Biggest Celebrity News of 2017

Oscar Disaster:
It was easily the biggest flub in award show history: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway stood on the stage at the Academy Awards on Feb. 26 and announced the wrong best picture winner. Warren opened the card first and looked at it somewhat blankly. He then handed it to Faye, who announced that “La La Land” had won. Oops! The actual winner was “Moonlight.” The duo had been given the wrong card — a backup envelope announcing best actress winner Emma Stone, who starred in “La la Land” — by a PricewaterhouseCoopers staffer who’d been tweeting backstage moments before. Faye simply saw the movie title next to Emma’s name and announced it. Chaos ensued and the Oscar statuettes were literally taken out of the hands of the producers of “La La Land” and placed into the hands of the “Moonlight” producers once the mistake was realized. The accounting firm later issued a statement claiming “full responsibility” for the debacle. What a mess!

Manchester Bombing:
A tragic and senseless act shook the entertainment world to its core on May 22. As fans exited Ariana Grande’s show inside the 21,000-seat Manchester Arena that evening, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the venue’s rotunda, killing 22 — including an 8-year-old girl — and injuring more than 60 others. British authorities quickly ruled it a terrorist It was reported that Ariana’s mother helped rush several fans backstage after hearing the bomb go off. Several hours later, Ariana flew home to Florida and tweeted: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.” On June 4, Ariana returned to Manchester for a charity concert, also included music heavyweights Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams and the Black Eyed Peas. About $13 million was raised, with proceeds earmarked for victims and their families. “I love you guys so much, and I think the kind of love and unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world needs right now,” Ariana told the crowd of 50,000.

Clooney Baby:
George Clooney and Amal Clooney became parents to twins on June 6. The couple announced the pirth of their son and daughter in a statement that, as usual, employed a little humor at the actor’s expense. “This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives. Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days,” the statement read. The twins, who both have dark hair, were born in London, where they will also be raised.

Jay-Z & Beyonce twins:
It seemed like it took forever to happen, but on June 13, Beyonce and JAY-Z welcomed their twins, a boy and a girl. The couple named them Sir and Rumi. A few days later, TMZ reported that the babies were born premature and were “under the lights,” which likely refers to the phototherapy that’s used on babies who have jaundice. The kids, however, are fine. Beyonce finally confirmed the births herself with an epic Instagram post on July 13.

Vegas Mass Shooting:
Country music will always remember Oct. 1, 2017. So will Las Vegas. On that day, while Jason Aldean was performing, capping off the three-day Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Vegas, a gunman began firing down onto the crowd of roughly 25,000 people. After a flurry of gunshots, which went on for more than 10 minutes, finally ended, 58 people were dead and over 500 were injured. It was the worst mass shooting in United States history. The gunman, who was firing from his room on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, took his own life. Afterward, Jason took to Instagram. “Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe,” he wrote. “My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate.” A few days later, Jason and his wife returned to Vegas to visit with victims in the hospital. Just six days after the shooting, he performed on “Saturday Night Live,” opening the show by stating, “This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends — they’re all part of our family. So I want to say to them: We hurt for you and we hurt with you. But you can be sure we’re going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way, because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it’s unbreakable.”

Ben & Jen Split:
On April 13 — almost two years after she and Ben Affleck announced that their 10-year marriage was ending — Jennifer Garner finally filed for divorce. The split, as expected, was totally amicable. There is no prenuptial agreement so they’ll have to divvy up whatever they’ve earned during their marriage. Ben finally moved out of their family home in late April.

6 Hottest Travel Destinations

Singapore
Sure, there’s the Singapore Sling, but there’s so much more on the menu here, where one of the world’s coolest cocktail scenes is emerging. Six Singapore bars made the 2017 World’s 50 Best Bars List, including Operation Dagger and Manhattan, a swanky, NYC-inspired room with leather couches and Art Deco touches. New options for sleeping it off abound, too: the Sofitel Singapore City Centre and the InterContinental Singapore Robinson Quay opened in October, and the island’s grand dame, Raffles Singapore (home of the original Sling), will emerge from a major renovation later in the year.

Nassau, Bahamas
The Bahamas’ capital city is going big in 2018: After the long awaited Baha Marresort complex finally opened its doors last year (adding a Grand Hyatt and an SLS Hotel), the Rosewood Baha Mar joins the club this spring. But even bigger news is Royal Caribbean’s 5,500-passenger Symphony of the Seas — the world’s largest cruise ship — which will set sail from Miami beginning in November and stop at Nassau during seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailings.

Catalina Island, California
It’s only a one-hour ferry ride from Southern California’s Newport Beach, but Catalina feels a world away. Spend a weekend hiking 27 miles of new trails, or flying over Descanso Beach on the new Catalina Aerial Adventure. All that cardio calls for a chocolate cone from Scoops, nestled in the town of Avalon, just a few blocks away from the ferry pier.

Perth, Australia
Western Australia’s uber-cool coastal city is well worth the journey. Downtown, the new Elizabeth Quay waterfront teems with buzzworthy restaurants, hip cocktail bars, and cool modern art installations. Elsewhere, the new Perth Stadium will bring Premier League soccer to the city this summer, and a continued expansion plan promises 13 new hotels in the next two years, including a Ritz-Carlton and a Doubletree.

Fiji
This tropical paradise of 332 palm-fringed South Pacific islands is always deserving of a spot on the bucket list, but especially now. Last year, Marriott opened its first property in the islands, the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, which also brought more overwater bungalows to the country. (Think traditional bures, but on stilts and with vaulted ceilings.) A Six Senses Fiji is slated to open on Malolo Island in 2018, and the eco-friendly Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji is launching new wellness retreats for 2018. Each of these resorts exemplifies exactly what travelers come to Fiji for: picture-perfect beaches, warm hospitality, excellent diving, and all the solitude your heart desires.

Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica
The beauty of this lush peninsula on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast isn’t leaving anytime soon — the government mandates that 70 percent of land remain protected. In December, the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo reopened after a $35 million renovation. Naturally, the luxury resort focuses on eco-friendly adventure, with canyon zip lines, volcano hikes, and catamaran cruises on the activity list.

DIY Home Decor Ideas

Accessorizing your home with chic accents doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. In as little as one hour or as much as a weekend, you can brighten any room—even the bathroom—and leave family and friends admiring your creativity. Here are five projects to get you started. For more ideas, see the sources at the end of this article.

Geometric Rugs – Start with a plain flat-weave or sisal rug and add to it your favorite geometric design—stripes, triangles, diamonds, triangles, or whatever comes to mind. Use painter’s tape to map the design on the rug, and then paint the rug with your choice of interior wall paint. When the paint is completely dry, peel off the tape, stand back, and admire a job well done.

Veggie Art – This project makes unique wall art for any room. But no, you won’t be cutting up veggies and framing them. You’ll be using them as a paint stamp. Start by cutting a few stalks of bok choy or celery two to three inches from the bottom. Wipe off as much moisture as possible, and then let the stalks dry for one hour. Grab a paint canvas and two cans of crafts paint in the same color but of different hues. Pour some of the darker hued paint onto a paper plate. Dip the end of the bok choy or celery into the paint, and press the paint end of the stalk on the canvas as if using a stamp—wherever and in whatever orientation you choose. When the paint is dry, repeat the process with the lighter-hued paint. Overlap the colors, as you like.

Lace Doily Bowls – If you don’t have any lying around the house, check flea markets and antique stores for lace doilies in a variety of sizes and shapes. Prepare a mixture consisting of one-part crafts glue and one-part water. Dip a doily into the mixture. Smooth the doily over an upside-down glass bowl, using your hands to ensure that the bowl is covered. After the doily has dried, gently peel it from the bowl. You now have a repurposed storage vessel to hold some of your timeless treasures.

Ombre Furniture – Turn the drawers of a ho-hum dresser into an ombre beauty with this project. Grab a can of paint in a color of your choice along with another can of white paint. Use the white paint to make various hues of the colored paint. If you would rather not mix paint, grab a can of paint in each of the hues on a paint-chip card. Paint the top drawer with the lightest hue. Use the next darker hue for each subsequent drawer. The bottom drawn should be in the darkest hue in your palette.

Dip-Dyed Accessories – Perk up drab cotton curtains, place mats, napkins and pillowcases with a dip into a pot of fabric dye in the color of your choice for a color-popping two-toned look. It’s simple. Just dunk the fabric in the dye, remove it, and wait for it to dry, and you’re ready to go.

Health & Fitness Tips

3. Get Off the Couch / Away From Your Desk – Straight up! Get away from the TV, up from your desk, get outside for a walk, bike ride or an activity of some sort. The amount of time sitting down definitely plagues our society & it can usually stem from our home and work routines. Inactivity breeds bad habits like junk food or snacking. Looking for that quick fix with food, so that you can get back to the TV shows you are bingeing or the office work you can’t let yourself get away from. Getting into a regular routine of biking or walking every day can help get those juices flowing for a happy and more active life.

2. Find an Activity – It’s not all about going to the gym to get healthy. Gather up some friends and join a softball league, or a running group. Getting into a social atmosphere can help the enjoyment level for activity sky-rocket, especially if you don’t like to move much at this point. Not only will it be a fun way to get active and healthy, but those friends will also help hold you accountable for showing up and working hard. Super important to hold each other in a high regard, be supportive & make sure that the work is being put in. Also remember that it could take a month or 2 for these new routines to become normal, especially if you haven’t really done much recently. COMMIT! COMMIT! COMMIT! You may not see the results on the outside fast, but have faith that you are doing incredible things for your well-being.

1. It’s Mostly About the Food – You may have seen figures all over the place, whether its 50% or 70% of results come from food … fact of the matter is that it is SUPER important to put into your body that which is nourishing and as natural as possible. ‘Diets’ or ‘Cleanses’ are fine, only if you are getting the necessary nutrition for your daily needs, but also know that commercial diets and cleanses are all about making money for these corporations. Companies want you to buy their product & ultimately those products need to be as cheap as possible for maximum revenue. So consider that looking at what you are eating at home & changing a few things at a time is a great way to ease into a natural ‘diet’. Removing unnatural or refined sugar could be a great start (pop, juice, candy, etc), practice that for a week or 2 & then move onto something else. The most natural diet includes fatty acids (eggs, nuts), lots of vegetables, meats/protein & seasonal fruits. If you can simplify your diet to these main things, you will see results fast.

Top News Stories of 2017

5. North Korea – The saga just keeps moving onward. Missile testing, grandstanding vs. the world, the mistreatment of their own people & somewhat overshadowing the Olympic celebration in 2018, North Korea’s immergence as a worldwide ‘pest’ to the United Nations grew to an even bigger level through 2017, bringing a clash of words with the US upon Trump’s election & inauguration. Imposed sanctions and most of the world turning their backs to the country hasn’t proved to do anything at all except motivate them to continue creating major intercontinental weapons.

4. Las Vegas Shooting – Major violence has continued to erupt in America, bring some pretty major congressional issues in the US into 2018. The Las Vegas shooting, committed by an American was a spark that brought a focus to the American gun control laws. Now into 2018 we have seen multiple major school shootings & serious consideration of change. The motivations of the gunman in Vegas is still unknown, but his impact on society has been immense.

3. Hurricane Destruction – In a matter of days, both hurricane Irma and Maria punished the Caribbean and eastern sea-board of the US. Its devastation wiped out entire islands, as well as put cities in the US underwater for days & millions of people out of power, out of their homes and into shelters.

2. Trump’s Presidency – It has been the inescapable media from 2017. Worldwide, the view of America has been one of ridicule and fear, though not fear of the US world power but of Trump’s rhetoric and his inability to rationally comprehend his responsibilities as POTUS. The ongoing drama of Russian meddling, to the collision of Trump vs. the NFL, he continues to blanket the media as his own reality television show. When will it end? His impeachment? The end of 4 years? Or even scarier … another 4 years???

1. #MeToo – The time has come finally where men in the entertainment business & at corporate overall are starting to be held accountable for some pretty heinous things they’ve done to women around the world. This rallying of women has continued strong into 2018, being a theme at all of the major entertainment award broadcasts. It looks as though it is here to stay!

5 Lifestyle Budgeting Tips

5. Make Your Own Morning Coffee & Tea – It may seem like a couple bucks here and there but do the math. Say for example you buy 1 coffee or tea a day at Starbucks (and depending on what you buy of course!), you could be spending anywhere from $2-$4 per day. For a full month you would be looking at anywhere between $50-$130. Consider buying a tin of coffee, box of tea, whatever you love to drink in the morning. As an example, I buy my name-brand coffee in a large tin for $15, and it’s a HUGE tin that lasts me about 2 months having a full pot per day. That is $7.50 per month vs. what would likely cost me $200 for the 2-3 coffees I have per day!

4. DIY – Need the house cleaned? Need a fresh coat of paint on the walls? Need the car cleaned? DO IT YOURSELF! All of the money you pay someone else to do things for you … consider learning how to do it, or just take it on and get it done. The costs will be a fraction of what it would be to have someone else do it for you and it could add up to hundreds of dollars a month!

3. Travel Local – Guaranteed you can find some of the best travel hotspots within a couple hours drive from your house. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, beach sun or the care-free nightlife, to save your dollars look local. Obviously weather permitting, if you live in a wintery place & want to hit the beach, THAT may not be possible at this particular moment, but consider something different. Maybe there’s a hot-spring spa, or a cleansing sauna experience you haven’t even thought of. There are always getaways, you just need to look for them & save the thousands of dollars needed to fly away somewhere else.

2. Date Night In – Whether its date night with your best friends, or the love of your life, fact is … having a good night out on the town can break the bank! Consider this… Dinner, drinks, entertainment can all be relatively inexpensive at home. Even splurging on take out or delivery can drastically decrease the overall cost for your evening. Invite your people to your house, cards or board-games, grab a few bottles of vino, a little Netflix w/ homemade popcorn, take out & that’s the recipe for a $40 night vs. the $150+ dollar night at a restaurant + movie theatre/snacks & then drinks at the bar! How much do you go out? That could be a serious savings.

1. Don’t Eat Out – Sometimes the easiest thing to do when you’re busy, on the go, etc is to just grab food out, order in lunch/dinner or even take your hubby for regular meals at your favourite restaurant. If the funds are low this month, consider doing a little research, what are your favourite foods, look up some recipes and do some at-home prep! Not only will it be MUCH more nutritious, but it will also save you dough! Make more than you need to eat at one meal time & enjoy leftovers as well for those extra busy days.