The 5 Biggest Celebrity Divorces and Their Outcomes

The 5 Biggest Celebrity Divorces and Their Outcomes

It’s natural to want to follow the ups and downs of celebrity couples. When they’re on the upswing, it makes for some truly romantic tales, and when they’re on the downswing, the lows can make for some rather interesting drama. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the latter, and covering some legendary celebrity splits that would give pause to even the most seasoned divorce attorney.

Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise

Dawson’s Creek star Katie Holmes began dating Tom Cruise back in 2005, and eventually married the legendary actor in 2006. While they were together, from 2006 to 2012, they had one daughter, Suri, and when Holmes filed for divorce in June of that final year, things got quite tumultuous in the press.

In the fallout, Holmes received primary custody of her daughter, with Cruise only being granted visitation rights. One odd detail of the divorce, though — the agreement stipulated that Holmes not date anyone else publicly for 5 years following the split.

Jeff Bezos & Mackenzie Bezos

Do you think Mackenzie Bezos had to contact a lawyer about when to consider spousal support following her split with Jeff Bezos in 2019? We’re thinking not, as she walked away from the marriage of 25 years with $36 billion, give or take.

You see, Mr. Bezos was the world’s richest man at the time, and she was entitled to half since Washington, the state where they lived, is a community property state. Guess that makes Mackenzie one of the world’s richest women now, huh?

Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore

For a time, these two successful actors were quite the pair, and while the 15-year age gap may have seemed strange to some, the fact that their relationship lasted for six years led most to believe everything was fine and dandy between the two.

Alas, not all was as it seemed, as Kutcher reportedly cheated on Moore on the weekend of their sixth anniversary. The pair announced the split the following month, and it was finalized in 2013 with Kutcher having to pay up. He has since gone on to marry 70s Show co-star Mila Kunis.

Russell Brand & Katy Perry

Comedian Russell Brand and musician Katy Perry met in 2009, and wed in 2010. The relationship was short lived, however, with Brand filing for divorce in 2011, only two years after their engagement. Though he was entitled to half of the $44 million Perry had earned over their marriage, Brand did not accept the money, and the two went their separate ways.

Michael Jordan & Juanita Jordan

Perhaps the greatest professional basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan was married to wife Juanita for 17 years. Though it wasn’t the first time they had considered divorce (Juanita had filed once before in 2002), the 2006 split was finalized, with MJ paying Juanita $168 million.

Five Tips For Choosing the Best Pulse Oximeters For Home Use

Pulse oximetry is an entirely painless method of measuring your oxygen saturation levels. This test is crucial for determining the ability of the bloodstream to supply your body organs with the right amount of oxygen, essential for the healthy function of your organism. 

Pulse oximetry is performed by using a device, called an oximeter, available in various types, convenient for medical and personal use. In case you need to check or track your hemoglobin saturation, you can purchase a pulse oximeter for home use. 

The following tips will help you purchase the best one for your needs.

Have a consultation with your doctor

The initial thing to do prior to purchasing an oximeter would be consulting with your doctor. He/ She is the right person to determine the type of device you need in accordance with your medical condition. For instance, in case you intend to use this instrument for the sole purpose of occasionally measuring your oxygen saturation, then a finger oximeter would be the appropriate choice. 

However, if your doctor has to track your oxygen levels at all times, then the wrist model would be the perfect alternative, as it provides constant monitoring. In case your medical condition requires heart rate measurement, your doctor would advise you to purchase a model with a pulse monitor. Make sure you follow its recommendations, as there is no other person more familiar with your health condition. 

Check all the models

Although the core function of all oximeters is measuring oxygen levels in one’s bloodstream, there’re in fact different models, each designed for a specific use. For example, the clip-on model is most frequently purchased for home use, owing to its small size and portability. You’re only supposed to attach it to your finger and wait for the results to appear on the screen. 

Another commonly used variant is definitely the wrist-sensor model, convenient for constant tracking. It’s in the form of a watch, worn on your wrist and connected to the probe on your finger. This instrument helps doctors to monitor the condition of their patients, suffering from the chronic disease without staying in the hospital. Click here for some tips on using your pulse oximeter correctly.  

On the other hand, the handheld and tabletop instruments are predominantly used by hospitals, considering their big size. However, they are undoubtedly more accurate than the portable ones, working on the same principle of attaching the probe to the index finger of the patient, only this time the probe and the screen are connected by a cable. 

Consider the variety of features

Apart from choosing the type of instrument, you’re also supposed to select the features that are convenient for you. For instance, if you want to be absolutely certain in the accuracy of the result, make sure you choose a model with a light that turns on every time there is an obstruction in the measurement process. 

Another useful feature is undoubtedly the alarm. Some devices feature an alarm that sounds when your oxygen levels are dangerously low. Also, make sure you purchase a device with long battery life, particularly if you intend to use it for constant monitoring.

Test the device

In order to check if your oximeter shows accurate results, take the instrument to your doctor and compare it with the one in its office. If the readings are identical, then the instrument is fully functional and ready to be used. 

However, in case your instrument’s readings differ from the ones of the doctor, there is no other alternative, but taking the product back to the vendor. Anyhow, in order to avoid any problems with the return procedure, make sure you purchase a model with a solid return policy.

Use it correctly

There are several rules to abide when using your oximeter so as to provide accurate readings. Firstly, you’re supposed to wash your hands properly, as even the slightest dirt can get in the way of the light, emitted by the device.  Also, female users must remember to remove their nail polish, as once again the light will be obstructed by the polish. 

Furthermore, don’t expose the device to direct sunlight, as its light might be influenced by the sun rays, thus resulting in a wrong reading.  Also, you’re expected not to move during the measurement process, as any movement is likely to affect the scan. Your hands need to be warm in order for the scan to be successful, as cold hands indicate insufficient bloodstream. Visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_oximetry, to learn more about the pulse oximetry method so as to be more prepared for using your newly-bought instrument.

Conclusion

Purchasing such a device can really help you keep track of your health.

It’s certainly worth the investment! 

How To Increase Your Productivity With A Healthy Work/Life Balance

How To Increase Your Productivity With A Healthy Work/Life Balance

One proven method of increasing productivity among employees is cloud adoption. The adoption of the cloud has been driven by the digitization of the business world, which has exponentially added to the amount of data, programs, and systems that an organization needs to manage in order to keep up. The cloud offers the best way to keep your business organized and innovative, and businesses have reported back strong results. And now, with the development of Social Cloud Storage™ by MrOwl, cloud-based productivity can expand into areas the cloud has never reached. The post, Enhancing Productivity Through MrOwl, details the ways Social Cloud Storage can help increase productivity. Here are five additional ways MrOwl and the cloud can improve productivity within companies.

Flexibility and Agility

Agility and flexibility used to be considered the domain of technology companies but now, it is necessary for any business. Cloud computing allows you to adapt to market conditions with a flexibility that is not available when you use on-site, physical solutions. Aside from adapting to external conditions, this virtual solution also enables quick responses to internal demands. If user demand increases, cloud services can rise to meet the demand, and then be easily decreased as demand drops, thus eliminating the problem of over-provisioning or IT systems overload.

The cloud enables opportunities that simply don’t exist without it, such as the ability to instantly deploy an application or service to all employees with one click. As your organization grows and changes, flexibility becomes that much more important in maintaining productivity. Being able to easily adopt and deploy services as you need them and monitor workloads is a huge gain for the organization and one that’s only available with a cloud instance.

Collaboration and Mobility

A Forbes survey recently found that 64% of respondents indicated that cloud-based collaboration tools have helped their organizations execute faster than before, and 87% of leaders surveyed indicated that cloud-based solutions “represent a true breakthrough in collaboration”.

With the traditional workplace breaking down into more remote, decentralized teams, the need to collaborate efficiently whether employees are in or outside of the office is more important now than ever. One of the keys to higher productivity is through enabling your employees to more easily work together through the myriad collaboration tools available in the cloud. This is where Social Cloud Storage truly shines. It “enables the sharing of content directly out of your cloud storage to a community beyond your contacts.”

With MrOwl, company documents, links, and projects are accessible whenever and wherever employees need them on a self-service basis. The cloud additionally allows employees to, collaborate, and instant message each other, whether they are in the same room or half a world away.

Worker Satisfaction

Working remotely makes such a difference to employee satisfaction that 36% said they would pick working remotely over a pay raise and the same percentage said they would even take a 10% cut in pay for the telecommuting that the cloud makes possible. Distractions in the workplace are another factor inhibiting productivity and these are estimated to cost the US economy $600 billion a year. Cloud computing allows employees to work remotely which cuts down on office distractions and can increase productivity by 35-40%. 

Disaster Resistant

Losing important data to a fire or some other disaster at your business premises can devastate your business. Data back-up service providers have preached this message for a long time, but with the availability of cloud services, it is now much more convenient to heed the message. Virtualization technologies enable the incorporation of cloud-based recovery models which keeps a cloned version of all your data readily available at data centers should something go wrong.

Competitive Edge

A Harvard Business Review study found that 74% of organizations reported that cloud services have given them a competitive advantage because of the ease and speed of capitalizing on opportunities. The ability to build and deliver faster, easier, cheaper, and higher quality results is a huge business advantage that can make all the difference in today’s market.  When employees have exactly what they need in order to do their job the best they can, they gain the ability to be much more productive than before – which helps the business’ bottom line, now and in the long run.

The business world is becoming more complex by the day. With Social Cloud Storage, your employees and overall business are enabled to stay above the chaos and be as productive as possible.  MrOwl offers a huge opportunity to change productivity levels among employees and throughout the organization, and with a strong cloud strategy best fit for your specific needs, you can succeed. With the speed of innovation consistently rising in any and every industry, empowering your employees and business with the best solutions around is essential to success.

Alexis Kennedy Is a Video Game Developer

Video games are a multi-billion dollar industry. However, the very large video game studios are not the only companies that are making money. There are a large number of independent video game studios that are much smaller. There are many games that have sold millions of copies around the world that were made by a small group of people on a shoestring budget. Millions of dollars do not need to be invested in a video game in order for it to be successful. Nobody knows that better than Alexis Kennedy. He is the founder of a pair of independent video game development studios that have generated large amounts of profit.

Alexis originally taught English for a living. However, he did not think that career was very fulfilling. Therefore, he started a job as a software developer. There was a natural transition from software development to designing video games. He had always enjoyed video games from a very early age. He had a few ideas for games. He decided to turn those video game ideas into reality. He created a video game development company called Failbetter Games. It was during this time that he created a game called Fallen London. This was a browser game that became enormously successful. It has been played by more than two million people over the past decade. He also created a game called Sunless Sea. He was able to get the money he needed to make this game through an online crowdfunding campaign.

Alexis Kennedy decided to quit working for Failbetter Games after he had worked there for a period of seven years. He spent the next year working as a freelance video game writer for many of the very big studios. He wanted to do this because he felt it would make him a better writer if he was able to expose himself to the very different styles of the larger studios. He worked on some very big video game projects during this time. He is pleased with the work that he accomplished. However, he decided that he would much rather be the person in charge. Therefore, he decided to create another studio to develop more video games.

Alexis Kennedy has founded another independent video game development studio called Weather Factory with a friend named Lottie Bevan. The studio has focused on developing games that have very complex narratives. Cultist Simulator was the initial release from Weather Factory. It was yet another hit for Alexis. It has received widespread acclaim from both critics and fans alike. He has been asked about his process for designing games. He says that he tries to create worlds that are complex so that the person playing the game becomes totally immersed. He believes the goal of a video game writer and developer is to create a game that people do not want to stop playing. This is much easier said than done. However, Alexis Kennedy has been able to do it on more than one occasion during his career.

Alexis Kennedy believes that the video games that he creates become so popular because he does not rush them. He takes the time to craft a compelling narrative. He feels that many of the independent video game developers are in a rush to get their games on the market. Therefore, they cut corners and end up making an inferior product. Fans of his games know what Alexis is going to bring to the table. He has a great reputation for creating games that have many hours of entertainment value. This is why he has become one of the most successful independent video game developers.

Everything You Need to Know About Aquamarine

Everything You Need to Know About Aquamarine




Aquamarine has long been a popular choice for rings and other forms of jewelry, and it’s seeing a resurgence in popularity. Interested buyers are shopping for aquamarine engagement rings, and fashion-conscious consumers are integrating more aquamarine jewelry into their daily attire.

But what is aquamarine, and what should you know about it before you buy it?

What Is Aquamarine?

First, let’s talk about the physics of aquamarine as a gemstone. It’s technically part of the beryl family of minerals, occurring as a light blue or cyan shade. There’s also a deep blue variety that’s sometimes called maxixe.

Aquamarine occurs in most places that yield beryl in general, with Colombia leading international production; it can also be found in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming and in the Sawatch Range of central Colorado. Generally speaking, the quality of aquamarine is determined based on its color and richness.

Symbolism and History

Aquamarine has a rich symbolism to support its use as a gemstone. In some circles, aquamarine is believed to embody the purity of clear water, and deep relaxation. It’s also associated with calmness, cleansing, and letting go. Historically, aquamarine was believed to be valued by mermaids—which is why many sailors wore or carried aquamarine as a totem of protection and good fortune. Still today, aquamarine is heavily associated with the sea.

Traditionally, aquamarine is also the birthstone of people born in March. In this context, aquamarine is believed to represent youth, health, and hope, and is heavily associated with spring.

How to Buy Aquamarine

If you’re interested in buying aquamarine rings or other forms of jewelry, there are a few factors worth your consideration.

For starters, you can review aquamarine stones with the four “C’s,” much like you could with a diamond:

  • Color. For aquamarine, the ideal color is something dark blue to slightly greenish blue, with a moderate intensity that still allows light to penetrate. That said, your personal preference may vary, and there’s a fairly wide spectrum of color to choose from in aquamarine.
  • Clarity. Inclusions in your aquamarine should be rare, with good transparency. Related gemstones, like emerald, frequently tolerate inclusions; however, aquamarine should be as clear as possible. You may be able to find aquamarine with a milky discoloration for a discount, if you don’t mind its appearance.
  • Cut. Aquamarine is a workable stone, so you’ll be able to see it in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. That said, aquamarine is most commonly cut to resemble emeralds, or as round cuts. If you’re looking for something unique, you can look for vintage aquamarine rings or customize your own design.
  • Carat weight. Aquamarine is rare, but not as rare as the diamond. Accordingly, you may be able to find gems of 25 carats or more. Generally speaking, the larger the carat weight, the deeper the color is going to be; gems under five carats tend to be pale, while bigger gems will offer a richer color.

Be on the lookout for scams and “fake” aquamarine. Because the color and transparency can be readily imitated, unscrupulous sellers may be inclined to try and sell you something false. Real, fine aquamarine is both rare and expensive, so expect to pay a high amount for a quality gemstone.

Additionally, you’ll notice that aquamarine and blue topaz have a similar color and structure. However, blue topaz is much less expensive. Blue topaz is less expensive, because it’s common and easy to produce; you can treat colorless topaz with radiation to get this color. Some aquamarine is similarly treated to enhance its blue color, but it’s still much rarer and more collectable; it’s also considered finer and richer in color.

Some rings may come with side stones, meant to complement the center stone. If these stones are all aquamarine, be prepared for a slight color mismatch. Remember, the richness of the aquamarine’s color will deepen as it increases in size, so smaller stones may end up looking paler by comparison.

Depending on the jeweler where you purchase your piece, you may be able to learn the origins of the aquamarine stone; however, most people do not take the origin of the stone into consideration. An aquamarine stone with the same color, clarity, cut, and carat weight will be priced the same regardless of where it is originally found.

Reviewing Aquamarine

While there are some “standard” ways to evaluate aquamarine, some of your decision will boil down to personal preference; you may prefer a paler or deeper color, or a shade that’s pure blue or closer to green. The best way to make your aquamarine buying decision is to review as many stones as possible, taking their prices into consideration as well, so you can learn and identify your wants.




Protect Your Perfect Day from the Unexpected: Wedding Insurance Explained

Protect Your Perfect Day from the Unexpected: Wedding Insurance Explained

The answer is yes, and the diamond is shining on your finger. Once you decide on a date, consider event insurance for your big wedding day before sending out your Save the Dates.

Wedding Insurance? What Is It?

Wedding insurance is a specific type of event insurance to protect you from financial losses associated with your wedding day. In broad terms, it covers the cancellation of your wedding and also liability claims should anything unforeseen happen on your special day.

What Does the Wedding Insurance Cover?

Always check the fine print. Here’s what you can expect to be covered by most policies:

The Venue

Anything that causes the cancellation of your big day at your chosen venue will be covered. Venue failure includes the flooded or burned down buildings, as well as bankruptcy.

Suppliers

This type of insurance will cover problems with your pre-booked suppliers. Flowers, the cake, the photographer, transport, and music are covered for cancellations and damage. Make sure you keep your records of contracts and deposits paid. Not all policies cover the same items, so be sure to check you get a policy that suits your needs.

Illness, Accidents, or Death

If the bride, the groom, or anyone from the party (bridesmaid, best man, and close family) has a sudden illness, accident, or death, the cancellation or rearrangement will be covered. As with all insurance policies, read the terms and conditions. Pre-existing diseases won’t be covered and be sure who qualifies as close family members.

Extreme Weather

The sudden onset of extreme weather conditions that prevent the majority of your guests from reaching your wedding will be covered. When planning an outside wedding, you’ll need to discuss the terms with your insurer, and you will probably pay a higher premium than a basic policy. 

Personal and Public Liability

Accidents happen, even at the best-planned weddings. If the bride or groom suffers an injury, they will be covered for claims from a third party by personal liability. If a guest has an accident and gets injured, public liability protection will cover any claims.

Stolen and Damaged Wedding Items

A lot can go wrong, and your insurance will be there to help you when it does. Lost wedding bands, a damaged cake, flowers missing, damaged wedding attire, and stolen wedding gifts are just some of the problems that are covered. The insurance policies are particular of the time up to when these items will be covered, so be sure to check the terms and conditions.

Photos and Videos

Professional photographers can also have bad days. If your photographer doesn’t show up or experience technical difficulties with the development of your photographs, the insurance will cover a reshoot for the wedding party. 

Cold Feet

You won’t be covered if the bride or groom decides not to go ahead with the wedding. 

The Best Time to Buy Wedding Insurance

As soon as you start planning your wedding, it’s best to start comparing insurers and policies. Depending on the insurer, you can purchase your insurance two years in advance and up to 24 hours before the wedding. 

The advantage of taking out insurance well ahead of your set date is to limit problems that may arise from pre-existing knowledge or problems. Insurance cover will include deposits paid before you take out wedding insurance, but not for any claims that happened prior to buying the policy.

Upgrade

It’s challenging to know the exact details of what your wedding will cost and what you’re planning in the early stages. You can always take a basic policy and discuss an upgrade of your policy with your insurer. These companies know that each wedding is unique, and they can offer more coverage as your wedding plans take shape.

Protecting Your Investment

The average cost of a wedding is around $33,900, while the average wedding insurance costs around $275. A wedding is a significant financial investment for any couple. Investing a few extra dollars will give you the peace of mind that you’re covered for any mishaps on your big day.

The Misdiagnosis Of A Child That Changed Everything Forever

The Misdiagnosis Of A Child That Changed Everything Forever

In May 2015, Lorina and Jason Troy of Texas had just welcomed a new baby boy into the world. But when the child’s head kept growing, so did their concern. Appointments with medical specialists kept leading them to the same wrong answer.

When Lorina’s second son, JJ, was born, she had no idea there was any potential problem with her child. She did not know that an ultrasound near the end of her pregnancy had shown JJ’s head to be two weeks larger than normal. No doctor mentioned there being any abnormalities when JJ was born, even though his head was still bigger than usual. Even after his birth no medical personnel said anything about JJ’s head continuing to grow. Lorina was concerned but not alarmed. 

However, when JJ started vomiting a lot, Lorina took him to their pediatrician where he was diagnosed as having a stomach virus. They were simply sent home with instructions to keep him hydrated. But the vomiting didn’t stop. Lorina took JJ to an urgent care facility and eventually a children’s hospital. All agreed it was just a stomach bug even though JJ’s head had continued to swell along with the stomach upset.

Eventually, Lorina managed to get the doctors to do an MRI on JJ. They discovered there was a fluid build-up in her son’s cranium. This can be a sign of head trauma and they immediately assumed the worst and accused Lorina’s family of child abuse. She asked for a second opinion but was denied. She said, “I told him, my son has never been hurt in any way, could this be anything else? And he told me, yes, but since he’s a baby and can’t talk, we are just going to go with abuse and walked away.” So Lorina’s children were taken from her and placed in foster care.

Soon after, her husband Jason, was charged with two felony charges of child abuse, which carry a sentence between five and 99 years. These charges caused him to immediately lose his top-secret government job. The couple searched for a lawyer who would take the case. They were forced to sell their home to pay for attorney expenses. The Troy family ultimately ended up losing over $80,000 in fees, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Over the following two years, JJ was seen by numerous doctors but continued to be misdiagnosed. Eventually, a doctor in Maryland discovered JJ had Benign External Hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition where cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the cranium, causing an enlarged head among other symptoms like vomiting, seizures, and breathing difficulties. It can be present at birth and is the result of genetic abnormalities, problems with fetal development, or complications at birth.

With the new diagnosis, the charges were dropped, and the parents were reunited with their children. But they feel the medical and legal systems have failed them. How was it possible for two loving parents to so quickly be labeled abusers and have their children taken away?

In the mid-1970s, new theories on child abuse were being formed. Infant cranial injury inflicted by blunt force trauma, shaking, or a combination of forces came to be known as “shaken baby syndrome” (SBS), more often today referred to as “inflicted or abusive head trauma.” The idea that certain head injuries were indicative of child abuse grew and soon a new sub-specialty in pediatrics formed: child abuse pediatricians. 

The child abuse pediatrician became the linchpin in a successful child abuse prosecution; in so doing they took on the conflicting roles of health care provider, investigator, medical expert, accuser, key prosecution witness, promoter of the prime hypothesis, and defender of their own past medical decision making regarding abuse. Without their testimony regarding the prime hypothesis there could be no convictions. 

For whatever reasons, over the years, these specialists began to hold more power over the medical establishment to the point of being considered almost infallible. Today, colleagues are reluctant to contradict any findings made by child abuse pediatricians, so getting second opinions can often be difficult. That is a large reason JJ’s diagnosis came from a doctor from another state. And the legal system sees these specialists as experts in their field. Therefore, there is no reason to question their determinations or authority. This has increasingly led to child abuse pediatricians misdiagnosing accidental injuries, dermatological issues, and developmental disorders as abuse when they were not. 

The Troy family is trying to heal from the trauma of separation, legal battles, and financial loss. Lorina has become an advocate for families like hers that have experienced devastating results from a child’s misdiagnosis. She lobbies lawmakers in Texas, California, and Washington D.C. to change laws on getting second medical opinions and the role of CPS in instances like these. She also talks to the press to raise awareness of Hydrocephalus and stories of misdiagnosis like hers and many other families across the country. Lorina says, “Our strength came from our faith, our prayer, and the love and support of family and friends. But we went through the most challenging events of our lives, and it has strengthened us.” She has now written a book, titled “Miracles of Faith,” that goes into the details of her family’s journey through the medical and legal systems and how their faith saw them through it all. It is available directly through the publishing company, Westbow Press, A Division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan

Vanilla Sandwich Cookies Recipe

Vanilla Sandwich Cookies Recipe

If you are faced with a day when you have nothing to do, staying home and baking cookies is a great way to add excitement. There are so many kinds of cookies you can make, but vanilla sandwich cookies are an all time favorite. They have a light creamy taste, which is perfect as an ice cream topping or by itself with a cold glass of milk.

If you are looking for a vanilla sandwich cookies recipe you can make to brighten up your day, here is one we recommend.

Vanilla Sandwich Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 100g (or ⅓ cup + 5 teaspoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 100g (or ¾ cup + 2½ teaspoons) powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g (or ¾ cup + 2 tbsp + 2 tsp) all-purpose flour
  •  A pinch of salt

For the filling:

  •  ½ cup buttercream

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, beat butter until smooth with a wooden spoon. Add powdered sugar, egg and vanilla, and stir. Add flour and salt and stir until the batter is smooth and has a thick buttercream consistency.
  3. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a medium open tip, and pipe 1-inch dollops onto the baking sheets. Make sure to leave space between the dollops, as the cookies will spread in the oven.
  4. Bake (one sheet at a time) in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies have turned a golden color. Remove from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool completely on baking sheets.
  5. Once cool, use a piping bag fitted with a small star tip to fill the cookies. Start in the center of each cookie and spiral outwards. Place the second cookie on top and press down lightly.
  6. Serve the cookies cold or at room temperature.
  7. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for three days but they will start to lose their crunch over time.

Can I Use Vanilla Essential Oil Instead of Vanilla Extract?

If you look at a vanilla sandwich cookies recipe, most will call for vanilla extract. If you don’t have any in the house, you may be wondering if your vanilla essential oil can do as an alternative. In most cases, the answer would be no; however, the NOW Foods company makes an essential oil that is so pure, it is considered “food-grade” and can be used for cooking.

NOW Foods has been providing sports nutrition, beauty products, supplements and organic whole foods since the 1940s. Their Vanilla Essential Oil is made with two simple ingredients, vanilla oil and jojoba oil. Not only are these safe to ingest, they also smell great when diffused.

So the next time you are looking for something to do, why not try your hand at a great vanilla sandwich cookies recipe like the one we have listed above? It is sure to brighten up your day, and your taste buds will thank you later!

Planning the Perfect Day in Memphis

Planning the Perfect Day in Memphis

Memphis offers everything from the blues to civil war history, with plenty of delicious eats in between. There’s so much to see and do, after getting a taste you might find yourself searching through the Memphis houses for sale so you can enjoy unlimited time there, but for now, if you only have one day here in this Tennessee city, here’s how to do it right. 

Morning

Start your day the way many of the locals do, with a delicious country-style breakfast at Barksdale’s with classics like biscuits, cheese grits, omelets, eggs, and bacon. While it’s no-frills, you can expect a warm welcome with friendly service and a sense of community while surrounded by autographed glossies of famous Memphians like actress Cybill Shepherd, Grizzlies’ stars and political signs. 

Just a 5-minute drive away is Sun Studio, often referred to as the spot where rock ‘n roll was born – public tours are available that reveal the Sun story and its stars, including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, with lots of memorabilia on display. They start at the bottom of every half hour until 5:30 p.m., and you can even have your photo taken in the very place where the legends once recorded.

From here you can easily check out the National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel, paying homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (who stayed in room 306 in April 1968) and others who’ve fought for civil rights throughout history. 

Afternoon

You can’t visit Memphis without seeing Graceland, the home Elvis Presley purchased in 1957 for $102,500 when he was just 22 years old. As tourists usually arrive in the morning, it’s usually less busy in the afternoon, with the last tour starting at 4 p.m or 5 p.m., depending on the time of year and day of the week. You’ll be able to explore the magnificent mansion, including The King’s legendary jungle room, his pink Cadillac, record collection, elaborate costumes, and the aircraft that he traveled on from show to show. 

If you aren’t still full from breakfast, Graceland hosts two restaurants, Vernon’s Smokehouse, renowned for its Memphis BBQ, and Gladys’ Diner serving classic American cuisine. Just keep in mind that you might want to save room for dinner. 

Evening

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous is a long-time Memphis institution, serving BBQ in a downtown alley for over 70 years. Located just across from the famous Peabody Hotel, the ribs, dry rub done true Memphis-style, are a favorite of former President Bill Clinton and thousands come to sample them. Afterwards, enjoy the best show in town at The Orpheum, an opulent theater built in 1928 hosting Broadway productions, big-name concerts and entertainers, theatrical performances, and summer movie series.

Sample the nightlife, starting on famous Beale Street, enjoying the blues at B.B. King’s or among the beer-loving goats at the Irish dueling piano pub known as Silky O’Sullivan’s. In the heart of the scene is Alfred’s, famous for its live music, including popular cover bands for dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. If the weather cooperates, you can also enjoy the only rooftop patio on Beale, a fabulous place to spend the rest of the evening.

Why You Should Choose Vintage Engagement and Wedding Rings

With ample choices available when it comes to you choosing an engagement or wedding ring, it might better suit you to look back in time, rather than forward. By this we mean that you should try and scout out vintage pieces that have already seen decades of love. Although the allure of custom rings is strong for people wanting a ring that reflects their personality, there’s a good chance that such a ring already exists – in the form of an antique ring! Even if you’re set on creating a custom ring, researching antique styles can help you find an altogether new style you can incorporate into your new ring! In this article we take a look at a few reasons why antique rings should be at the top of your engagement or wedding buy list. 

Luxury from another era

Just like styles from a century ago regularly coming back into fashion, looking for wedding rings in Melbourne antique stores can help you find some incredible designs that were understandably popular. These rings, often the pinnacle of luxury during their time, offer an incredible quality of workmanship that is rare nowadays, where the ring manufacturing technology we have today wouldn’t have been dreamed of. For this reason, you’ll often see jewellery techniques demonstrated in these rings that are simply not performed anymore, which can give you some great ideas if you’re looking into having a custom ring made. If you choose to instead buy one of these rings outright, you’ll be able to own a special piece of history – the opportunity to speculate regarding who owned the ring and when can be a really fun exercise, and you’ll be able to know you’re contributing to the unique and storied history of your ring. You’ll also be able to choose a ring that is tied to a certain period of history, such as Art Deco or Victorian times, which can be particularly exciting to the history lovers out there. 

 Saving the planet and your wallet

For those that appreciate sustainability, vintage wedding and engagement rings are an excellent way to use beautiful resources that are already available to us. Rather than organising a brand new ring that will demand labour and resources are sourced from around the world, a vintage ring that has already been created greatly reduces your carbon footprint. For those that appreciate savings, there’s also an opportunity to save a little bit of money with enough persistence. Although some particularly rare rings might cost more than modern rings, you might be able to find some rings from a few decades ago that are much cheaper than their brand new modern counterparts. If this is the case, for your budget you’ll be able to find something with a much more impressive gemstone. As we mentioned before, this might require a good bit of hunting on your part, but the payoff is truly worth it, particularly when your ring is something you’ll get to enjoy for the rest of your life. 

Traditional or modern?

Whether you’re planning on having a custom ring made or looking for a pre-loved ring, looking out for antique wedding rings is the perfect way to find the perfect ring for you. Even if you’re not set on buying an antique ring for yourself, finding an old style you love – such as Art Deco – can inspire the same beautiful touches in your new ring.