The best kitten heels for women who hate stilettos

I remember the uni days when I dance all night in the most ridiculous high heels. Walking in them made me look like Bambi, and God knows how I managed to not end up in A&E once.

That’s not to say I hate stilettos, they can be beautiful on other women, but they are just not for me. So I must admit I welcomed the kitten heel trend with open arms last season.

They were everywhere on the catwalk, from Balenciaga to Prada and Gucci, Miu Miu and The Row. Even stiletto lover Christian Louboutin got in on the action, a sure sign that this trend is here to stay.

As last season’s Marks & Spencer kitten heel mules proved, this trend isn’t for everyone, however if you want to join me, this is how I’m wearing it.

How to wear kitten heels

You’d be better off asking, how don’t you wear kitten heels, that’s how versatile I’ve found them. They add an elegant touch to cropped jeans, go superbly with a silk midi dress and even better with a checked or corduroy suit. I would say the one rule I abide by is to show a little bit of ankle if you’re wearing kitten mules or sandals as otherwise it can look a little unflattering, and if you’re worried about being cold in winter, pair them with a metallic sock, or swap them for some kitten boots.

Kitten heel mules

These are by far my favourite, as a pretty velvet kitten mules goes with everything. Everyone on the high street has gotten in on the trend, with Mango and Zara serving up some great options.

Shop now: ACNE STUDIOS Leather mules for £330 from Net-A-Porter

Kitten heel boots

Kitten heel boots are the ideal solution to take the trend into autumn/winter. This season is of course all about animal print, so mix two trends in one by opting for a leopard print or snake print style.

Shop now: SLINGBACK KITTEN HEELS for £29.99 from ZARA

Kitten heel shoes

I’m loving the bourgeoise take on the trend, in the form of low courts, preferably the tweed or slingback variety, as seen at Balenciaga, Mulberry and The Row. For a more modern approach, look to Neous and By Far.

Shop now: Leopard print boot for £115 from Dune

Keep scrolling to shop my edit of the best kitten heels right now.

The post The best kitten heels for women who hate stilettos appeared first on Marie Claire.

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The 5 best island based movies that will make you want to travel the world

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There are certain things we just love about movies – the storylines, the actors and actresses, the props, the special effects, and the locations. Because movies don’t make our lives seem pretty average enough (jokes, they do really), they then have to add some incredible locations to the mix. Many of our favorite movies take place on luscious islands that make us want to crawl through the television screens and sunbathe on their golden sand. Can someone make that happen? Please?

50 First Dates

50 First Dates follows the incredible love story between Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, and his pursuit to win her over. But there’s one problem – Drew’s character has no short-term memory, and forgets who he is each day! We love this story, but we also love the backdrop. This film was primarily filmed on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. These locations included Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Waimanalo, Makapu’u and Kaneo’ohe Bay. And they really are beautiful. With luscious green surroundings, aquamarine water, and impressive peaks, we really, really want to take a trip to Hawaii (and make a volcano out of waffles, of course).

Pirates of the Caribbean

Okay, so Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t exactly the happy-go-lucky franchise we know and love from most other island movies (although it probably could be if they drank a bit more rum). However, despite all of the fighting, the gunshots, the mutants, sea creatures and the robbery, there are some incredible backdrops throughout the five movies that make us want to sit on a beach, drink a few Pina Coladas and sunbathe. But you’ll definitely need to pack a few outfit changes if you want to see these islands, as the movies were filmed at multiple locations – including Tortuga, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Molokai, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the Bahamas. That’ll do.

Dr. No

We all love a good 007 movie – and James Bond does always seem to travel to exotic places. Which means we can too, right? You know, for research purposes? The 1962 movie follows the life of James Bond as he travels to Jamaica to solve the mystery of a fellow spy agent. And of course, that means he gets a good ol’ look-see at what Jamaica has to offer. With the palm trees, sandy beaches, powder blue ensembles and some pretty small bikinis, it seems like he had a pretty good time…

Couples Retreat

Couples Retreat is a little slice of heaven – just not for Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jean Reno, Kali Hawk, Faizon Love, Kristin Davis or Malin Akerman. When a luxury holiday goes wrong, it’s hard to appreciate the incredible scenery that Bora Bora has to offer. But we could. So we’d happily take a trip to the islands of Bora Bora, stay in a sea cabin, and enjoy the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. You know, if we have to.

The Beach

We’re always going to watch anything with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. That’s just a given. But when a movie has Leonardo in it, AND some incredible island scenery in the background – well, let’s just say we’re in for a treat. This 2000 movie was based on the Alex Garland novel of the same name and is set on the picturesque Koh Phi Phi island in Thailand. Although some of the scenery in The Beach was digitally added post-filming, we’d still love to check it out and see what it really has to offer. Because it looks right up our street (not really, it’s actually quite far away).

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Brave Frontier, Cube Escape, Warhammer, and the best iPhone games of the week

Best Free iPhone Games

Despite having been around for about three and a half years, I feel like not nearly enough people know about the Cube Escape games. These exceptionally clever puzzle games are somehow a perfect combination of creepy and funny, and the tenth entry in the series just hit the App Store this week. Do yourself a favor and pick it up (for free!), along with the seven other titles on this list. There are worse ways to spend your weekend.

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Brave Frontier, Cube Escape, Warhammer, and the best iPhone games of the week originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 22 Sep 2018 at 15:03:48 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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20 of the best UK hotels, B&Bs and campsites for walkers

After a day’s hiking, a cosy place to bed down for the night feels like heaven. All these boltholes are in walking country and many offer extras such as guides, pick-ups and picnics

At the foot of the imposing Cadair Idris mountains, the Old Rectory in Tal-y-Llyn offers access to Snowdonia’s quieter southern reaches, as well as good walking around the nearby market town of Machynlleth, including Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail. Two of the B&B’s four attractive lake-view rooms have big, free-standing baths, ideal for an end-of-walk soak, or muscles can be soothed in the hot tub outside.
Walks An easy 2-mile trail loops around Tal-y-Llyn lake – look out for otters. A tougher haul is the climb up 893-metre Cadair Idris along the Minffordd Path via Llyn Cau (6 miles).
Double from £100 B&B, rectoryonthelake.co.uk

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The best highlighter for your glowiest skin ever

The fastest way to get an added radiance boost

best highlighter

First came contouring, then came the best highlighter in every shade, finish and intensity imaginable.

With so many on the beauty market, it can be overwhelming to know which is the best highlighter for you to stock up on.

Read on as the Marie Claire beauty team chart the latest and greatest formulas, from liquids to powders and everything in between.

Best drugstore highlighter

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder, £9, Boots

best highlighter NYX Duo Chromatic Highlighting Powder

NYX makes some of the best highlighters you’ll get your hands on for under a tenner, available in rosy blush and bronze finishes. Don’t be put off by the blue shade – it adds a bright, silvery, ethereal glow that’s out of this world. Collect them all!

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Best highlighter palettes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, £59, Space NK

best highlighter Hourglass Ambient Lighting

 

When it comes to the best highlighter palettes, Hourglass users are rarely (read: never) disappointed. Their Amibent Lighting Palette gives skin a gleam in different blushing shades and makes it instantly look five times healthier, whatever the weather. Dust all over for a radiant glow or apply to cheekbones to make your whole face pop.

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Best liquid highlighter

Iconic London Illuminator Drops, £33, House of Fraser

best highlighter Iconic London

Iconic’s highlighting drops are, well, pretty iconic in the beauty community. Liquid highlighter is great because it’s so versatile: for a seriously extra chrome glow, apply these drops straight onto skin; or mix a drop with your best foundation or moisturiser for an overall healthy finish to your skin.

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Best highlighter for fair skin

BURBERRY Fresh Glow Stick in Nude Radiance, £25, Fabled

best highlighter Burberry

Developed with the help of legendary make-up artist Wendy Rowe, you can see why this is the perfect stick for highlighting dozens of models backstage at fashion week; it’s super-quick and easy to use and creates a natural-looking radiance in seconds. The colour finish is a creamy, butter like shade, making it perfect for fairer skin tones.

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Best highlighter for dark skin

Glossier Haloscope, £18, glossier.com

best highlighters Glossier

Instagrammble brand Glossier, brought to you by blogger extraordinaire Emily Weiss, has completely taken off since its UK launch. Their Haloscope stick highlighters contain a sheen, crystal-enriched highlighting formula as well as a solid balm core to up your skin’s sheen. Plus, the stick formula makes them handbag-friendly for on the go glow ups.

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Shop our edit of more of the best highlighter shades below.

Now go forth and shine bright.

The post The best highlighter for your glowiest skin ever appeared first on Marie Claire.

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How to Get Ready for Fall: Wardrobe Maintenance & Best Buys

As this article is first being published, we’re just a few short days away from the official arrival of fall here in the northern hemisphere. Thus, we’ve put together a guide on how best to get your wardrobe ready for the change in seasons, as well as a list of more great buys for fall (and winter).

Before we delve into some more specific recommendations of what to add to your style arsenal, let’s first go over some tips for how to whip your closet into shape.

How to Get Your Wardrobe Ready for Fall

As a general rule, most men will likely have to spend less time “rotating their wardrobes” as the women in their lives (though exceptions on both sides do exist, of course). Especially for the man who has developed a well-functioning capsule wardrobe, many of the same pieces can be worn across multiple seasons. With that said, even the most versatility-conscious among us will probably have accrued a few questionable items over the past six months to a year; as such, while you might not be bringing bins of garments in and out of storage, this transitional period from warmer to colder weather is an opportune time to give your closet a bit of a tune-up.

My Ikea Pax Wardrobes

Two of Sven Raphael Schneider’s Ikea Pax wardrobes (suitably well-sorted!)

This wardrobe readjustment shouldn’t take you more than a few hours, if your items are already decently well-organized–if not, of course, this will also be a good time for you to get any large-scale messes back in order; for more help with this, consult our guide to Wardrobe Maintenance Essentials, or have a look at some helpful Tech Tools. Assuming things are under control however, the goal here should simply be to make an honest assessment of what it is that you regularly wear, what’s worn less commonly that still has a well-defined purpose or function (for example, a black-tie outfit), and what items fit neither of these categories. In this latter case, you can separate garments into the further categories of things unworn because they’re in need of repair (or are irreparable), and things that no longer harmonize with your personal style. Remember to be open to discarding things–don’t just hold onto items if all they’re doing is taking up space–and you’ll find that sorting into categories will make this process go by smoothly and efficiently.

Large Closet with carpet and special hangers that allow even shorter people to hang their clothes on the top rack

A large walk-in closet–fairly well-organized, but it could be using its space even more efficiently!

Here are a few simple steps that should help you to review and edit your existing wardrobe. At the end of said steps, you’ll be better acquainted with what in your closet is ready for fall, and what you could stand to remove.

A Simple Guide to Wardrobe Maintenance

Place each of the items in your wardrobe into one of five sections: Toss, Clean, Repair/Tailor, Consign/Donate, and Ready to Wear.

  • Toss: Simply put, anything with holes or permanent stains has outlived its usefulness. Nothing neutralizes the effect of an otherwise sharp outfit like the sight of a worn-out garment like a shirt with yellow underarms, a tie with a prominent grease stain, or a sock full of holes. If it can’t be cleaned or repaired (see below), it’s time to toss.
Use Baby Powder to Remove Oil Stains

An oil stain of this nature might be able to be removed at home. If not, dry cleaning should take care of it.

  • Clean: If a garment has more manageable stains or blemishes, it may be able to be brought back to life by a reputable dry cleaner. Try to remember the age of the stain, as well as the materials involved; the more information that you can give to the cleaner, the better. Remember that clothes should be dry cleaned only when absolutely necessary, so if the garment in question just needed a regular at-home laundering, take care of that, as well. Be sure to read your tags!
  • Repair/Tailor: If you’ve been refraining from wearing an item because of a missing button, a frayed cuff, or an open seam, take the initiative to get the item properly repaired. This can be done at home, of course, if you’re confident enough in your own sewing abilities, but if the nature of the repair is more advanced, a professional might be better suited for the job. Similarly, if you’ve got a garment that’s only slightly too big or too small on you (generally, within one size in either direction), a quality tailor should be able to alter the piece to fit you properly. Fit is the most important aspect of any wardrobe, after all, so do what you can to get all of your clothes looking neat and trim.
A typical all-in-one dry cleaning machine

A typical all-in-one dry cleaning machine.

  • Consign/Donate: There are a few key reasons to donate some of your garments, assuming they’re still in good enough condition not to end up in the “toss” pile. Firstly, if the garment in question no longer harmonizes with the sort of wardrobe you’ve developed for yourself (let’s say, for example, a durable pair of baggy cargo shorts?), it’s a good candidate for donation. Also, if you’ve got clothing that no longer fits you by a factor of multiple sizes–either too small or too big–or if it’s so obviously dated to a particular era that it couldn’t be worn outside of a Halloween costume, it may be time to donate these items, as well. Feel free to keep one powder-blue leisure suit on hand if you’ve got a 1970s-themed party planned, but otherwise, say goodbye to examples of extreme trends. As a bonus, the money you could earn from consigned clothes and the tax deduction for your donations can be put towards buying pieces that will better complement and your existing wardrobe!
  • Ready to Wear: After you’ve put everything else into one of the other four categories, what you should have remaining are the items that you already wear frequently and that you know make you look great. Just to be sure that these items are in fact being worn as much as you think, try one of our favorite style hacks, and use the directional alignment of your clothes hangers to act as a visual shorthand for what’s being worn most. If you get through the season without wearing some items, they might be able to be gotten rid of the next time you streamline your wardrobe.
hangers facing in one direction and put them in the other way when garment is worn

To easily keep track of what you wear, start with your hangers facing in one direction, and switch them when a garment is worn.

As simple as that, your current wardrobe has been primed for the oncoming fall season! Here are a few additional notes:

  • Any items that you’ve decided to keep for sentimental reasons should be placed in long-term storage (and stored in a space not used for your clothes).
  • If the above steps are difficult for you to tackle alone, ask a friend or close family member to offer their opinions.

Now that you’ve gone through your wardrobe and eliminated what you won’t be wearing, however, you’d be even better suited for the new season by acquiring a few new garments. We’ve provided a list of 11 Must-Haves for Fall in the past, but here are some additional recommendations for autumnal attire.

10 Great Buys for Fall (& Winter!)

What follows is a list of 10 items (or in some cases, categories of items) that we believe will bring your fall wardrobe to the next level–and will keep you looking stylish through the winter.

1. Quality Outerwear (Trench Coats, Peacoats, Waxed-Cotton Jackets, & Leather Jackets)

As fall brings a chill in the air, you’re going to want to have a few options to layer on top of your outfits for added warmth. Additionally, there is always a chance that Mother Nature might throw in other elements, like rain or early snow. Whatever the case may be, a variety of choices in outerwear will be your best bet; as such, we recommend a few different styles, including the trench coat, peacoat, waxed cotton jacket, and leather jacket.

Sven Raphael Schneider in a trench coat

Sven Raphael Schneider, well-dressed for fall in a trench coat.

2. More Leather Goods (Dress Boots, Bags, Watch Bands, etc.)

Fall is perhaps the ideal season for various leather accessories, given that their various shades of tan, brown, and red echo the hues of the foliage. As such, now may be the perfect time to take the plunge on that pair of Chelsea boots you’ve been eyeing for months, step up your business ensembles with a new briefcase, or give your wrist a subtle hint of rich color with a leather watch band. Of course, the leather accessories in the Fort Belvedere shop are worthwhile additions, as well!

Barker Luxembourg Chelsea Boot with Brogueing

Barker Luxembourg Chelsea Boot with Brogueing

3. Cotton Flannel Button-Up Shirts

As with warm leather hues, there’s no better time than fall to break out the tartans, plaids, and other checked patterns, especially when it comes to shirts. Wearing a subtle check with a typical dress shirt is great for the office, but for more casual days at home or out and about, nothing says fall like a soft cotton flannel button-up in a plaid pattern. While a large red-and-black buffalo plaid may make you look like Paul Bunyan or the Brawny Man, there are more subtle ways to wear plaid, as well.

Plaid cotton flannel shirt, flannel chalk stripe suit, knit cardigan and donegal tweed overcoat

A plaid cotton flannel shirt can even be dressed up; here, an attendee of Pitti Uomo wears one with a flannel chalk stripe suit, knit cardigan and donegal tweed overcoat.

4. A Wool Fedora or Trilby

Our previous article on Fall Must-Haves spotlighted flat caps as an ideal piece of headwear for the colder seasons, and this remains true. For a slightly more formal touch, however, go with a hat featuring a full brim all around–namely, a fedora or trilby. Once you find the right type of hat for your face shape, select one in a warm and sturdy wool felt, and you’ll have a topper to last you for many falls and winters to come.

Sven Raphael Schneider in a fedora, vintage brown Caraceni suit, vest, winchester shirt, collar bar and spectators

Sven Raphael Schneider in a fall outfit consisting of fedora, vintage brown Caraceni suit, vest, winchester shirt, collar bar and spectators.

5. Rugby Shirts

Returning to shirts for a moment, another alternative that’s even less formal than the button-up (but still more formal than a simple t-shirt or crew-neck shirt) is the rugby shirt–sort of a long-sleeved sibling to the classic polo. Find one or two of these with a well-built collar and a classic striped design, and you’ll be able to channel your inner preppy this fall.

F.E. Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep wearing a varsity jacket, ocbd, rugby shirt, green chinos, and tassel loafers without socks

F.E. Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep wearing a varsity jacket, ocbd, rugby shirt, green chinos, and tassel loafers without socks

6. Scarves

For the particularly crisp fall days, just a piece of outerwear may not be enough to keep you warm. In such cases, having a quality scarf around your neck (tied as you like it) can be just the thing. Also, even if you don’t feel the need to be fully wrapped up, having a scarf along to provide an accent to your coat works just as handsomely. Available in a wide variety of materials, weaves, and styles, there’s a type of scarf for every man–and we’ve got a great selection available at Fort Belvedere!

Red Burgundy and Blue Scarf Double Sided Wool Silk by Fort Belvedere

Red Burgundy and Blue Scarf Double Sided Wool Silk by Fort Belvedere

7. A Camel-Hair Sports Coat or Overcoat

While perhaps no fabric is better suited for fall than a good wool tweed (preferably in a checked pattern like houndstooth), another option that’s somewhat overlooked is a jacket made from high-quality camel hair. Warm, sturdy, and usually in a tan color that complements fall wardrobes well, camel-hair sports coats are a welcome addition to any fall wardrobe. Consider an overcoat in camel hair, as well!

Camel overcoat with printed silk scarf

Camel overcoat with printed silk scarf

8. Dark Denim Jeans

Though jeans are often too informal for the wardrobe combinations of a gentleman–at least, when their fit is too loose, their color is too light, or their condition is too distressed–a good pair of well-fitted dark denim can act as a staple item for many smart-casual or even business casual outfits. Pair your dark jeans with one of your new rugby shirts and a leather jacket, and you’re equally ready for a walk in the countryside or a Sunday brunch. For an old-fashioned touch, you can pinroll them, too!

Several jeans and jacket combinations worn by Sven Raphael Schneider

Several winning combinations of jeans and a jacket, as worn by Sven Raphael Schneider.

9. Cardigan Sweaters

Our previous post on must-haves extolled the virtues of lightweight knitted sweaters, and we’re following up on that point here, with a specific shout-out to the cardigan style. The cardigan’s buttoned front gives it a slightly different look from pullover styles, and this extra element of vertical detailing makes it look especially smart when worn under a sports coat, or even with a full suit. Zippered sweaters will give you the full Mister-Rogers look (which is perfectly fine, should you want it!), but the cardigan strikes a good balance between sporty and professorial.

Darmody in Suit with Cardigan in Muted Dark Colors

A very fall-appropriate outfit, featuring warm, muted colors and a cardigan layered under a sturdy suit.

10. Odd Trousers (in Different Fabrics & Patterns)

The final item on this list echoes the previous list’s mention of corduroys, in that it can never hurt to have a few other pairs of smart-casual trousers in your wardrobe, to provide some additional variety among the jeans, khakis, and cords. Whether you opt for cotton flannels in a warm fall color (or the classic solid gray), or wool-cashmere blends in a small check, you’ll be glad to have some more options at the ready, to keep your lower half just as well-outfitted as your upper.

Business Casual combination with silk knit tie

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a combination of sports coat (actually a suit jacket) and odd trousers.

Conclusion

In broad strokes, remember that a well-executed fall wardrobe takes advantage of  textures, layers, earth tones, and soft, warm fabrics; for more advice on matching these effectively, consult this guide. Start by cleaning and organizing your closet, then move on to acquiring some of the recommended garments above. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be ready to attend any fall party, hayride, or bonfire in style!


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10 of the best historical walks in the UK: readers’ travel tips

From a Tolkien trail in Lancashire to Gloucestershire’s war poet walks, our tipsters reveal trips through landscapes brimming with history

Start the Tolkien Trail at the hamlet of Hurst Green, home to three pubs and no shops, and head north towards the 500-year-old Stonyhurst College, which schooled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Gerard Manley Hopkins and at which JRR Tolkien stayed numerous times throughout his life. The area around the college is said to have inspired the Shire, the land of the Hobbits. The five-mile circular route features the so-called Cromwell’s Bridge, which the New Model Army crossed to meet the Royalists at Preston in 1648. Magnificent views of Pendle Hill, famed for its witches, and Clitheroe Castle also star in this magical walk.
Chris

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Breaking Down the Best Hair Moments at the 2018 Emmys

We are all about that hair — and makeup too! Here at Stylish, we’ve never seen a hairstyle or makeup trend we couldn’t talk about for days on end, so we started a podcast to dish on all the latest beauty news — from hits and misses on the red carpet to celebrity hair and makeup gurus’ dos and don’ts. Each week, Us Weekly beauty director Gwen Flamberg talks with some of the best in the biz about what’s new in hair, makeup and style in our Get Tressed With Us podcast. Listen above!

This week, Gwen, Us Weekly deputy beauty and style director Beth Shapouri and senior reporter Travis Cronin welcomed celebrity hairstylist Tommy Buckett (i.e. Elisabeth Moss’ mane man) to talk about all the best beauty looks from the 2018 Emmys red carpet.

Earlier this month, Buckett called into the podcast to offer his Emmys predictions and tease the fact that Moss would debut a hot new ‘do at the awards ceremony. As it turns out, the Handmaid’s Tale producer and actor bumped up her blonde locks just before the ceremony to a color Buckett describes as “lighter and brighter,” and her whole Emmys vibe was a lesson in Old Hollywood glamour.

Elisabeth Moss
Rich Polk/Getty

Rocking a curve-hugging black Vera Wang mididress, Buckett explained that he was inspired by the “vampy,” “La Dolce Vita meets bad Sandy” feel of the frock and opted to create bombshell waves.

Instead of using a curling iron to sculpt the glossy bends, he set the hair with bobby pins and a round brush before adding heat with his Dyson dryer (we’ve got a step-by-step guide to recreating the look!). Paired with a glowing skin and a vibrant red-orange lip, Moss’ sultry glam would have made silver screen sirens like Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield proud.

For more of the week’s hair and makeup news — including the Stylish team’s favorite hair moments from the 2018 Emmys — make sure to listen to the full podcast above and subscribe!


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See the Best Beauty Looks From the 2018 Emmy Awards

It’s not the Emmy Awards’ fault, necessarily, but the fact that they fell on a Monday evening during Fashion Month meant they really had to bring it. And as far as the red carpet was concerned, “it” was, indeed, brought. We were pleasantly surprised to see a fair amount of creativity, whimsy and …

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5 best stand up comedy clubs in NYC

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We all love a good laugh once in awhile (okay, all the time. Did you know laughing burns calories?!) and there’s no better way to laugh your socks off than visiting a comedy club. Whether you watch world-renowned comics or comedic newbies, you’re bound to hear something funny – or, at least, we’d hope. New York City is one of the best places in the world to see stand-up comedy because it’s home to some of the most incredible comedy clubs! Don’t believe us? Check these out (and be prepared to roll on the floor laughing, laugh out loud, laugh your derriere off etcetera etcetera):

Comedy Cellar – MacDougal Street, New York City

Comedy Cellar in New York City is often regarded as the biggest apple in the Big Apple. With its brick walls, low ceilings, and small audience space, this cellar has become world-renowned for its high class and intimate stand-up comedy gigs starring some of the most prolific comedians in the business. With comedians like Amy Schumer, Chris Rock and Louis CK turning up out of the blue to play their own set, visitors are always leaving with a smile on their face (and some tired cheeks). The Comedy Cellar is also one of the most prominent comedian hang out spots in New York, and they all congregate up the stairs at the Olive Tree Cafe. So if you want to rub shoulders with some of the best in the comedy business, buy your tickets in advance for the Comedy Cellar – because they sell out quickly!

Gotham Comedy Club – West 23rd Street, New York City

No, you won’t get to see Batman shading The Joker with his jokes in this club – although that would be pretty cool. Is that a thing? Can we make that a thing? The Gotham Comedy Club offers weekly comedy shows, but the weekend is where it’s at. During the weekends, this comedy club features some of the best up and coming comedy headliners for the audience to laugh their heads off. This is one of the best ways to see new talent and see something like never before. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any comedy veterans here. If you’re lucky, you might turn up on the day Jerry Seinfeld turns up to test out his new material. You know, as you do.

The Stand – Third Avenue, New York City

There’s nothing we love more than a roast. And we don’t mean the odd British meal that involves batter on a savory dish (I mean, whaaaat?) We mean the kind of roast where comedians battle against each other to rip each other apart in a hilarious fashion. Although a small venue, The Stand has made a name for itself since its opening in 2012, and now offers some of the best comedians in New York – including Mark Normand, Joe List, and Bonnie McFarlane. The roast occurs every Tuesday evening and is hosted by the incredibly funny, Luis J Gomez. It’s not to be missed.

Village Underground – West 3rd Street, New York City

The Village Underground comedy club is the Comedy Cellar’s sister located just around the corner. The only way we can describe this relationship is that the Village Underground is the epic work-in-progress of the Comedy Cellar. With the similar brickwork and small space, the club is almost identical aesthetically. However, rather than offering some of the most famous and in-demand comedians in the business, this club offers some of the best up-and-comers, who play regular slots in the club. These comedians will make you laugh through their one-hour set before they then land themselves on your Netflix list (so make sure you’re wearing colorful clothes when you go so you can spot yourself on TV!)

Carolines – Broadway, New York City

Considering it’s located on Broadway (which is just hella busy all the time) it’s no surprise that Carolines is one of the biggest stand-up comedy venues in New York City. With space for just over 300 audience members, Carolines offers comedy shows all throughout the week, but the piece de resistance is always the weekends. Every weekend, this club manages to book some of the most famous, professional and in-demand comedians – who all believe this gig to be a highlight of their career. So you want to be there, and so do the comedians!

If you’re looking for a bit of laughter during your next trip to NYC, check out these comedy clubs for all of the best laugh out loud moments. You won’t regret it.

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How to Buy the Best Steak for Your Money – The Steak Guide, Part II

In the first part of our Steak Guide, we discussed what a steak is (and isn’t), the related terminology, and what cuts of beef we recommend that you buy. The question remains, then: how should you go about buying your steak? This second part in the series answers that question, letting you know where and how to buy steak in order to get the highest quality product for your money.

Getting Started with Buying Your Steak

The first step to buying a great steak is to look at the components we discussed in Part I of this guide, in order to determine your preferred cut–whether that be a ribeye, a tenderloin, a New York Strip, a sirloin, or a t-bone or porterhouse.

Assortment of Steak Cuts at the butcher

Assortment of Steak Cuts at the butcher

Second, you look at the flavor profile. Is it grass-fed is it grain-fed or maybe grain fed with grass finish? Of course the size and the thickness of the steak are also very important. Most grocery-store steaks are usually cut very thin, while most chefs prefer a 1- to 2-inch thickness. At the end of the day, you should choose something that you’re comfortable cooking, because both can be over- and under-cooked. In our experience, we recommend slightly thicker cut steaks, as they preserve a bit of that nice pink area inside when prepared medium-rare.

Measure the Marbling – The USDA Grading Scale

A huge factor to consider when buying a steak is the amount of marbling, which is basically the amount of intramuscular fat. The marbling of steak can vary considerably depending on the cut you choose as well as the quality level of beef that you get. In the United States, the USDA has a grading system for beef that’s pretty universal; there are three main categories: USDA Select, Choice, and Prime. These three grading categories are simply based on the amount of marbling present in the beef. USDA Select is considered to be the lowest grade of steak you can get, but it’s therefore also the leanest one.

A handy infographic breaking down the USDA grading system.

Approximately 40% of all steaks are categorized as USDA Select. The next class up is USDA Choice, which will already have a higher degree of fine marbling visible; large chunks of fat are undesirable, because they won’t melt when you grill or sear a steak. Choice is the only category that is further sub-categorized into three: these sub-categorizations are small marbling, moderate marbling, and modest marbling. Small marbling represents approximately 37% of all steaks, modest marbling approximately 15%, and moderate marbling approximately 5%. Reigning supreme at the top of the USDA scale is the Prime steak. It’s the most flavorful choice, having the largest amount of marbling. Only about 3% of all steaks are graded as USDA Prime.

New York Strip aka Kansas City Strip Steak cuts with different degree of marbling - From Right to Left - Akaushi, Prime, Select, Grass Fed

New York Strip aka Kansas City Strip Steak cuts with different degree of marbling – From Right to Left – Akaushi, Prime, Select, Grass Fed

What About Grass-fed Beef?

Though it has become a desirable term (and something of a “buzz-word”) among consumers these days, we feel it’s important to note that “grass-fed” is not a protected or regulated term to any degree; thus, it can mean anything from a cow that ate just a tiny bit of grass to one that ate nothing but grass. As such, it really pays to understand where your grass-fed beef is coming from, and what the breeders are actually doing and feeding to their cattle. In general, grass-fed beef is leaner and has less intramuscular fat, simply because grass is not as energy-dense as grain. Also, grazing cows walk more than their grain-fed counterparts.

Grain Fed vs. Grass Fed

Grain Fed vs. Grass Fed

In recent years, grass-fed beef has become increasingly popular, touted by many as the healthy choice in steaks due to its higher amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. While this claim is true when comparing the amount of Omega-3 in grass-fed steak to conventional grain-fed cuts, the overall amount still pales in comparison to other foods. For example, a 3.5-ounce piece of sirloin steak that is grass-fed has about 80 milligrams of Omega-3; at the same time, a traditional or conventional grain-fed piece of beef of the same size and cut has about half that, at 40 milligrams. Comparing both of these cuts to a 3.5-ounce piece of salmon, we find that the salmon contains 1000 to 2000 milligrams of Omega-3, meaning you’ll get about 12 to 25 times as much in the same portion.

Cattle on a ranch near Elko, Nevada, USA.

Cattle on a ranch near Elko, Nevada, USA.

What does this mean in practice? While it’s true that the consumer will get more Omega-3 fatty acids with grass-fed beef, we suggest that you simply enjoy the occasional piece of salmon every once in a while, and stick with traditional grain-fed beef; thus, you’ll continue to enjoy the more complex flavors of grain-fed beef when indulging in a steak, while still maintaining a diet that is richer in Omega-3 overall. That being said: as we discussed previously, grass-fed cattle are more often raised under more humane conditions; fewer antibiotics are used, and the cattle are allowed to roam and graze rather than being confined to tight-fitting pens, with the added benefit that such conditions lead to less environmental pollution. All this being said, grass-fed steaks do have a distinct flavor that some people enjoy or even prefer. At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice which you must make for yourself, and there’s no right or wrong answer.

What About Angus Steaks?

Certified Angus is a term that you’ll often see in restaurants or grocery stores, but stated simply, it refers to a specific cattle breed, not a quality grading. Angus or Aberdeen Angus is a breed of Scottish cattle that is smaller than the typical American cattle. As it is a breed and not a grading, Angus steaks can be graded under the USDA system discussed above, just as is the case with non-Angus beef. The breed has been around in the US for quite a while; the American Angus Association was founded in Chicago in 1883, though interestingly, it took them until 1978 to come up with the Certified Angus beef standard. The purpose behind this certification was simply to promote the idea of a higher-quality beef. In order to meet the Certified Angus standard, the cow in question must be 51% black in color and exhibit Angus influence, which includes simmental cattle and cross-breeds. Other necessary criteria include higher-than-average marbling, a carcass size of under 1000 pounds, and a certain hump size.

Two cuts of Angus beef (bearing the Certified Angus logo) alongside standard USDA-graded cuts.

With that being said, it’s worth keeping in mind that even McDonald’s serves Certified Angus beef. In our opinion, most people would not be able to discern a tenderloin of Certified Angus beef from a tenderloin that is not Certified Angus in a blind test, whereas a great many people would immediately be able to tell the difference between (for example) a Select-grade tenderloin and a Prime tenderloin. As with the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, the difference in flavor (however marginal it may be) is yours to seek out if you prefer it.

What About Japanese Beef?

Given that these terms have also risen to greater popularity in recent years, let’s aim to answer the question of what characteristics are displayed by Kobe and Wagyu beef, and whether or not these Japanese cuts are worth your money. Stated simply, Kobe is a Japanese black cattle breed; more specifically, one of the Tajima substrain. It is fed on grain fodder, with a feeding period which is considerably longer than in the US (typically 26 to 32 months, as opposed to just 18). Kobe beef also has a much higher degree of intramuscular fat, the melting point of which is also much lower by comparison–meaning that when you eat it, it melts in your mouth like butter.

Steak Marbling Guide

A marbling guide to Japanese steaks.

There are only about 3000 cattle that qualify annually as authentic Kobe beef, and the best of them are never exported from Japan. Kobe grades go from a 1 at the low end to a 5 at the highest end. In the US, there are only a handful of restaurants that even offer a 5 grade Kobe beef. With this degree of exclusivity in mind, know that anything outside of these 3000 annually imported cattle are not the real deal, but rather a crossbreed between the Tajima strain and Angus cattle or other cattle in the US. In other words: whenever you are at the grocery store in the US and you see something advertised as Kobe beef, know that it’s simply not the real thing. If you are at a restaurant which touts that it does happen to serve genuine Kobe beef, it will cost you anywhere from $ 40 to $ 60 per ounce to enjoy such a steak–almost $ 2 per gram. While there are, in fact, some American Kobe beef breeders who have not crossbred their cattle, and they have them DNA tested to have them certified by the American Wagyu Association, we would generally urge you not to overpay for this American-style Kobe beef (especially when in a restaurant), because you can never see the raw product.

Authentic Japanese Kobe beef at the Wynn

Authentic Japanese Kobe beef at the Wynn

In our experience, Kobe beef is so fatty that you really don’t need more than two to three ounces per serving; personally, I once had it when I was in Japan, and it’s an entirely different experience from an American steak. I wouldn’t even call it the same thing–it’s really more like flavorful butter rather than the steak experience that you’re used to. So, should you buy the American Wagyu or Kobe beef that is advertised all over the place? Just keep in mind that it’s a crossbreed, and while it usually results in a higher amount of fat, it’s not regulated, so you really don’t know what you’re getting unless you can trust the source.

Akaushi Beef

Another Japanese beef variety that has become more popular recently in the US is so-called Akaushi beef. It’s actually a form of Japanese brown cattle, as opposed to black. In 1994, a Texas Ranger imported 11 purebred Akaushi cattle to the US, taking care to keep them separate from any American cattle to prevent crossbreeding. Today, that farm has over 5,000 head of Akaushi cattle. Typically, Akaushi steaks have even more marbling than USDA Prime steaks, and as such, are often priced higher (though you may occasionally be able to find a sale). Personally, I like the taste of it, and I think it’s a good alternative. So, the next time you come across a cut of Akaushi beef, maybe give it a try and see if you like it.

Certified Kobe Plaque at the Wynn in Las Vegas

Certified Kobe Plaque at the Wynn in Las Vegas

Where to Buy Your Steaks

Of course, once you know what kind of beef you like, you have to decide where you intend to buy it.

Grocery Store

Typically, the lowest-quality steak is always precut at the grocery store and shrink-wrapped. You have to hope that they didn’t falsify the packaging date, but keep in mind that–as we discussed in Part I–aging beef is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it’s not spoiled. Alternatively, you can have your piece of meat cut at the grocery store’s meat counter, which has the considerable advantage that you can get exactly the piece of meat you want, in the exact thickness.

A typical grocery store meat counter.

Butcher Shop & Farmer’s Market

Another great source for your steaks is the local butcher shop. While there are chains of butchers, visiting a chain makes it harder to know where things are coming from. Conversely, if you go to an independently owned butcher, they can usually tell you exactly where their cattle is coming from, what breed it is, and why they chose it. Best of all, you can even have your local butcher dry-age certain beef cuts to your exact specifications, ensuring the flavor profile that you most enjoy. Additionally, you can also buy meat from a local farmer’s market; the benefits of this option are that you’ll be able to get to know the farmer well with repeated shopping (as well as learn what his cattle-raising and preparatory techniques are), and be secure in the knowledge that all the money you’re paying goes to him, and not to some marketing or logistics scheme.

Beautiful steak cuts at Lowry Hill Meats - a local butcher shop in Minneapolis

Beautiful steak cuts at Lowry Hill Meats – a local butcher shop in Minneapolis

Online Retailers

When it comes to specialty steaks–especially American-style Wagyu or other very high-end and expensive cuts–you can also buy them online. These cuts will likely come to you in Styrofoam boxes, packed in dry ice to prevent spoiling. You can buy online with confidence; that being said, it’s our experience that the prices you’ll pay for that kind of service are quite high for the quality that you’ll receive.

Snake River Farms American Kobe Wagyu Brisket

American Kobe Wagyu Brisket from online retailer Snake River Farms.

At the end of the day, what kind of steak you buy is entirely up to you. If you go to the grocery store, you’ll likely get the lowest overall price, whereas if you go to your local farmer or butcher, you will probably learn more about where your meat is coming from and what you’re eating. Also, if you like the taste of dry-aged beef, you’ll most often have to go to a butcher shop, or to someone else who really knows how to handle it; it’s not something you can do in your fridge at home.

Additional Tips

Finally, here are a few other tips we recommend when selecting your steaks:

  • How do you know whether a steak is aged so it’s really tender? I always find that if I use my finger and I push into the meat and the meat stays down it is tender, and will remain so once it’s cooked or grilled. Typically, grocery-store steaks are not aged as long, and will spring back immediately when subjected to this “push test.”
  • It’s worth noting that cattle that is stressed out before it’s slaughtered will have meat that tastes differently and feels tougher than meat from cattle that was relaxed at the time of slaughter–ergo, asking local sellers of meat about their techniques is often a desirable course of action.
  • If you and your family are frequent meat eaters, consider buying in larger quantities, such as a half or quarter of a cow. As beef can be frozen and defrosted for individual meals (and in fact, many chefs argue that beef that has been frozen cooks up better than fresher beef from the refrigerator), buying in bulk may be a cost-effective solution for the more carnivorous consumer.
Snake River Farms Wagyu Steak Lover Flight

If your family enjoys read meat frequently, consider buying in bulk.

Conclusion

With the information we’ve presented here, you should now be able to enter your local butcher shop or grocery store as a confident and well-informed customer, and come home with your desired cut(s) of beef. This is just the middle part of the process to enjoying  a great steak, however; after procuring your cuts, you’ve still got to know how to cook them properly. To learn more about this final (and perhaps most important) part of the experience, consult the final part of this Steak Guide; Part III deals with cooking and serving techniques. Additionally, you can go back to reference Part I, which covers basic terminology and our top five preferred cuts. Bon Appétit!

cast iron skillet steak

A preview of what’s to come in Part III – stay tuned!

This steak guide was written by Preston Schlueter, incorporating previous writings by Sven Raphael Schneider.


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‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ Is the Craziest, Best Installment Since ‘Coven’

FX

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and it’s a hoot. At least it is through the prism of Ryan Murphy’s mind—a harrowing hoot, really, which is what we’ve come to crave from a season of American Horror Story.

Wednesday night’s premiere of American Horror Story: Apocalypse marked a welcome return to camp for the long-running FX franchise. Murphy apparently hates that word, which is fair. It’s become lazy shorthand that’s siphoned meaning from the descriptor and minimized the scale and ambition of his work, not to mention dismissed its quality in homophobic fashion. Recent seasons of AHS have been more baroque and stylized than they are truly campy.

But when the opening to your show has Leslie Grossman, playing a wealthy aspiring Instagram influencer named Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt, spitting “This tastes like turtle shit!” at an assistant who gave her a green juice right before a ballistic missile siren sounds and the entire world is demolished…pitch a tent because you’ve arrived at camp.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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U.S. NEWS’ BEST HOSPITALS 2018-19: MRI-guided prostate therapy at NYU Langone

When Gregory Washington was diagnosed with prostate cancer he didn’t know what to do. But he did know where to go.

As a city mail carrier, 52-year-old Washington regularly delivered mail to NYU Langone Medical Center and his “heart and spirit” told him to go there.

Luckily for him, in the most…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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The Best in Affordable Style from the Month that Was – August ’18

A wise man once asked: “What the hell just happened?” And for good reason. There is value in looking back. It gives us all a good gauge as to what is good, and more importantly, what is not good, going forward. Sure, the “clip show” is mostly a cheap (affordable?) device to create new content out of already published stuff. But it’s also a good way to catch up in case you missed something. So cue the flashback music. Here’s the very best from the month that was…

 

Best Sale: Banana Republic’s 50% off F&F Deal (expired) 

Banana Republic

Banana Republic has been on a roll lately. From soup to nuts, (or from shoes to shirts?) they’ve been making nice quality, well fitting & feeling goods that can be a bargain if you play the sales game right. This latest Friends and Family event also featured free 2-3 day shipping on orders of $ 100+, and as always, cardmembers got an ADDITIONAL 10% off the already as low-as-they-go 50% off.

 

Best Individual Item Deal: Any AE Brown Shoes that were an extra 20% – 40% off Clearance

Allen Edmonds

Allen Edmonds is doing away with it’s Brown Burnished shade of leather (for something called “Coffee” I believe), and that put a bunch of wheelhouse styles in the clearance section. And then they ran an extra 20% off clearance. Then bumped it up to an extra 30% off clearance. And then to an extra 40% off clearance. That put Strands, McAllisters, and the above MacKenzie wholecuts down to $ 178. For first quality! And they weren’t final sale/there was no restocking fee for returns.

 

Worst Received Product on Social: Todd Synder’s New Timex

Timex

WOW you fellas on social media didn’t like this thing. Oh it’s a looker all right, but more than a few were happy to point out that they’ve purchased automatics or mechanicals for less (even though Quartz is more accurate), as well as that any Timex with the loud “tick” is a deal breaker. Anyway, full review is here if you’re interested.

 

Riskiest post for those who love chips & salsa: How To Wear White Pants

Dappered.com

The salsa will always, ALWAYS fall off the chip when you’re wearing white pants. And do make sure you’ve picked the right picante sauce. Some people will apparently murder you if you don’t.

 

Best Week: Reader Appreciation Week!

Dappered Reader Appreciation Week

Congrats again to all the winners. And thank you once again to all of the participating brands. Can’t wait to do this again next year.

 

Most Shameless Rationalization to buy new stuff: Back to School!

Dappered.com

Not in school? Who cares! I know. Pretty shameless here. But why let the rugrats have all the fun with their new crayons and galoshes and what not?

 

Most Unlikely Brand to get picked up by Amazon: Combat Gent

Combatant Gentlemen

FFS really? Even if they actually are under new management (I believe nothing and never have that comes out of that brand), what the hell are they doing not at least RENAMING the business? You’d think that well is beyond poisoned. But what do I know.

 

Most Overlooked Room in a Bachelor Pad when it comes to Style: The Bathroom

The Dappered Space

Bad bathrooms aren’t a given if you’re flyin’ solo. Don’t let bad bathrooms happen to you. Here’s one way to prevent your water closet from (unfairly) making you look like a goober. Take command of your abode commode people!

 

Coziest Photo: Saddleback Dopp Kit & Crackling Fire

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Never has a toiletry kit looked more romantic. “Sex by the fire at night…”

 

Best Alternative to Mimosas at Brunch: Champgane Cocktails

From one of our weekend resets. The Champagne Cocktail. It is incredibly simple to make. It adds a little extra oomph to the bubbles, and it is dee-lish-us. This one serves up well and goes down easy. Just be careful. These suckers will knock you on your eggs Benedict hoovering arse. Especially if you add the cognac / brandy float that isn’t added in the above video.

 

Worst Attempted Comeback: Twitter Reply on Why Wear a Watch

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Alex via Twitter: Reasons to not wear a watch: 1. You have a phone that tells time.

The “smartphones tell time” comeback was preemptively addressed not only in the excerpt (“Why bother when your smartphone can tell the time? Here’s why.”) It’s also addressed in the third sentence of the post. I understand the post as a whole is pretty ridiculous. But, I mean… we already…

God I hate the internet.

 

Classiest Reader: Chris

Dappered.com

Chris won one of our contests (for a Saddleback no less), and sent a hand written thank you note in response. Seriously one of the coolest things we’ve ever received. Plus it was on Art of Manliness letterpress stationery. Now, that said, for all future (and past) winners, no need to send thank you notes. It’s not expected. Chris beat you to it. Save your stamps. We’re good now. Seriously, once was enough.

 

Best Upcoming Annual Autumn Feature: Best Fall Sportcoats!

Tweed. Flannel. Corduroy. It’s all happening. Or, gonna happen.

Feeling Nostalgic? Here’s the archive containing previous editions of Best of the Month that Was.


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This $25 dash cam might be your best car accessory purchase yet

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Dash cams have become practically invaluable tools to have on the road. In the event of an accident or an altercation with another driver, a dash cam can be your best and only witness, and the Black Box 1080p Dash Cam is an excellent choice for only $ 25.

The Black Box features a built-in G sensor and motion detector, so it will automatically start recording in the event of a crash. It captures both video and audio in high definition 1080p with an impressive 120-degree field of vision, ensuring that no important detail is lost.  Read more…

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‘Elder Scrolls Online’ Is the Best ‘Skyrim’ Sequel You’ve Never Played

OK, let’s address the dragon in the room — Elder Scrolls Online doesn’t exactly have the best reputation, does it? When it launched back in 2014, the excited pre-release whispers surrounding the fantasy MMO suddenly erupted into groans of disappointment as the game finally made its way into players’ hands.

While fans had been salivating over the idea of an online Skyrim spin-off ever since they uttered their first “Fus Ro Dah,” once it actually arrived, the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) launch experience simply didn’t feel like a true Bethesda adventure. With the long-running series renowned for spinning epic yarns that kept the player at the centre of its universe, ESO’s disparate narrative and frustratingly closed world made it clear that this was little more than your bog standard MMO.

So, like many other gamers, I wrote it off, never giving the massively multiplayer RPG a second thought. It turns out, though, a lot has changed in the four years since ESO 1.0. While gamers continued to pan it in comment sections, developer ZeniMax studios quietly listened, gathering all the various criticism — and used it to slowly transform ESO into the online Tamriel adventure that fans had been dreaming of.

Newer Scrolls



Hearing rumours of a new and improved ESO, I decided to dive back in, creating a character in the lush, Tolkein-esque realm of the new expansion area, Summerset (sadly not the idyllic, English cider region). The action-packed intro immediately makes me feel like I’m playing a new, single-player Elder Scrolls adventure. Gone are the weird, slightly delayed attack animations that define most MMOs. Instead, as a horde of undead nasties swarm toward my hero (who I named Scrolleth the Elder, obviously), I’m surprised to see that swinging Scrolleth’s sword rewards me with the same immediate satisfaction I’d expect from Skyrim.

The narrative too has improved leaps and bounds since its original incarnation. This time, I do believe the line that I’m “ the only who can save Tamriel.” Why? Because the well-scripted dungeons and quests feel far more like a single-player RPG than the generic “kill x, fetch y” chores you expect from the genre.



It’s worth noting that I’m playing this all on console, too — which is traditionally the MMO genre’s mortal enemy. It’s impressive how well ZeniMax has condensed a plethora of menus and hotkeys to work with so few buttons, with none of the awkward fiddly controls that made navigating Final Fantasy XIV such a chore on PS4. It’s a strange feeling, suddenly enjoying something you’d written off years ago.

With a passing mention of ESO usually greeted with eye rolls or a dismissive wave of the hand, it’s difficult not to feel like I’ve discovered a secret gaming world. Keen to find out more about ESO’s shocking rebirth, I spoke to the game’s Creative Director, Rich Lambert.

“The PC launch was a little bit rough for us,” admits Rich. “We didn’t quite get it, we just didn’t quite have that Elder Scrolls feel. The game didn’t really start to feel like Elder Scrolls until, oh boy… I guess towards the end of 2016. That was when we did our One Tamriel update, which removed a lot of those MMO-isms, if you will.”

Opening Up the World



“[At launch,] we just didn’t get it.” — Rich Lambert, Creative Director

By then, though, not only had most gamers forgotten about ESO, but the majority of console players had also given up on the idea of having a controller-friendly MMO. But with ESO already racking up huge development costs, ZeniMax knew they had to keep building upon their solid MMO foundation until their connected world really felt like Elder Scrolls.

“MMOs are extremely difficult to make and they’re also extremely expensive,” says Rich. “Todd Howard‘s group has an amazing track record, developing Elder Scrolls into this unbelievably strong IP that was beloved by its fanbase. So, yeah, there was a lot of pressure on us to deliver something quality, to keep working and deliver something really, really good.”

Zenimax knew that the combat was almost there. What needed to come next was the thing that really defines Elder Scrolls — a sense of freedom.

“Before, there were these arbitrary level gates going into zones. You had to be a certain level to go to a zone because the monsters were harder. Axing those really opened the world up for us and made it feel like Elder Scrolls — because Elder Scrolls is about exploration… it’s about you exploring, and your journey through the world rather than a linear journey.”

A Class of Its Own



For many players though, it’s not just the literal path you choose to take that defines freedom — it’s the options you’re given to mold your character, too.

“If you look at Elder Scrolls over the years and how they’ve done things, it’s always been ‘play the way you want to play’, even to the point where they removed classes over the years,” says Rich. “In Oblivion you kind of had templates, where you could kind of make a character that fits that theme and then in Skyrim, no classes, they had a skill tree. So, we wanted to get that feel of freedom [right] while still kind of having that class identity, because that’s one of the things MMO players can easily wrap their heads around, ‘I am this class’.”

Having lost a fair few hours to MMOs in my time, a rigidly defined class system is something I’d just come to expect from the genre. It was with some surprise then, that I discovered ESO players are given far more flexibility. Here, you are able to role a mage, but instead of being tied to robes and staves for the next thousand hours, you can ditch them whenever you please and run around Tamriel levelling up your two-handed sword skill.

Yet, as nice as having a flexible class system is, as every Elder Scrolls fan will tell you, it’s your actions that really define who you are in Tamriel.

It’s About the Little Things



“[A]ll the little things you can steal and the boxes you can open … That’s what really makes the world feel alive.” — Rich Lambert, Creative Director

“That was one of the bits of feedback that we got from the player base, ‘Where’s the Thieves Guild? Where’s Dark Brotherhood? Where’s being able to mess with the world, the thieving, the killing?’”

Running through the hub city of Summerset, I find myself mashing the “A” button impatiently while listening to a quest giver yammer on — until I suddenly see the “steal” prompt flash on the screen. It’s something I didn’t think was possible in a persistent online world, and within seconds, I’m gleefully pickpocketing NPCs and stealing an excessive number of candles for the sheer hell of it.

“We actually struggled really hard with trying to figure how that was going to work in an online space,” says Rich. “In a single-player space, it’s fine because you’re only kind of ruining your own fun or getting yourself into trouble. In a multiplayer space, there’s potential for you to get other people in trouble. So, we looked really hard to what are the type of actions that players can do and what are the types of reactions guards could have and NPCs could have. And that’s kind of how we settled in on the justice system. I call them clickies, all the little things you can steal and the boxes you can open, the sacks of things you can take out. That really makes the world feel alive.”

Making a Connected World Feel Separate



But without a decent story to keep you invested, this would hardly be worthy of the Elder Scrolls name. So far, what I’ve seen of the story feels like a fun (if pretty generic) bit of high fantasy. Yet, it’s impressive that, despite the fact I’m roaming a hugely populated server, each time I’m given a quest, I feel like this is a story that is meant entirely for Mr Scrolleth the Elder.

“One of the biggest challenges is making the player feel like they’re always at the center of things,” explains Rich. “That one is really, really hard. We tried a lot of different things early on, and they didn’t necessarily work that well. The other problem you have is because this is such a social game and it’s a multiplayer game, player separation is a big issue. It’s one of the things we spent a long time at launch trying to fix because we focused so much on letting the player be the key person in the story. So we would use layered [storytelling].

After a few moments of silence and me shrugging pointlessly to myself during our phone interview, it becomes clear to Rich that I have no idea what he means by layered storytelling.

“I think a good example of that is there’s a number of quests where you have the choice to kill an NPC or not to kill an NPC. If, say, I choose to kill them — and you choose to let them go — when we both go back to that point, I won’t see the NPC that I killed — it will be another NPC — but you will see the NPC that you saved. So, we can do things where we change what you see, but that NPC is kind of always there. It means you always feel invested, but we don’t have to actually separate the players.”

Sharing Scrolls

As Scrolleth the Elder continues to wreak havoc across the nooby areas of Tamriel, at around the ten-hour mark it suddenly dawns on me — I haven’t even had the option to team up with another player yet. So how exactly does grouping work in ESO?

“So, we allow you to have a critical path, story path, that is for the single player, but if you want to get into the multiplayer aspects you will naturally kind of stumble upon it in your exploration,” explains Rish. “And then if you really want to do more of that stuff, we have group instances where you have to have four players. Then we also have the trials which [are] more akin to the end-game stuff, our version of raids, which require 12 players.”

The more I talk to Rich the more I hear an almost palpable sense of relief in his voice. Instead of having to defend his game and pitch me everything that ZeniMax has been working so hard to accomplish over the last four years, he seems excited to be speaking to a new convert. So there’s only really one question left to ask: “What would you say to those who, like me, had already written Elder Scrolls Online off all those years ago?”

“I would say this is an Elder Scrolls experience. Just because it’s online doesn’t necessarily mean you’re required to go with other players. You can play it your own way, play at your own pace, play the way you want to play and really explore,” Rich pauses thoughtfully. “Also, our game isn’t a rush to the end — whereas that’s where the real game begins in a lot of MMOs. Our game? It’s just about your journey through this magical world.”

How Getting Lost in ‘Skyrim’ Helped Me Find Myself

The post ‘Elder Scrolls Online’ Is the Best ‘Skyrim’ Sequel You’ve Never Played appeared first on FANDOM.

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The best New York pizza places you can find

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Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good pizza? Wherever you go in the world, you won’t need to travel far to find a cheesy slice. Whether you like a thin crust, stuffed crust, an Italian-style pizza, a calzone or Chicago-style Pizza, New York has some of the best pizza joints around. But with so many to choose from, choosing which one to try out is a bit of a mammoth task. So here’s a lowdown of the 5 best pizza places in New York.

Roberta’s – 261 Moore Street, Brooklyn

If you’re feeling adventurous, then Roberta’s has the pizza – but be warned, there are often hour-long waits (especially if Bill Clinton decides to go there again, as he’s done many times before!). Although this pizza place does serve your average Margherita or pepperoni slice, they pride themselves on their creative toppings. They import authentic spices, vegetables, and cheeses from all across the globe to make all of their pizzas different, and they’re not scared to try anything new. Past pizzas have even had the likes of kale, caciocavallo cheese, and honey on them.

Motorino – 139 Broadway, Brooklyn

Some people just loved the charred crust of a wood-fired pizza (we definitely do), and Motorino chars their crusts to perfection – and use it as a developed flavor that compliments their pizza toppings. Expect the likes of Brussels sprouts, spicy sausage or stracciatella to balance out the bitterness of the crust, and you’ll honestly think you’d gone to pizza heaven. But if you want to keep it clean and simple, there’s nothing better than their traditional Margherita, complete with basil leaves.

Paulie Gee’s – 60 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn

If you’re looking for a good sit-down menu, Paulie Gee’s is the one for you. Their menu is full of cheesy puns (get it?) with references to a whole load of American pastimes and popular culture. One of their most celebrated pizzas is the Brunch Pizza – complete with melted gouda, Canadian bacon, and maple syrup. Here at Paulie Gee’s, they’re all about the taste, so don’t expect an Instagram-worthy beauty shot here.

Prince Street Pizza – 27 Prince Street Avenue, New York

If you’re fed up with the traditional triangle pizza slices, then Prince Street Pizza offer you some of the best square slices in the business. The owners take their inspiration from Sicilian and family recipes, with a twist. You can either go for their world-famous Spicy Spring Pie complete with Fra Diavolo sauce, fresh mozzarella, and pepperoni or try one of their wacky boozy pizzas. Who doesn’t want to try a vodka pizza sauce?

Lucali – 575 Henry Street, Brooklyn

Lucali has gained worldwide recognition for its incredible pizza slices – and Jay-Z and Beyonce even skipped the Grammy Awards once to eat here! Lucali only has two options on the menu: a calzone or a pizza. But to be honest, you don’t need any more option than that. With their thin and charred crust, special sauce, mozzarella and the toppings of your choice, you and Lucali can join forces to create the perfect pizza.

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The post The best New York pizza places you can find appeared first on Worldation.

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11 Ways to Get Rewarded for Becoming Your Best Self


In theory, we want be our best selves.

In reality, that’s a tall order.

Would you rather save for an emergency or venture off on vacation? Hit the gym after work or veg on the couch? Save the environment or crank the air when it’s 100 degrees outside?

Exactly. Exerting willpower and choosing to be your “best self” is difficult.

How to Become a Better Person — and Earn Some Extra Money

What if you could get paid to become a better person? You know, like a pat on the back.

Here are a few ways you can get rewarded for becoming your best self:

1. Become Your Most Fit Self

Grace Schweizer, TPH junior writer, shows off her Asics Outlet shoes she got to work out in.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

There’s a wellness company that’ll pay you to lose weight. It’s called HealthyWage, and we’ve interviewed several successful participants who won money when they hit their weight-loss goals. One woman, Teresa Suarez, lost 68 pounds — and earned more than $ 2,400.

How’s that for motivation? Here’s how it works:

  1. Read our full HealthyWage review, and sign up.
  2. Define a goal weight and the amount of time you’ll give yourself to achieve it.
  3. Place a bet on yourself ranging from $ 20 to $ 500 a month.

Depending on your “HealthyWager,” you could win up to $ 10,000.

2. Become Your Best Debt-Slaying Self

woman online shopping using credit card
kitzcorner/Getty Images

If you need some motivation to become your best debt-free self, how does an Amazon gift card sound?

MoneyLion is a free all-in-one app for managing your personal finances. It will reward you for things like paying your bills and monitoring your credit — even just setting up an account in the app.

If you want to take it a step further and work on paying down debts, for example, MoneyLion can help with a loan to consolidate your debt and potentially reduce your interest rates. And it’ll reward you for that, too.

Exchange your hard-earned rewards for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.

3. Become Your Most Prepared Self

TPH photo editor, Alexa Vincent, uses various budget apps in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

You’ve been meaning to start an emergency fund. You know you need one. If something happens, well… you’re kind of screwed otherwise.

Here’s a way to reward yourself for becoming prepared: Play games with Long Game.

As you save and accomplish missions, you’ll earn coins to play mini games for cash prizes. We’re talking the classics, like slot machines, scratch-offs and spin-to-win wheels.

I use Long Game to save money. Every two weeks, it sneaks $ 5 out of my bank account and rewards me with coins.

In two months, I saved $ 35.70, just by playing games on my phone. Plus, my winnings amount to a gain of about 2% — way higher than interest on any other savings account I’ve had.

Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 points, so you can start playing while you wait for payday.

You’re playing games, saving money and becoming your best self.

4. Become Your Most I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T Self

girl on laptop at coffee shop
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Does earning $ 60 an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work from home while helping others succeed?

Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers.

And no, you don’t have to have a CPA to be successful in this business. In fact, all you really need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

It’s a great opportunity for parents who want to work part time, millennials who are just out of college and anyone who wants to bring in real money while working from home.

We talked to Robinson about what it takes to become a virtual bookkeeper, as well as tips and advice for making this career track work for you. You can read the full interview here, or check out his website for more information.

5. Become Your Most Minimalist Self

Grace Schweizer, a TPH junior writer, sorts through her clothes to create her own capsule wardrobe at her apartment in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Living that #Minimalist lifestyle is all the rage right now, so why not use this mentality to become your best self?

Start taking a good hard look at your belongings. What do you actually need? What would you rather make money from?

You can sell virtually anything on Letgo. This app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. It removes a lot of the hassle of selling things online, and it’s 100% free to use.

6. Become Your Most Eco-Conscious Self

ight Switches turned off and on, Tampa Fla
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

California residents, you can earn extra money by syncing your utility accounts to an energy-saving program called OhmConnect and agreeing to help reduce energy usage a few hours each week.

We talked with one San Diego resident, John Hastie, who’s made more than $ 400 in one month through the platform.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a free OhmConnect account, and sync it with your online utility account though Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison.
  2. Once or twice a week, you’ll receive a text message to participate in an #OhmHour, a period of reduced energy consumption. Turn down unnecessary lights, hold off on doing the laundry or the dishes and opt for a fan instead of the AC. It’s a perfect time to go outside, play games on your phone, or go to dinner or the movies.
  3. OhmConnect will pay you for reducing your electricity consumption during #OhmHours.

Why? By cutting your electricity use, you help keep demand low and prevent unclean power sources from kicking in. So you’re earning money while helping the planet — not bad!

7. Become Your Thriftiest Self

Kristy Gaunt shops at Trader Joe's in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Sure, Ibotta is traditionally known as a cash-back app for groceries — and you can still earn a heap of cash on your next haul — but you can also earn cash back on just about anything you purchase.

Yep, the app has expanded, and you can bank cash when you make an Amazon purchase, sign up for Hulu, book your next vacation or even order groceries through Shipt.

If you sign up now, you’ll snag a $ 10 bonus when you claim your first cash-back offer.

8. Become Your Most Retirement-Ready Self

senior couple at the lake having a picnic.
Halfpoint/Getty Images

Got a 401(k)? You’re on the right track.

Now you just need to make sure it’s doing what you need it to. However, tapping into that account and deciphering the information — or lack thereof — can be hard.

There’s a robo-adviser for that. Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, will optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

It gives you an initial 401(k) checkup for free, and you’ll get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many hidden fees, have the appropriate amount invested in stocks versus bonds, that kind of fun stuff.

After that, the tool is $ 10 a month to use to continue to monitor your retirement account. Let Blooom know your target retirement age, and it can help you get there by investing more and less aggressively.

9. Become Your Most Artistic Self

young woman taking pictures with phone outdoors
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Got a good eye? Embrace your inner artist and turn your smartphone photos into cash with an app called Foap.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the free app and create an account.
  2. Take a quality photo and upload it to Foap’s marketplace.
  3. Someone buys the license to your photo for $ 10. You make $ 5.

If your photo sells 20 times, you make $ 5 each time and end up with $ 100 in your pocket — all for about five minutes of work. Pretty cool, right?

10. Become Your Most Viral Self

Young woman fixing her camera
Anchiy/Getty Images

Think you have something that might go viral? Or have expertise in something folks might be interested to learn? Make a YouTube video.

Contributor Steve Gillman has done just that. He’s monetized his YouTube videos with Google AdSense. For example, he shot 10 videos about ultralight backpacking. No, they didn’t become huge hits, but he has made more than $ 1,000 over the years.

He outlines how you can start a YouTube channel.

11. Become Your Most Friendly Self

female friends walking into coffee shop together
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Fun fact: You can make money renting your friendship out. RentAFriend is a “strictly platonic friendship website” that allows its members to search for friendships. Cue: Your friendliest self.

“Friends” charge anywhere from $ 10 to $ 50 per hour.

We chatted with several Friends, who acted as a wedding plus-one or tagged along to a movie showing.

Are You Motivated to Become Your Best Self?

Now, when it comes to those tough decisions — should I spend my money on meals out or saving for an emergency? — hopefully some of these perks will help you make the more responsible decision, at least most of the time.

After all, it’s kind of fun watching yourself grow… and make money while doing it.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s her best self after a good 12 hours of sleep.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The Best Birth Control Options in 2018

the best birth control options in 2018What are you guys using for birth control these days? We thought that a good companion to our discussion earlier this year about how to decide if you want kids would be a roundup of the best birth control options in 2018, so that’s our topic for today. (We’ve also talked about planning your career for babies and shared the planner’s guide to pregnancy and in general have had many posts about family planning and pregnancy, including long ago a guest post from a reader on why she chose an IUD). Over at CorporetteMoms, we recently explained what to consider when choosing birth control after having a baby — but whether or not you’ve had kids doesn’t have a huge impact on your contraceptive choices. Dr. Melissa Gunter, MD, an ob/gyn in Rochester, NY, says, “There is no method that is off-limits based solely on whether or not you’ve had a child.”

In addition to pointing out that the best type of birth control for you right now may not be the most appropriate choice for you in a year from now (or five), Dr. Gunter recommends that you first decide on your must-haves for your ideal birth control: “Is it the method that you are least likely to get pregnant on? Then you want a Nexplanon [contraceptive implant] or IUD,” she says. “Is cycle predictability important to you? Then a pill, patch, or ring may be better. Do you prefer something which will also regulate or level out your reproductive hormones, or do you prefer how you feel with your own natural hormonal ups and downs? Do you want something you never have to think about, or are you OK remembering to pick up prescriptions and take your birth control every day, week, or month?”

Keeping those factors in mind, here are the best birth control options in 2018:

Birth control pill

  • The combination pill (estrogen and progestin) is 99% effective when used exactly as directed — but with typical use, it’s more like 91%.best birth control options in 2018
  • The pill can bring lighter periods, milder PMS symptoms, a reduced chance of ovarian cysts, clearer skin, and other benefits (as well as certain side effects, such as nausea, headaches, bloating, and breast tenderness — although some side effects may be only temporary).
  • It’s generally considered safe for healthy, non-smoking women over the age of 35 to take the pill (but that’s for you and your doctor to discuss).
  • Late last year, a new study confirmed previous studies’ findings that the pill increases women’s breast cancer risk — and, of course, it made big news. How should women interpret these findings? “For most women, birth control pills will have a greater cancer benefit than risk,” says Dr. Gunter. “A woman who uses birth control pills, especially if used for 10 years or more, may reduce her risk of ovarian cancer by up to 50%. Endometrial cancer risk is also reduced in women who use birth control pills, especially for women who are obese or have irregular periods.” Gunter also notes that while 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the pill doesn’t significantly change a woman’s risk, and added, “Much of the data about breast cancer risk and birth control pill use comes from women whose pills contained higher doses of hormones than most currently prescribed options.”

Just because the pill is the preferred contraceptive among many women, that doesn’t mean you have to give it a try, Dr. Gunter says. “Many women still feel like they need to start with birth control pills first, and only switch to something else if they are bad at remembering the pill — while the pill is great for some women, there are plenty of other, easier-to-use methods,” she says.

IUD

  • IUDs are extremely convenient and are 99% effective. Once they’re in, you don’t have to do anything other than remove or replace them in 3, 5, 7, or 10 years (depending on the type).
  • “IUDs are safe and effective whether you’ve had children or not,” says Dr. Gunter, “however, some of the newer IUDs were specifically tested in teenagers and women who’ve never had babies before they received FDA approval.”
  • ParaGard, the copper IUD is the only non-hormonal IUD. It can cause irregular, longer, and/or heavier periods, while the hormonal IUD (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla) can lead to lighter periods (sometimes much lighter) and can make your cramps milder. Gunter stresses that hormonal IUDs work differently than other hormonal birth control — like the copper IUD, they prevent sperm from reaching the egg. “Other forms of hormonal birth control [prevent] a woman from releasing an egg,” she says. “The hormones in the IUD stay in and around the uterus, whereas the hormones in a pill, patch, ring, shot, or implant go all throughout the body. So a hormonal IUD will not help with cycle predictability, acne, PMS, ovarian cysts, or ovulation symptoms.”
  • While getting an IUD placed can cause discomfort, especially if you haven’t had a baby, it only takes a few minutes. (Here’s some information on easing the pain, from … another Dr. Gunter (!) — in this case, Jen.) The insertion and removal of an IUD is the same for both types.

Condoms (male and female)

  • Male condoms are 98% effective with perfect use — but with all use taken into account, they prevent pregnancy about 85% of the time.
  • Condoms are the only birth control method in this list that can prevent STDs — and they’re a great choice if you want a non-hormonal option, too.
  • If you or your partner have a latex allergy, other options are available. And whether you or not you’re allergic to latex, you can choose female condoms, which are made from nitrile and are about as effective as as male condoms (95% with perfect use vs. 79% in real life).

Permanent birth control

  • The old standby, tubal ligation, is more than 99% effective. If you’re a young woman who doesn’t want kids, though, it may be difficult to get some doctors to take your request for sterilization seriously.
  • Essure, a non-surgical procedure that blocks the fallopian tubes with metal coils and is 99% effective, will soon no longer be available.
  • For a woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant (either again, or ever), the safest and most effective permanent birth control option is a vasectomy for her partner (more than 99% effective); however (perhaps not surprisingly), the vasectomy rate in the U.S. is about half of the rate of tubal ligations.

Newer options

  • This month, the FDA approved the first vaginal ring contraceptive that can be used for an entire year: Annovera. It won’t be available until at least late 2019, so stay tuned.
  • The FDA also allowed marketing of Natural Cycles, the first app that can be used to prevent pregnancy (although that’s caused some debate — including worries about privacy concerns).
  • And what about birth control for men? A recent CNN headline announced, “Male birth control pill one step closer to reality, researchers say.” Again, stay tuned…

Two excellent websites for finding out more about any of the options above, and about the other types of contraception, are Planned Parenthood and the NIH website Medline Plus.

The information shared in this post should not be taken as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor. As Dr. Gunter says, “Every woman is tuned differently, and our bodies also change over time. We have all of these choices for a reason, so discuss with your doctor which birth control method is the best for you, and don’t be afraid to switch to something else if you are no longer happy with the method you are using.”

What is your preferred type of birth control? How long have you used it? What have been the pros and cons of the birth control you’ve tried? If you’ve switched, what were your reasons? If you’re married, did you change birth control methods when you were no longer single? If you’ve had kids, did you decide on new birth control after becoming a mom? 

Stock photo: Deposit Photos / jes2uphoto.

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10 of the world’s best street food stalls: readers’ travel tips

Originally cheap meals for workers, street food offers a true taste of local lives and specialities

In the Taiwanese town of Jingtong, I tried what is widely known as “stinky tofu”. At the back of a roadside stall, I sat on a low seat and watched three squares of tofu being cut into four before being plunged into a wok of hot oil. It was served in a bowl with soy sauce and picked sliced cabbage and carrot. It was surprisingly good, not greasy and, although there was a slight smell, it was no worse than a strong blue cheese. With a chilled lime drink, I paid about £2.
Helen J

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The best travel apps you need on your phone

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Before the dawn of the smartphone if you wanted to travel to a different country you’d have to buy yourself a phrase book and then a map or two to help you find your way when you inevitably got lost. Nowadays all of that travel information is right on hand in your pocket, you just need to know what apps to have on your phone to make sure you can travel with ease. We’re looking at the essential travel apps to download to your phone, just make sure you bring your passport along for the trip too!

Google Translate

If you’re visiting a country that speaks a different language, it might be hard getting around and understanding what’s going on. With Google Translate you can download the entire dictionary for offline use in the language of the country you are visiting, having it on hand to translate anything you read. There is an added feature that will really come in handy for people who use this app. If you point your phone at some foreign text, Google Translate will magically convert it to your mother tongue, meaning you can easily understand what’s on the menu without having to type it all into the app.

Uber

Chances are, if you are visiting a new place you aren’t going to have your car with you. You ’ll still need to find your way around this new place though and possibly the best way to do that is through Uber. If you don’t know what Uber is, it is a mobile taxi service that essentially summons a driver to your location through your phone, and they’ll take you where you want to go. It can often be cheaper than regular taxi services, and you’ll be able to get picked up within minutes, meaning you won’t be stranded in a strange and scary place trying to find your way back to your hotel.

Citymapper

If you don’t want to solely rely on taxis getting you around, then try out the Citymapper app. It is designed with commuting in mind, so it can offer you the best routes to and from anywhere in the city you are staying in. You can even download the maps to make it available offline, helping avoid the expensive data roaming charges many service providers like to extort from us when we visit other countries.

Duolingo

If you want to try and fit in with the locals, or at least not stand out too much, you might want to try leaning some of the local lingo. Duolingo is a language learning app that’ll have you comprehending the basics in no time. It is broken up into small chunks, meaning you won’t be overwhelmed with new words right from the off. The app makes a game of the learning experience, making you come back for more and more until you’re a pro at your new language. It comes with a wide range of languages, all of the most common in the world as well as plenty of lesser-spoken languages.

These apps can help to take away the stress of visiting a new country where you are unfamiliar with the language and how to get around. You can simply refer to the apps on your phone to make sure you never misorder a dish from the menu or get lost in a foreign land again.

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Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of The City’: The Best Soap Opera In Book Form

For anyone who reads Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City, it doesn’t matter that 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco is a fictional address. When you’re in the city, at least for the first time, you want to find it. You want to be there, and screw-fiction, find its occupants­­­­—landlady Anna Madrigal, and that first book’s golden group of tenants: Mona, Michael (Mouse), Brian, and Mary Ann­­­­­.

DeDe, D’or, Edgar, Beauchamp, Jon, Frannie, Mother Mucca, Thack, Shawna, Ben: sure it would be lovely to see them too. But really you want to see Mrs. Madrigal, sweeping the steps, fixing a stray wisp of her hair, and welcoming you, in her grandly mysterious way, to all the intrigues within.

Yes, Macondray Lane on Russian Hill exists, the nearest-as-heck approximation of where 28 Barbary Lane is. When I visited it it felt thrilling to be in its shadowy, leafy embrace. But 28 Barbary Lane felt even more natural, even more alive and pungent, in my imagination. That is Maupin’s great skill in the Tales series.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Best Beach Books And The Towns They’re Based In

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Are you someone that enjoys sitting back with a good book at the beach? It’s pretty relaxing lying there with the sun shining down on you as you escape into a brilliant new world. Of course, what’s better than reading a book at the beach? Reading a book that’s set at the beach. If you’re looking for somewhere sunny to spend your next vacation, the places featured in these great reads might be the best place to visit.

French Riviera (Bonjour Tristesse)

“Bonjour Tristesse” has been around for quite a while now. It was written back in the ‘50s, making it a classic by today’s standard. Centered around a teenager enjoying summer in the French Riviera, it’s a story full of love, revenge and betrayal – a true drama. It was considered a bit raunchy when it was first released, but it’s no “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The French Riviera is not only the perfect setting for the story, but it’s also a great place to enjoy the book. There’s nowhere more elegant to sit by the coast and enjoy the juicy story.

Australia (The Bodysurfers)

Robert Drewe is a big name in Australia, and after reading his work, it’s clear to see why. “The Bodysurfers,” which is a collection of short stories set on the country’s glorious coastline, recreates the breathtaking landscape perfectly. You’d never need to visit the country to know what it’s like to chill out on the beaches there, but you absolutely should. You can learn about the happenings of the Lang family all while soaking up the golden sun. What could be more perfect?

Rodanthe (Nights in Rodanthe)

Nicholas Sparks is pretty much the king of the modern-day romance novel. Loads of his works have been turned into films, and they’ve all done pretty well for themselves. One of the author’s best is “Nights in Rodanthe,” which follows two divorced singletons as they fall in love on vacation. Their romance is rocked by the realization that going home will mean having to leave each other, and is partly inspired by real-life events. As the title suggests, the story takes place in Rodanthe, a town in North Carolina. The coastal location has a very small community, so it’s ideal if you want some peace and quiet to enjoy your book.

Martha’s Vineyard (The Identicals)

As a New York Times bestselling author, Elin Hilderbrand knows a thing or two about writing. Her book “The Identicals” proves that. Set around Massachusetts, the novel explores the relationship between two twin sisters. Although their differences broke them apart over the years, they’re forced to face their issues when a family crisis brings them together. As with Sparks’ novel, “The Identicals” borrows elements from Hilderbrand’s own life, including the use of twins and the setting of Martha’s Vineyard. The island is a popular destination in the summer, with its population more than quadrupling on a yearly basis. People can’t get enough of all the coastal opportunities on offer.

Florida/Cuba (The Old Man and the Sea)

Ernest Hemmingway is one of the most respected writers of his generation. He’s given us many great works, including the short novel “The Old Man and the Sea.” As the story is about a fisherman, part of the book is set out to sea, most notably in the Florida Straits. The areas near this stretch of water like Fort Lauderdale and Fort Pierce make for great vacation spots, although you can’t pass up the chance to visit Cuba either. You’re sure to be engrossed in the story of Santiago and his quest for a large marlin as you enjoy the intense Cuban heat.

There’s nothing like escaping into another world thanks to a good book, especially when it’s set somewhere in real life. Not only do these coastal reads offer us a great story to get engrossed in, but they also give us fantastic inspiration for our next vacation.

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The post Best Beach Books And The Towns They’re Based In appeared first on Worldation.

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Opinion: Married to Medicine is actually the best show on Bravo

Opinion: Married to Medicine is actually the best show on Bravo


Opinion: <em>Married to Medicine</em> is actually the best show on Bravo

The season premiere of Married To Medicine airs September 1st on Bravo at 8/7C. Here, author Michael Arceneaux explains why the reality series is the Beyoncé of the Bravo network.

Earlier this year, my beloved Bravo series, Married to Medicine, was moved to Friday nights, and typically, Friday nights are considered the hospice care of television programming. So when the show was removed from the poppin’ Sunday bloc and rescheduled for Friday—a night most of us spend thotting and bopping, Netflix and chilling, or pretending to go out only to fall asleep by 10:47 p.m. EST—I naturally panicked.

I am admittedly a little late to Married to Medicine, a reality show that follows the lives of women who are doctors or who are married to doctors. When I first heard about it, I wasn’t sure what to make of a show that seemed a lot like The Real Housewives of OB/GYN and Orthodontics.

And while I was riveted by the sight of Toya and Mariah fighting in ball gowns as Mariah’s mama, Ms. Lucy, jumps in to beat Toya down with her purse, it wasn’t enough to truly reel me in. After all, whose mama isn’t fighting on a reality show at this point? But once I got into the second season and beyond, I was hooked.

Case in point, all of this happened in the second season: a doctor’s wife wants to adopt a child but her selfish husband rules it out; a doctor’s wife wants her man to get a hair transplant ‘cause she can’t take all of that extra skin on his head; a doctor’s wife launches a puppy couture line; doctors’ wives who oddly behave exactly like 78% of the gay Black men you’ve met in your life go at each other over nothing.

The third season was interesting, too. Like, we got to see a married doctor being a thot, laying it low and spreading it wide all over the metropolitan Atlanta area, and more mess.

However, the fourth and fifth seasons are when this show became far more engaging than its reality show contemporaries.

It’s somewhat over simplistic to say the show got “realer,” but there’s something to be said when a show that is usually about spectacle and grossly superficial fights depicts the cast navigating more severe issues. In the case of Dr. Simone, it was her father going missing and her friends and castmates, Quad and Dr. Jackie, literally traveling with her to find him—to devastating results.

It’s Toya, and her husband, Dr. Eugene, projecting this lavish lifestyle on camera only to be slapped with a heavy bill from the IRS. Most of all, though, it’s watching many of their marriages crumble in real time.

We’ve seen marital rift on reality shows, but arguably never in this way.

There is a candor there that you simply do not find on television anywhere else. And while, yes, it does have very serious overtones, the show is hysterical.

Because last season was so phenomenal, and because the show has been so consistently good (more consistently than The Real Housewives of Atlanta, TBH), I will never know why it was moved to Friday nights for a time.

Having said that, on an episode of Watch What Happens Live earlier this year, Andy Cohen tells the guests of the night, Married to Medicine cast members Dr. Simone and Dr. Jackie: “People are always asking me what’s the best show on Bravo right now. Right now, Vanderpump Rules and Married to Medicine.” He went on to add, “Married to Medicine is some of the realest stuff I’ve seen on a reality show ever.”

I’m late to Vanderpump Rules, but after having seen some episodes, I totally get it.

Even so, I still think Married to Medicine is better, but more importantly, I’m glad Married to Medicine is back on Sunday nights where it belongs.

No shade to anything airing on Friday night, but these women have made the show the Beyoncé of the network and it should be treated accordingly.

The season premiere of Married To Medicine airs tonight on Bravo at 8/7C. The episode is called “Get Your Sexy Back,” which is wonderfully Black auntie. And based on one of the previews floating around, you can be sure that mess is waiting for you. By the way, I promise no one has offered me a free teeth cleaning, Invisalign hookup, physical, or pap smear for me or my friend if I write this. I just love hard.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the recently released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostRolling StoneEssenceThe GuardianMic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

The post Opinion: <em>Married to Medicine</em> is actually the best show on Bravo appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert: The Best in Black Excellence Pay Homage to the Queen (PHOTOS)

The “A People’s Tribute to the Queen” Aretha Franklin concert held Thursday night at Detroit’s Chene Park Amphitheatre was the ultimate experience for fans of the “Natural Woman,” with over 30 artists taking the stage to pay homage to the icon. Several singers, dancers, actors and community leaders showed up and showed out for the […]

The post Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert: The Best in Black Excellence Pay Homage to the Queen (PHOTOS) appeared first on EBONY.

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Swizz Beatz Thinks Mashonda Is Living Her Best Life On The Sidelines

Source: Steve Granitz / Getty

Swizz Beatz captured our attention when he posted an uplifting status on Instagram encouraging men to treat their women like queens and not to be jealous of their strength and accomplishments, but it quickly turned into him defending his wife against “home wrecking” comments.

 

Instagram Photo

 

Beatz’ message was mostly received with praise sans a few commenters who made mention of his relationship with Alicia Keys, which came about at the end of his marriage with ex-wife Mashonda. Swizz and Alicia eventually got married, bore children and started a blended family with Mashonda, who also had a son with the super producer. While Swizz, Alicia and Mashonda appear to be one big happy family, it never escapes the mind of certain fans, that Alicia Keys is a “homewrecker.”

 

Instagram Photo

 

We were all the way on board with Swizz’s message, but it gets cloudy around his clap back when he asserted that Mashonda is living her best life as a front row spectator to the Swizz, Alicia Keys show.

In 2009, Mashonda penned an open letter about Alicia and Swizz’s affair calling out the “Superwoman” singer for contributing to the decline on their marriage.

“If you are reading this Alicia, let me start by saying, you know what you did. You know the role you played and you know how you contributed to the ending of my marriage. You know that I asked you to step back and let me handle my family issues. Issues that you helped to create… As a woman, I expected so much more from you. I never had intentions on reaching out to you this way but after reading your twits tonight, and the constant disregard, you left me no choice,” she wrote on Twitter.

It feels fair to assume Mashonda would much rather be with the father of her son than a plus one on his adventure with his accomplished and extremely successful wife, who he glorifies as royalty. However, if Swizz can assume she is living her best life, we can make some assumptions of our own.

In a 2016 interview with Essence Live, Mashonda opened up about their blended family after being spotting on vacation with Swizz and Alicia, saying, “I think that we had no real choice.”

Surely Mashonda has gotten to a comfortable place in her life where she can effectively co-parent with Swizz, but it shouldn’t be disregarded that, at one point, her happiness came second to his desire to be with another woman. And not only did their marriage end, it ended amid an alleged affair.

Women are often left to pick up the pieces of a failed marriage when the man simply moves on. Mashonda had to deal with her feelings to get to a point to be the blended family they are today, but Swizz” shouldn’t be so oblivious that Mashonda’s “best life” may look different than what he has envisioned.

 

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ENTERTAINMENT UPDATE:

The 10 best new movies and TV shows coming to Netflix in September 2018

Netflix: Best new movies

It’s not often that we struggle to winnow down the list of the best content coming to Netflix, but September is an exception. Nearly every day of the month features something worth watching, from classic blockbuster movies to brand new TV shows. And it’s all led by Black Panther, which arrives on September 4th.

Black Panther will deservedly dominate headlines, but the most intriguing addition to the Netflix library in September is Maniac — a limited series directed by Cary Fukunaga. It looks equal parts unsettling and hilarious, reuniting stars of Superbad Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. BoJack Horseman also returns for a new season, as is the surprisingly thoughtful (but still incredibly funny and inappropriate) American Vandal.

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  1. This is the most covert spy camera we’ve ever seen, and it probably shouldn’t be legal
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  1. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station had to plug this hole with their thumb
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  3. ‘Avengers 4’ spoilers: New movie will be just as shocking as ‘Infinity War’

The 10 best new movies and TV shows coming to Netflix in September 2018 originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 1 Sep 2018 at 11:58:54 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Forbes Recognizes Kaiser Permanente as One of America’s Best Employers for Women

Forbes has named Kaiser Permanente to its inaugural America’s best employers for women list. This honor recognizes Kaiser Permanente’s focus on attracting and enabling women to contribute to the success of the organization while building successful careers.

“Kaiser Permanente has a long history of empowering and supporting women, both in and out of the workplace,” said Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO. “We are intentional about career satisfaction and advancement for women, evidenced by the leadership roles women play throughout the organization. The great work we do each day to make lives healthier would not be possible without our diverse workforce and the women of Kaiser Permanente serving in critical roles.”

Seventy-five percent of Kaiser Permanente’s employees are women. In our eight regions, three Permanente Medical Groups are led by female executive medical directors and five Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals regional presidents are women. In May 2018, DiversityInc named Kaiser Permanente the top company for executive women.

“There were many ways Kaiser Permanente paved the way for me to be successful and advance in my career through training, mentoring, challenging assignments and thoughtful approaches to work-life integration,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, Southern California regional president for Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that is truly committed to an environment and business practices that result in equitable development and advancement.”

As one of several programs designed to support women in the workplace, WE@KP (the Women Empowered @ KP business resource group)  provides women opportunities for education, networking and development of leadership skills that enhance their work and life experiences. Among the physician groups, the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, for example, hosts an annual Women in Medicine symposium that provides networking opportunities and encourages female physicians to pursue leadership roles in medicine.

“To be honored and included in Forbes’ list of the best employers for women is a testament to Kaiser Permanente for upholding its foundational commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Mary Wilson, MD, MPH, executive medical director of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group and a pediatrician. “The Permanente Medical Groups strive to treat all physicians equally, judging them on the quality of their work, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or other differences.”

Among the top 300 large companies that span all industries, Kaiser Permanente is one of 24 health care companies on the list. To compile the list, Forbes, in partnership with market research company Statista, surveyed 40,000 employees — including 25,000 women —  from companies with more than 1,000 employees. Respondents anonymously rated their companies and shared their opinions about working conditions, diversity and how likely they would be to recommend their employer to others. Female participants also answered questions about parental leave policies, pay equity, and other topics of interest to women.

The post Forbes Recognizes Kaiser Permanente as One of America’s Best Employers for Women appeared first on Kaiser Permanente.

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NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

U.S. NEWS’ BEST HOSPITALS 2018-19: Robotic mitral valve surgery at Weill Cornell

Just one day after undergoing open-heart surgery last May, Dr. Kenneth W. Holloway was discharged from NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

He walked out with a bottle of strong pain relievers, acetaminophen and five small incisions, each about the size of the top of a pencil eraser.

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Best Michelin star restaurants in the world

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Food has become a much more sociable thing in recent years, and this has been greeted by an increase in popup restaurants and gastropubs. There are so many great dishes, and food cultures are emerging all across the world. Many of us now consider ourselves to be foodies, and we always look at ways of getting the best and most delicious food we can.

That’s why it’s always good to look into the Michelin star restaurants around. There are loads of these all over the world, and the likelihood is that most of the big cities in the world you visit are going to have at least one Michelin star restaurant. These restaurants offer some of the finest food in the world, prepared and cooked by some of the most talented chefs. This is a list of some of the best Michelin star restaurants in the world for you to try out.

The Fat Duck, England

The Fat Duck is a restaurant run by Heston Blumenthal and based in a picturesque 16th Century building. The restaurant has three Michelin stars and is world famous for its incredible 14-course taster menu, as well as its quirky Alice in Wonderland theme. The Fat Duck is considered the cutting edge for Michelin star restaurants and is one of the finest restaurants in the UK. If you ever get a chance, you simply must go so you can check out the innovative and enjoyable dishes on offer.

Alinea, United States

This incredible Chicago eatery was opened in 2006 and is run by chef Grant Achatz. Due to the unique food on offer, and the unconventional approach to transforming iconic dishes, this is one of the best Michelin star joints in the world. Achatz himself is one of the great personalities of the chef and restaurant world, and his establishment is still hugely popular in Chicago. If you’re looking for somewhere with world-class food, amazing service, and a unique approach, Alinea is the place for you!

Arzak, Spain

The Spanish do some pretty incredible cuisine, and Arzak is one of the places that produces the best. In fact, the Spanish city of San Sebastián, where this restaurant is based, has the highest number of Michelin star restaurants per capita in the world! There is a wealth of choice here, but Arzak stands out from the crowd because of its blend of traditional Basque dishes, and a more modern approach to preparation and presentation. The food is sensational, and the flavors are fantastic – if you are ever in the area, this is the perfect place to go and enjoy some world-famous Basque cuisine.

Il Pagliaccio, Italy

Nobody does food quite like the Italians, and Rome is the heart of cuisine and culture in Italy. Take a trip to one of the greatest cities in the world, and visit this Michelin two-star restaurant on the banks of the River Tiber. The place is key for modern, tasty cuisine, and the presentation is impeccable. Not only do you get to enjoy exquisite food, but you can also have a romantic walk afterward as well. Sensational.

These are a few of the best Michelin star restaurants we have encountered in the world. They give you a great selection of some of the best cuisine from all across the world. If you can try out any of these restaurants, we definitely recommend you do so – it will change the way you look at food and the experience of dining out.

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The post Best Michelin star restaurants in the world appeared first on Worldation.

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The Best Resources for New Managers

the best resources for new managersHunting for the best resources for new managers? Whether you’ve been recently promoted to management status or are hoping to get to a supervisor level in the near future, there are many good resources for new managers that are worth checking out, including blogs, videos, books, and podcasts. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites (as well as reader suggestions) for first-time managers below, but we’d love to hear from you! What do you think are the best resources for new managers? If you’ve recently been promoted to manager level, what resources have been the most helpful? What would you recommend to younger women looking to make it to management? 

(Of course, don’t forget to check out our previous posts with advice for new managers, including how to become a better manager, online women’s management training, how to become a better communicator, must-read business books, and how to become a leader. We’ve also talked about executive presence for women leaders, and you may want to check out our tips on how to step up your working wardrobe to get that promotion.)

1. Ask a Manager: Alison Green has been sharing wisdom with managers (and the rest of us!) on her blog since 2007. She has also written a book, she hosts a weekly podcast, and her advice has been published by national publications. A search for “first-time manager” on her site resulted in several results, including her article in U.S. News and World Report with advice for new managers, and a list of the five most important things she says a first-time manager should know, but a Corporette reader suggested putting time aside every week or so to catch up on her posts. As a bonus, the reader comments on Ask a Manager can be helpful as well. Green’s list of her favorite posts of all time will get you started.
2. Harvard Business ReviewWhile HBR is known in the business world for providing results of studies about leadership, their online articles, as well as videos (both on the site and on their YouTube channel), are also valuable to new managers. HBR also offers books about management skills, plus advice for new managers, including a two-book offer for a “New Manager’s Collection” that includes 10 Must Reads for New Managers and Harvard Business Review Manager’s Handbook. In 2018, they launched the Women at Work podcast — the third episode is focused on leading with authenticity.
2. The First 90 Days:Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarterby Michael Watkins (2013) (affiliate link): A reader suggested this book, and the title says it all. It also has a ranking of 4.4 stars on Amazon and is no. 7 in the Kindle Store for “management skills.” The Economist has called it “the on-boarding bible.” Genesis Advisors, which Watkins co-founded with Shawna Slack, also has training programs, including a complementary online program for all management levels.
4. First Round Review’s Management Magazine: Another reader suggested the “Management” tab on First Round Review’s website. While the site provides resources aimed at new businesses, the information can be applied to various industries. Recent posts have included their six must-reads for first-time managers to hit the ground running, how to build and maintain employee motivation, and creating and accelerating trust on teams.
5. Manager Tools: This reader-recommended podcast was started by two former managers and West Point graduates in 2005. The company also offers online trainings, conferences for managers, downloadable forms that complement the podcasts, and other manager resources. First-time managers may want to start with Manager Tools “Basics,” which includes podcasts about how to be effective at one-on-one meetings, feedback, coaching, and delegation.
6. The Balance Careers: Management and Leadership: This site offers helpful advice to managers at all levels. This post for new managers offers 15 tips, including why you should be prepared even before you are promoted, and how to be an effective leader in your new role in the office.
7. Forbes: Forbes‘ Leadership tab shares several helpful resources for managers, including a recent article, “4 Ways to Master Your First-Time Manager Role.” Forbes also offers podcasts, including interviews with leaders; “Mentoring Moments,” which features advice from successful women; and business news to help you stay on top of your game when it comes to your industry.

Are there any blogs, videos, books, or podcasts we missed? Any other resources you’d add to this list that you would recommend to first-time managers or those looking to take on management positions at some point? Any general advice that goes beyond these resources? Let us know!

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Athens city guide: what to see plus the best bars, hotels and restaurants

Tour classical sites with locals and discover the guesthouses, restaurants and bars being opened by young entrepreneurs in a city buzzing with creativity

The revival of Europe’s classical capital has attracted plenty of artists, curators and digital nomads. But it’s entrepreneurial young Athenians who are opening pop-up restaurants, design collectives and guesthouses, regenerating derelict buildings in rough-around-the-edges areas such as Pangrati, Kypseli and Keramikos. Messy and unpredictable, Athens fizzes with an intense energy that burns bright into the night.

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The best winter wedding guest outfits in stores now

The perfect pieces to keep you looking fire, even at a winter wedding

winter wedding guest dresses
REX/Shutterstock

As the endless string of summer weddings comes to an end and the weather starts to cool off, it’ll soon be time to prep for a new round of winter nuptials. Figuring out how to look chic and not freeze to death in the blistering British cold isn’t an easy task however, but we’ve done a dig for our favourite winter wedding guest outfits that’ll help you stand out from the crowd.

Whether you’re looking for a sweeping maxi dress or a colour-blocked midi, we’ve tracked down something for every budget and sense of style below. Affordable high street pieces are the name of the game over at Topshop, ASOS and Mango and we’ve also included some luxury hard-hitters – just in case you ever get invited to a royal wedding. (A girl can dream.)

Sometimes, the type of wedding you’re going to might limit the kind of silhouette you can opt for. When it comes to traditional church weddings, it’s generally frowned upon to flaunt your shoulders or a little too much skin so unfortunately the spaghetti straps and bardot pieces are off the table. On the other hand, a black tie affair is a chance to really let your hair down and go for a truly dramatic piece so look to Rixo and Theory for help on this one.

Your clothes are just part of your outfit however and the right accessories can tip you into fashion queen territory. Show-stopping statement earrings or some on-trend shell jewellery can step up a minimal piece, while the right pair of high heels or flat shoes can make or break an outfit. And if you’re feeling really sartorial, why not cash in on one of the season’s biggest trends: extra mini handbags? Let’s be real – when else are you ever going to get a chance to wear them?

As far as keeping warm goes? Our fashion editor Lucia Debieux weighed in, saying, ‘A great blazer is key in colder months. It’s the one thing that will really pull your whole look together if you get it right.’

Here’s a few pieces to fall in love with below…

Elegant wedding guest dresses

Rixo is very much the fashion darling of the moment and their stunning midii dresses are a sure-fire winner. Beloved by the style set and our own fashion editor Penny Goldstone, the dress below makes the most of two popular prints this season: polka-dots and dark florals.

Rixo Camelia Multi Chalk Tulip Dress

winter wedding guest dresses

Priced at £305, available at Rixo

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Maxi wedding guest dresses

A floor-sweeping maxi always makes a statement and we’re particularly feeling this wrapped Topshop piece. While the shirt collar gives it a more relaxed vibe, the length on this beauty takes it into fancier territory. Perfect for a more understated wedding, it’d look absolutely killer with a pair of faux croc heeled boots and a crimson lip.

Topshop Stripe Maxi Shirt Dress

winter wedding guest dresses

Priced at £49, available at Topshop

Buy now

Petite wedding guest dresses

If you’re looking for a piece that you’re likely to wear again, this affordable pastel Zara jumpsuit dress is one of our favourites. We’re particular to a menswear-inspired outfit and this bubblegum outfit is hitting all the right notes, especially with the contrasting buttons.

Zara Blazer-Style Jumpsuit Dress

winter wedding guest dresses

Priced at £29.99, available at Zara

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Midi wedding guest dresses

We can’t get enough of yellow this season and this gorgeous piece by Svitlaya is only feeding our obsession. Perfect for that awkward period between autumn and blistering cold winter, this bright dress will bring the sunshine to every happy occasion.

Svitlaya Rose Midi Dress

winter wedding guest dresses

Priced at £1251, available at Svitlaya

Buy now

 

The post The best winter wedding guest outfits in stores now appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!

Best New Tracks: Lil Yachty, Blood Orange, E-40, Mozzy, Shoreline Mafia & More

Last week, our Best New Tracks series spotlighted high-profile new releases from Quavo, Kanye West, Kaytranada, Bones and others. Now, with August coming to a close, we continue to shine a light on all sides of the genre spectrum for the latest entry in our weekly roundup series.

This time around, we’re showcasing new releases from Lil Yachty, E-40, Blood Orange, Mozzy, Shoreline Mafia, Rucci, Shootergang Kony and Prada Mack. From the Bay to the A, our latest Best New Tracks piece has you covered. With the summer coming to a close, August is leaving us with some great new sounds.

Blood Orange – Negro Swan

Domino

Blood Orange’s new 16-track studio album features big-name artists including Puff Daddy, A$ AP Rocky, Steve Lacy, Project Pat, TeiShi, Ian Isiah and Georgia Anne Muldrow. Janet Mock provides narration throughout the project.

“My newest album is an exploration into my own and many types of black depression, an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color,” Dev Hynes explains. “A reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all. The underlying thread through each piece on the album is the idea of hope, and the lights we can try to turn on within ourselves with a hopefully positive outcome of helping others out of their darkness.”


Lil Yachty – Birthday Mix 3


NOAM GALAI/GETTY IMAGES

Lil Yachty decides to celebrate his 21st birthday with a new mixtape, Birthday Mix 3. The follow-up to past birthday projects, Birthday Mix 3 features songs with Trippie Redd, Gunna, Chief Keef, YoungBoy Never Broke Again and K Supreme. Lil Yachty’s Birthday Mix 3 clocks in at 16 minutes, and was originally announced at the end of last month. Along with the the new mixtape, Lil Yachty has also revealed plans for his next major headlining tour, the “Disrespect Tour” with Bhad Bhabie.

Mozzy – “Not Impressive”

Tigran Tovmasyan

It’s Mozzy season. This time around, the Sacramento star gets back to the basics for a hard-hitting street anthem titled “Not Impressive.” The new drop serves as the first official single and music video released in support of his upcoming Gangland Landlord LP, which is scheduled to arrive on October 5. “I wanted to give the people the same feeling they got when they first listened to ‘Bladadah,'” Mozzy tells FADER, breaking down his latest release and video. Other Mozzy Records affiliates, such as Celly Ru, also make appearances and show up to lend their support to Mozzy’s new campaign.

E-40 – Gift of Gab

Brett Johnson

Bay Area rap-king E-40 has managed to stay relevant for multiple decades, managing to defy expectations by staying on top of current trends and movements. Most importantly, he continues to serve up quality. For his 28th — yes, 28th — studio album, the Sick Wit It Records don serves up a 12-track project titled The Gift of Gab. The new LP serves as the first entry in his new album trilogy, The Definition Series, and features collaborations with Vince Staples, Sada Baby, G Perico, FMB DZ, Ty Dolla $ ign, Yhung T.O. and more. At 50 years of age, E-40 is still going strong.

Rucci – “Like Woah”

Yatta

Produced by Meez and Louie JI, “Like Woah” stands as one of the most successful records to be released on Rucci’s El Perro. The video comes to us courtesy of director Mr. Real Movie, and features appearances form Rucci and his day-one friends. “With my shit, I’m bringing back that original West Coast sound,” Rucci told us, breaking down the sounds and sights of El Perro and “Like Woah.” “It’s that 90s shit, but still has that swag with it. I’m still talking about the culture and day-to-day shit, but mixed with that gangsta shit. It’s like that fly gang-banging shit, but on a whole other level now.”

ShooterGang Kony – Ginobili

ShooterGang

Like the rest of the West Coast, Northern California’s rap scene is currently being flooded with more exciting new talent than any other period between now and the ’90s. While the California hip-hop landscape is still evolving and it remains to be seen where its star-players will end up, one of the rappers that stands out is ShooterGang Kony, one of Sacramento’s best up-and-coming rappers. For his latest drop, ShooterGang Kony serves up a new album titled Ginobili. The LP is made up of 12 new tracks, including the previously-released standout “Alphabet.” June, ShooterGang Jojo, ShooterGang Deray and Gritty Lex all show up for guest contributions.

Shoreline Mafia – “Whuss Da Deal”

Obi Ollawa/HYPEBEAST

Southern California’s biggest new rap group, Shoreline Mafia, revisits their 2017 project ShorelineDoThatShit for their latest music video. Linking up with Ronnie Lewis Productions, the Atlantic Records crew deliver a visual for “Whuss Da Deal” that perfectly embodies everything they currently stand for, from skating to their substances of choice. Shoreline Mafia have cranked out nothing but hits since they began blowing up, and “Whuss Da Deal” is no different.

Prada Mack – “2Can Sam”

Ariel Mei/Play Runners Association

West Coast rapper Prada Mack has been grinding in his local rap scene for a few years now, and it looks he’s finally about to have his moment in the limelight as part of the fast-rising Play Runners Association movement led by ALLBLACK, Offset Jim and others. Fresh off a standout appearance on ALLBLACK’s incredible Outcalls project, Prada Mack fine-tunes his own style and sound for “2Can Sam.” Still evolving as an artist, the young rapper is beginning to craft a style that sticks out among the Bay Area’s current crop. There’s also going to be room for dark, melancholic street-rap, and that’s some Prada Mack’s “2Can Sam” does very, very well.

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Trump’s best bet to survive: Come clean about the payoffs

If it wasn’t obvious before, it should be now: President Trump is in an impeachment fight. It hasn’t fully ripened yet. That won’t happen unless Democrats take the House and do so with a healthy margin in the fall. But Michael Cohen’s statement that he committed campaign-finance violations at the behest of Trump makes it…
Opinion | New York Post

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The Best 4K HDTV Deals of 2018

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, read our Terms of Use.

If you play video games on a console or watch shows and movies at home, chances are you have at least one HDTV in the house. Many of us are still holding onto our 1080p TV sets, but there is no question that your next TV should be 4K. Even if you gloss over the fact that 4K image quality is noticeably superior than 1080p on any TV over 46″, there’s still the fact that 1080p TVs no longer have a price advantage over 4K. Whether you’re looking for the absolute lowest price or a great deal on  a top-of-the-line flagship model, we are here to find deals on all of them. This article is updated frequently, so check back.

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Best beaches around the world that aren’t packed with tourists

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A day at the beach is always good fun. It’s a chance to soak up the sun and relieve some of the stress that’s getting you down. Unfortunately, everyone has the same idea as you, and finding somewhere quiet and secluded can be challenging. If you’re looking for a place to top up your tan where tourists won’t constantly hound you, you might want to visit one of these beaches.

La Sagesse Bay (Grenada)

Grenada’s tropical climate means that a day on the beach is almost essential when you’re in the country. Grand Anse Bay, one of Grenada’s best-known spots, is ridiculously busy throughout the year. However, things are a lot quieter just a few miles down the road. La Sagesse Bay, which is just as beautiful as its neighbor, is a nice, secluded spot rarely touched by these hordes of tourists. It’s not unpopulated, but it’s far quieter than Grand Anse Bay. The serene atmosphere here means you’ll definitely get some peace and quiet.

Ko Adang (Thailand)

Thailand’s beaches get crazy during peak season. However, if you’re in the country and looking for a quiet day by the sea, Ko Adang has got you covered. The island belongs to the Tarutao National Park and is favored for the local species in the area. Many people who come here do so to go bird watching, but you won’t be judged for lounging on the beach. The island is very secluded from the rest of Thailand, which is partly why it’s so quiet. If you don’t mind the challenge of getting there, the white sand and clear waters will be worth your while. Plus, there are opportunities to go snorkeling and scuba diving here where you’ll discover some beautiful coral reefs.

Colombier Beach (St. Barths)

The longer it takes to get to a beach, the less likely it is to be filled with tourists. Colombier Beach on St. Barths requires a 30-minute hike to reach, but you’re in for a treat once you make it there. The beach looks almost untouched because it’s not often that people put in the effort to visit it. With almost crystal clear water and sand that’s warm to the touch, this secluded spot is sure to give you the beach break you deserve. Plus, the half-hour walk is pretty scenic, so it’s worth the added time to get there.

Whitehaven Beach (Australia)

As one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you’d think that Whitehaven Beach would be more popular than it is. However, it seems that its seclusion has prevented others from visiting the gorgeous shores. It’s their loss, because Whitehaven Beach has some of the purest sand and clearest water you’ll ever find. It’s a visual masterpiece, especially where the currents and sand have created an incredible swirling effect in the water. It’s easy to get here via a tour boat, and they’ll typically provide you with a stinger suit if you plan on going swimming. While the beach is beautiful, it is sometimes home to deadly jellyfish. You’ll want to be a little cautious in the water.

Grenen (Denmark)

Scandinavian countries probably aren’t your first thought for a beach vacation, but Grenen in Denmark is one of the best and quietest. If you don’t mind not swimming in the water (it’s prohibited), you’ll be able to relax on one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Go there at the right time of year, and the weather will be reasonable enough for lounging on the sand. Plus, you’ll be greeted by the seals who enjoy relaxing on the beach, even with tourists hanging around. What more of a reason do you need to go there?

Going to the beach should be about relaxation. No-one wants to deal with the stress of being surrounded by a bunch of noisy, intrusive tourists, especially if they’re on vacation. At least you now know where to go when the crowds become too much.

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Here Are the 10 Best Cities to Find Good Jobs in the Craft Beer Industry


If you love beer, working in the brewing industry isn’t just a delicious career decision, it’s a smart financial one.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed by U.S. breweries has more than doubled in the past decade, with a whopping 69,359 people making their living in beer-industry jobs in 2017. Similarly, the number of breweries in the U.S. has exploded over the past seven years and shows no signs of slowing. According to a report released by the Brewers Association, in 2017 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. reached 6,372, a 16% increase from the prior year.

Ready to hop into the thriving beer industry? Several unexpected places are emerging as brewing hot spots, offering jobs in production, sales and marketing, hospitality or operations. Perhaps most importantly, these 10 cities aren’t just great places to work in brewing, they’re great places to live.

Well drink to that. By the way, this list is not ranked.

1. Bend, Oregon

This scenic, beer-centric town boasts the highest number of microbreweries per capita in the nation. From skiing at Mt. Bachelor to rock climbing at Smith Rock to whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River, if you love the idea of spending your downtime in the great outdoors before heading to work at one of 26 local breweries, Bend might be the perfect place for you.

In 1988, Deschutes Brewery opened up as Bend’s first brewery. Bend Brewing Company, Cascade Lakes Brewery and Silver Moon Brewing would later follow, along with many others. With an economy primarily dependent on tourism and a wide array of breweries, a quick look at local employment sites reveals a multitude of job openings in Bend’s local beer industry.

2. Asheville, North Carolina

Located in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its colorful music and arts scene and high concentration of niche brewers. It’s no surprise that Asheville is one of the 10 most popular cities for beer travelers, according to a 2017 report released by Foursquare. With a tourism-based economy, the city holds numerous events to celebrate its beloved beverage. Visitors enjoy the Brewgrass Festival, Beer City Festival, and Asheville Beer Week, to name a few.

The stunning juxtaposition of the vibrant urban setting and lush surrounding wilderness make Asheville perfect for the outdoor lover looking to brew. Leisure and hospitality make up 43.8% of the city’s total employment, and approximately 2,500 jobs are part of the brewing sector. With 35 breweries, jobs in the industry are plentiful and range from marketing to brewing to bartending.

3. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Man working in brewery
Chalffy/Getty Images

With a population of approximately 196,000, this riverfront city located on the Grand River east of Lake Michigan was once known as the Furniture City. In more recent years, it has made a name for itself as a beer destination. Declared one of the Best Beer Cities by Livability.com, Declared one of the Best Beer Cities by Livability.com, the city features the Grand Rapids Beer City Trail, which boasts more than 80 brewers.

Combining beer with the local music and art scene, Grand Rapids offers the friendly, creative culture most beer aficionados dream of. If working as a brew tour guide, event coordinator, beverage steward or lead brewer sounds like a dream come true, head to Grand Rapids for a promising start.

4. Baltimore, Maryland

Packed with historic neighborhoods, museums and award-winning restaurants, Baltimore is an evolving harbor city. Despite its share of struggles, the city’s beer industry is rapidly growing. In just 10 years, it went from having under a dozen breweries to over 70.

Named one of the top five fastest growing markets in the country for craft beer sales in 2016, Baltimore is home to favorites like Flying Dog Brewery and DuClaw Brewing Co. During the same year, the Maryland craft beer industry created 6,441 jobs, making the area worth a close look for those looking to break into brewing.

5. Fort Collins, Colorado

Home to Colorado State University, half of Fort Collins’ population is under the age of 24, and they value their suds. Located in northern Colorado, this youthful town pulls its weight in the state’s beer industry. With over 20 breweries, it produces 70% of the state’s craft beer.

Even with its 300 days of sunshine and easy access to the beautiful Colorado wilderness, Fort Collins’ robust brewery scene stands out as one of the top reasons to move there. The city produces award-winning brews, like Funkwerks’ Oud Bruin, which was awarded a gold medal at the World Beer Cup — a biennial competition where 2,515 breweries from 66 countries compete.

6. Birmingham, Alabama

Once an industrial town, Birmingham now leads the nation in craft beer market share growth, making this Alabama city a perfect place for those looking to work in the beer industry while enjoying a laid-back Southern lifestyle.

Downtown Birmingham is experiencing a renaissance centered around the food and beverage industry. Breweries like Avondale Brewing have played a big role in the city’s revitalization and success. Alabama has gone from having two breweries just eight years ago to approximately 30 today — several of which are located in or near Birmingham. This location is perfect for the eager entrepreneur or the novice brewer who wants to play a part in the city’s rebirth as a national beer hub.

7. Anchorage, Alaska

Inside photo of a brewery
Nordroden/Getty Images

If you are looking for a state that makes big business out of craft beer, Alaska is your ideal home. It ranks No. 3 among states for gallons consumed per capita and seventh in breweries per capita. The beer industry contributed almost $ 36 million in wages and over 1,250 jobs to the Alaska economy in 2017 — and many of the most popular breweries are located in Anchorage.

This gateway city offers visitors and residents access to the state’s stunning wilderness areas. In addition to its vibrant food scene, Anchorage is home to seven of the state’s 35 breweries, including Anchorage Brewing Company and King Street Brewing.

8. Missoula, Montana

If spending your days in Big Sky Country and making craft beer away from the hustle and bustle of the big city sounds like an idyllic lifestyle, head to Missoula. With a population of 72,072, the city has seven independent breweries pouring carefully crafted potions .

Montana has 68 breweries that contribute $ 60 million a year to the economy, and Missoula’s three biggest breweries provide the greatest portion of that economic impact. Tourism is the cornerstone of this small town’s economy, and while outdoor adventure draws thousands of visitors to the area, Missoula’s craft beer scene is quickly becoming a main attraction.

9. Burlington, Vermont

Vermont has more breweries per capita than any other state. With a solid reputation in the industry, Burlington is a good bet for those feeling extra cautious about switching or starting a new career. This town may only be home to 39,000 residents, but it’s been producing local beer  since Vermont Pub & Brewery opened in 1988. With Burlington’s 40-plus breweries, pubs, and drinking establishments, finding a job in the beer industry here should not be a difficult task.

A college town full of young students eager to drink, Burlington is also home to one of the nation’s largest brewers, Magic Hat. If starting your career in an area with a history of success in the industry and access to stunning lakes and breathtaking mountains sounds ideal, this location is perfect.

10. Vista, California

Located in northwestern San Diego County, Vista’s 101,659 residents are served by a whopping 15 breweries. Just seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, its Mediterranean climate and year-round outdoor activities call to those who’ve been dreaming of some California sun without all of the stress that comes with life in LA or San Francisco.  

While visitors from all over the nation visit San Diego to enjoy its abundant sun and surfing, Vista draws beer lovers with its breweries and holds its own in craft-beer tourism. Move to this small city and you can ride the waves while making brews year-round.

Annette Benedetti is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier — one of her favorite places on earth.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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U.S. NEWS’ BEST HOSPITALS 2018-19: Young runner kicks early-onset colorectal cancer thanks to Memorial Sloan Kettering docs

Cancer was not on Lisa Cour’s radar.

The healthy, active 39-year-old Hartford, Conn., resident was busy prepping for her first marathon. She had no family history of cancer, she ate well, was fit and clearly exercised.

Yet, when she finally went to a gastroenterologist doctor in the summer of 2014…

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Students’ social skills flourish best in groups with similar skill levels

Researchers have found that children who need assistance improving their social skills might benefit more when grouped with peers who have similar social skill levels, rather than with peers who have a similar disability or disorder.
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10 Best Bets for $75 or Less – Spanish Made Driving Shoes, Super Breathable Chinos, & More

Seventy Five bucks. That’s a lot of money. It’ll get you a couple pairs of Levi’s, a decent casual dinner out, or a couple months at your local gym. Ten picks follow, all for $ 75 or under, with some of them much, much less. Expect these round-ups on a monthly basis. Got a tip on something for under $ 75? Send those in to joe@dappered.com.

 

Jack Erwin Spanish Made Drivers – $ 47.50 FINAL ($ 95)

Jack Erwin Spanish Made Drivers

Somehow, these made in Spain drivers in sand suede have survived the initial (and almost complete?) onslaught on the very first Jack Erwin sale. Still final sale, but all sizes are available at post time.

 

J. Crew Ludlow Slim-Fit Glen Plaid Cotton – $ 98

J. Crew Ludlow Slim-Fit Glen Plaid Cotton

Not under $ 75… yet. But pretty sure these’ll have to go on sale at some point. A true slim, so, if you’re thick through the legs, forget it. Used to be called the Bowery Slim Fit. Now it’s just the Ludlow.

 

Sperry Top-Sider Salt Washed Striper CVO – $ 59.95

Sperry Top-Sider Salt Washed Striper CVO | Dappered.com

Built like a brick outhouse. Substantial, but still flexible canvas. Thick rubber out-soles. Reinforced eyelets and nicely thick laces. Leather accents. Plus, the extra cushioning around the tongue and heel area is a nice touch.

 

Allen Edmonds Cotton Flannel Shoe Bags – $ 3.97 w/ PLUS20 ($ 10)

Allen Edmonds Cotton Flannel Shoe Bags

Under four bucks! Keep the dust off your shoes while storing them in these soft, scratch free flannel bags. Did I mention they’re under four bucks?

 

Banana Republic Core Temp Chinos – $ 49 w/ BRCARDFF ($ 98)

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Just a warning. The above code, BRCARDFF, is good for cardmembers only. But the 50% off Banana Republic Friends and Family sale should go live to most of the public, tomorrow (8/16). Keep an eye out in your inbox for a code. Should be good for 50% off regular priced items. Meanwhile, these pants are outstanding. Head here for the review.

 

NES Classic – $ 59.99 | Super NES Classic – $ 79.99

NES

Looks like the supply problems of these things are over? Boy things have changed. This is pure nostalgia. They’re also, according to reader Brandon D. (thanks for the tip) super fun. Both are smaller in size than the originals, yet come pre-loaded with a ton of games. 30 games come on the classic, 20 on the super. What still hasn’t changed? Your Princess is still in another castle.

 

Black Butte XXX Rexerve (prices vary) 

Black Butte XXX Rexerve

It’s that time of year. It’s the 30th anniversary of Black Butte Porter from Bend Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, and every year they release a special Imperial version. They’ve done dried fruits and chocolate in the past… but this year? For the 30th anniversary? Straightforward, clean, mean, and a beast at 13.6% ABV. Not overly sweet. Anything but boring. Barrel-aged in eight different types of barrels and, while taste is subjective, I think they nailed it.

 

Old Navy Built-In Flex Moisture-Wicking Pro Polo – $ 18.99

Old Navy Built-In Flex Moisture-Wicking Pro Polo

After 169 reviews, these things are 4.7 / 5 stars. That’s incredible. The internet agrees on NOTHING. Yet, here we are. But don’t take their word for it, take the word of Eric H.: Pique knit, with stretch and also wicking. 58% cotton, 39% polyester, 3% spandex. I’m sure the collar will roll, but time will tell.

 

Made in the USA Notebook by Appointed – $ 24

Made in the USA Notebook by Appointed

Yes this was just mentioned yesterday. But it deserves more pub. Yes, paying two-dozen-dollars for ONE notebook is absurd. But I like this thing more than I like most people. Beautiful, thick cover. Brass spiral bound. Filled with paper that’s graph patterned on one side and blank on the other, and that paper feels good in the hands and under a pen. So yeah. There you have it. Pen not included. Sorry.

 

NEWWHEY Waxed Canvas Duffel – $ 39.96

NEWWHEY Waxed Canvas Duffel

Newwhey? Sounds like a protein powder brand. But it’s not. Reader Jarred M. (and self described “cheap ass”) sent in a tip about these things, and they’re allegedly legit. Waxed canvas, not a total crap-show, and that grey shade is mighty fine looking.

For other Best Bets under $ 75 from previous months, click here.


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The best place in America to buy a vacation home

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Ever considered buying a vacation home? They’re not for everyone, and some of us definitely can’t afford one. However, if you’ve got the money going spare, buying one of these might be a worthy investment. There are a lot of benefits that come with pouring your money into a home away from home, but what location do you pick? Somewhere by the coast, or up in the mountains? Do you get a place in the center of town or more on the outskirts? You don’t need to keep worrying about the questions, because we’ve found the answers.

Where to set your sights

If you’re in the market for a vacation home, then there’s one place you need to check out – Panama City Beach in Florida. Just one look at this place should make you fall in love. The white beaches, clear water, and gorgeous weather are the perfect combination for any vacation. Whenever you need to get away from the world for some relaxation, Panama City Beach has got you covered.

While it’s an ideal vacation spot for some time in the sun, that’s not the only reason why you need to buy yourself a second home here.

Renting it out

When you purchase a vacation home, you don’t intend on staying there all the time. You might go there a few weeks a year or, if you live nearby, take trips there at the weekend. Apart from that, though, the house will remain empty. If you’ve got a savvy business mind, you’ll know that this is the perfect opportunity to turn your new vacation property into a money maker.

Many people rent out there vacation homes during the weeks and months when they’re not staying there. It prevents the house from being abandoned for too long and at risk of being broken into. Plus, it’s a great way of bringing in some extra income. You’ve shelled out money for this new house, so you need it to start paying for itself.

Why is Panama City Beach the best place to do this over everywhere else, though?

Future investment

Simply put, Panama City Beach has the highest return on investment for rental properties compared to everywhere else in the country. The cost of renting out a house compares favorably to the cost of owning it, which means it’s worth keeping it on the market. Moreover, Panama City Beach is incredibly popular with tourists, especially when spring break season comes around. People flock to the area to take advantage of its gorgeous weather and great atmosphere, so there’s an almost constant need for somewhere to stay throughout the year. If you own one of the properties in the area, you’d likely have someone staying there constantly.

Moving to Florida

Even if Panama City Beach isn’t right for you, there’s probably somewhere in the Sunshine State worth investing in. On a list of the best 150 rental cities in the country, Florida appears more than any other state in the top 25. It’s the best place in the United States for beach vacations, which is why rental properties here are such a hot commodity. If you think you’re ready to hire out your new vacation home to other tourists, this may well be the place for you. The income that your investment brings in will be more than worth it.

If you haven’t already started looking for vacation homes to purchase in Panama City Beach, what are you waiting for? Not only will you find a new place to stay in a beautiful part of the country, but you’ll also have an amazing investment property on your hands. It’s a win-win situation.

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The Best Blogs for Women Law Students

We just rounded up all of our best law school resources for women onto one page, and we thought this would be a great mini-topic for today: For the lawyers out there, what do you think the best blogs for women law students are? Some of the ones that I would add for your consideration (in addition to Corporette, of course!) would be these:

Above the Law – If you want all the scoop on different law firms (particularly regarding bonuses, raises, and Dumb Memos), ATL is a must-read. They just launched a new podcast for women in the law called The Jabot and have a corresponding Facebook group for women in law. They also feature columns from women in the law like Jeena Cho, author of The Anxious Lawyer, as well as the self-proclaimed “Old Lady Lawyer,” Jill Switzer.

The Girl’s Guide to Law School – There are a ton of great resources for all law students here, including guides on Law School 101, how to write law review articles, and how to leave BigLaw.

Ms. JD Run in conjunction with the National Women Law Students’ Organization, Ms. JD features a blog and they run conferences and programs throughout the year.

The Careerist – Law.com can be a little overwhelming if you’re new, but I always find Vivia Chen’s writing to be witty and concise takes on matters of interest to women.

Honorable mentions – I’m not that familiar with her books or the blog, but Best Friends at the Bar looks like a great resource — I only just found it now, though. Also, Rebecca notes that she really liked the ABA’s Student Lawyer magazine, and April gave a shoutout to what looks like an incredibly thoughtful blog, A Lawyer’s Life.

Personal style blogs run by practicing lawyers

As a little subcategory, I can’t help but list some personal style bloggers who are also practicing lawyers! Readers, please share your favorites!

OK, ladies, let’s hear it: What do you think the best blogs for women law students are? (What do you think the best blogs for ALL law students are?) Do you follow any law school lifestyle bloggers like Brazen and Brunette, or The Legal Duchess?

Stock photo: Deposit Photos /  bst2012.

We just dropped our roundup of law school resources for women, so we thought we might also ask the readers: what are the best blogs for women law students? These are some of our favorites, including Ms.JD and The Girls' Guide to Law School -- but which are yours?

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