Art

Placeholder Content Image

Budget ways to dress up your home

<p>I want to expand on that post, by showing you that when it comes to the finishing touches in your home, budget can be beautiful.</p> <p>There’s nothing better than decking out your home without spending a lot of money, and below I’m going to tell you which pieces of decor and furniture you can skimp on that are still incredibly stylish.</p> <p><strong>Lamps<br /></strong>Mood lighting in a space is super important, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money here. You have my full approval to spend around $60 on a table lamp and under $150 for a floor lamp. With table lamps, opt for varieties with a large base and shade. They’ll take up more space on a table, which means more visual impact.</p> <p>The one thing to look out for with floor lamps is sturdiness. Some cheaper floor lamps can have unstable, wobbly legs (especially tripod varieties). So give your lamp a shake in-store to make sure it’s well grounded. </p> <p><strong>Art prints<br /></strong>I’m a big fan of investing in original art from local artists when decorating a living room, for example. But if you’re dressing a spare room, hallway, office or other room that you don’t spend a tonne of time in, a cluster of budget art prints is the way to go. </p> <p>There are tonnes of online stores that sell prints for around $20 or $30 each (quote art is still on-trend and I love it). Buy four prints, pop them in some cheap IKEA frames, and hang them in a line down your hallway. Instant update for under $200 total. </p> <p><strong><u>Bonus tip:</u></strong> Canvas art is usually priced really well too, it’s light as a feather, and makes a big impact for minimal spend. </p> <p><strong>Mirrors<br /></strong>If your budget is tight, cheap mirrors are the way to go. The beauty of the more affordable ones is that they’re smaller and lighter, so they’re easy to hang using velcro Command hooks or similar.</p> <p>If you want to make a big impact with your mirror, consider four smaller square mirrors hung on the wall in a grid. It’ll take up the space of a much larger mirror, but without the price tag and hassle of hanging something so heavy. </p> <p><strong>Stools<br /></strong>I usually say that anything you sit on should be invested in, because comfort is essential. However, stools are the exception. The truth is, you won’t spend a lot of time on the stool itself (15 minutes while having a tea or coffee), so you don’t have to spend hundreds here.</p> <p>To ensure sturdiness, though, go for a metal bar stool that comes in one piece. That way, the legs won’t wobble and you don’t ever have to worry about it falling apart underneath you. Pop a cushion on top if you need some extra comfort.</p> <p><strong>TV unit<br /></strong>The TV unit is one of the furniture pieces I always advise clients to skimp on if they’re on a budget. This is because you generally don’t even look at it when watching TV, and it’s not a piece built for comfort. It’s literally a rectangular box that elevates your television off the floor.</p> <p>I suggest you go cheap here and save your money to spend on other items. There are TV units on the market for under $70 that come on wheels and still have cavities in them for your DVD player, stereo or set-top box. </p> <p><strong>Hall table<br /></strong>I love a hall or entry table inside the door of a home. It’s a great place for dropping keys and mail. And if nothing else it gives you a space to decorate! The good news is that you can go cheap here too.</p> <p>The one thing to be careful of is not sitting anything too heavy on a hall table. The height of a hall table means that it’s already quite fragile. Cheaper versions often feature thin legs. So either secure it to the wall so it can’t topple over, or ensure it only holds light decor that won’t smash should it get knocked over.</p> <p><strong>The moral of the story<br /></strong>I like a home to have a mix of new and old, pieces you’ve splurged on and items you’ve gotten for a steal. It makes your space feel more well-rounded and personal. So don’t be afraid to go cheap when you need to. It saves you money and then you can invest in more costly design elements that really matter!</p> <p><em>Written by Chris Carroll. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/budget-ways-to-dress-up-your-home.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Where is Da Vinci’s $450m Jesus painting?

<p>A highly anticipated exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s works at the Louvre is set to open on October 24.</p> <p>Nearly 120 of the Italian artist’s most famous art pieces will be brought together with <em>Mona Lisa</em> at the Paris museum to commemorate the 500<sup>th</sup> anniversary of his death.</p> <p>However, with less than two weeks to go before the show opens, there are doubts as to whether the popular <em>Salvator Mundi </em>– the first Leonardo to be found for more than a century – will be featured.</p> <p>The painting, which depicted Jesus in Renaissance dress, emerged as the world’s most expensive after it sold at a 2017 auction for US$450.3 million to Prince Badr bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.</p> <p>The painting’s whereabouts is currently not known. New York art historian and dealer Robert Simon claimed he had heard that it was “being kept in a secure art storage facility in Switzerland” as of months ago, while <em><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-10/da-vinci-s-450-million-masterpiece-kept-on-mbs-s-yacht-artnet">Artnet.com</a> </em>alleged it was stored on a superyacht owned by Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/salvator-mundi-set-to-be-a-no-show">The Art Newspaper</a> </em>went further to claim that the <em>Salvator Mundi </em>will be “a no-show”, given that the museum had yet to secure the approval for the loan four weeks prior to the opening.</p> <p><span>A spokeswoman for the Louvre told the <em>Observer</em>: “I confirm the Louvre has asked for the loan of the <em>Salvator Mundi</em>. We don’t have the answer yet and thus, don’t have any further comment.”</span></p> <p>The painting’s authenticity has also been called into question. It was initially attributed to the “school of Giovanni Boltraffio”, a student of Leonardo’s, before it was upgraded to “a work by Boltraffio” in 1958. The piece was only authenticated as “an autograph work by Leonardo” in 2011.</p> <p>Several experts have challenged the attribution, with some <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvator_Mundi_(Leonardo)#cite_note-nytimes.com-85">claiming</a> the painting was a “studio work with a little Leonardo at best”.</p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

How I survived an online dating scam

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By the time Jan Marshall, an online dating scam victim from Melbourne, realised that ‘'Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn" did not exist she had already lost $260,000 in life savings, become isolated from her family and friends, and was spiralling down a dangerous path of self-loathing and isolation. It wasn’t until she stopped blaming herself that she was able to turn it all around.</span></p> <p><em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> spoke with the anti-fraud ambassador to talk about her experience, her long road to recovery, and how she’s now helping other Australians to avoid making the same mistake.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It took only 72 days for Jan to fall prey to an international romance scam but years to come to terms with what had happened.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2012, 62-year old Jan moved from Brisbane to Melbourne for work and to be closer to family. She was looking for companionship, someone with whom she could explore Victoria, when she decided to try online dating for the first time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jan joined free dating website Plenty of Fish and almost immediately she was approached by a man called “Eamon”, who was posing as a lonely engineer from the UK.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t have a lot of experience with online dating, and I certainly didn’t have the awareness that people would be out to get you. So I took it on face value and I responded to the initial declarations of interest and affection and eventually love,” says Jan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Through emotional manipulation, the scammer started to earn Jan's trust and worked his way into her heart</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, he would reveal intimate details about himself, laying the groundwork for Jan to do the same. Then talked about what they liked and didn’t like, their interests, passions and previous relationships. Above all he made Jan feel special and loved.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“By the time he popped the question, ‘Would you marry someone like me?’ I said yes,” Jan admits. “And that’s exactly what they want to do, they want to get you into that state because they know that when you’re in that state they can manipulate.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her scammer was persistent, too. He would email and message Jan at all hours, and this left her sleep deprived.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eventually he managed to isolate her from family and friends. “They get you to the point where you don’t have any control. If there’s anybody out there who’s trying to warn you—and I did have friends who were trying to warn me—they [the scammers] are pretty skilled at separating you from those people. And whether you like it or not you just retract,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By the time Jan realised she was part of an elaborate financial scam it was too late. She had already lost $260,000. Jan was told the money was for business ventures in Dubai and Europe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was always supposed to be a loan, and that I would get the money back,” Jan explains. “When you are in love with them you trust them, you are generous to them, you want them to be happy, and when they raise issues with you, you help them. The same way you would with any family member.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It wasn’t until that man broke contact with me that I realised it was a scam.” While Jan reported the incident to Victorian police, who eventually traced the scam back to Nigeria, she says she doesn’t expect to ever see the money again.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Luckily I was working at the time and that enabled me to deal with some of the financial issues but I still am not able to recover financially from that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was retrenched from my job, so I spent about 14 months unemployed. I had to borrow money from friends. I got hardship money out of the little bit of super I had left, and that got me through, and I’ve since started another job. But there’s still credit card debt and tax debt,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many of the people I’ve spoken to talk about the fact that financially they can never recover.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the official ambassador for ACORN, a police service that tracks and investigates online crime, Jan is hoping her story will prevent others from making the same mistake. She has also set up a blog, Romance Scam Survivor, dedicated to the cause, and launched a support group and meet-up for victims and vulnerable individuals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Going public with her story was challenging at first, says Jan. “Initially like many others I really blamed myself. You think you have done wrong, and the attitude of society is that you’ve allowed yourself to be tricked.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What I realised as I researched scams and what happens in scams is that actually I’d been manipulated by professionals—skilled professionals—and it’s much, much more than a trick. It’s deliberate and criminal fraud,” Jan says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So coming to terms with that helped me to realise that it wasn’t something that I had done, and when I understood how the scammers worked I was able to turn it around from blaming myself to starting to speak out about it.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Last year, the ACCC received 2620 Australian reports of romance scams, with a total of $22.7 million lost in online dating fraud incidents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However experts say the figures are a gross underestimate, as many victims are too embarrassed or reluctant to report scams.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Romance scams continue to cause significant emotional and financial harm to the community. We know these figures are only the tip of the iceberg,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard in a statement released earlier this year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nearly one in four of the reported romance scams started on social media, particularly Facebook. However, online dating sites are also popular with con artists.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If online dating sites don’t have advice about safe dating practices, then consumers should carefully consider whether those sites have their best interests at heart,” Ms Rickard said.</span></p> <p><strong>Protect yourself online</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never provide your financial details or send funds to someone you’ve met online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Run a Google Image search to check the authenticity of any photos provided as scammers often use fake photos they’ve found online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Be very wary if you are moved off a dating website as scammers prefer to correspond through private emails or the phone to avoid detection.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t share photos or webcam of a private nature. The ACCC has received reports of scammers using this material to blackmail victims.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you think you have fallen victim to a fraudster, contact your bank or financial institution immediately and report it to: </span><a href="http://www.scamwatch.gov.au."><span style="font-weight: 400;">www.scamwatch.gov.au.</span></a></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Mahsa Fratantoni. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/how-i-survived-an-online-dating-scam.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au. </span></a></em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Are these the top 5 TV families of all time?

<p>Are these the top 5 TV families of all time? Whether dysfunctional or picture-perfect, fictional families have taught us that anything is possible with the support of a loving family. What is your favourite TV family of all time?</p> <p>Whether dysfunctional or picture-perfect, fictional families have taught us that anything is possible with the support of a loving family. What is your favourite TV family of all time?</p> <p>Join our countdown of the top 5 TV families!</p> <p><strong>1. The Bundys (Married With Children)</strong></p> <p>With his half-baked wife, ditzy daughter, nerdy son, annoyingly perfect neighbours and unrealised professional football dreams, it’s no wonder poor old Al Bundy barely cracks a smile throughout the ten seasons of Married With Children (1987-1997).</p> <p>His career as a shoe salesman also irked the unconventional father figure, but we fell in love with this unlikely family unit nonetheless, and their flaws only made us adore them more. Oh, Al!   </p> <p><strong>2. The Fletchers (Home and Away)</strong></p> <p>The enduring Fletcher family has been roaming the streets and surfing the waves of Summer Bay for decades. The best known of the Fletchers would still have to be Sally (Kate Richie) and her adopted parents Pippa (played by Vanessa Downing and Debra Lawrence) and Tom (Roger Oakley).</p> <p>The foster-parents-come-caravan-park-managers with seemingly endless love and room to spare encountered a multitude of trials and tribulations but always managed to keep the family together, even after Sally called a mentally unstable murderer “a real psycho” or when she discovered her imaginary friend was actually her twin brother.</p> <p><strong>3. The Clampetts (Beverly Hillbillies)</strong></p> <p><em>"Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed </em><br /><em>A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed </em><br /><em>And then one day he was shootin' at some food </em><br /><em>And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude </em><br /><em>Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea…”</em><br />A ragtag bunch, if ever there was one, the endearing Clampetts!</p> <p>Dominating TV ratings during the 1960s, The Beverly Hillbillies told the story of a simple Ozark-mountain family who struck gold, made millions and moved to an exclusive California address. Throughout its nine year run between 1962-1971, the Clampetts starred in 274 slap-your-knee Benny Hill style funny episodes.</p> <p>Hilarious scenarios arise as their untrustworthy banker does his damnedest to keep their oil earnings in the bank by lavishing them with an opulent lifestyle and appeasing unhappy neighbours who want them out of town. Overall, it’s a rollicking good time! </p> <p><strong>4. The Keatons (Family Ties)</strong></p> <p>During the height of President Reagan’s reign the world was introduced to a young Republican named Alex P. Keaton, played perfectly by Michael J. Fox in his breakout television role.</p> <p>Born to a couple of ex-hippies – architect Elyse and community radio employee Steven – the family also included less-than-intelligent, but flirty as hell, Mallory, middle-child syndrome prone Jennifer and, later, baby Andrew.</p> <p>The sometimes political but always funny storylines had that beautiful sitcom quality of wrapping up neatly after half an hour, and they never failed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.</p> <p><strong>5. Dorothy And Sophia (The Golden Girls)</strong></p> <p>No list would be complete without the ragtag team of Dorothy Zbornak and her mother, Sophia Petrillo. These two women were so different it was hard to believe they were related, the side-splitting banter between the kooky mother and sensible daughter was so good it turned a show featuring a mature, all female cast into a smash hit. We love them for it!</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see our top 5 TV families of all time.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au</em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Skin checks: Don't neglect your skin

<p>It is perhaps not too surprising that Australia has a relatively high skin cancer risk compared to other countries. In fact about two in three of us will be affected to some degree before the age of 70 and over 750,000 new cases of Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are diagnosed and treated each year.</p> <p>Skin cancer can usually be treated effectively, but there is always a potential for some instances to become quite serious or even fatal and the symptoms are not always very obvious. This makes it vital to maintain a sound strategy for managing your skin cancer risk.</p> <p><strong>The first line of defence</strong><br />As with any health issue, prevention is always better than cure. With so much of our lifestyle being outdoors, it can be easy to forget how much sun exposure we are subjected to. While we may be more conscious of it if we are at the beach or some other relaxation activity, we may not be so vigilant during everyday activities, such as gardening or driving. The sun does not discriminate, however, so constant protective action is essential.</p> <p><strong>The key preventative issues to remember are:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Avoid sun exposure in the peak danger times of 11am -3pm (daylight saving time)</li> <li>Wear a broad brimmed or legionnaires’ hat, long sleeved collared shirts and longer trousers/skirts</li> <li>SPF 30+ sunscreen applied 20 minutes to exposure and reapplied every two hours</li> <li>Close fitting sunglasses - Australian Standard AS1067.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Get familiar with your own skin</strong><br />Even the most cautious sun-smart habits, however, do not eliminate the risk of potentially dangerous skin cancers occurring. Skin cancers rarely hurt and are much more frequently detected by visual checks, rather than any specific pain or discomfort. That means it is essential to be vigilant in inspecting your own skin every three months to keep a track of anything suspicious and to notice any changes in skin blemishes, moles or spots. Some advice on how to do this by yourself (or with the help of a friend or partner) can be found here <a href="http://%20www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/check-for-signs-of-skin-cancer.html">cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer</a></p> <p>Jot down the dates of inspection and any observations on abnormalities or changes. Particular issues that need further investigation by a medical professional include:</p> <ul> <li>a new spot that is different from other spots around it</li> <li>change in shape, size, or colour of a spot, mole or freckle</li> <li>spots, sores or moles that are not healing, itch, tingle, bleed or weep</li> <li>a spot that becomes raised or develops a lump</li> </ul> <p><strong>Regular professional check-ups are essential</strong><br />If you are concerned about any abnormalities you should see your usual doctor, but even if you don’t detect anything yourself it is important to get regular inspections from your doctor on an annual basis, or at more frequent intervals that they recommend if they believe you are higher risk.</p> <p>Skin cancer clinics are also quite prevalent and may be an option for these check-ups. These are usually operated by GPs, but make sure you check up on the qualifications and experience of the person who will examine you.</p> <p>Such examinations will often identify scaly growths or lesions caused by sun damage particularly on the face, scalp, lips, and the back of the hands. While the majority of these are not cancerous and can be treated quickly and simply with a freeze spray or topical creams, they can eventually become cancerous if left untreated.</p> <p>For further information on screening and for details on the various types of skin cancers, visit:<br /><a href="http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/skin-cancer/">cancercouncil.com.au/skin-cancer/</a></p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/skin-checks-dont-neglect-your-skin-this-summer.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

How to hang art (without messing it up)

<p>While everyone may have different tastes in art, there are some general tips and tricks you should keep in mind when hanging your favourite pieces.</p> <p><strong>Keep it level</strong><br />From photographs to sculpture to pastels, art is meant to be seen. That means it's important to hang it at eye level. It's typically a good idea to have the centre of the artwork about 1.5 metres from the ground.</p> <p>Also make sure that the work is hanging properly. A crooked painting can ruin the entire atmosphere of a room. And heaven forbid you hang it upside down!</p> <p><strong>Think big picture</strong><br />Unless you have your own private gallery at home, you'll need to make sure your art fits with the rest of your possessions - particularly your furniture.</p> <p>Art should enhance your home decor, not clash with or take away from it. Keep this in mind when it comes to art placement, as well as the colour of frames and the works themselves.</p> <p><strong>Safety in numbers</strong><br />While you don't want to overwhelm the senses, it's a good idea to remember how art can work in groups.</p> <p>For instance, say you want to hang a painting above your sofa. While your first inclination may be to centre it directly above the furniture, unless the artwork in question is the right size, it could throw off the look of the room. If it's too big it will dwarf the sofa, and if it's too small it just won't look right compared to a big piece of furniture.</p> <p><strong>The 1.45 rule<br /></strong>This one tip guarantees success when placing your art. Always make sure the centre of the artwork is exactly 1.45m above the floor. This is the average human eye-height and is often used as a standard in galleries and museums. </p> <p>People tend to hang art too high but if you stick to this rule, you’ll create consistency across all the artwork in your home, as all your pictures will share a midline as you look around, no matter what the outside dimensions may be.</p> <p><strong>Step by step</strong></p> <ul> <li>Measure and lightly mark 1.45m on your wall with a soft pencil</li> <li>Measure the height of your artwork and divide by two to get the centre measurement</li> <li>Measure the top of your picture frame to the tightened wire</li> <li>Subtract the tight wire measurement from the half height amount to achieve your ‘to the hook’ amount. This helps you establish how high above 1.45m your hook should be placed</li> <li>Lightly mark your wall just above 1.45m with your ‘to the hook’ amount</li> </ul> <p>With groups of pictures, think of the group as one picture.</p> <p><strong>Avoid catastrophe</strong><br />When you’re hanging a frame, check the picture wire and attachment points for wear. Picture wire is made from many fine wires wound together. Over time and after many moves, some of these fine wires can start to break. This will usually occur right where the centre point of the wire is; the point at which it rests on the wall hook.</p> <p>As you’ve adjusted your frame to keep it level, this wears away at the wire and eventually it can snap – with potentially disastrous results. If a painting or picture is particularly heavy, make sure you use a double strand of picture wire and be very careful about your choice of wall hooks and mounting locations.</p> <p>If your walls are made from gyprock, purchase a stud finder from your local hardware shop. This will help you locate your home’s timber framework so you can place screws or hooks at the points of greatest strength. If you prefer to use special gyprock mounting hooks, pay very close attention to their weight limits and always use a bigger hook than you need for the job.</p> <p><em>Written by Stewart Bunn. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-to-hang-art-without-messing-it-up.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

A life in pictures: Prince Harry turns 35!

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Loving father, accomplished veteran and doting husband - Prince Harry has it all. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When we first met Prince Harry in 1984, he was a tiny cherub in his mother’s hands who made headlines around the world as they stood on the steps of St Mary’s Hospital, London. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He was the second son to Prince Charles and Princess Di, and a warm, cheeky welcome after the arrival of his big brother Prince William who was born in 1982. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Growing up in the eyes of the public as the son of “the most photographed woman in the world” and the future King of England was not an easy feat - but thankfully he had a close support system in his family to rely on and the world never got to miss out on seeing a cheeky Hazza stick his tongue out at the cameras or adorably smile up at his mother or big brother. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since growing up in the spotlight, Prince Harry has made a name for himself by supporting children with HIV and AIDS through his charity Sentebale. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He has also campaigned alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to promote mental health awareness. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2018, a 33-year-old Prince Harry married American-born Meghan Markle who became Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in a highly televised wedding which had hearts melting all around the world. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Duke and Duchess of Sussex share one child together, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who graced the world in May of 2019. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through the gallery above to see Prince Harry’s life in pictures. </span></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

A life in pictures: Colin Firth turns 59!

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">British actor Colin Firth is celebrating 59 laps around the sun today. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Firth is widely known for starring in blockbuster hits including </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love Actually, The King’s Speech</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mamma Mia. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The charming Hollywood veteran reached a new high in his career in 2010 when he was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars. He didn’t take out the win then, but it wasn’t long before he deservedly claimed the trophy as his own in 2011 for </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The King’s Speech. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The film also went on to earn a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I have a feeling my career just peaked," he joked, as he accepted his incredible award back in 2011 and dedicated it to his mother, Shirley. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He thanked "all the people who have been rooting for me back home" and his wife Livia for "putting up with my fleeting delusions of royalty". </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I think I'm feeling not joy – but relief that it's over. That seems to be the default position. You could say I'm grateful – and relieved," he said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Colin Firth has been married to Livia Giuggioli since 1997 and he has three songs, Will, 28, Luca, 18, and Matteo, 16. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through the gallery above to see Colin Firth's life in pictures. </span></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

6 hacks to remove water stains from wood

<p>Grab any of these household products and you’ll be able to buff out those water rings, easy.</p> <p><strong>1. Baking Soda</strong></p> <p>Get those white marks—caused by hot cups or sweating glasses—off your coffee table or other wooden furniture by making a paste of one tablespoon baking soda and one teaspoon water.</p> <p>Gently rub the spot in a circular motion until it disappears.</p> <p>Remember not to use too much water to remove water stains from wood.</p> <p><strong>2. Petroleum Jelly</strong></p> <p>Your most recent party left lots of watermark rings on your wood furniture.</p> <p>To make them disappear, apply petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight.</p> <p>In the morning, wipe the watermark away with the jelly.</p> <p><strong>3. Toothpaste</strong></p> <p>You leave coasters around, but some people just won’t use them.</p> <p>To get rid of those telltale watermark rings left by sweating beverages, gently rub some non-gel toothpaste with a soft cloth on the surface to remove water stains from wood.</p> <p>Then wipe it off with a damp cloth and let it dry before applying furniture polish.</p> <p>For even stronger cleaning power, mix equal parts white toothpaste and baking soda.</p> <p>Rub the paste parallel to the wood grain, wipe it off, and then polish with lemon oil.</p> <p><strong>4. Salt</strong></p> <p>Make watermarks left from glasses or bottles disappear by mixing one teaspoon salt with a few drops of water to form a paste.</p> <p>Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone.</p> <p>Restore the lustre of your wood with furniture polish.</p> <p><strong>5. Car Wax</strong></p> <p>Someone forgot to use a coaster and now there’s an ugly white ring on the dining room table.</p> <p>When regular furniture polish doesn’t work, try using a dab of car wax to remove water stains from wood.</p> <p>Trace the ring with your finger to apply the wax.</p> <p>Let it dry and buff with a soft cloth.</p> <p><strong>6. Vinegar</strong></p> <p>To remove white rings left by wet glasses on wood furniture, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain.</p> <p>Use another clean, soft cloth to shine it up.</p> <p>To get white water rings off leather furniture, dab them with a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar.</p> <p>Did you know that vinegar can not only remove water stains from wood but also remove blood stains?</p> <p>This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/cleaning/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-wood/">RD.com</a></p> <p> </p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Duchess Meghan turns 38! See her best moments here

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Duchess of Sussex turns 38 today and it is her second birthday as an official member of the royal family. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While her and her husband, Prince Harry, 34, are notorious for keeping private matters of their family strictly under wraps, it is understood the royal member will spend her special day with her hubby and newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor who was born almost three months ago. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to a royal expert, the Duke of Sussex will be making this birthday extra special for his wife of 15 months and will reportedly be handing her a picture frame with a special engraving from both him and baby Archie. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The royal member is also believed to be receiving a piece of jewelry that holds sentimental value to Prince Harry. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This year there will be a birthday gift from Archie and the odds are on a sepia or black and white photograph of her precious son in a solid silver frame from Aspreys," a royal insider told </span><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fabulous Digital</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The precious present is likely to have an engraving chosen by Harry that will make it extra special.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"And Harry has a weakness for designing jewellery for Meghan, so it is expected that the royal will design another stunning piece - likely to be earrings - as a Sussex surprise."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Duchess Meghan has had a big year as a royal indeed - from the celebration of her first wedding anniversary to the arrival of her first child and it seems like there is no slowing down for her as Prince Harry hinted they would be aiming for one more child to complete their family. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through the gallery above to have a look at Duchess Meghan’s time as a royal member. </span></p>

Art

Placeholder Content Image

Australian map at US zoo leaves people astounded

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A map that was made to educate visitors at an American Zoo has instead gone viral for its hilarious blunder. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The photo of what is meant to be an Australian map highlighting the Great Barrier Reef in  Queensland has been poorly thought out after it was realised that the entire state of Victoria was cut out from the map. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Funnily enough, the sign which was snapped at a Zoo in Indiana US, also featured an orange section made to bring attention to the Great Barrier Reef turned out to be not entirely accurate either. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7829034/1-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/47aa0df164374f16a777056946dfb0bb" /><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source: Reddit/hashtag-123</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The reef extends way further south,” one person responded.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Tasmania has eaten Victoria,” one person pointed out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The picture went viral on Reddit and users made light of the serious blunder. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We detached and floated over to become New Zealand's new west island,” another person said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s very cold so we all voted to just move the whole state north, I hope nobody minds? We will probably vote to move it all back when it’s summer,” a third social media user wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another hilarious comment read: “Can't attack you if they can't find you on the map!”</span></p>

Art