Posts tagged with "location"

Khalid – Last Call

Multiplatinum selling global superstar Khalid released his new track “Last Call” via Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records. Written by Khalid and produced by Digi, “Last Call” comes alongside a new music video directed by Levi Turner and Cody Laplan, where he pays homage to his growth from American Teen to now. Watch HERE

On the song, Khalid shared “I’m really excited to share “Last Call” with all my fans. It’s important to me to commemorate this day and look back at everything that has happened. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years already. I hope you guys enjoy it and celebrate with me and all we’ve done together.”

March 3 marked the 5th anniversary of Khalid’s GRAMMY nominated debut album American Teen, featuring smash hit singles “Location” and “Young, Dumb and Broke.”  Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, celebrated the milestone with the launch of American Teen: The Yearbook, a high school-themed virtual hub for fans to revisit the groundbreaking album through various content. The site serves as a 2017 time-capsule that includes music videos, archival photos, a superlative generator, a quiz, and access to an exclusive American Teen merch collection highlighting the album iconography. American Teen is now available as a lyric video/ visual playlist and in spatial hi-res audio formats (Dolby Atmos and 360RA).

American Teen is now RIAA certified 4x platinum in the United States with Khalid’s debut single “Location” earning a rare, certified diamond status (10x platinum). “Young, Dumb and Broke” is certified 9x platinum, “8TEEN” is certified 3x platinum and “Coaster” is certified 2x platinum. 

Visit American Teen: The Yearbook HERE. Find the American Teen exclusive merch collection HERE.

Khalid recently released his Scenic Drive tape which features collaborations from critically acclaimed stars such as Alicia Keys, Ari Lennox, 6LACK, Lucky Daye, JID, Smino, Majid Jordan, Kiana Ledé, and QUIN. Check it out HERE

About Khalid

Multi-platinum selling global superstar Khalid, who was named one of Time’s Most Influential People of 2019, has taken the world by storm since his first single, the certified diamond “Location” (released right before his high school graduation) exploded onto the scene leading to a major label deal with Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records followed by the release of his debut album, the 4x platinum-certified, American Teen. His sophomore album Free Spirit, released to critical acclaim in 2019, was declared a New York Times “Critic’s Pick” and was called “superb” by the Associated Press. The album, which has been certified platinum by the RIAA, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and features the Grammy-nominated multi-format #1 single “Talk”. Free Spirit has garnered over 11 billion streams worldwide. Khalid, who has been called a “pop prodigy” by Rolling Stone has been streamed over 30 billion times worldwide across all partners, has been nominated for 7 Grammys and has won numerous awards including 6 Billboard Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards, a Teen Choice Award, an MTV Video Music Award and an MTV Woodie Award. Khalid has collaborated with some of music’s biggest stars including his #1 singles “Love Lies” (with Normani), “Eastside” (with Halsey and Benny Blanco) as well as hits with artists Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, Marshmello, and more. The Mayor and Council of the City of El Paso honored Khalid with a “Key To The City” marking September 13th, 2018 “Khalid Day.” Khalid, alongside his mother, launched The Great Khalid Foundation, which is committed to helping families by alleviating a burden of need.

Emotional Support House Plants illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

How to Start an Indoor Garden

You might think you need acreage to have a garden plot. Nonsense — if you have sunshine in your apartment, you can start an indoor version.

Container growing offers unparalleled convenience. You don’t have to slog through the weather to tend your crops — you can do so from the comfort of your climate-controlled abode. Here are five tips on starting an indoor garden that will have you making fresh tomato sauce and passing out blooms to all your friends in no time.

1.    Get Your Water Tested

Plants have a lot in common with animals. Both require a place to live, grow and reproduce safely from the worst of the elements. They also need food and water. This final necessity might do more to influence the health of your indoor plants than any other. However, it’s a factor many novice gardeners overlook until they find themselves wondering why their spider plant fails to thrive.

The first thing to determine is whether your water comes from a well or a municipal water supply. One advantage of the former is that your liquid remains free of sanitizing agents as it comes up from an underground source. Elements like chlorine, chloramine and fluoride can slow the growth of your plants and impact the flowering cycle.

However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods if you have a well. Such groundwater sources often have high levels of arsenic, lead and sulfur contamination. Additionally, the water might be rather hard, containing magnesium and calcium. These minerals are responsible for accumulating on plumbing surfaces, causing clogs.

The first water quality you must determine is your pH level. This scale measures how basic or acidic your water is. An overly alkaline pH can lead to mineral loss in your soil and poor harvests from your indoor garden crops.

Your water also contains beneficial bacteria, unless it comes from an overly clean municipal source. This riddance inhibits the processing of organic compounds for plant availability. You might have better luck harvesting rainwater to use for your plants — doing so also cuts down on waste. Before doing so, ensure you’re legally allowed to use a barrel in your jurisdiction. Some places restrict collection out of fear of providing breeding grounds for mosquitos.

Understanding your water quality starts by reading your bill. Your municipality should publish a quality report you can access. You can also purchase PPM meters, although they won’t tell you the precise mineral content of your water. For the best results, you should refer a sample to a lab for testing.

2.    Choose the Right Location

You might end up with more than one indoor garden — and that’s perfectly OK. Different species have varying needs for sunlight. Your golden pothos may adore hanging by a sunny window, but your primroses have another preference. Honor it if you want the best results.

Discovering your various plants’ penchant for light or shade is as simple as reading the instructions that come with most varieties. The internet is also a glorious resource for all things horticulture. You can even find plant identifier apps that will diagnose possible diseases and recommend the best course of treatment.

Your kitchen windowsill is the ideal place for a herb garden. You might not need to travel beyond your grocery store for supplies. Many fresh soft herbs will sprout in water, allowing you to keep them going that way or plant them in soil for improved longevity.

Don’t overlook your bedroom as a location for shade-loving plants. In the 1980s, NASA studied houseplants to see if they could provide sufficient oxygen for supporting life in space. They discovered that these herbal wonders also scrub toxins like formaldehyde from indoor air — meaning you might breathe more comfortably at night, especially if you’re sensitive to allergens.

3.    Select the Perfect Pots

Your plants are beautiful, and much like the right outfit can accentuate your natural beauty, the correct pot can showcase your collection in style. Will you mix and match or go for a monochrome look? You have several options.

You’ll find that plastic planters are the most affordable and lightweight option. You can carry a stack of them home from the store without ever breaking a sweat. However, this material may fade in sunlight and attract and store heat, leading to premature wilting of your plants. You may also need to replace them after a couple of seasons, particularly if you use them in sunny locations.

Clay pots and planters offer superior longevity and can also help you if you’re a novice gardener. This substance controls moisture levels, keeping your plant roots from suffering rot if you accidentally go a bit too heavy with the watering can.

Disadvantages of clay pots include the cost, weight and size. They may also break if you drop them. However, they’re your best long-lasting and eco-friendly bet for an indoor garden that grows season after season.

4.    Invest in Beginner-Friendly Plants

Your plant choices partially determine your indoor garden’s success. For example, you probably don’t want to start with orchids if you’re new to horticulture. These plants look elegant but have a longstanding reputation for being finicky about their treatment.

Golden pothos is an ideal starter plant for sunny locations. Succulents also make easy-to-care-for choices for lining the brightest windowsills of your home. Bamboo and peace lily plants work well in darker bedroom areas, as they prefer the shade.

5.    Keep Your Hobby Going on the Cheap

Once you establish your indoor garden, it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to add to it using materials you already have. One way to do so is by propagating live herbs from cuttings. Soft-stemmed herbs such as basil and oregano require little more than water, although you can buy liquids to encourage root growth. Woody-stemmed herbs take a little more prompting, although you can still use this technique by cutting stems from newer growth that hasn’t hardened yet.

You can also amass a bumper crop of the vegetables you use most often in the kitchen. It’s simple to save the seeds from plants like peppers and tomatoes, dry them and use them to start new seedlings. You won’t even have to drive to the farmers market once you establish your indoor garden on your balcony.

Start an Indoor Garden

You don’t need acreage to enjoy growing things. Use the five tips above to start an indoor garden that fills your home with joy.

Image courtesy of Influence Associates for use by 360 Magazine

David Brown Automotive Expands to London Location

David Brown Automotive has opened a purpose-built central London showroom.

  • Showroom site run directly by David Brown Automotive is located at 151-153 Park Road, St John’s Wood, next to famous Lord’s Cricket Ground and Regent’s Park
  • Both Speedback GT and Mini Remastered models are hosted at new site in St John’s Wood, with showroom space for six cars within the showroom and on the forecourt
  • City streets are on the doorstep of showroom to experience test drives for both models by David Brown Automotive
  • David Brown Automotive to continue hosting customers at its original Silverstone headquarters site
  • Showroom site includes full configuration facilities and array of bespoke David Brown Automotive options and accessories, supported by brand’s directly-employed sales staff
  • Retail space expansion represents first phase of growth for David Brown Automotive since the company secured new investment in July 2020

David Brown Automotive has expanded into central London with a conveniently located new showroom site in the prestigious St John’s Wood area. The purpose-built retail space allows customers the chance to experience both of the brand’s flagship models; Speedback GT and Mini Remastered.

The well-located London site serves alongside David Brown Automotive’s headquarters in Silverstone, where the company has been based since 2017, having relocated there from their original roots of Coventry. The new St John’s Wood showroom allows customers easy access to its cars in the city while retaining its factory location in Northamptonshire as a retail space and workshop facility, where every car made that wears the brand’s badge undergoes thousands of hours of intricate manufacture, using state-of-the-art engineering and traditional craftsmanship.

With space to display up to three cars indoors and three outdoors at once, the new London showroom site offers customers a unique insight into the highly customizable and bespoke options buyers can specify when purchasing a car from David Brown Automotive. The dealership site is on the doorstep of London’s city streets, allowing customers to experience both Speedback GT and Mini Remastered in everyday conditions with test drives available by appointment. Both of David Brown Automotive’s flagship models are accessible at the new showroom, as will future models to be announced over the coming years.

Michelle Gay, Sales & Marketing Director at David Brown Automotive, said:

We’re delighted to expand into London, the home city of so many of our customers and where many more travel to regularly. We’ve made it easier than ever for discerning luxury car buyers to come and see our Speedback GT and Mini Remastered models up close at a location that is highly convenient and well-equipped to give them a fantastic brand experience. The cars we craft by hand at our Silverstone facility are so well suited to the London lifestyle, so we feel very much at home extending our brand into the capital.

The expansion into new retail space represents the first phase of growth for David Brown Automotive since the company secured new investment in July 2020. This new era is heralded as a period of growth, with the company benefiting from significant backing by an experienced team specializing in the automotive and luxury goods sectors.

The new showroom is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom for David Brown Automotive. The company has existing sales representation in Germany, in both Düsseldorf at the Classic Remise centre and also through M.A.S. Style, based in Wuppertal, which it appointed in May 2019. David Brown Automotive’s worldwide reach extends beyond Germany, with a brand presence encompassing showrooms also in Japan and Hong Kong with further sales partners to be announced over the coming months. Customers interested in products from David Brown Automotive outside of these markets should contact the UK headquarters for a bespoke solution to sales and aftercare.

Follow David Brown’s Automotive via their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Cover courtesy of Book Savvy Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine

5 Things To Do in Athens, Georgia That’ll Take You Back in Time

Destination Athens: A Walk Through History

Got wanderlust? If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling the urge to travel right about now. The past year and a half of restrictions and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced us to hit the pause button on adventuring, but now that things are opening up a bit it’s a good time to plan a getaway. There’s no better destination than my hometown, Athens, Georgia.

Athens sits at the head of Georgia’s Antebellum Trail and is all the things you’ve heard about it, sleepy, off the beaten path and steeped in history –– but the place is also a secret blast with a quirky vibe that stays with you long after you leave. Here are five things to do in Athens that you just can’t do anywhere else.

Go on a walking tour of Athens musical history

Athens plays a crucial role in American music across multiple genres. Although widely known as the birthplace of The B-52s, R.E.M. and Widespread Panic, the city’s claim to musical history took root in the early 1900s with the Morton Theater, one of the first, and the oldest surviving vaudeville theatres in the United States. The Morton regularly featured Cab Calloway, Blind Willie McTell, Bessie Smith and others.

Athens’s robust musical history makes it the perfect place for a walking tour. Starting out at Downtown’s The Classic Center, the tour takes you to scores of places such as Wuxtry Records, where a young Peter Buck was working when he met Michael Stipe and the band we know as R.E.M. was formed, Uptown Lounge, where Widespread Panic started, and the must-see Morton. Keep your eye out for The Last Resort, the Clayton Street bar and music club which dates back to 1966 and was located down the street from three finance companies. The rumor was, if you were turned away from all three places, the bar was your last resort. Steve Martin performed there! There’s so much musical history to pack in, so plan on making it a day and be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Take in the beauty of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia

This Athens wonder was established by the University of Georgia in 1968. The gardens are the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings. More than 300 acres and five miles of walking trails, this place is designed for studying nature and is focused on restoring the area’s floodplain region and protecting native plants.

Check out the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden while you’re there, if you’re into edible landscapes and hands-on educational gardening programs.

Visit The Georgia Museum of Art

It gets hot in Athens. The perfect place to beat the heat is the Georgia Museum of Art, where you’ll find notable American paintings and more. What began in 1948 in the basement of the University of Georgia library with a small collection of 100 works has grown into a wonder sprawling nearly 80,000 square feet! Show your brain some love and learn something new, and when you get hungry, the museum has a beautiful little cafe with delicious pastries.

Meet the residents of the Bear Hollow Zoo

Bear Hollow Zoo is a sweet place and home to a variety of wildlife. The animals who reside at Bear Hollow have physical or behavioral challenges that would make them vulnerable in the wild, so they’re living their best lives at the zoo and offer visitors a remarkable way to learn about wildlife and conservation. This free zoo houses some fascinating animals like the North American river otter, a great  horned owl, white-tailed deer and the American black bear. Bear Hollow Zoo is located within Memorial Park.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Hodgson’s Pharmacy

This is important. The Five Points neighborhood is essential to the Athens experience. A mainly residential area near the University of Georgia, Five Points is also home to some gems in dining and shopping. Want the quintessential Athens experience? Look no further than Hodgson’s Pharmacy. An actual working pharmacy and mainstay of Athens, this is where you go when you want an authentic vanilla Coke or scoop of ice cream. Hodgson’s is a time machine and you just can’t pass it up if you’re in town.

Bulldog pride bonus round

While you’re out and about in Athens, see if you notice the bulldog sculptures. The We Let The Dogs Out art exhibit is scattered around town and makes for prime photo opportunities. The exhibit was started by the Athens-Oconee Junior Women’s Club in the early 2000s and features dozens of cool bulldogs painted by local artists.

About The Author

After thirty years of practicing law in Georgia, Howard T. Scott pivoted from the courtroom to writing fiction inspired by anecdotes from the southern storytelling tradition he’s immersed in. He’s one of the founding partners of the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise—the world’s only fully chartered blues cruise—and a lover of live music, fitness, nature, historic preservation and travel. Scott splits his time between the dryland of Athens, Georgia and the high seas of the Atlantic and the Caribbean aboard Capricho. Rascal on the Run is his first novel. Visit Howard T. Scott’s website here.

Filmstrip illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Best Places to Live × Work

The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021—InternationalLiving.com

While just about every country is willing to provide a tourist visa that lets visitors hang around for a few months, most will not grant permission to live and work within their borders without a job offer from a local employer. Some offer long-term residence visas that let expats legally live in the country, but they don’t typically allow for work. A new report from the editors at International Living highlights four countries where it’s possible to find easy access to a residence visa—and the permits that allow for work as well.

Source: International Living

It’s clear that an increasing number of Americans want a different life and are looking for countries where they can live and work legally. But the options are limited without a local employer willing to provide a job.

Expats able to earn from anywhere do have a few good options, however, according to International Living’s report. While a small collection of countries welcomes outsiders, who can qualify for the necessary visas, four in Latin America and Europe stand out as the best options in terms of cost, ease, and timing.

Panama

If your goal is to live and work remotely overseas, but remain close to U.S. borders, Panama is your best bet. Direct flights land in Panama City from at least nine U.S. cities and take between three and seven hours, depending on where you’re coming from.

Beyond proximity, Panama offers what it calls the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, a special program whereby nationals of certain countries (including the U.S. and Canada) can apply for permanent residence, which comes with a Panamanian cédula, the local ID card. That cédula is permanent, allowing holders to come and go as they please, as would a born-and-bred Panamanian. Separately, the program also allows holders to request a work permit through the Ministry of Labor, though that’s part of a different process.

Obtaining a temporary cédula takes about eight days. It will take another two days to obtain a multiple-entry visa that’s necessary so an individual can come and go as they wait out the roughly five-month process for the government to issue a permanent cédula. Once a cédula has been obtained, a person can then apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor, which will take about a month.

To start the cédula process, you’ll need basic documents—passport, proof from the FBI that there is no criminal record—and $5,000 in a Panamanian bank account, plus $2,000 for each dependent. And to obtain a work permit, then you’ll need to set up a Panamanian corporation (which can be disbanded after a year).

Uruguay

If speed is more important, then Uruguay is a great choice. Here, expats can land at the airport with the correct collection of documents, and if they already have a pre-scheduled filing date with the immigration office that day, they can file their paperwork and have a temporary cédula that afternoon or the next day. All that’s required is a birth certificate and an apostilled police record (meaning it has been authenticated and is acceptable across international borders). They will also need to show that they have the financial means to support themselves with a provable stream of income from anywhere in the world.

With a temporary cédula, they will also have immediate access to the state healthcare system, or they can immediately buy access with a local, private healthcare plan, which will cost about $70 to $350 a month, depending on the bell and whistles they want.

To manage the process themselves, expect to pay about $600 to $700. But they will also need to have a proficient level of Spanish, as none of the paperwork is in English. Otherwise, hire an attorney. It will be quicker and more efficient and will cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

­Portugal

Portugal has two visas that would apply to someone wanting to live and work on the Iberian Peninsula: D2 and D7. Technically, the D2 is for independent workers and entrepreneurs, while the D7 is for those who are retired or earning passive income. In practical terms, the D7 will make sense for most people, even if they’re not retired, because it’s based on income. The D2 requires proof that an expat can support themselves as a freelancer and can begin issuing Portuguese invoices on which the business will be taxed, though the tax rate is fixed at 20% for 10 years.

With the D7, instead, a person will need only to show that they have €8,000 (about $9,700) per person in a Portuguese bank account and that they have the equivalent of €30,000 ($36,400) in a bank account back in their home country.

To apply for either a D2 or D7 visa, an expat must enroll in the Portuguese tax system and become a tax resident. That requires obtaining a Portuguese tax number before they can even apply for a visa. And for that, they will need a sponsor, which can be a law office, accounting office, or migration office.

For that reason, they’ll need to hire a pro to walk them through the process and be their sponsor for the tax number. All in, that will cost you between €1,000 and €2,500 (about $1,200 to $3,000). The process will require two to four months to complete.

As a freelancer, an expat will also want to apply for Non-Habitual Resident status, or NHR, which is issued to people who’ve never lived in Portugal before and move to the country. With NHR status, income earned outside the country is exempt from taxes. They will have to file a Portuguese tax return and declare the income, though they’ll owe no taxes on it. The other benefit of this is that it shows Uncle Sam they’re a tax resident of another country, which then helps trigger their eligibility for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

A person is eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and a passport after five years of residence, though they have to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Czech Republic

It’s a two-step process in Czech Republic. First step: apply to join the živnostensky (zivno) list. This isn’t specifically for foreigners. It’s a trade license for any Czech resident who works independently, be that a plumber, masseuse, artist, or whoever. That will take a week at most. Zivno in hand, they can then apply for a one-year, temporary residence visa.

They must apply for a residence visa at a Czech embassy outside of the Czech Republic, show they have housing (a notarized lease agreement) for the full-length of the visa they seek, up to one year. That means they’ll need to visit the Czech Republic to arrange that. Some expats will move to Prague, obtain their housing and zivno, then take the train to nearby embassies in Berlin, Vienna, or Bratislava and complete their application.

They will need a signed letter from their bank stating that they have the equivalent of 125,000 Czech crowns on deposit (about $5,700). That will need to be translated into Czech, which a visa agency can handle. Be sure the account has a debit card, which must be presented at the application meeting at the Czech embassy, because officials will want to see it—it’s proof that a person can access the account.

An FBI criminal background check is required, though as an American an expat can also go to the U.S. embassy in Prague and sign an affidavit attesting to their criminal-free background. Along with a passport and an application form, that’s pretty much all the documents an applicant needs.

To hire a local agency to help with the process, it should cost less than 15,000 crowns (about $685) for everything. The embassy fee is a separate 5,000 crowns (about $230).

Once the temporary visa expires after a year, it can easily be traded in for a renewable, two-year long-term residence visa. After five years as a legal resident, a person is eligible to apply for Czech citizenship and a Czech passport, which like the Portuguese passport, is an EU passport and thus gives them free rein to live and work anywhere in the EU.

The full report on the best places to live and work in 2021, including more information for immigration experts in each of the countries mentioned, can be found at: The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021.

International Living has launched its new “Work From Anywhere” resource, devoted to coverage of innovative money-making strategies, ways to build a portable income, tips for boosting health and well-being, methods to maximize Social Security, and so much more. More information can be found, here.

Dog illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Backyarding is Here to Stay

Backyarding is Here to Stay & It Has a Purpose. What’s Yours? 

By Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

What once only happened indoors now happens outdoors. It’s called “backyarding,” and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. From office work to working out, from eating to entertaining, if these activities were once typically held inside a home or office, they are now being brought to the great outdoors.

Simply think back over the last year and recount the number of times your backyard has taken center stage in your everyday life. The family yard became the safe and purposeful space where we could gather and recharge. Spending time outdoors is great for your physical and mental health, and our backyards are the bridge between indoor and outdoor living.

The backyard is nearly limitless with possibilities, and you can get really creative in how you expand and enjoy your yard. But before you get to work in your yard, you must first identity what type of “backyarder” you are. Then, you can keep that idea in mind to create a more purposeful outdoor space that is customized to your family’s needs.

Here are just a few of the backyarding personality types. Which one(s) are you?

Entertainer Extraordinaire
Your backyard was the neighborhood hot spot long before the pandemic made that trend posh. Family milestones, birthdays, graduations, reunions, socially distanced BBQs – your yard is *the* place to gather. Your yard is set up for success with patio furniture, fire pit, yard games, plenty of outdoor seating, string lights, and maybe even an outdoor kitchen.  The family yard and community park are five-star event spaces that are always easy to book!  

Environmentalist
You know that nature starts in your own backyard and that taking small steps in your yard can make a big impact on climate change. As the proverbial Robin to your yard’s Batman, you embrace your role in supporting the superhero powers of your living landscape. Those include capturing and filtering rainwater, producing oxygen, and absorbing carbon, just to name a few. 

Expert Landscaper
Your yard makes neighbors green with envy. You know how to maintain a healthy living landscape all year long, and you have the latest outdoor power equipment to make even big jobs easier. Your idea of a good time? Spending the weekend doing yardwork. You love the sense of accomplishment that comes from working in your yard, and friends can count on you for advice about their own living landscapes.

Horticulturist
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is bookmarked on your browser because putting the right plant in the right place is the living landscape Golden Rule you live by. You consider location, maintenance, sunlight and watering requirements, as well as your climate zone and lifestyle needs, before you even think about sticking your shovel in the dirt.

Kid Zone Creator
You know the safest place for your kids to be is in your own backyard, and you work hard to create an outdoor fun zone they will never want to leave. A flat area of sturdy turfgrass to play sports and pitch a tent? Check. Treehouse? Check. Zipline strung safely between backyard trees? Check. An elevated garden where kids can help grow the family’s meals? Check. Natural playscapes, like a patch of sand bordered by rocks and log stump seating? Check. “Fun” is your middle name, and you are winning at this game.

Nature Lover
No binging Netflix for you. You subscribe to “Nature TV” and prefer to spend your free time watching the birds, bats, butterflies and other wildlife that count on your yard for food and shelter. You cultivate a living landscape that supports a rich biodiversity with butterfly bushes, flowering plants, water sources, and trees and shrubs with nooks for nesting and food.  

Pet Pamperer
Your focus is on Fido, and you take cues from your four-legged friends about how to purpose your backyard. You’ve planted sturdy turfgrass like Buffalo or Bermuda that can stand up to pet play, and you’ve used soft foliage to create a natural barricade between “off limits” areas and the rest of the lawn. Trees and shrubs are strategically planted for shade, and you’ve even set up a shallow water feature to help your pup cool off on hot days. For you, planting with purpose means keeping toxic plants out of the picture. (For a complete list, visit ASPCA’s list of non-toxic and toxic plants.

Work (and learn!) from Home Warrior 
You don’t need to turn to technology to create a virtual backdrop for your video calls. The natural setting created by your yard’s trees, flowers, bushes and other plants is your go-to video call background. Your kids aren’t doing in-person school? No problem. Your backyard or neighborhood park is a living laboratory for learning that supports outdoor learning, even when school isn’t in session. Your kids take online classes under the shade of a tree. Do homework at a patio or picnic table. Brush up on STEM education by planting and studying flowers, bug hunting, and weather watching.

Zen Master
Enjoying your morning coffee on the balcony as songbirds serenade you. Meditating under the shade of a tree. De-stressing by swinging in a backyard hammock. Taking a break from your busy day to feel the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair. Your backyard is your sacred space for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It’s the best “green spa” in town. You know that spending time outside is good for your health and well-being and that, thanks to your yard, these benefits are only steps away.

Setting the stage for backyarding. One final and important note to backyarders of all kinds. Creating a yard that supports all of the aspects of your family’s outdoor lifestyle means taking stock of what you might need to care for your lawn. Take an inventory of your outdoor power equipment to make sure you are prepared. Then, get out there and create your canvas for even more backyard memory-making.

To learn more about creating the yard of your dreams, visit TurfMutt.

Sweden Turns Into World’s Largest Gourmet Restaurant

To highlight healthy and natural food available in nature, Sweden, together with four Swedish Michelin-starred chefs, is launching The Edible Country – a 100-million-acre-DIY gourmet restaurant. The restaurant, with a menu created from ingredients found in Swedish nature, is free of charge and open for reservations.

In this new global initiative, Sweden is showing the world how easy and accessible healthy food can be. The Edible Country consists of a nine-course menu that visitors can prepare and cook themselves – in the wild. It is co-created by Swedish Michelin-starred chefs Titti Qvarnström, Niklas Ekstedt, Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr.

As part of the initiative, seven handmade wooden tables have been placed across the country with ready-to-use kitchen kits and cooking tools. The tables are bookable between May and September through visitsweden.com/ediblecountry or bookatable.co.uk/theediblecountry. And if they are fully booked, it is still possible to visit The Edible Country and prepare the dishes at any other preferred location in Swedish nature.

“Sweden is 96 percent uninhabited and yet easily accessible for everyone. Our nature is filled with edible ingredients and we want to invite the world to enjoy them, and at the same time wind down in nature like us Swedes do. By using our star chefs’ menu, this new and innovative DIY culinary experience makes it possible for visitors to explore and transform nature into gourmet food themselves,” says Jennie Skogsborn Missuna, Chief Experience Officer at Visit Sweden.

Highly processed foods have become everyday food for people all over the world, with healthy alternatives often perceived as complicated and inaccessible. With The Edible Country, Sweden proves how natural and healthy food can be just as tasty and easy to make as anything else, with ingredients available in nature.

“For me, Swedish nature has always been my biggest source of inspiration when cooking. The hours I have spent in the forest have turned into the realization that cooking outdoors, with the ingredients right in front of me, is the core of Swedish cuisine. The Edible Country is a symbol of how easy, close and uncomplicated food can and should be,” says Niklas Ekstedt.

The dishes on the menu vary depending on the season, so the ingredients can be found in nature almost all year round. Among the dishes is forest broth with poached perch and broiled herb butter, and freshly smoked char with chanterelles and wood sorrel. This and much more is found in The Edible Country, which is now open for reservations.

“At Bookatable we help diners find great restaurants to create memorable dining experiences, so we are absolutely delighted to help with this innovative idea. Discovering a new restaurant is always exciting, but getting to forage for food in Sweden’s beautiful countryside and then cook a dish created by a Michelin-starred chef is an opportunity not to be missed. My only advice would be to book up quickly!” says Michel Cassius, CEO Bookatable by Michelin.

> More information about the restaurant: visitsweden.com/ediblecountry

> Make your reservation at visitsweden.com/ediblecountry or bookatable.co.uk/theediblecountry

Miami Art Week Sneak Peek

The nation’s leading exhibitions and event production, media, and marketer for the global fine art community, Redwood Media Group, announces a unique and newly formed partnership with Mana Wynwood. Together, they will have a permanent new home for its flagship artshows–two of the longest running independent art shows during Miami Art Week.

With a new and long-term location at Mana Wynwood, Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami will offer an exceptional and elevated world-class experience for both exhibitors and art enthusiasts during this year’s Miami Art Week, which takes place December 5-9.

The venue featuring ‘Two Shows in One Location” during the art week will cover more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space and be even more accessible for visitors on foot and by car, all within walking distance from Wynwood’s trendiest restaurants, bars, and retail boutiques.

The new and improved features for his year’s five-day fine art extravaganza will include:

  • low traffic location for easy accessibility
  • hundreds of paved parking spaces on site
  • indoor air conditioning and restrooms
  • café and lounge space with seating
  • easy access to the adjoining PINTA art fair

“We are excited to announce a unique alliance with Mana Wynwood, one of the region’s most progressive organizations in property development and the creative arts. Returning to the Wynwood Arts District for the first time since 2015 perfectly positions Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami within one of the country’s leading lifestyle and cultural destinations for both residents and visitors to Miami. Our New indoor location and pristine exhibition space will offer a truly premium experience for exhibitors and art enthusiasts alike. This is a strategic and long-term partnership and location for our flagship shows and we look forward to welcoming the art world to our new home,” says the president of Redwood Media Group, Eric Smith.

Red Dot Miami is a curated gallery-only contemporary art show. Now in its 13th year, it will be located inside Mana Wynwood. Red Dot Miami presents ILLUMINATE as the curatorial theme for this year’s show. From works that inspire awe and wonder to sweeping series that reveal fresh trends to artists who throw light on the roots of imagination through unlimited creativity, Red Dot Miami features more than 75 galleries representing over 500 leading contemporary artists from primary and secondary markets worldwide. The Spotlight Program will be included as it offers a focused look at several cutting-edge galleries chosen by the Redwood Media Group selection committee.

On the other side we have Spectrum Miami, which presents more of an upscale and urban curated contemporary art show. Now in its 8th year, it will be located adjacent to Red Dot Miami at Mana Wynwood. Spectrum Miami will offer special programs and site specific exhibitions that showcase the thriving art landscape of the city, informed by the 2018 curatorial theme ALLURE. Atmospheric abstracts, provocative photographs, seductive sculptures–the allure of contemporary and modern art is mysteriously and undeniable powerful. Spectrum Miami includes Art Labs and Art Talks as well as the Spotlight Program, providing collectors with a focused look at a variety of prominent exhibitors.

Both Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami have evolved to become the ultimate destination for the fine art industry where professional and contemporary art enthusiasts who collectively seek a more accessible experience.

The annual Opening Night Preview Party for both will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Mana Wynwood located at 2217 NW 5th Ave, Miami, FL 33127. It will feature innovative contemporary art together with Louis Jadot Wines, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and DJ entertainment. Tickets for this event are priced at $50 by ordering online and will be $60 at the event paying by door,

For ticket ordering/information, visit spectrum-Miami.com and reddotmiami.com

For more information on Redwood Media Group, visit redwoodmg.com.

Gregory Siff

Brooklyn born, LA based artist Gregory Siff recently added New York restaurant Clinton Hall to the list of venues boasting his large-scale works. Renowned for his colorful pop culture themes and whimsical abstract expressions, the artist has created Clinton Hall-inspired art that adorns the restaurant’s new 4,000-sq. ft. location in Williamsburg.

Inspired by the stories and successes of the popular New York beer hall, which has five locations across the city, Siff covered various metal pillars with symbolic markings and that include representations of Clinton Hall menu items, New York City symbols, and faces of the owners’ children. The Clinton Hall team commissioned the internationally recognized artist to create something that encompasses the brand in its entirety, while delivering an edgy yet artistic feel.

Siff’s past works include commissions by MoMA PS1, Soho House New York, and Google HQ as well as collaborations with brands like Helmut Lang, Pyer Moss and Saint Laurent.

About Greg Stiff:

Artist Gregory Siff was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977. Gregory lives and works in Los Angeles. His artworks are included in Swizz Beatz’s Dean Collection, Deitch Projects, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Moscow Museum of Art, Soho House New York and the Google HQ, to name a few. Siff’s exhibitions include “Happiness Dealer,” Samuel Owen Gallery- Nantucket (2017), “Portrait of an American Ice Cream Man,” 4AM Gallery (2016), Art Miami: Gallery Valentine (2016), “Walls,” Pacific Design Center (2015), Scope: Miami (2012), “Matter of Time,” Gallery Brown (2012), “There & Back,” Siren Studios x The Art Reserve (2012).  Siff has touched all areas of the art world with pieces on display in the Museum of Modern Art’s MoMA PS1 for Klaus Biesenbach’s group show “Rockaway!” as well as a mural in the ACE Museum for non-profit The Art of Elysium with Christie’s Auction House. He was selected by Vans Custom Culture to be one of their “Art Ambassadors” inspiring students across the United States to embrace their creativity. His hand-painted Vans were on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has done commissions and installations for Mercedes Benz, Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs with Louisxxx, Forbes, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, The Standard, Sotheby’s, Warner Bros. Records and Pyer Moss. Painting in a purposeful yet playful manner, his work exhibits meaning that is literal yet open for interpretation of nostalgia and childhood. Capturing happy moments while also tackling more serious topics, like the “Black Lives Matter” campaign, Gregory Siff does not shy away from using his art to initiate a conversation. He creates his iconic “storyboards” with each image representing an emotional or creative state of mind the artist considers to be a meaningful fragment of his life. His work has been seen in The New York Times, Andy Warhol’s Interview, Treats!, The Wall Street Journal and W Magazine. Most recently Gregory collaborated with luxury fashion house Saint Laurent, bringing his imagery to the new Winter YSL 2017 Women’s and Men’s Ready to Wear Line.

DISCOVER SOUTH AFRICA x TAX REFUND

It is that time of the year again, when Americans start preparing their tax returns, but there’s good news as most taxpayers can expect to receive an average refund of $2,895 according to the IRS. This year, South African Tourism is once again launching its Tax Refund campaign to encourage savvy travelers and adventure seekers to make the most of their refund with an out-of-this-world trip to South Africa. Partnering with the top US travel trade partners South African Tourism unveils six new exciting packages priced between $1,700-$3,200 to reflect the average tax refund. The packages offer a variety of experiences focusing on romance, adventure and culture throughout South Africa.

 

Today’s favorable exchange rate also guarantees US travelers’ hard-earned refund money goes further than ever in South Africa. South African Tourism is also excited to collaborate with TurboTax® this season on a blog post inspired by South Africa’s 10 most Instagrammable locations which will be live onwww.blog.turbotax.intuit.com/.

 

Whether a history buff, art and culture enthusiast, foodie, adventurer or nature lover, South Africa has something to offer every discerning traveler looking for an affordable vacation. This year’s exclusive deals include:

 

 

  • Gate 1 – 8 Day South Africa Tour with Game Drives & Flights — 8 days and 6 nights
Enjoy the best of Cape Town by exploring Table Mountain and then visit either the Winelands or Cape Peninsula. After a few days in the “Mother City,” head on to Johannesburg to transfer to the safari portion of your trip. You’ll be able to spot all kinds of wildlife while enjoying South Africa’s natural beauty. From US$1699/ Per Person Sharing (includes US $260pp savings with promo code SATD260).
This week, you’ll take a deep dive into exploring Cape Town’s gorgeous sites and vibrant culture. Whether biking through Cape Point, whale watching from the golden shores, or hiking Table Mountain, you’re sure to fall in love with Cape Town. From US $1,999* Per Person Sharing.
  • Great Safaris – Zululand Express Safari — 6 days and 4 nights
Explore the beautiful coastal town of Durban to see a different side of South Africa. Here, you’ll experience the historical melting pot of Indian and African cultures or spend a day relaxing on the beach. Afterwards, you’ll transfer to Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve to partake in game drives and learn about the Zulu tribe members that originally lived there. From US $2,195 Per Person Sharing.
  • Indus Travel – Super South Africa & Dubai — 13 Days and 9 nights
Guests can explore the vibrant city of Johannesburg and a guided tour to the Soweto Township, a cultural melting pot with a wealth of heritage sites that will fascinate any visitor. Visit Kruger National Park before continuing on to Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Then Visit Cape Town, regularly voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From US$2,799* Per Person Sharing.
Enjoy scenic beauty, culture and world class restaurants in Cape Town. Marvel at spectacular views of the Atlantic seaboard from the top of Table Mountain. Explore the Cape Peninsula, on a full-day tour that offers dramatic scenery and endearing penguins. From US $2,999* Per Person Sharing.
Experience the perfect mix of safari and city with this trip to South Africa. After 3 nights of game drives in malaria-free Pilanesberg Game Reserve, couples can retreat to the beach suburb of Cape Town to relax. From US $3,199* Per Person Sharing.

 

 

“South Africa is blessed with breathtaking natural scenery, world-class safari experiences, and adrenaline pumping adventure activities; and with celebrations around the Nelson Mandela Centenary planned throughout 2018, now is the ideal time to visit,” said Bangu Masisi, President of South African Tourism, Americas. “These packages from our partners showcase the variety of exciting travel experiences that are made possible by using your tax refund”. To book these packages or view additional South Africa travel deals, please visit southafrica.net/deals. For more information on South Africa’s rich and diverse offerings visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter and @VisitSouthAfrica on Instagram and Facebook.