Happy Birthday Mr. President

Imagine wearing a dress to an event only years later to have it auctioned off for millions of dollars.

If Marilyn Monroe was alive today, I’m sure she wouldn’t believe it herself.

On November 18, 2016 an auction was held in Los Angeles for one of Marilyn Monroe’s famous dresses where it sold for a record breaking $4.8 million USD.

The sale of Monroe’s gown has outdone the previous record for the most expensive dress sold at auction, which was the famous white halter neck and also worn by the actress in the film ‘The Seven Year Itch. It sold to fellow actress Debbie Reynolds for $4.6 million USD in 2011.

This time around, the stunning gown was sold to the well known international museum chain Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and according to the vice president, will be on display at the Hollywood Ripley’s before moving to different branches around the world for others to view.

The uniquely made Jean Louis dress was presented at the auction on a custom-made mannequin designed to match Monroe’s exact body measurements.

The dress itself features over 2,500 hand stitched crystals on the sheer, flesh coloured design and was said to have been so tight that Monroe was sewn into it before performing for the President’s 45th birthday.

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(Image source telegraph)

The iconic dress was worn in 1962 when Monroe serenaded President John F. Kennedy singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in front of 15,000 guests at a Democratic fundraiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The performance was iconic as Monroe not only sang the rendition in her trademark tones, but also sparked rumours of an affair between herself and President Kennedy who was later assassinated in 1963.

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(Image source forbes)

The fundraiser was also one of Monroe’s last public appearances before her death from a drug overdose less than three months later, aged 36.

The gown however is not the only thing to be auctioned over the three-day event, with hundreds of Monroe’s items and memorabilia under the hammer and up for sale including the beaded dress the actress wore in the film ‘Some Like It Hot’, which sold for $375,000 USD.

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Powerful Quake Shakes New Zealand Causing Widespread Damage and Panic

Since the tremor, more than 250 aftershocks have been recorded including three over a magnitude of six in just 12 hours.

  • Powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake shocks New Zealand early Monday around 12.00am local time
  • At least two people dead with others injured
  • Epicentre near Hanmer Springs, 91km north of Christchurch
  • Tsunami warnings issued with locals ordered to evacuate their homes

Still recovering from the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake five years ago, New Zealand has been rocked again as a 7.8 deadly earthquake has occurred triggering strong aftershocks, a tsunami and killing at least two people.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management said the quake hit just after midnight local time on Monday, the epicentre striking near Hanmer Springs, 91km north of Christchurch.

Since the tremor, more than 250 aftershocks have been recorded including three over a magnitude of six in just 12 hours. Scientists have predicted that due to the severity of the quake, these aftershocks may be felt for up to several months into the future.

Soon after, a tsunami struck the northeastern coast, with irregular waves reportedly reaching as high as two meters being recorded around the city of Kaikoura. Smaller waves were also reported in Wellington and other locations along the coast.

A nationwide tsunami threat was issued forcing residents out of their homes to find higher ground. The warning has since been downgraded however authorities are cautioning that high waves could still hit the South Island’s northeast coast.

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Image source here

New Zealand is currently in recovery mode assessing the extent of the damage to the CBD, roads, schools and the areas that were hit hard including Wellington and Christchurch.

It has been reported that the small North Canterbury town of Waiau has been one of the worst hit with power and phone lines cut and the main roads and bridge in the town destroyed.

However, although badly hit, the extent of the damage could have been much worse if the quake had occurred during peak day time instead of during the night.

Busy roads that have been torn in half were relatively empty at midnight when the quake struck, something that wouldn’t happen during the day as hundreds of commuters travel on those roads daily.

While the physical clean up has begun, the quake has also had repercussions on those sitting final NCEA exams, with delays being announced and scholarship exams called off until further notice.

The occurrence of this earthquake is similar to the previous tremor that occurred in January 2011 and resulted in the death of 185 people and sparking a clean up that lasted months after the disaster.

This is a reminder of what is to come as the nation moves into recovery mode and works together to rebuild what has been damaged.

Feature image source here

6 Ways to Discover Barcelona

Indulge yourself and discover the lifestyle, architecture, food and culture of Barcelona.

Barcelona. Think sun, architecture, food and culture at its finest. With the reputation of one of the most attractive cities in Europe, it’s easy to see why it’s a crowd favourite among tourists and a popular travel destination.

The city is full of life and colours making it exciting to walk the streets and discover hidden treasures along the way. It’s a place where the afternoon siesta (nap) is highly acceptable and even encouraged and the locals are as laid back as the tourists. Culture and nightlife play a big part within the city with a popular saying being ‘the days are long but the nights are longer’.

However, when travelling it can be difficult to know what there is to do in a short period of time. So here is an overview of what to do in Barcelona.

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Image source here

Go for a walk or take a guided walking tour.

Barcelona is an amazing city. There is so much history and culture in the streets that is waiting to be discovered. Although it’s a big city, it’s the perfect size to go for a walk and stop at points you find interesting.

Guided tours are also a good option because the guide will have an insight to information and places that might not be available to tourists alone. This is a good way to truly indulge in the culture away from the tourist hot spots and immerse yourself in the rich culture that makes Barcelona so unique.

Familiarise yourself with Gaudi.

When travelling through Barcelona, you may come to notice the recurring theme of mosaic architecture. This is because Barcelona’s architecture gives credit to the architect named Antoni Gaudi. He is responsible for some of the most famous sites around the city including the spectacular Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and La Pedrera. These amazing spots are worth the look as they are breathtaking both inside and out.

Indulge your tastebuds.

Pintxos are all the rage in Barcelona. They are essentially like tapas, translated as meaning a snack, something that is typically eaten in a bar. The way they work is that everything is served on a toothpick as a bite sized appetizer, when you’ve finished you take all your toothpicks to the counter and are charged for every empty toothpick. This type of eating can be found at most bars around the city.

There are also the traditional tapas. These are a sit down meal that is good to share with friends and goes well with the traditional Spanish drink Sangria. Here, you choose a variety of little share meals and they come to share between groups of people.

Another must try is Paella. This is a traditional Spanish meal served at most restaurants and comes in a variety of flavours. It’s a rice dish that has been cooked and served in a round hot dish. Most popular flavours include vegetarian, seafood and chicken.

Hit the beach.

With amazing weather during summer and lovely long days to enjoy one of the biggest tourist spots is definitely the beach. Voted as one of the best city beaches in the world, Barcelona’s beach is a perfect spot to spend the day relaxing, catching up with friends and working on that tan. However, because of the amazing weather the beach can become quite crowded, so best to get in early and reserve a good spot on the sand.

Visit Camp Nou.

For all the football fans, Barcelona FC Camp Nou experience is a must see. If it’s the right time of the season, taking in a game is an amazing thing to do, however, if it’s the off-season you can go on the Camp Nou Experience Tour.

The tour lets you go behind the scenes of one of the biggest football clubs in Europe. You are taken to change rooms and media boxes as well as the dugouts and even get to stand on the field. There is also a gallery showing trophies and history of the club so that you can fully immerse yourself in the club culture.

Enjoy Las Rumblas.

Las Rumblas is the most famous street in Barcelona. It is a tree lined strip in the middle of the road with restaurants, market stalls and many people. Typically this stretch comes to life at night with fairy lights and buskers taking over and treating tourists to the popular nightlife lifestyle that is Barcelona.

Barcelona is full of life, architecture and culture waiting to be discovered. If you get the opportunity, delve in and let Barcelona surprise you.

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Image source here

Melbourne Cup Wrap 2016

Once again Melbourne Cup Day has come and gone leaving punters in a state of awe as they watched the thrilling finish to the race that stops a nation.

More than 97,000 people dolled themselves up and head out to Flemington yesterday to enjoy the race day public holiday with friends, family and a good time.

Flemington was transformed into a sea of colour after Derby Day’s black and white, with punters finding their brightest fascinators and suits to wow the crowd.

By 12pm races were in full swing and so were the festivities. The grass was covered in picnic rugs and people were strewn out on the lawn enjoying each other’s company.

Not even the constant bursts of rain and wind could keep racegoers away, instead using ponchos and building umbrella forts to protect themselves from mother nature until the clouds passed and the sun came out again causing a cheer from the crowd.

As the big race got closer, bookmakers became busier as punters hurried to place their last minute predictions hoping for their chosen horse to get over the line.

As the race time got closer everyone could be seen making their way onto the lawn or into the stands in search of finding the perfect spot to view the main event of the day.

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Image source here

Race 7 began with a roar from the crowd as the gates opened and the horses began to run. People excitedly cheering and watching intently as the jockeys could be seen bobbing up and down over the heads in the audience as they passed on the track in front.

As they came around the final bend you could hear the sound of the hooves beating on the track sparking more excitement throughout Flemington, punters aware the race was almost at the end and there would soon be a winner.

Melburnians collectively held their breath as the sprint to the finish line began, two horses racing side by side, it could still be either of them to take the cup. They cross the line, the crowd erupts once again and it is announced that Almandin (no. 17) has won the Melbourne Cup for 2016, narrowly taking the victory from Heartbreak City (no. 13) followed by Hartnell (no.6) who took out third place.

After all the excitement of the big race, the rain began to kick in again and onlookers slowly began to disperse from the lawn, some to collect their winnings and others to morn their losses. However, with a few more races left in the day still to be run, most settled back and continued to enjoy the rest of their day out at Flemington.

Congratulations to Almandin, jockey Kerrin McEvoy, trainer Robert Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams for winning the 2016 Melbourne Cup.

After a good day out in the field, let’s saddle up to do it again next year.

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Image source here
Feature image source here

 

Haunting Halloween Recipes

Satisfy your cravings this Halloween with these haunting and delicious treats.

Halloween has arrived again, and so the ghosts and zombies come out to play. But even the scariest ghouls of them all get hungry. With these delicious treats on your side, you might be able to bribe the creatures of the night to spare you your life…this time anyway. 

Graveyard Cake

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Nothing says spooky like a graveyard, and this cake is no different! Try serving this rich chocolate and espresso-tinged layer cake this Halloween to satisfy guests. Complete with edible tombstones and ghosts – not only is it frightening but it’s also delicious.

Get the full spooky recipe here

Strawberry Ghosts

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Chocolate dipped strawberries are always a crowd favourite. This year you can incorporate them into your Halloween treats by transforming them into mini ghosts. Perfect for Halloween, easy to make, and guaranteed to cause a fright!

Find this ghostly recipe here

Dracula’s Dentures

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It’s not everyday you find a Halloween treat that looks amazing and tastes just as good. These Dracula’s Dentures are guaranteed to impress with using only four ingredients, and are a 10/10 on the spook scale!

Sink your teeth into the recipe here

Spider Cookies

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Creepy crawlies are always sending shivers down your spine. These ones might look scary but can do you no harm once they’re in your stomach. Spider cookies are the perfect creepy treat to have this Halloween and they look amazingly scary.

Find this creepy recipe here

Slimy Eyeball Mocktail

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This slimy treat will also send shivers down your spine, and looks almost too gross to drink! Bursting with a yummy apple and pear flavour and good for all ages, this mocktail is easy to make and is definitely Halloween ready. Complete with an edible eyeball – this Halloween delight is bound to give you a fright!

Drink up the recipe for this mocktail here

Bat Biscuits

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Bats are a definite sign of Halloween with them swooping in all the creepy places, keeping the creatures of the night company. This year you can add them to your spooky treats by creating these frightening bat biscuits. After all, nothing says scary like a swarm of bats.

Swoop up the recipe for these biscuits here

Glowing Ghostly Cupcakes

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Nothing says spooky like things that glow in the dark, and these cupcakes are no exception. Using a tonic water glaze to help make these treats even creepier at night, these glowing treats are certainly Halloween worthy!

Find this glowing recipe here

So as the creatures roam through the night, you can settle back with some of these yummy treats good enough for even the monsters to eat!

Original article published 31 October 2016 here.

Three facts to sum up the US election so far

However, with copious amounts of information making the rounds though social media and news platforms it can be difficult to keep up with what’s actually happening on the other side of the world.

Here are three facts about the US election 2016 to keep you in the loop.

  1. Who’s really running?

Ok, so you know the names Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump because of all the publicity they’ve been getting over the last few months, but who are they behind all the smoke and mirrors?

– Donald Trump – Official Republican party candidate

Known as both an American businessman and a television producer, Trump has decided to try his hand at politics running for President in this years US election campaign, despite having no previous political experience.

– Hillary Clinton – Official Democratic party candidate.

While married to her husband Bill Clinton, Hillary experienced political life first hand as the First Lady of the United States for eight years while her husband was President.

She has also been the US Secretary of State and is running in this election with the hopes of becoming America’s first female President.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (Image Source: netivisit), crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au, crowd ink, crowdink
Image source: netivisit
  1. The Presidential Debates

After sitting and making a night out of watching each of the three debates, and with the final one coming to a close, it has become clear that nothing is out of bounds when it comes to winning votes.

Throughout the debates we heard controversies and arguments going back and forth, occasionally sparking outroar with viewers not only in America but also all around the world.

With candidates focusing on outdoing each other, some of the arguments and promises being made were questioned as well as the candidates themselves.

Now that the entertainment of the debates has come to an end, it is up to the voters to distinguish whom they see as their future leader.

  1. The final countdown

With the election date almost here, Trump and Clinton are in final efforts to win votes in the lead up to November 8th. They will continue to convince voters that they have what it takes to be the next President of the United States.

Currently, Clinton leads the voting in most of the major polls and experts are expecting a democratic victory when the results are in.

However, with over two weeks to go, anything is possible at this point in the campaign with polls constantly moving and changing everyday.

Over the past 16 months the presidential election has provided us with controversy, scandals and comedy. With it all coming to a close, I’ll leave it up to you to decide on what the final outcome should be.

Original article published October 25, 2016 here.

Featured image source: Google Images

Things to do this Halloween in Melbourne

Get your ultimate scare fix this Halloween with these spooky events in and around Melbourne.

October 31 is upon us once again, and with ghosts, zombies and witches stalking the night, Halloween truly is the night of fright.

With Melbourne hosting haunted events all around town, it’s not too late to get your scare fix with some of these terrifying happenings this “All Hollows Eve.” But make sure you’re prepared – these are not for the easily scared. 

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Image source: Google Images

Spooktober – 28 – 31 October

Taking place at St Kilda Town Hall, the annual Spooktober Halloween Festival is your family friendly event this scary season. It features haunted houses, spooky tours, after dark tours and frightening amusements to keep the whole family entertained. And with the Town Hall grounds being transformed into a giant trick or treat trail, there’s something for everyone.

Luna Dark- 28 – 31 October

There’s no escaping fear this Halloween weekend as all kind of spooky creatures come out to play when Luna Park makes it’s transformation into Luna Dark. Zombies and ghosts will roam the park as mere mortals are taken into a world with ghoulish surprises sure to give you a fright. With horrifying attractions set to make a comeback, Luna Dark is not for the faint hearted and will be sure to send shivers down your spine.

St Kilda Halloween Festival- 28 – 31 October

Set out to celebrate the spookiest day of the year, the St Kilda Halloween Festival has thought of everything terrifying for you to get your scary fix this year at this one stop spooktacular event.

With scary treats to eat, costume competitions, Halloween themed amusements and haunted houses, events here cater for all ages and are set to give you the fright of your life.

Halloween Ghost Cruise – 31 October

For the bravest of them all, this is something not to be missed! Only the scariest and frightening creatures are allowed on board to set sail from Docklands on a spooky adventure. With two haunted dance floors on board and Un-Happy hour beginning at 6pm, you’d be crazy to miss this blood-curdling event.

Melbourne General Cemetery Halloween Night Tour – 31 October

Occurring on the spookiest night of the calendar, the General Cemetery Night Tour is one to send shivers down your spine and have your blood curdling in no time! If trick or treating is not for you, grab the bravest people you know and head down to the General Cemetery for a night of frights. It’s hard not to believe in paranormal activity when you’re surrounded by ghosts with only torchlight to guide you.

Spooktober Asylum – 28 – 31 October

Honoured as one of Melbourne’s ultimate horror and thrill experiences, enter only if you dare to be admitted into the Asylum. A walk through attraction designed to have you feeling the terror as soon as you step in the door. So put your sanity to the test and embrace your fear in the spooky attraction.

There you have it, some spooky things to do this Halloween! But be warned; enter these events only if you dare because if you’re easily frightened their only aim is to scare!

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Image source: Google Images

 

Article originally published on 31st October 2016 here.