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The latest news from Life

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Screen Shot 2018 11 16 at 10.53.21 AM

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer great deals on tech as well as home — two expenses it can be hard to commit to without steep discounts, despite how much you might need them.

    Wayfair always has great deals, but some of its steepest discounts come on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can save up to 80% on home goods as well as the following deals:

    If you need to refresh your any room of the house with new furniture, linens, or decor,  this is likely the best time of the year to do so — you could save thousands by doing your home goods shopping today rather than later in the month.

    While you're at it, you might also want to check out some of the other deals we've scoped out — like the best deals for your kitchen, and the best home appliance and mattress sales.

    You can shop the full Wayfair Black Friday sale selection here, and below are some of the most noteworthy deals you might want to check out:

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    michael avenatti Stormy Daniels Lawyer

    • Michael Avenatti is an attorney whose most famous client is Stormy Daniels.
    • He has inserted himself into the national conversation this year, often making claims about high-profile people, including President Donald Trump and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
    • Avenatti is also considering a 2020 presidential bid, but has suffered numerous legal and professional setbacks in recent weeks. 
    • A federal judge ruled against him in Daniels' defamation suit against Trump, was referred to the FBI on accusations of lying to Congress, and was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. 
    • Here's a look at his career, and claims he's made over the last several months.

    At the moment, Michael Avenatti may be the most high-profile lawyer in America. The 47-year-old seasoned litigator has made headlines in recent months thanks to his famous client, porn star and director Stormy Daniels.

    Just days before the 2016 US election, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels to keep her silent about an affair she allegedly had with Trump in 2006.

    Avenatti has since sued the president, on Daniels' behalf, accusing Trump of invalidating a non-disclosure agreement, and of defaming Daniels. Avenatti says the violation allows Daniels to reveal her side of the story to the public, and in March, she started doing just that with a blockbuster "60 Minutes" interview on CBS News.

    Appearing on dozens of cable news shows, tweeting frequently, and often making claims that he has explosive information on people in the news, Avenatti has attempted to make himself a household name — and he's even mulling a 2020 presidential bid.

    But in recent months, Avenatti has suffered a number of legal setbacks between a judge ruling against him and Stormy Daniels' in their defamation lawsuit against Trump, being referred to the FBI on suspicion of submitting false statements to Congress, and being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, which he denies. 

    Here's what you should know about Michael Avenatti:

    SEE ALSO: Meet 'Stormy Daniels', the porn star Trump's lawyer paid to keep quiet about an alleged sexual affair — who's finally telling her side of the story

    DON'T MISS: Here are all the sexual-misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

    Avenatti graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Three years later, he received his JD degree from George Washington University.



    During college and law school, Avenatti worked for The Research Group, a campaign research firm founded by Rahm Emmanuel, former President Barack Obama's chief of staff and the current Democratic mayor of Chicago.

    Source: Chicago Magazine



    After graduating law school, Avenatti worked at O'Melveny & Myers, a high-powered Los Angeles law firm. Over the course of his legal career, he has contributed to several high-profile cases involving Paris Hilton, Jim Carrey, and members of the rock band The Eagles.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

    • Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican battling for reelection in Mississippi, is under fire for saying that laws that "make it just a little more difficult" for liberal college students to vote are "a great idea."
    • Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remarks were "obviously" a joke and that a video of her comments was edited to misrepresent her comment. 
    • This comes just days after Hyde-Smith was widely criticized for joking — in a video that went viral — that if she were invited to a public hanging, she'd "be on the front row."

    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican battling for reelection in Mississippi, is under fire for saying that laws that "make it just a little more difficult" for liberal college students to vote are "a great idea."

    The remarks, which Hyde-Smith's campaign later insisted were made in jest, were caught in a video posted to Twitter. 

    "And then they remind me, that there's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don't want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult," Hyde-Smith is shown telling a group of supporters outside her campaign bus in a video reportedly taken on Nov. 3. 

    Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remarks were "obviously" a joke and that the video was edited to misrepresent her comment. 

    "Obviously Sen. Hyde-Smith was making a joke and clearly the video was selectively edited," Melissa Scallan, spokeswoman for Hyde-Smith's campaign, told the Washington Post.

    Scallan claimed that Hyde-Smith's comments were in response to a question about whether she would support opening polling places on college campuses and that she said campus polling places were "a great idea," not voter suppression. 

    "The senator absolutely is not a racist and does not support voter suppression," she added.

    Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to replace retiring Sen. Thad Cochran last April, is facing a black Democrat, Mike Espy, who served as agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, in a Nov. 27 runoff election after both candidates received about 41 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 race. 

    Espy's campaign responded that voting rights "are not a laughing matter." 

    "Mississippians deserve a senator who represents our best qualities, not a walking stereotype who embarrasses our state," a spokesperson said. 

    Hyde-Smith's comments drew significant criticism from progressives and online commentators, who argued that Mississippi's dark and violent history of disenfranchising black citizens should disqualify any politician from making light of voter suppression. 

    "It's hilarious to joke about voter suppression in a state with a history of African-Americans who wanted to vote facing terror like being fire bombed out of their homes or being mutilated and killed," tweeted Elise Jordan, an anti-Trump conservative political commentator.

    "A Mississippi senator joking about public hangings on the campaign trail and talking approvingly about targeted voter suppression. Huh, that sounds familiar," tweeted Kevin Kruse, a professor of history at Princeton University. 

    This comes just days after Hyde-Smith was widely criticized for joking, in a video that went viral, that if she were invited to a public hanging, she'd "be on the front row." The senator refused to clarify or apologize for the comment. 

    SEE ALSO: Trump and Republicans escalate unsubstantiated voter-fraud conspiracies as recounts move forward in Florida

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    eBay Toytopia

    While tech items like video game consoles and tablets are always safe bets for kids' gifts, there's nothing like unwrapping a new toy during the holiday season.

    The problem with shopping for toys at traditional big-box retailers, whether in-store or online, is that it can be hard to find a good one. Their selections are all pretty much the same, lacking true variety and often selling out before you can get the ones you want. Luckily, eBay, a marketplace for literally anything you can think of, has a wide range of toys for the holidays.

    EBay recently created a new shopping experience called Toytopia. Comprising millions of items, it's filled with everything from the hottest toys on every kid's wish list this season to vintage and collectible toys from decades past.

    Whether you're searching for the newest Hatchimals for young kids or a rare and collectible G.I. Joe action figure or Barbie doll from years ago for someone who may have owned it as a child, you can find it on eBay.

    We rounded up some of the coolest toys to buy, but since the sale is so massive, these product categories can help you find exactly what you need. 

    Shop the eBay Toytopia section now, or keep scrolling for some inspiration.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle — A Cooperative Deck Building Game

    Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle — A Cooperative Deck Building Game, 40.49 (Originally $59.99) [You save $19.50]



    KidKraft Storybook Mansion Dollhouse

    KidKraft Storybook Mansion Dollhouse, $85.99 (Originally $99.99) [You save $14]



    Redcat Racing Everest-10 RC Truck

    Redcat Racing Everest-10 RC Truck, $159.99 (Originally $195.99) [You save $36]



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.

    kitchenaid

    1. Save up to 50% on a KitchenAid Stand Mixer at Williams Sonoma

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you'll probably be doing some overtime in the kitchen. Whether it's your first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, or you're well-seasoned holiday host, everyone could use an extra hand in the kitchen. This mixer is all the help you need — it can beat, mix, knead, and more, all with serious speed. With so many capabilities, you'll use this powerful kitchen device all year round. Usually these mixers are very expensive, some ranging as high as $700, but right now you can find them for up to 50% off at Williams Sonoma.

    Buy a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for 50% off at Williams Sonoma.

    Club Monaco

    2. Take an extra 30% off sale items at Club Monaco

    If you're looking to complete your winter wardrobe, or get a gift for that stylish someone in your life, head over to Club Monaco. They have a great selection of stylish pieces for men and women. Plus, now through November 20, you can save an extra 30% off sale items, for a total of up to 60% in savings. They even have a "steals of the season" section, where you can find plenty of great cold-weather picks on sale.

    Shop sale at Club Monaco and take an extra 30% off your purchase.

    alexa

    3. Save $50 on an Echo Dot and Sengled Smart Lighting Kit at Amazon

    One of the debatably coolest features of Alexa technology is that you can control lights with just your voice. To do this though, you need smart lights. Right now, you can get a set with an Amazon Echo Dot and a two-pack of Sengled smart color light bulbs for just $79.98. It's a great price, and a great way to get into the world of smart home technology.

    Buy an Echo Dot and Sengled Smart Lighting Kit for $79.98 (usually $129.48) [you save $50].

    Cole Haan

    4. Save 30% sitewide at Cole Haan

    If you're looking for a pair of well-made, comfortable shoes, that also look really good, you need to check out Cole Haan. They have great shoe options for men and women that blend superior comfort with style. Yesterday, it kicked off its Grand Giving Event, where the company is offering 30% off sitewide until November 18. We already checked out the sale and found lots of great options, and we think you will, too.

    Shop shoes and more at Cole Haan and save 30% on your purchase.

    mvmt

    5. Save up to 25% on everything at MVMT

    MVMT is one of our team's favorite watch startups for their range of timeless and innovative styles — as well as affordability. If you've been wanting a nice watch or pair of sunglasses, but thought waiting until Black Friday was the right move, lucky for you MVMT is helping you get your shopping done now. Through November 29, everything its site for 25% off. 

    Shop watches and sunglasses at MVMT for 25% off.

    butcherbox thumb 2

    6. Get free bacon for the lifetime of your membership when you sign up for ButcherBox

    ButcherBox is the easy way to get high-quality meats delivered right to your door. The monthly subscription service starts at $129 for a month's supply of cuts curated by ButcherBox's staff. You can also opt to personalize your order by selecting the cuts you'd like on your own. ButcherBox emphasizes quality, and is serious about sourcing the best meats — you'll taste the difference. If you're on the fence, when you sign up for ButcherBox right now you'll get a free pack of bacon in every future ButcherBox you receive. That's a lot of free bacon. 

    Sign up for ButcherBox and get free bacon for as long as you're subscribed.

    bloomies

    7. Take $25 off every $200 spent, plus save 50% on select items at Bloomingdale’s

    With deals rolling out in preparation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's a great time to get your holiday gifting done — and Bloomingdale's is a great place to start. With fashion and accessories for men, women, and kids, as well as beauty and home goods, you can find something for everyone on your list. They also have a great selection of luxury items (think handbags, jewelry, home goods) if you're looking for a really special gift. Now through November 21, you can save big at Bloomingdale's Big Brown Bag sale. You'll get to take off $25 for every $200 spent, as well as save 50% and get free shipping on a selection of items.

    Shop at Bloomingdale's and save more when you spend more.

    Leesa

    8. Save up to $235 on a mattress, plus get a free pillow at Leesa

    You spend almost a third of your life asleep, so when it comes to your mattress you deserve a really good one. Leesa offers two super comfortable mattresses. The Leesa is a classic all-foam mattress that sleeps cool and relieves pressure, while the Sapira is a hybrid of foam and spring that contours to your body as you move throughout the night. Both are great options and right now you can get both on sale, plus get a free cooling pillow when you buy a Leesa mattress. With the code "BUSINESSINSIDER" you can save $160 on a Leesa or $235 on a Sapira mattress, plus get a free pillow (a $75 value.)

    Buy a Leesa Mattress, Queen, for $835 (usually $995) [You save $160] plus get a $75 pillow for free.

    Buy a Sapira Mattress, Queen, for $1,360 (usually $1,595) [You save $235] plus get a $75 pillow for free.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Warren Buffet wife Astrid

    • Warren Buffett married Susan Thompson in 1952.
    • She ultimately left Warren to pursue a singing career, but they remained amicably married until her death in 2004.
    • Susan also introduced her husband to Astrid Menks, who became his companion. Buffett and Menks married in 2006.


    Warren Buffett has had a less-than-conventional marriage for much of his life.

    While the investment guru remained married to his first wife, Susan, from 1952 till her death in 2004, he lived with Astrid Menks. Menks and Buffett didn't tie the knot until 2006, two years after Susan died.

    But family members said the unusual arrangement worked for all those involved. According to the Daily Mail, the trio would even send out Christmas cards together — signed Warren, Susan, and Astrid.

    "Unconventional is not a bad thing," Buffett's daughter, Susie Buffett, told The New York Times. "More people should have unconventional marriages."

    Here's a look inside Warren Buffett's married life.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the Trump-endorsed marriage of Mike Pence, who calls his wife 'mother' and refuses to dine with other women

    Buffett's connection to his first wife, Susan, goes back to long before they were even born.

    Source: Business Insider



    Susan's grandfather once ran a campaign for Republican United States Representative Howard Buffett, Warren's grandfather. It apparently didn't go well.

    Source: Business Insider



    Their daughter, Susie Buffett, told Business Insider that it was "the only time my grandpa Buffett lost."

    Source: Business Insider



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Brooklinen, $225

    • Brooklinen is having its biggest and only sale of the year right now.
    • From November 23 through November 26, the more you spend, the more you'll save — up to 20% off orders of $450 or more.
    • We ranked Brooklinen as the makers of the best luxury sheets, the best sateen sheets, and the best duvet cover on the internet. Find the startup's seven best-sellers below.
    • To potentially save more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    Brooklinen is one of our favorite brands to cover — from its core and luxe bedsheets to its latest Brooklittles line for babies and toddlers. However, it's not known for holding sales. Prices are usually low enough to warrant what is essentially a year-round sale in itself.

    But Black Friday and Cyber Monday are exceptions; Cyber Week is its biggest and only sale of the year.

    This year, the popular startup is offering steep discounts. From November 23 through November 26, you can take advantage of the following deals:

    If you're looking for a new pair of sheets, or you've been waiting for an additional discount as an excuse to try out luxury bedding, this is probably the best time of the year to invest. And in terms of value per dollar, Brooklinen is a particularly great deal.

    They look great, feel even better, and can vastly improve your quality of sleep — which, in turn, improves quite a few other areas of your life. When six hours feels like eight, it's easier to operate in the way that you want in your day-to-day.

    You can check out its full range of options here, but we're fans of the Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle for every day (with a duvet cover, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and four pillowcases for $228 if you're buying for a queen). Insider Picks editor Ellen Hoffman described them as one of the best purchases she's ever made.

    In our comprehensive Buying Guides, we ranked Brooklinen sheets the #1 best luxurious sheets and the best sateen sheets you can buy. Its Down Comforter (queen, $349) is the best we found from a startup, and its Classic Duvet Cover (queen, $109) is another best-in-its-category on the internet. It also makes great, blanket-sized towels (Bath Sheets, two for $89). 

    If you're looking for something that adds some warmth and softness for the designated "cozy" winter season, I can't recommend the Twill Hardcore Sheet Bundle (queen, $189) enough. It's made to feel like your favorite worn-in flannel, and the twill fabrication allows the yarns to move more freely, creating an overall more forgiving, softer experience. As I've mentioned in my review of them, they'll make you wake up and wish you were working from home every day.

    When it comes to Brooklinen, our experience is that it's pretty difficult to go wrong.

    Take advantage of the Cyber Monday Brooklinen discounts here.

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    Below are some of Brooklinen's best-sellers:

    Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle

    The queen-size Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle is $149 before a discount is applied

    Available in 15 colors.

    • Luxe Core Sheet Set (one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases)
    • Luxe Duvet Cover
    • Luxe Pillowcases (an extra pair)


    Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle

    The queen-size Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle is $129 before a discount is applied

    Available in 15 colors.

    • Classic Core Sheet Set (one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases)
    • Classic Duvet Cover
    • Classic Pillowcases (an extra pair)


    Super-Plush Complete Towel Set

    The Super-Plush Complete Towel Set is $189 before a discount is applied

    Available in four colors. 

    • Two "Bath Sheets"
    • Two bath towels
    • Two hand towels
    • Two washcloths
    • Bath mat


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Los Angeles

    The holidays are around the corner, and that means you're working hard and playing harder.

    Between wrapping up end-of-year projects at work and wrapping gifts at home, it's an incredibly busy time of year.

    But as well as treating your friends and family, it's time to think about treating yourself.

    Business Insider has teamed up with Microsoft Surface to send one lucky winner on the ultimate weekend getaway for two to Los Angeles. Enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win a vacation package* including domestic flights, two nights in a hotel, and spending money to make the most of the time there.

    Tech that powers your travels

    Microsoft Surface Pro 6

    Of course travel offers the chance to get away from it all, but it doesn't mean you have to totally unplug.

    That's why we're also offering the winner a brand-new Microsoft Surface Pro 6 to power their adventures near and far.

    The device is light enough to throw in your bag, with laptop-to-tablet versatility that adapts to your needs. So after a packed day of discovery, you can use it to catch up with friends, check in with work, or unwind with your favorite show.

    Wherever you are, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 makes it easy to work and play from anywhere. So why not in LA?

    Visit our sweepstakes page to enter to win.

    * Grand Prize includes the following: 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 6 device, $1,500 airline credit, $1,000 hotel credit, $250 rideshare credit, $250 cash gift card. Total approximate retail value of this Grand Prize package is $3,900 USD. Prize is non-transferable, non-refundable, and no substitutions will be allowed. Prize is not redeemable for cash.

    This post is sponsored by Microsoft Surface.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) delivers remarks about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a mark up hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. The committee agreed to an additional week of investigation into accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh before the full Senate votes on his confirmation. A day earlier the committee heard from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who who has accused Kavnaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley announced he would leave his post as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of the year to take the top spot on the Senate Finance Committee.
    • Grassley's departure from the Judiciary Committee allows the next most senior Republican to take the gavel, which in this case is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley announced on Friday his intent to leave his post as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of the year to chair the Committee on Finance.

    Grassley's decision opens up the opportunity for South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the next most senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, to take the gavel at a time when judicial nominations are a central focus on the Trump administration.

    "The economy is better than it’s been in years and there’s a sense of optimism about the future of our country that people haven’t felt in a long time thanks to the pro-growth policies of a Republican President and a Republican majority in Congress," Grassley said in a statement. "Looking ahead, at the Finance Committee, I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves."

    Read more: Lindsey Graham has transformed from a 'RINO' to an icon of the right

    The top spot on the Finance Committee is being vacated by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. 

    "The Finance Committee will be in good hands with Senator Grassley at the helm," Hatch said in a statement. "Chuck has a proven history of leadership at the committee and knows the ins and outs of its sprawling jurisdiction. I am confident Chairman Grassley will carry out a robust agenda that will build on tax reform’s recent success and continue to make progress in the health care, trade and oversight spaces."

    Grassley, who will also be replacing Hatch as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, has now left an opening on the Judiciary Committee for Graham to fill.

    Graham made a name for himself as the impeachment manager during the Bill Clinton administration, but in recent months has skyrocketed in popularity with Republicans and developed a close personal bond with President Donald Trump.

    Graham taking over the Judiciary gavel is notable because of how he conducted himself during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. An outside counsel had been hired to probe then-nominee Kavanaugh on behalf of Republicans, until Graham took over during his turn for questioning to excoriate Democrats on the committee.

    Graham vowed revenge on Democrats he says treated Kavanaugh unfairly, and broke a long personal policy of his to not campaign against his colleagues.

    After the election, Graham called the Republican Senate gains "Kavanaugh's Revenge" and credited Republican voters who were outraged with the process.

    "Virtually all Senate Democrats running in Trump states who voted against Brett Kavanaugh were defeated," he said in the statement after Election Day. "Their constituents held them responsible for being part of a despicable smear campaign orchestrated by the left. These Democrats showed more allegiance to the left than to their constituents who support qualified, conservative judges like Brett Kavanaugh."

    Becoming Judiciary Committee chairman could bring Graham even further into the spotlight as he shepherds through Trump's judicial nominees.

    SEE ALSO: Nancy Pelosi's bid for House Speaker is in a lot more trouble than she's letting on

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The Obamas are worth $40 million — here's how they make and spend their money


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    Rep. Mimi Walters

    • Democratic challenger Katie Porter defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters in the race for California's 45th district on Thursday night, flipping the seat from red to blue.
    • A Walters campaign fundraising email from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich obtained by INSIDER claims that a "green wave" of liberal dark money "crashed over California," propelling Democrats to victory.
    • In reality, "dark money" groups spent four times as much on Walters, the Republican candidate, than Porter, the Democrat. 

    As Democrats position themselves to flip five Republican-held seats in Southern California, Newt Gingrich claimed in a Thursday night fundraising email for Rep. Mimi Walters' campaign that a "green wave" of Democratic "dark money" propelled Democrats to victory — despite the fact that "dark money" groups actually spent four times more on Walters than her Democratic opponent. 

    On Thursday evening, the Associated Press called the hotly-contested race in the 45th district for Democratic candidate Katie Porter, a law professor who challenged incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters and led by a margin of 6,000 votes on Thursday. 

    Read more: California Rep. Mimi Walters' campaign accuses Democrats of planning to 'steal' her seat as her opponent takes the lead in tough reelection bid

    A Nov. 15 Walters fundraising email from former House speaker Newt Gingrich and obtained by INSIDER read, "The media didn't tell you about the real story this election cycle. There was no blue wave — if there had been, the Democrats would have seized the Senate...we're seeing a green wave wash over California right now."

    "The real wave was green — as in liberal dark money," the email continued, "The Democratic machine poured money into California to flip Republican House seats. [Mimi] needs our help to prepare for a possible recount and win the seat. The left has spent tens of millions of dollars in an attempt to buy this seat and defeat Mimi...fighting back to keep this election fair is going to take everything we've got."

    The Walters campaign did not respond to INSIDER's request for comment on whether they planned to file a request for a recount. 

    Newt Gingrich

    "Dark money" broadly refers to political donations that come from non-profit groups registered with the IRS, like 501(c)4 social welfare groups. Unlike political action committees, these 501(c) nonprofits are not required to register with the FEC and disclose their donors.

    Gingrich's lamenting of a "green wave" of dark money carrying Democrats to victory — also echoed in a Fox News op-ed from earlier this month — is somewhat contradicted by the actual fundraising data available so far in Southern California Congressional races.

    In the race for California's 45th district, non-disclosing outside groups actually spent more than four times as much money support to Walters, the Republican candidate, than to support Porter, the Democratic nominee. While two 501(c) groups spent a total $256,000 to support Walters, a mixture of 501(c)s spent a total of $57,680 to support Porter. 

    According to FEC disclosures analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics, none of the candidates who ran in Orange County general election contests raised more than 1.73% of their direct campaign funds from non-profit groups that do not disclose their donors.

    Read more: Tensions flare as candidates accuse each other of ballot tampering and "foul play" in a close California congressional race

    In terms of money not donated directly to a candidate's campaign and spent to support the candidates in the form of TV ad buys, for example, "dark money" groups expended $1.5 million to support the five Democratic candidates in competitive Southern California races and $1.27 million supporting the Republicans, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. 

    This means that while spending from non-disclosing groups slightly favored Democrats, Southern California candidates of both parties benefited from the "green wave," as Gingrich put it. And if outside money could really "buy" a House seat, Republicans would have won in at least two districts. 

    Outside groups spent more on Democrats than Republicans in two races, the contest for California's 39th district and the 25th, groups supporting the Democratic and Republican candidates spent almost exactly the same amount in the 48th district, and 501(c)s spent more on Republicans than Democrats in the 45th and in the 49th district. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Mott & Bow

    • One of our favorite denim startups is known for making under-$150 jeans that look and feel a lot more expensive.
    • As Black Friday nears, the pairs have become even more affordable. Mott & Bow is now offering 25% off sitewide through Cyber Monday for new customers, and you can save up to 35% off if you spend $300 or more.
    • To potentially save more on Black Friday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    If you've been reading Insider Picks for a while, you may have stumbled across one or two articles about Mott & Bow jeans before. The company's denim is extremely comfortable (so comfortable we've even accidentally slept in them), and its women's skinny jeans, in particular, are among the most flattering and slimming we've tried.

    For the last four years, Mott & Bow has made a name for itself by selling premium jeans at affordable prices, and now the deals are better than ever before with its Black Friday sale.

    During Black Friday weekend, new customers can enjoy 25% off sitewide. You'll save more above certain order totals: 30% off orders of $200 or more and $35% off orders of $300 or more. 

    With great savings on jeans, shirts, and sweaters for men and women, you'll want to take advantage of these savings while they last. When Black Friday officially rolls around on November 23, there's a chance the pieces you're after may already be sold out in your size.

    Shop the Mott & Bow Black Friday Sale now, so you don't miss out on any styles you really want. And if you need some ideas for what to buy, check out some of Mott & Bow's jeans and shirts for men and women on sale for Black Friday below.

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    SEE ALSO: 

    Mom Jean

    Mom Jean in Benson, $88.50 (originally $118) [You save $29.50] 

    The waist-defining and comfortable Mom jeans were a hit among the women of Insider Picks, and we bet they'll be for you, too. 



    High Rise Skinny

    High Rise Skinny in Bond, $96 (originally $128) [You save $32] 

    Flattering on all body types, the skinny jean is made from a power stretch fabric that also resists fading. 



    Mid Rise Skinny

    Mid Rise Skinny in Grove, $96 (originally $128) [You save $32] 

    This mid-rise fit in a dark blue is an equally sleek skinny jean choice.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    seven continent cruise ship

    • A luxury cruise ship will take passengers on a 140-day journey that spans all seven continents and costs up to $240,000 per person.
    • The cruising company Silversea says the ship, Silver Whisper, will be the first to cruise to all seven continents.
    • The cruise is set to kick off in 2020 and visit 62 ports in at least 32 countries.
    • It will begin in Florida and end in Amsterdam, stopping at ports including Singapore, Mumbai, Rome, and Antarctica.

    If a typical seven-day cruise that stops at only a few ports isn't appealing, then maybe a new ultra-luxurious world cruise is for you.

    In 2020, the cruising company Silversea is set to kick off a 140-day cruise making stops on all seven continents — for $62,000 to $240,000 per person.

    Dubbed "Legends of Cruising," the trip will begin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 6, 2020, and stop at 62 ports in at least 32 countries before ending up in Amsterdam on May 25. Up to 382 guests will be aboard.

    "Unlike any other world cruise ever conceived, Legends of Cruising takes you on a journey that lets you set foot on all seven continents," Silversea's website says.

    "There are those who believe they belong to the 1%, and those who actually do. And then there are those who are part of the 1% of the 1%," the website says. It's those people Silversea envisions embarking on its Legends of Cruising trip.

    Here's a look at the super-luxe ship for the cruise, Silver Whisper:

    SEE ALSO: This cruise ship is full of apartments that were designed to look like luxury condos in NYC and London — and wealthy people are dishing out up to $36 million for them

    DON'T MISS: What it's like living in Monaco, the glamorous city-state on the French Riviera that's home to a glitzy annual yacht show and where an estimated 1 in 3 people is a millionaire

    Silversea says Silver Whisper is its "world-cruisers preferred ship" with "the amenities of a grand resort" and "the charms of a stylish boutique hotel."

    Source: Silversea



    The 2020 world cruise on Silver Whisper will last 140 days and be the first to visit all seven continents, according to Silversea.

    Source: Silversea



    The ship is set to stop at 62 ports in at least 32 countries.

    Source: Silversea



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tulum homeaway

    • For your next vacation, treat yourself luxuriously.
    • We teamed up with HomeAway to find home rentals with some of the best luxury amenities around the world.
    • From a villa in Spain with a helicopter landing pad to a home in Jamaica with a chef and butler, these luxury vacation rentals range from about $1,300 to $14,400 a night.

    Vacation is always "treat yourself" time.

    We teamed up with HomeAway to find home rentals with some of the best luxury amenities around the world, from France to Mexico. They don't come cheap — prices per night start at four figures and go up to five figures, but if you have the means (or bring your friends and family along to split the cost), these spots are worth it.

    There are two villas in Spain, one with a helicopter landing pad and one with a wellness and mindfulness private trainer; a beachfront villa in Jamaica with a full staff including a chef, nanny, and butler; an estate in Croatia with a wine cellar; beach bungalows in The Bahamas with a private beach club; and a villa in Thailand with a private spa and massage therapists.

    Take a peek at them all below, ranked by cost per night.

    SEE ALSO: 9 of the coolest tiny homes around the world to rent on your next vacation

    DON'T MISS: What a $1 million vacation looks like in Mykonos, Greece, where you'll fly in on a private jet, sleep in an ocean-view villa, and cruise the seas in a yacht

    Ibiza, Spain — $1,367 per night



    A modern villa in the Balearics with a full range of therapists at your service and a large saltwater pool.

    See the listing »



    Nantes, France — $1,519 per night



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    State Senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi at a campaign event in July.

    • Much attention has been paid to the wave of women elected to go to Washington this fall, but women are also storming politics at the local levels. 
    • More than 2,000 women will serve in state legislatures next year — growing the number of women in local chambers by several hundred and breaking previous records for female representation.
    • But the work of the so-called "pink wave" isn't done. Men will continue to make up just over three quarters of state lawmakers across the country.

    Much attention has been paid to the wave of women elected to go to Washington this fall, but women are also storming politics at the local levels. 

    More than 2,000 women will serve in state legislatures next year — growing the number of women in local chambers by several hundred and breaking previous records for female representation, according to new reports from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University (CAWP). 

    And these numbers could grow even larger, as the Associated Press has yet to call 216 state legislative races, which include about 185 female candidates. While women remain small minorities in the vast majority of bodies, they could end up making up majorities in the Colorado House and Nevada Assembly. 

    "We are very encouraged by these results. This is the largest increase in women's representation in state legislatures we’ve seen in some time, after more than a decade of relative stagnation," Debbie Walsh, director of the Rutgers center, told the AP. "The only question that remains is whether 2018 was a one-off or a new norm."

    Right now, 1,875 of the country's 7,383 state lawmakers are women. Sixty-one percent of these women are Democrats, while about 37% are Republicans. Experts have pointed out that as long as women struggle to gain a foothold in the Republican Party, their overall numbers won't rise much above the 25% mark. 

    The last surge of women winning state legislative seats was in the 1970s and 1980s, but in the decades since, female representation in these bodies has remained relatively stagnant. This year's enthusiasm among female candidates, voters, volunteers, and donors was in part fueled by deep-seated anti-Trump sentiment and the #MeToo movement, which have grown the gender gap between Democrats and Republicans to historic highs. 

    While more women than ever before will sit in the US Congress next year, women didn't manage to break records in the Senate or in governors' mansions.

    Experts say there is a host of reasons why female candidates are running in larger numbers, including anger at the current administration and frustration with the imbalance in power at every level of politics. There's also evidence that women, particularly when running in Democratic primaries, can use their gender to their advantage. 

    "I think we're getting closer to a time when we can talk about gender and particularly the gender experience you have as a credential for office and not as a hurdle that you have to overcome or avoid," Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the Rutgers center, told INSIDER in August.

    But the so-called "pink wave" has much work left to do. Men will continue to make up just over three quarters of state lawmakers across the country.

    SEE ALSO: How Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez energized a group of women looking to reshape New York politics

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly in 2017: 'I regret a lot' of the controversial stuff I've said on live television


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    stacey abrams

    • Republican Brian Kemp will become the next governor of Georgia after his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, ended her bid on Friday evening after a tight and contentious battle.
    • Kemp claimed victory with 50.22 percent of the vote — just barely over the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
    • Abrams accused Kemp of "deliberate and intentional" voter-suppression tactics and said she would file suit against the state for "gross mismanagement" of the election.

    Republican Brian Kemp will become the next governor of Georgia after his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, ended her bid on Friday evening after a tight and contentious battle.

    Kemp claimed victory with 50.22 percent of the vote — just barely over the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff and, as of Thursday night, earned 54,801 more votes than his opponent did, out of a total 3.9 million ballots cast.

    Abrams, who has for months accused Kemp of disenfranchising voters as Georgia's secretary of state, refused to give a traditional concession speech, accusing Kemp of undermining the state's democracy in order to improve his electoral chances.

    "I acknowledge that Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election," Abrams said during her Friday speech. "But to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in this state baldly pin his hopes for election on suppression of the people's democratic right to vote has been truly appalling. So let's be clear, this is not a speech of concession."

    Abrams blamed the state's voter roll purges — which, under Kemp's direction, removed 1.5 million voters from the rolls, the classification of about 50,000 voters as "pending" because their information didn't exactly match that in government files, long lines, faulty equipment, and closed polling places for disenfranchising an untold number of Georgians, a group that disproportionately comprises people of color.

    "I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right," said Abrams, who would have become the country's first African American female governor. "But my assessment is that the law currently allows no further viable remedy."

    Read more:Hotly contested recounts are underway in Florida, as Georgia and Arizona scramble to finalize results in key races

    The Georgia race was one of the most contentious and closely-watched in the country, as Abrams, who received a last-minute boost from Oprah, battled it out with Kemp, a strong Trump supporter who benefited from the president's endorsement. Abrams, the former state House minority leader, came closer to winning a statewide race in Georgia than any Democrat has in decades.

    Over the last two weeks, thousands of provisional ballots were counted — including at polling sites that initially said they had completed their counts.

    "Make no mistake, the former secretary of state was deliberate and intentional in his actions," she said. "I know that eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment, and incompetence had its desired effect on the electoral process in Georgia."

    Abrams also said her team would be filing a "major lawsuit" against the state of Georgia for "gross mismanagement" of the election.

    "Voting is not a right for some, it is a right for all, and it is not a privilege," Abrams said.

    Read more: Democrats' 3 biggest rising stars came up short in an otherwise successful night for the party

    But Abrams also said she would "pray for the success of Brian Kemp that he will indeed be a leader of all Georgians."

    Trump offered some praise for Abrams on Friday evening: "Stacey Abrams fought brilliantly and hard - she will have a terrific political future!"

    In a statement on Friday evening, Kemp, who previously called Abrams' refusal to concede "a disgrace to democracy" and a "temper tantrum," said he looked forward to moving past the divisive race.

    "I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service," Kemp said of his opponent. "The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward. We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia's bright and promising future."

    SEE ALSO: Georgia politician and protesters are arrested in the state capitol as tension over tight governors race comes to a head

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment


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    7 train queens long island city subway

    • Amazon is building a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, with plans to add up to 40,000 workers to the neighborhood.
    • While not Manhattan, Queens is crowded and transit-starved. Amazon could make that worse. 
    • We ventured to the very edge of the borough's main arterial subway line — the 7 train — to see what a usual commute was like.

    Amazon is coming to New York City’s second most populated borough.

    And while it’s not quite as dense as Manhattan's famous grid, Queens has come a long way from its farming roots (it was the last of the five boroughs to consolidate and join New York City,) and it’s one of the fastest-growing areas of the City.

    But trains here are already packed to the brim with commuters, who are increasingly moving farther out east as rent skyrockets. 

    I took a ride on the borough's main artery — the 7 train — to see just how crowded things already are, and how Amazon’s infusion of at least 25,000 (and up to 40,000) workers might affect transit around its new neighborhood.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon finally explains why it's cutting its second headquarters in half

    Before we hop on the 7 train , it’s important to understand its history. The IRT Flushing Line — its official name — opened in 1915, when most of the area was still farm land.



    It was the first service into Long Island from Grand Central Terminal, which had been completed about 50 years earlier, and rebuilt just two years before the 7 train was open for service.



    At this point, the line was known as the Queensboro Line, after both its destination and the Queensboro Plaza station just on the other side of the river, which happens to be very near Amazon’s chosen location.

    It’s also home to one of the most famous photograph spots for the subway and NYC skyline together. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Applebee's 2

    • Dine Brands CEO Steve Joyce, whose company owns popular brands like IHOP and Applebee's, laid out how President Donald Trump's trade war is helping restaurants.
    • China, Canada, Mexico, and other countries have placed tariffs on US agricultural goods.
    • This means farmers have a tougher time selling to those countries and are left with more supply.
    • As supply builds, prices plunge for crops and livestock.
    • This makes certain ingredients cheaper, like those used at IHOP and Applebee's.
    • "We are a significant player in the food industry," Joyce said. "What it looks like is, our overall product mix — the cost of it is gonna decline over the next year. That helps with margins."

    While President Donald Trump's tariffs may be bad news for retailers like Walmart and Costco, the CEO of IHOP and Applebee's says those chains are set to profit. 

    "Our product costs are probably going to come down," Dine Brands CEO Steve Joyce told Business Insider last week. "I don't want to be the economist on this, but other people have said the tariffs are building up inventories. Inventory build up means lower prices."

    The good news for Dine Brands is coming at the expense of many US farmers, who are seeing prices for their crops and livestock tumble from the trade war.

    That's right: Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel, aluminum, and $250 billion worth of Chinese goods has actually been beneficial to the restaurants that rely on their crops and livestock for ingredients.

    In response to Trump's tariffs, countries like China, Canada, and Mexico responded with tariffs of their own on US agricultural goods. These new duties on American goods, like pork and soybeans, caused importers from those countries to look elsewhere for their agricultural needs and left many US farmers unable to sell products abroad.

    The inability to sell these goods to key markets has caused a backlog of supply for US farmers, forcing them to cut prices. The cuts on the agricultural products means that ingredients for the food used at IHOP and Applebee's gets cheaper.

    Combined, IHOP and Applebee's purchase billions of dollars of food each year, Joyce said. 

    "We are a significant player in the food industry," Joyce said. "What it looks like is, our overall product mix — the cost of it is going to decline over the next year. That helps with margins."

    Read more: The full interview with Joyce on IHOb madness, whether millennials are really killing Applebee's, and more»

    According to data from Plate IQ, a restaurant invoice management company, the US restaurant industry could save as much as $27 million on major non-seafood ingredients like corn, pork, and cheese this year due to the trade war.

    SEE ALSO: Trump seems to be backing down in the trade war with China after electoral blowback and growing economic worries

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How ketchup started as a fish sauce from Asia


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    barack and michelle obama

    • Michelle Obama spoke about meeting her future-husband Barack during an interview on "20/20" Sunday night.
    • The former first lady says she had a bad first impression of Barack because he showed up late to their first meeting, when she was mentoring him during a summer associateship at a Chicago law firm.
    • But she warmed up to him and the two eventually started dating.
    • Speaking of their first kiss, she said: "From that kiss on ... it was love and he was my man."

    Michelle Obama says she was certain she wouldn't like Barack Obama when she was assigned to be his mentor when he worked at her law firm in the summer of 1989.

    During an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts on "20/20" Sunday night, the former first lady said she "wasn't impressed" with all of the attention paid to the 27-year-old first-year Harvard Law student.

    Her law firm, Sidley & Austin, didn't typically take first-year law students on as summer associates, but made an exception for the law prodigy.

    "I have my suspicions when a bunch of white folks fawn all over a black man because I sorta think, 'Ok, he can talk straight so they think he's wonderful.' So that was my theory," Obama recalled.

     

    "And his name was Barack Obama and he was from Hawaii. I thought, 'What?' You know, so I didn't really know what to expect," Obama said.

    Then he showed up late for their first meeting.

    "I was like, is he trifling? The black man's going to be late on the first day? I was like, 'Um,'" she recalled.

    When he finally turned up though, she was attracted to him at first sight.

    Read more: Everything you need to know about Barack and Michelle Obama's love story — from the law office to the Oval Office

    "And then in walks Barack Obama. And Barack Obama has always walked like Barack Obama," she said. "Like he's got all the time in the world. He had that stride, I was like 'Dude, you're cute.' But in my mind, I was like —"

    "Not interested?" Roberts suggested.

    "Off limits. Not even not interested," Obama said. "I'm not going to date one of the few black summer associates, Robin, how tacky."

    michelle obama first impressions II

    Read more:33 photos that show why everyone misses Barack Obama

    But by July, Obama broke down Michelle Robinson's resolve, and she agreed to go on a date with him.

    "We had been hanging out, getting closer. Barack had suggested that we date," she said. "But I was like 'No, no be my friend. Do this, do that. It wouldn't be right, no.' And he was like, 'You're crazy, we should date. I like you, you like me,' and I liked that about him. He was straightforward; he wasn't playing games."

    At the end of their first date, they stopped to get ice cream and it was then that they had their first kiss.

    "He played it real smooth," she recalled. "He just leaned in for a kiss and that really was it. From that kiss on we were — it was love, and he was my man."

    The couple married three years later and went on to have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

    SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama says Melania Trump has never reached out to her for advice on being first lady

    DON'T MISS: 'We were afraid to hope': Michelle Obama reveals she didn't expect Barack to win the presidency

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote


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    Neiman Marcus Gift 8

    • Neiman Marcus' multimillion-dollar Christmas list is back, and it's more extravagant than ever. 
    • The "Fantasy Gifts" section offers billionaires and the ultra-wealthy the chance to buy one-of-a kind luxury items like custom art pieces, first-class travel experiences, and private yachts. 
    • See the most expensive gifts on the 2018 list. 

     

    Neiman Marcus' multimillion-dollar Christmas list is back, and it's more extravagant than ever. 

    The retailer has released its 2018 Christmas Book, an annual collection of suggested gifts from the luxury department store.

    One major highlight of the Christmas Book is its "Fantasy Gifts" section, which offers billionaires who have everything the chance to buy one-of-a-kind luxury items, travel packages, and experiences that cost thousands — and even millions — of dollars.

    Neiman Marcus is careful to highlight its philanthropic efforts alongside the decadence. Between $10,000 and $50,000 of every Fantasy Gift purchase is donated to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which funds art programs across the United States.

    See the most expensive gifts on the 2018 Fantasy Gifts list:

    SEE ALSO: We went shopping at one of New York City's most famous department stores as it prepares to close for good. Here's what it was like.

    A larger-than-life animal sculpture by Bjorn Okholm Skaarup

    Price: $200,000+

    Internationally acclaimed artist Bjorn Okholm Skaarup, whose work is on display in New York City's Lincoln Center, will cast a family pet or favorite animal in bronze. You'll fly to Florence, Italy, to spend time with the sculptor at his foundry, see his most famous works, and finalize the details of your custom sculpture. 



    Yours & mine ultimate clubhouses

    Price: $250,000 each

    The ultimate clubhouse includes two 10' by 12' backyard retreats by Studio Shed and Christina Simon of Mark Ashby Design. There are two houses: The Virtue House and The Vice House. 

    The Virtue House has a white exterior and is a space for self-care, alone time, reflection, meditation, pampering, and centering.

    The Vice House has a black exterior and a clubhouse feel, with cigars and a humidor provided by Cornelius & Anthony, cocktail glasses, vinyl records, and more.

     



    Collaborate with costume designer Colleen Atwood on a one-of-a-kind outfit inspired by "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald"

    Price: $300,000

    Spend the day collaborating with costume designer Colleen Atwood on a one-of-a-kind outfit inspired by "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald." The package includes lunch and a collaborative design session with Atwood, a costume fitting, and a photo op to commemorate the experience. 

    You will also receive an autographed movie poster, "Fantastic Beasts" wands from The Noble Collection, and a collection of three HarperCollins "Fantastic Beasts" movie tie-in books.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    25 Bali MonkeyForest (16 of 38)

    • The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, a town about 10 miles inland on the Indonesian island of Bali, is a nature reserve housing hundreds of wild monkeys.
    • The gorgeous forest and temple complex have been home to monkeys for hundreds of years, and the area is considered a holy place on the island.
    • Considered one of the top tourist attractions in Bali, the forest is worth a visit. When I went, I came within feet of dozens of monkeys, while I saw monkeys actually land on top of other visitors.

    While most of the world's famous temples are known for their architecture — like the Taj Mahal in India or Angkor Wat in Cambodia — there's one temple that may be best known for its inhabitants. And I'm not talking about monks.

    At the center of Ubud, a town about 10 miles inland on the Indonesian island of Bali, lies the Sacred Monkey Forest, a nature reserve and temple complex that houses about 600 wild long-tailed macaques, a type of monkey. Ubud has been known as a spiritual and mystical center to Balinese for centuries — Ubud means "medicine."

    The Monkey Forest is one of the holiest places in the area.

    But ever since Bali, and Ubud, became a magnet for honeymooners, New Agey seekers, and backpackers, the forest has become one of the island's top tourist sites. In the confines of the forest, visitors can observe monkeys in close quarters going about their monkey business: mating, fighting, grooming, eating, and, occasionally, interacting with humans.

    On a visit to Bali this past spring, I decided to stop by the monkey forest for a visit. It was unlike anywhere I'd been before.

    SEE ALSO: I woke up at 2 a.m. to hike two hours up a mountain in Bali to see the sunrise — and it was completely worth it

    DON'T MISS: I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I've found real life doesn't always live up to the hype. These are the most disappointing places I've been.

    The Sacred Monkey Forest is located in the center of Ubud. In fact, a main street that runs through the town is known as Monkey Forest Street.



    Getting a ticket is easy enough. It costs 50,000 Indonesian rupiah, or $3.40. It's best to go in the morning before it gets too crowded.

    Source: Monkey Forest Ubud



    There are a lot of guidelines you'll want to follow to have a good time. The big one to remember: Don't carry anything you wouldn't want to lose. Monkeys are mischievous creatures.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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