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QUICHE LORRAINE by Marmine

QUICHE LORRAINE Pastry dough: Makes 1 quiche in a (9-to 9 1/2 inch/30 cm) pie dish or pastry pan Ingredients 1 1/4 cups/275 grams all-purpose flour 1 stick/120 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch/1 cm pieces 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water Preparation Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps.

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Pancetta-and-Brussels Sprouts Linguini

DOWNLOAD HERE   Ingredients ½ lb/225 grams Linguini Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper

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Enjoy Spring in Holland

    SPRING IN HOLLAND The period from March till Mai is the time to visit the Netherlands to see the impressive beauty of the blooming bulbs. Tulips of course, but also hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, irises, lilies and other flowers will be in full bloom and the colors and smells will be overwhelming.

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Kate & Anna Mcgarrigle Complainte Ste Catherine

Happy Memories of the Summer of 1976 From the title alone one can tell that I'm not a spring chicken anymore. That summer I was 21 so do your math’s. The year 1976 was a year filled with major events in my life. At the time I would have called them happy events, but time has caught up with that and most have turned bittersweet. That doesn't necessarily mean that the memories have gone sour, they have not. It's only that 40 years down the line everything that made me so happy and full of expectations of the road ahead has worked out so different. I married that summer the man that I thought to be the love of my life. And he might well have been that, but some of his and my characteristics made the liaison so toxic that 24 years later I had to get the hell out of it, more dead than alive, leaving my four children in his care. Partly by choice but mostly being forced to do so. All this and a lot more comes back to me when I listen to one of the funniest songs I know, that was a hit in the summer of ’76. I love listening to it as it propels me back to a time that I remember to be one of the happiest in my life. I’m talking about Kate & Anna Mcgarrigle and their lovely song  Complainte pour ste Catherine. Below the video I give you the lyrics. They are in French

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Mesmerizing Wind Sculptures by Anthony Howe

Mesmerizing Wind Sculptures by Anthony Howe   Recently I came upon a video about the sculpter Anthony Howe and I can't say anything else thatn 'wow'. The serenity and the beauty of dancing beauties he crafts out of metal takes my breath away. Below a video of the testing of a piece called 'In Cloud Light III' is so beautiful.

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3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes Gluten-Free, Flourles

3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes Gluten-Free, Flourless, Low-Calorie       Prep time:        5 mins

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Authentic Black Forest Cake Recipe

Ingredients Cake 1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour 2⁄3 cup cocoa powder 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1⁄2 cup shortening 1 1⁄2 cups sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk Filling 1⁄2 cup kirsch 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter 3 cups icing sugar 1 pinch salt 1⁄4 cup espresso

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Top 10 Things to Do in Amsterdam

Top 10 Things to Do in Amsterdam With its picturesque canal network, rich history and vibrant cultural scene, the capital of the Netherlands is one of the world’s most unique city destinations. There’s a never ending selection of things to do in Amsterdam – so whether you’re visiting for the weekend or for a fortnight, here’s your essential checklist of the best Amsterdam attractions and unmissable experiences in the ‘Venice of the North’. Hop on a Bike There are over 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam. That’s more bikes than people! Cycling in Amsterdam is a way of life, made easier by the city’s unbeatable network of cycle routes and flat landscape. Amsterdam regularly comes out on top in lists of the world’s most cycle-friendly cities, and there’s no finer way to explore the city’s streets, canals and attractions than by pedal power. Cycling in Amsterdam is safe, enjoyable and invigorating - so join the locals and hop on your bike. Find out more about cycling and bike hire in Amsterdam.   Get Lost in Arty Jordaan Often cited as Amsterdam’s most charming neighborhood, wandering into the Jordaan feels like stepping back in time. Originally a working class area, the Jordaan’s narrow streets and quaint buildings now make up one of Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters, dotted with independent art galleries, antiques shops, courtyard gardens and atmospheric bars and restaurants. Ditch the map and lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow lanes that sprawl eastwards from Prinsengracht canal known as the 9 Streets; one of Amsterdam's most rewarding shopping experiences.      Soak up Some Culture on Museumplein Home to the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Museumplein is the cultural beating heart of Amsterdam. Having recently been renovated to a world class standard, this leafy 19th century district is an art lover’s utopia, and the open square between the buildings pulses with activity all day; with open-air exhibitions, markets and a large paddling pool to dip your toes into on warmer days. In the winter months, the square transforms with a vast outdoor ice rink.      Take a Canal Cruise Created in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay,

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Cream Puff Swans Recipe

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LUSCIOUS CHOCOLATE CAKE

LUSCIOUS CHOCOLATE CAKE   For the cake cooking spray 2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa powder 1-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder 1-1/2 cups hot, strong brewed coffee 1 cup mild honey, such as clover 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. kosher salt 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 cup granulated sugar 4 large eggs, at room temperature 3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract For the chocolate-honey ganache 1 lb. semisweet chocolate (60% cacao), finely chopped 2 cups heavy cream 1/4 cup mild honey, such as clover 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 3 Tbs. dark rum (optional) 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract For the chocolate curls (optional) 1 thick block semisweet chocolate Make the cake Position a rack in the center

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Wayne Dyers 6 Principles to Finding Inspired Live

Wayne Dyers 6 Principles to Finding Inspired Live “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” — Abraham Maslow I just wanted to share with you this wisdom, which is a legacy of the late dr. Wayne Dyer. None of it is from my hand, I'm just passing it on. Marijke In order to align yourself with your Inner Spirit, you must be trusting of your Source. Our Source is always working within us and that his where we’ll find our ultimate calling. Wayne teaches that to live In-Spirit we must live an inspired life. By standing by a few principles, you’ll find your own calling. In the words of Wayne: Here are six principles that are important to observe as we seek an inspired life—they’re a blueprint to refer to as we reconstruct a life in-Spirit. I’m listing them in no particular order of importance because I believe that they’re equally essential. Principle #1: Be Independent of the Good Opinion of Others Inspiration must be our master, even though following it might disappoint others. When inspiration makes its presence known, we must pay attention if our priority is to be who or what we were meant to be. We need to determine for ourselves how much we’ve allowed others to decide issues such as what we do, where we live, with whom we live, and even how we’re treated. We must know that absolutely no one else truly knows and feels what we’re here to accomplish, so we must give ourselves permission to hear our inner guidance and ignore the pressure from others. The willingness to listen and act on our inspiration, independent of the opinions of others, is imperative. Principle #2: Be Willing to Accept the Disapproval of Others Logically following the last principle, this one notes that we’re going to incur the disfavor of many people when we follow our inclinations to be in-Spirit and live the life we came here to live. This isn’t a selfish or cynical attitude: When we begin to follow our ultimate calling, there will be a lot of resistance. However, as we gain the strength to ignore the pressure to conform, resistance will diminish and ultimately change to respect. When we steadfastly refuse to think, act, and conform to the mandates of others, the pressure to do so loses its momentum. All we have to do is endure some initial disapproval such as dogmatic persuasion, anger, pouting, silence, and long-winded lectures… and then we’re on our way to inspiration rather than frustration. The people who receive the most approval in life are the ones who care the least about it—so technically, if we want the approval of others, we need to stop caring about it and turn our attention to becoming an inspired being of sharing. Principle #3: Stay Detached from Outcomes Inspiration doesn’t come from completing tasks or meeting goals; in fact, that’s the sure way to have it elude us. Returning to Spirit, you see, is an experience of living fully in the present moment. Our purpose in life isn’t to arrive at a destination where we find inspiration, just as the purpose of dancing isn’t to end up at a particular spot on the floor. The purpose of dancing—and of life—is to enjoy every moment and every step, regardless of where we are when the music ends. Many of us are seduced into believing that having goals is necessary for a successful life, especially since we’ve been brainwashed by slogans such as “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’re there?” and “Not having a goal is more to be feared than not reaching a goal.” This kind of logic keeps us from feeling inspired because we live a life of striving while foregoing arriving. A more rewarding spiritual truth is that there’s only now— and when this moment passes, it will be replaced by another one, ad infinitum. To use up our “present now” being consumed with a “future now” that will only turn into a “then” is the prescription for the absence of inspiration. Since there’s only now, learning to live in it and enjoy every present moment is the same as being in-Spirit, while being focused on an outcome to determine our level of happiness and success keeps us out of Spirit. Principle #4: Know That We Need Nothing/No Things to Be Inspired We came into this world of boundaries from a formless energy field of Spirit. We arrived here with nothing/no things, we’ll make our exit with nothing/no things, and our purpose (God-realization) requires nothing/no things. We are all that we need to be inspired and living on purpose, and the things that continue to flow into our life are just symbols of the unlimited abundance of our Source. In other words, these things have no value in and of themselves because everything in the physical world is changing and will dissolve back to nothingness anyway. When we shift from sensory searching to trusting what we know, we discover the folly of chasing after anything in order to feel inspired. All we need is a conscious realignment so that our thoughts begin to match up vibrationally with Spirit, which we know is a part of us already. Principle #5: “Don’t Die Wondering” This principle is extremely important in working toward an inspired life because it motivates us to act—after all, we don’t want to be full of regrets because we failed to heed our ultimate calling. Attempting to do something, even if it doesn’t succeed, is inspiring because we don’t tend to regret what we do, we regret what we didn’t do. Even following a futile attempt, we’re inspired because we know that we gave it a shot. It’s wondering whether we should or shouldn’t try something that leaves us feeling stressed and incomplete. Inspiration has nothing to do with whether we win or lose; in fact,

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DIY Chalk Paint

DIY or Do It Yourself Something that is always fascinating me is the myriad of DIY idea's that can be found all over the place. Not so long ago, before the www-era, I was an avid reader of DIY magazines and watched every DIY program available on the telly. In today's world my options have become endless and I am always so impressed by what people come up with. Often simple idea's with an extra-ordinairy result. There is

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INKSCAPE TUTORIAL

INKSCAPE  A FREE ILLUSTRATION PROGRAM A program that I really like and use a lot is INKSCAPE. It is a FREE illustration program with which one can created all kinds of (vector)  illustrations to be used in many ways. When I started with it I used it to make posters and pamflets. When I became more and more active on the internet and social media, I started to use it to make my own headers, profile pictures, illustrated pictures, logo's, avatars etc. In the meantime I also work with Adobe Illustrator, which has it's own specifics for certain types of work I make, but I keep having a real preference for Inkscape. I find working with Inkscape easier and less complicated for certain things and often create something in Inkscape and afterward transfer it to AI to finish it. If you want to start making your own illustration I recommend

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Heavenly Deep-Fried Shrimp Potato Balls

Heavenly Deep-Fried Shrimp Potato Balls       INGREDIENTS

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Beautiful Baked Apple Roses

Beautiful Baked Apple Roses I always get excited by the prospect of a new apple treat I’ve never tried before. This particular treat has exploded all over Pinterest recently, and with good reason. Apple roses are easy to make, have an absolutely gorgeous presentation, and best of all, taste amazing.

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Amazing Brownie Bowls

Amazing Brownie Bowls    

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Amazing Omelet Muffins

Amazing Omelet Muffins     If you find yourself in a rush and often need to grab breakfast on the go or just want to save time, these amazing omelet muffins are the best way to batch cook breakfast. I was skeptical about how they would turn out, but they came out of the oven looking amazing with a beautiful golden top. And to my delight, they tasted even better than they looked.

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Love Poem by Stacey Lory

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50 Interesting Facts To Know

50 Interesting Facts 1. If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side. 2. If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. For when a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off. 3. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying. 4. Your tongue is germ free only if it is pink. If it is white there is a thin film of bacteria on it. 5. The Mercedes-Benz motto is “Das Beste oder Nichts” meaning “the best or nothing”. 6. The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal. 7. The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing. 8. The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep a night. 9. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day. 10. The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear. 11. Dalmatians are born without spots. 12. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave. 13. The ‘v’ in the name of a court case does not stand for ‘versus’, but for ‘and’ (in civil proceedings) or ‘against’ (in criminal proceedings).

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Now This Is The Ultimate Love Story

Now This Is The Ultimate Love Story I was in the coffee shop on my college campus studying when two older men came in and sat down on the other side of the room. One of the men started talking about his wife, and when he asked the other man about his wife, this is what was said. "Man...I was 21 when I met her. I saw her from across the room and brother.....didn't nobody have to tell me who she was. I said 'there goes my wife', and the rest was history. That girl was something else, man. Every single day, I'd go and work for 12 hours and when I came home, she had dinner on the table waiting on me. After the kids were asleep, we were both so tired that we would go straight to bed just so we could hold each other. I was always content knowing that she was right there in my arms. I told her every night that as long as she was there, I was just fine. She was my queen, man. I told her that every day, she was the queen of my whole life. And my queen pushed me all the time to be the man I needed to be. She pushed me to seek God and follow Him and love Him with my whole heart, she pushed me to be a better daddy, and you can ask my little girls and they'll tell ya, we wouldn't be nowhere near where we are today if she didn't keep on making us better. Some folks just have a way of doing that, ya know? Some

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Venice of the North:'Giethoorn' the Netherlands

Giethoorn, the Netherlands: “Small Venice of the North”   Giethoorn, also known as “the Venice of Holland” or the “Venice of the North”, is a beautiful village in the Netherlands. There are no cars or roads here; tourists leave them out of the village and have to travel by water or on foot over the lovely wooden bridges.   Located in the Dutch province of Overijssel. Giethoorn village is surrounded by a vast natural reservation entitled De Wieden, often included in tourist brochures. The travelers who adventure here are usually mesmerized by the familiar atmosphere, bohemian canals, small wooden bridges, vivid flowers and colorful 200 year old homes.     Facts: Population: around 2620 inhabitants; No roads available- just well marked paths, access by boat or by foot; The tourism industry is developed: guided tours, accommodation available, museums, many city attractions; Boat rental is also possible;

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14 Small European Towns and Villages

14 Small European Towns and Villages To Visit in 2016   Here are 14 special small European towns and villages to visit in 2016! Some of these travel destinations were part of our experiences on the road, other are taken from our future “travel trajectories”. We see traveling as a homage to the past also, which is why some of the places below bear great history lessons and will take you on paths of reflection. We hope this list will fill you up with pleasant surprises during your round-the-world exploration.  Enjoy this year and travel madly! #1. ANNECY, France Annecy is an idyllic town in the French Alps, in southern France, near the border with Switzerland. Founded in the Middle Ages, the old town is a magnificent combination of architectural styles, as castles and cathedrals get lost between the old pastel-painted houses. The city is named the Venice of Savoie due to the small canals and streams that surround a 14th century Chateau (which hosts a local history museum) located in the heart of the town. Lake Annecy with its turquoise colors that reflects the surrounding mountains with their snowed peaks is located nearby. Annecy is a great place for those who want a large dosage of adventure in a single day. The Alps are just outside the town, so hiking is always an option. You can swim and sail on the lake, or go biking around it. There are also hangliding courses for those who want to try something new.   There are many buses from Geneva’s intercity bus station to Annecy and the cost for a round-trip ticket is 32 CHF (around 30 euros); the trip lasts about an hour. Lyon and Grenoble, two important French cities that have international flights, are also located close by. Here you will find all the information you need. #2. TOLEDO, Spain Toledo is a remarkable medieval city located on a mountaintop in central Spain, 70 km south of Madrid. Called “the City of the Three Cultures”, Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its architectural heritage, the majestic result of a historical co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews. Built as a fortress-city in the Middle Ages, the mighty Toledo contains many historical monuments, including the Alcázar Cathedral (the primate church of Spain), the Alcantara Bridge built by the Romans, mosques and small churches, palaces, museums (such as the El Greco Museum) and medieval gates. Try to see Toledo in colder months, in the morning or during summer nights, because the temperatures in high summer season are usually unbearable. #3. CARCASSONNE, France Carcassonne is a perfectly conserved medieval citadel situated in southern France, in the Languedoc region. It is known for the Cité de Carcassonne with its 53 watchtowers and double-walled fortifications that assemble one of the biggest town-fortresses in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a rare sample of the medieval times, Carcassonne has great profits from tourism, as more than three million visitors come here every year to enjoy a day in the fortress. Undoubtedly, Carcassonne is a perfect representation of the adventurous episodes we had in mind during school history lessons, as well as an inspiration for many movies and storybooks. Visit the amazing Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus built in a Romanesque-Gothic style, notable for its Gothic transept and vivid rose windows. The best time to visit Carcassonne is during Spring or Autumn, if possible during the evening and night when the old city brings forward its medieval spirit the most. The local tourist office organizes daily guided walking tours of the old city in English, French and Spanish, as well as captivating after-dark tours. The prices are 6€ per adult and 5€ per child. #4. MARVÃO, Portugal Marvão is a beautiful mountaintop village within a medieval castle, located in Alentejo Region, Portugal, just 15 km away from the Spanish border. Perched on a granite hill in Serra de Sao Mamede, the castle offers a 360-degree panorama of the surroundings and features numerous characteristics of a crusader-era castle. The original fortress was used as a power base when a 9th century Muladi duke (educated within the Islamic culture) established an independent small state. This happened during the Emirate of Cordoba, when the Moors were ruling in the lower part of the Iberic Peninsula.

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Seven of the Most Beautiful Beaches

The World’s 7 Most Beautiful Colorful Sand Beaches   Here is a fascinating example of nature frenzy: prepare to see some of the world’s most colorful sand beaches. Red, green, pink, purple and even black are some of the colors featured in this breathtaking display of nature serenity. Enjoy! GREEN Papakōlea Beach is also known as the Green Sand Beach or Mahana Beach and it is located near South Point, in the Kaū district of  Hawaii. It is a beautiful green sand beach, one of the two such beaches in USA. The other green sand beach is named Guam. The reason? Olivine crystals found in the surrounding lands. RED Red Sand Beach (also known as Kaihalulu) is located in Maui, Hawaii and is a pocked beach, partially isolated from the ocean. Because this area is rich in iron, the sand has a red-black color which makes a great contrast with the water. PINK Harbour Island is located in the district of Bahamas and is famous for its pink beaches (due to the red corals in the waters),

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Café Pushkin, Moscow’s Library Restaurant

Café Pushkin, Moscow’s Library Restaurant   Café Pushkin is a cozy restaurant in the center of Moscow, which integrates an old library. The restaurant is housed in a baroque mansion from the 19th century. The perfectly preserved interior design and the atmosphere revives the energy and passion of the aristocratic life from the early 20th century. Café Pushkin is located

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Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains

Zhangye Danxia Landforms, the Perpetual Rainbows of China   Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, also known as Zhangye Danxia (Landform), has become one of the most important sites for landscape photographers and travelers that visit China since it was classified as a national park in 2011. Located near the city of Zhangye (about 30 minutes west by car) in China’s northwestern Gansu province, in the foothills of the Qilian Mountains, the park spreads on 510 square kilometers of “landed rainbows”. Zhangye Danxia is known for the colorful rock formations that showcase a sharp form and reach several hundred meters in height.

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Abandoned China Village Overtaken by Nature

Abandoned China Village Overtaken by Nature   Amazing how nature takes over once humans intervene no longer with it.   Surprisingly, these photos are not taken in a village where landscape architecture takes central stage, but in an abandoned site where people are no longer part of the scenery. Time seems to also be taking a break in this former fishing village on Shengshan Island, China (one of almost 400 that make up the Shengsi Islands to the east of

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Windmills in Kinderdijk Village, Holland

Windmills and Their History in Kinderdijk Village, the Netherlands 24 Jul , 2014   Kinderdijk is a village in Netherlands, about 15 kilometers away from Rotterdam. An entire system of 19 windmills was built in this village almost 270 years ago, and they are now part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a lot of symbols that come to our mind when we think about Netherlands.  Among them are tulips, wooden clogs, bikes and windmills. Over one thousand windmills deserve our attention, not only because they harmoniously complete the landscape, but because some of them are still functional and have an important role in maintaining the polders dry. So let’s be Don Quixote for a day, not to fight with them, but to admire their beauty and to understand their purpose.

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Adventurous Beach in Spain Playa de Las Catedrales

Most Adventurous Beach in Spain: Playa de Las Catedrales   Playa de Las Catedrales (literally translated as Beach of the Cathedrals and officially named Praia de Augas Santas) makes for an interesting beach escape. This is due to its many arches and caves, which can be seen and explored during low tide (approximately from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). In your 300 meter walk, you will encounter narrow grottos alternating with expansive seascapes. As you contemplate the improbable forms sculpted into rock, be aware of the smooth sensation of water sliding beneath your feet. Swim in the waters of the Cantabrian Sea (also known as the Bay of Biscay) and visit the neighboring beaches if time allows it. Photo via

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Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Track

Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Track Inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night   Daan Roosegaarde standing on his Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Track Imagine taking your bike for a ride in a warm summer evening and suddenly entering a dream zone. Thousands of small sparkling

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Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona   In Page, Arizona explore more of what the Great West has to offer. Page, located just 10 minutes from the Utah border, is a place we’ve been meaning to venture since moving to Phoenix in 2010.  The tiny Arizona city is about a four and a half hour drive from Phoenix — one that takes you straight through Flagstaff — and is quite pretty. The original pull was the grand “Wave,” also in Page, but it is practically impossible to see it. The Wave only allows 20 people in per day and they have a lottery system set up where you pay for a chance to go. You have to literally win The Wave lottery to even see it! Maybe someday. Anyway, another geographical pull to Page, if you will, was Antelope Canyon, the impressive natural wonder. Stunning, right? Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon made of soft sandstone. The nature of this stone — and its location on the Navajo land — has made it particularly susceptible

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Tropical Beaches

Tropical Beaches The loose definition for the tropics is the region that surrounds the Equator. More specifically, it is the region that is confined between the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. However you define it, this is a region that is tailor made for beach vacations. Idyllic strips of sand are found throughout the tropics, and the region is also blessed with warm year-round weather and abundant sunshine. Add it all up, and it is little wonder that tropical beaches consistently rank so high among the world’s very best. Just the thought of them invokes relaxing images of swaying in a hammock, listening to the sounds of the surf, and watching palm trees sway in the ocean breezes. Of course, tropical beach vacations don’t have to be all about relaxation. Many tropical beaches have exceptionally clear waters and coral reefs just offshore, in which case they can be perfect jump-off points for snorkeling or diving excursions. Depending on the beach in question, it might also be possible to engage in any other number of fun water sport activities. Basically, tropical beach vacations can include as little or as much as you want in the way of activity. Whichever way you decide to go, finding a tropical beach destination that suits your fancy shouldn’t be difficult. There are so many gems to select from. You can read about some of the very best destinations below. Hawaii The Hawaiian Islands boast some of the most enticing tropical beaches on the planet. While there are too many of these beaches to list, worth pointing out is Lanikai Beach on the island of Oahu. This is certainly one of the most picturesque beaches in the island chain, offering a divine mix of white sand, lush tropical plants, and swaying palm trees. Protecting the shore and keeping the turquoise-blue waters calm at Lanikai Beach is a nearby coral reef. Another Hawaii beach of note is Kauna’oa Bay. Found along the Big Island’s famed Kohala Coast, Kauna’oa Bay features a crescent-shaped strip of white sand that is backed by palm trees. The water is almost always calm and clear, which encourages visitors to enjoy such activities as swimming and snorkeling. Sunbathing is also quite popular at Kauna’oa Bay, as you might suspect.   Caribbean Musha Cay, Bahamas The Caribbean is awash in tropical beaches. As such, it is understandable that so many travelers focus on the region when planning beach vacations. With so many islands and bordering coastlines to choose from, trying to decide the exact location for Caribbean beach vacations can be difficult, however. Some good places to keep in mind include the island of St. Barts and the Turks and Caicos island chain. St. Barts is small, but it boasts no less

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Zanzibar, The Rock Restaurant

Zanzibar, The Rock Restaurant Hanged on a Solitary Cliff in the Indian Ocean   Tourism on the Edge is about unconventional places from across the world, including places where eating is itself a way of exploring. On this note, we would like to present the magical Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar. And what better way to discover the taste of a different culture than dining in a small restaurant hanged on a solitary rock, right in the middle of the Indian Ocean? The Rock is situated in front of the Michanwi Pingwe beach in the Michanwi Peninsula, on the south-east coast of the Unguja Island. Zanzibar Archipelago is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa, with the capital in Zanzibar City. If you are curious to find more about the history of these lands, you can visit the historical part of the capital called Stone Town, a designated UNESCO World

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Mexico: The Swim to Remember

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Carpatia Express Train Hotel

“Carpatia Express” Train Hotel in Maramureș, Romania   In Romania’s Maramureș County there is an old train converted into a small hotel with a restaurant. Even tough this kind of accommodation unit is not new for the international travelers, a train hotel concept still sounds like an exotic place to sleep. For this discovery, we should thank the guys from Zig Zag Through Romania (we wrote a small article about them a while back). “Carpatia Express” is the first train hotel created in Romania and can be found in the north part of the country, in the small town called Vișeu de Sus, Maramureș. Baia Mare is the closest city it will soon become an international airport. However, the most handy solution is to arrive at Cluj, the biggest city in Transylvania, and start your trip from there.

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UNUSUAL BEACHES

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Colorful Beaches Around the Globe

COLORFUL BEACHES   AROUND THE GLOBE   ICELAND - Black Sand Beach In 1991, the American journal Islands Magazine counted the black sand beach of Vik, Iceland as one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches on Earth. It’s easy to see why! Vik is Iceland’s southernmost village and faces the open Atlantic Ocean, framed by a long black volcanic sand beach. Nearby the spindly Reynisdrangar rock formations stick out of the sea, and as the legend goes, were formed when trolls attempted to drag three ships ashore. The mountains of Pétursey, Hjörleifshöfði and Hafursey stand towering over the village of just 450. Beautiful, but dangerous. Vik lies directly under the Myrdalsjokull glacier, which itself sits atop the volcano Katla. Katla last erupted in 1918 and speculation is that a big eruption is brewing, which would be way more powerful than the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. The eruption could melt enough of the glacier to trigger a flash flood, obliterating the village. The village church, high up on a hill, is believed to be the only building that would survive the flood.   California - Glass Beach Fort Bragg "Glass Beach" is on the Mendocino Coast in Fort Bragg, California, 120 miles north of San Francisco. Believed to have the highest concentration of sea glass in the world. Glass Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world, not only because nature's beauty, but because time and the pounding surf have corrected one of man's mistakes. Some believe that sea glass is "Mermaid Tears". It's rumored that every time a sailor is lost at sea, the Mermaids cry, and the sea glass is their tears washing up on shore. But this glass covered beach was created by people. THE GREAT QUAKE of 1906 that devastated San Francisco, also rocked Northern California, instantly reducing most of downtown Fort Bragg's buildings to rubble. Many buildings were damaged, the devastation was wide-spread and overwhelming. Before the 1906 Quake, people disposed of their trash on their property, by burning and reusing. As the townspeople determined they would rebuild, they realized there was too much debris to burn, so they chose to clear the huge amount of debris by dumping it in the ocean, thinking it would wash away. Much to their surprise, the debris did not wash out of the cove, creating an ocean dump.From the ashes of that devastating quake, it's aftermath, and dumping until the mid 1960's, these truly amazing gl

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Budget Ways to Explore Sydney

13 Ways to Explore Sydney on a Budget     As my friends and I drank wine in the shadow of the Opera House, I couldn’t help but be happy – I was back in Sydney for the first time in five years and I was here for over two weeks! “Shall we go somewhere else?” my friends asked. “Sure, let’s get the bill!” I replied. When our check came, I was reminded of something about Sydney I had forgotten: its high prices. Even with a currently weak Australian dollar, Sydney was more expensive than I remembered. With its $10 sandwiches, $10 beers, $19 cocktails, $30 hostels (sometimes up to $40!!!), and outrageous restaurant prices, Sydney can burn a hole in your wallet quicker than actual fire. It was going to be an expensive two weeks if I didn’t figure out how to enjoy the best this city had to offer on a budget. Leaving no stone unturned (OK, probably one or two), last month I found several ways to save big here – while still filling your days and having a lot of fun: Get an Opal card This metro card is free — you just need to load it with money — and worth using for three reasons: it offers discounted fare compared to purchasing one-use tickets (this varies by distance); there’s a maximum fare charge of $15 per day; and on Sundays, the maximum is $2.50. That means you can go anywhere on the transportation system – whether by metro, ferry, or light rail – and you’ll never pay more than $2.50! It’s an amazing deal. The Art Gallery of New South Wales The Art Gallery of NSW is one of my favorite museums in the city. There are so many exquisite landscape paintings, portraits, and statues in its collection by Australian and European artists (and even a few by Monet). It’s a really substantial collection. Some of my favorites were Albert Hanson’s “Pacific Beaches,” Guerard’s “Jebel Cherib” and “Milford Sound,” Peter Paul Ruebens’ “Self-Portrait,” and Batten’s “Snowdrop and the Seven Little Men.” The Museum of Contemporary Art The contemporary art museum also is free and features Australian artists, including many Aboriginals. While I’m not a huge fan of this type

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Mexico: A Swim To Remember

Mexico: A Swim To Remember The Hidden Beach     The Hidden Beach is one of the most renown beaches in the world, an ideal place for snorkeling and water diving enthusiasts. It is situated on one of the Marieta Islands, now designated national park, 20 miles away from Puerto Vallarta, Western Mexico. Due to the governmental regulations that prohibits any fishing and hunting that could damage the environment, a marine ecosystem was developed in the Marieta Islands. On your way to the Hidden Beach, you are likely to encounter sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins, thousands of species of tropical

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Wroclaw, European Cultural Capital 2016

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4 Less Know Museums in the UK

Cultural Wanderlust: 4 Less Known Original Museums in the UK   If you’ve already explored the popular destinations in the United Kingdom such as the London Eye, Stone Henge, Windsor Castle, or Big Ben, you’re probably craving to point your compass to another tourist hotspot. For those who are experiencing a strong sense of wanderlust, another activity that you can do in the UK is to explore their museums. Gone are the days when these archaic infrastructures feature relics and bones of ancient animals. These days, museums are also filled with oddities such as dog collars and cuckoo clocks. We list down some of the odd museums that you should visit during your budget-friendly UK trip. 1. Cumberland Pencil Museum Who would’ve thought

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Dom’Up Glamping Tree House,

Dom’Up Tree House, an Original Glamping Concept   Usually linked to a sense of childhood refuge or playfulness, trees are most of all a symbol of freedom, often took for granted nowadays. The Belgian guys at Trees and People started

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Chocolate Almond Braid Bread

 Chocolate Almond Braid  

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Mini Bloomin' Onions

Mini Bloomin' Onions   You'll need...

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Omelet in a Bag

Omelet in a Bag  

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R.I.P. Prince

R.I.P. Prince Constant Innovation Boundless Music   by Piotr Orlov 04/21/2016 8:07pm In 1855, the great American original Walt Whitman wrote “Song of Myself,” a poem that would end up capturing the young nation’s diverse character. It featured the immortal line: “I am large, I contain multitudes.” 126 years later, another of our nation’s creative originals, Prince, who died today at age of 57, took up that great American mantra of contradictions, put a groove to it, and turned it into a series of questions: “Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay?...Do I believe in God? Do I believe in me?” Prince got metaphysical as hell in “Controversy,” in a way that Uncle Walt would have approved: “Some people want to die so they can be free.” When history books of Classic American Art are written, The Bard of Democracy and His Purpleness will not be far away from each other in a chapter labeled “Geniuses.”   Genius. It’s a highly overused phrase in music criticism, and yet one tailored for a beautiful, diminutive, classy man from Minneapolis, who, when he wasn’t single-handedly helping reinvent the sound of global pop music, was a master craftsman, an unparalleled performer and a Barnum-esque creator of huge cultural moments. One who would at times magnetically walk to the spotlight, at others hide far from it, but who – push comes to shove – released almost an album a year the length of his staggering career, 37 non-compilation albums in all since 1978. Prince was a confident man right from the start. When he signed with Warner Bros. as an 18 year-old, he not only wrestled full creative control from them (For You, his debut, found him playing all the instruments and producing), but also became part of its rock, rather than R&B roster, which at the time was a standard case for major label pigeonholing. In retrospect, the prescience of this move served both parties, not only confirming the artist’s musical ambition

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3D Art by Marcello Barenghi

3D Art   Gummy Bears Drawing   Dra

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Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia a Spectacle of Vitality       Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most talked about places in Croatia, an European country with a lot of amazing landscapes and one you should definitely turn to when planning a trip to Europe. 16 beautiful lakes interconnected by stunning waterfalls are the “essence” of this out-of-this-world scenery. Their water color varies, depending on the minerals they receive. Forests are spread all over the park’s surface and the fauna and flora is unique. You will discover a lot of caves and unusual paths in your visiting tour around Plitvice Lakes, Croatia.

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Magical Hobbit Hotel in Chile

Fantastic Hobbit Accommodation in Chile: Magic Mountain Hotel Magic Mountain Hotel or Montaña Mágica Lodge in an extremely creative accommodation unit located deep in southern Chile and accessible by rope bridge. Getting to the depths of the private Huilo Huilo biological reserve is an adventure in itself, as every step brings in sight incredible scenes, some that resemble fairytale tracks or fantastic hobbit paths.

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No-Bake Chocolate Biscuit Cake

No-Bake Chocolate Biscuit Cake Everybody love no-bake desserts as they are easy and quick to prepare, perfect for those moments whenever you want something sweet but don’t feel like turning on the oven. This Chocolate Biscuit Cake is one of them, and I guess many of us are familiar with it since childhood, in various shapes and forms. Chocolaty, rich dessert made with crushed biscuits, chocolate syrup and toasted nuts, hardly not to fall in love with it.  This is the kind of recipe that is never refused, looks quite impressive taking in count the little time involved, tastes awesome and everybody love it every time I make it.  The recipe is really easy to prepare, there is no way you can wrong with it. I’ve used my mother’s recipe she had for years and just added chocolate ganache on top. Even kids can be involved in the process as they love crushing biscuits and pressing the mixture into the pan. You can always make variations to this chocolate biscuit recipe, add different flavors like orange zest, rum, almond extract, dried fruits. I usually like to keep it simple and enjoy the rich chocolate flavor. Pre

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Chocolate Rose Cake Recipe

Chocolate Rose Cake         As a chocolate lover I have a lot of chocolate recipes on my blog, but this is the first time I’m posting  a dark chocolate layered cake with a chocolate frosting, all chocolate, inside and out. This is by far a dessert for chocolate lovers only, rich, moist and chocolaty, it’s like getting to chocolate heaven indeed.  For this recipe is essential to use good quality cocoa powder and good quality chocolate, as their combined flavors will make the cake either heavenly or totally disappointing.  The cocoa based cake is really moist and soft, doesn’t need any additional syrup to get it moist and melt in your mouth.   For the frosting I did not use the regular buttercream frosting that most of the recipes are using. I kind of stay away from buttercreams, for my taste, buttercream use just too much sugar.. In no way I am going to use like 7 or 8 cups of powdered sugar just to make a frosting able to be piped nicely. I’ve used a chocolate mousse frosting instead, made with only chocolate, whipping cream, cocoa powder for extra flavor and some gelatin to make it hold it’s shape better. No extra sugar in this frosting and it’s amazing.   The recipe is easy, decorate the cake any way you like best and enjoy the most amazing chocolate dessert ever.

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Irish Coffee Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

Irish Coffee Cream Chocolate Cupcakes       I recently have discovered the perfect recipe for chocolate cupcakes and really hope you will give these a try. They are rich, chocolaty and with a divine moist interior. And that is not all - the cream cheese frosting with a hint of Irish cream tastes absolutely amazing and goes so well with the chocolate cupcakes.    Not only they are perfect for celebrating St Patrick’s Day but are simply wonderful for any occasion.    If you don't want to use Irish cream for the frosting feel free to use vanilla or any other flavoring that you prefer, but the cream cheese frosting is a must, as I consider it so much better than any buttercream that is usually used to decorate cupcakes.

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Grutas Tolantongo Mexico

Grutas Tolantongo Mexico  

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Ballet Groosland

Ballet GROOSLAND Dutch National Ballet     Extract Maguy Marin’s ballet “Groosland,” set to two “Brandenburg” Concertos; the dancers take off their working-class clothes.   A ballet that really impressed me was the performance of Groosland . It was odd and it introduced me to Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, which are so beautiful. “Groosland”, commissioned

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Kinetic installation by Nils Völker

Kinetic installation by Nils Völker   Hoberman Spheres   Bits and Pieces 2016   The installation consists out of 108 so-called Hoberman spheres hanging in the middle of the exhibition space. The mass-produced children toys are made from countless interconnected colorful plastic levers and can expand itself to a multiple of their size. Each one is moved by a

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MOST BEAUTIFUL CASTLES IN EUROPE

MOST BEAUTIFUL CASTLES IN EUROPE   The Palace of Pena Sintra (Lisbon) - Portugal   Located in the Sintra hills, the Park and Palace of Pena are the fruit of King Ferdinand II’s creative genius and the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal, denoting clear influences from the Manueline and Moorish styles of architecture. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant gardens with over five hundred different species of trees originating from the four corners of the earth. (©parquesdesintra.pt).

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Wine - best destinations Europe

 Wine - best destinations Europe   The 10 best wine destinations in Europe   Wine is a product like no other, it tells the whole story of a region, its climate, the lives of its inhabitants, their taste and their ingenuity. Each wine is different and you will surely be gratified with our selection of the best wine destinations in Europe.   Alentejo Portugal In the Alentejo, there is no haggling over the honour to be paid to Bacchus. The wines are emblematic of the Region. There are more than 250 producers, with an area under cultivation in the order of 22,000 hectares.  Go to Borba, if possible in November, when the Festa da Vinha e do Vinho (festival of the vine and of wine) takes place. In the Historical Centre there are various "tasquinhas” (small taverns/restaurants), some with enormous clay wine-pots, where the wine used to be made, that offer local products. During the festival, they are places on a special route visited by the Confraria dos Enófilos do Alentejo (confraternity of wine-lovers). The other is that, in December, you should visit Cabeção and Vila de Frades, when the tasting of the new wine from the producers is the occasion for a festival. In Vila de Frades, within the framework of the Vitifrades event, there is a competition for local "pot-made” wine (2nd weekend in December). In this town as much as in two others nearby, Vila Alva and Vila Ruiva, wine of this kind is still produced using methods very close to those used by the Romans.  Finally, you should not fail to visit the Enoteca and the Museu do Vinho in Redondo. Begin with the museum, which has the advantage of being located in the Tourist Office, make an excursion into the Serra d’Ossa, enjoy a succulent lunch and spend the afternoon in the town. (Copyright VisitAlentejo).    Bordeaux France You can go on a guided tour of the city on foot, by boat, or by bike, visit the wine country, or see the region on a river cruise… Your children will love the boat option, and you and your friends will undoubtedly appreciate a wine tasting or discovering Bordeaux by night. Visiting Bordeaux is a real treat, and one that always includes a few surprises.   People usually go to Saint-Emilion for its superb wine, but they also discover an extraordinary, well-preserved historic village.  Located one hour by car from Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion is an adorable medieval town surrounded by 5,500 hectares of vines, and was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999! (Copyright bordeaux-tourism).   The Douro Valley Portugal The Douro Valley could as easily be called the enchanted valley, such is the beauty and magic that its landscapes offer.  Departing from Porto, where the river flows into the sea and where the Douro wines (table wines and Port wine), produced on its hillsides, also end up, there are various ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter. None will leave you indifferent.  Following a route between the viewpoints that offer the best vistas, you need to cross the river from north

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CHICKEN CAPRESE

CHICKEN CAPRESE Tomatoes cooked in balsamic vinegar are the perfect sweet-tart compliment to this cheesy chicken. Total Time: 0:30 Prep: 0:10 Cook:

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17 Brilliant Money Saving Food Tips

17 Brilliant Money Saving Food Tips Save your money for more important things…like more food. 1. Use a sealable bag to keep ice cream soft. smartschoolhouse.com 2. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap and they’ll last 3-5 days longer than usual. preventdisease.com This trick is especially helpful if you eat organic bananas.   3. Look at the top and bottom shelves at the grocery store—the eye-level ones stock the priciest stuff.  Via Flickr: thomashawk Grocery stores put more expensive items on the shelves we see first, so look up and down to spot the deals.   4. Buy chicken in family packs, drop the extras into sealable bags with marinade, and freeze. wordpress.com The marinated chicken will be damn flavorful, and you can just thaw them as you need them.   5. Use the microwave to dry leftover herbs. seriouseats.com You’re never going to use all of that parsley before it starts it wilt. To preserve its color and flavor, place the herbs between two paper towels and microwave

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“Instant” Oatmeal Jars

“Instant” Oatmeal Jars Easy Breakfast Meal Preparation   Oatmeal Jars are so convenient & versatile for busy mornings! Simply fill with HOT milk or water…finish getting ready for the day….grab & GO! Allowing the kids to make their own little weekly  “stash” of oat jars, sure makes mornings easier! Prepping ahead saves SO much time, and ensures everyone always gets a healthy breakfast. Endless Flavor Combinations. Use all freeze dried fruit (no sugar added). It’s crunchy and sweet. Freeze-dried fruit maintains all of it’s vital nutrients and vibrant flavor, making it a convenient shelf-stable healthy option. (no refrigeration needed)   ■  Apples & Cinnamon (1/4 cup freeze Dried Apples, 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, pinch of granulated stevia, or granulated sweetener of choice) ■ Raspberries

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Propagating Roses

PROPAGATING ROSES SIMPLY BY USING POTATOS Do you walk around your neighbourhood and, when seeing a beautiful rose, wish you could have one like it in your garden. Propagating roses by putting a cutting in water is probably not going to work. But the method described in this blog gives you a fair chance of success. In this video the method of propagating rose cuttings with the help of potatos in a pot of soil is being demonstrated.   Prepare a bed in a sunny spot in your garden or in a planter and ensure good drainage (eg with sand at the bottom).

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Kulebyaka – Russian Salmon Pie

  Kulebyaka – Russian pie   Kulebyaka or Coulibiac is an authentic Russian hot pie, which has an oblong shape and features several fillings. The word became from old Russian verb – ‘kulebyachit’, that means to make with hands, to shape, to bend and to knead. Pies are always have been loved in Russia. Even famous Russian writers as N.Gogol and A.Turgenev glorified pies in their works. Various pies were always made for every holiday and festival, though it was posh royal celebration or small peasant occasion. Large pies stuffed with several ingredients were really popular, they were baked on Butterweek and Easter and served in taverns and small tea-houses, where each owner had a special recipe and baked very individual pies, different from anyone else’s, i.e. opened and closed pies, feature simple (potatoes or cabbage) or complicated (sturgeon with buckwheat) filling. Only in the 17th century, the grand oblong pie, that features several fillings, was named ‘kulebyaka’. The pastry shell was usually made from the yeast dough (the recipe is below). The main distinction of the kulebyaka-pie from any other Russian pie is that the quantity of the filling should be two or three times exceeds the quantity of the pastry;

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How to Cultivate a Positive Mindset

10 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Mindset and Change Your Life “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha I remember how I used to think; it was always, “People suck” and “I hate (fill in the blank).” I was constantly focusing on the bad side of humanity, so that was all I could see. It cast a shadow, which took the joy out of life. It should have been obvious that I was creating my own misery, but I wasn’t able to see how my own thoughts affected my mood. I had to change my entire outlook by training my mind to see things in a new light. It would have been easy to stay on the same path. After all, I had chronic fatigue, no money, and nothing to look forward to because I didn’t have a compelling vision of the future. I felt the present situation was permanent. Eventually, I’d had enough and started thinking about what I could do to change my situation. Change was slow, but a new path that wasn’t clear to me before started to appear as I worked on my mindset. As things progressed, my goals and dreams became bigger and more ambitious. I started imagining being fit, healthy, running my own business, and traveling the world. These are some of the things I did to change my mindset and my life. 1. Seek positive friends. A negative social circle will act as an echo chamber for bad ideas. A positive social circle will also act as an echo chamber, but one that supports your dreams, so choose your friends carefully. Find people who reflect the values you want to adopt. Join groups online and go to networking or social events focused on personal growth. As your own mind starts to change, it’ll become easier to connect with more positive people. I’m not suggesting that you ditch friends who are going through a hard time and need your support, but rather that you evaluate whether some of your relationships are persistently draining and unhealthy. I left my old social circle because it was an echo chamber for negativity. Instead of focusing on a great future, everyone was talking about the things they didn’t like about life. It was hard to

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Think Less, Feel More

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Wisdom: Think Less, Feel More

Think Less, Feel More “Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.” ~Osho Have you ever felt attached to your thoughts—like you knew you were thinking yourself in circles, but a part of you wanted to keep getting dizzy? Now that I’m healthy and energized, three months after my surgery, I’m developing a consistent yoga practice again—and I’m feeling better mentally and physically as a result of doing that. But sometimes,

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Calm Yourself When Feeling Strong Emotions

A Simple Way to Calm Yourself When Feeling Strong Emotions   “This is the root of Self. You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts. You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions…. You are the conscious being who is aware that you are aware of all these inner and outer things.” ~Michael Singer I sat across from my colleague with a growing sense of discomfort. I had accepted an assignment from the boss, but I heard from my colleague an undercurrent of questioning and uncertainty—or so it seemed. It was so subtle that I couldn’t quite tell what was going on. Did she not believe I could do it? Nobody else was stepping forward to meet the need. Was she saying it’s better to go with nobody than with me? All I knew for sure was that I wasn’t hearing this outright. I decided to let it go, head on home, think about it tomorrow, and be fully present with my family instead. But the next morning as I pulled into my parking spot in front of the office, a subtle agitation rumbled in my stomach. I walked into the quiet building and set my things down in the office, distracted by my disquiet and wishing I could focus on my task list. The thoughts prickling at me wouldn’t let go. I laid my pen down and asked myself, “Okay, what’s going on?” In my top drawer I keep a deck of “grok” cards that I bought from the folks at the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Each one has the name of a need or value—things like “hope,” “trust,” and “balance” show up in this deck. I frequently use these when I can’t quite put a finger on what’s bothering me. I flipped through the cards and sorted them as I

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Make Your Cruel Inner Voice Work for You

How to Make Your Cruel Inner Voice Work for You, Not Against You “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda I’ve always had issues with food, but in the past five years this struggle became a full-blown eating disorder. I remember the first time I thought I was too big, in fourth grade. Now I know that I wasn’t too big. Maybe I hadn’t outgrown my baby fat yet, but I wasn’t overweight. Still, all the other girls at my school were smaller than me. There was one day when a pediatrician came to our school for a health check. Everyone was measured, weighed, etc. I can still feel the sheer horror I felt when my friends asked about my weight. I lied, but they didn’t believe me. Instead, they called me fat and ugly and told me that they didn’t want to play with me any longer. This feeling, this shame, stuck with me all my life. Since that day I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and the fear of not being accepted for who I am. I believe this was beginning for my eating disorder. Inner Voices In therapy I learned that my self-talk influences me tremendously, and I also learned that the inner voices aren’t always right. Sometimes they are ego-driven, and not focused on what’s the best for me in the long run. My inner voice told me that I’d only be worthy and likable if I were skinny. It would cheer me up when I was eating less than the day before, and it would beat me up when I ate “too much.” (Note: one apple plus one tub of cottage cheese was “too much”!) I was literally starving myself. I was so brainwashed by that constant mantra of “Come on, Mona. You’re stronger than your hunger! You made it yesterday! You don’t have to eat!” that I didn’t realize I was highly depressed and severely underweight. When I finally got tired of feeling constantly miserable, it took two therapists, countless tears, and an incredible amount of hard work to overcome my destructive behavior. But I can proudly say, I did it. I made peace with my eating disorder voice. Now I want to share with you the technique that kick-started my recovery and gave me back my life. Our Inner Team The inner team is a model borrowed from communication psychology, developed by German psychologist

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Curiosity and The Cat and More

Common Sayings That Mean The Opposite Of What You Think The purpose of proverbs is to teach people wisdom and help them understand the insights of the wise. Some proverbs are indeed worth abiding by, while others . . . not so much. Many proverbs actually have an opposite proverb, making it hard to choose the one that actually speaks the truth. Still other proverbs are commonly misused and carry a different meaning today than originally intended.  Curiosity Killed The Cat Actually: Care killed the cat. The phrase “curiosity killed the cat” serves as a warning to those who are too curious for their own good. However, the proverb we know today actually originated from “care killed the cat,” with the word “care” meaning “worry” or “sorrow.” The proverb was first recorded in Ben Johnson’s play Every Man in His Humour in 1598. It is believed that the play was performed by a troupe of actors that included William Shakespeare. Later, without any scruples, Shakespeare used the memorable line in his own play Much Ado About Nothing: “What, courage man! what though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.” In 1898, the original expression of “care killed the cat” was still in use when it was defined in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: “It is said that ‘a cat has nine lives,’ yet care would wear them all out.” However, in that same year, the phrase was printed as “it is said that once ‘curiosity killed a Thomas cat’ ” in The Galveston Daily News. By the time it appeared in Eugene O’Neill’s play Diff’rent in 1922, the phrase had morphed into the one we so often use today. Blood Is Thicker Than Water Actually: The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. “Blood is thicker than water” is often used to imply that family ties are more important than duty to anything else. Today, we often use the phrase to remind one another that family bonds are far more significant than temporary relationships with friends. This is not at all what the phrase originally meant. The original version stated, “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” meaning that the bond between comrades is stronger than your family allegiance. Back in the day, the word blood was taken quite literally and was referring to the blood that was shed by soldiers on the battlefield. “Blood is thicker than water” was also used in reference to blood covenants that people used to make by sharing the blood of an animal or even by cutting one another and mixing their blood together. Once the covenant was made, it bonded them for life and meant that they were committed to one another more than they were committed to their own brothers. Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None Actually: Jack of all trades. Today, the proverb “Jack of all trades, master of none” is used in a derogatory fashion. Originally, the phrase was simply “Jack of all trades” and carried no negative connotations with it. In fact, it simply meant a person who could do a lot of things. The name “Jack” doesn’t refer to any specific person and is a generic term used to describe the common man. Medieval “Jacks” were at the bottom of the social ladder and made a living through various trades that were populated by Jacks, such as lumberjacks and steeplejacks. In addition, the name “Jack” was also added to many useful objects such as smoke-jack (a roasting pit) or jack-plane (a basic carpenter’s plane). In the Middle Ages, there probably wasn’t a single trade that

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Fascinating Facts about Gypsies

10 Fascinating Facts About Gypsies   The Romani are one of the most misunderstood and mythologized peoples on our planet, and it’s been that way for centuries. Rumors have long persisted that they blow into town, seduce men and women, and then steal everything in sight, including children. There are also many myths about lusty women, scarf-wearing fortune-tellers, and caravans. Misconceptions and myths aside, the Romani remain one of the most fascinating ethnic groups in history.  The Huge Debate About Where They Came From Photo credit: Diebold Schilling The Romani’s origins are shrouded in mystery. In the early days of their travels, it seemed that they magically appeared on the Continent. That alone may have sparked the Europeans’ feelings of fear and mystery about the Romani. Noted professors theorized that the Romani originally made a mass exodus from India in the fifth century. That theory supposes that their flight was due to the spread of Islam, which the Romani were desperate to escape to protect their religious freedom. This theory has them moving from India to Anatolia to Europe and further theorizes that the Romani people split into three distinct branches—the Domari, the Lomavren, and the Romani—during their mass exodus. However, noted professor (and Romani activist) Ian Hancock does not support the theory. Instead, he proposes that there were as many as three separate migrations over a span of several centuries. Hancock used linguistics to further support his theories but was met with opposition to them. Their Nomadic Lifestyle Isn’t Always By Choice Photo credit: German Federal Archives The Romani people have long been subject to exotification. Whether it’s the casual use of phrases like “gypsy soul” (free-spirited) or the Cirque du Soleil show Varekai, the Romani people are constantly stereotyped as a people who willingly move wherever they will. According to the stereotype, they prefer to live outside the mainstream and eschew societal norms for a shifting nomadic lifestyle replete with colorful caravans and dancing. The truth of their shifting, moving existence is far bleaker. For centuries, the Romani people have often been forcefully expelled from the countries in which they lived. That forced expulsion continues today. It is common for large numbers of the Romani people to be forcefully deported to other countries. Many have theorized that the truest reason for the nomadic existence of the Romani people is also the simplest: survival. They Have No Country Of Their Own Photo credit: AdiJapan The Romani are a stateless nation. Most countries refuse them citizenship even if they were born within the country. Centuries of persecution, their insular society, and mitigating factors in the post-Yugoslavia era have left the modern Romani adrift, apart from society, and stateless. The statelessness of the Romani was not fixed by the 1977 creation of the International Romani Union. In 2000, the Romani were officially declared a non-territorial nation. This statelessness makes the Romani

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10 Attempts At Explaining Time

10 Attempts At Explaining Time Time is a weird thing. We don’t all seem to experience it in quite the same way—sometimes it passes quickly, sometimes slowly, and it seems to go by faster and faster the older we get. There have been plenty of theories that attempt to explain just what time is and why it’s so mysterious, and some of them are pretty mind-bending.  St. Augustine’s Theory Of Mind-Time Christian philosopher St. Augustine had a couple of things to say about time. First, he said that time was absolutely not infinite. Time was, according to him, created by God, and it’s impossible to create something that’s infinite. He also said that time actually exists only in our mind, a bizarre conclusion that all has to do with how we interpret time. We may say that something lasted a long time or a short time, but St. Augustine said that there’s no real way to quantify that. When something is in the past, it no longer has any properties of being anything because it doesn’t exist anymore, and when we say something took a long time, that’s just because we’re remembering it that way. Since we only measure time based on how we remember it, then it must only exist in our memories. The future doesn’t exist yet, so that can’t have any measurable quantities, either. The only thing that does exist is the present (and that’s a complicated concept we’ll get to in a minute), so the only logical conclusion left is that time only exists in our heads.  The Topology Of Time What does time look like? If you try to picture time, do you see it as a straight line that goes on forever? Or do you think of time sort of looking like a clock, going around and around, circling back on itself every day or every year? Obviously, there’s no right answer, but there are some intriguing ideas about it. According to Aristotle, time can’t exist as a line, at least one with a beginning or an end, even though there must have been a time when, well, time started. In order for there to be a moment in time when time began, there had to be something before that marked its beginning. The same goes for the end of time, he said. In order for the line of time to come to an end, there has to be something after it to mark that particular point as the end of time. There’s also the problem of how many lines of time are there—is there one line of time that everything travels along together, or are there multiple lines of time that alternately intersect or run parallel to each other? Is time a single line with a lot of branches? Or perhaps moments in the time stream exist independently from other moments. There are plenty of opinions, but no answers. The Specious Present The idea of the specious present deals with the question of how long the present actually lasts. The usual answer, something about it being the “now,” isn’t very descriptive. For instance, when we’re in the middle of talking to someone and we’re in mid-sentence, we’ve already finished the beginning of the sentence and it’s in the past, but the conversation itself is still taking place in the present. So how long does the present actually last? E.R. Clay and William James refer to this idea as the specious present—the space of time that we perceive as being in the present. They suggest that it can be as short as a few seconds and probably not longer than a minute, but it’s the amount of time that we’re immediately, consciously aware of. And within that, there’s still a little bit of wiggle room to argue. It could theoretically have something to do with how long a person’s short-term memory is—the better that is, the longer the present is. There’s also the idea that it’s just a matter of instantaneous perception, and the second it’s passed and you’re relying on your short-term memory, a moment is no longer a part of the present. Then there’s the problem of the present and something of an extended present, which is where the specious present comes in. The present must have no length of actual time, because if it did, part of that time would be in the past and part would be in the future, contradicting itself. So the specious present tries to explain the present as an interval of time that has duration, yet is a separate thing from the objective present. Shorter People Experience ‘Now’ Sooner It sounds weird, but it makes

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Visions - Future from Past

Visions Of The Future From The Past The future always changes. From heroic space adventures in the 1960s to paranoid cyberpunk in the 1980s, you can learn a lot about the zeitgeist of an era by looking at how people imagined the future. This is also true of most early science fiction from the 18th and 19th centuries. Like today, writers back then projected their fears, ambitions, and prejudices onto a future society that we, as residents of a far-off epoch, can now appreciate with gimlet-eyed hindsight.  Memoirs Of The Twentieth Century Photo credit: Nabu Press via Amazon.com One of the first English-language texts to deal with the future was Memoirs of the Twentieth Century, written by Irish Anglican clergyman Samuel Madden and published in 1733. He claimed to have had the “honour and misfortune” to “have dar’d to enter by the help of an infallible Guide, into the dark Caverns of Futurity, and discover the Secrets of Ages yet to come.” The book was touted as its subtitle, “Original Letters of State, Under George the Sixth, Related to the most important Events in Great Britain and Europe . . . from the Middle of the Eighteenth to the End of the Twentieth Century. Received and Revealed in the year 1728; and now published . . . in Six Volumes.” The reference to five nonexistent sequels to the first volume was a satirical jab at long-winded memoirs of the time. The book’s format was a series of letters to the British monarch from ambassadors in foreign capitals in the years 1997 and 1998. There was little in the way of technological development in Madden’s vision, but there were great political changes: The Ottoman Empire was replaced by a Tatar dynasty, while the papacy ruled supreme with rich holdings in Africa, China, and Paraguay. It also featured interesting elements like a Mexican cheese that never rots, extant native states in North America, a messianic movement arising in Persia, and an army of Central African Jews marching on Egypt. However, much of the material was actually concerned with satirizing 18th-century political and religious concerns rather than serious speculation. Memoirs of the Twentieth Century was published anonymously in 1733 but then immediately suppressed by both the author himself as well as British prime minister Sir Robert Walpole. This may have been because the content wasn’t actually speculations on the future but rather a thinly veiled satire of the Walpole government. Alternatively, it may have been because the identity of the author had become known, and Madden feared the effect of the work on his reputation. Of the 1,000 copies printed, around 900 were returned to Madden, who destroyed them.  The Reign Of George VI: 1900 To 1925 Photo credit: Leopold Classic Library via Amazon.com In 1763, another futurism-themed book was published in the United Kingdom. It’s often confused with Samuel Madden’s work but was actually an unrelated anonymously written text. The Reign of George VI: 1900 to 1925 was a sort of British wish fulfillment fantasy, describing the rule of a wise and brave monarch during the early 20th century. The text portrays Britain as under threat from a Russia ruled by Czar Peter IV, who controls a northern empire which includes Scandinavia and a powerful and threatening navy. The czar was allied with France, which was very much the junior partner in the alliance to dominate Europe. George IV defeats Franco-Russian attempts to invade England in 1900 and forces a peace in 1902 after invading France himself while the Turks attack Russia from the south. The next decade and a half are peaceful and prosperous for victorious England, with George IV investing heavily in the arts and sciences. He builds a new English capital at Stanley, in Rutland. The city is surrounded by artificial mountains and filled with neoclassical architecture and planned streets, complete with a palace filled with artwork from throughout Europe and Asia. A second great war with the Franco-Russians occurs from 1917 to 1920. The English again score victories in Europe with the help of allied German and Italian states, though the Spanish joined the enemy side. It would end with the British conquest of France, Mexico, and the Philippines. The postwar years would feature the development of a great canal transport system and the rise of manufacturing in both the British Isles and the American colonies (which apparently never declared independence). The book ends in 1925 with a great golden age. Perhaps the most unrealistic element is the happiness of the French population under the benevolent rule of an English monarch. Some have admitted that despite the excessively pro-British sentiment of the text, there are some interesting parallels between Madden’s work and real history—20th-century Russian power, the rise of manufacturing in North America, and the strength of a British monarch named George VI during a world war. L’An 2440 Photo via Wikimedia Louis-Sebastien Mercier’s novel L’An 2440 commences with an 18th-century Frenchman having a heated argument with an Englishman before going off to take a nap and waking up in the year 2440. (The English translation, Memoirs of the Year Two Thousand Five Hundred, changed the year to 2500 “for the sake of a round number.”) After some brief confusion in which the future inhabitants assume that the Frenchman is dressing up in historical clothing for the sake of making some philosophical point, he sets off on a tour of the far future. Mercier was a great believer in Enlightenment thought, and thus, his future Paris is advanced in terms of social order, though not so much in technology. Compared to the 18th century, fashions are much freer and more comfortable. The 25th-century streets are much more orderly than the chaos of 18th-century transportation, with carriages are reserved for infirm judges and men of good character, rather than the nobility (who thus enjoy “more money and less of the gout“). The future society has adopted rationality as the basis of their government and way of life, and the world is at peace. The narrator even encounters a statue of a black man with the inscription: “To the avenger of the New World.” In Mercier’s future, the European powers were eventually beaten back by slaves and the original inhabitants of the New World, and colonialism was finally abandoned for the good of all. However, Mercier also assumed that the values of

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There are incredible destinations in Europe known

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Classical Coffee Houses in Europe

Coffee Houses in Europe with a Classical Taste for Culture   “… it must be said that the Viennese coffeehouse is a particular institution which is not comparable to any other in the world. As a matter of fact, it is a democratic club to which admission costs the small price of a cup of coffee. Upon payment of this mite every guest can sit for hours on end, discuss, write, play cards, receive his mail, and, above all, can go through an unlimited number of newspapers and magazines.” Stefan ZWEIG, The World of Yesterday Bohemian spirits, gather! Here are eleven of the most culturally-charged coffee houses in Europe, where one can imagine time standing still. From Mozart’s favorite place of refuge to the gathering places of Lord Byron, Goethe and Charles Dickens, this post is meant to take you back to meaningful discussions, coffee rituals and literary nonconformism. Without further ado… Café Bräunerhof, Vienna Café Bräunerhof is a classic Viennese café and restaurant, located at Stallburggasse 2 in the First District, near the Habsburg city palace. Its name is most often correlated with Thomas Bernhard, a famous Austrian novelist and poetry writer, who used to visit the coffee house. Bräunerhof is also known for its impressive collection of old newspapers- some say the largest in all Vienna. Young writers, as well as established personalities in the field of literature love to spend their time here, making Bräunerhof… bohemian. According to a Telegraph review, best time to visit the café during the day is 3 pm, right after launch. Prices: moderate (5 Euros per coffee on average).

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World’s Largest Cave: Son Doong, Vietnam

World’s Largest Cave: Son Doong, Vietnam   According to the geologists from National Geographic, Son Doong (or the ‘Mountain River’) is the world’s largest cave. The natural landmark is located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, near Vietnam’s border with Laos. The cave was discovered by a courageous man in 1991, who decided to face the fear of local jungle men and see what lies beneath. The jungle men were afraid to go inside the cave because of the whistling sound made by the fast-flowing underground river. In 2009, when a group of British scientists from the British Cave Research Association explored the national park, the cave became an official landmark. From the Truong Son Highway, the explorers had to walk

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Popeye Village, Malta

Popeye Village, Malta   Popeye Village or Sweethaven Village (as it is called in the movie Popeye), is a remote group of rustic colorful wooden houses situated on the Mediterranean island of Malta, two miles away from the Mellieħa Village. Malta is an independent European state composed of three islands located only 80 km south of Sicily, Italy. The village in the photos below is the film set that was especially built between 1979-1980 to host the well known “Popeye the Sailor Man”, a cartoon created by Elzie Segar in 1929. The musical feature film produced by Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney was based on Segar’s comic strips and tells the story of Popeye (magnificently played by Robin Williams) that arrives in Sweethaven in his quest to find his lost father. Have a look at the trailer in the video below:   Today, the 35 years old village is still

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Magic Blessed Sak Yant Tattoo

 My Magic Sak Yant Tattoo Blessed By A Monk    Tattoo Temple: Wat Bang Phra Nakhon Chai Si, Thailand Over 40 people watched in silence as this famous monk repeatedly penetrated my flesh like a sewing machine. His needle sent waves of hot searing pain into my back. Traditional Sak Yant (also called Sak Yan, or Yantra) tattoos are hand-etched onto the skin using ancient geometric designs mixed with Buddhist prayers. They are believed to give the wearer magic powers associated with healing, luck, strength, and protection against evil. Sak Yant tattoos have been around for over 2000 years. Buddhist monks originally engraved Sak Yant into warriors seeking protection and strength in battle. Often covering their entire bodies from head to toe in magic symbols to prevent knives and arrows from piecing their skin. People Will Wait Hours for a Sak Yant My Very First Tattoo I’ve never had a tattoo before. If I ever received one, I wanted it to be special. Not some drunken challenge in the middle of the night. So when I learned about the magic-infused tattoos given out by Buddhist monks, I was intrigued. The more I learned about them, the more I wanted one. No machines are used to create a Sak Yant design. These traditional Thai tattoos are engraved into skin with a long metal spike or bamboo sharpened to a point. The needle is dipped into ink and repeatedly jabbed through your flesh by hand. Monks will often choose a sacred design as well as the location of your tattoo based on your aura. This sounded perfect! I’ve had trouble picking a tattoo, so why not let a monk choose for me? Need a place to stay in Bangkok? Click Here For Accommodation Deals Donations of Cigarettes, Flowers, and Incense Wat Bang Phra Temple The best place in Thailand to receive a Sak Yant tattoo is a Buddhist temple called Wat Bang Phra. It’s located about 40 minutes West of Bangkok. For hundreds of years the temple has been a pilgrimage site for Thai people wanting to receive the protection of a magic tattoo. It’s also home to the most famous Sak Yant practicing monk in Thailand, Master Luang Pi Nunn. The grounds of Wat Bang Phra are composed of a series of beautifully ornate temples surrounded by colorful statues. I made my way towards the tattoo building located in back. Master Luang Pi Nunn Cigarettes As Payment? Outside the entrance I purchased a temple

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Perfectionism-What Is It

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Perfectionism And Its Value

Perfectionism Perfectionism is a means that evolution has used for billions of years to get things right. As a matter of science, it’s known — evolution attempts up to fifty thousand ideas, to get one that works perfectly. It’s perfectionism that finds that “one in the fifty thousand.” Your world, by nature, is a world of these attempted perfections . . . the greater your awareness, the more you feel it’s pull.

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Experience Your Animals

Experience Your Animals   Whenever you experience your animals, and you’re left with that sense of compassion . . . you’re experiencing their natural connection beyond time. This compassionate connection serves all life, a connection of unison that makes your animals so special, and such great teachers. You experience this as their master, but stop and entertain a moment when you’re the creature; they’re the “master.” You’ve seen a large flock of birds . . . a school of fish . . . all moving in unison without the slightest

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Commitment To Self

Commitment   Space-time — commonly referred to as ‘reality’ — is perceived remarkably different by different observers. With all their different ‘velocities’ . . . those unique perceptions produce opinions, conclusions, decisions, and ultimately the supporting thoughts and feelings. It’s a fact of science — every person has their own unique ‘velocity’ like a virtual fingerprint. These

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Magic and Logic

Magic and Logic   Traditional physics — the way science describes the universe to itself — is facing a major challenge as quantum mechanics and general relativity open entirely new perspectives within the old perceptions of “reality.” These disruptive revelations ask you to rethink your notions of time, of space, and the world of the miniscule . . . the quanta. Spiritual masters, over the ages, have spoken of this quanta using a different word . . . maya . . . the illusive and fluid nature of spacetime.

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Frozen Whipped Pineapple

Frozen Whipped Pineapple You know the stuff they serve at Disneyland? I swear this is JUST as good! You won’t believe how simple it is to prepare. 4 – 6 servings Ingredients:   5-6 cups frozen pineapple chunks (let thaw a teeny ‘tiny bit before blending…maybe 3 minutes on the

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Oats N’ Cacao Berry Cups

Oats N’ Cacao Berry Cups   Little Berry Cups packed with Protein & Cuteness Simple Directions for the Cacao Cups Yield: 12 edible cups Ingredients:  1 1/4

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Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake

Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake   This Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake is light, fruity and just like eating an orange creamsicle in ice cream cake form!  Use a vanilla cupcake recipe, cut in half, to make the layer of vanilla cake. It’s a great, easy, moist cake. For the orange flavor of the cake, use a box of orange gelatin powder. To add some orange flavor to the cake layer, once the cake is cooled, remove the dome, poked holes in the top of the cake and poured some of the orange gelatin over the cake. It adds just enough flavor the vanilla cake and also makes it look pretty neat. The cake is topped with a layer of vanilla ice cream and orange ice cream. The orange ice cream is again flavored with orange gelatin. The base is made with cream cheese and cool whip (you could also use homemade whipped cream). It’s got a great, creamy consistency and is just like eating traditional ice cream – if not better. Plus, it doesn’t melt as easily. Bonus! To ice the cake, use colored additional Cool Whip with icing color to match the orange ice cream. To finish it off, a little piping around the edges and some orange candy slices.

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Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake   This Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake is a tasty combination of chocolate cake and strawberry and vanilla ice cream. It’s reminiscent of the childhood neapolitan ice cream sandwiches. The ice cream layers are made without an ice cream machine, making it a simple ice cream cake to make. The ice cream is also nice and thick before being frozen. Once the chocolate cake is made and cooled, the ice creams can be layered without having to freeze one and then layer the other and freeze again, which is a great time saver.   Yield: 8 inch cake Ingredients Chocolate Cake 1 cup flour 1 cup sugar 1/4 + 1/8 cup cocoa powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 large egg 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 3/4 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup boiling water

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Nutella Star Bread

Nutella Star Bread This stunning Nutella Star Bread is so delicious looking and at the same so easy to make with just a few simple readily available ingredients. A jewel on your breakfast table this chocolately bread star will be.   Servings: 6-8

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Mini Deep Dish Pizza recipe

Mini Deep Dish Pizza These Mini Deep Dish Pizza are quick and easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. With little effort and time you can serve these gorgeous snacks and enjoy it savours.     Servings: 12 INGREDIENTS

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Sugared Flower Shortbreads recipe

Sugared Flower Shortbreads     These delicate shortbreads make a perfect gift. Given a floral hint with rosewater, you could also use orange blossom extract or dried lavender     Prep: 1 hr Cook: 12 mins plus 3 hrs drying, 1 hr setting and chilling. Moderately easy.  Makes 15-20 Ingredients for the shortbread

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Fall In Love With London

Fall In Love With London   Here are 18 places in London, off the beaten track, that will make you fall in love with the city. Ditch the London Eye and sort out these jewellike places that will make an impression that will last. Isabella Plantation, Richmond Flickr: fwp-dawson / Creative Commons Flickr: laura_nolte / Creative Commons Flickr: gregseed / Creative Commons   This gorgeously landscaped section of west London’s Richmond Park is basically a fairy tale woodland. In April and May, you’ll catch azaleas in bloom along the streams. More information here.

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Chelsea Flower Show Poppies

Chelsea Flower Show Features 300,000 Spectacular Crocheted Poppies Background to the sea of 300,000 handcrafted crocheted poppies at this year’s 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This vast tribute was flown all the way from Melbourne to honour the servicemen and women who have fought across all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations over the last 100 years. There’s a display of over 300,000 individually crocheted poppies, covering an area of 2,000 square metres, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea as part of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Yui Mok / PA WIRE The display is reminiscent of the “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” installation by artist Paul Cummins, which saw 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London in 2014.   The project started in 2013, when Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, both from Melbourne, decided to crochet 120 poppies to honour their fathers, who fought in World War II. Yui Mok / PA WIRE

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Ethical Travel Destinations Worth Exploring

  10 Ethical Travel Destinations Worth Exploring Give back while kicking back. One of the best parts about traveling is that there are so many ways to, well, go away. You can chill on a beach, go hiking the woods, check out a new city, or even use your time away to do some good in the world. Via Flickr: leeco About that last one: The nonprofit organization Ethical Traveler recently published its annual list of the top 10 most ethical developing countries in the world. If you decide to go to one of the places on the list, you’ll be contributing to the world in a positive way — simply by putting your travel money there instead of somewhere else. “By spending your travel dollars in forward-thinking countries, you can reward the good guys—and encourage good practices worldwide,” says Ethical Traveler in their press release about the list. The 2016 list includes five repeat winners—Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Dominica, Samoa, Tonga, and Uruguay—and five new ones. Meet them all: 1. Cabo Verde: The Gender Equalizer Flickr: reyperezoso This island nation off the coast of Africa not only holds dozens of women in high-ranking public and private sector positions, but it also just celebrated its third annual Gay Pride week. And since Cabo Verde is home to one of the world’s largest populations of loggerhead turtles, environmentalists and NGOs have spent years working to protect their native nesting grounds. 2. Dominica: The Protector of the Whales Flickr: kartlasarn The Caribbean island nation

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Life-Changing Scottish Bike Rides

Life-Changing Scottish Bike Rides   You haven’t lived until you’ve freewheeled down a Highland mountain. H/T Visit Scotland. It's an incredible, challenging and life-changing way to discover the beauty that Scotland has to offer. 1. The Hebridean Way Cycle Trail, Outer Hebrides Wilderness Scotland Wilderness   This awesome cycle route stretches for 185 miles from the island of Vatersay in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the north. If you want to cycle the whole trail you’ll need to charter boats to take you between the islands, or you can just do shorter sections. Adventure travel company Wilderness Scotland run a six night guided break that includes boat hire, you can find out more here. 2. Burray to Kirkwall, Orkney Alamy Drimafilm / Getty Images geograph.org.uk / Creative Commons   This lovely 12-mile route takes you through the Orkney islands of South Ronaldsay, Burray, Glimps Holm, and Lamb Holm, ending up at the Orkney capital of Kirkwall via the Churchill Barriers: A series of four causeways built to link the islands during the second world war. You’ll also pass the famous Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm, which was built by Italian prisoners of war in the 1940s. 3. Glen Sligachan Trail, Isle of Skye elxeneize / Getty Images mtbholidayscotland.com commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons   This stunning but tough 27-mile mountain bike route starts and finishes at the Sligachan Hotel in Skye, so at least you know you’ll have somewhere to get a hot shower at the end of the day. The trail takes you right through the heart of beautiful Glen Sligachan, past Loch Scavaig, and the beautiful mountains Marsco and Bla Bheinn, part of Skye’s Red Cuillin mountain range. 4. The Southern Borders Loop, Scottish Borders Visit Scotland Visit Scotland Daverhead / Getty Images   This picturesque road circuit in the Scottish Borders features two different route options: A shorter, relatively flat 50-mile loop that can be completed in a day, and a longer, steeper 75-mile route with five big hills that can be broken up with an overnight stay in the pretty Borders town of Hawick. Both routes take you through gorgeous rolling countryside, forests, and open moorland. 5. The Torridon Circuit, Northwest Highlands

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Create Happiness

  Create Happiness in Zero Easy Steps “To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” ~Jill Bolte Taylor “To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” ~Jill Bolte Taylor I was fifteen when I first noticed I was depressed. That was also when I became seriously interested in happiness. How can I get my hands on it? Where does it come from? Why does it seem so natural to some people? I wrestled with those questions for quite a while. Fast forward to ten years later and things look a lot different for me. Happiness is now a default instead of a rare state. What a relief. A few key lessons have made a world of difference. I’d like to share the most important one today. Two Kinds of Happiness One kind comes with positive experiences. It’s conditional. It comes when good things happen and it leaves when bad things happen. The other kind doesn’t depend on the occurrence of any particular event. It is sustainable and unconditional. It exists underneath both desirable and undesirable experience. It is the canvas on which other emotions are painted. It’s also the kind with which most of us are unfamiliar. Why is that? My theory is that most self-help, personal development, and psychology resources focus on the first kind of happiness. They tell us how to make changes to our habits and routines that improve our lives. They talk about the role of thought and point out that if we change our thoughts we have a different experience. There’s nothing wrong with these strategies. I feel fortunate I found them when I did; they got me out of my initial funk and gave me some breathing room. And yet, my current experience shows me that there’s something even more satisfying on offer. Happiness that doesn’t require work or practice. Happiness that doesn’t have to be learned or earned. Happiness that emanates from a part o

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Mindfulness to Overcome Anxiety and Depression

Using Mindfulness to Overcome Anxiety and Depression   “Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke   When I was twelve years old, I figured out how to get out of things. It was a rainy Saturday morning and I was supposed to be getting ready for choir practice—an eight-hour rehearsal before a big concert. Eight hours! I began to obsess about how much time this was in my then tiny life. As though by my own will, a heavy sensation of dread and nausea arose. I wasn’t aware of it at the time but my brain had said to my body, “Hey, if you feel sick, we can get out of this!” Unfortunately for me, this would happen many more times, well into my adult life. Commitment equaling nausea coupled with a terrible fear of vomiting. Concerts, sport events, sleep overs at friends’ houses—any situation that might be awkward to get out of. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that it started affecting school. Too paralyzed to turn up to the first day of year eleven, I was taken to the doctor. She said I was anxious. She prescribed Effexor, an anti depressant. I wasn’t depressed. I would end up taking one tablet everyday for the next eight years. At twenty-four, a friend made a comment: “I don’t think those tablets are actually treating what you think they’re treating. Maybe you would be fine without them.” I realized then that I had been swallowing them purely out of habit. Maybe they had been my crutch—a morning ritual to keep the wolves at bay. By that time I wasn’t really experiencing too many of the attacks. I felt okay. I started to slowly wean myself off the medication while on a trip overseas. The withdrawal symptoms were horrendous, but I came through—a bit dazed and spaced-out but “clean” nonetheless. I returned home. At first I was happy, comforted by the familiarity of my pets and family. But something was slightly off. I started having strange thoughts—negative and disarming. Usually one might shrug such moods off but they came with such conviction that I began to worry. I Googled: “Why don’t I want to do anything anymore?” and “Why do I feel detached?” A month later I experienced what one might call a nervous breakdown. Lying

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Cope When Bad Things Happen

9 Ways to Cope When Bad Things Happen   “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown   Have you ever experienced times when you go through just one bad thing after another? When it seems like the world is out to get you? When things go wrong no matter what you do? You are not alone. Bad things happen to all of us too, including me. I experienced a small set back recently which I want to share with you. Not too long ago, I was working on my upcoming eBook. It was my #1 priority project at that time and I had been working on it tirelessly, day and night. After lots of hard work, I was 90 percent done. At that time, it was 630 pages. (The final book was almost 800 pages.) I was happy with the progress. Cover done, foreword written, articles in place, right order, formatting done, layout completed—it was on track to launch in a week’s time.  Unfortunate Turn of Events One evening after I got home, I sat at my computer and opened my document, ready to start work. Imagine my horrified look when I looked at the document and saw the cover design was an older version. Bewildered, I checked the page count. It was 430 pages, 200 pages lesser than my latest version! This was an old version I was working on a few days ago. I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I had always been careful with my documents, especially having experienced painful reworks before from document crashes and what not. It seemed there was a software error which caused an older version of my file to save over the new version, even though I had saved the latest version. I was almost done with the book, ready to launch and my latest file disappeared. It was disheartening and honestly, somewhat depressing. After fiddling around for fifteen minutes, I came to terms that the latest version was gone. Two hundred pages of material and endless hours of hard work—all gone. Focusing on What Could Be Done Interestingly,

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Positive Thinking Made Easy

Positive Thinking Made Easy 10 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” ~Dalai Lama   Even though I’m a yoga teacher, I still find it’s easy to fall prey to negative thinking. Having negative thoughts play out like a movie can only bring you pain, something that I’ve experienced many times throughout my life. Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. I like the imagery of a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster. That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. On the contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect blossoming into a beautiful outcome. I’d like to share with you an example of how one small thought can turn into a very negative experience. I have lived on my own for the last ten years. Obviously, during this time I’ve grown accustomed to living in a particular way; I have my routines with cooking, cleaning, and living happily in my place. My boyfriend of two years, who I have had a long distance relationship with, will soon be moving here and we will be living together. Lately I’ve had negative thoughts of moving in with him knowing that my living routine will have to change and we will

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Best Shopping Centers In Europe

Best Shopping Centers In Europe that are also works of art   New times, new religions. Discover the “temples of shopping” in Europe. Here is a selection of shopping centers not be missed during your visit in Europe. Visit historic and world famous shopping centers such as The Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Harrods in London, shopping centers with bold architecture as Vulcano Buono in Naples or Kanyon in Istanbul. Discover the top shopping centers in Europe !   The Galeries Lafayette - Paris

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Holiday in Cannes, French Riviera

Holiday in Cannes French Riviera Quite simply because it is steeped in history dating back nearly one thousand years, Cannes has a soul. A history made from numerous fragments that it has preserved intact. In 1915, it was classified as a seaside resort by ministerial decree. Nowadays, Cannes is a trendy destination not only for its well-known red carpets and famous steps but there are much more to discover. Cannes is a holiday location prized by the great and good of this world. But there’s something about Cannes that makes it unique. Indeed, Cannes is a first rate international destination, which after several decades of tourism has developed a strong cosmopolitan character. Located 25 minutes from Nice international airport, it is the city for festivals and major congresses, a shopping paradise, the capital of the silver screen and a tourist city boasting exceptional host infrastructures. Cannes is the leading city in terms of business tourism after Paris, it has built its fame on the know-how and first rate facilities that make it a competitive location, preferred by the biggest international events. The well-known Croisette, with its luxury boutiques, palace hotels and Palais des Festivals, has bestowed prosperity and international fame on Cannes. But the city has not forgotten its popular origins. Le Suquet (Suquet district) and the Vieux Port (Old Port) continue to embody Provencal authenticity in the very heart of the most cosmopolitan of cities. A “pointu” fishing boat coming into the port, a market stall in Forville, a lane in the Suquet district, a game

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Italy, Cinque Terre a Wonderful Holiday

Cinque Terre, Italy Five Villages of Breathtaking Views   Cinque Terre (free translation: Five Lands) is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and stands for five amazing villages which offer breathtaking views. Some of the things we like about it: it is is quite tourist-free, comparing to other similar looking places (Santorini in Greece, for example); there are no cars allowed in the region, except on Tuesdays; unique flora and vegetation; the five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso are reachable by foot (the maximum hiking time-that’s right, you have to go up and down wonderful slopes to get from one to another- is 90 minutes

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Nice in the South of France

Nice, France   Nice, France is the capital of the French Riviera or Alpes Maritimes, the 5th largest city in France, and home to the third largest airport in France (after the two in Paris). So when planning a French Riviera trip, I knew we wanted to spend some time here. However, I was not expecting to  completely fall in love with Nice. It was absolutely beautiful. Nice perfectly intertwines old-world charm and history with modern luxury and energy. Add in gorgeous weather and world-class beaches? I fell completely in love. Not to mention the food! Nice is home to vibrant markets, award-winning restaurants, and is renowned for its culinary scene. I had one of the BEST things I have ever eaten right here in Nice. Scroll down for more info. Our first day in Nice, we made our way up to La Tour Bellanda to get the panoramic overlooks of Nice you see above. It’s free, and you can take stairs or the elevator. We opted for the stairs. The gorgeous views of Nice and its beaches were definitely worth the hike! :)

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Onecoin Explained Simply

Onecoin Explained Simply Onecoin is the undisputed successor of Bitcoin. But what is it all about. I ended up an investor in Onecoin more or less 'by accident' at its start in January 2015, be it a small one. Recently I discovered that my initial investment of € 200 is today worth € 5670.  I haven't done anything with it in the period since, other than putting my tokens up for mining, and didn't understand what it was all about. I decided I wanted to know more about Onecoin and I put my findings in writing here. I hope it is going to help you. In any case, it did help me and it inspired me to step up my efforts in expanding my Onecoin portfolio. If you want to receive more info on it, please visit onecoin.marmine.com. First of all what is a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency simply means digital or virtual money. Direct opposite if cryptocurrency is fiat currency or paper money like pounds sterling, dollar, naira, euro etc. Digital or cryptocurrencies are used for online transactions, transfers and payments. They are cheaper, quicker and easier compared to bank transfers. It all started in 2009 when a Japanese man called Satoshi Nakamoto invented the first ever cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. It was intended to replace paper money or at least provide alternative to present day paper money because of the problems associated with the banking system and their paper money. It was not meant to be regulated by central banks or any authority. To kick-start Bitcoin computer savvy individuals were invited to come and invest in Bitcoin with promise that the coin will appreciate in value over time. There was skepticism all over the place and bloggers took to their blogs called Bitcoin a scam, Ponzi or pyramid scheme. This discouraged a lot of people from investing; but there were those who took the risk and invested in Bitcoin. From the starting price of 10 cents per coin in 2009, Bitcoin rose to $1,200 in 2013. All who invested in Bitcoin made millions and multi millions depending on how much invested. There was a story of a Norwegian man who invested just $27 in 2009 and he 2013, he realized $860,000 from his meagre investment. Why was Bitcoin a goldmine for its investors? Because those investors were the early miners. In cryptocurrency biz early miners are the ones that make fortune. Once the cryptocurrency is listed on the exchange investors and speculators take over, they struggle for the crumbs left over by early miners. The opportunity to make fortune in Bitcoin is gone and gone forever. This is not about Bitcoin but about Onecoin. Onecoin is in its early mining stage and therefore investment in Onecoin as early miner guarantees you a fortune in 2 years’ time. Before Onecoin there have been attempts by other cryptocurrency coins to do what Bitcoin did, without luck, as they could not break into the market. Onecoin started mining in January 2015 and started at a price of 50 cents per coin in and today it's selling for € 6.30. Onecoin is projected to sell for €50 to €100 in two years’ time. These are the different amounts in which one can invest in Onecoin: 1.      Rookie package Free 2.      Starter package € 110 3.      Trader package € 550

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Victoria’s Secret Catalog Farewell

Victoria’s Secret Catalog Farewell It has been an icon of the lingerie industry for decades, but when Victoria’s Secret recently experimented with not printing the catalog, sales stayed just the same. A collection of Victoria’s Secret catalogs for sale on eBay awesomeitems18 / Via ebay.com   Victoria’s Secret has decided to abandon its iconic catalog and move wholeheartedly into the digital age. The brand confirmed it will get rid of the mailings Thursday after saying in April that it planned to focus less on “traditional catalogues and offers.” Victoria’s Secret spends $125 million to $150 million a year producing the catalog, L Brands finance chief Stuart Burgdoerfer said on an earnings call. At that level of spending, the company needs to see “a meaningful amount of sales” being driven in return, he said — and the company wasn’t seeing it. “One of the things that we try to do is we say, if we were starting this business today in current context 2016, would you start with one of your major ideas being a catalog, a paper-based catalog, sent through the mail as one of your key — if not your key — marketing activity for a global brand?”

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Victoria’s Secret Pushing Un-Padded Bras

Victoria’s Secret Pushing Un-Padded Bras The lingerie brand is well known for promoting push-up bras. But the trend towards bralettes has it singing a different tune. From a Victoria’s Secret store in Manhattan Victoria’s Secret has long been known for its push-up bras, even selling garments that promise to boost a woman’s chest by two cup sizes. But these days, it has a new message in store windows: “No padding is sexy now!” The abrupt change in messaging comes as the major lingerie seller looks to tap into the trend in “bralettes,” which have become super popular in recent years. Victoria's Secret The unlined, lacy garments, typically meant to be shown off as part of an entire outfit, are part of the music festival look that many stores have been highlighting lately. Bralettes have also been pointed to as one reason Aerie, owned by American Eagle, has seen its sales skyrocket in the past year. The “no padding is sexy” line from Victoria’s Secret — which for years has touted the cushioning in its bras and associated big breasts with attractiveness — has raised some eyebrows. Some have also pointed out that bralettes aren’t an option for women who need padding and support in their bras. Just six months ago, Victoria’s Secret posted a new TV commercial to its YouTu

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Blackberry & Mint Brownie Parfait Recipe

Blackberry & Mint Brownie Parfait Tumbler dessert Sweet chocolate-brownie bits, fresh tart berries, and zesty mint come together to create the ultimate dessert parfait. An added bonus: Leftover brownies can be frozen and saved for later, taken to the new neighbors' house, or—shh!—scarfed down as an after-dinner snack.   Difficulty: Easy Tools: 6-8, 8 ounce tumblers Bowl Fork Heavy-bottomed pot Stand mixer with whisk attachment (or bowl and whisk) Ingredients: 1 brownie recipe (below) 12 ounces blackberries 3 ounce sugar 2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup water 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 6-10 mint stems with leaves 3 tablespoons sugar Instructions: 1. Prepare the brownies according to the recipe and set them aside to cool completely. 2. Prepare the blackberry macerate by putting the blackberries, 3 ounces sugar, 2 tablespoons mint leaves, honey, vanilla extract and water in a bowl. Mix with a fork, mashing some of the blackberries, until everything is evenly distributed. Set aside at room temperature

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Churros Bowls & Ice Cream

Churros Bowls with Ice Cream   A lovely dessert of a delicious churros bowl filled with a scoop of vanilla icecream, though I can imagine it with lots of other ice cream flavors. Churros are a Spanish breakfast dish, deep-fried puff pastry stick that is dipped into thick chocolate. I love how the dish is used here and it makes for a lovely dessert.       REC

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Churros Ice Cream Sandwiches

Churros Ice Cream Sandwiches Churros and ice cream: it just works. These decadent ice cream sandwiches, popularized by Churro Borough, are easily one of the favorite food trend mashups to hit the scene, and you're going to love them too. One part chewy, cinnamon-sugar-crusted churro and one part dulce de leche ice cream, they're like a fiesta in your mouth.   Ingredients 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

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How to Publish Blogs On Empower

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Steamed Fresh Artichokes recipe

Steamed Fresh Artichokes Have you ever tried them? So delicious!   Artichokes: In the 16th century, European women were forbidden from eating artichokes, so vehemently were they believed to spur lust. Besides their history in Greek mythology, Artichokes have other aphrodisiac qualities, they have a high mineral and trace element content. Artichoke origins dates back to the time of the Greek philosopher, Theophrastus, who wrote of them being grown in Italy and Sicily. The Greeks called them kaktos. Globe artichokes are known to have been cultivated

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Mushroom & Chicken Marsala Bowls recipe

Mushroom & Chicken Marsala Clean Eating Bowls Perfectly balanced, satisfying, delicious, & nutritious, with good carbs in the form of quinoa.   Quinoa In recent years, quinoa has gained popularity for being a nutrient-packed carbohydrate source, and has an extensive number of benefits makes it a great replacement for white rice and breads. Quinoa, a great source of energy, also has fiber, potassium, iron, magnesium and Vitamin E. It is also touted as a complete protein, having nine essential amino acids that strengthens your immune system and helps promote efficient muscle-repair

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Savory Spanish Potato Salad recipe

Savory Spanish Potato Salad   Spanish potato salad is an important dish in Spain's culinary history. There are many versions, and this is the way I like best. Goes so well with so many things! This is good served warm or at room temperature. Prep 15 m Cook

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Italian Chopped Salad in Pasta Shells

Italian Chopped Salad in Pasta Shells   This is such a cute way of eating salad. The pasta shells filled with salad look great, are very easy to eat and make a really healthy snack.   Ingredients   1 (16 ounce) packages jumbo pasta shells

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Overcome Sadness in 19 Simple Steps

Overcome Sadness in 19 Simple Steps   “Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese To overcome sadness, you need to let go of your old stories. You were born happy and you stayed happy until caregivers, teachers and peers unknowingly said unpleasant things to you. Now, new events can trigger these old hurts and thus make you feel more sad than they should. So when you catch yourself thinking about the old unpleasant events, engage in the tips below to overcome sadness. 1. Decide you are ready to let go of the pain, no matter what. If you don’t make peace with the past, the associated toxic energy will eventually show up as health, weight and mood issues. You might even go to the grave with regrets. Let it go. It’s not worth the misery of bad mental and physical health. 2. Change your attitude towards your situation. You are not your story. You’re only hurting yourself if you don’t change your attitude. The person who caused you sadness is not in pain, you are. Your brain can be “rewired” with an attitude change. Dr. Joe Dispenza’s TEDx talk shows you: How old feelings are wired into memories. How the thought of your bad memories triggers stress responses and turns on your disease genes. How changing your negative attitude to compassion can release the old hurts and positively reprogram your brain. 3. Don’t focus on the suffering, focus on the gifts. If you keep talking about the pain, its impact will be enlarged and you will drive others away with your constant rumination. Holding on to your “dark cloud” will make you lonely and miserable. Focus on the gifts of the negative experiences instead. The Universe purposely gave you negative experiences for the evolution of your soul. You are the only one who can make “lemonade” out of your “lemons.” The Universe rewards you with happiness when the lemonade is made. Your story of triumph will inspire others to get out of their sadness. 4. Exercise, meditate or do yoga to release the sadness. Clear the muck from your brain. Whatever exercise and/or mindfulness modality works for you, just do it. Here’s an example: When a former boss said something hurtful to me, my mind couldn’t stop replaying the hurt because his criticism triggered a younger “part” of me that held old wounds. So I went to Bikram Yoga (yoga in a 105 degree Fahrenheit room) four days in a row. On the fourth day, during Camel pose, my body shook and I exploded in an “ugly cry.” I knew the shaking and the tears were the boss’s toxicity leaving my body and mind. After class, the negative energy was completely gone and my brain was done thinking about this hurt. I overcame my sadness. The next time I saw this person, I was not triggered. 5. Watch a funn

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Getting And Staying Motivated

Getting And Staying Motivated Imagine sitting on a cozy swaying hammock on one of the most exquisite islands of the Caribbean. Listening to the rippling waves thrusting against the rocks, you inhale the majestic aroma of the ocean. The sunlight beams into your eyes and you just feel the incredible urge to smile. When you look up into the bright blue skies, you spot a jet passing. This intrigues you, getting you motivated to fly high in pursuit of your goals. What makes this jet so high, so fast, and so efficient? This jet (along with similar aircrafts) uses 80% of its fuel just for takeoff. The other 20% suffice for the rest of the journey. Fun fact right? You might ask, “But I’m not a jet. What does this have to do with me?” Quite frankly, I think aircrafts are super cool, exciting, and valuable… exactly the way I view you. Even if you don’t think so, I still do. You’ll catch up with reality some day. For now, think of your makeup as somewhat similar to a jet. Check out these points that you tend to forget when it comes to motivation. 1. Motivation is needed most at takeoff.  People tend to forget that the beginning is always

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Aloe’s Natural Treatment Beneftis

Aloe’s Natural Treatment Beneftis     It’s outrageous that an ancient and proven natural therapy as powerful as the aloe plant is still ignored by most American doctors. Aloe is a powerful natural treatment that’s used all over the world — but not in America, where it’s applied only to soothe sunburns. Mainstream medicine, Big Pharma, and the FDA have yet to accept aloe’s extraordinary medicinal qualities, though aloe has been a medicinal powerhouse for more than 5,000 years. It’s widely used today in Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. The Benefits of Aloe In Ayurvedic medicine, the oldest health care system in the world, aloe is called “Kumari,” or “miracle herb.” Aloe is used extensively by healers in Africa. In Bali, it’s called “lidah buaya,” or “crocodile tongue,” and is considered to be a potent immune-system booster.

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5-Minute Nutritionist Meals

5-Minute Nutritionist Meals   It's very well possible to eat a nutritious meal containing all the essentials one needs in a meal that takes no more than 5 minutes to prepare. Here are 7 examples

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How To Write A Blog In Empowr

How to Write a Blog in Empowr   For many it may seem easy to write a Blog. But for those that

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Save and Publish a Blog in Empowr

Your Blog   You have written your blog. All the text, pictures, video's and links are in place. Don't forget to link to the original Source

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How to Resize Images for Empowr

How to Resize Images     Knowing How to Resize Images might come in handy in many situations. In Empowr it happens regularly that I get the message that the picture I want to use needs to be 506 x 506 pixels. Also, I have discovered, when I want to post an image that is very small or very bit, the upload doesn't work and I'm waiting forever. On those occasions I renew my page and reload the picture after I have resized it. For this resizing, I use a free program called IrfanView. You can download it here: www.irfanview.com. Select the appropriate download for your computer. Open the download and click Run Set-up. My advice is to click next, next, next and next to start the installation. For the purpose of resizing images, you don't need all the other options the program offers. But that's up to you of course. After the installations is completed open IrfanView. Below an illustration in which I explain the most important tools.

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10 Awesome Bridges Worldwide

10 Awesome Bridges Worldwide   What makes bridges very useful is that they connect places and people! But bridges nowadays just don’t serve as a way to connect two places and its people. Bridges are now constructed with fine architectural design and creativity which make these bridges very prominent all over the globe. These bridges became tourists spots and landmarks of several places. Take a look at these awesome bridges built beautifully. Banpo Girder Bridge – Seoul, South Korea This double decker bridge consists of the Banpo Bridge (upper part) and Jamso Bridge (lower part). The Jamso bridge is for bicycle riders and pedestrians and the Banpo bridge is for the cars and all other vehicles. What makes this bridge unique? It is the fountain feature of this bridge that made it the the Guinness World Record as the longest bridge fountain. This bridge sure looks great at night as nearly 10,000 LED nozzles in both sides shoots 190 tons of water every minute. Amazing!   Helix Bridge – Marina Bay Area, Singapore Bridges in Singapore are not excluded from its high-tech architecture! One of the popular bridge is the Helix bridge which looks like a helix as seen in the picture. This bridge is even more beautiful at night as electric blue lights illuminate it.   The Python Bridge – Amsterdam, Netherlands From the looks of it, it shapes like a snake though. Maybe that is why it is called Python bridge. This bridge is very unusual, don’t

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Use Curiosity to Break Bad Habits

Using Curiosity to Break Bad Habits If you think building habits can help you reach goals, this will change your mind. Usually when we want to achieve something, we try hard to build some habits, as we’re told that habits are the fundamentals of success. However, if we examine the functions of different parts of our brains, habits turn out to be something that hinder us in achieving our goals rather than assisting us. When we’re practicing our habits, we’re actually using the primitive brain, which is not the preferred one for achieving goals…Here’s why. First we need to understand how our primitive brain works. The “Primitive Brain” The human primitive brain, otherwise known as the limbic system, has developed over millions of years. Our ancestors had three straight forward goals that they needed to keep in mind if they were going to survive. These goals were: Find food Find a mate Stay safe from predators Humans had only their superior intelligence to rely upon. Unlike other animals we did not have great strength or speed, sharp teeth or the like. The primitive brain developed in such a way to help us achieve these three goals. When we saw the possibility of acquiring

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Make Working Remotely Work For You

Make Working Remotely Work For You   5 Essential Tips. Working remotely has become a mainstream trend in the world of startups and corporate culture, but it doesn’t come without its difficulties. Leaving the stability and routine of commuting to the office can sound exciting at first, but it takes a certain person to remain productive without the normal structure. As a remote company at Rype, we’re constantly pushing the envelope on how we can be the most effective as a team while maintaining the culture we have. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons from our experience, and I thought we would share it to help you on your own journey towards working remotely. 1. Keep a routine. The first thing that goes out the door when you start working remotely is a regular routine. Forget dressing up for work, catching the subway at 8 AM every morning, and leaving the office at 5. If you’re not careful, this lack of routine can lead to inefficiency and a lack of productivity. We advise putting together

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I Let Myself Down By Not Being Me

I Let Myself Down By Not Being Me   Although I did not write this story myself, it could well have been written by me. It is very comforting to know that I am not the only one struggling with being me, while it is dawning on me. MvG Throughout most of our lives, we stumble along, never really knowing which direction will lead us to the path created just for us. Perhaps, we never believe there is such a thing and merely come across it by accident. In my case, it was something I still have trouble accepting, even six years later. I tell myself that I am just a simple woman in her late 40s who has been married for almost 27 years with three grown sons. The career path I chose back in college is nowhere near where I am now, and yet no college course could have ever guided me here. For years, I muddled through life without knowing it. I feel remorseful for cheating my husband and sons out of who I really could have been for them. The truth is that I didn’t know how to be more than who I was. I gave them everything I could and only now understand how I not only let myself down, but them as well. Downplaying my talents For years, I downplayed my abilities and denied my gifts and talents. Some of you might be able to relate. In the past, they brought me attention, even though it was usually the good kind. I was recognized for being an academic scholar and a superb athlete in high school. I was popular and many people knew my name. But that was just what everyone saw on the surface. I still had hidden underneath years of not feeling like I fit in or knew where I belonged. Even as a member of team, I never really felt comfortable there. I just played my game and let my skills speak for me — maybe so I wouldn’t have to otherwise. And that worked for a great number of years. But it wasn’t just myself I had cheated. Or my family. I had cheated the world too. I had lied, been deceitful, and hurtful — all without ever intending to do so. I had cheated everyone of everything I was ever born to be. Letting fear take hold Fear is a nasty slave and once we become its prisoner, it is very difficult to break those chains. For some, it can be downright impossible. For others, there is no one there to show them the way or to encourage them to be somewhere different. We convince ourselves that we are not worthy and that our mere presence is barely worth the ounce of breath we spend with that acknowledgement. Most would never see their lives as diminished, sheltered, and minuscule. This is why what we believe matters. I didn’t believe in myself. I never wanted to stand out from the crowd, and even now it still makes me uncomfortable, but I am better at it. “Being ordinary” and b

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Best Personal Development Gurus; Their Lessons

 Best Personal Development Gurus Their Lessons For Success   This is one of the best articles that you will have ever read in your entire life. Why? Because, it is filled with great words of wisdom that if applied, will change your life. This article contains the most powerful of lessons and tips that will revolutionize your world. And, this is not an exaggeration—it is real stuff that gave thousands of people success, and those who do not understand or apply these principles, end up living a very mediocre and unhappy life. Do you want to be mediocre or live in misery? If not, then keep reading. Whether the lessons you are about to read are entering your subconscious for the first time or the fifth time, this time, read and apply what you have learned. Create a habit of applying these lessons, because these are the biggest keys that I managed to glean from the personal development industry and my life experience . These are the lessons from the best gurus on this the planet—Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle, Jim Rohn, Brendon Burchard, Darren Hardy, Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey and many others. One tip that I suggest you do is to read these lessons as a little child—drop any preconceptions. Silence your sabotaging mind, read and apply. They are gold. Stand out, be exceptional, and be unstoppable. Stand out in everything you do. If you do, the rewards you reap will be beyond your imagination. Want to be filthy rich? Drive sports car? Own an Ireland? Want to be famous? Have extraordinary relationships with your friends and children? Want to have an incredible romance that anyone would envy in a good way? Want to enjoy an extraordinary healthy and athletic body? Stand out my friend! Stand out beyond what anyone else can expect. Outperform even your own expectations and what you thought was possible. In everything you do, demand more than anyone else could expect. Be so good that they can’t ignore you. Be the best that you can be on Planet Earth, in your vocation.  It does not matter whether you are a mother, father, son, daughter, employee, teacher, businessman/ businesswoman or friend) Stand out in all areas. Our civilization emphasizes greatness and exceptionality. Be irreplaceable. Use your brain and body rather than have your brain and body use you. Do

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You’ll Learn Most By Failing

You’ll Learn The Most By Failing Though It Can Be Painful “If I have failed more than you have, I have won”- Seth Godin We happen to think we are big failures when we are failing. We aren’t failures, we just need to go through the process of life when we try things. That’s the reality. We have to overcome the negativity. The sad part is that we low-key know about this but ‘fail” to take this approach because it’s unconventional. But you know what? Everything I have ever succeeded at was done through failing many times and not giving up. “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden Volleyball had many practicing hours before I could even learn to serve. Writing took me writing 83 essays to every 1 my classmates wrote so I could top them. In all of those essays, 1 in every 15 would be really amazing. My driving test took me two attempts. So what I want you to do is to learn to fight the thought of failure being a bad thing. See the word “fail” and turn it mentally to “learn”. It’s hard but only through failing will we learn the most. It’s painful but it shouldn’t have to be. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel Bear with me for a second. I asked my boyfriend what “failing” means to him. His response was “The End”. What really is “failing”? I googled it and look what I found You see this? A weakness in a character! A weakness! Weaknesses can be strengthened if practiced enough! Failing isn’t a life-ending and detrimental factor. It’s a good thing. It shows you what needs to be strengthened, not what needs to make you feel like you’re the worse person on earth and that you have no purpose. Ugh! I just hate it when people over-exaggerate. Don’t fall for their trap of allowing you to not believe that you can accomplish your dreams. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy Here are a few things we often “fail” at but it turns out beautifully if you keep working at them with an open mind: You’ll fail with friendships Friends forever? Ahh no. There will be times when your “friends” aren’t who you expect them to be. It hurts but it’s just one of those things that we have to get through as humans. Some will lie to you, have babies, get married and straight up not have the time for you. These are all normal because through it all, a select few will always be there no matter what and more than likely you will develop more friendships as you go along. Well, those often are more worthwhile. Don’t be afraid to allow this process to take its course. Be open to it and let it transition. Here you will learn who really has your back and who will be there for you no matter what. Most importantly, you’ll learn to be much wiser. “The phoenix must burn to emerge.”

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25 Secrets Of Long-Lasting Relationships

25 Secrets Of Long-Lasting Relationships   What are the secrets to maintaining a long-lasting and above all good relationship with your partner. Here are 25 of the simple things that are important to achieving just that. Simple and common sense practices that are forgotten or ignored too often.

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Practice Makes Possible

Practice Makes Possible: What We Learn By Studying Amazing Kids   LA Johnson/NPR   What made Mozart great? Or Bobby Fischer? Or Serena Williams? The answer sits somewhere on the scales of human achievement. On one side: natural talent. On the other: hard work. Many would argue that success hangs in some delicate balance between them. But not Anders Ericsson. Ericsson has spent decades studying the power of practice, and in his new book, Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise, co-authored with Robert Pool, he argues that "talent" is often a story we tell ourselves to justify our own failure or to protect children from the possibility of failure. He writes: This is the dark side of believing in innate talent. It can beget a tendency to assume that some people have a talent for something and others don't and that you can tell the difference early on. If you believe that, you encourage and support the 'talented' ones and discourage the rest, creating the self-fulfilling prophecy. ... The best way to avoid this is to recognize the potential in all of us — and work to find ways to develop it. To underscore his point, Ericsson engages in a systematic takedown of the myths of famous prodigies, including Mozart and Paganini. Masters of their crafts? To be sure. Hard workers? Clearly. Naturally gifted? Not so fast. "I have made it a hobby to investigate the stories of such prodigies," Ericsson writes, "and I can report with confidence that I have never found a convincing case for anyone developing extraordinary abilities without intense, extended practice." Because the word "practice" is a big tent capable of hiding habits both good and bad, I spoke with Ericsson, who is on the faculty at Florida State University, about what he considers the path to mastering a craft, whether playing tennis or trombone. He calls it "deliberate practice."

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Amazing: Building A Birdsnest In 24 Pictures

Amazing: Building A Birdsnest In 24 Pictures   This sequence of 24 pictures capture how two little birds build their nest from mud. Such an intrinsic building, it's really amazing.

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10 Most Colorful Places On Earth

10 Most Colorful Places On Earth   These places exist. No, not in dreams or hallucinations, but right here on this beautiful, mysterious planet. I just wanted to share them here.   Lavender Fields, France In the summer months, the rolling lavender fields of Provence teem with bright purple blooms as far as the eye can see. Procida, Italy This tiny island is stacked with charming candy-colored homes set against the brilliant blue backdrop of the Mediterranean. Caño Cristales River, Colombia Also referred to as "the river of five colors,"

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Must Do's When Visiting Paris

Must Do's When Visiting Paris   There’s more than just wine and cheese. There are few places more bustling and breathtaking than Paris. From the food to the culture to the fashion, there are an overwhelming number of activities to fit in over the course of a few days. Here are the 26 you must add to your itinerary. 1. Snack on Brie and a baguette on the Champs de Mars (the lawn surrounding the Eiffel Tower). 2. Visit le Bon Marche. It’s basically Saks Fifth Avenue on steroids. Buy something simple and black. Dead Man Musings 3. Relax at an alfresco café while people-watching. Do so while smoking a cigarette reading a magazine. 4. Get cultured. Museum-hop from the Rodin Museum's sculpture gardens to the Musée d’Orsay to the Louvre. Our opinion: The Mona Lisa will probably underwhelm you, but you came all this way so you might as well take a look. 5. Make sure to save the Louvre for last. Seeing the pyramid lit up at night is the best. (Same goes for the Eiffel Tower.) 6. Eat a meal at a traditional French bistro like Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Baratin and Chez l’Ami Jean… and don’t leave the city before trying escargot and steak tartare.

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10 Breathtaking Fantasylike but Real Places

10 Breathtaking Fantasylike but Real Places   All right, full disclosure: I am a massive fantasy nerd. Dragons, elves, wizards, I love ’em all. And I’m not alone. The hugely popular Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and of course, The Lord of the Rings novels all have followings that would probably be willing to kill to defend the honor of their favorite characters. But that stuff’s all just make-believe, right? There isn’t really any place on Earth with all the whimsical architecture and otherworldly landscapes of our favorite medieval guilty pleasures. Right? 10 The Painted Peaks In China, there exists a mountain range unlike any other on Earth. The Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park may be a bit of a mouthful, but it makes up for its wordiness with absolutely breathtaking views. For miles and miles, the jagged landscape is striped with a rainbow of colors. Rich reds, bright yellows, and vibrant whites are all layered atop one another, lending a bizarrely cartoonish atmosphere to this massive landform. It’s so strikingly unique that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. The strange stripes are the result of layers of red sandstone and various mineral deposits being laid down one after the other over tens of millions of years and then raised by tectonic activity. Either that or Dr. Seuss spontaneously exploded on a Chinese hiking excursion. As much as I would love to believe the latter, I’m afraid I’ll have to side with the geologists on this one. 9 The Cavern Temple The remote jungle cave temple is a staple of fantasy and adventure tales. The towering cave entrance, overgrown with dangling vines, dares trespassers to try their hand at pilfering the golden idols within. Statues of tribal deities sneer down at the mossy skeletons of would-be treasure hunters. It’s a scene too fantastic—and cliched—to be real. But it is. Except for the skeletons. The Batu Caves of Malaysia are one of the country’s most frequented tourist traps. A giant golden statue and an army of scurrying monkeys guard the entrance to the temple, a stairway of 272 steps. Your impromptu workout is well rewarded, though, as the titanic caves contain incredible views of both natural beauty and elaborate Buddhist temples. Admittedly, it would be more impressive if not for the theme park treatment that it’s gotten to attract visitors. But it still isn’t something that you’re likely to see every day. 8 The Twinkling Tunnels Imagine gliding through a long, dark tunnel. A soft blue glow gently illuminates the extravagant rock formations surrounding you. Looking up, you are greeted by a sea of twinkling blue pinpoints of light. Don’t worry, you aren’t dying or anything. You’re probably just in New Zealand. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are located on the North Island of New Zealand and are home to an extremely large population of glowworms, a bioluminescent species found only on the islands that make up the country. Since their discovery in the late 1800s, the caves have been a popular tourist destination due to their otherworldly atmosphere. Completely flooded and only accessible by boat, the watery wonder awes visitors with towering caverns coated with the

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10 Most Impressive Acts Of Laziness

10 Most Impressive Acts Of Laziness   We’re all prone to acts of laziness. Maybe we should be washing the dishes, but we’ve instead elected to get drunk and play foosball. Maybe we’re supposed to be writing another article for the list-based website we work at but have instead fallen asleep face-down in a plate of nachos. Whatever. The point is, every single one of us occasionally indulges our lazy side. But there’s indulging your lazy side, and then there’s dedicating your life to extreme acts of procrastination. The following people all have one thing in common: They took one look at your average lazy person and decided, “I can do better . . . as soon as I can be bothered.” 10 The Oxford English Dictionary Outdated Itself Before Release Photo credit: Dan Compiling the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was always going to be a monumental task. The last word on British English, the complete OED contains around 228,130 words spread over 20 volumes. When it first received a publishing contract in 1879, it was expected to take 10 whole years to compile. But those stumping up the money hadn’t counted on one fatal problem—the ability of academics to procrastinate like a total boss. Five years into writing the OED’s first complete edition, the compilers had only gotten as far as the word “ant.” This should have been the wake-up call everyone needed to get them working harder. It wasn’t. Instead, 1889 came and went, and those involved were nowhere near the letter “z.” After 10 years, they’d barely edged out the start of the alphabet. By the time someone finally sat down and wrote the entry for “Zzz,” the 19th century had ended, Queen Victoria had died, World War I had come and gone, jazz had stepped into existence, and the Wall Street Crash was about to hit. It was 1928, and the newly published complete OED was already out of date. Thanks to their epic bout of procrastination, the editors were forced to immediately get started on the second edition. 9 Jamestown’s Colonists Were Too Busy Partying For Executions Photo credit: DCwom One of the guys who helped establish the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, John Smith was also the Englishman who first met Pocahontas, thereby ensuring Disney immortality for himself. He was also extremely unpopular. Twice during his time at Jamestown, his fellow colonists decided to execute him. Twice, they failed. The first time, Smith escaped when his name was drawn from a locked box that had been sealed before setting sail from England. Those named were the colony’s new governors, and it was thought better to keep him alive. The second time, the lucky Brit escaped not through the divine machinations of fate or thanks to his own quick wits. He escaped because his executioners were too busy partying. The only survivor of a Powhatan attack, Smith had been blamed and sentenced to hang. At the time, Jamestown was struggling to fend off mass starvation, and the idea of one less extra mouth to feed must’ve seemed pretty tempting. The night of the execution, the whole town gathered . . . only for 100 new settlers to suddenly arrive with much-needed supplies. In the wild celebrations that followed, the colonists decided to defer Smith’s execution. Only, they never got round to carrying it out. Thanks to their party-hard tendencies, Smith survived to map 4,000 kilometers (2,500 mi) of territory, shaping future explorations of the New World. 8 Richard Sheridan Redefines Missing Deadlines Photo credit: John Hoppner In the second half of the 18th century, Richard Sheridan was the toast of London. An Anglo-Irish playwright, Sheridan made his name with light comedies such as School for Scandal. He was almost as famous for his procrastination. Sheridan turned missing deadlines into a kind of extreme sport. We don’t just mean he handed his manuscripts in late. We don’t even mean he handed his manuscripts in at the last possible second. We mean he handed his finished play to the actors for the first time while it was in the middle of being performed on opening night. Sheridan had already finished the first two acts of School for Scandal and kept promising the actors that they’d get the rest. He kept promising even as he procrastinated, right up until opening night. When it was time to raise the curtain, and it became apparent that Sheridan really hadn’t

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Photos Tim Peake Has Been Taking From Space

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29 Incredibly Useful Websites

29 Incredibly Useful Websites You Wish You Knew Earlier   There are so many wonderful websites around, and it is difficult to know each and every one of them. The below list provides some of those websites that I find particularly helpful, even though they are not as famous or as prevalent as some of the big names out there. 1. BugMeNot Are you bugged constantly to sign up for websites, even though you do not wish to share your email? If yes, then BugMeNot is for you. Instead of creating new logins, BugMeNot has shared logins across thousands of websites which can be used. . 2. Get Notify This nifty little website tracks whether the emails sent by you were opened and read by the receiver. Moreover, it also provides the recipient’s IP Address, location, browser details, and more. 3. Zero Dollar Movies If you are on a constant lookout of free full length movies, then Zero Dollar movies provides a collection of over 15,000 movies in multiple languages that are available to watch for free on Youtube. It indexes only full length movies and no trailers, or partial uploads. In addition, it has a clean interface, contributing to a good movie watching experience. 4. Livestream Livestream allows you to watch and broadcast events live to viewers on any platform. For the next time when you want to share your company’s annual CEO speech live to employees who are on remote locations, Livestream serves as a perfect platform. 5. scr.im scr.im converts your email address into a short custom URLs, that can be shared on public websites. This prevents your email id from getting picked up by spam robots, and email harvesters who are on a constant lookout from your email id. 6. TinEye TinEye is a Reverse Image search tool which is as accurate as Google’s Reverse Image search tool. As opposed to Google, TinEye provides a set of APIs that can be used for personal and commercial purposes, which makes it very useful for developers. 7. Fax Zero Fax Zero allows you to send faxes to US and Canada for free. Additionally, it enables you to send faxes to countries outside North America at a fixed pay per use cost. 8. Snopes Do you believe that fingernails and hair continue to grow after death? Why don’t you check out if this is true, along with thousands of other urban folklore out there, at Snopes?

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3 Perseverance Tips

3 Perseverance Tips Three Tips That Can Help You Persevere If you want to persevere, you do not have to do much. All you need to do is keep on going until you make it to the very end. Of course, there will be obstacles that may prevent you from meeting your goals and relishing the journey, but you can overcome them and keep moving on by following the tips below.   1. Solidify Your Resolve You should start by figuring out a specific goal. Once you have determined your specific goal, you should formulate a plan with steps that you will need to take in a certain amount of time in order to reach your desired goal. You will have to develop mental strength, and put in effort and time if you want to reach your goal. If you are suffering from self-doubt and do not feel self-confident, you will need to change that.

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3 Ways To Improve Your Performance With Meditation

3 Ways To Improve Your Performance With Meditation  It is an undisputed fact that the world becomes more competitive with every sun that sets. It has become harder to succeed financially and in other spheres of life without putting in more and more effort in whatever you do. However, it is typical of the human genealogy that one will break down at some point if there is too much pressure. More and more people are seeking resort in such techniques like meditation so that they can notch up their performance. Below are three ways in which meditation can help you achieve a better quality of life while improving your performance at work. Focus The basic fundamentals of meditation entail achieving a state of self-aware

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3 Ways To Improve Your Self Belief

3 Ways To Improve Your Self Belief   And Grow From Your Mistakes Self esteem describes how we feel about ourselves. Our self esteem or sense of self worth is normally based on our perception of our abilities and how we believe other people accept and value us as individuals. We automatically find ourselves accepting those beliefs and they feel like 'reality' to us. To be successful in goal setting you need to do more than just plan and write down your goals. You need to change your mind set and challenge some of the biggest fears that you have, and equally as importantly, develop your own self-belief. Goal setting can help you achieve success and happiness in your life. Remember, success in life is determined by yourself concept. You should therefore do everything in your power to improve your positive feelings about yourself while holding on to

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3 Ways To Improve Your Self ... by Marijke Van Gif

3 Ways To Improve Your Self Belief   And Grow From Your Mistakes Self esteem describes how we feel about ourselves. Our self esteem or sense of self worth is normally based on our perception of our abilities and how we believe other people accept and value us as individuals. We automatically find ourselves accepting those beliefs and they feel like 'reality' to us. To be successful in goal setting you need to do more than just plan and write down your goals. You need to change your mind set and challenge some of the biggest fears that you have, and equally as importantly, develop your own self-belief. Goal setting can help you achieve success and happiness in your life. Remember, success in life is determined by yourself concept. You should therefore do everything in your power to improve your positive feelings about yourself while holding on to

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Spiritual Teachings That Will Change Your Life

Spiritual Teachings That Will Change Your Life Spirituality is something that every person has at some point in their life either experienced or thought about. It is not something that you can touch or just buy from the malls. It’s something that a person chooses to believe in, feel it and then see it work. There main ideas of spirituality lie in its teachings. There are many spiritual teaching that are available for people to choose, belief and practice the teachings. Not all are acceptable to everyone on earth, though for those that are staunch believers in these spiritual teachings their is joy and love to be found. Spiritual teachings from Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha as well as other sources of spiritual teaching have a number of common messages that are able to change people’s lives. Some of the spiritual teachings that will change your life include; 1 Teachings on love

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Old-Fashioned To Say Please?

Old-Fashioned To Say Please?       The first thing I do after waking up is checking my phone for messages that reached me during the night. This morning I woke up to a message from an Empowr youngster. As I am 60+ I think I am entitled to the use of that indication, as I can’t tell from his picture whether he is 18, 28 or something in between. But to my matured eyes he is a youngster. This is what the message read like: Now, it might well be that I am old-fashioned. Maybe it comes with age. On the othe

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Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Red Wine Chocolate Cake   I found a very goodlooking Chocolate Cake recipe today, a Red Wine Chocolate Cake. In this cake the water that is normally used in the batter is replaced with a sweet red wine. This makes for a really moist cake.The flavor isn’t over powering, but it’s unmistakably there.    Ingredients: Red Wine Chocolate Cake 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour 2 cups (414g) sugar 3/4 cup (85g) Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2 large eggs 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup (240ml) sweet red wine Raspberry Buttercream 1/2 cup (112g) salted butter 1/2 cup (95g) shortening* 2 1/2 cups (288g) powdered sugar 1/4 cup (120ml) raspberry puree (from about 1/2 cup of raspberries pureed in a food processor) Chocolate Buttercream 1 cup (224g) butter 1 cup (189g) shortening

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Give Yourself A Faith Lift

Give Yourself A Faith Lift Get a Faith Lift. Where could you use a faith lift? A place in your life where there’s doubt, anxiety, stress or fear blocking the flow? There is a big hairy spiritual misunderstanding out there that can take you out of the faith flow where you feel supported, guided and held and pull you into the ‘fear pit’ where you get weighted down with feelings of stress, anxiety, and doubt, and it’s this: “If you just do your work, fix yourself, become spiritually evolved ‘enough,’ then life will stop throwing challenges at you.” (as much as I’d like to promise you this spiritual nirvana, it’s not true.) I see so many people – and I’ve done it myself – create tons of unnecessary pressure and stress for themselves because when challenges arise in their money, relationship, careers, or health, instead of meeting the situation with faith, surrendering to the challenge & embracing it, they judge that there is something ‘wrong’ or they did something ‘wrong.’ When hard stuff shows up, or life doesn’t look the way we want, we think and judge that life is supposed to be different than it is. And the moment you choose to judge your situation as wrong, or you blame/shame/criticize yourself or others, the faith flow wanes, your ego flares up, and you create lots more struggle and suffering because you try to muscle, think or criticize your way through instead of relying on the Divine to guide you through.  The spiritual truth is that life is a challenge, full of victories and initiations, full of times of intensity and times of rest. And that’s not a “bad” thing, it’s life. It just is. As you evolve in your spiritual strength and depth, it’s not that the challenges stop

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20 Facts About Antarctica

Cool Facts About Antarctica What is the most remote continent of the world? It is Antartica! Aside from being the most remote continent, it is also the highest, windiest, driest, coldest, and the emptiest place on the planet! Here are 20 facts about Antarctica.   Antarctica is the driest place in the world. The McMurdo Dry Valleys are a row of snow-free valleys in Antarctica located within Victoria Land west of McMurdo Sound.[1] The Dry Valleys experience extremely low humidity and surrounding mountains prevent the flow of ice from nearby glaciers. The rocks here are granites and gneisses, and glacial tills dot this bedrock landscape, with loose gravel covering the ground.   The ice of Antarctica has an average thickness of about 1.9 kilometers (1.2 mile). About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1.6 km (1.0 mi) thick. The continent has about 90% of the world's ice (and thereby about 70% of the world's fresh water). If all of this ice were melted, sea levels would rise about 60 m (200 ft).   Remove your appendix and wisdom teeth so you can work. The budget for having physicians in Antartica’s stations is limited. The USAP medical/dental clearance program strives to identify conditions whose likelihood of becoming emergent during an Antarctic stay exceeds a certain threshold.   Antarctica was discovered in 1820. In 1820, several expeditions claimed to have been the first to have sighted the ice shelf or the continent. A Russian expedition was led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, a British expedition was captained by Edward Bransfield and an American sealer Nathaniel Palmer participated. The first landing was probably just over a year later when American Captain John Davis, a sealer, set foot on the ice.   Antarctica was a warm place before 53 million years ago. An intense warming phase occurred 52 million years ago, leading tropical vegetation, including palms and relatives of today's tropical Baobab trees, to grow on the continent’s now frozen coasts. There was a nuclear power station before in Antarctica. On March 3, 1962, operators activated a nuclear power plant at the station. As a result of continuing safety issues (hairline cracks in the reactor and water leaks]), the U.S.

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Glow Worm-Dotted Cave In New Zealand

Glow Worm-Dotted Cave In New Zealand   In Waitomo’s Ruakuri caves alone, a colony of woodsprite-like glow worms make the underground look celestial. Shaun Jeffers / shaunjeffersphotography.com Photographer Shaun Jeffers dedicated an entire year capturing these glow worms. Spending eight hours at a time in the caves, he said the illumination looks as vibrant in real life as what you can see in the photos. Shaun Jeffers / shaunjeffersphotography.com “It’s quite surreal. Tourists will generally see them as little green lights similar to looking at a really starry sky. But spending hours in the cave, my eyes would adjust to the darkness,” Jeffers told BuzzFeed.

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Motivate Yourself To Work Out

Motivate Yourself To Work Out     Motivating yourself to start an exercise program and to keep it up can be the hardest part of getting fit. Fortunately, there are 10 ways you can motivate yourself to get off the couch and on the road to fitness. Once you do get into the habit of exercising, you may wonder how you ever enjoyed life without it. 1. Dress the part Buy some flattering exercise clothes. Put them on first thing in the morning and look in the mirror. You have taken the first step. That was easy! Now, go to the gym and let everyone see how good you look in those workout clothes. 2. Find your favorite fitness routine Explore as many forms of fitness as you can. Try tennis, swimming, zumba and yoga, whatever looks like fun. Trial and error can help identify which fitness regimen works best for you. Some people prefer to exercise alone while others enjoy the camaraderie of a group. You can decide which you prefer or whether you want to do both. One advantage to group exercise is that you might work out for longer in a class that sets a time limit.  Another advantage of group fitness is making friends, which may provide the motivation to show up. Exercise classes can provide a social support network. 3. Exercise when it works best for you If you’re an early riser,

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44 Classic French Meals Recipes

44 Classic French Meals Recipes   The French Cuisine is world famous. The classic dishes have been prepared since hundred of years with the best ingredients available. The French love their food and justly so. Here are 44 of the most famous dishes and their recipes, so you can prepare them yourself and impress your guests with them.   Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed 1. Coquilles Saint-Jacques Todd Coleman / Via saveur.com You think you know scallops but if you haven’t tried this dish, you don’t know shit.

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Five Ways To Improve Your Focus

Five Ways To Improve Your Focus 1)    Listening to Music One way of improving your focus is constantly listening to music. When I talk about listening, I mean really getting to comprehend the words in the music. It helps in clearing your mind by making you focus on only one thing and hence helps in cooling your mind off. This helps in freshening your mind and removing blogs in your mind which limit your concentration and focus. 2)    Meditation Meditation also helps one in improving his or her focus and

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Creative ways to stick to your goals

Creative ways to stick to your goals   Change is something a lot of people strive to achieve. However change is very hard. Everyone wants to change and develop habits that make them better people. This is not always easy since there is a certain way that people are used to living their lives and doing things. Getting away from a comfort zone is difficult and therefore, most people find themselves back to square one repeating the same things they used to do. There are creative ways to help yourself stick to your goals and actually make the

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Plan Your Day And Become More Productive

Top 4 tips on how to plan your day and become more productive   Being productive has been a big issue for many people who need to improve their daily performance by being productive. However, with proper planning you will always know what to do whenever you need to improve your performance. Here is an expert guide on how to plan your day and become more productive: 1. Have a personal system For you to be productive during the day, you must have a personal system that works well for you whenever you need to improve your personal performance. How do you create a pe

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3 Mindfulness Techniques To Improve Yourself

3 Mindfulness Techniques To Improve Yourself   If you consider mindfulness to be a new age fad, or just another latest buzzword, then think again! With everyday pressures and stresses on your lives, it sometimes becomes arduous to feel motivated, and with the whole weight of the of the globe on your shoulders, you may sometimes become sad with your life. That is why, mindfulness has been around for many centuries. It is an approach associated with awareness that comes when you pay attention- on purpose- in the current moment. It helps to improve your mindset and the way you live. Here are some mindfulness techniques that will make you a better person:

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Classic Britisch Dishes Recipes

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27 Incredible No-Bake Desserts

27 Incredible No-Bake Desserts   Sometimes your oven needs alone time. These 27 mouthwatering desserts are okay with that. Easy to make and with a stunning result to impress your dinner guests with a grand finale of your cooking skills. The recipes are included   1. Greek Yogurt Cheesecake With Pomegranate Syrup bonappetit.com Get the recipe at Bon Appétit. 2. Pumpkin Cream Pie With Maple Whipped Cream flickr.com Get the recipe at Joy the Baker. Full disclosure: the gingersnap cookie crust in this pie and a few others below does call for a quick (like, 15-minute) pre-bake in the oven. That should be easy to do ahead of time, BUT if you’re really opposed to that idea or for some reason don’t actually have an oven, you can also just buy a pre-made cookie or graham cracker crust. 3. Nutella Cheesecake flickr.com Get the recipe at Delishhh. 4. Pumpkin Pecan Butter Tarts calmmindbusybody.com Get the recipe at Calm Mind Busy Body. 5. Vanilla Spice Poached Pears flickr.com Get the recipe at Crepes of Wrath. 6. Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifles mybakingaddiction.com Get the recipe at My Baking Addiction. 7. Cinnamon Pecan Truffles adashofcompassion.com Get the recipe at A Dash Of Compassion. 8. Peanut Butter Yogurt Pie

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23 Easy Healthy Salad Recipes

23 Easy Healthy Salad Recipes   These 23 easy and really healthy recipes will actually make you fall in love with salad. So simple. So tasty. And they can be thrown together in 20 minutes or less. Even your children will love this colorful and invitingfood.   1. Thai Chicken Salad With Creamy Peanut Hummus Dressing Dani (The Adventure Bite) / Via theadventurebite.com Is it inappropriate to drink this peanut hummus dressing or nah? Get the recipe here. 2. Easy Chopped Greek Salad Amy Dong / Via chewoutloud.com A little extra crumbled feta never hurt anybody. Get the recipe here. 3. Berry Quinoa Salad Maria and Josh (Two Peas & Their Pod) / Via twopeasandtheirpod.com Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, ALL the berries. Get the recipe here. 4. Sweet Potato, Cashew, and Cranberry Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing Ellen Landman and Julia Verkuil / Via kwiekcph.com This tangy spinach salad packs a lot of flavor and only takes 20 minutes to prepare. Get the recipe here. 5. Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing Lindsay (Pinch of Yum) / Via pinchofyum.com Spicy shrimp, avocado, kale, cucumber, and yummy miso dressing? Hell, yes. Get the recipe here. 6. Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad Sally (Sally’s Baking Addiction) / Via sallysbakingaddiction.com Literally summer in a bowl, people. Get the recipe here. 7. Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs Alexandra Stafford / Via alexandracooks.com It’s basically bacon and eggs but in salad form. Get the recipe here.

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27 Bold & Spicy Dishes

27 Bold & Spicy Dishes     27 Bold & Spicy Recipes To Ring In Summer 2016 It's well known that hot and spicy food goes very well with warm tropical temperatures. So with the summer on its way here a number of terrific dishes. These pair best with an ice cold beer.   1. Spicy Orange-Ginger Chicken Mark Weinberg / food52.com See ya, mall food courts. Get the recipe. 2. Spicy & Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu Mark Weinberg / food52.com Your tongue may be on fire but trust me, it’s worth it. Get the recipe. 3. Spicy Shrimp James Ransom / food52.com These get even better when you turn the leftovers into shrimp salad. ::praise hands:: Get the recipe. 4. Herbed Chicken Burgers with Spicy Aioli James Ransom / food52.com Kick up the heat on your weeknight dinner (and don’t forget the wine). Get the recipe. 5. Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce James Ransom / food52.com Breakfast for dinner: the spicy version. Get the recipe. 6. Spicy Vegan Eggplant Pasta James Ransom / food52.com Spicy and vegan. Get the recipe. 7. Spicy Thai Steak Salad James Ransom / food52.com Skip Thai food takeout and replace it with this spicier home-cooked version. Get the recipe. 8. Spicy Chocolate-Covered Tortilla Chips Jessica Murnane / food52.com Spicy, salty, chocolatey — AKA the perfect snack.

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24 Summer Tea Variations

24 Summer Tea Variations   Refreshing Ways To Drink Your Tea This Summer. Ice tea is the best know way to have a refreshing summer drink, but more is possible with tea.   1. Hibiscus Arnold Plamers Vegetarian Ventures / Via vegetarianventures.com 50% lemonade, 50% iced tea, 100% delicious. Get the recipe. 2. Hibiscus Iced Tea Sparkler Diethood / Via diethood.com Fizzy pink goodness. Recipe here. 3. Earl Grey Tea Cocktail Sugar and Charm / Via sugarandcharm.com Gin + tea + lavender = the best grown up summer cocktail ever. Recipe here. 4. Strawberry Mango Bubble Tea Vanilla and Lace / Via vanillaandlace.blogspot.co.uk Blended strawberries, mango and almond milk with chewy boba pearls added in. Get the recipe. 5. Jasmine Tea Infused Smoothie Mid Life Croissant / Via midlifecroissant.com Tangy kefir smoothie softened and sweetened with peach and jasmine tea. Recipe here. 6. Watermelon Iced Tea Flavors of Mumbai / Via flavorsofmumbai.com Sweet, delicious, watermelon juice mixed with lemon iced tea syrup. Get the recipe. 7. Sweet Tea Slushies

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New Light On Ancient Egypts

10 Archaeological Finds That Shed New Light On Ancient Egypt   Egypt was one of the earliest cultures to start keeping extensive records for future generations. Their monuments like the Great Pyramids of Giza remain to impress and awe us to this day. However, just because we have made many important finds throughout history doesn’t mean every last secret of ancient Egypt has been exhausted. In fact, in just the past few years, we have uncovered impressive finds which give us even more knowledge into the lives of the Egyptians of the past. 10 Iron From Meteorites Photo credit: Jurii In the northern Egyptian city of Gerzeh in 1911, archaeologists found a tomb that contained nine beads that appeared to be made of iron. The only problem is that they were dated from 2,000 years before Egypt had the capability to smelt iron. Since then, historians have puzzled over where the ancient Egyptians either found iron or learned to create it so early in their history. The Egyptian hieroglyphics for iron literally translate to “metal from heaven,” which gives a pretty good clue as to its origins. Because of the rarity of the metal, it was mainly associated with wealth and power. It was mainly crafted into jewelry and trinkets for royalty rather than weapons as it was later used. In the 1980s, chemical analysis showed levels of nickel, a metal associated with meteorites, but levels were too low to confirm. Recently, however, tests have conclusively shown that the iron did indeed come from fallen meteorites which would explain why the metal appeared thousands of years before the Egyptians learned to smelt it. Interestingly, this would also explain the mystery of King Tut’s dagger. Along with a gold blade, a mysterious dagger apparently made of iron was found at Tutankhamen’s side. Since King Tut died before iron was smelted, it was theorized that his dagger came from fallen meteorites. After testing, this theory was finally proven true. 9 Religious Tattoos   Today, many people will get tattoos for a variety of reasons: to remember a loved one, to express uniqueness, or to show off their interests. But a mummy found in the village of Deir el-Medina shows what the ancient Egyptians may have used them for. Along with other mummies with visible tattoos, the Deir el-Medina mummy sheds light on a possible ancient religious practice. The Deir el-Medina mummy is a headless, limbless torso that belonged to a woman from between 1300 and 1070 BC who lived in an artisanal village near the Valley of the Kings. Using infrared lights, 30 identifiable tattoos were found on her. What’s unique about her is that the tattoos appear to have been put on her during her lifetime rather than after death for a religious ritual. She also has the first symbols that have significance rather than abstract designs. These symbolic designs range from the so-called Wadjet eyes on her neck, shoulders, and back (which represent divine watching from every angle) to cows related to the powerful god Hathor. Other symbols were found on her neck and what remained of her arms. Most likely, they were also related to Hathor and were supposed to be a sort of boost for singing and playing music. When the discovery of the tops was made, many Egyptologists were stunned because no tattoos of the sort had been found before. Three similar mummies were found, and their markings were most likely for women who wanted to express their religious piety. To get the tattoos would have been test enough because the method used was probably excruciatingly painful. 8 Depiction Of Demons Photo credit: Jeff Dahl As far back as 4,000 years ago, Egyptians feared demons and what they would do to these ancient people. Of course, the ancient Egyptians were very religious people and their beliefs were passed down so effectively that we have a good grasp on their deities and practices today. However, when it comes to demons in Egyptian’s minds from the distant past, we were mostly in the dark as to what they imagined them to be—until now. Two demons found on a coffin from the Middle Kingdom (around 4,500 years ago and the oldest depictions thus far) show exactly what the Egyptians believed were out there and what they would do to you. One named In-tep is a doglike baboon and the other named Chery-benut is an unspecified creature with a human head. They are depicted as two guards of an entrance but what they actually did is unknown. According to archaeologists, In-tep may have punished intruders who entered sacred spaces by gruesomely decapitating them. Ikenty, a third demon also found on a Middle Kingdom coffin, was depicted as a large bird with a feline head. But an even older depiction found on a Cairo scroll describes it as a demon that could very quickly identify victims and hold them in its inescapable grasp. Although demons were commonly depicted in Egyptian findings from the New Kingdom (1,000 years after the Middle Kingdom), it shows that belief in evil spirits by the ancient Egyptians occurred far earlier than previously thought by experts. 7 Ancient

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Theories To Explain Déjà Vu

10 Fascinating Theories To Explain Déjà Vu   Déjà vu is the name given to the unsettling feeling we get when we feel we have been in the exact same situation before. For a few seconds, we are convinced that we have lived the moment previously—to the point where it almost feels like we can predict what is going to happen next. Then just as quickly as the bizarre feeling comes, it goes and we’re back to our normal reality. Although an actual cause of déjà vu has yet to be confirmed by science, over 40 theories have been proposed to try to explain it. This list includes 10 of the most interesting and thought-provoking examples! 10 A ‘Mix-Up’ Of Senses And Memory This hypothesis tries to explain the sensation of déjà vu by linking it to our sensory perspectives. A famous psychological experiment, the Grant et al study, shows that our memory is context dependent, meaning that we can recall information better when placed in the same environment in which we studied it. This helps to explain déjà vu by showing how stimuli in the environment can easily provoke a memory. A certain sight or smell might trigger our subconscious mind to recall a time when we saw or heard the same thing. This would also explain why the same déjà vu experiences can recur. When we remember something, it increases the strength of our neural pathways, meaning we are more likely to recall something which we repeatedly think about. However, this theory doesn’t offer an explanation as to why déjà vu occurs when the person experiencing it doesn’t recognize any of the stimuli involved in the déjà vu. 9 Dual Processing Similar to the previous theory, this hypothesis is another that involves memory acting incorrectly or using “higher processing.” When we originally perceive something, our brain places it into our short-term memory. If we continue to revise the processed information, it will eventually be transferred into our long-term memory where it is easier for us to retrieve. Items stored in our short-term memory will be lost if we do not make an effort to fully encode them. (For example, we will only temporarily remember the price of an item we bought.) This theory suggests that when we perceive something, our brain is simultaneously trying to encode the new memory into our long-term memory, thereby creating the uncomfortable illusion that we have experienced it before. This theory may be confusing because it doesn’t explain why the brain has timing errors in some moments but not others, although this could be due to a small malfunction in the brain that is common to us all. 8 Parallel Universe Theory Photo credit: Lee Davy The idea that we live among millions of parallel universes containing millions of versions of ourselves carrying out our own lives with a diversity of different possibilities has always been a somewhat exciting thought. Déjà vu could actually contribute to this theory! Believers in this theory claim that the human experience of déjà vu can be explained by considering the unsettling feeling of having lived a moment before as a “crossover” with a parallel universe. This would mean that whatever you’re doing while experiencing the déjà vu, a parallel version of you is doing it in a different universe simultaneously, therefore creating an alignment between the two universes! Although intriguing, this theory is not backed with much scientific evidence, which makes it difficult to accept. However, the multiverse theory, which states that millions of universes form randomly side by side with only an exceptional few forming with the accessories to support

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Hotels With Extraordinairy Services

10 Hotels That Offer Ridiculously Over-The-Top Extras   Nearly all hotels offer package options designed to enhance a guest’s stay and overall experience. But some resorts are offering truly extravagant amenities. From the quirky to the just plain bizarre, some hotels have determined that these odd extras are exactly what they need to set them apart from the rest of the pack. Even stranger, guests are willing to pay excessive amounts for these services. However weird and wild the offering may be, guests can be certain that they’ll receive a genuinely memorable experience and some seriously unique stories to pass along. 10 Happy Guest Lodge The name really says it all. At the Happy Guest Hotel in Warrington, UK, the staff just wants to please their guests. They are willing to go the extra mile to make that happen, even if it means accommodating the lonely customer. The management provides clients with a unique service—a sleeping partner in the form of a goldfish. Guests who opt for this scaly company are charged £5 and a goldfish named “Happy” is placed in their rooms. The hotel’s website boasts that the world-famous goldfish provides guests with company for the evening and instills a sense of joy in the client, one that creates a truly interesting environment. Guests making a reservation online can book Happy ahead of time to ensure that their little buddy will be waiting in their room upon arrival. So why a goldfish? Well, the hotel’s owner believes that this little fish provides a sense of comfort, a sounding board, and unconditional love to the guest after a hard day. The owner states that clients may even find themselves missing Happy between stays. Never fear, though. Happy or his stand-in will be available for your next stay. 9 Family Pillow Fight Package Combining the nostalgia of a slumber party with the comforts of a five-star resort sounds like the perfect combo. The Ritz-Carlton has long been known as a top hotel, offering several services to enhance a guest’s experience. However, the Ritz in Palm Beach, Florida, offers some extra-special attention to guests traveling as a family—the family pillow fight package. This package costs a whopping $60 and includes a bag of satin pillows, a CD, and a book of family games to play together. Although the cost of this family package may seem rather steep, the management at the Ritz believes that it provides an opportunity for families to bond over fun and feathers. Songs on the included CD are meant to rile up the pillow participants, featuring classics like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” 8 Swimsuit Vending Machines We are all familiar with packing in a hurry and forgetting some of the most essential items for a marvelous vacation, like a bathing suit. To avoid taking a dip in your birthday suit or heading over to the hotel gift shop which so often stocks less than stylish options, the Standard Hotel chain has come up with a rather innovative solution—a bathing

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Secret Images In Famous Classic Paintings

10 Hidden Images Discovered Beneath Famous Classic Paintings   Some classic paintings have surprised us with their “secrets”—forgotten paintings and images concealed for centuries until restoration techniques or new technologies revealed them. Surreal but true, these discoveries have left the art world breathless. Featured photo credit: Leonardo da Vinci 10 La Republique Figure The Wood Sawyers Photo credit: Jean-Francois Millet via Victoria and Albert Museum Using infrared reflectography, an image of a head was exposed above the left shoulder of one of the men in Jean-Francois Millet’s The Wood Sawyers. With further assessments and thorough scanning, the other parts of the hidden image were completely revealed. It was the figure of the famous French statue La Republique. Alfred Sensier, the artist’s biographer, later confirmed that this image was originally created as an entry for a certain state competition. Unfortunately, it didn’t earn a prize in that contest. So Millet painted The Wood Sawyers over the original picture. He reused the same canvas simply to save money. Other details found by the scan were some folded parts, tears, and dark holes in the hidden image. These were probably caused by adjusting the original canvas to its new size. 9 A Beached Whale View Of Scheveningen Sands   The painting View of Scheveningen Sands was created by Hendrick van Anthonissen around 1641 and donated to Fitzwilliam Museum in 1873. The painting depicts an innocent scene of a calm beach in winter with clusters of people gathered for no apparent reason. Yet the picture still seemed normal. When a student conservator was tasked with removing a yellowing patch of paint, she discovered the painting’s peculiar secret. On the horizon of the ocean, a figure emerged next to a shape that resembled a sail. After further cleaning, the conservators found a picture of a stranded whale. The “sail” turned out to be the whale’s fin. There was no indication that the van Anthonissen painting featured a beached whale when the museum acquired it. Later analysis suggested that the paint used to conceal the animal was applied in the 18th or 19th century. Experts believe that the whale was concealed because the picture of a dead animal was considered offensive in the 18th and part of the 19th centuries. Without the whale, the painting was probably more salable. 8 A Peasant Woman Patch Of Grass Photo credit: Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh, an artist with a tragic life story whose works are quite valuable today, painted his masterpiece Patch of Grass in Paris in 1887. However, scientists from the Netherlands and Belgium have revealed a forgotten portrait hidden behind this painting. Although the final painting is composed mostly of blues and greens, the portrait is done entirely in brown and red. It was discovered in 2008 with the help of an advanced color mapping technique done with fluorescent X-rays. The details show an image of a woman

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Green Walls – A Vertical Garden

Green Walls – A Vertical Garden   The new generation of urban gardeners just love to experiment. They create their gardens where they live. Greenery grows and flourishes on roof terraces and vertically on the walls of apartment rooms. Technical solutions are in full bloom – and the spectrum ranges from wall planters to huge hanging gardens. Ambiente 2015 was a trend barometer for interior horticulture. Discover a flourishing worldwide innovation and get caught the home gardening bug.  In principle it’s pretty easy. Thanks to clever installation and watering systems there is now no problem getting plants to grow into vertical gardens on walls. Whether you want a herb garden in the kitchen or ferns in the bathroom, space-saving planting solutions can bring nature into the house. With systems also available for outdoor areas, there is nothing to stop you creating a vertical farm on an apartment balcony. Even lettuce can grow in this perpendicular environment. Urban gardening Gardening is now possible everywhere! Young forums like Urban Jungle Bloggers and blogger and enthusiastic city gardener Robin Horton from Urban Gardens show how easy it is. The phenomenon of urban gardening

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Turn Sadness Into Creativity

Turn Sadness Into Creativity   Sadness is something we often experience in our lives whether short-term or long-term. Negative emotions can be difficult to deal with especially in a society that has deemed such emotions as something we shouldn’t dwell on. However, it’s important to acknowledge that the negative emotions are just as important as the positive ones. Negative emotions are crucial for our overall happiness and well-being. They are there to tell us something, help us make sense of life’s ups and downs and evaluate our experiences. When they do come up, they are not to be judged or suppressed but rather should be seen as a tool for getting yourself back onto the right track. When we encounter negativity, it is important that we focus on how to make use of it rather than try to eliminate it altogether. Having a positive outlook on life is extremely beneficial, but for a lot of us it can be a challenge to reach this state on a regular basis. But did you know that finding ways to channel your negative thoughts and emotions can bring about a great amount of creativity? What Science Teaches Us About Negativity and Creativity There have been many successful authors and artists that have been famed for having periods of emotional turmoil resulting in the creation of some of the world’s most beautiful artistic works. Is this a cliche or is there a connection between negative emotions and creativity? It has been long thought that positive emotions are what fuels our creativity but researchers are finding out that our most complex creative ideas do emerge from dark periods. In the paper “The Dark Side of Creativity: Biological Vulnerability and Negative Emotions Lead to Greater Artistic Creativity” written by Modupe Akinola, a study was conducted involving positive and negative responses to a group of people asked to talk about

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13 Signs Of A Toxic Parent

13 Signs Of A Toxic Parent That Many People Don’t Realize   Most parents genuinely do their best to provide their children with a happy and healthy upbringing, but even these individuals can accidentally make mistakes that may result in future therapy appointments. Unfortunately, some parents go beyond the occasional mistake and veer into the toxic category. Regardless of whether or not a parent is purposefully being toxic, there are several behaviors that can cause so much emotional and mental damage to a child that it ends up greatly affecting them even after they have grown up. If you experienced any of the following situations as a child, the odds are high that one or both of your parents were at least slightly toxic. 1. They Fail To Provide You With Affirmation And Security Some people believe that showing tough love is an important way to ensure that their children are able to take care of themselves in the future. If you were the recipient of this approach on a regular basis, you might even believe that this has had a positive impact on your life. However, if you practically fall apart now because of any perceived failure or rejection, then this most likely stems from a parent’s toxic refusal to provide you with the right amount of security and affirmation while you were young. Tough love might work sometimes, but it cannot be the only approach a parent takes if they want their child to become a well-rounded adult. 2. They Are Overly Critical Everyone’s parents criticize from time to time. Without this component, we might never learn how to do numerous things properly, such as everyday chores like washing laundry. A toxic parent takes this to extremes by being overly critical about everything their child does. Parents can make the mistake of believing that they do this to make sure their children avoid making costly mistakes. Unfortunately, what this behavior really does is causing the child to develop a harsh inner critic that can be borderline crippling during adulthood. 3. They Demand Your Attention Toxic parents often turn their children into their own parental substitutes by demanding their attention at all times. This can be seen as bonding between the parent and child, but it is really a parasitic relationship that requires too much of the child’s time and energy when they should

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Become A Better Photographer

5 Simple Tips for Becoming a Better Photographer Photography is an art form that takes decades to perfect. While you can’t expect to transition from amateur to seasoned professional within a few weeks, you can hack your way to the top by heeding the advice of others and perfecting some of the following five tips and techniques. 1. Shoot at Golden Hour As you know, there are certain times of day when natural light is more conducive to high quality photography. While people will argue over which time is best, most would agree that the hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise are the best. This is often referred to as the “Golden Hour.” “Just before sunset the sun is very low in the sky. This produces more directional light because of the low angle,” says photographer Lauren Lim. “Basically, it adds more

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Your Handwriting Reveals Your Personality

Your Handwriting Reveals Your Personality   Your handwriting reveals a lot more about your personality than you might think. In fact, there is a science known as Graphology, which involves studying and analyzing handwriting for personality traits. Graphology has been around for centuries, with the first known public book emerging in 1622. The word, however, was only coined in the 1870s by Jean Michon of France. The emergence of psychology as a profession at the end of the century is credited with providing greatest advancement in the field. It was only in the 19th century that it truly gained prominence. It might then be surprising (or not) to note that today Graphology is used for a variety of purposes, such as: In educational facilities to develop a greater teacher-student relationship and teaching environment. Screening employees in job interviews; corporate companies are increasingly supplementing traditional interviews with handwriting analysis to ensure they employ the correct person. In criminal investigations; identifying suspects through handwritten letters. Obtaining a greater understanding of one’s health. For example, it has been found that a deterioration in the ability to write (identifiable through shaky lettering or an unreadable signature), signals a decline in a person with Alzheimer’s. Considering the vast array of applications, you may be wondering what this looks like in action. There are four areas of focus; namely size, slant, pressure and spacing. Through analyzing each of them, certain personality traits can be determined. This of course only touches the tip of the iceberg and, as

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Learn a Language Fast

Learn a Language Fast 12 Language Experts Share Their Tips. In a world that demands rapid learning and massive change, the ability to learn a language faster is an important skill to acquire. Concerning learning faster, skill acquisition can be transferred to just about anything you want to learn. The most common mistake we see people make when trying to learn a language, is going at it alone. It makes sense if we take a step back, as this is how we’ve been taught to learn our entire lives. After enduring years of long nights at the library reading textbooks or hours of sitting through boring lectures, we’ve naturally transferred over this habit to language learning. But learning a language, like any skill, has already been learned from language experts around the world, who have revealed some of their best kept learning secrets. By modeling someone who has achieved what we want, we can learn from their mistakes, and get to our end result much faster. Here are 12 of the best ways to learn a language faster by 12 language experts around the world. 1. Don’t Look Up Every Single Word “There will be times when you’re simply dying to know the meaning of a particular word. Fine – but if you stop to look up every word, you’ll never get anywhere. Instead, only look up words that seem to be cropping up again and again – they will be the key to understanding what you’re reading.” – Olly Richards, iwillteachyoualanguage.com 2. Set Specific Goals “To be successful in learning what you need for your trip, you need as much specificity as possible. I’m lucky enough to typically have three whole months before a trip, in which I can devote most of my days to learn a language, and that makes fluency a realistic target.” – Matt Kepnes, NomadicMatt.com 3. Act Like A Child “The idea that children are inherently better learners than adults is proving to be a myth. New research cannot find a direct link between age and the ability to learn. The key to learning as quickly as a child may be to simply take on certain childlike attitudes: for instance, lack of self-consciousness, a desire to play in the language and willingness to make mistakes.” – Matthew Youlden, fluent in 9 languages

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Building Habits? Change Your Mind

Building Habits? Change Your Mind Usually when we want to achieve something, we try hard to build some habits, as we’re told that habits are the fundamentals of success. However, if we examine the functions of different parts of our brains, habits turn out to be something that hinder us in achieving our goals rather than assisting us. When we’re practicing our habits, we’re actually using the primitive brain, which is not the preferred one for achieving goals…Here’s why. First we need to understand how our primitive brain works.   The “Primitive Brain” The human primitive brain, otherwise known as the limbic system, has developed over millions of years. Our ancestors had three straight forward goals that they needed to keep in mind if they were going to survive. These goals were: Find food Find a mate Stay safe from predators Humans had only their superior intelligence to rely upon. Unlike other animals we did not have great strength or speed, sharp teeth or the like. The primitive brain developed in such a way to help us achieve these three goals. When we saw the possibility of acquiring food we experienced high energy levels that prompted us to go after the food. When the potential to reproduce presented itself we experience great desire, and when we felt that we had pushed ourselves too hard we felt the desire

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Weekend Habits of Successful People

12 Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People     I’ve read countless articles about what successful people do on their weekends. Do you want to know the secret? It’s the same thing that they do every other day. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Here are 12 weekend habits of highly successful people: 1. Robert Iger: Get up early This Disney CEO is not the only executive claiming to rise at 4:30 every morning. Successful people do not stay in bed until 2 p.m. on a Sunday. Or even 11 a.m. Research shows that our brains are sharpest two and a half to four hours after waking. Get up early on a weekend and you’ve got a head start on the rest of the world. 2. Benjamin Franklin: Have a plan Apparently, this founding father asked himself every morning, “What good shall I do today?” Successful people know the importance of even daily goals — the weekends are no exception. Sure, they can be a time for (planned and purposeful) rejuvenation, but you don’t have to be President to know that general slacking off is not an option. 3. Timothy Ferris: Don’t multi-task Multi-tasking is so 2005. It may be tempting to maximize your weekend productivity by running on the treadmill while calling your mother and trolling your newsfeed, but successful people know that this just reduces efficiency and effectiveness. Instead, be present for each single activity. Ferris recommends a maximum of two goals or tasks per day to ensure productivity and accomplishments align. 4. Anna Wintour: Stay active Vogue’s editor-in-chief commits to playing tennis for one hour every day. And she’s not the only big-shot making time for exercise. Richard Branson stays active with kite surfing and India’s fourth-richest billionaire is a serial marathon runner. Successful people know the importance of an active body for an active mind — weekends included. If nothing else, it will also counteract that glass of wine and cheese platter from Saturday night. 5. Steve Jobs: Prioritize what’s important “Things don’t have to change

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10 Quotes To Adopt In Everyday Life

10 Quotes To Adopt In Everyday Life Most of us live by a motto, whether it’s one we’re taught or one we’ve developed over time. For example, a close friend of mine lives by her two self-created rules of “Don’t be a jerk” and “Be a homie,” which I wish I had come up with first.  However, with all the great quotes out there (especially on Pinterest), it’s difficult to embrace just one as your day-to-day mantra.  Here are 10 quotes you should consider adopting in your everyday life: 1. “You have not lived today until you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.”—John Bunyan Oftentimes we get so caught up in the give-and-take process of life that we forget the true spirit of generosity—one in which we give without the expectation of receiving. Nonprofit volunteering is a great way of carrying out this phrase in your daily life. 2. “Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t. And believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”—Harvey MacKay This one is a personal favorite of mine, which I happen to have taped to my bedroom wall. It’s wordy, but the message is simple: live your best life now.  Every day is a new day and the present moment is no different.  Don’t waste it on something or someone who hinders you from reaching your fullest potential. 3. 1 Corinthians 13

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Become Successful Doing These Things Daily

Become Successful Doing These Things Daily     Have you ever wondered what the secret to success is? For most people, it’s not one specific thing. Rather, it’s the result of many daily habits that are repeated over and over. Here are 15 small things you can do every day to ensure that you’re being intentional with your time and spending it on your priorities. Incorporate these tips into your daily routine and watch your success soar! 1. Define your priorities. What are your main three priorities in your life? What three things do you do with the majority of your time? Do your priorities match up with where you’re spending your time? If so, awesome. If not, you’ll need to work extra hard to be intentional about spending more time on your priorities, and getting rid of the junk that prevents you from doing what’s important to you. Really think about how you want to spend your life – you will likely only feel successful if you spend your time on what matters most to you. 2. Set a schedule for the following day. Time is our most precious resource, and it’s irreplaceable. If you really want to be successful, you’ll need to plan how you’re spending your time. One way to do this is to take time each evening to write out a schedule for the next day. Writing out your schedule helps for three main reasons: It helps you maximize every hour you are awake; it helps you set aside time to focus on your priorities every day; and it helps you discover if you waste a lot of time. I recently read that the average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV. Setting a schedule will help you avoid the trap of time-suckers like TV. 3. Eat the frog. “Eat a live frog first thing every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain If you’re like most people, there is a task every day you procrastinate because it scares or overwhelms you. This task is your frog, and according to Mark Twain, you should eat it right away in the morning.The problem with procrastinating eating your frog is that it’s hard to concentrate on getting other things done; you’re too busy thinking about the frog you need to eat later. Also, putting it off makes it seem even more overwhelming because you have time to imagine every possible thing that could go wrong with the task. Eating the frog early in the day gives you a sense of accomplishment, and it’s great to start the day feeling successful. Finishing your dreaded task immediately can give you the momentum you need to get other tasks done throughout your day. Plus, they’ll all seem easy compared to the frog you started with. 4. Be honest with the person in the mirror. Now that

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10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked

Benefits of Sleeping Naked 10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know   Sleeping is one of the most important things we do every night. Getting the right amount of sleep has an untold number of health benefits and not getting enough sleep is a serious problem in many countries around the world. Did you know that you can get additional benefits by sleeping naked? Here are some benefits of sleeping in the nude: 1. It is easier. When you don’t have to worry about sleeping in clothes, things start to get easier. You don’t have to buy pajamas, which can save you money. You have less clothes to wash and less clothes to put away. You may have to clean your bed sheets more often, but not nearly as often as you’d have to wash your pajamas when you run out. 2. It forces you to be ready to go more often. Some people get off of work, change into their pajamas, and use this as an excuse to stay home the rest of the evening. This can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, which has been attributed to things like weight gain. When you keep your regular clothes on, you tend to go out more often and that’s a good thing. 3. It can make you feel happier and more free. Just imagine the feeling of laying in bed naked. You’re free of your pants and underwear. Women, you’re not wearing a constrictive bra. It’s just you sandwiched between two cool sheets. The feeling just makes you want to smile and it makes you feel more free. Everyone can use that kind of good feeling every now and then, and it may even help you be happier as a person. 4. Skin-on-skin contact is the

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Want To Improve Your Memory?

Want To Improve Your Memory?   Have A Busy Schedule!   Our lives are overfilled with things to do. And the more driven, ambitious, and connected we are, the busier we stay. We are bombarded with messages to “unplug,” get away, take a break, slow down, and engage in “me” time. While these things are absolutely necessary and essential to our mental wellbeing, busyness does have its benefits. Researchers have found that staying busy improves mental processing and reasoning skills, helps improve memory — both long and short term — and improves overall mental functioning. Busy people have sharper minds and better memories, plain and simple. In a study conducted by researchers in Texas and Alabama, 330 healthy men and women ranging from age 50 to 80 were quizzed about their daily schedules and put through a battery of mental tests. The results showed that no matter how old they were or how well educated, a busy lifestyle was linked to a healthy brain. In this particular study, researchers began with the hypothesis “that a busy schedule would be a proxy for an engaged lifestyle and would facilitate cognition.” They were able to determine that greater busyness was associated with better processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge.

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Feeling Is the Key to Healing

  Feeling Is the Key to Healing When Mindfulness Hurts “You start watching your breath and all your problems are solved. It is not like that at all. You are working with the heart of your experiences, learning to turn towards them, and that is difficult and can be uncomfortable.” ~Ed Halliwell Can mindfulness be bad for you? I had been expecting it: Once you become a regular at it, mindfulness permeates all aspects of your life. I only sit in meditation for twenty minutes daily (and a full hour on Sundays), but I carry its effects with me the rest of the time, elevated levels of awareness and all. This is not to say that I constantly float on a blissful cloud. In fact, this sudden increase in mindfulness, even for someone used to deep introspection and resolutely committed to lucidity, comes at a certain cost. What I hadn’t expected was the actual weight of mindfulness. Three months into the daily practice of mindful meditation, I had to admit that it was not solely eliciting the deep serenity I had hoped for. In fact, I realized that in some ways, I actually felt less happy than before. I couldn’t precisely put my finger on it. All I knew was that things seemed heavier, more raw. How could that be? Wasn’t mindfulness supposed to help me transcend the vicissitudes of life? What was I doing wrong? Was I the only one in that odd situation? I decided to do some research. It didn’t take long before I discovered evidence that mindfulness can indeed have “side effects.” A quick online search showed me that I’m actually in very good company. Mindfulness, and the practice of meditation, has reportedly entailed significant “downsides” for a number of enthusiasts. We come to mindfulness in the hope that it will constitute the path to peacefulness, often unaware that this path is paved with cracked and bumpy stones. Only after stepping onto that road do you realize

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100 Reasons to be Grateful Today

100 Reasons to be Grateful Today “Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” ~Fred De Witt Van Amburgh I began my gratitude practice at a time when I desperately needed help seeing the good in my life. Several failed relationships and a broken heart had left me blind to the incredible gifts the Universe had given me, and I was rutted in depression for three years. I couldn’t seem to focus on anything besides what I had lost. Happiness seemed like a cosmic joke. The more I focused on what I wasn’t grateful for, like the love I had lost, the less I focused on doing the things I loved. Depression is common, and it happens to many of us at some point. But the longer I chose to wallow in it, the more impossible happiness seemed. After my third year of depression I seriously considered whether life was even worth living. Then I came across Zig Ziglar’s empowering audiobook A View From the Top. I learned from Zig how giving to others can help us foster a deep sense of happiness, and how gratitude is the missing ingredient to most people’s success. Immediately, I began a gratitude practice, focusing on the important people in my life and the many gifts I had to share with others. It was a tough transition because there was so much negative momentum to reverse. Habits are like roads—the more you travel them, the easier they are to follow. But I stayed disciplined with my new habit and chose grateful thoughts even when I felt hopeless. Within two years my gratitude practice turned into a lifestyle, and today I’m enjoying the fruits. I make a living doing what I love as a writer, and I make a difference in the lives of thousands of people through my work—all because I shifted my focus from what I lacked to what I had. The amazing thing is that no matter how much or little I think I have, I always have more! And gratitude helps me see it. If you’ve felt gypped by the Universe, here are 100 reasons to be grateful today. 1. The breath in your lungs 2. Your hard-working heart 3. The food that fuels your experience 4. The ever-present opportunity to make better decisions than your last 5. Your brain and memory that allow you to learn from mistakes 6. The freedom to make unlimited mistakes on your road to self-improvement 7. The endless supply of wisdom people and books provide 8. The natural talents you were born to share 9. The challenges that allow you to grow 10. The accomplishments that have improved your life 11. The mother and father who gave you life

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You’ll Never Be “Ready” So Stop Waiting

You’ll Never Be “Ready” So Stop Waiting “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready.” ~Hugh Laurie Throughout our childhood and early adult years, we’re conditioned to think we need to be “ready” to take the next big step in life. Our teachers won’t let us get too far ahead of where they think we should be in terms of knowledge. Our parents try to protect us from ideas and truths they think we’re not ready to learn about. We, ourselves, hold back when faced with major decisions that we don’t believe we’re ready to make. We’re constantly told we’ll understand certain things, or be able to do certain things, when we’re older—as if the passage of time alone is enough to teach us everything we need to know about life. This way of thinking has a hugely negative impact on the way we live our lives. For one thing, some of us feel we are ready to move forward in life, but are constantly being held back by societal norms. Additionally, there are those of us who never take the first step toward our goals because, despite being told by society we are ready to do so, we don’t believe we truly are. — The night I graduated from high school, I broke down into tears. It hit me all at once as I returned home from the school-sponsored “All Night Graduation Party”: I had no idea what I was going to do with myself after walking across that stage. Throughout my first eighteen years on Earth, life simply happened to me. I didn’t need to make decisions on my own. As long as I did the work that was given to me, I was passed on to the next grade. Though I did well enough in school, had succeeded at many after-school jobs, and felt pretty good about my life in general, I didn’t feel as if I was ready to take the next step. It was intimidating to think that everyone around me had a plan for the rest of their lives while I had no clue what I wanted to do. I figured if I was going to move away, spend thousands of dollars, and commit to learning a specific set of skills, I had to be 100 percent certain

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Happiness Hacks: Infuse Your Life with Joy

Happiness Hacks: Infuse Your Life with Joy “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh Life seems complicated these days. We’re all busy pursuing happiness, yet how many of us ever reach that goal? Success, money, and busyness are top of our priority list, yet deep in our hearts we’d prefer time, love, and security. It’s the age of making a living, but perhaps at the cost of making a life. What really makes us happy, and how do we find it? I spent many years trying to fit in, to be someone else, to pursue the dream of success, in my jobs and my relationships. I collected material things, often at the cost of what really mattered, and I was left unfulfilled as a result. I quit my corporate job and left my long-term relationship to go on a journey of self-discovery. Here are my top nine happiness life hacks, from my experience and the things I’ve learned along the way.  1. Authenticity: Be who you are, not who you think you should be. We live in a world where we are surrounded by ideals, and with a tendency to compare ourselves to others, it’s no wonder so many of us feel like we’re not enough. I’d tell myself that writing was a hobby, not a “real job.” I sought approval through promotions and success through status, neither of which made me happy. To find happiness, we must be true to ourselves, live our own dreams, and be proud of what makes us unique. So, instead of comparing yourself to others, look to see if you’re fulfilling your own potential in accordance with what you value. 2. Self-care: Respect yourself. Health and happiness are inextricably linked; you can’t have one without the other. Our nutrition is so important, as is getting enough sleep and regular exercise. In a world where lifestyle-related disease is at epidemic proportions, taking care of our own health is increasingly critical. Yoga, meditation, and regular walks help me look after myself and keep me strong. These practices were key in helping me overcome corporate burnout. Sometimes these practices

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Spiritual practice won’t stop things happening

Spiritual practice won’t stop shitty things from happening to you.    Yoga isn’t going to make you impervious to criticism — because criticism bites. Meditation doesn’t make divorce less brutal — because divorce is rough no matter how it goes down. Green juice won’t keep the creep at work away — creeps like to creep. And prayer will not make your illness less intense to deal with — physical burdens are…burdensome. For a lot of self-helpers, and juicers, and cosmic troopers who have been at it for a while there comes a pitfall — and you can trip into it on your first hot yoga class, or after ten years of regular meditation and fervent prayer. It goes like this: If I’m doing all this spiritual work, why does shit keep happening?

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Attempts At Explaining Time

10 Attempts At Explaining Time   Time is a weird thing. We don’t all seem to experience it in quite the same way—sometimes it passes quickly, sometimes slowly, and it seems to go by faster and faster the older we get. There have been plenty of theories that attempt to explain just what time is and why it’s so mysterious, and some of them are pretty mind-bending. 10St. Augustine’s Theory Of Mind-Time Christian philosopher St. Augustine had a couple of things to say about time. First, he said that time was absolutely not infinite. Time was, according to him, created by God, and it’s impossible to create something that’s infinite. He also said that time actually exists only in our mind, a bizarre conclusion that all has to do with how we interpret time. We may say that something lasted a long time or a short time, but St. Augustine said that there’s no real way to quantify that. When something is in the past, it no longer has any properties of being anything because it doesn’t exist anymore, and when we say something took a long time, that’s just because we’re remembering it that way. Since we only measure time based on how we remember it, then it must only exist in our memories. The future doesn’t exist yet, so that can’t have any measurable quantities, either. The only thing that does exist is the present (and that’s a complicated concept we’ll get to in a minute), so the only logical conclusion left is that time only exists in our heads. 9The Topology Of Time What does time look like? If you try to picture time, do you see it as a straight line that goes on forever? Or do you think of time sort of looking like a clock, going around and around, circling back on itself every day or every year? Obviously, there’s no right answer, but there are some intriguing ideas about it. According to Aristotle, time can’t exist as a line, at least one with a beginning or an end, even though there must have been a time when, well, time started. In order for there to be a moment in time when time began, there had to be something before that marked its beginning. The same goes for the end of time, he said. In order for the line of time to come to an end, there has to be something after it to mark that particular point as the end of time. There’s also the problem of how many lines of time are there—is there one line of time that everything travels along together, or are there multiple lines of time that alternately intersect or run parallel to each other? Is time a single line with a lot of branches? Or perhaps moments in the time stream exist independently from other moments. There are plenty of opinions, but no answers. 8The Specious Present The idea of the specious present deals with the question of how long the present actually lasts. The usual answer, something about it being the “now,” isn’t very descriptive. For instance, when we’re in the middle of talking to someone and we’re in mid-sentence, we’ve already finished the beginning of the sentence and it’s in the past, but the conversation itself is still taking place in the present. So how long does the present actually last? E.R. Clay and William James refer to this idea as the specious present—the space of time that we perceive as being in the present. They suggest that it can be as short as a few seconds and probably not longer than a minute, but it’s the amount of time that we’re immediately, consciously aware of. And within that, there’s still a little bit of wiggle room to argue. It could theoretically have something to do with how long a person’s short-term memory is—the better that is, the longer the present is. There’s also the idea that it’s just a matter of instantaneous perception, and the second it’s passed and you’re relying on your short-term memory, a moment is no longer a part of the present. Then there’s the problem of the present and something of an extended present, which is where the specious present comes in. The present must have no length of actual time, because if it did, part of that time would be in the past and part would be in the future, contradicting itself. So the specious present tries to explain the present as an interval of time that has duration, yet is a separate thing from the objective present. 7Shorter People Experience ‘Now’ Sooner It sounds weird, but it makes sense. This theory was put forward

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Anglo-Saxons´ Little Known Facts

Anglo-Saxons Little-Known Facts   It can be argued that no people are more important in English history than the Anglo-Saxons. This loose confederation of Germanic tribes not only gave Britain its language, but also its first and most enduring literary hero—the Geat warrior-king Beowulf. The Anglo-Saxons also bequeathed a culture of dispersed power and widespread liberty, which is still evident all throughout the Anglophone world. Despite this incredible legacy, there are certain facts about the Anglo-Saxons that many people overlook today. The following ten items are but a mere sampling of this forgotten history. 10 They May Have Built An ‘Apartheid’ Society Photo credit: EttuBruta In 2006, a team of scientists from the Royal Society published a paper outlining their theory as to why modern England has such a high number of Germanic male-line ancestors. Specifically, their research concluded that in England today, between 50 and 100 percent of the country’s gene pool contains Germanic Y chromosomes. After an exhaustive study, the team argued that this genetic dominance was achieved by a relatively small number of pagan migrants from what are today Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. More importantly, these Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, who initially numbered somewhere between 10,000 and 200,000 immigrants between the fifth and seventh centuries AD, successfully outbred the native Romano-British population and established an “apartheid” society, wherein they controlled economic life. Two years after the study made waves in the UK press, it was challenged by John Pattison of the University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes. According to Dr. Pattison, the idea that a small number of elite Germanic warriors managed to wipe out their British competition underplays the fact that Germanic tribes and native Britons had been intermarrying for generations prior to the invasions of the fifth century. Ancient chroniclers believed this to be true. Julius Caesar mentions in The Conquest of Gaul that Belgic tribes, who may have been both Celtic and Germanic, lived in Celtic Britain. Therefore, an apartheid-like society was not necessary, as fifth-century Britain may have already contained a large population of Celto-Germanic people. 9 Anglo-Saxon Culture Was Nearly Eradicated Before they were defeated by the Normans following the Battle of Hastings in 1066, another group of Vikings (the Danes) nearly killed off Anglo-Saxon culture. Beginning in the ninth century, after years of raids along the coasts, Danish Vikings began to settling in Britain and establish small, but powerful, communities. In 851, a Danish army stayed the winter at their quarters in Thanet, while later, a force of some 350 ships attacked Canterbury and London before being defeated by a West Saxon army. This early defeat did not deter the Danes, for they continued to pour into the island. They became farmers and fearsome warriors, which in turn earned them political power. By the late ninth century, Danish law held sway in 14 shires, most of which were located in the North and East. Under Danelaw, a powerful Anglo-Norse culture pushed Anglo-Saxon culture to the brink of extinction. For their part, the Anglo-Saxons, who were thoroughly Christian by this point, viewed the mostly pagan Danes as a separate race of demons controlled by Satan himself. Although both groups were culturally and genetically similar to one another, this religious differences helped to perpetuate a cycle of violence that would last well into the 11th century. 8 Anglo-Saxon Rulers Oversaw A Pogrom Although the term is most closely associated with European horrors from the 20th century, pogroms, the organized mass slaughter of certain ethnic or religious groups, were not uncommon in the ancient world. In fact, on November 13, 1002, Anglo-Saxon England itself was the scene of a brutal campaign of ethnic terror. On that date, the English king Aethelred the Unready, whose brother had been murdered years before inside Corfe Castle, issued orders that every Danish settler in England was to be killed. In what would come to be known as the St. Brice’s Day Massacre, Anglo-Saxon citizens attacked their Danish neighbors in droves, especially in Southern England, where Danelaw was weakest. Although the number of deaths has never been determined, it’s likely that hundreds if not thousands of Danish individuals were massacred. In one instance, Anglo-Saxon villagers burned several Danish families alive after setting

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Fascinating And Trippy Works Of Art

Fascinating And Trippy Works Of Art   Art is a way for people to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For people who use drugs or have psychiatric disorders, their artwork may provide some insight into the unusual inner workings of their minds. 10 Brian Pollett Photo credit: Brian Pollett Brian Pollett is a 20-year-old graphic designer who also goes by the name Pixel-Pusha. As a project, he decided to go on a 20-day drug binge during which he created a new design each day. Pollett said that he tested each drug to ensure its purity and then created artwork in his studio while listening to his favorite music. The drugs included alcohol, cocaine, and more. Pollett put his finances and his reputation on the line for this project. He said that taking the psychedelic drugs truly changed him. He believes that he is “more open, honest, empathetic, forgiving, and courageous. I am perpetually in awe at the beauty surrounding us on a daily basis.” The last “drug” that he used to influence his artwork was love. “For me, love is not limited to sex and romance,” he said. “Love is dedication to uplifting a person or idea to help them achieve their highest potential.” Although he admits to taking most of the drugs, he did not take GHB, psilocybin, poppers, ether, 25i, or MDMA. 9 Edmund Monsiel Photo credit: Edmund Monsiel Edmund Monsiel was born and raised in Poland until the Nazi invasion forced him into hiding in his brother’s loft. He soon became a recluse. After the war ended, he remained hidden until his death in 1962. Monsiel was known to suffer from both visual and auditory hallucinations as a result of his schizophrenia. At the time that his body was discovered, he was found to have drawn over 500 intricate pieces in lead pencil. His drawings—which mainly depict Christ or the Devil—suggest that he became extremely religious in his reclusive state. Much of his artwork depicts a mixture of faces that are thought to represent his inner struggles. He transcribed visual hallucinations that he had of God and the Devil in 1943. Despite living in a basic loft, his drawings are full of life and patterns. He drew faces in a wide range of sizes and shapes, with some drawings containing up to 3,000 faces. 8 Anonymous LSD Photo credit: whatafinethrowaway’s anonymous friend A reddit user known as whatafinethrowaway said she decided to do an artistic experiment with her friend using LSD. This experiment consisted of having her friend ingest 200 micrograms of LSD and then draw self-portraits over nine hours to illustrate the effects on her brain. After ingesting the LSD, her friend sat down to draw the pictures, each of which took 15–45 minutes to complete. The pictures became increasingly abstract. About 45 minutes into the experiment, there is a noticeable change in her use of colors even though the artist claimed that she did not feel any different. At one point, the artist suddenly stopped drawing eyes because she “didn’t feel like drawing them” and she didn’t want them “looking at her.” After four hours and 45 minutes, the artist stated, “I’m violet.” Then she drew her self-portrait in a shade of purple. This switched to flames in her next series of drawings. The artist began to draw more of her body, which soon looked like a bunch of arbitrary lines. By nine hours and 30 minutes, whatafinethrowaway asked her friend to draw a normal picture. It is clear that the artist is coming off her high, but the picture still differs strongly from her original drawing. 7 Arthur Ellis Photo credit: Arthur Ellis When most people imagine what it’s like to be blind, they picture darkness. But many times, this is far from the case. A 66-year-old painter named Arthur Ellis continues to paint everything he sees despite the fact that he lost his vision to meningitis at age 59. Suffering from a disorder known

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EAT FEAR FOR BREAKFAST

EAT FEAR FOR BREAKFAST     “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” – Ambrose Redmoon   When you stop being afraid, you know you’re ready We go through life wondering if we are ready for the moments life will bring to us. Many of those moments we experience in similar ways and chances are, we have all been afraid before.  The situations are not relevant, but we all know the feelings are very real and very much the same. When I was little, “fear” could have been my middle name. I brought it practically with me wherever I went. We never ventured very far together – seeing as my comfort zone was not very big then. If I became a little afraid, I retreated. Never to try again later. I learned to not like feeling afraid so I did whatever I could to not feel that way. As I got older and was married and raising our boys, my fear was less self-centered and more about trying to keep them safe. They wore every protective device every made at the time and even as they got older, I still had certain rules they needed to follow. Keep three boys together at places like the grocery store and zoo required certain rules, but

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10 of the Most Colorful Plac... by Marijke Van Gif

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World’s Largest Outdoor Mural Painting

World’s Largest Outdoor Mural Painting     “Lilith and Olaf” in Norway   “Lilith and Olaf”, the world largest outdoor mural painting, was created by the French artists Ella & Pitr during the 15th edition of Nuart Festival in Stavager, Norway. If you will ever want to visit Stavanger and your plane will land or depart from the local airport, then you will probably have a “huge” surprise. Through the little window you will be greeted by Lilith and Olaf, an immense mural squat on the building ceiling of a local company.

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Underwater Photography Exhibition in Florida

Underwater Photography Exhibition in Florida   In 2010, Austrian photographer Andreas Franke started working on The Sinking World, a long-term project intended to merge sea life and art photography. The artist organizes photo exhibitions in unlikely settings— underwater shipwrecks or in the middle of coral reefs. The famous Vandenberg shipwreck (purposely sunk off the Florida Keys to become artificial

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The Motivation Flowchart

The Motivation Flowchart The Mental Process of Successful People     “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” — Helen Keller How can some people reach their goals, apparently without any struggle, and still have a relaxed smile on their face? Have you ever

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Nancy Luce - Pet Chicken Folk Hero

Nancy Luce - Pet Chicken Folk Hero   Nancy Luce may be the most important pet chicken lover you’ve never heard of–called “The Madonna of the Hens.”  She lived and died in the West Tisbury area of Martha’s Vineyard in the 1800s—and she adored her pet chickens, which were a solace in her hard, troubled life. She loved them so much, in fact, that she wrote books of poetry about them, which she sold to tourists who visited the island. She also commissioned photos of herself with her beloved birds, and peddled those to visitors, as well. Nancy Luce with two chickens. Photo courtesy Martha’s Vineyard Museum. The Life and Death of Nancy Luce Nancy Luce lived a rather solitary—even a lonely—life. Born in 1814, she was an only child of a farming family at a time when it was common for agricultural families to rely on their many children to help run the farm. When her parents grew ill, Nancy found herself in charge of the entire, struggling farm, as well as being the caretaker for her ailing parents.  As Nancy grew older and her parents sicker, the task of caring for the family fell completely to her. Her parents, she explained in her writings, had many complaints and “lose their reason dreadful fast.” She took comfort in her flock of pet chickens. She seems to have suffered from depression most of her life, and surely the weight of all that responsibility on her shoulders didn’t help. However, she managed well selling groceries and dry-goods… until about 1840, when she grew ill herself. After that, she struggled terribly. Even so, she found outlets for her creative spirit through care for her pet chickens, painting, and writing.”I think it is best for me to try to make a few pictures  if I can to take up my mind so that the medicines have a chance to help if possible…” Nancy Luce wrote to her supplier. “[S]end me a box of water colors & charge to me one that has gay colors in it bright yellow and light yellow and orange and light red & other gay colors & a brush or two if you have them & if you havnt any brushes send me the box if you are willing,” she requested, also pleading to keep the special package for herself secret. While her paintings no longer exist, the books she created were illuminated with lovely block lettering and a beautiful hand. Nancy’s handwriting, a page from one of her books. We can’t know for sure what she suffered from, but some contemporaries referred to her own illness as neurasthenia, which was essentially a catch-all description nervous disorder that we might refer to now as chronic fatigue syndrome. Neurasthenia was blamed upon the pressures of modern life and an overly active mind… and surely few people had as many pressures as Nancy Luce did. It’s possible also that she suffered from lupus, or  multiple sclerosis, both chronic conditions which would have accounted for the migraines, digestive issues, depression, pain, cold sensitivity, and difficulty in getting about… as well as the intermittent nature of her illness. Nancy Luce wrote about the sporadic suffering in 1845: “Some of these years that I undergo the most, then I cannot do the leastest morsel to a picture, nor write not any, I undergo so much, & some part of the year, when I feel a little better, then there is only some days, & some part of the day, that I can do a little picture, or write a little…” In her community, Nancy Luce was ostracized and mocked. The fact that she was in trade was seen as unusual for a woman… and the way

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Dreamscope Great App For Pictures

Dreamscope Great App For Pictures You may be chicken crazy if you post photos of our first egg on Facebook as if it’s a new grandchild, or gather up pretty fallen feathers without knowing what to really do with them. Like us, you may agonize over which egg to eat when cooking–because they’re all so pretty! You take—or in my case write—quizzes to determine how much of a crazy chicken lady or man you really are. You may add chickens to your flock because: Chicken Math! Your cars may have chicken bumper stickers. You have–or are planning to acquire–rare chicken breeds that few have ever heard of, and some of which don’t really even look like chickens. Your holidays have chickens in them, too: gingerbread chicken coops, chicken ornaments, egg nog. And your houses are filled with chicken themed gifts, tin signs and art that you try to keep sophisticated rather than hokey—with mixed success. That brings us to… Today’s Best Way to be Chicken Crazy My favorite way to be chicken crazy–today–is Dreamscope. To be clear, this is a free app, and we are not getting compensated by Dreamscope. I just think it’s COOL.   Dreamscope is an app my cousin introduced me to. It will transform your own photos–since I’m chicken crazy, my mind went naturally to chicken and egg photos–into art. My thinking is that I’ll have my transformed photos printed onto canvas and hang it on the wall. That addresses three issues that only other chicken crazy people will understand. 3 ways Dreamscope will help your chicken style 1. You can choose your chicken style, chicken crazy person! Not only can your chicken art avoid The Hokey, but it can even be quite modern. Or, if you prefer, rustic. Choose your favorite filter. For example, check out my beautiful egg photo, transformed

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Pigs In Mud Cake Recipe

Pigs In Mud Cake Recipe Mississippi Mud Cake with Kit-Kats   Happy as a Pig in the Mud is as the saying goes. These pigs look very happy indeed. But look around the table when everyone is eating their share of this beautiful cake. Looking happy as Pigs in Mud, I assure you. Made with Missippi Mud Cake, Kit-Kats and chocolate/cream topping. Eat your heart out. Ingredients for the cake: (This makes 3 cakes – only use 2 and freeze the 3rd) 250g unsalted butter – softened 600g caster sugar 3 large eggs 470g plain flour – sifted 140g cocoa powder 2tsp bicarbonate of soda 1/2 tsp salt 375ml buttermilk 1 tsp vanilla extract 375ml boiling water Method: Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 160°C (fan) / 180°C and line 3 20cm (8in) cake tins In a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held electric whisk) cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together Mix the buttermilk and vanilla extract together in a jug Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar – mix well on a medium

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Chocolate and Rose Celebration Cake

Chocolate and Rose Celebration Cake   The original Jamie Oliver recipe asks you to bake one cake and then cut it into three, but here three separate baked cakes were used. Ingredients for the Chocolate Sponge: 250g unsalted butter 150g quality dark chocolate (70%) 2 tablespoons olive oil 300g caster sugar 6 large eggs 150g self-raising flour A pinch of salt 4 tablespoons quality cocoa powder Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 Grease the cake tin – I used release

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Microwave Mug Cake Recipes

Microwave Mug Cake Recipes to make in minutes   "A mug cake is a real homemade cake using all the ingredients you would put in a regular cake", says Sandra Mahut. "However, it takes a fraction of the time and is cooked in a mug in the microwave. The only equipment you require is a mug, a fork or whisk and (sometimes) a bowl. There's no need to weigh anything - all the quantities are given in spoonfuls." These recipes, from the author and "culinary designer" Lene Knudsen and chocoholic food writer Sandra Mahut, show the humble mug cake in much classier guises – with melting middles, multi-flavour combinations, quick chocolate sauces, and swirls of cream.

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Intrigues Around The Discovery Of DNA Double Helix

Intrigues Around The Discovery Of DNA Double Helix Rosalind Franklin Yesterday, in my search for an interesting subject for a blog, I came upon the story of Rosalind Franklin. She was the most important partner in the discovery of DNA Double Helix whom very few people have heard. In her relatively short life - from July 25, 1920 – April 16, 1958 - it was through two of her findings that the greatest mystery about DNA, the Double Helix, was broken. I thought it an interesting story, but didn't do anything with it. Until I watched an episode of Inspector Lewis - 'What Lies Tangled' - later that day. I almost immediately recognised that the story of Rosalind Franklin was used as part of the story-line. For those that are interested, here is the Inspector Lewis episode. Part 1. Part 2. The similarities with Ros

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Inventors Synthetic Fertilizer No 1 Life Savers

Inventors of Synthetic Fertilizer Number 1 Life Savers   The combined efforts of Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch have saved an estimated amount of 2,720,000,000 lives with the production method for Synthetic Fertilizer.

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Depression Is A Kind Of Brain Damage

  Depression Isn’t A Choice, It’s A Kind Of Brain Damage After years of debate, researchers finally determined that persistent depression causes brain damage, and not the other way around.  Neurologists previously had hypothesized that brain damage was a predisposing factor for chronic depression, but a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry sheds a different light.     The study, which consisted of 9,000 individual samples, collected from the ENIGMA group, succeeded in definitively proving a causal relationship between persistent depression and brain damage.  Magentic resonance images (MRIs) showed evidence of hippocampus shrinkage in 1,728 patients diagnosed with chronic depression compared to the 7,199 healthy individuals partaking in the study.

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Might The Seed Of Depression Be In Your Gut?

  Might The Seed Of Depression Be In Your Gut?   It was believed that the causes of depression were primarily neurological or originate in the brain, but recent research indicates the depression’s root cause may be directly related to bacteria found in the gut. Doctors and nutritionists have always known there is a connection between the brain and the gut. Research shows that the gut has a mind of it’s own called the enteric nervous system. According to UK based nutritional therapist, Eve Kalinik, “the brain and gut neurons are directly connected via the vagus nerve, explaining why we feel “butterflies in the stomach” when faced with an anxiety-provoking situation.” So how does bacteria in the gut cause depression?

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Lombard Street San Francisco

Lombard Street San Francisco The World’s Most Topsy Turfy Curvy Street!   Photo: Karen Brockney San Francisco is known for its steep hills, its earthquakes and its trolleys, among other things. But it’s also known for having the world’s most twisty, curvy street, which is also home to some of the nation’s most expensive real estate! Lombard Street is famous for its eight hair-pin turns which create a dramatic zig zag down a steep hill, known as Russian Hill. Lombard Street is actually quite long, running from Presidio Boulevard to the Embarcadero, but the famous segment is just a block long, running between Broderick Street and Van Ness Avenue. Lombard Street has an incredibly steep 27 percent grade, which was found to be too steep for vehicles when the street was built around the turn of the century. It was also a hazard to other wheeled vehicle, from bikes to wheelchairs and beyond. (For a point of reference, a 5 percent grade is typically considered steep, which places Lombard Street’s 27 percent grade off the map!)

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Majestic Cave of Melody in Scotland

Cave of Melody in Scotland   How many churches have you visited on your vacation? Which is the magnificent and most awesome one you have seen? Maybe you liked some of those cathedrals which you have visited before based on your personal experience, books as well as documentary films. courtesy of wikimedia commons The great explorer and botanist Joseph banks wrote that the best cathedral developed by men, Fingal’s Cave or also known as the Cave of Melody, located at the southern part of the Staffa Island in Scotland is a place you must visit.   This so called “church” is the cave of melody of Scotland situated at the southern part of the Staffa Island in Scotland. This remarkable island is situated in the Inner Hebrides. The entire island of Staffa is basaltic and has similar features as the cave located in Ireland – the

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Lao-Tzu and the Tao Te Ching

Lao-Tzu and the Tao Te Ching   Lao-Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as  being the author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, and as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. He is usually dated to have lived around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians are of the opinion that he lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Lao-Tzu is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their family lineage.  According to traditional accounts, Lao-Tzu was a scholar who worked as

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Ultimate Off-Grid Living in Tiny House

Ultimate Off-Grid Living in Tiny House It's something that I find more and more appealing, living off-grid, fully self-sufficient, in a tiny house on a secluded spot. I have been looking around what is around, and that is a lot. I like this little house, very practical and well designed. What more does one need. This cabin is 14x14 with a full loft and approximately

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Stains And How To Handle Them

Stains And How To Handle Them   I find nothing more anoying than having stains in my clothes or on my furniture. Over time I have learned that acting at once to prevent the stain from setting is necessary, but not sufficient. Most common stains won’t be removed completely just by dabbing some water on them and going about your business. Here is a handy First-Aid illustration on the most common stain causing items in and around the house and some unusual remedies to get rid of them.   The most important thing, no matter what kind of stain you’re dealing with, is to prevent it from setting and becoming permanent. To prevent having to throw away a garment with a permanent stain, follow these general guidelines: Treat any stain immediately with water, or with the proper solvent if it is available. Avoid direct heat. Heat will speed most types of stains to set and get permanent. Avoid pressure. Apply cleaning products gently, dabbing them onto the stain and letting them soak in rather than scrubbing forcefully. If the stain occurs at home, you can go straight into treating it. If you’re out and about, get to a restroom and gently dab water onto the stained area with tissue paper or paper towels until the stain is thoroughly saturated. Yes, it may be more visible with water dabbed on it, but it will prevent the stain from becoming permanent, saving you garment repair or replacement in the long run. There are three basic steps toward effective stain removal, regardless of the nature of the stain: Select the appropriate cleaning product. Use the appropriate application method. Seek necessary after-care. For most household

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Billy Joel "And So It Goes"

Billy Joel "And So It Goes"   One of my favorite ballads is Billy Joel's "And So It Goes". The one line that stands out the most is 'And every time I've held a rose, It seems I only felt the thorns'. It so illustrates how it is possible to look at something beautiful and only seeing the ugly details.   BILLY JOEL LYRICS

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Stop Worrying About Your Negative Thoughts

  Stop Worrying About Your Negative Thoughts “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” ~Eckhart Tolle Do you ever catch yourself being critical, judgmental, or full of fear and worry? And do you ever worry about how many negative thoughts you have? If you do, this post is for you. We’re taught that negative thoughts are bad, that they’re “toxic,” they “lower your vibration,” keep you stuck, and so on. We’re taught that in order to feel self-assured and confident, we should banish negative thoughts from our lives. Kind of like, goodbye, negative thoughts; hello, higher vibration, better boyfriend, nicer car, inner peace, and so on. So what do you do with all that negative junk in your head? How do you make it stop? And is trying to jam a positive thought over a negative one really the best way to manage the situation? You should hear the rubbish my mind is telling me: You’re such a lazy little missy.  You’re going to have a bad day. You’re not going to get anywhere like this.  Yikes. People often advise you to trade a negative thought for a positive one using techniques like affirmations. Quick, quell those negative thoughts! But is this really the best way forward? Most people misunderstand this whole negative thinking debacle because they misunderstand what thoughts are in the first place. Happiness doesn’t depend on how few negative thoughts you have, but on what you do with the ones you have. This brings me to the first piece of good news:  1. It’s normal to have negative

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Being in Balance

Being in Balance   The key to balancing your desire to be at peace with your need to achieve, perform, and earn a living is in recognizing that there’s no such thing as stress; there are only people thinking stressful thoughts. It’s really as simple as that. When you change the way you process the world, the world you’re processing changes. Stress is an inside job. You can’t fill a container with it because tension isn’t a physical item or object. There isn’t some thing that you can point to and say, There it is, that’s stress! It simply doesn’t exist in that form. Yet 112 million people in America take medication for stress-related symptoms, which include fatigue, heart palpitations, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, nervousness, excessive eating, rashes, nail biting, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, panic, moodiness, memory lapses, the inability to concentrate, ulcers, obsessive-compulsive behavior, feeling upset . . . and on and on goes an almost inex

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Freedom, Do What You Do

Freedom   Freedom is not doing what you love, but loving what you do. Do what you do A man once was asked how, in spite of his many activities, he could be so introspective. He replied: "When I'm sitting, I sit,

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Acceptance Is The Answer

Acceptance Is The Answer "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life —unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake." This paragraph lifted out of a book very dear to my heart, is one of the most importance guidelines I try to live by. And I find that so difficult. It's the last part that I find so hard to understand, "Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.” After all, if nothing happens by mistake it seems to implicate that everything that happens in this world has purpose. That it's no mistake that children die from hunger, that it's no mistake that extremists of every creed are creating havoc all over the world, that corruptness is not a mistake, that people lying and cheating is not a mistake. And I can go on ad infinitum to identify all the sorrow and dissaster I can think of and none of it is a mistake and has purpose. When I am able to shine my light on it from a slightly different angle, however, I am able to read it from another perspective. Yes, all things happening, all over the world, whether they are good or bad, are no mistakes. It's just things happening and the only way for me to be able to live with those situations is to see them as just that; happenings. Things are happening, whether I get upset about it or not. Getting upset about it is not going to change anything. I have to accept that happenings happen and that I have to live with the reality of them. There is only one person in my life that I have any influence on and that one is me. When I am disturbed there is only one person to blame for that and that one is me. When I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life —unacceptable to me, I get into trouble with me. And when that happens I am no asset to society in general at all. When aiming for acceptance, I aim for taking full responsibility for me and my actions and forgo the need and the want to blame others. I can’t change anyone but me and all I can do with the rest is to accept it for what it is. Trying to fight acceptance makes me want to retaliate and that, in turn, it will come back to me like a boomerang. I found these 10 fundamentals that Mahatma Gandhi thaught, that help me to understand acceptance: 1. Change yourself.  “You mu

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Black Forest Trifle Recipe

Black Forest Trifle Recipe   I love trifles because they are so easy to make, tossed together quickly and always looking impressive. This recipe is inspired by the Black Forest Cake, the renowned German cake of chocolate cake, cream, chocolate, cherries and laced with kirsch. The Trifle is made of layers of crumble chocolate cake, cherries, chocolate pudding and whipped cream. Use a nice glass bowl or even vase, like the one in the picture to build your trifle in. It's the

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16 Delicious French Desserts

16 Delicious French Desserts   As the French are very traditional in every aspect of their life, their kitchen or cuisine is known all over the world for its traditional dishes, amongst them the desserts. Here a collection of the highlights with their recipes.   1. Macarons Naomi Robinson / Via bakersroyale.com What it is: Little almond-meringue cookies filled with flavored buttercream. Why it’s awesome: You can get them in basically every flavor you want. And when they’re done right, they’re like little bites of heaven melting in your mouth. Recipe here. 2. French Lemon Pie David Lebovitz / Via davidlebovitz.com What it is: A buttery crust filled with lemon curd. Why it’s awesome: It’s refreshing, sweet and slightly less tangy than its American counterpart (but just as good). Recipe here. 3. Crème Brûlée Robin Broadfoot / Via buzzfeed.com What it is: A custard topped with a crisp caramel layer. Why it’s awesome: There are few things in life as satisfying as cracking the caramel layer of a crème brûlée with the back of your spoon. Recipe here. 4. Crêpes Michelle Lopez / Via hummingbirdhigh.com What it is: Very thin pancakes filled with just about anything you can think of. Why it’s awesome: They’re super fun to eat, and you can accommodate everybody’s tastes with all the different fillings — like Nutella, strawberries and cream, or maple syrup. Recipe here. 5. Chocolate Soufflé

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12 U.S.A. Regional Desserts Recipes

12 U.S.A. Regional Desserts Recipes   Have you ever tried any of these desserts? The only one I, a European, have ever heard of is the Mississippi Mud Pie, but never tried it. I had no idea about these wonderful and heartwarming desserts. But I am going to try them, for sure. They look so delicious and I like the challenge of trying out new recipes and coming up with something unfamiliar and new.   1. St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake chocolatemoosey.com What it is: A midwestern favorite that can be traced back to the 1930’s — when a baker in St. Louis supposedly botched the amount of butter in a coffee cake that he was making. Pictured above: Recipe here. 2. Hummingbird Cake spicysouthernkitchen.com What it is: Some describe it as what would happen if “banana bread and carrot cake had a baby together.” Southern Living published a how-to for Hummingbird Cake in the ’70s, and since then, it’s become the most requested recipe in the magazine’s history. Pictured above: Recipe here. 3. Mississippi Mud Cake tastesbetterfromscratch.com What it is: A rich chocolate cake that borrows its name from the banks of the Mississippi River. This one is topped with melted marshmallows — and you can also find versions of it in pie form. Pictured above:: Recipe here. 4. Texas Tornado Cake kitchennostalgia.com What it is: Also known as

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Mystics Who Served World Leaders

Mystics Who Served World Leaders Long before the modern scientist took charge of our pursuit of the unknown, we had an entirely different figure at the helm—the mystic. Alchemists, fortune-tellers, and sorcerers of all kinds claimed to have answers to the questions on our minds. Though many were simple charlatans, knowingly spreading lies in the pursuit of wealth and fame, others truly believed in the magic they professed to wield. Throughout history, world leaders have sought out those that practice the occult, hoping to gain from their esoteric knowledge and in some cases, their alleged mystic power. Here are ten mystics, occultists, and so on who served the rich and powerful.    John Dee Photo via Wikimedia During the late 16th century, John Dee straddled the fence between science and magic, devoting his intellect to the fields of mathematics and astronomy as much as alchemy and divination. Born in London in 1527 to a member of Henry VIII’s court, Dee found himself in the company of royalty from a young age. Catching the interest of Queen Mary and the young Elizabeth I, Dee began his career as a reader of horoscopes. However, not everyone was as fond of his work as the queen. In 1555, Dee was arrested and tried for treason, accused of “calculating” the horoscopes of the queen and her daughter. Fortunately, Dee managed to convince both the court and the church of his innocence. After Elizabeth took the throne, Dee continued to serve as her advisor and mystic guide. With his new position, he was able to develop relationships with royalty all across Europe, including Emperor Rudolph II, a renowned patron of alchemists and sorcerers. Later in life, as Dee’s influence began to wane, he traveled to Europe in search of the Philosopher’s Stone, an alleged source of immortality. He returned empty-handed, but he believed that what alchemy he had learned could at least resolve the economic crisis facing his homeland. Unfortunately, England’s tolerance for the occult had faded during his absence, and he resigned himself to a teaching the mundane at the University of Cambridge. Dee passed away in 1609.  John Lambe Photo via ExecutedToday.com In the early 17th century, John Lambe, an astrologer and supposed necromancer, found himself working for George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham, a favorite companion of King Charles I. Over the years, Lambe amassed a notorious reputation; Londoners often referred to him as “the Duke’s Devil,” believing him capable of conjuring spirits, raising the dead, and casting hexes upon his enemies. Villiers followed Lambe’s advice, and King Charles listened to Villiers’s, so Lambe became the subject of a popular chant: Who rules the Kingdom? The King. Who rules the King? The Duke. Who rules the Duke? The Devil! As evidenced by his nickname, Lambe was not well-liked by the common folk. Nonetheless, anyone who came forward with accusations of his wrongdoing were promptly dismissed. Finally, in 1627, Lambe was accused of raping an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to death. Neither the king nor the duke could prevent it. After his death at the hands of a mob, Lambe became a popular subject of literature and plays.  Edward Kelley Photo credit:

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Signs To Let Go and Move On

Signs To Let Go and Move On   The idea of letting go can seem terrifying. Strong emotional bonds and feelings can make it hard for us to move on – even when we know we are putting our happiness at stake. However, it is important to embrace letting go and moving on. Holding on to old feelings and reliving past decisions can cause you to become stressed, upset and bitter. This can negatively affect your present and future, but you can make the conscious decision to let go so that you can live a peaceful and happy life. Here are 10 signs telling you to let go and move on. 1. You’re Changing Into Someone You’re Not Our personal values and goals and dreams define who we are as people. If you think that these things are changing for the worse, it may be that your job/partner/friend/family are trying to make you

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Something Different For Breakfast

Something Different For Breakfast   Are you sometimes sick and tired of always the same boring cereals for breakfast. Here are 14 recipes that are very easy and fast to prepare that will revive your joy in having breakfast. Think about Banana & Egg pancakes, a Breakfast Taco or a Avocado Toast. All yummie dishes that will help you start your day the best way possible.   1. Banana & Egg Pancakes Shivani Mandavilli / Via spoonuniversity.com Just two ingredients, plus whatever toppings you’d like. Recipe here. 2. Berry Smoothie Bowl Danielle Cahoon / Via spoonuniversity.com Totally ‘gram-worthy. More here. 3. Upgraded English Muffins Renee Chiu / Via spoonuniversity.com Trade in the butter for avocado + prosciutto + garlic. Make your own here. 4. Quinoa Oatmeal Jill Langin / Via spoonuniversity.com Not in the mood to prep overnight oats? No problem. Make this super simple quinoa in the morning. Check it out here. 5. Breakfast Taco

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Delicious Summer Salads Recipes

Delicious Summer Salads Recipes Salads, they are my favorite food. I think I eat them 5 out of 7 days. And the recipes in this blog are mouthwatering and not only because of the stunning pictures. The combination of ingredients is so unusual and at the same time look like the perfect fit. 21 Recipes. Dive in the inspiration. 1. Roasted Shrimp Salad With Pancetta and White Beans Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT / Via ericajulson.com Recipe here. 2. Strawberry Caprese Farro Salad A Beautiful Plate / Via abeautifulplate.com Recipe here. 3. Teriyaki Chicken Salad Heather Christo / Via heatherchristo.com Recipe here. 4. Farro Salad With Summer Vegetables Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT / Via ericajulson.com Recipe here. 5. Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com Recipe here. 6. Grilled Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad With Blackberry Vinaigrette Recipe Runner / Via reciperunner.com Recipe here.

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10 French Phrases

10 French Phrases  the French Love Saying Revealed! After you get tuned into French a little, you may suddenly hear people use very French phrases. Expressions that seem to just sort of slip out at any given occasion. You may even have heard some of these already; now it’s time to casually use these French phrases yourself. Once you’ve mastered phrases to never say in French and laughed as some hilarious French expressions, try adding these common 10 French phrases to your repertoire. Who knows, you may even be taken for a native! 1. À mon avis If you want to express your opinion in French, you use this handy phrase. À mon avis (ah mohN-nah-vee) means ‘in my opinion’. You can use the expression before or after you state your opinion. 2. C’est pas vrai If you hear something that is hard to believe, you say C’est pas vrai (seh pah vreh) (No way!, You don’t say!)

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Top Tips for Venice

Top tips for travel to Venice Ah, Venice.  What is there to say about this storied city that hasn’t been said by some of the world’s best poets thousands of times over throughout the centuries? Venice is a trap. The city is so stunningly beautiful, that it’d be easy to spend an entire visit wandering the side streets of Canareggio or Dorsduro, or drawn into the Accademia and the Guggenheim Collection.  Venice’s Biggest Tourist Traps and How to Avoid Them Venice is certainly full of tourist traps that can turn into expensive lessons, but Johnny Jet says knowing how to avoid them will save you from leaving Serenissima with a sour taste. 5 Lesser-Known Venice Museums You Have to Visit Venice is so beautiful it’d be easy to spend an entire visit wandering the side streets of Canareggio or Dorsduro, or drawn into the Accademia and the Guggenheim Collection. While these sites are certainly worth exploring, they can distract you from discovering other treasures. Here are five off-the-beaten-path museums in Venice. Top 10 Travel Tips for Visiting Venice, Italy What is there to say about this storied city that hasn’t been said by some of the world’s best poets thousands of times over? Katie Lara asked her sister to share her top travel tips and advice about what to do in Venice, Italy. 6 Tips to Know Before You Go to Venice Enchanting, fascinating, and (frankly) drop-dead gorgeous. No matter how much you’ve read up on the city, some things about it can, well, be surprising! Here are the top six things Walks of Italy wish they’dknown about Venice. Alternative Itinerary in Venice Most tourists only visit three or four sights in Venice, making the streets that join St. Mark’s Square with Rialto and the Accademia Bridge a nightmare packed with people. Stefania grew up near Venice and her favourite part, and one that is always a winner when her friends come to visit, is Madonna dell’Orto, in the sestiere (neighbourhood) of Cannaregio. credit: Bill Thompson Venice On A Budget How To See Venice On A Budget (No, Really) Like other top European destinations such as London and Paris, Venice has a reputation for being pretty expensive. If you’re not careful you could end up blowing half your budget on one meal — albeit, probably a very good one — but Venice certainly doesn’t have to be a bank breaker. How to Budget Travel in Venice If you wan

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Chocolate Heaven Recipes

Chocolate Heaven Recipes If there is one thing in life I find really irresistible, it's chocolate. And above all rich dark chocolate. You may even wake me up in the middle of the night for it. In this blog I have collected some chocolate recipes for all kind of sweets, from brownies, to ice-cream, truffles and more. Enjoy Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies The most recent recipe in the competition, it won unanimously because of the intense richness from cocoa, melted chocolate, and chocolate chunks.   Ingredients 3.38 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup) 1 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks, divided 1/3 cup fat-free milk 6 tablespoons butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, divided Cooking spray Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add milk mixture, 1/2 cup chocolate, and 1/4 cup nuts to flour mixture; stir to combine. 3. Pour the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 20 pieces. source   Texas Sheet Cake A big, flat classic. Toasty nuts and fudgy cake get topped with a thin, crackly glaze. It’s easy and  since it first appeared in the magazine in 2000, it's been a staff and reader favorite.   Ingredients Cooking spray 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups) 2 cups granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, divided 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, divided 2 large eggs 6 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup fat-free milk 3 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. Coat a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 teaspoons flour. Set aside. 3. Weigh or lightly spoon 9 ounces (2 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Pour into flour mixture. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs; beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack. 4. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, fat-free milk, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar; stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla and pecans. Spread over hot cake. Cool completely on wire rack. source   Chocolate-Frangelico Fondue This is pure chocolate indulgence, with a whiff of hazelnut. Certain judges began to swoon watching the drizzle of melty chocolate make its way over the landscape of berries, coating them with its luscious warmth. Keep in mind that fondue is more versatile than you may think—it’s a warm sauce to drizzle over cake, ice cream, or yogurt. Be sure to start with a high-quality chocolate for the best flavor and texture.

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Ancient Bridges Still Used Today

Ancient Bridges Still Used Today   When we think of buildings that have survived to the modern day, we think of structures such as the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Piza, and the pyramids. But what about structures that are still in use—their original use—to this day? While most ancient structures have gained a second life as tourist attractions, the humble bridge has often maintained its original use throughout the ages. Due to being built to last, there are many bridges out there that were built hundreds of years before our time and still see daily use. While old bridges often get destroyed in disasters, blown up in wars, or burned down in tragic accidents, the bridges in this list have survived the ages relatively unchanged. Pons Fabricius The Romans built many things that stood the test of time. With their rigid and effective building techniques, a few important constructions built during the Roman era still stand to this day. If you’re in the mood to inspect their handiwork for yourself, simply take a trip to Rome and visit the Pons Fabricius bridge. The bridge was built by Lucius Fabricius in 62 BC, possibly to replace a wooden bridge that had burned down. You can tell Lucius commanded its construction because he had it written on the bridge in four different spots. After a flood in 23 BC, two consuls known as Marcus Lollius and Quintus Aemilius Lepidus added adjustments in 21 BC in order to help preserve the bridge, although it’s not stated what the improvements were exactly. It might have been the addition of the small arch on the bridge which serves the purpose of relieving pressure during high waters. That alone probably helped the bridge survive as long as it has.      Ponte Vecchio Built in 1345, the Ponte Vecchio can be found in Florence, Italy. It was built to replace a wooden bridge that didn’t stand up too well against floods, and it still remains in its original glory. The interesting part of Ponte Vecchio (which translates into “Old Bridge”) is that it was built to contain an arcade of shops which is being used even today. The bridge used to be haunted by fishmongers and butchers in the 1400s, whose crafts caused the bridge to contain a foul odor. Given that Florence was becoming the hub of the Renaissance at the time, Grand Duke Ferdinand I had the merchants removed and the sale of fish and meat products on the bridge banned. He ordained that the only people who could sell on the bridge were goldsmiths and silversmiths, which helped develop Florence’s imagery to wealthy foreign visitors. This bridge wouldn’t have made it to the modern day if it wasn’t for an act of respect performed during wartime. In World War II, as the German soldiers fled Florence, they blew up every bridge they crossed to stall enemy forces. Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge spared—they chose instead to destroy the access to the bridge, rather than the bridge itself. Ponte Di Rialto An Italian bridge was constructed in 1591 to replace a wooden one that had collapsed. It was designed by one Antonio da Ponte, who had some stiff competition to design the bridge, with rivals being Michelangelo and Palladio. Unfortunately, once it was built, it didn’t go down so well with the locals. It received both praise and scorn from critics, who slammed its design for being “top-heavy and ungraceful,” the same attention the Eiffel Tower drew after it was built. Despite the criticism, the bridge has remained very much intact since it was built. Given it had to have a 7-meter (24 ft) arch to allow galleys below as well as enough strength to hold up the row of shops that spans its center, it had to be structurally sound. It’s so sound, in fact, that cannons were fired from it during riots in 1797.    Khaju Bridge

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Best Christmas Markets in Europe 2016

Best Christmas Markets in Europe 2016 Christmas in Europe The best Christmas destinations selected by travellers Winter in Europe is a wonderful time to visit the most beautiful Christmas markets. If you are looking for Christmas presents and dream of the lovely smell of a Christmas tree or the lovely sound of Christmas carols, please  dive into our selection of the best Christmas markets in Europe, the best destinations for perfect Christmas holidays.   Discover the most beautiful Christmas markets such as the German Christmas markets in Aachen, Cologne, Dresden, Leipzig and Nuremberg, but also the magic of Christmas in the United Kingdom with the Christmas market in London and Manchester. You also have the choice with a selection of the most beautiful Christmas markets in France, with Strasbourg and Lille as well as Belgium, Spain and Switzerland.    You have been tens of thousands to vote for your best Christmas market in Europe. Through social networks you were thousands to share this vote and make your opinion count. Congratulations to the 15 destinations selected by travellers for the quality and reputation of their Christmas market! 1. Zagreb Come and see for yourself why is the Croatian capital visited by an increasing numbers of tourists during the time of Advent; get to know its idyllic side and partake in themed programmes which take place on the streets and squares around the city centre.    During the time of Advent, Zagreb offers a special atmosphere which simply must be experienced. An ever growing number of tourists choose the capital of Croatia as their destination at that time of year as good fun is had by all literally every step of the way. The city streets and squares invite you to let your hair down and partake in singing, dancing, and other kinds of entertainment with family and friends. You can also sample traditional delicacies alfresco or enjoy themed programmes which take you down memory lane.   When ? From the 28th November 2016 till 10th January 2017   2. Strasbourg The oldest Christmas market in Europe, the Christkindelsmärik was first held in Strasbourg in 1570. With its 300 stalls, spread out over 12 locations in the city centre, the authenticity, warmth and generosity of Strasbourg Capital of Christmas form an Alsatian tradition which has been successfully maintained ever since.   The spiritual environment and traditions of Advent are well established in Strasbourg. You will find 4 outstanding Advent concerts, a Living Nativity and a wide range of authentic live music and cultural events. It’s the perfect opportunity to go on a cultural trip through time!   When ? From 25th November to 31st December 2016   3. Aachen Every year before Christmas the squares and streets round the Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a paradise of lights and colours, festive sounds and seductive smells. The glorious fair in the Christmas City, which has been erected with great care and sentiment, fascinates both the young and the old. The enormous choice between original, stylish and precious goods makes small and big dreams come true. It is really no wonder why the Aachen Christmas Market has become an absolute "must" for all people of Aachen and Aachen fans as well. The Aachen Market has become famous far beyond the boundaries of the Aachen region. This is due to its pleasant and familiar atmosphere. People come to the Christmas Market in order to meet their families, friends, acquaintances and colleagues.   When? 18th November to 23rd December 2016   4. Colmar Let’s go to Colmar, a city where the magic of Christmas can be experienced in its purest form for six entire weeks, since 17 years. Your way will be drawn by illuminations linking to the city’s five Christmas markets, in a labyrinth of small streets lined with century old half-timbered houses.

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Delicious Gluten-Free Desserts Recipes

Delicious Gluten-Free Desserts Recipes In this day and age a lot of people try to curb their carb intake and others try to avoid eating gluten all together. If you think that all the shine of a nice dessert has gone out of the window with that, you are so wrong. In this blog 15 recipes for delicious and often stunning dessert that will tempt everyone at your dinning table, gluten or carb avoiding or not. Vegan Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler Bars Peas & Peonies / Via peasandpeonies.com Recipe here.  Flourless Mocha Cake With Cream Anglaise Dinner Then Dessert / Via dinnerthendessert.com Recipe here. Easy White Chocolate Cherry Baileys Mousse Peas & Peonies / Via peasandpeonies.com Recipe here. Flourless Nutella Brownies Cake Whiz / Via cakewhiz.com Recipe here. Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

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17 Exotic Pancake Recipes

Exotic Pancake Recipes   What's not to like about pancakes. No better way to start the day with freshly baked pancakes. And with the recipes in this blog you are turning your breakfast almost into a party with only desserts. Mouthwatering combinations that scream to be tried and eaten. Have fun with it.   All Chocolate Pancakes Marie Telling / BuzzFeed INGREDIENTS For the pancakes: 2 egg yolks 2 egg whites, whipped 3 tablespoons sugar 1 1/3 cup milk (more if the batter is too thick) 3 tablespoons of butter, melted 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup cocoa powder 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3 1/2 ounces chocolate, finely chopped 1 tablespoon butter or oil for cooking For the chocolate ganache: 1 cup heavy cream 8 ounces chocolate chips Serve with a bunch raspberries PREPARATION 1. In a large bowl, mix together yolks and sugar, while still whisking, add milk 2. Carefully fold in whipped egg whites with a spoon rather than a whisk. 3. Add and mix the melted butter and the vanilla. 4. In another large bowl, mix the sieved flour, cocoa powder, and the baking powder. 5. Form a little well in the middle and pour the milk and eggs mixture. Stir until the batter is smooth. 6. Mix in the chopped chocolate. Let the batter sit for 15-20 minutes. 7. To make the ganache, in a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream, without letting it boil. 8. Take off the heat, add the chocolate chips to the cream and mix until perfectly smooth. 9. Over low to medium heat, pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter on a well-oiled pan. 10. When bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancake, flip and cook it for a minute on the other side. 11. When the pancakes are ready, pour the chocolate ganache on top (if the ganache has hardened while you were making the pancakes, you can microwave it for 15-20 seconds). 12. Garnish with raspberries. Enjoy ! Inspired by Bobby Flay’s recipe. Here’s a video that shows you how to make them: youtube.com  Rice Krispie Treat Pancakes With Browned Butter Syrup Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com Yes, these pancakes are studded with chopped Rice Krispie treats. Recipe here.  Matcha Pancakes With Hot Chocolate Ganache Not Quite Nigella / Via notquitenigella.com Green tea pancakes layered with white chocolate cream. Recipe here.

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12 Mindblowing Delicious Cheese Cakes Recipes

12 Mindblowing Delicious Cheese Cakes Recipes   What are the criteria for a mindblowing delicious cheese cake? It needs to be creamy, velvety, and of course, delicious! The diversity and the originallity in these recipes is remarkable and inspiring at the same time. It's not too difficult to create your own favorite by slightly adapting the main ingredient.  No-Bake Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes Unicorns in the Kitchen / Via unicornsinthekitchen.com Recipe here.  Golden Oreo Salted Caramel Mini Cheesecakes I Knead To Eat / Via ikneadtoeat.com Recipe here.  Caramel Pecan Mini Cheesecakes Unicorns in the Kitchen / Via unicornsinthekitchen.com Recipe here. No-Bake Peanut Butter Dolce de Leche Cheesecake With Popcorn Crust

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15 Autumn Baking Treats Recipes

15 Autumn Baking Treats In my part of the world autumn is around the corner. The apples are ripe for the picking, it won't be long for the pumpkins to arrive. It's that time of year that you move inside again and make it warm and cosy with the smell from homemade cookies and pies and above all cinnamom and clover wafting around. Here 15 recipes that you will want to try.   Harvest Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies With Brown Butter Buttercream The Whole Bite / Via wholebiteblog.com Get the recipe here. 2. Maple Glazed Apple Fritters Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com Get the recipe here. 3. Apple Cinnamon Blondies Bakerita / Via bakerita.com Get the recipe here. 4. One-Bowl Carrot Apple Muffins Minimalist Baker / Via minimalistbaker.com Get the recipe here. 5. Molten Chocolate Pumpkin Streusel Bread Half Baked Harvest / Via

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Islamic Art And Its Flawless Patterns

  Islamic Art And Its Flawless Patterns “It matches up so beautifully.” Equipped with a marker pen, compass and ruler in hand, Samira Mian is standing at the front of the classroom of a dozen adult pupils of various backgrounds and ages. On the easel behind her is an intricate set of lines, which is starting to take shape as a geometric pattern, as she teaches locals the art of Islamic design in Ealing, west London. “Our pattern is made up of a 12-sided solid shape with a ring of squares,” the 41-year-old informs the class as she goes around each desk. She is animated as she talks about the beauty and language of patterns with her class. Six-sided stars and octagonal shapes begin to form as pencil markings crisscross crisp white paper. There is order among the seeming chaos of the lines, and the room is quiet and calm as everyone concentrates. Islamic art is based on sacred geometry, and is not unlike using a spirograph: Think interlocking hexagons and recurring pointy star shapes. Think of the tessellation of azure zellige tiles decorating fountains in Morocco. Think of Alhambra palace in Andalusia, Spain, and the symmetry of its archways laced with calligraphy and stucco chiselled with octagonal designs, or the mesmeric work on the thick pile of a Persian carpet. It’s not hard to see why Mian, a former maths teacher of 12 years, had taken a year out of work to study Arabic in Morocco but instead fell in love with Islamic geometry and hasn’t looked back. She starts a conversation with her students about a TV programme on symmetry by the physicist Brian Cox, and says: “He talks about the way patterns are formed and the underlying rules of nature and physics, that are beneath all the beauty that we observe.” Some in Mian’s class are locals who are completely new to the art form and thought, Why not give it a go?, she says, while others are like Ann, who brought in a photo album from her time travelling in Afghanistan and Iran and has developed a love for Islamic architecture. Then there’s a retired maths teacher named Clive, and Tanya, who is a physics teacher. “There’s a lot of people who are interested who already have a leg in the world of art and architecture or maths and science,” Mian says.

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24 Easy Rotisserie Chicken Meals Recipes

24 Easy Rotisserie Chicken Meals Recipes Who cares that it is a little bit cheating. As long as it looks the part and tastes the part, nobody gives a monkeys that you used a rotisserie chicken, took it apart and turned it in no time at all into a dinner feast. In this blog 24 recipes for easy to make and super fast meals with a chicken that you bought cooked.   1. Easy Chicken Pot Pie spicysouthernkitchen.com By using refrigerated pie crusts and shredded rotisserie chicken, all you really have to do is throw together the filling and construct the pie. Recipe here. 2. Italian Chicken Salad salu-salo.com Great on bread, equally good on greens. Recipe here. 3. Sriracha Chicken Quesadillas Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed Make them as spicy as you want. Recipe here. 4. BBQ Chicken Tacos lovelylittlekitchen.com Effortless. Recipe here. 5. Chicken and Kale Casserole marthastewart.com Kale is divisive, but cheese is universal. Recipe here. 6. Rotisserie Chicken Skillet afamilyfeast.com Sometimes you just want a big old bowl of everything. Recipe here. 7. Buffalo Chicken Flatbreads katiescucina.com Pizza meets wings. Recipe here. 8. Easy Chicken

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6 Signs It's Time To Change Your Life

6 Signs to Change Your Life Is it time to make some changes in your life? It just might be. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest. Here are some signs it’s time to change your life. 1. Every week, you cannot wait for Friday. Fridays are fun, but one thing I’ve discovered in my quest to find and do work I absolutely love is that almost every day can be really fun. If you’re saving all your living for the weekends, it’s time to truly think about your lifestyle and consider making some changes. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great to have plans you look forward to on the weekends, but what if you could have that excited Friday feeling most, if not all, days of the week? It takes a lot of self-discovery and work, but it’s truly possible to live a life you love—even on Mondays. 2. You live for your vacations. Vacations are great, but what’s even better is building a life you don’t need to take a vacation from. As

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Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals

Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World   “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.” “If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” Mahatma Gandhi needs no long introduction. Everyone knows about the man who lead the Indian people to independence from British rule in 1947. So let’s just move on to some of the favourite tips from Mahatma Gandhi. 1. Change yourself. “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or maybe even have thought about – while stuck in your old thought patterns. And the problem with changing your outer world without changing yourself is that you will still be you when you reach that change you have strived for. You will still have your flaws, anger, negativity, self-sabotaging tendencies etc. intact. And so in this new situation you will still not find what you hoped for since your mind is still seeping with that negative stuff. And if you get more without having some insight into and distance from your ego it may grow more powerful. Since your ego loves to divide things, to find enemies and to create separation it may start to try to create even more problems and conflicts in your life and world. 2. You are in control. “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” What you feel and how you react to something is always up to you. There may be a “normal” or a common way to react to different things. But that’s mostly just all it is. You can choose your own thoughts, reactions and emotions to pretty much everything. You don’t have to freak out, overreact of even react in a negative way. Perhaps not every time or instantly. Sometimes a knee-jerk reaction just goes off. Or an old thought habit kicks in. And as you realize that no-one outside of yourself can actually control how you feel you can start to incorporate this thinking into your daily life and develop it as a thought habit. A habit that you can grow stronger and stronger over time. Doing this makes life a whole lot easier and more pleasurable. 3. Forgive and let it go. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” “An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Fighting evil with evil won’t help anyone. And as said in the previous tip, you always choose how to react to something. When you can incorporate such a thought habit more and more into your life then you can react in a way that is more useful to you and others. You realize that forgiving and letting go of the past will do you and the people in your world a great service. And spending your time in some negative memory won’t help you after you have learned the lessons you can learn from that experience. You’ll probably just cause yourself more suffering and paralyze yourself from taking action in this present moment. If you don’t forgive then you let the past and another person to control how you feel. By forgiving you release yourself from those bonds. And then you can focus totally on, for instance, the next point. 4. Without action you aren’t going anywhere. “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” Without taking action very little will be done. However, taking action can be hard and difficult. There can be much inner resistance. And so you may resort to preaching, as Gandhi says. Or reading and studying endlessly. And feeling like you are moving forward. But getting little or no practical results in real life. So, to really get where you want to go and to really understand yourself and your world you need to practice. Books can mostly just bring you knowledge. You have to take action and translate that knowledge into results and understanding.

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14 Best Museums in Europe

Best Museums in Europe     Europe is one of the best tourist destinations to discover among the most beautiful museums in the world. Here is a selection of the best museums in Europe, the must see museums which tell us to discover the history of our civilization from the first fossils to contemporary art.  Discover the most impressive museums in Europe such as the British Museum in London, or the very modern Pompidou Center and the Tate Modern.   1. The British Museum The British Museum is a museum in London dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. (©britishmuseum.org).    2. The Pompidou Centre Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris commonly shortened to Centre Pompidou; also known as the Pompidou Centre in English is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais.  It houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information, a vast public library, the Musée National d'Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research. Because of its location, the Centre is known locally as Beaubourg It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building, and was officially opened on 31 January 1977 by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. The Centre Pompidou has had over 150 million visitors since 1977. (©centrepompidou.fr).   3. The Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis. The current main building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and first opened its doors in 1885. On 13 April 2013, after a ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix. In 2013, it was the most visited museum in the Netherlands with a record number of 2.2 million visitors. (©rijksmuseum.nl).   4. The Louvre The Louvre or Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres. With more than 9.7 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world's most visited museum. (©louvre.fr).   5. The Museum del Prado More than 2,300 paintings

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14 Caramel and Apple Desserts Recipes

14 Caramel and Apple Desserts Recipes The combination of apple and caramel is one made in heaven. Some of the recipes in this blog may be familiar, but most are a twist on a known dessert in a different disguise. Water is running in my mouth when watching these delicacies. I hope you enjoy them.   1. Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls Little Spice Jar / Via littlespicejar.com Get the recipe here. 2. Caramel Apple Cookie Sandwiches Tastes Of Lizzy T / Via tastesoflizzyt.com Get the recipe here. 3. Caramel Apples With Pretzel Toffee Crunch The Whole Bite / Via wholebiteblog.com Get the recipe here. 4. Caramel Apple Cupcakes The Gunny Sack / Via thegunnysack.com Get the recipe here.

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Spinach and Basil Smoked Salmon Roll Recipe

Spinach and Basil Smoked Salmon Roll Recipe About: BASIL Cut with a Golden Sickle "Cooks gifted with a flair for seasoning have ever treasured basil as one of the most savory of culinary herbs. More delicate than some of the lustier herbs, like oregano, it may be used generously in a variety of vegetables to lend a subtle, if entirely distinctive, flavor. The word basil stems from two possible origins. One is from the Greek for "royal" or "kingly"; the other, from a tongue-twister, also Greek, meaning "lizard". In Greek mythology this was indeed a very special lizard, a basilisk, which needed only to look at or breathe upon his victim to kill him. The Greeks believed that only the sovereign himself should be allowed to cut the basil, using a golden sickle. Yet, according to history, basil was a symbol of hate; why this was so is open to conjecture. On the other hand, in Italy, basil has always been a token of love, and is called "kiss-me-Nicholas" in some of its regions. Any girl who wears a sprig of basil is suggesting to hear beau, and not too subtly,

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A Lot About Lavender

Lavender Lavender (Lavandula) is an easy to grow, evergreen shrub that produces masses of beautifully scented flowers above green or silvery-grey foliage. This drought-tolerant plant thrives in a sunny border, container, herb or gravel gardens. Quick facts Common name Lavender Botanical name Lavandula Group Shrub, herb Flowering time Summer Planting time Spring Height & spread 30cm-1m (1-3ft) height, 30cm-1.5m (1-5ft) spread Aspect South or west facing Hardiness H5 (hardy - cold winter) to H2 (tender - cool or frost-free greenhouse) Difficulty Easy   Cultivation notes   Growing in the soil Lavender is best planted between April and May as the soil is warming up. It thrives in any poor or moderately fertile, free-draining soils in full sun, and is ideal for chalky or alkaline soils. On heavier soils, like clay and clay loam, lavender tends to be fairly short-lived, becoming woody at the base. To prolong the life of your lavender on heavier soil, add organic matter and gravel to improve the drainage and plant on a mound. If growing as a hedge, plant on a ridge to keep the base of the plants out of wet soil. Space plants 90cm (3ft) apart, or if growing a hedge, 30cm (1ft) apart or, 45cm (18in) for larger cultivars. Once established, lavender is fairly drought-tolerant and is suitable for coastal planting and gravel gardens. Growing in pots Lavender can be grown in large pots, 30-40cm (1ft-16in) diameter, using a multipurpose or loam-based compost such as John Innes No 3, with some extra coarse grit, up to 30% by volume, to improve the drainage, and some controlled release fertiliser granules. Ensure that the compost is regularly watered in summer, but for improved cold tolerance, kept on the dry side during winter by standing in a  cold greenhouse or in the rain shadow of walls. Most lavender can be grown in pots, but it is ideal for tender types - H3 (half hardy) or H2 (tender), such as Lavendula canariensis, L. dentata var. dentata 'Royal Crown' AGM, L. lanata AGM or L. pinnata, which need to be brought undercover during winter and provided with light, well-ventilated conditions. Pruning Lavenders should be pruned every year to keep them compact. On established plants use secateurs to remove flower stalks and about 2.5cm (1in) of the current year’s growth, making sure that some green growth remains. At Wisley, pruning is undertaken in late summer after flowering, although spring pruning is sometimes recommended in books.  Lavender does not break readily from old wood and neglected specimens are best replaced. Propagation You can easily make more lavender by taking softwood or semi-ripe cuttings from young plants in early summer and hardwood cuttings from new growth after flowering in late autumn. Sow seed collected from dry seedheads. Note that seeds of cultivars will not breed true resulting in a variety of flower colour. Cultivar Selection Gardeners can be spoilt for choice with lavenders – see some of them on the RHS Find a Plant. Here are just a few to consider; Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender) is the hardiest - H5 (hardy-cold winter). Hybrid English lavender including L. × intermedia cultivars are usually H4 (hardy-average winter) Some of the best purple-blue flowered English lavender, and good for hedging: L. angustifolia 'AshdownForest': Grey-green foliage and pale-lavender flowers from early summer. Height and spread 50cm (20ins) by 75cm (30ins) L. angustifolia 'Hidcote' AGM: Very popular cultivar with compact, bushy grey-green foliage. Dense, dark-violet flowers on stems to 23cm (9ins) long from late June. Height and spread 60cm (24in) by 75cm (30ins)

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Strawberries Health Benefits

10 Health Benefits of Strawberries  Whether fresh or frozen, there's no denying that strawberries are a popular fruit, but they also pack a healthy punch. Read on to learn 10 surprising health benefits of strawberries.   Add more strawberries to your diet If you’re not already a fan of strawberries, you should be. Not only are they juicy, summery and delicious, they’re a bona fide superfood, too. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), strawberries offer a wide range of health benefits, some of which may surprise you. (Wrinkle-prevention? Yes please!). Here are 10 reasons you should add more strawberries to your diet.. Strawberries boost immunity “Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C,” says Toronto-based registered dietitianMadeleine Edwards. Most mammals—except for humans—have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally, which is why it’s so important to get your daily requirement. “One serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C—about half of your daily requirement,” Edwards says. “Double a serving to one cup and get 100 percent.” Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster, as well as a powerful, fast-working antioxidant. A 2010 UCLA study discovered that the antioxidant power in strawberries becomes “bioavailable” or “ready to work in the blood” after eating the fruit for just a few weeks. Strawberries promote eye health The antioxidant properties in strawberries may also help to prevent cataracts—the clouding over of the eye lens—which can lead to blindness in older age. Our eyes require vitamin C to protect them from exposure to free-radicals from the sun’s harsh UV rays, which can damage the protein in the lens. Vitamin C also plays an important role in strengthening the eye’s cornea and retina. While high doses of vitamin C have been found to increase the risk of cataracts in women over 65, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm note that the risk pertains to vitamin C obtained from supplements, not the vitamin C from fruits and vegetables.   Strawberries help fight cancer Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that can help with cancer prevention, since a healthy immune system is the body’s best defense. A phytochemical called ellagic acid—also found in strawberries—is another. “Ellagic

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15 Mac And Cheese Recipes

15 Mac And Cheese Dishes What's not to like about Mac and Cheese. It's one of those 'you can't go wrong with it' dishes. But in these 15 recipes the ordinary Mac and Cheese has been lifted up a notch or two. What about Mac and Cheese with bacon and caramelized onions. Sounds yummy. Or four cheese Caprese Mac and Cheese. Delicious. 1. Pumpkin Ale Mac and Cheese With Pretzel Breadcrumbs The Whole Bite / Via wholebiteblog.com Get the recipe here. 2. Four-Cheese Caprese Mac and Cheese Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com Get the recipe here. 3. Irish Mac and Cheese Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com Get the recipe here. 4. Steak and Cheddar Mac and Cheese Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com Get the recipe here. 5. Creamy Brie Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese With Buttery Ritz Crackers

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15 Minutes Mouthwatering Desserts

15 Minutes Mouthwatering Desserts Almost everyone loves desserts. It's a bit like the crown on a good meal. Almost everyone is busy, busy, busy and doesn't want to spend hours to serve dinner, let alone dessert. With these 15 recipes that will need no more than 15 minutes, you will have no problem to get it all done in time and enjoy it afterward as well. 1. Italian Hot Chocolate I Knead to Eat / Via ikneadtoeat.com Recipe here. 2. Four-Ingredient Pomegranate Parfait Unicorns in the Kitchen / Via unicornsinthekitchen.com Recipe here. 3. Lindt Chocolate Lava Mug Cake I Knead to Eat / Via ikneadtoeat.com Recipe here. 4. No-Bake Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes Unicorns in the Kitchen / Via unicornsinthekitchen.com Recipe here. 5. Toffee Almond Bars

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Healing Flower Ice Cubes

Healing Flower Ice Cubes These Beautiful Flower Ice Cubes Are Believed To Have Healing Effects I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a beautiful flower. I’ve loved them since I was little and I’m always interested in what flowers have to offer us. Growing up in different countries, flowers are just a part of life for me. My mother used to slather my face with rosewater, tuck edible wildflowers in my lunch for a snack, and use rose ice cubes as part of her Sunday evening facial ritual. When I heard that flower ice cubes were becoming popular, I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised, however, by how this trend is changing beauty for the better. By allowing people like you and me to experiment with flowers and their benefits, both internally and externally, the flower ice cube trend is proof-positive that beauty in nature is a great way to achieve beautiful skin. The Growing Trend

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VISITING PARIS ON A BUDGET

VISITING PARIS ON A BUDGET PLACE DE MADELEINE Paris is one of my favourite European cities – I usually try and spend a few days out there most years, and was lucky enough to spend an autumn house-sitting there. But even though I had somewhere to stay, Paris is an easy place to spend money – with fantastic restaurants, shops and wine bars on every corner, and the entrance fees to all those world-class museums and attractions which soon start to add up. So can you enjoy Paris if you’re trying not to spend too much?  Here are some of the tips I picked up to help keep my Paris travel costs down, and this time of year is one of the best times to try them out, with the low season between November and April having the lowest prices for travel and accommodation. THE EIFFEL TOWER AT DUSK THINGS TO SEE AND DO Paris has so many world-famous buildings and monuments – like Sacre Cœur, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower – and going to look at them won’t cost a penny. You can also go and watch the artists at work inMontmartre, browse the book stalls on the banks of the Seine and look around Notre Dame Cathedral for free. And if the weather’s good, there are lots of parks and gardens around the city – like the Promenade Plantée on an old elevated railway line, the botanical gardens at the Jardin des Plantes, and even the atmospheric cemeteries, like Père-Lachaise and the Cimetière du Montparnasse. If you want to learn a bit more about Paris, Discover Walks offer free walking tours with local guides. They cover a range of different areas – from the Left Bank and the Marais to Notre Dame and Montmartre. Walks take about 90 minutes and off-season groups are usually small. In November, our group of three ended up with our own private guide on one of their Marais tours, who showed us some great local restaurants and bars as well as telling us all about the area’s history, all for the price of a tip. There are also plenty of free festivals and events going on in Paris throughout the year – including the fireworks and military parades for Bastille Day on 14 July, the Paris Plages riverside beaches in August, theNuit Blanche all-night arts festival, the 

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Photography with Drones

Photography with Drones Until very recently, my mindset was decidedly anti-drone. To me, drones seemed like a complicated plaything for geeks. After all, isn’t this photography hobby expensive enough without adding flying apparatuses to the equation? Plus there was very little doubt in my mind that if I bought a drone I would send it flying into the ocean on its first flight. No thanks. Why a drone? I had a problem though. I had a coastal photography trip planned, and in coastal photography it is often difficult to take pictures of the coast while standing on the coast. I have long wanted some way to be able to look back at the coast from out to sea and photograph it from that perspective. A drone was the only real answer for me, so I bit the bullet and bought one. After having used the drone for several months now, I can say my attitude has changed markedly. Much of what I thought about drones was wrong, or at least the problems were overemphasized. Flying them is actually very easy. It isn’t that complicated. It isn’t even that expensive (at least not compared to what we spend on cameras and lenses). You may be pondering buying a drone, or at least wondering what they are all about. You might also see all the video footage from drones and wonder how drones are used in still photography. So let me introduce you to drones and how they can add a new dimension to your photography. Flying drones is easy First, let’s talk about flying drones. This is something you are probably concerned about. You might wonder if flying will require skills you don’t have. Or perhaps you just don’t want to devote time to learning it. This is one area where you have nothing to worry about. Flying a drone is remarkably easy. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be careful or that you won’t be nervous every time you fly it, but flying is really easy. The main thing to understand is that if you have your drone in the air, and you completely let go of the controls, it will just hover harmlessly in the air. It literally just sits there until you tell it what to do. Another thing that people worry about is having the battery run out while you are in the air. That won’t happen. Most drones have a feature that brings the drone back to its take-off point when the battery gets down to a certain level. In fact, most drones have a return to home feature you can press if you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. You always have a way out. Controlling the drone is easy. You have a controller with two joysticks on it. Pushing on one of them sends the drone up or down; doing the same to the other joystick sends it forward and backward. Each of the joysticks also goes right and left. One will turn the drone to the right and left; the other will make it move to whichever side you push to. I’ll talk more about the specifics of the control later. For now, I just want you to get a feel for how easy it is. If you were worried about being able to fly a drone, don’t be.

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10 Refreshing Ways To Clear Your Mind Of Stress

10 Refreshing Ways To Clear Your Mind Of Stress An increase in heart rate, heavy breathing, constricted blood vessels—all of these things are byproducts of stress. Your fight or flight response kicks in and rather than escaping from a large animal like our ancestors once had to do, we are dealing with an upset spouse, a traffic jam, or trouble at work. Chronic stress can lead to larger issues like chronic headaches, hypertension, and depression or anxiety disorders, and can make existing conditions worse. 1. Express Gratitude for What You Have Learned Every bad experience leaves something to be gained. It is likely that when all is said and done, you will have discovered something valuable about yourself or someone else that will help you later on in life. Be mindful of what it is that you have learned, and be thankful for it—for all you know you’ll be in the same situation later on in life and will proceed with this new perspective. 2. Get a Plant Simply being in a room that is full of plants can lower your blood

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Depressed, Anxious or In Pain? Crafting Helps!

Depressed, Anxious or In Pain? Crafting May Be the Answer Everyone will go through a tough time at some point in their lives. Maybe it is the passing of a loved one or the accumulation of life’s stresses. In some cases, you may simply be prone to feelings of depression or anxiety, or suffer from a medical condition with chronic pain. While the help of a medical professional is always wise, you may be able to do more to help yourself. How Crafting Helps People who craft experience a variety of benefits from their hobby. It can ease stress, and increase feelings of happiness. Some studies suggest it can even help the brain combat damage caused by regular ageing. Though most studies focus on the completion of puzzles, the cognitive benefits of completing a Sudoku puzzle may also apply to crafts, such as working through a complex knitting pattern. If the craft has a repetitive component, some may experience benefits similar to that of moving meditations commonly attributed to reaching a state of flow. As human beings, we can only focus on, and process, a certain amount of information at a time. By choosing to busy our minds with crafts, we can prevent other feelings from being as apparent. It can calm the fight or flight response, an action of the parasympathetic nervous system, and aids in the regulation of emotion.

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Stray Dog and Stewardess Love Affaire

Homeless Dog Waited For Air Hostess Day And Night, Finally She Made An Amazing Decision   Best friends will do anything for you, but would they wait patiently day after day, for months while you’re half way around the world? This heartwarming love story between a stray dog in Argentina and an air hostess from Germany shows that distance means nothing when it comes to true love and friendship. Love At First Sight Olivia Siever’s work as a flight attendant took her to Argentina on several occasions. On one such occasion, she met a new furry friend, while exploring the area around her hotel in Buenos Aires. The dog was known to frequent the area and Olivia decided to make his day by playing and giving him some food; a decision that clearly touched the dog’s heart. Loyalty And Love Go Hand In Hand From that moment on, the loyal pooch, who she named Rubio, didn’t leave her side. He followed her back to the hotel despite her attempts

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Traveling with Halong Bay Cruises

Traveling with Luxury Halong Bay Cruises   Paradise Luxury is one of the recent and the most attractive masterpiece available at Paradise Halong Bay cruises, which even head out of many other five star hotels. It is actually a floating hotel, which sets new boundaries of the quality work for the hotel industry. This actually offers and ensures the provision of the supreme level of luxurious stay for the tourists. When we talk about the economy of any countries then one of the industries, which have a great contribution for generating revenues, is the hospitality or we can say: hotel industry. The importance of hotel industry is also vital because it can even grab revenues from the foreigners. If the people coming out of their homes (even countries) and find a place where they can get a quality service along with comfort, then they will prefer to visit again and again. This is the true essence of profitability of hotel industry. According to the tourists, Paradise Luxury at Halong Bay Cruises is the place where genuine care and hospitality are given to the respected guests. The guests are always welcomed in a warm relaxed environment. Provision of Home Like Comfort Level This floating hotel is luxurious but comfortable

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6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed

6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed  Sometimes, it’s hard to unwind after a long day, and it can be difficult to fall asleep even when you are exhausted. Fortunately, there are many ways to relax after the day is done that can help you fall asleep. One way is to practice some yoga in the best place on earth: your bed. Now let’s get started so you can start sleeping better tonight. 1. Child’s Pose Sit up comfortably on your heels. Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you. Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you. Hold the pose and breathe. Health Benefits Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest Helps alleviate stress and anxiety Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple Calms the mind and body Encourages strong and steady breathing 2. Thread the Needle Pose Begin on your hands and knees. Place your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Place your shins and knees hip-width apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward. On an exhalation, slide your right arm underneath your left arm with your palm facing up. Rest your right ear and cheek on the bed, then gaze toward your left. Keep your left elbow lifting and your hips raised. Do not press your weight onto your head; instead, adjust your position so you do not strain your neck or shoulder.

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12 Pumpkin And Chocolate Recipes

12 Pumpkin And Chocolate Recipes   It's that time of year again. Pumpkin and autumn are a set. And with a the festivities in these darkening month leading up to Christmas, it's good to have some variations in the traditional pumpkin recipes. Here the match between pumpkin and chocolate seems to be made in heaven. Enjoy.   1. Pumpkin Spice Truffles Sally’s Baking Addiction / Via sallysbakingaddiction.com Recipe here. 2. Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake Build Your Bite / Via buildyourbite.com Recipe here. 3. Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake The First Year / Via thefirstyearblog.com Recipe here. 4. Chocolate Pumpkin Magic Cake

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New Listing Procedure Instructions

Create a Correct Listing  

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X- Mas DIY Crayon Candles

  DIY: CRAYON CANDLES   My obsession with bright colors got me hooked when I saw a tutorial on it. I already had a bunch of old crayons on hand from some previous DIY crayon use and I’ve been interested in making candles lately, so this was the perfect project! Once you’ve gathered your supplies and set up a workspace near your microwave, this project is fairly simple and would be a great craft to do with a friend. I loved blending my own colors and experimenting with different color combinations.

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Recognize Burnout Before Burning Out

Recognize Burnout Before Burning Out   “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” Ms. Seppala told me. “Biologically we are not meant to be in that high-stress mode all the time. We got lost in this idea that the only way to be productive is to be on the go-go-go mode.” Emma Seppala was working as an intern at The International Herald Tribune (the past iteration of The International New York Times) one summer in college in Paris, shuttling between the newsroom writers and editors on the second floor and the workers at the printing presses in the basement. Ms. Seppala, the science director at the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, mulls the difference between the two starkly different atmospheres in her 2016 book “The Happiness Track”: One floor was raucous and full of laughter, the other floor was solemn and quiet. Can you guess which one she enjoyed being in more? It was the press workers who had a sideboard covered with wine, cheeses and bread. They were vibrant, Ms. Seppala writes. “I believe most of us want to be like the French press workers: we want to do a good job no matter what that job might be — and we also want to be happy doing it.” She later notes, “We have simply accepted overextension as a way of life.” In today’s era of workplace burnout, achieving a simpatico work-life relationship seems practically out of reach. Being tired, ambivalent, stressed, cynical and overextended has become a normal part of a working professional life. The General Social Survey of 2016, a nationwide survey that since 1972 has tracked the attitudes and behaviors of American society, found that 50 percent of respondents are consistently exhausted because of work, compared with 18 percent two decades ago. Where once the term burnout was applied exclusively to health care workers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics or social workers who deal with trauma and human services — think Graham Greene’s novel “A Burnt-Out Case,” about a doctor in the Belgian Congo, a book that gave rise to the term colloquially — the term has since expanded to workers who are now part of a more connected, hyperactive and overcompensating work force. But occupational burnout goes beyond needing a simple vacation or a family retreat, and many experts, psychologists and institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlight long-term and unresolvable burnout as not a symptom but rather a major health concern. (Though it does not appear in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual, the benchmark for psychological ailments, it does appear in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, a classification used by the World Health Organization.) “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” Ms. Seppala told me. “Biologically we are not meant to be in that high-stress mode all the time. We got lost in this idea that the only way

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101 Very Inspiring Happiness Quotes

  101 Inspiring Happiness Quotes The written word is truly an amazing thing. With the help of it we can record out innermost thoughts and spread them if we like. With the help of the written word we can look far, far back into time, through the decades, the centuries and, yes, even the millennias. Today I would like to look back into the past and see what the wise people who have walked on this earth can tell us about happiness and how to uncover it. No matter if you live today or lived two thousand years ago.   These are 101 of the most inspiring, touching and helpful thoughts from the past on happiness. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha “Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.” Unknown “To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.” Albert Camus “If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’ If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.” Chinese Proverb “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” Ashley Montagu “Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” Stacey Charter “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie “It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” Lucille Ball “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Winnie the Pooh “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” Epictetus “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” Eskimo Proverb “To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.” Mary Stuart “There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.” Seneca “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Robert A. Heinlein “Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” Dennis Waitley “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi “The only joy in the world is to begin.” Cesare Pavese “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go” Oscar Wilde “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” Marthe Troly-Curtin “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon” Winnie the Pooh “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Herman Cain “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” Confucius “There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” Anthony de Mello “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” Helen Keller

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MAKE A PERFECT LITTLE BOW OR POM-POM

MAKE A PERFECT LITTLE BOW OR POM-POM   With something as simple as a fork and a little bit of ribbon it is super easy and quick to make a cute little bow to adorn a present, a card or spruce up a jumper or dress.     And who needs a pom-pom maker when all you need is a fork? A great way to use

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10 Fun Things to do in Barcelona

10 Fun Things to do in Barcelona Conspicuous in its vibrancy and proud of its quirks, Barcelona is the Spanish city with an infectious buzz. From a secret bunker with sweeping views over the metropolis to the ultimate spots to sample Catalan’s most delicacies, here is a list of 10 fun things you simply MUST tick off your Barcelona bucketlist. 1. Feast on Paella, Tapas and Sangria It is traditional in Spain to eat a big meal at lunch time and a smaller meal for dinner, so make sure you’ve worked up an appetite by midday. In Barcelona, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants offering a scrumptious selection of share plates, referred to as Tapas, alongside pans of steaming hot Paella. Of course, to make things fun, all this food must be washed down with a generous jug of Sangria, the national drink of Spain.    2. Marvel at Gaudi’s architectural genius If anyone is responsible for shaping the aesthetic of Barcelona, it’s Spain’s most revered architect, Antoni Gaudi. From the wondrous La Sagrada Familia, a cathedral that has been under construction since 1882, to Park Guell’s gingerbread-like buildings, every Gaudi piece looks like it was conceptualized for a fairytale. Make sure you take time to explore the all the must-see Gaudi sites during your visit!   3. Have a picnic at the bunker If you want to find the best panoramic views over Barcelona,

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A Two-Story Playhouse

A Two-Story Playhouse  Dad Built A Two-Story Playhouse For His Daughters. Take a moment to think back to your childhood. What did your playhouse look like? Was it something standard and plastic like this? Mariyal / Getty Images   Or maybe wooden and lifted off the ground? Fury123 / Getty Images Perhaps the detailing actually made your playhouse look like little elves could live inside. Getty Images Whatever the case may be, get ready to have some real childhood FOMO, because Adam Boyd of Highland, Michigan, just built the greatest playhouse of all time. This 24-foot-fall, two-story playhouse is what children's dreams are made of, honestly.

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The Courage to Be Yourself

The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel “To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.” “No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life,” wrote the thirty-year-old Nietzsche. “The true and durable path into and through experience,” Nobel-winning poet Seamus Heaney counseled the young more than a century later in his magnificent commencement address, “involves being true … to your own solitude, true to your own secret knowledge.” Every generation believes that it must battle unprecedented pressures of conformity; that it must fight harder than any previous generation to protect that secret knowledge from which our integrity of selfhood springs. Some of this belief stems from the habitual conceit of a culture blinded by its own presentism bias, ignorant of the past’s contextual analogues. But much of it in the century and a half since Nietzsche, and especially in the years since Heaney, is an accurate reflection of the conditions we have created and continually reinforce in our present informational ecosystem — a Pavlovian system of constant feedback, in which the easiest and commonest opinions are most readily rewarded, and dissenting voices are most readily punished by the unthinking mob. Few people in the two centuries since Emerson issued his exhortation to “trust thyself” have countered this culturally condoned blunting of individuality more courageously and consistently than E.E. Cummings (October 14, 1894–September 3, 1962) — an artist who never cowered from being his conventional self because, in the words of his most incisive and competent biographer, he “despised fear, and his life was lived in defiance of all who ruled by it.”

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Simple Guide To Stoicism

Simple Guide To Stoicism Learn Wisdom You Can Practically Use   I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while. The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods. That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life. “Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom — that’s what Stoicism is” What is Stoicism? It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them. Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started. Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points: – Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life – Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately – Study is not required to understand Stoicism – The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life. The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way. At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking. We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean. This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand. Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided. Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations. You must disrupt yourself. Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control. “When you lose control, your environment determines your results” There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley. In good and bad times we have a choice. Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice. It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run.It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

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Successful Kids with Parents Doing These Things

Science Says the Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 9 Things Chances are, there's something on this list you're missing. Much has been written about the attributes of high-achieving adults, and what makes them different from everyone else. But if you're a parent, a more compelling question may be: "What can I do to make sure my kids succeed in life?" Here's what researchers say. 1. Don't tell them they can be anything they want. According a survey of 400 teenagers, conducted by market research agency C+R Research, young Americans aren't interested in doing the work that will need to be done in the years to come. Instead, they aspire to be musicians, athletes, or video game designers, even though these kinds of jobs only comprise 1 percent of American occupations. In reality, jobs in health care or in construction trades will be golden in future decades. Why not steer them into well-paying professions in which there will be a huge shortage of workers? 2. Eat dinner as a family. According to a nonprofit organization operating out of Harvard University, kids who eat with their families roughly five days a week exhibit lower levels of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, obesity, and depression. They also have higher grade-point averages, better vocabularies, and more self-esteem. 3. Enforce no-screen time. Researchers have found that the brains of little kids can be permanently altered when they spend too much time using tablets and smartphones. Specifically, the development of certain abilities is impeded, including focus and attention, vocabulary, and social skills. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says children younger than 18 months should have no screen time at all, other than video-chatting. For kids ages two to five, it recommends limiting screen time to one hour a day. For older kids, it's a matter of making sure media doesn't take the place of adequate sleep, exercise, and social interaction. The AAP also says parents should make the dinner table, the car, and bedrooms media-free zones. 4. Work outside the home.

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Mindfulness Meditation Mini Guide

Mindfulness Meditation Mini Guide   It’s hard to talk about becoming mindful without speaking about some form of meditation. What we will discuss here is a sitting meditation that is concentrated on the breath. We as knowledge workers, creatives, and entrepreneurs have a lot on on our plates like numerous projects, meetings, ideas, phone calls to make, and decisions to come to. Not only that, but there is an entire other side of our life; the personal one. In our personal lives we have a family to take care of, difficult decisions that have to be made about friends and family, as well as making sure that our family is set up for the future. After getting things done, sometimes things don’t feel right. We feel like we are robots. We feel that our lives our unbalanced, that we spend too much time at work and not enough with the ones that we love. We feel that the work we are doing isn’t what we want to be doing. We end up with a feeling of dread and dissatisfaction in our lives. This is where the practice of being mindful comes in. Rather than running the rat-race of getting things done in your life; you have to stop and understand what your life really is by becoming and staying mindful. What mindfulness is and what it isn’t Being mindful means “inclined to be aware” and mindfulness is the act of that. Some would say that practicing mindfulness and using forms of meditation to become more mindful is a Buddhist “thing”. While that is somewhat true, you don’t have to practice Buddhism to practice mindfulness meditation. In fact, there are many members of other religions that practice forms of meditation that moves them towards mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness means that you have to have an open mind and have to be open to a new experience as well as a different way of thinking about things. Becoming mindful does not mean that you go into a trance, become god-like, learn to levitate, or some other crazy thing you may have heard of. Becoming mindful allows you to see yourself and the world around you just as it is without any preconceived notions of what it “should be”. It’s hard to talk about becoming mindful without speaking about some form of meditation. What we will discuss here is a sitting meditation that is concentrated on the breath. We won’t delve into the ins and outs of meditation but there are some good resources for that:

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Chasing Happiness Won’t Make Happy

Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy When we talk about happiness, we think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. We try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as our goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from us. But what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?  It’s like your favorite food.  The more you have of it doesn’t always mean the better.  On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite of it.  So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it? We should always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy. Assuming others are always happy is the biggest misunderstanding of happiness. Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time.  Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after”

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Guadix Cave Houses in Spain

Guadix Cave Houses in Spain   Since Moorish times, half of this city’s population (called by the locals “troglodytes”) live in underground spaces made by human hand. Welcome to Guadix, a town in Europe made up of cave houses carved in tuff rock. Guadix is situated in southern Spain, in the Andalusian province of Granada, on an elevated plateau along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The closest city to Guadix is the lovely Granada, located 50 km away. When you enter this town in Southern Spain, nothing seems to warn you about the wonders that lie beneath. As you move forward on the main street, a road sign will indicate the way to Barrio de las Cuevas. From here on, let yourself be wowed by images of great contrast: a mostly dry land colored in ocher complemented by whitewashed chimneys and doors to the house caves. Snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background add to the unworldly feel of this place.

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Semi Precious Stones Inventory

Semi Precious Stones The world of the semi precious stones is such a fascinating one. I am writing this blog more or less for myself, to have this inventory of the different kinds of semi precious stones somewhere when I can find it back. The picture below is what I am so happy about as it reveales the names of the different kind of stones.  We all want to be identified with precious and excellent things. This is the reason why you will see someone walking around with a bracelet worth your lifetime investments on their hand. Not because they did not have anything else to use the money for but they wanted to feel special. This is exactly the feeling that semi-precious stone jewelry gives you. Semi-precious stone jewelry is jewelry that is made out of portions of minerals that do not occur commonly. The mineral stones are refined and cut to create jewelry. The types of jewelry that they make include necklaces, bangles and bracelets. These are some of the reasons you should own one.

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Nine Caves Around the World

Nine Caves Around the World   #1.  Hang Son Doong Cave, Vietnam Hang Son Doong cave is located in Quang Binh province, Vietnam and is currently known as the largest cave in the world.  It is said that the cave was discovered in 1991 by a local man named Ho Khanh, but nobody dared to explore it until 2009, when the British cavers ventured inside. Hang Son Doong Cave, photo credit : Carsten Peter Hang Son Doong is 200 meters wide, 150 meters high, and about 9 kilometers long.  The beauty of this cave is enhanced by its vegetation, derived from the collapse of a roof in one of the caverns. The surreal landscapes convinced the BBC news that Hang Son Doong is one of the most fascinating caves in the world. And the pictures speak for themselves. Photo by Carsten Peter The entrance in Hang Son Doong cave is 10 kilometres(forest path) away from Truong Son Highway, and the nearest city is Dong Hoi(65 kilometres away). #2. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Juneau, Alaska According to TravelJuneau.com, the Mendenhall is a glacier measuring more than a half mile wide in its widest point, and 1800 feet deep (about 540 meters) in its deepest. photo credits: AER Wilmington DE Mendenhall Glacier has a  total length of 12 miles, extending between Juneau Icefield and Mendenhall Lake. Commercial operators offer tours in the summer, including hiking, biking, rafting, canoe and kayak trips, and bus, van, taxi and shuttle tours. Given the fact that the glacier`s melting process is severe, it is strongly recommend that visitors do not enter the caves during summer and that they wear proper equipment. #3. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand New Zealand is full of surprises, whether we are talking about culture, art or nature. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are just another pleasant surprise, and definetly a must see for each of us. Photo credits: donnieray Waitomo region is part of the North Island of New Zealand, and it is exclusively known for its population of glowworms. They are known as Arachnocampa luminosa and their habitat is very well preserved (since they only exist in New Zealand) by a special Scientific Advisory Group. Arachnocampa

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Amazing Trompe l'Oeuil Painted Facades

Amazing Trompe l'Oeuil Painted Facades Imagine yourself coming back home from a long trip and… not being able to find it. This might actually happen if you lived in one of the buildings that got touched by this talented French street artist Patrick Commecy. Together with his team, he creates huge murals of hyper-realistic facades that bring blank and boring city walls to life. What’s interesting here is that while these realistic yet fake facades trick you at first glance, some of the people painted there were once real. Commecy often paints many notable people from the history of the town the mural is in. Can you spot any of them?

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Memorable Glamping

Memorable Glamping Sites in Europe We couldn’t stay away without bringing it into our niche. Why? Because it could turn out to be a totally new and mesmerizing experience. Some of you probably haven’t heard about glamping, in which case we are happy to surprise you with some of the best places in Europe where you can taste nature in a more “relaxing” way. If you love spending time outdoors, but are a bit reluctant to carrying your tent and placing it randomly in the middle of nowhere on bumpy ground, then glamping might be for you. Some define this new trend as “luxurious camping”, but we like to see it as a comfortable way to witness nature thrills up close. Founder of GlampingHub.com David Troya explains that three are three elements that make glamping unique: no lobby in sight (nature right outside your door), special type of structure and the basic comfort offered by a hotel. Glamping has taken off in Europe, with hundreds of glamorous campsites ( tipi retreats, mountain bungalows, beautiful tree houses) awaiting for guests to explore their wild surroundings. Here are eight such unconventional accommodation options from all over the continent: #1. Forest days, Catalan Pyrenees, Spain Forest Days is a camping site located in the rural Catalunya, where the fertile farmlands to the south meet the imposing Pyrenees mountains to the north, at approximately one and a half hour by car from Barcelona. The canvas tents are furnished with a massive super-king sized bed and some have their own eco-bathroom and a solar shower. From enchanting and historic towns and villages with incredible gastronomic choices, to adventure sports of every variety, right on your (tent) doorstep. Prices start from 70 Euros / night for 2 people including a healthy breakfast delivered straight to your tent door (minimum 2 night stay). #2. Cascais Oasis, Portugal Cascais Oasis is just 15 minutes away from Lisbon and 4 km from the centre of Cascais Village, in a remote green area from where you can experience hiking through the numerous pathways within the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park or enjoy the sun on one of the nearest beaches

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Romania’s Legendary Holidays

Romania’s Legendary Holidays     Maramureş is located in the northern part of Transylvania, Romania, and is considered one of the best culturally preserved areas of Europe. It is one of the largest depressions in the country, hidden between three mountains called Oaș – Gutâi – Țibleș, in the Oriental Carpathians.   #The spirit This amazing place takes you “diving” inside an unspoiled rural life, where you can witness the customs of Romanian peasants and their sacred relationship with nature. This province still holds the spirit of the ancestors. Maramureş is a place where daily traditional costumes are untouched by urban influences. The unique clothing of the region can be admired when the “Moroşeni” (as the inhabitants are dubbed) go to church or celebrate other types of holidays. Each real “Moroşan”  has a folk costume in his wardrobe. Not only the old people are wearing the traditional costumes, but also the “cocoons” (preschool children), which makes the tradition have continuity in time. Don’t be surprised to see these people wearing their costumes while working the fields, mowing, gathering hay, digging or even shepherding. Usually, the

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DIY | Leather Wrap Bracelet

DIY | Leather Wrap Bracelet A braided full leather version as an alternative to the tedious and time consuming version of weaving beads in and out with bead cord between and around two leather strings. Once you get the hang of the braiding rhythm you will see how quickly these bracelets are done and how beautifully they will turn out! For one bracelet you will need: – about 2 meter leather cord size 2mm depending on how many times you want to wrap the bracelet around your wrist (2meter length will wrap around 4x - you could do a shorter or longer version by taking less or more length) – 1.5 meter leather cord size 1mm  – 6 meter leather cord size 1mm – about 140 little beads with a large enough hole to thread onto your shorter 1mm leather cord piece. – optional a little jewelry button or something similar from the bead shop Of course you are free to choose different sizes of leather cord but make sure there is a thinner and a thicker cord and you are able to thread your beads onto the thinner one. O.K. - here we go! The right one is the version with no button. This bracelet will just close with a loop on one end and a knot on the other end. Take your 2 meter long piece and fold it into half. Take your 1.5 meter long piece and knot it around your loop as shown in picture 1. Now fold the short end towards the middle and wrap your long end tight around all leather pieces to create a nice beginning. ALWAYS pull gently! 1 mm leather cord is delicate and you do not want to tear it. Please try on an extra piece how much you can pull before it breaks so you get a feeling on how much strength you can use while pulling. By the way - once these leather bracelets are done there

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DIY  No Mess Magnetic Sand Box

DIY  No Mess Magnetic Sand Box So satisfying. Playing with sand and working on becoming Zen, like in a Japanese garden but without the mess otherwise involved. I think it will make a great gift for the holidays as well. MAGNETIC SAND BOX MATERIALS Shadow box Hot glue gun Sand Glitter Pinball

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DIY TRENDY SPA WOODEN BATHMAT

DIY TRENDY SPA WOODEN BATHMAT   Make your bathroom feel like a spa with this trendy bathmat that you'll never (!!!) have to wash.     * 15 wooden balusters (2 x 2 x 18 inches) or (5 x 5 x 46 centimeters) * Drill * ¾-inch drill bit * C-clamp * Sandpaper

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DIY Stylish Christmas Candy Jars

DIY Stylish Christmas Candy Jars A quick and easy DIY project. Time: 35 Minutes  Cost: $2  Difficulty: Easy I know it's still a few weeks to go until Christmas but I'm already getting a jump start on decorations. These jars are adorable. They sit perfectly on a mantel or console table. Plus, they are the perfect project for all leftover glass jars! They are not just for candy; you can put any small items in them like office supplies or decorative marbles. They really add to any festive décor, and I could imagine doing them in other colors for other holidays. Check out how I make them below.   Step 1: Gather Your Supplies Use old jars, silver spray paint, a drill, and a drawer knob. You can find these really sparkly bling knobs at your local hardware store for a great price. But you don't have to use such a statement knob, choose whichever one you like. Materials used for this project:

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DIY NAUTICAL KNOT ROPE NECKLACE

DIY NAUTICAL KNOT ROPE NECKLACE   Nautical Knot Rope Necklace Supplies: 4 1/2 yards cotton rope, cut into 4 pieces 40″ each hot glue gun scotch tape thin suede (or faux suede) cord – mine was around 1/8″ thick When you cut your rope use the scotch tape and wrap it around the ends so the rope does not fray, this also makes it easier to glue the ends together when making the necklace.

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DIY Birdhouse

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Seaside Cave Restaurant

Seaside Cave Restaurant  Seaside Cave Restaurant at Hotel Grotta Palazzese, Italy Open from May to October, the Seaside Cave Restaurant at Hotel Grotta Palazzese in the town of Polignano a Mare in southern Italy promises unique dining. Naturally lit by the aqua marine reflectionfrom the waters, the summer cavern has been the scene of many a romantic moments since local nobility held banquets here in the 1700s.Open from May to October, the 

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DIY Fall Leaves Bowl

DIY Fall Leaves Bowl       Here’s an idea for a fall leaves bowl. You’ll need: - craft store leaf garland, - Mod Podge, - a foam brush, - a balloon, - scissors, - a mixing bowl.

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DIY Hanging Picture Display

DIY Hanging Picture Display Don't know what to do with your pictures? Here's an IDEA!! Time: 1 HoursCost: $15 Difficulty: Easy To start off painting the dowel black and set it aside to dry. Next make the square and triangle out of the poster board.

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DIY Paper Protea

DIY Paper Protea     These paper flowers are so easy to make! All you really have to do is to get out and pick up a few branches, then dig in your bookshelf for a few old books.  You can also get these books from a local second hand bookshop cheap. You need: Old Books (one for each flower) Branches (thin on the one side so it can fit into the hole of the flower) Ribbon (optional) Wood glue Step 1: Remove the cover of the book, so only the pages of the book are left.

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DIY Gorgeous Earrings

DIY Gorgeous Earrings If you’re looking for ways to kill some time while doing something that’s actually productive, we have good news. This article would help you creating these DIY gorgeous earrings, that aren’t just easy to make, but also look sophisticated. You can even find similar earrings at shopping malls or department stores; so you can save bucks while looking great! Let us guide you through. First, you’d need beads (lots of them! You can shop for them online or visit craft stores), fishing thread (nylon), 2 hooks for hanging earrings in the ear (try finding the hypo-allergenic ones; in case you’re allergic to steel or any other materials), and of course, scissors or pliers. Now that you have everything ready, let’s get started! If you’d like a visual guidance on the steps, you can watch the video below (if it’s on

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DIY  Concrete Garden Orbs

DIY  Concrete Garden Orbs   Use some old yarn or fabric strips to make these light weight concrete garden orbs. They make great accents to the garden as they stand up to all weather.   Time: 1 Hour Cost: $5 Difficulty: Easy   These great concrete orbs can be made with any fabric or yarn as long as it is wide enough and can absorb some concrete. You can use a rotary cutter to cut strips of fleece or use some chunky yarn. The 'stiffener' in this project is portland cement. It is the active ingredient in concrete and usually some aggregate is added. Here, we will be using the fibres as the aggregate.

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DIY  Bleached Pine Cones

DIY  Bleached Pine Cones   Pine cones are a fun accent for wreaths and floral arrangements, and they also look beautiful displayed on their own on a mantel or coffee table. While they are usually associated with fall or winter, pine cones can enhance your home all year long, especially when they are bleached. Bleaching gives the pine cones an aged, whitewashed patina that is works for both modern and rustic décor schemes. Gather Materials   Pine cones Liquid bleach, gallon size Plastic bucket Rubber gloves Ceramic or glass plate Brick Newspapers

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DIY Concrete Chessboard

DIY Concrete Chessboard     Chessboard Here's an easy way to cast a concrete chessboard using square mosaic tiles. The same techniques can also be used to cast small or even large tabletops. Materials + Supplies:     •    10 lbs. ShapeCrete     •    Rubber Gloves, Safety Glasses, Dust Mask     •    Galvanized Sheet     •    Ruler and Marker     •    Square Tiles      •    Spray Adhesive     •    Foam Walls     •    Clear Packing Tape   Tools:     •    Variable Speed Concrete Polisher and Pads (optional)     •    Diamond Hand Pads     •    Trowel Size: 16-3/8" x 16-3/8" x 1" Color: Portabella Technique: Cast     STEP 1: Mark it out Casting Surface: For this project we used a sheet of galvanized steel. You could also use a thin sheet of acrylic or similar plastic. You can also use a piece of 1/2" thick Melamine. 3/4" sheet materials will work, but it's a lot easier to remove from the concrete if you stick with something thin. There's a piece of plywood underneath the galvanized steel so it sits flat. It's taped around the edges to keep it from sliding around. Tiles: The tiles used here are 1-7/8" square. This is a pretty good size for standard chess pieces. Ideally the tiles are completely flat on one side. If you plan on polishing the tiles can't be glazed or you'll polish through the glaze. Mark out the perimeter: This piece is 16-3/8" square. This is the size that worked out with the 1-7/8" tiles, plus a 1/2" border.

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DIY Fall Wreath

  DIY Fall Wreath   This DIY Fall Wreath is a simple craft and idea for a beautiful seasonal touch. Making your own wreath isn’t as hard as you think, making it easy to make it just how you want it!  DIY Fall Wreath Supplies: To make your own Burlap DIY Fall Wreath you’ll need the following: 14″ Straw Wreath Form 15-18′ Orange and Burlap Ribbon (2-1/2″ wide) Glue Gun & Glue Sticks Scissors 1 Bunch Silk Fall Leaves Wire Cutters Bow for Decoration Ribbon for Hanging

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My Way to the Top on empowr

My Way to the Top on empowr   Hello, I am Marijke. I want to explain how I became successful in empowr. I became an empowr citizen in the beginning of February 2016, to date a little over 19 months ago. I remember I clicked on a link in an email I had received and landed in an environment that I found interesting. I treaded carefully in the beginning. I had been burned already quite a few times by websites promising the moon, delivering nothing for which I paid good money. The figures showing in my empowr balance looked impressive. The first thing I did realise was that nobody is giving away money like that and I went in search of finding out more about it. I contacted my success coach and whenever I had a question, asked for help. I looked around a lot and decided to copy the most successful empowr citizen at the time and after a while I approached her to become my coach. I soon understood what is was all about. This person is still the mirror I look in and follow as far as empowr matters are  concerned. What really got my attention and kindled the fire of passion for me was the empowr introduction video.

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DIY Pebble Mosaic Circle

DIY  Pebble Mosaic Circle If you're looking for an outdoor project that's a bit off the beaten path, a pebble mosaic will give your yard, garden, or walkway a unique and unexpected focal point. Though the materials to build it are pretty basic—flat pebbles or cobbles from a stone yard (or ordered online); concrete mix, gravel, and stone dust for the base—your design can be anything but. Us 2- and 3-inch polished stones to create this spiral-pattern mosaic, which can be scaled up or down depending on the size of your site and the stones you select. Just be sure to lay the stones on edge for added strength and stability. STEP ONE // How to Make a Pebble Mosaic Overview of a Pebble Mosaic Project Timeline Friday: Sort the stones and lay out the pattern Saturday: Lay the base, set the stones, and let the concrete begin to cure   Sunday: Grout the stones into place   STEP TWO // How to Make a Pebble Mosaic Prep and Sort the Stones Spread out the stones near your project area. Rinse off dirt and grit, then sort stones of similar color and size into piles or buckets. STEP THREE // How to Make a Pebble Mosaic Lay Out the Mosaic Spread the sand to a depth of 3 inches in a sandbox made from scrap plywood or on a plastic tarp or sheeting. Lay the stones upright in the sand in a pattern and shape you like; the sand will hold the stones in place as you work. The stones should be packed together tightly, with parallel stones touching each other in their middles. Don't lay all the stones parallel, though—varying their direction will keep them from shifting out of place. (We created a double- spiral pattern, with one set of stones laid perpendicular to the other.) When you're happy with your mosaic, take a photo of it and note its size and shape for later reference.

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DIY New Candle out of Old Candle

DIY New Candle out of Old Candle     You know those nubs you’re left with when you’ve burned a candle - the little discs at the bottom of the glass or leftovers from a candle who’s wick just wilted. Well, don’t throw them away! You can recycle that wax into beautiful wax votives holders and give your old candles new life. Materials: Left over candle wax (broken into bits) Balloons Wax paper Cookie sheet or flat tray Tools: Small pot Small metal bowl Scissor Instructions:

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DIY Pumpkin Decorating Projects

DIY Pumpkin Decorating Projects   Melt crayons for a colorful creation. MATERIALS Crayons Exacto knife or paring knife Hot glue or fast-drying tacky glue Hair dryer or kitchen blowtorch White pumpkin (or paint an orange pumpkin white) Finishing spray (optional) INSTRUCTIONS 1. Carefully slice away the paper coating from the crayon and snap the crayon in half. 2. Glue the crayon pieces around the stem. 3. Allow the glue to dry. 4. Blow dry the crayons from above with low heat. 5. Repeat these steps with more crayons if the dripping looks patchy in areas. 6. Allow the wax to harden. 7. Apply a finishing coat to preserve the coloring.   Spook the kiddos with a spider. MATERIALS 1 large pumpkin 1 medium pumpkin 1 small pumpkin 2 toothpicks 9 pipe cleaners 2 googly eyes Stapler Glue INSTRUCTIONS 1. Bend pipe cleaners into the shape of a spider’s leg. 2. Staple four "legs" to the bottom of the large pumpkin. 3. Stick a toothpick into the large pumpkin and put a ring of glue around it. Push the medium pumpkin onto the toothpick. 4. Repeat steps two and three with a smaller pumpkin. 5. Stick googly eyes above the stem. 6. Cut a pipe cleaner into a smile with fangs and glue.

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DIY  Super Simple Bar Stool

DIY  Super Simple Bar Stool How to Make a Super Simple Bar Stool Have you ever wanted a bar stool that is a specific height or stain color? I bet you thought you’d have to search all over town for just the right bar stool, right? Well, here it is shown  how to build this super simple DIY bar stool yourself. Ready to get started? Materials: Miter Saw Drill Measuring Tape Wood Chisel Hammer Speed Square Jig Saw 2 ½” wood screws 2″ wood screws 1 ¼” wood screws Wood Glue (2) 2″ x 2″x 8′ boards (1) scrap piece of ¾” plywood (11″ square or larger) or 1″ x 1″2 board (for the seat) Cut List: (4) 1 ½” x 1 ½” x 24″ with 7 degree mitered ends parallel (2) 1 ½” x 1 ½” x 7″ with 7 degree mitered ends NOT parallel (2) 1 ½” x 1 ½” x 12 ¼” with 7 degree mitered ends NOT parallel (1) 11″ diameter round seat Step 1:  Cut Pieces Start out by cutting all your stool pieces using the cut list above.  Miter all the 24″ legs at 7 degrees (parallel to each other.) Save   Then you will miter cut the 7″ and the 12 ¼” pieces NOT parallel to each other.  (One edge of these pieces will be shorter than the other side as shown in the picture above.) Step 2:  Mark and Trim Notches Grab the shorter pieces (they will become your braces.) 

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DIY Pressed Flowers Drink Set

DIY Pressed Flowers Drink Set   There’s something so nostalgic about pressed flowers. Whether it’s the fact that they remind of summertimes spent running around my childhood neighborhood, collecting blossoms to painstakingly press between the pages of books or the fact that it’s a way to quite literally freeze flowers — and memories along with them — in time, there’s something so special about these pretty little paper-thin petals. In the past Iit was done the traditional route with dried flowers by framing them. But this is a brilliant idea to add them to a sculptural decanter and delicate lowball glasses for a look that feels both modern and antique inspired. All you need is a little bit of découpage medium (another childhood throwback) that dries clear for an elegant finish that will look absolutely stunning on your bar cart. Tools flower press scissors paint brush

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Mini Pumpkin Pie Pops Recipe

Mini Pumpkin Pie Pops Recipe These mini pumpkin pie pops have all of the wonderful flavours of pumpkin pie in a cute little single sized portion. They kind of end up like a cross between pumpkin pie and a pumpkin cookie. I baked them with a lollipop inside, because, well, mini pies on a lollipop stick are just plain cute. But the stick is totally optional. Use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to cut out the pumpkin shapes or make a cardboard template to cute out the pumpkins. Serves: 7 to 9 Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 45 mins Ingredients For the Mini Pumpkin Pies: 2 Deep Dish Frozen Pie Crusts (9 inch) - You can make the pie crust from scratch of course as well. ½ cup Pumpkin Puree ¼ cup Brown Sugar 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup ¼ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 1 Egg, beaten 6" Lollipop

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How to Tie a Necktie?

  How to Tie a Necktie

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DIY // Macramé Terras Cafe Lights

DIY // Macramé Terras Cafe Lights   Let’s just get one thing out of the way, shall we? Cords are ugly. There’s a reason professional stylists Photoshop them out of shots — because they can muck up a perfectly pretty picture with in-your-face utilitarianism that feels anything but chic. That’s why I was so thrilled with the idea to dress up some plain cafe lights for a terras or patio. By using a simple macramé knot (which absolutely anyone can master) and some antiqued golden bells for a little extra oomph, wyou create charming cafe lights that look like a bohemian masterpiece. So grab some cotton cording, park yourself in front of your favorite show to binge watch (this project takes some time to complete) and get knotting!   Tools scissors Materials cafe lights macramé cord (about 80 yards for one 25-foot string of lights) duct tape embroidery thread bells

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DIY Succulent Turtle Topiary

DIY Succulent Turtle Topiary Some of us are crazy about everything succulent, they are good for indoor planting, easy to care with less water, pretty display in office and any room.  Materials: Most items are available at the dollar store during the gardening season or you can purchase them from Amazon.  12″ wire hanging basket with coco liner 4 – 4″ clay pots Sphagnum moss A small roll of chicken wire Succulents. I used Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks) for my turtle. Washers, wire and an old plastic pot (or a sheet of coir or landscape fabric big enough to cover the top of your wire basket) Snips to cut the wire.  Make the Topiary for a Succulent Turtle: Measure a square of chicken wire slightly larger than the basket. Then fill the basket with soil and water and cover the belly with landscape fabric or coir

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DIY  Marbleize It!

DIY  Marbleize It!   Now that November has arrived the countdown to the holidays has begun and time for all kinds of ideas, projects and inspiration! First up a quick and simple way to marbleize with spray paint. 1. Start with a bucket or vessel large enough to fit your paper (I used large sheets of watercolor paper). Fill with about 2-3 inches of water.  2. Using spray paint, mist the surface of the water (FYI- this should be done outside with lots of ventilation or while wearing a mask).  3. Add more color to the surface of the water.  4. Let the colors blend together, shake the bucket to break color up or even use a stir stick to create swirls and designs. 

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DIY  Concrete Objects Colored with Latex Paint

DIY  Concrete Objects Colored with Latex Paint Learn how to create unique colorful cement decor using latex paint as a colorant.  There are many ways to color cement, including adding specially-made colorants in the batch when mixing the cement, or applying stains after the cement has cured. But the products weren't available in the colors I wanted at my local stores, and the products available online are expensive primarily because they come in quantities for countertops or floors, not little vases, succulent planters, and cast cement legs. So what to do? I decided to try adding latex paint. This is actually something that people have researched as a way of recycling waste paint. It was worth a try, I thought, since I had a lot of little sample jars of paint around from other projects. I started in a small scale, using little 3 oz disposable cups as molds to test how it worked. Then, after I knew what I was doing, I planned to repeat the hand-formed vases project from the previous post but using colored cement. Well, along the way, I had too much fun with the colored test pots and started making bigger pots, bowls, etc. I developed a few sort of hybrid casting techniques, too, which I'll show you. They combine normal casting in a mold with hand-forming. (I'll get back to creating colored versions of the original hand-formed vases soon.) Okay, enough of the back story and on to the tutorial. First, get some supplies ready. You will need Quikrete anchoring cement, Rapid Set Cement All, or similar. You can buy latex paint or use some you have around. Most interior wall paints are the kind of paint you will need for this project. Use a dust mask and protective gloves when working with cement. Get some containers ready to use as molds. I used a lot of disposable cups of different sizes and some little glass bowls. The recipe for a small colored cement batch is: 3 oz (by volume) Quikrete anchoring cement, 1 to 2 Tablespoons water (adjust as needed), and 1 teaspoon latex paint. You can scale up the batch size using these proportions if you want a larger batch. Put the cement in a mixing bowl. In a separate cup, mix the water and paint.

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ROSEMARY WREATH PLACE CARDS TUTORIAL

ROSEMARY WREATH PLACE CARDS TUTORIAL Why aren’t wreaths a year-round thing? They’re just so pretty, and such an easy way to add a natural element to just about any space.      Craft your own for this season and can be made in minutes flat. Scroll down for the easy to follow instructions, and make these in time to add just the right amount of color, texture, and seasonal fragrance to your holiday table.   *photography by Molly Winters

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DIY Wooden Bead & Walnut Placecards Tutorial

DIY Wooden Bead & Walnut Placecards Tutorial Growing up, the holiday event I looked forward to more than anything else was the night we decorated the Christmas tree. We’d turn on holiday tunes, pour mugs of rich cocoa topped with plenty of marshmallows and get to work unpacking the boxes of ornaments we’d brought down from the attic. Later that night, we’d watch classic movies with bowls of popcorn as we savored the sight of our decked-out tree twinkling in the background. I always remember unpacking the gilded walnuts my mom had made one year — simple shapes that added a touch of shine and a traditional vibe to the tree. Maybe that’s why I so strongly associate walnuts with the holidays; or maybe it’s the fact that some of my favorite treats at this time of year include walnuts as a main ingredient. As the first post in our new holiday series with California Walnuts, we’re sharing three handmade decorations we created using walnuts. I love the organic touch they add to any holiday table — and stay tuned for some deliciously unexpected ways to use them in the menu, too! Keep scrolling for the DIY details.   photography by kristen kilpatrick

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DIY  Scented Maso Jar Candles

DIY  Scented Maso Jar Candles   Fill your home with nature’s wonderful aromas by making your own scented mason jar candles. This DIY project is easy to do, inexpensive and doesn’t use any hazardous chemicals! The fresh scent of pine cones add to the Christmas feel during the holidays. There are many ways to get that scent linger in your home, but the best way is to make mason jar candles using pine cones. Not only do they smell good, they make pretty decorations too! There are many scents to choose from. While pine is quite popular, other scents such as citrus, coffee, vanilla or a combination of one or two. Whatever your nose fancies – it’s really up to you!

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DIY  Make Porcelain Clay

  DIY  Make Porcelain Clay   This air drying clay is referred to as cold porcelain because it dries to resemble real porcelain. But unlike polymer clay, it's non-toxic and does not need to be cooked or cured. A favorite of many artists, cold porcelain allows you to create simple projects such as a clay vase, or very intricate pieces where you can add delicate details to your sculpture. Easy to work with, cold porcelain is highly moldable, so any errors you may make can be easily corrected by simply adding moisture to the piece. Things You'll Need 1 cup of cornstarch 1 cup of white glue 2 tablespoons of lemon juice 2 tablespoons of baby oil Hand lotion  Plastic wrap Airtight plastic container  Microwave safe container Step 1 Place one level cup of starch into a microwave safe bowl. Step 2   Pour a cup of white glue into starch. Step 3    Place 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into bowl. Step 4   Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil into bowl. Step 5    Slowly mix all of the ingredients together until you achieve one cohesive mixture.

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7 Winter Vacations Travel Blog

  7 Winter Vacations Travel Blog   We often refer to winter as a season to be endured, but there's a certain magic to the cooler months. Leaves quiver in the icy breeze, powder-white snow carpets the landscape, and once-familiar towns are transformed into almost unrecognizable winter wonderlands. The chilly conditions might make you want to stay indoors and hibernate, but a few stunning destinations prove that winter is the best season to plan a vacation. From husky-led snow safaris and cross-country skiing to wandering the intricate interior of a fairytale castle covered in snow, these travel locales come alive with a host of activities and events. Believe us, you've never seen Sedona, Banff National Park, or Lake Bled like this before.  Pack your scarf and gloves—your next winter vacation beckons.  Neuschwanstein Castle If Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle looks familiar, that’s because it is. The breathtaking structure was the inspiration behind Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. As many as 6000 visitors flock to the attraction in summer, but in winter, it looks even more like a fairytale palace—minus the crowds.   Located in southwest Bavaria, the turrets of the Romanesque revival castle peek through snow-covered pine forest. Base yourself in a nearby town like Fussen or Hohenschwangau, and be sure to explore the surrounding area for a postcard-perfect shot of the castle nestled among the rolling Bavarian alps. Lapland

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DIY Jar Lamp

DIY Jar Lamp   Making a lamp from a jar might sound complicated, when in fact it’s really not. All you need is some free time and a few easy to find things. In no time, your DiY Jar Lamp will be decorating your home and you will have another project to be proud of. This low-budget DiY project could brighten up your evenings and it will be a pleasure to have a conversation or read a book under these beautifully recycled jar lamps. Vintage Jars for an Outstanding Result Vintage jars are a treasure to have lying around when you take up this simple DiY project. Keep an eye out for old jars from friends and family or go hunting for the perfect set of vintage jars at your local markets or on the internet. It depends on how much you want to complicate this fairy simple transformation, just bare in mind that unique jars will become your unique jar lamps.   The jar’s opening must be large enough to fit a light bulb. The second thing you need is beautiful light bulbs because they will be clearly visible through the glass jars.

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Grow Your Rose Bush in Potato

Grow Your Rose Bush in a Potato You stick a rose in a potato and plant it. Two months later, something really unique grows. We give or receive flowers for all sorts of occasions: Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays, or whenever congratulations are in order. The sad thing about cut flowers is that they wilt and die so quickly. But this trick can help roses regrow their roots and then you can enjoy them for a long, long time. You'll need: Cut rose Potato Plastic bottle Soil Pot

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DIY Stamped Clay Bowls

DIY Stamped Clay Bowls   How to make these cute stamped clay bowls. Make some diy stamped clay bowls, they're the perfect thing to keep on your bedside table and store all your trinkets in. SUPPLIES: Air dry clay, a selection of stamps or anything else you could use to make an impression, an ink pad, a set of small bowls, a rolling pin, a knife and some sandpaper. 1.  Take your air dry clay and knead until soft. Roll your clay out to about 5mm thick. 2. Ink up your stamp ( I used these stamps, there's a wooden version as well) and press firmly onto the clay. Repeat until you have covered the clay with your

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DIY  Rag Rug Tutorial

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DIY  Rag Rug

DIY  Rag Rug Tutorial   Making a rag rug is a simple project that doesn't require too much attention and great to do when watching TV and not wanting to be bothered by the feeling that you are doing nothing. At the same time it is a good way to use old and no longer used sheets and other fabrics. How to make a rag rug. Supplies: - fabric (for instance old sheets) - large crochet hook First, gather some fabric – if you go buy it, this project is going to cost more than you want it to.  I suggest using old sheets – keep your eye out for them at thrift stores and yard sales.  The pink/purple is from sheets – the yellow/white is actually discarded curtains made years ago to divide a room.  So after finding your fabric you need to get it into strips – mine are about 1 1/2 inches wide but I didn’t measure each one – just guesstimate.  You can cut them, but ripping goes much faster.  To do this, just cut the starts to your rip lines, then rip the rest, as shown.  Then wind up the strips into balls – it’s an extra step but you’ll be glad you did it.

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Re-Grow Plants from Vegetable Scraps

Re-Grow Plants from Vegetable Scraps   It's time to stop throwing fruit and vegetable scraps in the garbage. Use them instead to re-grow the plants for a second (and free) harvest! There are many plants that will re-grow their edible parts with just a little encouragement and the right environment. Read on to find out which plants you can re-grow plants from grocery store scraps! 1. Romaine lettuce You aren’t throwing your lettuce ends in the garbage can, are you? You can re-grow a crop of romaine lettuce by placing the butts in a cup of water. After a few days, new lettuce leaves will emerge and you can cut and eat all over again. If you plant the lettuce butts in soil, you’ll get a stronger second crop than if you grow them in water. 2. Ginger You can use a small piece of fresh ginger to grow a whole new crop, and it will even enjoy growing in a pot indoors. Make sure the piece you’re planting has at least one eye on it, and try to position the eye upward. Ginger likes to grow in partial shade so it will do well on a windowsill or shelf near a window. 3. Pineapple This one is a bit tricky, and will take several years to produce a fruit.

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DIY River Stone Doormat

DIY River Stone Doormat   How to Make a DIY River Stone doormat. Here's the coolest doormat ever, and you can easily make one yourself! This is a great idea. Buy yourself a plain door mat with no decoration. Make sure it has holes to let water drain through.

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Grow Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets

Grow Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets   Learn growing tomatoes in hanging basket if you have a balcony garden, this way they’ll not take much space. Juicy, plump, small, big, round and colorful tomatoes are one of the most favorite crops, whether you have a garden or not you can grow tomatoes in hanging baskets. Tomatoes require lot of space to grow and if you have a small garden, growing them in hanging basket is an apt way to use vertical space, plus they adapt easily unlike other vegetables. Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets Your success in growing tomatoes depends on three factors— yours choosing right variety, basket and providing it appropriate conditions, if you satisfy all of the three, you’ll get rich home grown tomatoes in harvesting season. Choosing Right Tomato Variety

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On Top of the World

On Top of the World   January 7, 2018 That’s how I felt, on top of the world. That beautiful day my best friend Rick brought us over to the new place he had bought. It was in the early days of my sobriety when I spent a lot of time with the other musketeers, as we called our little group. The three musketeers, Rick, Patrick and I. All of us got sober in AA in the south of France around the same time and we somehow became very close. Odd threesome it was, to say it mildly. Me an almost 50 years old divorcee from Holland, Rick a wandering gay guy in his forties from Uruguay and 26 years young Patrick from New Jersey. Rick had bought a ramshackle chalet on the side of a mountain in the Var valley in the hinterland of Nice. We drove up to the village of Tournefort and parked the car in a communal parking lot. To reach the chalet we had to walk up a steep mountain path and a flight of stairs carved into the rocks. I remember I instantly fell in love with the place and its surroundings, a little under the top of the mountain. The silence was ear shattering and the views breathtaking. The little wooden chalet, that looked more like a shed had a spacious covered terras. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was more of an eyesore in the beautiful surroundings. But it was a mesmerizing place that instantly made me feel so at home and at ease. I understood

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DIY  Faux Stained Glass

DIY  Faux Stained Glass Stained glass isn’t just for cathedral windows or Irish pub windows. It’s also for plain ol’ windows in normal folks’ homes! Lots of cities have places where you can actually learn how to make authentic stained glass, but you can get a similar look using glass paint and metal strips. This faux stained glass panel turned out very well. Check out the process below and learn how to make your own faux stained glass look even prettier! Supplies: -glass panel (You can have a glass shop make one to fit your window or else remove glass from an unused picture frame if you don’t need it to be a specific size.) –lead adhesive strips (arts and crafts shop or Amazon) –glass paint (arts and crafts shop or Amazon) -backdrop paper -marker

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Photographer’s Guide to Decent Family Photos

Photographer’s Guide to Decent Family Photos   Imagine a world where your holiday photos are actually really good — no half-closed eyes, cringeworthy outfits, crying children, or badly-behaved pets. Get there with the best advice on how to take a great family photo, from two top-rated photographers on Thumbtack who specialize in family portraits: Lindsey Eltinge from Atlanta, Georgia, and Michelle Cardoso from the Bay Area. Schedule your shoot just before sunset “An hour before sunset or within the first hour of sunrise is the best time to take photographs,” says Michelle Cardoso. “It’s called the golden hour because the lighting is really soft and golden at that time. The time not to take photos is the middle of the day when the sun is directly above; you’ll get harsh shadows under your nose and eyes that won’t look good in pictures.” If that timing just won’t work though, Lindsey Eltinge points out that there are ways around it. “If you’re in a forested area at 12 noon, it doesn’t matter where the sun is in the sky. What you want is for the photographer to be able to work with the natural light in the way that’s most pleasing. If you pick a nice outside location that provides shade throughout the day, then you can really shoot any time of day.” Take the photos somewhere meaningful

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TURN PLACEMATS INTO HANGING PLANTERS

TURN PLACEMATS INTO HANGING PLANTERS With the new year here, you may find yourself wanting to add more and more plants to your home. Maybe it’s because all the Christmas trees have been packed away and we are longing for that extra greenery, or maybe it’s because this winter weather has us craving warm sunny days outdoors. Whatever the reason, you may want to  find new ways to add plants to every room of your home. These wall planters were at one time, believe it or not, plastic placemats from IKEA! With a little DIY action, these placemats make the perfect hanging planter. Supplies: -plastic placemats (Fabric placemats will also work, but you will also need waterproof vinyl plastic to make a liner if you go the fabric placemat route) -hot glue -metal grommets

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GET EMPOWR INVITATION LINK OUT IN THE WORLD

TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR EMPOWR INVITATION LINK OUT IN THE WORLD   Today I have set myself to the task to use some of my skills to get my empowr invitation link out in the world. First I made a banner that I use in platforms where they get published and are clickable.  This is the banner I made. Please use it as well if you like it. I uploaded it

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How to Create a Translation Service Listing

How to Create a Translation Service Listing        

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DIY Stacking Copper Bracelets (Tutorial)

DIY Stacking Copper Bracelets   Make a fashionable stack of copper bracelets – there are endless ways to mix and match a collection of cuffs! I like stacking one fancy cuff with two plain ones – but you could also create a stack where each bracelet has a unique, special design.   And if you’re selling them displayed as interesting stacks or mix-and-match deals, you will probably have a lot of people looking at them. Supplies: Copper sheet, 22 or 24 gauge. In this tutorial we’ll make 3 cuff bracelets: – 2 bracelets that are 1/4″ (6cm) wide – 1 bracelet that is 1/2″ (13cm) wide.   So to make these 3 bracelets, you’ll need a piece of copper sheet that’s at least 1″ (25mm) wide (1/4″ + 1/4″ + 1/2″); and as long as your wrist measurement minus half an inch (13mm). Example: If you want to make these 3 bracelets and you have an 8″ (20.32 cm) wrist, your copper sheet should be at least 1″ x 7.5″ (2.5 cm x 19.05 cm). Most jewelry suppliers that carry metalworking stuff carry sheet metal. I got mine online from Monterslayer.com.  (If you’re going to use a patina, alcohol ink, or some other finish on your bracelets, make sure your copper has NOT been varnished. Many craft-store and hardware-store metals have been varnished). Ruler – to measure and mark your bracelets on the copper sheet. Ultra-thin Sharpie marker – to mark your copper sheet. Tin snips, metal shears, or other scissors that can cut 22 or 24 gauge metal. (Find them at jewelry suppliers, hardware stores, and home improvement stores.) #0000 steel wool (a few small pieces) – for

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DIY Tiered Planter Box

DIY Tiered Planter Box   How to make a planter box. The complete tutorial and plans for the tiered planter box are the perfect beginner woodworking project! Built with only $10 in lumber and under 2 hours, it is easy to add the perfect touch to your outdoor decor.   The best part of a front porch is the tiered wooden planter. It only cost $10 in material and took about 45 minutes to make!  The planter boxes are made from cedar fences and the legs are made from 2″x2″ boards. These are so so easy to make! They are perfect for a beginner build and look so pretty filled up with fresh spring flowers!  Materials needed the DIY wooden planter 2 – 5/8 ” x 5-½” x 6′ Cedar Dog-Ear Fence Picket 1 – 2″ x 2″ Furring strip Wood glue Miter Saw Ryobi brad nailer Drill  1¼” finish nails 1¼” Spax screws

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DIY Macrame Hammock

DIY Macrame Hammock         Sometimes, relaxing on the porch requires a comfortable and stylish hammock. With a few tools and some basic math skills, you'll have a beautiful chair that shows off your do-it-yourself skills. This hammock is made using the macrame technique, which requires knotting together cords. Macrame is a centuries-old method used to make furniture, plant holders and other home decor items. Things You'll Need 31 1/4-inch hardwood dowels, 30-inches long 25/8-inch hardwood dowels, 36-inches long 200 yards, 1/4-inch macrame cord or rope 8 yards, 1/2-inch rope 41-inch wood screws Drill and 5/8-inch bit Measuring tape Scissors Measure the Dowels While measuring and drilling the dowels, ensure all the holes are level and lined up with each other so that the frame is perfectly square. On two of the 1 1/4-inch dowels, measure and mark at 2 inches and 3 1/2 inches from each end. The third 1 1/4-inch dowel will only need to be marked at 3 1/2 inches from each end. Drill Holes in the Dowels Drill a hole at each mark on each 1 1/4-inch dowel. Start with a small drill bit and work your way up to 5/8 inch. A spade bit or dowel jig makes this much easier.   Sand the Holes Sand the holes to remove any splinters from drilling.   Slide the Dowels Together

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Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again

Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again    How to forgive and live a happy life again step-by-step guide. We’ve all experienced unmet expectations and painful experiences: when we hang onto them, we keep ourselves from soaring and enjoying our precious lives. Instead, we’re weighed down by pain and the burden of feeling betrayed. But it’s possible to let go, and I’m here to tell you that there is no better time than now for sacred personal healing. In this article, I will share with you how by being forgiving, you can lead a happier life again; and the exact steps you can take to forgive someone who has hurt you. TABLE OF CONTENTS Why it seems so difficult to forgive The importance of learning to forgive How to forgive someone who has hurt you (Step-by-step guide) Start forgiving now Why it seems so difficult to forgive I often see people stumble and get stuck on a loop because they believe that if they forgive, it will be as if the initial hurt or betrayal never happened. People that have been hurt feel that when someone has done something wrong, they should not be able to get away with it. But that is simply not true. We don’t forgive someone else for their benefit, and we don’t try to pretend that nothing happened. Instead, we forgive for ourselves. We do it so that we can move beyond that hurt. Another reason why it may feel hard to forgive is that we could perceive the act of forgiving as a betrayal to ourselves in some way, or we could feel that by forgiving we could be exposing ourselves to be vulnerable and get hurt again. The hurt and wounds can leave feelings of bitterness, resentment, and anger for years.We can get to the point that we feel like victims because of what others did to us. When we feel like victims, our feelings are not protecting us, but are rather harming us. We find ourselves locked in emotional prisons filled with hurt. How can we live happy and expansive lives from that place? The importance of learning to forgive There are medical studies that show the link between forgiveness and health. Karen Swartz, a psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins Medicine shared that “There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt an

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How to Be Happy Again:

How to Be Happy Again:   13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Right Now   When you look at your own life, maybe you’re thinking about how time has gone by so quickly and you have no idea how you got to where you are at. You might begin to feel sad because you’ve drifted so far from where you wanted to be at your age. Life was much more difficult than you expected it to be, so you just settled and decided to accept that this is just how life is. You’ve given up and your goal now is just to get by. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Cultivating much more happiness in your life is a very real and close possibility. You just have to put in a little work. Here are 13 proven ways to shake off your sadness and feel happy again: 1. Do what brings you meaning We’ve all been there. A feeling of boredom and being stuck in our lives without knowing what to do. Rather than trying to figure out such heavy questions such as “What is my purpose in life?” it’s much easier to turn on the television and let the day go by. “When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.” -Viktor Frankl Many affluent people are experiencing unhappiness no matter how much money, respect, or fame they have because of one big reason: Our unhappiness stems ultimately from a feeling of meaninglessness. Frankl has developed a process called Logotherapy  to help people build more meaning in their lives. He was put in charge of the mental health department of the Viennese hospital system because they were losing too many patients to suicide. His practices were what prevented tens of thousands of these patients from killing themselves. He did this by helping instill a sense of meaning to their lives. What you can do right now: In moments when you are struggling with unhappiness, you can start applying Frankl’s Logotherapy in your life by doing the following: Work on a project that demands your skills and abilities. If you have trouble coming up with one, then look for something important to work on that will help someone in need. Immerse yourself fully in your experience and share it with people who love you in an authentic, non-judgmental manner. Find a redemptive perspective towards your suffering. Meaning comes in our lives when we change our perspective about our hardships in a way that it improves our lives rather than bringing it down. For example, I met a woman in Thailand once who ran an orphanage with children who were affected by the AIDS virus. She also suffered from cancer, but rather than viewing the illness as something that is ruining her life, she shared with me “It’s kind of like a death sentence when the doctor says to you ‘you’re HIV positive’ or ‘you have cancer’ and it gives me an ability to identify with these children that are HIV positive, so I’m grateful for cancer because of it, if nothing else.” Recommended reading:   Man’s Search For Meaning  by Viktor Frankl 2. Start killing your options and get crystal clear on what you want “Too many choices exhaust us, make us unhappy and lead us to sometimes abscond from making a decision all together.” “Keep your options open” may be advice you’ve heard often. But if you keep your options too open, it usually makes you more unhappy, stressed out, and tired from having to choose between too many things. When you have too many choices to make, you begin to make more poorer decisions as you make each following one throughout the day. This is what’s known as decision fatigue. The most important thing you can do to increase your level of happiness is by effectively reducing the amount of any unnecessary decisions you have to make in a day. What you can do right now: Set up routines to help you accomplish the following: Make the most important decisions earlier in the day when your mind is more fresh. Try to plan out your day the night before whenever possible. Choose your meals in advance. If you have to make an important decision but you’re hungry, eat first. When you have too many choices, try to narrow it down to choosing between a select few. Automate your life as much as possible by doing the following: Set up automatic payment functions on any bills you have Use free software If This Then That  , to automate your life . For example: instead of watching and refreshing to win an auction on Ebay or get that coveted item on Craigslist, have an email notification sent to you, so you can be one of the first to jump on the deal. If your budget allows, hire a virtual assistant or a company like Fancy Hands  to take a lot of menial tasks off your plate. 3. Create safe spaces to find yourself and beat the feeling of shame We’re constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we need to look, act, or be a certain way in order to be happy and successful. The average person gets exposed to over 10,000 advertisements a day and most of these messages are total nonsense.  All of these false promises given to us each day are what causes us to portray ourselves in a way we think others want us to be so that we can fit in. The sad part is that many of us do find ways to fit in, but we never actually feel like we belong. When we don’t feel loved and understood for who we truly are, there is no way we can ever be happy. The reason we are often reluctant to be our most authentic selves is because of shame. At some point in your life, you will run into shame and it will make you feel like there is something wrong with you. Whether it was getting teased at school, not meeting up to your parents’ expectations, or being harshly judged by a peer, shame makes you hide your true self and wear a mask to show someone else.       Learning to have the courage to stay true to yourself is one of the keys to longer lasting happiness. Dr. Brene Brown, an amazing vulnerability researcher, explained in her TED talk that she once took put a poll on social media asking “How would you define vulnerability? What makes you feel vulnerable?”: Within an hour and a half, she had 150 responses. Here’s what some of them said: Having to ask my husband for help because I’m sick, and we’re newly married Initiating sex with my husband / wife Being turned down Asking someone out Waiting for the doctor to call back Getting laid off Laying off people Vulnerable moments like these are when we are most prone to feeling shame. Learning about how to handle that shame is what will enable you to recover from it in a healthy way. What you can do right now:

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Easy And Clever DIY Projects

Easy And Clever DIY Projects   These are the kind of simple projects for the laziest and most inept of crafters. Even if you can barely operate a drill, you can do most of these projects — and in less than an hour. 1. Make a Sharpie Mug 2. Turn a T-Shirt Into a Workout Tank   3. Ombre Nails With a Sponge Click here for the full tutorial. 4. Nail Polish Key Covers   5. Build a Bookshelf With Two Ladders and Planks of Wood

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12 Nifty Plant Markers

  12 Nifty Plant Markers   12 Plant Markers That'll Make Literally Every Gardener Say, "Why Haven't I Tried That?" Because your markers should be just as pretty as the plants that surround them!   1. These corks on skewers that will give you a reason to drink more wine. shineyourlightblog.com Call in the cavalry cuz you'll need to drink a whole bunch of wine to get enough corks to keep track of all of your plants! 2. These adorable stones that won't get washed away by the rain. westvalley.citymomsblog.com All you need is a little skill with a paint brush! If you don't, you could just write the names with a Sharpie and call it a day. 😉 3. These tree branches that were just littering your garden before you stuck them in the ground to mark your territory. Martha Stewart Living / marthastewart.com Or, well, your parsley's territory... Just shave a couple layers off the branch with a vegetable peeler and write your plant's name on the bark. 4. These tea tags made out of clay that you're basically obligated to make if you planted your babies in cups.

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DIY Latch Hook Wall Hanging

  DIY Latch Hook Wall Hanging   You guys, time for a newfound obsession. Latch hooking! It all started with a beautiful palette I had saved to my desktop  while pinning inspiring color combinations – another new addiction as of late. I wanted to actualize it into a three dimensional piece of art for our bedroom and what better way than to turn it into a wall hanging! Latch hooking is something I’ve been dying to teach myself for awhile now, thanks in part to the incredible weavings from tapestry artist Judit Just. So this stunning palette of blues, blush, rust and ochre finally motivated me to sit through a slew of YouTube tutorials on latch hooking 101. I was surprised to learn how easy the process is and even better, how few tools and supplies are needed! I will be honest, it can get pretty tedious but the results are so worth it. Pro tip: the time flies even faster when you Netflix and chill. You’ll need: mesh rug canvas (cut to desired size) latch hook tool fabric shears assorted yarn (I like to use a mixture of acrylic and wool in varying textures and colors) 3/8″ wooden dowel (cut 1-2 inches longer than the width of your canvas) I love buying hanks of yarn, versus a skein, for this project. Really, it’s only because it cuts the process down tremendously! You’ll be working with even lengths of yarn. Lots of it. So with a hank of yarn, all you need to do is untwist it into and cut the circle in halves. For the bottom part of the weaving, I like to leave the length long. But for the sections farther up, I’ll eventually divide the halves into quarters or eighths. Also, it’s key to cut only what you think you need. You can always cut more. I like to start with just a single hank and go from there. The key to latch hooking is the latch hook. Duh. This nifty little tool uses a hinged hook to create a knot in a matter of seconds. Start by folding a piece of yarn (I like using 2 at a time for a thicker, fuller look) in half. Slip the hook through the middle, pulling the folded yarn over the base of the latch hook.

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DIY Towel Ring

SPOON FORK BACONDI DIY Towel Ring Hi! I’m so excited to present a NEW DIY! It’s been a very long time since our last DIY, and I love this new one. A DIY Towel Ring! This is pretty easy to complete once you have all the supplies. So let’s get started!

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Cómo Obtener 50% Descuento en Rol de la Misión

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Don't Trust MyCrypto.com

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My Personal Notes on This Weeks Live-Stream

Marijke’s Personal Notes of the Empowr Live-Stream October 18, 2019 Brian starts with apologies for being late and missing the last two live-streams due to technical reasons on his end. He is unable to share the comments in the blog post and uses his phone to be able to read them and discuss them here. Quick update from his side; there have not been any updates for a while. The team is now at the point where they are finalizing all the engineering work related to marketing this weekend. This means that he is expecting that early next week they should be able to move back to working on the various things we have talked about for weeks or even months now. removing pre-coins so that we start being paid solely in coins no more spinning the mission wheel you get paid in coins directly when you post and even more when you hit your daily goal and even more when you have a higher power user level and even more when you have a higher mission role marketplace issues that need to be resolved power user level not being renewed and upgraded is also on the list the mobile apps and make all site pages viewable on the app. In short, the majority of the missing and delayed features that need attention. With the marketing work in place and ready to go we can go back and focus on the actual product and the platform. Brian hopes this can be done in the next month or so and move forward right in time for the Holiday Season to be ready for the Beta launch. Brian doesn’t give a date until they are 100% sure but they have definitely made a lot of strides since the last live-stream and he hopes we will soon see some changes here. (The first comment about sell listings showing as sponsored wasn’t correctly understood by Brian. After consulting with Annet I can say that the issue is known and on the list of bugs to be fixed.) Marijke Brian explains that sponsoring was introduced at the time to give citizens who don’t have the opportunity to sell items, the option to earn through sponsoring instead. When an item is bought for $50 and one thinks it can be resold for $100, when this is successful, the sponsor earns from the sale and the seller gets also 5% extra of that sale. When the seller doesn’t deliver he should be penalized.  With the marketing project almost finished, after the update of the infrastructure earlier this year, the team will work on taking the remaining technical and engineering things out of the way so they can open up the marketing and scale out the users of the platform which is the final step before the Beta launch which is expected to happen towards the end of the year. The team is working as quickly as possible. Again, Brian doesn’t want to share

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How to Dropship from AliExpress with No Money

How to Dropship from AliExpress with No Money (2018 Guide)     266   By Simon Slade AliExpress dropshipping has gotten a lot of publicity in recent years, with established businesses sharing their success stories about how it helped them grow. It’s been touted as a magical ecommerce site that lets anyone to dropship from China at no cost. While that’s partially true, not everything about dropshipping with AliExpress is amazing. It has pros and cons. In this post, we’re going to tell you exactly how to dropship on AliExpress from the ground up, step by step, with little to no money. We’ll also run you through the good and bad of the dropship model so there are no surprises. Let’s get started! What is AliExpress? By now you’ve probably heard of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, or at least his $307 billion-dollar company Alibaba. He’s considered the Asian version of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Started in 1999, the company was a result of Ma not being able to find Chinese products online easily. The resulting platform enables Western buyers to connect with Chinese and Asian sellers and has revolutionized ecommerce around the globe. Alibaba, the original site, is built for wholesale purchases. Sellers usually have minimum bulk order requirements. You can directly connect with Chinese manufacturers to place orders, and payment is usually via bank transfer. Aliexpress is its sister site. It’s made for smaller retailers who don't stock the products they're selling, and it accepts credit card payments. Think of it as Amazon, but cheaper and with a two-week delivery time. Instead of buying directly from the manufacturer, the sellers are actually third-party individuals or companies who are reselling to you. You won’t get the best price, but the buyer protection and ability to make single orders makes it perfect for dropshippers. Why do I not need any start up money or capital? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, in this case, it actually is true. Let me explain: Because these manufacturers mass produce goods, they can sell them for pennies on the dollar. We’re talking fancy jewelry for under $0.30 a piece, nice shirts for $1, and even electronics for a few bucks that you can resell for $50 or more. “But I still have to buy products, so I need some money!” Actually, you don’t. That’s where the drop shipping comes in. You don’t have to buy a thing until you get an order on your website (which you can set up with SaleHoo Stores). So you pay for your products with the money your customers pay you. Now, you might be thinking… “What about shipping costs? It’s coming from China - it must cost a ton!” Nope. With the invention of ePacket shipping, you can get these items from China for free. (Or at the most, a dollar or two.) The only startup money you need is enough to buy a domain and hosting. So less than $20. Now, let’s talk about what you actually need to do. How Dropshipping With AliExpress works Dropshipping simply means when your customer makes a purchase from your site, you order the item from your Chinese supplier and they ship the item to your customer. You don’t need to hold any inventory or worry about packaging and shipping. Dropshipping from AliExpress requires you to first set up a store or have a place to sell your goods, like Amazon or eBay. When a customer makes a purchase, you place the order with the seller on AliExpress. The seller ships the items and you keep the difference in prices as profit. Once the item is sent to your customer, they believe it’s from you. There’s no reason to know it’s a dropshipping process. As you get bigger and scale your store, you can send in bulk orders to these suppliers for better rates and terms. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right suppliers from the start and build a relationship with them. But what about returns? We’ll discuss those later in this guide. For now, let’s talk pros and cons. Aliexpress Dropshipping: Pros and Cons There are good and bad things to using AliExpress for dropshipping. Here they are: PROS AliExpress has a database of hundreds of millions of products.