Saving to avoid pmi. Does it make sense?

This is my first real estate question and thanks for anyone taking the time to answer. I’m newly married and would like to get into a house in the next 1-5 years. We don’t NEED the space yet with no kids but I do want to start building equity at some point since I would like to have a payed off house once I retire.

Here’s my question: what’s smarter? Putting off buying for another year or three to save a bigger down payment to get $0 pmi or buying sooner?

My reasoning is that anything I could save over the next year or two might be somewhat cancelled out by housing appreciation, as well as the money “lost” in rent. If I can save $35k a year but the house I want today costs an extra $20k next year it doesn’t necessarily seem like the smartest move. Thoughts?

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Finding Sacred Time During the Holidays

Finding Sacred Time During the HolidaysFinding Sacred Time During the Holidays

I remember the first time Advent came and went without much intentionality on my part. Felicity, our firstborn, was only six weeks old when Christmas Day arrived, and I lamented to my mother that it just didn’t feel like I even had an Advent that year. She smiled knowingly and simply said, “Honey, you’ve been living your Advent this year.”

Ever since, finding sacred time has become more and more of a rarity. Naturally, after we welcomed Sarah into our family, I was thrust again not only into the world of constant care for a newborn, but also a foreign place of diagnostic tests, specialists, and medical doctors. That year, it happened to be Holy Week when Sarah made her earthly debut, but it was no less a feeling of frenetic frenzy that captured my attention more than slowing down and entering into the holiest time of year.

Chronos & Kairos Time

About a year after we had Sarah, I once again broached this subject about never feeling as if I was making much time for prayer and reflection, only this time it was to my spiritual director. It seemed I was doing something wrong, going about the liturgical seasons without hitting the mark somehow. Her response was simple: “Jeannie, God has given you Kairos time in the midst of your life.”

Not really knowing what she meant, I learned that chronos time is “clock time.” In other words, it’s chronological — the time we’re all accustomed to living and which we are all equally given. But Kairos time literally means “the inbreaking of the eternal,” which simply means that God exists outside of time. And there are occasions or even seasons in our lives when He grants us the privilege of existing in His time rather than ours.

What does that mean for us in creating a sacred space, especially as we enter into the flurry of activities from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day? Here are a few suggestions to help you get started on moving from clock time to God’s time:

Be Open to God’s Movements

Despite the inevitable rush of events, God will still break through your busyness. The key is listening to Him, being attentive to His stirrings, and always watching and waiting for small signals He sends to you throughout your day.

This has become crucial to my spiritual growth these days. Often, I feel as if I can’t breathe, because everything is moving too quickly, and I can’t process it all emotionally and spiritually like I need to. But then God interrupts me with something simple: often it’s a song, a smile, a hug from one of my daughters, a compliment from a stranger, a squirrel frolicking outside my kitchen window, or the gentle rustling of autumn leaves in my yard.

Be open. That’s how you connect yourself with God and make your time sacrosanct.

Adjust Your Expectations

Holidays are often a time for celebrating family traditions, which is a beautiful gift we pass on from generation to generation. But when perfecting or maintaining every single one becomes paramount to whether or not you enjoy the time with family and friends, you’ll find yourself spiraling into overwhelm and frustration.

Sacred time and space can only be experienced and created, respectively, when we surrender our time to God. That means offering everything you do to Him. For me, it’s waking up each day with my to-do list, but offering it to Him in prayer before my feet hit the ground. I’m almost certain that something will have to be dropped or unexpectedly added, and my disappointment only adds to the stress.

Be a Good Steward of Your Time

People ask me all the time with incredulity, “How do you do it all?” I’m never sure how to answer the question. For a while, my response was simply, “I don’t waste my time,” but that started sounding condescending, I realized. An acquaintance was visiting me not long ago and corrected me by saying, “You are a good steward of your time.”

If you want to enter into Advent and Christmas with peace and clarity, even spiritual rejuvenation, then it’s important to be a good steward of the time you have — regardless of how little there seems to be of it. In other words, don’t squander what you don’t really have. If you find yourself stressing at the last minute to get things put together, try to plan ahead if possible.

One thing that works for me is to use snippets of about ten to fifteen minute increments of time. It’s incredible what I can accomplish. Often, this is in between an appointment and waiting for Sarah to get off the school bus, or a phone call and finishing up the laundry. I call these my “stolen moments and borrowed time,” because they are so precious and few that I choose to use that time to make an outline for an article I’m writing or meal plan for the week or catch up on paying bills.

Regardless, stewardship includes the way we manage our time. Are we using it wisely and to glorify God, or are we fiddling around with time-wasters like social media and internet browsing?

Again, be available to God. After all, everything in your life is His gift to you. Make your time a gift to Him.

image: Elena Dijour /

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A Luxury Home With A Jungle Gym Bedroom

Some designs stand out from the crowd with their loud colors and flashy finishings, but this contemporary abode takes a different approach. Designer and visualizer, Tolko Interiors, did an amazing job creating a unique apartment that is both elegant and stylish. This 140 sqm. home located in Moscow, Russia is encapsulated by neutrals and adorned with accents of moss green, gold, and marble. There is nothing quite like it! We were especially blown away by the playful turn of décor in the kid’s bedroom, with a full section dedicated to an indoor jungle gym. It isn’t every day that you see a neutrally colored kid’s room look so energetic and enticing!

Washed in a flood of natural light, this living room has a rich color palette filled with an array of neutral and unsaturated hues. This project was named the “Oregano Flat” due to the accents of deep and dark oregano green that you will see throughout this home. In this room, the deep green really contrasts against the unique coffee table with its gold and white glossy finish.

The same gold finish on the coffee table is carried throughout this open-concept layout to highlight both the cupboards and the walls. This apartment measures 140 sqm., so the use of an open-concept living room/eat-in kitchen really helps maximize the space.

A view of the living room and all its oregano green goodness. We see that this color has been used on both the ceiling-to-floor curtains, as well as the two accent chairs in the seating area. The combo of both sheer and heavy curtains is quite the dynamic duo in this room, with the sheer curtains making sure that natural light is fully utilized and the heavy green curtains adding a dramatic flair.

The gold, green, and brown color palette chosen for this space feels rich and earthy. We can clearly see that the designers took a page out of Mother Nature’s design book with the textured accent chairs reminiscent of moss and the wooden accents used throughout the home.

This living room perfectly demonstrates that patterns don’t always need to be big and bold to make an impact. The herringbone patterned wood floors and checkered rug add visual interest to this room and undoubtedly enhances the rest of its features. With the use of mainly neutrals, varying shades, patterns, and texture is vital to create a design that doesn’t feel monotonous.

In this corner, we find a small, white built-in bookcase wedged between the unique fireplace and large windows. Custom shelving is always a great way to ensure that you are maximizing the amount of space you have by creating a perfect fit. Floor-to-ceiling shelving is also a wonderful idea since it can help a room feel taller, which in turn makes it feel more spacious.

A small eat-in kitchen equipped with a marble dining table and seating for 6. This room is perfect for a double date or an intimate get together among friends. Just look how cozy it is!

The unique dining room pendant lights in this eat-in kitchen are hard to miss. Their round design and uneven spacing make them a fun, yet elegant lighting choice for this contemporary space.

The kitchen table is complete with a mix of decorative vases and containers. The use of both clear and opaque table decor was a divine choice that helps keep things interesting.

A peek in to the bedroom and we find the same color palette along with a gold designer table lamp and marble headboard. The lamp seen on the left is called an Atollo lamp and can come with quite the steep price tag. However, those who love the look but are on a tighter budget can find cheaper replicas on Ebay.

The low platform bed with its custom headboard and gold side table becomes the centerpiece of this bedroom. The plush rug and neutral coloring makes it extra cozy and perfect for lazy Sundays in bed or snuggling up with a good book.

Standing proudly beside the built-in end table is a simple and chic floor lamp. Floor lamps or wall sconces are a great option for those who need extra lighting in the bedroom, but don’t want to give up valuable end table space.

A floating marble shelf that seamlessly matches the custom headboard hovers below a mounted flatscreen TV. This bedroom has also decided to forgo a regular dresser and has instead traded it for a stylish floating cabinet.

In case this bed couldn’t get any cooler, it turns out that the backside is equipped with a full makeup vanity! A makeup vanity just steps away from a cozy bed? Yes, please!

A close-up gives us a better look at the velour vanity stool. You might of noticed that the same fabric has been used to upholster the bed frame.

A glass shower keeps things fresh and open in this luxury bathroom. This flat has a really uniform look thanks to elements like the black and white marble and herringbone flooring being carried from room to room.

A double sink with a unique configuration. Instead of sitting directly atop the vanity cupboard, like the majority of counters, this one floats a foot above it. This leaves plenty of room to display bathroom pretties like folded towels, bath products or candles.

To complete the luxury bathroom experience, this corner has been fitted with a large soaker tub. The side has been paneled with the same material as the cabinets to create a flow of dark brown that contrasts beautifully against the white counter and other light finishings.

This bedroom is brimming with Scandinavian charm! Everything from the kid’s study space to the ride-on airplane is pure perfection.

A swivel chair and Flos Snoopy lamp help create the perfect workspace for getting a bit of homework done. One of our personal favorite features of this room is the whole wall of built-ins. Having that much storage undoubtedly contributes to this bedroom’s clean and uncluttered aesthetic.

The AIM pendant light draped from the ceiling is a tangle of modern charm and youthful style. A wonderful lighting option for rooms that are looking to incorporate more playfulness in to their design.

This bedroom knows how to do kid’s decor in a big way. Let’s be honest, what child wouldn’t love their own personal climbing wall? Plus, there is also a swinging rope and rings hanging from the ceiling. It’s like having your own personal park!

For when the little one is all tucked out from play, a cozy single bed is situated in the corner. This space goes a bit more playful with its pattern and opts for arrow and chevron bedding.

No bedroom would be complete without a side table. This design uses a small side table to store a few books and a Lego toy. Its white and brown coloring and fun shape seamlessly blend in to the aesthetic of this awesome kid’s bedroom.

Recommended Reading: 
51 Luxury Living Rooms And Tips You Could Use From Them
51 Luscious Luxury Dining Rooms Plus Tips And Accessories For Decorating Yours

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2018 Flu Guide Thanks to Remedy

Sponsored By :: Remedy 2018 Flu Guide Thanks to Remedy It’s Flu Season We mamas know, it’s that time of year. The annual flu shot vaccination, have you gotten yours yet? Studies suggest, 145 million other people are going to be getting one. Whenever this time comes around, there are some FAQs that we always […]

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Smoking hot Eibinger wins EPT Prague €50k win; Mondrus wins the National

Two results from the PokerStars’ European Poker Tour in Prague where Matthias Eibinger wins his second €50k in a matter of a few months and Boris Mondrus takes down a busy looking National. 

Smoking hot Eibinger wins EPT Prague €50k win; Mondrus wins the NationalI have the shape of a spoon handle seared into my right hand. Nick Cave would call it a red right hand. And it was at the time. I was steaming broccoli. The spoon sat on the hot plate that separated the burners. I had no idea it was hot. I picked the thing up, and we became one.

My mother-in-law saved the day, waltzing into the backyard to sever a limb from an aloe vera plant. She put my finger inside, covered it with kitchen roll, tied it with a blue elastic band, and several hours later I had an impressive looking scar, minus any anguish.

Even that spoon, as hot as it was, did not have the heat that Matthias Eibininger generates right now, and the way it’s going, people are going to have to smother their bodies with aloe vera just to sit down and play with him.

The man currently occupying the #2 spot on the Austrian All-Time Live Tournament Money Earner list conquered a field of 40-entrants (30 unique, ten re-entries) in a €50,000 buy-in event that pulled in €1,920,600 during the opening salvos of PokerStars’ European Poker Tour (EPT) in Prague. It was a turnout that trumped the 34-entrants that came out to play in last year’s event where Timothy Adams locked up the €555,000 first prize.

As you would expect, the final table contained more jelly beans than butter beans.

Andras Nemeth sat down with the air of confidence expected from a man who has won $1.8m this year, easily his best haul, including winning the €25,000 in EPT Barcelona for €605,600 and finishing fifth in the $25,500 MILLIONS World at the Bahamas for $550,000.

The Hungarian star has also smashed it online winning the $25,000 High Roller in the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) for $576,087, and a POWERFEST title for $177,934.

If you thought those stats were rock n roll then how about Pavel Plesuv who came into this one on the back of his triumph in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open where he won $504,820 and has earned $2.8m this year.

Oh, and there was a rare appearance for Charlie Carrel, who these days spends his time giving back to the poker community by streaming low-stakes action while talking about manicures, mushrooms and melanomas, and for the second year running a Greenwood made the final table, this time Luc, last time, Sam.

When all was said and done the final fight was between Eibinger and Nemeth with the Hungarian enjoying a 2:1 chip advantage after sending Liang Xu to the rail.

An early bluff gone wrong saw Nemeth extend his lead to 8.6m v 1.4m, and it looked for all the world that Nemeth would close this one down until Eibinger began doubling up.



“Three times an Austrian,” as Lionel used to sing.

Nemeth knuckled down and extended his lead once more. Eibinger pulled him back by the hair after another double up, and never let go. The final hand saw Eibinger get lucky when his A9 beat the AT of Nemeth, but you need a little luck in this game, something I am sure Nemeth won’t begrudge.


The victory was Eibinger’s third of the year, and he has now won $4,898,716 playing live tournaments.

Check this out for a leap in standards.

2016 – $1,129
2017 – $126,962
2018 – $4,770,625

Let’s call it a high stakes live tournament breakout year.

Eibinger won the $52,000 title at the ARIA Fall Madness for $575,000 in November and a $25,000 at the ARIA in the summer. He also smashed EPT Barcelona cashing in five high roller tournaments for a combined total of $1.5m.

Final Table Results

1. Matthias Eibinger – €653,000
2. Andras Nemeth – €451,350
3. Liang Xu – €288,090
4. Pavel Plesuv – €220,870
5. Luc Greenwood – €172,850
6. Charlie Carrel – €134,440

Boris Mondrus Wins the €1,100 EPT National Prague

When it comes to poker, Israel is on fire.

The nation of 8.7m people earned three gold bracelets during the recent World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE), and now they have an EPT title to add to the list.

Boris Mondrus battered a field of 2,486 entrants to win the €382,750 first prize in the €1,100 EPT National, not bad for a man who only plays a few tournaments every year preferring Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) cash games.

It’s was a hell of a field, beating the 2,117-entrant monster that turned up last year, when Georgios Vrakas collected €338,000, and it stands up pretty well against the two other 2018 EPT National attendances.

Barcelona – 4,348

Monte Carlo – 1,501

Three final table incumbents are worthy of mention. 

Ondrej Lon beat 3,420-entrants to win the €84,686 first prize in the €240 partypoker Grand Prix in Rozvadov earlier this year. Danilo Velasevic finished 21/534 in the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event and made the final table of the Master Classics of Poker in Amsterdam finishing seventh. And Walter Treccarichi is a former Italian Poker Tour (IPT) Main Event and EPT €2k Side Event winner.

Mondrus didn’t care much for reputations, eliminating all but one member of the final table, including the dangerous Lon in heads-up action.

Attached to the win like a long dangly earring is a $30,000 Platinum Pass for the PokerStars’ Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas, something that Mondrus wasn’t even aware of until he sat down to play the final.

Mondrus began with a monster heads-up chip lead (62.8m v 11.75m) after his pocket sixes beat the treys of Ali Al Saidy. Lon doubled A7o v 33, flopping a seven to close the gap – 55.4m v 19.4m, but Mondrus won the all-important flip when AQ beat 88 after an ace fell on the flop and a queen did likewise on the river.

Final Table Results

1. Boris Mondrus – €382,750
2. Ondrej Lon – €204,200
3. Ali Al Saidy – €138,400
4. Danilo Velasevic – €106,600
5. Walter Treccarichi – €89,000
6. Ut Tam Vo – €71,800
7. Mohamed El-Rais – €54,800
8. Vasileios Tsaknis – €39,700

Three other stars of the game ruthless enough to machinegun a flea to death were the former Caribbean Poker Party (CPP) High Roller winner Preben Stokkan (14th), the high rolling Jean-Noel Thorel (18th) and the $10m+ online hero Bryan Paris (22nd).

The post Smoking hot Eibinger wins EPT Prague €50k win; Mondrus wins the National appeared first on

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A Crucial Conversation to Have Before Kids Open Their Presents

The holidays are upon us and it can be a stressful time. Calm mamas become stressed mamas. Even so, there is one crucial conversation we must have with our kids before the big day.

Ralphie: I want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle.

Mother: No, you’ll shoot your eye out.

All around the world on Christmas day kids open their presents with gusto… and sometimes their responses are shocking and humiliating for their parents.

They don’t like the color. 

They throw it aside without a word of thanks.

They say they’d rather have what brother got. 

All this, right in front of everyone and you. Sometimes, let’s face it… Christmas ain’t so magical. The other morning I had a disturbing thought… what if all my children open their gifts, don’t say thank you?

What if they all act ungrateful? Entitled? Unappreciative?

As I was pondering calling the whole holiday off I realized… I haven’t ever told them exactly how I expect them to respond when opening presents.

They’re still young and it’s not like Christmas happens every other Thursday. They are used to getting normal things they like so what if their Christmas presents don’t inspire a natural response of thankfulness?

Kids Must Be Taught How to Respond

When children are little they primarily respond to situations with the limbic part of their brain – the part that controls emotional processing. Their responses bypass the cerebral cortex (the reasoning part of the brain) and jump straight into emotional response. This is why kids feel something and then go with it.




This is the reason a lot of early childhood is spent teaching our children how to manage their emotions… so we can give their reasoning a fighting chance. We need to teach our kids the polite way (and the impolite way) to respond to gifts so they are able to draw on that when emotions are high.

Who can blame a child for being sad when got a sweater but wanted a truck?

No one expects a child to be perfect, but we can expect them to respond in a polite manner. In fact, we should expect them to do this. Children have a way of rising to expectations.

You can tell your little one, “It’s okay to have negative feelings about your present, but those feelings can be felt and expressed privately with mom or dad, not in front of the giver.“
The Crucial Conversation = How You Expect Them to Respond When Opening Gifts

Gratitude is a nebulous concept to small child.

They know to say thank you and have manners, but learning to appreciate and be content… these are life lessons.

Lessons they learn bit by bit as they age. We teach our children to say thank you for gifts before they understand the meaning of appreciation. We teach them to use their manners before they understand the concept of being polite.

Children must understand what you need them to do before they understand why you need them to do it. 

Our kids don’t need to pretend they’re over the moon for something if they aren’t, we aren’t teaching our children to lie, but simply giving them acceptable ways to respond to generosity from others.

A thank you.
A smile and eye contact.
Respectfully handling the present.
Not throwing one present aside in hopes the next one is better.
A hug or high five to the giver.

By showing our children appropriate responses to gift giving, we give them a toolbox. If they open a present they aren’t wild about, they will remember what we’ve taught them.

This enables them to respond politely in the moment, even if their emotions are firing disappointment or dislike. By teaching our children positive responses we are giving them the gift of grace.

And, if you’re a particularly “mean mother” like me… you might also tell your children that you’ll keep every present they publicly complain about. 

🎁🎁This also gets the message across. 🎁🎁


The post A Crucial Conversation to Have Before Kids Open Their Presents appeared first on A Mother Far from Home.

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Holiday Light Displays In And Around Austin

Holiday Light Displays In And Around Austin One of my favorite holiday traditions is piling the kids in the car and heading out to look at Christmas lights.  We’ve had some fruitless nights with aimless wandering, and we’ve had some amazing successes.  However, it is SO much easier to map out your route in advance […]

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The ACA ruling shows exactly why Mitch McConnell loves Trump—and how to fight back

Why does Mitch McConnell never, ever speak up no matter what madness comes from Donald Trump? This is why: With Trump in the White House and Republicans holding the Senate the combination is a judge-minting machine. McConnell can’t help but smile while his years of stonewalling President Obama are rewarded with the chance to fill the Justice system with men willing to give a reliably conservative ruling no matter how much logic-twisting it requires.

On Friday evening, Texas district court judge Reed O’Connor issued a ruling that because of issues around the personal mandate the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. That’s not just individual insurance, it’s payments to small business, it’s Medicaid expansion, it’s keeping college-age kids on their parent’s insurance, and of course, no matter what every GOP Senator said a month ago, it’s pre-existing conditions. Under this ruling, the price of prescription drugs would skyrocket. The limits on lifetime cost of insurance would be erased. The ban on charging more for women and people over 50 would go away. It’s a bizarre, over-the-top ruling that has millions of Americans suddenly worried about what it means for themselves and their families. It’s a gut-punch on an issue the voters thought was settled.

There’s absolutely no doubt that Judge Reed O’Connor held off on this ruling until after the election so that people like Missouri Senator-elect Josh Hawley—who shopped this case to this particular judge for just this kind of insanity—could go into November with their hands over their hearts, swearing that they would never, ever, let something happen to people’s healthcare. While laughing as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. And there’s absolutely no doubt that as long as Republicans control the Senate, almost nothing can be done in Congress to address these attacks, much less put in place the expanded Medicare-for-all plan that the nation desperately needs.

That’s why the best way to fight back against the attacks on Obamacare, is the same as the best way to fight against everything else on the Republican agenda — by taking back the Senate. While Republicans had a very favorable playing field when it came to Senate races in 2018, that’s not true in the next round. And with people across the nation getting another taste of just what it means to have Republicans in power, this is a great time to send a signal that their time in the Senate is going to be very, very limited. 

Make them pay for this: Donate $1 right now to funds targeting vulnerable Senate Republicans running in 2020 who have undermined health care and played politics with American lives.

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Dezeen’s top 10 home interiors of 2018

A moody seaside getaway near Copenhagen and a terrazzo-covered apartment in Milan are among our pick of the best home interiors of 2018, selected by interiors reporter Natasha Levy for our review of 2018.

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Seaside AbodeDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Seaside Abode

Seaside Abode, Denmark, by Norm Architects

Norm Architects applied dark, earthy tones throughout this family home near Copenhagen to keep the inhabitants’ focus on the nearby rugged coastline.

While walls are a sandy beige tone, cabinetry in the kitchen is stained to emulate the colour of soil. A gabled timber wall in the living room is intentionally weathered to reflect the “wild” outdoors.

Find out more about Seaside Abode ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Sant Gervasi apartmentDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Sant Gervasi apartment

Sant Gervasi apartment, Spain, by Isabel Lopez Vilalta

Antique wardrobe doors form panelled walls inside this Barcelona apartment, which Isabel López Vilalta overhauled to suit a couple and their three young kids.

While the studio highlighted some of the home’s original features, like its Catalan vaulted ceilings, they also inserted new details like a new mezzanine play area and a wooden slide.

Find out more about the Sant Gervasi apartment ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: House in a FlatDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: House in a Flat

House in a Flat, Singapore, by Nitton Architects

Nitton Architects tried to create a “mini house” inside this Singapore flat by demolishing a majority of its non-structural walls, and replacing them with sliding plywood partitions and a handful of adaptable furniture pieces.

Intended to counteract the “crowdedness of urban living”, the space also features calming white walls and an abundance of potted plants in its indoor garden.

Find out more about House in a Flat ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Apartment VilniusDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Apartment Vilnius

Apartment Vilnius, Lithuania, by Kristina Lastauskaitė-Pundė

Grand arched openings and exposed fragments of fresco hint at the history of this 19th-century apartment in Vilnius, which interior designer Kristina Lastauskaitė-Pundė updated with brass-lined doorways and kitchen cabinetry.

The rest of the home is kept neutral with pale grey surfaces and slate-coloured soft furnishings.

Find out more about Apartment Vilnius ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Workstead HouseDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Workstead House

Workstead House, US, by Workstead

Workstead channeled “southern modernism” for the revamp of this historic home in Charleston, which was once used to store blockaded goods.

After refreshing the original door frames and wall mouldings with a coat of paint, the studio dressed the interiors with a selection of heritage furniture and classic portrait paintings.

Find out more about Workstead House ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Highbury GroveDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Highbury Grove

Highbury Grove, Australia, by Ritz & Ghougassian

Simple concrete blocks form the walls of this extension, which Ritz & Ghougassian added to a home in Melbourne.

The harsh masonry surfaces are contrasted by tactile eucalyptus-fronted joinery, soft velvet sofas, and leafy Australian ferns in the home’s outdoor courtyard.

Find out more about Highbury Grove ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018:Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018:

Casa Salvatori, Italy, by Elisa Ossino

Designer Elisa Ossino aptly introduced marble artworks, ornaments and furnishings to this 200-year-old Milanese apartment, which belongs to the CEO of Italian stone brand Salvatori.

Colours seen in the existing ripple-pattern terrazzo floors – ranging from blush pink to yellow-gold – feature on the home’s walls and corridors.

Find out more about Casa Salvatori ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Chelsea Pied-à-TerreDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Chelsea Pied-à-Terre

Chelsea Pied-à-Terre, US, by Stadt Architecture

Gold paint appears to trickle down an emerald feature wall in the bedroom of this New York apartment, which Stadt Architecture designed in reference to the lush landscape of Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

Colours in the mural are hinted at again in the largely white-painted living area, which features a green-tinted glass coffee table and mottled gold rug.

Find out more about Chelsea Pied-à-Terre ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Din-a-ka apartmentDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Din-a-ka apartment

Din-a-ka apartment, Taiwan, by Wei Yi International Design Associates

Just a handful of furnishings are scattered throughout this Taipei apartment, which Wei Yi International Design Associates kept fuss-free to suit the relaxed lifestyles of its retired owners.

As well as a reading corner, the home also has a Japanese-style tatami room where the clients can drink tea or meditate.

Find out more about Din-a-ka apartment ›

Dezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Ghent houseDezeen's top 10 home interiors of 2018: Ghent house

Ghent house, Belgium, by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

Atelier Vens Vanbelle stuck to a palette of raw, untreated materials for the interiors of this family home in Ghent to create a lived-in feel.

The focal point of the property, which was formally a school, is the terracotta-hued bathroom, which has exposed plaster walls.

Find out more about Ghent house ›

The post Dezeen’s top 10 home interiors of 2018 appeared first on Dezeen.

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Guest Post – Christmas Writing

Guest Post - Christmas Writing

We are definitely in a Christmas zone at the moment. Everything seems to be sprinkled with a bit of Christmas so I thought it would be good to encourage the kids to extend their Christmas mood into a bit of festive writing.

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Tony Hawk finally lands on mobile with ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’


It’s been more than three years since skateboard legend Tony Hawk has lent his name to a new game.

That changes now. Hawk is finally back, with Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam, a new mobile game launching on iOS and Android

Though it’s not part of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise (his deal with Activision ended in 2015), Hawk says it was important for him to win over old fans looking for a hint of nostalgia with Skate Jam.

“I want this to appeal to fans of our original series, and to new kids that play games on their phones,” Hawk says.

SEE ALSO: 5 Crazy Fun Games for Non-Gamers

For longtime fans, though, the bigger question might be whether it’s even still possible to recreate the magic that made the skateboarder a household name in the first place. Activision’s final game in the Pro Skater series was an epic disaster and the company killed the last attempt at a mobile title, Shred Session, before it was fully realized.  Read more…

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Tony Hawk, Entertainment, and Gaming

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Snoop Dogg Releases ‘From Crook To Cook’ Recipe Book For Christmas


One, two, three and to the fo’, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre is at the do’. Ready to make an entrance, so back on up . Cause you know about to rip shit up. Gimme the microphone first, so I can bust like a bubble. Compton and Long Beach together, now you know you in trouble. Ain’t nothin’ but a “G” thang, baby! Two loc’ed out ****** so we’re crazy! Death Row is the label that pays me! Unfadeable, so please don’t try to fade this (Hell yeah). But uh, back to the lecture at hand. Perfection is perfected, so I’ma let ’em understand.

Not my words, of course, but those of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in the G-funk classic Nuthin’ But A G’ Thang.

What does it have to do with I’m about to say? Well, nothing. But it’s a great song. Who’s gonna take a stand against a bit of great-song-appreciation? Not yourselves with any luck.

Anyway, Snoop Dogg is bringing out a cook book. That’s right! From Crook To Cook, his words not mine, is the essential cook book for fans of the veteran rapper.

As per the Amazon description:

Snoop’s cookbook features OG staples like Baked Mac & Cheese and Fried Bologna Sandwiches with Chips, and new takes on classic weeknight faves like Soft Flour Tacos and Easy Orange Chicken. And it don’t stop…Snoop’s giving a taste of the high life with remixes on upper echelon fare such as Lobster Thermidor and Filet Mignon. But we gotta keep it G with those favourite munchies too, ya know? From chewy Starbursts to those glorious Frito BBQ Twists, you should have an arsenal of snacks that’ll satisfy. And of course, no party is complete without that Gin and Juice and other platinum ways to entertain.

Last we saw of Dogg, he was smoking a blunt outside the White House.

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platinum recipes from the boss doggs kitchen 👊🏿 the first ever snoop cook book comin soon to @ChronicleBooks 🔥🔥 preorder From Crook to Cook! link in bio

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:05pm PDT

He asked his Instagram followers at the time:

What up party people. I just got the urge to get up and go to the White House.

And not only go to the White House but do some gangster sh*t.

What would a dog do? Pee on a tree? Sh*t on the lawn?

Perhaps smoke a blunt?

Snoop gave them three minutes to get 20,000 likes on his post. If they met his requirements, he’d go and smoke weed outside the home of the POTUS.

Sure enough, the internet came through, and Snoop journeyed down to the White House with his crew.

He ignored parking laws under the justification he’s Snoop Dogg and asked the driver to let him out on the road so he could take a picture in front of the infamous building.

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I had 2 do it pt1

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:39pm PST

Snoop continued to document his saga in a series of videos as he sat on a bench opposite the White House, greeting fans and complimenting strangers before lighting up a joint.

Luckily for Snoop, recreational marijuana is legal in Washington D.C. for anyone over the age of 21, so he was perfectly within his rights to protest using weed.

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I had 2 do it pt 2

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:45pm PST

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I had 2 do it pt 3

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:52pm PST

To really hammer in the point of his trip, Snoop said:

While you n****s is voting and doing all this other bullsh*t, I’m at the White House, smoking. F*ck the president.

Hopefully Snoop also voted – getting high won’t help the state of the government.

Assuring his followers Trump hadn’t sent any Secret Service agents after him for his unusual protest, the Young, Wild and Free singer posted another video upon his return saying ‘everything was smooth’.

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Back from the White House 🏡

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Nov 7, 2018 at 4:28pm PST

It must have made a brilliant sight for any tourists in the area.

Seeing Snoop Dogg hanging out, smoking weed in a park, would have their trip to peer at the White House through the fence a lot more interesting.


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