Bilbao baggings: the ultimate picnic road trip

It’s no surprise that a region with so many Michelin-starred restaurants is also home to world-class food producers. Time to fill up the picnic basket for a Basque country food odyssey

Price aside, eating at a one of the Basque country’s many Michelin-starred restaurants and sitting on a sea wall with a picnic have more in common than you’d imagine. The region’s greatest chefs – including Eneko Atxa, Elena Arzak, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, and Victor Arguinzoniz of Asador Etxebarri – all say the fertile land and seas, fresh produce, independent artisans (cheesemakers, winemakers, bakers), plus a culture with food at its heart, make for a transcendent gastronomic experience. It’s this holistic convergence that made Bilbao the destination of choice for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants event this summer.

You’ll remember a meal in one of the Basque country’s restaurants for a lifetime. But visit the region’s artisan producers yourself and you’ll get the ultimate picnic – and a lot more euros left in your pocket. I set off on my epicurean treasure hunt from Bilbao, visiting shops, food producers, and wine and beer makers, to enjoy the tastiest treats and finest drink in the most scenic picnic locations.

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Travel | The Guardian

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‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’ feels like it could be the ultimate evolution of the franchise

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

When Ubisoft announced that it would be returning to the Assassin’s Creed franchise just a year after Origins came out, I was initially skeptical. Origins succeeded in part because Ubisoft took the time to truly evolve the gameplay for the first time in a decade, but Odyssey, its follow-up, appeared to be little more than a reskin of Origins.

After playing through four hours of the game last week, I am happy to report that my assumptions were incorrect, and while Odyssey may have been built on the same foundation as Origins, the changes are enough to truly differentiate it, and it succeeds in pushing the franchise forward in countless ways both big and small.

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‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’ feels like it could be the ultimate evolution of the franchise originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 10 Sep 2018 at 12:00:14 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Ultimate Bathroom Design Challenge: Vote for a Chance to Win!

The Challenge: We asked two designers to create a dream bathroom featuring stunning tile selections from Fifth and Fir and trendy lighting selections from Union Lighting & Furnishings. Vote for your favorite today for a chance to win a $ 500 gift certificate from Union Lighting & Furnishings!

Kim’s Sophisticated Bathroom Design Board

My ideal bathroom is an oasis of serene sophistication anchored by a showpiece double vanity in glossy black. The quiet gray walls, a bold aloe triptych and timeless jute baskets lend a calming natural touch to the urban cool of the black and white palette. The lattice theme of the natural stone flooring by Fifth and Fir is echoed by a cubist-inspired aged iron chandelier centered over the luxurious lines of the deep white soaker tub. – Click here for more information and sources.

Karla’s Dramatic Bathroom Design Board

This bathroom is fresh and textural with hints of playfulness. You can recreate this look by choosing a graphic, bold tile and highlighting it in one area (like the floor or wall) then choosing softer textural elements such as wood and light colored stone. Remember that lighting really is the jewelry of the space and a hint of black sprinkled in always grounds the room. – Click here for more information and sources.

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How Leading Contractors Deliver the Ultimate Customer Service Experience

A great company is about more than financial success. Customer experiences can make or break your business. A number of factors go into creating a positive customer experience: communication, great listening skills, perks, and more. If your customers love the product and service you deliver, your business will flourish, but if they don’t, it can mean fewer referrals and a bad reputation. Here are a few of the ways that leading contractors deliver the ultimate customer service experience to their clients.

Meet With Contractor

Constant communication

One of the easiest ways to keep your customers happy is by keeping the lines of communication open at all times. Communication is essential in any business, and clients who feel like their contractors listen to them will feel that you really care about their opinions, concerns, and concerns. This can and should be done through a variety of mediums, including telephone conversations, emails, social media updates, and of course face-to-face meetings. Just make sure to keep the lines between work and home life clear: after all, you can only provide the best customer service with a work/life balance that suits you and keeps you rested and refreshed.

Positive attitude

Home improvement projects can be unpredictable: maintaining a positive attitude even when circumstances (or clients) are tricky is important if you want to keep your customers happy. Try to look on the bright side, seeing the silver lining in everything. Your training as a customer service professional will help you to help your clients see things this way, too. How can you do this in your day-to-day business life? Be a problem solver by acting proactively rather than reactively and anticipate issues that may come up in a building project, knowing how you will go about solving them if and when they do arise.

Honesty

If for some reason a particular project does come across a bumpy road, it’s important that you tell your clients straight away. Hiding smaller problems may sound like an easy way to deal with a situation initially, but failure to reveal all the information could be disastrous if things worsen in the long run. We think honesty is always the best policy, so try to stay up front, open, and transparent about everything you do—including project issues, prices, availability of materials, and timelines. Trust goes a long way with customers, so getting this part of the client/professional relationship right is key if you want to deliver great customer service.

Dedication to quality services

If you love your brand, you will do everything in your power to make it succeed. Following your brand guidelines and ethos will not be lost on your clients; for example, if you say your brand specializes in eco-friendly builds, you can and should practice what you preach in every build. Clients will choose you because of the services you provide, so sticking to your guns will help your brand grow stronger and give customers another reason to love your work and remain loyal.

Employee morale

Contrary to popular belief, great customer service is about more than just pleasing customers. If you own your own construction business and employ subcontractors, architects, and other specialist builders, their happiness and satisfaction should be just as high a priority as that of your clients. Happy employees equal great craftsmanship and professionalism, so their attitudes will filter down through their work to your clients—and they will know whether or not your employees are happy in their jobs.

Perks and loyalty schemes

While loyal customers will stay by your side through thick and thin, a few treats every now and then never hurt anyone. In fact, introducing occasional perks and incentives to both new and existing clients will keep everyone happy. Similarly, loyalty and refer-a-friend schemes can bring in new business and further solidify the bond you have with regular customers. Try several different kinds of recurring offers and one-off promotions to keep customers pleasantly surprised and on their toes.

Satisfaction guarantee

While every contractor strives for perfection, the fact of the matter is that sometimes things don’t go to plan. If, for whatever reason, your customers aren’t 100% happy with the work you’ve done for them, they should have a right to say so. Of course, satisfaction guarantees can make a small financial dent when things go wrong, but having a policy in place from the get-go will make customers feel like they’re in control of their projects. An added bonus to this kind of policy is that it will look great on your marketing materials and draw in new clients.

The post How Leading Contractors Deliver the Ultimate Customer Service Experience appeared first on Modernize.

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32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final

For many football fans, an England-France World Cup final would have been a dream. After all, those two countries clashed the Hundred Years’ War. A ten-decade-long spat, plus a smattering of other conflicts across the ages, tends to sizzle up a soccer rivalry.

Croatia, however, had other ideas. And that’s just fine. The Blazers rallied to beat England in the semifinal, 2-1, with Mario Mandzukic scoring the deciding goal in extra time. After Mandzukic’s strike, the Croatian players trampled photographer Yuri Cortez while celebrating. Cortez, to his everlasting credit, kept snapping his camera at the bottom of the dogpile. (He got some wonderful shots.) After the Croatian players realized they almost crushed a working photographer, a few patted him on the shoulder, or made sure he was okay. One kissed him.

So Croatia’s got some underdog charm. With a population of 4.1 million — about the same as Oregon — Croatia is the second-least populated country to ever reach the World Cup final. Only Uruguay, which won the titles in 1930 and 1950, has fewer people. Croatia entered the tournament a 33-1 longshot to win the whole thing. It’s still a relatively young nation, having declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and fought through the Balkans conflicts in the 1990s, during which thousands of Croatians were killed.

“Like many countries which had to win independence the hard way, we are proud,” says Pjer Šimunović, Croatia’s ambassador to the United States.

That pride’s now causing earthquakes. Seismic instruments in Zagreb picked up tremors after Mandzukic scored his goal, and after the ref blew the final whistle to end the game. A World Cup win could break the Richter scale. “Everybody in the world will certainly now know more about that small country which was able to go that far,” says Šimunović. “This is immeasurably important.”

But France, the betting favorite at -220 (risk $ 220 to win $ 100), would love to crush Croatia’s dreams. The World Cup final airs on Sunday, at 11 a.m. eastern time, on Fox. Here’s your handy guide to the big game.

Rainbow 2.0

France won its only World Cup 20 years ago, when it hosted the most popular sporting event on the globe. That multicultural squad, known as the “Rainbow Team,” was composed of players with roots in North Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, Armenia and the Basque country. Many people in France expected the victory to win widespread support for immigrant communities. They also expected France to win more World Cups.

Neither, to this point, has happened. Two decades later, far-right populism has caught fire across Europe; in France and elsewhere, a number of politicians have taken anti-immigrant stances. On the pitch, France failed to advance to the knockout stage at the 2002 World Cup; four years later, Les Blues reached the final against Italy, but Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt of Italy’s Marco Materazzi in that game overshadowed the accomplishment. Italy took the penalty shootout.

France’s 2010 World Cup effort was disastrous. French striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for cursing at his coach: the players boycotted a day of training, a top official resigned in disgust, and France failed to win a game. Les Blues reached the quarterfinals in Brazil four years later, and as host county of the 2016 Euros, made it to the final before losing to Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

So France will try to take care of unfinished business. Like the ’98 Rainbow Team, the 2018 incarnation of Les Blues is incredibly diverse: 17 of the 23 players on the roster are sons of first-generation immigrants. Win or lose, dreams of a more unified France will flourish once again.

Croatia 101

Croatians have made their mark on American culture. The late Drazen Petrovic and Toni Kukoc exported their basketball talents to the NBA back in the 1990s; now, Dario Saric (Philadephia 76ers) and Bojan Bogdanovic (Indiana Pacers) are solid pros. Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic produced two bronze statues depicting mounted Native American warriors; installed in 1928, they flank the Congress Plaza entrance to Chicago’s Grant Park. Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon, in 2001. Before he lost his belt to Daniel Cormier last weekend, Stipe Miocic — an American who’s the son of Croatian immigrants — was the UFC heavyweight champ. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, some 400,000 Croatian-Americans live in the U.S. Game of Thrones is filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Star Wars: The Last Jedi also shot scenes in the city.

Still, before this World Cup, Croatia wasn’t exactly top of mind for most Americans. “Most people know of it here,” says Indiana University visiting lecturer Teuta Ismaili, who teaches Croatian at the school. “But they think the war is still going on.”

So what should you know about Croatia? First, the country’s home to some of the world’s most scenic beaches and islands, along the Adriatic coast. Travel and tourism accounts for about a quarter of Croatia’s GDP, which is well above the 10.3% average for the European Union. If you want to drink like a Croatian at your World Cup viewing party, serve Rakija, a 40% alcohol-by-volume spirit. And be sure to make some Burek, layers of dough filled with cheese.

The World Cup’s psychic lift has arrived at an opportune time. Since Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, net migration from the country has averaged around 17,000 people. Youth unemployment remains high, at 33%. Croatia came out of a six-year recession in 2015, but economic growth remains slow.

“This is the best thing the could happen right now to Croatia,” says Ismaili. “Family and friends back home say the atmosphere is positive. People were mad at the politicians, mad about the economy. But they’re finally having that feeling of ‘wow, we are important again. We really mean something.’ We really need that right now.”

Mbappé Mania

French forward Kylian Mbappé, 19, is the breakout star of this World Cup. Against Argentina in the Round of 16, Mbappé — the son of a Cameroonian father and Algerian mother — became the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score two goals in a single World Cup match. Versus Belgium in the semis, Mbappé delivered a magical pass off his back heel to Olivier Giroud; Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blocked the shot, but that didn’t stop the internet from losing its mind.

Both Neymar, the Brazilian star, and Mbappé joined French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last summer for ungodly sums of money. PSG paid Barcelona a $ 263 million transfer fee for Neymar, and agreed to pay him $ 53 million a year, for five years. PSG got Mbappé from Monaco for about $ 200 million. For years, Neymar has positioned himself as the world’s undisputed best player, should Ronaldo and Lionel Messi ever decline or step aside. But during this World Cup, Neymar’s histrionics stood out more than his play. Given Mbappe’s speed, skill, and maturity, he may be a rightful heir.

“If I were a big soccer club with all the money in the world, and I could sign one player,” says former Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, an ESPN analyst, “it would be Mbappé.”

Modric Magic

On the Croatian side, Luca Modric — a midfielder for Real Madrid — is the player to watch. “He’s cool and calm on the ball, and one of the best passers in the world,” says Hislop. “You can’t pressure him into making a mistake.” He can also shoot from distance, with unexpected power. Modric, 32, does not cut an imposing figure. You can picture playing against him in your Thursday night men’s league. “If you breathe on him too strong, you can imagine flying out of the stadium,” says Hislop. “But he’s the complete package, deceptively packaged.”

Odd side note: Modric is facing perjury charges in Croatia, in connection with testimony he gave in a financial fraud case against a former soccer executive. If found guilty, Modric could face up to five years in prison. So any victory celebration might not last too long.

And The Winner Is …

“I like France to win it,” says Hislop. “France has looked very balanced throughout the tournament.” Les Blues won their first two games in the group stage, before playing Denmark to a 0-0 draw. France hasn’t needed any extra time in its three knockout round victories; Croatia, meanwhile, needed extra time and penalty shots to get by Denmark and Russia, and scored in the 109th minute against England. In all, Croatia has played 90 minutes of extra time, the equivalent of a full additional game, while France will also enjoy an extra day of rest between the semifinal and final. Croatia’s fatigue factor, plus France’s raw talent — the defensive pairing of Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti and Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane give Les Blues an advantage — make France the safer pick.

Croatia, however, hasn’t tired out yet. England was the more rested team going into the semifinal, but Croatia looked more energetic in extra time. So don’t doubt Croatia’s readiness to outclass France, and parade the World Cup trophy around Zagreb, of all places.

Sports – TIME

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Croatia will hope that their fierce desperation to accomplish the greatest sporting achievement in the nation’s short life will enable them to lift their battered bodies for one, last assault on France in Sunday’s World Cup final.


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Fit For The King: LeBron James and the Lakers Form Hollywood’s Ultimate Marriage

It’s Hollywood’s ultimate celebrity marriage: the best and brightest star joining the league’s glitziest franchise. With his latest seismic signing as a free agent, LeBron James gives the Lakers new life. But will he ever get the help he’ll need to raise their 17th banner?

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Your Ultimate Guide to the 2018 Tour de France

Cyclists from all over the globe are racing in one of the most challenging competitions in sports — the Tour de France.

The 105th Tour de France kicks off Saturday, July 7 in Noirmoutier en l’Île, a scenic, coastal town in western France. The 22 teams, which each have nine racers, will cycle the 21-stage race that spans a total of 2,082.2 miles and tours almost all of France. The last stage of the 2018 Tour de France ends in Paris on Sunday, July 29.

According to the organizers, 3.5 billion people in 190 countries tune in to watch the Tour de France each year and it is one of the best-attended annual sporting event on the planet, with 12 million roadside spectators cheering on cyclists.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 Tour de France, including important dates, how to watch the races and who this year’s favorites are.

When does the 2018 Tour de France start?

This year, the Grand Départ starts around 10 a.m. local time in Noirmoutier en l’Île on July 7.

The 22 starting teams will cycle through most of France and make a pitstop in Spain before finishing in Paris on Sunday, July 29.

There will be two rest days, one individual time trial, a team time trial and three mountain finishes.

Who are the 2018 Tour de France favorites?

Four-time Tour de France champ, Christopher Froome, is the favorite to take home the title this year after winning the 2017 race. The British rider, who is part of Team Sky, will face heavy competition from Movistar team member Nairo Quintana and Richie Porter from BMC Racing.

Froome nearly didn’t compete this year after organizers announced he would be banned for suspected doping — a problem that has plagued the sports world, most notably affecting cycling with Lance Armstrong’s downfall. But Froome was cleared of any wrongdoing and will be going for his fifth Tour de France win.

There will be 176 riders total from countries all over the world including five Americans cycling in the 2018 Tour de France.

How can I watch the 2018 Tour de France?

The 2018 Tour de France will be broadcast live on NBC or NBCSN and and NBC Sports Gold with commentary by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin.

You can also watch the competition through the Tour Tracker App, a free app that lets users livestream stages of the race and get push notifications on their phones for their favorite cyclists.

What is the 2018 Tour de France schedule?

The 2,082-mile race will be divided into 21 stages, with cyclist riding through Fougères, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteuax and Houilles in France.

During the three-week race, cyclists will ride on a variety of challenging routes including hills, high mountains and dust-covered roads before finishing in Paris at the end of the month.

Each of the 21 stages has a distinctive set of challenges for cyclists. Kicking off on Île de Noirmoutier, a small island off the Atlantic coast of France, cyclists will cross a bridge to the mainland while navigating the twisting Vendée coastline.

Stage 9 is expected to be a fan favorite because of its complexities. On July 15, cyclists will ride through 15 cobbled paths from Arras to Roubaix, alongside the Belgian border. The bumpy ride can be dangerous for competitors, and is where a fall is most likely to happen — dashing hopes of victory.

Sports – TIME

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For Couture-Only Designers, Creative Freedom and Experimentation Are the Ultimate Goals

Twice a year in Paris, the few remaining couture houses — along with a small cadre of guest designers selected by the exacting committee of the Fédération Française de la Couture — present their collections on the runway.  The “haute couture” designation itself is a legally protected category …

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Your Ultimate Guide To Essence Festival 2018

Black women unite! Our festival is upon us, which means it’s time to converge at the convention center in NOLA for a weekend of empowering panels, uplifting events, beauty booths galore, concerts and so much more.

Here’s your ultimate festival guide.

What To Bring

Source: Danielle James / Hello Beautiful

First things first. Packing light, but effectively, is of the essence here (get it…essence). Girl, it’s going to be hot. We’re talking hot hot hot, which means the less clothing the better. Think white and bright colors (melanin-friendly) and comfortable but cute shoes because you’re going to be walking a lot.

The New Orleans Convention Center is the central location for the Essence experience and is where you’ll find yourself spending the most time. Bring cash, because the parking lot is full of delicious food and drink vendors. They might take cards, but who wants to be waiting for a receipt on the blacktop in the heat? Exactly.

The Panels

The most empowering part of Essence Festival is the opportunity to see your favorite motivational speakers, celebrities and personalities on panels.

Check out some of these panels and expos:

Thursday, July 5

Boss Up! – Empowering Women Entrepreneurs- Thursday, July 5: 1:00pm

“Miles & Mimosas: Back to your Roots” A conversation with RUNGRL about Black Hair as a Barrier to Wellness- Friday, July 6th: 10:00am

Ashunta Sheriff Presents “Get Glowing: Tips & Tricks For a Flawless Glow”- Friday, July 6th: 11:05

Beauty Myths Debunked: Slay, Nay or UmKay?! feat Gia Peppers, Dr. Candrice Heath and Tahira Wright of The Cut Life- Friday, July 6th: 12:35pm- 12:55pm 

Being an Editor-in-Chic with Mikki Taylor- Friday, July 6th: 12:45pm

Building and Branding The Mpire: An MPowered Conversation with Mona Scott-Young- Friday, July 6: 2:05pm

#BlackGirlsDo: How Black Girls Practice Self-Care feat, Kela Walker, Naturi Naughton and Necole Kane- Saturday, July 7th: 4:30pm-4:50pm 

Bearded Bae Showdown: The Hottest Bearded Guys at ESSENCE Fest- Friday, July 6: 2:55pm

Saturday, July 7

Source: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

Black Panther Heroic Encounter- Saturday, July 7: 11:00am

TRESemmé Summer Slay Hair Masterclass with Unilever Hair Expert, Ursula Stephen- Saturday, July 7: 11:35am

Screening of “Claws” followed by a cast Q&A, Presented by TNT- Saturday, July 7: 12:15

Cast Appearance: Insecure, Presented by HBO with Yvonne Orji & Y’lan Noel- Saturday, July 7: 12:55

Meet the cast of Power including Joseph Sikora, Rotimi & Naturi Naughton, presented by STARZ!- Saturday, July 7: 3:25

Sunday,  July 8

Cast Appearance: The Bobby Brown Story, presented by BET Networks- Sunday, July 8: 12:15pm

“What The F?” A lively, interactive, honest girl chat about FIBROIDS, FERTILITY and being a FEMALE!- Sunday, July 8: 12:30pm

10th Annual Gospel Tribute- Sunday, July 8: 12:45pm

Tasha Cobb Leonard Performance- Sunday, July 8: 2:15pm

Johnny Gill Performance- Sunday, July 8: 4:10pm

Beauty Booths

Source: Maskot / Getty

Throughout the convention center you will find beauty booths by various brands offering free hair, nail and spa services. That wristband will take you far. But be patient. As you can imagine, the lines to get these services can get long, since we’re all trying to enjoy the perks. My Black Is Beautiful always has an elaborate set-up that will immediately capture your eye. So lookout for the #MBIB logo.

Get Ready For The Turnup

Essence Festival is Black woman central. Whether you’re coming with your girls or alone, be prepared to find a fellow melanin warrior who will become your bestie. And you’ll need her because the concerts at Essence Festival are lit! Here’s a detailed schedule of who’s performing and where.

Friday, July 6

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest Mia X- Main Stage

7:00 Ledisi- Main Stage

7:05 Pell- Superlounges

7:15 Lloyd- Superlounges

7:30 Damien- Escobar Superlounges

7:45 Miguel- Main Stage

8:30 H.E.R.- Superlounges

8:45 Kelly Price’s “For the Love of R&B” feat Keke Wyatt and Vaughn Willis-Superlounges

9:00 MC Lyte- Superlounges

9:00 Snoop Dogg- Main Stage

10:00 Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and More in a Special Curation by The Roots- Main Stage

Saturday, July 7

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest V. Bozeman- Main Stage

7:00 Ella Mai- Superlounges

7:15 Kelela- Superlounges

7:30 Yanina- Superlounges

7:45 Jussie Smollett- Superlounges

7:45 XSCAPE- Main Stage

8:40 Queen Latifah Presents “Ladies First” with Special Guests Missy Elliott, Remy Ma, MC Lyte, Nikki D and More- Main Stage

9:00 Idris Elba- Superlounges

10:10 Mary J. Blige- Main Stage

Sunday, July 8

6:00 Roy Wood Jr.- Main Stage

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest Ashanti- Main Stage

7:10 DJ Jubilee- Superlounges

7:15 Ro James- Superlounges

7:30 Louis York- Superlounges

7:45 Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Curation feat SWV, Blackstreet, Guy and more- Main Stage

8:00 Victory Boyd- Superlounges

8:15 Mali Music- Superlounges

8:30 Big Freedia- Superlounges

8:50 DVSN- Superlounges

9:40 Big Freedia- Superlounges

9:55 Fantasia- Main Stage

10:40 Janet Jackson- Main Stage

For more information, visit EssenceFestival.com.

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32 Teams Entered, 16 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Knockout Stage

Germany is gone. For the fourth time in the last five World Cups, the event’s defending champion was bounced from the tournament after the group stage, as South Korea’s stunning 2-0 victory on Wednesday sent the 2014 winners home.

The result inspired a few incredible scenes — for example, South Korea’s victory enabled Mexico to advance to the round of 16 knockout stage. So people in Mexico City did what any sane soccer fans would do: they went berserk outside the South Korean embassy while urging the consul general, Han Byoung-jin, to down tequila shots (he complied). In Brazil — which still hasn’t quite gotten over Germany’s 7-1 humiliation of the home team during the 2014 World Cup semifinals — several maniacs staged a mock funeral for Germany, parading down a street with caskets draped in the German flag.

Sometimes, sports fans are the best.

Senegal is gone, too. But how can one not feel sympathy, given the way they were eliminated? The Lions of Teranga lost their final game to Colombia, 1-0, meaning that both Senegal and Japan finished with four points in the Group stage. Only one of the teams could advance — Colombia topped the group — putting FIFA’s byzantine tiebreaker rules into play. First up: goal differential. But both Senegal and Japan scored and gave up four goals in the group stage. Next: most goals stored. That metric left them tied, too. The most logical first tie-breaker — head-to-head results between the two teams — is lower on FIFA’s list, for some reason, not that it mattered here: Japan and Senegal played to a 2-2 draw on June 24. So for the first time in World Cup history, the “fair play” tiebreaker came into play. Japan advanced because the referees issues six yellow cards to Senegal, but only four to Japan.

Sure, this World Cup has taught us an important lesson: Behave on the field, or it can cost you. Still, FIFA needs to create better tie-breakers. (Here are some worthy ideas, like results against a group’s top team, or flying both teams to a pre-game penalty shootout before the knockout stage.) Leave the cards to poker.

The group stage offered its share of excitement to be sure. But now the World Cup moves to the knockout round. Sixteen teams remain, and it’s win or go home. No more ties mean penalty shootouts — flawed but exciting — are sure to determine some winners.

Here’s TIME’s handy guide for 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout round.

You can still binge watch

American audiences will undoubtedly miss the daily group stage triple headers, which aired at convenient though perhaps productivity-stifling hours (so what?). This past week was even better: four games a day. The knockout stage is bittersweet in this regard. The stakes are higher, but there are fewer games from this point out.

Still, the round of 16 will give viewers plenty of sports-watching distraction. Enjoy the four straight days of doubleheaders in the schedule below, all times ET.

Saturday, June 30
France vs. Argentina, 10 a.m. on Fox
Uruguay vs. Portugal, 2 p.m. on Fox

Sunday, July 1
Spain vs. Russia, 10 a.m. on Fox
Croatia vs. Denmark, 2 p.m. on Fox

Monday, July 2
Brazil vs. Mexico, 10 a.m. on FS1
Belgium vs. Japan, 2 p.m. on Fox

Tuesday, July 3
Sweden vs. Switzerland 10 a.m. on FS1
Colombia vs. England, 2 p.m. on Fox

The knockout stage brackets aren’t loaded with geopolitical sizzle (thanks to American soccer incompetence, Russia and the U.S. won’t be facing each other on the field, for instance). Still, there’s plenty of intrigue on the board. Brazil and Argentina are blood rivals, and they could meet in the semifinals. How about a Denmark-Sweden semi, in a battle for Scandinavian supremacy? An England-France final would settle some scores. A Spain-Portugal rematch is worth cheering for, too — the teams played to a 3-3 tie in the group stage, with Cristiano Ronaldo putting up a hat trick for Portugal. That match was one of the finest in World Cup history. Just picture them meeting up for the championship (and fine, go ahead and picture Ronaldo ripping off his shirt after winning his first World Cup, too).

English Renaissance

In 1966, England defeated West Germany, 4-2, in the final to win the country’s first, and still only, World Cup. England hasn’t been to the semis since 1990. This underachievement — relatively speaking — doesn’t sit too well in London and Liverpool. But England has looked impressive in Russia. The Three Lions won their first two games, trouncing Panama 6-1 in the process. Even Thursday’s loss to Belgium was fortuitous: by finishing second in its group behind Belgium, England avoided Brazil, five-time World Cup champ and home to superstar Neymar Jr., in its quadrant.

An extended World Cup run for England, however, could trigger a national emergency. A carbon dioxide shortage has forced some beer rationing in the U.K.; pubs without pints for a World Cup final are like humans without hearts.

Video Star

This World Cup has introduced VAR — Video-Assisted Referees — into the global vernacular, which has been a positive development. Because for all the handwringing about delays as officials review the replays, and the intrusion of technology into what will always be a sweat-and-tears athletic endeavor, the bottom line is this: so far, VAR has helped get several important calls correct. Which is always worth it. Here’s a safe bet: a knockout stage game will come down to a controversial decision. And video review will offer a just result.

And Speaking of Betting…

Who, you may ask, is going to win this World Cup? Brazil is the favorite, according to Oddschecker.com, at 15/4, followed by Spain at 19/4 and Belgium at 15/2. A Brazil-Belgium quarterfinal would be a potential championship-level match in an earlier round: with Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany returning from an injury, don’t be shocked to see Belgium survive its challenging draw — and hoisting the country’s first-ever World Cup trophy on July 15 in Moscow.

Sports – TIME

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When is Wimbledon 2018? Your Ultimate Guide to Tennis’ Biggest Tournament

Summer is officially here, which means the start of Wimbledon, tennis’ most prestigious event of the year, is just around the corner.

Wimbledon 2018 will be held from Monday, July 2, to Sunday, July 15, at the All England Club in South West London. The first round of play will begin on the 2nd at 11:30 a.m. BST on the outside courts and 1 p.m. on the main show courts: Centre Court and No. 1 Court. The women’s singles final will take place on the second-to-last day, Saturday, July 14, followed by the men’s singles final on the 15th.

Wimbledon is not only the oldest tennis tournament in the world, but also, along with the Australian Open, French Open and U.S. Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. It is the only major still played on grass.

Here’s everything you need to know—from the Wimbledon schedule to the deal with Wimbledon prize money—about The Championships, Wimbledon.

Where does the action go down?

Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty ImagesCrowds gather outside centre court on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.

Wimbledon 2018, just as the tournament has since 1877, will take place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London.

Matches with star appeal—a.k.a. those involving top-seeded players or local favorites—generally take place on the club’s two main show courts, Centre Court and No.1 Court, with the finals and semifinals of main events like men’s and women’s singles always reserved for Centre Court. But don’t be fooled, there’s still plenty of action to catch on the club’s remaining 17 courts.

Unfortunately, there were a number of player complaints last year about the condition of the Wimbledon courts, with Britain’s number one seed Andy Murray describing the playing surface of Centre Court as “not as good as previous years.”

The Wimbledon scheduling committee has also previously come under fire for assigning higher-profile courts to men’s matches rather than women’s.

Who is playing at Wimbledon 2018?

Venus Williams awaits a serve from Ana Konjuh at Wimbledon 2017
Roland Harrison/Action Plus via Getty ImagesVenus Williams awaits a serve from Ana Konjuh at Wimbledon 2017.

There’s going to be plenty of top tennis talent to keep an eye out for at Wimbledon 2018. In addition to last year’s women’s and men’s champions, Garbiñe Muguruza and Roger Federer, star players like Serena and Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki, Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep are all expected to compete in the tournament.

Serena recently pulled out of the French Open ahead of a highly-anticipated fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova due to a chest injury. However, as a seven-time Wimbledon champion, she is still considered a favorite to take home the coveted Wimbledon trophy.

The official draw and seeding for Wimbledon 2018 will be determined on June 29.

Prize money

The All England Club will award a total of £34 million (about $ 45.1 million) in prize money to competitors at Wimbledon 2018, with the men’s and women’s singles champions each receiving £2.25 million ( about $ 2.3 million). This is a 7.6 percent increase on the amount of prize money awarded at last year’s Wimbledon Championships.

The club has also introduced a new “50:50” rule in an attempt to prevent injury withdrawals in the first round of the men’s and women’s singles events. Players can now claim half of their first-round prize money if they withdraw on site by the Thursday before the start of the main draw, with the remaining half going to their replacement. However, if a player competes in the first round and “retires or performs below professional standards,” they may be subject to a fine equal to the sum they received as prize money.

See a full breakdown of the Wimbledon 2018 prize money at Wimbledon.com.

Tickets

You can purchase tickets for Wimbledon 2018 through sites like StubHub and Ticketmaster—where several hundred Centre Court and No.3 Court tickets will be sold online the day before play. A limited number of tickets will also be available on the day of play to those who line up in the queue at the All England Club.

For those who can’t make it out to the grounds this year, Wimbledon 2018 will be available to stream on WatchESPN, Hulu Live, SlingTV, and DirecTV Now as well as the BBC Sport website and app.

Sports – TIME

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Jay-Z and Beyonce Pulled the Ultimate Power Couple Move and Surprised Everyone With a New Album

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.

The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper’s disgust at this year’s Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her siblings.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns.

The album features Beyonce rapping on songs more than she has done on previous releases.

One song that has a profanity in its title includes Jay-Z lashing out at the Grammys. He was the top nominee at February’s awards show, but left empty-handed.

The rapper also says he turned down the NFL Super Bowl halftime show, rapping that the league needs him more than he needs them.

Blue Ivy ends the song “BOSS” with a shout-out to her 1-year-old brother and sister, Rumi and Sir.

In 2013, Beyonce released the self-titled album “Beyonce” without any notice.


Entertainment – TIME

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Your Ultimate Guide to Watching the 2018 World Cup

The soccer World Cup kicks off Thursday in the 81,000 seater Luzhniki stadium in central Moscow. Host country Russia, ranked 70th in the world, take on 67th-ranked Saudi Arabia at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET). While unlikely to be a match for the history books, it does mark the start of the first World Cup in eastern Europe. The games will be played across 12 stadiums, spanning a huge distance—with the most eastern in Ekaterinburg, 1,800 miles east of the stadium in Kaliningrad, Russia’s European territory that borders Poland and Lithuania.

With 64 matches over four weeks, there are likely to be surprises—especially with video assistant referee (VAR) technology making its World Cup debut after a widely criticized outing in the 2017 Confederations Cup. Here, a cheat sheet of what else to watch out for in this year’s tournament.

The favorites and the challengers

The only South American team to win a World Cup on European soil was Brazil in 1958. This year, there are five teams from South America in contention. Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia all look likely to make it out of their groups, with Peru the underdog. With Brazil’s Neymar looking in form after returning from injury and scoring in both warm-up friendlies against Croatia and Austria, the Brazilians could live up to their tag as tournament favorites.

France and Germany are both considered strong challengers to the South Americans, especially playing closer to home. But with Germany’s surprise decision to leave star winger Leroy Sané at home and a loss to Austria in a pre-tournament friendly, France could have the edge. A young squad bursting with raw talent, like forwards Nabil Fekir and Kylian Mbappé, has the best chance in years of bringing Les Bleus their second ever World Cup.

Final flings

This tournament is likely soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s last shot at winning a World Cup. The 33-year-old Portuguese captain has won the European Champions League five times with two teams and set scoring records, yet the World Cup trophy remains elusive. Leading fourth-ranked Portugal to victory would cement his place as one of the game’s greatest players of all time.

Portugal v Algeria - International Friendly
Quality Sport Images—Getty ImagesCristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in action during the friendly match of preparation for FIFA 2018 World Cup between Portugal and Algeria at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on June 7, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Egypt wasn’t considered to be a team to watch even when it last played in a World Cup, 28 years ago, but since Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah powered his way to become one of the top three goal scorers in Europe, it is attracting fresh attention. The team is already set to break one tournament record: fielding the oldest player ever to play in a World Cup. Goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary, 45, is set to captain his side. He told ESPN the milestone meant little, since “age is just a number.”

Teams for the neutrals

Although Iceland may have pride of place as tournament underdogs, Nigeria is emerging as another popular choice. According to the Nigeria Football Federation, the Super Eagles’ distinctive white, green and black patterned jersey had 3 million preorders, and London’s Nike store sold out after fans had lined up for hours. The country is hoping for a best-ever performance after finishing ninth in 1994.

England v Nigeria - International Friendly
Catherine Ivill—Getty ImagesDetail of the Nigeria badge and shirt during the international friendly match between England and Nigeria at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2018 in London, England.

Off the pitch

Away from the stadiums, soccer officials are hoping the host nation can avoid a resurgence of soccer hooliganism. At the European Championships in 2016, Russia’s fans violently clashed with British fans in the city of Marseilles. Russia says it has created a blacklist of “known troublemakers,” reportedly of almost 2,000 people and plans to deploy hundreds of police on the streets to dispel violence. Still, fans are bracing for trouble. The British Foreign Office has warned citizens traveling to Russia to watch out for “anti-British sentiment or harassment.”

If you only pay attention to soccer every four years, you might be wondering who the U.S. is playing. Alas, the United States men’s national soccer team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, prompting much soul-searching and anger at the controversial goal that let Panama proceed instead. There’s a silver lining in the form of a squad of rising stars like Christian Pulisic and John Brooks, who are young enough to be dreaming of a resurgence in 2022. And the Americans are at least in good company: four-time winners Italy also failed to qualify.

Sports – TIME

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The ultimate guide to Princess Diana’s go-to fashion brands (and where to shop them)

princess diana fashion brands

We’ve already told you all about Kate Middleton’s fashion brands, as well as Meghan Markle’s go-to shops, so we thought it was about time we compiled a guide to Princess Diana’s favourite designers and high-street stores too.

After all, Princess Diana’s iconic style inspired future Royals in more ways than one, like the time the Duchess of Cambridge’s maternity dress was a nod to the late Princess, or when Meghan Markle wore her blue ring on her wedding day.

Diana’s style varied over the years, from her Sloane-ranger blazer and jeans combo to her sleeker 90s dresses, but there were a few brands she always went back to. You can shop them below…

Princess Diana wearing Catherine Walker

Whether it’s a power suit or an evening gown, Catherine Walker was Diana’s go-to designer no matter the occasion. Founded in 1977 by Cyrus and his wife Catherine Walker, it became famous in the 80s and 90s thanks to the Royal. Some of her most famous outfits include, but are not limited to, a powder pink ballgown (like the one Meghan Markle wore at Trooping the Colour), a Dynasty-esque green sequin dress and that pearl gown that was fondly nicknamed ‘the Elvis dress’.

princess diana fashion brands

Princess Diana wearing Catherine Walker in 1989 in Hong Kong. Picture: Rex

She famously wrote to the designer after wearing a white lace dress after her separation from Prince William, telling her ‘I was so proud and felt very confident to stride out there and deliver my first speech since the divorce.’

You can buy Catherine Walker designs in store.

Princess Diana wearing Christina Stambolian

You’ll no doubt have heard of the Revenge dress, which Diana wore for her first appearance since Prince Charles admitted to having an affair with Camilla. She wore the black design to the Serpentine gallery, paired with her famous sapphire choker (here’s what happened to it and the rest of her jewellery after she died). What you might not know is that she was meant to wear Valentino that evening, but the brand released a statement earlier that day about it, which put her off.

princess diana style influence

REX/Shutterstock

So she went with the Greek fashion designer instead, and it all blew up from there. Other fun fact: she had actually been sent this dress three years previously, but was at the time worried it was too revealing. You can buy her designs on eBay.

Princess Diana wearing Versace

Princess Diana was very good friends with Gianni Versace (‘I am devastated by the loss of a great and talented man’ she said when she found out about his death), and wore his designs a lot in the 90s. She famously posed on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar wearing an embellished blue dress, and wore a gorgeous one-shoulder silk gown to a charity ball in Sidney in 1996.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Shop now: VERSACE Contrast-trim crepe dress for £1,141 from MatchesFashion.com

princess diana fashion brands

Princess Diana wearing Bruce Oldfield

Princess Diana met Oldfield through her work at Barnado’s and wore his couture dresses from the mid 80s to mid 90s, when her style changed, at which point she stopped wearing his designs. Some of his dresses include an off-the-shoulder navy dress which she wore at a dinner in 1987 and a gala in 1988, and was later auctioned off for £45,000 at Christie’s.

princess diana fashion brands

Princess Diana wearing Dior

There’s a reason Dior has a bag named after Diana (the Lady Dior FYI): she was one of their most loyal customers. The bag, which had another name at the time, was given to Diana by the French First Lady, Bernadette Chirac. She loved it so much that she ordered it in every version, which prompted Dior to name it after her.

princess diana lady dior

Photo: Rex

Shop now: Mini Lady Dior bag in black patent calfskin for £2,350 from Dior

 

Princess Diana wearing Bellville Sassoon

You might not have heard of David Sassoon, but he created over 70 gowns for Princess Diana over the course of two decades, and is credited for taking her from Sloane Ranger to fashion icon status. She famously wore a bright floral-patterned dress to visit children in hospital, and a pink floral dress for Prince William’s christening in 1982.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Princess Diana wearing Emanuel

Diana’s fairytale showstopper from her 1981 royal wedding was created by Welsh designer duo David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The dress was made of ivory silk, pure taffeta and antique lace, with 10,000 pearls and sequins, and had a 25 ft train

princess diana

Credit: REX

Princess Diana wearing Ferragamo

Everyone talks about the Lady Dior bag, but did you know Ferragamo also named a bag after Diana? The late Princess owned over 20 variations of the chain strap bag, which was named the Lady Di after her death.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Shop now: SALVATORE FERRAGAMO Ginny medium leather shoulder bag for £915 from MatchesFashion.com

Princess Diana wearing Chanel

Princess Diana was a big Chanel fan, and was especially fond of the bags and shoes, though she sadly didn’t wear the brand after her divorce. The reason she couldn’t wear Chanel anymore was because the interlocked Cs reminded her of Charles and Camilla.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Shop now: Chanel flap bag for £4,220 from Chanel

There’s no denying Princess Diana was very loyal to the designers she loved, which included lots of British up-and-coming names, who she supported even after her divorce, which was a turning point in her style. You could even say she paved the way for Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.

The post The ultimate guide to Princess Diana’s go-to fashion brands (and where to shop them) appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Sophie Turner’s Interesting New Game of Thrones Tattoo May Hint at Sansa’s Ultimate Fate

Sophie Turner has a new Game of Thrones tattoo that may just reveal Sansa Stark’s fate in the eighth and final season of the HBO drama.

Tattoo artist Lauren Winzer of Hunter and Fox Tattoo Studio shared the first photo of Turner’s ink on Saturday, debuting the 22-year-old actor’s new House Stark direwolf sigil above the words, “The pack survives.”

The design seems to be a direct reference to the quote, “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives,” a maxim that Ned Stark shared with his children. However, it may also have a more explicit meaning in regard to Sansa’s chances for survival.

After Turner and co-star Maisie Williams got matching Thrones tattoos last year, Turner revealed that the onscreen sisters were hoping to double down on their brands.

“We got them together just the other day,” she told E! on the 2017 Emmys red carpet. “With Thrones, we were like, if we make it all the way through, hopefully we could all get a matching wolf but we don’t know if we’re going to make it, so Maisie and I were like, ‘Let’s get this before anyone kills us.’”

Interesting, very interesting indeed.


Entertainment – TIME

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From real estate to diplomacy, Trump chases the ultimate deal in Singapore

Donald Trump had made up his mind.


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

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How Iceland Became the World Cup’s Ultimate Underdog

The hopes of an entire soccer-mad nation will soon be riding on the hands of Hannes Thór Halldórsson. But on this chilly morning in late May, Iceland’s goalkeeper uses his powerful mitts not to stop a blast from Lionel Messi but to gently tap the tiny shoulder of a Reykjavík kindergartner. Halldórsson asks the boy, who’s wearing a blue Iceland soccer jersey and has his country’s flag painted on both of his cheeks, to move a little to his right. Halldórsson then glides back across the floor–shoes off in the classroom, even for national team stars–and peeks at the video camera. Now the shot looks better.

He would know. Until about four years ago, when he finally received a professional soccer contract to play in Norway, Halldórsson, 34, was a full-time filmmaker. So when Coca-Cola sought a director for its World Cup commercial in Iceland, the smallest country ever to qualify for the World Cup–its population, about 350,000, is barely bigger than that of Corpus Christi, Texas–the team’s goalie got the nod.

To read the full story click here

This appears in the June 18, 2018 issue of TIME.

This appears in the June 18, 2018 issue of TIME.
Sports – TIME

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This $18M beach house is the ultimate Southern California getaway

Views in every room give this $ 18M beach house it's unique appeal. From the living room to the movie room, you'll never miss a sunset again, no matter where you're sitting. All New Secret Lives of the Super Rich Wednesday 10P ET/PT
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Ultimate Design Challenge – Vote Today!

design challenge

The Design Challenge: We asked two designers to create a modern space using popular pieces from the SwitzerCultCreative design collections.

design challenge

Kim Bartley’s Miami Meets Mid-Century Dining Room

design challenge

This dining room emanates a Miami meets mid-century vibe. The black and white palm wallpaper packs a punch with it’s modern tropical design. The dining room table and chairs sit perfectly atop a dark heirloom disintegrated rug. Add some sparkle with a mirror and slim framed chandelier for a space that boasts an edgy look. Click here for more details!

Trish Knight’s Luxurious Living Room for Entertaining

design challenge

Every design has a starting point and this room was inspired by the walnut credenza, created by Sholto Design Studio to hold a cocktail bar, wine rack and turn table. White walls and Carrara marble paired with warm camel and gray tones, luxurious textures and layered lighting create a relaxing mood for this living space. Click here for more details!

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The post Ultimate Design Challenge – Vote Today! appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Join the celebration & enter the Marvel Studios Ultimate Fan…

Join the celebration & enter the Marvel Studios Ultimate Fan sweepstakes. Post your favorite Captain America memory or your own personal photo with #Marvel10YearSweepstakes and #CaptainAmerica for a chance to win a trip to the Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War premiere, Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel set visit, and more! Rules: www.marvel.com/10YearSweepstakes

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Find your favorite Toy Story toys, apparel, , collectibles and more in the Toy Story Character Shops at the online Disney Store.

Opening Ceremony Unveils the Ultimate Disney Collaboration, Complete With a Runway Show at Disneyland

Disney fashion collaborations are a dime a dozen: In the past couple of years alone, we’ve seen Coach do both Mickey and Minnie Mouse pieces, Kenzo x “The Jungle Book,” Donald Duck at Gucci, Disney princesses at Dolce & Gabbana, countless “Star Wars” apparel drops and Uniqlo has been …

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A Wrinkle in Time: An Inside Look and Ultimate Character Guide

A Wrinkle in Time: An Inside Look and Ultimate Character Guide

©Walt Disney Studios.

Fans of A Wrinkle in Time have been waiting a long time for a big-screen adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel – and now thanks to Disney, it's almost here.

The epic adventure, hitting theaters March 8, is directed by Ava DuVernay and features an excellent cast, including Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and newcomer Storm Reid as the intrepid young Meg Murry, who sets out on a journey to find her…

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Jillian Michaels’ 13 Most-Loved Products for Ultimate Relaxation

When I’m stressed, I find positive ways of nurturing and comforting myself instead of engaging in self-destructive behaviors like stress eating and spending money on crap. Ahead, you’ll find my favorite beautifying products, healthy snacks, and self-care obsessions. You can find even more recommendations on my curated page on Amazon. —Jillian Michaels

Health – Good Housekeeping

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Carpets

It all starts with preventing dirt from being tracked inside.

Home Ideas – Good Housekeeping

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SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

The ultimate holiday cookie round-up: 25 of our favorite recipes

by

BabyCenter Staff

posted in Life

Who’s ready for holiday baking?

If you’re looking for something new or you just want to add some options to your holiday party repertoire, check out some of our most popular cookie recipes from the last few years.

Enjoy!!

Great round-up of BabyCenter's 25 most popular cookie recipes of all time

1. Grasshopper Chocolate Mint Bark

2. Cookie Butter Blossoms

3. Salted Caramel Thumbprints

4. Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

5. Chocolate Chip Nutella cookies with sea salt

6. Nutella Fudge with sea salt

7. Santa Hat Strawberries

8. Gooey Salted Caramel Bars

9. Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Cookies

10. S’mores Cups

11. White chocolate peppermint krispie treats

12. Candy Cane Kiss Brownie

13. Pecan Pie Cookies

14. Choco-chiffon Fudge cookies

15. Shortcut Sour Cream Coffee Cake Cookies

16. Browned Butter Snickerdoodles

17. Peppermint Pillows

18. Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars

19. Turtle Thumbprints

20. Mint Marshmallow-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

21. Sparkling almond sugar cookies

22. Cookie dough fudge

23. Lemon Drops

24. Salted Caramel Pretzel Fudge

25. Snowflake Peppermint Bark

Still hungry? Try:

10 chewy-gooey holiday treats you can’t resist

7 quick-and-easy Christmas cookie recipes

BabyCenter Blog

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Why Olivia Benson Is the Ultimate Crime Fighter

The last remaining original character from the first season of Law and Order SVU, Lieutenant Olivia Benson has featured in all 19 seasons of the show. She’s risen through the ranks to become the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit.

A child born of rape, Olivia was raised by an alcoholic, abusive mother which gives her the ability to sympathise deeply with the victims of sex crimes. It’s both a plus and a minus in her job, and it’s put her in serious danger on more than one occasion. She’s affected deeply when a victim lies to her.

Her compassion for women has sometimes clouded her judgement. She’s skeptical when it comes to women perpetrators and male victims, and she was once so convinced of a man’s guilt that she forced his confession to a crime he was innocent of.

One of Benson’s finest moments was escaping from serial killer William Lewis who kidnapped her and held her for days as his sex slave, proving herself to be a total badass.

See Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU on Universal Channel’s Autumn of Crime Fighters.

The post Why Olivia Benson Is the Ultimate Crime Fighter appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

Fandom powered by Wikia

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This corgi tried very earnestly to share a bone with his reflection, proving he’s the ultimate “good boy”

This corgi tried very earnestly to share a bone with his reflection, proving he’s the ultimate “good boy”


This corgi tried very earnestly to share a bone with his reflection, proving he’s the ultimate “good boy”

We’ve all heard that dogs are “man’s best friend,” but a dog can also be their own best friend. Allow us to explain. A dog has taken over our Twitter feeds for doing the most adorable thing ever: trying to share a bone with his reflection. His name is Auggie, and he’s pretty much the most adorable corgi ever. And this selfless act just proves he’s the ultimate “good boy.” We’ll say!

It’s no secret that no matter what corgis are doing, they capture our hearts. For instance, there was the corgi who wore a propeller hat, as well as the corgi who wore a mermaid tail. (Say what?!) Both were super adorbs. But Auggie rivals them both.

Without further ado, here’s the corgi who’s taking over Twitter in all his attempted-bone-sharing glory.

Just check out those likes and retweets! As of this writing, the post has been retweeted over 65,000 times and hearted/liked by more than 164,000 people, but we have no doubt those numbers will keep climbing.

Of course, we ~cannot~ get enough of that video.

And don’t you love Auggie smiling at himself at the end? The Twitterverse also ate this vid up (sans bone).

We’re pretty much dying over these tweets.

But the tweet that made us laugh the most actually came from the good boy himself. But Auggie the corgi isn’t just a good boy. He’s also a literary agent in training as the pet of Associate Literary Agent Eric Smith. And he’d just like to let you know that while he is extremely busy, he’s not letting the fame go to his head… at least not too much.

Truly, Auggie — you might just be the best boy.

Okay, now we have to go watch Auggie and Eric’s video a few more times. BRB!



HelloGiggles

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A walking tour of Bath: the ultimate spa break

With its imposing Georgian architecture, regal connections and the ‘healing’ waters of its Roman Baths, it’s easy to see why the city inspired Jane Austen

More UK city walks

What a difference a queen makes. It was the royal visits by Anne in the opening years of the 18th century that turned this sublimely placed town from relative backwater to fashionable Georgian gem and set in train its graduation to Unesco world heritage site. Look at the plentiful shopfronts on a bright, reflective day and you are staring the local industry in the face. It is you, curious visitor. Take heart; there are elegant, honey-stoned reasons for the place being such a centre of tourism and they declare themselves the moment you start this 2½-mile walk from the Bath Spa railway station.

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Travel | The Guardian

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