10 of the best activity holidays worldwide: readers’ travel tips

Kayaking, cycling, running and hiking from the Andes to Iran … Our tipsters aren’t content with a book and deckchair

For climbing and scrambling with a twist head to Le Bourg-d’Oisans in the French Alps south-east of Grenoble. Stay in one of the many campsites (Le Château de Rochetaillée is excellent) before finding La Montagne Sports shop in town who will kit you out for €10 per day with everything you need for the area’s seven spectacular via ferrata routes. On another day, head an hour’s drive west to Alpes du Grand Serre and experience the thrill of scrambling, climbing and traversing along rock, over a raging river and coming out at the top into a beautiful alpine meadow with rosy cheeks and a spring in your tired step. If you enjoyed this, head next to Cascade de la Fare in Vaujany, just half an hour north of Le Bourg. This is a step up and includes two long bridges over a ravine and an ascent to a waterfall with sensational views.
Karen Abell

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Travel | The Guardian

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10 of the best yoga holidays in UK and Europe

Beautiful locations and activities such as running or simply hanging out on the beach complement quality yoga teaching at these retreats

Combine yoga and Greek sunshine with a holiday on Santorini, the southernmost of the Cyclades islands, staying in whitewashed houses at a boutique hotel with pool outside the village of Oia. There are two daily classes for all levels with warm, encouraging teacher Louise Gillespie-Smith, who balances creative, breath-led flow with gentle, mindful yin. An optional 10-mile hike is included, and guests are also able to enjoy sailing, sea kayaking and wine-tasting if they wish. Louise also leads holidays in the UK and French Alps.
From £795, with breakfast and three evening meals, 29 June-6 July, adventureyogi.com

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Travel | The Guardian

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The Holiday’s Over… Er, Not for These Sun-Soaked Celebrities

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

A new year brings time for pause and reflection—plus the chance to follow celebrities on their jaunts to locations that are inevitably much warmer and more glamorous than wherever you are.

While many of us wasted our Jan. 1 ordering takeout and mindlessly refreshing Instagram, tabloid photographers were hard at work catching glimpses of stars frolicking on sandy beaches or selfie-ing aboard private yachts, with the emphasis on photographing as much (mostly female) flesh as possible.

The time-honored tradition of stalking celebrity getaways is crystallized by headlines like the Daily Mail’s, “Molly Sims shows off her jaw-dropping physique in racy clashing swimsuit during fun-filled family day at the beach in St Barts.” (Sims, like most insiders on the French Caribbean island, would probably spell it St Barth’s.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Healthy holidays and a sunscreen rethink: top five travel trends for 2019

Rising eco-awareness, wellness breaks and a farewell to passports … we look at changes in the world of travel for the year ahead

Last October, Club 18-30 holidays staggered off into the sunset, aged 50. To the relief of Mediterranean resorts that had spent decades dealing with the carnage caused by epic drinking challenges, it appears that buckets of warm sangria – or worse – have lost their appeal. We have entered the era of the healthy holiday, driven by young people who want to be sober enough to take a flattering selfie. The rise of ‘ego travel’ was cited by Thomas Cook when it retired the Club 18-30 brand, turning its focus on its Casa Cook and Cook’s Club brands, design-conscious hotels with gyms, tasting menus, upmarket cocktails and yoga.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Alone for the Holidays? Here’s How to Keep Yourself Sane

Source: Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty

For some, the holidays are the best time of the year. It means spending quality time with friends and family, holiday parties and gifts galore. For others, the holidays can be less than cheerful and seem to have a special way of making you feel awful if you’re spending the season alone.

Maybe you’re getting over a recent break up or the loss of a loved one. Maybe you’ve moved away for work or school and can’t afford to make it home in time for the holidays. Whatever the scenario, let’s be honest: being alone over the holidays sucks…and the fact that the entire world is talking about it definitely doesn’t make being alone feel any better.

If you’re one of those feeling a bit lonely this season, you’ll be surprised to know that you’re actually not alone as the holidays can be one of the loneliest times of the year. In an effort to keep your spirits up in spite of being alone, we’ve complied a few coping mechanisms to help you get through the last few days of the year. Here’s a few ways to stay sane if you’re alone during the holidays:

Create Your Own Tradition

Starting your own tradition is a great way to distract yourself from being alone over the holidays. If you have other friends, coworkers or neighbors who are also spending the holidays alone, it might be a great opportunity to start your own “Friendsgiving” or “Christmas Brunch” where you can bond over great food, great drinks and great conversation.

If you’re not up for the group activity, you can start a solo tradition too. Maybe go to the movies on Christmas, or take yourself ice skating, or treat yourself to a nice fancy dinner. If you adapt a tradition you love, you might find yourself actually looking forward to spending the holidays to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself.

Helping Others

Volunteering and helping others is a sure way to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down. Just knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life by giving back will help bring a smile to your face and remind you of how fortunate you truly are.

You can give back in many ways over the holidays by collecting toys and warm clothing for those less fortunate, delivering meals to the elderly, spending time at a nursing home or even donating to your favorite charity. Bringing joy to someone else is a beautiful way to experience joy yourself.

Set Realistic Expectations

You might feel lonely during this time of year simply due to the fact that society has placed such huge expectations on what it means to celebrate the holidays. Everywhere you turn, there are romantic holiday movies playing, family Christmas portraits being hung and social media posts giving off false perceptions that everyone is living their most picture-perfect lives.

Not having a significant other or close family might only seem weird during the time when we’re “supposed” to be going to parties, exchanging gifts and spending time with those we love. Combat those feelings by re-thinking your expectations and realize that nobody’s life truly measures up to the Hallmark Channel movies you’ve been binge watching all weekend. Instead, shift your focus to the great things you do have in life and realize that your holiday is perfectly fine just the way it is.

Remember What You’re Grateful For

Expressing gratitude might seem like something simple, but it actually has many benefits that’ll help bring you out of your holiday slump. It’s hard to focus on being thankful and feeling lonely at the same time. For example, if you’re feeling down due to the lack of love in your life, be thankful for the love that you do have whether it be from friends, family or even your pets.

Keeping a gratitude journal is also a great exercise you can try to get you in the habit of recording everything you value in life. It’s even more rewarding to read through your list of grateful moments the next time you’re feeling down.

Prepare Yourself for The Coming Year

There’s no better pick me up than reflecting on everything you’ve accomplished this year and figuring out your plan for how you’ll level up even more next year. Rather than sitting around feeling lonely, you can spend the holidays writing down your dreams and goals for the coming year and mapping out a plan on how to achieve them.

You can try creating a vision board, reading self-help books, writing motivational notes to yourself or simply writing down your list of goals using your notes app. No matter your tactic, focusing on how great the coming year can be will definitely lift your spirits and help take your mind off of feeling alone!

 

Life & Style – Black America Web

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Amazon just announced its best-selling tech gifts of the holidays – and they’re all still on sale

Amazon Holiday Best Sellers List

Amazon on Wednesday announced that this past holiday shopping season was its most successful season ever, with more items ordered worldwide than ever before. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering how good the deals were this year across all of the most popular categories on Amazon’s site. Amazon didn’t share any specific numbers as far as sales go, and that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the company never shares specific sales volumes. It did announce some of its best-selling products across various categories though, and we’ve got some awesome news: Amazon’s best-selling products from this past holiday shopping season are still on sale right now.

Fire TV and Echo devices were popular this year, as they have been every year. Amazon also listed best-sellers from other categories like toys, where products like the L.O.L. Surprise! Glam Glitter Series Doll with 7 Surprises and Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster topped the charts. In the ever popular electronics category, six items topped the list and it just so happens that they’re all still on sale!

The Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones were top-sellers this year, and they’re still available right now for $ 50 off, which is the same exact deal we saw on Black Friday and during Cyber Week. Samsung’s UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV is also still on sale for more than $ 500 off, and Apple’s Space Gray iPad with 32GB of storage is still discounted as well, though it’s not as deep as it was during Cyber Week. Want to see what else topped Amazon’s list this year in the electronics category? You can check everything out below.

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling

  • Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
  • Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
  • Balanced audio performance at any volume
  • Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose Connect app

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling, with Alexa voice contro…: $ 299.99

Samsung UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV

  • HDR Plus: See movies and shows just as the director intended in stunning high dynamic range
  • Ultra Slim Array: The Ultra Slim Array dynamically fine-tunes the deepness of the blacks, to the brightness of the whites, for a picture with sensational contrast
  • Dynamic Crystal Color: Discover an expanded world of colors where millions of shades HDTVs can’t replicate make all the difference
  • Motion Rate 240: Enjoy smooth, crisp action even in the fastest scenes
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice: A revolutionary way to help find streaming and live TV shows with a Universal Guide, one remote and voice assistance.Sound Output (RMS): 15W x 2
  • Please note the differences between the UN65NU8000 and the UN65NU800D. NU8000: Eclipse silver bezel color, 550 nits HDR sustained brightness, Supreme UHD micro dimming. NU800D: Carbon silver bezel color, 530 nits HDR sustained brightness, UHD Dimming.

Samsung UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV (2018): $ 1,197.99

Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray

  • 9.7-inch Retina display
  • A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP camera with 1080p video and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Two speaker audio

Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model): $ 289.00

Wemo Mini Smart Plug

  • Control from anywhere. Plug in a Wemo Mini Smart Plug, download the free app, and control your lights and appliances from your phone and your voice through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Only needs Wi-Fi. No hub or subscription required
  • Compact size. Wemo Mini features a sleek new form-factor that allows you to stack two Mini Smart Plugs in the same outlet
  • Schedule automatically. Never come home to a dark house. Schedule the fan to turn on before you arrive. Sync lamps and devices to sunrise, sunset, or pre-set times automatically
  • Randomize Lights. The Mini Smart Plug protects your home better than a mechanical timer. “Away Mode” will turn your lights on and off randomly to make it look like you’re home even when you’re not
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Pair with voice built-in devices like Apple Homepod or Google Home and control your lights and appliances with your voice
  • Wemo works with Apple HomeKit automatically. Download the latest version of the Wemo App and follow the steps to connect your Wemo Mini connected devices to the Apple Home app

Wemo Mini Smart Plug, WiFi Enabled, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant & Apple HomeKit: $ 22.49

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

  • Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output. Power output (RMS): 130mW
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls.
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload).

Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout: $ 99.99

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera

  • Works with Alexa: Ask Alexa to show your front door, kid’s room, or anywhere else you have your Wyze Cam
  • 1080p full HD live stream direct to your smartphone day or night with night vision (up to 30 feet away). Works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi)
  • Motion Tagging technology detects and outlines motion in both live stream and playback video modes. Operating system supports ios 8.0 and android 5.0 or later.
  • Motion and sound detection with free rolling 14-day cloud storage. Use the Wyze App (iOS and Android) to manage and share multiple cameras. Add a microSD card (up to 32GB max size) for local storage.
  • Magnetic base, 6-foot power cable and included adhesive metal plate let you mount your Wyze Cam anywhere – no screws required

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Works with…: $ 25.98

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  1. Your cable company hates us so much for telling you about this $ 50 box
  2. Amazon’s surprise discounts on the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 are still available today

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  1. New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ toy leak actually reveals some spoilers
  2. What does it mean if the hole in the ISS was drilled from the inside?
  3. Another new Android phone with a camera hole in the display just beat the Galaxy S10 to market

Amazon just announced its best-selling tech gifts of the holidays – and they’re all still on sale originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 27 Dec 2018 at 11:00:39 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Healthy Living During The Holidays

Dr. Susan Reinhard, a registered nurse, senior vice president and director of AARP public policy institute, joins us this morning on behalf of AARP to discuss healthy living during the holiday season and beyond.

She is a nationally recognized expert in health and long-term care, with extensive experience in conducting, directing and translating research to promote policy change.

Q&A

WHAT IS AARP’S APPROACH ON HEALTH?

AARP’S HEALTHY LIVING INITIATIVE, WHICH I AM EXCITED TO BE LEADING, IS TO EMPOWER PEOPLE 50-PLUS TO LIVE THEIR HEALTHIEST LIVES POSSIBLE.

AARP WANTS TO HELP YOU TAKE A WHOLE-BODY APPROACH TO YOUR HEALTHY LIVING GOALS AND HELP YOU TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH AS YOU AGE.

A WHOLE-BODY APPROACH TO HEALTHY LIVING MEANS IMPROVING HOW YOU EAT, SLEEP, EXERCISE, AND CONNECT WITH OTHERS AT EVERY STAGE OF AGING.

ON AARP.ORG/HEALTH YOU MAY FIND TOOLS, RESOURCES, AND INFORMATION RANGING FROM EXERCISE TO BRAIN GAMES, FROM COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS TO CONNECTING WITH YOUR COMMUNITY, FROM BETTER NUTRITION TO BETTER SLEEP.

HEALTHY LIVING IS AS MUCH ABOUT MAKING SMALL CHANGES TO YOUR EVERYDAY ROUTINE, AS IT IS ABOUT BIG LIFE-CHANGING BEHAVIORAL COMMITMENTS.

WHAT’S A SMALL CHANGE THAT PEOPLE CAN CONSIDER?

WALK 30 MINUTES A DAY.

AS PART OF OUR HEALTHY LIVING WORK, THIS PAST SPRING WE LAUNCHED A FIT AND FUN CHALLENGE TO PROMOTE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND FITNESS. THE CHALLENGE INSPIRED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO WALK 30 MINUTES A DAY FOR EIGHT WEEKS THROUGH AN INTERACTIVE WEBSITE THAT ALLOWED PEOPLE TO MAKE THAT COMMITMENT, CONNECT AND SHARE STORIES, AND GAIN INSPIRATION AND TIPS FROM A LEADING FITNESS EXPERT. THE CHALLENGE ENDED FOR THIS YEAR BUT WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO START OR CONTINUE YOUR 30 MINUTE WALKS.

FOR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, EXERCISE CAN BE A POPULAR ONE. HOW CAN WE KEEP UP THE MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE?

SOME TIPS ARE STOP MAKING EXERCISE ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK, WRITE DOWN EXACTLY WHEN AND WHERE YOU WILL EXERCISE, OR HAVE A PLAN B.

ALSO, PRIORITIZE CONVENIENCE. DAVID MAXFIELD, CO-AUTHOR OF CHANGE ANYTHING, SAYS “SET YOUR WORKOUT CLOTHES NEXT TO YOUR BED THE NIGHT BEFORE, AND KEEP EXERCISE EQUIPMENT VISIBLE AND NEARBY.

YOU CAN EVEN MAKE IT SOCIAL. YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO EXERCISE CONSISTENTLY IF YOU WORK OUT WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

FOR MORE TIPS ABOUT EXERCISING AND EXERCISES, GO TO AARP.ORG/HEALTH.

DURING THE HOLIDAYS PEOPLE TEND TO EAT MORE, WHAT CAN WE DO TO STAY HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS?

EAT BEFOREHAND. FASTING BEFORE A HOLIDAY DINNER CAN BACKFIRE. CYNTHIA SASS, A NUTRITIONIST AND AUTHOR OF SLIM DOWN NOW SAYS, “EAT REGULAR, OR SMALLER, MEALS BEFORE ANY FEAST.”

SHE ALSO RECOMMENDS AT ANY BUFFET TABLE, LOOK AT ALL THE OPTIONS BEFORE PUTTING THINGS ON YOUR PLATE. CHOOSE ONE OR TWO SPLURGE FOODS AND TRY TO BALANCE WITH OTHER LIGHT, HEALTHY CHOICES LIKE CUT VEGGIES.

ANOTHER TIP CYNTHIA PROVIDES IS TO PHYSICALLY DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THE BUFFET.

WHAT ARE SOME ACTIVITIES WE CAN DO FOR EATING HEALTHY DURING AND BEYOND THE HOLIDAYS?

IF YOU WANT A HEALTHY HEART AND A NUMBER YOU ARE HAPPY WITH ON THE SCALE, EAT BRAZIL NUTS, PUT DOWN YOUR FORK AT 6 PM AND WEIGH YOURSELF EVERY DAY.

THESE ARE FINDINGS FROM STUDIES AT THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION’S ANNUAL MEETING FOR ADVANCES IN CARDIO VASCULAR SCIENCE.

OTHER ACTIVITIES CAN BE TO USE A SMALLER PLATE TO CONTROL PORTION SIZE, USE SPICES/HERBS TO FLAVOR FOOD INSTEAD OF SALT, AND READ PACKAGED FOOD LABELS TO MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES AS RECOMMENDED FROM THE GLOBAL COUNCIL ON BRAIN HEALTH CONVENED BY AARP.

ASIDE FROM WATCHING WHAT WE EAT, WHAT COULD WE DO AROUND THE TABLE?

TALK ABOUT HEALTH. RECENTLY, THROUGH A TELEPHONE TOWN HALL CO-HOSTED WITH THE 100 BLACK MEN OF AMERICA, WE WERE ABLE TO REACH OUT AND CONNECT ON THE TOPIC OF PRE-DIABETES AMONG THE AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK COMMUNITY, A POPULATION AT HIGH RISK FOR THE CONDITION ACCORDING TO THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ONE IN THREE AMERICAN ADULTS HAVE PRE-DIABETES AND NEARLY 90% OF THOSE DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY HAVE IT, AS STATED BY THE C-D-C. TO LEARN MORE AND TAKE THE PREDIABETES RISK TEST, GO TO AARP.ORG/PREDIABETES.

WE HAVE LISTENERS FROM ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT MAY BE TRAVELLING TO THEIR LOVED ONES THIS HOLIDAY. WHAT ARE SOME HEALTHY LIVING TIPS THEY CAN TAKE AWAY?

WHILE YOU ARE TRAVELING, STAY HYDRATED. USE EYE DROPS AND A SALINE NASAL SPRAY, SAYS SHARON BERQUIST, M.D. AT EMORY HEALTHCARE IN ATLANTA. SHE ALSO RECOMMENDS TO DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU ARE ON MEDICATION. HOT DRINKS ARE GOOD FOR HYDRATION AND THE STEAM WILL HELP MOISTURIZE MUCUS MEMBRANES, A BARRIER AGAINST BACTERIAL VIRUSES IN THE NOSE AND MOUTH.

IF YOU ARE ON A FLIGHT, BE AWARE THAT ALCOHOL CAN DEHYDRATE YOU. ALSO ON LONG FLIGHTS, GET UP AND WALK EVERY TWO HOURS TO LOWER YOUR RISK OF BLOOD CLOTS IN YOUR LEGS.

USE AN AIR VENT IF YOU HAVE ONE IN THE PLANE, TRAIN, OR CAR. THE AIR VENT HELPS CREATE AIR FLOW THAT WILL MOVE GERMS OUT OF YOUR SPACE.

ALSO TO HELP KEEP AWAY THE GERMS, BRING AN ALCOHOL-BASED GEL SANITIZER – ONE WITH AT LEAST 60% – TO USE ON YOUR HANDS AFTER TOUCHING SURFACES THAT OTHERS MAY TOUCH FREQUENTLY – LIKE A DOOR HANDLE.

WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEW YEAR FROM AARP?

LOOK OUT FOR ANOTHER FIT AND FUN CHALLENGE AND OTHER HEALTHY LIVING EVENTS, SUCH AS A TELEPHONE TOWN HALL. SO STAYED TUNED FOR MORE HEALTHY LIVING GUIDANCE, TOOLS, AND SOLUTIONS THAT WE CAN PUT TO USE AT AARP.ORG/HEALTH.

Life & Style – Black America Web

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Single During The Holidays? It Doesn’t Mean Being Lonely Or Alone

As the holiday season starts, singles may face questions from friends and family: “When are you getting serious about dating?”

In many families, seasonal festivities draw lines between who’s coupled and who’s not. Romantic partners are invited to holiday meals, included in family photographs, and seen as potential life mates – while “mere” friends are not. These practices draw a line between relationships seen as significant – and those which aren’t.

As I’ve argued in my research on the ethics and politics of the family, these practices reflect widespread assumptions. One is that everyone is seeking a romantic relationship. The second is more value-laden: living in a long-term romantic, sexual partnership is better than living without one. This fuels beliefs that those living solo are less happy, or lonelier, than couples.

These assumptions are so prevalent that they guide many social interactions. But research shows they’re false.

Why more Americans are living single

The truth is that more Americans are living unmarried and without a romantic partner. In 2005, the census for the first time recorded a majority of women living outside of marriage Although, of course, some unmarried women have romantic partners.

By 2010, married couples became a minority in the United States. The percentage of unmarried adults is at an all-time high, with more young adults choosing to live unmarried and without a romantic partner.

Personal finances likely plays a role in such choices. Millennials are worse off than earlier generations. There is a proven connection between economic resources and marriage rates – what legal scholar Linda McClain calls “the other marriage equality problem.” Lower incomes correlate with lower rates of marriage.

But changing family patterns are not simply the result of financial instability. They reflect choices: Not everyone wants romantic partnership and many singles see solo life as more conducive to flourishing and autonomy.

Single by choice

As I show in my book “Minimizing Marriage,” people have many different political or ethical reasons for preferring singlehood.

Some women become single mothers by choice. As sociologist Arlie Hochschild has argued, marriage brings extra work for women, making it less attractive than single life for some.

For other people, being single is simply a relationship preference or even an orientation. For example, there are those, referred to as “asexuals” and “aromantics,” who lack interest in sexual and romantic relationships.

Who are asexuals and aromantics?

Data from a 1994 British survey of more than 18,000 people showed 1 percent of the respondents to be asexual. Because asexuality is still little-known, some asexuals might not identify as such. And so, it’s possible that the true numbers could be higher.

Asexuals are people who do not feel sexual attraction. Asexuality is not simply the behavior of abstaining from sex, but an orientation. Just as straight people feel sexual attraction to members of a different sex, and gays and lesbians feel attraction to members of the same sex, asexuals simply do not feel sexual attraction. Asexuals can have romantic feelings, wanting a life partner to share intimate moments with and even cuddle – but without sexual feelings.

But some asexuals are also aromantic, that is, not interested in romantic relationships. Like asexuality, aromanticism is an orientation. Aromantics may have sexual feelings or be asexual, but they do not have romantic feelings. Both asexuals and aromantics face a lack of understanding.

Angela Chen, a journalist writing a book about asexuality, reports that her asexual interview subjects suffered from a lack of information about asexuality. As they failed to develop sexual attractions during puberty – while their classmates did – they asked themselves, “Am I normal? Is something wrong with me?”

But while asexuality is sometimes misunderstood as a medical disorder, there are many differences between an asexual orientation and a medical disorder causing a low sex drive. When asexuals are treated as “abnormal” by doctors or therapists, it does them a disservice.

Since the early 2000s, asexuals have exchanged ideas and organized through online groups. One such group, The Asexual Visibility and Education Network, for example, promotes the understanding that lack of sexual attraction is normal for asexuals, and lack of romantic feelings is normal for aromantics.

Asexuals, like aromantics, challenge the expectation that everyone wants a romantic, sexual partnership. They don’t. Nor do they believe that they would be better off with one.

Single and alone – or lonely?

Far from the stereotype of the lonely single, lifelong singles are less lonely than other older people, according to psychologist Bella DePaulo, the author of “Singled Out.” Nor are singles alone.

Many singles have close friendships which are just as valuable as romantic partnerships. But assumptions that friendships are less significant than romantic partnerships hide their value.

Understanding the reasons people have for remaining single might help to handle family stresses. If you’re single, you could take unwanted questioning as a teachable moment. If you’re the friend or family member of someone who tells you they’re happily single – believe them.

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Life & Style – Black America Web

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What Are Your Signature Dishes for the Holidays?

signature dishes for the holidays

I happened to be looking at Cup of Jo recently and noticed that had a whole series where the site’s various writers were sharing their signature dishes for the holidays. (These brownies look ah-ma-zing…) I immediately knew what they were talking about — my Grandma Kay’s Cranberry Cake!!! — and thought it might be a fun discussion here today. What are YOUR signature dishes for the holidays, ladies? Do you have any killer cocktails, desserts, side dishes, or main dishes that you always make?

I’ve written before about my mom’s mom, who passed away recently(ish) — but my father’s mom passed away from complications from emphysema when I was far too young. (This is why, growing up, “don’t smoke” was the biggest message my parents gave me, much more so than any other vices, and I’m kind of thankful they did.) Anyway, she always made this sugary, crazy-rich cranberry cake for the holidays, and in her honor, my mom started making Grandma Kay’s cranberry cake every Christmas Eve, for our family tradition of having a small, intimate dinner the night before the big family to-do at my maternal grandma’s house. It’s basically like a cranberry muffin drizzled with a sauce that is literally a whole bunch of butter and sugar. (I think we inherited these Royal Albert plates from her as well.)

(Looking for something slightly healthier? I wrote about my family’s signature Siggy’s Salad in our last discussion on holiday recipes…)

My Family’s Signature Dish: Grandma Kay’s Cranberry Cake

Cake

Cream together 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 2 tbsp butter.
Add 2 tsp baking powder, 1 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 cup milk.
Fold in with spatula… 2 cups cranberries (rinsed and drained). Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean in center of cake.

Sauce

In small pan over low heat, blend:
1 cup sugar, 1/2 cups butter (1 stick). Melt slowly, stirring often.
Add 1/2 cup cream and 1 tsp vanilla and blend till creamy.
Ladle over individual pieces of cake.

Picture credit: my brother. 

Over to you guys — what are your signature dishes for the holidays? 

The post What Are Your Signature Dishes for the Holidays? appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Thanks, Santa – A Cold Dose of Reality for the Holidays | The Daily Show

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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Must Be Nice: 10 Extravagant Services People Hire for the Holidays

For many, the holidays are a whirlwind of activity, chock-full of decorating, entertaining, and shopping for that perfect gift to put under the tree. But even at this busiest time of year, some people aren’t rushing around. In fact, they’re not even lifting a finger. A few smart—and well-heeled—folks are turning to professionals to take care of all their holiday needs. Click through to discover some of the unbelievable (and pricey!) services people hire for the holidays.
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I’m working on my sobriety, so I talked to experts about staying sober during the holidays

I’m working on my sobriety, so I talked to experts about staying sober during the holidays


I’m working on my sobriety, so I talked to experts about staying sober during the holidays

When I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in 2017, I had recently survived a nervous breakdown, had just begun taking antidepressants for my bipolar disorder, was keeping myself afloat on three months of unemployment, and had started to see the cracks in my abusive relationship. It had been a tough year. I wanted to escape those feelings, so I attached myself to the family bar cart in the living room. I overindulged on whatever wine I could get in my glass so I could avoid the interrogation: “How’s the job? Where’s Adam?” etc.

It wasn’t long after Thanksgiving dinner when I decided to become semi-sober. I surrounded myself with other sober women (shoutout to Sarah Ordo, Cara Alwill Leyba, and the Slaying Sobriety Group) and started thinking about how I leaned on alcohol to cope with my life. I became more successful in my career, had a clearer mind, and generally felt more in touch with myself. I was thriving in my new lifestyle.

Then my father died by suicide in July, and maintaining my sobriety got a lot harder.


Holiday season is in full swing, and navigating this time of year can be difficult for anyone. Keep in mind, however, that holiday socializing is often associated with alcohol, and, more often than not, it is associated with overindulgence. For those of us who have chosen sobriety, semi-sobriety, or just more mindful drinking, the holidays can be a minefield of difficult situations.

“The holidays pose a particular risk to those in recovery for a variety of reasons. First, the holiday season can amplify loss, grief, stress, and loneliness in people working to maintain their recovery. To prevent relapse triggers, it is critical for those in recovery to avoid isolation and maintain a normal routine,” states Dr. Brent Boyett, Chief Medical Officer at addiction treatment center Pathway Healthcare.

So I connected with some more experts and got their advice on navigating sobriety during the holiday season:

1. Establish boundaries

“Sobriety is a lifelong journey that requires you to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Once you make that your number-one priority, you’ll know what your next steps are. If you really want to see your friends during the holidays, explain to them that you would love to spend time with them, but you can’t drink or hang out in a bar,” says Carolee Paruta, Clinician and Regional Director of Outpatient Services at Mountainside.

Paruta suggests offering alternatives to friends who ask to make plans. “Maybe you all can go to an early dinner or catch a movie. Make sure that they are aware of what your boundaries are,” she says. “Establishing boundaries will help you and your friends know what to expect and prevent you from being put in uncomfortable situations that could derail your progress. The same goes for family.”

Paruta explains that “friends” who can’t understand this part of your life are probably not supposed to be your friends, or at least not people with whom you should spend your time. “It might be difficult to hear that, but you have to remember that doing what is best for your recovery is what is most important,” she says. “Being sober isn’t all that you are, but it is a big part of you. You need friends in your life who don’t just accept that fact, but support you.”

2. Create a dialogue

Be honest, but that doesn’t mean you have to divulge your personal reasons for sobriety. Laura Taylor, founder of Mingle Mocktails, says, “When someone asks me why I am not drinking, my response is always short and sweet: ‘I am taking a break’ or ‘I just don’t drink.’ I’ve learned that most people just ask out of light curiosity and are satisfied with these simple responses…I’ve found that those individuals who continue to probe with more questions are asking because they’re considering their own drinking issues or thinking about someone in their lives who may have drinking issues.”

Taylor acknowledges that these questions are less stressful now that she has been sober for a few years, but regardless, she believes that brevity is key: “There are other, more interesting topics to discuss at parties than my drinking habits.”

3. BYOBeverage

“I am amazed at how few hosts stop to consider what non-drinkers would like to drink. The default options are typically soda or seltzer, and neither are exciting,” Taylor continues. “Hosts [should] consider their non-drinking guests, and have at least one premium non-alcoholic option on hand, like flavored seltzer, ready to drink mocktails, or fresh juices.” My mother and I are personally fans of La Croix in a wine glass, Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale, or DRY Sparkling Soda in the lavender flavor, and in 2018, we have so many options.

Taylor suggests that hosts ask party guests for non-alcoholic drink preferences in advance. “This need is what inspired me to create my own line of ready to drink mocktails, Mingle Mocktails,” she says. “Non-drinkers deserve something fun, festive, and sophisticated so they can feel…socially connected in these situations.”

4. Seek support and have a network

I suffer from complex traumas, so I lean on my amazing therapist. But I also surround myself with like-minded women in the Slaying Sobriety Group on Facebook, a nationwide network of women who encourage and support each others’ sobriety.

It’s important to have this support from some kind of network since family and friends can unknowingly—but harmfully—attempt to enable unhealthy behaviors. Dr. Boyett tells me, “Though sometimes hard, people in recovery should avoid family and friends who frequently use drugs or alcohol. Many times, family and friends just don’t understand how fragile the recovery process can be. Offering drugs or alcohol to a person in early recovery can result in life-threatening relapse.”

Posted by Sarah Ordo on Friday, July 27, 2018

5. Remember that you are not alone

If you or someone you know is struggling this holiday season, there are organizations ready to help you. This is not something you have to face alone. You can call Alcoholics Anonymous at 212-870-3400 and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357)—which is available 24 hours a day.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day.

The post I’m working on my sobriety, so I talked to experts about staying sober during the holidays appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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How to maintain your weight during the holidays

The average person gains 1 to 2 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, and those who are overweight often gain more, including children. Research shows that holiday weight gain is a major contributor to total yearly weight gain, so why not resolve to maintain your weight this holiday season? Here are 10 tips that may help.


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How To Stop Overspending During The Holidays

With unemployment at historic lows, rising wages and consumer confidence have hit an 18-year-high. Consumers are understandably in good cheer and ready to go out and spend this holiday season.

But for you, the thrill of the deal can quickly turn in to despair over the debt if you go overboard with your holiday gift giving.

Here’s how to keep your budget in check during the holiday shopping season.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH HOLIDAY SHOPPING IF WE DON’T WANT THINGS TO GET OUT OF HAND?

If there’s one thing that I hope people ask for, and get, this Christmas, it’s discipline. All the budgeting “tips and tricks” in the world won’t help you if you can’t control yourself. Yet, relying on willpower alone won’t be enough to get the job done. You need a system.

Here’s what I suggest:

 

  1. Build a Budget– This sounds simple, but on one likes to do this. You have to go into shopping season with a set amount that you’re committed to not outspend. When you do this, be sure to include ALL of your costs such as wrapping, shipping, travel, etc.
  2. Save All Year– You do realize that Christmas happens at the same time every year, right? So why do you seem so surprised when Black Friday rolls around and you haven’t set aside any money for gifts?

Americans are expected to spend $ 1000 on average during the holiday shopping season.  That’s $ 80/month or $ 20.00/week you should save in advance.

3Create a Separate Account – Don’t keep your “gift” money in the same account as your “bill” money. Open a free checking account or put money onto a prepaid debit card that will only be used for your holiday shopping. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

Never Use Credit – Buying something on sale, but using credit to do so and paying the minimum each month totally defeats the purpose of getting the deal in the first place. Only use your credit card if you’re getting points or rewards and you’re going to pay it off in full when the bill comes.

OK, BUT WHAT IF WE DIDN’T SAVE UP MUCH MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS, WHAT SHOULD WE DO THEN? 

In that case, it’s time to think about generating some extra cash. Luckily, since there’s so much spending going on during the holiday season, there should be lots of opportunities to do this.

For example you can:

Convert Old Gift Cards – Check your wallet for unused or partially used gift cards. Use the balance for gifts, or use a site like CardCash.com to convert those balances to cash.

Sell Your Junk! – Go through your garage and your closet to find things that still have tags or haven’t been used in a while.  Sell these things on eBay, Poshmark, etc.

Donate Items – Donate the things you can’t sell to Goodwill, etc.  You’ll get the advantage of the tax deduction, which may put extra cash in your pocket at tax time.

BUT WHAT IF PEOPLE ARE EXPECTING EXPENSIVE GIFTS?

Look, you have to take charge and set the expectations up front.

With Your Kids – This is a great time to discuss needs vs. wants and priorities with your kids.  They may not be able to get everything they want, so give them a say in what is most important to them.

With Your Family – Perhaps set up a Secret Santa gift exchange where each family member only has to buy one gift. Try secretsanta.com or Elfster to set up your exchange.

With Yourself – Buying great presents won’t make you a better friend, spouse or parent. Have a real discussion about what the most important people in your life really want, and you might find that it may not cost you anything at all.

CONNECT WITH ROB ON TWITTER @ROBWILSONTV OR AT HIS WEBSITE WWW.ROBWILSON.TV

 


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Here’s How Designers Decorate for the Holidays

Searching for inspiration for your holiday decor? Look no further! We’ve gathered the boldest, brightest ideas for 2018 from top designers around the country. These artful tips will help you put your own twist on traditional themes and bring joy to friends and family all season long.
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Karl Lagerfeld Turns Champs-Élysées Red for the Holidays

SEEING RED: Karl Lagerfeld switched on the Christmas lights Thursday night on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, bathing the street known as “the most beautiful avenue in the world” in red light.
The designer, who helms Chanel and Fendi, in addition to his own Karl Lagerfeld brand, arrived in his Rolls-Royce shortly before 7 p.m., flanked by his personal assistant Sébastien Jondeau. He was greeted by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel SAS, alongside a phalanx of the French luxury brand’s senior staff.

Anne Hidalgo and Karl Lagerfeld 
Dominique Maitre

Wearing a silver-embroidered peacoat, Lagerfeld greeted a nine-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl who had been chosen to attend the ceremony by French charity Les Petits Princes, which arranges exceptional experiences for sick children.
After a 10-second countdown, Lagerfeld and Hidalgo, wearing a gold-embroidered black tweed jacket from Chanel’s 2010 Paris-Byzance Métiers d’Art collection, flipped the switch on the holiday decorations at 7:15 p.m., setting off an explosion of metallic confetti.

The holiday lights on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. 
Dominique Maitre

The new red color scheme was chosen to match an advertising campaign marking the launch of a limited-edition red bottle of Chanel No.5 perfume available for the holidays. Red banners bearing the label’s double-C

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7 Black Friday Shoppers Tell Us What They Really Plan to Spend for Holidays

Cyber Monday still hasn’t killed Black Friday… at least not yet. This holiday season, it was estimated that 34 million people would shop in person on Thanksgiving Day, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics. For Black Friday, that number was estimated at 116 million shoppers. And according to the survey, the average amount spent on holiday purchases will be a not-so-frugal $ 1,007.24. That’s 4.1% more than the average amount spent last year.

We decided to take our own kind of survey. It’s far from scientific, but we asked seven random shoppers why they gave up holiday time to search for deals in person. We also asked them about the best deal they found, and what their budgets are like this year. (We like budgets, after all.)

Here’s what they had to say.

1. Brittany Snyder shops at Target with her two children, Axel, 4, and Everleigh, 2, in Pinellas Park, Fla.

A mother shops at Target

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

We were in the house all day for Thanksgiving with family over, so today we needed to take a little break and come outside and do some shopping and leave the messy house behind for a little bit. This is also my excuse to not clean up so quickly. I come out here and see everything. I normally get something for [the kids]. And when I get home, I’ll do the rest online. I like to be done with Christmas shopping by Monday.

What is the best deal you found today?

Every year, I always buy them clothes here. Everything’s just really cheap, so I won’t get upset if they get candy all over it. Their shirts, long sleeves, are $ 3.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

It was $ 77 for, I think, five shirts, two [pairs of] jeans, toys, candy. I’ll take it. 

2. Luis Valdez with his 8-year-old daughter, Sofia Valdez, at Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Luis Valdez and his daughter Sofia Valdez, 8, both of St. Petersburg, Fla., stand in line to purchase TVs at Best Buy on Thanksgiving day on Nov. 22, 2018.

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I like to see what I’m getting. I don’t like to wait for things to come.

What is the best deal you found today?

The Samsung 65-inch TV for $ 599. It’s a good, quality TV for a good price.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Under $ 1,000 for just two TVs and a phone.

3. Joanna Gregg, right, with her daughter Aydrian, 16, at Target in Pinellas Park, Fla.

A mother and daughter shop at Target

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I pretty much do all of my shopping here, other than a couple of items. All of my grocery shopping, everything, I can do at Target. I still like to touch everything and see everything in person. And I’d still rather give the stores the business than do a ton of online shopping. I want the stores to be here.

What is the best deal you found today?

Probably the iPhone deals with the gift card. They’re better than the actual carrier’s discounts. That’s what we’re here for. We’re waiting to get an iPhone 8 and a $ 150 gift card, zero down on the phone. The $ 150 gift card is worth being here for.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

I don’t really have a budget. Probably with reason, I’ll spend about $ 1,000. We’re probably at about half of that right now, which is good. 

4. Nitya Pendyala, 14, left, and her sister, Shari Pendyala, 8, with their father, Sri Pendyala, not pictured, at Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Nitya Pendyala, 14, left, and her sister Shari Pendyala, 8, both of Pinellas Park, Fla., shop for movies on Thanksgiving day at Best Buy on on Nov. 22, 2018. S

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I guess we just wanted to go to the store. It’s interesting.

What is the best deal you found today?

The best deal I’ve found today are these movies: “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther” and “Coco.” They are $ 6.99.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Not much. Under $ 500.

5. Lakeisha Carroll, left, shopping with her niece, Ceasia Moore, at Target in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Two women shop at Target

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I’m going to do both. Right now, we’re going to do little things. And on Cyber Monday, we’re going to do electronics. I went yesterday [on Thanksgiving Day], but it was kind of crowded. I thought today was going to be the better blockbuster, but yesterday was the better blockbuster.

What is the best deal you found today?

This Fisher Price [Smart Home] I got for $ 30 cheaper than I saw in the competing store. Also, this Honda Ride On [Electric Bike]. The Fisher Price is $ 99 here. It was $ 129.99 at the competing store. The Honda Ride On was $ 59. The original price was $ 69.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Budget for toys: not over $ 500. Cyber Monday, I’ve got a little bit more of a budget.

6. James Granger at Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla.

James Granger of St. Petersburg, Fla., drags his new 65 inch TV to a register at Best Buy on Thanksgiving day on Nov. 22, 2018.

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

I’m out shopping in person because I was in the area, and I thought I could get a better deal.

What is the best deal you found today?

This TCL TV for $ 400. I’ve been eying all the Black Friday deals. It was a doorbuster for Walmart and Target, but for some reason, I found it here for the same price and they didn’t have it as a doorbuster.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

I plan to spend about $ 800. I’m buying a TV, a Samsung watch for my mom and a scooter thing for a kid — and it comes out to $ 800 altogether.

7. Jennifer Meyers with her son, Kaden, 3, at The International Plaza Mall in Tampa, Fla.

A little boy is carried by his mother in a mall

Why are you out shopping in person, rather than online?

Well, we don’t have a mall where we live, because we live on a tiny little island. So we wanted to see crowds and all of the decorations and all of the excitement. We live on St. Simons Island. We do some [shopping] online and some in the stores, just figure out what we need and the best deals we can find.

What is the best deal you found today?

The Disney Store had a lot of different things — animals, costumes for the different movies that they like. We were able to get a themed present, which they like, [for] about $ 50 each, two kids about $ 100. Probably full price, we would have spent $ 100 [or] $ 150 per kid. So it was definitely worth the sales.

How much money do you plan to spend during Black Friday?

Really, [I’m] just figuring out who I need what for and figuring out the best deals I can find. Stuff that they will like. [I don’t] really have a budget.

Sharon Steinmann (Instagram @sharonsteinmann) is the chief photographer at The Penny Hoarder. Chris Zuppa (Instagram @chris.zuppa) is the senior photographer. Both would rather photograph on Black Friday than shop.

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 7 Best Games to “Stream Binge” During the Holidays

As we enter the holiday shopping season, let’s be brutally honest for a second: AAA video games are expensive. And, even if we could afford to buy them all, how would you have the time to sit in front of your couch/computer to play them? That’s the beauty of game streaming — you can still get your fix of your favorite games while on the go or multitasking while being entertained by some hilarious personalities at the same time.

Facebook Gaming has jumped into the game streaming scene with a ton of great streamers to watch playing the season’s best games. Here are the ones to look out for when you’re ready to binge stream over the holidays.


Be vewy, vewy quiet. We're hunting noobs...

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

We know, we know — historically speaking Call of Duty isn’t the most beloved of series after 20 years of franchise fatigue. That said, Treyarch has really turned things around with the Blackout mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, an absolutely thrilling-to-watch Call of Duty take on PUBG‘s battle royale format. Yep, it’s 100 players, parachuted into an ever-shrinking open-world arena, only this time you have the hyper-tuned and blisteringly fast Call of Duty gunplay that’s basically unparalleled in this genre.

FB Streamers to seek out: Ricky Live, Themarkofj, Kilo gaming


Squad goals, Dubya Dubya Two

Battlefield V

Though it’s the last one out of the gate in 2018 (in terms of AAA first-person shooters, at least) Battlefield V‘s multiplayer has already found itself a huge streaming audience. And what’s not to love here? You’re getting good ol’ fashioned Allies vs. Axis battles in some of the prettiest, largest, and most destructible arenas in PvP gaming. Better yet, each match is like watching a mini-series as each victory or defeat dynamically shapes the objectives for the next “day” of the conflict (3 days total). Thrilling stuff to watch, and witnessing half a team get wiped out by a V1 rocket strike will never not be glorious.

FB Streamers to seek out: Rivalxfactor, LevelCap, Donardim


"Hey, you, let's fight!" Them's FIGHTIN' words! *draws gun*

Red Dead Redemption 2

At the time of writing, Rockstar’s ambitious cowboy epic Red Dead Redemption 2 is looking like a lock for GOTY 2018. This is less a video game and more a cultural event that needs to be experienced by as many folks as possible — and we wouldn’t hand out that sort of praise lightly. Drop into a stream and see what the fuss is all about with the solo campaign (but know you’re walking through a spoiler minefield). Alternatively, skirt all that for the soon-to-be-released MP component, Red Dead Online. There’s nothing cooler than watching a streamer who can single-handedly waste an enemy posse with Eastwood-level gunslinging skills.

FB Streamers to seek out: Glitchy, Darkness429, Amplified


Camouflage in an incredibly hostile environment: overrated. Look to your Halloween wear instead.

Fortnite

You didn’t seriously think you’d get through this list without seeing Fortnite in it, did you? Though its popularity may be on the wane due to the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and other newer titles, Fortnite still does big viewing numbers. It has staying power because its unique, build-happy mechanics set it apart from its battle royale genre brethren. Watching somebody deftly speed-construct a cubby house — and headshot an aggressor who’s trying to scale it — is popcorn-worthy stuff. If Bob the Builder then accidentally trips off their structure and dies from fall damage? Even more entertaining.

FB Streamers to seek out: DiMez, Good Game Bro


"Guys, I actually forgot our lunch boxes so we'll have to eat irradiated dogs instead." DAMN IT, STEVE!

Fallout 76

Though dyed-in-the-wool diehards of Fallout 4 aren’t exactly shouting their praises of this game from the rooftops right now, the fact is Fallout 76 is a damn good first-effort from a studio that’s still relatively new to the MMORPG genre. Yes, Fallout 76 is devoid of NPCs and script-heavy narrative threads, but it still makes for great viewing because watching four-person teams of Vault Dwellers work together (or stab one another) is riveting. It also helps that the play-space of Appalachia takes this franchise to new heights in terms of prettiness and color. Almost heaven, West Virginia…

FB Streamers to seek out: Austin John Plays, Open World Video Games


You'd need seriously big cojones to take on a God of War and -- oh, there they are. Costume malfunction.

God of War

Released earlier on in 2018, the quality of God of War blindsided us and put it on a fast-track to the GOTY award — until Rockstar dropped its cowboy odyssey, Red Dead Redemption 2. Be that as it may, you need to forget everything you think you know about this franchise and give this new direction a look in. Click into a stream and expect to be greeted with absolutely gorgeous visuals (emphasis on the gore), top-shelf digital performances, and meaty, mythological brawling. As far as game-changing sequels and reboots go, wow, this is one for the ages. God-like, you could say.

FB Streamers to seek out: Das_Pickle, Papawteyto


Pictured: the most spatially-unaware PUBG solo players ever. Geez. Check your peripherals, people.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Much like Fortnite, you were never not going to see this in our top picks. Behold PUBG, the one that started the battle royale craze off way back in March 2017. How successful was its concept of making 100 players murder one another in an ever-shrinking Thunderdome? Oh, you know – just 50 million copies sold and climbing. At the time of writing the PC player base is still incredibly active, though the console versions on Xbox (and soon to be PS4) aren’t nearly as big, due to iffy port issues. If you’ve never witnessed the intensity of a PUBG match before, log onto a stream and prepare to experience a painful cramp in your caboose. Sitting on the edge of a seat will do that to a butt.

FB Streamers to seek out: Yasumeow, Ishpaghetti, Powerbang Gaming

The post The 7 Best Games to “Stream Binge” During the Holidays appeared first on FANDOM.

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Want to beat the Christmas rush? Here are key shipping deadlines for the holidays

With the annual holiday shopping frenzy here, those of us who would rather shop online than brave long lines in chilly temperatures need to be aware of key ordering dates for the holidays.

The stakes are especially high this holiday season. Online spending this holiday is expected to see a nearly 15% increase to $ 124 billion, according to a forecast by Adobe Analytics, a company that tracks transactions from top retailers.

Ordering gifts in time for the holidays? Know these key dates

That means that if you wait too long to order your goods online, you run the risk of being empty handy when it comes time to exchange gifts. To help online shoppers, retailers are offering free shipping or dropping their purchase minimums.

Many have also banded together like in years past to offer “free shipping day,” set for December 14, 2018. This is the ship-by date that retailers are guaranteeing that your packages will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Of course, delays are quite common around this time. UPS has already announced that its shipping schedule in parts of Southern California is being affected by the wildfires.

Here are some other key dates to keep in mind:

Here is the UPS 2018 holiday shipping schedule

  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Thursday, December 20 (delivery on Monday, December 24)
  • UPS Next Day Air: Friday, December 21 (delivery on Monday, December 24)

For the most accurate appraisal of when your specific package will arrive at its destination, UPS is encouraging customers to log on to see its Calculate Time & Cost tool.

Here is the U.S. Postal Service 2018 holiday shipping schedule

The USPS recommends mailing and shipping on the following key dates for expected delivery by December 25:

USPS Retail Ground Friday, December 14
APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Tuesday, December 18
First-Class Mail (including greeting cards), Priority Mail Thursday, December 20
Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail Thursday, December 20
Alaska & Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express Saturday, December 22
Priority Mail Express (includes Alaska & Hawaii to mainland) Saturday, December 22

Here is the 2018 holiday shipping schedule for FedEx

SmartPost Monday, December 10
Ground Friday, December 14
Home Delivery Monday, December 17
Express Saver Wednesday, December 19
2-Day Services Thursday, December 20
Overnight Services Friday, December 21
Keep up to date with the latest money-saving tips and more at Clark.com. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Here are some more Black Friday-related articles from Clark.com:

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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Consumer Group Releases ‘Worst Toys’ List For Holidays

BOSTON (AP) — A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the toys topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

Massachusetts-based World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., unveiled its list Tuesday at a Boston children’s hospital.

A Nerf gun, a Cabbage Patch Kids doll and a xylophone for infants also made the list.

The nonprofit organization’s president, Joan Siff, says many of the toys represent choking, eye and other safety hazards that surface year after year.

But the Toy Association, a toy industry trade group, says the annual list is biased and inaccurate. The association says W.A.T.C.H. does not test the toys.

W.A.T.C.H. has been releasing its list for more than four decades.

[ione_media_gallery id=”312619″ overlay=”true”]

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Amazon Announces Free Shipping for Holidays — No Prime Membership Needed

Amazon is the latest e-commerce retailer to offer free shipping on all pre-holiday purchases, regardless of membership status.

Amazon typically offers free two-day shipping to Prime members, who pay $ 119 for the privilege. Otherwise, shoppers must hit a $ 25 purchase minimum to access free shipping.

“All Amazon customers can enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase amount on orders that will arrive in time for the Christmas holiday,” the company announced on its website.

It also noted that eligible items typically ship in five to eight days.

The promotion started Nov. 5 and is available “for a limited time.”

Amazon’s offer is likely in response to increasing competition from other retailers that hope to lure customers to their e-commerce options.

Target announced Oct. 23 that it would offer free two-day shipping to all online shoppers without requiring a minimum order size. That promotion began Nov. 1 and will continue through Dec. 22.  Target typically has a $ 35 minimum order requirement to access free shipping.

Meanwhile, Walmart announced the same day that it’s expanding its free two-day shipping option to Marketplace items sold by third parties.

“In the coming months, you will see millions of additional items with the two-day free shipping label,” the company announced. Walmart.com will still require a $ 35 minimum order for free two-day shipping.

Customers in search of the best shipping deal for their online holiday shopping should watch the fine print for deadlines and restrictions that could delay delivery of those gifts.

One Last Free-Shipping Hurrah?

These free shipping offers are enticing for customers, but retailers may not be so generous next holiday season.

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a 9% to 12% increase for the parcel select shipping service used by Amazon for the last leg of delivery. FedEx also announced that ground and home delivery shipping rates will increase by an average of 4.9%.

These increases don’t go into effect until January 2019. But they surely have major e-commerce players preparing to adjust their shipping strategies or make up for the increase in other ways — potentially by increasing prices.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, where she covers the retail and grocery industries.

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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11.2.18 Clark Stinks; Gas prices going down for the Holidays

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here; Gas prices are going down just in time for the Holidays. And the US is now #1 in getting oil out of the ground.

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Brad Pitt Is Sure That Angelina Jolie Is Going To Create Drama When It Comes To The Holidays

More than two years after they separated, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still in the middle of their nasty divorce and custody battle, and a new report claims it is going to be a drama-filled holiday season for the former couple. Could the strange move Jolie’s lawyers made this past week be an indication of unusual things to come?

According to Radar Online, one of Jolie’s lawyers, Joseph Mannis, took the odd step of filing a formal motion with the court to notify them that he will be out of town for a week at Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas.

Because of this, Mannis has requested that the court doesn’t have any hearings between Jolie and Pitt during those times.

“Brad’s lawyers are going to ignore something that comes up with the kids that needs immediate attention from the court just because Joe is on vacation?” asked an insider.

The source says that the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood star is concerned that his ex will be ready “to stir up drama” during the holiday season and is going to continue her attempts to make Pitt look like the bad guy, especially if he needs to go to court while her attorney isn’t in town.

However, Pitt isn’t going to let Jolie’s antics keep him from spending time with their six children, says the insider.

Jolie recently made things even worse with Pitt when she threw out a bunch of items that he had left with the kids. The source says that Pitt left antiques, family heirlooms, and sentimental trinkets like old toys with the kids, and when Jolie found them, she threw them all out “without hesitation.”

Even though the divorce drags on, Pitt has moved on and is dating. However, the chances of him walking the red carpet with another celebrity are pretty small, says a pal. Friends do think that Pitt will marry again, but they think he will end up with a woman who has a lower profile.

Insiders say that these last two years have been a nightmare for the actor. And, after decades of relationships with women like Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Juliette Lewis, Pitt wants to keep things more private instead of having a public relationship.

Sources say that Pitt is enjoying hanging out with his friends and meeting women through people he trusts, but his top priorities at the moment are his children, his work, and getting some sense of normalcy. He is casually dating, but right now everything is about the kids.

Brad Pitt has stayed relatively quiet since his split from Angelina Jolie, making only two public statements. An insider says he is trying to do what is best for his kids, but he is hurt. Ultimately, his friends want him to find peace and love again.

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