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December 2017

Image result for The Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea: The Kingdom of Jordan's Surprising Luxury Property
If Jordan has not yet made it to the top of your bucket list, it’s time to move it up. From exploring the country’s rich culture and ancient history to embarking on desert adventures and indulging on the exotic gastronomy of the region, Jordan has so much to offer travelers looking for an authentic experience. At first glance, the country’s desert landscape may not scream “luxury”, but in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba, the five-star Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea defines the word.

Tourists flock to Aqaba for its beautiful white sand beaches and exhilarating water sports. But the Red Sea is most popular for its snorkeling and scuba diving sites with an abundant reef system. And yet the luxurious Kempinski Hotel is a destination unto itself with water sports, fine dining, a world-class spa and a seaside location that invites those in search of a relaxing experience.

The Kempinski Hotel welcomes guests in grand style with a stunning lobby with Art Deco sculptures and paintings. Rooms are bright and spacious with balconies that offer stunning views of the tranquil Red Sea. The hotel’s outdoor deck features a system of multi-layered swimming pools including a whirlpool and a swim-up pool bar. Beach chairs and umbrellas line the white sand waterfront. The resort is renowned for its luxury spa treatments, including the signature Arabian Waters treatment which treats guests to traditional Thalassotherapy using local ingredients like botanical aromatherapy oils and Dead Sea mineral salts for exfoliation.

The resort’s seaside restaurant, The Walk, features nightly themed menus from a Souq-style buffet to Italian, Mexican and traditional Jordanian cuisine. The evening winds down with live music and belly dancing. After dinner, enjoy a drink at Aqua Lounge or The Black Pearl Sports Bar, both offering exceptional cocktail service with views of the sea.

If you’re interested in navigating the Red Sea, including catchimg views of the coastlines of Turkey and Israel, board the 25-passenger Yasmena yacht for a day of diving, snorkeling and fresh seafood prepared right on the deck. Seeing what lies beneath the Red Sea is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Jordan has so much more to offer from its historical sites of Petra and Jerash, to the thrilling adventures of the Wadi Rum desert to authentic Bedouin experiences. The country is safe and stable, and deserves to be at the top of your bucket list.

Image result for The 5 Most Beautiful Alfa Romeos Ever Made
It’s safe to say that every vehicle ever built by Alfa Romeo can be called beautiful. Picking favorites from among the marque’s 105 years of iconic vehicles is a difficult task, but this is a good primer on some of the truly exceptional vehicles from the Milanese maestros.

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia

One of the most gorgeous and beautiful racing Alfa Romeos of all time belongs to world-renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Designed to compete in the 1938 Mille Miglia, it was one of the starring attractions at the incredible exhibition of Ralph Lauren’s cars at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

1964 Alfa Romeo TZ Coupé

Of the 112 Zagato-bodied TZs ever built – one of the most exquisitely designed cars ever created – the one pictured here boasts a racing pedigree that includes Le Mans, the Tour de France and the Targa Florio. It was auctioned off for $800,000 a few years back and now belongs to a very lucky collector.

1968 Tipo 33 Stradale

Considered one of the most beautiful cars ever made, the Tipo 33 Stradale is a car collector’s dream. Alfa Romeo produced just 18 of the 33 Stradale, the street-legal version of the racing type 33, making each a highly valuable icon. Featuring the very latest in light-weight technology, including aluminum and magnesium, the chassis weighed just 119 lbs (54 kg). Stunning vertically-opening doors add another distinctive element to this timeless design. The value of each 33 Stradale is almost impossible to determine, as the vehicle is hardly ever traded, but is estimated at close to $15 million.

1975 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12

1975 was a year of almost total domination for Alfa Romeo on the world’s racetracks, with seven wins in eight races landing it the World Championship for Makes title over the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati. One of its most successful cars that year was this stunning Tipo 33 TT 12 with Campari livery.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe and 4C Spider
The newest Alfa Romeo sport car to join the family evoke the marque’s impressive heritage and ushers in a new era of seductive style for the legendary Italian brand. It has won praise from critics and car experts around the world for its combination of stunning Italian design and race-inspired performance. The Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe and 4C Spider continues an Alfa Romeo tradition of performance-oriented lines and proportions. Inspired by the 1967 Tipo 33 Stradale, the 4C models are just as shapely, and offer the classic Alfa Romeo V-shaped “plunging neckline” front grille. While fresh to the market, the 4C is already one of the most desirable vehicles on the road, and is anticipated to be highly in demand as a collectible in the coming years. (We suggest getting your hands on one now while you still can.)

Image result for The Wellness Retreat to Start Your New Year's Resolutions Off Right
With 2018 right around the corner, New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. For those looking to jumpstart or even maintain their resolutions while on vacation, an escape to the Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thailand is ideal for health-conscious travelers. 

The Aleenta Hua Hin offers the ultimate experience for those looking to improve their overall state of being, so that guests can return back to their everyday lives feeling completely rejuvenated with a fresh start in the New Year. With its location in a unique and lesser-known part of Thailand, the Aleenta Hua Hin is an exotic yet tranquil option for an authentic Thai wellness experience. Following the motto “Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well, Look Good’’, here are some of the Aleenta Hua Hin’s unique offerings:


A culinary journey of Asian flavors awaits guests at the Aleenta Hua Hin's restaurants and bars. Organic herbs, locally-sourced vegetables and a variety of aromatics all play an important role in the tempting tastes and relaxing health experiences on offer at the resort. On the property itself, there are approximately 50 herb varieties grown on the resort’s organic farm, many of which are famous for producing iconic Thai flavors. Every Sunday, guests can visit the Aleenta farmer’s market in the lobby to take home some local Thai ingredients.

Active Experiences

In breathtaking natural surroundings, clean air and the sound of nature’s symphony surrounding guests, a beachside getaway to the Aleenta Hua Hin will rejuvenate travelers’ spirit and lust for life. Guests can enjoy Tai Chi, kite surfing, or a sunset hike to the top of Buddha blessing hill with breathtaking views over Pranburi Forest.

Ayurah Spa

The luxurious, nature-inspired Ayurah Spa at the Aleenta Hua Hin provides guests with deeply healing and soothing experiences, and has recently introduced a new treatment straight from the fertile grounds of the organic farm. The spa’s farm-to-facial approach to wellness uses fresh, hand-grown ingredients such as ginger oil, lemongrass and ylang-ylang in their unique, bespoke treatments. Additionally, guests can enjoy the spa’s menu of delicious and healthy lunch options during their visit.

Image result for Go Wireless with the Latest, Greatest, Next-Gen Earphones & Headphones
Excited about getting the hot new iPhone X, 8 or 8 Plus?  Well, hear this loud and clear: the new models no longer come with headphone jacks, so you’re going to need at least one of these game-changing wireless marvels. The latest appcessories work seamlessly with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, and adapt to you for an easier, smarter, more stylish and more intuitive experience, and their sleek designs can’t be beat.

V-MODA: Crossfade 2 Wireless

This stylish knockout is V-MODA’s most versatile model yet. Boasting nearly-identical sound quality in both analog and wireless playback, Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear headphones ($330-350) offer the best of both worlds with wired and wireless modes for hybrid listening. Multitasking users can pair the headphones with two sources at a time, such as a smartphone and laptop for work or a smartphone and smartwatch for working out. State of the art audio codec enables CD-like quality sound over Bluetooth which allows for the best lossless wireless listening experience. It’s a great, comfortable choice for travel; the CliqFold Hinge folds the headphones into a small case, and Passive Noise Isolation naturally cuts out the distractions of jet engines and unwanted noise without the hiss and pressure of Active Noise Canceling. A bigger battery provides over 14 hours of music, and unlimited hours in wired analog. A hidden mic and 1-Button SpeakEasy cable allows calls on-the-go, at the office or for gaming. And for DJs, there’s nothing cooler thanks to a new ventilation system for air circulation on stage, and custom shield kits that let you change your shield material and color, or customize with a 3D-print or laser-engraved logo. Available in Black Matte, White Matte and Rose Gold (with aptX) at

This legacy audio brand has introduced a new generation of Lightning-powered earphones that work with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. The Pioneer Rayz Plus ($150) are the first to market headphones with second generation Lightning Audio Technology—that means no battery to replace and no cable for charging. They automatically recognize "Hey Siri" commands from users, even if their phone is in their pocket. Rayz scans your ear to optimize noise-cancelling performance uniquely to your ear and environment, and the HearThru mode lets you hear your surroundings without removing your earphones. Multitasking is a breeze with a talk-and-charge function that lets you do both at once while plugged into the Lightning port. Rayz are the only Lightning earphones to support a one-button click to mute the mics during a call, and the moment you stop speaking, Rayz microphones automatically go on mute, and automatically unmute when you begin speaking through audible tones.

When you remove the earphones, AutoPause automatically pauses the video or music being played. Put them back on and the content resumes. And Rayz Plus speaks more languages than you do with native language support available for English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. And best of all it the iOS companion app, an integral part of the Rayz experience enabling you to personalize the earphone’s settings, such as adjusting audio EQ and programming the smart button. Most importantly, the app creates the ability for Rayz earphones to continually improve with the delivery of new features via the software update interface.

V-MODA: Forza Metallo Wireless In-Ear Headphones

For audiophiles, V-MODA’s ultra-sleek Forza Metallo Wireless In-Ear Headphones offer ultimate ergonomics, a minimal design that can hide under a shirt collar, maximum battery life and an enhanced antenna. A new, special nanocoating technology makes the headphones sweat and weather resistant, with military-level durability to withstand every challenge. The 5.8mm micro driver delivers unique, balanced sound and natural stress-free acoustics with a vivid 3D Soundstage, and the Qualcomm wireless Bluetooth chipset has CD-quality wireless audio playback. The battery provides up to 10 hours of music playback and is ultra-fast charging. Two-device connectivity allows you to pair your Bluetooth device and use your headphones up to 33 feet and multitask with two devices at one time. Noise-cancelling dual microphones make calls and voice recognition crystal-clear. For comfort, four different sizes of bass-level isolating soft silicone fittings ensure outstanding noise-isolation, tightest bass and best fit. Detachable sport fins come in three sizes for the best fit while working out. And for high style, customization is available with your choice of accessory 3D designs (diamond, rose, mic, steampunk and more) that come in acrylic or precious metals including bronze, gold, rose gold and platinum, raising the prestige level as well as the price. It’ll cost you $7,500 to roar along with Katy Perry wearing twin lion head Forza Metallo headphones in platinum. Models in Gunmetal Black and White Silver are available for $170 at

Image result for Exploring The Oenophile Utopia of Bordeaux with Viking River Cruises
When we think of gourmet food and fine wine, most will instantly think of France. And when we think of where to find the finest wine in France, we of course think Bordeaux. It was Napoleon III who first organized the region’s wine chateaus in 1855 and designated their land as unique in their ability to produce the world’s most exquisite wines. Viking River Cruises takes guest on an eight day epicurean adventure of fine wine and exquisite dining while visiting the ports and lands of this culinary capital of the world.

The Bordeaux region is filled with picturesque port towns and charming villages dispersed between rich farmlands, forests and vast vineyards. These lands are connected by the winding Garonne River in a place called the Aquitaine which was once Europe’s riches kingdom. The passengers aboard the Viking cruise ship Forseti on the Chateaux, Rivers & Wine cruise explored a number of these medieval fortressed villages with walking tours narrated by highly knowledgeable guides who were from the area.

The Viking Forseti is an ideal ship to explore the waterways of the Aquitaine peninsula. Viking has built 40 of these grand vessels that can accommodate up to 190 guests for river cruises such as this. Viking Cruise line’s formula is quite successful by offering mid-priced cruises with premium accommodations, meals and experiences in the most fascinating locations around the world.

One of the region’s exquisite hillside villages is St Emillion. A 12th-century church with ceilings filled with precious frescoes overlooks the ancient town of red terracotta roofs, golden limestone buildings, and winding coble stone streets. Cadillac is another charming fortressed town with an imposing 17th-century castle and sky-high Saint Blaise collegiate church. Blayne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a fascinating town visited by the Foreseti; its key attribute is the imposing citadel which was a strategic fort during the reign of King Louis XIV. Other interesting towns visited were the French wine-making capital Libourne and Bourg, another fortressed medieval town.

The old world towns and villages were a delight to explore, but the wine-lovers on the ship, with wine glass in hand, were ready for an exploration of another nature. The cruise offers a number of experiences to get close to the where some of the finest wines emanate, interact with the wine makers, and of course, partake in the vin. The ships was filled with wine enthusiasts, budding oenophiles and those who’d be more likely to have a Budweiser than a Château Lafite Rothschild, Grand Cru, Premiere Class.

The passengers’ wine knowledge was enhanced by a wine tasting course on the ship, where guests learned about the science of wine and understanding tannin, acidity, fruitiness, alcohol levels as well as looking at color clarity and other factors that distinguish good wine. The vinicultural term terroir was examined, which is the concept that the qualities and location of the land, as well as the types of fruit and the way it is farmed, give it characteristics that cannot be created anywhere else, thus making it special and unique.

The winery tours take guests through the nearby wineries such as Château Paloumey in Ludon-Medoc and Château Léoville-Poyferre in the Saint-Julien appellation. In each, guests explored the process of how the wine is made, visited the barrel rooms and then enjoyed a wine tasting and discussion of these exquisite wines.

The ships guests had a chance to walk the vineyards of Chateau Marquis de Terme in Margaux to understand the distinct characteristics of Margaux’s Merlots and Cabernet Francs, followed by an interactive wine tasting experience.

In Sauternes, the visit was to Château de Myrat, and included a tour by the granddaughter of the wineries founder as it has been in the family for generations. Guests learned about the Noble Rot or Botrytis, which is a beneficial form of a grey fungus that causes the grapes skin to wither, and as a result, the juice to be more concentrated with sugar, thus giving the wine a higher alcohol content. This is found in Semillon, Sauvignon blanc and Muscatel grapes.

The wine tasting experiences culminated in a dinner in the stunning Chateau Kirwan. The chateaux produces some of the top wines from the Margaux appellation, and was classified as a prestigious Third Growth in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The gourmet dinner was held in the grand hall of the chateau with its period décor from the 18th century.  Throughout the meal, the host from Chateau Kirwan shared the description of each wine furthering our education followed by the chef who presented each dish. This wonderful affair allowed the Viking Forseti guests to appreciate the significance of fine food and wine on another level.

Beyond the wonderful trips and experiences at the wineries and walking the historic villages there were other adventures to unfold.

As we all know, anyone with a single taste bud loves truffles. This rare and somewhat mysterious delectable fungus are difficult to find and cultivate, but France has been at the forefront of the truffle industry since the 1800s. The tradition continues with a lovely truffle farmer in the Perigod region of Bordeaux. The host worked his two spunky border collies to hunt for the rare, elusive black Perigod truffle. Then with his trusty digging tool and wicker basket, he collected these ugly, but tasty culinary treasures. He even let the guests from the cruise get in on the digging. Black truffles grow near oak and hazelnut trees and typically the soil and climate that is good for wine is also good for truffles. After the hunt and discussion, the group was invited into his 18th-century, medieval home for a home-cooked meal of truffles with eggs, truffles with pasta, and the coup de gras, truffles with vanilla ice cream and caramel. Ooh La La!

One of the most exciting experiences was a day on the Arachon Bay which is in the Bordeaux region along the coast. The guests on the sightseeing boat alternated between sitting on deck while snapping photos or just feeling the sun on their faces and fresh sea air in their lungs.

Along the coastline there are beautiful seaside towns peppered with tony villas and summer homes of France's well-to-do. This place is the anti-St Tropez and more like Cape Cod than Miami Beach, and is where France’s high society go for down time in the summer.

Jutting from the seafloor are the weathered sticks of wood that appeared as a petrified forest. These are oyster farms, and Arachon Bay is known to produce the finest oysters in all of France. The tour visited the humble home of Frederick, whose family has been farming oysters for over 100 years. Each Sunday he takes is harvest to Paulliac and sells it to the top restaurants from the area and Paris.

Viking’s guests then sampled his just-caught, just-shucked oysters. There’s no hot sauce or fancy accoutrements necessary for these fresh-from-the-sea delicacies; just the raw oysters and a squeeze of lemon juice are pure heaven. With a glass of chilled white wine, guests toasted to the joie de vivre and how good life is at that very moment on the deck of Frederick’s rustic oyster farm in the bay of Arachon.

The next stop was Cap Ferret and L ‘Escale, a famed seaside bistro popular with locals, yachties and tourists. This is a destination unto itself known for serving fresh-from-the-sea delicacies such as steaming blue mussels, calamari with spices and olives, and light and flaky, absolutely delicious, grilled white cod. And of course, an obligatory bottomless glass of chilled rosé. This is the quintessential way to enjoy Bordeaux’s Arachon Bay.

After those long days of exploration and heavenly food and wine experiences, it was great to come back to the creature comforts of the Viking Cruise ship Foreseti. At first glance you realize how absolutely long the ship is. In the front of the ship you'll find the common areas of the Observation Lounge and bar, and the Aquavit Terrace with outdoor alfresco dining area. There is a sun deck that runs the length of the ship which is perfect for walking a few laps, taking in some sun, watching the scenery go by or just snoozing in the fresh air after reading a chapter or two of your paperback.

The accommodations have all the amenities one would expect in a fine hotel. There are several categories of cabins, from standard staterooms to spacious and extremely well-appointed Explorer Suites with separate living room and bedroom with a wraparound balcony. The Veranda Staterooms are exceptional as well with comfortable bedding and a well-appointed bathroom with shower. The rooms also have a lovely balcony with chairs perfect for sitting outside and taking in all the beautiful sites along the river.

The ship’s dining was a wonderful culinary experience as well. Guests dined nightly on a five-course meal from the a la carte menu consisting of authentic Bordeaux dishes created by inspired chefs from locally-sourced ingredients. Other options included American traditional menu options. For a casual dining experience, the Aquavit Terrace served more modest fare in a relaxed al fresco environment.

And guests never had to worry about getting bored. There were informative port talks as well as some fun night time entertainment. The engaging ship director also entertained guests with trivia and dancing nights. There were also folkloric shows and musicians playing and singing music from the Bordeaux region.

For lovers of great wine, French culture and history, the Viking Chateaux, Rivers & Wine cruise is c'est magnifique and an experience that will long be cherished after the luggage is unpacked at home.

Image result for Historical Elegance & Rural Portuguese Landscapes Enhance the Beauty of Palacio da Lousa
Aside from the natural friendliness of Portuguese people, and their fine wine and food, staying at a small-town property in a rural setting with an authentic, 300-year-old history is an added delight. Particularly so if it happens to be the hilltop, four-star, 46-room Palácio da Lousã. Located in the center of Lousã in central Portugal, 20 miles southeast of Coimbra and a two-hour drive north of Lisbon, this old-world hotel was formerly the palace of the Viscountess of Espinhal.

Such is its sense of history, even the broad, cobblestone entryway off the downtown street conjures up images of regal horse-drawn carriages coming and going, their owners headed to, or returning from, various elite soirees. Two large Greek urns outside its doors hint at the historic elegance within.

Our charming first-floor room, number 10, granted bird-like views over the surrounding forested countryside, indicating just why this was chosen as the site for such a palace. Perched high above the surrounding landscape, including stunning views of the Lousã mountains, it dominates the area for many miles in all directions, a rather impregnable position especially important in days of yore, centuries ago when battles were waged between warring factions over valuable territories.

Immediately across from our room was a magnificent, elongated salon, extending over four rooms with intricately carved doors between each. Here, shelves of books, glass-topped coffee-tables plied with glossy magazines, hanging framed portraits of former owners, comfy soft armchairs, potted plants, funky, silk cushions with dog images imprinted on them, an open fireplace, and even a colorfully-painted, decorative, mini-altar in honor of the Virgin Mary, bid guests to sit and rest. The multitude of ornately carved wood doors, panels and frames adds a sense of artistic history.

Breakfast at Palácio da Lousã is buffet-style and held in an L-shaped room overlooking the hotel's gardens, terraces, outdoor swimming pool and the verdant hillsides beyond. Cold cuts, fresh breads and delicious local honey are among the highlights.

Under the talented chef, Filipa Cruz, the menu is a comprehensive one, comprised of diverse meat, fish and pasta dishes, with starters ranging from tuna tataki with guacamole and Japanese sauce to goat's cheese with tomato confit in a puff pastry.

Being a hillside location (and being hungry after a long drive from Lisbon), we opted for substantial meat dishes over the leaner seafood—for starters, guinea fowl supreme confit with foie gras, carrots and vegetable rice, and suckling pig with carrots puree and turnip. Both were accompanied by a 2013 hearty red from the 150-acre quinta (vineyard) of Foz de Arouce, which has a long history of winemaking linked to the legend of the Arab King Arunce who built a castle in the region. A Roman road runs through the estate and the vintage is a blend of baga and touriga grapes.

On our second night, our choices consisted of salt cod confit with chickpeas and salted cabbage; duck and foie gras cannelloni with tomato, cream and basil sauce—the latter dish one of the highlights of our cuisine journey in Portugal—and shrimps and porcini (boletus edulis) risotto. This time, a dry white wine was our liquid accompaniment, a 2013 Pai Abel from the Bairrada estate made with bical and maria Gomez grapes, also known as fernão pires.

Lousã is the kind of laid-back town where time takes a secondary role to conversation. The local post office provided a perfect example of this. Seeing both books and music CDs for sale there, but not knowing Portuguese writers or performers, I asked the saleslady for her opinion. That conversation took several minutes with the lovely lady asking her colleague for a second opinion and other customers chiming in with theirs.

The attractive landscapes around Lousã are well worth exploring, especially the impressive Aldeias do Xisto, a series of villages of sturdy houses made from schist stone that cling stubbornly to the mountainsides at steep angles, veritable rustic retreats away from urban overcrowding. We enjoyed a leisurely break while speaking to locals and feasting on snacks of cold cuts and cheese at Cerdeira Village and watched the sun slide down below the mountains.

Try your luck with wild game, including deer and wild boars in their natural habitat, or visit historic sites such as the medieval Arouce Castle and the wells of the Real Neveiro, where ice was once stored in the winter for the King’s cellar in Lisbon. Tomar, a magnificent castle built by the mysterious medieval Templar order, is an hour’s drive south along the highway, while Coimbra is just 12 miles away.

With service and food being excellent and the historical ambience intriguing, there is only one problem with Palácio da Lousã—its pricing policy. For its many qualities, prices should be increased. As it is, it’s great value for money, so hurry before the secret gets out.

Image result for 6 Steps to Planning the Perfect Trip
Thinking of having a trip and exploring another place?

Trying to escape from your everyday routine and feel like doing something new and unpredictable?

Having a deep need of unexpected emotions?

Don’t know how to organize a perfect trip that will became an unforgettable experience?

These 6 easy steps for planning a vacation will help you to make the process of organizing your perfect adventure an enjoyable experience.

6 Steps to Planning the Perfect Trip
1.    What is your initial goal and purpose of traveling?
The first step for having a perfect adventure is to understand what is the purpose of your trip. It can be anything: trying to escape from your busy working days, haven’t been abroad for a long time or simply want to spend some time with your friends. Whatever your goals and motivation are, make them your main target. Plan the whole trip according to the result you want to achieve in the end.

Ask yourself: What I want to do? What do I love the most? I need that, because…. Answering these three simple questions will help you to figure out your inner motivation for traveling. Trips that have an emotional background are proved to be the best.

2. Choose places that will meet your expectations and bring you unforgettable experience
Whether you're traveling the world or investigating your home country, both need preparation. Try to adjust your expectations and needs to places that can meet your priorities. The world has a lot to offer, don’t be shy to enjoy it to it’s fullest. Every corner of our planet is wonderful, you have zillions of choices to choose from. Try not to choose things that you have already tried. Try bringing a variety of places to the list of your travel destinations. The diversity of landmarks, mix of cultures and experiences can stimulate changes inside of you, which can help you to reach your inner goal.

Feel free to search the web according to the topic of your interests. Find travel books, travel communities or special meetings and events dedicated to traveling. It will definitely inspire you to travel more and decrease the number of possible travel accidents.

Keep in mind all of the specifics of different places: weather and climatic conditions, pros and cons of the place, types of recreation (beaches, culture, shopping), transport connection, places to eat, etc). What clothes will you need? How far from civilization will you be? What else is required?

3. Boring but needed: Planning & Putting together the budget.
After deciding which particular place you would like to visit, start planning. Plan your vacation in advance. It is a core step needed for having a smooth traveling experience. It can be a simple list of activities and places divided by days or a detailed trip plan which will include all of your trip’s specifics.

Lists are your best friends while traveling. Prepare a short checklist or special vacation route planner with steps you need to take before going on a vacation, things you need to bring with you, places you would like to visit.

In order to have your list and planner by your side and in one place, try downloading a travel app, which will fit your needs and make your planning process much easier.

Traveling on a student budget or having a luxury adventure - both are possible if you manage your resources wisely. For this reason, you can use specific websites, where travelers like you share their real travel costs.

4. Book in advance
Booking ahead is the most effective instrument for making your trip an easy experience with no pain and worries. Not only can it simplify the process of planning and decrease the number of problems you will have to deal with, but it can also save you a fortune.

Be realistic about your resources and make priorities. If you want to spend more money on activities and entertainment, choose alternative types of accommodation and transport. This rule refers the most to booking online airline tickets. By doing that beforehand you can find super cheap flight deals that will help you to travel fast and comfortably.

When everything is pre-planned, your mind is free from tasks, which can spoil your travel experience.

5. Things to do, places to go: explore your activities
Exploring local activities can ensure the best travel experience in your life. Make the process of finding perfect entertainment and activities digital as well. You can find dozens of apps that will help you with it.

While choosing different travel entertainment, be free with your choices. Instead of focusing on typical historical landmarks, try to find hidden gems that every travel destination has to offer. Non-tourist places, where you can feel a true character of the place are the best to explore.

Based on your local experiences elsewhere you can start a blog or write an interactive description of the place you have been to by using online business assignment writing.

6. Enjoy the moment! Enjoy your adventure
Remember that the biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams. Don’t be afraid of unknown things. Sometimes the most direct route isn't the right one. Unknown things, people or places can fascinate you even more than common things you are used to while traveling. Establish an easy-going type of thinking while traveling and enjoy every single moment of your adventure. Remember your inner goals and stick to them.

Don’t be hesitated by unpredictable accidents or possible arguments with your friends. Traveling is your personal time. Use it for having fun and being open to everything that might go in a different direction than it was expected. Who knows what it can bring you?

Image result for Bunbury's Summer Sensation: Koombana Bay in Western Australia
It gets families flocking, couples romancing and the dolphins splashing around and putting on a show, whether they mean to or not. The Bay has what you need as the temperatures start to heat up. You can take a dip in the calm waters, go sailing, fine dine in style just around the corner or watch the stunning scenery that’s around you.

Perhaps you enjoy jet-skies or fishing off the boat. Playing beach volley ball on an open beach, while the kids get busy making sandcastles. Your day is covered in the Bay, and when one day is never enough, there is accommodation galore just a stones throw away. But more on that later, let’s get into it.

Where is Koombana Bay
Koombana Bay is in the heart of Bunbury town center. Western Australia’s largest regional town. It is only less than two hours south of Perth, take the Kwinana Freeway, which eventually turns into the Forrest Highway. Soon enough you will run into Bunbury and the Bay. You won’t miss it.

Dolphin Discovery Center
Let’s start with dolphins, we all love these mammals of the sea. The Dolphin Discovery Center is in the heart of the Bay and you have a few choices to pick from.

You can visit the center, learn, see and feed the different creatures of the sea. Study the dolphin habits and check them swim around in the digital theater. Perhaps it is a coffee you are up for as you rest up in the café, while the kids play around in the playground. And if you are lucky enough, the dolphins will swim up nearby, which is monitored closely by the friendly volunteer staff on hand at the center.

The next option is to take a cruise and spot the dolphins up close. Cruises run daily in the summer months and on weekends in winter. It is a good way of making sure that your visit to Bunbury is complete by checking out the smiling dolphins in the flesh. If you don’t see dolphins, there is a money back condition.

Can you swim with dolphins? If that is your thing, you are all set. From October to April, there are daily cruises that leave early in the morning. Bring your bathers, snorkels and a towel and be ready to swim with the dolphins. It does cost a bit however.

Koombana Bay
It is the most popular swimming beach in Bunbury, especially for families and for good reason. The waters are calm in the bay. It is perfect for kids to swim, under constant supervision of course, without fear of getting knocked out by a wave.

In the background, there are yachts anchored in the bay, all parked up and ready for sail. The boats are out for a day in the water as adrenalin enthusiasts get their tubes out and go for a spin off the back, while kayakers are out minding their own business and taking advantage of the mostly excellent conditions. Just be careful of jet-skiers.

Then there are the sandy beaches, it runs for miles. It is perfect for a game of beach cricket or volleyball. The kids are out in their numbers running amok in the sand, building castles and having fun as kids should. It is a perfect spot to get out a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine and enjoy the scenery around you, even better at sunset. Either that, or you can buy a hamburgers and chips at the kiosk nearby.

Bunbury Waterfront
No need to get into the car. The Bunbury Waterfront is only a quick five-minute walk from the Bay. Once you get there, you are suddenly hit with a little Bunbury style and it is simply breathtaking.

There are apartments, hotels, cafes and restaurants, even a candy and ice-cream shop. The best part is, that it is situated right on the edge of the Koombana Bay as you overlook the stunning bay, which is full of activity and life as you dine in style with a gorgeous view.

It is perfect for lunch and even better at night, when the night clubs open and the place really livens up. Let’s take a look at some of the restaurants clubs available at the Waterfront.

Mash Brewery – Great food and even better beer. The Mash won’t let you own. Perfect for a date or a drink with friends.

Dome Café – Open from dawn to dusk, great for coffee and bite to eat. A great place to catch up on some gossip and a little downtime.

Taffy’s – It is not a restaurant but it will be the kids favourite place. This candy and ice-cream shop will liven up your kids as they gaze at all the candy, chocolate and fudge available. They can even watch the friendly staff make their famous salt-water taffy in the viewing area.

The Bayview Bar – A restaurant during the day, a bar every other time and a popular night spot in the evening. You get the best of both worlds at the Bayview Bar. It certainly is the pick of clubs in Bunbury.

Aristos – The best seafood shop, hands down in Bunbury, perhaps one of the best in the state. You will love feasting on the different range of seafood with a glass of white of wine as you hock into the chips.

Mesa by Casellas – The perfect fine dining, grill and tapas experience. If it is a quiet evening you are looking for Mesa is right for you. It is perfect for couples seeking a romantic night together, away from buzz of the previous restaurants mentioned.

There is a selection of accommodation available in and around the Koombana Bay and Waterfront Area. Anything from hotels, apartments, caravans and tents.

Whatever you are looking for you are bound to find it. But let’s narrow it down a little bit.

Discovery Holiday Park - Across the road from the Koombana Bay Beach, The Discovery Holiday Park is perfect for families. It has a selection of Villas, cabins and Caravans and tent sites on offer and is the most affordable accommodation in the area.

Quest Bunbury – Luxury apartments that comes with room service and views. You will love putting your feet up and resting in style at The Quest.

Mantra Bunbury – The most glamorous of the lot, with serviced rooms, restaurant and a bar. It is the closest hotel to the popular Waterfront area. It is perfect if you plan on having a night out on the drink.

There you have it. A run down on Koombana Bay at the Waterfront. If you are even in the vicinity of Bunbury this summer, come on down. There is plenty of activities, swimming and dining to be done and it may even surprise you, that a town like Bunbury can deliver so much value and entertainment.

Image result for Five Strategies to Assist with Travel Planning
1. Determine a Workable Budget

The first step in crafting your dream vacation will be to determine a workable, realistic budget. After figuring in all travel costs, including travel insurance, necessary clothing and gear, tips for hotel, restaurant, and taxi employees, always add as much as you can as a cushion against unexpected situations and expenses.

2. Be Honest With Yourself About Priorities

Are your family or other traveling companions pressuring you to visit a glamorous resort on a sun-splashed island when you secretly long for a serene sojourn at a cabin in the trees next to a wild mountain lake? Although it can be tempting to go along with the crowd, your own personal preferences and needs should be taken into consideration as well. Be honest with your travel companions about your priorities, and perhaps a compromise can be reached such as a visit to a fancy resort in a mountain setting. And who knows -- maybe the others will fall completely in love with your idea of a mountain cabin.

3. Consider a Variety of Locales

Considering several potential vacation destinations helps travelers pinpoint the ones that work best for them. Think about expanding your horizons by going somewhere that's a bit off the beaten track for most travelers. For instance, consider a location such as Peru if you're seeking a locale with an abundance of natural beauty. Or if you've always dreamed of visiting Scandinavia, consider going to Finland instead of the more-popular country of Sweden.

4. Do Your Research

After you've compiled a list of possible vacation destinations, research each one carefully to determine which one best suits your dream vacation desires. You will be surprised, for instance, to learn that your ideal ski trip to Switzerland really isn't out of your financial reach after all when you research traveling during the shoulder season, for instance.

5. Double Check All Details

Double checking all details of your vacation such as car rental and hotel reservations ensures that no unpleasant surprises occur upon arrival at your destination. Even if you think you've got all bases covered, give everything one last go-over just in case you missed something in the excitement of planning for you trip.

Once at your destination, get the most out of your trip by dialing down your use of electronic devices as much as possible and enjoy relaxing, sightseeing, and other activities in a beautiful location.

Image result for 5 Travel Tips for a Relaxing Vacation in Costa Rica
There is hardly anything more exhilarating than a tropical vacation in Costa Rica.

The spectacular views of the pristine beaches, verdant rainforests with opportunities for animal watching, and eco-friendly vacation villas have made Costa Rica one of the hottest tourist spots in the world. This is the reason why two million tourists flock to this place every year to experience its beautiful coastline, deep forests, diverse wildlife, delectable Costa Rican delicacies, and outdoor adventure.

Many tourists prefer staying in the plush vacation villas like Arenal Hills in Costa Rica because of the comfort and scenic beauty they offer.

If you are planning a trip to this amazing country, you will find the five travel tips helpful for a relaxing vacation in Costa Rica:

1. Pack Right

Costa Rica is located eight and 12 degrees north of the equator, and about 50 percent of this Central American country is covered by rainforest. This implies that you need to deal with two things, the sun and the bugs while touring the deep jungles. Therefore, ensure that you pack enough sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, comfortable shoes, and bug sprays to stay safe from the sun and the insects. Besides these obvious items, you must also carry a proper swimsuit, beachwear, hiking and adventure gear, and a camera. You may leave behind your expensive watch and jewelry at home.

2. Book Your Resort Early
One of the biggest worries while planning a trip to a popular location is room availability in good hotels and resorts. During the peak season, it is actually very difficult to find the right airfare and accommodation that you are looking for. Book your flight and resort at least 10 months before the scheduled date to avoid the last-minute rush. When you book in advance, you will be able to choose from the best hotel rooms and airfares. You may even manage to get lucrative accommodation deals in the best Costa Rica resorts during the off-season.

3. Consider Food Choices
If you would like to get a taste of delicious Latin American cuisines, try some of the local food options like Casado. It is served with beans and rice topped with vegetables like onions, sautéed red peppers, carrots, and fried plantains. Try the dish with grilled chicken or pork to keep you full. You can even taste the local olla de carne, a nutritious stew cooked with sweet potatoes, chunks of beef, yuccas, plantains, and carrots.

To get the best deals on restaurants, do your own research on the eateries in the area. If you are touring the bigger cities, you will find a number of American restaurants where you can find your comfort food, in case you need it.

4. Reserve Your Dinner Table
Even though you are a guest at one of the Costa Rica resorts, it is better to reserve your dinner table when you check-in. And, if you would love to dine out at a local restaurant, seek the assistance of your hotel concierge to reserve a table in advance. 

5. Make Financial Preparations
Most resorts, hotels, and restaurants in Costa Rica widely accept credit cards. Therefore, you must inform your bank before moving out of your country. Calling your bank is a more convenient option than going through the hassle of invalidating an account hold. You need not pay in the Costa Rican currency colón because all establishments in the country accept the US dollar. Do not exchange cash at the airport though, as the rates of exchange are poor.

Costa Rica greeted 2.6 million tourists in 2015 alone. Since the real estate laws are quite simple here, many people choose to make the country their second home, with popular communities that offer breathtaking scenic beauty and world-class amenities.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with many things to see, experience and indulge in.

Have fun and make the most of the Pura Vida lifestyle!

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Education is the most important factor of success FOR A Place in each country for each particular community affair. Over a period of time, we have seen die, as Himself changed formation hat. Oral dictation notes written to the way computers have died throughout education to U.S. from our Great Ancestors Come. Define fine die personality formation. It helps Linen choose profession, and help YOU decide, their future. Over last century dramatic changes did we die, occurred in the education systems die having seen. Previously GAB is in medicine and many branches fields of engineering. So now are more new branches, Sind Created die. As also in the same way depends on the education of art, how we live. Our lifestyle changes found in things was taught and taught IS. Centuries ago, ALS is still no possibility, in writing, no oral education. Then came the time of the training textbooks Fit, etc. We have now in a life-and cyber age THEREFORE has posted das. Education system modified. Addition to regular courses cave is So Many graduates and switch today offers vocational courses. This course help, a person to go one step further in survival and in competitive markets today.

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Now, with used equipment, Siemens need someone who can really work. Writing programs for better use of computers, someone to repair YOU, If you worn, etc. Knowledge is at mother of invention die necessity, the development of computer usage and led to many more software training courses in the field of education. Of a computer to a training ranges or one vocational teacher diploma course. Sun hat IT training is a must for everyone arts.

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Computer Career Education preparation and course options

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Computer Career Education preparation and course options

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Image result for Learning designs are based on the way we each obtain
Availability studying possibilities more successfully

Kids too can advantages from knowing their personal studying design. This information can help them to availability studying possibilities more successfully, and give them a feeling of power and control over their studying. It can also help them online with and connect better with the various individuals in their life, such as their instructors.

Learning designs are based on the way we each obtain and process information, a problem that is of particular significance for a kid with dyslexia. There are four main techniques we each obtain information. We can most successfully support a kid’s studying by providing them elements and actions designed for their unique studying design.

Visual studying design

This kid gets information best through their perspective and what they see and analysis. Often these children display themselves to analysis. They may fight focus on verbal suggestions but reaction well to slides such as images, designs and maps. The usually think about concepts and keep in ideas the recognizable information of places and things they have seen. According to analysis about 65% of individuals have this studying design.

Auditory studying design

This kid understands of best by suffering from factors – either on record or in a conversation. They are good at suffering from successfully and then duplicating suggestions either out loud or psychologically in order to keep in ideas what they have found. Research suggests that about 30% of individuals use this studying design. Kids with this studying design are usually the talkers as well as the audiences in team circumstances and advantages from being able to talk about concepts. Oral students can be quickly sidetracked by interruption and may focus better with music to secure probably difficult seems to be.

Kinesthetic studying design

This kid reveals us of the term ‘energy in motion’. They need to create actual contact with factors that they are studying about. In fact, most kids immediately choose this technique of studying – in contact with and suffering from allow them to sound right of new information. This is also a particularly essential technique of studying for dyslexic kids of all age groups. About 5% of grownups want to use this design of studying too.

Social studying design

This kid understands of by connections with other individuals. They are successful on one-to-one interest and again they understand well through immediate experience.

Learning designs are based on the way we each obtain

It is essential for us to keep in ideas that your families we are assisting do not actually have the same studying design as ourselves and we need to stay open-minded and have a variety of techniques available to us. When working with a list of kids, it may be necessary to find a topic in several different techniques to create sure that we meet the needs of each kid’s personal studying design.

Image result for Important tips to know when applying for Mining employment
Mining employment has become very common and many people are turning to this career. If you are still uncertain of the career you are going to take, then you might as well try out mining. You need to consider many factors, before you enter into any kind of mining employment; therefore, you need to make sure you know these factors.

The first thing you will have to consider is to make sure you know some of the mining skills before you can try to apply for any kind of mining job. One thing you will really need is a truck license; this will give you the advantage to drive different mining trucks.

You will also need to have a mining safety certificate that guides you on all the safety measures you need to know during mining. There are many reasons why it is worth for you to have all these when looking for Mining employment. One reason is that you want to show all your potential clients that you have all the proper certifications and that you are ready to start working.

It is also important for you to show your employer that you are ready to begin work anytime and that you are through with all the training. Most employers usually get discouraged when you have not gone to train. They do not love to wait for you to go and train for Oil and Gas Jobs.

You need to always be ready and make sure that you take initiative, for this usually impresses all your potential employers. You should also contact all the right people you know in the Oil and Gas Jobs. You should not rely on anyone to send your resume for you since they might not send it. This is very helpful, for you will always know that the right person has your resume and not someone else.

When applying for Oil and Gas Jobs, you need to show all your interest in the job, for this shows the employer of your interest in the job and he will not hesitate to employ you. You should do this, but also keep it in moderation. When you call your employers, they will also see how badly you want your job and they are going to employ you. If you apply oil and gas jobs using these tips, you will be sure to get good mining jobs.

Image result for Comprehend Your Studying Style
Process exercising is certainly different to another

The capability of individuals to be aware of and process exercising is certainly different to another. Some are quick students and some are very progressively. Therefore, they often have to take a different way to perspective the same details or topics.

Comprehend Your Studying Style

Some students pick an instructor to show them how to create everything on the blackboard. That way they can analysis and try to be aware of it. Nevertheless, some other students pick an instructor to show them how to present by mouth place and they can pay attention to be aware of. Meanwhile, there are students who want to type little categories to talk about problems concerning these topics.

The instructors are lectors

Another way that is also often recommended design is a lot of students want to be aware of as if the instructors are lectors. Trainers are needed to tell long-winded concept about the broad variety of designs, while the students pay attention to an interval that explains the material of the type in which only they understand themselves.

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In any way you select, design editions of learning reveals the quickest way and best for each individual to process details from outside. Therefore, if we can perspective the editions in mastering design of each individual, it might be simpler for us to details someone to get the appropriate learning design and offer highest possible outcomes for himself.


Of course, before we can begin to show individuals about their learning design, it is better to identify our own learning design first. This problem is because we often ignore. In other circumstances, we must encounter the encounter of getting the right learning design for ourselves, before distributing it to others. There are many factors and advantages that we can get when we are able to perspective the different design of learning, such as our own design.

Related image
First of all let me provide you with a fast training in studying styles. We sound right around the earth using our five feelings – what we see, pay attention to, experience, and flavor. We also use those feelings to comprehend about ourselves, our atmosphere and about new details so when we began going to university it is our feelings that we used to collect and procedure what we were studying. The three feelings that began to control our studying as we went through our information were the aspects we saw, the aspects we observed and the aspects we actually did. Our dependency on our options and olfaction decreased off rather quickly as there isn’t much to be got from an itemized released published text publication on the Napoleonic arguments by option it or detecting its dirty pages! That is not to say that we don’t comprehend using these feelings (how would cooks and the producers of make-up survive!) but just that released published written text publication kind studying doesn’t tap into them.

Three primary methods

So we are remaining with three primary methods to procedure details and in Learning Design Talk about these have become known as our Recognizable (what we see). Oral (what we hear) and Kinesthetic (what we do) studying styles. Analysis has revealed that while we may have the capability to tap into all three studying styles, we usually have an option. I for example am someone with an impressive noticeable option because I like to see what it is I am studying. I battle to comprehend procedure and maintain something that I can only pay attention to. I can comprehend actual aspects e.g. martial workmanship training goes but it needs me a while to get it into my system and I want to see the goes to be able to try and duplicate them.

What this nowadays also discovered is that though we may have a option for one of those styles, we will still comprehend far more effectively if we consist of all three into our studying and considering – and this is where using Concepts Map system can help tap into our noticeable, dental and kinesthetic studying styles.

A Concepts Map

So let’s begin with the simple one first. A Concepts Map is a visible concept of our technique because it has pictures, it is imaginatively exciting and you can see the connection between the primary styles and details office buildings. As someone who has an impressive noticeable option, Concepts Charts are ideal for me. Concepts Applying system also comes into its own in this fashion because it is so simple to create a map and add pictures in an amazing system.

Image result for Education Technology Solutions
EPAA/AAPE is a peer-reviewed, open-access, international, multilingual, and multidisciplinary journal designed for researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and improvement analysts concerned with education policies. My college celebrated planet teachers day and i was offered charge to deliver a speech and i was able to share several of the quotes mentioned above to the school after i had completed,, my english teacher came to me and hugged me. now i know how significantly my teachers loves me. Properly, these inspirational quotes occasionally leap out of the page from a newspaper, or a book or calendar, or emails or even text messages in our cell phones. Unlike other educational institutions, a lot of kindergartens had been open to young children of all social classes and religious denominations. Education Commission of the States is the trusted supply for comprehensive knowledge and resources on hundreds of education policy troubles.

I believe these quotes apply not only to college educators, but to managers, parents and any person else who is in charge of other folks. Education made folks to cause beyond and start off manufacturing machines for farming alternatively of making use of crude supplies or human labor. Secondary education has a longer history in Europe, where grammar schools or academies date from as early as the 16th century, in the kind of public schools , fee-paying schools , or charitable educational foundations, which themselves date even further back. Education CS, Dr Fred Matiang’i makes a essential note address for the duration of the official opening of Science, Technology and Innovation at Laico Regency Hotel Nairobi. Adequate government spending: All the leaders in this continent ought to alter the face of education sector through suitable funding.

Each public college teacher in America must be certified by the education department of a university or a teachers’ college. Teachers need to have to meet educational standards and stick to a specified curriculum, which can make it hard for them to incorporate nontraditional content material. It continues to represent the divine connection the Japanese Royal Household enjoys with the Gods of Shinto. None of you will die of hunger, but if you put your moral ethics behind you, that will sure convert you into a living-dead-physique with no emotions, no sensitivity and no education whatsoever. Information-driven cognitive technologies will enable customized education and increase outcomes for all.

I do not have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands The exact same applies to 99 {94eabeca91ce24b6ec2d96751f2651130dbc3f3ead4922a52511e660deacb14b} of all the black Americans as regards to Africa So cease, already! Fröbel, F. (1826) On the Education of Man (Die Menschenerziehung), Keilhau/Leipzig: Wienbrach. Anyway, the complete education mess is one that I am extremely passionate about as I am working on my own three component series of hubs on the monopoly that the public school method has on education. In the past when there was no technological advancement, education was typically hard to access and comprehend. They supposed to contribute the tiny quota of theirs in help of education sector.

Most of the time folks that discover this alternative have families and are returning to college to get to one more level of education that would enable for a far better way of life for them as properly as their households. You can assume that classroom-based teachers have a specific level of training in educational philosophy, effective teaching strategies, classroom management, and content. McGill’s Faculty of Education is located in the nation’s foremost university for investigation.

Image result for Pro14: Cardiff Blues 11-14 Scarlets
Scarlets held out in a full-blooded Pro14 Welsh derby at Cardiff Blues to remain top of Conference B.

Gareth Anscombe's opening penalty was followed by Tom Prydie's memorable opening try.

Blues went ahead through flanker Ellis Jenkins, and Anscombe added another penalty.

But Rhys Patchell's try and Leigh Halfpenny's conversions of both Scarlets tries ensured a second festive win for Wayne Pivac's side.

With the 2018 Six Nations looming, there was much at stake for leading players and rising talents.

It was also a chance for Alex Cuthbert to return from injury off the bench, a day after fellow wing George North's comeback for Northampton.

A calf injury had kept Cuthbert out since Wales' November win over Georgia, while North had been absent since September because of a knee problem.

Scarlets made eight changes, with Pivac having stated he would not be happy for some of his players to appear on Blues' artificial pitch.

High-scoring wing Steff Evans was absent because of a four-week ban for his sending-off for an aerial challenge on Ben John in Scarlets' Boxing Day win over Ospreys.

Blues' 40-year-old Tongan tight-head Taufa'ao Filise led them out for his 250th appearance following his three-week ban.

However, along with the rest of the home forwards, life was tough at the scrums under Scarlets' potent power.

But Blues' line-out drives were equally as effective in underlining Scarlets' frailties.

Anscombe's early penalty was soon overhauled as Scarlets' scrum provided the platform for Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies to break clear before sending Prydie over.

Blues struck back as returning flanker Jenkins touched down after a driving line-out splintered the home defence, and Anscombe's second penalty stretched their lead to four points at the break.

However, after an Anscombe clearance was charged down, flanker James Davies took the visitors into Blues' 22, where Patchell finished off as the home defence cracked under pressure.

Halfpenny added his second conversion, but saw his next penalty shave the wrong side of an upright.

Home scrum-half Tomos Williams was denied by Tadhg Beirne at the other end and Scarlets open-side Davies relieved the pressure as he stole possession at a ruck on their line.

That proved crucial to the outcome as Blues' late efforts never looked as threatening and the host left the fray without adding any second half points.

Blues head coach Danny Wilson told Scrum V: "It's a pretty tough one to swallow because I think we were the dominant team, if I'm honest, except on the scoreboard.

"We didn't take our opportunities from that territory and possession and that's the difference."

Scarlets boss Wayne Pivac told Scrum V: "It was one of those days, really. In the first half we didn't look after the ball well enough and had something like 30% possession and something similar with the territory .

"So it was just talking at half time about being composed with the ball and not throwing those 50-50 balls and stringing a few more rucks together and getting our game going.

"We were able to score that try just after half time and it was enough to win it."

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Tom James; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Matthew Rees (capt), Taufa'ao Filise, George Earle, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Olly Robinson, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, James Down, Ellis Jenkins, Lloyd Williams, Jarrod Evans, Alex Cuthbert.

Scarlets: Leigh Halfpenny; Tom Prydie, Hadleigh Parkes, Scott Williams (capt), Paul Asquith; Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Werner Kruger, Tadhg Beirne, Steve Cummins, Josh Macleod, James Davies, Will Boyde.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Rob Evans, Simon Gardiner, David Bulbring, John Barclay, Aled Davies, Dan Jones, Ioan Nicholas.

Image result for UFC 219: Cris Cyborg beats Holly Holm to retain featherweight title
Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino - known to the MMA world simply as Cris Cyborg - cemented her position as the world’s premier female featherweight fighter with a hard-earned unanimous decision victory over former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm after five high-octane rounds at UFC 219 in Las Vegas.

Holm started impressively, using her footwork well as she effectively counter-struck the champion in the early stages of the contest, working well off the back foot as two of the three judges scored the first two rounds to the challenger.

But as the fight wore on, Cyborg’s power began to take over as she started to read Holm’s attacks and walk down the challenger, punishing her with heavy punches and kicks.

Both women showcased their durability and conditioning as they traded shots for the full 25-minute duration as their five-round title fight went all the way to the scorecards.

And, when the judges rendered their verdict, their scores told the story of a closely-contested matchup, with the champion taking the unanimous decision with scores of 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 to take her career record to 19-1 (1 no contest).

“I want to say thank you to Holly Holm,” said Cyborg after the bout.

“She’s an amazing fighter and she did really well here.”

The world champion said she’d next like to face the fighter who succeeded her as the Invicta featherweight champion when she left to join the UFC.

“I would like to fight somebody at 145lb. Maybe fight Megan Anderson in Australia,” she suggested. “I have a lot of fans down there.”

Nurmagomedov calls for Ferguson after battering Barboza
In the night’s co-main event, Russian one-man wrecking crew Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his perfect professional career to 25-0 with a three-round battering of No.4-ranked lightweight contender Edson Barboza.

Barboza has a well-earned reputation as one of the division’s best strikers but Nurmagomedov closed the distance with ease, taking the Brazilian to the mat and pummelling him with strikes in the first round.

Nurmagomedov dished out more of the same in the second frame, as he showcased his ground fighting dominance with another 10-8 round.

And while Barboza was able to land a spectacular spinning kick to the Russian’s head in the third and final round, Nurmagomedov just walked straight through it and continued his relentless assault on his way to a landslide decision win.

The judges scored the fight 30-25, 30-25, 30-24 to hand the Russian the 25th win of his career and his eighth straight win in the UFC as he told commentator Joe Rogan he’s ready to face either of the UFC’s lightweight belt-holders: "If you give me one hour rest, I can fight Tony or Conor, no problem."

But while many fans are clamouring to see Nurmagomedov face McGregor next, ‘The Eagle’ said if he had the opportunity to choose, he’d pick interim champ Ferguson, saying a bout with undisputed lightweight champ Conor McGregor is unlikely to happen until McGregor “spends all his money”.

Hooker catches Diakiese
It was a disappointing night for British lightweight prospect Marc Diakiese, who fell to his second straight defeat in the octagon with a third-round submission loss to New Zealand's Dan Hooker.

The pair contested a cagey first two rounds, with both men showing each other a lot of respect as they carefully looked to engineer openings. But the third round saw the contest open up, as Diakiese pushed forward, landing some solid punches on his opponent.

But, after a combination had forced Hooker back against the cage fence, the Brit shot in for a takedown attempt and was promptly locked up in a guillotine choke, forcing Diakiese to tap out 42 seconds into the final round.

Decisions, decisions
Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza produced a gritty performance to come from behind and defeat previously unbeaten prospect Cynthia Calvillo by unanimous decision. Calvillo started the better of the two, dominating the opening round, but the former world champ came back strongly in the second round to level things up, then edged the final frame to earn the nod from the judges.

In the opening fight of the night, Neil Magny delivered an excellent performance to ensure that Carlos Condit’s long-awaited return after an 14-month absence ended in defeat. Magny dictated terms for long periods of the contest, scoring a host of takedowns to earn a unanimous decision victory, the 20th of his professional career.

On a night where finishes were at a premium, the fight card delivered eight decisions from 10 contests.

Kicking off 2018
UFC 219 closed out the UFC in 2017, but the action will come thick and fast in the New Year, starting in St Louis, Missouri, as featherweight knockout artists Jeremy Stephens and Doo Ho Choi kick things off on 14 January.

Then all eyes will turn to UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts on 20 January as the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion of the world Stipe Miocic will look to become the first fighter to defend the title three times when he faces Cameroonian Francis Ngannou, who knocked out Alistair Overeem in devastating fashion at UFC 218 to book himself into a title fight.

Image result for Europe: What surprises are in store for 2018?
Talk about a poisoned chalice …

"You're the Europe editor," say the BBC powers that be. "Tell us what to look out for in 2018."

Yet if we've learned anything at all from the last couple of years in European politics, it's that hedge betting is a far more comfortable path to take than prediction-making.

A year ago who could have foreseen the Macron phenomenon, taking over the French presidency and dominating the country's parliament?

Who, last December, predicted with any certainty the current painful contortions in German politics or the timings of the Catalan independence explosion?

But Brexit, we knew, would dominate the EU agenda to a large extent, as it will again in 2018.

Brexit: All you need to know
How we laughed - in hollow tones - when European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker insisted a while back that only 15 minutes per week would be spent talking Brexit in EU circles.

The future of Europe, he insisted, was far more important.

Euroscepticism goes mainstream
In 2017, the EU's future certainly seemed brighter. United over Brexit, the once squabbling member states fell, obediently, in line behind their chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

The eurozone was on the up, illegal migration figures down. Right-wing populist, anti-establishment, Eurosceptic politicians failed to reach pole position in election after election; such as in the Netherlands, France, Austria and Germany.

But the EU apple was actually never as shiny as all that in 2017.

They may not have won outright, but Eurosceptic populists performed phenomenally well in elections across Europe - most recently in the Czech Republic, which hosted a meeting of European far-right parties in December.

The populist discourse has also bled into mainstream politics as traditional parties scrabble to get ahead in the polls. Just tune in to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to get a taster. Or take a look at the new government in Vienna.

A good year for Europe’s far-right, nationalist parties
The Netherlands' populist moment?
Austria protest as far right tastes power
Anti-immigration, Eurosceptic and anti-political Islam messages no longer raise eyebrows in Europe. In fact, these themes look like vote-winners in Italy, heading for elections in spring 2018.

The emperor and the queen
So, to steady the EU course and strengthen resolve, Brussels nursed the hope of a new, roaring Franco-German motor at the European helm after Emmanuel Macron became France's president in April.

This is something I'll be watching closely in 2018.

M&M - aka Merkel and Macron - certainly want to work together.

He needs her to boost his gravitas and to get any of his ambitious eurozone reforms passed.

And she needs him to re-energise her sagging image. Most Germans describe France rather than the US as their closest ally these days. They are charmed by Monsieur Macron (though hesitant about his plans for the euro).

In 2018, I'm interested to see if Mr Macron - dubbed "the emperor" by some - lives up to the hype at home and abroad.

Or will this be a case - rather like Barack Obama who famously received a Nobel Peace Prize before he really achieved anything - of peaking too early?

Mr Macron's EU BFF Angela Merkel is certainly in no fit state to purr as part of anyone's motor.

The slipping crown of Angela Merkel
German election: Why this is a turning point
Formally known as the Queen of Europe, she'll spend the first months of 2018 focusing inwards while she tries to cobble together a new government.

This will inevitably impact the wider EU.

Weaker Germany
As leader of the bloc's biggest, richest nation, Chancellor Merkel pushed for EU vigilance vis-à-vis Russia, prudence when it comes to Donald Trump and involvement in trying to contain Iran.

A fervent believer that EU unity is in Germany's best interest, she liked to keep her beady eye on the bigger picture and her finger on the EU control button.

Her waning influence plus the huge gap the UK will leave behind when it quits the EU has other member states now jockeying for position.

2018 will give us front seats in Europe's bear pit.

Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands - as well as the countries of central and eastern Europe - want to avoid what they view as protectionist, federalist France gaining the upper hand in EU debates.

They're also keen to have less, not more, Brussels in their lives. And they're not unhappy to see a weaker Germany.

Brexit gets real
So much for the EU unity touted by Brussels; much boasted about in Brexit talks.

There was a lot of it about in 2017. But then, EU countries had a common goal: money - getting the UK to agree to pay as much as possible in terms of financial liabilities before it leaves.

But in 2018 we move to phase two of Brexit negotiations: talk of the future.

And here the 27 European nations differ in what they're prepared to offer the UK - a bespoke deal, or not, and in terms of EU rule-bending.

A couple of New Year Brexit spoilers for you ...

If you thought the Ireland border debate was resolved in phase one of talks, just in time for Christmas...

And if you believe a new EU-UK trade deal will be signed by autumn next year (promised by some British cabinet ministers but impossible under EU law)...

Then 2018 is going to be quite a revelation.

Image result for New Year's resolutions: How do you make one you will keep?
Lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, learn a language - we can all reel off a list of typical resolutions made and broken.

But BBC Reality Check wanted to know if there are certain resolutions you're more likely to keep?

Well, we can't tell you what resolutions you should make, but we can draw on research to find some clues as to how you should carry them out.

There is evidence that humans are driven by "loss aversion" - that is, we are more motivated to recover loss than we are to win gains.

Framing a resolution as recovering something lost - whether that's an old hobby or a former level of fitness - may be more effective than looking to gain an ability or appearance, for example.

This also feeds into another key piece of advice when it comes to successful resolutions - they must be realistic.

Involve other people
Dr John Michael, a philosopher at Warwick University, studies the social factors involved in making and keeping commitments.

He says that we are more likely to keep resolutions if we can see them as being somehow important to other people - that "other people's wellbeing is at stake" if we fail.

That might mean committing to attend a class with a friend. The effect could be even stronger if you have to pay in advance - once we feel someone has invested time and money in something, we are more likely to see through our commitments.

Dr Michael is currently testing the theory that we are more motivated to prevent loss to other people than to ourselves.

Early evidence from this work suggests that people may be more motivated to continue a boring or difficult task when somebody else has invested effort in it.

Specific cues
Reputation is also a powerful motivator. Making your resolutions public can help you to keep them since the fear that people will think worse of you if you don't see them through will add to your resolve.

"We don't want to get a reputation as unreliable, so publicly announcing our plans can be motivating. Betting can be still more motivating," says Prof Neil Levy at the University of Oxford.

Making detailed resolutions is important, he adds.

Saying, "I'll go to the gym on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings" is more likely to be successful than simply saying "I'll go to the gym more", according to Prof Levy.

He also recommends tying your intentions to specific cues, a practice he calls "implementation intentions".

If you want to learn a language, you might first resolve to listen to a language-learning podcast on your commute each morning.

Then, to improve your chances of success further, you could make sure you stick a note to the steering wheel of your car each night to remind you to play it on your journey in the morning, for example.

You're not just making a intention but also setting out steps to implement it.

Making exceptions
He also warns of the potential for "decisions to become precedents".

"Implicitly we recognise that there are exceptions (I won't go to the gym if the house is on fire). But we can exploit this to our detriment by expanding the exceptional circumstances.

"My birthday may be a legitimate exception which comes once a year. But if I start recognising as exceptional things that occur more often - it's the last week of the month, better to start on the first; or it's too cold to get out of bed so early - then everything tends to become an exception," Prof Levy says.

Make them part of your longer-term plans
For Dr Anne Swinbourne, a behavioural psychologist at James Cook University, Australia, the best resolutions are the ones that achieve a chunk of a longer-term plan you have for yourself, rather than those that are vague and aspirational.

If you've never shown an interest in sport, resolving to become a brilliant athlete is unlikely to stick - resolving to save money because you've always dreamed of travelling the world before you turn 50 might be more successful.

And keeping them is all about planning, she says.

Work out what your triggers are, both to negative behaviour you want to discourage and positive behaviour you want to encourage - if you want to drink less, plan to meet friends for coffee not in a pub.

"People who rely on willpower mostly fail," according to Dr Swinbourne.

"To keep a resolution, you have to be boringly meticulous - you have to plan."

Image result for How To Set Goals And Actually Reach Them In 2018
It's that time of year. Lots of people I speak to are thinking about 2018 and what they want to achieve and some will set New Year's resolutions, although did you know only 8% of people keep their resolutions?

Just writing down your goals makes them 50% more likely to be achieved. How crazy is that? I guess I could liken this to making lists of things you need to do in the day. I know I live by my to-do list and love the sense of achievement when I've completed it.

I started thinking about goals this week and how I set my own goals. I've used the same method for years, as taught to me by my dad and it's based on the GROW model, a goal setting practice used by coaches all over the world, and I want to share it with you.

Celebrate Your Successes First
Before you jump headfirst into setting goals for next year, have a reflect on this year and what you've accomplished. Really think. This is something we so often forget to do, but actually if you think of the things you've achieved then for a start you'll be feeling good about yourself, but you'll also be able to reflect on how you could do better next year coming from a positive mindset rather than a negative mindset. It's so easy to get caught up on the things we didn't do but I'm sure if you take the time to reflect you'll have come further than you realise.

Considerations Before Setting Any Goals
Many people say what their goal is and while it may be something they really want to achieve, they don't put a lot of consideration into it before they set the goal. Whenever I'm thinking about my goals I always go through these four key considerations first.

Can the goal be broken down into smaller, more attainable goals?
Is the goal for me or for others?
Am I fully in control of achieving this goal?
Am I in the right mindset to set this goal?
I made a little video to go into more detail about these considerations so feel free to take a few minutes to watch it...

My Goal Setting Exercise
Now we are getting into the actual exercise I do when I set goals, and I like to do this by myself, with a cup of tea and an old fashioned pen and paper. There's just a few steps to this and I can guarantee it will make that goal seem more attainable and give you the steps to achieve it.

Got your goal in mind? Let's get started.

Take a piece of paper and draw a rectangle in the middle. The rectangle should be tall as opposed to wide.

Then write Goal at the top of the page, Reality at the bottom, Options on the left and Will on the right.

If you'd prefer I have a template of this that you can download and print and use as much as you want! Get the Goal Setting Template Here.

The Goal
Now we need to get into the specifics of the goal itself. Write those at the top of the page. You could write what the actual goal is and then anything relating to it underneath. Think What, Where, and When. The more detail the better. If it's running a marathon there's probably a specific date and location you can include. If it's something like a job promotion, then you may not have a specific date but you may want to give yourself a date to aim for. If that's longer than a year you may want to break the goal down (see considerations above!)

The Deep Why
Pop your pen down for a moment. I want to ask you a few questions about this goal. It's so easy to skip this step when you've got that piece of paper in front of you and you just want to get stuck in but without considering the deeper why, you may never get any further.

Quite often when I ask people why they want to achieve a goal their initial response is normally around what I call an "extrinsic" or external reward; they will get a pay rise, a bigger house, a job promotion etc. But really, there must be something deeper, something burning inside which will drive this goal, and normally that's something "intrinsic" or internal.

Here are my questions to you about your goal:

Why do you want to achieve it?
What would it mean to you?
What would it say about you when you achieve it?
How will that make you feel?
What will it mean to those close to you when you achieve it?
How will that make you feel?
How much do you want this?
I hope your responses changed from external reward to feelings of deep pride and happiness? If so, great you must be feeling really fired up and ready to continue. Hang on to those deep feelings, we will revisit them later.

The Reality
At the bottom of the page we need to assess the reality. Where are you now? It may be that you've already started working towards this goal, if we use the marathon scenario, you may already be running. Some people like to write this as a percentage "I'm 30% of the way there." Definitely use this space to face that reality of how far away you are from the goal. Again, you may realise this goal needs to be broken down further.

I love this step; Brain Dump! It's time to write on the left hand side of the page all of the options you could take to help you achieve the goal. I mean all of them. Get everything on the page. You can big and small, and try to think outside the box. Here's some examples to get your thoughts going:

Could you do some research? Does that involve going to the library? Google? Youtube?
Could you take a course online or in person?
Is there someone you could go to for advice?
What about equipment, clothing, tools etc to help you achieve the goal?
Are there exams you need to take?
You get the idea. Really exhaust every avenue in this part of the exercise.

Where There's a Will There's A Way
The Will section falls into two parts. The first is What Will You Do? It's time to get a nice coloured pen and drag a line across the page of every option you will actually do. I just start at the option and draw a long arrow across to the Will side. Then, for each one I write a date. This could be the date I will have completed that option by or the date I will start it by, but this is a crucial step for accountability. I normally grab my diary at this stage and start to transfer some dates in my diary. For example if I need an evening to research then I'll find an evening I know my boyfriend is at work and block it out in my diary and set that in stone!

Once you've covered what you will do and when it's time to really focus on the Why.

The Crucial Step Most People Forget When They Set Goals
This is probably the most important step of the entire exercise. Most people will put their pen down right there and finish. They will have set the goal but they won't have gone deep into the why, the thing that will keep this goal alive and burning inside.

So I ask you now... How Much Do You Want This?

I really hope your answer is 100%. If it is you've probably thought back to the why at the beginning of the exercise and reflected on those deep feelings of happiness and pride. If you truly tapped into those feelings then you know how much you want this and there's only one thing left to do, go for it!

But if that answer, that gut reaction to the question was anything less than 100% then you've given yourself wiggle room to not achieve it. If your answer was 80% then you've left 20% room for sabotage. How achievable does that goal look now? Probably not as much.

So if that's the case then let's go back and revisit the reasons why you set this goal in the first place. Why do you want it? How will it make you feel? How will it make those around you feel? And how will that make you feel?

Starting to creep up to that 100%?

Feeling Ready To Conquer Those Goals In 2018?

Did you find this exercise useful and enjoyable? I hope so! Please tag me in any social media posts (@sophcoulthard on instagram) if you're sharing your GROW model online. I'd love to see what you come up with!


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