Category: Lifestyle

The NoteStream™ app is for learning about things that interest you: think craft brewing, travel, fashion and modern art. NoteStreams are actually easy to read on your smartphone—so you can learn more, start a conversation and play a part in the world around you.

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NoteStreams (Most Recent First)

Bitters: The Spice Of Cocktail Life

How bitters add flavor to drinks, what goes into them, and a visit to Buffalo Trace - home of Peychaud’s and Regans’ bitters
All photos by Maggie Kimberl.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Whisky That Will Earn Dad's Seal Of Approval

Looking for something special for Dad (or yourself!)? Why not take a look at these 6 new whiskies - just in time for Father's Day! We've even included a cocktail recipe for a very tasty Porch Swing to kick things off!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Your 2017 U.S. Open Winner is…

If it is early June, the pros must already be whining about the U.S. Open set up. Since the course will be one of the longest in history (just under 8,000 yards, depending upon the tee boxes) the professionals will have to be bombing from the tee. An inaccurate drive is likely to be heavily punished.

Category: Lifestyle

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Pretty Propagating in a Flea Market Garden

We've got 6 easy ways to propagate plants in a Flea Market garden!
Propagating plants is making new plants from existing ones in your garden.
Anyone can be a plant propagator with these easy, traditional and low-tech techniques that are perfect for our California foothills. It’s fun and economical, and you’ll be surprised to see how easy it is with these plants and techniques. Six fun ways!
Flea Market Gardening

Category: Gardening

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What's in a Whisky Blend?

Grab a cocktail and check out this interview with Diageo whisky blender Emma Walker as she talks about Johnnie Walker's (no relation!) limited edition of experimental whiskies - the Blenders' Batch Series.
A cocktail recipe to try at home is included.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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The Best Rums For Home Tiki Bars

Nothing says "relax" quite like a rum cocktail - preferable with one of those playful parasols. There's more to it than just splashing rum over ice - the best tiki cocktail recipes require multiple varieties of rum for balance. Here’s a breakdown of each rum by island and some go-to recipes to get started!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Your 2017 Masters Winner Will Be…

The best golf tournament of the year is upon us once again. The dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom, the grass is manicured and the stimpmeter up, signaling the real start to the golf season in the form of The Masters.
This major championship is the only one played at the same venue every year. As such, the audience has a greater familiarity with the course and its idiosyncrasies than any other in America, with the possible exception of Pebble Beach. Past success can be a great predictor of this year’s results, however, the hottest players on tour have never won a green jacket.

Category: Sports

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Post a Mailbox in the Garden

When you order a new mailbox, re-purpose the old mailbox in your garden! Turn your leftover into a garden focal point - Fleamarket Gardening Style!
FleaMarket Gardening

Category: Gardening

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Mixers are Moving On Up!

Even cocktails are getting in on the natural and more sustainable trend. So if you’re ready to make better cocktails at home, without all of the fancy glasses, with only little effort or experience necessary, we've got great news: your time has come.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Make A Garden Planter From A Mailbox!

Gardening Fun – Recycle a mailbox!
You might have heard of a mailbox planter, but have you seen a mailbox that is a planter? When I saw Myra Glandon’s mailbox transformed into a planter, I filed the idea away for future,…I really loved hers! All I needed was the old mailbox to start my own project.

Category: Gardening

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The Best Golf Operation in America

When I finished drafting my book on playing America's best courses I described Cascata in Las Vegas as a “hidden gem”. More specifically I said “If you want to see how a course should be run, Cascata is the place”. Since it had been more than five years since I was last there, I thought my recent trip to Las Vegas would be a good opportunity to go back and see if anything has changed.

Category: Sports

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Drinking With The Presidents

In honor of President's Day, let's take a look at POTUS drinking habits through history!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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So You Want To Make Your Own Booze...

Believe it or not, there are classes to do just that. Take a look at what it's like to study the science of brewing and distilling at Heriot Watt University in Scotland.
All photos by Karan Nagpal.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Great Event, Better Venue

This week the PGA tour sets up shop along 17 mile drive in Northern California (weather permitting). The AT&T Pebble Beach tournament, formerly known as the Crosby Clambake, has traditionally been the Pro-Am event that attracts the A-list celebrities.

Category: Sports

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The Best Spectator Event in Golf…Best Courses in the Phoenix Area

Arguably, the most fan friendly tour event is the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Let's find out why - and check out how the last set of predictions did...

Category: Lifestyle

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Eloquent Toasts For Burns Night

Winter got you down? Try some of Robert Burns poetry mixed with some good Scotch whisky to fix what ails you.

The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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The California Swing Part 2: San Diego

The California Swing Part 2…Best Golf Courses in San Diego
This week, the PGA moves to Torrey Pines in San Diego. Traditionally, this tournament draws an excellent field, and this year is no exception. Plus, we'll take a look back at the last set of fearless predictions...!

Category: Lifestyle

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The California Swing: Part 1

The California Swing Part 1…Best Golf Courses in the Coachella Valley
The PGA moves to the California swing this week beginning in La Quinta, California. Formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic, this event was second only to the Crosby Clam Bake (now AT&T) in Monterrey in prestige for pro-am events.

Category: Lifestyle

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How to Get Ready for the Economic Recession Coming

The U.S. economy has grown dramatically over the long run.However, capitalist economies do not simply grow steadily larger.
The Conversation
(CC BY-ND 4.0)

Category: Lifestyle

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Recap: Tournament of Champions & Sony Open Preview

For those of you who were digging out of the snow in the Midwest and Northeast, or those of us getting drenched in California, it was great/annoying watching the gorgeous weather in Hawaii. The football games were duds, so there was no excuse not to be focused on the first event of 2017.

Category: Sports

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Healthy Drinking Tips for the New Year

It may sound like an oxymoron, but there is such a thing. Bartenders share low sugar/low ABV cocktail recipes and other advice for a healthy start to the year.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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The Best Golf Year Ever (here’s hoping)

This week begins the real season with the SBS Tournament of Champions from Hawaii. This is a great event, with a strong field worthy of your attention if for no other reason than to watch the tee shots on Number 17.
Fearless predictions included!!

Category: Lifestyle

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10 Boozy Hot Chocolate Recipes

Take hot chocolate to the next level! These warming, comforting cocktails will get you through the rest of 2016 and the winter season. Bliss!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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What is Behind the Turkey Pardoning Ritual?

Whether you smile or roll your eyes, it happens every year. And while it may seem a bit of a silly tradition, perhaps there is value in rituals.

Category: Lifestyle

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12 Autumn Wreaths - Flea Market Style!

Presenting inspiration for your Autumn wreaths, all handmade by our Flea Market Gardeners!
Flea Market Gardening

Category: Gardening

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Book Review: The Big Man of Jim Beam

Booker Noe was the grandson of Jim Beam, and widely credited with the resurgence of bourbon.
This new book pulls together the stories about this larger than life distiller.

The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Get Started With Sherry

If you don't know much about sherry, you're not alone. Fortunately, Chantal Tseng, a.k.a. the sherry ninja, is here to take us through the various styles and even shares six of her favorite sherry cocktails.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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When You Wish Upon A Star

By Patty Clark 2519
I think crazy girlfriends are the best because you never know what you’re going to get.

Category: Lifestyle

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How the Gig Economy Is Changing Work for Women

Today, more than ever before, women are fleeing the traditional workforce to join the gig economy.
Foundation for Economic Education

Category: Lifestyle

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What to do with Your Halloween Pumpkin After...

Halloween is over, but you've got pumpkins all over the place - what's a Flea Market Gardener to do? We love finding new uses for old things! Here are ideas ranging from the delicious to the satisfyingly practical!
FleaMarket Gardening

Category: Gardening

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Something Completely Bitter

A review of Amaro: the Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs by Brad Thomas Parsons.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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4 Reasons to Love Halloween

Not only does Halloween bring people together with a sense of community, but it also encourages generosity as well.
Positivly Present

Category: Lifestyle

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The Golf Addict’s Vacation Guide (Trip 4, Spring/Summer 2017)

For many of you the leaves are now turning. This can mean only one thing: the golf clubs will soon be relegated to a corner of the garage or basement.
This does not mean you have to give up golf completely over the next five or six months.

Category: Sports

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What Makes a Spirit Kosher?

It’s probably a good idea to assume anything served at a Jewish celebration should be kosher, but how the heck can you tell when it comes to cocktails?
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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How to Select a Single Cask Whiskey

Take a peak at what it's like to choose a barrel of Buffalo Trace Bourbon with Westport Whiskey and Wine.
All photos by Maggie Kimberl.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Golfing & American History (Starting in Williamsburg)

Before majoring in English Literature I had considered American History as an alternative. I now plan trips that offer alternative and interesting activities. It is amazing how many places of historical interest are situated near top rated golf courses.

Category: Sports

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Amazing FMG Befores and Afters!

Next time you come across something ordinary, get ready to give it a healthy dose of quirkiness! Read on for inspiration!
Flea Market Gardening

Category: Gardening

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Brandy, You're A Fine Gulp

American fruit brandy is produced all over U.S., in many varieties - often using regional specialties and some innovative aging techniques!
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Whiskey Review: 2016 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

The wait is over! Find out what to expect from these highly prized matured bourbons and ryes!
Warning: This could make you very thirsty.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Predicting the Ryder Cup

The United States record in the Ryder Cup has been abysmal in recent years. I have seen various explanations for this, but none seem to be particularly compelling.
To me, it has always seemed that the Europeans want it more.
But this year could be different...

Category: Sports

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How Turmeric & Other Kitchen Staples Can Help Arthritis

When you suffer from arthritis, there are many different medical and alternative treatment options that you can try to provide you with some relief. Get to know some of the ways that some common kitchen pantry staples could also help in relieving your arthritis pain and inflammation.

Category: Lifestyle

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And Your FedEx Cup Winner is….

Theoretically, the tournament includes only the 30 best golfers, however, a hot streak can put a number of second tier players in the hunt. Further, a weak game can take a top player and leave them on the sidelines.
The unique nature of the points system makes it virtually impossible for anyone outside the top ten to win, with only the top five controlling their destiny.
This makes handicapping the event comparatively easy. So, who win?

Category: Sports

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Gears and Gadgets as Garden Art

Tips and tricks for using scrap metal pieces in the garden!
We're showcasing 12 different ways to upcycle metal scraps into clever garden art. Metal is fabulous in the garden because it lasts and lasts. It also rusts charmingly, with what we like to call a patina of the crusty kind:-)
Flea Market Gardening

Category: Gardening

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Still the Best Golf Deal Around

It has been a busy summer of golf travel. In July I made my annual trek to Kohler, Wisconsin to challenge the Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run courses.
If you have followed my blogs, or, more importantly, read my book, you already know that I think the best value in golf can be found in the stay and play deals offered along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Category: Sports

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Why Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Only in Sept?

A native of the great state of Kentucky offers some thoughts on a distinctive product of the USA, while wondering why it's only "officially" celebrated in the month of September!
All photos by Maggie Kimberl.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Behind The Curtain: Building Grimm Tales

Roger's Gardens offer up a peek behind the curtain on the building of htis year's Grimm Tales!
Roger's Gardens Blog

Category: Lifestyle

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Behind the Curtain: Halloween 2016, Grimm Tales

If Halloween is your thing, you NEED to know what Roger's Gardens is doing this year. Their displays are legendary, and for good reason: it takes a full year to build. Here's a sneak peek of how they do it!

Category: Lifestyle

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Martini & Myth: Part IV

Editor’s Note: August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Martini & Myth: Part III

The eternal quest for the perfect martini....vodka or gin? Olives or twist? Shaken or stirred??
We're going to explore all these and more - and we're even including recipes so you can mix it up at home, and decide for yourself!
August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Martini & Myth: Part II

August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!
See Part 1 – on James Bond and the Vesper cocktail here.
Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Literature and Libations: A Visual Guide

The relationship between writers and the bottle can be complex, and stretches back to Gilgamesh.
The Alcohol Professor

Category: Cocktails

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Martini and Myth: Part I

August is Martini Month at Alcohol Professor! Why? Well, any day is an excuse to sip a refreshing Martini, however, in the dog days of summer, there’s nothing like a Martini to quench a thirst. Enjoy this hebdomadal sipping trip through the lens of some familiar pop cultural figures. Cheers!

Category: Cocktails

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Does Using a Period in a Text Make You Sound Insincere?

The period is merely one example of a way language changes with new communication methods.

Category: Lifestyle

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9 Reasons We Love Succulents

Sensational Succulents and why we like them…
We'll tell you some of our favorite things about these garden stars (they multiply like magic!), and show off three really fun projects for you to try!

Category: Gardening

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Who Will Win the 2016 PGA Championship?

Once again, I feel the need to demonstrate my lack of knowledge of the PGA tour by trying to predict the winner at this week’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol. After making a mess of the U.S. Open (although I did predict a second for DJ) this is a chance to redeem myself.

Category: Sports

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Greatest Grass, Accepting Chaos & a Plea For Container Ideas

The search for the ultimate garden - when one perennial slows down, another is ready to step into the spotlight. Be it blooms, textural contrast or texture. This is our goal. Containers, well, that's a different game.

Category: Gardening

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Jamie Vardy's Having A Party

The incredible story of Leicester City’s miracle season under the charmingly effective Claudio Ranieri has been a joy to behold. Their Premier League triumph will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, in the history of team sports.
We need to recognize ourselves in sport, even if we know that in large part it’s an illusion.
It’s why we can watch a man most of us had never heard of this time last year and will him to score for a team we never cared about.

Category: Sports

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Outdoor Patio Living, Flea Market Style

Cool down summer with these ideas for fantastic patios! Keeping it simple, these are minimal maintenance, easy to care and a just plain fun to decorate with Flea Market finds, of course!

Category: Lifestyle

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Sinning In Sydney

Travel these days is not a comfortable experience. Spend any time in coach class on a flight - especially a flight down to Australia - and you'll find yourself in need of a drink...or two. Fortunately, Sydney has plenty of options to offer.
All photos by Keith Allison.

Category: Cocktails

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The Mystery Of The 'Meow' Solved By A New Talking Cat Collar?

How good are people at interpreting a cat’s meow?

Category: Lifestyle

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Bringing Birds Into Your Garden

Birds just seem to go with gardens. Here's some easy ideas to "invite" more of our feathered friends around!

Category: Gardening

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Handicapping the U.S. Open

No tournament messes more with a professional golfer’s psyche than the U.S. Open.
The sadists who set up the course generally want to insure that no golfer can reasonably be expected to break par. Thus, picking a winner is extremely difficult. Most of the best players have at least one weakness that they will need to overcome in order to pull off a victory.

Category: Lifestyle

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3 Types Of Insurance Freelancers Should Consider

There are at least three types of freelancer insurance that you should consider if you plan on being a freelancer for some time to come.

Category: Lifestyle

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Using Recycled Doors as Garden Backgrounds

Open the door to a great new Flea Market Gardening idea - we LOVE this!

Category: Gardening

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Fermented Apples Of Normandy

Ever wonder what the differences are between Calvados, cidre and eau de vie? If so, you're really going to enjoy this primer. Warning: you may find yourself feeling thirsty...

Category: Cocktails

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In the Garden with Gabriella Guidry

Gabriella Guidry is a Landscape Designer and Horticulturalist with seven years of professional experience as a private consultant in Southern California. She is also a graduate of The Ecology Center's Eco Apprentice program. Gabriella has helped numerous clients design beautiful outdoor spaces that match their style, personality and architecture of their property, including edible and ornamental gardens, patios, pools, bbq’s, walls, fences, pathways and more. One of Gabriella's specialties is designing organic edible gardens that include vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees and teaching her clients how to care for their organic garden.
Gabriella is also the creator of a blog called Ella's Gardenwhere she shares her best tips and inspiration for a beautiful garden and a healthy life.
We sat down with Gabriella in the garden to learn more about how her background and interests have driven her studies, career and lifestyle.

Category: Gardening

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Breath New Life Into Your Art Collection with Theresa Marino

You’ve been acquiring artwork throughout your life and now you’re feeling restless and not sure why. Let me suggest some simple steps to bring excitement back into your art collection.

Category: Arts

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A Brief History of the Negroni - Through James Bond

As the story goes...the Negroni was invented at the Caffè Casoni (formerly Caffè Giacosa) in Florence when Italian Count Camillo Negroni explained to the resident bartender, Fosco Scarselli, that, while the count did love himself an Americano, he wanted something similar but with a little more punch to it. Negroni suggested ditching the Americano’s soda in favor of gin.
But is that really the truth?!

Category: Cocktails

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One Messy Son Of A Birch

The following trees aren’t bad choices everywhere, just bad choices for the average residential yard. (They may be fine for parks or the woods, though.) I’ve listed the reasons why for each.

Category: Gardening

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Mahalo Kapalua Plantation

Golf, Maui, Hawaii, Kapalua, Bay Course, Plantation Course
The Plantation Course at Kapalua is located at the northwestern corner of the island of Maui, elevated above the Pacific Ocean, with panoramic views from most of the holes. During season, you are close enough to see the whales migrating past the course.
The question, of course, is this an Absolutely Must Play?

Category: Lifestyle

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Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Buying Tomato Plants

Finally - Spring is here, and that means it's time to plant tomatoes. Yes, tomato plants are everywhere right now, but don't make these six mistakes when you go out to bring your plants home.
Trust me.

Category: Gardening

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8 Things You Do that Damage Your Hair

Read on for eight things you’re doing (maybe right now) that are damaging your hair.

Category: Lifestyle

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Home Décor Trends For 2016

The international trade shows in Paris and Frankfurt are both trade shows I really look forward to. Here, they seem to set the stage for the up and coming home décor trends that will also influence us back at home. This year I found definite references from the designers to the Southern Californian lifestyle as well as the hip artist Los Angeles loft space.

Category: Lifestyle

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Shank You Very Much – Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass

One of my favorite golf venues in the United States is the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass; host to The Players Championship.
The downside of playing great courses like this one, is that I occasionally get too excited. This can lead to early frustration and ultimately horrible golf.

Category: Lifestyle

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Going On Twentyfive Years Baby!

So I must be honest, I’ve been a bit nervous about this birthday. I feel like 25 is the mark of “ok you’re officially an adult now, get your life together.” At 23 you’re still young, figuring things out, fresh on the career scene and then 25, bam your expected to be more mature and have things figured out.

Category: Lifestyle

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Historically Accurate Cocktails for Cinco De Mayo

Move over margaritas! If you are planning on heading to Mexico someday to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the native manner, expect to be disappointed.

Category: Cocktails

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Creative Containers: Vintage Toolbox Planters!

How to recycle and old toolbox into a great planter for the garden!
Almost anything can be repurposed for a unique, one-of-a-kind planter. An old toolbox is one of the most charming Flea Market gardening containers - in either metal or wood. Here are two How To planting projects using a metal and wooden toolboxes and a gallery of our best examples.

Category: Gardening

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That Feeling of Life

Melissa Arnot talks us through her journey to the mountains.

Category: Lifestyle

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Twinkies And 7up

I guess you had to grow up in the 1960s to realize that snacks weren’t always healthy fresh fruits, and whole grain products.
Our high school class of 1974 has a Facebook page with 46 members. It’s a closed group that friends only seem to post when someone from our graduating class dies. Last night I received a notification on my phone from that group.

Category: Lifestyle

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Thank You Mr. Palmer (Bay Hill Review)

I last played Bay Hill in 2012.
At the time I was overwhelmed at the influence Arnold Palmer had on the resort and golf course. The condition was good at the time, but did not necessarily stand out from many other good quality venues.
Since that time, the course has undergone a major renovation involving new greens and fairways. The La Costa Dewsweepers, including myself, made a return visit just after the Arnold Palmer Invitational, during the amazing Florida swing (recounted in earlier blogs).

Category: Sports

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Barmini's Magical, Whimsical World Of Cocktails

José Andrés’ minibar is a culinary playground that delivers tasting menus packed with tons of delicious courses and a significant shot of theatrics and surprises. barmini is their new cocktail extension.
Those same magical themes apply at barmini, which proudly showcases 100 cocktails on its menu at any given time.
Leather aged cocktail, anyone?
All photos by Jake Emen.

Category: Cocktails

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Can We Feed the World and Stop Deforestation?

We deforest an area the size of Panama every single year. Across the world, food is the number one cause of deforestation, especially our taste for meat.

Category: Lifestyle

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Ransom Spirits: True Sense Of Farm To Glass

Mixing old and new traditions, Master Distiller and Winemaker Tad Seested creates unique and inspired spirits with ingredients grown at its very own organic farm.
All images courtesy Ransom Wine Co. and Distillery.

Category: Cocktails

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Gin And Tonic, Or Tonic And Gin?

Inside City of London Distillery Gin, which happens to go quite well with Franklin & Sons craft mixers.

Category: Cocktails

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Sharapova, Drugs And The Nature Bias

How safe is too unsafe for a competent adult athlete to consent to before we need to create a blanket ban?

Category: Sports

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Navigating the Snake Pit

Recently, two foursomes of Dewsweepers from La Costa, including myself, embarked on our own Florida swing. Eschewing the cold and wet British Isles, for the much warmer, more manicured Sunshine State courses seemed like a good idea.
We decided to begin our adventure at the home of the Valspar Championship; the Copperhead course at Innisbrook.

Category: Lifestyle

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Dick Bradsell: A Good Bartender (1960 – 2016)

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 28, the bartending community received word that it had lost a legendary bartender and industry icon who managed to do something that many of us can only dream about. Dick Bradsell can be credited with creating a modern cocktail culture in a time where there was none and becoming a well known and very much loved face of the drinks industry not just near his home in the UK but globally.

Category: Cocktails

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April Gardening Checklist: Bugs, Day-Trips and More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Bugs (both good and bad), places to visit, soil care and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and Ferns, Lawns, and more.

Category: Gardening

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April Gardening Checklist: Ferns, Lawns and More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Ferns, Lawns, Groundcovers and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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April Gardening Checklist: Flowers & Flowering Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Flowers and Flowering Plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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April Gardening Checklist: Edible Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Edible plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees and more.

Category: Gardening

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April Gardening Checklist: Fruit Trees

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Fruit trees are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Ornamental Plants, Edible Plants and more.

Category: Gardening

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How Dry Am I?

For Bourbon Heritage Month, growing up in a dry Kentucky county that allows distilling but not drinking, and its rebirth with Kentucky Artisan Distillery and resurrection of Old Taylor

Category: Cocktails

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How Digital Technology Spawned Retro’s Revival

Remember those big black disks with holes in the middle that used to be played on “turntables?”
They’re not actually ancient history. This past year, worshipers at what novelist Michael Chabon calls “the Church of Vinyl” bought 9.2 million records. And though vinyl sales make up only two percent of record industry revenues, they’re up by more than 250 percent since 2009.

Category: Lifestyle

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Ethical Monotheism: Why Does Evil Exist?

In Ethical Monotheist traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, there is a concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing, Creator who is morally good, just, kind, loving, and who has our best interests in mind.

Category: Lifestyle

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Dangerous Garden Advice Ahead

“Over promise and under deliver”
“Measure once and cut twice”
“Fool me once, shame on … actually, let’s fast forward to the fool me twice part.”
Mantras I live by, albeit unintentionally, in life and in the garden.
I’m not proud but I own it. My therapist would be proud.

Category: Gardening

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Goddess of Recreation

This may surprise you, but I work diligently. Except for those times I feel the quantum stealth of anonymousness and I’m off doing something a little more intriguing.

Category: Lifestyle

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The Year Of The Stag A History Of Jägermeister

We've come a long way from drinking Käuterlikör to what we know today as Jägermeister. This liquor is used in diverse ways by bartenders all around the globe. Depending on the taste preferences of the locals, it can be as simple as a shot or mixed as a part of a finely crafted cocktail.

Category: Cocktails

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The Humble (ad-free!) Origins of the 1st World Series Broadcasts

Hard to believe it right now, but the first 13 World Series broadcasts were free to the radio networks that covered them. Ad-free, they were started as a promotion for station WJZ, in Newark, New Jersey to announce its arrival in the New York metro area. So - how did we get to where we are today?!

Category: Sports

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Top Floral Design Trends For 2016

Spring is here and it’s time celebrate with color! Here’s a new twist on floral design from Roger’s Gardens creative minds. Inspired by some of the new Pantone colors for 2016 we created floral arrangements using these color inspirations…

Category: Lifestyle

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Can Kitchen Chaos Influence Overeating?

Anyone who has ever tried to cut back on sweets has probably heard that all it takes is “mind over matter.”
But new research by Lenny Vartanian of UNSW Australia and Kristin Kernan and Brian Wansink of Cornell University is shedding light on the way your mindset interacts with your environment to influence eating behavior – specifically, unhealthy snacking.

Category: Lifestyle

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The Ultimate Whiskey Ice Test

An entire marketplace of products has rapidly risen to prominence, all promising to help you enjoy colder whiskey faster, or chilled whiskey without dilution. But do any of these products – from whiskey stones to huge ice spheres – actually work?

Category: Cocktails

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A Voice from Hoops History

Basketball, unique among major sports, has a clear creation story: We know when, where, why and how the game was invented, and by whom.
Now, some 125 years after the first game was played in a Massachusetts school gymnasium, we know something new: the sound of the creator’s voice.
(March Madness is here, and the Library of Congress has an interesting connection to basketball’s invention. The following is a story written by Mark Hartsell for the Gazette, the Library’s staff newsletter.)

Category: Sports

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Spring Pruning Time

It's 60 degrees here in New Jersey - spring has arrived! Now's the perfect time to get started crossing off some of those gardening tasks on you list!

Category: Gardening

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Glossy Garden Art Using Bowling Balls

The humble bowling ball will never look the same again! Take a look at how they'll seem right at home in your garden!!

Category: Gardening

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Wisdom Teeth: Who Needs ‘Em?

I’ve been taking some much needed time off from keeping up with this wee internet space to focus first on school and then on my health and emotionally and physically de-cluttering my life a bit. It’s all been very worthwhile, but now I’m hoping to sneak in a bit more regular writing here.

Category: Lifestyle

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Break Even Bottles

I’m just going to lay this out there: Some spirits can be ridiculously expensive. We’re talking mortgage your parents house obscenely expensive.

Category: Cocktails

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Wolf Creek Revisited

Every time I pull out of the Las Vegas strip on my way to Mesquite, Nevada I worry that this will be the time Wolf Creek fails to live up to expectations. I am always concerned that I may have “oversold” the property to my playing partners. For years I have been touting Wolf Creek as one of the best kept secrets in golf, with the course easily being one of the most underrated by the various golf magazines. To me, this is a borderline top 10 golf experience.

Category: Sports

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7 Things You Must Know About Stupid Squirrels

Squirrels are the bane of human existence. Everyone accepts this. Yet many are unaware of crucial issues related to dealing with these insufferable fluff-rats that can hopefully one day lead to their total annihilation. Therefore, Grumpy answers seven critical questions that millions of squirrel-haters are asking today.

Category: Gardening

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Is Fowler Deserving of Elite Status?

Rickie’s win early in the year at Abu Dhabi was a continuation of his great golf over the last eight months, with four solid victories. The hiccup in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open is concerning. He is now ranked 5th in the world. Not bad for the “most overrated golfer” per the survey last year. I have always maintained no golfer can be considered over or underrated. World rankings are earned, and speak for themselves. That said, is he in the elite class of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy?

Category: Sports

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All You Want to Know About Citrus

Lance Walheim might be just about the smartest guy around when it comes to growing citrus in gardens. Lance is a professional citrus grower, co-founder of California Citrus Specialties, a commercial grower of dozens of citrus, including many lesser known varieties.

Category: Gardening

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The Rise & Fall...& Rise Again Of American Cocktail Culture

The cocktail culture of today has its roots deeply embedded in the pre-prohibition era, often called “The Golden Age of Cocktails”. Prior to Prohibition, cocktails such as Old Fashioned, Martini and Manhattan were made with high end spirits, fresh juices and/or fruits. These drinks were meant to be savored and enjoyed for their tastes, not just the effects of the alcohol. America was the leader in cocktails, with bartenders traveling from abroad to learn the skills and techniques of building a well-balanced, flavorful drink.

Category: Cocktails

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Winter Hiking In The Southern Rockies

Winter in the Southern Rockies can be cold and snowy at times, but I have found that winter weather rarely gets in the way of getting out for a hike here. I still try to get a hike in every day during the winter and I find it to have its own unique attributes, benefits, and considerations.
I have collected up several bits of poetry and prose related to hiking in the winter that ring with me and they follow below interspersed with photos from some of my hikes through the winter.

Category: Sports

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Book Review: Lost Recipes Of Prohibition

Anyone who does serious writing and research about alcohol and its history has been drawn over and over to the Prohibition Era (January 16, 1920 to December 5, 1933). The combination of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act created a maze of regulations that was vastly more complex than just banning the sale of alcohol in the United States.

Category: Cocktails

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Raise Your Glass High: David Bowie 1947-2016

This morning, DJ John Richards stated on Seattle’s KEXP radio that even though he was a celebrity, it’s okay to take the loss of David Bowie personally. Though most of us didn’t know him personally, he was just as much a friendly fixture in our lives as a friend or family member, and for many, his passing leaves a true absence in our hearts. We’re “floating in a most peculiar way.”

Category: Cocktails

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Dahlias In The Garden

It’s the beginning of a new year. What this signifies to many gardeners is that it’s time to start planning for the upcoming spring and summer gardening season. Like clockwork, plant and seed catalogs are arriving in the mail, tempting us with pictures and descriptions of plants they want us to think we can’t live without.

Category: Gardening

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5 Great Trees For Small Spaces

People love planting trees in their yards, but often forget how big many trees grow. Soon what began as a sweet, little yard ends up looking like the Black Forest. But not if you follow Grumpy’s advice and plant smaller trees for small spaces. Here are five excellent candidates that won’t swallow your property or your dog.

Category: Gardening

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Whisky, Charity, And The Open Sea

Booze and community work have a surprisingly compatible history. For examples, the Bon Vivants’ Pig & Punch or Jameson’s collaboration with The Movember Foundation. So it makes sense that Old Pulteney Whisky teamed up with US Sailing for the 2015 Maritime Heroes Award.

Category: Cocktails

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Bluestone Perennials Order

After much thought and in depth analysis, I finally settled on the six plants to include in my annual Bluestone Perennials order. Check that, it is my semi-annual order, one for spring and one for fall.
This is a very deliberate process.

Category: Gardening

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Horror Of Sports-Related Brain Damage

Not so long ago, it was a diagnosis that was barely mentioned. Now it feels like there’s a plague of concussion in modern sport, with endless news articles and commentaries on the injury and its consequences. There are calls for heading to be banned in children’s football and for parents to think again about letting their sons and daughters play rugby. Most recent is an award-winning Hollywood movie on the subject starring Will Smith, imaginatively titled Concussion.

Category: Sports

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Pantone’s Colors Of 2016

Pantone, the global authority on color standards for the design industries, recently announced its colors of the year for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity, which are muted shades of pink and blue, respectively.
It’s the first time Pantone has chosen the blending of two shades instead of one (past choices include Marsala, Radiant Orchid and Emerald). According to the company, by breaking from tradition, it hopes to “transcend cultural and gender norms.”

Category: Lifestyle

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That Time of Year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Catchers are squatting, and pitchers reporting - so be of good cheer. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
Hah, you thought it was Andy Williams singing about Christmas. Nope, for millions of baseball fans spring training rings in The National Pastime. A time of renewed hope and fresh starts. The season (for me) officially kicks off Monday, April 4, 2016, 7:05 pm (PST) with the Los Angeles Dodgers battling the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Category: Sports

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Sue’s ‘Rock Star’ Mosaic Rocks

Transform these river stones into mosaic masterpieces with just a few simple supplies! Sue Gerdes, of Flea2Fab, her garden art craft business, shows you how to do a brilliant and colorful new project in her usual, delightful way. These garden stone crafts make unique and sparkly outdoor decorations that will endure all the elements.

Category: Gardening

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Shots of History: What the Presidents Drank

Alcohol, in all of its varieties, has been a part of American history from the time that the Pilgrims stopped in Massachusetts because they ran out of beer. The holder of the highest office in the land is not immune to the allure of a cocktail or four a day. Some of them, like George W. Bush and Ruthford B. Hayes (his wife was known as “Lemonade Lucy” for her ban on drinking in the White House), abstained completely from drinking. Other presidents drank a little more than was healthy. A few even used the White House and its gardens to make their own drinks; Barack Obama’s staff uses honey harvested on site to brew several varieties of beer, and Teddy Roosevelt used mint grown on the property to make Mint Juleps for his guests.

Category: History

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Dogs Mimic Each Other’s Expressions, Too

The behavioral findings hint that dogs, like humans, might be capable of their own form of empathy.



Category: Lifestyle

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Why Fashion Models Don’t Smile

It’s almost fashion week season, with events in London, New York and Paris all coming up, and I have one pretty sure prediction: the models won’t be smiling. In spite of some hasty claims that happy faces are now de rigeur, a blank expression is a perennial trait of model behaviour.

Category: Fashion

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Vermouth: The Supporting Actor Is Stealing The Show

Trends are forever changing in the beverage world, capturing the minds and tastebuds of professionals and changing the way we drink. There always seems to be an “IT” ingredient or spirit category driving creativity and market shares. In the past couple of years, sherry reigned. Before that, bitter and herbaceous tastes placed amari front and center for bartenders and consumers alike.

Category: Cocktails

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Try Some Trilliums

Among all the woodland wildflowers of eastern North America, trilliums rank high among people’s favorites. Named for their three-petaled spring flowers sitting atop whorls of three leaves, they’re found all the way from northeastern Canada to central Alabama and Georgia.

Category: Lifestyle

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New Towels and Dirty Laundry

It was Saturday—cleaning day—a time I use each week to collect my thoughts via the repetitive motion of putting things in their proper place.
It was time to clean my bathroom.

Category: Self Discovery

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The Steep Cost of Youth Soccer

There is a giant elephant on the pitch of youth soccer that most parents are all too aware of but may not want to complain about – the amount of money it costs to develop a young player.
The pay-to-play club soccer system in the United States is not cheap; it costs thousands of dollars a year in fees, tuition, uniforms, travel and other expenses. Then, because of the way soccer is skewed in this country, the top players are expected to go to college where the demand for talent is not necessarily matched by the amounts of the scholarships.

Category: Sports

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Hot Drinks With The Power To Heal

A toddy is a wonderful thing, but these hot cocktail recipes go a step further with their restorative ingredients.

Category: Cocktails

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10 Ways Urban Farms Benefit The Community

Understanding the role that urban farmers play in our food systems is key to envisioning what a vibrant, abundant future can look like. By the seemingly simple act of fostering healthy, local food within the community, these farmers are tackling monumental topics like environmental degradation, resource scarcity, public health, poverty, and more.

Category: Lifestyle

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Hey, Your Fridge is Calling

Today’s technology will make tomorrow’s refrigerator the command center of the kitchen, helping you waste less food, energy, and money. Cool.

Category: Lifestyle

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Slow Money: It’s Like Slow Food For Your Wallet

The Wall Street Journal says of Slow Money: ‘Forget conventional 401(k)s; think goat cheese and fennel.’
Bloomberg Businessweek calls it one of the ‘big ideas that will change small business and entrepreneurship,’ and Time Magazine says it has the potential to ‘remake America’s food industry.’

Category: Lifestyle

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How French Children Acquire A Taste For Life

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to lose weight by dieting. The idea is that restricting the pleasures of tasty foods will lead to greater fitness and a finer physique. But if these rewards are so valuable, why is it so hard for us to stick to our resolution? Maybe the problem is that when we try to lose weight, we also lose the pleasure of eating.

Category: Lifestyle

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Unexpected Ways to De-stress

Beside meditating, journaling and exercising, what else can we do to help minimize the effect these troubles can cause on our mental state as well as our bodies?

Category: Lifestyle

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Is Mindfulness Becoming a Religion?

In the 21st century, as mindfulness-based practices become more mainstream, our society and psychotherapeutic community may be more willing to accept that Buddhism could be a valid psychological approach to reducing human suffering. —Danielle A. Einstein (2007)

Category: Lifestyle

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10 Best Cities for Millennials Right Now

Many people may not want to admit this, but Millennials are taking over the world. This generation has some members old enough to run for Congress, while the younger ones are graduating college and just starting to pave their ways in this big scary world.

Category: Lifestyle

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Starting Vegetables From Seeds

For those of us that really enjoy all aspects of vegetable gardening, the greatest gratification can be the reward of a crop you started by seeds.
Seeds have been available since the settlers brought over from their home soil and started planting their crops. Seeds are fairly easy to germinate; and with proper timing will yield wonderful crops for you and your family.
For those of us that really enjoy all aspects of vegetable gardening, the greatest gratification can be the reward of a crop you started by seeds.

Category: Gardening

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How to Avoid a Presidential Election Year

There is little I find more annoying than politics, and every four years the agony increases 10 fold. My answer…schedule more golf.

Category: Sports

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Storytellers

I think that my affinity for fashion has evolved quite a bit over the past few years. In traveling more and having the pleasure of collaborating with some incredible up-and-coming designers, I have developed a whole new respect for this very important sector of the business. I don’t need to attend the biggest shows or feel that urge to be seen at exclusive parties (not that I am necessarily invited, anyway). I sincerely do prefer this element of discovery that has become a big part of my world as of late.

Category: Fashion

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Make A Molded Bird Seed Wreath

How to Make a Bird Seed Wreath for your feathered friends!
Try this easy ring pan mold from unflavored gelatin and bird seed and watch the bird flock to it! This idea was discovered last month and it caused a ripple effect amongst the Flea Market Gardening gang that even now spreads ever wider. I love when ideas circulate like this!

Category: Gardening

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Reasons To Embrace Your Inner Crafter

Growing up I was a huge crafter. Needlepoint, paint by numbers, DIY ornaments, you name it I did it. As I’ve grown older, I’ve slowly lost my crafty side. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because I thought crafting wasn’t cool, so I lost touch with that side of myself. I don’t know. But recently, I’ve started to ease back into to crafts. I’m a full blown ‘Do It Yourselfer.’

Category: Lifestyle

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Dogs Demonstrate Intelligence During Fleet Week

Bark in the Park was conducted as an opportunity for service members, San Francisco government agencies and the citizens of San Francisco to display the different capabilities that can be provided by military working dogs.

Category: Lifestyle

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Dispatch From Whisky Live Dublin

Several years ago, I lucked into attending Whisky Live Sydney when a vacation happened to correspond with the event. Focusing as it did on local spirits, it was a fantastic opportunity to taste a wide range of whiskies that I would otherwise never even know existed, let alone have a chance to sample. It seems my destiny is forever entwined with Whisky Live, because just last month, while vacationing in Ireland, I lucked into an invitation courtesy of Dublin’s own Teeling to attend Whisky Live Dublin, which, like the event in Sydney, focuses most of its energy on local whiskey, much of which isn’t and probably never will be available in the United States. Needless to say, I graciously accepted.

Category: Cocktails

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How To Kill Your Amaryllis

I think you’ll agree with me that growing beautiful plants gets old after a while. Wouldn’t it be great if someone came up with an easy way to kill them? They have! Now you can buy amaryllis bulbs coated with wax in a rainbow of festive colors! I mean, what says Christmas better than a bright yellow amaryllis bulb destined to shortly die?
Grumpy is tearing up now.

Category: Gardening

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Bar 54: A Reason To Go To Times Square?

Chances are if you live in New York City, you don’t love Times Square. This is one statement that I believe applies to natives and transplants alike. However, if your office isn’t in midtown, there will inevitably be a time where you will have to go to the area – probably when a friend is visiting you from out of town. So why not make the best of it and drink well? Perhaps this wasn’t the inspiring idea behind Bar 54, the new sky-high bar in the Hyatt Times Square curated by Julie Reiner, but for locals, it will be the enduring one.
All images by Edmund DeGuzman.

Category: Cocktails

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Does Tiger Woods Deserve the Golf Hall of Fame?

Of course he does. I was just seeing if you were paying attention. Tiger’s unusual openness this week regarding his personal life, while questioning his future ability to complete sent shock waves through the golf world. Woods’ belated admission of what any objective observer could see was noteworthy only in that it came from someone who has fiercely guarded his privacy in the past, and has desperately clung to the notion that he is relevant on the golf course. I, for one, disagree with Jack Nicklaus when he says Tiger could still catch him for Major Championships, however, I fully expect to see Woods back on the tour at some future date.

Category: Sports

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Flea Market Christmas Gardens

There’s no reason to stop decorating when you reach the back door. Continue right out into the garden! Many holiday decorations can transition easily into ‘gifts’ for the birds, as in decorated trees, or can act as focal points that add some color to a snowy or barren garden scene. It really makes decorating fun when it’s this simple! And festive!
See what these clever garden crafters have done...!

Category: Gardening

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Good Deeds

Someone once said, the smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention. Tyler Perry did a Good Deed by helping a single mother with much-needed stability. Bono does good deeds with his humanitarianism. Clifford teaches lighthearted lessons on the value of helping others. I resolved to do one good deed daily during this holiday season. This week I am going to save on water by drinking hot toddies, leave peppermint bark on cars in store parking lots, take pizzas to employees at burger franchises, and drop off Victoria Secret catalog’s to fire stations for firefighter’s entertainment during down times.

Category: Lifestyle

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American Bitters

Nowadays bitters are an aroma and a flavor used in building cocktails, or a digestive taken in small doses after heavy meals. Prior to the twentieth century they were a medicinal infusion of vegetable material in alcohol. In the Galenic humoral system, they countered an excess of choler or bile in one’s system.

Category: Cocktails

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The Complete Guide To Remedy Insomnia

What’s up all my overly caffeinated night owls! I’ve lived with insomnia since I was four and was professionally treated for it when I was 19. When my insomnia would become even worse than usual, it would tear up my life, grades, friendships, fit body, stable mood patterns – everything. Insomnia blows. I think we deserve the basic bodily right of being able to fall asleep, yet it seems to be more of a superpower these days than something a caveman could do easily enough. Despite chronically being unable to control my insomnia, I was able to work my way out of it with the help of a professional, not medications. So I want to share some really strong do’s and don’ts when battling insomnia.

Category: Lifestyle

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Cocktail Kingdom Releases Reserve Collection

Wherever you are on the side of the Starbucks red cup debate, we can all agree on one thing this holiday season: cocktails are a necessity. Sensing the opportunity to capitalize on this bipartisan, religiously neutral demand, barware retailer Cocktail Kingdom has released a stunning new Reserve Collection.

Category: Cocktails

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Creating Christmas Vignettes

I get to work in a richly visual world (yes, there are days when I just pinch myself!). This time of year at Roger’s Gardens is especially vibrant. Our gallery is overflowing with a bounty of beautiful Christmas keepsakes. Here, we are respectful of tradition, but we also move to the beat of our own drum.

Category: Holidays

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Why I Sold My Engagement Ring

I know that as we round the holidays, it’s natural to look at your significant other and ask the fundamental questions regarding the relationship. When you’re thinking about making the promise of all promises – to marry someone and be by their side for life, there are many conversations you’ll probably want to have before the big “I do.” When my partner and I were getting serious 14 years ago, it didn’t occur to us to ask the taboo questions – “What kind of engagement ring do I want?” “How much do we want to spend on a wedding?”

Category: Lifestyle

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Why Monarch Butterflies Are Doomed

Remember when monarch butterflies filled the skies, flitting from flower to flower? Nowadays, you hardly see any, and environmentalists are very concerned. They say that unless things change, this beautiful creature may very well be the first insect to go extinct in our lifetimes. The trouble is, they keep pointing to the wrong cause.

Category: Gardening

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Tis The Season For Whisk(e)y 2015 Gift Guide

Is it that time of year already? So it is, and given that the holiday season doubtless involves Knecht Ruprecht showing up to swat people upside the head with his bag of ash, you’re going to need to arm them with the one thing that makes the intrusions of Santa’s many abusive sidekicks tolerable: whiskey.
We’ve searched far and wide, but mostly at the bar, and present to you our own suggestions for bottles that will delight whichever friend or loved one to whom you give them.
Be sure to remind them that the spirit of the season also behooves them to open it up and share.

Category: Cocktails

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Why Bow Ties?

I didn’t wear ties at all except when forced to for some formal event. My go-to tie at the time was a ‘long’ tie with Garfield the cat in a double breasted pinstripe suit. Classy.
I liked it well enough but it felt awkward and there was no confidence boost. I wanted the confidence boost.

Category: Fashion

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Anis’s Sweet Garden Vignettes

Welcome to a Malaysian juntique garden! Anis Zuraini sent in some shabby sweet pictures of her garden near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that somehow remind me of the tiny Hello Kitty ensembles my daughter loved as a child. Anis knows how to put together a garden vignette, a ‘little scene’ in her small garden. Each corner contains another creative combination in her collection in a decidedly Spring-like setting.

Category: Gardening

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Why Should We Care What Tom Doak Thinks?

This is the slow season for the PGA, FedEx Cup points notwithstanding. Given time zone differences, I have been forced to watch reruns of the last two tournaments. It was great to see Graeme McDowell back in the winner’s circle, triumphing in a three way playoff at Mayakoba. G-Mac, reportedly one of the nice guys on tour, would be a great addition to the mix in 2016 if he can recapture his 2010 form. Jason Bohn did his best Kevin Na impression by playing great, but not closing. Three top 3’s so far this year for Jason. Russell Knox almost went back to back. Lots of good stuff, but nothing to get the heart pumping…yet.

Category: Sports

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He Played Each Game as If It Were His Last

In both Puerto Rico and Pittsburgh, more than four decades after his untimely death at the age of 38, the name of Roberto Clemente brings a smile to almost every face.

Category: Sports

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How To Stay Calm During The Holidays

The calmer you can stay, the better everything becomes. The difficult situations are easier to cope with and the good times are much more enjoyable. But, of course, staying calm during the holidays isn't always easy. Here are some of the best tactics for having a merrily calm holiday season:

Category: Lifestyle

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Christmas Decorating Trends - 2015

Autumn is finally here, and our thoughts are drawn to the upcoming holiday season.
Planning our parties, decorating the tree for Christmas and getting the home ready for guests are all part of this time of year. To help you decide on the direction to go with your decorations this holiday season, I have gathered together some of the top trends for 2015 holiday décor.

Category: Holidays

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Behold The Man-Eating Mum

In what appears to be the first case of its kind, forensic investigators have determined that a gardener missing for two days was consumed by a giant chrysanthemum.

Category: Gardening

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10 Ways To Afford Christmas

10 great original ideas to share the spirit of the season - without breaking your wallet!

Category: Holidays

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Fall Is For Planting

Fall is my favorite! I love the merging of offshore, salty summer breezes with a hint of fall crispness, the leaves are starting to turn and there are spiders everywhere.
Halloween is just around the corner! Tomatoes are still in abundance, but there is a whiff of winter squash and greens on the horizon. As a horticulturist, landscape designer and avid cook, I find the intersection of the seasons refreshing and irresistible; an endless combination of colors and flavors await the soil and the saucepan.

Category: Gardening

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Don’t Covet Thy Neighbor’s Peonies

Does the sight of spectacular perennials adorned with fragrant blossoms up to 10 inches across in a variety of colors leave you feeling bitter, angry, and victimized? If so, you may suffer from a behavioral syndrome psychiatrists call “peony’s envy.”

Category: Gardening

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What Is the Best Motivator for Exercise?

Previous research has said that the best motivator for exercise is the desire for good health, but new studies point to an even better motivator.

Category: Lifestyle

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Lichens Don’t Kill Your Trees

Here’s a question Grumpy gets all the time:
“My tree is dying! It has all of these greenish-gray patches on the trunks and branches. What is this disease and how can I get rid of it?”

Category: Gardening

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24 Best FMG Containers To Look For Now

If you have some of these unique containers tucked into a flower bed as an accent, you’re well on your way to Flea Market Gardening heaven! The various metals, woods and whimsical vessels here may surprise you…
Some are easy to find, and if you know how to display them, become brilliant. Others are one-of-a-kind treasures to add to your mental shopping list. See how many of these you have. Let’s go!

Category: Gardening

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Practically Fool-Proof Persimmons

Remember growing up with native persimmon, the tree whose orange fruit if picked and eaten too early in fall would make you pucker up like Presidential candidates during the visit of Pope Francis? Well, I’m here to tell you about a better persimmon that is so easy to grow, so pretty, and so productive that everyone who can grow it should. And the one I have bears fruit that’s sweet.

Category: Gardening

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A New Season Dawns

If you have not noticed, the 2015-16 PGA season is well under way. Three tournaments are in the books and Jordan Spieth has yet to get a single FedEx cup point. Ditto for Jason Day. Rory picked up a couple of points with a T26 at Frys.com, and Ricky Fowler had a T25 in Vegas. The only notable finish by a top ranked player was Adam Scott with a second in Kuala Lumpur, where he has been working with his new putter.

Category: Sports

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Methuselah

“My husband . . . Some people are tree huggers, mine is a tree sniffer.”
“Try it. Right here,” as I touched the smooth bare russet wood of the ancient Bristlecone Pine. “This smells like Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey, it’s like no other tree I’ve ever smelled. It’s an aromatic blend of pine, sweet honey, and wood.”

Category: Lifestyle

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Why I Hate Fall by Judy Bender

And you thought I was grumpy. I have just been informed by my lovely wife Judy, that fall is her least favorite season. “I hate fall,” she states as I start to feel faint. Grumpy LOVES fall! How can anyone hate it? Here are her reasons.

Category: Gardening

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Major League Soccer Must Get Real

Major League Soccer and its players union agreed a deal to allow the league’s 20th season to start as scheduled this season. But I worry that a crucial chance has been squandered to finally set MLS on a path that could actually make a difference to the way soccer is perceived as a second class sport in the U.S.

Category: Sports

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The Joy of Reading

The Library of Congress promotes the pleasure and power of reading.

Category: Lifestyle

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Behind The Curtain: Halloween 2015 - Reveal

Well it’s been a crazy couple of days with the opening of the Halloween Room.
It’s been great to see everyone come in so excited and wanting to see EVERYTHING! And now I get to show you the results of all our hard work this year commonly known as the “Big Reveal” (if you like decorating shows).

Category: Lifestyle

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Baseball's Ethnic Tensions Run Deep

Major league baseball (MLB) prohibited blacks until after World War II. White sportswriters knew about talented black players who were good enough for the major leagues, but said nothing, participating in what black sportswriters called a “conspiracy of silence.”

Category: Sports

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Behind The Curtain: Halloween 2015 - Tickets Please

There’s this rumor going around that our Halloween display requires the purchase of a ticket to attend.
Word of mouth being what it is, every year I am approached by at least one guest inquiring about where to purchase admission.

Category: Lifestyle

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The Golf Addict’s Vacation Guide (Trip 3, Winter 2016)

While Maui in winter is always great, this year I would make the trek to Florida. In fact, I just booked my trip for mid-March, squeezing in between the PGA tour events.

Category: Sports

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American Brandy: Bourbon’s “More Sophisticated Older Sister”

Attention bourbon enthusiasts: American brandy not only came first, but inspired whiskey makers to barrel-age their distilled spirits.

Category: Cocktails

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Behind The Curtain: Halloween 2015 - What's in a Name?

“What’s the Halloween theme this year?”
This may be the most asked question I get as a visual merchandiser at Rogers Gardens every year starting around, oh, April, at least by fellow employees (the most asked customer question is: “Don’t you just love your job?” to which the answer is YES!).

Category: Lifestyle

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Saying Goodbye To Summer & Hello Fall!

Man, I can’t believe how fast summer has flown by! With the welcoming of cooler air, pumpkin spice indulgences, boots, scarves and nights spent around the fire, I can honestly say that I’m excited for the fall season to arrive. Summer was crazy busy with everything from starting a new job to moving into our first home, I haven’t had a chance to stop and take in everything.

Category: Lifestyle

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Flea Market Halloween Garden Party

Spooky and glamorous…and fun!
The air is getting crisper at night, which means Halloween is near….but far enough away so YOU can plan your own Halloween themed party,…our style! It was Myra Glandon’s daughter’s 40th birthday and Angela wanted to have a witch-themed party. “We tried to do inexpensively, but nice, Myra says.”
*Photos courtesy of Jennifer Robinson of 10 & Co Photography

Category: Gardening

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The Fugitive

How can a girl be blamed for baneful behavior when she has sat in front of the television tube absorbing the antics that shows like Dark Shadows and Have Gun, Will Travel presented? It was right around my seventeenth year of living when I subconsciously ran away. Never mind that I had every reason to take off after residing in a suburban Twilight Zone, where three sibling dames and six Dukes of Hazard were totally on top of me and my every move. Our Family Affair was a minefield. I would have liked more of a Laugh-In.

Category: Lifestyle

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Fake It Til You Make It Equals Practice

The belief that you can’t act in a certain way unless it’s instinctive and natural right down to your toes is an unhealthy belief in itself. The truth is that we’re all faking it til we make it at times or, said another way, practicing til we get it (whatever “it” is) right.

Category: Lifestyle

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Embracing Autumn: 6 Ways to Enjoy the Season

This year I'm not going to let the season get away! Here are some ways I plan to embrace autumn this year (and I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments section for how you plan to make the most of this season!)

Category: Lifestyle

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Pumpkin Mania

October is the time of year when ordinary, rational people lose all perspective and go nuts over pumpkins. Naturally, we at Southern Living enjoying fanning the flames of gourdomania, so you see pumpkins on the cover of every October issue. We also print pages on actual pumpkin paper that turn your skin permanently orange.

Category: Gardening

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What’s That Black Gunk On My Plant?

Just when it’s nice to go out and explore the garden again, you discover that your gardenia, crepe myrtle, and other plants have this ugly, black gunk plastered all over the leaves and stems. Did some maniac get loose with the roofing tar?

Category: Gardening

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Forget The Super Bowl: It’s About Fantasy

As the NFL’s regular season kicks off with a full slate of games, I did something that reflects the state of American sports fandom. I picked a daily fantasy football team. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, there are a lot of others like me. The trade group says that, as of August, 56.8 million people in the United States and Canada had played fantasy sports in 2015. That’s already more than twice the number of players there were in 2009 and a significant jump from the 41 million who played last year.

Category: Sports

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Money and Stress: They Go Hand in Hand

Few topics of conversation tend to provoke more stress than money and financial issues. From an early age, we are taught that talking about our finances is taboo and somehow shameful. The majority of people would never dream of confessing to others how much they earn, unless their income is really something to brag about. Couples are apt to argue more about their cash flow and where their money gets spent than about any other issue. For many people, thoughts about money consume much of their time: “How can I generate more of it?” “Can I really afford my car payment?” “How will I pay off my credit card bills?”

Category: Lifestyle

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PGA Winners and Losers for 2015

With the completion of the Tour Championship, the official 2014-15 PGA season has come to a satisfying conclusion. Jordan Spieth, who “lapped the field” in accruing FedEx points during the regular season was the popular winner, despite two missed cuts during the four playoff events. Jason Day and Ricky Fowler added their names, along with Rory McIlroy, to the growing list of great young players that look to give the thirtysomethings a run for their money. It looks like 2016 could be even better. Here are the winners and losers from this year.

Category: Sports

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6 Trees You Should Never, Ever Plant

Fall is the best time of the year to plant a tree, but look before you leap. Some trees are nice. Others are monsters. Here are six monsters you should never, ever plant in a residential neighborhood, lest you earn your neighbor’s hatred and Grumpy’s scorn.

Category: Gardening

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Lawn to California Friendly Landscape in 11 Steps

We uprooted the water-thirsty grass on our corner landscape and replaced it with a much more climate appropriate and water efficient blend of California Friendly Mediterranean plants.
We thought you might be interested in how we did it. Perhaps it will inspire you to do something similar. If so, we are here to help.

Category: Gardening

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7 Lessons I Learned From Facing my Fears

I've never been the type to think of facing fears as a good thing to do, but I discovered last week that it doing what scares you really will have some positive benefits. Here are some of the lessons I learned first-hand.

Category: Lifestyle

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I Refuse to Think Like a Man

Academia may be little better or worse than many professions for gender equality – law or medicine being obvious parallel examples – but we do seem to be increasingly measured in ways that look robust but almost certainly aren’t.

Category: Lifestyle

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Calls of Duty

One of my first jobs was driving one of those mobile hot dog trucks in Florida after I graduated from high school. Hundreds depended on me to fulfill their frankfurter dreams, which basically meant standing around yawning while waiting for someone to show up. I had unlimited access to fast food for eight excruciating hours. It’s a wonder I eat hot dogs today.

Category: Lifestyle

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Watch Out For This Sweet Autumn Menace

It’s pretty. It blooms at a time when few vines do. And you can smell its sweet, vanilla fragrance from yards away. But if you plant it, be forewarned. You’ll soon have it pretty much everywhere.

Category: Gardening

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All Nighter

It’s sort of become tradition for Liz and I to wrap up every adventure we embark on together with an all-nighter. We’ll start by reminiscing about “the good old days” over a bottle of wine (OK maybe, like, two?), talking about our little San Francisco “crew” and how everything just felt…simpler.

Category: Fashion

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Save A Favorite Pot In The Garden

A big wind in the West blew over my camellia again! I’m surprised the pot didn’t break,…again! I love the color and thick sides of this pot, so for a long time it sat by my potting table waiting for inspiration...

Category: Gardening

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6 Things All New Gardeners Should Know

Young people today are afraid of gardening. They say it’s “hard,” “mystifying,” and “intimidating.” They don’t know where to begin and they’re terrified of making a mistake. To those who shrink in fear at the prospect of tearing open a seed packet lest they suffer a paper cut, let Grumpy comfort you with 6 things all new gardeners should know.

Category: Gardening

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Saucy Salvias Save September

September is usually a terrible month to photograph gardens. All the summer flowers are burned up and the fall flowers have yet to kick in. But Grumpy’s garden is kicking butt, thank you very much, thanks to some great new salvias in our Southern Living Plant Collection, available in better garden centers throughout the known universe.

Category: Gardening

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Fall Flowers for Spring Bloom

There are many plants, which if planted in the Fall, will already be blooming when your neighbor is just beginning to plant –
and yours will be really, really healthy because their roots will have had the advantage of time and the Winter rains (yes, it WILL rain!) to get a head start! And there are so many choices…
The following article is gardening advice for the California climate.

Category: Gardening

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Oldies But Goodies

I have quite the affinity for old people. I suppose I should start with my dad, the sprightly senior who at 92, is still as sane as….well, not anyone I know over the age of sixty.

Category: Lifestyle

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Container Gardening My Way

There are as many forms of container gardening as there are containers and gardeners,
no right way, probably a few wrong ways, and in this story, following Frank Sinatra… My Way.

Category: Gardening

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9 Homemade Face Packs For Combination Skin

Does your face feel oily and dry at the same time? You have combination skin, which can be tricky to manage as not all ingredients work on it – some can be too drying while some will make it oilier. But worry not, Dr. Anju Methil, a dermatologist and cosmetologist, shares face packs and scrubs that work on this skin type. According to Dr. Anju, ‘Combination skin is one that is oily and dry. Usually the T-zone that is the forehead and nose are oily while the cheeks are either dry or normal.’

Category: Lifestyle

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A Retiree’s Guide to Austin, Texas

Every day ten thousand Americans are turning age sixty-five. The question most aging investors ask themselves is will I have enough money to maintain my standard of living? How much money is enough? Here’s a retiree’s guide to Austin, Texas.

Category: Lifestyle

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NFL Preseason Injuries

Football is officially back for another season and the excitement is at an all-time high, except for the preseason and what comes along with it. Every year fans, players, coaches, and analysts complain about the preseason being too long and unnecessary. Making matters worse, the amount of injuries that occur during the preseason are mind numbing. The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has even reduced the amount of hitting, practicing, contact, and training that players are allowed to do in hopes to reduce the injuries and make the transition back to football easier.

Category: Sports

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Monochromatic Flower Arranging

Sticking to a single hue when selecting flowers for a bouquet may sound like a dull plan to some people.
Rogers Gardens’ top designers know that monochromatic floral arrangements can be one of the best ways to create elegance, interest and even drama.
Follow these tips to create a sophisticated arrangement just like a floral designer!

Category: Lifestyle

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Finding the Right Jeweler

Within every trade, or industry, not everyone is created equal, and this insight certainly applies to the jewelry trade. The following article is not about how to tell which jewelers are better and which ones are worse by citing some simplistic criteria that supposedly separate goodies from baddies. More helpfully, it is about shedding light on the considerations involved in finding the jeweler who is likely to be most suitable for your needs.

Category: Lifestyle

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Pet Your Praying Mantis

Looking for an unusual pet? One that doesn’t bark, shed, need shots or a litter box, and will look you straight in the eye with obvious affection? Then you need a praying mantis!

Category: Gardening

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White Wedding

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” -Seth Godin
Life can be a very unpredictable whirlwind. And while I wouldn’t have it any other way, being 27 years old and having no clue as to what my next move is going to be can be daunting, and at times a bit stressful. My head and my heart are constantly at battle, and what I think to be “practical” often conflicts with what I’m most passionate about and inspired by.

Category: Fashion

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Two Great White Hopefuls

Sometimes I am assigned the responsibility of helping look for things, provided I have the essential dexterity to get the job done. This started with kids when they could never find anything. They walked around the house reciting the names of missing items as if they were going to magically reappear. It’s very much the same as cursing "Jesus Christ" which doesn’t exactly get you heavenly blessings.
Finding things is no different today. Take my beau, whose forgetfulness has started to dominate his existence and he can't find things he leaves around the house.

Category: Lifestyle

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Opening Salvo In The FedEx Cup

Are you kidding me? Jason Day fires a 62 on Sunday to back up his 63 on Saturday to blow away the field in the first round (The Barclays) of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The six stroke victory was reminiscent of Tiger pre-Thanksgiving 2009. Unlike the prior week at the Wyndham Championship (more on that later), this was a loaded field. Rory McIlroy aside, the top 125 FedEx points earners were competing. The leaderboard was littered with the top ranked players in the world.

Category: Sports

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Classiest All-Glass Totems For The Garden

Turn ordinary glassware into the perfect garden art with these design tips from our readers. Here we concentrate on just glass, whether clear or colored and how to achieve a polished look. We’ll also show what pieces to use, how to find them and where to place them in the garden.

Category: Gardening

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Current vs. Memory-Triggered Emotions

Clients sometimes get confused when I encourage them to experience all their emotions, yet unconsciously discourage them from dwelling on feelings that trickle up unbidden from the past. This advice is a bit confusing, I admit. So, let me explain.

Category: Lifestyle

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Not Your Mama’s Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush has been a Grumpy favorite for many years, because it blooms for months, offers many different colors, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and sings “My Way” when I’ve had four or more beers. Lately, though, plant breeders have been making a good plant even better in three important respects.

Category: Gardening

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10 Ways To Not Sabotage Your Goals & Make Better Use of Time

The other week you promised yourself that come the weekend you’d clean out the garage, but you never got around to it. Why is that? If you’re having a difficult time meeting your personal goals, you may be unconsciously sabotaging them. To help, here are ten ways to avoid sabotaging your goals.

Category: Lifestyle

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Intercollegiate Football: All Is Not Well

College football is America’s national pastime. Tens of millions of fans will soon begin watching games each week, from the stands and on network and cable television. The top football programs in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) are money-making machines, thanks to billion dollar TV deals, corporate sponsors, sales of luxury seats and skyboxes, and tax breaks (for seat “donations,” broadcast rights and bowl game payments). Using financial records of the NCAA, investigative journalist Gilbert Gaul Billion Dollar Ball, 2015) has found that the 10 largest programs grossed US$229 million in 1999 and $762 million in 2012.

Category: Sports

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Cool Season Tomatoes

Southern California is one of the few locations in the U. S. where there are two times of the year to plant tomatoes.
We have another time of year to plant a second crop; one that will extend the tomato season by producing fruit during the cool season beginning in late September and, if the fall is reasonably warm, will continue to bear into the winter months.

Category: Gardening

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Clearing Emotional Pain

All of us have felt stuck at one time or another in emotional pain, in reaction to childhood wounding or as a response to our brain having imprinted a traumatic memory. We all can stop hurting in the present, however, through understanding why the process of intense emotion happens, how it effects us, and what we can do to eliminate its impact.

Category: Lifestyle

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A Better Rose Than ‘Knock Out’

No doubt about it, ‘Knock Out’ rose has been the most successful plant introduction since marijuana. Millions upon millions have been sold to people looking for constant color with zero maintenance to the point where it’s hard to find anyone growing a rose that isn’t ‘Knock Out.’ But perhaps for the average homeowner, there might be something better.

Category: Gardening

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5 Ways You Can Use a Toothbrush as a Beauty Tool

Think a toothbrush is just for brushing and keeping your mouth clean? What if we told you it can double up as a beauty tool? A toothbrush can come in handy for a variety of beauty hacks. So don’t miss out on this wonder tool and make it the new must-have in your make-up kit.

Category: Lifestyle

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Cherish the Moment and Forget the Past

After several conversations with my children, I have come to a startling revelation – apparently someone else raised them. Or, at the very least, they grew up in a home that did not include me. Another possibility – an alien did one of those mind-erase probes on my brain and wiped out every memory I have my kids growing up. That last one actually seems the most plausible of the three.

Category: Lifestyle

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PGA Postmortem: The Winners and Losers

With the Wanamaker trophy now firmly entrenched in the Day household, we take a look at a great final “Major” championship of 2015.

Category: Sports

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Patty Melt

For years I envisioned the prospect of empty nesting with popping corks and practically packing my girls bags for them. As it turned out, cutting the cords was slightly more difficult than planned.

Category: Lifestyle

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Fantasy Football: Late Round Targets

For most people drafting the late rounds of the draft are often the most boring. This is about the point when you're fantasy draft buzz is wearing off, and you want to go to a bar to celebrate your the team you drafted. However, for the fans that spend hours crunching numbers, dissecting every player's stats, and creating hundreds of spreadsheets, this is the time to shine. This is where you apply all of your knowledge to acquire sleepers, steals, rookies, and the not so flashy positions like kicker and defense.

Category: Sports

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Who is the Consensus #1 Pick Overall

Figuring out whom to pick number one overall for a fantasy football draft can be a very tough decision, often leaving an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach if you get it wrong. Every website and writer has their own opinion, and they rarely have the same guy tagged as number one overall. This is supposed to be a sure fire no-brainer pick that will generate double digit points week after week. For the sake of this article we will say that this is a 12-team league with standard scoring and no point-per-reception (NON-PPR) format.

Category: Sports

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Fantasy Football: Perfect Draft Strategy

Every year around the start of August fantasy football drafts begin to kick off. Along with the start of drafts comes the preparation and design of a strategy. Each manager is posed with the question of who to draft first, what rounds to get talented players for cheap, and which position is most important to go after.
For years the philosophy has been to acquire the top tier running backs in the first round. However, now the league has transformed into an aerial passing attack. Wide receivers and quarterbacks have become slightly favored by managers as their first round picks.

Category: Sports

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CA Friendly | Fitting In With The Jones's, But Without A Lawn

“I want to get rid of my lawn completely;
I’m tired of watering, fertilizing and mowing it. Also, I know that we are going into a drought and I don’t want to just have a brown lawn if water restrictions go into effect. My problem is, what do I replace it with so, that all my neighbors don’t complain about my yard not fitting in to the look of the neighborhood.
Any suggestions?”

Category: Gardening

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DIY | Vintage French Shadowbox - A Tutorial

I just love the look of vintage French typography on furniture and wall plaques that I’m seeing everywhere right now!
Have you seen furniture painted in that yummy chalk paint with its soft antique waxed surface? Wouldn’t you love to know how you can create that same look?

Category: Lifestyle

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Color Outside The Lines

Another glimpse at the desert exploration Liz and I took, and our visit to Salvation Mountain. After miles on a dirt road driving through vast flatlands, which I can only describe as pure nothingness (with an abandoned town or two along the way), the last thing one would expect to see is this technicolored castle, standing strong, bright and all alone.

Category: Fashion

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Aug. Gardening Checklist: Bugs, Day-Trips and More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Bugs (both good and bad), places to visit, soil care and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and Ferns, Lawns, and more.

Category: Gardening

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Aug. Gardening Checklist: Edible Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Edible plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees and more.

Category: Gardening

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Aug. Gardening Checklist: Ferns, Lawns & More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Ferns, Lawns, Groundcovers and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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Aug. Gardening Checklist: Flowers & Flowering Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Flowers and Flowering Plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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Aug. Gardening Checklist: Fruit Trees

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Fruit trees are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Ornamental Plants, Edible Plants and more.

Category: Gardening

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Comedy of Err-Heads

If somebody has to look up the definition of an airhead, it means they may be one. It also means someone's head is likely full of empty space. To clarify though, three airheads together could mean something entirely different. Like the lack of being educated, in well, most newer things. One of which is technology.

Category: Lifestyle

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Whistling Straits – Straits Course

A number of the best golfing venues in the United States can be found in and around Sheboygan, Wisconsin. However, unless you have a thing for dairy farms, there is little else to recommend this location aside from the fabulous golf. As for the golf, Whistling Straits Straits is the crown jewel of Kohler. This venue has hosted several “major” PGA tournaments, and is hosting the 2015 PGA Championship.

Category: Sports

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Summer Fitness: 10 Ways To Keep Your Family Active

The end of the school year can cause excitement for kids, and panic for parents. As a parent, the last thing you want your child doing all summer is sitting around watching TV. But, planning fun activities can sometimes be a challenge. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, kids need at least an hour of physical activity a day, so why not get creative and make it a family affair? Here, we give you ten ideas to get up and get moving with your kids this summer!

Category: Lifestyle

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Who Will Win The PGA Championship 2015?

Spoiler Alert: Tiger Woods Will Not Win the PGA Championship. Who Will?
Thursday, the tour tees it up at Whistling Straits for the final major of the year. Who will be hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday? It does not figure to be Tiger. I have no feel for swing plane, launch angle, spin rate or “firing glutes”, but what I see is a player who lacks the ability to step it up under pressure. Performances in the last two majors and on “moving day” in the other tournaments suggest he no longer has the mental edge.

Category: Sports

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How To Create A Flea Market Garden Vignette

We all have flower containers in our gardens and plenty of Flea Markets finds. Assembling them all into pretty combinations is what we’ll show you how to do here..in 4 steps!
We call these combinations vignettes which means ‘pretty little scenes’ These vignettes are the essence of Flea Market gardening. There are three simple steps, three secrets that you must know to create these pretty scenes I your garden. Here we go!

Category: Gardening

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Tomayto, Tomahto: All About Tomatoes

When you picture a tomato, you probably imagine a plump red sphere. It’s uniformly shaped and sized, nestled alongside rows of peaches and stacks of carrots. You probably didn’t know that this tomato is one of a thousand different types, each unique pods of flavor that burst between your teeth.

Category: Gardening

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Yes I Can: Home Economics From My Family To Yours

I taught myself to can the year that I got divorced. My life felt a bit beyond my control, so I wanted something to do that would provide immediate results and distract me in the evenings after my kids went to bed. Though this skill had always intimidated me, some googling around and a great little book called Food in Jars persuaded me that I could probably manage to learn this skill. So I bought some fruit and some jars, and got to work.

Category: Lifestyle

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Charles M. Schulz Museum

I remember it like it was yesterday . . . a biting cold snowy winters’ eve. The wind howled through the trees, a grey landscape blanketed with a new-fallen snow, reflecting the dim glow of streetlights. Like fluffy white sand the snow drifted across the streets and yards. Trudging through the snow that night burned this scene into my memory for one reason, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Category: Lifestyle

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Color In Fine Jewelry - Whence It Came - Part 2

Part 1 of this series may be found here
Since the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the chemical industry progressively provided the world with dyes and paints brighter and more colorfast than ever before creating a symbiosis between industry and modernism in art and design. Bold colors pervaded society by virtually all manner of consumer items, print, photography and film, but the Tinseltown dream machine had done its job selling the bridal tradition so well that the obvious passed jewelry consumers by. To generations since World War II, the color of fine jewelry extended from that bridal tradition, and came to represent innocence and perfection – colorless, white and sometimes gold. You had to be a jewelry aficionado to understand that really, there were alternatives.

Category: Lifestyle

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The Art of the Harvest

You can just about taste your fruits and vegetables bursting with fresh flavor as you watch them growing larger and larger with each passing day; but at what stage do you pick everything? Let’s talk about when to pick some of the popular summer vegetables and fruit.

Category: Gardening

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Make These Exfoliating Face Packs (In 5 Minutes Flat!)

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells from your skin which not only renews it from within but also keeps it glowing and looking younger. The layer which makes your skin look dull is also removed from it when you exfoliate it. In order to exfoliate my skin in a natural way, I prefer using home-made packs which have natural ingredients sans chemicals. This really leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. These packs can be made in minutes and do not need much expertise as well. Here are a few exfoliating packs you too can try.

Category: Lifestyle

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5 Nice Shrubs For Summer Blooms

Summer is a time when you want lots of color in your garden, but you don’t want to work at it. You need plants that bloom when it’s stinking hot that fool your neighbors into thinking you’re a much more active gardener than you really are. These five shrubs are your ticket to a summer of glorious lethargy. Let the deceit begin!

Category: Gardening

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Summertime: Tips for Entertaining Outdoors

Summer is the time to relax and just have fun.
The same is true for when it comes to planning your outdoor parties. Regardless if it’s a simple get together with some friends or a huge blowout where every extended family member comes stampeding in from all corners of the country, it CAN be relaxing and fun.

Category: Lifestyle

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CA Friendly Gardening Solutions | Reduce Runoff and Water Use

“Runoff” is a very bad feature of many landscapes.
It is water that runs off our landscapes, down the street, and into the ocean; carrying a bit of our gardens with it; the fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants. We are responsible gardeners. We need to change our practices.
Ron Vanderhoff is the General Manager at Roger’s Gardens, Corona del Mar

Category: Gardening

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Color in Fine Jewelry – Whence It Came – Part 1

For most of the past century, fine jewelry in the US gravitated toward a colorless look. Not that colored stones, enamel or yellow gold were entirely eliminated, but colorless diamonds and white metals such as platinum and white gold ruled the roost. Whenever domestic designs featured color, it was largely from “the big three”--sapphire, ruby or emerald. While that tendency is less pronounced in other parts of the world, we are seeing more color in domestic fine jewelry today than we have in generations.
This is Part 1 of a 2 part series.

Category: Lifestyle

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Seeking Salvation

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl

Category: Fashion

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Christy’s Plant-Lover’s Garden

Christy Morrow is a Plant lover who knows her style…cottage gardens! She’s found that her style mixes well with her Flea Market finds. Blessed now with room to spread out in her Zone 7 garden, she studied gardening in her new state of Tennessee, planted like crazy and the gardens bloomed under her guiding gloved hand.
If you’re a plant lover, you’ll love knowing all the names of all the flowers in Christy’s garden.

Category: Gardening

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Sounds of Silence

Wind chimes. How harmonically jingly in gentle breezes and yet so vexatiously clangy. I am not impressed with the sounds of banging instruments when they unpityingly violate my sleep patterns. My boyfriend had them hanging on his patio, which backs his bedroom. This vision, that was planted in my brain, still remained. And in restless dreams I walked alone, since my man could basically sleep through a cataclysmic explosion. I suppose my morning nose blowing is equally as infuriating. But he did lovingly relocate the bellish jinglers. It was better than asking him to put in triple paned windows.

Category: Lifestyle

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CA Friendly® Gardening Solutions: Turf Alternatives

Everyone is going drought tolerant these days.
As we scale back our lawn areas in our gardens some people are left scratching their heads wondering, “What should I replace it with?”We’re going to offer a few of suggestions for filling parkways and shrinking your lawn areas with beautiful filler plants and alternatives.

Category: Gardening

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Composting With Worms (Vermicomposting)

Vermicomposting both diverts waste from the landfill and creates nutrient rich compost for your plants. And it's easy to get started!

Category: Gardening

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Stories from Windrush Farm

Windrush Farm in Chileno Valley, California stands as one of our community’s most endearing fiber and farming hubs.
Founded in 1995 by Mimi Luebbermann, the farm grew from an intention of living simply, farming fiber, and functioning as a quiet space for Luebbermann’s longstanding writing career.

Category: Lifestyle

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Space Technology

An incredible convergence of technology and human ingenuity was achieved as Commander Neil Armstrong and Colonel Buzz Aldrin stepped cautiously down the ladder of the lunar module Eagle and onto the moon’s surface. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” came Armstrong’s crackled transmission from the surface of the moon.
That sentence would resonate with millions on earth for years to come.

Category: Lifestyle

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Summer Vegetable Gardening

For those of you who plant a vegetable garden, by early May most of you likely have a good start in getting in your summer vegetables. Tomatoes which were planted in March should be growing vigorously and setting fruit. Beans and corn which can tolerate the cooler temperatures of early spring are putting on good growth now with warmer temperatures as the sun climbs higher into the sky with each passing day.

Category: Gardening

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Modern Magic: What’s The Purpose Of Magical Rituals?

Usually when people start out, they’re very self-conscious about doing rituals. They think it’s silly to wear a robe, have a magic wand, light colored candles, chant in Latin, etc. The truth is that all of these things are just tools. They aren’t required to perform magic successfully.

Category: Lifestyle

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Deserted

I always heard people say that in New York they could be in the most crowded room, surrounded by excitement and interesting, stimulating people, yet still feel completely alone. I am no stranger to loneliness, and I think this is an emotion we all must feel from time to time. That said, I never really grasped how much these words rang true for me until I decided to leave New York three months ago.

Category: Fashion

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Man Caving

If I had wanted to lose my boyfriend in 10 days, I would have used the reprehensible shenanigans of showing up at his place with flowery needlepointed pillows and wedding magazines while whining incessantly. Or, I could have simply placed a scorpion inside his bedsheets. But because he was a keeper, I chose to hold off on the whining and revealing my mean streak.

Category: Lifestyle

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Faucet Handle Flowers

Faucet handles and vintage spigots capture a Flea Market Gardener’s imagination and garden art is the result!
Here are four projects you can do and all the places to find your faucets. Sometimes the inspiration comes from an unexpected place…..

Category: Gardening

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2015 Le Tour de France

Ah, Summer! Bicycling magic is renewed for millions when the voices of Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, and Bob Roll, grace the television airwaves broadcasting Le Tour de France (Le Tour). When you dare to believe you’re an accomplished bicyclist, just tune into the NBCSN Sports broadcast of Le Tour in July (July 4 - July 26, 2015). Very quickly humility sets in.

Category: Sports

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Someone Told Me… Gardening Myths

Gardening myths examined & suggestions for success. Each day at Roger’s Gardens my co-workers in the Outdoor Horticulture department & I answer a lot of questions from our guests.
The thing about gardening is that there are few truly hard rules because someone is always out there with an amazing garden that somehow flies in the face of standard practices. I thought I’d offer up a couple of the most common things guests have asked about and why these methods might not be the most helpful for people who have common issues in the garden.

Category: Gardening

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10 DIY Hacks For The Best Summer

Who doesn’t love Pinterest? You can find just about anything and you can learn how to get insanely creative and crafty! I’m on it whenever I need a new idea for an event or activity and that is where it has led to me to be creative and figure out some different and fun ways of doing things. As for the summertime, it’s the best time for DIY (do it yourself) projects and to let your creativity explore. Come into the creative world with me and prepare to say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and “That’s genius!”

Category: Lifestyle

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Bow Ties: Gentlemen Don't Take Shortcuts

As I have reported, most men wear pre-tied bow ties. Podolsky states, “It’s a practice we can’t condone. That’s because a bow-tie wearer is inherently a gentleman, and gentlemen don’t take short-cuts.”rnLike me, Podolsky feels strongly that men should tie their own ties. rn

Category: Lifestyle

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The Balancing Act

People always tell me how “amazing life must be” and how “I’m so lucky for being able to go on all of these adventures”. While I am grateful that these lovely individuals, for some reason, seem to care enough to follow along and join me on my confused journey, I must also say that I never intended to give the wrong impression (that being the impression I am living a glamorous, or even an easy, life). There are already plenty of blogs you can visit to get your fix on that false sense of reality. I have always made an effort to avoid being one of them.

Category: Fashion

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How To Graft A Fruit Cocktail Tree

No, this is not a fantasy from the mind of Dr. Seuss, the fruit cocktail tree is real. It’s a single tree that produces a variety of fruits. Both professional and beginner fruit tree growers have been cultivating fruit cocktail trees for years, and you can too! It all starts with the ancient technique of grafting, or, combining the healthy rootstock of one tree with the desirable scion of another tree (we’ll talk more about this later). Using this technique, you can graft multiple fruits onto one tree. Voila! You have a fruit cocktail tree.

Category: Gardening

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Preserving Cherries & Blueberries For Cocktails

One of the best parts about summer is the abundance of fresh, vibrant produce, especially cherries and berries. Might as well make them last by preserving those in booze too! Why should cherries get all the attention? Here are two recipes for preserving sour cherries for cocktails, as well as a bonus recipe for brandied blueberries you can use for cocktail garnishes or however you want to consume boozy fruit (no judgements here, especially if you eat them with ice cream or spread them on toast with some soft cheese).

Category: Cocktails

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Mulching - 3 Inches Saves 30% Of Water

From the productive valley of central California, to the consistent temperatures of Orange County, California has always made gardening easier on us. Now, it is time to make gardening easier for California. Applying three inches of a shredded bark mulch can provide many benefits to the landscape.

Category: Gardening

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Dry Skin? Tips & Water-Infused Recipes!

We all hate dry skin, but some of us are at higher risk than others. How often do you find yourself suffering from dry skin? Depending on your occupation, it might be a lot more than it should be. Most of us keep a bottle of lotion handy, but rarely think about how our job affects our skin or how to change that. Here are four ways your job might be contributing to dry or flaky skin—and solutions for each one.

Category: Lifestyle

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'Found Object' Owls To Guard Your Garden

An old box of metal odds and ends, kitchen implements and hardware can become garden art assemblages in the hands of a Flea Market Gardener. This is yard art of the most fun kind,…you can let your imagination do the rest.

Category: Gardening

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100 Years Ago, Baseball Almost Banned Broadcasts

In December 2011, when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Texas Rangers signed away their local television rights for about $3 billion apiece, the sport media heralded a new record for local television rights fees. Accounting for roughly 43% of MLB’s $8 billion haul in 2014, media revenues have made the players rich and the owners even richer. Today, the idea that a team would ban its games from being broadcast is unthinkable, so ingrained are TV and radio contracts in the marketing and business practices of the sport. But in 1921, when radios first began making their way into American homes, a number of baseball team owners weren’t quite sure what to make of the emerging technology. In fact, the owners were sharply divided over whether or not broadcasting games on the radio would benefit or deeply damage revenues. A 20-year battle among owners would ensue.

Category: Sports

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How to Create & Maintain A Tillandsia Design

Today we are going to learn about tillandsias, also called “air plants.” Tillandsias are called air plants because in nature they grow in the nooks and crannies of trees and rocks; they are not planted in soil. You never want to plant tillandsias in soil, they will rot very quickly.

Category: Gardening

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Walking the Long, Red Hallway

Note: This is part four of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
The month before I had open heart surgery on Oct. 30 is mostly a blur to me now, as I write this 60 days after the fact. The feeling I recall is that of a procession down a long hallway with crimson rugs and no light at the end. During that time, I made a point not to dwell on a future that couldn't be avoided. I wanted to savor the beautiful fall days as best I could, knowing my physical ability would be very limited for at least three months after surgery. I climbed. I hiked. I partied my heart out. Then I would go to bed and try to sleep easy, but of course that became more difficult. I was 31 years old.

Category: Lifestyle

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July Gardening Checklist: Bugs, Day-Trips and More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Bugs (both good and bad), places to visit, soil care and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and Ferns, Lawns, and more.

Category: Gardening

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July Gardening Checklist: Edible Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Edible plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees and more.

Category: Gardening

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July Gardening Checklist: Ferns, Lawns & More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Ferns, Lawns, Groundcovers and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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July Gardening Checklist: Flowers & Flowering Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Flowers and Flowering Plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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July Gardening Checklist: Fruit Trees

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Fruit trees are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Ornamental Plants, Edible Plants and more.

Category: Gardening

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Inside The Authors Studio

The kind of being I normally find attractive depends on my mood. If I’m sitting passively enjoying an episode of Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton, I might be attracted to the type of masculinity who has the love of words. But if I’m interrupted by a terribly eerie home invader, I might be more attracted to a serrated kitchen blade aimed at slaying the aggressor.

Category: Lifestyle

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Gardening Solutions To Kill Your Lawn

The lawn that just won’t die! Surprisingly perhaps, that’s exactly the fear that many people have when contemplating switching their lawn to something else. We fuss and labor over our lawns. If we miss a watering, forget to fertilize or ignore our little green oases, we quickly see the outcome, browning, dieback, weeds, disease, and so on. So, when the time comes, you’d think it would be easy enough to murder our lawns.
Not so. Grass lawns, especially those in California, can be tenaciously persistent, refusing to die, returning months later to haunt the executioner.

Category: Gardening

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I Love A Parade

As this post is published, I hope everyone is preparing for the July 4th celebration. Along with fireworks, grilling at picnics, sunflowers, ice cream and the patriotic significance of this date, I enjoy a parade–any parade.
This most recent Memorial Day I had the wonderful pleasure of actually seeing a band that the NLS Music Section had heard about; however, no one knew the whole story. Reviewing the bands scheduled for the parade, I was delighted to see that the Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band was coming to town.
I contacted the Director of the band at the school, Ms. Carol Agler. She and her assistant, Ms. Yvonne Johnson agreed to fill me in on the history of the program and their experiences.

Category: Lifestyle

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Stepping Stones

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it is over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” -Mary Oliver
When I read these words they really struck me in an interesting way.

Category: Fashion

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Of Life, Liberty, Happiness....and Punch!

There are so many reasons that punches are perfect for summer celebrations. Starting with graduation parties and Memorial Day and ending with those last few days in the pool and the start of the NFL season (yes that happens in summer), large gatherings are just what you do. At the peak of that season is the Fourth of July, one of the biggest celebrations of the summer. The Founding Fathers loved a boozy punch - here are 3 recipes to make in their spirit on July 4th!

Category: Cocktails

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Don't Watch The Movies

Note: This is part three of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
Six weeks after open-heart surgery to replace my aortic valve, I finally got around to Googling videos of the procedure. If you are about to have open heart surgery, I would recommend not doing a Web search before you go in. Saying that will just give you the urge to do it more so than ever, I know, but hear me out for a moment.

Category: Lifestyle

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Mason Jar Magic With Solar Lights

Fun, easy and beautiful…
…solar lanterns for outdoor tables. Complete tutorial! Jeanne Sammons says, “Here are my Mason jars that I leave out all Winter! I just added the wreath & need some red berries, I think. That’s a crazy solar owl on the other side … still ‘shining’ from last year.”

Category: Lifestyle

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Parents: Moral Duty to Forbid Football?

In March 2015, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland shocked football fans when he announced his decision to retire after just one season in the NFL. He explained that he was concerned over the long-term health hazards of football-related head trauma, and journalists and media personalities covered the story extensively. Some observers asked if Borland’s retirement might prove the “beginning of the end” for the NFL, while others suggested that the league would remain unchanged.

Category: Sports

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8 Clever Ways to Reuse Household Items in the Garden

Gardening is generally considered an eco-friendly act, yet gardeners buy all kinds of things: seed-starting trays, trellises, planters, tools. Rather than buying these items new, many of them can be found lying around their house. For example, it isn’t uncommon for a household to have empty food containers ready to be tossed away, just as it isn’t unusual for worn-out kitchenware and furniture to be thrown out and replaced. From starting seeds indoors to preserving your harvest, you can renew the life of these items, adding a touch of creativity to your garden while at the same time keeping them out of the dump.

Category: Lifestyle

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Lordess of the Rings

There is usually not a time when I can’t take a phone call barring bath time, mealtime, or just plain social anxiety. My oldest daughter left a message yesterday to call her back. Concerned if it was something important, I called back right away. I left a long message relaying crucial information that my age spots are now multiplying and my belly has gone beyond its alluring limit. I know how exciting my precious phone call must have meant to her because when I called again she didn’t answer. Once I did get a hold of her she pleaded, “Gotta call you back. I might be able to make a baby, the postman is here.” This sort of zany exchange is true confirmation of our kinship. Something must have come up because I waited a full fifty-three seconds and she still hadn’t called back.

Category: Lifestyle

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Going To The Zoo

Going to the zoo is a fun time for all ages, but especially children. If this is their first time, you can see their eyes open in amazement as they look upon a polar bear or lion for the first time. In addition, going to the zoo with your children is a learning experience.

Category: Lifestyle

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The Miniature Garden In History

The gardening world is seeing a fascination with the miniature. Garden centers are reserving space for tiny benches, arbors, and bridges. Dwarf variety plants and small leaf ground covers are in demand. Some might see this as a “new trend” but if we look to the past we can begin to understand the present.
Barbara McGraw works at Roger’s Gardens in Gallery Sales and is an avid miniature gardener.

Category: Gardening

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The 5 Biggest Sunscreen Mistakes To Avoid

Now that summer is upon us, I asked Dr. Rachel Nazarian from Schweiger Dermatology Group to break down the 5 biggest sunscreen slip-ups she sees her patients make with SPF, and how to outsmart them.
Here are the most common ways you’re probably messing up with sunscreen!

Category: Health

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Six Ways to Celebrate Summer’s Arrival

I used to like summer -- I really did -- but the older I get, the more I start to understand why I liked summer. As a kid, I loved the warmth and the freedom and the fireflies. (My greedy, present-loving self also loved knowing my birthday was arriving at the end of August.) As a teenager, I loved the long break from school and the lazy days spent flirting with boys by the pool. In my youth, summer always symbolized freedom.

Category: Lifestyle

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A (Bourbon) Affair to Remember

The motto of Buffalo Trace Distillery is “Honor tradition. Embrace change.” Not only does that sentiment apply to them, it was a theme that seemed to prevail throughout my first trip to Louisville, Kentucky in early June. I was there for the Kentucky Bourbon Affair, a nearly week long “bourbon fantasy camp” organized by the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Distiller’s Association. This is a consumer event that gives real bourbon fans a chance to experience unique elements of their favorite distilleries, and meet the people behind the whiskey, in intimate settings.

Category: Cocktails

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Sticks And Stones

Everyone seems to be broken lately (and I am no means excluding myself here)…but the way in which some people choose to handle their internal struggles in a very external way completely baffles me.
None of us want to feel broken, yet we sit here, day after day, breaking each other — throwing stones. That said, I will end it on a positive note…

Category: Lifestyle

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An Aspiring Hardman

Note: This is part two of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
“Hardman” – what does it take to be one? That fabled term has been thrown around by climbers since before I was born, and ever since I started reading the history and lore at age 11, I knew I wanted to be a Hardman.
By the time you read this, I will be in a hospital bed recovering from open-heart surgery, with my 32nd birthday approaching in December. You can bet my definition of “hardman” has evolved since those adolescent years, especially this last season.

Category: Lifestyle

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Eat Your Heart Out: Ann Arbor Michigan

The University Michigan campus employs nearly 60,000 people and educates (presumably) approximately 40,000 students. Campus sits in the middle of everything and includes dozens of satellite locations miles a part from each other in a spooky, academic-omnipresent kind of way. And betwixt all the busy intersections of academia, world-class museums and North Shore apparel shops, there is an unbelievable thing happening—some of the most educated and community-minded people I have ever met are getting tipsy and eating some incredible food.

Category: Lifestyle

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It’s Just Not Cricket!

The baseball season has started but in other parts of the world the focus over the last six weeks has been on that other sport involving bat and ball: cricket. I wonder how many people in the U.S. have, like me, watched some of the Cricket World Cup matches. Potentially quite a few, given that there are many people living here who might identify with some fairly cricket-mad countries, including about three million Indian-Americans, over three hundred thousand Pakistani-Americans, and about two and a half million people of West Indian or Caribbean heritage. Worldwide, the expected television viewing audience for the four-yearly event was a billion people. In fact, the India vs Pakistan match early in the tournament was predicted to set a record with more than a billion viewers. In honor of the completion of the Cricket World Cup, I thought I’d share some law-related tidbits from the cricketing world.

Category: Sports

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Sunday Driver

Silly me for thinking bad things can’t happen on Sundays. God is expected to be on my side on the Sabbath but somehow takes a break and Satan steps in. Not to disregard our heavenly maker’s miraculous powers of persuasion, but if I had been in church where I was supposed to be, I doubt any of this would have happened. Let me start from the beginning.

Category: Lifestyle

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Recipes For Fairy Trees: Step By Step

Enchanting miniature ‘tree’ gardens!
10 Step by Step ‘Recipes’ for fairy gardens you can create around any tree in your garden, plus, a look into the deep foresty world of fairy house maker, Sally Smith and a fascinating video of how she works! If you have a tree in your garden, you can create a little fairy magic all your own!

Category: Gardening

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Outdoor Living Trends - Summer 2015

Summer is here! Are you ready? Here are some tips on the latest color trends in outdoor living spaces for Summer 2015 to help you get started.

Category: Lifestyle

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The Dreamer

“I would rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed!” - Robert H. Schuller
Dr. Robert H. Schuller passed from this life on April 2, 2015, but what remains in my spirit is that spark this dreamer lit in me years ago.

Category: Lifestyle

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Father’s Day Spirits Shopping Problems Solved

Father’s Day can be a tough one to shop for. Your dad is probably at an age when he already knows what he likes (read: he can be a bit stubborn), and it’s challenging to find a unique gift that will surprise and satisfy him (read: you’ve never once seen him wear that expensive designer shirt you bought him.)
However, if your father likes to relax with a good drink, there are some thoughtful choices out there for most budgets and palates (and it matches with everything!). Presenting, the 2015 Alcohol Professor Father’s Day Spirits Gift Guide! Pick these for your dad, and hopefully he’ll invite you to sip along, now that you’re old enough for more than that little taste of his beer you weren’t supposed to tell Mom about.

Category: Cocktails

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I'm In Love With You

I am a person who always has and, I can only hope, always will be eager to experience love. I am a creature of emotion, and I feel things harder than most people I know. Please don’t interpret this statement as self-glorifying because, as a result, my life is a fricking roller coaster…chaotic, but a fun ride, nonetheless.

Category: Fashion

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Clinging To The Moment With An Open Heart

I started posting the first segments of what became "The Open Heart Series" in my "Personal Blog" in the weeks before I went to CU-Denver Hospital to have my chest sawed open and have my aortic valve replaced. Writing was a way to process what I was going through, including the massive fear I faced. Somewhere along the way, I realized it would be a good idea to consolidate the stories as much as possible, so that others facing a similar experience might benefit from an outline of what I went through.

Category: Lifestyle

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Brotherly Love

My sisters and I were saints. Just ask them. Behind every delinquent brother was a substantial amount of pugnaciousness and soviet style operations. The world needed new leaders who were cunning and resourceful. But I was seriously concerned about their futures heading more towards maximum security.

Category: Lifestyle

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June Gardening Checklist: Fruit Trees

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Fruit trees are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Ornamental Plants, Edible Plants and more.

Category: Gardening

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June Gardening Checklist: Edible Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Edible plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees and more.

Category: Gardening

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June Gardening Checklist: Flowers & Flowering Plants

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Flowers and Flowering Plants are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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June Gardening Checklist: Ferns, Lawns & More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Ferns, Lawns, Groundcovers and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.

Category: Gardening

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June Gardening Checklist: Bugs, Day-Trips and More

With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Bugs (both good and bad), places to visit, soil care and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and Ferns, Lawns, and more.

Category: Gardening

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Island Slummin’

Come listen to a story ‘bout island slummin’, and how we shared the burden of beachside bummin’. We said paradise is the place we need to be, so we loaded up our suitcases bound for Hawaii. Kaua’i that is. Tidepools.TV stars.

Category: Lifestyle

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Programming your Mind

For a moment, picture your mind as a blank slate just waiting to be coded. Is it possible to re-write the firmware that is your minds operating system? Is your firmware open source code or a closed system? What determines the built-in software that is our mind (our firmware)? Or as individuals do we have the free will to program our software from experience?

Category: Lifestyle

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Camping With Your Slow Cooker

I didn't always like camping. I much preferred hotels or motels with maid service and a restaurant and clean towels.
And then I had kids. Don't get me wrong, I still love maid service and clean towels, but I hate spending lots of money and I hate having to get kids to sit still and have "restaurant behavior" when we are on a long trip.
So I've embraced the dirt (thank you baby wipes!) and the sand (thank you dust buster!) and the laundry (dear help me, the laundry is just insane when we get home) and the chaos camping brings and now I can honestly say that I really really like being outdoors and pretty much all that camping has to offer.
And I bring along a slow cooker (or two).

Category: Food

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Get Set for Negroni Week!

Italians are a passionate people. Their passion spreads to all aspects of life, including food and drink. They take meals seriously, with plenty of flavors and textures in the food they consume. Wine is always on the table, along with liquors to help aid in digestion and to open the palate for what is about to be enjoyed. Is it any surprise that in this environment one of the most classic of cocktails, based off Italian aperitifs, was created? One that sits with Martinis, Margaritas, and Old Fashioned as paragons of the bartenders’ menu? From June 1st to the 7th, bars from around the world will be celebrating Negroni Week, dedicated to this uniquely complex and balanced cocktail.

Category: Cocktails

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Easy To Make Dish Flowers

Easy to make dish flowers...
…Plus 5 ways to attach them to the ‘stems!’
Our Flea Market Gardening experts show how to make dish flowers, how to attach the ‘stems’ and how to put on the finishing touches!

Category: Gardening

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Scarves Can Mean Many Things - Prestige Above All

When International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde goes to the G8 summit in June, she may well be wearing a scarf – a fashion accessory that she’s become known for, and one that’s been drawing more and more attention. In fact, the BBC recently identified scarves as a “new power symbol” for women. True, just as some men choose amusing neckties to enliven monochrome suits, many women who work in an atmosphere that requires conservative business apparel will wear scarves to add a fillip of color and distinction.

Category: Lifestyle

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Cauliflower Samosa Salad + Thoughts on Freedom

I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom these days. I just finished reading the novel The Invention of Wings, which Maxx’s mom gave me on Kindle. I couldn’t stop thinking about how blessed I am to have freedom, this great gift that I value so deeply. I was born at the right time.
I’ve been asked a trillion times why I am vegan. I don’t want to anthropomorphize non-human animals, but like any living creature they deserve respect, and freedom. In my fantasy of the future people are no longer eating animals.
Now that we’ve talked about freedom and compassion for animals, we can talk about a delicious animal-free dish that is perfect for the 4th of July! I’ve made it for a handful of clients, and we all agree, this salad is the bomb!

Category: Food

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How Do You HaHa? LOL Through the Ages

Laughter is uniquely human. Sometimes deliberate, sometimes uncontrollable, we laugh out loud to signal our reaction to a range of occurrences, whether it’s a response to a joke we hear, an awkward encounter or an anxious situation. The way we laugh is, according to anthropologist Munro S Edmonson, a “signal of individuality.” And an outburst of laughter is an important enough part of communication that we represent it in text. In a recent The New Yorker article, Sarah Larson wrote about laughter in internet-based communication – the use of hahaha and hehehe, even the jovial hohoho.

Category: History

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Rocky: Spirits Made Better with Ice

Spirits on ice! No, it’s not a skating show (although wouldn’t that be a fun Ice Capades alternative geared toward adults?), it’s booze with a cube. Seems obvious, but in a world of complicated cocktails, we sometimes want to keep things simple. And cold. Purists tend to think adding ice somehow offends a well-crafted spirit, diluting its full flavor potential. However, some spirits blossom when ice is added to it, bringing the best flavors once banished to the background right into the fore.

Category: Cocktails

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Magic Words

"It is our attitude toward life that determines life's attitude towards us.”
I must have been about nine when that quote first entered my subconscious, growing up in Cuba, Illinois.
I’m proud to say that I’m a life-long learner. A student of the game of life.
All these years I’ve read and listened to many authors and speakers with a twist on the same message.

Category: Lifestyle

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My Ulta-mate Experience

Women know that however bad life gets, all they have to do is go anywhere that sells clothes or beauty products and they can go home feeling far better. I wasn’t depressed, just on a mission to replace my discontinued lipstick.

Category: Lifestyle

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Memorial Day Drinks Our Writers Are Sipping

Memorial Day, the weekend most of us in the U.S. regard as the first official weekend of summer, is here! Last year I wrote about cocktails with a military connection as a way of celebrating this holiday in tribute to our fallen soldiers. This year I’m turning to some of our staff of alcohol professors to share what they’ll be imbibing on the long weekend as the grills fire up while our glasses cool down.

Category: Cocktails

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Habit’s For Life

Habit is the link between goals and accomplishments. With patience, persistence, and predilection you can teach yourself whatever you choose to learn through the power of habit. Earl Nightingale said it so simply, “We become what we think about, but the thinking is up to us.” Yes my friends, believe it or not, it’s a choice.

Category: Lifestyle

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My Four Hours Of Fame

Stardom is a many splendored thing for those of you who thought it might be love. Love is only included if you’re making ten million dollars per film and you’ve got a barge sized air conditioned trailer for resting in between shoots.
In an all too brief period in my past, I got a call to be an extra in a Verizon commercial...

Category: Lifestyle

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How To Replant Your Orchid

For some, orchids have an undeserved reputation for being difficult to grow and care for. In reality, they aren’t as difficult as you might think. Hi, I’m Chris Patterson the orchid buyer here at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar, CA and I’d like to help you learn to repot your orchids.

Category: Gardening

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Creating A CA Friendly Garden

I’m convinced – gardeners love the outdoors, love nature and love the earth more than most people. That’s why we garden, to be closer to nature. So when it’s time to make decisions about the plants to place into their gardens these folks are increasingly weighing things like water needs and climate suitability.
The story of the transformation of my own typical suburban garden into a California Friendly version is one that I hope will inspire you in your own garden and perhaps give you some ideas toward what ‘the right thing’ might be.

Category: Gardening

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Pregnancy? You Ask Me, We’re Doing It Wrong

I have to disclose that, even as a young girl, I’ve always found that pregnant women look very strange, and often rather uncomfortable (I even felt a bit sorry for them). This hasn’t changed over the years, and neither did my feelings about pregnancy in general – not when I was pregnant with my first child almost ten years ago, or now with my current pregnancy.

Category: Lifestyle

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Au Contour :: Lessons in Beautification

While I have always been a lover of beauty products, when it comes to applying makeup, I am far from professional. I went through my Orange County “makeup girl” phase at a very young age, wearing entirely too much of it. I’m talking blue shadow up to my eyebrows and enough glitter to blind a man.
Clearly we all want to look ravishingly beautiful from the moment we wake up in the morning, but let’s be real, sometimes au natural just doesn’t cut it…

Category: Fashion

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Will Work for Socks

If you’ve been lucky enough to go to your dryer and pull out matching sole mates, then you’re doing far better than most people.

Category: Lifestyle

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Dreaming In The Trees

As a child, one of my favorite things to do was to wake up each morning, run outside and spend the entire day up in the trees. Each night I’d pack my Winnie the pooh backpack with a book, a journal and snacks. (What can I say, I was organized as a child.) No matter where we lived, I always gravitated to these safe havens.
All images © by Alida Bigham

Category: Fashion

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Pamper and Protect Your Skin This Spring

Spring is here and as the weather heats up, shed your winter coats and prepare for summer dresses. With plenty of beautiful flowers in bloom and extra pollen in the air, the change in season can bring along allergies and skin irritations. To ensure your skin is radiant and healthy from head to toe, try these tips from TriDerma!

Category: Lifestyle

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The Eco Way to Keep Garden Pests Away

Insect activity indicates the health of your garden. The bugs and other pests that damage it can be dealt with naturally. Here is how to do it!

Category: Gardening

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School Gardens Cultivate Healthy Communities

“What are the ingredients for a healthy life?” I ask this question to young children, college students, women’s groups and other audiences I address. I first assumed that people’s expectations would be physical needs like food and shelter. Instead, I learned that primary concerns are things like: friends, family, laughter, and spiritual support. As an educator and ecologist, I am learning from my students that the most important survival ingredient may actually be a sense of community.

Category: Gardening

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Does Comfort Food Really Provide Comfort?

If “comfort” food didn’t really bring you comfort, would you be as likely to eat it or eat as much of it? We’ve come to believe that foods which are high in fat and sugar boost our mood by activating the brain’s reward system. But what if that’s not actually the case?

Category: Health

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A Twenty-Something's Gardening Experiment

What made you become a gardener? For me, it was food.
Let me preface by explaining who I am. I’m a 25 year old woman, a graphic designer, photographer, yoga instructor and hiker. I work in the marketing department at Roger’s Gardens and have found a love for gardens and wildlife over the years.
I wouldn’t yet consider myself a gardener – at this point, I’m more of an experimenter. But isn’t that what most young adults are? We are seeing what works and what doesn’t. It’s one way to learn.

Category: Gardening

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10 Versatile Herbs To Include In Your Garden

Herbs are a great addition to any home garden. For the minimal space that most of them require, the amount of freshness and flavor they bring to your kitchen is unmatched!
We've put together a list of 10 staple herbs and some ideas on how to use them in the kitchen.

Category: Gardening

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Aging Gracefully In A World of Anti-Aging

I’d love to see you do a piece about embracing our bodies and faces as we age. It bums me out to see so many attractive women succumbing to the pressure to look “younger” through cosmetic surgery and Botox and all that. You’ve written a lot about loving your body the way it is now, rather than the way you imagine it will be in the future — how about the other tack; loving your body now and not the way it used to be when you were younger?

Category: Lifestyle

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Happily Never After

When my boyfriend's mother was still alive, he took her into the Emergency ward after she suffered shortness of breath. While laying on a gurney during the medical evaluation, the nurse left the room for a moment and my beau pulled the sheet over his mom's head. She yelled, "Dammit Bob. That's not funny!" Apparently he thought it was humorous, as did the nurse when she caught him doing his comic act....

Category: Lifestyle

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6 Proven Reasons to Have a Native Garden

A native garden drastically reduces your water use, waste production and maintenance hours. It improves biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health.
It may seem that an abundant and biodiverse native garden is a lot of hard work and requires a high amount of investment to create and maintain. The reality is happily different.

Category: Sustainability

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My Story: Living With An Eating Disorder

I’m a good person, I matter, I’m surrounded by people who love me, my life is worth living. I recite these statements to myself, per my therapist’s recommendations, whenever I feel self-conscious or scared. I wish I was a confident, independent woman who knew what she wanted and who loved her body. But I’m not, and I don’t know if I will ever be that woman.
While I’ve started down the path to recovery, it’s a tough road. The path is much harder than I ever realized.

Category: Health

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The Perils Of Procrastination

My email inbox is also a good indicator of people’s expectation that we are all procrastinators. How many emails do you get a day headed ‘Last chance – fantastic offers end tomorrow’ or ‘Final Days to Register for…’. We are presumed to respond to these last minute opportunities, rather than opt for something in a stately and timely manner well before the deadline.
Does this matter?

Category: Business

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New Tricks

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I’m sure you’ve heard that mind-numbing cliche many times. Well, I’m here to say that education is not a bag of tricks and humans are not dogs.
You see, to remain young and active, life is about learning and teaching new skills. In today’s educational lingo it’s called “skill development”.
So - I’m learning to play the guitar.

Category: Lifestyle

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Second Chances: A Mother's Reflection

There are many things I would do differently if I was brave and young enough to have another child. First of all, I would need to have more things in common with Maria von Trapp. Sounds of music and good vocals, unique ability to solve problems and sew clothes from heavy drapery material, postulance for entering an Abbey if things went haywire at home. And I would have a surrogate so I wasn’t left with belly marks that stretch from here to Hungary. I also have to say that making room for a cow in the house would sure make nursing simpler. All I would need to do is slip my baby underneath several udders and the suckling can feed all day while I do other things. It is a known fact that if you nipple feed, infants become dependent and eventually demand cell phones and a car.

Category: Lifestyle

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Once Forbidden Fruit: Spotlight on Grapefruit

Originally known as “the forbidden fruit”, the grapefruit was not discovered until the late 18th century, did not gain much popularity until the 19th century, and was not a booming success for farmers until the 20th century. Botanists believe that the grapefruit, named for how the fruit clusters on the tree, is a cross breeding of the sweet oranges that grew on Barbados with the pomelo (or Shaddock), a citrus fruit native to Indonesia. The grapefruit was fortunate enough to get the best of both the fruits; it has a tart and sweet flavor, either of which can be enhanced by adding the right compliments to it.

Category: Cocktails

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Night of the Iguana: Tequila Pairing Dinner at Añejo

There is a special bond between people who love and admire agave spirits, perhaps more than any other spirit category. When we gather, there is a feeling of instant warmth and camaraderie, even if we don’t necessarily know one another. Because when the products are made well, when we drink them, there is a connection to the earth, the elements and a respect for the culture that created them. So when the fine folks at Milagro Tequila and Añejo restaurant in New York City announced they were co-hosting a tequila pairing dinner, this could only mean a night of delicious Mexican food, great drinks and many smiles.

Category: Cocktails

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Wonderland Wisdom: 8 Life Lessons From Alice

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I fell in love with the animated Disney film as a girl and have since fallen in love with the book and the live action film. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the book's publication, and there's been lots of buzz about the big anniversary. The 150th anniversary seems like a perfect time to revisit one of my favorite stories and see what lessons I can uncover. The older I get, and the more times I read the book or watch the film, the more I learn from it. Maybe it's just where I am in my life at the time, but I always seem to find new lessons each time I return to Alice and her adventures.

Category: Lifestyle

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Got a Hurricane? Get a Garden!

This is the third article in my Earth Month series, that demonstrates how Surfrider chapters and clubs collaborate with local government staff and college students to build an Ocean Friendly Garden. This particular project in North Carolina helped tackle the problems of urban runoff polluting a former shell fishing bay as well as buffering the impacts of big storms.

Category: Gardening

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Ocean Friendly Gardens

Water running off our properties picks ups pollutants like fertilizers, pesticides, animal poo, and fine sediment as well as oil, brake pad dust and exhaust from cars. Runoff also contributes to flooding, and it wastes a free source of irrigation in the landscape.
Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) revive our watersheds and oceans by applying CPR - Conservation, Permeability and Retention- to our landscapes and hardscapes. Learn more!

Category: Gardening

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7 Wine Hacks Every Home Chef Needs to Know

Nothing adds a bit of sparkle to entertaining like a glass of wine. Pop open a bottle and you’ve got instant je ne sais quoi. Entertaining friends and family is crazy enough, so don’t panic if you accidentally drop bits of cork into the wine bottle — this list of easy wine hacks will save your sanity, save you money and add some spice to simple food dishes.

Category: Wine

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Baseball, the Color Line, and Jackie Robinson

By the 1940s, organized baseball had been racially segregated for many years. The black press and some of their white colleagues had long campaigned for the integration of baseball. World War II experiences prompted more people to question segregation practices.
Although several people in major league baseball tried to end segregation in the sport, no one succeeded until Brooklyn Dodger's general manager Branch Rickey set his "great experiment" into motion. In 1945, the Jim Crow policies of baseball changed forever when Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson of the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs agreed to a contract that would bring Robinson into the major leagues in 1947.

Category: Sports

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Learn How-To’s For An Ocean Friendly Garden

In celebration of spring and Earth Day on April 22, what better way to show your love for Mother Earth than creating an ocean friendly, drought-resistant and cost-effective landscape!
Our Ocean Friendly Gardens program provides the tools and resources to beautify landscapes while using the least amount of water – saving time, money and protecting our ocean from the number one source of pollution: urban runoff.

Category: Gardening

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The Golden Year: Super Bowl 50 Goes to the Bay

It is with great pride that the San Francisco Bay Area prepares for a homecoming like no other — welcoming the Super Bowl’s golden anniversary game as it returns to The Golden State. Not since 1985 has The Bay hosted a Super Bowl, and after almost 30 years it’s time to show the NFL and football fans across the country what the Bay Area has to offer.

Category: Sports

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Your Other Garden: The One We All Share

If you are reading this, it’s likely that you have a garden. Maybe a big garden or a small garden. Either way, it’s your garden. But, you have another garden as well; a garden that we share.
In southern California, now is the time to stop tending to your first garden for a short while. This is the time to get re-acquainted with your other garden, your bigger garden. Step outside, slow down and examine natures garden; wild, natural and beautiful. It is a perfect garden!

Category: Gardening

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5 Emotions That Can Negatively Impact Skin

Studies show that our emotions can have both positive and negative affects on our bodies, including the appearance of our skin. The effects of your mood can lead to things like dryness, redness or acne, and certain emotions might even cause your skin to appear to age prematurely!
Let’s explore a few common emotions you may find yourself experiencing from time to time, how they affect your skin, and how to help reduce the impact on your skin.

Category: Lifestyle

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10 Best Grooming Tips For Men

Do you wake up in the morning wishing for a smooth face from a perfect shave? A shaving session can set the stage for the rest of the day, affecting your entire look and attitude. What is thought to be a quick and easy part of your daily routine, can easily lead to uncomfortable and unsightly skin irritations like razor burn, nicks and cuts and overall rough, dry skin.
Even if you’ve been shaving for years, we've created a shaving guide, full of tips and tricks that will help to achieve a smooth and close shave every time you pick up your razor.

Category: Lifestyle

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Mad Men and Thirsty Dames

Every time Mad Men comes back on the air, I, like so many fans, look upon that event as an excuse to break out the pencil skirts and stir up some cocktails. However, this time there is even more anticipation than usual because the end is nigh. Sadly, there will be only seven more episodes before Don, Peggy, Joan, Betty, Megan, Roger, Pete et al ride off into a paisley sunset. Here are some fun cocktail recipes to remember the good times with!

Category: Cocktails

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Spring Is In The Air

For millions of fans spring rings in The National Pastime; baseball. A time of renewed hope and fresh starts. The season officially kicked off Sunday, April 5, 2015, with the Chicago Cubs battling the St. Louis Cardinals at historic Wrigley Field on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Don't be fooled though, it's the magic of radio that still captures the vivid detail and excitement of a game.
Listen carefully and you will hear the melancholy sounds of baseball on the radio. . . "Two and two to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away. Sandy into his windup, here's the pitch: Swung on and missed, a perfect game!"

Category: Sports

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Baseball on the Radio

That ball is – “Slicker than boiled okra" – that's how Red Barber described a baseball that a fielder was unable to get a grip on. The 2015 baseball season is underway!
"Oh Doctor!"

Category: Sports

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Don't Passover The Cocktails!

In modern society, it’s a challenge to find foods that are Kosher for Passover that are filling and pleasurable. It’s even more challenging if you’re thirsty. Even some certifiably kosher spirits aren’t allowed for Passover because of their base makeup. We're here to help!

Category: Cocktails

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School Rain Garden Goes With The Flow

The Peninsula School Rain Garden shows the importance of patience, utilizing Surfrider chapter resources, and developing partnerships. The project team had to address some issues: flooding problems in a school courtyard, clogged storm drain piping, and a small budget. This project to develop a garden in the school’s courtyard started in May of 2013 and was completed in September 2014. After receiving the information that the Portland Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation got a $10,000 Community Watershed Stewardship Program grant, meetings were started to go over the initial planning and develop what the garden is going to look like.

Category: Gardening

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A Better Way to Buy Booze Online

The Internet has done nothing if not bring the world to our fingertips—and our pantries. In a click, we can source caviar from Russia, Wagyu beef from Japan, saffron from Italy—fulfilling our palates' latest whims in an instant. But finding what you’re after and enjoying the experience of the search don’t always go hand-in-hand—especially when it comes to the bar cart. Thankfully, two online retailers make the experience of shopping for rare and high-end spirits as pleasurable as drinking them.

Category: Cocktails

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Perfect Flowers for Easter and Spring

Easter is the perfect time to surprise a loved one with a beautiful bouquet, thanks to the fact that it heralds the arrival of spring and the wonderful flowers it brings with it. If you're thinking about doing just that, read our guide for some inspiration when it comes to the particular blooms you can choose at this time of year.

Category: Lifestyle

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They Were All Stars

At 18th and Vine history comes alive at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Johnny - a docent - was seated in the lobby, a felt fedora atop his head, wearing a fine vest, a large turquoise ring on his right hand, and high gloss shoes, Johnny took the time that day to share the following tale he heard Buck O’Neil spin many times.

Category: Sports

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Preparing Your Garden For Spring

This is a simple overview and you can add many steps to this but keeping your garden simple is always best for maximum enjoyment. Pests are seasonal and should be dealt with as they come, not before then. If you’re out in your garden checking weeds and making sure your irrigation is working, you’ll see pests as they arrive and can deal with them before they become a large problem.

Category: Gardening

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Home Decor Trends For Spring 2015

I just recently returned from a buying trip at the Maison Objet show in Paris. Not only was I inspired by all the beautiful displays and booths, but had the chance to walk the entire show to see all the trends in fabric, lighting and furniture. Here are a few of my observations of the most popular themes and design elements from this international trade show.

Category: Lifestyle

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Floral Design Trends for 2015

It’s that time of year when, after traveling the country, then researching thousands of images and ideas of floral designs from across the globe, I can share some of the emerging trends that have inspired, moved or given me a moment of pause. In no particular order of importance, here they are…

Category: Lifestyle

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Only the Puck was Black: Race & the NHL

February’s release of Black Ice – the memoir of Val James, the first African American to play in the NHL – brought me back to when I was a teenager living in Boston. It was the winter of 1978 – the year of the infamous blizzard – when I had my first encounter with a sport that, until then, had only existed as something on TV that would compel me to change stations.

Category: Sports

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Single in Seattle: A Visit to Westland Whiskey Distillery

I remember a time, not so very long ago, when the announcement of a new American whiskey was cause for celebration, usually in the form of drinking said whiskey. Nowadays though, with so much (not undeserved) to-do about fake distilleries and fake craft and crap craft and whatever else is making us mad, the announcement of a new American whiskey is more likely to spark a determined fact-finding mission with the goal of uncovering if, and if so how much, the whiskey’s marketing is trying to deceive consumers. Which is why my first sip of Westland, a west coast single malt made near Seattle, Washington, was such a delight.

Category: Cocktails

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Rainbow In A Snowstorm

Life is really crazy, isn’t it? This is why I have decided to be a little crazy with it. To take insane, impractical risks and get used to rolling with the punches. Some things can be controlled, and other things cannot. All I know is I don’t want to be on my death bead wishing that I’d done something I could have, but passed up out of fear.
Some days I will see a rainbow, others it may be too tough to find…but I can continue to move forward because, even if I am standing in the middle of a snowstorm, I know I am not standing there alone.

Category: Fashion

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National Garden: Plants & Sustainable Practices

As Congress meets in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, a small group of AOC employees toil in the heat a few hundred yards away to help a living national treasure thrive in an urban center. This is the National Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Conceived as an outdoor laboratory for gardening in harmony with natural ecosystems, the National Garden opened to the public on October 1, 2006. It provides “living laboratories” for environmental, horticultural and botanical education in a contemplative setting.

Category: Gardening

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Classic Cocktails in History: The Sidecar

Cocktails have flowed out of New Orleans like the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Possibly with the same volume. The best-known ones are the Hurricane and the Sazerac. However, there is another icon of the cocktail world that has its roots in New Orleans, mixing a little French Cognac, a little Spanish curaçao, and a little American ingenuity into a single, sugar-rimmed glass.

Category: Cocktails

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Brenne Whisky: Interview with Allison Patel

Allison Patel is the creator of Brenne Whisky and founder of Manhattan-based Local Infusions, which imports and exports fine spirits such as whisky. She is also a passionate blogger on The Whisky Woman, writing about everything from cocktails to great whiskies, bourbons, American distilleries and more.
“I can never forget my complete surprise at how beautiful it was and how easy it went down! It was love at first sip. That was all it took…I have never looked back since.” – Allison Patel

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktail Stories: La Mordida

The bartender’s art of conversation with a difficult customer can be used to entertain a difficult policia preventiva. A couple of summers ago, after a long day of legal documents involving the bringing together of our lives in Baja, my husband Demián and I were headed for a little respite in Todos Santos. All of a sudden, the red and blue flashing lights of you-know-who caught our attention.

Category: Lifestyle

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For Your Consideration: The Martini

One of my favorite traditions of the year is watching the Academy Awards with friends and mixing up cocktails to match themes of the nominated movies. However, this year’s Oscar-watching poses some interesting challenges theme-wise. Apart from the fine wines served in Grand Budapest Hotel or decades-spanning beer brands served in Boyhood, it would be somewhat tasteless to come up with a drink to match the themes of the other movies.

Category: Cocktails

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Warm Flavored Cocktails Served Cold

It’s a common perception that winter cocktails have to be served piping hot. I love a toddy or a Tom and Jerry or Irish Coffee as much as anyone, but once I’ve defrosted, I don’t want my next round to be served in a mug. It’s time for refreshment! People consider summertime to be the best season for seasonal ingredients, but let’s not overlook the bounty winter has to offer. It’s the best time of year for citrus, after all, (especially blood oranges!), as well as apples, pears, pomegranates, pineapples, figs and persimmons.

Category: Cocktails

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Irish Whiskey: The Flavors of the Republic

As we draw closer to the wearing of the green and the drinking of the brown, could there be better time to taste our way through history? We all know that green beer and shots of Irish whiskey are the staple for Saint Patrick’s Day; but why? Why is there an obligation to obliteration?

Category: Cocktails

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Ode To The Blood Orange

Ok, Cupids. We get it, chocolate is to Valentine’s Day as the color green is to St. Patrick’s Day. However, why is it expected that a Valentine’s Day drink has to be chocolatey, thick and sweet? Especially since the hands down sexiest red fruit of the year happens to be at its peak right at the holiday – the blood orange!

Category: Cocktails

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Tasting Whisky in Detroit with Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich recently held a single malt training at the Detroit Historical Museum, a cultural institution that pays tribute to the city’s rich history, from its beginnings as a fur trading post to the race riots to the reviving metropolis it is today. As a novice Scotch whisky drinker who prefers her liquors clear (or red, as in wine), this was the type of “boot camp” to whip my taste buds and Scotch appreciation into shape. The drill sergeant: Glenfiddich brand ambassador David Allardice, a Texan by way of Scotland (imagine that accent!).

Category: Cocktails

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10 Citrus Cocktails to Keep your Life Tangy

Yes, yes, winter is the season of hot chocolate and flips, but it’s also when the citrus fruit harvest is in full swing. Don’t just settle for spiked lemonade. If there was ever a time to demand fresh juice, this is it! Yesterday we posted the history of the Whiskey Sour. Check out these other classic citrus cocktails that will keep you sipping happy all winter.

Category: Cocktails

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A New Classic: Bacardi Legacy Competition

Bacardí Legacy is a global cocktail competition that started in the UK 7 years ago and is arguably one of the industry’s largest competitions. It has grown to expand its reach to over 25 countries with bartenders contending for a chance to win the coveted Legacy cocktail, a trip to the Bacardí’s La Galarza distillery in Mexico, a trip to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and an around the world cocktail voyage. As well as the material prize, the winner sees their cocktail hailed as a new classic; something that will stand the test of time.

Category: Cocktails

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What Your Teenager is Really Eating at School

I spend almost 3 hours of my day serving lunch at our local High School. I am a parent of a High Schooler myself and I took the job as I was a bored SAHM. Taking a job in their school district gives me their exact district schedule for days off and a bit of insight that I want to share with you. This is not a post to punish schools at all! I am a Mom and the other gals I work with are Mom's too. The food we serve has to feed many students in a short time and be cost effective so kids can afford to eat! That being said, I was not sure how 'lunchtime' worked exactly and as a Mom, I want to share with you just how your lunch money gets spent by your high schooler.

Category: Lifestyle

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Booze and Brine: A Pairing Story

Somewhere in the vast pool of the Internet, I read that hard liquor makes oysters indigestible. Luckily, this is patently false, and I spent one lovely Wednesday night slurping and sipping with Julie Qiu at The Leadbelly NYC. Julie is an oyster aficionado and loves these mollusks as much as I love Martinis.

Category: Cocktails

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Master of Malt: Interview with Cat Spencer

Cat Spencer is the head of marketing at the award winning online drinks retailer Master of Malt. In this NoteStream, she chats about why she loves whisky, the fact she hated it in previous years and how she hopes to see more women featured in the world of whisky!
“There is so much human history in whisky, and so many people involved in crafting every expression. There are so many things to learn and appreciate about what goes into whisky, not just the dram itself. It’s what’s behind the spirit that makes it so truly special, and you could spend your life learning about it.” – Cat Spencer

Category: Cocktails

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Exploring 6 Popular Drinking Myths

Legends, tall tales, good stories, myths…whatever you call them, the drinking world is full of them. Here are a few favorites to debunk.

Category: Cocktails

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Is Scotch Still King of Whisky?

It’s been a disappointing couple of weeks for the Scotch whisky industry. Diageo reported that it is delaying plans on a £1bn new-build distillery just north of Inverness following a slow-down in the company’s key whisky markets, particularly Latin America and China. Now leading whisky expert Jim Murray has awarded Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry 2013 top marks in the Whisky Bible for 2015, with no Scotch appearing in his top ten. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was an English whisky in the top 10 – almost the ultimate snub in Scottish eyes.

Category: Cocktails

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The Year of Boozy Books

Considering the subject matter, until recently, most books about the libations of the world have been rather… dry. However, reading about all things bibulous has become a lot more interesting in the past several years, and 2014 has been a banner year among them. Some exceptional releases were published, and it was a pleasure (in more ways than one, more on that later) to read them. Here’s a list of standouts:

Category: Cocktails

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Introducing Amaro Di Angostura

Even the crustiest of dive bars will carry a bottle of Angostura Aromatic Bitters (though in some cases, you might have to ask nicely for them to locate it.) It’s that little bottle with the label that sticks out at the neck, as though it’s playing dressup in oversized clothing. We know that taste so well. When someone says “bitters” it’s the first thing most of us dial up in our mental inventory of sense memory – that spicy, somewhat meaty, oaky, smoky flavor that adds an extra je ne sais pop! to drinks and even food recipes. Other bitters flavors may come and go (and some of them did and came back), but this one will always have universal recognition.

Category: Cocktails

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Learning from the Patriots’ Super Bowl Victory

More than a week after becoming football legend, the Super Bowl’s last-minute interception continues to prompt second guessing: did Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll make a bad call when he ordered Russell Wilson throw the ball? Did the quarterback pass poorly? Or are we focusing on the wrong things altogether?

Category: Sports

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The Classic History of the Whiskey Sour

There has been a movement back to the basic blocks when it comes to cocktails. There is a grand pendulum that swings back and forth in trends. In the beginning, everything is simple. There is something special about the simple cocktails. They are enjoyable and well known from a customer standpoint, and easy to assemble from behind the bar. Daiquiris, Margaritas, Old Fashioneds, Gin and Tonics, are all starting to find their way back onto the menus of great cocktail establishments.
Another cocktail that is starting to see the light of day is one that has used the simplest of building material, and enjoyed widespread popularity in the United States even before it was written down – the Whiskey Sour.

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktails: A Love Story

For what it’s worth, I kind of like Valentine’s Day. There’s usually a lot of chocolate on sale, and I can’t argue with that. Plus, it gives me another excuse to drink. If you’re in a relationship (or something like it), buy your sweetheart all the candy (s)he desires. But can we please quit it with the cloying, mouth-coating sugar bomb cocktails? There are plenty of sexy drinks that don’t involve crème de cacao. Here, I’ve listed one for every stage of your relationship. Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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A Glass Of Aphrodisiac

When my husband and I owned and operated a small, reservation-only bar called Casa Coctel in Mexico, we decided to throw a Valentine’s multi-course dinner featuring aphrodisiacs in food and drink. We quickly learned that about anything and everything has been used as a love potion. It became the joke for the dinner, that if you believe something’ll get you goin’, more than likely it has the power to do just that.
Here are three of our favorite love potions for Valentine’s Day. - Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Of All The Gin Joints

How many times have we heard the notorious Casablanca line, “Of all the gin joints in all the world …” Well, Author Mark Bailey and Illustrator Ed Hemingway decided to take that line and bring it to life with the help of bartending consultants, Drew Jacobson and Paul Keo of Luminosity Entertainment. The gents have tapped into drunken gems that feed a glorious desire to sip with panache.

Category: Lifestyle

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Lamborghini Huracan

Much like all things in Los Angeles, wonderful synergies happen when you least expect it. Tonight, at the Mondrian Hotel’s SkyBar on Sunset in West Hollywood, eager car and music lovers gathered together to celebrate life’s luxuries.
Learn the story behind the CD that became the “soundtrack” of the hum of the engine lulling drivers as they took control of the road in their brand new Laborghini Huracan.

Photos © by Tram Tran

Category: Lifestyle

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Glenfiddich '63

Bond. Aston Scotch Whisky. On the rocks, and an interview with the debonair Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Mitch Bechard....
photos by Tram Tran

Category: Cocktails

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Ready Set Go

The way I see it is if you work hard, love hard, never stop learning, exist humbly, treat others with genuine kindness and respect, listen (truly listen), and refuse to settle for less than you know you deserve, ultimately good things will come. It’s a little thing called karma and, in my opinion, this “thing” is very real.

Category: Fashion

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Stronger Than Blood

This month marks 3 years for me in New York City. And oh, what a long, short, incredibly bizarre journey it has been! I can genuinely say that I treasure the life I’ve built for myself here. It hasn’t always been pleasant, but I learn important lessons daily, and good times have been plentiful - and often gorgeous.

Category: Fashion

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Hopeless Romantic

One very important thing that I learned in the past year about relationships, which is easy to glaze over, is that when it comes to loving yourself there is a very fine line between wanting and needing someone to “help you” reach this state of mind…a state of mind that is vital in that ongoing process of pursuing true happiness.
I want to find someone who will help me love myself more than I already do…you know, once I can figure out how to do that, of course.

Category: Fashion

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In Defense of the Listicle

I have a severe and intense problem with listicles. As a former English major, and a reader of books that could be substituted for a yoga block, that particular format of so-called writing drives me up the nearest perpendicular surface, be it wall, fence, or side of a high-rise office building. They’re riddled with GIFs (more often than not the same set of GIFs), and the content in between a Real Housewife waggling her finger and a girl from The Hills sighing about some first-world-problem has been distilled down to nothing more than a sound bite. Listicles are quickly prepared, easy to digest facsimiles of insight or information, and I absolutely lament their overwhelming popularity.

Category: Lifestyle

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Wine, Beer & Spirits From Seattle & Boston Face Off!

Parties and bars are only as good as the atmosphere they provide. Whether you are at the pet friendly Bad Jimmy’s in Seattle or the upscale beer lover’s paradise at The Publick House in Boston, good libations are a must. Fortunately, Seattle and Boston are incredible cities to find delicious suds or spirits.
How can we put those two cities head to head to see which city would take the crown for best city for drinking? In football, teams are usually defined in three different areas: offense, defense, and special teams. We can create three categories for drinking as well: wine, beer, and spirits. How does each city rank in those three categories? Let’s take a look!

Category: Sports

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Tips For Cooking With Kids

Thank you to Emily Patterson, Communications Coordinator of Primrose Schools for this guest post - this article has some great points!
In the picture, you see a 2 year old helping out with the prep (with broccoli of all things!). I personally feel that when kids are young, it’s much easier to have them in the kitchen where you can watch them.
Emily has some great tips for how to keep them occupied and engaged.

Category: Lifestyle

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Is there Life After Football for NFL Pros

Why do smart, talented, disciplined and wealthy young men have so much trouble adapting to life after football? In a recent study, my colleague Richard Jones and I had the opportunity to collaborate with former Super Bowl Champion George Koonce, Jr. to explore the complex challenges many NFL players confront when they leave the game.

Category: Sports

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Restaurant Etiquette: The Art of Thank You

Customer Service 101 is saying – THANK YOU. Not because you’re required to or it’s in your employee handbook but because at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for your customers, you wouldn’t exist. Customer service is so important but honestly, it has become a lost art. With the digital age taking over our abilities to have face-to-face conversations and every other diner stopping to take photos of their food and drink, the close-knit world of culinary savants is dimming to make way for the contender: The hungry diner with iPhone camera in tow. So, this post is devoted to minding our manners and valuing the simple art of being grateful.

Category: Lifestyle

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Relaxed And Healthy Hair

One of the more popular trends within the African American community is to be natural, meaning discontinuing the use of chemicals that alter the hair's natural texture. Although this is a great way to maintain a healthy hair lifestyle it does take a lot of work (I've tried, and epically failed). And there is also the notion, more a myth, that unless you rock your natural hair, but instead resort to chemically processing your hair, then your hair isn't as healthy as it should be, or not healthy at all...is this true? Well I am here to say absolutely not and I will explain why.

Category: Fashion

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Busy Fashionista? Tips and Tricks!

I never would’ve imagined everything I could do on a daily basis. School, work, trying to not mess up when it comes to motherhood, having somewhat of a social life while trying to be fashionable at the same time, and not to mention running my own fashion blog. These are just some of the things I did and still do on a daily basis. Being a recent college grad (yay me!) I have been able to actually have time to reflect of how busy of a life I use to live. Juggling everything I just listed in addition to other endeavors, it gets hard sometimes, so from one busy fashionista to another I've decided to compile a list of tips and tricks on how to manage this busy chaotic world-wind we call our lifestyles.

Category: Fashion

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DIY: Distressed, Destroyed and Bleached Jeans

Hey guys, so a lot of my friends have been asking me to do a tutorial on how to destroy, distress, and bleach jeans after they saw a pair I did recently, so I said hey why not let’s do it! This is actually going to be 2 tutorials in 1, because I turned some baggy jeans into high waisted skinny jeans, and then used those jeans and turned them into a pair of high waisted, distressed, destroyed, and bleached jeans.

Category: Fashion

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Hello Bartenders. It’s me, Vodka.

Dear bartenders,
Hey there! How are things going? It is me, Vodka. I was wondering if you have seen any of the big, flashy advertisements I have been putting out. We have not had a good conversation in a very long time, and I would like to at least maybe try and work things out between us.

Category: Cocktails

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The Way to Healthier Skin

The skin is very sensitive and can be affected by everything from the weather and what we put on our skin to what we put in our bodies. Many people put a great deal of effort into ensuring they have healthier skin. Their appearance is something they are proud of and keeping skin moisturized and healthy is part of that process. However, certain activities can counteract these efforts and impact the skin’s look and feel.

Category: Lifestyle

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How To Update Your Wardrobe On A Budget

You know the feeling. You open your closet and you have nothing to wear. Even though it’s full of clothes, you still feel this way. We get bored of our outfits quickly. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves and change up our look. It’s important because it builds our confidence. A new t shirt can help us take on the world. It sounds superficial but it’s true. There’s a reason they call it retail therapy. Shopping helps release endorphins and we feel better for it.
The only problem is money. There is a way to update your wardrobe on a budget and there’s nothing to stop you. Follow these simple tricks and get yourself a whole new wardrobe on the cheap.

Category: Fashion

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Getting Your Garden Ready For Spring!

It’s Spring Time again! Seriously, where does all this time go when it’s flying by so crazy fast?
Anyway, Spring signifies a time of renewal and a time of rebirth. The trees are budding out, and, in my area at least, the Dogwoods and Magnolia trees are in full bloom. I’m planning my vegetable garden. Life is good.

Category: Gardening

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College Athletics: Who Funds Them?

Currently, public universities in America are funded in a number of ways: government subsidies, research grants, donations, sponsorships, and, of course, tuition and fee payments. When debating cost-cutting measures, many propose lowering tuition. Typically, ancillary costs – such as the amount of fees students must pay on top of tuition – are ignored.

Category: Sports

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Cocktail History: The Bloody Mary

Sunday morning. Your stomach is a little delicate, your head is pounding, and every noise sounds like a thunderclap. You get out of bed, shower, and head out for brunch with friends, rocking the darkest glasses you have. It is not clear when the sun became so bright, but it certainly feels like someone turned up the intensity. Perusing the menu of your chosen brunch spot, you are looking for something that will sit well in your stomach. It all sounds a little dicey, until you get to the cocktail menu and see it: the Bloody Mary. No matter how rough the night was before, a Bloody Mary sounds great the next day. It is a cocktail that has risen from a curiosity in a Paris cocktail bar to a staple of brunch around the world. You would be hard pressed to find this cocktail excluded from any book of classic cocktails. You would also be hard pressed to find any two bartenders that use the same recipe. This is where the Bloody Mary gets interesting.

Category: Cocktails

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Glenfiddich The Original 1963

In 1963 — as today — most scotch drinkers drank blended scotch.
But in 1963, they did it because that was just about the only choice. There was some small-scale bottling of single malt, but it was not a commercial endeavor. By and large, blended scotch was the only game in town.
That is, until a couple guys in “the valley of the deer” decided that single malt shouldn’t just be an ingredient. It should itself be a commercial product — and a premium one at that. The Original is a recreation of that historic single malt released by Glenfiddich’s Sandy Grant Gordon and Charles Grant Gordon in 1963.

Category: Cocktails

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Sparkle In The Dark

There are so many things to love about this season! I have to say that, second to spending time with close friends and family, my favorite thing is having the perfect excuse to get dolled up in shimmery party dresses. For whatever reason, December has managed to make a habit of being the most awesome / simultaneously trying months of the year for me.
I will not give up…I will sparkle in the freaking dark.

Category: Fashion

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Sky’s the Limit: Painting Ceilings

One of my favorite design tricks is to paint the ceiling in a room. Use the same color as the walls...or venture out and try an alternate shade that compliments them. Painting the ceiling elongates a room. It creates continuity in the flow of the design. Rather than halting the eye abruptly with a white ceiling, the effect is much softer.

Category: Lifestyle

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Guide #4: The Land of Misfit Toys

Part of the fun of giving booze as a gift is surprising even the experienced drinker, hitting them with something new, something that surprises them but doesn’t disappoint. So consider mixing it up a bit. If you know a scotch drinker, give them a Cognac or a rum. A bourbon drinker might appreciate a mezcal. Swap gin and vodka.
Or you can give them something really out of left field. The following selections play the game a little differently, or they are often overlooked despite making fantastic gifts. We've got ideas for liqueur, absinthe, amaro and shochu!

Category: Cocktails

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Jean de Lillet 2010 Reserve

Welcome to Maison Lillet!
Take the ACE Hotel Rooftop, with the Downtown Los Angeles skyline lit by starlight, add some Parisian music played live by the remarkable Trio Dinicu, offer cocktails made with an extra touch of je ne sais quoi and what you get is an evening that transcends the mundane and immediately transports you to simple chic. The rooftop is decorated with traditional parasols and quaint floral centerpieces, and set against the backdrop of the city. A roar comes from a crowd sprinkled with media, connoisseurs and local business owners, and yet the sound of Lillet cocktails being shaken required my attention.

Category: Cocktails

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Guide #3: Whiskey and Whisky

If I had to gamble, I’d bet on there being more whiskey changing hands this year than any other spirit, perhaps all other spirits combined. It is a vast, evolving, and occasionally overwhelming category that offers a seemingly endless sea of gifting potential. From tiny American craft distillers to long-lived Scottish single malts, there is a whiskey out there for everyone. You just have to find it (which can be a pretty fun search).

Category: Cocktails

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Guide #2: Rum, Cognac, Armagnac, & Calvados

It’s possible that Cognac is the ultimate gift liquor, that perfect blend of high quality and high regard. Both Cognac and Armagnac are types of brandy made in specific regions of France, and, like Champagne, can only be labeled as such if hailing from there.

Their cousin Calvados is a brandy made from apples, sometimes with pears added, rather than grapes.

And while not as established as a gift as Cognac, the amazing depth and complexity of Rum is due for a close examination comparable to what has happened lately with whiskey.

Category: Cocktails

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Guide #1: Gin, Vodka, Tequila & Mezcal

We can, I think, forego the suggestion of a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, or Hennessy, or Remy. They are fine and welcome gifts, but you don’t need to be told again about them.
There is so much to include, and so little room if you want to actually be a useful guide. So let us reach into our bag and offer up some deep cuts along with some greatest hits. Something that will delight a casual drinker or surprise an old veteran. Something for all drinkers, from the extravagant to the bargain, but always well worth it!

Category: Cocktails

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Underneath It All

I have received some negative Instagram comments lately when posting photos similar to these. All I can say is thanks for the feedback, and I personally find it unfortunate that showing a little skin (when done tastefully, which I personally feel I have done) is perceived, by some, as ugly, too proud, or somehow insensitive.
To each their own…and fine if you feel that goal I expressed to accept my flaws somehow makes me “ungrateful”, but I would like to take a moment to respond in my own defense. Fair warning, it’s about to get personal, y’all…!

Category: Fashion

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Comfy Cozy

I’ve made it a goal to spend more time at home these days, which shouldn’t be too difficult considering I am somewhat horrified of what I can only anticipate will be a wretched NYC winter. I guess you can call it an early (and easy to accomplish) New Year’s Resolution!

Category: Fashion

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Sweater Weather

Sweater weather is officially upon us (well, I suppose it has been for a little while now), and I am all about the cozy layers that inevitably come with. As much as I am a summertime kinda gal, outfit options are basically limitless in comparison this time of year. You know, those few precious months before winter storms hit, when it’s not quite cold enough to require a puffer jacket that resembles a sleeping bag and a hat that hides everything short of bloodshot eyes.

Category: Fashion

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Django

Ok, I love this skirt so much that I own two of them. Admittedly, I probably have one of the most eclectic / chaotic wardrobes this side of the Mississippi…I don’t own two of anything. But if you ask me, this skirt is just that good. I had to double up.
Get a peek at both!

Category: Fashion

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For Manhattan

Last week my friend Jono and I ventured across the Manhattan Bridge – something I had never done before! It was a pretty solid walk and the weather was completely whack, so I’m glad I decided to keep it casual in my new Big Star jeans, and a basic ATM tee. I love living in a city that offers endless activities…New York, you are anything but boring.

Category: Fashion

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Tripping

My birthday is in a couple of days – I am turning 27. I must say that if you asked me where I thought I would be today five years ago, it certainly wouldn’t be here. Am I wrong or does life never really play out how you expect it to? Everything is so unpredictable – and I am actually pretty OK with that.

Category: Fashion

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Run Run Runaway

I live my life as it comes, and am no longer accustomed to planning ahead. That lifestyle just doesn’t tend to work out well for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am somewhat organized (aside from my closet 95% of the time)...

Category: Fashion

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Life On The Edge

I guess you could say I’m a girl who tends to live her life on the edge. I often times put myself in situations that people aren’t exactly thrilled about. And while the last thing I ever want to do is cause stress to my loved ones, my life and the personal choices I make are not something I am really willing to apologize for.

Category: Fashion

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Double Dare

Sometimes it is easy to forget just how many exciting things this city has to offer. You can literally leave your apartment at any given moment and create your own crazy adventure. I am so fortunate to live in a place where every second brings a new surprise, and I look back on the times when I’ve just run around doing whatever random activity would present itself as the best days.
This is something I have been striving to do more of – get out, explore, and enjoy all of the cool things there are to do in NYC. For this reason, I was excited when GUESS approached me with a fun challenge to “Dare To Make Everyday an Adventure” – a campaign inspired by their new Dare perfume (which is basically a pretty little bottle of light flowery happiness).

Category: Fashion

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Apples... In a Glass!

Though Normandy is home to many old apple brandy producers, many of whom enjoy the AOC Calvados distinction, there are very few restrictions and designations to govern labeling outside of France. This makes for a huge amount of variation from product to product. That being said, the type of apple used to make each brandy has a very large impact on the final product and can be used, in some cases, to predict what “the style the brandy inside” will be.
One wonderful thing about American apple brandy is that apples grow differently in many parts of the country. Moreover, every climate affects brandy maturation differently, giving us varying regional styles to enjoy. Included are a few of my favorites from around the world!

Category: Cocktails

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Peat: The Great Smokey Divide

Whisky enthusiasts agree on many things, but they love to argue about peat smoke. Peat is a type of soil consisting of partially decayed vegetable matter, found in wet, boggy areas known as ‘peatlands’ or ‘mires.’
Dried peat has been used as an effective fuel and heat source in place of wood for centuries, particularly in Ireland, Scotland, England and Russia. So just because you might have tried a peated whisky and not fallen madly in love, it’s worth tasting others.

Category: Cocktails

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With the Grain

In the United States, hamstrung by rules about barrels, distillers have started experimenting with the mashbill — substituting new and unique grains like millet or quinoa or oats in place of the traditional quartet of corn, barley, rye, and wheat.
And while it may not be new, its position as a product distillers and blenders are pushing in the market is something that has only recently started to gain traction. Whatever the case, it seems that Scottish whisky made from grains besides malted barley is going to emerge in the US as a player in the coming months and years.

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktail History: American Hotel Bars

Take a leisurely stroll through time and learn about the creative evolution of the American Hotel Bar. From its early representations in the late 18th century, all the way through to the modern day you'll meet the influencers that guided and shaped the cocktail to its current form. Cheers!

Category: Cocktails

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Taste Adventures with Delicate Spirits

Explore the Eaux de Vie and Liqueurs of Distillerie Laurent Cazottes!
I may be incurably afraid of heights and lack the balance for extreme sports, but my taste buds are little daredevils. I get a rush of excitement when I have the opportunity to taste something new and adventurous.

Category: Cocktails

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It's Negroni Week!

Recently, the Negroni has become so popular (with people of all ages!) that it inspired Imbibe and Campari to launch a worldwide charity event celebrating this beloved cocktail, known as Negroni Week.
Learn some of the new inspirations using this classic!

Category: Cocktails

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What the Alcohol Professors are Sipping!

The staff of The Alcohol Professor pick their favorite wine, beer, spirits and cocktails for the holiday! We include some great cocktail recipes to help inspire you!

Category: Cocktails

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Hopped Up on Whiskey

When the craft distilling boom swept the country a beginning a few years ago, small boutique whiskey makers had to find a way to compete with the established macro-distillers, and unlike the craft brewing trend, they couldn’t position themselves as the better, more carefully made alternative since the big distillers have hundreds of years of experience and heritage and make an exceptionally high number of incredible whiskies. So what did they do?

Category: Cocktails

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Cachaça’s Identity Crisis

Cachaça is the third most consumed distilled spirit in the world, behind vodka and soju. It has struggled for years with its own identity crisis.
“Brazilian rum” is not just any other rum. Grab a glass, and join us as we learn more!

Category: Cocktails

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Cardhu Distillery: Women Behind Whisky

The history of Cardhu is forever entangled with the stories of two of the sharpest, most inventive and strong-willed women in Scotland’s early whisky narrative: Helen and Elizabeth Cumming. The former laid the foundations for success while the latter built on those and took Cardhu to being one of the most important in the region.

Category: Cocktails

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Discovering Aperitifs and Digestifs

“Drink this. It’s distilled artichoke flavored with an old Italian guy punching you in the face with a fistful of pine bark.”
And I think, well, that sounds just fine.However, there comes a time when a man wants to venture forth from what he knows, maybe go backpacking across Europe, or at least tasting through the world of Italian and Alpine liqueurs — aperitifs, digestifs, and amari. Your tour begins here!

Category: Cocktails

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Five Iconic Souvenir Bottles

When you travel abroad, it’s customary to bring back a bottle of booze that is identified with the region you visited. Sometimes just because your friends asked for them, sometimes to serve when you are boring everyone to death/regaling everyone with your stories and endless slideshows of the vacation. But what if you wanted to bring a bottle most of your booze lover friends may not be familiar, something around which a conversation can be created?

Category: Cocktails

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Irish Whiskeys With Character

Face it, St. Patrick’s Day is one of those occasions when most people who are caught up in the fray are going to drink the most ubiquitous and easy to reach booze there is. But what if we want to sip something slightly more festive than your everyday Irish?!

Category: Cocktails

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Absinthe - Why The Mystery?

The actual story of how Absinthe got “re-legalized” in the US is as follows: There were some businessmen that had an interest in importing authentic Absinthe in the US so they could sell it. Okay, there's a bit more to it than just that, and you'll learn the whole story here!

Category: Cocktails

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Which Famous Fictional Drinker Are You?

Television and cinema have provided us with a dynamic array of iconic lushes. From Martini imbibers in classic films to sitcom beer pong champs, find out whose boozy tendencies are most similar to yours!

Category: Cocktails

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Booze for Babes: Smart Woman’s Guide to Drinking

It’s the 21st Century. Sad to think that a book titled Booze for Babes: The Smart Woman’s Guide To Drinking Spirits Right has to exist. But it does.
Why? Well, because… they don’t teach this stuff in school and because author Kayleigh Kulp felt the sting of every bad liquor ad geared towards women which seemed to relegate women’s tastes to the pink and frilly corner.
And its fun.

Category: Cocktails

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The Still on the Hill: Charbay Whiskey in Napa

People go to Napa and Sonoma for wine. So naturally, I went to Napa for whiskey. Up a narrow, winding road to the top of the forest-and-vineyard covered ridge that separates California’s two wine valleys you will find the Charbay Winery & Distillery. Some things are popular for a reason.

Category: Cocktails

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Classic Cocktails in History: the Daiquiri

The U.S. landed troops on a beach named Daiquiri, in Santiago, Cuba. Jennings Cox was one of the first on the island once it was safe, and generally credited with creating the original Daiquiri. The story goes that while he was entertaining guests one night, he ran out of the gin everyone was enjoying. Learn about the evolution of the drink he created - and try your hand at some variations - recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Drinking to Remember

For most of us in ‘merica, summer officially kicks off with Memorial Day weekend. That’s when the barbecue grills get fired up, the first of the season’s over-the-top effects fests open in theaters, and with an extra day off, we look for reasons to day drink, hopefully outside if the weather permits. Learn more about the importance of this day - and try your hand at some classic cocktails to jog your memory... recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Cocktails: A Love Story

Why a seasoned beer and shots bartender transitioned to working with high end cocktails!
I’ve been a bartender in New York City for ten years. I’ve been a cocktail bartender for the last three years. That means that three years ago I decided to start working harder during each shift, spend more of my free time studying classic cocktails, spirits, wine and beer, as well as memorizing countless recipes. Why would anyone make a career move that costs them money?

Category: Cocktails

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The Evolution of Tequila

As agave advocates and celebrities like George Clooney can attest, it has come a long way from its party animal past as more bars and restaurants celebrate the popularity of fine quality tequilas, more of which are being imported to the US than ever before. People are finally understanding these are elixirs intended to be sipped and savored like a good whiskey, worthy of serious top shelf real estate. They are made with care and respect for the earth and the elements, and steeped in tradition.
Recommendations included.

Category: Cocktails

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Handmade, Craft & Artisanal: Is it Meaningful?

Trying to make sense of how your bottles are labeled isn't easy. As the “Farm-to-Table” movement gains increased momentum, consumers are finding themselves more educated and selective about the types of food they eat. Customers are quickly venturing into buying speciality craft spirits as well, but unlike food, there is little known about the ingredients and production methods for alcohol - until now.

Category: Cocktails

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Ode to the Traditional Milk Punch

What is a milk punch and why is it so important for the healing of a hangover? Let's say you’ve gone beyond what you would consider to be polite behavior. There is scarcely is a more healing elixir than the refreshing and restorative milk punch.
Yes, recipe included!

Category: Cocktails

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Drink a Seelbach Cocktail on Derby Day!

As a former resident of the Bluegrass State, I am required by law to have a wealth of crazy stories about the Kentucky Derby. My in-state Derby memories come from when I was a kid and my family would, ironically, make the trek away from Louisville to Lexington for the annual party thrown by my parents’ friends, one of whom once got into a fist fight with a bus and came out on top. But that’s another story.
Recipe included!

Category: Cocktails

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A Fresh Approach to Garnish

This is the age of thoughtful mixology. Historic recipes, bespoke ingredients and new spirits are all around us, challenging us to revive, invent, discover. We give so much thought to what goes into the glass, yet we frequently overlook one of a drink’s signature elements: the garnish. A garnish is meant to entice the imbiber through every available sensory portal. Come explore with us. Includes tips for you to try!

Category: Cocktails

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What Exactly Is Tennessee Whiskey?

Now as a whiskey educator, the question of what defines the term “Tennessee whiskey” is a sure one in every class. New legislation mirrors the federal definition of bourbon except for the requirement that it must be manufactured in Tennessee and filtered through maple charcoal. But what does that really mean?

Category: Cocktails

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Low Alcohol Cocktails!

The greatest obstacle I face in my line of work is staying sober while doing research. Craft cocktails celebrate the flavor and texture of alcohol and classic cocktails are typically several ounces of spirit, so you can understand the challenge of holding onto clear-headedness. Luckily, bartending is never in stasis and the next wave will soon be upon the nation: cocktails with a lower percentage of alcohol. Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Say Olá to Avuá Cachaça!

Outside of its native Brazil, cachaça is one of the most misunderstood of spirits. For years, because it is sugarcane-based, it’s been lumped unceremoniously in the rum category. Some people even refer to it as “that Brazilian rum.” But it’s not a rum, it’s cachaça, which really isn’t like rum at all, but a very distant cousin. Now that cachaça is growing steadily as its own category in the US it’s time we all got to know it better. Recipes included!

Category: Cocktails

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Rum—From NYC?

While we’ve been able to legally drink at home again since the 1930s, the majority of spirits in the U.S. have been imported because high start up costs and death-defying licensing gauntlets have scared off most would-be domestic distillers. Owney’s is one of the precious few rums produced entirely from domestic ingredients, and it’s made right in the heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn. I recently visited the distillery and sat down with this audacious impressario, and learned about the history and intricacies of producing home grown rum. Plus just how sticky a situation it can be to make it.

Category: Cocktails

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All About Raki—the Traditional Turkish Spirit

Here we'll explore the production process and share some reflections on the traditional Turkish spirit. Turkish rakı has some distinct characteristics and is also nowadays protected by law to keep its consistency and quality. Find out how it's made, what to pair it with, and why singing is important. Recommendations included.

Category: Cocktails

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Tasting El Dorado (Guyanan Rum)

Friday, August 16th was National Rum Day – For some it was a cheap chance to abuse Daiquiris with low quality spirit, bad mixers and blenders. For others (like myself) it was a chance to get educated about the green sugarcane-based spirit we call rum. I learned the intimate history behind the Demerara rum making and naming process. The single barrel rums are named after the plantation owners or the actual estates.To be clear, the same stills from over 300 years ago (when rum was in its Beta phase) are working to this day in Guyana at the Demerara distillery producing El Dorado rum.

Category: Cocktails

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Tasmanian Whisky: Hellyer's Road

Think of the word whisky and your mind will almost certainly drift towards Scotland or Ireland – those powerhouse nations that have been producing it for much more than a century. But if you look even further afield, you’ll see the category experiencing great expansion to all corners of the globe, places that you may not have considered before. Like Tasmania - join me at Hellyer's Road Distillery.

Category: Cocktails

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Japanese Whisky Pioneer: Nikka

Irish whiskey. Scotch. Bourbon. These spirits are well known around the world. But what about Japanese whisky? Japanese whisky, while not around as long as sake, still has a rich history in the Japanese spirits industry. That history begins with one man, Masataka Taketsuru. Find out more about this award winning whisky!

Category: Cocktails

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A Primer on Cognac

Cognac may be quintessentially French, but it is inexorably linked to UK, Irish and Dutch traders, particularly during the 18th century. Many of its famous names can trace their roots to the British Isles – Richard Hennessy from Ireland, Thomas Hine from Dorset, Jean Martell from Jersey, to name just three. Find out that Cognac label tells you, and also some of the changes in the Cognac industry in the last 30 years. Tasting and pairing recommendations included!

Category: Cocktails

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A Whiskey-Giver's Cheatsheet

One of the wonderful things about whiskey is there is one for every occasion and personality. We live in a glorious age when there are choices that fit every situation. However, for some, that means shopping for them can be a dizzying prospect. How do you match a person with their whiskey? Here you can learn how to select the right whiskey, for the right person!

Category: Cocktails

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European Sport Heritage: Olympics & Paralympics

Sport, like language, religion and art, is one of the fundamental things that makes humans, human. Whether you’re a professional athlete, an enthusiastic amateur, an armchair sports fan, or even a dedicated sports hater, sport plays an undeniable part in your cultural heritage.
This exhibition NoteStream explores some of the great sporting events of Europe today, such as the Olympics and the Paralympics. Other NoteStreams in this series will cover UEFA Champions Cup, as well as lesser-known ancient sports like the extraordinary Gladiator and Naumachia Games and the traditional Scottish Highland Games.
You can also find out what it means to be a football fan, take a look at some great photos of Europe’s famous players.
So, what are you waiting for? On your marks, get set, go!
All story texts in the exhibition are CC-BY-SA

Category: Sports

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European Sport Heritage: Famous European Sports

Sport, like language, religion and art, is one of the fundamental things that makes humans, human. Whether you’re a professional athlete, an enthusiastic amateur, an armchair sports fan, or even a dedicated sports hater, sport plays an undeniable part in your cultural heritage.
This exhibition NoteStream explores some of the great sporting events of Europe today: from boxing to cricket to tennis, skiing and rugby. Other NoteStreams in this series will cover UEFA Champions Cup, Olympics and Paralympics, as well as lesser-known ancient sports like the extraordinary Gladiator and Naumachia Games and the traditional Scottish Highland Games.
You can also find out what it means to be a football fan, and take a look at some great photos of Europe’s famous players.
So, what are you waiting for? On your marks, get set, go!
All story texts in the exhibition are CC-BY-SA

Category: Sports

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European Sport Heritage: Football

Sport, like language, religion and art, is one of the fundamental things that makes humans, human. Whether you’re a professional athlete, an enthusiastic amateur, an armchair sports fan, or even a dedicated sports hater, sport plays an undeniable part in your cultural heritage.
In this exhibition NoteStream you'll find out what it means to be a football fan, and take a look at some great photos of Europe's famous players.
Other NoteStreams in this series will cover some of the great sporting events of Europe today, such as the Olympics and the Paralympics, as well as lesser-known ancient sports like the extraordinary Gladiator and Naumachia Games and the traditional Scottish Highland Games.
So, what are you waiting for? On your marks, get set, go!
All story texts in the exhibition are CC-BY-SA

Category: Sports

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European Sport Heritage: Ancient Games

Sport, like language, religion and art, is one of the fundamental things that makes humans, human. Whether you’re a professional athlete, an enthusiastic amateur, an armchair sports fan, or even a dedicated sports hater, sport plays an undeniable part in your cultural heritage.
In this exhibition NoteStream we'll learn about lesser-known ancient sports like the extraordinary Gladiator and Naumachia Games, and the traditional Scottish Highland Games. Other NoteStreams in this series will cover some of the great sporting events of Europe today, such as the Olympics and the Paralympics, as well as what it meas to be a football fan.
So, what are you waiting for? On your marks, get set, go!
All story texts in the exhibition are CC-BY-SA

Category: Sports

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September is Bourbon Heritage Month!

A report on the state of bourbon in 2014 - it's Bourbon Heritage Month! Let's start by discussing a bit about the state of bourbon in America now, and how brands, marketers and consumers are approaching this category. Oh - and we've got recommendations for you too!

Category: Cocktails

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Blind Truth About Whisky Aging

Blind tasting whiskies - with and without age statements - at a Tales of the Cocktails Seminar
Spend any time in the whisky world, and you achieve certain signs of being a properly matured whisky aficionado. Among these is the understanding that neither price point nor age statement guarantee quality. During Diageo’s “The Blind Truth About Whisky Aging” panel at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, the question of age versus maturity was put to the (blind taste) test.
It is exactly the sort of thing I wanted from a Tales seminar. Engaging speakers, a lot of history, and a lively topic with a lot of grist for the discussion mill — oh, and some really great whisky. It’s a complicated topic and a debate that will be going on for some times, but to me it’s a debate that should be waged in good spirits, and preferably while accompanied by good spirits. Cheers

Category: Cocktails

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Yankee Pioneers and Baseball

The playing of ball games has been a recorded part of the human social and cultural system since the beginning of Western Civilization and specific forms of these games, which would eventually evolve into the American game of baseball, developed within European culture during the medieval period.
The influence of culture, and specifically that of Yankee/New York culture, helps explain how that spread happened.

Reproduced from This Game of Games (CC BY 4.0)

Category: Sports

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Bourbon's Bones: Louisville's Bourbon History

Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail is a carefully cultivated and well worthwhile trip through the rolling green distilling landscape of the state’s bourbon industry. Even industrial behemoths likeJim Beam and Wild Turkey seem picturesque amid the lush hills outside of Bardstown or overlooking a bridge spanning the gulf of the Kentucky River. Conspicuous by its absence, however, is the state’s largest city, the one-time bourbon making epicenter of America, home still to two of the biggest producers of bourbon in the world: Louisville, the city in which I grew up (or the closest city you can get to from Centerfield, Kentucky).
It is only recently that the mighty city on the banks of the Ohio has started to reclaim its spot in bourbon history.
Our own, unofficial, unmapped bourbon trail.

Category: Cocktails

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Bourbon Memories: Istanbul to New York

Growing up in Istanbul, Turkey in early 80s, I witnessed a lot of changes in the country. We were blending into the capitalist world and for the first time in my life I was witnessing imported goods hitting the shop windows, taking over slowly but surely.
In 2003 I moved to New York as a burgeoning whiskey enthusiast and was hungry to learn and to taste as much as I could. After years of tasting whiskey I started to grow a different kind of appreciation for good cheap whiskeys. - and I've got a couple to recommend you try!

Category: Cocktails

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Calvados 101

Normandy, France is well known across the Atlantic for its World War II history with the US storming of the beach on D-Day, its memorial at the American cemetery of Omaha Beach and the grace of the nearby historic Bayeux Cathedral. But it’s also a French region rich in local products – the Tripe of Caen, Camembert, inarguably the freshest butter and cream in France, and especially Calvados.
It is here that apples are fermented to make cider and its famous apple brandy, which it has been doing for five centuries. Learn about how Calvados is made, the aging process, and what to look for when you try it!

Category: Cocktails

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Pairing Bourbon and Cheese

Pairing wine with cheese (and everything else under the sun) is a pastime that seems as old as the wine industry itself. While doing the same with bourbon isn’t entirely uncommon, it’s certainly substantially less common than with wine. Max McCalman, author of Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager, picking on behalf of the French Cheese Board — a new cheese-centric event space (!) and pop-up market dedicated to promoting European cheese — sat down with Stephen Schuler of Proof Positive Beverages, a New York based marketer for Four Roses, to match the distillery’s three expressions of bourbon with three cheeses.
For McCalman, bourbon and cheese make excellent partners. “It is very common to pair cheese with Cognac,” McCalman explained, “and Cognac and bourbon are very closely related.” Bourbon, then, makes an equally natural partner for cheese — especially when one takes into account just how many different flavors there are in the cheese world.
Includes pairing recommendations to try for yourself!

Category: Cocktails

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