Four Reasons Traveling in October Can Save You Money and Enhance Your Trip


October is the quintessential month of autumn.

The seasons start to turn, and the scents of fall, from cinnamon brooms to pumpkin spice, welcome you.

Winter isn’t far off — nor are the dark and freezing mornings to come.

It’s the perfect in-between month, not only for weather, but for travel.

While everyone is preparing for the holidays, you could be having the time of your life for a fraction of the cost.

Why Travel in October

It seems like a strange month to travel with the kids back in school and the holidays just around the corner. Yet those are the exact reasons it’s one of the best months to travel.  

Shoulder Season

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Most people know that off-season travel has the best deals, but many don’t consider the perks of traveling during shoulder seasons.

Shoulder season is the period between the peak season and the off-season.

It generally means lower prices and fewer crowds.

October comes after the peak summer season, on the heels of Labor Day and ahead of the holiday season, making it ripe for travel.  

Zag when everybody zigs,” said Mark Murphy, travelpulse.com founder.

“Go to places that are just out of their main season, when the crowds are gone, and you’ll have a better experience at a hard-to-beat price.

Deals, Deals, Deals

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Prices turn in the traveler’s favor in October, just like the color of leaves.

Skyscanner determined that September and October will be the cheapest time to fly in 2018.

Which totally makes sense because October follows the post-summer slump for airlines and cruises. Less demand for tickets and tours means cheaper offers to drum up business.

Iceland’s low-cost airline, WOW Airlines, offers $ 160 or less round-trip flights to select cities in Europe during October.

The same goes for gas prices, too.

Since 1993, gas prices for all petroleum types have averaged about $ 2.16 a gallon in October, making it the fifth cheapest month in which to travel by car, according to a Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Department of Energy data.

Murphy says the end of summer marks the end of peak demand for travel.

“This leads to aggressive pricing, value-added offers and even two-for-one deals the world over,” he said.

Weather

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There’s hardly a place on Earth where the weather is bad in October.

It’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn in the Northern. There’s no drastic temperature extreme, making it the perfect Goldilocks in-between.

Autumn brings a wave of colorful foliage down the East Coast along with cooler mornings and nights.

It’s too early to ski, but the first snowfall of the season could come early and bring fresh powder from Killington Peak, Vermont, to the Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.

Wanna watch the northern lights dance across the sky? October is one of the best months to witness them from any arctic viewing point including Norway, Iceland and Alaska.

Just don’t expect to see them on an Alaskan cruise — most of those close up shop come October.

Meanwhile, Caribbean cruises and resorts entice brave travelers with discounted rates since it’s the tail end of hurricane season.

Murphy said the threat of bad weather means better deals for you, like the recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii.

Bad news means a great deal… Usually nothing close to how they are actually portraying it, leading to a great deal for you,” he said.

School Is in Session

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Since October is sandwiched between Labor Day and the holidays, most families stay grounded during the month.

More kids in school means smaller crowds at main attractions.

For folks without kids, October is a prime month to travel if you’re looking for quieter experiences or you just want to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter without thousands of middle schoolers around.

It’s also prime time for couples and solo travelers to explore the world without sharing a romantic or individual experience with herds of families on spring and summer vacation.

It’s much harder to travel in October if you have children, but if you do, lines at Disney are shorter and you might be the only family on the shoreline for miles.

Murphy suggests Iceland, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico.

If you’re looking to stay stateside, big cities like New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas offer stellar deals, while national parks like the Grand Canyon and Shenandoah see fewer crowds but have the same great views.

The 10th month also is home to pumpkins galore, apple pickin’, wine tastin’, Halloween Horror Nights, the return of the monarch butterflies in Big Sur and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Seriously, why are you staying in again??

The Penny Hoarder data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this post.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. October is her favorite month.

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 End of the Ultra-Conservative QB (or ‘Lessons of Foles’), the Broken Rookie Wage Scale, and Le’Veon Bell Is Sacrificing for the Right Reasons

Also, Jon Gruden and the art of lowered expectations, W. B. Yeats on the inescapable mortality of the Cowboys’ offensive line, the Browns catch a few breaks (especially avoiding Landry Jones), get ready for a Lions-Dolphins Super Bowl, and Sunday musings about Jimmy Garoppolo in Minnesota, OBJ vs. Ramsey and Cam’s scrambles. Plus, musical guest: Radiohead!

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Ex-Barnes & Noble CEO claims chairman made up reasons to fire him

The former chief executive of Barnes & Noble sued the bookseller on Tuesday, claiming that Chairman Len Riggio “fabricated” reasons to fire him — including trumped-up allegations of sex harassment — after a deal to sell the company fell through. Demos Parneros, who was B&N’s fourth CEO in five years, alleges his firing last month…
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5 new reasons to visit Disney World, from Toy Story Land to revamped hotels and restaurant openings

Buzz Lightyear is far from the only buzzworthy new addition to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The fictional space ranger can be seen in various forms in Toy Story Land — the colorful playland based on the Disney-Pixar film franchise that was unveiled in Hollywood Studios theme park this summer….

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8 Reasons Etsy Should Be Your New Destination for Natural Beauty Products

Etsy is both a dream and a nightmare for avid online shoppers. It’s a nightmare because there’s so much stuff available to buy. It’s a dream because among that avalanche of stuff there are some absolute gems. Our latest realization about the handmade marketplace? It’s a treasure trove of incredible, hip, modern, natural beauty products.

Going natural isn’t just for crunchy, hippie types (though if that’s your bag, more power to you). Excellent product design and product effectiveness are not mutually exclusive with these natural products. You can take care of your entire face from washing to contouring with these natural finds all from Etsy. Peep our top natural beauty picks above.

The post 8 Reasons Etsy Should Be Your New Destination for Natural Beauty Products appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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Six reasons to love daiquiris for National Daiquiri Day

Here’s the problem with daiquiris: you’ve been drinking them wrong. That’s right, if you’ve been imbibing on frozen daiquiris made with limeade, concentrated sweeteners, and mixers, you’re drinking a frozen mix of well, sugar. (Not that we don’t love our frozen cocktails.)

Click here for the 6…

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3 Reasons You Need Tenant Insurance

If you’re a renter, you might think that tenant insurance is too expensive or that you don’t need it. In fact, according to a 2015 survey, 52% of millennials don’t have tenant insurance because they think that their landlord’s policy will cover any damage to their personal property. In addition, the survey found that young adults seem to overestimate the cost of renter’s insurance, believing that it is too expensive for them to afford.

Unfortunately, your landlord’s insurance typically only covers the building and does not protect the contents of each tenant’s unit or suite. Tenant insurance also tends to be very affordable, regardless of which state you’re purchasing it in.

Here’s a brief overview of the top three reasons why you should have renter’s insurance.

1.      Tenant Insurance May Be Required by Your Landlord

It’s common for landlords to include a clause in their Residential Lease that requires their tenants to purchase renter’s insurance. The landlord should have their own policy to cover their rental property. However, the tenant would need their own insurance to cover potential loss or damage to their personal property.

In addition, the landlord’s insurance policy for the rental property may also require a copy of each tenant’s insurance policy as proof that each tenant has their own insurance.

2.      Damage to Personal Property is Covered with Tenant Insurance

Most (if not all) insurance companies in the United States offer the standard HO4 tenant insurance policy, which is usually what renters choose. There are also more comprehensive packages available that will cover more situations where damages or loss could occur than a standard policy.

The HO4 policy typically covers common perils that may result in loss or damage of property, including but not limited to:

  • Lightning or fire damage
  • Smoke damage
  • Wind damage
  • Water damage
  • Loss or damage of property from theft or vandalism
  • Damage from falling objects, such as snow or ice

It’s also important to note is that HO4 policies typically also cover things like liability (e.g. if someone injures themselves in your home and requires medical attention) or hotel costs if your home becomes unlivable for a period of time (e.g. due to excessive damage, mold, or infestation).

3.      Tenant Insurance is Inexpensive

Although some millennials think that tenant insurance is expensive, research suggests that the average cost of tenant insurance is typically between $ 12-17 per month, depending on the state and insurance company.

As an example, esurance.com reports that the average renter owns about $ 20,000 worth of personal property. Even if you own half that amount, the cost of insurance is minimal compared to what you would have to pay to replace your items.

Getting a Tenant Insurance Policy

Tenant insurance is an essential investment for renters to protect themselves and their personal property. Without tenant insurance, an unavoidable accident or natural disaster can leave you in a tough financial situation. Considering its low cost, it’s understandable why most landlords require their tenants to get insurance before they move into their rental property.

 

The post 3 Reasons You Need Tenant Insurance appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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4 reasons I love shopping at Walgreens

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Ashleigh Evans

posted in Products

As a busy mom of four, convenience is key, but I’m also always on a budget. Walgreens is easy on my wallet for essentials and I always know exactly what to expect at every location I visit.

There are so many other reasons to shop there, too.

1. They’re everywhere! I have my favorite location for prescriptions, but since there are Walgreens all around my city, I can quickly stop by any of them if I need to grab a pack of Pampers or use a coupon that’s about to expire. I also appreciate that the stores have carts to hold my baby Liam — he loves shopping along with me, and since Walgreens is a smaller store we’re not browsing for too long. Fewer meltdowns!

2. Coupons and sales. Walgreens has frequent sales on items we love — you cannot beat their sale makeup prices. I can clip coupons easily on the app (a great task to do while at a sports practice!) and I don’t need to worry about losing paper coupons. You can combine Walgreens digital coupons with manufacturer coupons for bonus savings too, which is awesome for our go-to products like Pampers PURE diapers.

3. All of my baby favorites are there. If you need baby stuff, you’re covered. If I’m stopping in to pick up a prescription, I always grab our new favorite Pampers PURE diapers. Liam has sensitive skin and these are the best diapers we’ve tried. They’re free of chemicals and fragrances, made by a brand we know and trust, and we feel good about using the water-based Pampers PURE wipes on Liam or our older kids. And did I mention coupons and sales? You can almost always find a good deal on these diapers!

4. The easy Walgreens app and Balance Rewards Program. I earn points with every purchase thanks to Balance Rewards of course. But I also connected my fitness watch to my Walgreens app and earn points for healthy choices like exercising, walking, or logging my sleep. It’s FREE money to shop. I designate that money for items like Pampers PURE or allergy medicines. I can also manage my prescriptions, shop, and even upload photos to print on one app.

What do you love about Walgreens? Have you tried Pampers PURE yet?

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘13 Reasons Why’ Actor Defends Season 2’s Most Controversial Scene

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why. Proceed at your own risk.

When 13 Reasons Why exploded with Season 1, it wasn’t just because fans loved it. Which they did. It was also because of the controversy it stirred.

In Season 1, the show tackled toxic high school culture, rape and teen suicide – with some scenes pretty graphic and hard-hitting, particularly for a teen show. Some of the series’ critics felt that the way in which the topics were handled wasn’t all that responsible. But if anything, in Season 2 the shock value is upped. This time, the creative forces behind the show have been especially careful to issue clear and frequent warnings about its content, coupled with advice on where to seek help should the show’s subject matter affect you. Some Twitter users have issued trigger warnings for sexual assault victims and urged people not to watch.

‘Don’t watch it if it offends you’ seems to be the motto of Netflix, the service which airs the show. CEO Reed Hastings said: “It is controversial. But nobody has to watch it. We’re an on-demand service, and we feel great about the possibility of season 3 and look forward to supporting the team’s work in that.”

It will come as no surprise, perhaps, that Season 3 has since been greenlit. And that’s despite a particularly graphic and harrowing scene in the season finale which sees school baseball star and bully Montgomery de la Cruz brutally assault outsider Tyler Down. You can read a description of what happens in that scene here.

FANDOM caught up with Timothy Granaderos, who plays Montgomery in 13 Reasons Why, and asked him why it was important to include the scene in the season finale.

Deliberately Provocative


13 Reasons Why
Timothy Granaderos' Monty confronts Devin Druid's Tyler.

“It was part of the inciting incident for Devon’s character Tyler to carry out his plan at the end. So, for the story it makes sense. But also, it’s a subject matter that we don’t really talk about. Male-on-male sexual assault happens more than we realise and it’s an issue that I think needs to be addressed and talked about,” says Granaderos.

Season 2 ends with Tyler planning and almost carrying out a horrifying school shooting. He’s talked down by Dylan Minette’s Clay Jensen outside the doors to the school.

Granaderos believes that the show is deliberately provocative.

“Obviously there’s some controversy around our show but all the issues that we deal with are tough subject matters to speak on, so if we can get a conversation started about those things then that’s what we intend to do. In a real and honest way too,” he says.

He says that being a part of the show has “opened my eyes to the idea that as actors, we’re more than just entertainers.”

One of the criticisms directed at the series is that the attack seems to come from nowhere, which makes it doubly shocking. Granaderos offers his thoughts on why his character carried out the horrific attack.

“In preparation, I did research and I tried to figure out why he did it. I found that the root of his actions was pain,” he says. “He had all this pain and displaced anger from the baseball team’s season being cancelled and, you know, his ‘brother’ Bryce basically breaking up with him, and he didn’t know where to go or who to turn to. So he dealt with it in the only way he knew how — and that was physically abusing someone who he felt was weaker and [who] he blamed for part of his pain.”

Sweaty Palms

Grenaderos admits that he wasn’t surprised at the reaction to the savage attack they depicted on screen. And, in fact, he had a very telling physical reaction to the scene after reading it in the script.

“I didn’t know about [the scene] until later on in the season,” he says. “Our showrunner approached me a couple of episodes out and asked me if it was something I’d be comfortable doing. And at that point in time, that scene was just a pitch, it wasn’t even confirmed that it was going to be in the script. He just wanted to make sure I was comfortable doing it. So, I knew it was coming and it was shocking when I read it. I remember just turning the pages and my palms were sweating.”

At some point, he says, everyone was “all on the same page” and the scene was shot, and included.

“Going into it we felt very prepared,” he says. “We had a safety meeting where Devin [Druid, who plays Tyler] and I spoke with the producers and our director as well as the stunt coordinator how everything was going to play out. They showed us storyboards of the space and the shot so all the technicalities were clear in our mind before we went into the scene. They also allowed us to ask any questions we had.”

If their plan with Season 3 is to up the ante once again, it’s going to be a tough call to include anything more shocking than Montgomery’s horrendous sexual assault on Tyler. But if 13 Reasons Why is indeed a show that sets out to provoke, you can bet they’ll try.

13 Reasons Why Season 2 is available to stream now on Netflix.

5 Times ’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Left Us Lost For Words

The post EXCLUSIVE: ‘13 Reasons Why’ Actor Defends Season 2’s Most Controversial Scene appeared first on FANDOM.

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3 reasons why Microsoft’s more valuable than Google

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Microsoft just earned some serious bragging rights.

The company surpassed Google owner Alphabet to become the third-most valuable company in the world, with a market cap of more than $ 760 billion — about $ 15 billion more than Alphabet.

It’s not the first time the two companies have traded places on the most valuable companies list (the first two spots belong to Apple and Amazon, respectively), but, as CNBC notes, it’s the first time Microsoft’s taken the lead over Google in a number of years. 

What’s more, the latest milestone is a noteworthy moment for Microsoft, which is finally starting to see some of its long-term bets pay off in significant ways.  Read more…

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Did ‘13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Finale Go Too Far?

Warning: This story contains spoilers from the second season of 13 Reasons Why.

In the first season of 13 Reasons Why, nothing was held back. In the finale, Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) suicide scene was very graphic, causing a great deal of outrage from fans and parents who felt that it wasn’t necessary to show. On Friday, May 18, the second season was released on Netflix and fans are saying the same thing – this time about an assault scene.

After going away to receive help for his anger, Tyler (Devin Druid) returned to school with a new outlook. However, Monty (Timothy Granaderos) wasn’t over everything Tyler had done – basically, doing everything he could to get Bryce (Justin Prentice) to pay for assaulting women. Bryce told Monty to get over it, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead, he and his friends jumped Tyler in the bathroom, slamming his head against the mirror and the sink and pushing his face into the toilet multiple times. Monty then sexually assaulted him using a wooden broomstick, leaving Tyler bleeding out.

'13 Reasons Why' finale
’13 Reasons Why’ finale Beth Dubber/Netflix

To say the scene was graphic would be an understatement. But was it necessary? After binging, some fans took to Twitter to share their feelings, claiming it was more about “shock value” than anything else.

“There was absolutely no need for that scene with Tyler in the last episode. Why did that need to be written in. 13 Reasons Why is problematic and that’s that,” one viewer wrote.

Another added, “AFTER THAT BRUTAL SCENE WITH THE MOP AND TYLER, THIS SHOW NEEDS TO BE CANCELLED. Obviously the people behind this show only gives a f—k about shock value and not about rape or suicide.”

Others felt it was important. “I agree that the Tyler’s moment in episode 13 was hard to watch.. but what happened is true and some people go through that s—t, so if you think that was too much to watch, take a second and think what others have felt and no one talks about it,” one fan wrote.

Another added: “All of y’all are pissed because Tyler got sodimized in with a broom #13ReasonsWhy2 .. but this happened at my former school to a kid I know. Multiple football players raped a 15-year-old boy with a broomstick. I heard about it I almost threw up. #13ReasonsWhy needed to show this.”

Selena Gomez, who is a producer on the show, spoke out following the first season of the show, responding to the fans who thought the suicide scene was too intense. “We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] going to come no matter what,” she told the Associated Press last year. “It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing.” None of the writers have spoken out about the season 2 finale.

In the beginning of season 2, the cast members take turn reading a warning message. “13 Reasons Why is a fictional series that tackles tough, real-world issues, taking a look at sexual assault, substance abuse, suicide, and more,” the warning says. “By shedding a light on these difficult topics, we hope our show can help viewers start a conversation. But if you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult. And if you ever feel you need someone to talk with, reach out to a parent, a friend, a school counselor, or an adult you trust, call a local helpline, or go to 13ReasonsWhy.info. Because the minute you start talking about it, it gets easier.”

Specific episodes, including the finale, had an additional warning before the opening credits about sexual assault and drug use.

13 Reasons Why season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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How ’13 Reasons Why’ Addresses Controversial Topics in Season 2

13 Reasons Why is a hard show to watch for a number of reasons. Both the Netflix drama and the book on which it is based deal with the issues of substance abuse, bullying, sexual assault, and suicide in detail — including showing Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) killing herself.

The first season faced a backlash from some mental health professionals and viewers for choosing to show Hannah’s suicide in such detail. Many thought the scene was gratuitous and glorified suicide. The show was also criticized for not doing enough to warn viewers of the graphic nature of the content or offering enough resources for those needing to seek help of their own.

For Season 2, Netflix has taken steps to address these concerns. They have added new videos and resources on how to find help and guides for parents on how to start conversations about the subjects the show tackles.

Starting the Conversation

Before fans can even start the new season of 13 Reasons Why, they are greeted by a video warning about the show’s content. In the video, the cast encourages teens to watch with an adult if they are worried about the issues depicted in the series. The actors also remind viewers that it is okay to ask for help and where they can find the help they need.

This is not the only new video for the season. Netflix also released a video titled “Tell Them” featuring the ways in which the show impacted two viewers, one who shared her own story of sexual assault and the other who was encouraged to start a program to stop bullying at her own high school. There will also be an after show called “Beyond the Reasons” that will include discussions with mental health professionals as well as the actors and producers going into more detail about the episodes. Netflix is using these videos to start conversations that will hopefully lead to more open discussions about mental health, sexual assault, suicide, and bullying.

Continuing the Dialogue


Hannah and her mother 13 Reasons Why

The main place fans are directed to find resources is the show’s website 13ReasonsWhy.info. It links to several organizations including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Trevor Project, and RAINN for further support and services. The website is listed at the end of each episode.

Also on the website is a downloadable discussion guide. It features questions and discussion topics for parents and educators to continue the dialogue started by the series. The guide will be updated for Season 2. It serves as good starting place for those who don’t know how to begin talking about some of these tough subjects.

It is important that Netflix is taking these steps to ensure viewers are safe and well informed about the programing they are watching. Hopefully 13 Reasons Why will continue to help people start conversations about real issues affecting teens today.

13 Reasons Why Season 2 premieres on May 18th.

The post How ’13 Reasons Why’ Addresses Controversial Topics in Season 2 appeared first on FANDOM.

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4 Reasons Elon Musk and Grimes Make a Perfect Couple

Early last week, news that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was dating the musician Grimes took the internet by storm–and just hours later, they showed up together at the Met Gala. Some onlookers more focused on the business world might have been a bit —despite a passionate fanbase, Grimes (whose real name is Claire Boucher) is hardly a household name.

But the two have a lot in common, and even if you don’t care about gossip or music, the relationship offers some insight into one of the greatest technological visionaries of our age. Here’s why.

They Built Their Careers One Step At A Time

Musk’s first company, started after he dropped out of graduate school for physics, was an online city guide called Zip2. Selling Zip2 to Compaq allowed him to build Paypal, whose sale in turn funded Tesla and SpaceX.

Grimes, similarly, expanded her palette bit by bit, starting with the very lo-fi album Geidi Primes, which was so obscure its first release was on cassette–part of a nostalgic revival of the format. That built to the slightly more polished album Visions, then onward towards even bigger things.

They’re The Star of Their Own Show

Though Musk occasionally nods to the huge staff of engineers and execs that have helped him accomplish so much, his public profile is so immense that they mostly stay in the shadows. Grimes is more literally a one-person-band: her early works were recorded in her bedroom and uploaded to MySpace. She has even toured extensively by herself, using electronics to recreate her songs live.

They Come From the Future

Elon and Grimes are both preoccupied (or maybe obsessed) with technology and outer space. According to reports, they connected in part through an obscure joke about artificial intelligence. Boucher’s Geidi Primes album was named after a fictional planet in Frank Herbert’s classic Dune novels, and Musk named SpaceX’s two drone ships in honor of sci-fi novelist Iain M. Banks, arguably Herbert’s most worthy successor. And Grimes’ echoey, electronic sound would fit right in at a dance club on Mars–where Musk wants to build a colony.

They’re Not Afraid to Fail–And Then Talk About It

Musk is notorious for setting goals so ambitious that, even when he falls short, he winds up somewhere pretty cool. Lately, that has gotten him in apparently serious trouble for badly missing production goals for Tesla’s Model 3, which he admits was largely his fault. But the same ambition led to a landmark moment for SpaceX last Friday with the launch and recovery of the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket–during which it appears Boucher was hanging out in the SpaceX control room.

Grimes seems to be made of similar stuff. In 2014, when fans were disappointed by an early song from the album that was going to follow Visions, Boucher scrapped the work she’d done and took the whole project in a new direction. What she wound up with was 2015’s Art Angels, an album that hewed closer to her offbeat roots while still pushing into pop territory–and won her almost universal acclaim.

It’s unclear how serious the Boucher-Musk pairing is, or where it might be headed (and Musk doesn’t have the best record with relationships). But they’ve got a lot going for them, including this: Musk is clearly fond of offbeat music, from David Bowie to mariachi.

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5 reasons why this coconut balm is liquid gold

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McKenzie Stamper

posted in Products

This winter, I noticed both of my children were starting to show signs of eczema. Never before have they had any skin issues, but this was the coldest and driest winter they have experienced so far, and it took its toll.

Not only that, but I noticed my son’s face has been extremely sensitive — he’s been breaking out after eating, or after being outside for extended periods. I tried coconut oil — I’m a huge fan — but this time, it wasn’t enough. No matter how much I slathered on, my kids still had patches of dry skin on their arms and areas of redness on their faces. The moisture just wasn’t “locking in.”

But when I had a chance to check out Sun Bum and its new Baby Bum line of products for children and babies, I was excited to see that the company made its own coconut oil skin softener: Natural Monoi Coconut Balm.

You guys,  this stuff is liquid gold. It has all of the benefits of coconut oil, with added ingredients to help lock in the moisture and hydrate skin. I don’t know about you, but if a product 1) isn’t filled with chemical junk and 2) actually works, I’m already in love. Everything else is just a bonus. Here are 5 reasons Baby Bum’s Natural Monoi Coconut Balm is seriously the best stuff ever.

 

1. It works

It is one thing to find an all-natural product for your kids — it’s quite another to find one that actually works. This is a problem I frequently have when searching for products for my family. There are tons of “all-natural” products out there, but far fewer that perform like I hoped they would.

With my kids suffering their first winter eczema bouts, this coconut balm couldn’t have caught my attention at a more perfect time. They needed something that was going to work, and work fast. After applying the super moisturizing coconut balm before bed, both of my children woke up without dry or red patches on their arms and face. I had also rubbed some on my hands before bed and noticed a huge difference the following day. That’s all it took: one application and a good night’s sleep.

2. All-natural ingredients

I try to make — and teach my children to make — mindful choices about what they put in as well as on their bodies. As soon as I looked at the ingredients in Baby Bum’s Coconut Balm, I had high hopes. In addition to coconut oil infused with tiaré (a Tahitian flower revered for its intoxicating fragrance as well as its medicinal qualities), the balm includes aloe, and shea and cocoa butters for the extra-rich moisture that plain old coconut oil wasn’t giving us.

3. It’s made in the USA

I was so happy to learn that Baby Bum’s Natural Monoi Coconut Balm is exclusively manufactured in the U.S. I was excited to find a local company that truly cares about what goes into its products.

4. The story behind the balm

Do you know what’s so cool? The tiaré flower petals in the balm are collected by hand, then infused into coconut oil — and that’s just the start. If you haven’t already fallen in love with Sun Bum, you definitely will after watching the video below. I love that nothing goes in their products without going through the moms and dads of the Sun Bum community first.

The company even created these cute little characters to go along with the Baby Bum line – LOVE!

5. It’s the perfect moisturizer for moms, too

Yay for multi-purpose! Products that work just as well for grownups as for little ones are rare. My son is always looking for an excuse to help Mama, and since this is the perfect formula for both of us, I like to make it fun by letting him put some on me too. Sometimes my kids will rebel when it comes time to sit still, so it works well to take turns. It’s also a great time to teach my children the importance of taking care of their skin.

 

What are your favorite products for mama and baby?

This post is sponsored by Baby Bum. All opinions on this product are my own.

BabyCenter Blog

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10 Reasons Deadpool Is the Hero Moviegoers Deserve

Alright, nerds. Deadpool 2 is coming into your theater soon, and unless you’ve been living under an Infinity Stone for the past few years, you know how exciting that is. Deadpool combines the relentless charm of Ryan Reynolds, the looks of an overcooked pizza, and the gratuitous body count of Man of Steel.

But if you somehow don’t know the difference between Deadpool and Van Wilder, which we understand because they are super similar, here are some things you need to know about Wade Wilson and why he’s the biggest bleepin’ badass out there.

1. He has an accelerated healing factor. Yes, it’s like Wolverine’s. They’re also both Canadian. But Wade is taller, and fewer people like him. He also only has one indestructible “bone.”

2. In the comics, he got his powers from the Weapon X program. OK, look. He and Wolverine have a lot in common. It’s like comic book writers only have so many ideas.

3. Deadpool hosted the Venom symbiote just after Spider-Man did. You won’t see that in a movie, though, because those rights would be impossible to sort out.

4. Wade doesn’t always play well with others, but he has teamed up with X-Force and had his own squad, Mercs for Money. But he still won’t take the X-Men’s calls. That’s definitely it. It’s not that they don’t actually want him around. What did they tell you?

5. Deadpool has the handwriting of an angel.

6. His biggest fear is cows. That’s not ridiculous. Have you ever really looked at a cow? That baleful stare is so haunting.

7. Deadpool gets all his weapons from his buddy Weasel, whose real name is Jack Hammer. But he doesn’t use that name in the movies because it’s way cooler than “Wade Wilson.” It pays to be the star.

8. In addition to his quick healing, Wade has super-fast reflexes, speed, and agility. But they don’t always work. A lot of guys have that problem sometimes, alright?

9. Wade can speak Japanese, German, Spanish, and Esperanto, which lets him play himself in international printings of the comics.

10. His most formidable superpower is the ability to annoy anyone. If Domino can count “luck,” he’s taking this.

Now that you’re totally oversold, go see Deadpool 2. Yeah, this was an ad. Why else do you think people make these things?

The post 10 Reasons Deadpool Is the Hero Moviegoers Deserve appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

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Five reasons to go off-grid in Tobago

Warning: you may never want to leave…

Pigeon Point, Tobago

Why Go?

If what you want is utter seclusion and perfect peace, then Tobago’s beautiful beaches are the perfect match.

Imagine unspoilt white sandy beaches cocooned by protected rainforests and discovering beautiful islands where it’s only you (and Hummingbirds) enjoying the famous Caribbean sunshine. Put simply, Tobago is paradise, and a little-known one at that. Because the stand-out reason you should add it to your bucket list is that no one else is there, meaning you can chill to the max (and choose any sunlounger you damn well like).

Visit British Airways for the best Tobago fares

Don’t miss:

Five of the best off-the-beaten-track slices of paradise where you can relax, unwind and recharge without even trying.

Pigeon Point

Pigeon Point, Tobago

Think glowing white sandy beaches with a cluster of shops and eating spots, Tobago’s legendary Pigeon Point is as breath-taking as it is relaxing. Make the most of what this calming coastline has to offer by sampling the famous crab and dumplings from one of the beach-side cabanas before taking in the sunset from the thatched-roof pier.

No Man’s Land

No Man's Land, Tobago

No Man’s Land, Tobago

Located in the far south of the island lies a stretch of uninhabited white sand lapped by clear shallow water and colour-pop dragonflies. As one of Tobago’s most remote and unspoilt beaches, No Man’s Land is perfect for those looking to take relaxation to a whole new level.

Pirate’s Bay

Pirate's Bay, Tobago

Pirate’s Bay, Tobago

For that archetypical deserted island vibe, look no further. The sparkling blue waters may be the ultimate snorkel and surfing playground but it’s just as ideal for sunbathing on the buttery soft sands and lapping up the famously warm Caribbean sunshine.

Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach, Tobago

Turtle Beach, Tobago

You’d think leatherback turtles and horse-rides through the surf would mean an army of beach lovers overruns Turtle Bay. But Tobago’s golden coastline is often empty, meaning you can unwind in peace and (a lot of) quiet.

Englishman’s Bay

Englishman's Bay, Tobago

Englishman’s Bay, Tobago

This get-away-from-it-all secluded beach is the mini paradise you’ve always dreamed of discovering. Embodying the island’s signature rustic charm with a rainforest backdrop, Englishman’s Bay offers that Robinson-Crusoe-meets-luxury flare we all crave from a tropical getaway.

 

Words by:

The post Five reasons to go off-grid in Tobago appeared first on Marie Claire.

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!

18 Reasons Spring Is Still Sweater Weather

Spring likes to play by its own rules. It can be bordering 70 degrees one day, then plummet to the mid-50s by the end of the week. That’s why it’s vital your sweater game remains strong. Whether you’re covering up a simple tank top or a frilly spring dress, the key to layering this season is lightweight fabrics or open weaves. Wool is allowed in small doses, just make sure a decent part of your pullover’s content comes from other sources. There are also sweaters begging to be worn solo. And there’s no need to stick to spring-appropriate brights, expand your color horizons by including earth tones instead of relying on pastels.

Obviously, your stockpile of all-enveloping knits that rival the puffiest puffer won’t work. So here are 18 lightweight options to refresh your spring sweater supply.

[ Next: 13 Spring Jackets You Won’t Want to Take Off (Even in Summer) ]

The post 18 Reasons Spring Is Still Sweater Weather appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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5 Reasons to Choose a Linear Bathroom Drain

linear bathroom drain

Linear drains have long been known for improving functionality in institutional and industrial settings but in recent years, they have been making waves in the residential market place and have become a popular choice for modern, clean bathroom design. While a linear bathroom drain offers a fresh, modern look to a shower, there are a number of other great reasons why you should consider a linear shower drain!

Improved Accessibility
A linear drain is the perfect choice for a barrier free, accessible shower. A center point drain requires the floor to slope towards the drain from all 4 directions. With a linear drain, the floor only needs to slope in one direction. This provides a gentler slope and safer use for young children, the elderly and anyone with balance or mobility issues.

linear bathroom drain
Photo Source: QuARTz by ACO

Maximize Small Space
A linear drain offers a number of possibilities for small space design. The barrier free nature of the linear drain means you can install a shower without a raised shower base and take advantage of small space ideas like the shower shown above with glass doors that swing inward when not in use to free up valuable floor space. A linear bathroom drain from QuARTz by ACO installed at the back of the shower, against the wall, makes this possible.

Works Well with Large Format Tiles
Large format tiles have become a popular choice for bathrooms and with a growing selection of slip-resistant large format tile options, this will continue to be the case. While it is possible to install a center point drain with large format tiles, the linear bathroom drain provides an easier install and a more cohesive look.

linear bathroom drain
Photo Source: QuARTz by ACO

Reducing Pooling
Water pooling during a shower is one of the leading causes of slip and fall accidents in a shower and it can also lead to increased issues with mold and mildew! A linear bathroom drain offers a larger collection surface for water which results in less water pooling and a cleaner, healthier shower.

Design Flexibility
Unlike a center point drain which generally needs to be installed towards the center of the shower to be effective, a linear shower drain can be installed in the center or along any side of the shower space provided the slope is planned accordingly. This opens up a wide range of design options as well! Take a look at some of these great ideas for bathroom designs that really take advantage of the flexibility of a linear drain!

TIP: As with any project, it is important to use quality materials and hire someone with experience. A properly installed, high quality linear drain will provide superior function and be easy to maintain. Using low quality materials or an inexperienced installer may have the opposite result!

The post 5 Reasons to Choose a Linear Bathroom Drain appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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5 Reasons Why Season 8 of ‘The Walking Dead’ Has Fans Fleeing

Ratings for the eighth season of The Walking Dead have dropped to first season levels, the lowest in the long-running franchise’s history.

And while the show is still among the most-watched on cable, what’s causing audiences to flee?

FANDOM breaks down five reasons why season eight of The Walking Dead has struggled.

1. Never-ending Conflict

AMC has branded the conflict between Rick Grimes and Negan as an all-out war, but it feels like a drawn-out war. That storyline lasted two full seasons, with both sides taking losses and no end in sight.

And while fan-favorite Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan has been fun to watch, his character is, well, problematic. Negan’s debut was savage and strong, but he’s basically become a caricature. If he had a mustache he’d be twirling it. Getting rid of Negan is the fastest and best way to get The Walking Dead back on track.

2. Too Many Characters

The all-out war has involved numerous factions: The Saviors, Alexandria, Hilltop, the Kingdom, the Scavengers, and Oceanside. And while it makes sense that a war has many players, jumping back and forth between each only drags out the plot. Take Oceanside for example. While we love the idea of an all-female community surviving on its own, the multiple visits have netted nothing but guns – guns that could’ve been found in a stash. And don’t even get us started on the Scavengers, who we can’t even understand.

3. Not Enough Zombies

The title of the show is The Walking Dead, but walkers have taken a back seat to human conflict. On one hand it makes sense. As time passes, communities come together, build walls, and amass weapons to fight the dead. But there’s been more attacks among the living. The undead threat, the horror element that once drove the show, is now gone.

4. Carl’s Death

War has many casualties. So when Carl – one of the original cast members – died of a walker bite instead of in a blaze of glory against Negan, fans felt cheated. Moreover, Carl represented two important things. The first was hope – the fact that a kid could grow up in a post-apocalyptic world and become a leader. The second was family. As Carl lay dying, Rick said everything he did was for him. Now that his son is gone, Rick has lost that motivation.

5. Broken Families

As we just mentioned, family and bonds are important to The Walking Dead. Carl’s death not only ended a father-son relationship, but also the caring mother-son relationship he had with Michonne, and his burgeoning romance with Enid. These were relationships the show built up and fans were invested in. The same could be said about Glenn and Maggie. Even relationships between newer characters – like Aaron and Eric, and Tara and Denise – ended before they are developed. When the show loses those bonds, it loses viewers.

The post 5 Reasons Why Season 8 of ‘The Walking Dead’ Has Fans Fleeing appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

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11 Reasons to Get to Know Your Neighbors

Creating a desirable neighborhood requires commitment and participation from the people who reside there. When you get to know your neighbors, you’ll not only feel more comfortable around them, you’ll also be able to help one another improve the community. Click through to learn the 11 biggest advantages of being a friendly neighbor.
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‘UnREAL’ Premiere Recap: Here for the Right Reasons

If you’ve seen Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar, you were already introduced to the new Rachel (Shiri Appleby). During the Monday, February 26, premiere of UnREAL, Quinn (Constance Zimmer) went to a farm where Rachel was seeking treatment to tell her that she needed her to come back and help save Everlasting. However, the woman that stepped back on set was a new Rachel, one who was living a life of celibacy and truth. She made that perfectly clear with her first, epic monologue to Chet:

“You are an overpaid, incompetent man baby who’s riding on the backs of women who do all of your work for you. You’re too dumb to know how pathetic it is, so we had to use you to push Serena through to the network just because you were born with a dick. I never understood what Quinn saw in your fat, sweat, drug-addled ass but whatever it was, you wasted the best years of her life and destroyed the one person who is ever gonna care about you.”

This season of Everlasting is like none other. Quinn, Rachel, Chet and co. are now finding a husband for their first ever suitress. Rachel chose Serena (Caitlin FitzGerald), a strong and successful woman who was actually looking for love. However, she was determined and strong, which meant she was challenging for Quinn and Rachel.

unreal
James Dittiger/Lifetime

For example, she refused to wear a cleavage-bearing sequined gown and instead wore her own conservative dress for night one. She also immediately sent home the jockey contestant since he was clearly just for the show and not a viable option for her.

However, after she snuck away with one of the men she did connect with – a single fireman, Owen – Rachel picked her up in golf cart and delivered the rough truth: Quinn could make the entire world hate her if she didn’t follow her instructions. So, she agreed to kiss the jockey and keep him. To do so, she got wasted … so much so that she ended up sleeping with the jockey, throwing up, then still sending him home.

This season, Everlasting also hired a new shrink. Dr. Simon was a real doctor, who used to help people with very serious issues. However, by the end of the episode, Rachel realized that he wasn’t there for the contestants – he was there for her. It’s safe to say, she may need it. Jeremy was also back and while he apologized to Rachel for hitting her, she was a little more concerned about the fact that he killed two people. However, he told her he did it for her.

Needless to say, this season is just heating up. Even Madison is hooking up again, this time with Gary, the network president.

UnREAL airs on Lifetime Mondays at 10 p.m. ET.

Us Weekly

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Reasons To Take A Cruise With Your Sister In Your 20s

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Taking trips and having new experiences are essential when you are younger. Your 20s are your formative years, and the right time to experiment and find out who we really are. When you are in your 20s, you need to get out and see the world, go traveling, and strengthen the bonds of friendship and family. One of the best vacation ideas would be to take a cruise with your sister.

Your sister is one of the most important people in your life, and, when you’re in your 20s, she is the perfect travel buddy. So, we think you could do a lot worse these days than taking a cruise with your sister. If you’ve ever been on vacay with your sister before, you’ll no doubt remember how great it was. If you never have, this is the perfect chance to build some memories. Here are some great reasons to take a cruise with your sister in your 20s.

Hit the buffet together

Let’s be honest, when you’re taking a cruise, one of the highlights of the trip is going to be the buffet. And your sister is the ideal person to hit the buffet cart with – you can stock up together and share your food with one another. You may well have similar tastes in terms of food, and you can stock up on things you both love. Trust us, the buffet is one of the best sisterly bonding activities you can indulge in.

You can share suitcases

One of the things to account for when you go away together is what you’re packing. Two suitcases can be cumbersome to carry around and might be taking up unnecessary space. But, the beauty of going on a cruise trip with your sister is that you can team up and share a suitcase together. That means extra space in the cabin for you both, and you will still have plenty of room in the case for your things. One case is definitely better than two, and you can both share the load – plus sharing clothes and accessories is also a bonus.

You’re with someone you trust

When you go on a cruise, there are a lot of new experiences to be had, and it’s vital that you have someone you trust with you when experiencing them. This is one of the best reasons to have your sister with you – she’s family, and you know you’ll be able to trust her implicitly. Perfect for when you’re sunbathing, or you need someone to watch your things for you.

You know each other inside out

Another major advantage of vacationing with sis as opposed to friends is that you and your sister know each other inside out. There are so many weird and wonderful quirks you will both have, and you will know each other’s schedules inside out. If you’re a morning person, but she’s not, you’ll already know to slip away quietly in the morning. If she likes to stay out late, but you don’t, she’ll read your body language and decide it’s time to leave earlier. It’s so key to making the cruise more fun and enjoyable.

These are just a few of the fantastic reasons why you should take a cruise with your sister. You need to experience all of the brilliant aspects of going on a cruise, and the way to do that is to make sure you take a cruise with your sister in your 20s.

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The post Reasons To Take A Cruise With Your Sister In Your 20s appeared first on Worldation.

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6 reasons Betsy DeVos is extremely the worst, in case you forgot why you hate her

6 reasons Betsy DeVos is extremely the worst, in case you forgot why you hate her


6 reasons Betsy DeVos is extremely the worst, in case you forgot why you hate her

When Donald Trump won the election in 2016, our first thought (once we were able to stop spewing expletives) was that the country was in some major trouble. Not just because Trump is such an offensive human being, but because the people he was going to bring onto the team to make the big choices about keeping America safe, fed, healthy, and educated didn’t seemed concerned with making sure that anyone who wasn’t white, heterosexual, Christian, and already rich got any of those things. It’s hard to pick just one Worst Team Trump Player, but right now, it feels like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos might be the worst bad apple in the whole rotten bunch.

Everything she’s done so far has done nothing to fix the actual problems with our education system and what students have to deal with every day. On Tuesday, DeVos unravelled all of the hard-won progress for transgender students that happened under the Obama administration. The Trump administration overall has been rolling back protections for transgender students under Title IX, but DeVos hadn’t been super specific about how her department would interpret it. On Monday, spokesperson Liz Hill told BuzzFeed News:

“Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity.Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. In the case of bathrooms, however, long-standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”

That’s outrageous, especially since two U.S. Circuit Courts have found that actually that’s not what the law says at all. In fact, the 7th Circuit wrote in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District actually, forcing an individual to use a “bathroom that does not conform with his or her gender identity punishes that individual for his or her gender non‐conformance, which in turn violates Title IX.” That’s kind of a no brainer. That court decision is a precedent basically saying that if these complaints keep coming up and get sent all the way to the Supreme Court, they will likely win their case.

It would certainly be nice if Betsy DeVos understood what gender identity actually meant and could advocate for some of our most at-risk youth, the ones we should be doing everything we can to protect and keep safe. We know too much about what bullying, discrimination, and forcibly prescribing identity does to a child to not be outraged by this. But DeVos is stone cold — and it’s not the only abhorrent attribute she’s brought to her role.

Here are some other ways in which she is proving to be the absolute worst.

1. She cut student loan aid this week.

On Monday, she released a budget proposal that would make paying back our student loans a whole lot harder. She wants to consolidate the income-based repayment plans so that the period of time to repayment is shorter but raises the bill to 12.5 percent of a person’a income. She also wants to stop paying interest for lower-income students and get rid of the program that forgives loans for public servants. This will, according to the Washington Post, raise the cost of college by $ 200 billion within the next ten years. This means that millions of people will have to make a choice between a higher education or not going into debilitating debt. And if they do decide to borrow, they can just live in almost poverty like the majority of millennials already do. Nice one, Betsy.

2. She is so corrupt.

Oh, she also has financial ties to the companies that she wants to collect these predatory loans, because of course she does. The worst part is that she doesn’t even try to hide this fact.

3. She promotes this school “choice” thing.

DeVos calls her policy “school choice,” but it’s really a system to further segregate schools and ensure that wealthy, able children get services and can go to private schools and those that need them the most don’t have access. She heads up our public education system and has called it a “dead end” and a “monopoly,” which is just outrageous. How can you be fundamentally opposed to the thing you’re supposed to manage? Research is mixed when it comes to voucher programs, but most education experts (and not DeVos, who just knows the private, Christian schools she attended growing up) content that they don’t serve everyone, which is what a federal education department is supposed to do.

4. She is not on the side of teachers.

Two of the heads of the biggest teacher unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — two, mind you — went to the headquarters to bring DeVos 80,000 “report cards” from teachers who wrote their assessment of her suggested budgets and policies as a protest, but also a real sit down meeting with the head of the public education system. But they locked the doors! Protests are a right in pretty much all forms, but this was the most civilized way to “storm” the building we can think of.

“They don’t even have the respect to actually take the petitions, and the comments, and what people have said in a respectful way and deliver it to the secretary,” Randi Weingarten, the head of the AFT told the Washington Post.

5. She thinks God belongs in schools.

DeVos has said that she wants to “advance God’s kingdom” through our school districts. “There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom,” she once said, according to Mother Jones. We don’t really know what that means either, but it sounds like it’s forcing one idea of religion onto what is supposed to be a place separate from the church.

Oh, also she comes from a family that thinks Creationism should be taught in schools, doesn’t mind abstinence-only sex ed, and believes in conversion therapy. She’s distanced herself from those positions since getting on board the Trump train, but we’re not buying that she’s had a change of heart considering her own statements about religion in schools.

6. She’s not the most familiar with public education.

She has never attended a public school, or sent her children to one, so how can she have any real idea how amazing they can be and how to come up with innovative ways to make our system better?

HelloGiggles

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4 Deliciously Healthy Reasons to Love Cinnamon

It does a whole lot more than flavor your snacks.

Health – Good Housekeeping

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10 Reasons Why I Wish I Never Bought That Fixer-Upper!

Who doesn’t harbor fantasies of transforming a seen-better-days abode into a showplace? Whether hoping to live in the resulting residence, use it as a rental property, or flip it for profit, it’s natural to think: “I’m pretty handy, so how tough could it be?” Ask Andy Kogan, a real estate professional in Kansas City, Kansas, and he’ll tell you: Pretty tough! “It was fun at first, then fun with problems, and finally it was just problems,” says Kogan, who bought a 1957 two-bedroom ranch for $ 115,000 that he hoped to fix up and turn over quickly. While the kitchen and bathroom remodels were fairly simple, other issues kept cropping up. The job came in $ 15,000 over budget—and Kogan reaped a mere $ 500 when the house finally sold. What went wrong? Start clicking!
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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The 7 Worst Reasons to Renovate Your Home

There are plenty of good reasons to take on a home renovation, from increasing property value to upgrading outdated fixtures. But renovations can go awry, and you could end up with a bad case of remodeler’s remorse. Consider these 7 reasons not to remodel before you take on any large-scale home projects.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Reasons to go to Paphos

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Everyone talks about Greece, but they always forget about younger sibling Cyprus. This is criminal because Cyprus, in many ways, is a much more appealing destination than Greece. A colorful, mysterious, cultural paradise, filled with awe, wonder, and plenty of stunning scenery. Cyprus is one of the most underrated destinations in Europe, and, if you’re serious about a visit, can we recommend Paphos?!

You might not know this, but Paphos was originally the capital of Cyprus for nearly 600 years! It’s got some truly breathtaking ancient remains and was recently awarded the European Capital of Culture award for 2017. Paphos is the perfect place to begin your Mediterranean adventure, and ensure that you soak up all Cyprus has to offer. These are some of the awesome reasons you should go to Paphos now.

 

City of culture

As this UNESCO World Heritage city has just been named as the joint Capital of Culture, so it seems silly to visit without enjoying some of this famed culture. There are some stunning festivals taking place to celebrate this that bring together theater, architecture, concerts, and exhibitions. There’s also a Flower Festival that takes place once a year too and is well worth checking out. There are so many different elements to the amazing culture of this city, and you should try to experience them as much as possible.

Stunning beaches

It’s not just the history and culture of Paphos that make it a must-visit city; there are also some truly stunning beaches here as well. With year-round sunshine and the awesome blue waters of the Mediterranean, Paphos has some of the best beaches in Europe. In fact, there are 27 beaches to choose from in the city, so you’re never going to be short of sunbathing opportunities. We would recommend two beaches in particular to get your Mediterranean fix – Coral bay, and Petra Tou Romiou.

Food and drink

Greek and Cypriot food ranks as some of the bets in Europe and Paphos really gives you an excellent opportunity to sample some of the delicious cuisine here. Fresh, gorgeous seafood is plentiful here, and the harbor has some divine restaurants to choose from. If you head to the small town of Geroskipou, you can try some of the best meze in the whole country. Cyprus has some wonderful food, and Paphos is the best place to try it out.

Historic ruins

The ancient ruins here are truly stunning and hark back to a long-ago time before technology came into the world. A time of Gods, Kings, wars, mythology, temples, palaces, and old magics. This was the Cyprus of old, and we get to glimpse it through these majestic ruins. Head to Kato Paphos where you have a wealth of historical sites to enjoy. Check out the medieval baths and catacombs, before heading to Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa church. And, if this isn’t enough, you should head for Archaeological Park, where there are countless amazing monuments and ruins to take your breath away.

There are so many amazing reasons to visit Paphos, and these are just a few of them. Sampling some of the staggering culture, beauty, and history of this amazing city really does a lot to showcase how incredible Cyprus is as a travel destination. So, what are you waiting for?! Get your passports ready, book your flights, and uncover the real Cyprus today.

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The post Reasons to go to Paphos appeared first on Worldation.

Worldation

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5 Reasons We Love Margot Robbie

5 Reasons We Love Margot Robbie

With I, Tonya opening, let’s look at why Margot Robbie is our latest It girl. 

Few new actresses have made it in Hollywood with as much impressive force as Margot Robbie. After cutting her teeth on Australian television, she came to Hollywood and almost instantly found herself holding her own alongside some of the biggest actors in the world. As the real-life Tonya Harding in the dark comedy I, Tonya, she's stirring up awards talk with her dynamic performance. Beyond her…

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6 Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

For homesellers, the holiday shopping season can bring much more than just buying gifts, eating turkey, and sharing good tidings of joy.

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can potentially be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” for sellers for multiple reasons, experts say.

Those reasons include the ability to reach more motivated buyers, face less competition, and acquire offers from individuals seeking tax benefits for the upcoming year.

Of course, the traditional wisdom is that spring and summer are the best times to sell and there are fewer buyers during the colder months. Yet others contend that now makes good business sense to sell before the home-buying season kicks off in the spring when housing inventory rises and sellers face more competition.

In fact, according to a study by real estate brokerage firm Redfin, homes listed in the winter have a 9 percentage point greater likelihood of selling, sell a week faster, and sell for 1.2 percentage points more than homes listed in any other season.

Here are several key reasons to consider selling your home during the holidays:

 

More Time to Search for Homes Online

Many potential buyers take vacation during the holiday shopping season, giving them more time to perform home searches and see your listing.

 

People Relocating are Often Anxious to Close

With companies often relocating workers from one location to another, these buyers typically need to find a home fast. These folks often are willing to push away savings and comfort, making them ideal buyers for sellers. Additionally, January is frequently the month when transfers occur. Since many of these buyers can’t wait until spring, sellers can potentially sell those buyers before then.

Lack of Competition

Many sellers perceive the holiday season as a bad time to sell, causing them to take homes off the market or not list them. That can work in a seller’s favor, particularly if there is a low inventory of homes like yours available to be purchased.

Tax Credits Boost Activity

Tax and financial benefits make winter a good time to sell. Many people, including first-time homebuyers, are eligible for multiple tax credits during the upcoming year if they buy a house before the current year ends. Some families take money from IRAs with no penalty to help children buy their first home. Others are rushing to buy before the tax benefits fall into the approaching year.

More Foreign Buyers

A rising number of homebuyers from other countries are becoming more infatuated with the U.S. housing market. They often don’t follow the same schedule or calendar Americans do, making them more serious about house hunting during the holiday season than others.

Position Yourself to Buy Later

If you are able to sell now, it will provide an opportunity for you to buy during the spring or summer when more homes are listed.

 

 

 

The post 6 Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holidays appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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7 Reasons Why Titanic the Movie Could Have Been a Shipwreck, Too

Whether or not you think Rose and Jack could both have made it out alive, there’s one thing about the movie Titanic that is not up for debate: it was a hit.

As the movie celebrates its 20th anniversary of its Dec. 19, 1997, release, it holds onto a prime spot on the list of the top-grossing movies in Hollywood history. According to Box Office Mojo, Titanic‘s worldwide lifetime gross sits at more than $ 2 billion.

But mere days before the James Cameron-created epic arrived in theaters, that success seemed like anything but a foregone conclusion. In fact, the coverage the movie received in TIME back then would seem to indicate that many in Hollywood were bracing for disaster.

In a TIME feature that ran about a week before the movie was released, Kim Masters broke down why the year’s most talked about movie — a movie that wasn’t even out yet — was already, as the headline put it, “trying to stay afloat.” The reasons included:

The budget

Perhaps most famously, the cost of making Titanic had become as massive as the ship itself.

Though James Cameron would explain to the magazine that he didn’t think it was fair to call the movie the most expensive ever made — as he put it, “many of our favorite epics from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s would cost more than Titanic if made today” — the money was a major concern to its producers. By TIME’s reckoning, the $ 200 million cost of making the movie meant it would have to gross $ 350 million before Fox (one of the companies behind the movie) could even get its money back — a daunting figure made even more so by the fact that the picture had been expected to cost much less when they started it.

And Titanic wasn’t the only movie budget that had producers fretting in the late 1990s. As Masters put it, “the film is bad for an industry whose costs are running so high that profits are all but vanishing.”

The release date

Titanic was originally meant to come out for the Fourth of July weekend — a key component in the plan to make that money back.

With Cameron avidly opposed to cutting corners, that release date fell by the wayside, and the studios involved in the release (Fox and Paramount) disagreed about the best replacement date. The eventual December 19 release date was a compromise designed to hit in time for the holidays and the 1997 awards season.

The cast

Though it’s hard not to think of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as superstars today, at the time, observers wondered whether they had enough oomph to carry such a big movie. Though the movie also featured more well-known actors like Bill Paxton, many believed the film would sink or swim with its two romantic leads.

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The length

The fact that Titanic clocked in at more than three hours wasn’t just a concern for moviegoers whose patience would be tested.

It also had economic ramifications: because the movie was so long, each screen it was shown on would essentially be monopolized for the whole prime movie-going period of the evening. A theater wouldn’t make any extra money per ticket, but would be forced to offer fewer showings.

The rumors

“Early on, the press scented trouble,” Masters wrote. “Stories began to appear about budget overruns; about the schedule, which eventually stretched from 138 to 160 days; about the arduous working conditions, in which crew members complained of sweatshop-style practices that sometimes had them working as long as two weeks without a break; about Cameron’s screaming tirades; and about a still unsolved food-poisoning incident in which chowder served to the cast and crew was laced with the drug PCP.”

Cameron’s response? The crew worked hard, though no harder than on any major shoot, and a Screen Actors Guild investigation concluded that the producers had an exemplary record when it came to looking out for the safety and health of everyone on set.

The competition

Titanic wasn’t the only option for audiences over the 1997 holiday season. Other offerings included Tomorrow Never Dies for action and As Good as it Gets for romance.

The quality

Of course, all of those concerns — the money, the stress, the hand-wringing — could be outweighed by quality. If the movie were as good as its creators thought it was, and if audiences responded in kind, it would all be worth it. As Fox exec Bill Mechanic told TIME back then, part of his reasoning for going along with everything was that Titanic could be the best film of the decade.

Early reviews, however, called that theory into doubt. TIME’s own Richard Corliss, for example, wrote that while the visual effects were remarkable, the film “fails utterly” at delivering a compelling romantic plot, and that nearly every character (aside from Winslet’s Rose) is “a caricature of class, designed only to illustrate a predictable prejudice: that the first-class passengers are third-class people, and vice versa.” Plus, he noted, it wasn’t a good sign that he found the true stories of people who were actually on the Titanic more compelling than Cameron’s fictional version.

“Ultimately, Titanic will sail or sink not on its budget but on its merits as drama and spectacle,” he concluded. “The regretful verdict here: Dead in the water.”

Audiences, luckily for the movie’s producers, quickly made it clear they did not agree. Two decades later, the movie’s fans show no signs of letting go.


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7 Reasons Every Home Needs a Humidifier

It’s winter, so get ready for several months of that hot, dry air that your HVAC system pumps out. Even worse, while the heat is on your house will be buttoned up, which leads to poor air quality that makes your house a breeding ground for bacteria and causes other ailments. Fortunately, you can combat the sickness and discomfort with a humidifier, an essential tool that not only improves air quality, but can also provide other benefits throughout your home. Check out these 7 reasons why it’s a good idea to run a humidifier this winter.
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Rihanna Named Most Influential Fashion Celebrity – Here’s 10 Reasons Why

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Lyst has named Rihanna the world’s most influential celebrity in fashion after tracking over 100 million searches on their site, checking the page views and accessing sales data across 5 million fashion products from 12,000 designers and stores.

It’s no doubt that Rihanna is a fashion icon and would convince you to want to be one too. Click through for  10 times Rihanna claimed her rightful crown and slayed the fashion game.


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5 reasons moms are all kinds of obsessed with the royal engagement

by

Melissa Willets

posted in Life

Unless you’ve been living under a breast pump, which, let’s face it, some of us are, you probably know that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have become engaged.

And if you’re like me, you stopped what you were doing the second you found out via a CNN push notification on your phone, and freaked out. Because. This. Is. Awesome. News.

Royal engagement photo

Forget about analyzing why you care so much about a royal engagement that couldn’t have less to do with your own life. Here are 5 reasons every mom from New Jersey to London is basically obsessed with the upcoming wedding between Harry and Meghan:

  1. At 36, Meghan Markle is about our age, moms! So, is it totally out of the question that maybe we could still meet a prince and become royalty? Especially since she’s American. I don’t think so! Except we’re already married. But whatever.
  2. The royal engagement equals something to obsess over other than whether our kids pooped today. As more details about how Harry proposed, and how they met, and their wedding plans emerge, we moms are offered an escape from the sometimes humdrum aspects of our day. Indeed, the design of Meghan’s engagement ring is the perfect subject to contemplate during nap time.
  3. If you’re pregnant, the couple’s May wedding could coincide with your due date. Which would be amazing. And almost as memorable as having a baby the same day Kate Middleton gives birth to her third child.
  4. The royal engagement is a good reminder for our husbands to be more romantic. Yes guys, we want cozy nights with roast chicken, too. Palace optional. But don’t forget the jewelry.
  5. Meghan’s engagement ring photos are a good reminder to get that manicure. I mean, look at the state of my nails. Horrendous.

 

The royal engagement reminds me I need a manicure

I don’t know; maybe it’s just me who can’t get enough about all things Harry and Meghan. But don’t worry, because I think I’m obsessed enough for all of us!

Are you obsessed with the royal engagement, or not so much?

Photos: Shutterstock Premier, Melissa Willets

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All the reasons why sex is painful and what to do about it

What’s up down there?

painful sex

Painful sex is a bit of a passion killer, no? Not to mention a major cause for concern. It can be triggered by anything from emotional issues to a more serious infection or hidden health condition, so it’s better to deal with it sharpish rather than grit your teeth and hope it will go away.

Known medically as dyspareunia, painful sex affects one in ten British women, according to a study by BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. That’s a lot of women suffering in silence. We spoke to the experts to decode your painful sex triggers.

Lack of arousal

‘If you’re not physically aroused, touch of any kind can be uncomfortable – especially if it’s somewhere sensitive, like your clitoris or the tip of your penis,’ says a spokesperson from the Brook Advisory Clinic. ‘Being well lubricated, relaxed and with lots of blood flow in the area (so penises get erect and vulvas swell) helps with this so put plenty of focus on foreplay’. Women especially need warming up before penetrative sex, both physically and emotionally. ‘If you’re not feeling turned on (mentally aroused) touch can be unpleasant – for example, being tickled when you’re feeling playful and silly is usually more fun than when you’re tired or angry!’ adds the Brook spokesperson, who suggests spending time enjoying foreplay to significantly improve your sexual pleasure. ‘There may be times when penetrative sex is not possible, but you can still have great sex without intercourse.’

Lack of lubrication

‘Lack of arousal can result in less vaginal lubrication, but many women simply do not produce enough vaginal lubrication, including younger women,’ explains Samantha Evans, sexual health expert, former nurse and co founder of luxury sex toy retailer Jo Divine. ‘Vaginal dryness is often linked to menopausal women, but younger women can be affected too due to the contraceptive pill, monthly hormonal changes, stress and anxiety.’ The use of lubricants can really help. Often GPs will prescribe a hormonal cream or pessary and many gynaecologists advocate using vaginal lubricants to help nourish the delicate tissues of the vagina. Your pharmacist can recommend over-the-counter lubes.

painful sex

Painful sex due to injury

‘Painful sex can be a sign of damage from previous sex, such as tearing or soreness,’ explains a spokesperson from the Brook Advisory Clinic. You wouldn’t go running if you had a busted ankle, so sex after a particularly enthusiastic session, may have resulted in friction that has left you sore. Also: when was your last bikini wax? An ingrowing hair may be difficult to spot but you will sure as hell know about it if it’s down-there when you’re trying to get down to business.

You could have an STI

Pain during or after sex can also be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or urinary tract infection, such as cystitis.

‘Stinging or burning during sex may be as a result of a sexually transmitted infection, especially if you also experience an unusual vaginal discharge, or an unusual odour,’ says Professor Ellis Downes, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and spokesperson for vSculpt. ‘If you have a new sexual partner and have had unprotected sex with him, and are experiencing these symptoms it would be a good idea to have it diagnosed and treated by your GP or at a sexual health clinic.’

STIs such as Chlamydia or gonorrhoea can have little to no symptoms but vaginal itching or burning, as well as painful sex, might be a sign that you are infected. Visit your GP or GUM clinic for a test. Treatments usually involve antibiotics but your doctor can recommend the next course of action.

You might have thrush

Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection and symptoms include painful sex, itching and soreness around the vagina, stinging or burning when peeing and an odourless discharge. Three out of four women will suffer with thrush at some point in their lives, and it is often confused with other infections, such as bacterial vaginosis. You can pick up a DIY test in most pharmacies to determine whether you have thrush or BV, and your pharmacist will be able to recommend the next course of action. It is usually treated with antifungal cream, pessaries, pills or a combination.

He may be too big

‘Even if a woman is well lubricated and fully aroused, she may experience pain if a man inserts his penis too quickly or deeply, or if he’s particularly well-endowed’, says sexual health expert Samantha Evans. ‘The vagina relaxes as a woman warms up to having sex and opens more comfortably if the penis enters slowly. Guiding your partner in at your own pace can really help avoid any pain.’

She adds: ‘Often, having sex doggy style can be painful, so try backing onto the penis at your own pace. The same can be said when going on top. Do not allow your partner to pull you down onto their penis, but slowly lower yourself, controlling the speed and depth of insertion that is comfortable.’

You could be allergic

Many women experience an itching or burning sensation when they try new products, from changing their washing powder to using a new shampoo/ shower gel. Some vaginal lubricants can trigger allergic reactions leading to painful sex too, so be aware of what you are applying to the delicate skin of your genitals. Glycerin – often found in flavoured lubes – as well as parabens and aspartame can cause irritation. Similarly, alkali or acidic lubes can mess with the pH balance of your vagina and cause dryness and itching. Instead, switch to a water-based lube rather than a silicon-based one, such as Pjur. Another alternative is Sliquid, which is also glycerin- and paraben-free.

Latex products, such as condoms or sex toys, can cause an allergic reaction too – as well as some spermicidal creams – so check out Durex and other mainstream brands for their range of a latex-free condoms. There’s also a booming market for organic sex toys that are free from irritant phthalates. Check out Ethical Sex Toys for a range of options.

‘When using a sex toy it is important to clean it carefully after use to counter the proliferation of bacteria on it,’ says obstetrician and gynaecologist Professor Ellis Downes. ‘However some cleaning substances can irritate the vaginal lining so it is best to use hot water and natural soap.’

Painful sex may mean you have vaginismus

This is a condition whereby the muscles in or around the vagina tighten, making sex painful or impossible. It can be caused by a combination of physical and psychological issues. Physical causes can include urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, vulvodynia (persistent, unexplained pain in the vulva), skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, menopause, and birth trauma.

Psychological problems can be caused by emotional or sexual trauma. ‘A previous painful experience with sex might make it harder to feel aroused and enjoy touch,’ explains a spokesperson from Brook Advisory. ‘It can also make the muscles around the vagina and anus clench (to protect you from the pain you’re worried about) and make penetration difficult and more painful.’

With the appropriate medical intervention and counselling, this problem can be alleviated to enable penetrative sex. Treatment usually involves specialist counselling, pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback training with a women’s health physiotherapist and use of medical dilators or a vibrator/dildo to slowly encourage the vagina to relax and open.

Your diet could be at fault

Dietary irritants can be to blame for painful sex. Foods containing high levels of oxalates can trigger urethral irritation in women who are sensitive to them. When too much oxalate is absorbed into the blood stream via the gut, it combines with calcium to form sharp calcium-oxalate crystals which embed themselves into the delicate tissues in the body, causing damage and pain. Women who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) absorb too much oxalate due to the poor condition of their bowel. Sticking to a low oxalate diet for 3-6 months has been found to improve symptoms. A list of high oxalate food can be found on the Vulval Pain Society website and includes celery, coffee, rhubarb, spinach and strawberries.

bulletproof diet

You may have endometriosis

Painful sex is a common symptom for women with endometriosis, which affects two million women in the UK, making many avoid sex altogether. Up to 50% of women with endometriosis have cited painful intercourse, ranging from sharp, stabbing, needle-like pain to a deep ache. It can feel mild to intense, either during sexual intercourse or up to 24-48 hours postcoitally, or both.

As well as endometriosis (when the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus or is thicker than normal), painful sex can also be caused by fibroids (growths of muscle and tissue inside the uterus) growing close to your vagina or cervix, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.

As the symptoms of endometriosis are unpredicatable, there is no knowing when it may occur. Some women experience pain throughout the month whereas others only experience it at certain times of the month, probably related to their menstrual cycle.

There is no cure for endometriosis but there are treatments that can help with the pain – usually hormone therapy to lower your body’s oestrogen levels.

Painful sex when you’ve just given birth

It isn’t just chronic exhaustion that might mean you don’t fancy getting jiggy with your partner. There are a number of emotional and physical challenges after giving birth. ‘Childbirth is a formative experience for any woman, and for some it can be traumatic,’ says Dr Becky Spelman, psychologist and We-Vibe‘s relationship expert. ‘Insensitive care practitioners and/or a difficult or dangerous birth can give rise to a heightened fear of birth, pregnancy, and even sexuality itself. Women who have experienced a traumatic birth often struggle to re-engage with their sexual selves, even when they have recovered physically, and can experience pain with no obvious physical cause.

‘Sex can be painful after you have given birth for a number of reasons: bruising to the vaginal wall is a common reason,’ explains obstetrician and gynaecologist Professor Ellis Downes. ‘You may also have experienced a tear and this needs time to heal completely before you embark on sex again. If you have had a c-section you have had an operation and need time to allow the wound to heal completely. Doctors recommend at least six weeks but it is often longer. Once you do have sex again, start gently.’

Your relationship might be under strain

‘If a woman is experiencing emotional pain as a result of conflict within her relationship, that could also lead to painful sex,’ says Samantha Evans. ‘Many couples experience an emotional disconnect if one of them is unable to have sex, which in turn can increase the pain levels, thus creating a vicious circle. Consulting a couples’ counsellor or sex therapist may help.’

If you experience pain during or after sex, seek medical advice. You can still enjoy pleasurable sexual activity without intercourse by incorporating the use of lubricant, such as YES, and slim vibrators, such as the range at Jo Devine.

painful sex

You could have a hidden health condition

Often painful sex is a sign of a more unusual, difficult to diagnose health issue. Samantha Evans outlines some of the lesser known conditions that could be causing you discomfort during sex.

Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen Sclerosus is a common condition, generally affecting postmenopausal women. It is thought to be linked to an overactive immune system, however the cause is not completely known. It is not an STI and cannot be contracted during sex.

It generally affects the vulva and around the clitoris and symptoms include itchy white patches of skin that start forming together to create a larger patch, red blood blisters caused by thinning of the skin and, ultimately, painful sex.

The main treatment for Lichen Sclerosus, also known as LS, is a steroid or cortisone cream or ointment to control symptoms. Avoiding fragranced products and wearing loose fitting clothing can ease symptoms.

Vestibulodynia (provoked pain)

This condition is characterised by burning pain around the entrance of the vagina when touched and is thought to affect 12-15% of women of childbearing age. It often occurs through light touch such as inserting a tampon or sexual intercourse and generally has no other symptoms at other times.

Research by Reed found that women who have this condition are 2-3 times more likely to have more than one chronic pain condition, including IBS, fibromyalgia (musculoskeletal pain) and interstitial cystitis (bladder pain). Treatment for this condition includes pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback therapy, low oxalate diet, counselling and sometimes surgery to remove the glands at the entrance of the vagina.

Vulvodynia (unprovoked pain)

This is different to vestibulodynia in that it occurs spontaneously, the pain felt is often burning and sore in nature, there is no itching sensation and again it can be focused around the vulva or generalised.

The intensity of pain can vary from mild discomfort to a severe constant pain, making even sitting down uncomfortable. Usually continuous, the pain can affect sleep patterns and day to day activities. Often the pain isn’t localised to the vulval area but can be experienced in the anus when having a bowel movement and in the bladder when you pee. Unprovoked vulvodynia can impact upon sexual activity during foreplay and make penetration painful.

For a small minority of women, the cause can be related to back pain as a result of nerve compression or a slipped disc triggering referred pain to the vulval area. However, for the majority of women, the cause is idiopathic meaning there is no known reason for the condition.

Treatment can consist of taking tricyclic antidepressant tablets for a period of 3-6 months. Taken in tablet form, staring with a low dose, then increasing every few days until the pain decreases or subsides. Using natural lube, such as YES organic lubricants, during sex can help, as can applying aqueous cream to soothe the area.

If you are experiencing painful sex on a regular basis, always consult your doctor.

The post All the reasons why sex is painful and what to do about it appeared first on Marie Claire.

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All the reasons you shouldn’t vote for de Blasio

Celebrating his victory in the Democratic primary in September, Mayor Bill de Blasio — apparently quoting famed Spanish artist Pablo Picasso — exulted, “Everything you can imagine is real!” It’s one thing for a surrealist to proclaim limitless, fantastic possibility as part of his artistic manifesto, but it is less intriguing, and less comforting, to…
Opinion | New York Post

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5 reasons why we’re (probably) still looking for love online

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Don’t wait for fate…

When it comes to finding a potential relationship online, we singles are a hardened lot. From playing dating app bingo (which one actually works?), to encountering that all too familiar ‘Greg and I have this really cute single friend you just HAVE to meet’ (yawn), the search for a mate in the modern world has become a tricksy thing.

So, it’s time to step away from the swipe. Relationship site eharmony is here to help you get ahead in the game, using a unique scientific matching system to ensure that you are paired with potential partners based on key characteristics and compatibility. Using an in-depth questionnaire, eharmony works out all those wonderful ‘isms’ that make us individual (yes, even that closet obsession with Tudor romance novels), and finds someone that’ll love us as a person, not a profile.

Not convinced? Ask yourself why you are still looking for love online, then let eharmony show you the way…

I’m too busy…
Ah, that old chestnut. Between nailing life 24/7 (gym, children, work, generally being amazing) ‘finding the time’ to meet someone special is a struggle, which is why eharmony are on hand to do most of the legwork. Once you’ve filled in your questionnaire, a search is conducted across millions of singles based on 18 Key Dimensions that are crucial for relationship success. Then hey presto, a lovely batch of potential matches is delivered to your inbox daily to peruse as and when you wish. Yes, even during your lunch break. Happy days.

I’m too picky…
Stop that, right now. Now, we appreciate that if you’ve had a run of bad dates (it happens), internet-weary singletons can sometimes feel like they are setting the bar too high. Not true. Only you know what makes you happy, and that is SO important when looking for a fulfilling, long-lasting relationship. If you are honest with yourself about what you want, then eharmony will find matches with a similar line of thinking. Don’t ever settle for second best, you gorgeous thing!

I’ve lost my confidence…
Looking for love online is a double-edged sword for a lot of singles. If you’re newly out of a relationship, it can be a way of easing you back into the dating game. For others, it’s the simple fact they might not feel comfortable meeting people the ‘old-fashioned way’, i.e. in a pub/nightclub. Using a relationship site like eharmony can help rebuild that confidence as you can take things at your own pace and be assured the scientific formula is introducing you only to people you will be compatible with. Great relationships are built with trust and over time. So breathe, and take things as they come.

I’m not everyone’s ‘usual’ type…
Define ‘usual’. Never judge yourself based on the profiles you see. It’s the unique things we’re into that make us amazing, and trust us – there is someone out there that’ll adore your Jaffa Cake addiction.

I’m a believer…
*fist pump* Yes, you are! And never let go of that. Since launching in 2008, eharmony has made millions of matches that have led to relationships, marriages and yes, even babies. So don’t wait for fate. Shake off that last date disaster Carrie Bradshaw-style, and let the experts take the lead.

 

 

The post 5 reasons why we’re (probably) still looking for love online appeared first on Marie Claire.

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10 Reasons to Love Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry invented rock and roll. Maybe someone else would have gotten around to it if he had never lived, but then that music would’ve sounded different. It might have been good, it might have been better! But it wouldn’t sound like what we think of as rock and roll, because it wouldn’t sound like Chuck Berry.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Conor McGregor takes over UFC event for all the wrong reasons

Conor McGregor wasn’t fighting at the UFC event in Poland on Saturday, but he still made himself the center of attention. In attendance to support teammate Artem Lobov — who lost for the fourth time in his past six fights, this time a unanimous decision defeat to Andre Fili — it wasn’t long before McGregor…
Sports | New York Post

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8 Reasons You Should Try Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

This polarizing design choice has more positives than you think.

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5 Reasons Your Will Could Be Contested

last-will-and-testamentCreating a Last Will and Testament is a great way to ensure that your estate is distributed or taken care of according to your wishes after you pass away. However, even if a will is recognized as valid and has been properly signed and witnessed, there is still a chance that it could be contested.

This post outlines some common reasons wills can be contested and tips about how to avoid any issues.

Failing to Update Your Will after a Major Life Event

Once you’ve finished the process of creating your will, it’s tempting to retire it to a safe place and have it out of sight and mind.

However, you should review your will when major life events occur. For example, you should re-evaluate the terms of your will if you:

  • Get married
  • Get a divorce
  • Have a biological or adopted child
  • Receive a large inheritance
  • Obtain a significant amount of real estate

In general, a new will should be created any time an in-depth change needs to be made to the existing will that could impact the overall structure of the document, or if using a Codicil (a document used to make small changes to a will) risks making the will unclear.

Having More than One Will

It’s common for several wills to be created during the course of a person’s lifetime due to various life events. If more than one will is found when a person passes away, then generally the most recent one would be used.

Most wills also contain a statement which expresses that all previous wills and codicils are overruled by the most current document. Even if the newest will does not explicitly revoke the previous one, the newest document is most likely the one that will be observed for the simple reason that it is the most recent.

With that being said, there are situations where old wills can cause confusion, which can lead to contestation. As an example, if a new will is created or a codicil is used to change an existing will, but the new or modified will has a spelling mistake (such as a name spelled wrong) then there is the potential that the new will would be deemed invalid and the old will could be recognized in place of the new.

In order to avoid contestation issues where there are multiple versions of a will, you can simply destroy any previous versions of the document after creating a new one.

The Mental State of the Person Who Created the Will is Questioned

A common reason for contesting a will is the assertion that the testator (the person who created the will) lacked the mental capacity, or was not of sound mind, to create the will in the first place.

Capacity refers to the fact that you have prepared the will while you are mentally healthy, whereas sound mind means that you are able to understand the contents of your will and used logic and reason to create it.

If you wait until you are close to passing away before you write a will, or write it while you are experiencing a serious illness, it’s easier for the validity of the will to be questioned as your state of mind may have been altered when you wrote it.

It is recommended that you prepare your will when you are fit and healthy to reduce the chance that old age, mental incapacity, or illness could be used as a way to invalidate or contest your will.

The Will May Contain Fraudulent Terms or Has Signs of Undue Influence

If there are signs that your will is not genuine in some way, it is more likely that it will be contested. For example, fraud or undue influence with regards to a will could mean that:

  • There is evidence that a signature has been forged, and it needs to be evaluated to determine whether it’s authentic or not.
  • There is a possibility that pages have been swapped out, changed without authorization (such as items being crossed out, edited, or added without following the proper procedure), or removed from the will.
  • When you created or updated your will, you were given the wrong information, and as a result a particular clause or request is invalid.
  • There is evidence that somebody associated with the will (such as a beneficiary) may have acted dishonestly, such as a caregiver or family member influencing or manipulating you into giving them a large sum of money or valuable property.

Something in the Will Is Not Legal

If you include terms in your will that are considered illegal in your state, part of or the entirety of your will may be considered invalid.

As an example, jointly-held property (such as a matrimonial home) cannot be included in a will, because the property generally automatically goes to the surviving tenant, which in this case would be the husband or wife.

Things like life insurance or 401(k) plan assets can also not be included in a will, because these documents already include a section where you assign a beneficiary.

If you are unsure whether you can include something in your will, consider consulting a local estate lawyer.

Is There a Time Limit for Contesting a Will?

The time limit for contesting a will varies between states, so it is important that the will is contested as soon as possible if there is a valid reason. The amount of time that can pass before a will is not contestable also depends on what is being contested.

As an example, you may have more time to contest a will for fraud than you would for simply making a claim against the estate.

Make Sure Your Will Is Valid

Remember that a will is a living document, which means that it is normal for changes to be made over the course of a person’s lifetime. Updating your will can make it easier to execute, and helps to avoid conflict and stress between family members. Avoiding contestation of your will is generally not a difficult task as long as you make sure you observe your state’s laws, and practice responsibility with regards to the contents of your will.

What steps have you taken to minimize the chance that your will is contested?

The post 5 Reasons Your Will Could Be Contested appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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5 reasons why you should visit South Korea

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Asia is one of the greatest continents in the world, and the perfect place to visit if you want a memorable and cultural location. There are so many wonderful countries you could swing by and see, and South Korea is one that really stands out. Often considered the jewel of The Orient, South Korea is one of the best countries in Asia to visit. If you are looking for a vacation full of magic, culture, and friendly people, South Korea is the place for you to be.

It might not make your bucket list of places to visit before you die, but South Korea is a vibrant and spectacular country just itching to be discovered. You definitely need to make sure you check out this wonderful Asian country and unearth the riches hidden there. These are five of the best reasons why you should visit South Korea as soon as you possibly can – make sure your next vacation is here.

Amazing food

One thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that Korea has some of the best food in the world. If you enjoy oriental cuisine, you’re going to be in your element here. It’s all about spicy flavors and healthy food in South Korea, and you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things while you’re here. There are so many different assorted rice and meat dishes to choose from, and it’s important to try to sample as many of these dishes as possible. You might have tried Korean food in the United States, but it’s not quite the same as having it here. The food is simply exceptional and must rank as one of the top reasons for a visit.

Fashion hotspot

You might not be aware, but South Korea is considered one of the fashion hubs of the world. There is so much wonderful fashion here, with plenty of great designer shops, and shows and exhibits happening throughout the year. Many Korean brands are becoming favorites of top celebrities, like Justin Bieber. Make sure you pay a visit to Queenmama Market, one of the most acclaimed fashion markets in Korea.

Beautiful beaches

Believe it or not, South Korea actually contains some of the most incredible beaches in the world. You may not consider it a country with a lot to offer in the beach department, but that’s where you’d be wrong. If you head to Busan, the country’s second-largest city, you will be able to enjoy the beauty, cleanliness, and appeal of some of the best beaches in the world. Located right on the southeastern peninsula of South Korea, Busan is home to a number of acclaimed beaches, including Hae-un-Dae, which has been compared with Miami Beach in the States.

Cultural brilliance

In addition to all we’ve mentioned, South Korea also has some fantastic opportunities for experiencing an ancient culture. There is a lot of beauty and history to uncover here, and you’re in for a treat. Make sure you head to some of the excellent Buddhist temples in the country. Buddhism has been prevalent in Korea since the fourth century and plays a huge role in the country’s DNA. Check out temples like Jogyesa and Jingwansa, and absorb some of the great culture and history of this place.

Loads of sky bars

The best way of enjoying a major city, we think, is to take in the night sky with a view from above. And, this is one of the big advantages of Korea, it has a plethora of sky bars you can visit. For a panoramic view of the luminous and neon city below, you need to make sure you check out Le Style and enjoy the most perfect view imaginable. You will probably find that most of these epic sky bars will need to be booked in advance, so make sure you do that to avoid disappointment.

As you can see, this is just a snippet into what makes South Korea such as special country. As a tourist, you have to keep in mind that there is so much to see and do here. Make sure you plan out your vacation and get an idea of all the things you’d like to do in advance.

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The post 5 reasons why you should visit South Korea appeared first on Worldation.

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5 Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Trip to Barbados

Barbados

Back in August, I had the opportunity to take a second trip to Barbados and experience the Crop Over Festival for the first time—and what an experience it was! I fell in love with soca, explored the wonder of Harrison’s Cave, got a taste of “the rum that invented rum,” and jumped in the Grand Kadooment! Beyond that, I had the chance to chat with locals and take a tour of George Washington’s Barbadian home.

As working professionals, we all deserve an occasional break from the daily stresses of work and life. Such trips are not only relaxing but they oftentimes broaden your world perspective and present you with a creative space to come up with new, fresh ideas. Here are five reasons why I would encourage working professionals and business owners to book a trip to the amazing island of Barbados.

 

 1. Crop Over

 

Barbados Grand Kadooment

 

Crop Over is a two-month long celebration of Bajan culture and history that runs from the beginning of June to the first Monday of August. During this time, Bajans party with their family, neighbors, and loved ones, while extending a warm invitation to foreigners who want to join in on the festivities.

“I love the people,” Jaqueline Blenman, a native of Barbados and a school teacher, told Black Enterprise during a Crop Over breakfast party. “I like that I see all my friends, and my family, and people that I don’t even know. There is no other festival like it in the world.”

Blenman also touched on the roots of Crop Over, which began as a harvest festival on sugar cane plantations in the 17th century. Back then the celebration was called “Harvest Home” and signaled the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest.

“Every plantation had a Crop Over festival. So this thing was literally islandwide,” Richard Sealy, the minister of Tourism and International Transport in the Cabinet of Barbados, told Black Enterprise in an interview. However, the festival was disbanded after World War II and then later resurrected in 1974 by the Barbados Tourist Board in effort to attract tourism and business. “When Crop Over was [relaunched], there was the Jambay Festival in Bahamas, there was Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica, and there was nothing in Barbados,” explained Sealy.

Since being resurrected, Crop Over has evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival, similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad. The tradition has also become “synonymous with Barbados,” said William Griffith, the CEO at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI). “We’ve managed to grow over the past several years into a major festival of food and music and Carnival atmosphere,” he added. “What we try to do is not only promote the beauty of the island, but also the cultural aspects of the island. The original birthplace of rum. And it’s really about the persona of the island. It’s alive. It’s music, food, and top-class resorts, as well.”

The festival officially concludes with Grand Kadooment, a huge parade of masquerade bands usually held on the first Monday of August. This is a stunning spectacle of visual and aural music and dancing to the sounds of soca and calypso. This is also where Rihanna was when she broke the internet by sharing photos of her Crop Over costume.

 

 


 

2. History 

 

George Washington House in Barbados is a historic house where the future first U.S. President visited in 1751 when he was 19 years old (Image: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

 

Outside of the Crop Over festivities, concerts, and parties commonly referred to as fetes, I had a chance to delve into the history of Barbados, which, like all Caribbean nations, was colonized by Europeans and built on the backs of slaves. I also toured the home where George Washington resided as a teenager during his first and only trip overseas in 1751. It is said that the trip greatly expanded the future U.S. president’s worldview and helped him develop an immunity to smallpox.

The 18th century home, which has been renamed the George Washington House and preserved as a national landmark, also includes a room dedicated to the history of slavery. In the clip below, historian, former diplomat, and university lecturer Dr. Karl Watson talked about Washington’s interactions with slaves on the island while impersonating the first U.S. president

 

In the following clip, Watson talks about the kid-size slave chains that are now preserved as artifacts.

 

 

Barbados (Image: BE Digital Editor Selena Hill at Gun Hill Signal Station, St. George)

 

Furthermore, I had the opportunity to explore other historic sites like the Gun Hill Signal Station in St. George, the largest and most important military outpost in Barbados. The outpost dates back to 1697 and was recognized as one of the four points where guns were placed in order to send an alarm about an invasion.

 


 

3. Culture

 

In addition to its world-class beaches, Barbados is defined by its warmth, casual charm, and sophistication. According to Griffith, it has a culture and “personality of people that is second to none.” He added, “we think that we are a very friendly island, we think that we have a fantastic array of food choices of restaurants on the island, we think that we are a wonderful vacation destination for clients.” And he’s right!

The flavor of Bajan cuisine is derived from a mixture of African, Indian, Irish, Creole, and
British influences. A typical meal consists of meat or fish marinated in herbs and spices, hot side dishes, and salad, along with one or more sauces. The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish with spicy gravy. Another local favorite is pickled pork with spiced sweet potatoes called “pudding and souse.”

The best way to wash down a Bajan meal is with a glass of Mount Gay Rum, which is recognized as the world’s oldest remaining rum company. According to locals, it’s “the rum that invented rum.”

 

 


 

4. A Future of Promise

 

(Image: Little girl at the Grand Kadooment)

 

Although Barbados is known as a luxury destination for mature travelers, Sealy says the island is in a period of growth and aiming to attract younger visitors. For example, a new Sandals hotel is projected to open at the end of the year. The ministry of culture “is constantly looking at what they can do with the festival and there are numerous proposals about how they can improve it. Make it larger as well. Adding events, and so on. Extending the festival.” For example, “Crop Over is attracting a younger clientele. So is the Reggae Festival and the Food and Rum Festival, which is in November,” he said.

The island also plans to introduce Uber sometime in the future in order to meet the demand and expectations of new visitors. “The Uber folks have been to Barbados. They are talking to the officials with responsibility for that sector, the ministry of transport,” Sealy confirmed. “Uber and/or Uber-type companies are going to be a reality [on the island].”

He added that local taxi drivers and companies are being taken into consideration so that they are not negatively impacted by Uber. Uber “is talking to the Ministry of Transport and Works, who has a responsibility for that sector [of local drivers]. All of those sensitivities are things that they are looking at. Uber isn’t coming here next week or next month, he said, adding, “the local taxi community will be integrated because they have to be a part of it if it’s going to happen.”

 


 

5. Support the Caribbean

 

(Image: Sugar Bay Barbados Beach Resort)

 

Barbados, like many tropical islands in the region, is economically dependent on tourism to a large degree. Tourism has also helped transform the island from a low-income agricultural economy primarily producing sugar into a high-income economy. Hence, those of us with the privilege to take an overseas vacation should consider planning a trip to the Caribbean— not only to experience the paradise that it has to offer but because these black-populated nations need tourism to survive. Especially in light of Hurricane Irma, which ripped through the Atlantic earlier this month, causing billions of dollars of destruction and completely decimating Barbuda and Anguilla.

 

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Five Reasons to Like Pantsuits

Pantsuits are making a comeback across a range of silhouettes, colours, fabrics and pant lengths. Some are classic and tailored, while others are sharp-shouldered, slouchy and oversized. Neutrals, non-neutrals, brights, pastels, earth tones, jewel tones, muted mid-tones and patterns. Long jackets and short jackets. Cropped or full-length pants. High rises and lower rises. Pleated pants or flat fronts. Tapered legs or flares. You name it, the combination came down the runway for Fall & Winter 2017. 

I love the look of a trouser suit. What I enjoy most is that it’s defying the trend towards casualization and giving us more choices. Here are five more reasons to love them.

Dressy, Tailored, Flattering & Professional

If you choose to wear a tailored pantsuit that fits and drapes well, you’re going to look pulled together and professional no matter what. The proportions are traditionally flattering, creating a slimming and streamlined effect. 

You’ll set a dressy standard wearing a pantsuit. You don’t have to dress casually if you don’t want to, which is the point of Modern fashion. This is 2017, where fashion and style are about choice, individualism, and how you personally interpret a trend. A person wearing a suit can look just as appropriate as someone wearing Athleisure in a similar day-to-day setting. 

An Easy Outfit Option

Wearing a pantsuit with matching jacket and bottom can become a daily uniform, and an easy option. Swap out the tops, accessories and shoes with the same suit, and you’ll have a range of fast fall back outfits. If you have an assortment of pantsuits, your fast fall back outfit options increase, and so does the ease of putting an outfit together. 

A Fun Fashion Statement

Pantsuits don’t need to be tailored and dark. They can be patterned, bright, shiny, pastel, and a lot roomier in silhouette. They don’t need to be matched with a stiff button-down shirt either. You can layer just about any top under a suit, from T-shirts and blouses, to crop tops, pullovers, turtle-necks, tanks and knitted tops. Classic heeled pumps are not your only footwear option. Think flat oxfords, loafers, ballet flats, pointy-toe flat, mules, wrapped sandals, ankle strap pumps, booties, and patterned shoes. Or combine the look with sneakers for a Sporty Luxe vibe. Be creative. 

Comfortable Party Wear 

A pantsuit is a fab alternative to a frock for a dressy occasion, especially if you don’t fancy wearing dresses. They can be more comfortable, less fussy, and a lot more insulating in the dead of Winter. Plus you seldom need to wear shapewear with a pantsuit. You can enjoy a meal and not worry about a constricting foundation garment and protruding midsection. Have dessert! 

Unique

Dress codes have relaxed in the US, and these days a dark pair of dressed up or dressed down jeans will take you almost anywhere. If you don’t have a business formal dress code at work, and you enjoy dressing in a  unique way, wearing a pantsuit regularly is one way to go. 

I have two old trouser suits that are in excellent condition. I wear neither very often even though they fit well and look reasonably current. The charcoal pinstriped Theory suit is eight years old, and the avant-garde black suit is six years old. The former requires two inch heels, which puts me off. The flare and drape of the bootcut trousers is elegant with heels so I’m not hemming them for flats. I’m also not into charcoal grey. The black suit is a strictly Summer look with short cropped pants. It looks good with flats, but I haven’t been feeling “all black” for a while. I might pass on the grey Theory suit to Dress for Success, but I’m definitely keeping the black suit that I bought in Tokyo. It’s tailored and too unique to date. I might feel like the blackness of it at some point later, and will keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ll be looking out for a fun suit that isn’t black and doesn’t require heels to look fabulous. Could be a great holiday look, and a fun way to change things up.

Over to you. How do you feel about pantsuits?

NOTE: Some rich content in this post was omitted because it isn’t supported by the feed. Please visit the post on youlookfab.com to see the additional content.


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7 reasons you should start using reusable snack bags right now

by

Sabrina Garibian

posted in Products

Reusable snack bags are a staple item in our home. We use them for everything from snacks (duh) to Little People to makeshift toiletry bags.

Instead of wasting a plastic baggie every time you pack a snack for your children, consider switching to reusable snack bags.

7-reasons-you-should-be-using-reusable-snack-bags

Here are 7 reasons you should be using reusable snack bags:

  1. The environment
  2. Cost
  3. Fun
  4. Easiness
  5. New “no waste” policies at schools
  6. Versatility
  7. Long-lasting

Let me explain…

The environment

Reusable snack bags are just that, reusable. If I put dry snacks in a reusable snack bag I simply shake it out and put it away. If I put fruit or something that might make crumbs like muffins, I simply toss the bag into the wash along with our dish towels. This is a much better choice for the environment than using and throwing away one or many plastic baggies every day.

Cost

One large reusable snack bag might run you about $ 5, which seems like a lot when you can buy a whole box of disposable plastic ones for a couple of bucks. But consider that I invested $ 20 in five reusable snack bags six years ago and haven’t had to buy plastic baggies since. I have bought a few more since then, but in general they are a great longer-term investment!

Fun

My kids love their reusable snack bags and get compliments on them all the time. Being a kid is about having fun, and they love their Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, and Super Mario Brothers’ reusable snack bags. As an adult, I love opening my lunch box to find my colorful reusable snack bag inside.

Easiness

Reusable snack bags are easy to use. You don’t have to worry about plastic baggies that rip or are hard to open. All the ones we use open and close with a zipper that is easy enough for even my 2-year-old to handle herself.

New “no waste” policies at schools

Plenty of schools have or will soon adopt “no waste” policies. This means children are instructed to bring in lunches that will have no waste, or trash. Reusable snack bags are a great way to adhere to a school’s “no waste” policy without having to stick your child’s snack in a bulky plastic container that will just take up room in the dishwasher at the end of the day.

Versatility

Like I mentioned, reusable snack bags aren’t good only for snacks! My kids often have to sit through their siblings’ sports’ practices so I like to pack little trinkets and things in reusable snack bags for them to play with during those times. I have also used our reusable snack bags as a makeshift toiletry bag, for makeup on the go, to store pens in my purse, etc. You can buy them in various sizes, but the size large is my favorite. They can be used for so many things!

Long-lasting

My original reusable snack bags are going on six years right now and still look practically brand new. A plastic baggie, on the other hand, is only good for one use. Invest a few dollars now to get years and years out of your reusable snack bags.

While there are several brands of reusable snack bags on the market, these are my absolute favorite:

Bumkins (Amazon, $ 4.99-5.95/bag)

bumkins reusable snack bag

Itzy Ritzy (Amazon, $ 9.99/bag)

itzy ritzy reusable snack bag

Yummi Pouch (Amazon, $ 14.99, set of 3)

yummi pouch

Wegreeco (Amazon, $ 11.99/set of 3 sizes)

wegreeco reusable snack bags

Come over to the dark (bright!) side with me and start using reusable snack bags. You won’t regret it.

Do you use reusable snack bags?

Read more:
Why you need a wet bag and what to do with it
8 fast and fun tips for healthy school lunches

BabyCenter Blog

CHILDREN APPAREL DEALS:

Underwear for Boys: 20% OFF with the Purchase of 3 Items at Souris Mini!

CHILDREN APPAREL DEAL:

Underwear for Girls: 20% OFF with the Purchase of 3 Items at Souris Mini!

10 Reasons to Love Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry invented rock and roll. Maybe someone else would have gotten around to it if he had never lived, but then that music would’ve sounded different. It might have been good, it might have been better! But it wouldn’t sound like what we think of as rock and roll, because it wouldn’t sound like Chuck Berry.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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10 Reasons to Be Excited for NFL 2017

Let's face it, America… You need a little break. With a steady stream of news that could make even the most Zen soul's heart pound, the United States heartily deserves a brief respite from the constant shitstorms that are swirling around the nation at every waking second. Enter: the breath of fresh air known as football season, a delightful time when the country can sit back, relax and focus

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: 10 Reasons to Be Excited for NFL 2017

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BEST DISCOUNT DEAL:

Great deals and discounts on popular styles from Men’s Clearance at Nike.com

5 Reasons Why Women Need to Get More Vitamin C

5 Reasons Why Women Need to Get More Vitamin C

“Drink your orange juice,” my mom used to say. “It’s got vitamin C.” I learned from a young age that vitamin C was a good thing. I didn’t really know why at the time, just that I got it when drinking orange juice and when chewing the kids’ vitamins my mom gave my brothers and me. After 20 years as a health writer, I now know a lot more about vitamin C, and I seem to learn something new just about…

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WomensHealth.com

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5 Reasons to Escape the Everyday Grind and Book a Room At This Nepal Hotel

A visit to Nepal, India, is made extra special when you stay at the Taj Hotel’s Meghauli Serai. Located inside Chitwan National Park, which is well known for its wildlife viewing, Meghauli Serai offers guests the experience of a real exotic animal encounter right outside their door.

Room/suite prices range from $ 110 to $ 200 per night, and the safari experiences—available as a 4×4 jeep ride or a canoe excursion down the Rapti River—range from $ 120 to $ 225 per person.

There’s nothing like being on a safari and watching exotic creatures up close and personal in their own environment. Not in Africa—but Nepal.

Here are five reasons to book a room at the Meghauli Serai.

Comfortable Accommodations and Amenities

 

It’s not a huge hotel (there are fewer than 30 rooms for rent), which makes it feel more like a community than a resort. But even with so few guests, there were plenty of options for dining and amenities.

If you didn’t have the view outside to remind you that you’re in the jungle, you’d never know you were in the jungle. The rooms are comfortable and cool, the food is excellent, and the services at the spa provide the icing on the cake to an all-around amazing experience.

(Meghauli Serai suite. Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Meghauli Serai bathroom. Image: Aniesia Williams)

 

 

Excellent Guest Services

 

The amount of wildlife here certainly makes this hotel stand out from other Taj hotels. But even without the elephants and tigers roaming about, the hotel itself provided a wonderful experience.

From the moment you arrive until the time you say goodbye, you’ll feel like every single staff member you encounter here is interested in making your stay phenomenal. Not just good, but truly phenomenal. From bonfire dinners to well-planned activities, the staff here goes above and beyond to ensure every visit is the best you’ve ever had.

(Meghauli Serai lobby. Image: Aniesia Williams)

 

 

Being One With Nature

 

There are no major highways or shopping centers, no sounds of cars zipping by your window, and none of the typical city noises that many have grown accustomed to. Look up and you’ll see a sky brimming with stars that haven’t been shuttered by glaring streetlights. Listen closely and you’ll hear the hums and murmurs of insects, predators, and other fauna nearby.

If you’ve ever wanted to truly get away from the daily hustle and bustle, the Meghauli Serai can deliver, but without having to sacrifice hot showers, good food, and other modern conveniences.

(Meghauli Serai outdoor shower, Image: Aniesia Williams)

 

 

Safaris That Rival Those in East Africa

Elephants, Bengal tigers, rare one-horned rhinos, over 540 species of birds, Ghariyals (a type of crocodile), sloth bears, leopards, and hundreds of other animals await you on one of several safari options at the hotel. Whether you prefer to cruise in a Jeep, 4×4, or atop of an elephant, you’ll get closer to these animals in their natural habitat than you ever thought possible.

The Meghauli Serai offers a variety of safari tours to suit every taste, including bird watching, exotic animals, and other wildlife. And while you may have to get out of bed early for some of these tours, the visual rewards are well worth it.

(Entrance to safari experience outside Meghauli Serai. Image: Aniesia Williams)

 

 

A Lifetime of Memories

 

The things you will see and do during your stay at the Meghauli Serai will not soon be forgotten. From up-close animal encounters to elephant rides through the jungle to guided tours and unique dining experiences, most people only dream of the opportunities that await you here. You’ll want to capture every moment on camera and treasure them for years to come.

(Safari experience canoe. Image: Aniesia Williams)
Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

3 Reasons Why Your Business Is Being Overlooked Online

Business

Is your business struggling to get noticed online?

Let’s face it—the internet is both a gift and a curse. Though a never-ending tunnel of resources and tips, it’s also a minefield of fake news and self-proclaimed experts, gurus, and ninjas. So, in order to garner attention for your business on the internet, you have to do more than simply exist.

If you don’t understand why your business is being continuously overlooked by customers, clients, or even investors, here are three possible reasons why this could be happening:

 

 1. You’re not clearly communicating the value you have to offer.

 

Nowadays, we all have short attention spans. Whether you’re introducing yourself at an event, or trying to attract the right people to your website, people should be able to comprehend the value your business or product can provide in two minutes or less.

 

Ways to Take Action:

 

  • Update your social media profiles with your unique value proposition or tagline. What benefits can people expect? Why should someone invest in you, versus your competitor?
  • Sell the problem you solve—not the product. Instead of introducing yourself via your title or role, start by talking about the problem your business or product solves for a specific audience.
  • Showcase your impact by mentioning the accolades or achievements that you and your company have earned. This should appear on your company site as well as on any social media accounts affiliated with your brand. It could be as simple as something like, “Voted the No. 1 blog,” or  “Ranked among this year’s 30 under 30 entrepreneurs,” and so on.
  • Include calls-to-action to your social media profiles. For example, you can compose posts that say things like, “Download my free e-book,” “Subscribe to my podcast,” or “Join my FREE accountability group.”

 

2. You don’t have a specific target audience.

 

Listen, building a business that appeals to everyone is a recipe for disaster, because most people buy or invest based on emotion. We all want to feel that a product or service speaks directly to our needs, desires, or even our pain-points.

 

A Way to Take Action:

 
Create your ideal audience persona. Then, tailor your content, key messages, products, and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and challenges of that audience.

 

3. You lack credibility or social proof.

 

The reality is, if your social proof doesn’t show up in Google, your credibility is suspect. Think of it this way: comments are currency. If you want your business or brand to stand out online, start by building trust and engaging your followers in meaningful conversations.

 

Ways to Take Action:

 

  • Build relationships with experts or influencers that share mutual interests. Then, partner with them to create more opportunities for cross-promoting your content or business.
  • Add customer success stories, video testimonials, and industry influencer or celebrity endorsements of your product or service to your website.
  • Encourage people to share your content across social media platforms.
  • Host a weekly Q&A forum with customers.
  • Add social sharing statistics to your website. Some examples of this could be, “Join my community of over 10,000,” or, “My e-book reached 50,000 downloads!”

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

5 Reasons to Vacation With the Family in Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe

Family vacations can be wonderful—and financially exhausting. Guadeloupe is a great choice for families that want to get away without going too far and spending too much money.

It’s close but feels far away.

 

The warm, sunny islands that make up this French territory in the Caribbean are just a short plane ride away. Getting there is easy with Norwegian Airways—it’s a direct flight from New York’s JFK airport. Plus, it’s only a 3-hour flight, so you won’t have to deal with too many ‘Are we there yet?” inquiries from the kids! Then, once you arrive, there are the family-friendly accommodations along white sandy beaches, inexpensive activities that engage young minds, and tantalizing cuisine featuring the freshest ingredients.

The seafood is unsurpassed in Guadeloupe.

 

The islands’ culinary style has French, African, Caribbean, and even Indian influences. Each of the islands incorporates these flavors in a unique way, but all of them make the most of the plentiful seafood, which is prepared to the highest culinary standards. Local fish and shellfish are caught fresh every day, sometimes making it from sea to table in just a few hours—whether you’re dining at a four-star restaurant, on-site at your hotel, or enjoying an inexpensive meal on the go from a local street vendor.

 

(Photo: Aniesia Williams)
(Photo: Aniesia Williams)

Guadeloupe is a paradise for hikers.

 

You know those movies and TV shows where you see hikes through lush rainforests that end when a majestic waterfall comes into view, complete with a natural pool for swimming? In Guadeloupe National Park (Parc National de la Guadeloupe), you’ll feel like you’re in the movie. And, bonus—it’s free! The islands are known for their excellent hiking, with more than 100 miles of trails.

(Photo: Aniesia Williams)
(Photo: Aniesia Williams)

 

The park sits at the base of La Soufrière volcano. Bring good hiking shoes because the trails may be muddy or slippery. Pack a swimsuit and a rain jacket, too. Choose among several well-marked, guided hikes depending on your skill, experience, and interest. Birdwatchers, keep your eyes open for the black woodpecker, pearly-eyed thrasher, and lesser Antillean pewee. And don’t miss the Yellow Baths hot spring! The official park website is in French, but most browsers can translate. Trace (trail) statuses are posted regularly, so check it out before you go.

Guadeloupe has a family-friendly beach resort with something for everyone.

 

La Creole Beach Hotel in le Gosier is nestled among garden surroundings, featuring palm trees and bright bougainvillea. Three on-premise restaurants make feeding the whole family simple, and breakfast is included. Restaurants offer French cuisine, Cajun/Creole cuisine, or a “diner” experience with pizza and quick-service lunch. Amenities include Wi-Fi (for a small fee), satellite TV, room service options, hair dryers, and complimentary crib/rollaway beds.

(Photo: Aniesia Williams)

 

Children of guests are welcome in the children’s club area, and there’s also a fee-based childcare service. There are two pools (one for children), plus many on-site activities for families traveling with older kids/teens, too. Things like sailing, volleyball, windsurfing, surfing, snorkeling, bicycle rentals, and spa services!

You can island hop to a fort.

 

Les Saintes is the site of Fort Napoleon, where you can get unforgettable 360-degree scenic views. It’s educational but it’s also fascinating. The fort’s museum is dedicated to the art, culture, history, and natural beauty of the area. Don’t miss the botanical cactus garden (yes, cacti in the Caribbean!) or the roaming iguanas. Get an early start—the site has limited hours, just 9:00 am to 12:30 p m. Also, it’s a steep walk up from the ferry dock, but a short one—only about 15-20 minutes. You may want to pack a French-English dictionary, as many exhibit materials are in French. Guided tours are available in French, although self-guided ones are fine, too. Admission is roughly $ 4 for adults, $ 2.25 for children.

(Photo: Aniesia Williams)

 

Guadeloupe is the perfect family vacation—it’s close to home and there’s lots to do for everyone. It’s hard to see why anyone would pass up a trip to this tropical paradise.

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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13 Reasons Why Tied to Increase in Online Searches About Suicide: New Study

When Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why was released in March, some viewers felt that the show would raise awareness about depression and suicide. But, as some critics feared, the show may have had a more sinister effect on some of its viewers: the show led to a spike in people researching how to kill themselves, according to a new research paper.

The paper, published by JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday, looked at Google Trends data from the show’s release on March 31 through April 18. They found that after 13 Reasons Why debuted, suicide-related internet searches went up by 19 percent. Specifically, search terms for suicide awareness increased: searches for “suicide prevention” went up 23 percent and “suicide hotline number” rose 21 percent. These searches, overall, are good things.

Yet, there was also a rise in search terms that could lead to people harming themselves. Searches for “how to commit suicide” climbed by 26 percent, “how to kill yourself” by nine percent, and “commit suicide” by 18 percent. The paper does not go as far to link the show to actual suicides or attempts.

“The data shows that 13 Reasons Why isn’t fit for public health,” John Ayers, the lead researcher of the study, told Global News. “Even though it’s causing somewhat of an increase in suicide awareness and people seeking information on how to prevent suicide, we saw an increase in searches on how to commit suicide, literally, how to have a painless suicide.”

RELATED VIDEO: Selena Gomez Responds to 13 Reasons Why Controversy

 

Netflix faced intense criticism when they released 13 Reasons Why, which is based on a 2007 YA novel from author Jay Asher. It tells the story of Hannah Baker, a high school student who kills herself after she was viciously bullied. Baker leaves behind 13 cassette tapes that hold clues to the people who influenced her to end her life. Critics felt the show glamorized the act of suicide and would have a negative effect on impressionable viewers. The paper, it seems, prove that their fears were justified.

“One hundred percent it did more harm than good,” Ayers said. “It should be taken down.”

In June, a Peruvian man committed suicide and left behind recordings on his computer in a similar manner to what Baker does in the show. Netflix released a statement at the time that discussed how they would add another warning to the show’s first episode.

“There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series, 13 Reasons Why. While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting an important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories,” the statement read. “Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series.”

13 Reasons Why has been renewed for a second season.

If you or someone you know needs support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.


PEOPLE.com

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3 Reasons Why Everyone Should Have a Side Hustle

Should you dip your toes in entrepreneurial waters? Although it’s probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in your life, a side hustle or entrepreneurship may be the solution for three things most of us dread—being unemployed, broke, and in debt.

(Image: iStock/jezphotos)

 

K. Renee Ward, a former area sales manager turned marketing entrepreneur, recently wrote Straight Out of Corporate, a guide for someone who is ready create a game plan to make money at being their own boss.

Black Enterprise caught up with Ward to hear her insights on why everyone should have a business or side hustle.

(Image: File)

Everyone does not need to be a full-time entrepreneur, says Ward. But, everyone should definitely diversify their income sources. Here’s why:

-The climate in the job market is changing. Technology is rapidly replacing jobs and companies are coming up with innovative processes to replace the need for staff.

-No matter how you look at it, working for someone else caps your earnings; it is absolutely necessary to explore the opportunities to earn more as you climb the
corporate ladder.

-Owning your own successful business truly gives you an opportunity to build stable generational wealth. The way I see it, it’s a contribution to our African American communities.

So what now? Well, the good news is you don’t have to give up your day job to give entrepreneurship a try. BlackEnterprise.com has some actionable advice and tips for you to master the side hustle:

  1. Financial Advice for Side-Giggers
  2. Entrepreneurs, 9-5 and 6-10: Balancing Your Day Job with Your Night Hustle 
  3. 3 Tips From a Successful Side-Gigger
  4. Money Moves To Make Before You Quit Your Day Job
  5. 7 Secrets of a Side Hustler: How This Millennial Leads a $ 400 Million Project While Running Her Own Successful Business

Career – Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

3 Little-Known Reasons Why Real Estate Investing Seems So Hard

(Image: iStock/lewkmiller)

 

 

Many people are interested in real estate investing, but some a hesitant to take the leap because they assume it is just too hard to get into it. Here are three little-known reasons it seems more complex than it should be:

Here are three little-known reasons why real estate investing seems more complex than it should be:

 

1. Investments Are Not  ‘One-Size-Fits-All’

 

There are many different kinds of real estate investments. The question is, what do you want to do? Are you interested in flipping homes, owning rental properties, becoming a notes investor, or would you rather invest in tax liens, small apartments, large apartments, commercial real estate, commercial development, and so forth? This is strictly your decision.

For instance, I teach new investors rental property ownership that falls in the sub-$ 30,000 price range. I do this because it creates yearly assets that are able to produce income, creating long-term wealth. This also provides amazing tax benefits that you can’t get via most other forms of investing.

With so many options out there, I suggest doubling down and choosing one investment strategy that works for your budget and lifestyle. Each investment strategy comes with its own time frame, investment price, learning curve, tax benefits, and wealth generation profile.

 

2. Living in an Expensive Area Doesn’t Mean You Have to Put the Brakes on Your Real Estate Investing Goals

 

If you live in New York, Connecticut, California, Colorado, or another expensive area of the country, it’s recommended that $ 100 and $ 200 a door makes absolutely no sense, especially when the only property in that low price range might be a $ 240,000, one-bedroom condo. Why would you leverage yourself that much—taking on the responsibility of home ownership, its tenants, while simultaneously educating yourself on the complexities of eviction law—to make $ 200 a month in income? Even if it appreciates—which is highly unlikely—you could just as easily make that level of cash flow by doing a number of other side hustles that are far less complicated and time-consuming. There are a number of other markets worth investing in, so let’s find those!

 

3. Finding the Right Educator Makes a BIG Difference

 

There days, it’s hard to know who you can trust to give you accurate and relevant information. Do your research to find the right resources that can teach you the ins-and-outs of investing in this niche.

When I started teaching people how to make extra cash by investing in sub-30,000 rental properties in working class neighborhoods, I got a lot of pushback from real estate investing “veterans.” However, it quickly became apparent to me that many of the investors that advised against this strategy were not only clueless about how to navigate these neighborhoods, they had never even stepped foot in these places before. As the more affordable option for most folks, generating income by returning to the neighborhoods we grew up in makes this goldmine all the more appealing.

 

At the end of the day, this is a new financial skill-set that can be learned. Best of all, once you do learn the necessary skills and the overall investing process, it is simple to duplicate. You can go at it alone, or you can mitigate some of the risk step-by-step—it’s all up to you. However, we need to look at building long-term wealth. This is why it’s important to talk to the right people, who not only have a firm comprehension of real estate, but who also understands our language, needs, and our communities.

 

 

 


Lisa Phillips teaches new investors and full-time professionals how to invest in rental properties from $ 30,000 and up. To find out more about Phillips, click here. You may also follow her on Twitter via the handle @affordablerei.

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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5 Reasons to Stay at Miami Beach’s New Stanton Hotel

Miami Beach has long been known for sun, fun, and nightlife. And regular visitors are probably very familiar with the row of boutique hotels that line Ocean Drive in South Beach. Well, the former South Beach Marriott has gotten a makeover and a new name. It’s now the Marriott Stanton South Beach hotel and it’s an absolute gem for business and recreational travelers alike! Here are five reasons you should stay at the Stanton.

1. The hotel is still a beauty

This historic Marriott hotel has long welcomed guests seeking sunshine, shopping, and the seashore. Today’s visitors enjoy those same pleasures but in modernized guest rooms with upscale amenities and balconies with skyline or ocean views. The Marriott Stanton South Beach has more than 200 rooms available, including more than half a dozen suites. The clean lines and art deco styling are a nod to the hotel’s past while wall-mounted flat screen televisions, open floor plans, and luxurious bathrooms with premium fixtures meet contemporary expectations.

(Image: Courtesy of Marriott.com)
(Image Courtesy of Marriott.com)
(Image Courtesy of Marriott.com)

 

2. It’s close to on- and off-site activities

The Marriott Stanton South Beach didn’t just upgrade its guest rooms, it upgraded the entire hotel! Enjoy two oceanfront pools ringed with lounge chairs, umbrellas, and palm trees. Check out the view while relaxing in the high-rise lounge. Guests can use the on-site fitness center or sign up for a massage in the spa or in your guest room.

Off-property, start the day off with sunrise yoga, which is offered on a local beach within walking distance of the Stanton. Feeling adventurous? The Oleta River State Park on nearby Biscayne Bay offers kayaking. Or see the local sites on bikes you can rent directly from the hotel.

3. Enjoy local and international flavor

One of the best things about South Beach is the food. The Marriott Stanton South Beach offers guests several on-site dining options for every taste. Lolo’s Surf Cantina serves Mexican cuisine while the Deco Blue Restaurant and Bar serves American food. Feel like eating local but by the pool? Then you’ll want to order from The Spot, which will bring your meal to your beach chair. The hotel’s Japanese restaurant is scheduled to open this fall. And like any upscale hotel, room service is available.

(Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Image: Aniesia Williams)

 

4. It’s like living on the beach

One of the best things about Miami Beach is the beach! And guests of the Marriott Stanton South Beach can’t get much closer—the hotel is literally beachside. You can spend every day on the soft, white sand enjoying the surf and sunshine. Available beach services include cabanas, beach umbrellas, and beach chairs. Food and drink orders are taken all afternoon, so there’s no reason at all to leave “the perfect spot.”

5. You can’t beat its location

Right on Ocean Drive, South of Fifth (SoFi) is the place to be for art, music, and entertainment in South Beach. The Marriott Stanton South Beach is within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, art galleries, and even the Miami Beach Convention Center.

(Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Image: Aniesia Williams)
(Image: Aniesia Williams)

 

Whether you’re looking to fill your days with activities or simply relax and enjoy the warm, sunny weather, the Marriott Stanton South Beach hotel is ideally located less than 30 minutes away from Miami International Airport, and has something for everyone. See you in Miami!

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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Add This to the Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Worrying About Money

worrying about money

Pregnant women already have plenty of anxieties to keep them up at night: how will the delivery go, will they be a good mother. But new research is showing that they’re also worrying about money—and that it’s having an adverse effect on their baby’s health.

worrying about money Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that pregnant women who were stressed about finances were more likely to deliver babies of low birth weight

 

The study, which tracked 138 racially diverse women over the course of two years, found a correlation between stressing out when you’re expecting and delivering a baby with a lower birth weight.

Low birth weight, defined as below 5 pounds and 8 ounces, often results in health problems and can lead to weeks spent in intensive care post-delivery. It’s also been linked to health issues later in life, such as respiratory and digestive problems and a higher risk for heart disease and obesity.

“To gauge their level of financial strain, we asked pregnant women questions about how difficult it would be to live on their annual household income in the coming weeks,” said Amanda Mitchell, lead author of the study and researcher at the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in a press release. “We found that the more stress a woman reported, the greater the likelihood that she would have a baby of low birth weight.”

Some of the financial-related stress included concerns about working after the baby was born, the costs of healthcare and housing, and what overall effect the baby would have on their standard of living.

The study also showed that having more money didn’t equal worrying about money less. “We found that high stress levels were present across all income levels,” said Lisa Christian, principal investigator of the study, in a press release. “It wasn’t just how much money someone had available that was driving this effect. It was actually the perception of her ability to meet her expenses.”

The study’s authors suggest that pregnant women seek help to deal with their stress, or try stress-reduction techniques such as meditation.

But they also stress—pun intended—the value of financial planning when it comes to quieting your money worries.  “There is no reason to worry about things that are out of your control,” Christian said. “Instead, prepare for what you can change and create a financial plan.

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

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The Real Reasons Why Marriages Fail — And How To Not Let Yours Suffer The Same Fate

The best way to make sure your marriage is a success story is to know the key things that can cause a marriage to fail, then put in the time and effort to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
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The Real Reasons Why Marriages Fail — And How To Not Let Yours Suffer The Same Fate

For BRIDES, by Jaimie Mackey.

You’re going into your marriage with your heart in the right place — because you’re in love and want to spend your lives together! — but even as the divorce rate drops, not every marriage is destined for success. However, yours doesn’t have to be one of the ones that fail! Our experts are here to break down four reasons marriages might not succeed and share some tips to keep yours strong.

The best way to make sure your marriage is a success story is to know the key things that can cause a marriage to fail, then put in the time and effort to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Dating strategist Jasmine Diaz shares four essential parts of any relationship that can lead to divorce if not addressed.

Lack of Communication

“Many couples either don’t know how to communicate their feelings effectively enough for their partner to understand and receive what they’re saying or simply don’t communicate at all,” says Diaz. “It may sound clichéd, but communication is the foundation of every relationship. How can you expect your partner to make positive changes for the betterment of your relationship if he or she doesn’t know changes are needed?” Remember, your husband or wife is not a mind reader!

See More: The 50 Most Beautiful Wedding Cakes Ever

If communication is not your specialty, set aside a time once a week for a real catch-up session. “Spend this time talking about your week and any issues you might be having. Instead of making it awkward or confrontational, order a pizza and turn it into a lighthearted discussion,” Diaz suggests. By talking regularly, you’ll avoid getting to the point where the wheels are falling off and it’s too late for candid conversations to help. “It’s better to schedule regular check-ups to ward off more serious issues. Why wait until you’re in critical condition?” asks Diaz.

Lack of Care

Every relationship reaches a point when the white gloves come off and the comfort sets in. Comfort has its upsides, but the problems arise when that comfort turns into consideration going out the window. “Being considerate means caring for your partner’s feelings, showing your partner that you love and value them, and being their champion,” says Diaz. “Marriages tend to fail when one partner (or both) stops caring for the other, when the friendship you once had is replaced with anger and resentment. This causes you to stop seeing the things you love about your partner, replacing them with the things you hate.”

Avoid this lack of consideration and care by pouring healthy energy into your relationship. “Don’t go weeks or months without a date night,” Diaz advises. “Schedule a few dates per month to keep your feelings fresh. Tend to your relationship with a healthy dose of love and attention.”

Lack of Commitment

“They say that anything worthwhile takes hard work, and the same is true for marriage,” says Diaz. “But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like confrontation or gives up easily, you may find yourself divorced more quickly than you realize.” She emphasizes recognizing if you’re not ready to talk about a problem yet — but never acting as though the problem doesn’t exist. “Being in a healthy relationship takes a certain level of availability, and you have to be willing to stick it out when the going gets rough, because it will. Be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually present in your relationship and for your partner. Listen even when you don’t agree, and make a conscious decision to put in the work.” If you make divorce an option for dealing with tough situations, it will become a default opt-out. “Instead, say to your partner, ‘I want to fix this.’ You’ll be surprised by the solutions that will come out of it!”

See More: The Unexpected Thing That Saved the Marriages of These Real Couples

Lack of Intimacy

Intimacy, by definition, is about closeness and togetherness. But for some couples, relationship problems can become a barrier to entry. “The closeness you felt in the early stages of your relationship can be replaced with different emotions, and that once-free-flowing sex life can be diminished from once a day to once a month to never,” says Diaz.

“It’s easy to look at sex and try to find a simple solution — for some this means more sex — but that treats the symptoms and may not treat the actual problem if there’s a breakdown of intimacy,” Diaz explains. “Combat it by creating more opportunities for intimate moments. Light candles and play romantic music while you’re cooking at home. Enhance the things you already do together, and dedicate yourself to being present. Forget technology and consider only your partner, giving yourselves the opportunity to create intimacy.”

More From BRIDES:

How To Find The Perfect Wedding Dress For Your Body Type

The 61 Best Celebrity Engagement Rings

The 50 Best Places to Get Married in America

The 12 Top Spring Wedding Dress Trends from the Runway

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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What ’13 Reasons Why’ Gets Right And Wrong About Rape

This post contains some spoilers for Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.”

Last week, the author of the YA-tear jerker 13 Reasons Why addressed one of the most controversial aspects of his book and the new Netflix show that it inspired: the raw depictions of rape and sexual assault. 

Published in 2007, Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why tells the story of Hannah Baker, a teenaged girl who commits suicide, leaving behind 13 cassette tapes which explain the motives behind her death. The TV adaptation, which debuted on Netflix on March 31, recreates rape and suicide scenes from the book in disturbing, graphic detail.

This choice once again begs the question that comes up whenever we talk about rape on TV: Is it necessary? Or is it simply gratuitous? 

“It’s uncomfortable, but that’s OK. It needs to be,” Asher told Buzzfeed News on April 7.

Asher acknowledged that some people have said that scenes are “too graphic,” but argued that rape shouldn’t be something that the viewer “can look away from.”

“You have to be uncomfortable when you’re watching it; otherwise you’re not in her mind,” the author explained. “In a way, it’s disrespectful if we say, ‘We know this stuff is happening, but we don’t want to be made uncomfortable by it.’”

The two episodes (9 and 12) where scenes of rape are shown come with trigger warnings, a rarity in the world of movies and television, where sexual violence is so often filmed through the male gaze. From movies like “Psycho” to shows like “Game of Thrones,” scenes of sexual violence are often shot from the offender’s point of view, with tantalizing and lingering shots of a woman’s body as it is violated.

To its credit, “13 Reasons Why” avoids this trope. In the scenes, the victims are mostly clothed, and the atmosphere is anything but tantalizing ― though that doesn’t make the scenes any less disturbing. In some ways, it makes them more so.

The show must also be commended for depicting the blurry gray area of “consent” ― in one of the rape scenes, the victim does not say “no,” and yet the horror of what happens to her is in no way ambiguous. Later, a high school counselor questions whether she protested the assault, once again emphasizing our shoddy definition of what does and doesn’t constitute consent. 

And yet, there’s a trend of men defending graphic rape scenes for the sake of “authenticity” that Asher is most definitely following. We’ve seen it most recently with shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld” and “Poldark.” So often, the defense of these depictions is that what we’re seeing as viewers technically isn’t really rape (as in the case of Cersei Lannister’s assault in season 4 of “GoT”), or that the writers and showrunners are trying to force the audience to confront rape, to manufacture empathy by placing the viewer viscerally in the victim’s shoes.  

But awareness and empathy ― especially empathy for female characters ―shouldn’t require the audience to see a woman being assaulted. And often, these types of plotlines are little more than lazy storytelling. After all, there are ways to bring awareness to rape and sexual assault, and to call out the ills of rape culture and victim-blaming, without normalizing depictions of sexual violence against women. 

This isn’t to entirely denounce “13 Reasons Why” or other shows that depict rape and abuse. There are similar themes of rape and violence in “Big Little Lies.” But where that show differs from “13 Reasons Why” is that it is focused entirely on the perspective of the women who are abused. Yes, “13 Reasons Why” features Hannah telling her story posthumously, but it also spends a great deal of time dealing with the guilt and man-pain of the Gary Stu-like main character Clay (who ― spoiler! ― contributed to her suicide by being too good for her).

“13 Reasons Why” shouldn’t be discounted because of its more graphic scenes. But, in light of Asher’s defense and the defense of so many other men who tell stories about women who are assaulted, we still need to ask some hard questions: What does it mean if we can only connect with the pain of rape victims by watching that pain played out so? What do these scenes achieve that couldn’t be achieved with their absence? And why are men so often the gatekeepers of these stories? 

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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In Netflix’s Powerful 13 Reasons Why, an Intimating Teen Spirit Rattles the Living

Based on Jay Asher’s novel about a high school rocked by a girl’s suicide, Netflix’s 13-hour, binge-ready 13 Reasons Why is a breakthrough in YA storytelling.

The message may not strike you as radically new — adolescence isn’t so much a phase of life as it is a fissure that swallows us up between childhood and adulthood — but Reasons is more fluidly immersive than such TV classics as Veronica Mars, and it avoids the morbid romanticism of films like The Fault in Our Stars.

 

If anything, 13 Reasons — which includes Selena Gomez among its executive producers — is closer to a kids’ version of HBO’s superb feminist mystery-melodrama Big Little Lies. 

Hannah (Katherine Langford) has left behind tapes revealing what drove her to take her life. Flipping between the past and the present, in which classmate Clay (Dylan Minnette) puzzles out the truth, Reason tackles big issues — bullying, sexism, body-shaming, rape — and reminds us that, to a teen, nothing is trivial: Every flap of a butterfly’s wings can start a hurricane.

Hannah’s death (depicted with a startling, stinging realism) creates a wide web that connects not only friends, frenemies and enemies, but parents and teachers and — approaching through the shadows like spiders who know best how to tie it all up — teams of lawyers.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s voice, from beyond the grave, taunts, accuses and, very rarely, absolves: “Maybe you did something cruel. Or maybe you just watched it happen. Maybe you didn’t even realize you were being cruel. Maybe you didn’t do anything at all—and maybe you should have.”

“Too late.”

13 Reasons Why begins streaming Friday on Netflix.


PEOPLE.com

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6 Reasons Why Having Lots of Sex Is Good for You

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This Lady Gaga Parody Gives A ‘Million Reasons’ Why 2016 Really Sucked

The Cubs won the World Series. Harriet Tubman will take Andrew Jackson’s place on the $ 20 bill … Ken Bone? 

For sketch group Half Day Today, there are millions of reasons to walk away from 2016, and very few that would make us stay.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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A Few Very Good Reasons Not to Warm Your Car Up in the Cold

Getting into a cold car can be brutal, but the sacrifice may save your engine in the long run.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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3 Reasons Why Cucumber Is Your Skin’s New Best Friend

beauty benefits of cucumber
Photo: Getty Images

Cucumber has a way of making the simplest things better, like a cold glass of water or a sushi roll. But did you know that this produce section staple can also dramatically transform your skin’s health and appearance?

According to dermatologist and psychiatrist Amy Wechsler, cucumber has skincare benefits including vitamin C and caffeic acid, which both fight to reduce inflamed or irritated skin, and hydration thanks to its high water content. The peel itself contains silica, which firms up sagging skin. Wechsler believes even people with the most sensitive skin types can use cucumber to their advantage.

Below are three ways the dermatologist recommends remedying your skin with cucumbers.

1. Calm puffy eyes. For an instant fix, place cool cucumber slices over your eye socket. They will act like little ice packs to relieve puffy lids. “Cucumbers contain flavonoids and antioxidants that decrease swelling, redness and irritation,” said Wechsler. “They also provide a cooling effect that helps shrink dilated blood vessels, therefore reducing the appearance of puffy eyes.”

2. Treat sunburn and irritated skin. The effects of too much sun can get real painful, especially on the butterfly region of the face (forehead, nose, cheeks and chin). Cucumbers are loaded with lots of nutrients like water, potassium, sulfate and vitamins A and C that soothe skin conditions like sunburns, according to Wechsler. Simply place thin slices of cucumber onto your face and lie down for at least 15 minutes. Then remove the slices and apply a light moisturizer.

3. Use as an anti-aging facial mask. Wechsler’s DIY mask calls for half a cucumber, barely puréed, and two tablespoons of plain yogurt. Whip into a thick mixture, apply to your skin and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before cleansing with warm water. “Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that, when applied to skin, help fend off wrinkles, sun damage and more,” said Wechsler. “Yogurt is an exfoliating agent that works to remove dirt and dead skin cells. When combined with cucumber, which has cleansing properties, it is the perfect hydrating, soothing blend for your skin.”

How do you incorporate cucumbers into your skincare regimen? Tell us in the comments section.


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Everyone Is Mad at Beyoncé, But for the Wrong Reasons

Mondays tend to be disorienting enough. But the events that transpired in the pop culture sphere this week set a particularly confusing tone to the day, forcing innocent consumers to question their loyalties and even, shockingly, suspect that the media may in fact not have the purest of intentions.

The action actually began on Sunday, when an unlikely source fiercely declared herself as a feminist, taking to social media to unleash an impassioned essay regarding the media’s dehumanizing depiction of women as mere arm candy accessorizing the appendages of successful men. “I… do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you,” she wrote, chastising media outlets for perpetuating stale double standards and explicit misogyny. She name-dropped the likes of Gloria Steinem, called out the injustice of female slut-shaming and beseeched young women to recognize their truth worth and inherent value.

Ariana Grande: badass feminist.

Color me old (it’s cool, I am, what with being over 30and all that), but I am not intimately familiar with the nuances of Grande’s public persona. Perhaps she’s long been hailed a feminist icon, and I’ve simply been in the dark, but her essay felt groundbreaking, if not a little shocking (in the best way possible) when it came across my feed yesterday morning. In the context of famous young women continuously denying their right (obligation?) to identify as feminists, Grande stood up loud and proud and sent an incredibly important message to her young, impressionable fans, and to women all around the world: the media is fucked up, and you deserve better.

With the unexpected arrival of this declaration, things started out well on Monday. But quickly took a turn. It was early yet — just after 8 a.m. — and the day was filled with so much promise. But then Beyoncé appeared on my television screen and spent the next several minutes extolling the benefits of a vegan diet. Not the health benefits or the environmental payoff, however. No, Beyoncé really just wanted viewers to know that veganism is how she triumphed over her body, achieving that fit, trim figure admired the world over, and that we can follow in her dainty footsteps — all for the price of one best-selling diet book.

That’s right, just as Ariana Grande — pop princess, wearer of cat ears — revealed herself to the world as a strong, self-possessed female standing up for the empowerment of other women and girls, Beyoncé — fierce, outspoken feminist, champion of equality — told us her secret to flatter abs.

It was a confusing day, indeed.

I experience an overwhelming, almost visceral sense of uneasiness when I morally disagree on any issue with Beyoncé. I’m a superfan. I worship at her altar. I drink the Bey Kool-Aid. And she’s given me good reason to do so: Besides being a mind-blowing performer and entertainer, she’s an activist, arguably doing more to further the conversation on equality than any celebrity with her expansive influence. She drops speeches on feminism from Nigerian writer Chimamamda Ngozi Adichie smack dab in the middle of radio-friendly tracks. She performs proudly on MTV in front of a towering backdrop boldly emblazoned with the word “FEMINIST.” She’s dominated a notoriously male-run industry, successfully standing atop her own empire and supporting women every step of the way.

So when she has a slip-up, I wince a little.

And I wasn’t alone yesterday. I was heartened to log into Facebook and see a trending news story regarding the outrage Beyoncé fans were expressing over her morning announcement. I felt validated to know that others stood up and took notice, calling out the hypocrisy and degradation of this impossibly strong female role model taking to the airwaves to shill out a diet book.

But I quickly learned the legions of angry Beyhive members weren’t up in arms over the decidedly disempowering move. They were pissed because they expected a bigger announcement.

In fairness, the irritation is understandable.”Good Morning America” teased the three-minutes-and-change segment as if the singer were about to unveil a new album, tour, baby, documentary series and cure for cancer, all in one breath. The endorsement of a diet book she’d already publicly supported for months felt underwhelming to some, and insulting to many.

But I have yet to see any ire over the endorsement itself. The fact that a woman who has stood for so much more substance has stooped to plugging diet advice. A woman who has taken on society’s soul-crushing, oppressive beauty ideals in her song “Pretty Hurts,” is advocating veganism as a vehicle for sustained weight loss. A woman with over 35 million Instagram followers and sold-out stadiums worth of male and female fans is using her platform to sheepishly confess, “I am not naturally the thinnest,” on national television and that she’s finally found a food plan that “keeps the weight off.”

This isn’t the Beyoncé I know, love and admire, and the stumble is hard to stomach. It would be a flat-out lie to deny the fact that much of her fame has undoubtedly been influenced by her iconic body. But the agency Beyoncé took in displaying, flaunting, concealing and using her body onstage and onscreen differentiated her from other female performers who have seemingly been positioned as scantily-clad puppets selling iTunes singles. Beyoncé owned her body in a way that felt powerful. And surrendering that power in order to promote a diet book doesn’t feel relatable or real; it feels weak.

I’m grateful for the empowering messages Beyoncé and women like her have fearlessly put forward in the name of feminism. And I’m happily surprised to find that others in the public eye like Grande are opting to own their feminist convictions and unapologetically stand for something more than their looks, weight, or carefully-contoured faces. I just hope Beyoncé doesn’t continue to disappoint — the world is confusing enough.

This article originally appeared on the author’s website: www.michellekmedia.com. Follow Michelle on Twitter @michellekmedia.

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9 Reasons No One Will Miss Sepp Blatter When He’s Gone

Longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter voluntarily resigned on Tuesday after nearly two decades at the helm of perhaps the world’s most important sports organization.

But while everyone is focusing on the overwhelming evidence of corruption within the organization, we just couldn’t let Blatter drift into obscurity without first recounting his many shortcomings throughout the years.

He suggested female athletes “play in more feminine clothes.”

In 2004, he offered a suggestion to boost the popularity of women’s soccer: “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts.” More than a decade later, the women’s game is doing just fine without his knucklehead advice.

He noted women should talk as much at work as they do at home.

In 2013, he tipped the sexism meter to idiotic while boasting that three women out of 24 members then served on the executive committee. “We now have three ladies on the board,” he said. “Say something, ladies! You are always speaking at home. Now you can speak here.”

He said gay people shouldn’t have sex at the World Cup.

He’s stuck his foot in his mouth on other issues as well, like gay rights. After Qatar was awarded the World Cup for 2022, Blatter had this tip for gay fans visiting the country, knowing Qatar’s strict laws against homosexuality: “I’d say they should refrain from any sexual activities.”

He implied that Africans are less honest than Europeans.

Some might say he was racist, too: In 2006, he told an Italian newspaper that reported match-fixing in Italy’s soccer league would tarnish the game’s image. “I could understand it if it had happened in Africa,” he said, “but not in Italy.”

He said a simple handshake could cure racism.

Yet this is the same man who told CNN that racism in soccer could be cured with a handshake. Oh, wait, that was at the same time he said racism wasn’t a problem on the field at all. “There is no racism. There is maybe one of the players towards another — he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one.”

At the very least, he showed cluelessness.

While many believe the investigation into bribery, fraud and racketeering will eventually hit Blatter directly, we can perhaps all agree that he wasn’t running a tightest of ships.

In 2011, FIFA opened an investigation into its own organization. Surprise: it absolved Blatter of wrongdoing while conceding that he did have poor oversight in a bribery matter. The ethics committee didn’t make the 430-page report public, issuing a 42-page “executive summary” in 2014 instead.

He dismissed words to the wise.

He apparently wasn’t much of an advice-taker, either. In 2011, Blatter’s own commission of an independent study into reform at FIFA resulted in the recommendation that he have a system for “disclosing cash payments to officials.” According to the Wall Street Journal, he ignored it.

He said Russia’s World Cup could help peace.

Blatter seems to have a skewed view of diplomacy as well. He said in March that Russia hosting the World Cup in 2018 would stabilize the region. Right, ’cause the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi worked so well to bring peace to Ukraine.

He didn’t know a soccer star when he saw one.

The exiting soccer chief could be pretty oblivious too. U.S. national team star Alex Morgan said Blatter didn’t even recognize her at a 2013 banquet to award the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. Morgan was one of the finalists. “Sepp Blatter didn’t know who I was,” she said. “That was pretty shocking.”

Soon enough, he won’t be your problem anymore, Alex. Oh, how the mighty has fallen.

blatter

Sepp Blatter tumbles off a stage in 2010.

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9 Reasons Your Mom, Our Mom, Everyone’s Mom Is A F–king Saint

Yes, it’s another “Reasons” list, but OMG it’s your own mother, for crying out loud.

Listen, if we knew what our mothers went through having us and raising us, we might opt to have not been born at all, or at least would nominate her for sainthood. Because your mom is a f–king saint. I mean, think about how much of a pain you are as an adult. Now imagine that as a child. Jeesh.

Take the time to peruse this list, and then call your mom and apologize. For everything.

Have you seen yourself eat?
Good lord, it’s like getting too close to a wood chipper. And food is expensive as hell. But your mom did her darndest to get it to the table for you everyday.

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Do you have any idea how much it cost to clothe you?
And you threw those nice clothes on the floor and wore what you wanted.

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Getting you through school was a pain in the a–.
But they found a way to get you there, and the first day of school after the summer was a well-deserved break for her.

Have a great school year parents!



But her breaks didn’t last long. Holy sh-t, do you remember teenage you?
Enough said.

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And do you listen to anyone nowadays? Imagine yourself as a snot-nosed kid.
Like when your mom asked you to mow the lawn?

This is what happens when you ask your teenage boys to rake the leaves and mow the lawn.



Smell your laundry once, and get back to us.
Exactly.

My friend sent me this saying that he discovered a new way to do his laundry. He has achieved true bachelor status.



She balanced her own awesomeness with the goal of making your life more awesome.
Skills that pay the bills.

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Your mom gave up dreams and freedoms for you.
She wanted to be a photographer, but instead settled for your poorly composed crayon drawings hanging up around her house. That was a pretty sweet horse though. At least she said it was.

a drawing i did when i was around 7



Finally, your mom loves you despite the fact that you are you.
This can’t be stressed enough: you are a deeply flawed individual — we all are. And your mother loves you regardless of that, without condition, always helping to push you to that next level. Sometimes literally.

View post on imgur.com

CALL POPE FRANCIS AND THEN COMMISSION A STATUE OF THIS WOMAN IMMEDIATELY.

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7 Reasons She Will Lock You Out of Her Heart

I frequently hear about the walls women have put up these days when it comes to men. Women, as a whole, are more skeptical of men’s intentions. They are generally more unapproachable. They are — let’s face it — suspicious of men.

But there is another harsh reality we need to discuss when speaking about these issues: There is good reason for it. Women have not become more jaded or discouraged over time without a cause.

Women would not feel let down by men if men were not letting them down. They would not feel disappointed by men if men were not disappointing them. They would not feel like they need to pick up the slack if men were not leaving it behind.

While this may sting for the guys to read, real-life experiences speak for themselves.

So, what are the things men are doing that cause women to lock them out of their hearts?

1. You bring up sex too early on.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I think if two consenting adults are enjoying each other’s company and both choose to spend the night together, then that is fantastic! No judgment passed.

But too often it is initiated without really gauging a woman’s interest and the brake