Europe in Winter: 35 Reasons to Visit Off-Season

Insider advice on how to spend the winter season in some of Europe’s top destinations—from Paris to Stockholm. Plus: The Christmas markets and ‘tasteless fish’ dishes best avoided. Lifestyle


7 Reasons You Should Be Following PCAs Finalist Ellen DeGeneres on Social Media Right Now

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8 Reasons BTS Might Be the Best Boy Band on the Internet

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Nathan Fillion Gives 5 Reasons to Watch "The Rookie"

The actor tells fans why they should tune in to his new crime drama on ABC. Find out why Fillion likes his character John Nolan and what weapon training was like!
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How Kate Middleton’s Fashion Always Stands Out for the Right Reasons

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What 13 Reasons Why Needs to Do for a Chance at a Successful Season 3

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13 Reasons Why Season 2 Secrets Revealed in Behind-the-Scenes Set Tour

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13 Reasons Why: Everything We Know About Season 2

13 Reasons WhyBefore we know it, season two of 13 Reasons Why will be here!
Netflix just announced this week that the show will return on May 18, which is just a couple of weeks away. Somehow, this…

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13 Reasons Why: Everything We Know About Season 2

13 Reasons WhyBefore we know it, season two of 13 Reasons Why will be here!
Netflix just announced this week that the show will return on May 18, which is just a couple of weeks away. Somehow, this…

E! Online (US) – TV News


13 Reasons Why Announces Premiere Date in New Trailer — and What Replaces Cassettes in Season 2

Hannah Baker revealed a lot in the cassette tapes she left behind — but they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

On Monday, Netflix announced that season 2 of the controversial drama 13 Reasons Why will premiere May 18 with a teaser that is sure to have fans watching again and again for clues on what’s to come.

While the screen adaptation of Jay Asher’s 2007 young adult novel’s first season focused on the cassettes high school student Hannah Baker left for each of the people she blamed for her suicide, Polaroids will be the focus of the follow-up season. In the trailer, photographs reveal the dark truth of what’s really going on with each of the main characters.

“Season 2 picks up in the aftermath of Hannah’s death and the start of our characters’ complicated journeys toward healing and recovery,” according to Netflix. “Liberty High prepares to go on trial, but someone will stop at nothing to keep the truth surrounding Hannah’s death concealed. A series of ominous Polaroids lead Clay and his classmates to uncover a sickening secret and a conspiracy to cover it up.”

The teaser also hints that we’ll find out what happens in the court case, follow Jessica’s continued recovery and witness Hannah’s parents struggle with what they could have done to prevent their daughter’s death.

RELATED VIDEO: Kate Walsh Reveals Details of 13 Reasons Why Season 2

13 Reasons Why sparked backlash for its graphic content when the first season was released on the streaming service in March 2017. Schools in several states sent home letters warning parents about the show, which spokesperson for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland Derek Turner told News4 “romanticizes” some “very adult themes.”

Several suicides have also been dubbed imitations of the series.

In response, Netflix announced that the second season will incorporate tools based on the findings of a study by Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development.

Although 71 percent of teens found the show relatable and nearly three-quarters reported that they reconsidered their treatments of others after viewing 13 Reasons Why, according to the project, parents asked for support in discussing the issues with children.

In response, Netflix unveiled a new video that will precede the new season featuring cast members Dylan Minnette (Clay Jensen), Katherine Langford (Hannah Baker), Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker) and Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis) warning viewers about the heavy content.

Netflix also established a discussion guide at, which includes advice from mental health experts as well as contact information for crisis prevention centers and help lines. The after show, Beyond the Reasons, will also continue to explore themes of each episodes with help from “many actors, experts and educators.”

One of the writers from the Netflix show, Nic Sheff, defended the more graphic scenes, telling Vanity Fair, “Facing these issues head-on — talking about them, being open about them — will always be our best defense against losing another life.”

He added, “I’m proud to be a part of a television series that is forcing us to have these conversations, because silence really does equal death.”

Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why hits Netflix May 18.

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Most anticipated games of spring 2018: 12 reasons to stay indoors this season

Most anticipated games of spring 2018: 12 reasons to stay indoors this seasonSpring is a time of rebirth, and for the games industry, a great time to launch a huge product or three. ‘God of War’ is shaping up to be an early contender for Game of the Year. Now a father, Kratos must mentor his young son and manage his legendary temper as the two explore a strange Scandinavian world.

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Katherine Langford Teases 13 Reasons Why Season 2: Audiences Will See a “Different Hannah”

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13 Reasons Why We’re Missing Kendall Jenner at Fashion Month

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Is Your Lenten Sacrifice for the Right Reasons?

Lent has evolved into a self-help program for many people who give up candy, carbs or alcohol for 40 days before Easter. But do selfish motives violate the spirit of sacrifice? Lifestyle


Five reasons Team USA was humbled at the Olympics

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Profile: Lisa Halliday’s Debut Novel Is Drawing Comparisons to Philip Roth. Though Not for the Reasons You Might Think.

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17 Reasons We Loved Fashion in 2017

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35 Reasons J.K. Rowling Should Never, Ever Leave Twitter

J.K. Rowling is the powerhouse behind the “Harry Potter” universe, and we love her for it. From the books to the films to the theme parks, you’d think a woman who has already given us so much couldn’t possibly give us any more.

But, au contraire, friends. Rowling’s Twitter presence has long been lauded, primarily for her ability to take down trolls and provide consistently humorous musings on the world.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which first hit bookshelves back in 1997, we’ve decided to celebrate Mother Potter in the best way possible: Rounding up her most iconic tweets for our reading/retweeting pleasure. There are 35 of them. You’re welcome.

Her #relatable feelings of frustration that led to needing cake:

This classic response to a troll that does double duty as a song lyric:

These epic responses to/subtweets about trolls:

Her complete and utter vitriol toward President Donald Trump:

That time she wrote out “Expecto Patronum” for a fan’s tattoo:

When she’s frequently expressed her love for otters:


When she received a truly incredible mug for her birthday:

That time she served up some serious sass about women and sex (… and women everywhere started clapping):

When she admitted that killing all those people in the “Harry Potter” world was hard on her, too. Even Snape:

When she revealed the one thing that rivals Voldemort in terms of evilness — printers:

Those times she filled us in on the ups and downs of her writing life:

That time she said she doesn’t care if you think she’s a bitch:

When she referred to herself in the third person to declare that she loved the casting of a black Hermione in the “Cursed Child” play:

That time she said the phrase “penis hat”:

When she proved she’s ~ just like us ~:

J.K. Rowling ― never stop tweeting. Ever.

From June 1 to 30, HuffPost is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the very first “Harry Potter” book by reminiscing about all things Hogwarts. Accio childhood memories.

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Gomez reveals second series of 13 Reasons Why

Selena Gomez has announced her controversial programme about teenage suicide 13 Reasons Why “isn’t over”, revealing details for a second series.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News


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Teenager Alexa Curtis, Who Considered Suicide at 15, Reacts to 13 Reasons Why

At 15 years old and the target of incessant cyberbullies, Alexa Curtis nearly ended it all.

But she survived — and now, at the age of 19, she oversees the non-profit Media Impact and Navigation for Teens, a program to raise awareness about online bullying.

When Curtis, who is also a fashion blogger, decided to watch Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why, she never expected she’d be so critical of it.

“That last episode , I had so many moments where I thought, ‘This is what I wanted to do,’ ” Curtis explains to PEOPLE. “I am so glad I didn’t watch this at 15, because I probably would have done something.”

The 13-episode series, based on Jay Asher’s hit young adult novel of the same name, premiered on March 31 and centers on the contents of 13 cassette tapes left behind by high school student Hannah Baker, who killed herself after making the tapes for the people she felt were responsible.

“It makes look like an easy way out,” Curtis says, “and lots of girls I’ve spoken to say it hits too close to home — that it was just too alarming to watch, as it depicted situations they had been in before.”

The show was well-received by critics for its unflinching look at the dark side of teenage relationships — including alcohol and drug use and sexual assault — and it has been the focus of intense social media conversation.

But that attention has also bolstered the controversy it faces for its depiction of self-harm.

“I thought that the show was, in a way, glamorizing teen suicide,” Curtis tells PEOPLE. “The fact that Hannah Baker is living on through these tapes, that her voice is still echoing on … that gives a bad presentation.”

This week, Netflix announced a decision to add a warning to the show before it can be viewed and to strengthen its episode advisories.

“Entertainment has always been the ultimate connector,” the network said in a statement, “and we hope that 13 Reasons Why can serve as a catalyst for conversation.”

“We worked with experts to show how these issues impact teens in real and dramatic ways,” Netflix said.

Dr. Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer at the suicide prevention non-profit JED Foundation, agrees that the series “created great conversation.”

“But now suicide is what happens when people wrong you,” he says.

• For more on 13 Reasons Why and what parents need to know, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands now.

As someone who grappled with suicidal thoughts, Curtis tells PEOPLE that families should get involved and ask questions.

“A lot of young adults have already watched the show, so parents should immediately talk to their kids and ask them things like, ‘How did it make you feel?’ ” she says.” ‘Do you know any friends who are going through this sort of thing? What would you do if you saw someone inappropriately touching your friend?’ ”

“I think parents should check in with their kids every week,” Curtis says, “just ask them, ‘How are you feeling? Do you ever feel depressed like Hannah does on the show?’ ”

She says that while the topic of suicide may be sensitive — and statistics show it is a leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 — silence could do more harm than good.

That recommendation is echoed by mental health experts who say reaching out to someone in need is a simple but highly effective suicide prevention technique.

“Uncomfortable issues will come up for teens” who have seen the show, Curtis says. “They may self-harm, which is not the best route to go. Parents need to talk to their children. They need to be a friend and a parent at the same time now and make their kids comfortable with opening up.”

If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.

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Ellen Makes ’13 Reasons Why’ Star’s Dream Come True For 21st Birthday

Ellen DeGeneres is in the business of making dreams come true (she brought Oprah Winfrey and Laura Dern together last week, C’MON), so we really shouldn’t be too surprised that she had her own “You get a car” moment with the stars of “13 Reasons Why.”

On Monday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette stopped by to talk about their new Netflix series, which has attracted a bit of controversy as of late, and somehow one of them ended up walking away with VIP tickets to a Lady Gaga concert. 

Let’s rewind here. Langford, who recently celebrated her 21st birthday, is a ride or die Gaga fan, and has even credited the pop star for inspiring her acting career. The actress explained that she knew the show was officially a hit when Gaga herself tweeted about her on social media.

“There was definitely a really big moment for me like a week ago,” Langford said. “I don’t have Twitter, but Lady Gaga tweeted at me, like reposted an interview where I was fangirling and wrote, ‘Katherine,’ with a love heart. And I kind of freaked out a little bit.”

That’s why DeGeneres decided to treat Langford to an upcoming Gaga concert, including a meet and greet with the singer. The “13 Reasons Why” star was immediately brought to tears, grabbing Minnette when DeGeneres broke the news. 

“Because you love Lady Gaga, I called her,” the host announced. “You’re going to go see her and go backstage and meet her.”

Sorry, Nicki Minaj. Ellen is still the “DeGeneres queen” after all. 

Watch a clip from the interview above. 

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Selena Gomez Stands Behind ’13 Reasons Why’ Amid Controversy

Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” gained popularity almost instantly after being released on the streaming platform March 31. But as more and more people are watching the series, controversy has surfaced surrounding its sensitive subject matter

“13 Reasons Why,” based on the best-selling book by Jay Asher, follows the story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who takes her own life after facing numerous traumatic experiences in high school. She records 13 tapes to give to the individuals she says played some sort of role in her decision, leaving her friend Clay (Dylan Minnette) to uncover the harsh reality behind her heartbreaking death. 

Due to the fact that the show is being binge-watched by the youngest generations, many, including experts in the field of suicide and assault, are worried that the graphic content of Brian Yorkey’s series is simply too much. 

Now, executive producer Selena Gomez is speaking out about her decision to join the project and put it out into the world. During an interview with E! News at a WE Day event Thursday, the 24-year-old said she’s “a little overwhelmed and very surprised” by the success of the show and stands behind its message to inform teens about the harsh realities of the world.

“I believed in the project for so long and I understood what the message was,” she said. “I just wanted it to come across in a way that kids would be frightened, but confused ― in a way that they would talk about it because it’s something that’s happening all the time. So, I’m overwhelmed that it’s doing as well as it’s doing.”

One of the show’s stars, Kate Walsh ― who plays Hannah’s mother ― recently spoke with HuffPost about the controversy, saying, “Parents and teachers and students [should] watch this and have conversations about sexual assault, about bullying, about LGBTQ issues, race issues, gender issues, suicide, depression and mental health, because largely in our country as we see now, it’s still in the shroud of shame or silence.” 

There is already buzz that “13 Reasons Why” will receive a second season, despite being based on a single novel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is close to renewing the series, with sources saying that “a writers room for the sophomore run has been up and running for a few weeks.”

When asked about a Season 2, Gomez smirked and told E!, “Maybe?”

We’ll have to wait and see what happens next. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the

Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free,
24-hour support from the
Crisis Text Line.
Outside of the U.S., please
visit the International Association for
Suicide Prevention
for a database
of resources.

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

For BRIDES, by Jaimie Mackey.

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

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

Lack of Communication

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

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

Lack of Care

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

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

Lack of Commitment

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

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

Lack of Intimacy

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

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

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13 Reasons Why’s Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford Take You Inside the World of Netflix’s High School Hell Drama

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6 Reasons Why Having Lots of Sex Is Good for You

Finally, some good news.

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8 Reasons Why the Queen Is the Ultimate Thrifty Grandma

Queen Elizabeth may be one of the world’s wealthiest women, but she loves saving a pound or two.

Over the years, the monarch’s thrifty ways have become somewhat notorious, amid tales of her insistence on repairing things rather than replacing them, warming the palace with a tiny space heater and dining on cereal for breakfast.

It makes sense: Before she was the Queen, Princess Elizabeth grew up during the Great Depression with World War II as the backdrop of her teenage years. Like many of her generation, she was tremendously shaped by the tumultuous period. Even from within the palace walls, it touched her: She used ration coupons to make her wedding dress.

Here are just a few of the ways the Queen keeps her costs down.

1. She uses an electric space heater at Buckingham Palace.

When you live in palace, your heating bills get, well, pretty palatial. The Queen combats this with the use of an electric bar in her fireplace, which was shown off in a Feb. 21 photograph. It wouldn’t give off much heat within the drafty walls, but it’s good enough for Her Majesty.

2. She mends things, rather than replacing.

Okay, she doesn’t mend items like curtains and bedsheets herself, but she does have someone do it for her, according to the Express. When the fabrics fray, the monarch simply sends them out for repairs rather than investing in new ones. And when the wallpaper starts peeling? She simply asks that it’s patched up with wallpaper they have lying around — and it’s thought to date back to the time of Queen Victoria’s reign.

3. She grocery shops.

Well, at least, she’s been to a grocery store. The Queen made an appearance at Waitrose, a U.K. supermarket, for an event in October 2016. Admittedly, she looked pretty out of place. But that isn’t her only grocery experience: She had the palace switch Christmas pudding suppliers from the upscale London department store Harrods to much more affordable grocery store Tesco.

4. She keeps her breakfast simple.

Though she could no doubt afford to have one of the (many) chefs at her disposal make her pancakes and French toast on a daily basis, the Queen chooses a more simple meal for her breakfast: cornflakes. And, of course, a cup of tea. She even keeps the cornflakes stored in tupperware containers to prolong their life before getting stale.

5. She wears outfits again and again.

In the Queen’s closet, every outfit is worthy of a rewear. The yellow suit she wore to Prince William and Princess Kate’s 2011 wedding made a later appearance during a visit to Australia — and that’s just one of several outfits she has recycled.

But her signature colorful suits haven’t lasted as long as her handbags, some of which date back 30 or 40 years, according to Phil Dampier, co-author of What’s In The Queen’s Handbag And Other Royal Secrets.

6. She sent a garnish back to the kitchen to be used again.

According to former royal chef Darren McGrady, the Queen is such a spendthrift that she once sent an untouched lemon garnish back to the kitchen, saying they could use it again.

7. She saves wrapping paper.

Yes, she’s a record-breaking monarch, but the Queen is truly just like the rest of our grandmothers:“After Christmas, Elizabeth would collect up the wrapping paper and ribbons and would smooth them out to be saved,” author Kate Williams wrote in Young Elizabeth: The Making of Our Queen. “It is a habit that continues to this day.”

8. She gives low-key gifts.

The Queen gives incredibly simple gifts — think household items like an ironing board, which the Express reported she gave her daughter Princess Anne one year. (Wait, Anne does her own ironing?)

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19 Reasons Your Obsession With Dev Patel Is Justified

We need to talk about Dev Patel

The 26-year-old British Indian actor could walk away with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Lion.” In the film, Dev plays Saroo Brierley, a man desperately searching for his family in India after being separated from them at the age of 5. 

It’s a great, fiery performance that deserves recognition in and of itself, but there’s another reason we’re rooting for him. Just read this tweet:

That is a huge deal. On-screen representation matters, and it’s especially important for Asian actors. According to a 2016 diversity study, Asian actors nabbed only 3.9 percent of speaking roles in film ― a stark contrast from the 73.7 percent white actors receive.

That’s not the only reason we’re pulling for Dev to win an Oscar, though. Below, a few reasons why we’re obsessed with the Oscar-nominated actor: 

— Before receiving all this Oscar buzz for “Lion,” Dev was in 2008’s massive hit “Slumdog Millionaire” and was equally amazing in that. Remember when he danced like this and low-key stole your heart? 

— He was also great on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” playing a blogger and the office’s resident computer geek.

— He was super cute back then, of course.

— But right around the time of “The Newsroom,” something began to change. Our nerdy-cute pretend boyfriend started to grow into his looks in a major way. It’s like one day the hair gods smiled down at Dev and said, “Hey, ‘Slumdog’ guy, it’s time to grow out that hair and drive everyone crazy with lust for your locks.” 

And grow it out he did. The swooshy-hair era began and nothing has been the same since. Dev has pretty much blossomed into full babe mode now. 

Woah, right?

— Those curls.

Seriously, THOSE CURLS.

— And dat smile.

— He also has a beautiful, classical profile. And the beard is good, too. (Let’s give credit where credit is due, guys.)

— He’s so good at posing for photo shoots, his side hustle should be modeling. (But please don’t stop acting, Dev.) 

— Then there’s his accent. Dev pulls off a pretty convincing Aussie accent in “Lion,” but his real-life British lilt will melt your heart.

Sigh. Please never stop touching your hair.

— All awards season long, Dev has been a big booster of Sunny Pawar, the adorable 8-year-old who plays the younger version of his character in “Lion.”

Like, he literally boosts him up: 

Sunny very impressively carries the first half of “Lion” all by himself and Dev gives him credit for that every chance he gets.

“He’s so incredible in this film, and I share this nomination with him in a big way,” Dev told the Los Angeles Times recently. 

Don’t pretend you weren’t deeply affected by the cuteness of their introduction of “Lion” at the Golden Globes. 

Same, girl, same. 

— Who’s he taking to the Oscars? Apparently, his mom, Anita. “That’s her moment,” he told the LA Times. “I’m her guest.”

D’aww. Here they are at a 2009 British awards party.

Gotta love a man who respects his mama.

— We also want him to win because we’re positive he’d be so humble and bashful during his acceptance speech. Just look at how he reacted to his name being called for his SAG award nomination. 

— And in spite of all the Oscar buzz surrounding him, Dev realizes we’re living in politically tumultuous times and there’s weightier things happening in the world right now. Here’s what he told the LA Times on the SAG Awards red carpet:

“At times like this, you’re constantly questioning what you’re doing at awards like this or promoting a movie. It feels so pointless. I look to the people around me and they remind me the message of this film, of the art we’re trying to inject into the world right now. It’s about unification,” he added. “When I think about that, it makes me have a little bit more strength.”

— Oh, and another thing: He’s an animal lover. (Dev + doggo = happy us. And loud squee-ing noises, to be honest.)  

— On another shallow note, boy fills out a suit quite well. 

— And in case you were wondering, he has a mean street-style game, too.

— We’re in good company in our Dev devotion. Ellen DeGeneres gave him the title of “Sexiest Man Alive” when he visited the show back in January. So well deserved, even if Dev was like, “Aw, shucks, me?”

And his “Lion” co-star Nicole Kidman recognizes his swag as well. 

Watch out, Keith Urban.

— Heck, even his ex-girlfriend and “Slumdog Millionaire” co-star Freida Pinto gave him props on Instagram for his Best Supporting Actor Oscar nom.

So clearly, he’s best supporting ex-boyfriend, too.

Now would be a good time to mention what a ridiculously good-looking couple they were a few years back.

So pretty.

— Lastly, Dev’s work on “Lion” didn’t end when he was done filming. He’s been busy promoting #LionHeart, a social impact campaign which will provide financial support to the over 11 million children who live on the streets of India. Here’s our boy asking people to contribute: 

In conclusion, Dev Patel is a super talented actor and a stand-up guy with amazing hair. 

Cheers to you, Dev. We’re pulling for you and your epic curls Sunday night!

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28 Reasons It Pays To Have A Feminist Marriage

We’re calling it: A feminist marriage, where both partners respect and treat each other as equals, is the very best kind of marriage. (Also, studies suggest the sex is better, so there’s that, too.)

Below, 28 solid reasons to fall in love with someone who recognizes that feminism benefits both women and men.

1. There’s parity in your relationship. You push each other to reach your goals and full potential, because ultimately, you know you’re stronger as a team.  

2. You’re not wedded to outdated gender expectations. Want to be a stay-at-home dad while your wife brings home the bacon? Go for it.

3. There’s no place for “locker room talk” or “boys will be boys” excuses in your relationship. You hold each other to a much higher standard than that.

4. When it’s time to clean the house or do the laundry, you divide up the chores according to preference and workload, not gender. Also worth noting? A 2015 study from the University of Alberta suggested that people in more egalitarian relationships have higher relationship satisfaction and more sex than couples who leave it to one spouse. 

5. Another reason feminist couples have better sex? Feminist men recognize that a woman’s pleasure is just as important as theirs. There’s no rolling over and falling asleep prematurely. (How rude.)

6. While we’re on the subject of sex, your partner would never slut-shame you for your sexual past. Your “sex number” is no big deal.

7. You have the luxury of not having to explain the importance of Planned Parenthood to your S.O. (And if your partner is worried about a weird bump some place down south, you know just where to direct him or her. Thanks, PP!)

8. Mansplaining is not an issue you have to deal with in your own home, thank goodness. 

9. You both know a woman’s place is anywhere she damn well pleases ― and that if you both choose to work, it just means more income.

10. Ideologically, your partner believes that the world is a better place when women are empowered. As noted feminist (and our favorite ginger) Prince Harry once put it, “When women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them — their families, their communities, and their countries.”

11. Your partner loves your body but recognizes that the decisions you make regarding it are yours and yours alone. Sexual and reproductive rights matter to both of you.

12. You don’t fret about maintaining relationships with friends of the opposite sex. Your partner knows you can and should have relationships with other men and other women. 

13. If you’re a man, you could get proposed to ― men don’t always to be the one to pop the question!

14. Your wedding can be as heteronormative and traditional or as modern and unconventional as you want. (So feel free to forgo the garter belt toss if you find that awkward as hell.)

15. If your partner’s guy friends start badmouthing feminism, you know he’ll correct them. (Bonus points if he has Chimamanda Ngozi’s definition of feminism memorized because you blast Beyonce’s “Flawless” nonstop.)

16. Your complaints and concerns are never delegitimized because of your sex, and your partner sure as heck would never say, “sounds like someone’s on their period.”

17. You don’t look at each other as a project or someone to “fix.” Men don’t need to be anyone’s knight in shining armor and women shouldn’t feel like they can “love away” a man’s problems. You each take ownership for your own issues and go into the relationship as whole and independent people.

18. If you decide to marry, you can do whatever you want with your last names. Take his surname, have him take yours, hyphenate, create a hybrid/combo last name ― it’s your call. 

19. Your partner is proud ― not resentful ― of your career accomplishments. He or she pushes you to accomplish everything you want in life, on your own timeline ― be it your career, passion projects or having a family (or all three of them).

20. Phrases like “man up” or “don’t be a pussy” are off limits. The beauty of feminism is that it benefits men, too; your partner can be as vulnerable or as emotional as he wants and it doesn’t make him less of a man. 

21. It feels so good to be with someone who appreciates your brain just as much as your beauty. 

21. If you have kids, you can give them the talk about consent and the birds and the bees as a team. (Phew, what a relief.)

23. You both recognize that paid parental leave is good for everyone. (Hopefully, your work places recognize that too and offer paternity leave.)

24. Through your relationship, you get to model what a marriage of equals really looks like to your kids. 

25. But if you were to divorce, you recognize that both parents deserve to be in your kids’ lives. 

26. If your husband is out with the kids and someone says “looks like mom has the day off!” you can both roll your eyes about it later on.

27. Your marriage and definition of monogamy can be as traditional or unconventional as you want it to be. 

28. Your partner understands why you felt compelled to go to the Women’s March. Hell, they probably joined you and wore a “this is what a feminist looks like” shirt. It doesn’t get any sexier than that. 

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3 Reasons I’m Excited About Beyoncé’s Hairstylist’s Show, ‘L.A. Hair’

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16 Reasons to Love Fashion in 2016

The industry, with struggling stores and leaderless labels, stumbled this year. But amid the gloom were triumphs—from Tom Ford’s second movie and the royally good style of ‘The Crown’ to the boom in smartly curated independent boutiques. Lifestyle


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

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

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

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Reasons for Grown Up Recess!

2015-11-09-1447110946-7757898-play.jpg Remember sitting in the classroom, watching the clock and praying for the bell to ring? It was time for recess! After the break, you’d come back ready to face the rest of the school day.

Play is a natural and accepted part of childhood. It’s relaxing, it’s pleasurable and it serves as a way to learn a number of foundational skills we need for success in the adult world.

When we become adults, play somehow gets left behind and replaced with deadlines, responsibilities and the demands of a career. Living in our grown-up world, all too often the message is that adults don’t play and that we really ought to leave that part of us behind. But is this wise?

Findings suggest that play can be beneficial for grown-ups too!

Play Encourages Creativity

Research has found that taking a break and having a little fun helps to relieve tension and improve problem-solving abilities. Play activates the pleasure centers of the brain and stimulates areas of the brain responsible for mental flexibility and creativity. [1]

Playing, especially play that engages our imagination can increase our creativity, which in turn enhances our problem-solving ability, helping us to find solutions to problems that we might otherwise have overlooked.

Simply put, play flexes the creative muscle of the mind!

Play Encourages Good Health

Play and laughter go hand-in-hand. Playing and laughing bring us into the moment, providing both an easing of physical tension and a release of emotion. Together, they deliver a double dose of health benefits.

Research has found that engaging in pleasurable or humorous activities relieves stress, stimulates the immune system, encourages the release of ‘feel good’ endorphins and may improve inflammation and the function of blood vessels.

The take-home message here is clear: find something fun and do it. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.

Play Encourages Happiness

One of the most interesting things about play is that it can spontaneously move us into the moment, allowing us to get totally lost in the experience. When this happens, we are in what has been called ‘the flow’, a state of intense joy.

Research suggests that play is a fundamental need for humans, something present throughout the lifespan. Play contributes to our sense of well-being, connectedness and ability to cope with life’s challenges.

An absence of play isn’t work but depression. Another great reason to get out and play!

Play Encourages Mental Acuity

A number of studies suggest that physical activity, puzzles and games may delay cognitive decline and help to maintain optimal brain function.

Physical activity and tasks that require mental manipulation require us to access areas of the brain involved in information processing and problem-solving. Engaging the brain in this way activates brain cells and improves their efficiency and capacity. Over time, this activity can help to maintain memory and thinking skills.

These days there are any number of puzzle books, apps and online resources for adults. If you prefer to play with others, find like-minded friends and play some old favorites! The key here seems to be to play in a way that keeps us physically and mentally active.

Play Encourages Relaxation

One of the simplest forms of childhood play is coloring and coloring has recently become a very grown-up thing to do. There are now coloring books just for adults! A number of studies have found that coloring can significantly reduce anxiety in adults. [2]

Even better, what you color – Mandalas, abstract designs or a child’s coloring book – seems to not matter as much as the act of coloring itself.

When we play, we relax, which in turn promotes feelings of well-being. Whether it’s a board game, a puzzle or drawing, the act of doing something fun allows us to lose ourselves in the moment and relax.

The Take Away On Play

As we have seen, research, supports the idea that play is appropriate and necessary throughout our lives. Each stage of life presents its own challenges and play seems to provide a positive way to counter and alleviate the stresses that this can produce.

Nurture the child that is still inside and let him or her out to play. Reconnect with yourself and with others by doing those things that are fun and engaging. The more we do things we enjoy, the more we want to do them and the happier we are.

Perhaps George Bernard Shaw was right when he said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

1. Zabelina, D., & Robinson, M. (2010). Child’s play: Facilitating the originality of creative output by a priming manipulation. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 4(1), 57-65.

2. Small, S. (2006). Anxiety Reduction: Expanding Previous Research on Mandala Coloring. Undergraduate Journal of Psychology, 19, 15-21.

Peter Field is a UK registered psychotherapist and board certified hypnotherapist. His hypnotherapy Birmingham and London clinics provide hypno-psychotherapy services for a wide range of issues. His extensive range self-hypnosis downloads are also available.

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5 Solid Reasons to Have a Joint Bridal Shower

When it comes to pre-wedding festivities, most brides are typically honored solo. However, there are some times when having a joint celebration with an also-engaged best friend or sister–or even with your partner, if you’re part of a same-sex couple–might be a great idea.

Here are five reasons you could consider doubling up for your bridal shower and having a celebration for two.

You’ll have a bigger soiree.
If you prefer a larger gathering over an intimate tea or lunch–and your personal mantra is “the more, the merrier”– then a joint shower is for you. When you celebrate two people at once, chances are you’ll have a bigger guest list and more people will be able to make the party.

You can share the spotlight.
For those who are on the shyer side or dislike being the center of attention, a joint shower is a great way to spread the light so it’s not so bright and overwhelming on just you. Doing a shower with someone else is perfect if you really don’t want a shower (many women truly feel this way!), or if you feel awkward having a celebration that’s just about you.

You’ll ease friends’ social calendars.
If you have multiple engaged friends within one group, a joint shower helps your crew not have to choose which soiree to travel to or attend–making it easier for everyone to get together and celebrate.

You get to bond over the experience.
Having a shower together allows you to share something truly special with a friend, sibling, or partner that you might not have otherwise. The memories from the day will connect you two in a new way.

You’ll help out your hosts.
If you and a friend or sibling have a lot of overlap in your bridal parties, doing a shower together can ease your attendants’ wallets. While this shouldn’t be your primary concern–this is your moment, after all–it is a nice thing to consider, especially if budgets are tight. By throwing one party, your friends and family members can put all of their available resources into creating one great event to remember, rather than having to potentially cut corners for two separate parties.

A version of this post originally appeared on Robbins Brothers’ Engaged blog

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34 Reasons Beyonce Will Always Be the Queen of Everything

It's Beyonce's 34th birthday today, so we're celebrating all things Queen B. She's always on beat, the master of new beauty trends, a humanitarian, a fashion icon, a loving mother, and her marriage gives us…

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3 Reasons You Stay Stuck in a Job You Hate Instead of Pursuing Your Dream

Are you doing work you love? If not, what’s stopping you? If you are like the majority of people, you are probably doing work that pays your bills but that you don’t have a passion for. Even if you are working in the field of your college major, you have likely changed and gained more life experiences, new interests, and are not the same person you were when you chose your career path. That’s okay and far more common than you may imagine. In fact, most people are unsatisfied with their jobs.

According to Gallup, there are twice as many people who dislike their jobs as there are people who love their jobs. As a matter of fact, only 13 percent of all the people studied are happy with their jobs; 63 percent are not engaged in their work and simply go through the motions day in day out. And there are 24 percent who actually hate their jobs. These studies are alarming, but true.

So, why are people resigned to stay unhappy in a job they hate instead of doing work that feeds them and that they are passionate about? It boils down to three main reasons.

1. Fear — that four-letter word that has so many people living a mediocre, passionless life. Fear can be all-encompassing, especially when it means change is involved. So, what are we afraid of?

Fear of failure. This is what I call the “what if” fear. What if I try and do something I am passionate about and fail — what will people think, and what will it say about me? What if I don’t make any money, go bankrupt, lose my house, and end up on the street? We are so afraid to step out because we are worried about failing. It’s been said that Edison failed 1,000 times before he succeeded in creating the lightbulb. Had he been afraid of failure, we may still be living in the dark. Success is never guaranteed, but failure is certain if you fail to try.

Fear of success. At first thought, this may seem illogical because isn’t success what we all want? The answer is no. Many people hold this deep seated fear. They fear that if they are successful, they can no longer be the same person they are today, and that they will have to change. Or, deep down they don’t feel worthy of success. Some feel that if they do achieve success, they may be unable to maintain it, so there is no use in trying. And, there are those who think being successful will take up too much time and energy. Here’s something to consider — isn’t doing work you don’t like already taking up massive amounts of your precious time and energy?

Fear of the unknown. That comfort zone of ours can be quite a motivator to stay where we are. But when we live in that space, we do not expand, grow, learn, or experience all that life has to offer. This is living a life of muted mediocrity, and who wants to live like that? When I worked as a hospice social worker, I had the privilege of being able to experience with people their final days and weeks. I found that one of the top regrets expressed by my dying patients was that they wished they had not been so afraid to take risks along the way, realizing that they could have lived fuller lives if they had not lived so cautiously and played it safe. Who wants to get to the end of their life with regrets of not having lived life to the fullest? Doing just one thing each day to move out of our comfort zone can expand that comfort zone dramatically and make the unknown less scary.

2. Lack of clarity. This can keep people stuck for years. If you are waiting to wake up one day knowing exactly what you want to be when you grow up, you could be waiting forever. Please do not wait for clarity to just show up. Clarity comes from within, and each of us is responsible for creating our own. There are many exercises and techniques that can help you in getting clearer, but you have to be engaged and do the work required to successfully achieve clarity. It may also take exploring different options to see what fits for you. You may even fail a few times, but it will bring you that much closer to figuring out what work you would love. In essence, clarity is truly an inside job.

3. Not knowing how to make it happen. Suppose you know what you would love to do but just can’t figure out how to make it happen. The first step is to set the intention that no matter what, you will make it happen. Once you do this, you have already done half of the work. Your unwavering decision to find a way will begin to overshadow any doubts you have. When you set the intention to do the work you love, the right people and circumstances just start to show up. When you make your mind up, you cannot help but to start attracting what you need to move forward. To keep the momentum, many people find it helpful to create a vision board of exactly what they want their dream job to look like and focus on the outcome daily, expecting results to happen. In the meanwhile, start taking action toward your dream. Take a small step each day. You will find that those small steps start to add up, and before you realize it, your goal of doing work you love is no longer a dream, but a blossoming reality.

What is keeping you from pursuing your dream? Is it fear, lack of clarity, or not knowing how to make it happen? What can you do to push past that barrier and create work that gives you a strong sense of purpose, passion, and fulfillment?

Are you ready to start doing work you love? If so, please join us at Seeking Increase and get your free video mini-course, which will help you discover your natural talents and passions in order to identify and create the work you were born to do.

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3 Reasons Tightening Movie Theater Security isn’t the Answer


Visiting an actual movie theater for the first time in years was a strange, if not relatively unpleasant experience. The snack bar girl itched red welts on her arms that made me wary of seat cushion bedbugs. Movie previews advertised a phone app alerting older people with sensitive bladders when a boring scene came on so they could go pee.

The fact that hatchet wielding, gun toting maniacs have chosen movie theaters as locations for bloodbaths in Aurora Colorado (12 killed/ 70 injured/ Batman/ 2012), Lafayette, LA ( 2 killed/ 9 wounded/ Trainwreck/ July 2015) and Nashville, Tenessee (1 hatchet scraping/Fury Road/August 2015) feels slightly absurd. Mainstream movie theater audience members in the majority of theaters across the country are often the elderly, children and other individuals with an occasional old school fetish for real movie theaters. Movie theaters are no longer locations that seem ingrained in the American psyche. Few people can imagine themselves being bludgeoned in a movie theater, because fewer people go.

Tightening Big Brother style security in these locations will ensure even fewer people go, and movie theaters will deteriorate more. It is an ineffective, knee jerk, band aid reaction to what is hopefully a passing copycat lunatic fad. However, theaters across the country are setting new security measures in stone.

Regal Cinemas recently instituted mandatory bag checks in its 156 theaters nationwide. Showcase Cinemas (owned by National Amusements), in Connecticut completely banned backpacks and packages. Off the charts security measures ranging from metal detectors to TSA scans in movie theaters are being proposed by everyone from legislators to CEO’s.

Tighter security measures may border on civil rights violations, paves the way for 1984 brand mechanisms to be put in place in public spaces and deteriorates our chances of retaining our humanity. Turning public places into fortresses ultimately increases tension and escalates, rather than deters, violence.

The appropriate response to surreal madness is not to match it with more surreal madness. Here are some reasons why….

Three Reasons Tightening Movie Theater Security isn’t the Answer

1) Bag Searches are a Killjoy:
There is pleasure left in movie theaters—particularly in art theaters in larger cities that have retained old school style and charm. It’s still possible to sit in a theater and fantasize about being magically transformed into the lusty heroine on the screen, to become transfixed by an elegant landscape, enamored with the amplified echo of ice cubes clinking in crystalline glasses of scotch.

Security rifling through your bags can put a serious damper in the dreamscape of movie theaters. (They also make it impossible to bring bootleg store bought jolly ranchers and sour patch kids through the door.)

More importantly, bag searches just set precedence for more interference. Although airports may be appropriate places for metal detectors, TSA scans and the occasional body cavity search–movie theaters are not.

2) These Responses are Profoundly Ineffective. No axe wielding, gun toting, pepper spray sporting disgruntled American wanna be cartoon villain or psychopath is going to be deterred by a bag search. James Holmes walked out a back door in Aurora to get his weapons and reentered the theater through the same door with them before opening fire. Lafayette’s John “Rusty” Russel Houser had a gun on his person but left and returned through a side door. Vincente Montano, admittedly, did bring his pepper spray and hatchet in two backpacks—but if back checks were instituted, it’s likely he would have found another way.

Doing bag checks is a silly gesture, at best. Movie theater security staff peeking into bags will do nothing to keep weapons out. It will only make patrons more anxious.

3) There are bigger fish to fry here. Ramping up security anywhere a mentally impaired, deranged, racist or psychotic person has gone on a rampage and killed people in the US in recent years would require psycho security in elementary schools, churches, synagogues, as well as movie theaters. Creating more barriers as a reaction to large scale violence is fruitless. Maniacs can slip through the cracks anywhere, and there are no barriers without cracks. Turning ourselves into a well walled country, gives us even less of a chance to address deeper problems and retain our dignity as people. We should not be looking at how to fortify ourselves against gun violence, or mentally ill people running amok, after the fact—but addressing the underlying causes of those issues, first, before the chaos occurs. The fact that we aren’t is sad.

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5 Reasons Lauryn Hill’s Influence On Music Is Incomparable

This post is part of a weekly series celebrating #ThrowbackThursday with reflections of our favorite childhood memories, past pop culture moments and more!

Just 17 years ago, Hill released “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” on Aug. 25, 1998. This was her first and last studio album which was created in the midst of her own personal struggles. She wanted to “make honest music,” Chris Nickson quoted in his written biography on her life  – and she did. 

“[I wanted to] write songs that lyrically move me and have the integrity of reggae and the knock of hip-hop and the instrumentation of classic soul,” she told Rolling Stone in 1999. “[My engineer and I worked on] a sound that’s raw. I like the rawness of you being able to hear the scratch in the vocals. I don’t ever want that taken away.”

Hill went on hiatus after she recorded the live concert album “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0” in 2001 and returned to the music world recently in the past few years. The former Fugees member hasn’t announced plans for a new album, but she has been performing more frequently and recorded new tracks titled “Neurotic Society” and “Black Rage.” 

Still, nothing she has done has been as impactful for hip-hop and R&B as her debut solo album. Take a look at some of the ways “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” redefined music:

1. She broke barriers for black female artists. 

“Miseducation” lifted boundaries for female artists. Though she wasn’t the first person to play with both genres, Hill’s songs resonated with the masses when she married hip-hop with R&B. Her debut album sold more than 420,000 copies it’s first week, surpassing Madonna’s record, and has sold more than 17 million copies worldwide to date. “What Lauryn is doing is opening doors for female artists who aren’t materialistic and flashing their titties,” Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA told MTV in 1998. “She represents a beauty and a wholesomeness that’s more down-to-earth. She makes music that people can relate to, which is why she’s done so well.”

2. “Miseducation” was the first hip-hop album to win a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Hill didn’t open doors for just women in the industry, but for the entire hip-hop genre. She was nominated for 10 Grammys and won five in 1999, a record for a female artist at that time. Her five wins created a more widespread audience and crossover appeal for hip-hop. 

3. The album was a subtle and honest act of feminism.

Not only did Hill burst through the industry’s glass ceiling, but many may not know that she created this masterpiece while pregnant. The emcee, songstress rejected society’s notion that they must choose between family and a career. The fourth track, “To Zion,” was for her son whom she carried while creating the album. “‘Look at your career,’ they said/’Lauryn baby use your head’/ But instead I chose to use my heart,” she sings, referencing those who told her to consider an abortion so she wouldn’t ruin her career.

4. She helped pioneer conscious lyrics in hip-hop.

Hill was “woke” before many artists like Talib Kwele, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar came onto the music scene. She put her personal testimonies in her lyrics. Hill helped to create an avenue for honest and socially-conscious dialogue in music, from speaking about sexual objectivity in “Doo Wop (That Thing)” to failed relationships in “Ex-Factor” and other topics considered too taboo at the time. In 1999 she predicted that the music industry was about to shift without knowing that she would pave the way for many of today’s artists. “I think now people feel a little more comfortable playing with the parameters. Writing more intensely,” she told Rolling Stone. 

5. Her sound transcends beyond hip-hop and R&B. 

The soulfulness and realness of “Miseducation” knocked down boundaries in the music industry, especially for black artists. This year, it earned a place in the Library of CongressD’angelo noted that “churches were substituting God in the lyrics [for ‘Nothing Even Matters’]. Whenever they make a gospel version from a secular song, that’s significant.”  

“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is musical genius and has influenced artists like Adele, Beyonce, Talib Kwele, Kanye West, Nas, John Legend (who launched his career playing the piano on the background of Hill’s song “Everything is Everything”) and many more. Legend said to Rolling Stone, “She did it better than anybody still has done it. People are still trying to capture that moment.”

Though no one knows if the world will see another studio album from Hill, the impact of this particular album is undeniable. 

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A Dozen Reasons Art Lovers Should Be in Scandinavia Right Now

Gerhard Munthe, Suitors, 1892. Collection of the National Museum, Norway. Photo: Norjan kansallismuseo, Øystein Nerdrum.

The Magic North: Summer Biennials, Festivals and Exhibitions in Scandinavia 2015

With temperatures neither blistering nor blustery, summer in Scandinavia reveals the magic of the northern landscape, from the spectacular fjords of Norway, to the forests of Finland. This year in particular, there is quite a convergence of festivals, biennials and notable exhibitions occurring in late August in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. From the historical to the contemporary, from city centers to the far-flung reaches of the Arctic Circle, there is an abundance of events and exhibitions drawing art lovers to the northernmost reaches of Europe.

Theodor Kittelsen, The River Sprite, illustration for Troldskab, 1887. Collection of the National Museum, Norway. Photo: The National Museum, Norway, Jacques Lathio.

A mystical atmosphere suffuses many of the paintings in “The Magic North,” currently at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki (June 18 – September 27, in cooperation with the Norwegian National Museum, where it was shown earlier this year), an exhibition of Norwegian and Finnish fin-de-siècle and early 20th century works, from artists such as Edvard Munch, Gerhard Munthe, Hugo Simberg and Theodor Kittelsen. In these works, the artists mixed the heady influence of European symbolism with the folkloric traditions of their home countries, producing such unforgettable images as Kittelsen’s iconic wide-mouthed trolls and vacant eyed river sprites. In such company, even the more straightforward and naturalistic landscapes and portraits seem to evince a kind of strange, animistic energy.

Hannah Ryggen, Fear, 1936. Creative Commons License BY.

Under the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the turn of the century, artists of that time revived certain folk arts and traditional crafts, in search of a national style of expression. Norway’s rich history and tradition of tapestry weaving inspired artists of the period, such as Gerhard Munthe, who, to his chagrin, became quite famous for his achievements in this “minor art.” Yet Scandinavia’s most distinctive voice in tapestry weaving was yet to emerge: in the 1930s, Swedish-Norwegian artist Hannah Ryggen became known for her idiosyncratic, expressive and wholly modern tapestries, weaving together political and personal themes. An exceptional collection of her works spanning three decades is currently on view in the exhibition “Hannah Ryggen: Weaving the World” at the National Gallery in Oslo (June 12 – October 4).

Artists like Ryggen, however, were working against the grain of the 20th century, as modernism and formalism took hold in Western art. Denmark’s Ordrupgaard Museum is taking a look at a hitherto overlooked aspect of a group of works made by one of modernism’s masters, produced in his later years. “Matisse and the Eskimos” (August 21 – November 29) presents works from Matisse’s paper cut outs, focusing on a group of works inspired by a collection of Inuit masks belonging to his son-in-law and the books of the Danish polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.

Maria Friberg, From the Series “Still Lives” (4), 2005. Courtesy of the Gothenburg Art Museum.

At the Göteborg Museum of Art, in Sweden, “The Romantic Postmodernism” (May 30 – September 13) explores links to the art historical past in a selection of works of Nordic art from the 1980s to the present. These contemporary works evince connections — aesthetic or otherwise — to the Romantic landscape, including early photographs by Olafur Eliasson, abstract paintings by Rolf Hanson and photographs by Maria Friberg.

Installation view, After Babel / Poetry will be made by all! / 89plus, Moderna Museet, 2015. Photo: Åsa Lundén, Moderna Museet.

While “The Romantic Postmodernism” looks to contemporary art made in Scandinavia, an exhibition at the Moderne Museet Stockholm takes a more international outlook, exploring the pluralism of the present in an exhibition titled “After Babel” (June 13 – August 30), curated by Daniel Birnbaum and Ann-Sofi Noring. As one would expect, language takes center stage in “After Babel,” with works by Yael Bartana, Etel Adnan, Haegue Yang, Rivane Neuenschwander and others. Also occupying center stage is an actual tower — a concept by Simon Denny in collaboration with architect Alessandro Bava — that gradually and evocatively winds its way through the history of the intermingling of art and industry. And while at the Moderne Museet, don’t miss Adrián Villar Rojas’s major solo exhibition, “Fantasma,” on until October 25.

Sophie Dupont, A Slow Walk, Body And Room Encountering in Mirrors, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Copenhagen Art Week. Photo: Hans H. Bærholm.

In Copenhagen, five contemporary art centers are joining together to present an exhibition entitled “TRUST” (August 29 – October 25), curated by Sonia Dermience, featuring more than forty artists, with parties, performances, films, an online radio station and more. This is just one of many eruptions of art going on in Copenhagen, timed to coincide with Copenhagen Art Week (August 21 – August 30), which kicked off with the international art fair CHART at Kunsthal Charlottenborg last weekend. Sixty galleries, museums, project spaces, fairs and art centers across the city are participating in this weeklong art bacchanal, and the art continues to spread throughout the city, beyond institutional walls and into the subways and the streets.

Martin Whatson, mural on the Scandic Stavanger City, 2014. Photo: Ian Cox, Nuart.

For fans of street art, next week the Nuart Festival (September 3 – October 11) will open for its 9th edition in Stavanger, Norway. Year by year, this picturesque Norwegian port town is adding to its collection of public murals painted by renowned international street artists. This year’s invited artists include Iranian duo Icy & Sot, Italian artist Pixelpancho and New York legend Futura, among others. Nuart Festival also features a discursive component in Nuart Plus, a symposium program exploring issues relevant to street art and its development. 

Erkka Nissinen, Video for the Turku Biennial, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and 7th Turku Biennial, 2015.

Lastly, the biennials: there are four biennial art exhibitions occurring right now in Scandinavia, each with its own distinct character and setting. And a fifth is set to open in the next week: the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (September 12 – November 22), curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose, which features an exciting roster of artists, such as Kader Attia, Kerry James Marshall and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, under the theme “A Story Within A Story.”

The 7th Turku Biennial (June 10 – August 30) takes place at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova in Turku, Finland, with this year’s theme, “The Unexpected Guest,” driving the curatorial process. Half of the artists were chosen by the curators of the Turku Biennial, while the other half were invited by those artists. There are many surprising moments in the Turku Biennial, but highlights include the absurdist videos of Erkka Nissinen, the unsettling sculptures of the Finnish art collective Anna Breu and photographs by Aino Kannisto and Satu Haavisto.

Ai Weiwei, Think Different (How to Hang Workers’ Uniforms), 2015. Courtesy OpenART 2015. Photo: Sandra Subraian Ekholm.

The city of Örebro in Sweden is host to the largest public art biennial in Scandinavia, now in its fifth year. OpenART 2015 (June 14 – September 6) showcases 130 artworks by 72 artists from 19 countries within Örebro’s city center. This year features a special initiative, curated by Feng Boyi, to bring 13 contemporary Chinese artists to the Swedish biennial including artists Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing and Cheng Dapeng, and raising the biennial’s international profile. Works range from playful sculptures situated in the river Svartån, an oversized park bench and a model of the city entirely made of sweets and pastries.

Daniel Steegmann Mangranè, Phantom (kingdom of all the animals and all the beasts is my name), 2013-2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Momentum 8 (June 13 – September 27), in Moss, Norway, inundates the viewer with various levels of sensory deprivation and sensorial enhancement, from a virtual reality environment enabled by an oculus rift device by Daniel Steegmann Mangranè, a participatory work involving both multi-sensory illusions and sensory deprivation by artist duo Lundahl & Seitl, to the colorful, immersive fur-filled installation by Hrafnhildur Arnardottir a.k.a Shoplifter. The theme here is “Tunnel Vision,” accompanied by a thought-provoking reader addressing the shifting social priorities between the Internet and the public sphere, as well as the concept of “Nordic seclusion.” It’s a fascinating show with far-reaching intellectual, theoretical, and curatorial ideas.

Landscape image from Lofoten. Courtesy of Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF). Photo: Kyell Ove Storvik.

For the ultimate experience of the remote northern lands, however, one should travel up to Norway’s Lofoten Islands — where the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF, August 28 – September 27) takes place. Located on the northwest coast, just above the Arctic Circle, the landscape is dramatic, rugged, and staggeringly beautiful. Lest the landscape upstage the art on display, LIAF 2015, entitled “Disappearing Acts,” relents to its environmental context by gathering a collection of ephemeral, performance-based works, sculptures submerged into the sea, and an exhibition of works staged in a soon-to-be-demolished building. It begs the question — would Scandinavia still be such an extraordinary and beautiful place, if we weren’t around to appreciate it?

Steinar Haga Kristensen, The Loneliness of the Index Finger (Part II): The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Conceptual State into Stabilized Theatrical Sensibility (Consensus Image), 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF).

–Natalie Hegert

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5 Reasons To Stop Pointing Your Pitchforks At ‘The Fat Jew’

The Fat Jew, aka Instagram star Josh Ostrovsky, has had a rough week. Accused by an ever-growing number of comedians and Internet creatives for stealing their work, he’s been called a Bogartist, a “hacky joke thief,” and “pure trash,” among other, less kind terms. Until now, he hasn’t said much of anything in his own defense.

In an interview with Vulture, we learned how he runs his 5.7-million-follower operation, and why he doesn’t consider himself a thief. 

Here’s why The Fat Jew thinks you should change your mind about him.

1. He knows why everyone is mad.

“I get it: I should have been providing attribution for all posts,” he told Vulture’s Jesse David Fox. “I now realize that if I couldn’t find a source for something, I probably shouldn’t have posted it in the first place.” 

2. He’s trying to add image credits, and correct misleading ones.

He’s got over 3,200 posts on Instagram as of this writing, the majority of which aren’t credited. “My email address is up. I urge people to reach out and say, ‘That’s my thing.’ I would love to give credit,” Ostrovsky said. Recalling the moment comedian Davon Magwood — who’s been vocal in the debate over crediting – contacted him, Ostrovsky explained:

“He reached out and was like, ‘Dude,’ and I was like, ‘Dude,’ and gave him credit.”

If he can’t figure out who created something, he assured Fox he’d take those photos down. Or one of his interns would — apparently he’s got “an army” of them “working out of the back of a nail salon in Queens.”

3. He doesn’t consider himself a comedian.

“I come from a writing background. That was my genesis,” Ostrovsky stated, adding later on that he’s consistently maintained himself to be “a commentator,” “a curator,” or a “performance artist.” 

It was never my intention for anyone to think all of this was mine. I want people to shine. I like when like some Monster Energy-wearing weirdo emails me and says, ‘You put up my tweet, now I’m the most popular kid in my school.’ That’s amazing, that’s what I’m going for.


4. He wants to be “a trusted voice of pop culture.”

While he has created his own content — be it a video of himself teaching a spin class for the homeless, or “sitting in hot tubs of guacamole” — Ostrovsky hopes people see him as a guy who sometimes makes funny stuff, and sometimes just comments on it. 

“It’s about shining light on things that are chill and taking a piss on things that are ridiculous,” he told Fox. In addition, Ostrovsky vehemently denies ever cropping out credit information on any of his posts himself, or knowingly stealing a joke.

“That’s not who I am or what I’m about.”

5. He understands how the Internet — and his own attitude — has changed since “The Fat Jew” got started.

Fox brought up a 2009 incident in which Ostrovsky publicly gave out comedian David Cross’ phone number — a huge no-no. These days, he’d never consider pulling the same stunt.

“I realize my voice has power, and I want to use it in a responsible way that everybody feels good about,” he explained, adding that “social change” stuff isn’t normally his speed.

“Taking this seriously is definitely a different perspective for me … If this situation is a part of Internet history, I just want to make sure that in 10 years, I’m on the right side of it,” he said.

To read the whole interview — it’s worth it – head to Vulture.


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Heidi Montag Recreates One Of Kim K’s Famous Bikini Shots For Reasons We’ll Never Know

Former “The Hills” star Heidi Montag has recreated one of Kim Kardashian’s most famous bikini photos.

Why? Could it be an attempt to stay relevant? Was it born out of a constant need for attention? 

Well, according to Us Weekly, the 28-year-old posed for the Kardashian-inspired pic in honor of her husband Spencer Pratt’s 32nd birthday.

That’s love, guys. That, right there, is love. 

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10 Reasons Why Having Your Campaign Poster Photo-Shopped Is A Good Thing

It’s election time in Canada and the Liberal Party of Canada has a new look for their campaign posters. They’ve been getting a lot of attention, particularly this modification of the candidate for Quebec’s LaSalle-Émard-Verdun riding’s poster, David Lametti.


Yup, that’s the Klingon leader Gowron, the son of M’Rel and the leader of the Klingon Empire. Quite the comparison!

Lametti’s been having fun with the attention this has been getting (the man who first created the poster even has a twitter handle: @liberalgowron), and so I thought I’d ask him, in the vein of David Letterman, to give us his Top 10 Reasons Why Having Your Campaign Poster Photo-Shopped is a Good thing. Here are his answers:

10. The photo-shopped posters create dialogue. People are talking about our posters, and the Liberals invite debate, discussion and dialogue.

9. People are more creative with our posters than with the other parties. Our posters are not bland, they stand out. With that we get people who will either love them or hate them, and people are at least being creative and interactive with the liberal posters, instead of just ignoring them like the NDP or Conservative ones.

8. The humour decreases the intensity of the poster. Some people have commented that the posters look too intense. I don’t agree with that, but having some fun with them certainly balances that out.

7. Having more and better hair than I’ve had before.

6. Free publicity. Thanks @liberalgowron

5. It shows that the Liberal team has a sense of humour. We take this in stride and laugh about it.

4. Ups Canada’s potential for a strategic alliance with the Romulans.

3. My former students would say I’m a tough marker but at least I’m not a Klingon.

2. Comic con’s been calling.

1. I’d still vote for a Klingon over Prime Minister Harper.

Maybe he’ll live long and prosper.

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3 Reasons Lihi Hod Is the Bridal Designer Everyone’s Buzzing About

Everyone who knows anything about wedding dress design has had one name on their lips lately: Lihi Hod. The Israeli-born designer, who worked under John Galliano at Christian Dior, is turning out head-turning wedding dresses…

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Girl's Best Friend -

5 Reasons to Merge Last Names When You Marry

When I (the Lo of Em & Lo) got married, my groom and I wore matching white suits and ties (including inscribed white Converse high tops). Our parents walked each of us down the outside aisles simultaneously until we all met in the middle at the altar. My friend who married us concluded the ceremony with “You may now kiss the groom.”

So it should come as no surprise that I kept my last name. As a modern feminist, there was no way I was going to submit to the anachronistic, sexist tradition of taking my husband’s last name. Plus, my name was way cooler than his: Sharkey vs. Cavella? Come on, there’s no contest. If anything, he should have taken my last name and become Mr. Sharkey.

But once we started to spawn, we wanted to simplify. We’d retain our last names for our respective work purposes, but for family affairs we wanted to be a united front. If he wasn’t going to take my last name (because why should either one of our names get special preference?), then we needed another option. For us, merging was the most elegant solution. 

Unfortunately, Sharkey and Cavella do not combine in many flattering ways. Sharkella? Cavarkey? Sharvelley? A frontrunner for a while was the simple Ca + Sh, but the references to both money and the iconic country singer didn’t really match our style. In the end, we took the first three letters from my last name, the middle four letters of his, and then threw in the second to last “e” from mine to create “Shavelle.” It flows, it’s easy to pronounce, and its creation reflects the egalitarian nature of our partnership and parenthood. 

So let me elaborate on why I think you, too, should merge when you marry:

1. This is 21st-century America. No longer is marriage a patriarchal business transaction of property and possessions, from one male head of household to another. Marriage is about the union of equals. Let your last name reflect that.

2. If you’re starting a new family by having or adopting a child, why not create a new family name? In the case of hetero reproduction, just as you’re merging your DNA to create new life, you merge your last names to create a new nuclear family name, one that serves its purpose until an adult offspring flies the coop, gets hitched themselves, and creates their own unique modern moniker. You each get to retain a part of your original selves. And family trees can still be observed and recorded — if it worked when one family name (hers) was discarded in marriage, it can work when both family names are, too.

3. With a little creativity, you can create a name that’s cooler and more pleasing to the ear than either of your original last names. Let’s be honest: some last names are just really unfortunate. I had a friend in elementary school with the last name Windshittle — and she was teased mercilessly. You can take the best of both words and make something better. Or just start from scratch. My step-mother actually suggested, “If you’re bothering changing your last names, why not choose something like ‘Rockefeller’ or ‘Cabot’?” You don’t have to be that image-conscious, but you can choose a name that reflects your values or heritages or tastes. For instance, if my husband and I had been big “Ring of Fire” fans, Cash would have been perfect.

4. Merging is a great option for homosexual couples who don’t have a (ridiculous) tradition to fall back on. Plus, stereotypical gender roles may operate less in their relationships, so an option that ignores gender inequities and embraces equality is preferable.

5. Merging last names avoids the various problems of other alternatives. Hyphenation is untenable long-term, creating longer and longer last names that quickly become ridiculous. Merging allows names to remain simple and easy to pronounce. Keeping your own names results in confusion when you have kids: not only do outsiders not know what to call the various members of your family, but you may inadvertently suggest to your children that they’re more closely connected to one parent over the other. Merging into a single name creates familial cohesion and unity when it matters most, i.e. during the upbringing of kids. If you opt to take one name over the other, the person giving up their name may feel like they’ve sacrificed some of their identity and given more power and authority to the partner with the preferable name. Merging names is egalitarian.

Want to raise your family with egalitarian values? Read:

10 Quick Lessons from “Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue”


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

beauty benefits of cucumber
Photo: Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Everyone Is Mad at Beyoncé, But for the Wrong Reasons

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

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

Ariana Grande: badass feminist.

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

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

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

It was a confusing day, indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5 More Reasons to Love Chris Pratt, Courtesy of His Jurassic World Press Tour

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6 Compelling Reasons You Need Fancy Pajamas in Your Life, Immediately

The silk pajama set Grace Coddington wore to the Met Gala this year got almost as much press as Beyonce’s sheer Givenchy dress or Rihanna’s elaborate Guo Pei yellow robe. And for good reason. The Vogue creative director’s unexpected fashion maneuver that night was a bold statement about nonconformism, the parameters of formal dress code, personal agency, luxury, and fashion as artistic expression. She also proved to the world that everyone needs a pair of fancy pajamas in their life—stat.


Though Coddington’s set is meant for evening hours, there’s no reason the tailored look shouldn’t see light of day from time to time. Here are six compelling reasons you need fancy jammies in your life, immediately.


We Wore What blogger Danielle Bernstein rocks the trend with denim cutoffs

1. Look chic without even trying. As evidenced above, a silk pajama top and jean shorts is the perfect summer weekend look—and roll-out-bed-throw-on-pants easy.

2. Pajamas are iconic—in a serious fashion-cred way. Who doesn’t want to feel three parts Audrey Hepburn (think Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, and Roman Holiday) and equal parts Coco Chanel (the style was a favorite of Chanel’s—and she even produced couture pajamas for her best clients).

3. Wake up in the morning and you’re already halfway there. You will never again struggle getting dressed in the morning. Not sure what to wear when you emerge from your featherbed in fancy pajamas? You’re already (at least half) dressed!

4. Versatility, thy name is pajama. If you are, indeed, going to sport the look outside your home, the styling options are endless. Pair the top with everything from a pencil skirt to denim shorts, or throw on a classic cashmere sweater or tuck in a T-shirt with the luxe bottoms.

5. Men have been doing it for ages. This is a classic borrowed-from-the-boys moment: Guys learned the ways of the fancy pajama set long before we did (see: Hugh Hefner, noted pajama lover), and it’s time to try it out for yourself.

6. They’re the perfect summer house look. Lest we forget the summer plans we’ve made that involve tons of communal PJ time! Trade in your boxers and T-shirt mix for something a little more share-house-friendly.

Are you ready to up your pajama game? Get a jump-start with our favorite fancy sets below!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He implied that Africans are less honest than Europeans.

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

He said a simple handshake could cure racism.

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

At the very least, he showed cluelessness.

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

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

He dismissed words to the wise.

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

He said Russia’s World Cup could help peace.

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

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

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

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


Sepp Blatter tumbles off a stage in 2010.

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14 Reasons We Still Love The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 10 Years Later

Ready to feel super old? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the movie based on the best-selling novel about friendships and a pair of magical jeans, is turning 10 years old on June 1. Ten…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great school year parents!

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

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

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

Smell your laundry once, and get back to us.

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

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

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

a drawing i did when i was around 7

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

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7 Reasons She Will Lock You Out of Her Heart

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

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

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

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

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

1. You bring up sex too early on.

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

But too often it is initiated without really gauging a woman’s interest and the brakes immediately come on. How many men are out there just trying to be nice in order to get something they want from a woman? From this very woman you are out with? If you have any real, genuine interest in her, make sure she knows that your sights are not just set on one goal.

If a man is truly interested in a woman, the time frame matters less and less, because time together is what he is going for, regardless of what they’re doing (or not doing).

When a woman feels as though you are just trying to use her or are being disingenuous, she will immediately lock you out. Women are getting tired of being played by the “bad boy,” and are beginning to wonder where the good guys really are.

2. You call and/or text her too much.

There are a lot of men who figure that the harder they try, the more serious she will think he is. The reality of this is that there is such a thing as trying too hard and if she hasn’t returned your call(s) or text(s) for awhile, you should probably cool your jets a bit.

Yes, people are often attached to their phones, but they also live busy lives and are sometimes maybe just not in the mood to talk to anyone. If you smother her too much she’s going to see you as a stage five clinger and never let you get any further than you’ve already gotten. Sometimes the easiest way to lose someone is to want them too badly.

3. You don’t give the relationship the attention it deserves.

Healthy relationships are not a part-time commitment. The woman you are with is not just another option or a way to pass your time, and she shouldn’t be made to feel like she is.

When you are with her, be with her. When you are not with her, let her know you’re thinking about her. A relationship is a team, and teams fall apart when one of the members doesn’t pull their own weight.

She needs to know that you will be there for her during good times and during bad times. If you always seem to be just “sort of kind of” committed, she will eventually realize she is better off being single or finding someone who gives her what she needs.

4. You lack basic etiquette and manners.

Basic table manners and just common courtesies are seemingly more and more rare. Things as simple as texting during a date, being rude to the waiter/waitress/bartender, or any other act that shows your human decency could use a tune-up will have her heading for the hills.

5. You reveal secrets too soon.

We all have our quirks. Things that we do or enjoy that we probably wouldn’t make public, and there is nothing wrong with that! In a relationship, you may even grow to love those things about each other.

But during the courtship process, bringing it up is probably not a good idea. How many women have you heard say “Are there just any normal guys left out there?” And, you might be one of those perfectly normal, kindhearted gentlemen… with sort of a weird interest that not many people know about.

Until she really gets to know you, keep those kinds of things under wraps so she will understand that it’s just your quirk that might be a little weird, and not you as a person. If she finds out private things about you too early, you’ll just be “that guy with that thing.” Not a good look.

6. You try too hard to impress her.

Yeah, I know, you’ve got swag for days. A strong woman with class is not going to be impressed by your shiny watch, how much you make or what kind of car you drive. If you try to sell yourself too hard, she will see right through you and likely write you off as being arrogant. Confidence is a turn-on; arrogance is a turn-off.

If you want to go out on the weekends and pick up girls, then by all means lay all of your cards on the table. But the only possessions the right woman is going to care about are integrity, class and heart. How you will treat her is what matters, not what you can give her.

7. You lack confidence and wait too long to reveal your true intentions.

Arrogance is certainly not attractive, but neither is self-deprecation or a complete lack of self-esteem. If a woman thinks you are going to need constant reassurance 24 hours a day, you can bet she’s going to step aside and let someone else give it to you. If you want a mature, confident woman in your life, you’ve got to understand that she wants to be an equal in a relationship, not a babysitter.

Often times guys are a little nervous about making a move or stating intent towards someone they care about because… what happens if she says no? Do we lose our friendship? Is it awkward now? And then… they just never do it.

When we perpetuate this bad habit but remain friends with the woman we are interested in, she will eventually see us as a platonic pillar in her life who she can come to with guy problems and spend nights on the couch with eating ice cream and drinking wine. Now, this might not seem all that bad — but when you are the man in this situation and have a burning desire to be intimate with this woman, it is torture.

A good man can still be “nice” but make his intentions known. Whether it is small compliments to gauge how she reacts, putting your hand on her arm to see if she mirrors your body language, or just stepping up to ask her on a date — women are not mindreaders any more than you are. You’ve gotta risk it to get the biscuit, my friend — and you don’t have to be an outlaw rebel biker in order to do it. Good men get girlfriends, too.

Have the courage to step up, and if she turns you down, at least you know where you stand with her before you become too emotionally invested.

The more effort you put into learning about women, particularly the one in your life, the more likely you are to be in tune with her feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. This will of course lead to a smoother, happier relationship because you can anticipate her wants and needs in order to act on them. You don’t need to be a mind reader, you just need to put in a little effort.

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13 Reasons To Have Sex With Your Spouse Every Night

When life gets busy, one of the first things to go in a relationship is sex. Couples are too tired, too full, too stressed, too distracted. Simply put: not in the mood.

We get it — there are a million and one legitimate reasons not to have sex tonight, tomorrow or the day after that. But there are plenty of couples out there who are doing the deed five, six, seven or more times a week. We recently asked married HuffPost readers who have sex every night (barring things like sickness, business trips or other extenuating circumstances, of course) how it has improved their lives and relationships. Below are 13 good reasons to get it on with your spouse on a near daily basis.

1. It provides some much-needed couple time.
“My husband and I have sex every night because it’s a moment in the day that is just about the two of us. We are parents to a toddler, so when we lay him down for bed each night, we can then spend the rest of the night expressing how we feel about each other physically. Having sex allows us to be passionate, to show affection and we enjoy pleasing each other.” – Christie M. of Arkansas; married 3 years

2. It leads to more PDA outside of the bedroom.
“We’re very physically expressive with one another, even when we’re not having sex. We hold hands a lot, he slaps my butt when I’m working in the kitchen, I nuzzle his neck when he’s working on research papers at the desk.” – Jesse N. of Ontario, Canada; married less than one year

3. It can be a workout if you do it right.
“When you have four kids and no time, sex is the best exercise.” – Tera M. of Oklahoma, married less than one year

4. It gets you out of your head for a little while.
“Sex for me, and now for my husband since we’ve gotten together, is a complete escape from reality. We are both very much into role-playing and it’s such a wonderful feeling to not have to be me for a while, to completely shut off from our crappy day-to-day existence and strictly be about ourselves and our enjoyment.” – Sara C., of Panama City, Florida; married one year

5. It builds trust.
“New positions and sexual frontiers take a lot of trust in your partner to not screw it up, and that kind of trust is best earned after several years of personal and joint bodily exploration.” – Kristena M. of Richmond, Virginia; married 10 years

6. It’s a way to connect without speaking.
“Sex is a vital part of marriage. It brings couples together in a way that other things don’t. What I mean is that it promotes togetherness, snuggling and cuddling, and it’s a way to connect without words.” – Teresa F. of Nashville, Michigan; married 37 years

7. You might end up arguing less.
“We know when something is off with each other. And most importantly, we don’t fight, argue or bicker! We sit down and talk things out. Staying connected like that helps us communicate better outside of the bedroom.” – Libby S. of Indianapolis, Indiana; married 2 years

8. It forces you to get creative.
“Being intimate so often, and sharing what each person needs and wants allows the freedom of creativity. There is no position or situation either of us has ever denied the other. This makes us each feel more and more comfortable to share [fantasies] or point out a hot girl or guy, and say what we’d like to do with them in bed.” – Arlene B. of Monterey, California; engaged for 3 years

9. It’s easier to schedule than a formal date night.
“I think it’s the easiest way to have some romance since we really don’t do date nights or vacations alone. Plus, I know my husband enjoys it.” – Emily D. of Pleasanton, California; married 12 years

10. One word: Orgasms.
“The benefit for me is that it feels simply amazing. I also love to see how my husband gets lost in the moment. Being able to see that level of complete satisfaction on his face is so satisfying to me.” – Stacia L. of Texas; married 11 years

11. It improves self-esteem.
“It has brought a new level of happiness for me personally, and has helped my self-esteem knowing that after two kids, my husband still thinks I’m sexy.” – Karri H. of Alaska, married 6 years

12. It’s a guaranteed mood booster.
“He sings in the shower after morning sex, nearly every time. This is all the proof I need that sex is a mood enhancer for him. And I’d like to think that good mood carries over into other parts of his day. I love knowing that I’m the reason he’s smiling at work.” – Jesse N. of Ontario, Canada; married less than one year

13. If you use it, you won’t lose it.
“If sex is such a large part of your routine and a big priority, it never becomes low priority or gets weird or awkward. And you won’t have to worry about how to resume or reconnect. Just don’t ever stop doing it!” – Lara G. of Austin, Texas; married 24 years

Some responses have been edited and condensed.

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5 Reasons Why Taylor Swift Will Make the World’s Best Godmother

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7 Reasons to Be a Bride Who Wears Flats

The majority of brides seem to think they have to wear heels but…why? Unless you're wearing a shorter dress, your shoes will mostly be invisible (full disclosure: I was a ballet-flats-wearing bride because I like…

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13 Reasons Cats Are Basically Magic

All cats are born with innate ninja abilities.
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9 Reasons Not To Abandon The Art Of The Handwritten Letter

Nowadays we rarely pick up a pen and paper to communicate with one another, but it might not be wise for us to trade this long-standing, cultural practice entirely for the convenience of text messages and emails.

Research has shown that the general act of writing by hand can promote quite a few physical and mental benefits, from improving learning abilities to fostering a more positive outlook on life. And when it comes to writing that is used as a form of communication between two people, namely letters and postcards, the impact of such messages lasts far longer than any alternative version offered in our high-tech world. From the careful intentions of the sender to the value experienced by the receiver, no true match exists for this old-time, traditional means of conversation.

Whether you’re trying to cultivate a little romance, nurture a friendship or simply stay connected with loved ones while abroad, here are nine reasons you should still send a letter or postcard once in a while.

They create lasting memories.

happy older couple on bench

Studies have revealed an association between writing by hand and brain development and cognition, increasing neural activity more than typing can. Just as learning by handwriting notecards and study guides proves more effective for students, the moments you commit to paper for others are more likely to stay stored in your own memory as well, allowing you both to reflect back and appreciate them again in the future.

They show how much you care.

love letter

In the days of oversimplified communication, receiving a “just to say hi” email can feel like a big deal. So imagine the powerful message you convey when you actually write out your thoughts for another person by hand, purchase a stamp, physically deliver your note to a mailbox and wait days for your special someone to receive it. Their beaming smile at your thoughtfulness will say it all.

They make you feel good.

happy woman

Aside from the residual satisfaction of knowing you’re making a close friend’s day with your efforts, science has linked expressive writing to better mood, reduced stress and improved overall sense of well-being. Similar to keeping a gratitude journal or writing about your future goals, sharing your genuine thoughts with another person can be quite the morale booster — not to mention a mini adrenaline rush as you drop the final draft into the mailbox.

They make every word count.

write postcard

Postcards only offer so many square inches, forcing the sender to truly think about the message they want to share and how they want to phrase it. Unlike with a quick text or Facebook message, you only have one chance when you send a handwritten message, so you learn just how important it is not to let it go to waste.

They spark creativity.

creative writing

Taking to pen and paper utilizes the visual, motor and cognitive brain processes differently than when we recruit technology to help us out. It is also by nature more labor-intensive, requiring us to slow down and connect the mind with the hand, one word at a time. Together these factors can make the sensory experience of writing just what you need to get those creative juices flowing.

They require your undivided attention.


By recruiting all of the senses to participate in the writing-by-hand process, little room is left for multitasking (or hyper-speed task switching). To write thoughtfully and coherently, we must focus on the present moment and contemplate — without side conversations or other to-do list items taking priority — the thoughts we’re aiming to coherently convey to the person on the receiving end of the letter.

They require unplugging.

writing letter

Let’s face it — we could all use a little extra screen-free time these days. By nature of sitting down to write a thoughtful note to a special someone, your thumbs won’t be able to scroll your Facebook feed or type out a text message to another friend in demand of your attention. For those few minutes, you will live entirely in the present moment and in the thoughts you’re putting on paper.

They honor tradition.

family album

There’s something sacred (and romantic, in the broadest sense) about communicating in the way generations before us once did. We’ve all heard the stories: It’s how your parents communicated with Santa Claus, it’s how grandma and grandpa kept their love alive during wartime, it’s how immigrant families and friends separated by their respective moves shared written snapshots of their new lives. Computers and smartphones may prove more efficient, but they can never take the place of this kind of sentimental history.

They’re timeless.

write i love you

“A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend.” — Emily Dickinson

Long after they are written and sent (and even after their senders and receivers are gone), letters and postcards remain to be read, appreciated and preserved. Whether displayed on museum shelves honoring famous historical figures or saved in a scrapbook between two old friends, letters protect the memories of lives lived in a way that technological communication cannot. They are tangible, personal and real, in every sense of the word.
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5 Reasons Rod Stewart Is Our Favorite Frontman On His 70th Birthday

Rod Stewart turns 70 on Saturday (Jan. 10), and in addition to wishing the rocker a happy birthday, we’d like to pay him a little tribute. Here are five reasons why we love him — a lot:

1. He is one of the last frontmen still standing.
Don’t believe us. Even Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame noted in The Telegraph, “There are only three or four frontmen left, from our time, who actually just kick the mic stand up and do it, and that’s me, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger.”

Last October marked the 50th anniversary of Stewart’s release of his first single, his take on the blues classic “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.” That’s staying power and Stewart is proof that if you love what you are doing, you can just keep doing it. He maintains an active touring schedule which this year includes New Zealand, Australia and Las Vegas, of course.

2. Half the world’s post-50 population lost its virginity with “Maggie May” playing in the background.
OK, a slight exaggeration, but please raise your hand if you associate that classic with the smell of Brut or English Leather. Uh-huh, point proved.

3. He’s on Facebook.
Sure, a lot of celebrities from the music world are on social media. But how many of them at his age rack up engagement numbers like Stewart’s? He regularly amasses 1.2 million views of his videos posted on Facebook (including the multiple times we hit the play button at work.) And how can you not love a guy who posts photos from his Rome hotel room without his pants on?

4. He invented the long shag haircut for men.
OK, maybe he didn’t invent it, but he sure brought it to the world stage. Stewart was way ahead of those long-shag cuts on Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. Stewart’s hair style was hair “possibly the flagship mane for this specific mens’ haircut,” according to the Men’s Hair Forum on rock star hairstyles. There you have it.

5. He values education, even if it means paying more in taxes.
Rod Stewart left Britain for Los Angeles in 1975 to avoid paying 83 percent of his income in taxes. In fact, his 1975 album “Atlantic Crossing” is a reference to his repatriation in the U.S. But last summer, he announced that he would be returning to his birth land so that his youngest two children (he has eight in total) could be educated there.

So what do YOU love about Rod Stewart? Let us know in comments.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Ashley Madison - Have an affair. Married Dating, Affairs, Married Women, Extramarital Affair

13 Reasons Wine is Better Than a Significant Other

1. Wine will watch whatever you want to watch on TV without complaining. Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Voice, The Mindy Project, Homeland, a Lifetime movie, OITNB… Wine doesn’t care. It will watch anything.

2. You can bring wine anywhere and it will never have a problem fitting in. No need to babysit wine in a corner all night because wine doesn’t know anyone at the party. Wine knows everyone at the party. And even if wine didn’t know everyone at the party, wine would be totally social because no one has a problem talking when wine is involved.

3. Wine is never “too tired” or “too drunk.” Wine is always up for a good time when you are, and it’s always down to chill on the couch doing nothing when you are. It will do whatever you do and it will never complain. Talk about THE BEST RELATIONSHIP EVER.

4. Wine tastes good. And you never get sick of it. Ever.

5. Wine has no problem opening up to you. It always opens right up, no nagging necessary.

6. Wine never makes you choose between it and your friends. Wine does what you want to do all the time, and if you don’t want wine to tag along, wine will do it’s own thing sans complaining. You can do you all the time, no choices necessary. Not to mention, your friends don’t care when you bring wine along anyway…

7. Wine gets you drunk with no ulterior motives. It ain’t trying to get in your pants. It’s just trying to hang.

8. Wine never asks you what’s for dinner. Wine is what’s for dinner, actually.

9. Wine will never judge you. Literally, it will never judge. It’s seen you cry listening to a One Direction song and it still comes back for more. No one knows why. It just happens. I’m not complaining.

10. Wine can make you smile without even trying. Try having a glass of wine without blushing… Just try.

11. Wine always knows what you want. And what you want is wine. Wine is what you want. What relationship could be better?

12. Everyone loves wine. You don’t have to worry about your friends or your family or your co-workers disliking wine because everyone loves wine. Maybe wine isn’t their type (perhaps they prefer beer or a vodka soda), but no one hates wine. You’ve scored someone (or something) that everyone loves. You go girl.

13. Wine is always there for you. When the going gets tough… there’s always wine. Rough day at the office? Wine. Bad fight with a friend? Wine. Maxed out your credit card? Wine. Ex got married? Wine. Wine will be there for you in ways that no man ever could be. Seriously, girl. You’re not going to do any better than wine…

This post originally appeared on Forever Twenty Somethings.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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12 Very Good Reasons to Have a Winter Wedding

I’ve given you all the standard reasons to to consider hosting a winter wedding: You’ll save money, since it’s the off-season. Your friends will be more excited about your nuptials, since they’re not attending a…

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Girl's Best Friend -

5 Reasons Being ‘Good in Bed’ Won’t Make Him Put a Ring on It

I had a knack for dating men who didn’t want to marry. Which was fine, because I didn’t want to marry. Until I did.

When I was dating my last commitment-phobic man he made it very clear that sex was his top priority in a relationship and that he was terrified that marriage would put an end to it.

So for the entirety of our five-year relationship I said “no” to sex only once.

I remember the fallout from that as if it happened yesterday instead of 15 years ago.

My man rolled on his back in bed and began kicking his feet and tantruming like a 2-year-old, “I want sex, I want sex, I want sex!”

The truth is it was a funny moment between us. He meant to sound like a toddler begging for a cookie and I found it endearing. We had our good moments.

But I think we were particularly close on that one night (an oasis in a shitastrophy) and I felt, like a contestant on American Idol, that I was safe till next week.

The rest of the time I worried that, as a tall, strapping, handsome fireman, my beau might give in to the temptation of all the badge bunnies sniffing around the station during his overnight shifts.

I hoped, by being an all-night convenience store for sex, he might stay faithful (he didn’t). And I also wanted him to know that he could count on non-stop sex if he married me (he didn’t).

Here’s why using sex to audition for wife will fail every time:

1. Men who are afraid of commitment will be able to smell something rotten in Denmark (even when you’ve showered).

Commitment-phobes are like blood hounds when it comes to agendas. They can smell you gaming them over any camouflaging pheromones you emit.

2. Men who are afraid of commitment often feel smothered by having sex with you.

And they will react against being smothered by having sex with the next available female in order to rid themselves of the obligation sex makes them feel toward you.

3. Having sex with a man in order to convince him you’d be a good wife puts too much pressure on the lovemaking.

Can you say performance anxiety? It’s incredibly difficult to actually enjoy sex when you’re using it as a weapon. And no matter how well you can fake an orgasm, a man can tell when you aren’t authentically turned on.

4. Having sex with a man to convince him to marry you is self-abandonment.

Whenever we give another person power over us we lose ourselves and often abandon our principals and the things we value.

There’s nothing less appealing than a woman who has no self-esteem and is willing to ditch herself to win a man.

5. If you do manage to convince a commitment-phobe to marry you based on the gymnastic, never-ending sex you provide, you will have to keep this up forever.

Do you really want to be married to someone you have to turn somersaults for day-after-day, year-after-year for fear if you don’t he’ll want out?

Now add to that the pressures of raising children and making a living.

There’s no doubt that sex is incredibly important to a good, healthy marriage, but man cannot live on lust fulfillment alone. Building your marriage on sex is like building it on the Louisiana bog of Naked and Afraid. It’s bound to sink and someone’s bound to be killed by a water mocassin. Yes, that could happen.

For more sage wisdom from a woman of a certain age CLICK HERE. Let me know if any of this information was useful and be sure to sign up for my free updates here.
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Five Reasons Vintage Clothing Is Not Just “Old Used Clothes” (Even Though It Kind of Is)

As the owner of the online vintage clothing shop Rococo Vintage, I have been working closely with vintage and antique garments for quite some years now. Even before founding my own shop, I spent the bulk of my teen years scouring thrift and vintage stores for treasures, and then the end of my teen years as the assistant to a now very successful LA-based vintage clothing seller.

I was raised in a Victorian house in New England, surrounded by antique furniture and skeleton keys and ancient table linens, and I suppose all that early exposure to, well, “a whole lot of old stuff,” left an imprint on my heart and my mind. I love the character of vintage clothing, the specialness, the whimsy. Unfortunately, many people just see the garments — no matter how valuable or glorious — as nothing more than “old used clothes.” Here are five reasons that just simply isn’t so.


Me, wearing some “old stuff” while getting ready for a vintage show.
(fyi, this is basically the vintage gal’s version of a bathroom selfie.)

1. The quality. The quality of vintage clothing is simply unmatched by that of contemporary clothing, with the exception only of today’s highest end luxury designers. Before the 1970’s when polyester first became king, and especially before the early 1960’s, clothing was constructed to last. The end game with fashion was quality over quantity, for reasons both financial and cultural, and it is not uncommon to find luxurious details like French seams, generous hems, and exquisitely crafted buttons on even the most basic of older vintage garments. These days, even dresses that cost hundreds of dollars boast barely a millimeter of extra fabric, and a quick look at the interior of these garments reveals that regardless of the quality of the design, they were constructed with heightened attention paid to saving the manufacturer money. These days clothing is cheaper to make but not always cheaper to own, and it is only by wearing vintage that a person has the chance to experience true luxury construction (think, Chanel) at a less-than-luxury price. There is nothing as flattering as an artfully crafted garment. Plus, all that extra fabric on the inside of vintage clothing means that it is much easier to have it tailored to fit you perfectly. How great is that?!


Dresses from the 1930’s, 1920’s, and 1950’s, respectively. Look at those details!
They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

2. The uniqueness. When you invest in a vintage garment, you can rest assured that you will never walk into a room to find another person wearing the same thing you are (except by the greatest-ever case of vintage-lightning striking twice.) The most special vintage is entirely unique and bursting with whimsical details that cannot be accurately reproduced; the prints, the pintucks, the buttons… there just isn’t anything like them. This is a big part of the reason why so many celebrities have become such big fans of vintage clothing, as they know that they will easily stand out from everyone else on the red carpet with no concern of winding up in a “Who Wore it Best” column. There is something to be said for owning and wearing something that just about nobody else in all the world owns or can wear (and in the case of custom-made vintage garments, of which there are many, absolutely nobody else in the world does or can.) Every garment is a treasure!


Taylor Swift, who is a big fan of vintage clothing,
wearing a vintage 1950’s dress from Rococo Vintage.

3. The stories you hear. Whether or not you are able to discover it, every vintage garment comes with a story. Little is more exciting than being able to trace the origin of a garment — known as the “provenance” — and to be able to conjure up wonderful images of its past life. Even in cases when you cannot find any details beyond where you yourself came across a piece, it takes only a drop of imagination to create those special stories yourself. Vintage and antique clothing is seeped in mystery and history, and learning or dreaming it is half the charm of wearing it. Of course, this is one of the things that some non-vintage-fans object to, as I suppose it takes a certain kind of person to want to think about who wore something before you did, but if you already do or can learn to love it, I cannot tell you how much excitement it brings to simply getting dressed in the morning. It’s rather like having a bunch of wonderful imaginary friends hanging out in your closet!


Who was this young woman? Was this her favorite dress? Did she meet her soulmate while wearing it? Was she a painter? A poet? A professional wartime code breaker? These are the kinds of questions you find yourself asking and wondering about (and loving to ask and wonder about!) when you wear vintage clothing. Photo of unknown girl, c. 1940’s.

4. The people you meet. With absolutely no intention of patting my own back (I swear!) vintage sellers are some of the most fascinating people I have ever met. Whether they own vintage shops, sell at flea markets, or are selling their own or a relative’s old wardrobes, they are people with a great love and respect for what they are doing. It takes a special kind of non-historian historian to be a part of the “vintage world,” and the perspective of vintage sellers is often an entirely unique one. In addition to the sellers themselves, when you wear vintage you find yourself making friends just about everywhere you go. Anytime I wear a vintage or antique piece, I find myself being stopped on the street or approached in line at coffee shops by someone wanting to inquire about what I’m wearing. I’ve even made friends this way! There is certainly something (or a lot) to be said for having the freedom to wander about in jeans and T-shirts or yoga pants and sweatshirts when you want to, but there is also something very special about dressing in a way that reaches out to others without your having to say a word. Vintage clothing is wonderfully nostalgic and invites meaningful conversation in ways that modern clothing just doesn’t.


With my good friend Rodellee Bas of AdoredVintage, who is one of many friends I’ve made thanks to a mutual love of vintage clothing.

5. The clothing has a soul. Vintage clothing is more than just “old used clothes.” It is more than new unworn clothes. It is history, and art, and the stories of those who have come before us. Owning and wearing vintage clothing is a way of keeping those people and those histories and that artistry alive. At the end of the day, to wear vintage clothing is to be wrapped in romance. Vintage clothing is simply special. It just is.


You can follow Rebecca Emily Darling (and her cats and vintage dresses) on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Style – The Huffington Post
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10 Reasons Charles Manson Found True Love Before I Did


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I was disturbed to find out that Charles Manson is engaged to be married. And I was disturbed not because Manson is still in prison. Or that he’s a convicted serial killer. Or that he has a swastika carved into his forehead. Or that he’s most likely nuts; I’m sorry — mentally challenged. Or that he’s marrying a beautiful, though perhaps deluded, 26-year-old woman. No, all that is beside the point. I was disturbed because Charles Manson found true love before I did. That really hurt.

The thing I keep asking myself is “How?” How could a deranged serial killer find true love before I did? After much soul searching, tears, therapy, and medication, I managed to at least attempt to answer that question with the following ten fairly logical reasons Charles Manson found true love before I did.

  • Location, Location, Location! Where could I be on any given night? Anywhere. With anyone. My romantic partner would just have to trust that I’m remaining true to her and behaving myself. No such trust necessary for the future Mrs. Manson, who goes by the name Star, though her actual name is Afton Burton. She can be confident of her loved one’s location every moment of every day for the rest of his godforsaken life. And that’s security. Heck, that’s maximum security.
  • Name Recognition. There are hundreds of Mark Millers. There’s just one Charles Manson. Granted, what sane person would name their baby after a convicted cult leader/serial killer? So, his new wife will never have to ask for clarification: “Excuse me, which Charles Manson are you referring to?” And when she informed her parents, “Oh, by the way, I’m marrying Charles Manson,” they immediately knew whom she meant, thereby explaining their no doubt placing their heads into the oven soon after.
  • Forehead carvings. I’ll give Charles Manson one thing: the man knows about the power of personal branding. Literally. Of course, most people, including myself, would never carve a swastika onto the middle of their forehead. Or any other body part. I realize that that refusal eliminates a whole population of potential dates. Granted, crazy potential dates, but who among us is perfect? Gotta wonder, though — is Star okay with the nutty swastika carving, or does she rationalize it somehow? “Oh, well, Charlie got that during a very stressful period of his life… You’ve got to take the time to look beyond the swastika carving to the lovely person inside…”
  • Not looking for love. There’s an ancient Zen philosophy that says things we desire come to us best when we are not looking for them. Well, obviously, there’s my trouble right there. I’ve spent so much time, energy and money in search of my soulmate, and she’s just not appearing. In contrast, Charles Manson no doubt just accepted the fact that he wasn’t destined for love, and so wasn’t looking for it at all. Instead, he spent his time dealing with prison, playing guitar, issuing wacky proclamations, and carving offensive symbols into his body. And yet love came to him nonetheless. Lesson learned!
  • Cult leader. Charles Manson was the leader of the Manson Family cult, a group of people who worshipped and adored him and would do his bidding no matter how illegal, immoral, or deranged. That’s a lot of power and personality and one could see how that kind of dynamic image might appeal to a woman young enough that her own personality and image are still being formed. Or perhaps Manson has even hypnotized her into loving him. In any case, I’m giving some serious thought to starting my own cult. Don’t worry, though, I’ll use my power for good, not evil. It’ll be a two-person love cult.
  • “Helter Skelter.” Manson is strongly associated with this famous song by a famous group, the Beatles. Supposedly, he misinterpreted the lyrics as a call to violence. It also became the title of books and movies on Manson. Obviously, I need to a theme song myself; I need to align myself with a well-known tune that will become associated with my image. Perhaps something polite, respectful, with an appeal to one of my soulmate’s parents. Got it! Herman’s Hermits’ “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.” What do you think? Too old school? Something more recent, perhaps, like Pharell Williams’ “Happy”? I can be flexible.
  • Caring about the planet. Star says she was first attracted to Manson after reading about ATWA, Manson’s environmental philosophy that stands for air, trees, water, animals. Smart. If you’re going to be crazy and imprisoned for your whole life for cult murders, try to balance it out with a caring philosophy about the planet. Just think how many prisoners have to settle for love with their fellow inmates simply because they don’t make public their deep and sincere environmental or humanitarian concerns. Attention, potential soulmates: Did I mention how deeply I feel about ending world hunger? Let’s discuss it over a glass of wine.
  • No sexual pressure or disappointment. Because Manson is serving a life sentence, he and Star will never be allowed any conjugal visits; solely a hug at the beginning and end of each visit. Therefore, any exclamations of “Sorry, I’m not in the mood” are a moot point. As is any sexual dysfunction or the possibility of disease. Granted, that’s not much of a marital sex life, but when you’ve snagged a man like Charles Manson, you get so much more in the bargain, that I suppose you’re okay with that.
  • Ability to reveal his truer self to his woman. You and I obviously have one image of Charles Manson, one formed to a large degree by the media. But the future Mrs. Manson is looking way beyond that. She has stated to CNN, “The man that I know is not what they have in the movies or in documentaries and the books. He’s nothing like that. He doesn’t tell people what to do. He’s not manipulative at all.” Granted, Manson has accumulated 108 serious disciplinary violations in prison since 1971, has shown no indication of remorse for his nine murder convictions, and has been denied parole twelve times. But apparently when he’s with Star, he’s just the sweetest little angel.
  • Women go crazy for musicians. Charles Manson was an aspiring singer-songwriter-guitarist. You can hear him on YouTube. And we all know the allure musicians have for women. That does it. I’m signing up for music lessons today. If things go according to my plan, by this time next year, I’ll be serenading my own “star.” Maybe even auditioning for “The Voice.” Just hopefully not from prison. And if I succeed, I swear I’ll never admit that Charles Manson was my role model.
  • Comedy – The Huffington Post
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    This Graduate Stripped Down For All The Right Reasons (PHOTO)

    While Kalā Kaawa sat with his fellow graduates at the University of Hawaii’s winter commencement ceremony earlier this month, he texted his mom in the audience to tell her that he wanted to take off his robe when he received his diploma. Not knowing what was — or wasn’t — under her son’s gown, she was a little apprehensive.

    “I don’t know,” she texted him back, “think about it.”

    Kaawa weighed the risks, but he finally replied: “Nope. I’m just gonna do it.”

    When it was his turn to take the stage, Kaawa slipped out of his cap and gown. Looking out to the thousands of graduates and their families and raising his diploma proudly, he stepped forward in his malo, a traditional Hawaiian loincloth.

    The entire auditorium erupted. The 23-year-old received a standing ovation, and the audience continued to cheer as he walked down the aisle and back to his seat.

    malo at uh

    “I was so touched by the reaction of the crowd that I stood there in complete awe for a while … soaking in the feeling of accomplishment and pride for my culture,” he told The Huffington Post. “It felt really good to be received that way by such an enormous crowd.”

    Kaawa — a Native Hawaiian who was receiving two bachelor’s degrees from the School of Hawaiian Studies — was wearing the malo as part of an oli (Hawaiian chant) that opened the graduation ceremony. But he was nervous that wearing it on stage would bar him from receiving his diploma or that he’d be mocked for the scant cloth.

    In traditional Hawaiian culture, nudity isn’t necessarily sexual, and the malo was the basic garment for Hawaiian men — both royalty and commoners.

    Kaawa said he wanted to use the garment to remind people “not to be ashamed of your culture, whether you are Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan, Tongan, etc.” and to “know your roots, represent and perpetuate! Not just for yourself, but for your family, your ancestors and the future generations of your culture.”



    Kalā Kaawa with the group that performed the oli before the ceremony.

    Style – The Huffington Post
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    3 Reasons To Skip The Season’s Greetings And Send A New Year’s Card Instead

    You’ve spent the last four weeks shopping, wrapping, baking, cooking and visiting with family and friends — and you can almost see the light at the end of the holiday tunnel. But in the whirlwind that is the month of December, you’ve forgotten to do one last thing: write and send out your holiday cards.

    Luckily, you aren’t the only one. Peggy Post from The Emily Post Institute told The Huffington Post that more and more people are opting to send New Year’s greetings to their loved ones instead of the traditional December holiday card. And with good reason. Here’s why Post suggests you might consider doing so, too.

    1. December Is A Chaotic Month.

    The weeks leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas are filled to the brim with holiday shopping and obligations. “Some people say they do want to send cards to friends and keep in touch, especially long-lost ones, but they just don’t feel like they have the time to do it justice,” Post said. Give yourself a break — sitting down to write your cards after Hanukkah or Christmas, when you have less going on, is perfectly acceptable, she adds.

    2. You Can Wish People A Good Start To The New Year.

    “A lot of people like that whole idea of starting out fresh and approaching the new year with a greeting, so it is kind of fun to wish their friends a new year, to really emphasize that,” Post said.

    3. You Have More Time.

    Think you can only send a card immediately on January 1st? Think again. “Theres no real rule; I’d say in the first week or two that still qualifies as a ‘New Year’s’ card,” Post said. Post mentioned that she received a “New Year’s” card from a friend around Valentine’s Day once that wished her a great year. “The key is to keep in touch with people.”

    We completely agree. Check out some of our picks for fun New Year’s cards below.

    Weddings – The Huffington Post
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    10 Reasons Christmas Makes Me Love My Husband Even More

    No, it’s not the presents. It’s all the little things — sweet, goofy, endearing — that make me feel so happy I chose this particular dude to be my partner in doing this whole life and love thing. So here, in no particular order, are the top 10 things that make me love spending the holidays with my husband:

    1. He always wants to buy the loneliest Christmas tree on the lot.
    Yes, we have a tiny house that is already way too full with three dogs, two kids, a lizard and the messes he and I are really good at making. But that’s not why he always tries to buy the littlest, saddest, most pathetic Christmas tree on the lot. It’s that he likes that tree. He likes the ones with the gaping holes on one side, or only about 10 total branches. This is part of my husband being one of the sweetest guys you’ll ever meet. It’s very Charlie Brown. I guess that makes me Snoopy, but I think that fits.

    2. Late-night sales at the toy store make for really fun dates.
    My husband loves to shop. More than I do, if we’re being honest. The last few years we’ve taken the opportunity of a big sale that starts at 9:00 p.m. at a big toy store near us to have my mom stay with our sleeping kids so we can go out alone together to be swarmed by other parents and grandparents frantically vying for the newest Lego or Littlest Pet Shop toy.

    Sounds awful, I know, but that one day of the year we don’t mind. It’s exciting. We’re in it together. We WILL find that Playmobil pirate ship and we WILL prevail. Then we get tea lattes at Starbucks and drive home thinking about how fun Christmas morning will be.

    3. Dressing up for holiday parties.
    My daily attire consists of jeans and tee shirts with either boots or flip flops (depending on the time of year) and that pretty much never changes. But when it comes to going to our friends’ holiday parties, I love to shock people by wearing a fancy dress, heels and a face full of make-up.

    Similarly, Ivan is a board shorts and tee shirt guy when he’s not at work, so when we show up and he’s in a suit and tie and I’m all fancy, it’s fun to surprise everyone together. And I like showing off my handsome guy.

    4. Watching Arthur Christmas with the kids.
    If you haven’t seen Arthur Christmas, an incredible animated feature about three generations of men in the Santa Claus family battling it out to become the most important Santa in history, you need to do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. It’s charming, fun, well-written, well-voiced and has awesome details like elves that deliver each present with high-tech gadgets and gears, like they’re out of Mission Impossible. In many ways, it’s a total guy movie, but I promise you’ll tear up (in a good way) at the end.

    It’s one of those animated films that our kids have liked for a few years running, even as they get older, and we enjoy it as much as they do.

    5. Watching Scrooged without the kids.
    This late-80s horror movie-inspired holiday tale is awesome. This year I tried to watch it with the kids because they are getting older and I thought they could handle it.

    They could not.

    It is terrifying, but I forget that every year because it’s so heartwarming and really happy — and it’s about Christmas.

    One thing Ivan and I have always had in common is our love for great TV and movies. So snuggling in bed and watching Scrooged is total bliss for us. Another good holiday movie to watch together is Love Actually.

    6. Sneaking around to find the specific weird thing he wants but doesn’t know I know he wants.
    That was a confusing sentence, but what I mean is this: There’s always something he wants, maybe he mentions it off-hand or tells his brother, and he doesn’t know I’m paying attention. Then I go on a hunt to find it. Last year I drove 40 miles to get him a pair of bike shoes for his mountain bike. This year… well, you’ll just have to stay tuned… but the hunt is what makes Christmas special.

    7. Knowing that he’d rather be inside on the couch with me than getting drunk on New Year’s Eve.
    I’m not judging what anyone else does on New Year’s Eve (as long as you’re not driving or being reckless), but I love keeping it mellow, and I’m so glad Ivan feels the same way. Dinner with friends who also have kids, watching the East Coast ball drop at 9:00 p.m., and then snuggling up on the couch alone after the kids go to bed to read or watch TV is my New Year’s dream.

    8. Shooting down his intense need to buy more, more, more, and more presents for the kids.
    On December 23rd, we assess what we’ve collected for the kids to make sure they’re balanced and every year Ivan declares that it’s just not enough and goes on a campaign to buy even more presents.

    This can be annoying, but it’s part of who he is. He’s intensely generous as a person. Combine that with the fact that the man loves to shop, and you have a combustible situation of excess present-buying!

    So every year, like clockwork, Ivan says, “I think we need more” and I say, “I think what we have is fine” and then he usually buys more, but not as many as he would have if left to his own devices.

    9. Playing Santa after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve.
    What’s more special than sneaking around wrapping gifts, stuffing stockings and hanging candy canes on the tree? Nothing. It’s one of the greatest gifts that comes with being a parent, if you’re from a family that celebrates Christmas, and it doesn’t last forever. Kids are only little for a short window of time, so you know you’re part of something sacred and rare when it’s happening. On top of that, we always do a lot of cooking for Christmas Eve dinner, and there’s always a lot of good food to nibble at while we prepare.

    10. Christmas Day hike or bike ride.
    Our family tradition is to make everyone leave their chocolate comas and piles of toys and go for a Christmas Day hike or bike ride. The reason this makes me even more crazy about my husband is that not everyone would go along with these types of shenanigans on a major holiday, but this is the sort of thing we love. Our hot dates alone are usually on our mountain bikes or in the ocean, so it makes sense that on the best day of the year for our family, we’d all be outside.

    It’s amazing how much you grow with someone you’re with for a long time. When we first met, our weird traditions and cultural histories collided. We didn’t know how much money to spend, things felt unbalanced, or one side of the family felt neglected. At times we both tried to appease one another and ended up resentful. Holidays can be really tough for couples, and we are no exception. But over time, with compromise and friendship, we’ve evolved a set of holiday traditions that feel uniquely “us” and that remind us how lucky we are to have one another.


    Originally appeared at The Good Men Project

    Also by Joanna Schroeder: 5 Things I Had to Learn In Order to Love My Nice Guy.

    Follow Joanna Schroeder on Twitter @iproposethis.
    Weddings – The Huffington Post
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    17 Reasons Mary Poppins Will Always Be The World’s Best Nanny

    “Mary Poppins” premiered in theaters 50 years ago this week, on Aug. 26, 1964. The Disney film, directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Julie Andrews, soon became a success (it was the most profitable film of 1965) and received rave reviews from critics: “I find [Mary Poppins] irresistible. Plenty of other adults will feel the same way. And, needless to say, so will the kids,” Bosley Crowther wrote in The New York Times. “Mary Poppins” won five Oscars at the 37th annual Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews and Best Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”).

    Beyond those accolades, however, is its legacy: If “Mary Poppins” achieved one thing, it’s that even today, 50 years later, the film industry (and probably the real world) has yet to find a nanny like her. And that’s despite countless attempts by the likes of Scarlett Johansson (“The Nanny Diaries”), Emma Thompson (“Nanny McPhee”) or the late Robin Williams (“Mrs. Doubtfire”).

    However, no one has managed to unseat Mary Poppins and take her job. Here are a few reasons that explain why she is so unique.

    1. Her ability to organize bags …

    2. … and the speed with which she can organize

    3. She’s always prepared …

    4. … but aware that there’s always room for improvement

    5. She can go up the stairs without any effort …

    6. … and is basically one step away from being able to teleport

    7. Because she pays attention to small details …

    8. and can move her head like this.

    9. She’s capable of making a group of men dance this way …

    10. … and with a single movement, she’ll leave your mouth agape

    11. She’s never at a loss for words …

    12. … and not afraid to speak her mind

    13. She knows the secret of life …

    14. … and doesn’t judge things by their appearance

    15. She’s good at keeping secrets …

    16. … and snaps her fingers like this.

    17. So let’s applaud Mary Poppins, still the best at 50

    Arts – The Huffington Post
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    Sunne’s Gift’s: 10 Reasons Why All Little Black Girls Should Rock Natural Hair

    1. Natural Afro-Textured Hair is Magical
    2014-07-09-Reason1.jpgIn the children’s book entitled Sunne’s Gift, the main character’s beautiful afro-textured hair enables the character to make the sun rise and set. All afros have magical abilities. What hair defies gravity, replicates the DNA spiral and contains the force of whirlwinds and tornadoes? Natural afro-textured hair! Guess what? Most little black girls have that kind of hair!

    2. Natural Afro-textured Hair is Versatile and Convenient
    You may decide to gently braid, twist, cornrow, threadwrap, lock, fluff or comb out your little girl’s natural afro-textured hair. All natural styles are beautiful. Moreover, if you decide to gently braid it, twist it etc. you may not have to style the hair again for days or weeks. How convenient!

    3. Natural Afro-Textured Hair May Allow Your Child To Stand Out from The Crowd – That is A Good Thing
    Afro-textured hair can be found in all races of people. But, people of African descent appear to have afro-textured most often. If your child goes to a school with mostly children of Asian and European descent, her afro-textured hair may make her stand out from the crowd. That is a good thing. We should teach our girls that there is beauty and power in difference. Conformity reaps few rewards.

    4. Relaxers Contain Toxic Chemicals That Can Cause Burns and Lesions.
    By keeping your child’s hair natural, you can avoid relaxers. Relaxers generally contain sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide, both caustic and corrosive agents. Sodium hydroxide is poured on animal carcasses in order to help make the carcasses dissolve for easy disposal and it is also a major ingredient in many drain cleaners. Both sodium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide are the active ingredients of hair removal creams such as Nair and Magic Shave. Severe burns or lesions can develop when these chemicals come into contact with the skin or scalp. This is not surprising given the burning sensation and scalp burns that people often experience when using relaxers. Although no- lye relaxers containing calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate are advertised to cause fewer scalp burns and lesions than their lye counterparts, little evidence bolsters this claim. Giving a child a relaxer “treatment” is kind of like pouring liquid Drano on a child’s hair and scalp. Sheesh!

    5. Relaxers May Cause Hair Loss and Breakage.
    The chemicals that corrode animal carcasses, dissolve hair in clogs and burn off hair on legs can clearly cause hair loss and hair breakage. I personally experienced severe hair loss and breakage due to relaxers at ages 7 and 16 and I was emotionally devastated both times. The boxes that contain the relaxers warn of hair loss and breakage. Terrible!

    6. When The Chemicals in Relaxers Come Into Contact With The Eyes or Are Ingested, Those Chemicals Can Lead to Serious Injury.
    I have a four year-old and a one year-old and I can’t imagine putting a relaxer in their hair because, like most kids their ages, they are busy-bodies. My mother relaxed my hair when I was four years old and my sister got her first relaxer when she was three. It really boggles my mind now. I would be deathly afraid that my toddlers would touch their hair during the process and then put their finger in their eyes or mouths. Such acts could lead to blindness or severe injury. The 2000 report entitled “Hair Relaxer Misuse: Don’t Relax” in the Official Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics discusses dozens of cases in which toddlers have experienced burns on their lips, tongues or other parts due to contact with relaxers. Horrible!

    7. Relaxers Use May Be Linked to Early Puberty in Girls.
    A 2011 report entitled “Childhood Hair Product Use and Earlier Age at Menarche in a Racially Diverse Study Population: A Pilot Study” in the Annals of Epidemiology suggests that some hair products used by African-Americans contain estrogen, as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as phthalates and parabens. These chemicals are hormonally active and can be absorbed through the skin and inhaled. Hair oils and relaxers were most significantly associated with earlier recalled age of menarche (onset of menstruation). This report noted a previous study’s finding that African-American girls between the ages of 6 and 11 years of age have double the mono-ethyl phthalate levels compared to children of other racial/ethnic groups. A report titled “Premature Sexual Development in Children Following the Use of Estrogen- or Placenta-containing Hair Products,” explained that certain hair products appeared to accelerate pubertal development in children as young as fourteen months old! It seems possible that relaxers and other hair products may cause little black girls to “become women” before their time.

    8. Relaxers May Be Linked to Uterine Fibroids and Other Reproductive Disorders.
    Another 2011 article in the American Journal of Epidemiology entitled “Hair Relaxer Use and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata in African-American Women” raised the hypothesis that hair relaxer use increases risk of uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are tumors in the uterus that can cause heavy bleeding, severe pain and complications during delivery and pregnancy, and they are the leading indication for hysterectomy in U.S. women. African-American women have 2-3 times the incidence of uterine fibroids of white women and the lifetime risk of uterine fibroids for African-Americans women is estimated to be as high as 80 percent. This ethnic disparity is not adequately explained by established risk factors such as alcohol, obesity and physical inactivity. It is possible that the lesions and burns of the scalp caused by hair relaxers facilitate entry of hormonally active compounds commonly found in relaxers into the body, thereby increasing black women’s risk of uterine fibroids. Dr. Wise, lead author of the hair relaxers and fibroids article, is currently conducting a follow up study of environmental factors and fertility (PRESTO). If you’d like to contribute to research in this area click here.

    We can’t make sure that eat their vegetables or sleep early. Nor can we protect them from hormonally active compounds in food processing and in the air. But we can control what we put in their hair.

    9. Relaxing Your Child’s Hair May Give Your Child The Impression That Her Natural Hair is Not Good Enough.
    What message are we sending our daughters about the state of their natural hair when we place our girls at risk of burns, reproductive disorders and early puberty by putting toxic and caustic chemicals in their hair in order to alter it? What is so bad about the kinks, coils, spirals and curls that God gave our girls that those kinks have to be eliminated by any torturous or toxic means necessary? Are we putting their spirits to death by sending them messages of self-hate? I’m not sure of the answers. It is possible that the issue is not that serious. But as caretakers of little black girl magbees (magical beings), we have to ask such difficult and inconvenient questions. The current climate of hair-bullying in schools and the military makes these questions even more timely. In my experience, black mothers are among the most generous, loving, self-sacrificing and devoted human beings on the planet, but many of us are unaware of all of the potential dangers of relaxers and therefore are not making informed choices. Moreover, black mothers face overwhelming pressures to make little girls comply with notions of beauty that are often rooted in white supremacy. The harsh criticism that Blue Ivy’s afro received is evidence of those pressures regarding styling black girls’ hair.

    10. We Should Teach Our Children That They Are Perfect and Magical Just as They Are.
    Regardless of whether or not you believe that relaxing a child’s hair presents any physical or psychological danger, we can all agree that children of all races deserve affirmation and should be comfortable with their natural selves. In my children’s book, Sunne’s Gift: How Sunne Overcame Bullying to Reclaim God’s Gift , the Creator tells children “You are all my children, made in my image” and “I made no mistakes in creating you all with your beautiful and varied colors, hair types and features.” I hope that all parents will read Sunne’s Gift to their children because that is the message that ALL of our children need to hear. They need to hear that they are perfect as they are in order to have the confidence to face all of the challenges that life brings. You can take the Sunne’s Gift pledge here .2014-07-09-SunneCover.jpg
    Style – The Huffington Post
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    1776 Reasons To Party At Home On July 4th

    It’s time to switch things up, America!

    This year, forget the same old parties and boring routine. Here are 1776 reasons why staying home and watching TV is all you need to have the best 4th of July weekend ever.

    1. Because all men have the right to life, liberty and “The Pursuit of Happyness” On Demand.
    2. Because it’s what our Founding Fathers would have wanted.
    3. Because if not, what were our guys fighting for anyway?
    4. Because TV is the best.
    5. Because winter is coming.
    6. Because relatives are coming.
    7. Because parties are awkward and uncomfortable.
    8. Because some parties are too comfortable.
    9. Because you’re alive.
    10. Because other people are alive.
    11. Because you’re too full from eating ribs.
    12. Because you’re not full enough from eating ribs.
    13. Just because of ribs.
    14. Because the color red.
    15. Because the color white.
    16. Because the color blue.
    17. Because America just red, white and blew our minds.
    18. Because “Today I don’t feel like doing anything.”
    19. Because you’ll be lounging on the couch, just chillin in your snuggie. Turn on MTV so they can teach you how to Dougie.
    20. Because of Independence.
    21. Because of the movie “Independence Day.”
    22. Because of the speech Bill Pullman made in “Independence Day.”
    23. Because Will Smith bought his fiancé a dolphin ring in the movie “Independence Day.”
    24. Because Will Smith’s fiancé liked her dolphin ring in the movie “Independence Day.”
    25. Because now you’re going to buy a ring for your fiancé that’s in the shape of a dolphin.
    26. Because what happened to “Miss Independent”?
    27. Because the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
    28. Because seven-time hot dog eating champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut.
    29. Because Ryan Seacrest is all “This is American Idol!”
    30. Because it’s what George Washington would’ve wanted.
    31. Because it’s what George Washington does want currently.
    32. Because Patrick Henry would say, “Give me television or give me death.”
    33. Because “One if by land, and ‘Two and a Half Men’ if by sea.”
    34. Because there’s probably “World Series of Poker” on or something.
    35. Because Benedict Arnold wouldn’t want to, and we don’t like that guy.
    36. Because “Hey Arnold!”
    37. Because Helga Pataki’s unibrow.
    38. Because “I have not yet begun to fight … for the remote.”
    39. Because “Don’t fire until you see the Walter Whites of their eyes”
    40. Because American spy Nathan Hale learned everything he knew from “Harriet the Spy.”
    41. Because American spy Nathan Hale regretted that he had just “One Life to Live” for his country.
    42. Because of sparklers.
    43. Because sparklers can get out of hand real fast.
    44. Because with sparklers, you can write your name and stuff.
    45. Because of patriots.
    46. Because of the New England Patriots.
    47. Because of Tom Brady.
    48. Because of Tom Brady’s UGGs for men.
    49. Because Tom Brady never looked so comfortable in the pocket.
    50. Because of the movie “The Patriot.”
    51. Because Mel Gibson wasn’t crazy yet in the movie “The Patriot.”
    52. Because Mel Gibson never wore UGGs for men in “The Patriot.”
    53. Because Mel Gibson was all over his sister-in-law in “The Patriot,” and then Jaime and Cersei had to one-up him in “Game of Thrones.”
    54. Because Heath Ledger was in the movie “The Patriot.”
    55. Because Health Ledger was the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”
    56. Because “The Dark Knight” was awesome.
    57. Because of “The Dark Knight” again.
    58. Because the 4th of July is whatever Gotham needs it to be.
    59. Because of patriotic clothing.
    60. Because you don’t want anyone to see you in your patriotic clothing.
    61. Because your dad has the most patriotic clothing of them all.
    62. Because people are pledging allegiance to your dad’s shirt.
    63. Because of socks with stars on them.
    64. Because of stars with socks on them.
    65. Because your Hogwarts letter won’t come on a holiday.
    66. Because you want to entertain your family.
    67. Because your family is getting on your nerves.
    68. Because not watching TV is getting on your nerves.
    69. Because you pinched a nerve.
    70. Because Grandma wants to watch EWTN.
    71. Because the World Cup, duh.
    72. Because you’re already eating off TV trays.
    73. Because you want to eat off TV trays.
    74. Because you’re really excited.
    75. Because you’re bored.
    76. Because fireworks are overrated.
    77. Because fireworks on TV are underrated.
    78. Because if you’ve seen one firework, you’ve seen them all.
    79. Because fireworks hurt your ears.
    80. Because fireworks hurt your eyes.
    81. Because the fireworks aren’t good.
    82. Because the fireworks might be too good.
    83. Because there were no blue fireworks.
    84. Because there were too many blue fireworks.
    85. Because everyone else is finally out of the house.
    86. Because everyone is in the house.
    87. Because it’s too hot outside.
    88. Because it’s too cold outside.
    89. Because you didn’t buy AC for nothing.
    90. Because you did buy AC for nothing.
    91. Because you’re out of potato salad.
    92. Because you wish you were out of potato salad.
    93. Because you don’t like potato salad.
    94. Because you’re eating too much potato salad.
    95. Because you’re now talking too much about potato salad.
    96. Because there are no more bread rolls.
    97. Because you don’t want to get on a tangent about bread rolls like you did with potato salad.
    98. Because now you’re talking too much about bread rolls.
    99. Because we don’t want another “coleslaw incident.”
    100. Because we all remember what happened. ( See #98)
    101. Because it’s what Uncle Sam wants.
    102. Because it’s what Uncle Sam doesn’t want.
    103. Because what’s even the point?
    104. Because if you don’t, England wins.
    105. Because upon thinking about it, you don’t know what that last reason means.
    106. Because Netflix is going to be the best man at your wedding.
    107. Because Netflix is going to be the maid of honor at your wedding.
    108. Because Red Solo Cup.
    109. Because that one show with that guy from that thing.
    110. Because that one show where the girl was all,”Whattttt!”
    111. Because “Boom goes the dynamite!”
    112. Because if England won, we’d all be speaking English right now.
    113. Because we’re speaking English anyway.
    114. Because you just got a new TV.
    115. Because you still don’t know how to use your new TV.
    116. Because the United States of America.
    117. Because Los Estados Unidos de América.
    118. Because Los Estados Unidos de América is Spanish for Los Estados Unidos de América.
    119. Because it’s the land of the free and home of the brave.
    120. Because it’s the land of the free and home of the movie “Brave.”
    121. Because you’re a time traveler, but you really don’t feel like going anywhere right now.
    122. Because of our Founding Fathers.
    123. Because you finally found your father watching the game in the basement.
    124. Because of the 13 original colonies.
    125. Because of bee colonies.
    126. Because flags.
    127. Because stripes.
    128. Because stars.
    129. Because of apple pie.
    130. Because of cherry pie.
    131. Because of blueberry pie.
    132. Because of strawberry pie.
    133. Because of moon pies.
    134. Just because of pie.
    135. Because 3.14.
    136. Because of our ancestors.
    137. Because of
    138. Because of
    139. Because on Tinder, you’d swipe right for America.
    140. Because on Tinder, you’d swipe left for everything except America.
    141. Because you can’t think of anything else to do.
    142. Because you can think of other things to do, but this is better.
    143. Because it’s probably “Harry Potter” Weekend on ABC Family.
    144. Because even if it’s not “Harry Potter” Weekend, that’s why they make DVDs.
    145. Because you want to finally figure out who “A” is.
    146. Because you don’t trust any of the “Pretty Little Liars.”
    147. Because you were shocked the “Pretty Little Liars” were regular sized people, and you were expecting them to be abnormally little.
    148. Because you don’t want to clean the grill.
    149. Because you already cleaned the grill.
    150. Because someone else cleaned the grill.
    151. Because you are wearing a new grill.
    152. Because you don’t want to make the fruit salad.
    153. Because you already made the fruit salad.
    154. Because you don’t even like fruit salad.
    155. Because TV means freedom.
    156. Because freedom means freedom.
    157. Just because freedom.
    158. Because you’re not paying DirecTV for nothing.
    159. Because you are paying DirecTV for nothing.
    160. Because you don’t even have DirecTV.
    161. Because you’re more of a Verizon FIOS type of person.
    162. Because being a Verizon FIOS type of person is a lonely life.
    163. Because you’re Team Jacob.
    164. Because you’re Team Edward.
    165. Because Bella deserves a team too.
    166. Because Jacob nicknamed Bella’s baby after the Loch Ness monster.
    167. Because the Loch Ness Monster.
    168. Because Uncle Jesse already left for the Smash Club.
    169. Because “High School Musical.”
    170. Because having such separate cliques, the kids in “High School Musical” perform pretty elaborately choreographed dances.
    171. Because that time Zac Efron danced on the golf course singing “Bet on It.”
    172. Because Global Warming.
    173. Because Obamacare.
    174. Because Global Warming vs. Obamacare.
    175. Because “Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus.”
    176. Because Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman.
    177. Because Bill Clinton did have sexual relations with that woman.
    178. Because you suspect Nic Cage will steal the Declaration of Independence.
    179. Because Nic Cage is definitely stealing the Declaration of Independence.
    180. Because you support Nic Cage and his pursuit of the Declaration of Independence.
    181. Because Nic Cage is a “National Treasure.”
    182. Because Nic Cage is a “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”
    183. Because it’s what Thomas Jefferson would’ve wanted.
    184. Because it’s what Benjamin Franklin would’ve wanted.
    185. Because it’s what your neighbor Fenjamin Branklin would’ve wanted.
    186. Because you suspect that’s not your neighbor’s real name.
    187. Because of liberty.
    188. Because of the Statue of Liberty.
    189. Because of Liberty Mutual.
    190. Because of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”
    191. Because it’s what Oprah wants.
    192. Because Oprah always gets what she wants.
    193. Because everybody gets a car!
    194. Because how else will you keep up with the Kardashians?
    195. Because you don’t want to keep up with the Kardashians.
    196. Because you have no choice but to keep up with the Kardashians.
    197. Because you want to know what the “Real Housewives” are up to.
    198. Because they don’t really seem like “Real Housewives.”
    199. Because “Pawn Stars” is probably on.
    200. Because do you mind if Rick from “Pawn Stars” calls his buddy in to take a look?
    201. Because you wonder if shrimp watch a show called “Prawn Stars.”
    202. Because you want to daydream about being chosen for “The Price is Right.”
    203. Because you want to daydream about being chosen for “The Hunger Games.”
    204. Because you have messed up day dreams.
    205. Because “What does the fox say?”
    206. Because you have Apple TV.
    207. Because you have Apple TV, meaning a TV channel dedicated to apples.
    208. Because you tell people you have Hulu Plus.
    209. Because you really just use the free version of Hulu.
    210. Because you Hula while you Hulu.
    211. Because you’re paying for Netflix.
    212. Because your friend is paying for Netflix.
    213. Because turn up!
    214. Because turnips.
    215. Because you are trying to figure out your roommate’s Netflix password.
    216. Because Netflix just added new movies.
    217. Because Netflix just got rid of a lot of movies.
    218. Because you are still trying to figure out your roommate’s Netflix password.
    219. Because it’s fun.
    220. Because other stuff isn’t as fun.
    221. Because you finally figured out your roommate’s Netflix password.
    222. Because now you can’t decide what to watch on Netflix.
    223. Because that’s cray cray.
    224. Because “Girl Meets World.”
    225. Because “Boy Meets World.”
    226. Because Cory and Topanga.
    227. Because Cory and Topanga again.
    228. Because you can’t believe Cory kissed that girl at the ski lodge. Topanga deserves better.
    229. Because that episode where Cory bought all that cork furniture.
    230. Because “FEENY!”
    231. Because you want to watch Netflix on the PS3 you bought from Craigslist.
    232. Because you’re not 100% sure the PS3 you bought from Craigslist isn’t stolen, and you want to enjoy Netflix before the cops come.
    233. Because you just ate and need to wait 30 minutes before going in the pool.
    234. Because you have a TV in your pool.
    235. Because you don’t have a TV in your pool.
    236. Because you wish you had a TV in your pool.
    237. Because you don’t know why they call pool “billiards,” and it makes you really mad.
    238. Because you’re at your in-laws’ house.
    239. Because you wish you weren’t at your in-laws’ house.
    240. Because you have no choice but to be at your in-laws’ house.
    241. Because “Full House” is on.
    242. Because you wish your family was like the one on “Full House.”
    243. Because actually you’re glad your family is not like the one on “Full House.”
    244. Because your family hugs more than the one on “Full House.”
    245. Because you never want Uncle Joey to “Cut. It. Out.”
    246. Because you always want Uncle Joey to “Cut. It. Out.”
    247. Because a day without “Breaking Bad” would be pretty methed up.
    248. Because you like using “Breaking Bad” puns, and you don’t care what your parents say about it.
    249. Because Mr. White from “Breaking Bad” reminds you of your Chem teacher.
    250. Oh, God! Mr. White from “Breaking Bad” reminds you of your Chem teacher!
    251. Because you want to try this whole “binge-watching” thing.
    252. Because “binge-watching” makes being lazy sound a lot more cool.
    253. Because “binge-watching” doesn’t make being lazy sound more cool, but you don’t really care.
    254. Because your parents don’t want you to, but you’re totally in your rebellious stage.
    255. Because your parents want you to, and you’re totally not in your rebellious stage.
    256. Just because of your parents.
    257. Because you have nothing to talk about.
    258. Because you have too much to talk about.
    259. Because you want to get something to talk about.
    260. Because you want something to tweet about.
    261. Because talk is cheap.
    262. Because talk is expensive.
    263. Because you want to see what “Four Weddings” is all about.
    264. Because “Four Weddings” in Westeros would probably be a lot different.
    265. Because “Game of Thrones.”
    266. Because Dany from “Game of Thrones” takes what is hers with “fireworks and blood.”
    267. Because when you play the “Game of Thrones,” you win or you don’t stop hearing about it until the next family reunion.
    268. Because any man who says, “I am the king,” is probably just Uncle Pete after he found the Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
    269. Because Jon Snow knows nothing.
    270. Because Jon Snow must know something.
    271. Because nope. Jon Snow knows nothing.
    272. Because Prince Oberyn blew your mind.
    273. Actually because the Mountain blew your mind.
    274. Because everyone from “Game of Thrones” blows your mind.
    275. Because “Pants on the ground. Pants on the ground. You’re lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground.”
    276. Because HBO.
    277. Because it’s Showtime.
    278. Because it’s literally show time.
    279. Because “Orange Is The New Black” Season 1.
    280. Because “Orange Is The New Black” Season 2.
    281. Because “Orange Is The New Black” Season 1 again.
    282. Because once you go “Orange Is The New Black,” you never go back.
    283. Because in “Harry Potter,” Sirius Is The New Black.
    284. Because “All men must die.”
    285. Because all “Mad Men” must die.
    286. Because “Calm and Sensible Men” would probably be less interesting.
    287. Because “House of Cards.”
    288. Because you don’t want to build an actual house of cards.
    289. Because we got “House of Cards” from the British, just like America.
    290. Because yay America.
    291. Because documentaries you fall asleep to.
    292. Because documentaries you don’t fall asleep to.
    293. Because the History Channel.
    294. Because anything besides the History Channel.
    295. Because “The Twilight Zone” marathon on Syfy.
    296. Because “The Twilight Zone” marathon on Syfy again.
    297. Because Syfy in general.
    298. Because it’s educational.
    299. Because it’s not educational.
    300. Because other countries aren’t America.
    301. Because other countries might be America.
    302. Because never mind. Other countries aren’t America.
    303. Because it’s what your mom wants.
    304. Because it’s not what your mom wants.
    305. Because you think it’s what your mom wants.
    306. Because when robots take over, they’re going to destroy TVs first.
    307. Because if “iRobot” taught us anything, it’s that robots are scary as Hell.
    308. Just because robots.
    309. Because you want to do homework, and you don’t know what’s wrong with you.
    310. Because if it’s wrong, why does it feel so right?
    311. Because if it’s right, why did we make a left back there?
    312. Because “Do the Right Thing.”
    313. Because “Adventure Time” is on.
    314. Because “Adventure Time” is not on.
    315. Because “Adventure Time” might be on soon.
    316. Because channel surfing counts as exercise.
    317. Because you’re trying to convince yourself that channel surfing counts as exercise.
    318. Because sitting in a chair is a yoga pose, right?
    319. Because you need to make sure your TV still works.
    320. Because your TV is not working, and you need to fix it.
    321. Because your TV is working, but you feel like you should still make sure.
    322. Because if you don’t, the Decepticons win.
    323. Because if you don’t, The Capitol wins.
    324. Because Jennifer Lawrence wants you to.
    325. Because Katniss wants you to.
    326. Because Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss are the same person.
    327. Because Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus are the same person.
    328. Because that just blew your mind.
    329. Because Megan Fox probably doesn’t care, but what if she does?
    330. Because “True Blood” is on.
    331. Because “True Blood” isn’t on.
    332. Because “True Blood” could be on.
    333. Because you’ll wait for “True Blood.”
    334. Because TBS is very funny.
    335. Because you don’t think TBS is very funny, but you’ll give it another chance.
    336. Because TNT knows drama.
    337. Because TNT doesn’t know as much drama as your family parties.
    338. Because USA came up with “characters welcome” after meeting your family.
    339. Because AMC has a “Breaking Bad” marathon.
    340. Because AMC has a “Breaking Bad” marathon again.
    341. Because at AMC, story matters.
    342. Because to Carl Winslow, “Family Matters.”
    343. Because AMC are the first three letters of your alphabet.
    344. Because there’s a “Power” marathon on Starz.
    345. Because there’s a “Power” marathon on Starz, and your couch is super comfy.
    346. Because there’s a “Masters of Sex” marathon on Showtime.
    347. Because there’s a “Masters of Sex” marathon on Showtime, and your mom isn’t in the room.
    348. Because there’s also a “Walking Dead” marathon on AMC.
    349. Because AMC is calling it a “Dead, White and Blue” weekend.
    350. Because AMC likes puns.
    351. Because the Hub has a “Transformers” marathon.
    352. Because you didn’t even know the Hub was a channel.
    353. Because MTV has an “Awkward” marathon.
    354. Because MTV’s “Awkward” marathon is less awkward than whatever is happening at your house.
    355. Because MTV has a “Ridiculousness” marathon.
    356. Because MTV’s “Ridiculousness” marathon isn’t as ridiculous as your Aunt’s new boyfriend.
    357. Because USA has a “NCIS” marathon.
    358. Because USA’s “NCIS” marathon isn’t as big a crime scene as your dad wearing those shorts.
    359. Because USA has a “Modern Family” marathon.
    360. Because you love spending time with your “Modern Family,” meaning the TV show.
    361. Because you love spending time with your “Modern Family,” meaning your regular family, but you’d rather watch TV.
    362. Because E! has a “Sex And The City” marathon.
    363. Because E! has a “Sex And The City” marathon, and you’re a Miranda.
    364. Because E! has a “Sex And The City” marathon, and you have no idea what a Miranda is.
    365. Because there’s a “South Park” marathon on Comedy Central.
    366. Because there’s a “South Park” marathon on Comedy Central, and they killed Kenny. You bastards!
    367. Because there’s a “Futurama” marathon on Comedy Central this weekend.
    368. Because TNT’s “Lord of the Rings” marathon.
    369. Because TNT’s “Lord of the Rings” marathon is the one marathon to rule them all.
    370. Because one does not simply go through July 4th without watching a “Lord of the Rings” marathon.
    371. Because Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” marathon.
    372. Because Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” marathon.
    373. Because Food Network is going to great lengths to make you hungry.
    374. Because you won’t be watching Adam Richman’s new show anytime soon.
    375. Because A&E’s “Dog the Bounty Hunter” marathon.
    376. Because you thought “Dog the Bounty Hunter” was about animals.
    377. Because A&E’s “Criminal Minds” marathon.
    378. Because you knew “Criminal Minds” wasn’t about animals.
    379. Because TLC’s “17 Kids And Counting” marathon.
    380. Because TLC’s “18 Kids And Counting” marathon.
    381. Because TLC’s “19 Kids And Counting” marathon.
    382. Because you’re starting to suspect all these “Kids and Counting” shows are really the same thing.
    383. Because TLC’s “A Very Duggar Wedding” marathon.
    384. Because TLC’s “Say Yes To The Dress” marathon.
    385. Because you don’t just say no to the dress.
    386. Because TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” marathon.
    387. Because TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” marathon is starting to make you take a hard look at your life.
    388. Because Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise” marathon. 
    389. Because your personal “Food Paradise” is the dollar menu at McDonald’s.
    390. Because Discovery’s “Fast N’ Loud” marathon.
    391. Because you weren’t aware “Fast N’ Loud” was so loud since it’s normally on mute at the gym.
    392. Because you want people to know you go to the gym.
    393. Because Discovery’s “Alaskan Bush People” marathon.
    394. Because Discovery’s “Alaskan Bush People” marathon makes you feel better about your studio apartment.
    395. Because Discovery’s “Alaskan Bush People” marathon looks a little too similar to your studio apartment.
    396. Because Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” marathon is on.
    397. Because Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” marathon is on, and it’s better than talking to Uncle Louis.
    398. Because IFC’s “Batman” the TV show marathon.
    399. Because IFC’s “Batman” the TV show marathon makes you think about “Dark Knight” again.
    400. Because “Freaks and Geeks” on Netflix.
    401. Because “Freaks and Geeks” on Netflix makes you feel better about your high school days.
    402. Because “Freaks and Geeks” on Netflix reminds you a little too much of your high school days.
    403. Because “The West Wing” on Netflix.
    404. Because “The West Wing” on Netflix makes you wonder why they didn’t make an “East Wing.”
    405. Because “Doctor Who” on Netflix.
    406. Because you still don’t know who actually watches “Doctor Who.”
    407. Because “Archer” on Netflix.
    408. Because “Archer” on Netflix is like the inappropriate James Bond you always wanted.
    409. Because you never wanted an inappropriate James Bond, but you’re glad “Archer” is on Netflix anyway.
    410. Because “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on Netflix.
    411. Because “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on Netflix makes you feel like you don’t have to sleep with the covers over your head.
    412. Because you sleep with the covers over your head anyway.
    413. Because “The X-Files” on Netflix.
    414. Because you can finally watch “The X-Files” on Netflix without wetting your pants.
    415. Because you can’t watch “The X-Files” on Netflix without wetting your pants, but you’re single so YOLO.
    416. Because YOLO.
    417. Because you want to figure out what the heck happened in “Lost.”
    418. Because you just figured out “Lost,” and it still doesn’t make sense.
    419. Because Olivia Pope is dope.
    420. Because the real “Scandal” is why this show isn’t on every day of your life.
    421. Because “Dancing with the Stars.”
    422. Because you watch “Dancing with the Stars” and think, “I can do that.”
    423. Because you watch “Dancing with the Stars” and think, “Wait, no I can’t.”
    424. Because you found old episodes of “Laguna Beach” online.
    425. Because you found old episodes of “Laguna Beach” online, and all your friends are like, “Where!”
    426. Because you like watching Taco Bell commercials.
    427. Because who doesn’t like watching Taco Bell commercials?
    428. Because your friends think you’re watching too many Taco Bell commercials.
    429. Because you want to know the next name on “The Blacklist.”
    430. Because you think your name is on “The Blacklist.”
    431. Because “Homeland,” duh.
    432. Because “Homeland,” double duh.
    433. Because you’re losing your head over “Sleepy Hollow.”
    434. Because other people are losing their heads over “Sleepy Hollow.”
    435. Because you secretly watch “The Bachelorette.”
    436. Because you openly watch “The Bachelorette.”
    437. Because you don’t know what the guys do with all the roses after the rose ceremony on “The Bachelorette.” Are they putting them in a vase? Do they give them back to her? What the heck is going on?
    438. Because “Under The Dome” doesn’t sounds terrible.
    439. Because “Under The Dome” can’t be more terrible than Aunt Lysa.
    440. Because “America’s Got Talent” got your attention.
    441. Because Heidi Klum on “America’s Got Talent” got your attention.
    442. Because “Suits.” That is all.
    443. Because other shows besides “Suits.” Now that is all.
    444. Because “Arrested Development” happened.
    445. Because Mary-Kate and Ashley solve any crime by dinnertime. Yay!
    446. Because Rust Cohle and Marty Hart take 17 years to solve a crime while struggling with inner demons and ruining the lives of everyone around them. Yay?
    447. Because you decided to give “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” a chance.
    448. Because you decided to give “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” a second chance.
    449. Because your mom wants to watch “Mom.”
    450. Because your dad wants to watch anything besides “Mom.”
    451. Because you’re a new mom, and you’re looking to pick up some tips from “Parenthood.”
    452. Because you’re not a new mom, and the tips you got were to never enter “Parenthood.”
    453. Because “How I Met Your Mother” is Legen …
    454. .. Wait for it …
    455. .. Wait for it …
    456. .. Wait for it …
    457. Dary!
    458. Because you’re looking to pick up some tips from “How I Met Your Mother” to meet ladies. Not to meet your mother.
    459. Because TV makes you happy.
    460. Because TV makes you so happy you clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.
    461. Because you don’t really know how a room without a roof should feel, so you stop clapping.
    462. Because books are lame.
    463. Because book adaptations aren’t lame.
    464. Because you don’t have a social life, and you’re cool with that.
    465. Because you do have a social life, and you’re cool with that.
    466. Because TV is better than a girlfriend.
    467. Because TV is better than a boyfriend.
    468. Because TV is better than significant others in general.
    469. Because you like watching TV with your significant other.
    470. Because TV is better than hugs.
    471. Because TV is better than bugs.
    472. Because TV is better than rugs.
    473. Because TV is better than male UGGs. (We’re looking at you, Tom Brady).
    474. Because TV is better than cats.
    475. Because TV is better than puppies.
    476. Because do you want to build a snowman?
    477. No? Okay.
    478. Because TV is better than fireworks.
    479. Because TV is better than ants.
    480. Because TV is better than aunts.
    481. Because Uncle Dave won’t stop talking about the time he met Gunnar Stahl from “D2: The Mighty Ducks.”
    482. Because Cousin Lucy threw up.
    483. Because the dog ate your keys.
    484. Because the cat ate your keys.
    485. Because Grandma ate your keys.
    486. Because Great Grandma Nan wants to get her Pat Sajak swerve on.
    487. Because Sister Mary Clarence is in witness protection and needs to find something to do.
    488. Because your mom says there’s “Leftovers” on the counter, but it’s just a DVD of an HBO show.
    489. Because “Live long and prosper.” – Spock
    490. Because Jerry Seinfeld gave you a new appreciation for Muffin tops.
    491. Because “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” – “Adventures of Superman”
    492. Because “Baby, you’re the greatest.” – Ralph Kramden
    493. Because “Yabba dabba doo!” – Fred Flintstone
    494. Because “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” – Jim McKay, “Wide World of Sports”
    495. Because “To the Batmobile!” – Batman
    496. Because “Danger, Will Robinson!” – “Lost in Space”
    497. Because “Kiss my grits!” – Flo, “Alice”
    498. Because “Good night, John Boy.” – “The Waltons”
    499. Because “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” – “Mission: Impossible”
    500. Because “No soup for you!” – The Soup Nazi
    501. Because “Did I do that?” – Urkel
    502. Because “Cut it out.” – Joey Gladstone
    503. Because “We’ve got a situation.” – Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
    504. Because “Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!” – “South Park”
    505. Because “Sock it to me!” – “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”
    506. Because “Book ’em, Danno.” – “McGarrett, Hawaii Five-0”
    507. Because “Bazinga!” – Sheldon Cooper
    508. Because “Just one more thing…” – “Columbo”
    509. Because “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” – Jan Brady
    510. Because “Stifle!” – Archie Bunker
    511. Because “Dude.” – Hurley, “Lost”
    512. Because “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” – “Friday Night Lights”
    513. Because “You hear that, Elizabeth? I’m coming to join you, honey.” – Fred Sanford
    514. Because “Will you accept this rose?” – “The Bachelor”
    515. Because “No? What about you? Will you accept this rose?” – “The Bachelor”
    516. Because “It’s Okay.” – Juan Pablo, “The Bachelor”
    517. Because “That’s Amazing.” – Everyone on “The Bachelor”/”The Bachelorette”
    518. Because “God will get you for that.” – “Maude”
    519. Because “You’re fired!” – Donald Trump
    520. Because “Who loves ya, baby?” – “Kojak”
    521. Because “Dy-no-mite!” – J.J., “Good Times”
    522. Because “Aaay!” – The Fonz
    523. Because “Come on down!” – “The Price is Right”
    524. Because “Is that your final answer?” – “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire”
    525. Because “De plane, de plane!” – Tattoo, “Fantasy Island”
    526. Because “Nanu-nanu.” – Mork, “Mork & Mindy”
    527. Because “Tenk you veddy much.” – Latka, “Taxi”
    528. Because “Let’s be careful out there.” – Esterhaus, “Hill Street Blues”
    529. Because “More cowbell!” – “SNL”
    530. Because “Well, isn’t that special?” – The Church Lady, “SNL”
    531. Because “Eat my shorts.” – Bart, “The Simpsons”
    532. Because “I’m listening.” – “Frasier”
    533. Because “It’s a good thing.” – Martha Stewart
    534. Because “Holy crap!” – Frank Barone
    535. Because “Bam!” – Emeril Lagasse
    536. Because “Make it work.” – Tim Gunn, “Project Runway”
    537. Because “Everybody lies.” – “House”
    538. Because “Who’s your daddy?” – “Veronica Mars”
    539. Because “Serenity now!” – “Seinfeld”
    540. Because “Giddy up!” – “Seinfeld”
    541. Because “A Festivus for the rest of us!” – “Seinfeld”
    542. Because “Hello!” – “Seinfeld”
    543. Because “Maybe the dingo ate your baby.” – “Seinfeld”
    544. Because “The jerk store called. They’re running out of you.” – “Seinfeld”
    545. Because “George is getting upset!” – “Seinfeld”
    546. Because “Hello … Newman.” – “Seinfeld”
    547. Because “They’re real, and they’re spectacular.” – “Seinfeld”
    548. Because “Master of my domain.” – “Seinfeld”
    549. Because “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” – “Seinfeld”
    550. Because “These pretzels are making me thirsty!” – “Seinfeld”
    551. Because “Yada yada yada.” – “Seinfeld”
    552. Because “I’m Rick James, bitch!” – “Chappelle’s Show”
    553. Because “What!” – “Chappelle’s Show”
    554. Because all your family is outside, so you sneak indoors to watch “All in the Family.”
    555. Because all your family is inside, so you sneak outdoors to watch “All in the Family.”
    556. Because “M*A*S*H” isn’t just for potatoes.
    557. Because watching “M*A*S*H” is better with potatoes.
    558. Because you want more “Mary Tyler Moore.”
    559. Because you still want more “Mary Tyler Moore.”
    560. Because you want to figure out why everyone at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is so “Mad.”
    561. Because you know why everyone at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is “Mad,” but you want to watch anyway.
    562. Because you have a beer, and it’s time for “Cheers.”
    563. Because you don’t have a beer, but it’s still time for “Cheers.”
    564. Because you fumbled it when it came down to “The Wire.”
    565. Because “The West Wing” is your thing.
    566. Because “The West Wing” could be your thing.
    567. Because you don’t if “The West Wing” is your thing.
    568. Because you like “The Simpsons” better than your family.
    569. Because your family likes “The Simpsons” better than you.
    570. Because you like parties, but you “Love Lucy.”
    571. Because everyone loves “Lucy.”
    572. Because everyone’s breaking bread, but you’re “Breaking Bad.”
    573. Because “Breaking Bad” is better than seeing Grandpa breaking wind.
    574. Because “The Dick Van Dyke Show” keeps Grandma from criticizing your life choices.
    575. Because you get blue without “Hill Street Blues.”
    576. Because your family is more like the Bluths than you’d like to admit.
    577. Because you wish your family was like the Bluths, and that’s scary.
    578. Because “The Daily Show” is called that for a reason.
    579. Because “The Daily Show” is better than listening to your drunk uncle talk politics.
    580. Because “The Daily Show” is actually just like listening to your drunk uncle talk politics.
    581. Because you wish “30 Rock” was your address.
    582. Because “30 Rock” is your address.
    583. Because it’s time for “Friday Night Lights,” and we’re not talking about sparklers.
    584. Because it’s time for “Friday Night Lights,” and we are talking about sparklers.
    585. Because you like to say “Cheers” to “Frasier.”
    586. Because you like to say “Frasier” to “Cheers.”
    587. Because life’s all about “Friends.”
    588. Because all your friends just want to watch “Friends.”
    589. Because you need more “Friends.”
    590. Because Monica and Chandler.
    591. Because Ross and Rachel.
    592. Because Joey and … sandwiches?
    593. Because “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”
    594. Because your girlfriend just dumped you, so it’s time for some “X-Files.” (Like because she’s your Ex.)
    595. Because you wish your girlfriend dumped you so you can watch “X-Files.” (Like because that whole she’s your Ex thing again.)
    596. Because without J. J. Abrams, you’re “Lost.”
    597. Because with J.J. Abrams, you’re found.
    598. Because you pronounce “ER” like “Errrr.”
    599. Because “ER” just gave you a heart attack.
    600. Because “The Cosby Show” is even better than JELL-O pudding pops.
    601. Because “The Cosby Show” is just as good as JELL-O pudding pops.
    602. Because you like watching “The Cosby Show” with JELL-O pudding pops.
    603. Because life can be frustrating, so maybe it’s time to “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
    604. Because life’s frustrating, so it’s past time to “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
    605. Because the honeymoon is over, but “The Honeymooners” is forever.
    606. Because the sticks in the bonfire won’t light. They call that “Deadwood.”
    607. Because surprise! “Deadwood” is also a TV show.
    608. Because you can’t live long and prosper without “Star Trek.”
    609. Because you can live long and prosper without “Star Trek,” but you don’t want to.
    610. Because “Star Trek” beams you up to fun times.
    611. Because your twins keep looking inside the grill and letting all the heat out. They call that “Twin Peaks.”
    612. Because your life is like an American television serial drama set in a fictional Washington town. They also call that “Twin Peaks.”
    613. Because without “NYPD,” you’re “Blue.”
    614. Because without “NYPD,” you’re green?
    615. Because “The Carol Burnett Show” is real a thing.
    616. Because swerve.
    617. Because swaggy.
    618. Because it’s time to get together with your “Girls.”
    619. Because you don’t want to get your butt muddy.
    620. Because watching “Arthur” is better than Hurricane Arthur.
    621. Because you always thought it was called “Downtown Abbey,” and the fact that it’s “Downton Abbey” means you need to watch it all over.
    622. Because your life is chaos without “Law & Order.”
    623. Because “Law & Order” is chaos without your life.
    624. Because people just need “Law & Order.”
    625. Because you just put “SVU” in the DVD player in your SUV.
    626. Because you originally went to buy “SVU,” but you accidentally got an SUV. (Happens to the best of us.)
    627. Because you’d rather be somewhere else, and that’s why they made “St. Elsewhere.”
    628. Because Porta-Johns.
    629. Because they made “St. Elsewhere,” and you wouldn’t rather be anywhere elsewhere.
    630. Because “The Colbert Report” doesn’t have to many episodes left, Mom.
    631. Because Colbert is taking over on CBS, Mom.
    632. Because there’s nothing more American than Colbert, Mom.
    633. Because you have a “Good Wife.”
    634. Because it’s a holiday, but you still need to check in with “The Office.”
    635. Because you need to check in with “The Office” from the UK.
    636. Because even when you’re at the office, you’re watching “The Office.”
    637. Because one day you’ll look back and just think about “The Wonder Years.”
    638. Because right now you are currently thinking about “The Wonder Years.”
    639. Because “Planet Of The Apes.”
    640. Because it doesn’t get more American than apes on horses.
    641. Because “Fargo.”
    642. Because no one will tell you how to get to “Sesame Street.”
    643. Because you could easily ask how to get to “Sesame Street,” but you want to figure it out for yourself.
    644. Because it’s the day we celebrate Christopher “Columbo,” right? No? Whatever.
    645. Because “Columbo” discovered America.
    646. Because all the people who lived in America weren’t discovered until Christopher “Columbo” got there.
    647. Because everyone else can listen to music outside, but you rock on to the “The Rockford Files.”
    648. Because Carpe diem: Seize the day.
    649. Because Carpet diem: Seize the living room carpet.
    650. Because it’s fetch.
    651. Because Gretchen needs to stop trying to make fetch happen.
    652. Because there’s a baseball game on.
    653. Because there’s another baseball game on.
    654. Because you’re waiting for a baseball game to come on.
    655. Because you wish there was a baseball game on.
    656. Because you can’t figure out why there’s no baseball game on.
    657. Because you remember when “Roots” wasn’t just a band on “The Tonight Show.”
    658. Because you remember when “Roots” wasn’t just a name for when girls grow out their hair and it’s a different color.
    659. Because “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
    660. Because not everybody loves Uncle Raymond.
    661. Because infomercials and ShamWow and stuff.
    662. Because you lost your sunglasses.
    663. Because someone else lost your sunglasses.
    664. Because the sun is sometimes too much fun.
    665. Because cookies.
    666. Because “The Golden Girls.”
    667. Because Betty White.
    668. Because strange and unfamiliar cheese trays.
    669. Because vegetables.
    670. Because someone mentioned “The Andy Griffith Show.”
    671. Because you wish someone mentioned “The Andy Griffith Show.”
    672. Because Jack Bauer.
    673. Because Jack Bauer says America depends on it.
    674. Because Jack Bauer would never lie about something like that.
    675. Because Jack Bauer might’ve lied about something like that.
    676. Because Facebook.
    677. Because twerking.
    678. Because you twerked your back, so you need to rest.
    679. Because reading is for Facebooks.
    680. Because you feel like checking on the “House,” meaning the TV show.
    681. Because you feel like checking on the “House,” meaning your house.
    682. Because your kitchen is a nightmare, and you’re waiting for Gordon Ramsay to show up.
    683. Because of “Parks and Recreation.”
    684. Because Ron Swanson is the greatest American.
    685. Because are we Americans? Or American’ts?
    686. Because there’s a show called “Dog Whisperer.”
    687. Because your dog is super loud, and you want him to learn how to whisper like the dogs on the show.
    688. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of Orange County.”
    689. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of Atlanta.”
    690. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of New York.”
    691. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of New Jersey.”
    692. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills.”
    693. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of Miami.”
    694. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of Vancouver.”
    695. Because there’s a show called “Real Housewives Of Melbourne.”
    696. Because if a “Sharknado” hits, you have to be ready.
    697. Because there’s a show called “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”
    698. Because you can think of 8 people who probably wish there wasn’t a show called “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”
    699. Because there’s a show called “Ax Men.”
    700. Because “Ax Men” sounds like “X-Men.”
    701. Because “X-Men” is awesome.
    702. Because there’s a show called “Teen Mom.”
    703. Because you wish there wasn’t a show called “Teen Mom.”
    704. Because you wonder whatever happened to the “Teen Moms.”
    705. Because the bro code.
    706. Because there’s a show called “Jersey Shore.”
    707. Because there’s a show called “Toddlers & Tiaras.”
    708. Because there’s a show called “American Pickers.”
    709. Because there’s a show called “Storage Wars.”
    710. Because there’s a show called “Parking Wars.”
    711. Because there’s a show called “Cupcake Wars.”
    712. Because there’s a show called “Amish Mafia.”
    713. Because there’s a show called “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”
    714. Because there’s a show called “Blind Date.”
    715. Because there’s a show called “Who’s the Boss?”
    716. Because there’s a show called “Doug.”
    717. Because there’s a show called “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
    718. Because there’s a show called “iCarly.”
    719. Because there’s a show called “Married … with Children”
    720. Because there’s a show called “Happy Days.”
    721. Because there’s a show called “Family Ties.”
    722. Because there’s a show called “Rugrats.”
    723. Because there’s a show called “The Ren & Stimpy Show.”
    724. Because there’s a show called “The Angry Beavers.”
    725. Because there’s a show called “CatDog.”
    726. Because there’s a show called “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.”
    727. Because there’s a show called “Hey Dude.”
    728. Because there’s a show called “The Secret World of Alex Mack.”
    729. Because there’s a show called “Cousin Skeeter.”
    730. Because there’s a show called “Legends of the Hidden Temple.”
    731. Because the Silver Snakes were the shiz.
    732. Because there’s a show called “Double Dare.”
    733. Because there’s a show called “Nickelodeon Guts.”
    734. Because there’s a show called “Global GUTS.”
    735. Because there’s a show called “Robot Wars.”
    736. Because there’s a show called “Figure It Out.”
    737. Because there’s a show called “Are You Afraid of the Dark.”
    738. Because there’s a show called “All That.”
    739. Because there’s a show called “Gullah Gullah Island.”
    740. Because there’s a show called “Blue’s Clues.”
    741. Because there’s a show called “The Wild Thornberrys.”
    742. Because there’s a show called “Invader Zim.”
    743. Because there’s a show called “Rocket Power.”
    744. Because there’s a show called “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.”
    745. Because there’s a show called “KaBlam.”
    746. Because there’s a show called “As Told By Ginger.”
    747. Because there’s a show called “Danny Phantom.”
    748. Because there’s a show called “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”
    749. Because there’s a show called “Salute Your Shorts.”
    750. Because there’s a show called “Saved By The Bell.”
    751. Because there’s a show called “Growing Pains.”
    752. Because there’s a show called “Clarissa Explains It All.”
    753. Because there’s a show called “Keenan & Kel.”
    754. Because if they don’t throw candy at the parade, it’s not worth it.
    755. Because parades are overrated.
    756. Because couches are underrated.
    757. Because carnivals get weird.
    758. Because baked beans.
    759. Because weather.
    760. Because beer makes you drunk.
    761. Because beer doesn’t make you drunk enough.
    762. Because beverages in general.
    763. Because why not?
    764. Because cobbler.
    765. Because Stephen “Cobblert.”
    766. Because “The Cobblert Report.”
    767. Because for goodness sake.
    768. Because shortcake.
    769. Because corn on the cob.
    770. Because burgers.
    771. Because you’re so fancy.
    772. Because you’re not fancy enough.
    773. Because babies.
    774. Because babies who overestimate their cuteness.
    775. Because watermelon.
    776. Because barbecue sauce.
    777. Because barbecues are messy.
    778. Because concerts are dirty.
    779. Because baseball is better on TV.
    780. Because with game shows, everybody wins.
    781. Because you can see the flag just fine from indoors.
    782. Because it’s your day off.
    783. Because you’re starting a revolution.
    784. Because the butt indent on the couch is big enough for all 13 original colonies.
    785. Because you declare independence from awkwardness.
    786. Because it’s what Paul Revere would’ve done.
    787. Because no one cares what you do.
    788. Because everyone cares too much what you do.
    789. Because no one came to your party. That’s not cool. You made pizza bagels.
    790. Because too many people came to your party. That’s not cool. There’s only one bag of pizza bagels.
    791. Because you didn’t have a party. That’s not cool. You’re gonna waste those pizza bagels.
    792. Because you can’t even.
    793. Because the sun be throwing shade at you.
    794. Because you got sunburnt.
    795. Because you are pretending you got sunburnt.
    796. Because you lied about being sunburnt, and now you can’t face your mom.
    797. Because you don’t have matching socks.
    798. Because your socks match a little too well.
    799. Because you can’t find your mandles.
    800. Because you just learned what mandles are.
    801. Because you are waiting for Shark Week.
    802. Because you wish Shark Week lasted all year.
    803. Because “Cake Boss” is sweet.
    804. Because Dumbledore died.
    805. Because Katniss is shooting arrows at your heart like Cupid.
    806. Because you missed the bus.
    807. Because you wish you missed the bus.
    808. Because you said a joke and no one laughed, so you’re thinking about your life.
    809. Because you’re secretly watching “Frozen.”
    810. Because you’re watching “Frozen,” but it’s not a secret.
    811. Because you like to turn the volume down and add commentary. You know it’s weird.
    812. Because you’re still really mad about that Dumbledore thing.
    813. Because someone at the party used your name in that “Bananarama Fo Fama” song, and you don’t know how to take it.
    814. Because you have soul searching to do.
    815. Because you wish you had some soul searching to do.
    816. Because Dumbledore. Seriously?
    817. Because you watch the Food Network for recipes.
    818. Because you really can’t deal with Karen right now.
    819. Because you don’t feel like going to the grocery store.
    820. Because you do feel like going to the grocery story but still want to wait it out.
    821. Because the hotdogs are gone.
    822. Because you wish the hotdogs were gone.
    823. Because hotdogs get on your nerves.
    824. Because you get on hotdogs’ nerves?
    825. Because you’re as mad about the hotdogs as the whole Dumbledore situation.
    826. Damn you, Dumbledore.
    827. Because some golf should be on, right?
    828. Because you’re still trying to figure out “The Sopranos” finale.
    829. Because you have a theory that if you fast forward quickly enough through “Laguna Beach” Season 3, you’ll go back in time, and it’ll be like it never happened.
    830. Because you wish “Jersey Shore” never did that season in Italy.
    831. Because “Camp Rock.”
    832. Because “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.”
    833. Because “Camp Rock” is almost out of jam.
    834. Because “Flavor of Love.”
    835. Because the “Flavor of Love” spinoff “I Love New York.”
    836. Because the “I Love New York” spinoff “Real Chance of Love.”
    837. Because the second season of “Real Chance of Love” called “Real Chance of Love 2: Back in the Saddle.”
    838. Because “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels.”
    839. Because sometimes you’re just “So Raven.”
    840. Because sometimes you’re just not “So Raven.”
    841. Because Mario Lopez hosted that show called “Pet Star,” and you had to get up really early to watch it. And it had dogs that could like almost skateboard.
    842. Because no one remembers “The Famous Jett Jackson.”
    843. Because you’re breaking down old footage of “Even Stevens” to see where Shia went wrong.
    844. Because Late Night Wars.
    845. Because “Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”
    846. Because you’re a Pokémon Master.
    847. Because you need to know why those “Housewives” were so “Desperate.”
    848. Because you got caught up in that damn map song on “Dora the Explorer.”
    849. Because you think “Diego” is a “Dora” wannabe.
    850. Because you told someone you think “Dora” is “A-dora-ble.” They didn’t react how you wanted them to.
    851. Because you learn life lessons from “The Wiggles.”
    852. Because you can’t figure out how the letter “A” got all that damn money to sponsor “Sesame Street.”
    853. Same for “B.”
    854. Same for “C.”
    855. Same for “D.”
    856. Same for “E.”
    857. Same for “F.”
    858. Same for “G.”
    859. Same for “H.”
    860. Same for “I.”
    861. Same for “J.”
    862. Same for “K.”
    863. Same for “L.”
    864. Same for “M.”
    865. Same for “N.”
    866. Same for “O.”
    867. Same for “P.”
    868. Same for “Q.”
    869. Same for “R.”
    870. Same for “S.”
    871. Same for “T.”
    872. Same for “U.”
    873. Same for “V.”
    874. Same for “W.”
    875. Same for “X.”
    876. Same for “Y.”
    877. Because you can understand for “Z.” That letter has a lot of Bitcoin.
    878. Because you wonder why you don’t have a lot of Bitcoin.
    879. Because what the hell is Bitcoin?
    880. Because if Ben Franklin tied a Bitcoin to the end of a kite string, he would have discovered the Internet.
    881. Because that’s what Al Gore did, right?
    882. Because there’s a show called “Buying Naked” that you just can’t watch when your parents are in the room.
    883. Because you watched the video tape from “The Ring,” and then someone called you, but your phone died and they didn’t leave a message, so now you need to watch it again and hope they call back.
    884. Because taxes, right?
    885. Because you think “Teletubbies” is based on a true story.
    886. Because you really hope “Teletubbies” isn’t based on a true story.
    887. Because it’s time to figure out why up until the ’50s the world was in black and white.
    888. Because TV always “Cheers” you up.
    889. Because you really like using “Cheers” as a pun.
    890. Because you wonder if Ted Danson would appreciate that.
    891. Because your life is so like “The Mindy Project” that it’s not even funny.
    892. Because if Rachel Bilson can pull off being a doctor on “Hart of Dixie,” you’re sure as heck going to support her.
    893. Because you want to remember when “One Tree Hill” was still good.
    894. Because “One Tree Hill” was always good.
    895. Because you’re checking to see if “Lone Survivor” is On Demand yet.
    896. Because you’re checking to see if “Robocop” is On Demand yet.
    897. Because you’re checking to see if “Lego Movie” is On Demand yet.
    898. Because everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.
    899. Because you’re checking to see if “Son Of God” is On Demand yet.
    900. Because you’re checking to see if “Endless Love” is On Demand yet.
    901. Because you hope no one knows you checked if “Endless Love” is On Demand yet.
    902. Because now you’re sitting in your house, paranoid that someone knows.
    903. Because you watch “Endless Love” and decide it was totally worth it.
    904. Because “2 Broke Girls” is a show.
    905. Because you like the Charlie Sheen “Two and a Half Men.”
    906. Because you like the Ashton Kutcher “Two and a Half Men.”
    907. Because “3rd Rock From The Sun” is a show.
    908. Because “8 Simple Rules” is a show.
    909. Because “According to Jim” is a show.
    910. Because “The Addams Family” is a show.
    911. Because “ALF” is a show.
    912. Because “Aliens In The Family” is a show.
    913. Because “American Dad!” is a show.
    914. Because “Angela Anaconda” is a show.
    915. Because “A.N.T. Farm” is a show.
    916. Because you watch “SportsCenter” for the first time today.
    917. Because you watch “SportsCenter” for the second time today.
    918. Because you watch “SportsCenter” for the third time today.
    919. Because you watch “SportsCenter” for the fourth time today.
    920. Because you realize it’s been the same episode of “SportsCenter” for the past 4 hours.
    921. Because you watch “SportsCenter” for the fifth time today.
    922. Because “Firefly” is a show.
    923. Because “Firefly” is a show that needs to come back.
    924. Because “The Bernie Mac Show” is a show.
    925. Because “The Beverly Hillbillies” is a show.
    926. Because you watch “SportsCenter” for the sixth time today.
    927. Because TV is your life.
    928. Because you think you might be in “The Truman Show” right now.
    929. Because “Bewitched” is a show.
    930. Because “The Big Bang Theory” is a show.
    931. Because Sheldon Cooper is the man.
    932. Because “Big Time Rush” is a show and a band, and you wish you didn’t know the second part of that.
    933. Because “The Bill Engvall Show” is a show.
    934. Because “Blossom” is a show.
    935. Because “Bob’s Burgers” is a show.
    936. Because “Bosom Buddies” is a show.
    937. Because you realize Tom Hanks is a great actor.
    938. Because you think Tom Hanks might be your favorite actor.
    939. Because you realize T. Hanks looks like “Thanks.”
    940. Because you want to tell T. Hanks thanks for being an actor.
    941. Because there’s a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Marathon on BBC.
    942. Because there’s a “America The Story Of Us” marathon on History.
    943. Because “Seinfeld” was groundbreaking.
    944. Because shovels are groundbreaking.
    945. Because “The Brady Bunch” is a show.
    946. Because you look on your DVR for the episode where Marcia gets hit in the nose.
    947. Because you find it and rewind it a few too many times.
    948. Because “Brothers and Sisters” is a show.
    949. Because “California Dreams” is a show.
    950. Because “Caroline in the City” is a show.
    951. Because “Clueless” is a show.
    952. Because “Coach” is a show.
    953. Because “Community” is a show again.
    954. Because you wish you could go to Greendale Community College for real.
    955. Because actually you don’t wish that.
    956. Because “Cory in the House” is a show.
    957. Because “Cougar Town” is a show.
    958. Because “Crash & Bernstein” is a show.
    959. Because “Dharma & Greg” is a show.
    960. Because “Diff’rent Strokes” is a show.
    961. Because sometimes you confuse Arnold and Webster, so you like watching “Diff’rent Strokes” to keep things straight.
    962. Because “What you talkin’ bout Willis?”
    963. Because “Dinosaurs” is a show.
    964. Because “Doogie Howser, M.D.” is a show.
    965. Because “The Drew Carey Show” is a show.
    966. Because “Ed, Edd n Eddy” is a show.
    967. Because “The Ellen Show” is a show.
    968. Because “Everybody Hates Chris,” but everybody loves his show.
    969. Because “The Facts of Life” is a show.
    970. Because “Family Guy” is a show.
    971. Because “Family Matters” is a show.
    972. Because “Family Ties” is a show.
    973. Because “Flight of the Conchords” is a show.
    974. Because “The Flintstones” is a show.
    975. Because “The Flying Nun” is a show.
    976. Because “The Fosters” is a show.
    977. Because “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is a show.
    978. Because you remember every word of the “Fresh Prince” theme song.
    979. Because “This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.”
    980. Because “What ever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV!”
    981. Because “What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?”
    982. Because “I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. I’ll be there for you, like I’ve been there before.”
    983. Because “Cleveland rocks! Cleveland rocks! Cleveland rocks! Cleveland rocks!”
    984. Because “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”
    985. Because “Who you gonna call?”
    986. Because “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”
    987. Because “Are you ready for some footballllll!”
    988. Because you’re too hungover.
    989. Because you’re not hungover enough.
    990. Because there’s no ice cubes at the party.
    991. Because there’s no Ice Cube at the party.
    992. Because you survived Y2K.
    993. Because you don’t know what Y2K is.
    994. Because freedom is spelled with 7 letters.
    995. Because united we stand. Divided we “Falling Skies.”
    996. Because “I have a ‘Dream Girls.'”
    997. Because the only thing to fear is fear itself … and if your favorite show gets cancelled.
    998. Because liberty and “Justified” for all.
    999. Because God bless “America’s … Got Talent.”
    1000. Because “Oh, say can you CNN.”

    Reasons 1001 – 1776. Because America.

    Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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    6 Reasons to Nix Hosting a Sleepover Party

    It starts with the cajoling from your daughter: “Please, please, please, can I have a sleepover party for my birthday?” followed by promises that she’ll be good and everyone will go to sleep early and it will be totally great! Something inside you resists, in large part because the idea of shushing a gaggle of girls throughout the night seems dreadful. You also sort of, kind of, remember from your own sleepover party years that they don’t end well. But it’s all a bit hazy. Let me jog your memory as to why.

    1. The girl who hosts the party always “loses it” at some point because nobody is paying enough attention to the fact that it’s her birthday after a couple hours. She feels dissed because this is supposed to be all about her. Or, the pressure becomes too much for her to keep everyone else in good spirits for so many hours. So she starts bossing everyone around out of anxiety, or comes to you in tears because she’s miserable.
    2. Within minutes of arriving, the girls will start negotiating about who they are going to sleep next to that night. Some girls will be thrilled to “lock in” their desired sleep-buddies. Others will feel rejected and hurt, leading to misery and tears and possibly a few girls insisting they want to go home.
    3. At least two, if not more, girls will inevitably whisper about one of the other girls as a way of bonding. They may gossip about another girl’s “lame nightgown,” the way she snores, how “weird” she’s being, etc. That girl will overhear the whispers, cry and insist on going home.
    4. Some girls will want to go to sleep before the others, and will become totally fed-up with the giggling and shrieking. The early-bird sleepers will ask the others to pipe down and even beg them, but the late-birders will refuse because they’re not tired and having fun. Fighting ensues.
    5. You, the mom host, will have to tell the girls at least a few — and possibly a billion — times to go to sleep after 10 p.m.. Your daughter will worry that everyone is going to hate you for being too strict. (How did you become the enemy? You didn’t even want to host this party.)
    6. All of the girls will be a giant, exhausted, teary mess the day after the sleepover, whining and weeping over the tiniest things (the sun is too sunny, the pancake syrup is too sticky). You will be waiting in desperation for the other parents to come take their child away. They will want to hear how the evening went, and you will be too tired to tell them coherently.

    Is it all coming back? For all these reasons, and so many more, I suggest rethinking whether throwing a sleepover is truly the best option. Far better: a sleep-under, in which your daughter’s friends come over wearing their pajamas and enjoy all the perks of a sleepover (movie, cake, wild silliness) but leave at around 9:30 p.m.. Everyone gets a good night sleep, including you, and it’s less pressure on everyone to have fun for that long. If you’re still unconvinced or already promised your girl a sleep-over, might I suggest investing in high-quality ear plugs, boxes of tissues and a solo room for yourself at a hotel the next day?
    Comedy – The Huffington Post
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    9 Reasons Meryl Streep Will Always Be Our Leading Lady

    Happy birthday, Meryl Streep! Hollywood’s indisputable sweetheart is 65 today and we can’t believe it. Not only is she looking fantastic, but the woman is on fire. Over 35 years since her first Oscar win as a newcomer to Tinseltown, Queen M was a nominee for the 18th, yes, 18th, time at this year’s Oscar’s for her performance in “August Osage County,” making her the most nominated actress in history. And though she’s a bit older than the average Hollywood actress, she’s defying all odds, still being one of the industry’s most sought-after actresses with several upcoming films in the works.

    We get it, Mer. You’re unstoppable. Here are nine reasons Meryl will always be the woman of our dreams. (Is there anything she can’t do?)

    1. She’s one smart cookie.
    She’s played a prime minister and an Editor-in-Chief on screen, but Streep would have been just as successful if Hollywood hadn’t come knocking. She attended both Vassar College and Yale’s School of Drama. In fact, she reportedly had applied for law school, but ended up oversleeping the morning of her interview and took it as a sign that she was destined for something else.

    2. Her many accents.
    From a sassy Southerner, to British iron lady, to a straight-talking nun in the Bronx, the Jersey-made actress can pull off any, we mean any, accent like a native. Here’s the proof.

    3. She’s charitable.
    Her enviable designer duds from “The Devil Wears Prada” were auctioned off for charity at her suggestion. She donated her entire salary ($ 1 million) from “The Iron Lady” to the National Women’s History museum. And recently it was uncovered that Streep and her husband, Don Gummer, have donated around $ 1 million to a variety of causes, including Meals On Wheels and the Coalition for the Homeless, quietly through their charity, the Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts. Saint Meryl?

    4. Her body confidence.
    There’s nothing sexier than confidence and well, Meryl just wears it well. “I wasted so many years thinking I wasn’t pretty enough and why didn’t I have Jessica Lange’s body or someone else’s legs?” Streep said in a 2009 interview. “What a waste of time. Now I’m enjoying the tatters of what’s left and I’m very happy. Part of it is having beautiful strong daughters and hearing them whine about what’s wrong with them. I’m like, ‘Shut up! You’re lovely!'”

    5. She’s grounded.
    You won’t see any diva-like behavior here. “I try to lead as ordinary a life as I can,” Streep has been quoted as saying. “You can’t get spoiled if you do your own ironing.”

    Perhaps it was her humble start that keeps her so down to earth. Streep waited tables in her 20s and once didn’t even have a place to sleep at night.

    “On my very, very first trip to London I went around busking to earn a few pennies to afford some food and overnight accommodation,” she told Closer Magazine. “One night, when I hadn’t made enough, I actually slept in the open in Green Park under a tree. The view from the park was of the Ritz hotel, and I vowed to myself that night that I was going to stay there one day -– and I have.”

    6. She has a kickass marriage.
    meryl streep don gummer

    Streep has been married over 35 years to sculptor Don Gummer, avoiding the “Oscar Curse” many times. Streep has said the key to her marriage has been communication about everything, no matter how small and to embrace your differences. “I go to the theatre a lot,” she told The Independent. “My husband doesn’t care if he never goes to the theatre but I don’t berate him because he doesn’t want to go to the theatre … we’re different.”

    7. She’s embracing aging, gracefully.
    Streep has had some of her most challenging and memorable roles after turning 50, though the majority of roles in Hollywood are for younger women. “The good thing about getting older is that when they actually do cast you it’s often something interesting,” Streep said in an interview with Good Housekeeping. “You have to embrace getting older. Life is precious… each day is a gift.”

    Earlier this year Streep was honored at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and said, “”I feel like I’m an example now in my dotage of the fact that you just can’t put those old gals out to pasture. We’ve got a lot of stuff still to say.” You go girl!

    8. She’s a feminist.
    meryl streep hillary clinton

    She’s no doubt played some strong female figures — Britain’s only female prime minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” to culinary genius Julia Child — but she still thinks women are underrepresented in Hollywood and beyond. “‘It would be nice to have a woman President. I think half the Senate should be women, half of Parliament, half the ruling mullahs” she once said. It seems she’s a big fan of Hillary Clinton too.

    Streep has also been outspoken about the sexualization of women in Hollywood. Following “the period when a woman was attractive and marriageable or something—not ‘marriageable.’ F******* I guess is the word…they really didn’t know what to do with you…” She said in an interview with Vanity Fair. Streep credits her success to not being pigeonholed in the same way.

    9. She’s perfectly comfortable in her own skin, and that’s what makes her a great role model.
    “For young women, I would say, don’t worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things,” Streep said after being awarded an honorary degree earlier this year. “For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that’s your strength. Everyone tries to look a cookie-cutter kind of way, and actually the people who look different are the ones who get picked up. I used to hate my nose. Now, I don’t.”

    Well, there you have it.

    Style – The Huffington Post
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    25 Reasons Kids Should Be Left Alone With Their Dads

    Making fun of dads because they are “pretty much just giant children” is soooooooo 2011. Maybe y’all ain’t heard, but dads are getting all sorts of respect lately — not because they’re doing anything different, but because — ugh — who didn’t want to loosen up the grip a little, amirite?

    Buzzfeed didn’t get the memo, so they put out a hilarious article titled “24 Reasons Kids Should Never Be Left Alone With Their Dads”. And besides some of the photos being genuinely funny with no real gender-specific blame to lather onto dad, it’s just kind of, well, you know… phoned in.

    But here’s the thing: when you beat dads down over and over and make moms distrustful of them (even in jest), all it makes society say is “don’t leave your kids alone with dad — you KNOW what they do!” And then guess who has to deal with the pressure of raising kids, working, and doing their damn thing? Moms. So lay off, kk?

    In light of this, I present to you 24 reasons (plus a bonus, you motherlovers) your kids should be left alone with their dads.

    1. They’re Not Too Cool for Selfies

    Because honestly, if a kid silly face will brighten your kid’s day, you check your pride and do it.

    2. They Make the Coolest Lunch Pack-ins

    Look for a Q&A with this dude here soon. Incredible work.

    3. They’re Not Afraid of Creepy-Crawlies

    There’s a couple of good “lizard” euphemisms I’ll pass up here.

    4. They Know Their Way Around a Garden

    And teaching a love for eating right!

    5. The Best Family Portraits EVAR

    Like, honestly.

    6. They’ll Be At Every Game

    Even if they’ve got two broken legs, they’ll make it there.

    7. Family Movies in the Man-Cave

    Because it’s just a cave if it’s not filled with family.

    8. They’ll Wait Hours to Get You Next to the Trophy

    You won’t care now, son, but when you’re older, it’ll be cool to have a pic of three generations next to that thing.

    9. Discipline Is Sometimes in Character

    Though really, everything BatDad does is in character.

    10. Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance is a Number One Priority!

    But you know what I mean.

    11. They’re Into Crafts

    And not above making up superheroes.

    12. They Will Tell the Hell Out of a Story

    Anything to make a bedtime story better.

    13. They Beam With Pride

    About everything their kids do — big and small.

    14. They Make Great Pillows

    And they don’t just run to Twitter to complain about it and demand wine.

    15. They Aren’t Afraid

    When their child arrived, they dove right in.

    16. They Will Be Your Training Wheels

    Until you can go it alone.

    17. Seriously, the BEST Lunch Notes

    We Q&A’d with this guy! Read it here!

    18. They’re Not Afraid to Hold You Close

    And take you everywhere.

    19. They Let Their Kids Play With Their Old Toys

    Because you can’t take it with you when you’re gone.

    20. They Will Ride That Ride

    Because it means a lot to you, son.

    21. They Have Good Advice

    Sometimes so good that it ends up in a book.

    22. They Have a Conference About Being a Good Dad

    And the support there flows. Pic of dad blogger Lorne Jaffe.

    23. They Can Show Mercy

    From BusyDadBlog: “She said ‘aw it’s so cute’ and proceeded to pet this fish. Of course we had to let it go.”

    24. They Will Catch You

    Not just when you fall, but when you jump.

    25. They Honor Their Spouses With Pictures Too

    Because if they didn’t respect their spouses, why would they be raising a kid with them?!

    Your move, Buzzfeed.

    This blog post originally appeared on 8BitDad.

    Also on HuffPost:

    Comedy – The Huffington Post
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    10 Cute-As-A-Button Reasons Babies Make Weddings Better

    2013-12-06-avatar.png — search, save, shop and share wedding ideas in one place.

    By Kellee Khalil,

    What could be cuter than a pint-sized wedding guest in formal attire? If you ask us, pretty much nothing. While not everyone loves kids at weddings, we think these cuties prove that little guests make a big day so special. Read on for hard evidence that babies make real weddings better.

    adorable baby flower girl purple rosette baby flower girl dress purple and white rosette headband cl
    Photo by: Andi Grant Photography on Heart Love Weddings via

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    Photo by: Jennifer Roper on Oh Lovely Day via

    Photo by: Craig Paulson Photography on Craig Paulson Photography via

    Photo by: Beaux Arts Photographie on Kelly Oshiro via

    Photo by: Amelia Johnson Photography on The Bride’s Cafe via

    cheetah and green flowergirl cape
    Photo by: JJ Horton Photography on Wedding Chicks via

    Photo by: Craig Paulson Photography on Craig Paulson Photography via

    Claremont Botanical Gardens Family Session
    Photo by: Sarina Love Photography on Inspired by This via

    pale pink rosette flower girl dress
    Photo by: Luminaire Photo on Heart Love Weddings via

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    10 Reasons To Love Winter Weddings

    Courtesy of Bridal Guide

    Winter weddings are growing in popularity — December is now the number three wedding month for Bridal Guide brides, behind May and June — and with good reason. Harriette Rose Katz, a top wedding planner in New York City, breaks down the top 10 reasons why winter weddings rock.

    1. Seasonal décor gives your wedding a unique touch.
    A winter wedding allows you to experiment with themed décor. An easy way to incorporate this is with natural components, such as frosted pinecones, pine leaves, snowflakes, or holiday lights to enhance your winter wedding wonderland.

    winter wedding

    2. You’ll get your first choice vendors.
    Although June and September weddings are a dream, they are two of the busiest months for weddings — so the chance that all of your top vendor picks will be available on the same date is pretty slim. But since December, January, and February are less popular among brides, they’re your best bet to get who you want — and for less! You’ll find that many vendors are willing to cut you a deal during these cold-weather months.


    3. You can focus more on the details.
    Since you’re saving money on your vendors, you can invest in the details that’ll make your wedding feel more personal. Try accessorizing your wedding party with commemorative scarves. For favors, give out gloves that your guests can use throughout the season. (Check out more winter favor ideas here.)


    4. Any color palette can work in the winter.
    When planning a color scheme for your wedding, the neutrality of the winter months complements a variety of shades — from rustic to glamorous, any color is sure to pop! Try incorporating your colors with winter foliage to emphasize the seasonal elements.


    5. Your fashion options are endless.
    While there is a typical weather-driven dress style for every other season — sleeveless for spring, strapless for summer — a winter wedding allows for the bride to experiment with various glamorous looks. Wear long sleeves, or wear that strapless gown and accessorize with an embroidered coat, faux fur, or upper arm gloves for a warm yet stylish look. (See 40 gorgeous winter gowns here.)


    6. The sunlight works in your favor.
    Winter mornings have great natural lighting; take advantage of this by snapping your group photos earlier in the day. Plus, since the sun sets earlier, you can usually capture a gorgeous sunset during your ceremony!


    7. Two words: comfort food.
    A winter wedding provides the perfect opportunity to put a luxury spin on wintry comfort foods. Try hearty dishes like pasta, lasagna, casseroles and warm soups, but add a fancy twist with mini soup bowls and individual dishes. Also, get fun and creative with the dessert course and set up a hot chocolate bar or s’mores bar. Serve creamy eggnog cocktails and spicy mulled wines.


    8. Your timing is perfect for an island honeymoon.
    Another big reason to love a winter wedding is the idea of an island honeymoon! Justify an escape from the cold and fly to a warm and sunny island for a sweet honeymoon adventure. (Check out Caribbean honeymoon options for every budget here.)


    9. Your wedding will naturally stand out.
    The entire wedding, from ceremony to reception, is guaranteed to make an impression in the memories of all your guests simply because it’s different from all of the spring and summer weddings they typically attend. Plus, your wedding will provide something to look forward to in the colder months.


    10. Winter weddings make you believe in magic.
    The ambiance around a winter wedding is equivalent to that of the first winter snowfall — it’s magical and very romantic. Make sure you highlight and maximize the winter elements with faux snow or Christmas lights for a perfect winter scene.

    Tell us: Would you consider having a winter wedding? Check out 100 ideas for the season!


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    4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Follow a Low-Carb Diet

    4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Follow a Low-Carb DietThink you know all there is to know about carbs? Think again. Here's what you need to know why you should keep them in your diet.

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    Reasons to Drink Number Two: We Drink to Remember

    We live in a world that dances to a liquid soundtrack of alcohol, and it’s a beautiful if bitter sweet song ruined occasionally by a harshly discordant note that sounds a lot like someone falling head-first off a table, or projectile vomiting up the side of a completely defenseless building.

    Alcohol has the power to make life memorable, which is not always a good thing, but explains why our celebrations are so steeped in it. There is, quite simply, nothing we won’t celebrate with a drink. We toast life, we toast death, marriage and birth, farewells and returns. Just as when we suffer we drink to forget, when emotions run high in the other direction, we drink to remember and the same thing that will make you forget your own mother in large enough quantities is used to lubricate that joy. This lubricant will probably be champagne, the world drink of celebration and I guess by proxy what happiness tastes like. We’ve even made it a part of our very own coming of age; Voting, Consent, Driving and Drinking, the ages at which we can legally use the four most useful things in the world; wheels, political choice, a nice cold beer, and our own penis/vagina.

    Some occasions are particularly soaked in alcohol and occasionally just as flammable. Prior to the wedding that we will undoubtedly celebrate with a drink to the sound of popping corks, we embark on one of the most hedonistic nights of our lives where we ritually say goodbye to the us that was and welcome in the us that will be, all to the sound of snapping G strings, the smell of some kind of bronzing agent and the taste of alcohol; lots and lots of alcohol. At Christmas we put brandy in the butter and drink beverages that taste like the holidays themselves; be it nog, or mulled wine. Personally I’m amazed a drinks brand with a particularly duplicitous marketing department hasn’t come up with a tenuous link to Mothers day or Valentines in the way Baileys Irish Cream has wormed its way so successfully into Christmas. Perhaps in the future these other days will taste of Chartreuse or, god forbid, Sambuca, who knows.

    Nothing however compares to New Year. New Years Eve has grown to become a booze-fuelled celebration dedicated to memory; to remembering those past, lost or forgotten, to mark the end of another year with hope for the next while we raise a cup of kindness to the lilting melody of Auld Lang Syne, probably singing the same verse over and over again because no one has taken the time to look up the second verse on Wikipedia or ironically have once again forgot it.

    What it all comes down to is liquid punctuation. The drinking isn’t the occasion itself, just a handy excuse. It doesn’t form the backbone, but can cap it off beautifully like a drinkable full stop. It can add a moment of drama in the form of a raised glass, help us pause for a moment and take stock like a handy comma, pose a question, or hashtag a shared memory communally forever.

    Whatever, wherever or whoever we want to remember we can do it just as well if not better with a glass in hand and sometimes we owe it to them to do just that.

    Which only leaves me to pour a glass myself and toast a happy Christmas and a magical New year to all of you, you’ve earned it I’m sure.

    Here’s to you.

    And surely you’ll buy your pint cup,

    And surely I’ll buy mine

    And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne

    For auld lang syne, my dear. For auld lang syne

    We’ll take a cup of kindness yet. For auld lang syne.
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    5 Good Reasons To Get Married While You’re Young, According To Research

    The average age for Americans getting married has reached a historic high — 27 for women and 29 for men — a jump from the 1990 average marrying age of 23 for women and 26 for men.

    While delaying marriage has advantages — a lower divorce rate, higher income for women and fewer and less intense arguments between spouses — studies show there also may be benefits to tying the knot before age 30. (However, there is such a thing as marrying too young. Research shows that marriages beginning when a woman is 18 are twice as likely to end in divorce as those beginning when she is 22.)

    Below are five reasons to get married in your 20s.

    1. It could make you happier.
    According to the National Marriage Project’s 2013 “Knot Yet” report, the highest percentage of people ages 20 to 28 who consider themselves “highly satisfied” with their lives are married, as opposed to single or cohabiting. What’s more, the largest number of women who described their marriage as “very happy” tied the knot when they were 24 to 26. A 2010 study found that “the greatest indicated likelihood of being in an intact marriage of the highest quality is among those who married at ages 22–25.”

    2. You’ll make more money (at least if you’re a man).
    An analysis of American Community Survey data from 2008 to 2010 revealed that among men in their mid-30s, those who married in their 20s had the highest levels of personal income. Economists have found, in general, that married men earn more than single men — even when you control for other factors like age and education.

    3. You’ll have more sex.
    Couples who marry in their 20s tend to have more frequent sex than those who marry later. In a 2011 paper, Dana Rotz of Harvard University wrote that “a four year increase in age at marriage is associated with a couple having sex about one time less per month.” What’s more, married people as a whole have more sex than their single counterparts. The sooner you marry, the more time you’ll be spending between the sheets.

    4. You’ll drink less alcohol.
    A 2012 study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that married and engaged young adults reported lower frequency of drunkenness than those who are not in a serious romantic relationship. “Marriage and engagement likely carry with them a heightened sense of responsibility and obligation and a less active social calendar, which leads to less drunkenness,” the study’s authors wrote. Laying off alcohol has many health benefits, including weight loss, better sleep, better skin and a reduced risk of some cancers.

    5. There’s nothing to be gained from waiting — if you think you’re ready.
    We certainly aren’t advocating a rush to the altar, but if you feel like you’re prepared for that next step, go for it. Research says there’s no advantage to delaying marriage just for the sake of delaying it. A 2010 study by sociologists Norval Glenn and Jeremy Uecker states that “A 25-year-old person who meets an excellent marriage prospect would be ill-advised to pass up that opportunity only because he/she feels not yet at the ideal age for marriage. Furthermore, delaying marriage beyond the mid-twenties will lead to the loss during a portion of young adulthood of any emotional and health benefits that a good marriage would bring.”

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