites to award 500 Points to each.

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