3 Norwegian Siblings Born On February 29th

This year being a Leap year, I was looking at things that have happened or are unique about this special day, which comes as often as the World Cup or the Olympics (summer & winter) when I remember a little fact that I read a long, long time ago. Back in 1990 or so I think, from a copy of the Guinness Book Of World Records. Leap Day gives the rest of us an extra 24 hours every fourth year to get around to those tasks we just never seem to have time for, but for one Norwegian family Leap Year brings something extra special.

The Henriksen family from Andenes on the island of And√ły can claim a distinction shared by no other family in the world. Siblings Heidi, Olav and Leif-Martin all share a Leap Day birthday. Heidi was born on February 29th, 1960. Olav came four years to the day later and Leif-Martin made his entry into the world four years after that. Their mother, Karin, is believed to be the only woman to ever give birth on three Leap Days.¬† The Henriksens said that their unusual birthdays have netted them a long line of international media appearances since their mother was added to the 1980 Guinness World Records for her impeccable timing in delivering babies.

Somewhat incredibly, Leap Day also has another ‚Äď and sadder ‚Äď meaning for the family as well. The siblings had a nephew who passed away from cancer on February 29th, 2008. Since then, they say that the day has been a mix of joy and sadness. They haven’t celebrated in a big way since.

The 10 Oldest Cities In The World

Damascus, Syria ‚Äď 11,000 years old

Also named as the capital of Arab culture, Damascus is the oldest city in the world that has seen many of the great civilizations rise and fall. According to research studies and historical evidence, Damascus was first inhabited in the second half of the seventh millennia B.C. It is the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and is a prominent cultural centre of the Arab world. Today Damascus is a metropolitan area with more than two million population and was named the Arab Capital of Culture in 2008.

Aleppo, Syria ‚Äď 8,000 years old

Aleppo serves as the capital of the Aleppo Governorate, and it has been continuously inhabited for more than 8,000 years. It is a fact that the remnants dating back to 11,000 B.C of human settlements have been found there. Aleppo is actually located between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia, and due to its geographical location, it became an important trading hub during the ancient era. However, due to warfare between the government and rebel forces that have killed thousands and forced many to flee from their homes, Aleppo has been facing devastation since 2012.

Byblos, Lebanon ‚Äď 7,000 years old

Located around 42 kilometre north of Beirut, Byblos is the oldest and the largest city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of Lebanon. It is believed to have been first occupied by humans between 8800 and 7000 BC and continuously inhabited since 5000 BC. Also, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is believed that the first import of papyrus in Greece took place in this city. This city is also an archaeological wonder because of the successive layers of debris resulting from centuries of human habitation.

Argos, Greece ‚Äď 7,000 years old

Argos is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. According to research, Argos remained neutral throughout history, and did not participate in the Greco-Persian Wars. Argos hosts around 22,000 residents today and numerous ancient monuments can be found here.

Athens, Greece ‚Äď 7,000 years old

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. It dominates the Attica region with its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. This city is also an ancient home of philosophy and the birthplace of Western civilisations. In fact it boasts of habitation that goes back long before the days of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The city withstood the test of times and was a subject of complete destruction following the Dorian and Persian invasions. Today, Athens is a sprawling metropolis and the oldest capital city in Europe.

Susa, Iran ‚Äď 6,300 years old

Susa orwas an ancient city of the Proto-Elamite, and one of the most important cities of the Ancient Near East (the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East). Its location is close to the Tigris River and hence made it one of the most important cities in the ancient world. It was believed that the city was once completely destroyed by the Assyrians but then was quickly rebuilt and then it saw its most glorious days during the Persian Empire.

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan ‚Äď 6,000 years old

Erbil has been inhabited, over the millennia, by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols and Ottoman Turks. At the center of the city, rests the Erbil Citadel, also known as Hawler Castle which is an ancient structure that dates back to 2,000 B.C. The Erbil Citadel, is an artificial mound and the historical city center of Erbil. Erbil is known for its modern malls, ancient sites, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Sidon, Lebanon ‚Äď 6,000 years old

Inhabited for at least the last 6,000 years, Sidon was one of the most important Phoenician cities because of its location as a crucial port on the Mediterranean. Sidon is the third-largest city in Lebanon and is located in the South Governorate. Glass production had made Sidon both rich and famous and the city came to be known for being progressive. Also, the Phoenicians were known for their skill in ship-building and navigating the Mediterranean Sea.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria ‚Äď 6,000 years old

Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria. Plovdivs’ history spans across more than six millenniums, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe. Excavations show that people have been inhabiting the ancient town on the Nebet Tepe Hill since 4000.C. The city was an important Persian, Thracian, Macedonian, and Ottoman hub. Today, Plovdiv is the second biggest city in Bulgaria and an up-and-coming tourist hub.

Varanasi, India ‚Äď 5,000 years old

Varanasi is the oldest city in India and also the birthplace of the oldest religion ‚Äď Hinduism. Also known as Benares, Banaras or Kashi this city is located on the banks of the river Ganges in the Uttar Pradesh state of North India and dates back to the 11th century B.C. This city draws Hindu pilgrims and tourists from all across the world. These pilgrims bathe in the river Ganges and also perform the funeral rites. There are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the Golden Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva along the city‚Äôs winding streets.

SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH : St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

On the coast of Florida, where the Tolomato and Matanzas Rivers spill out into the unforgiving waters of the Atlantic, stands one of America’s oldest and most haunted structures: the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Standing 164 feet tall, nestled on the northern edge of Anastasia Island since the mid 1500s, this lone sentry has seen its fair share of history‚ÄĒfor better or for worse. From the colonization of the Americas, to the Hundred Years’ War, to the birth of a nation and its subsequent divide, the St. Augustine Lighthouse has stood watch, year after year, through plagues and power struggles, as a beacon of hope in the darkness.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is visited by more than 216,000 people annually, but it’s just as well-known for its otherworldly guests. Several tragic events that occurred at the now-historic site have contributed to the alleged paranormal activity. The ghost of a lighthouse keeper who fell to his death while painting the tower has been spotted watching over the grounds. And ever since the horrific death of three young girls, who drowned when the cart they were playing in broke and fell into the ocean, visitors have claimed to hear the sounds of children playing in and around the lighthouse. On July 10, 1873, the three Pittee sisters, Mary (15), Eliza (13), and Carrie (4), along with an unknown African-American girl (10), whose father may have worked on the site, were riding in the cart as normal.

The wooden board that stopped the cart from going into the water was not in place. The cart carrying the girls flipped into the water, trapping the girls underneath. Mr. Dan Sessions, a young African-American worker, witnessed the tragic event and raced to the water. When he reached the cart, using all his strength, he lifted it from atop the girls. By this time, three of the four girls had drowned; the only survivor was the youngest, Carrie. In the days after the accident, the construction site as well as the town shut down for the funeral of the girls. Following the funeral, the Pittee family returned to Maine to lay their daughters to rest in their hometown. Staff researchers have not yet been able to find the final resting place of the young African American girl.

The Three Valentine’s Day Friends Episodes

The One With The Candy Hearts; Season 1 ‚ÄĒ Episode 14

In this episode, we see Ross run into his ex-wife, Carol, and her¬†new significant other, Susan ‚ÄĒ which is pretty awkward for Ross, considering he’s on a date with another woman, too. Meanwhile, Rachel, Phoebe and Monica burn mementos from old boyfriends, and Joey hilariously sets Chandler up on a date with a beloved “Friends” guest star: Janice.

The One With Unagi; Season 6 ‚ÄĒ Episode 17

While Ross’ newest obsession, Unagi (a state of total awareness Ross has pledged to be in), annoys the group, Chandler and Monica decide to give each other homemade Valentine’s Day gifts. As you can probably guess, Chandler panics. In the meantime, Joey tries to earn money through medical research, and Rachel and Phoebe take a self-defense class. How romantic!

The One With The Birthing Video; Season 8 ‚ÄĒ Episode 15

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than when watching a real birth on video? In this Valentine’s Day episode, Chandler sits down with the girls to watch a graphic video of the miracle of birth, which of course, he hates. Again, very romantic!

Where I Blog From & Where I Occasionally Work From


This my desk the way it usually looks like right now. So this is my small desk, right next to the foot of my bed and next to my door. And because it is a small desk, everything is kinda cramped up on it. I have my HP laptop, an Amazon Basics wireless mouse an a spare one behind the laptop. I also have my new Bluetooth speaker, my old one and my Alexa Echo.

I have 5 of my earpods on it (I have a 6th one still in it’s box on my bed) and 3 64GB thumb drives the left side of the desk I also have a spare battery on the right which is for my mouse. And yes ofcourse, gotta hydrate oneself, so I have my huge 1.2 L tumbler.

Six Facts About Valentine’s Day

Origins to a Bloody Pagan Festival

Some trace Valentine’s Day origins to a Christian effort to replace a pagan fertility festival that has been dated as far back as the 6th century B.C. During the festival of Lupercalia, Roman priests would sacrifice goats and dogs and use their blood-soaked hides to slap women on the streets, as a fertility blessing. According to legend, women would later put their names in an urn and be selected to be paired with a man for a year.

Letters Addressed to ‘Juliet’¬†

Every year, thousands of romantics send letters addressed to Verona, Italy to ‚ÄúJuliet,‚ÄĚ the subject of the timeless romantic tragedy, ‚ÄúRomeo and Juliet.‚ÄĚ The city marks the location of the Shakespearean tale, and the letters that reach the city are dutifully answered by a team of volunteers from the Juliet Club. Each year, on Valentine’s Day, the club awards the “Cara Giulietta” (“Dear Juliet”) prize to the author of the most touching love letter.

Box of Chocolates

The Valentine’s Day tradition of giving a box of candy was started in the 19th century by Richard Cadbury, a scion of a British chocolate manufacturing family. With a new technique recently established at the company to create more varieties of chocolate, Cadbury pounced on the opportunity to sell the chocolates as part of the beloved holiday.

First Valentine Was Written From a Prison

History’s first valentine was written in perhaps one of the most unromantic places conceivable: a prison. Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote the love letter to his second wife at the age of 21 while captured at the Battle of Agincourt. As a prisoner for more than 20 years, he would never see his valentine’s reaction to the poem he penned to her in the early 15th century.

‚ÄėVinegar Valentines‚Äô Discouraged Suitors

During the Victoria Era, those who didn‚Äôt want the attention of certain suitors would anonymously send ‚Äúvinegar valentines.” These cards, also called penny dreadfuls, were the antithesis of customary valentines, comically insulting and rejecting unwanted admirers. They were later used to target suffragettes in the late 19th and early 20th century.

‚ÄėWearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve‚Äô

The term ‚Äúwearing your heart on your sleeve‚ÄĚ may have origins in picking a valentine. Smithsonian¬†reports¬†that during the Middle Ages, men would draw the names of women who they would be coupled with for the upcoming year while attending a Roman festival honoring Juno. After choosing, the men wore the names on their sleeves to show their bond during the festivities.

Six Weird Laws In The United Kingdom

1. It’s illegal to carry planks of wood along a pavement unless there is the intention of it being unloaded from a vehicle

The Metropolitan Police Act says, ‚ÄúA plank of wood must not be carried along a pavement. It can only be moved if it is being unloaded from a vehicle or taken into a building.‚ÄĚ This law dates back to medieval times when carts were often overloaded and the wood would fall off, posing a danger to pedestrians.

2. Flying a Kite in a public place is technically illegal

In what might be considered a normal activity in the Summer, such as flying a kite in a public place, it may come as a big surprise that this is actually illegal. This law was brought in to prevent there being common nuisances and danger to local passengers, as mentioned by the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, section 54.

3. You Cannot gamble in a library

Gambling is illegal in any library in the United Kingdom, as it is considered a public place. The library offences act was put into place as gambling can be a very disruptive activity and it would be difficult for people to concentrate on their studies or reading if there was gambling going on around them.

4. Taxis can’t transport rabid dogs and drivers have an obligation to ask passengers if they have smallpox or the plagues

It’s an absolute no-brainer that rabid dogs or corpses cannot be transported because of health and safety regulations! The Public Health Act 1936 declares that taxi drivers have an obligation to ask their passengers if they have the plague or smallpox too.

5. It is rumoured that placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down is treason

At number 5 in our list of the UK‚Äôs weird laws, Under the Treason Felony Act of 1848, it is an offence to ‚Äúplace any mark upon His Majesty‚Äôs coin or currency with intent to deface the same‚ÄĚ. There were rumours that if you placed a stamp upside down, that would be treason because of the perception of dishonouring the monarchy‚Äôs image. However, this myth has been proven not to be true and even via Royal Mail, it is still acceptable to place stamps upside down on letters.

6. You cannot walk cows down the street in daylight in England

According to the Metropolitan Streets Act of 1867, which arises from the Metropolitan Police District, it is illegal to drive any cattle through the streets during the specific hours of 10 am until 7 pm, unless somebody had specific permission from the Police Commissioner. This law prohibits ‚Äúany person driving or conducting cattle in contravention of this section shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding ten shillings for each head of cattle so driven or conducted‚ÄĚ

Eight Timeless RomComs That I Recommend To Watch On Valentine’s Day

Clueless (1995)

As if! Based on Jane Austen’s¬†Emma, this Valley Girl classic starring¬†Alicia Silverstone is filled with not only unexpected love, but the way friendships can evolve over time. The clothes! The quotes! This timeless film is well worth at least one annual screening.

Roman Holiday (1953)

Audrey Hepburn flexes her serious talent as a bored Princess Ann, who gives her guardians the slip for an adventure with American newsman Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) in this romantic comedy classic. You may already know the iconic scooter scene that basically created the trend of tooling around city streets in a Vespa.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Some of the technology in this late ’90s standard might be charmingly old-school, but the message goes the distance.¬†Tom Hanks¬†and¬†Meg Ryan¬†have starred in three films together, but¬†You’ve Got Mail¬†‚ÄĒ a riff on the classic¬†The Shop Around the Corner ‚ÄĒ really makes the most of their undeniable onscreen chemistry.

Pretty Woman (1990)

Julia Roberts¬†and¬†Richard Gere make a really cute couple, but Roberts’ antics are what really earned this one its place in history. “Big. Huge.” became part of our lexicon after watching the scenes of her shopping in Beverly Hills and no polo match feels complete without Roberts stomping divots.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Peter (Jason Segel) takes a trip to Hawaii to heal from a breakup. But then his ex Sarah (Kristen Bell) shows up at the same resort. This heartwarming comedy of errors shows that even the worst possible circumstances can work out just fine by the time the credits roll.

The Proposal (2009)

The overbearing Margaret (Sandra Bullock) pretty much forces her employee Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her so she can avoid deportation to Canada, which is awkward enough. But when they visit his family in Alaska, sparks start to fly in the snow. If the gorgeous Alaskan setting isn’t enough for you, check out Betty White‘s turn as Andrew’s lovably risqu√© grandma.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Pass the Windex, bake a bundt and tune in to watch a woman (Nia Vardalos) from a very, very Greek family fall in love with a non-Greek man (John Corbett). Romance is a family affair in this movie that shows how you really do marry your in-laws, especially if their personalities are stronger than Sambuca.

Serendipity (2001)

Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) spend one amazing night together in New York City, but then fall out of touch for years afterward. As they prepare to marry other people, they both get cold feet and decide to hunt each another down instead. If you don’t believe in fate, let this classic change your mind.

Top 10 Ideas For Valentine’s Day Gifts

1. The most popular Valentine’s Day gift ‚Äď sweets

Red boxes of chocolates, heart-shaped cakes, and other edible gifts are among the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts, according to a survey by the¬†National Retail Federation. It is a symbolic, sweet, and thoughtful gift that will certainly not gather dust on a shelf.

2. Perfume to make you happy 

Perfume makes a sophisticated and often desirable gift for both men and women. Show your loved ones how well you know them by gifting them their favourite fragrance.

3. A trip or a relaxing weekend for two¬†Even the biggest Valentine’s Day sceptics would not turn down a romantic weekend at a holiday resort, spa, or an adventure holiday abroad.

4.  Jewellery for the fans of luxury

It doesn’t have to be precious stones – a small piece of jewellery can also serve as a constant reminder of your beloved one. Accessories are something that can make both men and women happy ‚Äď and it’s not just earrings or necklaces, but also leather bracelets, watches, and so on. Jewellery stores often offer discounts for Valentine’s Day, so don’t wait and find something elegant and timeless for the ones you love.

5. There will never be enough flowers

Even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, a single flower or a bouquet is likely to make most women happy. But, make no mistake ‚Äď many men love fresh flowers too. Even if your loved one is far away, nowadays you can order flowers online.

6. Enjoy a good bottle of wine for a romantic evening 

Time spent together is priceless. And it’s not only the time spent cooking together that can create a romantic evening atmosphere, but also sharing a glass of good wine. You can order your favourite wine online or even send it to your significant other if you cannot be together.

7. Gifts for exploring your relationship 

Gifts to explore and diversify relationships have become particularly popular in recent years. Couples cards, massage oils, and other intimate little things for adults can be an original gift and a great investment.

8. Personalised gifts 

It’s always nice to receive a gift that shows that it was thought of not on the last day, but long before. A custom painting, a box of things that the loved one would like, matching bracelets or tattoos ‚Äď ¬†there are plenty of personalised ideas online.

9. Something that cannot be bought 

And yet, the best gifts are often those that can’t be bought or wrapped ‚Äď a hike in nature, a home-cooked dinner, or a heartfelt handwritten letter. Even if you don’t have a significant other, you can still do something memorable with your friends, family, or treat yourself. After all, February 14 is the day of love, and love comes in many different forms.

10. Dinner for two

Invite your other half to a romantic dinner for just the two of you. It’s not only a gift that will leave warm memories but also a sustainable way to celebrate your love. An invitation to dinner is the perfect consumable gift and the time spent together is simply priceless. For a special occasion, choose a special place. There are no rules, but consider what would suit you most.

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 1

Arsenal reduced Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to two points after a deserved victory in a tense encounter at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners knew defeat was unthinkable and their cause was helped hugely by two errors from Liverpool’s normally reliable keeper Alisson, who gifted Arsenal the goals that ensured three crucial points. It sparked joyous scenes at the final whistle as Arsenal condemned Liverpool to only their second league defeat this season, their first since a highly controversial loss at Tottenham in late September. Arsenal were rewarded for a lightning start when Bukayo Saka gave them a 14th-minute lead, turning home a rebound after Alisson saved from Kai Havertz.

The hosts dominated proceedings but a defensive shambles allowed Liverpool to restore parity seconds before the break, Gabriel turning the ball into his own net via his hand after a mix-up between keeper David Raya and William Saliba as they challenged Luis Diaz. Liverpool carried more momentum after the interval with Alexis Mac Allister going close twice and Curtis Jones just off target before the Gunners were the next beneficiaries of a calamitous error, this time between Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, that saw them restore their lead after 67 minutes. Alisson rushed from his goal and kicked fresh air as Van Dijk tried to deal with a long clearance, leaving Gabriel Martinelli with the simplest of finishes into an empty net.

And Liverpool’s misery was compounded in the closing stages when defender Ibrahima Konate was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Havertz, before substitute Leandro Trossard added a third in stoppage time – Alisson once again at fault as he allowed a routine near-post shot through his legs. Arsenal’s worst fears were sweeping around the Emirates when a defensive blunder seconds before half-time allowed Liverpool to go in level, after Mikel Arteta’s side had controlled the first 45 minutes and barely allowed the league leaders a chance. The atmosphere was suddenly subdued, the mood shifting markedly, and when Liverpool looked to move through the gears in the early stages of the second half Arsenal looked unsettled.

Instead the Gunners showed great character to gather themselves and reassert their authority and – while they were thankful for a rare off-day from the usually outstanding Alisson – this was a real show of steel that resulted in a win that will send belief surging through Arteta and his players. Arsenal wanted to banish memories of their recent FA Cup third-round loss here to Liverpool, when they paid the price for missing a succession of chances, and this was the perfect response on a day when another defeat would have surely ended their title hopes. Now, after a win at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, this has been an ideal week for the Gunners who are right in the heart of the Premier League title race.

And at the heart of this win was the exciting Martinelli, a constant threat to Liverpool as well as a goalscorer, while Declan Rice was imperious in midfield. The celebrations after the final whistle showed how important this was to Arsenal – and who can blame them for enjoying the moment?

Eight Fun Facts About The Wooly Mammoth

1. Woolly mammoths were big but not huge! They were about the size of a modern African elephant. But the very biggest of the mammoths (probably Steppe mammoths) were 13 feet tall at the shoulder and weighed more than eight tons. The relatively puny woolly mammoth, by contrast, was only about nine feet tall and weighed a mere five tons.

2. The coat of a woolly mammoth was made up of very long hairs with an undercoat of shorter hairs. This layering would help to keep them warm.

3. The ears of a woolly mammoth were shorter than a modern elephant’s ears. Like their thick fur, their shortened ears kept them warm in the very cold weather.

4. Mammoths used their curved tusks to dig up the ground. They also used them to rub bark from the trees and to fight.

5. We can tell the age of a woolly mammoth from the rings of its tusk, like looking at the rings of a tree. There is a line for each year and the thickness or thinness of the rings tells us how well the mammoth was during that time. A thicker ring would suggest a good year with plenty of food.

6. The woolly mammoth was not the only woolly animal. The woolly rhinoceros was around at the same time, and they died out around the same time too. We are not sure why they died. Humans might have hunted them all, or perhaps they did not like it when the Ice Age ended.

7. We believe the large lumps on a mammoth’s back were extra stores of fat to help it survive winters when food was not easily found. Mammoths ate grass and grazed like cows do today.

8. Mammoths Were Around When King Tut Was. Woolly mammoths and early human beings shared the planet for thousands of years. Most mammoths went extinct about 10,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene; however, some stuck around for thousands of years in isolated island locations; the very last woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island off the coast of Russia. There were living mammoths on the planet just 3,600 years ago, at the same time that King Tut ruled ancient Egypt.

5 Tips For Meal Planning And Prep

1. Decide what you’re going to make by creating a menu plan.

It’s hard to begin the process if you don’t know what you’re going to eat! Create a 5-day menu plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks or beverages (like elixirs, teas or kombucha) if applicable. If you’re cooking for a family, get everyone involved in the process by having them suggest meal ideas. We like looking to healthy cookbooks, food blogs, magazines, as well as our favourite  Instagrammers for inspiration.

2. Gather the right tools and equipment for meal prep.

You don’t need a ton of fancy gadgets to become an expert at meal prep, but there are some inexpensive essential cooking tools that are going to make the process much easier. What you use in your kitchen will depend on what you find helpful, though these are the basic things we recommend.

3. Choose a finite amount of ingredients to use in a given week.

We’re all for eating a variety of foods, but you don’t need to eat 19 different vegetables during a five-day workweek. In other words, keep it simple. Select 5 or 6 key vegetables to focus on each week, as this will help you menu plan/meal prep easily and will likely reduce your food waste and grocery bills too. If you have a well-stocked pantry and flavourful spice rack, you can complement your dishes as needed with extra oomph.

4. Get chopping and batch cooking ‚Äď and recruit help if you need it!

This is where the rubber hits the road in meal prepping. Depending on what’s on your menu plan and the ingredients you’re using, you may need to:

  • wash and dry produce only and chop it right before making your recipe
  • slice, dice and chop everything in preparation for cooking, sauteeing, roasting, snacking etc.
  • pre-make recipe components so they can be used for assembly (condiments,¬†cooked grains,¬†nut butters, etc.)

5. Invest in quality storage containers

ood storage containers are one of the most essential meal prep tools. If you’re currently working with a cupboard full of mismatched containers with missing lids, you may find the meal prep process very frustrating. It’s well worth your time and money to invest in high-quality containers. Before you make a purchase, consider each container’s intended use. If you’ll be freezing, microwaving, or cleaning them with a dishwasher, make sure you choose containers that are safe for doing so. Glass containers are eco-friendly and microwave safe. They’re widely available in stores and online. It’s also handy to have a variety of sizes for different types of foods.

6 Hard Rock & Metal Albums From 6 Legendary Artists That Turned 40 In January 2024

1984 – Van Halen : 1984¬†(stylized in¬†Roman numerals¬†as¬†MCMLXXXIV) is the sixth studio album by American¬†rock¬†band¬†Van Halen, released on January 9, 1984. It was the last Van Halen studio album until¬†A Different Kind of Truth¬†(2012) to feature lead singer¬†David Lee Roth, who left the band in 1985 following creative differences. This is the final full-length album to feature all four original members (the Van Halen brothers¬†Eddie¬†and¬†Alex, Roth, and¬†Michael Anthony), although they reunited briefly in 2000 to start work on what would much later become 2012’s¬†A Different Kind of Truth. 1984¬†was well received by music critics.¬†Rolling Stone¬†ranked the album number 81 on its list of the “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s”. It reached number two on the¬†Billboard¬†200¬†and remained there for five weeks, kept off the top spot by¬†Michael Jackson’s¬†Thriller, on which guitarist¬†Eddie Van Halen¬†made a¬†guest performance.¬† 1984¬† produced four singles, including “Jump”, Van Halen’s only number-one single on the¬†Billboard¬†Hot 100; the top-20 hits “Panama” and “I’ll Wait”; and the¬†MTV¬†favorite “Hot for Teacher”.

Defenders of the Faith – Judas Priest : Defenders of the Faith¬†is the ninth studio album by English¬†heavy metal¬†band¬†Judas Priest, released on 13 January 1984 in the US and on 20 January 1984 in the UK. The album was certified platinum by the¬†RIAA, and spawned the singles “Freewheel Burning”, “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll”, and “Love Bites”.

Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi : Bon Jovi¬†is the debut studio album by American¬†rock¬†band¬†Bon Jovi, released on January 21, 1984, by¬†Mercury Records. Produced by¬†Tony Bongiovi¬†and Lance Quinn, it is significant for being the only Bon Jovi album in which a song (“She Don’t Know Me”) appears that was not written or co-written by a member of the band. The album charted at number 43 on the US¬†Billboard¬†200. Aside from the hit single “Runaway”, songs from the album were rarely performed live after Bon Jovi released¬†Slippery When Wet¬†in 1986.

Slide It In – Whitesnake : Slide It In¬†is the sixth studio album by British¬†hard rock¬†band¬†Whitesnake. Originally released on 30 January 1984 in Europe, by¬†Liberty/EMI, it was remixed for the American market, later issued on 16 April 1984 in North America by¬†Geffen. In Japan, it was issued a “European” Mix release date on 23 March 1984, and an “American” remix on 29 December 1984 by¬†CBS/Sony. Widely regarded as a moderate success, it helped the American market to open up for the band’s sound and breakthrough throughout the later 1980s. Historically, it was the final Whitesnake recording to use the band’s original “snake” logo. The album peaked at number 9, marking their fourth Top 10 appearance in the UK. In the US, it peaked at number 40 at¬†Billboard 200. In 1988, the album re-entered the US charts due to the success of the self-titled¬†Whitesnake¬†album (1987), and would be eventually¬†certified double platinum, among the album with the most weeks spent on the Billboard 200 chart. The album has sold more than six million copies worldwide. The album spawned four singles to promote the album: “Guilty of Love”, “Give Me More Time”, “Standing in the Shadow”, and “Love Ain’t No Stranger”.

Fistfull Of Metal – Anthrax : Fistful of Metal¬†is the debut studio album by American¬†heavy metal¬† band Anthrax, released in January 1984 by¬†Megaforce Records¬†(US only) and¬†Music for Nations¬†internationally. The album includes a cover of¬†Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen”. This is the band’s only album to feature original frontman¬†Neil Turbin¬†and original bassist¬†Dan Lilker, who were replaced by¬†Matt Fallon¬†(and eventually by third vocalist¬†Joey Belladonna) and¬†Frank Bello, respectively. Former original guitarist Greg Walls claims that Anthrax “ripped him off” as he claims he wrote the material on the album

Flex-able – Steve Vai : Flex-Able¬†is the debut studio¬†album¬†by American virtuoso guitarist¬†Steve Vai. This was his first as a solo artist, and was created in Stucco Blue, a shed converted into a studio in Vai’s old back garden. It is very different from many of his other albums, and is largely influenced by¬†Frank Zappa.¬†Flex-Able¬†does not rely as much on massive guitar arrangements and¬†shred¬†moments as the rest of his output from the 1990s onwards, with the exception of¬†Leftovers which is a compilation of bonus tracks and remasters from his sessions at ‘Stucco Blue’. The cover of the May 2009 issue of¬†Guitar World¬†features a photograph of Vai in a pose similar to the album’s cover, including the bending guitar neck.

RIP Carl Weathers

American actor Carl Weathers has died at the age of 76, according to his family. Weathers, who starred as Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films, “died peacefully in his sleep”, according to a statement released by his family. His other film credits include Predator, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. ¬†His roles included boxer¬†Apollo Creed¬†in the first four¬†Rocky¬†films¬†(1976‚Äď1985), Colonel Al Dillon in¬†Predator¬†(1987), and¬†Combat Carl¬†in the¬†Toy Story¬†franchise.

He also portrayed Det. Beaudreaux in the television series¬†Street Justice¬†(1991‚Äď1993) and¬†a fictionalized version of himself¬†in the comedy series¬†Arrested Development¬†(2004, 2013), and voiced Omnitraxus Prime in¬†Star vs. the Forces of Evil¬†(2017‚Äď2019). He had a recurring role as¬†Greef Karga¬†in the¬†Star Wars¬†series¬†The Mandalorian¬†(2019‚Äď2023), for which he was nominated for the¬†Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana as an eighth-grade student, he earned an athletic scholarship to St. Augustine High School, a private school. Weathers played college football for the San Diego State Aztecs. He then transferred and played for San Diego State University, becoming a letterman for the San Diego State Aztecs in 1968 and 1969, helping the Aztecs win the 1969 Pasadena Bowl. He signed with the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL) after going undrafted in the 1970 NFL Draft. After being released by the Raiders, he signed with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Weathers retired from football in 1974, and began pursuing an acting career.

He had his first significant roles in two¬†blaxploitation¬†films directed by his longtime friend Arthur Marks:¬†Bucktown¬†(1975) and¬†Friday Foster (1975). ¬†In 1976, he appeared as a loan shark in an episode of the crime-drama¬†Starsky & Hutch, and in the¬†Barnaby Jones episode “The Bounty Hunter” as escaped convict Jack Hopper. While auditioning for the role of¬†Apollo Creed¬†alongside¬†Sylvester Stallone¬†in¬†Rocky, Weathers criticized Stallone’s acting, which led to him getting the role.¬†He reprised the role of Apollo Creed in the next three¬†Rocky¬†films:¬†Rocky II¬†(1979),¬†Rocky III¬†(1982), and¬†Rocky IV (1985). Weathers briefly appears as an Army¬†MP¬†in one of the three released versions of¬†Close Encounters of the Third Kind (originally released in 1977).

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Weathers starred in a number of action films for the small and big screen, including Force 10 from Navarone¬†(1978),¬†Predator¬†(1987),¬†Action Jackson¬†(1988), and¬†Hurricane Smith¬†(1992). He also appeared in¬†Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl” music video and co-starred in the 1996¬†Adam Sandler¬†comedy¬†Happy Gilmore, as Chubbs, a golf legend teaching Happy how to play golf. Another notable television role was Sgt. Adam Beaudreaux on the cop show¬†Street Justice. Afterwards, during the final two seasons of¬†In the Heat of the Night (1992‚Äď1994), his character, Hampton Forbes, replaced Bill Gillespie as the chief of police. In 2004, Weathers received a career revival as a comedic actor beginning with appearances in three episodes of the¬†comedy¬†series¬†Arrested Development¬†as a cheapskate¬†caricature of himself.

In 2019, Weathers appeared as¬†Greef Karga¬†in several episodes of the first season of the¬†Star Wars¬†series,¬†The Mandalorian. He returned for the second season and also directed the episode “Chapter 12: The Siege”. He returned for season 3 and directed the episode “Chapter 20: The Foundling”. His performance earned him an¬†Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor. Weathers and his ex-wife, Mary Ann, had two sons.

5 Easy Ways To Add More Vegetables To Your Diet

1. Make veggie-based soups : Soups are an excellent way to consume multiple servings of vegetables at once. You can make veggies the ‚Äúbase‚ÄĚ by pureeing them and adding spices, such as in this¬†broccoli spinach quinoa soup. Furthermore, it‚Äôs simple to cook veggies into broth- or cream-based soups. Adding even a small number of extra veggies, such as broccoli, to soups is a great way to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

2. Experiment with veggie noodles : Veggie noodles are easy to make, and a great way to get more veggies in your eating plan. They’re also an excellent low carb substitute for high carb foods, such as pasta. They’re made by inserting vegetables into a spiralizer, which processes them into noodle-like shapes. You can also:

  • shred them
  • slice them with a mandoline
  • just cut them up as you please

You can use a spiralizer for almost any type of vegetable. They‚Äôre commonly used for zucchini, carrots, spaghetti squash, and sweet potatoes, all of which come packed with extra nutrients. Once the ‚Äúnoodles‚ÄĚ are made, they can be consumed just like pasta and combined with sauces, other vegetables, or meat.

3. Add veggies to sauces : Adding extra vegetables to your sauces and dressings is a sneaky way to increase your veggie intake, especially if you have picky kids. While you’re cooking sauces, such as marinara sauce, simply add some veggies and herbs of your choice to the mix, such as chopped onions, carrots, bell peppers, and leafy greens like spinach. Pureeing roasted root vegetables can make for rich sauces with an Alfredo-like feel. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips, purple yam, beets, and kohlrabi. Try making pesto with roasted beets for the most vibrant dish ever.

4. Make a cauliflower pizza crust : Cauliflower is extremely versatile. You can rice it, roast it, stick it in a stew, puree it for silky goodness, and make it into a pizza crust. Replacing a regular, flour-based pizza crust with a cauliflower crust is as easy as combining finely chopped and drained cauliflower with eggs, almond flour, and some seasonings. You can then add your own toppings, such as fresh veggies, tomato sauce, and cheese. A cup (100 grams) of cauliflower contains only about 5 grams of carbs and 26 calories, in addition to lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

5. Blend into smoothies : Smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Green smoothies in particular are very popular for hiding loads of leafy greens in fruity packages. Typically, they’re made by combining fruit with ice, milk, or water in a blender. However, you can also add veggies to smoothies without compromising the flavor. Fresh, leafy greens are common smoothie additions, such as in this recipe, which combines kale with blueberries, bananas, and cucumber. Just 1 loosely packed cup (25 grams) of spinach contains more than a full day’s recommended amount of vitamin K and half of the recommended amount of vitamin A. The same serving of kale also provides high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and lots of vitamin K. In addition, frozen zucchini, pumpkin, beets, avocado, and sweet potatoes work well blended into smoothies.

Prompt from 150+ Best Blog Post Ideas for February at Happily Dwell.com