Gloria Vanderbilt Remembered By ‘Nothing Left Unsaid’ Filmmaker Liz Garbus: ‘Totally Surprising and Wonderful’

Gloria Vanderbilt was an heiress, an artist, a socialite, a businesswoman, a fashion designer, a writer, a bold lover and a devoted mother. She was all of those things in one elegant package, which fueled her status as one of the 20th century’s most talked-about figures. Vanderbilt, who died June 17 at 95, was remembered […]



There’s Nothing Superficial About Missoni’s New Surface Conversion Exhibit

Angela Missoni’s curiosity and roving eye keeps Surface Conversion sharp and relevant. The project, which features collaborations between Missoni and various artists who develop site-specific works for the flagship at 1009 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, was created for sharing art with customers and the public.
Missoni asks artists to develop site-specific pieces, with the possibility of integrating artworks into every single corner of the store. She watches as the art transforms the scale of the boutique, hoping it will open a dialogue about the relationship between culture, fashion and art.
“Dreams of Being,” an installation by American textile artist Rachel Hayes, opened Wednesday as the latest installment of Surface Conversion, curated in collaboration with a Palazzo Gallery. The exhibition features Hayes’ large scale, hand-sewn patchwork tapestries that experiment with themes of color, shadow and light.
Hayes’ works are both powerful and fragile — bright, optimistic colors on delicate fabrics. Hayes is inspired by the traditions of quilt making, sculpture, painting and stained glass. She uses materials based on these crafts to design her abstract fabric compositions.
Missoni was just looking around “going from one thing to another. I was looking for patchwork and then I bumped into Rachel on social media. I was really amazed by

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Brie Bella and Nikki Bella’s Mom Gets Pissed Off During Family Dinner: “Nothing Has Ever Been Good Enough for You Guys!”

Brie Bella, Total Bellas 205Don’t mess with mama Bella!
The Bella Twins disrespected their mom big time on this week’s episode of Total Bellas, and she was not afraid to put her foot down. Nikki Bella and…

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Karlovy Vary Film Review: ‘The Nothing Factory’

In times of crisis, suggests a character in “The Nothing Factory,” there are various possible responses: You can shoot a gun or form a community garden. Or in Portuguese documentary director Pedro Pinho’s case, you can make your narrative debut, an occasionally inspired, but often trying three-hour-long, genre-hopping patchwork of social-realist cinema. While such a… Read more »



Nothing to See Here, Just a Python Swallowing a Hyena

The whole damn thing.

Lifestyle – Esquire


Globo Launches at Natpe TV Series ‘Above Justice,’ ‘Nothing Remains the Same,’ ‘Supermax’

Brazilian TV giant Globo has announced the international launch at Natpe this January of three new TV series: “Above Justice,” “Nothing Remains the Same” and “Supermax.” All three suggest new fiction production trends coursing through Globo. Underscoring an increasingly consolidated tendency at now most big Latin American TV players, including Televisa and Telemundo Internacional, Globo’s… Read more »



“Nothing Comes Easy”: A Chat with Adrian Steirn About ‘The World’s Most Wanted Leopard’


Sometimes nature gets caught up in the crossfires of conflicts and human issues. In the case of the Caucasian leopard, also known at the Persian leopard, the species has been stuck in war zones, and confined to barren, uninhabitable terrains. While our President Elect may not believe in global warming, he can’t deny that the world is in upheaval and migrations, by the millions and fueled by feuds, are happening around the globe. That leaves animals, often ones already on the endangered species list, to fend for themselves.

The positioning of the natural habitat of the Caucasian leopard puts its survival at risk. Listed as officially “Endangered on the IUCN Red List,” this large feline, the largest subspecies of the leopards, is now confined to the greater part of the Western Caucasus, between Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, with a few more remaining in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

It is in fact in Azerbaijan that the upcoming Nat Geo WILD documentary The World’s Most Wanted Leopard takes place. Following filmmaker (and in my opinion diplomat, storyteller, nature aficionado and all around cool guy) Adrian Steirn and his team, which includes local guide and “Leopard Man” Babakhan Rakhmanov and Victor Lukarevsky, a world-renowned Russian big cat specialist, we the audience find ourselves in the midst of a thriller, complete with twists and turns worthy of a mystery narrative film. Will these men find the elusive leopard, and will they be able to outdo it in capturing its image for posterity? The answer is one I won’t give away, but lets just say the outcome of this film will affect us all, in real life. It’s that important.

I caught up with Steirn to find out more about his journey, which was aided in part by an organization in Azerbaijan called IDEA. Here’s what he had to say about his voyage to find this elusive, beautiful, mystical big cat, the result of which airs in December worldwide on Nat Geo WILD. And what we can all do, starting today, to help save the world.

In your documentary, you say something that really struck me — “I pick up my camera to do one thing — make positive change”. Shouldn’t that be the responsibility of all human beings, to work for a better place? And shouldn’t all artists pick up their artistic tools to make social relations, climate, human existence and nature better?

Adrian Steirn: Conservation is self-preservation; so making positive change is absolutely a shared responsibility. But humans are inherently self-serving. We only start to care when the water runs out, so to speak — we can always try to do more.

Do you have any updates on Babakhan, your wonderfully charming guide in Azerbaijan?

Steirn: Babakhan is immensely proud to know that the documentary is going around the world. He is an ardent conservationist and deeply appreciates the support.

What has happened since you filmed in 2014, with the Caucasian leopard, but also with the initiative started by you and IDEA?

Steirn: IDEA and the government of Azerbaijan are working immensely hard to ensure the continued protection of the Caucasian leopard. They are looking at breeding and relocation programs and pouring resources into their national parks and holistic conservation.

Do you think we, as human beings, hold the power of one, to make a difference as singular persons?

Steirn: One person can always make change by creating motivation for many. It starts with the individual, who has to empower a community.

You clearly are part filmmaker, part preservationist, part diplomat, part cross country athlete and all world saver. Does it ever prove challenging to be Adrian Steirn, and in which situations?

Steirn: Nothing comes easy. We only have finite time and resources on our planet. By surrounding myself with capable, resourceful people, I have been able to overcome certain hurdles. But nothing is ever as easy as you think it’ll be starting out.

And to someone who has never met you and doesn’t know you, how would you describe yourself?

Steirn: As a photographer and filmmaker with a high level of determination. I don’t give up easily.

Three things we can all begin to do today, that will help save the world?

Steirn: Educate yourself. Be empathetic. Find ways to take people with you — don’t preach at your audience.

Photos courtesy of Nat Geo WILD, used with permission.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Ashley Madison - Have an affair. Married Dating, Affairs, Married Women, Extramarital Affair

These Pre-Fame Pictures Of Emily Ratajkowski Leave Absolutely Nothing To The Imagination

The unseen polaroids are seriously not suitable for work.

Lifestyle – Esquire


‘Hamilton’ Actor on Speech to Mike Pence: ‘There’s Nothing to Apologize For’

“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?” Alexander Hamilton asks Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” In an example of life imitating art, the actor currently playing Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon, says he won’t apologize for the speech he delivered to Mike Pence on Friday night after the Vice President-elect… Read more »



‘Hamilton’ Star Brandon Victor Dixon Says Cast Has ‘Nothing To Apologize For’

Hamilton,” an overwhelmingly popular musical about the political foundations of the United States, captured the attention of President-elect Donald Trump this weekend when castmate Brandon Victor Dixon read a message to a singled-out audience member after a performance  in New York City. 

That audience member was Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and the message read, in part:

“We, sir, we are the diverse America, who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

Shortly after Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the hit theater production, delivered his impassioned words on Friday night, Trump took to Twitter to demand the “overrated” “Hamilton” cast apologize for “harassing” Pence.

Early the following Monday morning, Dixon appeared on “CBS This Morning” to deliver a simple response: “There’s nothing to apologize for.”

When asked by CBS why he and his castmates at Richard Rodgers Theatre decided to speak directly to Pence, Dixon explained that “Hamilton” is a politically-conscious production with a platform capable of reaching a global audience.

“The producers, the creatives, and the cast ― we recognize that ‘Hamilton’ is an inherently American story told by a definition of the American community,” he said. “We are men, women of different colors, creeds and orientations. You know, the resonant nature of the show throughout the world, throughout the global community, demands we make statements when there are important issues facing us as a community. So we wanted to stand up and spread a message of love and unity considering all the emotional outpour since the election.”

He added:

“Conversation is not harassment. I was really appreciative that Vice President-elect Pence stood there and listened to what we had to say. And you know, I know that some people have said that a one-sided conversation or lecture is not conversation, but it was the beginnings of a conversation I hope that we can continue to have.”

Dixon also explained that “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda helped craft the statement along with producer Jeffrey Seller and director Tommy Kail. Seller called Dixon an hour-and-a-half before curtain to see if he would be interested in sharing their words. Dixon explained how he read the message to the cast and made some adjustments ahead of his end-of-show speech. 

For the record, Pence said that he really enjoyed the performance and wasn’t offended by what was said. He is, according to Dixon, welcome to come to the show again ― as is Trump ― to have a conversation with the cast backstage.

Dixon had a message for the individuals coping with fear following the election of Trump, too:

“For me, I think the most important thing to me with respect to all the emotions everyone is feeling after this election is to make sure that people recognize we are not alone. We are here together. And we need to listen to one and other and speak to one and other, and maybe those of us who feel their voice has been marginalized or might become marginalized ― it’s important that they recognize that there are allies all over the place.”

Dixon has been widely supported by past and present “Hamilton” castmembers in New York City and Chicago in the days following his performance:

Bonus: Even Miranda’s dad chimed in.

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

Arts – The Huffington Post
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Shanks for Nothing

Shanks for Nothing

In this madcap sequel to Reilly’s beloved bestselling golf novel Missing Links, little has changed at the Ponkaquogue Municipal Golf Club, possibly the worst course in the world. But on one disaster of a day, RStickS Hart’s world does a ten-car-pile-up.

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How Nothing But Junk Food Helped One Man Lose Weight

Everything, including donuts, in moderation.

Lifestyle – Esquire


There is Nothing Dead in This Grandiose Former Funeral Establishment of the City of Paris.


Art Galore.

The 104, as it is called, spelled out in French as Le Centquatre-Paris, is a multimedia art center partly funded by the city of Paris. Located in a vast compound of gigantic halls and structures, it houses dance floors, exhibit halls, stores, libraries, workshop classes and stages. Calling itself an artistic and cultural factory, the place is geared towards public service — Art as a public service is definitely a great concept!

On any given day a buzz of artists, dancers, yogis, actors, painters, sculptors, fill the cavernous space with laughter and life. Visitors pop up at the arts library, shoppers stroll through the Emmaus thrifstore. It’s at the same time neighborhoods hang-out for young skaters, and an elite art space for openings and happenings.

Its success is real and tangible. You can witness art in various forms glow right under your eyes, and see how art really is a street expression in its best form. Over 60 percent of the performing artists at the 104 are not French.


The fall schedule of exhibition is heavy with many new shows coming up: dance performances, visual arts, circus acts, theater and music fests. Solo acts or ensemble pieces, no matter what month you are able to go, several art forms will be on display or happening, including a ball in April open to all. About 50 artists in residence are planned to offer their creations for the 2015-2016 season.

An official opening was held Sept. 26 to present the 25,000 square feet of available galleries and open spaces to the public for the new season. On Oct. 3, a Nuit Blanche (White Night) is planned, when the space will stay open all night. The calendar is so full of events that it would be impossible to see and hear everything offered to each senses.

Les Pompes-Funèbres : From Death to Life.

Located on the site of a former municipal undertaker, the name comes from the original entrance’s address, at 104 rue d’Aubervilliers. This was not the mom and pop funeral home where one would visit one deceased family member in a flower-filled room and weep. This was where hundreds of horse-drawn hearses used to park and be maintained. Now an artistic factory, it churns out events and gatherings at a vertiginous speed.

The buildings were erected in 1873 by the diocese, ruled by religious staff; later on, with the separation of state and church, the city created in 1905 the Service municipal des pompes funèbres (Municipal Service of Funeral Process), considered at the times as a liberal progress, as it meant that from then on, regardless of religion or condition, everyone was due a proper funeral.

Before that, divorced women, suicide victims, atheists, all were to be buried at night without any dignified ceremony or family members present. The municipal monopole was taking care of everything, from coffins to hearses, from porters to cemeteries. One of the important rituals after a death was to wrap the front door of the building where the deceased laid with massive black curtains on each side of the front door – those were called the pompes.

This black veil was used until the 1980s. The Municipal Monopole was still in practice until the middle of 1997. Since then, the ceremonial is now left to family and private companies.


At the Pompes Funèbres, 27,000 hearses were in use, with a staff of 1,400, only forty of which were women. Carpenters, wood workers, steel workers, mechanics, auto body specialists, seamstresses, cooks for the on-site workers’ cafeteria. Civil servants, horse caterers and other employees were lodged on the premises. There was even a football team, musicians, and firefighters dedicated to the ensemble of constructions. The funeral parlor did not handle corpses – that was done in private parlors. Except in times of war, when the bodies of soldiers were given back to their families.

Creativity at its Best.

So the place was truly always alive (pun intended) in a way, but for some 15 years when it was closed down, before the re-birth as an art center in 2008. When I last visited at the beginning of September, I saw several artists using the multi-levels center floor as a dance stage and yoga space, kids running around huge sculptures, workers having a sandwich on beach chairs, the feel of community involvement was very tangible.


At each end of the space giant art pieces jetted to the open sky – this is a place that could easily accommodate one of Louise Bourgeois giant spider sculptures. Not every art space can. An enormous funky piece made of hundreds of bicycles wheels and frames in a sculpture by Chinese Al Weiwei named “Stacked” was taking one end of the forum – representing the transportation mode of his native country, while a metal snake of rust-color boxes was being installed for the upcoming vernissage.


Concerts for all ages and all style are planned for the fall schedule. Several art shows will also open at the various venues encompassed in the buildings. It’s a real artistic community all housed under one roof. A glass roof that is.

The architecture is reminiscent of the former market halles (market halls) that were once famously popular in the center of the capital. Why waste beautiful edifices? The eco friendly turn-around of the classic buildings is a testament of the creativity of its new users, all artists.

Side Shows.

A food truck selling pizzas is permanently parked inside the Centquatre. The Emmaus store resales clothes and furniture pieces at very low prices, and involves members of the community to work there. Canvas beach chairs invite people to lounge at will. Several corners are meant to be used as sitting areas, or even picnic settings.

The café’s menu is full of childhood favorites, such as toasts, soft eggs, fries and milk-shakes. It is named the Café Caché (the Hidden Café). Another resting place for food is the Grand Central restaurant, the loft-like space offering traditional French dishes at a medium range price – think sausage and lentils, beef cheeks, mussels and fries, rabbit with granny smith apples, steak with Béarnaise sauce, etc..


The CentQuatre had a challenge — to fill the enormous spaces spread on several city blocks, and despite its sheer size, the place works — it is both a community haven and a convivial space for all. Despite being located in an untrendy area of Paris, that has not stopped Parisians of every corner to make the trip for the sake of art. Over half a million visitors/spectators came by last year. Bravo!


If you go:
Le CentQuatre is at 5 rue Curial, Paris 75019.
Open Tuesday-Friday noon-7 p.m. Weekends 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Closed Monday.
Métro stop: Riquet.
Bus 54 or 60.

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

Arts – The Huffington Post
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If You Think The Apple Watch Is Ridiculous, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

What’s better than wearing a $ 500+ Apple Watch? Attaching it to a $ 9,000+ designer watch and wearing them both at once, of course. 

California-based watchmaker Nico Gerard released on Monday the Pinnacle watch, a Swiss-made, 41-millimeter by 10.3-mm, water-resistant timepiece with a strap that fastens onto the Apple Watch.

“The chronometer is situated on the outside of the wrist; the smart watch is situated on the inside of the wrist,” the watchmaker’s website reads.

There are three models to choose from: the Pinnacle, which at $ 9,300 has a stainless steel strap and a black watch face; the Skyview Pinnacle ($ 9,500), with a stainless steel strap and a navy watch face; and, finally, the Sunrise Pinnacle ($ 112,000), which is made of 18-karat gold and has a red face. An Apple Watch or an Apple Watch Edition is also included in each purchase.

You must reserve a model before buying it: Only 99 Skyview Pinnacle and 88 Sunrise Pinnacle watches are available for reservation; there is no limit on the number of standard Pinnacle models available. Reservations, by the way, cost another $ 200 — $ 500 if you’re buying the Sunrise. Customers then have to wait between six and 12 months (depending on which they bought) before they can get their hands — or their wrists — on the timepieces. 

Adam Pluemer, president of Nico Gerard, told The Huffington Post that the “Apple Watch has a bunch of functionalities that people want to use,” such as the heart rate monitor. The Pinnacle bracelet “allow[s] someone to wear that classical timepiece and have all the benefits of the smartwatch as well.”

He also noted that by having an Apple Watch on the inside of the wrist, the wearer could more discreetly view his or her notifications –“If you’re in a board meeting, you don’t want someone across the table reading your text messages” — though why one needs to drop over $ 9,000 for something that can be done with the regular Apple Watch is beyond us. Maybe it’s another way to hide your Apple Watch from your “mainstream” friends.

Nico Gerard is not the first watchmaker to invent a fasten-on for the Apple’s latest gadget. Watchmaker Original Grain also started a crowdfunding campaign in June for The Duo Watch Adapter, which allows users to link the band of their Barrel watch to the Apple Watch on the same clasp.

However, the Original Grain watch is priced at $ 269. Why do the Pinnacle watches cost at least $ 9,300, then?

Pluemer says it’s because the devices are certified by Official Swiss Chronometer Testing, the organization responsible for verifying the accuracy of Swiss timepieces. He also noted that “only 3 percent of Swiss watches actually qualify for [this] certification — so it is actually an elite watch.”

Pluemer was not able to tell us how many watches had been reserved, as of Tuesday.

H/T Tech Insider

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

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Books to Bed – Nothing Freightens Madeline Book & PJ Set

Books to Bed – Nothing Freightens Madeline Book & PJ Set

Stories to wear and share. A darling adaptation to the age-old tradition of the bedtime story, Books to Bed – Nothing Freightens Madeline Book & PJ Set by combines best-selling hardcover children’s story books with a set of matching motif, 100% cotton, snug-fitting, long john pajamas to create a wonderful bedtime experience.
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Conan & Billy Eichner Join Grindr And Leave Nothing To The Imagination

Sorry, Tinder. You’ve been swiped left.

After Conan O’Brien’s crazy adventures with Dave Franco on Tinder, he decided to try out another popular dating app for one of his hilarious remote segments. This time around, the talk show host invited comedian Billy Eichner to help him navigate the world of Grindr: an app geared towards gay, bisexual and bi-curious men.

If anything, O’Brien took his Tinder experience and cranked it to 11. The talk show host has conversations that leave nothing to the imagination (you’ll never look at a birch tree the same way again), brings a bowl of condoms that makes it look like he’s passing them out as Halloween candy and rides around in a creepy van with another glorious paint job. And incredibly, he’s actually pretty successful.

“Conan” airs weeknights at 11:00 p.m. ET on TBS.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Nothing Is Safe When Your Cat Is ‘Insanity’ Cat

Redditor Mike Lodriguss has a cat named Luna, and she’s 7 pounds of pure “insanity.”

In this clip, watch five excellent minutes worth of the mad kitty’s shenanigans. Then ask yourself this: What life would be like with a feline companion like this energetic ball of fur?

She’d wage war against your closet…


Your water bottle…


Your carpet/lint/air…


…and basically everything you own. Nothing is safe.


But OK, we concede: There’d certainly be perks too.

Like really, really great perks.


Would it be worth it? We’d say yes. No contest.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Lauren Conrad’s Wedding Throwback Photo Is Nothing Short Of Lovely

Throwback Thursday is the perfect time to reminisce about life’s happiest moments.

The team over at posted a #tbt photo from Lauren Conrad and William Tell’s September wedding, taken by photographer Elizabeth Messina. The snapshot shows the Paper Crown designer, dressed in her stunning Badgley Mischka Couture gown, walking arm-in-arm with her new husband, both smiling brightly:

#tbt to this special moment ❤️ {photo by @elizabethmessina}

A photo posted by (@laurenconrad_com) on

On New Year’s Eve, the 28-year-old shared a sweet photo from the nuptials on her own Instagram account:

Dear 2015, 2014 is going to be pretty hard to top… ( : @elizabethmessina )

A photo posted by Lauren Conrad (@laurenconrad) on

Conrad and Tell married four months ago in a ceremony in Santa Ynez, California. In October, Conrad’s longtime best friend and one of nine bridesmaids, Lo Bosworth, dished about the big day while chatting with HuffPost Live.

“She was one of the most dazzling brides I’ve ever seen. The gown was so spectacular, [and] she was a very, very calm bride,” Bosworth said. And the reception was pretty great, too. “Good cocktails. Good bartenders. My friends and I, we know how to have a good party.”
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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20 Gifts That Cost Nothing to Make — But Just Might Be Priceless

My husband and I are very lucky — my husband teaches school and I am a stay-at-home mom, which means that we are both currently doing exactly what we want to do. Like I said, we are very lucky indeed.

But around this time of year we notice (to put it delicately) that we aren’t as well off financially as we would have been if we had chosen other career paths. And that makes it difficult to buy gifts for others.

Which means year after year we make a pact with each other not to spend any money on ourselves (so that we will have funds to spend on our kids and other family members). But this pact hasn’t stopped us from finding a way to have something to give each other on Christmas morning.

And after 16 years of marriage, I feel that our holiday financial situation may have been a blessing in disguise… we’ve been forced to think about each other and what is most important. Sure, one of these years I’d love to have iPads, televisions, bikes, and the like under the tree, but I can say without any reservation that even though we don’t have money, I have never gone to bed on Christmas night feeling poor.

So this year as I’ve been thinking gift giving, I thought maybe I would share with you some of the gifts that we’ve given to our kids, our family members, and each other. Because when I reflect on my most favorite gifts, they are the ones that have cost virtually nothing.

The following list is a collection of some of my favorites:

1. The Board Game Challenge.


Have a board game lover at your house? (Like my 10-year-old?) Well, print them out one of these cards and slip it in an envelope. Then together, after the envelope has been opened, fill out the five board (or card) games that you will be playing with each other and get started! You won’t regret it… unless of course you get schooled by your 10-year-old!

2. Memorize a Favorite Passage.


This may take some time and some sneakiness. Step one… find out the favorite written passage of your loved one. Is it a scripture? A sonnet? A monologue? Or a paragraph from a beloved book? Got it? Good. Now it’s time for step two, which is: memorize!

With memorization complete, all that’s left is step three: the delivery. (When I did this, my husband opened a box that only held a piece of paper with a reference to the passage written on it. When he questioned what it was, I told him… and to this day he will say it was one of his favorite gifts of all time. He even still has that piece of paper hanging on the wall in his office.)

3. Housekeeping Card.


Does your spouse, roommate, or significant other have a household chore that they just hate to do? Taking out the garbage? Scrubbing toilets? Sorting laundry? If so, this is a great gift. Give them a card, letter, or note explaining that you will take over that job for them for a certain period of time.

WARNING: Be specific about this gift… If you say you are going to do their chore, then you really need to do it, so let them know exactly what you are going to do and how long you are prepared to do it. For a day? A week? A month? Let them know what to expect from you and then don’t offer more than you can deliver. This will make both you and the recipient of the gift happy campers.

4. _____ of the Month Club.


What is your speciality? Soup? Bread? Cookies? Casseroles? Whatever it is, you should share it with someone who would appreciate it! A grandparent, an aunt or a neighbor… Just print out the card and you are good to go! Then the recipient of your gift not only gets something delicious once a month, but they also get a visit from you. (Which will probably be just as appreciated as your tasty vittles are!) So go ahead and do it! Make someone you love an official member of your salsa (or cake or chicken dish) of the month club! The possibilities here are endless…

5. When Skies Are Gray…


Is there someone on your list this year who is going through a hard time? If so, maybe a “When Skies Are Gray” Kit could help. All you need to include in this kit is a bundle of letters or images that you put together into different envelopes. What kind of letters and images? Well, things to help get them through a rotten day… maybe a funny “remember when” story… or an “I love you because” letter… or a “10 Reasons Why You Are Awesome” note. Other things you can include in the envelopes are quotes or thoughts that help you through tough times as well as some photos of good times together. Put something different in each envelope.

Try to gather together a small bundle (10-15 envelopes) and then tie them up with a bow. It’s surprising how something as simple as an “I’m lucky to have you in my life because…” can help you through a tough day.

6. A Tell-Me Notebook.


This is a gift that I have given to my grandparents and love! All you need is a simple notebook. (I gave my grandparents these spiral bound notebooks because I wanted them to just sit down and write whatever came into their minds and not worry about handwriting or doing anything fancy in a nice book.)

Now of course you don’t just give someone an empty notebook… you need to fill the book with questions (I did one every three pages so there was plenty of room to write if needed).

The questions will vary depending on who you are giving the notebook to. The questions I asked my grandparents were like: “Tell me about your first house.” “Tell me about something you are proud of.” “What do you remember most about your mother?” “Tell me about three memorable friends.”

Think about what you want to know from the person you are giving the gift to… and then be prepared for some really terrific conversations.

7. Daily reading date.


Our kids read every day… but that doesn’t mean that I read out loud to them every day. Recently, as I was reading aloud to the 3-year-old, I noticed that my older two had gathered around to listen to the story. When I asked them what was going on, I was surprised to discover that they said they miss me reading out loud to them. That is when I thought about this card.

Each one of my kids is going to get one this year. The triangles will count as the punches on the card, which makes the card above a 20-punch card. Then I will have the kids redeem them when they want me to read one of their chapters out loud to them, or just feel like reading a picture book together.

8. 50 Things I Learned By…


Is there someone on your list who is reaching a milestone? Turning 40? Celebrating 30 years together? Then making them something like this is perfect. When my mom turned 50, I made her a framed sign that told her the 50 things I learned from her by the time she turned 50.

Later, when my grandparents turned 80, I made them these books with simple illustrations on card stock sharing the ways they influenced my life and what I’ve learned from them. These gifts have been some of my most favorite to make, and are wonderful for anyone who has helped to shape your life.

9. Magic Car Wash.


This gift may have to be given before Christmas… because for this gift you will need to have access to the recipient’s vehicle. I usually do this while my husband is at work. I drive over to his school, take his truck, zoom over to the gas station and give it the once-over, quickly cleaning it inside and out, and then return it to its space before he even knows it was gone. When he leaves work, he finds a clean vehicle and a note on the dashboard.

10. Freedom From Responsibility (a.k.a. “I Will Take the Kids for the Night”).


Sometimes what one really needs is just some quiet time alone. We all love our children and our homes, but sometimes we need a break with time to ourselves to regroup. If that’s the case with anyone on your list, then one of the best gifts you can give is to take his or her responsibilities away for a few hours and let them recharge their batteries.

Do this by giving a card, letter, or note tied up with a bow. Then, once the gift has been given, decide right then and there when the gift will be redeemed… pick a day and a time right away! (And then stick to it! The gift is meaningless unless you follow through!)

11. Read This When…


This gift is perfect for college students who are away from home. For this gift, you will be writing a number of short letters, putting them in separate envelopes and then labeling the envelopes with when they should be read. The topics of the letters you write will depend on the relationship you have with your college student, but some ideas for these letters are: Read this when: you fail a test, you have a terrible date, you’ve had a rotten day, you feel homesick, you think you are in love, etc. Seal each letter and tie the bundle up with a bow.

12. A Personalized Playlist.


Think back to junior high, when we made those awesome mixtapes for each other… you know, on cassettes… that was pretty cool. And you knew that your friend chose those songs because she knows you so well or that guy chose those songs because he was secretly trying to let you know how much he was madly in love with you? Well… how great would it be to get one of those tapes again?

Nowadays we can either burn a CD or download a personalized playlist for that friend, sibling, or special someone. Maybe a list of songs for a sibling from back in the day, a woman power list for a good friend who needs a pick-me-up to and from work — or my husband made a running playlist for me that I love. Be creative!

13. Park Tour Permit.


Find five local parks and tour each one. (Not all in the same day!) Have your children compare slides, big toys, open space, etc., and decide which park is the best.

14. Netflix Night Punch Card.


I’m not sure an explanation is needed here… and my husband has already asked for another one of these this year.

15. A month of meals.


This gift takes a little bit of prior planning, but it is so worth it, and I have given this gift to both my parents and in-laws for Christmas several times.

To make a month’s (or a few weeks’) worth of meals, I choose meals that freeze well and then for the next few weeks that is what I make my family for dinner. As I am preparing these dinners, I just make extra… as long as I’m already cooking… and when the meal is finished, I freeze the extra portion and before I know it I have quite a collection of meals that I can take to my working parents and in-laws.

16. “I Love You” Now and Later Letters.


Simply choose the recipient of your gift and then write them two letters about why you love them. Write one for them to read now, and then write one to be read later on a date you determine… in a year… five years… Just be sure to write “Do not open until____” on the front of the letter to be opened later!

17. Favorite Recipes Pack.


My mom gave me these recipe cards a few years ago, and I love them! She put together a collection of recipes we grew up eating. Everything from my grandma’s cookies, to my uncle’s BBQ sauce, to her homemade rolls. They are the recipes from my childhood, and I am so happy to have them!

18. A Personalized Screen Saver.


One year my husband made me some personalized screen savers and snuck them onto my computer. Then every time they popped up on my computer it reminded me of him. Nerdy? Yes. Completely! But I LOVED it!

19. Remember This Book.


For our second married Christmas, I had a blank book that I filled with short written memories of things my husband and I had done. It was nothing fancy. It wasn’t scrapbooked. There are no pictures. Just short stories, inside jokes, and song lyrics. And it’s a favorite… we laugh every time we read it.

20. Time Capsule Kit.


I have made time capsules with school classes many times, but this year we are doing it with our children. What they will get is an empty box (I know it sounds like a practical joke…) with a sheet explaining what a time capsule is.

Then, on New Year’s Day, we will fill the box together, with things like predictions, favorite candy wrappers, newspaper clippings, photos, notes, and whatever else the kids want to include. When it is filled, we will wrap it in duct tape and write on the outside the date it can be opened again.

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How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing

How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing

You’ve heard of amazing deals, online discounts, outlet shopping-but has anyone showed you how to shop for free? Meet Kathy Spencer-hot, hip mom of four who can whittle a 7.22 grocery bill down to one penny. One penny. Now, this smart, sassy, step-by-step savings guide teaches you how to do just that by revealing: Kathy’s killer two-for-one shopping strategyWhich stores have the best savings-and how to cash inMonth-by-month steals and off-season shopping secretsHow to amass so much free stuff that you’ll have to give it away You’ll learn how to find the best savings and combine them with store promotions, coupons, rewards programs, and store credit to get almost anything for free-from organic produce to makeup, baby formula to brand-name clothing. With an eye toward cutting your monthly spending on the basics, Spencer guides you through many popular stores-including CVS, Kohl’s, Office Max, PetSmart, Target, and Home Depot-and explains how to maximize your savings. Follow Spencer’s plan, and before you know it, you’ll be shopping for free.

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Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat Because Nothing Makes Sense Anymore

You might want to sit down for this one.

Sanrio has revealed Hello Kitty — the supposedly adorable feline character that adorns everything from lunch boxes and toasters to t-shirts and lingerie — is, in fact, not a cat. We repeat NOT A CAT.

Just what is Hello Kitty, you’re asking?

Hello Kitty is a human girl (and a British one at that), Christine R. Yano, the author of “Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific,” told The Los Angeles Times.

“Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature,” Yano explained to the Times.

And if you are ready for your mind to be just a little more blown, the character we all know as Hello Kitty is actually Kitty White — a Scorpio who loves apple pie, and is the daughter of George and Mary White.

“She has a twin sister. She’s a perpetual third-grader. She lives outside of London. I could go on. A lot of people don’t know the story and a lot don’t care,” Yano told the paper.


For more on Hello Kitty, head over to the Los Angeles Times.

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If This Note Doesn’t Convince Your Boss To Let You Watch The U.S. Soccer Game, Nothing Will

Really want to watch the U.S.-Germany game on Thursday, but don’t know how you’re going to get off work? The U.S. men’s soccer team has you covered.

The team’s official Twitter feed sent a ready-to-go get-out-of-work note to its one million followers on Wednesday. And, well, it’s pretty perfect:

us letter

We also transcribed it in case it’s hard to read in its original form format whatever reason:

To whom it may concern:

Please excuse _____________ from work on Thursday, June 26th.

I understand that this absence may reduce the productivity of your workplace, but I can assure you that it is for an important cause. The #USMNT has a critical World Cup game vs. Germany and we will need the full support of the nation if we are to advance to the next round.

By the way, you should act like a good leader and take the day off as well. Go USA!

If your boss doesn’t let you root for your country after reading that, well, then maybe you need to find a new boss. The game is at 12 p.m. EST.
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All or Nothing

All or Nothing

Preston L. Allen’s witty, charming, and very likable school bus driver—named P—is a desperate gambler. He has blown the hundred thousand dollars he won at the casino six months ago, but his wife and family still think he’s loaded. P spins out of control on the addict’s downward spiral of dependency, paranoia, and depression, as he must find ways to keep coming up with the money to fool his family and fund his growing addiction. The bets get bigger and bigger, until finally, faced with the ultimate financial crisis, he hits it really big. Yet winning, he soon learns, is just the beginning of a deeper problem.The one constant for P—who rises from wage-earner to millionaire and back again in his roller-coaster-ride of a life—is that he must gamble. That his son has died, that his wife is leaving him, that his girlfriend has been arrested, that he has no money, that he has more money than he could ever have dreamed—are all lesser concerns for P as he constantly seeks out new gambling opportunities.While other books on gambling seek either to sermonize on the addiction or to glorify it by highlighting its few prosperous celebrities, All or Nothing is an honest, straightforward account of what it is like to live as a gambler—whether a high-rolling millionaire playing ,000-ante poker in Las Vegas or a regular guy at the local Indian casino praying for a miracle as he feeds his meager life savings into the unforgiving slot machine. All or Nothing is the first novel to dig beneath the veneer to explore the gambler’s unique and complex relationship with money.  If you’ve ever wanted to get into the heart and psyche of a compulsive gambler, here is your chance.Preston L. Allen is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and author of the thriller Hoochie Mama, as well as the collection Churchboys and Other Sinners. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines and journals and have been anthologized in Brown Sugar (Penguin) and Miami Noir (Akashic). H

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These Divorce Cakes Are Nothing Short Of Batsh*t Crazy (PHOTOS)

Move over, wedding cakes. There’s a new cake in town — it’s the divorce cake, and it’s about 500 times crazier than you.

Below, 12 of the most over-the-top (and in some cases, “Human Centipede 2”-level frightening) cake homages to calling it quits we’ve ever seen.

You really outdid yourself, crazy exes.

Nothing says “I’m over you” like a cake covered in teeny penises. Embittered score: 2 out of 5

Your ex was a monster. You need a cake that aptly conveys that. Embittered score: 3 out of 5

A mid-life crisis in cake form. Embittered score: 3 out of 5

It’s saying something that this is the most understated divorce cake we’ve ever seen. Embittered score: 1 out of 5

Severed ex heads are a classic divorce cake touch. Embittered score: 5 out of 5

Because gender equality. Embittered score: 3 out of 5

Mmm, delicious ball and chain. Embittered score: 2 out of 5

Apparently, the grass is not greener on the other side. Embittered score: 3 out of 5

Extra points for what we assume is DIY (and for the choice of cheesecake). Embittered score: 3 out of 5

A hit with seven-year-old boys and crazy ex-wives alike. Embittered score: 4 out of 5

The Carrie Bradshaw of divorce cakes. Embittered score: 3 out of 5

The divorce cake to end all divorce cakes. Embittered score: 5 out of 5

Click through the slideshow below to see even more ridiculous divorce cakes.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter.
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These 10 Wedding World Records Are Nothing Short Of Amazing

By Kristen Droesch for

Weddings are becoming more and more extravagant, and we’re all aware of it. Haven’t you ever found yourself at a wedding reception and thought, “Gosh, this must be a record-setter”? Well, a record was quite literally recently at a Sri Lankan wedding, when the bride rolled in with 126 bridesmaids. Yes 126! This got us thinking — what other world records* are out there relating to weddings?

Wet and wild.
The largest underwater wedding was achieved with 303 divers in Poland attending the nuptials of Ewa Staronska and Pawel Burkowski in 2011. Even the priest, Father Pawel Wrobel, was a licensed diver!

All that glitters.
The record for most pearls on a wedding gown was set by Yumi Katsura of Japan, who put a whopping 13,262 cultured Akoya pearls on her gown in 2012.

That’s a lot of conjugal visits.
In 2000, 120 prisoners at Carandiru prison, Sao Paulo, Brazil, got married to their respective fiancées, setting the record for largest prison wedding.

Rolling thunder.
Also in 2000, Peter Schmidl and Anna Turceková of Bratislava, Slovakia included a wedding procession of 597 motorcyclists on their bikes. What, they couldn’t make it an even 600?

That’s some meal.
Jayalalitha Jayaram took the cake for largest wedding feast when she spent $ 23,299,162 on her foster son’s reception in 1995, hosting 150,000 guests. The menu alone was estimated at $ 621,311!

A table-breaker.
Weighing in at 15,032 lbs, the largest wedding cake in the world was made by the chefs of Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for their New England bridal showcase.

Watch your step!
The longest wedding veil measured 11,017 ft 0.5 in and was worn by Lebanese bride Sandra Mechleb. How do you store something like that?

Bark if you believe in love.
The largest dog wedding took place in the United States in 2007 and involved 178 dog “couples.” Though not official, we’re sure the dogs enjoyed themselves.

The Vomit Comet.
All it took for Erin Finnegan and Noah Fulmor (USA) to perform the first zero-gravity wedding in 2009 was a “modified Boeing 727-200” (and, we assume, a daredevil preacher).

In 2011, Eleanor Franks of the UK set the record for fastest marathon ran in a wedding dress (veil included) by clocking in at 4 hr 11 min 01 sec.

*Source: Guinness Book of World Records

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