Friday, November 29, 2019

Luciano Kruk's 'House in the Trees' Is a Minimal Concrete Artifact

The 185 m² home sits in isolation on a 1.110 m² plot of land located 8 miles outside of the city of Pinamar, or four hours away from Buenos Aires. Nestled between the coastline and a row of pine trees, the House in the Trees features one master bedroom, two secondary bedrooms, a communal area, and an outdoor pool. The house was made with the environment in mind and offers stark juxtaposition while leaving minimal impact on the surrounding wilderness.




For minimal maintenance and structural impact on the terrain, tread surface was kept at just the entrance and service/engine rooms; at the same time the entire home is made from concrete, glass, and framed with aluminum. With plenty of windows and a large skylight that sits at the top of the staircase, natural lighting is in abundance. The pool appears as an independent structure as it looks to only touch the main structure perpendicularly where it sits on a thin slab of reinforced concrete — the end result is a large concrete structure that floats over a transparent lower floor. Scroll through the images above for a thorough look at this concrete artifact in the woods, and head over to Luciano Kruk’s website for more information on past projects.

Poggy Links Up with Hamilton For an Elvis Presley-Inspired Limited Edition Ventura

Motofumi “Poggy” Kogi has joined Swiss watchmaker Hamilton to create a limited-edition Ventura POGGYTHEMAN inspired by none other than Elvis Presley, aka the King. Retaining the iconic shape of the Ventura, the collaboration sees the PVD-coated stainless steel case and dial completely blacked out — a tribute to the model’s original design in 1957. A playful dash of color comes in the form of a bright pink logo and hour markers, inspired by the suits Elvis used to wear on stage, providing a welcome contrast to the otherwise subtle color scheme.



Protecting the Swiss-made quartz movement is a caseback engraved with Poggy’s image, which adds a nice touch of detailing in honor of the fashion icon. Tying the entire look together is a black calf leather strap with bright pink lining, perfectly complementing the watch. Limited to just 500 pieces, the Motofumi Kogi x Hamilton Limited-Edition Ventura POGGYTHEMAN is now available over on the Swiss brand’s online store, going for CHF 945, or roughly $946 USD. Head over to grab yours now.

Nike's Latest "Just Do It" Pack is Coming in Kids Sizing

Nike is expanding on its “Just Do It” offerings this Thanksgiving by extending into the kids category, dressing three iconic Air Max silhouettes in its two-tone colorway. Using a completely blacked out base for all three models, the Air Max 97 and Air Max 270 React both carry the double-stacked Swoosh logo in contrasting shades of blue by the midfoot, complemented by identically-colored accents running along the tongue and the heel tab.




Foregoing that logo, the newer Air Max 720 model instead opts for a blue concentric patch near the heel, with the same tonal approach to the “AIR” logo written across it, coupled with smaller Swoosh logos on the toebox and on the lateral side. For those interested, all three silhouettes from the Nike Kids “Just Do It” Air Max Pack are now available over at the company’s official online store and select retailers, going for $150 USD for the AM 97, $120 for the AM 270 React, and $160 USD for the AM 720. Take a detailed look in the gallery above.

Grimes Digs Into Coldwave Territory With New Cut "My Name is Dark"

Continuing the run-up to her forthcoming album Miss_Anthropocene, avant-pop songstress Grimes has returned with a brand new single entitled “My Name is Dark.” Produced, written, performed, and engineered by the Canadian artist, the single originally appeared in Apple’s “Behind the Mac” ad from last June.



Undergoing a relative overhaul, the newly released track relishes in coldwave tonalities, whereby driving minimalistic guitar riffs and percussion take hold alongside electronic production. According to a tweet, the song is about her struggle with insomnia. The new single follows the release of “So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth” from earlier this month as well as her collaborative track with i_o titled “Violence.” Recently Grimes was the subject of outrage from a variety of artists after comments regarding AI and the future of music.

Dubai's Police Department Will Soon Be Patrolling in a Tesla Cybertruck

Dubai‘s police department has long been known to hold an impressive roster of patrol cars, ranging from the Porsche 918 to the Lamborghini Aventador to even a Bugatti Veyron, but now joining the roster may be one of the most robust vehicles in their lineup yet: the Tesla Cybertruck. Announcing the news via a Twitter post (that Elon Musk himself liked), the Dubai police force attached a rendering of the upcoming Cybertruck which, unlike the silver model unveiled by Tesla, carries a white body along with a green patterning and decor you’d usually find on other law enforcement vehicles in the United Arab Emirates city.




Though the caption reads “2020” in the post, Musk’s company has announced that production of the electric pickup truck won’t begin until at least 2021, so it’s uncertain whether Dubai’s government has a special arrangement with Tesla. Speaking on the new purchase, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri informed Arabian Business that the new vehicle will be in charge of patrolling major tourist areas in the city, such as the Burj Khalifa, La Mer, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard.

New Balance Gifts Liverpool With a Black & Gold Made in UK 1500

Earlier this week New Balance announced it was launching a limited edition “Six Times” black collection to celebrate lauded English football club Liverpool. Comprised of both apparel and accessories, each item in the collection celebrates Liverpool’s illustrious history and its six European cups in particular. Now we have a better look at the footwear silhouette that has been specially designed for the capsule.



Utilizing New Balance’s Made in UK 1500, the sneaker has been crafted from luxe leather and dressed in contrasting hits of gold found on the slanted-N insignia, Liverpool’s liver bird crest on the tongue tab, and the six starry marks on the heel. Each one of those stars pays homage to Liverpool’s continental triumphs in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005 and 2019. this all then sits atop a white midsole and black and grey patterned outsole. Interested readers can pre-order this pristine black and gold New Balance Made in UK 1500 Liverpool FC now via newbalance.com. The sneaker will then officially launch at select retailers on December 4 for $220 USD.

Trippie Redd Projected to Land First No. 1 With 'A Love Letter to You 4'

Trippie Redd is looking to land his first ever No. 1 on the Billboard 200 as projections reflect A Love Letter to You 4‘s total equivalent album units to 90,000 to 105,000, with between 10,000 to 15,000 from traditional album sales. This would also mark his largest chart total, with Life’s a Trip debuting at No. 4 with 72,000 units and ! and A Love Letter to You 3 both debuting at No. 3 with 51,000 and 84,000 units respectively.



Redd’s 21-track project is the fourth installment in his A Love Letter to You mixtape series that began in 2017. He worked with the likes of Lil Mosey in “This Ain’t That,” Juice WRLD and YNW Melly in “6 Kiss,” Chris King and Quanta in “You Deserve It,” YoungBoy Never Broke Again in “Hate Me,” Smokepurpp in “All For Me,” Tory Lanez in “Sickening,” DaBaby in “Death” and Lil Yachty and Pi’erre Bourne in “M’s.”

Kanye West and Family Roam the Cold Wyoming Landscape in "Closed on Sunday"

Kanye West’s last video from his Jesus Is King album was “Follow God,” which starred his father as they traversed a picturesque landscape in a rugged all-terrain vehicle. West is mirroring that theme for his new music visual for the song “Closed on Sunday.” This time around, ‘Ye gets the whole family involved and it’s almost a reunion of sorts as we see Kim Kardashian and kids, Kourtney and kids and even Kris Jenner.



The vibe of the video feels a bit post-apocalyptic but with a more hopeful tone. Towards the end of the clip, we also see the Sunday Service gospel ensemble perform with West at the lead. The release of the video is very appropriate as today is Thanksgiving, a day when most celebrate the occasion with family and “Closed on Sunday” echoes that sentiment with its family-themed direction.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Thanksgiving Recipe - Parker House Yeast rolls

Even if your dinner menu is already a bounty of dishes, rolls have a key part to play in Thanksgiving dinner. They are a beautiful and soft vehicle to clean your plate and are sought after because of the buttery and flaky texture. Try these bready suggestions:



Soft, delicious Parker House yeast rolls have a famous shape that makes them extra special. A fluffy circle of dough is buttered and then folded in half before baking, giving the final roll extra crispiness and a flaky middle. For a vibrant, colorful roll basket, make cloverleaf rolls, flavorful and crunchy thanks to the pepitas on top. If you want to go the extra mile, make brioche dough for these french miniature rolls.

Get Parker House Rolls Recipe from Food Network

Ingredients

    1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 package active dry yeast
    2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
    1 teaspoon salt

Thanksgiving Recipe - Salads

Salads have taken over holiday tables and the options are so numerous and flavorful that it's hard just to pick a few that best complement your mains. We suggest a few autumn-inspired dishes filled with fall flavors, crunchy nuts, and seasonal fruits, and two fruit-based creations to offset the saltiness and richness of other holiday dishes:



This apple, blue cheese, and fig salad is an autumn celebration and easy to put together. Toss apples, cheese, figs, pine nuts, and greens in a balsamic-mustard sweet dressing. This is another inviting colorful autumn salad of dried fruits, bacon, and goat cheese tossed with baby spinach and romaine with a balsamic and shallot dressing. Make this frozen pineapple-cranberry salad the day before in 15 minutes and then freeze overnight. Pineapple, cranberry, and sour cream make a fruity treat that can go on the plate with the main dishes or as a refreshing dessert. For another fruity concoction make this vanilla citrus salad to pair with your meats.

Ingredients

    1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
    1/2 142g pkg. of arugula, about 2 1/2 cups
    2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
    1 Granny Smith apple, diced
    1 pomegranate, seeds only

Thanksgiving Recipe - Vegetable Sides

Vegetable sides are as varied as there are vegetables. There is no standard menu when it comes to veggies so our recommendations offer many different flavors and texture:



Brussels sprouts are definitely a holiday favorite. These bacon roasted Brussels sprouts are a simple preparation and their crunch complements the creamy texture of mashed potatoes and the silkiness of gravy. A tasty cheddar cheese sauce is featured in this cauliflower and cheese casserole, crunchy and filling – a good option for vegetable lovers. Glazed carrots are so easy to make. Adding just water, butter, and sugar, you have a side dish ready in 30 minutes. Maple syrup and brown sugar team up in this delicious squash dish, a great, less traditional alternative.

Thanksgiving Recipe - Sweet Potato and Yam Sides

Sweet potatoes and yams are mistakenly thought of as the same thing. Despite both being root vegetables, they're not the same, nor are the flavor and texture they bring to your holiday table. Both are a must-have on Thanksgiving but many families have a favorite. Pick yours and follow our suggestions:



A traditional side dish for many, this sweet potato casserole is an incredibly delicious choice. If you don't have room in the oven, try this easy Instant Pot pressure cooker version! For the lighter side of sweet potatoes, try our sauteed take on the holiday classic: less sugar and more crunch. For yam lovers, candied yams with marshmallows are a popular way to enjoy this sweet root vegetable.

Tender roasted sweet potatoes with olive oil, parsley, and a touch of honey.
 
Ingredients

    3 pounds (1.4kg) sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
    6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
    1 tablespoon (15ml) honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar

Thanksgiving Recipe - Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce has a lot of variations, and can easily take on citrus flavoring, liqueur, or spices without losing its character. Our collection of cranberry recipes offers quick and flavorful preparations that will compliment your turkey roast or ham:



Cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot takes 15 minutes. Use vanilla, cinnamon, orange, and maple syrup to bring a piece of fall into your saucer. For this quick cranberry sauce, you need 4 ingredients and 15 minutes. It's a last-minute addition to your menu that you can also use like jam, or cake or cupcake filling.

Sweetened with pure maple syrup instead of refined sugar, this easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe ...
Ingredients

    3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    1/3 cup pure maple syrup + more if needed
    1 tablespoon orange zest
    1/2 cup fresh orange juice
    1/2 cup water

Thanksgiving Recipe - Turkey Gravy

For many, the gravy is as important as the turkey. Our suggestions are quick and simple, letting the main flavors shine. Your gravy should be thick and as flavorful as your roast and these recipes do exactly that:



This classic Southern turkey gravy is rich and delicious. Pan drippings from turkey (or chicken) provide the flavor. A dripping-less gravy is a smart solution if you aren't cooking a turkey. Lard and chicken or beef make this a rich and silky gravy. A more elaborate take on gravy, this cider bacon gravy recipe uses the drippings from a bacon turkey roast and adds herbs, tomatoes, and roasted onions for an extraordinarily rich gravy.

Here is how to make fat-free gravy from the stock of a Thanksgiving Roast Turkey.
 
Ingredients

    turkey stock from roast turkey
    1/4 cup cornstarch (have more available for adjusting thickness)
    1 cup cold water (have more available for adjusting thickness)
    salt if needed

Thanksgiving Recipe - Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes and gravy are one of the favorite combinations on Thanksgiving plates. Our suggested recipes have different flavorings and cooking options so you can choose the one that works best:



These extra-special garlic mashed potatoes are loaded with flavor. Butter and milk help with the creamy texture but feel free to replace them for dairy-free beverages and margarine if there are dietary needs at your table. If your stovetop is covered with other dishes and the oven isn't an option, make these Instant Pot mashed potatoes. Cooked in a fraction of the time, you can forget about them and work on other things. If everything is ready and you forgot to make the mashed potatoes, don't panic! Follow this 16-minute preparation for microwave mashed potatoes.

These garlic mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Ingredients

    Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
    1 , head garlic, top sliced off
    4 lb. , Red Bliss potatoes, peeled and chopped
    kosher salt
    1 1/2 , sticks butter, melted

Thanksgiving Recipe - Stuffings and Dressings

Stuffing and dressing are alike but not the same. The main difference is that stuffing is cooked inside of the bird and dressing is cooked and served separately. But this distinction is less strict nowadays with the growing preference for cooking turkeys with no stuffing inside (increasing information about food safety shows how stuffing inside the turkey can soak in uncooked poultry juices contaminated with salmonella).




Stay on the safe side and cook these beautiful sides, well, on the side:
This fragrant, moist bread dressing with sage is a Thanksgiving classic. You can add chopped nuts, raisins, diced apples, or dried cranberries depending on your preferences. Our old-fashioned, Southern-style cornbread dressing has cornbread and soft breadcrumbs along with chopped vegetables and herbs. If you have any vegetarian guest at your table, this quinoa stuffing is definitely a good option for them to have an equally filling and hearty meal. A chicken and dressing casserole is an easy dish that doesn't take hours of prep.

The question has dogged Thanksgiving cooks practically since Norman Rockwell painted “Freedom From.
 
Ingredients

    5 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
    2 ribs celery, cleaned and diced
    2 apples, preferably tart, like Granny Smith or Cortland, peeled, cored and diced
    1 cup peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped

Thanksgiving Recipe - Maple and Brown Sugar Glazeds Ham

Not all households are fans of turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. Many chose a flavorful ham instead of the bird. Make this meat your main:



This maple and brown sugar glazed ham is an excellent choice; it cooks in just 2 hours and needs very little prepping. It requires 4 ingredients besides a fully cooked ham. Our gammon recipe transforms this cut of pork into a beautiful baked ham flavored with apricots, cloves, and red wine Cross the ocean and try a British take on ham. Serve the amazing flavors of cider and peppercorns with a simple recipe for Welsh cider ham.

This smoked ham is coated in a homemade spice rub, cooked in a smoker, then brushed with a homemade.

Ingredients

    7 lbs bone in ham (you can go larger or smaller, just adjust the cook time accordingly)
    1/3 cup BBQ rub
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup

Thanksgiving Recipe - Roast Turkey

The roast turkey is the quintessential main dish for Thanksgiving feasts. Remember that no matter what you choose to make, the key to a successful dinner is having a turkey large enough to feed everybody and to have some leftovers for yourself. Try these recommendations for the star of the show:



This roast turkey recipe includes directions for defrosting, stuffing, trussing, seasoning, and roasting. It also gives you the instructions for how to bake the turkey if you prefer to leave it unstuffed. A roast turkey with bacon will be a crowd-pleaser. The bacon helps keep the moisture on the turkey meat, giving it a smoky flavor and a juicy finish. For sweeter palates, think of a balsamic and honey roast turkey, enhanced by thyme and oranges. Simple and flavorful.

Thanksgiving traditionalists, this turkey is for you. For crisp, golden skin and juicy meat, we ...
Ingredients

    3 tablespoons salted butter
    2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    2 teaspoons dried sage
    2 teaspoons black pepper

Friday, November 22, 2019

How to Celebrate Christmas the Filipino Way

As a country dominated by Catholics, Filipinos diligently follow Christmas traditions that we inherited from our ancestors. So for those who don’t know, here’s how we celebrate the Yuletide season the Filipino way.

Longest Christmas Season – thePhilippines is known to have the longest Christmas celebration. It officially starts in September where you can already hear carols playing and ends on the Sunday after the Epiphany or Feast of the Three Kings.

Simbang Gabi – a series of nine masses starting December 16 until the Christmas Eve. Filipinos go to church at four o’clock in the morning. After every mass, most churchgoers eat puto bumbong or bibingka and drink coffee, hot chocolate or salabat before going home. Most locals believe that if you attended all nine masses, one of your wishes will come true.






Noche Buena – is the open house Christmas Eve celebration with family, friends, and neighbors. Each member of the family cooks his or her best dishes and shares it with everyone. Most households prepare food such as lechon (pig or chicken), ham, quezo de bola, kakanin, and other sweets like fruit salad or cake. It’s our way of celebrating the birth of Jesus and thanksgiving for the fruitful year.

Christmas Lantern or Parol – this five-sided, lighted star lantern represents the star that guided the Three Wise men to the place where Jesus was born. Filipinos usually hung this popular Christmas decor outside their house. It is a sign that Mary and Joseph will be welcome and will not need to stay or give birth to Jesus in a stable.

Belen – is a tableau of the nativity scene that shows the infant Jesus in the manger surrounded by Joseph, Mary, the Three Kings with their gifts, some shepherds, and animals in the stable.

Christmas Day – Family members wear their best clothes and visit their relatives or stroll in the mall and watch movies. Kids kiss the hands (mano) of their godparents and the latter will give gifts or money (aguinaldo or pamasko) in turn.


Do you still practice these Christmas traditions in your family? Share to us your most memorable experiences! You can write your comments below.

Top 10 Gifts to Give to Your Grandparents This Christmas

Are you the favorite munchkin of your grannies? Now is the perfect season to spoil them back. Here’s the list of the top 10 gifts you can give them and can make your Christmas shopping a little easier.

Blankets or Throws – You can’t go wrong with a cozy throw or blanket. Whether it’s handmade or customized with photos, it can be the perfect gift to keep them warm in this cold Christmas season.

Personalized Calendars – Take a trip down the memory lane with this unique and easy to make photo calendar. Just pick 12 of the best photos of you and your grandparents and bring it to the nearest photo center.

Garden Tools – This are useful gifts if your grannies like to spend their time planting and grooming your lawns. Aside from garden tools, you can also add some flowering and fruit-bearing seeds.




Kitchen Tools – Does your granny love cooking or baking? A bread maker, e-mixer, pots, or pans will make the best gifts and you will most likely get a taste of their delicious treat on your next visit.

Massage Pillow – A relaxing massage can be a good treat to relieve their tired muscles after cleaning or cooking. This pillow can be handy and huggable too.

Gift Certificates – GCs can be a great gift for your independent grannies. It can be a quick date to the nearest grocery store or a romantic dinner to their favorite resto.

Health Spa Membership
– A free membership to a fitness club will encourage them to get fit and healthy. They can also socialize and meet new friends while exercising.

Custom Gift Basket – Gifts baskets with carefully picked items add a more personal touch to normal items. You can either fill it with their favorite treats and fruits or necessities like lotion, soaps, and perfume.

Medication Management Devices – For seniors living independently, a digital pill dispenser can be a great help. It can fill their medicine tray and program their med schedule online.

Your Time and Attention – No amount of gift can beat the time and attention that you can give to your grandparents this Yuletide season. Spend time with them and make happy memories together with your whole family.

Do you have any other great gift ideas for the grannies? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Top 10 Christmas Presents Every Kid Would Love to Have

Still thinking what to give your kids and godchildren this Christmas? If they are aged 0-12 years old, here are some gifts that they will surely love to receive from you.

Newborn to Toddler 
Toiletries Gift Set – Baby soap, shampoo, cologne, powder, and baby bath all in one box. It is affordable and useful their parents would be happy and thankful for sure.

Portable Rocker – Any parent would surely love some help in putting their babies to sleep and this portable rocker might be in their wish list. The calming vibrations and gentle rocking motion help comfort and soothe baby.

Reusable Cloth Diaper – These are washable and eco-friendly diapers that are hypo-allergenic and can be adjusted for perfect fit.

3-6 Years Old
Personalized Children’s Book – Let the kids be the star of their own stories with these personalized children’s book. It can encourage them to read while satisfying their eyes with familiar and colorful images.

Character Pillowcases and Bed Cover – Encourage napping time and a goodnight’s sleep with the help their favorite character in pillowcases and bed cover.

Bike – The best age to teach kids how to ride a bike are ages 3-6 years old. Aside from the new skill they’ll learn, it also a good form of exercise.




6-12 Years Old

Customized School Items – Bag, pencil case, wallet, or lunch bag with their names can be a unique and practical gift for elementary-aged kids.

Musical Instruments – If the child enjoys music, encourage them to nurture their talents by giving them the instrument they want to play. It can be a guitar, mini drum set, flute, organ, or microphone if they’re into singing.

Collector’s Item – Any kid, even adults, would be jumping for joy when they receive any additional item for their collection. Popular items are cars, dolls, and action figures.

Gadgets – Gadgets are now necessities for kids this age so if you have some extra cash to spend, a smartphone, tablet, or smart watch would be great.

Do you have other Christmas gift ideas for kids aged 0-12 years old? You can share them at the comments section below and for sure many readers would be thankful.

50 “Something” Categories for Your Christmas Monito Monita

Monito Monita or Secret Santa as the others call it has long been a tradition in the Philippines during the Christmas season. It’s a fun way of exchanging gifts between friends, officemates, and even relatives.

Mechanics:

Form a group and draw the name of your Monita or Monito. Never reveal who it is until the last day of exchange gift.
Decide on the schedule of gift giving and the price range for each gift.
Choose a theme for each gift giving to make it more exciting. Below are some of the categories you can choose from:




1. Something soft
2. Something sweet
3. Something long and hard
4. Something green
5. Something round
6. Something useful
7. Something wet
8. Something made of wood
9. Something you can wear in your head
10. Something with handle
11. Something made of glass
12. Something sour
13. Something that grows
14. Something colorful
15. Something that starts with the letter ‘i’
16. Something funny
17. Something cuddly
18. Something with a cover
19. Something unbreakable
20. Something embarrassing to carry in public
21. Something for private use
22. Something trending in Twitter
23. Something that reminds you of childhood
24. Something that you need to insert
25. Something hand-made
26. Something that you received but hasn’t used
27. Something you can use after a year
28. Something local
29. Something special
30. Something imported
31. Something you don’t want to own
32. Something you want for yourself
33. Something unique
34. Something thin
35. Something fragile
36. Something you can cook
37. Something edible
38. Something black
39. Something scary
40. Something white
41. Something slimy
42. Something that makes a sound
43. Something fragrant
44. Something naughty
45. Something sexy
46. Something useful
47. Something big
48. Something small
49. Something that moves
50. Something cute

Arrange a place where you can leave and pick up the gifts with your name.On the last day of your gift giving, usually your Christmas Party, you will reveal yourself by giving the last gift personally to your Monito or Monita. The last gift is commonly the most special and doesn’t follow a theme. You just give what you think he or she would like to have following the decided price range for gifts.

Christmas Presentation Ideas to Boost Your Parties and Events

Are you assigned to organize your Christmas party? Presentations are a great way to cover up for the time and to keep the guests entertained. To keep your event fun and lively, here are some Christmas presentations ideas that you can try. 

Christmas Caroling – Choose the best singers in your group and sing Christmas song medleys. Include both slow and upbeat songs to keep your audience entertained. You can also wear colorful choir costumes and add simple dance steps to spice up your performance.

Group Dance – Let your group mates unleash their hidden groove. Gather the dancers, pick the latest songs, watch dance choreographies, and create a mashup laced with the sound of bells and other Christmas effects. You can also dress like elves, reindeers, or even as Santa if you want to.









Puppet Show – Create a skit from the Bible story and perform using puppets instead of actors and actresses. This will be a hit presentation especially if your group members are camera shy or your audience includes kids.

Musical Show – If your group is confident enough, you can also go for a musical show. You can sing, dance, and act at the same time using traditional Christmas songs following an original story or the nativity of Jesus.

Solo or 2 Person Act – For smaller teams, they can sing a solo or duet song, or do couple dancing. One can also play a musical instrument like guitar, flute, or piano while their partner is singing.

Band Performance – Build a band and perform 2 to 3 sets with 2 to 3 songs each. You can get someone from the guests to jam with you for each set. Playing requested songs from the crowd is also a great idea.


Black Friday Have a Deals on Everything Else

  • Rad Power RadRunner Electric Bike for $1,199 ($100 off): This is our favorite electric bike. It’s affordable, easy to assemble, and fun to ride, though you should note that it’s pretty heavy. Read more in our in-depth review.
  • Snickers 1-Pound Candy Bar for $8 ($3 off): This gigantic candy bar would make a great White Elephant gift. Clip the on-page coupon to get your savings. Choose Subscribe & Save for free shipping.
  • Walmart Early Black Friday Deals: Walmart released its Black Friday ad, and several of the deals are up for grabs now. There are nearly 2,000 items to choose from, like laptops, toys, and countertop appliances. We’ll update this list with great individual deals as we find them.


  • One-Year Sam's Club Membership for up to 60 percent off: This isn't technically a Black Friday deal. However, the Sam's Club Black Friday sale is usually one of the most popular, and you'll need a membership to shop it. This deal saves you money and gets you some freebies, so if you're planning on joining, now is a good time.
  • 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA Test for $99 ($100 off): Unlike similar test, 23andMe doesn't try to upsell extra services. This deal has been around for a couple of weeks, but it's still a match of the best price we've seen. Keep in mind that there are always some risks to sending in your DNA.

Black Friday 2019 Best Toy and Videogame Deals

  • L.O.L. Surprise Amazing Surprise for $98 ($22 off): Yes, this toy is an overpriced, plastic-ridden nightmare. It's also at the top of many, many wish lists this year. If you're going to buy it either way, you may as well do it while it's on sale, especially since any discounts we see on Black Friday will probably sell out quickly.
  • Up to 50 Percent off Toys at Target: This Target deal has a huge selection to choose from, and many of the toys are priced lower than we've seen advertised so far in various Black Friday circulars. Hatchimals, Little Tikes, Barbie, Disney, and other popular brands are featured.



  • Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit for $49 ($51 off): This Black Friday price match gets your little one a coding toy that'll eventually result in a wand. There are more than 70 creative challenges. The kit is appropriate for ages 6 and up, and we featured a separate Kano Kit in our Best STEM Toys for Kids guide.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) + Joy-Con Wheels for $50 ($12 off): This is a pretty good deal on a very popular Nintendo Switch game, but you're also getting two Joy-Con Wheels, which transform your Joy-Con controllers into steering wheels. Playing without a steering wheel works just fine, but it isn't nearly as fun. You might end up buying the Joy-Con Wheels separately, in which case this is a smart purchase since the bundle has some savings.

Black Friday 2019 Best Home Deals

Black Friday 2019 Best Tech Deals

  • Roku Premiere for $29 ($11 off): The Roku Premiere has 4K functionality, so it's a step above the base model. We have a handy guide on picking the right Roku. These devices are pretty handy to have, but be wary of the channels you use!
  • Apple Watch Series 3 for $170 ($29 off): After the Series 5 debuted, the Series 3 MSRP dropped to $199. Saving even more on top of that is a steal. This is one of the best fitness trackers on the market.
  • Echo Show 8 for $100 ($30 off): This is a preorder of Amazon's newest Echo Show device. It ships on November 21. If you order it and the price changes between now and when your order ships, Amazon will charge you the lower price.
  • Apple AirPods Pro for $235 ($14 off): This deal has been going in and out of stock, so if it isn't available when you check, circle back to see if it's on sale again. These are Apple's newest AirPods, and overall, we really like them. We like them a lot.


  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro for $149 ($100 off): This video doorbell lets you see who is at the door. It works in conjunction with smart displays like the aforementioned Echo Show, too. Ring offers convenience, but has had its share of problems, partially due to a partnership with law enforcement. Read more about the Amazon-owned company here.
  • Ring Alarm Security Kit for $119 ($80 off): This kit includes a keypad, a sensor for doors and windows, a motion detector, and more. It's a good basic home security package. You can purchase additional pieces to round it out more fully.
  • Apple AirPods With Wireless Charging Case for $139 ($20 off): This price matches the one we'll see on Black Friday and brings the non-Pro version of Apple's AirPods down to even less money than the earlier generation is selling for.
  • Target's TV Sale: Prices and savings vary in this sale, but most of the prices are either a match of Target's Black Friday ad prices, or they come close. Brands like TCL and Samsung are included. A Target REDcard will get you another 5 percent off.
  • Bose Home Speaker 300 for $199 ($60 off): This home speaker has Alexa built in and has never sold for less. We included this speaker's big brother in our roundup of the best smart speakers, and the 300 performs nearly as well.
  • UE Boom 2 for $70 ($30 off): This speaker used to sell for more than $150 and was our favorite Bluetooth speaker for several years. The Boom 3 now leads our picks, but this one is still great. It's loud, water-resistant, and quite portable. The Boom 2 regularly sells for closer to $100. This discount is still a great one, beating previous deals we've shared by $10.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Selena: The Series On Netflix – Release Date, Cast, And Plot Details

Popular-music-focused dramatizations have found a new life, which is all thanks to recent movies like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. These movies are becoming a trend which is even followed by the streaming giants Netflix who have taken into consideration with a TV project, which is based on the story of Selena Quintanilla, the 1990s Mexican-American crossover pop sensation whose rise was murdered by her friend and agent. Christian Serratos will be playing the main role in Selena: The Series.



This show will be released on Netflix in “parts,” rather than seasons, with Part 1 set to arrive with six episodes each 1-hour long. A teaser trailer for this was revealed by Netflix which shows just-announced star, Christian Serratos, looking ever the uncanny facsimile of the eponymous singer. As for the plot, the official synopsis logline for Netflix’s Selena: The Series reads: “A coming of age story following Selena Quintanilla as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching and life-changing choices she and her family have to make as they navigate success, family, and music.” The cast of the show consists of Christian Serratos who will play Selena Quintanilla, an incredibly talented and charming young woman from South Texas, who chases her musical aspirations with her family and becomes one of the most successful Latin artists of all time. Gabriel Chavarria will play A.B. Quintanilla, Selena’s oldest brother, and the band’s music producer, who constantly faces the pressure to deliver hits and ultimately forges the band’s trailblazing signature sound.

Ricardo Chavira will play Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s father, a savvy musician whose encouragement of his children to work hard and dream big leads them to achieve global superstardom. Noemi Gonzalez will be playing Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister and best friend, who learns to embrace her role as the first female drummer in Tejano music history. Seidy Lopez will play Marcella Quintanilla, Selena’s mother and the cohesive, nurturing force in the family, who believes in achieving their dreams against all odds. Madison Taylor Baez will play Young Selena, a happy-go-lucky child who learns what it takes to become an artist from her father. The series will be produced by executive producers in Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, Suzette Quintanilla, Simran A. Singh, and Moisés Zamora. As for the release date, Selena: The Series will premiere on Netflix sometime in 2020 (we will keep you posted with the latest updates). And the principal photography of the show has begun this past October.

Obi-Wan Series On Disney Plus: Everything You Need To Know

Obi-Wan Series is a TV show that has been awaited by many fans, and this legend will be coming to screens in a new TV show from Disney. There were rumors about plans to develop an Obi-Wan spin-off, and then actor Ewan McGregor who has previously starred Jedi Master, announced he would return to the role in a new live-action series. During Disney’s D23 Expo he said to fans “It’s been four years of saying ‘well, I don’t know.’ Now I can say ‘yes, we’re going to do it.’” As of writing this, there hasn’t been a release date revealed on the show, but Lucas Film’s Kathleen Kennedy announced all scripts are written and filming will begin in 2020. It will be launching for Disney+, which has already been released in the USA, Canada, and the Netherlands on Tuesday, 12 November 2019.



The release date for Disney+ in the UK hasn’t been announced yet. As for the cast, Ewan McGregor has been confirmed to play Obi-Wan Kenobi once more. He was the one who played the character in the Star Wars prequel trilogy movies, which are The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. It will be directed by Deborah Chow, which was recently announced by LucasFilm. Chow most recently worked on Star Wars Disney+ series The Mandalorian, has also directed episodes of Mr. Robot, American Gods, Jessica Jones, Fear the Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, and The Man in the High Castle. The series is written by Hossein Amini, the screenwriter behind films and TV shows like McMafia, Drive, The Alienist, 47 Ronin, Snow White, and the Huntsman and Our Kind of Traitor. Chow, Amini, and McGregor will be the executive producers alongside Kathleen Kennedy, Tracey Seaward, and John Swartz. Story of the Obi-Wan series will be taking place eight years after the events of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, where we last saw Obi-Wan watching over Luke Skywalker, the secret child of Darth Vader, on Tatooine. Ewan McGregor has also revealed Obi-Wan hasn’t quite recovered from the Jedi Cull in Revenge of the Sith. He said in an interview, “It will be interesting to take a character we know in a way and show him… Well, his arc will be quite interesting, I think, dealing with that, the fact that all the Jedi were slaughtered with the end of [Revenge of the Sith]. It’s quite something to get over.” We will definitely be getting some answers on the life Obi-Wan alongside many other questions that are on fans’ minds.

Call of Duty Mobile: Summit Map Addition and other Crash, Raid Map Leaks

Call of Duty Mobile is the latest entrant in FPS mobile gaming. The game crossed over 100 million downloads just in the first week of its launch, breaking every previous record set by any game. PUBG Mobile managed to get around 28 million downloads in the first week and Pokemon GO had 85.5 million downloads. Call of Duty has beaten every record up until now with a significant margin. Call of Duty mobile doesn’t just contains a plain Battle Royale like PUBG. The game treats the players with a variety of multiplayer modes in which they can try out classic Call of Duty game modes like Frontline, Hardpoint, Domination and, of course, Team Deathmatch.



All the modes are team-based and free-to-play as well. Alongside these game modes, the game does have a Battle Royale like PUBG Mobile. In the battle royale mode, players drop in on an island in 4 man squads to scavenge for guns, ammunition and other resources and fight to be the last one alive. Call of Duty Mobile players who have played the classic PC game have been longing for one of the popular maps – The Summit map. The map is an ice map with picturesque setting. The map has finally been added in multiplayer mode for players to enjoy. Also, there are new leaks for the game as well. The leaks, courtesy of ‘TheGamingRevolutionYT’ on twitter suggest that there are new Crash and Raid maps coming to the game in the next Christmas season. The Christmas event which is set to be the winter event will be the one which will bring these new maps to the game. These leaks are however are not to be taken too seriously. As there are no official confirmations yet. We will update you here in case there is any word from the devs on the matter. What do you think about Call of Duty Mobile? Make sure to drop your comments in the comment section below!

Holiday Gift Guide 2019 is Here

As the end of 2019 approaches. Which means while you might just be gearing up to begin your holiday shopping, we're already done. At least, we're done shopping for you. After months of thinking, curating, photographing, more thinking, we've come up with a holiday gift guide that covers all the bases (and budgets), from laptops and mobile devices, to toys, to the smart home, to book and media recommendations (only on nerdy subjects, of course). All told, there are more than 150 items in our guide, spanning 13 categories, with advice from 25 of our writers and editors. You know, the people testing and reviewing this stuff all year long. And we're not done yet: We have additional picks and buying advice coming throughout this week, including gifts for coffee geeks, shopping for hypebeasts and our favorite wireless earbuds. (Because we expect those to be popular stocking stuffers this year.) To start, we have a guide to the best Switch and Switch Lite accessories. The Switch and Switch Lite itself made our list, too, but in the event your intended already has one, perhaps they could use a more functional d-pad controller?

The Best Gifts For The Home

Maybe you already have a smart speaker or hub. (And if you don't, we have suggestions...) But your home, and kitchen, can benefit from more than just a voice assistant to offer timers and weather forecasts. Yes, everyone's favorite cooking gadget, the Instant Pot, made our nice list once again, but we've also got some more advanced tools like the Thermapen (so someone nails that holiday roast) and Anova's smallest sous vide gadget. We've also included picks for any coffee fanatics you might be buying for, including the Pearl Bluetooth coffee scaled, and the Stagg EKG kettle, which is far more attractive than a kettle needs to be. Speaking of coffee gear, we have a whole guide to that coming later this week -- stay tuned! If you're looking to make a relative's home a little smarter, we like the ecobee Smart Thermostat, while we believe devices with displays like the Amazon Echo Show 5 and Google's Nest Hub Max make for more useful assistants than standalone (but cheaper) smart speakers.

Acacia Pearl coffee scale

If you want to impress the coffee aficionado in your life, one of the best scales is the Acaia Pearl. It's not only beautiful in its simplicity but also surprisingly smart. It's super fast and accurate (up to 0.1 gram sensitivity), and the display shows both the weight and a timer. There's even an Auto Start mode that starts the timer the moment the pouring begins. If they want to take their brewing to the next level, your coffee-loving friend can pair the scale with an app, which helps monitor brewing times and graphs their pour.

Amazon Smart Oven with Alexa

If you have a loved one who's a bit of a novice in the kitchen but is also a bit of a gearhead, the Alexa-friendly Amazon Smart Oven could be a great choice. With a variety of presets and the ability to scan prepackaged foods, Alexa can step in to help them know when to flip or stir their meals. Plus, the Smart Oven functions not only as a microwave but also as a convection oven, an air fryer and a food warmer, which is perfect for those who want to maximize their counter space. It doesn't have its own microphone or speaker and requires a separate Alexa-enabled device, but each Smart Oven comes with a free Echo Dot anyway, so your bases are covered.

Amazon Echo Show 5

Smaller smart displays can also be pretty great alarm clocks, and the Echo Show 5 is a particularly good one. The ambient light sensor darkens the room when it's time to go to bed, and the sunrise alarm brightens the display when it's time to wake up. If your friend or family member wants to catch a few extra winks, they can smack the top of it to snooze for a few more minutes. Like other Alexa displays, it can play videos from Amazon Prime and Hulu, and a built-in browser lets them view YouTube clips too. It'll also integrate with the rest of their smart home, so turning off the lights is as easy as telling Alexa to do so.

Anova Precision Cooker Nano

Sous vide machines have gotten cheaper over the years, but few are more affordable than the Anova Precision Cooker Nano. For less than $100, it's a great gift for the home cook in your life. It lets them cook foods to just the right temperature, so they'll always get the perfect medium-rare steak. The Precision Cooker Nano can be controlled either via an app or the physical controls on the top, which makes it a little more flexible than some competing devices. If they do decide to use the app, it'll notify them when the cooking is finished even when they're not in the kitchen. It's also super compact, so it can be easily tucked away inside a drawer when not in use.

Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control

Ecobee may not be as much of a household name as Nest, but its products come with the sincere approval of at least one colleague, who replaced his Nest with this. The company's new, fourth-generation smart thermostat costs $250 and comes with voice control via Amazon Alexa. Even better, it has sensors thrown in that detect both the ambient temperature and how many people are at home. All told, Ecobee claims that shutting off the HVAC when people aren't around saves around 23 percent on heating and cooling costs. One of the best features of the Ecobee is its simple user interface, which is far better than its rivals. My colleague says that vacation mode is much better than the Nest's, because rather than having to activate and deactivate it by hand, you can tell the device when you're leaving and when you're coming back. That way, it knows when to start getting your place warmed or cooled in preparation for your return. It also looks great, with a glass-fronted LCD touchscreen that displays the weather as well, making life a little bit easier. Plus, it comes with all the usual integrations to Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings and IFTTT.

Eero WiFi Router/Extender

Mesh WiFi routers may not be very sexy presents, but believe me when I say that your loved ones will appreciate the gift of reliable internet. The Eero system is one of the best out there and is able to bring up to 1,500 square feet of WiFi. I have the Eero routers in my home, and they've completely rid it of the dreaded WiFi dead spots. A standout feature is Eero's TrueMesh technology, which intelligently routes traffic to devices using the fastest and most reliable path. This in turn helps avoid congestion and buffering. The app makes setup and installation easy too, and there are parental controls on board as well. Plus, automatic updates ensure that the router will improve over time.

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S

The season is guaranteed to generate a lot of mess, but your friends won't want to clean up after they've had a bellyful of food. That's why you should be nice to them and give the gift of a robotic vacuum cleaner that'll do some of the work. Eufy's RoboVac 11S has plenty of things to recommend it -- including its reasonable $240 asking price. Standing at just 2.85 inches tall, it's short enough to get under most furniture and can run for up to 100 minutes on a charge. It's no wimp in the suction department either: It's more powerful than Roomba's low-end e5 with a triple filter system to help screen out particles. Because it's cheap, it lacks the fancy-pants navigation skills of its more expensive rivals, but it's smart enough to avoid falling down stairs. Best of all, it's about as noisy as a desk fan, which should prevent any anxious pets from getting too upset.

Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle

The Fellow Stagg EKG kettle is for the coffee and tea lover in your life who's ready to take their brew to the next level. Equipped with variable temperature control, an LCD screen and a built-in stopwatch, the Stagg EKG kettle is no ordinary electric kettle. It has a 1,200-watt quick-heating element, so it's faster than boiling water on the stove. There's a "hold" mode that keeps the water at a certain temperature for up to 60 minutes, which is great for both coffee and tea. It also features a stunning design, with a precision spout perfect for pour-over brewing.

Google Nest Hub Max

If you want to give the gift of Google Assistant but want it packaged in a multipurpose device with a smart home bent, then you might want to consider the Google Nest Hub Max. I use this in my own kitchen, and I love it. The large 10-inch screen makes it a good digital photo frame of course, but it's also great for viewing YouTube videos and cooking instructions. If your loved one happens to have other Nest cams in the house, they can use it to check in on those too. Plus, it has a camera, which can be used for facial recognition, gestures and, of course, video calls via Google's Duo service. In fact, the camera can itself double as a Nest Cam, which is great for keeping an eye on the house when they're out and about.

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus

Few other kitchen gadgets are as popular as the Instant Pot, and for good reason: It's an excellent electric pressure cooker that can also function as a slow cooker, a yogurt maker, a rice cooker and, in some cases, a sous vide machine. That makes it ideal for those who need to get food on the table in an efficient manner without taking up a lot of counter space. The latest model, the Duo Evo Plus, is even better than the original: Inner pot handles make it easier to lift out of the cooker, the steam valve switch is far easier to turn on or off, and it now automatically seals when the lid is locked. What's more, it even comes with an extra silicone gasket. If you do get your loved one this excellent kitchen gadget, we suggest you send them a link to our Instant Pot guide so they'll get the most out of their new toy.

Pakt Coffee Kit

It can be difficult to assemble a travel coffee setup that's compact and includes everything you need to make your morning cup. Most of the time you have to either sacrifice space or a piece of gear that would otherwise make things easier. But the Pakt Coffee Kit contains everything the java lover on your list will need to make a fantastic pour over, all inside a case that's about the size of a pair of shoes. The kit nests together like a set of Russian dolls, with a grounds container and travel cup resting inside the water kettle for storage. The unit heats water to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (96 Celsius), the perfect temp for pour over, before alerting you it's ready. There's also a collapsible dripper and scoop as well as space to store filters. And while there might be some strange looks from airport security, this thing is travel friendly. It's currently available for pre-order through Indiegogo for $149, and Pakt says the kits will ship in time for Christmas.

Ring Video Doorbell 2

If package thieves are a problem for your loved ones, consider getting them a video doorbell. We particularly recommend the Ring Video Doorbell 2, which either uses a hardwired connection or battery power, making it great for homeowners and renters alike. Plus, the rechargeable battery is easily removed without having to take out the whole unit. It sends mobile alerts whenever it senses motion, and it also records and sends those events to the cloud. The Ring camera is also compatible with Alexa-powered smart displays, letting your family members view who's at their front door that much more quickly. Video recording and storage does require a $30 annual subscription, but that includes 60-day unlimited video storage, which is a lot cheaper than with other security cameras.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Whether your loved one is a professional chef or a novice cook, they'd appreciate a good instant-read thermometer. The Thermoworks Thermapen is one of the best out there, and it's one that Engadget editors like myself and senior editor Billy Steele highly recommend. It can suss out the temperature of your food in mere seconds so you know whether to take the roast out of the oven now or wait for a few more minutes. Get this for the cook in your life and you may never have to eat under- or overcooked food again.