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Say it with stone

Granite. Marble. Sandstone. Limestone. Anupama Mohanram on the eco-benefits of using the material in construction

Natural stone flooring was a common feature in traditional Greek architecture over 3,000 years ago. Small stones were laid in a mortar bed to form stone mosaics, and this style evolved when the smaller pieces were replaced with larger, flat stone slabs.

Marble was one such stone widely used by the Greeks for its light, translucent texture that would reflect sunlight. A special Turkish marble was used in royal palaces as a symbol of prestige. Natural stone was also widely used during the Roman Empire.

Closer home

In India, the use of natural stone can be seen early monuments and ancient temples. In most South Indian temples, black granite flooring was a norm. The various kinds of stone available in the country include granite, marble, sandstone, limestone (cuddapah, Shahabad, Kota, etc.), slate, and quartzite.

The unpolished stone is not only relatively cool, but its roughly cut surface is good to walk on: a form of acupressure as it improved blood circulation.

Other benefits

Eco-factor: Even though its processing involves mining and quarrying, it does not require any direct energy for production. This results in less pollution and lower energy use.

Insulation: Its thermal mass provides insulation, thus maintaining occupant comfort and saving energy needed to cool the spaces.

Durability: Stone is more durable than manufactured tile floors. It doesn’t get scratched or stained easily too.

Healthier: Chemical and synthetic-free, stone is better for the health of our spaces and our physical well-being as well.

Cost-effective: Natural stone is usually available locally and results in lowered transportation costs. Its durability also means lesser expenditure on replacements.

Variety is key

The varied textures and colour variations of natural stone, along with its quality of timelessness, make it an interesting flooring material.

It’s heartening to note that stones are still a prominent building construction material in India — in both, public and private spaces. As we gain awareness of environmental issues, going forward, natural stone is all set to become an integral part of sustainable construction.

The author is the founder of Green Evolution,

a sustainable

architecture firm

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Go Inside Bethenny Frankel’s $4 Million New York City Condo

Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic, compass.com

Wow Bethenny Frankel, wow! This space is gorgeous.

Just days after celebrating her birthday, the former Real Housewives of New York City star appears to be making a change in her real estate plans. E! News has learned Bethenny’s SoHo condo is now on the market for $3,995,000.

In true Big Apple fashion, the space only has two bedrooms and two and half bathrooms. But once you take a look inside, you’ll be blown away.

Residents can enjoy 2,392 square feet of living space and a wide variety of amenities like a wood-burning fireplace and a small balcony—the only one of its kind in the building.

Those looking for some R&R can enjoy a deep soaking tub while fashion lovers will enjoy the custom closet. Food lovers will also appreciate the extra-large pantry and a five-burner Wolf range.

And for those shocked by the price, it appears the condo has been on the market since 2017 when it was listed for $5.25 million. Bethenny has since moved into another SoHo apartment, which she recently showcased to Architectural Design.

Instagram

Real estate aside, Bethenny appears to be enjoying her life away from the cameras. After announcing her departure from the Real Housewives of New York City, the Skinnygirl founder is focusing on other businesses.

She’s also finding time to celebrate. During her birthday week, Bethenny was spotted enjoying an intimate dinner party at Cathédrale Restaurant in New York City.

And yes, Bethenny had a special man by her side during the celebrations. “You have brought me true happiness, and I’m so lucky to have you in my life,” Paul Bernon shared on Instagram. “No one is smarter, funnier, or makes a bigger impact to help those around us. Thank you for being the most loving partner.”

Bethenny would later pose for a picture with her boyfriend and thank everyone for their support.

“Thank you for all the birthday wishes!” she shared on Instagram. “Beyond grateful to celebrate with my family and friends… and YOU.”

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You'll Never Have to Sweep Again Thanks to This Super Popular Vacuum — and It's $300 Off Right Now

Were you swept away by Amazon’s amazing deals on smart vacuums during Prime Day? As luck would have it, the retail giant is at it again and offering some of its most popular iRobot Roomba vacuums for a serious discount ahead of Black Friday — which is great news if you don’t have Monica Geller’s cleaning mentality. 

For a limited time, you can grab the iRobot Roomba i7 Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal for $300 off. Originally listed at $1,099, the genius cleaning device is available right now for just $799 — but you’ll have to hurry to get in on this amazing deal because it only lasts until November 9.

Buy It! iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal, $799 (orig. $1,099); amazon.com

With its smart navigation system, imprint smart mapping, and Dirt Detect Technology, the smart cleaning device uses its intelligent cleaning system to maneuver around your home, loosening and lifting away dirt, hair, and other particles. What’s great about the iRobot Roomba i7 is that it quite literally cleans up after itself. The vacuum will automatically empty everything it collects into a AllergenLock bag that can hold up to 60 days worth of dirt — giving you one less chore o worry about for months at a time. The robot vacuum is also Wi-Fi capable, so you can create a custom cleaning schedule for your home and track it on the iRobot Home app anytime from anywhere. Plus, the iRobot is compatible with Alexa, so you can control your vacuum through voice commands.

Given its high-tech functionality and capabilities, the price tag for this tiny round vacuum does not come cheap — but that’s exactly why you should add it to your cart now while you can still snag it for $300 off. You’ll also find some other iRobot products on sale, like the Roomba i7 Robotic Vacuum. While it’s super similar to the ‘plus’ version above, the only difference is that it does not have the automatic dirt disposal feature. It’s currently discounted to just $599 on Amazon, $100 off the original price.

Buy It! iRobot Roomba i7 Robotic Vacuum Bundle, $599 (orig. $699); amazon.com

There are many different iRobot Roomba models — like the Roomba 890 and the Roomba E5, both of which happen to also be on sale, too — but essentially, they all perform the same main function: cleaning your floors for you and eliminating one chore on your list. If you’re ready to make your life so much easier, take the plunge and splurge on an iRobot Roomba while you can get it this cheap, plus find more robot vacuum deals to shop on Amazon, below.  

Shop the Best Robot Vacuum Deals Right Now

  • iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum Wi-Fi Connected, $448.98 (orig. $499); amazon.com
  • iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum Wi-Fi Connected, $549 (orig. $699); amazon.com
  • DEENKEE DK600 Robot Vacuum 1500Pa High Suction, $219.95 (orig. $329.99); amazon.com
  • Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, $599.99 (orig. $829.99); amazon.com

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Tyler Cameron Decorated His New Apartment with Hilarious Tributes to His Bromance with BFF Matt

Tyler Cameron’s new apartment decor is BFF goals!

The Bachelorette runner-up, 26, took to Instagram last month to document his move into a luxury high-rise apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with his best friend Matt James. 

Now, the reality heartthrob is back on social media, showing off the adorable accessories he’s using to decorate their new shared space. Spoiler alert: They’re personalized goodies from Shutterfly, and they celebrate the beautiful bromance that is #Myler (Cameron and James’s couple name, obviously). 

On Saturday, Cameron posted a hilarious photo of himself snuggled up on a giant bean bag with a blanket screen-printed with a picture of he and James shirtless riding on a motorized scooter together. He had previously shared the photo on Instagram in September, writing, “The adventures of #Myler take on Coney Island.” 

“Absolutely losing it to all the goodies @shutterfly sent us,” Cameron wrote on his Instagram story, which shows off his new apartment’s floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a stunning view of Lower Manhattan. “Thanks to ya’ll I’ll now never have to go a night without @mattjames919.” 

Shutterfly gave PEOPLE the scoop on the other personalized products they sent to the roomies, and they are equally as adorable. 

The pair also received a dinner plate printed with a photo of them at the US Open tennis tournament and a beer stein printed with a collage of friendship photos.


Finally, Shutterfly sent a candle printed with the same photo featured on the blanket, and a wireless charging pad emblazoned with a shot of the fit friends mean-mugging while out for a run — Cameron showing off his abs. 


James and Cameron became close while playing football together at Wake Forest University, and the pair now work together at the charity ABC Food Tours, which James founded.

The non-profit program is designed to teach underprivileged New York City youth about how to lead healthy, active lifestyles while giving them a chance to try new restaurants in their local communities. Cameron and James both lead the tours and run the organization behind the scenes — a two-person team for an initiative that’s been growing at an astonishing rate ever since The Bachelorette aired. 

This is where Cameron explains he is grateful for the platform The Bachelorette has given him. “It’s allowed us to impact more kids,” he says. “It’s really overwhelming, but we’re trying to do our best to navigate it and make the right steps. We want to make sure we’re doing this the right way and impacting the kids the right away. But it’s great. It’s a blessing.”


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HGTV Star Emily Henderson Decked Out Her Mountain Home for the Holidays — See Inside!

Emily Henderson is a holiday decorating expert — and her gorgeous family home is proof!

The HGTV host and Target’s Home Style Expert gave PEOPLE an exclusive look at how she made over her mountain home for the holidays. The result? A ski-chalet-inspired set-up with plenty of greenery, twinkling lights and cozy accessories. 

“For this house, we went for a Scandinavian mountain theme – minimal, but so warm,” Henderson tells PEOPLE. “We really limited the finishes and kept it neutral to provide a mentally clear (and not chaotic) backdrop for our weekends to decompress.” 

White, knit Christmas stockings are hung by the fireplace in her living room, where she explains she created “a festive, warm ambience.” Furry white pillows, blankets and a Moroccan-style rug match the stockings, appealing to Henderson’s love of layered neutrals.

“This year, I went with a clean, winter white look for the holidays,” she says. She also has some advice on how to do the same in your own home: “To achieve this, bring in lots of blankets and pillows in cozy textiles such as sherpa and faux fur like I did in my main living area, dining nook and kid’s playroom, and layer in lots of warm lighting.”

The stylist placed a massive light-up star above the fireplace in her living room, which casts a glow across the entire space. “It’s perfect for adding a holiday touch to any large space and serves as a great conversation piece,” she says of the piece, noting that the glowing ceramic houses on her table have the same effect. 

If you only invest in one item for holiday decorating, Henderson suggests you invest in greenery — and she takes her own advice.  

“I love using faux greenery in wreath and garland form to decorate almost every area of my home,” she says. “Plus, faux greenery is great for early holiday decorating since real garland won’t last longer than six weeks.” 


One of her favorite ways to add some green? Bottle brush trees, which can be purchased in various shapes, sizes and colors. Henderson’s were all under $10.

The professional stylist knows that it can be hard to break free from the ordinary while decorating with the same pieces year after year, but she does have a few tips to keep things fresh.

“The easiest way to make anything unique is to make it personal and sentimental to you,” she says. “Display all your kids’ Santa photos throughout the years, DIY ornaments and any other holiday traditions that you love. The winter season and holidays are all about being surrounded by family and friends!” 


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Amazon is Selling a Heated Blanket for Your Car – and It Comes in 6 Colors

Amazon has done it again! We discovered the retailer sells a product we never knew existed, and now we totally need one. Amazon is selling heated blankets made specifically for your car and it’s going to make winter travel so much more comfortable.

Buy it: Electric Car Blanket, $26.69; amazon.com

The blanket is designed specifically for your car, meaning it’s cord plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter instead of a traditional outlet. It also has an 8-foot cord, which makes it comfortable and easy for backseat passengers to snuggle up on long road trips. We also love the idea of taking this to chilly outdoor tailgates in the winter months. As long as your car is running, you can leave the blanket plugged in and wrap it around yourself as long as you stay relatively close to the vehicle.

Related: We Found a Cheap Weighted Blanket

Amazon reports the blanket works in any car, truck or RV that has a cigarette lighter, and it starts warming up as soon as you plug it in. Plus, the fleece material keeps the blanket warm long after you unplug it, making it perfect for outdoor events in the colder months. Let the blanket heat up in the car on the way to a football game or an outdoor party and enjoy the comfort of the heated throw even after you get out of the car.

As with all electric blankets, safety is a must—never leave a plugged-in blanket unattended, and make sure the cord and plug are in good condition before plugging in the blanket. Since the blanket includes wiring and an electrical cord, keep it dry at all times.

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Strictly’s Alex Scott shares a peek inside her London home

Alex Scott MBE is currently living her dream competing on Strictly Come Dancing with professional dance partner Neil Jones – and making it through another week after Kevin Clifton stepped in at the last minute to perform with her when Neil became injured at the end of October.

The retired footballer, who played for both Arsenal and the England national team, has been sharing glimpses into their training on social media, along with photos from her successful career as a football pundit. While Alex doesn't give much away about her personal life, she did recently tell HELLO! she is happily single after addressing rumours of a romance between herself and Neil.

WATCH: See Alex Scott and Neil Jones play our Hello/ Goodbye game

Alex has occasionally given glimpses into her London home, often via photos of her pet dogs. One snap posted at Christmas showed her boxer dog wearing a party hat while sat in the living room with a special memento from her time at the London Olympics in 2012 – a Team GB duvet cover that was on the bed at her room in the athletes' village.

Alex Scott as her Team GB duvet from the 2012 Olympics at her home

The blue duvet cover is adorned with colourful images representing the different sports, and printed with the words: "Excellence, friendship and respect." It is no doubt a happy reminder of Alex's successful sporting career, which doubles up as a cosy blanket for her pets.

MORE: What is Alex Scott's net worth?

Another photo showed Alex cuddling up to her dog Ella, who passed away in summer 2018. It gave a peek inside the 34-year-old's living room, which has dual-colour walls in tones of cream and taupe, leather sofas, and a wooden frame hanging on the wall. Alex has a house plant in one corner, while a cushion with tassel trims adds a pop of colour.

The Strictly Come Dancing contestant lives in London

Alex's net worth is estimated at anywhere between £100,000 and £2million, but the humble star doesn't flaunt her lifestyle on social media. Her recent posts include a montage dedicated to her mum's 60th birthday, and her foray into ballroom dancing, which she said is something she's always wanted to do.

RELATED: See more celebrity homes here

"I am absolutely buzzing to be signed up to Strictly. It's the show I've always wanted to do and I can't believe I'm finally going to be part of it. I’m super excited, but also terrified at the same time… The football pitch is a bit less glam than the ballroom, but I’m ready to try the sequins and dresses! Bring it on!" Alex said when her Strictly role was announced.

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Cocoon Fine Rugs and Arjun Rathi Design celebrate 100 years of Bauhaus

Two new collections of rugs and lights play up minimalist designs to celebrate 100 years of the modernist movement from Germany

From architectural tours in Israel to a design exhibition in Denmark and a lantern festival in Japan, countries around the world have organised diverse events this year to celebrate 100 years of Bauhaus, one of the most influential art and design movements of the 20th century. Most recently, and closer home, designers Ayush Choudhary and Arjun Rathi brought its concepts to life in their latest collections of rugs and lights, unveiled at a collaborative show in Mumbai a few weeks ago.

Cocoon Fine Rugs and Arjun Rathi Design celebrate 100 years of Bauhaus

Following symmetry

Geometric patterns, a palette of primary colours and the philosophy of ‘form follows function’ are some of the hallmarks of the Bauhaus movement, which stems from the eponymous German art school founded by Berlin-born architect Walter Gropius in 1919. “The idea of Bauhaus was to simplify design so that it reached the masses. It continues to inspire because of this simplicity,” says Choudhary, designer and founder of Cocoon Fine Rugs, with stores in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Kolkata. The rug collection has about 15 designs featuring chequered prints, symmetrical lines and maze-like patterns.

Rathi, meanwhile, explores the Bauhaus aspect of using industrial processes and minimal forms to create mass-produced furniture. His collection comprises seven futuristic designs, including an L-shaped light inspired by a reading lamp and a J-shaped one that can cosily fit in a small space. “After First World War, housing in Europe was in crisis and people had smaller homes. So, they wanted furniture with sleek designs rather than the heavy, wooden ones that were the norm. I’ve followed this aesthetic and made the entire collection modular, too,” says Rathi, the principal of the self-named, Mumbai-based multidisciplinary design practice.

Cocoon Fine Rugs and Arjun Rathi Design celebrate 100 years of Bauhaus

Primary instincts

While the products complement each other, their association was a coincidence. The duo had hit it off at an event a few months ago and decided to collaborate in future. When they reconnected a couple of months back, they realised that both were working on a similar theme. “We were celebrating the Bauhaus in our heads. So, we decided to do a showcase together,” says Choudhary, adding, “While we didn’t interact during the making process, Bauhaus has a strong signature that jumps out in both our collections and so, there’s harmony.”

They’ve paid equal attention to colours and materials. Rathi has used steel and hand-blown glass in the lights to create a sense of uniformity. He has also used green, and textured silver and copper “which were the finishes created at that time”. The rugs are made in hand-carded wool with natural, hand-spun silk accents. Choudhary says, “We’ve used primary colours, but toned them down by 50% to make the pieces look more elegant and sophisticated. Today’s designer homes don’t prefer the strong, contrasting colours that were seen in the original movement.”

The Cocoon Fine Rugs Bauhaus collection starts from ₹65,000, while the lights by Arjun Rathi Design range from ₹18,000 to ₹3,90,000.

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A Lost Masterpiece Worth $26 Million Was Discovered in an Unsuspecting Elderly Woman's Kitchen

An elderly woman in France had the surprise of a lifetime last month when she discovered an old painting in her home was worth more than $26.6 million. 

The painting was found in the city of Compiègne in northern France, where it had been hanging above a hotplate in the woman’s kitchen for many years. According to the BBC, the woman believed that it was simply a religious piece with no real value. She was very wrong.

An auctioneer spotted the artwork — which measures just eight inches by ten inches — and suggested the woman have a series of tests performed using infrared light to determine its worth. 

The tests indicated that the painting was made by the famous pre-Renaissance Italian painter Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo. Titled Christ Mocked, the piece is believed to be part of a polyptych (a painting that consists of three or more panels) created in 1280, depicting Christ’s crucifixion. 

An auctioneer named Dominique Le Coent from Acteon Auction House initially valued the painting at $7,720,200, but sold it for $26,600,000 to an anonymous French buyer — more than four times what he expected.

He explained to Reuters that, “When a unique work of a painter as rare as Cimabue comes to market, you have to be ready for surprises.”

Acteon Auction House told BBC that the painting now holds the world record for the most expensive piece of Medieval artwork to ever be sold at auction. 

According to the news outlet, two other pieces from the polyptych series can be found at art museums across the world — one at London’s National Gallery, and one at the Frick Collection in New York.


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Chip Gaines Says He Could See Himself Giving Son Crew Another 'Little Sibling' with Wife Joanna

Chip and Joanna Gaines may have their hands full with five children, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want more down the road!

In an exclusive preview of their interview on Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist, Chip, 44, can’t hold back his feelings for his wife — and his hopes for their future — as she discusses the “valuable” failures they’ve experienced while building their Magnolia empire.

“I love you,” he lovingly gushes as Joanna, 41, speaks in the interview, which will air this Sunday, October 27 on NBC at 8 a.m. ET. “When you were just saying all those things, my heart just burst open.”

Through her laughter, the mother of five reveals, “I call him coach! He’s coached me.”

But Chip makes it clear that his feelings for his wife — with whom he shares sons Crew, 16 months; Duke, 11; and Drake, 14; and daughters Emmie Kay, 9, and Ella Rose, 13 — extends far beyond a supportive coaching role.

“Forget coach! I’m talking in a much more romantic sense,” he explained. “Like, I could see Crew having a little sibling and me being like, ‘I love this woman!'”

RELATED: Chip and Joanna Gaines Talk About the Years They Feared They Wouldn’t Make It: ‘Things Were So Hard’

Joanna jokingly interjects, “Oh, jeez. Willie, another subject!” before opening up about Chip’s adoration for children and having a large family.

“When I’m 50, Chip’s gonna want more kids. Just know, this is gonna be the headline forever: Jo’s pregnant again,” she quips. “Chip with children is like business — there’s never too many.”

“I’m like, ‘Chip I think we’ve got enough, I think we’re good!'” Joanna continues. “He’s like, ‘I just think we can keep having them!’ I think Chip just loves a full plate.”

Chip and Joanna Gaines

RELATED: Joanna Gaines on Why She Won’t Separate Work and Family: It Makes Me ‘a Better Mom’

Their interview comes more than a year after the former Fixer Upper stars revealed that they may not be done having children.

“I joke with my friends that I’m going to be that 45-year-old who’s pregnant,” Joanna told PEOPLE in May 2018 ahead of welcoming baby Crew. “Chip is such a kid at heart and we both love a big family. I’m open to whatever. I’m just having fun with it.”

At the time, Joanna said she was also looking forward to experiencing motherhood again because of how different it would feel in comparison to her first four children.

“I had four kids aged 4 and under,” she explained. “There were so many diapers, and it was chaos. Those years just flew because there was so much happening in the moment. I feel like I can really take this one in and relish these moments.”

Chip and Joanna Gaines' kids
Chip Gaines and Crew

RELATED: Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Coffee Shop Is Almost Open for Business—See the Latest Update!

In addition to caring for their five children, Chip and Joanna have been busy running a lifestyle empire that includes a home building company, real estate agency, product lines, their Waco shopping destination, and a forthcoming TV network.

Most recently, the couple announced that they would also be opening a coffee shop and hotel, both in Waco, Texas.

The coffee shop, which will be named Magnolia Press, is expected to open this month. As for the boutique hotel, the Gaines are anticipating a 2021 opening.

Despite having a lot on her plate, Joanna recently said in a personal essay she penned for the Fall 2019 issue of her and husband Chip’s magazine, Magnolia Journal, that she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Joanna and Chip Gaines

“I decided that balance is way too meticulous a science to get just right in my daily life, and that it wasn’t something I was very interested in for myself,” she said. “In its place, I sought wholeness for my family and for my work.”

“I’ve found that something miraculous happens when I make space for both: Each is made better by the other,” she added. “My work is undoubtedly more inspired when my kids can be a part of it, and I’m a better mom when my passion for creativity plays a role in how I parent.

Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist airs Sundays on NBC at 8 a.m. ET.


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Home Depot Is Now Selling a Giant, Inflatable Fuzzy Reindeer You Never Knew You Needed

While it’s only October (you probably haven’t even had a chance to wear your epic Stranger Things Halloween costume yet), it’s also the season for stocking up on new Christmas decorations — we’re talking about the ones that will turn heads on your block. From inflatable yard decor to Christmas lights synced to music, the holidays are not only the season of joy but also tacky decorations, and we’re totally here for it. 

Home Depot is notorious for releasing epic inflatables for your yard every year, and some of the company’s best ones yet are finally here. While you could opt for a giant airblown Olaf in honor of Frozen 2‘s upcoming release (the kiddos would love it!), our favorite inflatable this year has to be the 11-foot reindeer that not only lights up but feels fuzzy to the touch — it’s basically like having a giant teddy bear in your yard! Even if it is a tad bit Griswold-family-inspired, we love everything about this reindeer. It would look epic in pretty much any yard, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it helped you win an award for best yard decor, especially if pair it with this traditional Santa inflatable. 

Buy It! 11 ft. Pre-Lit Giant Airblown Inflatable Fuzzy Reindeer, $179; homedepot.com 

What’s great about this inflatable and all others on Home Depot is that they come pre-lit with plenty of warm-white, LED lights that are bright enough for nighttime viewing, although the inflatables will look just as good in the daytime, too. Plus, the setup is super easy — simply place it where you want, stake it in the ground, and let it self inflate. And even though this inflatable is equipped with stuffed animal-type plush, it’s actually weather-resistant, so you won’t worry about replacing the reindeer just after one season. 

If your family is the kind that has holiday decorations up and ready the day after Thanksgiving, you only have a month left to start prepping your decorations game plan, and we’re officially dubbing 2019 the year to embrace tacky inflatables. In case you feel like going full-blown Griswold family this year, there’s also an inflatable National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Station Wagon to help you really pull off the quirky aesthetic. Below, you can check out some of the best outdoor inflatable Christmas decorations on Home Depot, including more Disney favorites.

Buy It! 6 ft. Pre-lit Inflatable Airblown Chimney Top Mickey and Minnie Scene, $119; homedepot.com 

Buy It! 6 ft. Pre-Lit Life Size Airblown Inflatable Nativity Scene, $99; homedepot.com

Buy It! Peanuts 5.6 ft. Pre-lit Inflatable Airblown Snoopy and Woodstock with Mailbox Scene, $119; homedepot.com

Buy It! Disney 7 ft. Pre-lit Inflatable Airblown Olaf and Sven Scene, $149; homedepot.com

Buy It! 14 ft. Pre-lit Inflatable Christmas Tree, $199; homedepot.com 

Buy It! Star Wars 8 ft. Pre-lit Inflatable Airblown AT-AT with Light String, $149; homedepot.com 

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'It's a phenomenal house for a party' – inside the six bedroom home on Millionaire's Row

Downsizers Brian and Anne Elliott have lived at 18 Deerpark Lawn in Castleknock for a good slice of their married life. They bought the property in 2002 and shepherded their five children through school and college there.

No 18 is also the spot from which Brian ventures forth every day to take his constitutional. The largest city public park in Europe – Phoenix Park – is just seven minutes’ walk from the house. In fact, Brian calls it “his back garden” and it was a big part of their decision to buy in the area.

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There is always something happening in the 1,750 acre park, says Brian, whether it’s the monthly farmers’ market at Farmleigh, feeding time at the zoo, cricket matches, or at this time of year, collecting conkers or carving pumpkins.

Wild herds of fallow deer have grazed in the park since the 17th Century. No doubt it was with this in mind that, in the 1970s, a group of developers christened their new luxury scheme just beyond the Castlepark main gate, the Deerpark.

This is the area of Castleknock known locally as ‘Millionaires’ Row’. The premium properties on the leafy streets of Deerpark regularly fetch prices well above the million euro mark – No 12 sold for €1.425m in January of last year, while No 1 Deerpark Close sold for €1.285m in July, 2018.

According to the latest property price report from Daft.ie, five-bedroom detached properties in Dublin 15, like those for larger properties in Dublin 6 and Raheny, not only held their value but rose year on year by 3.7pc.

No 18 is set on a wedge-shaped site at the end of one of two quiet cul de sacs in the estate. The house originally launched to market last year and quickly went sale agreed but that fell through when the buyer’s plans changed, says selling agent Julian Cotter, of Sherry FitzGerald. As a result, the property is back on the market at the same asking price.

Julian, who has sold a number of properties in the area, says houses in the neighbourhood with an E to G BER rating typically go for between €1.1m to €1.3m before renovations.

“You find buyers are very positive until the stage that the builder or surveyor walks through the property with them and gives them the bad news. A lot of people don’t realise how much materials and labour cost.”

The cost of renovations to upgrade insulation and heating, build an extension, and add en suites, Julian estimates, can be in the range of €200,000 to €300,000.

As a result, he finds that buyers are looking more closely at turnkey properties. “The price goes up to €1.5m to €1.7m, depending on how much has been done to it and who it suits.”

No 18 is in immaculate order and is a six-bedroom home, smartly designed with a dramatic double-height hallway, and a BER rating of C1, thanks to a complete refurbishment in 2003.

Back then, Brian and Anne also added a gym with sauna and hot tub – much to the joy of their sons – as well as a large hexagonal sunroom to the east-facing rear of the house. It now doubles as Brian’s office when he is home – he designs treatment programmes for HIV and AIDs patients in the developing world and travels widely.

The kitchen is to the front of the house and, two years ago, was remodelled and a bright red AGA was installed. Off the kitchen are a utility room with access to the side passage and front and rear gardens, as well as a drystore pantry.

The three open plan reception rooms lead off the generous entrance hall and are separated by partial walls. A prospective buyer could easily install sliding doors if they wished to add more privacy.

One room currently functions as the music room and holds a grand piano and Brian’s guitars.

“It’s a phenomenal house for a party,” adds Brian, who recalls many a family do and musical evening enjoyed by all at No 18.

There is plenty of storage space in Deerpark Lawn, including three cleverly designed cupboards concealed behind mirrors and a second store room, guest WC and boiler room.

Upstairs there are five bedrooms, all doubles. Two of the bedrooms have en suites, and there is a family bathroom.

The top floor has been converted into a large double bedroom with en suite and break-out space and is fully compliant. It would make an ideal granny flat or self-contained accommodation for an au pair.

There is off-street parking for a number of cars to the front of the property, which is gravelled and has a mature hedge boundary. It is set behind electronic gates. There is side access to the rear garden, which has a large deck, ideal for summer barbeques and sun-bathing. Set out in lawn and bound by mature specimen trees, it is a sheltered space that is not overlooked.

One of the big pluses of the property, says Brian, is that he can be at Dublin Airport in 12 minutes. The village of Castleknock is a few minutes’ walk away, and boasts a new Lidl; Blanchardstown Shopping Centre is 15 minutes’ drive away.

For those in search of a family home, there are excellent schools nearby, including Castleknock College, Mount Sackville, and St Brigid’s national school to the rear of No 18.

As for the Elliotts, they intend to find something smaller nearby. That way Brian can still take his daily walk in the park.

Era: 1970s

Size: 393sqm

BER: C1

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 820 1800

Viewing: By appointment

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An education: Family home in private school catchment area for €1.5m

When young couples view houses they tend to look at the process romantically. They can picture the big glass extension at the back that will be full of friends and family; they make plans to convert the spare room into a home office; and pick out the plot in the garden that will be perfect for their own vegetable patch.

Roll on five years, when two becomes three, then four, or five. The home office has become a nursery, every bit of glass in the extension is covered in sticky handprints and the homegrown vegetables are being thrown, uneaten, back at you.

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It’s when the time rolls around for school enrolments that the stress really kicks in. This is when people start kicking themselves for not doing a better job of researching the school catchment area.

Any young family who takes on No6 Willow Place will not have to worry about where little Johnny or Mary will end up going to school though. It’s on Booterstown Avenue in Blackrock, and here the academic world is your oyster. Primary schools within walking distance of the house include Willow Park, St Mary’s Boys, St Andrew’s Junior School, Our Lady of Mercy Convent School and Booterstown National School.

Some of the highest performing secondary schools are also on the doorstep. Coláiste Íosagáin, Blackrock College, Coláiste Eoin and St Andrew’s College were all in the top 25 schools in the latest guide to Irish schools. Older kids don’t even have to worry about university as UCD is only 10 minutes away by car or half an hour on foot.

The vendors of No6 can vouch for the convenience of the address. “It’s a fantastic area for families,” says Deborah Kirkland, who lives here with her husband Angus and three children Saskia, Luke and Adam. “That’s why we’re only moving five minutes away. We love it here. We’ve walked our kids to St Mary’s National School for years and the boys are now in St Andrew’s which is still close by.”

Deborah and Angus bought the house 17 years ago when Deborah was pregnant with their first child. “When we bought there were only two bedrooms, but it was perfect for the stage we were at,” recalls Deborah, fondly. “In our bedroom there was a small little dressing room area and this is where we put Saskia’s cot.”

As their family grew over the years, so too did the house. “We’ve never wanted to leave so we’ve worked away at growing the house for our family for years,” says Deborah as she tries to remember all the changes they made, big and small. “In 2006, we did the first bit of work which included the kitchen extension. We were still very small on top though, so in 2012, with three children, we built up to make it a five-bedroom home.”

It’s clear to see the house has been well-cared for by the Kirklands. The hall is gleaming with marble polished floors and fresh grey paintwork. On either side of the hall are the original rooms of this 200-year-old property, that started out as a farmhouse. The living room to the left and dining room to the right both have the original wide-set floorboards that have been sanded and stained. Both of these rooms, as well as the hall, open out into the new kitchen extension which occupies the full width of the house.

It was first extended in 2006 and then again in 2012. Deborah says they’ve found from experience that kitchen is pretty adaptable. “The units were hand-built by a carpenter, Andrew Pedlow, in 2006. He did such a great job with them. The island from Christoff was added later along with a few other bits. We’ve had to move the units around when we extended the kitchen and it pieced back together really well.”

The downstairs space is perfect for entertaining, according to Deborah. “It’s a really cosy house with smaller rooms that wouldn’t be as grand as some period houses,” she says. “That said, you can open it up if you have people over.”

The dining area is big enough for a table that sits eight and a full-size pool table that the family has recently added to the delight of the kids.

There are now five bedrooms upstairs. The master has an ensuite shower room and the main bathroom has a bath and separate shower.

For Deborah, the garden will be the hardest thing in the house to walk away from. Over the years it’s gone through many transformations but is now a practical but pretty space for the kids and Pip the dog.

“The garden was gorgeous when we moved in with raised flowerbeds and lots of granite stone. This was lovely when I was able to potter around with Saskia, but once the boys and football came around this all changed,” laughs Deborah. “As much as I’d love to have real grass, we put in the astro as a practical choice. It’s still my favourite thing about the house though.”

No6 is down a quiet cul-de-sac and has on-street parking to the front. Booterstown Dart station is a five-minute walk away.

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Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood shows off his fabulous kitchen

Craig Revel Horwood has showcased his impressive culinary skills – and stylish kitchen – in a new cookery segment for ITV's Lorraine. The Strictly Come Dancing judge gave viewers a look inside his lavish home in Salisbury for the new series which aired on Friday, and it's as fabulous as you would imagine.

WATCH: See the most stylish celebrity kitchens

The 54-year-old has opted for a black and red colour scheme throughout the huge kitchen, with dark wooden cabinets off-set with white stone worktops and red kitchenware. The L-shaped kitchen has plenty of space for Craig to store and prepare his food, with a double fridge-freezer that has pictures hung on the front – including one of himself with his fellow Strictly judges. However, the picture is outdated as it still features former judge Darcey Bussell rather than her replacement Motsi Mabuse.

Craig Revel Horwood has filmed a new cooking series for Lorraine

A sign reading "Easy Street" hangs at the top of the fridge, while a dazzling pendant light hangs over the hob where Craig cooked his dish. The former dancer has maintained his colour scheme down to all the details, and has a red casserole dish, plates and even kitchen appliances.

GALLERY: Inside the Strictly Come Dancing judges' houses

Meanwhile, what appears to be a pantry leading off the back of his kitchen features open shelving lined with even more red saucepans and kitchenware. It adds a splash of colour to the otherwise monochrome space, which has cream walls and glossy tiled flooring.

The Strictly judge previously gave fans a peek inside his bedroom at his Salisbury home

The cooking series offers a rare look inside Craig's home in Salisbury, which he bought after selling the Camden home he had previously lived in for 20 years. His new home has its own swimming pool and is surrounded by seven-and-a-half acres of gardens, and he previously said it is a place where he is truly able to relax away from his demanding work commitments.

GALLERY: 20 of the most stylish celebrity kitchens

Craig previously shared a glimpse inside his bedroom in an amusing snap after borrowing a dress from Claudia Winkleman in 2018, showing subtle glamorous touches including jacquard wallpaper, a statement silver wall decoration and shiny blue bedding.

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My Favourite Room: Inside the Italian villa-style residence of an antiques dealer

When one thinks of the consummate antique dealer, the image conjured up is that of someone buried in the bowels of dust-filled basements, hoping to discover untold treasures beneath the grime. The last thing one would imagine is an aficionado of the great outdoors, specifically the golf courses of the world, but antiques and golf – these are the joint passions of Chantal O’Sullivan.

Owner of two highly respected antique showrooms – one on Francis Street, Dublin’s antique quarter; and one on 10th Street, New York, the antique epicentre of the States – Chantal is an expert on 18th and 19th-Century Irish and British furniture, yet she’s also a mean golfer and has played with the likes of Bill Clinton.

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As it happens, she got her love of antiques from her mother and her passion for golf from her father, and for a while in her late teens and early 20s, of the two, it was the outdoor life that really attracted her.

“My dad was a great golfer. There are five of us, and we all played. I played interprovincially while I was at High School in Rathgar,” the Dublin native explains, adding, “After school, I went to Australia to find myself, and I loved it. The outdoor life there is great. I stayed for two years, this was 1979/1980, and I nearly thought of staying there, but I came home to see what Ireland had become like, and I never went back.”

This is where Chantal’s antique-loving mother came in. “My mother sent me down to help an antique-dealer friend of hers who had opened a business. I got bitten by the bug. I worked for him for eight years, and then opened on my own,” Chantal reminisces.

She says that she had been surrounded by antiques even before then. “My mother was a hoot. She was very witty and very glamorous, and used to wear turbans like Elizabeth Taylor. She had poor health, but when she was on form, she’d go to auctions and buy up the place. There would be at least 10 dining tables in the garage, and she used to say, ‘When your father comes home, don’t tell him the dining table is different’,” Chantal says with a laugh.

Chantal says she was attracted by three things in the antiques business – the antiques themselves, doing the deals, and meeting people, but being in business on her own wasn’t all plain sailing. “You learn it by making mistakes. For example, in the early days I bought a table that I thought was 1820, but it turned out to be 1960. It was made to look old. When I was looking at it, I could see that the metalwork had unified scratches on it. I should have twigged it then, but I didn’t. But I didn’t make that mistake again,” she says.

One reason why it’s not an easy business is there are a few charlatans in it, but Chantal has developed her own sure-fire way of doing things. “I go completely on instinct,” she says. “If anything puts me off, even though I’m not aware of what it is, I won’t buy it,” she says,

She says she has had some great mentors along the way, name-checking three well-known dealers back in the day – the three Orken Brothers of Mill Street, Dublin 8. “They always each got a new Crombie coat at Christmas. Their famous customer was Tommy Steele, the singer. They always had the Irish whiskey out for him,” she explains with a laugh. Over the years Chantal herself has had many famous clients, but she’s far too discreet to name them.

Through these and other mentors, her own studies, and through personal experience, Chantal has learned everything there is to know about her speciality. She gets her stock mainly from private houses in England and Ireland, and she also has some handpicked experts who buy for her.

“I also have people who would have bought from me in the 1980s and 1990s who are now downsizing and their kids are selling the stuff back me,” she says with a laugh. “You could say antiques are very green, they’re being recycled all the time. I like that idea.” She adds that lots of young homemakers are also coming to her, as they want something special. “Brown furniture, as some call it, was out of fashion for a while, but it’s coming back,” she notes with satisfaction.

Chantal opened her first shop in the late 1980s and increased its size several times; she now has three adjoining buildings in Francis Street, and is known by some as the queen of the street. In the meantime, she also opened in New York, and this year she is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her shop there.

“The Americans used to fly to London a lot and I thought, ‘Why not bring my stuff to America and save them the plane ticket?'” the genial entrepreneur, who is called Chanty by friends, says with a laugh. “When I opened first, I did a lot of pr; I spoke a lot about antiques, making people aware I was there.”

She also made sure to have a shopfront in the right place. “I’m in the West Village on 10th Street, between Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Tenth Street is the place to have your antique shop,” she says proudly.

She’s had her challenges over the years in the New York shop, including 9/11 when they were closed for six weeks, and Hurricane Sandy was another worrying time. “We were having a big exhibition of Irish silver. The exhibition opened on a Thursday, Hurricane Sandy started on the Friday. We’d no electricity, the alarm couldn’t work, and we had promoted the exhibition hugely. I had to have a police car going round and round all weekend,” she recalls.

Happily, New York was where she also had one of her biggest business coups. “There was a fire insurance sale in New York and one of the things listed was an ‘Irish table’ so they called me to come and view it, as I’m an Irish dealer,” she explains, adding, “The table wasn’t worth much at all, but there was a magnificent grandfather clock and a set of dining chairs. I had to buy the whole lot to get the clock.”

She had spotted the clock was valuable by rubbing the smoke damage. “I saw it was Cuban mahogany, and knew there was a fair chance it was Chippendale. I sent the [clock’s] works to London to be restored,” she says.

Chantal still didn’t realise how valuable it was until sometime later, when she met the underbidder for the lot. It was the type of sale where you put your bid in an envelope so no-one else knows your offer, and even though he was disappointed, she’d once done him a favour, so he told her the history of the clock. “He told me the clock had been owned by George III, and played 40 waltzes. It took a year-and-a-half to restore it, but it was great, I made a lot of money. That gave me a boost that year. It was 1998/99.”

In the main, New York has been a big success – her clients include New York fashion designers, Hollywood greats and tech giants – and she’s planning to have a big bash in November to celebrate. It’s been hard work; when she’s in the States, which is roughly half her time, the charming dealer is constantly networking. She is quite high-profile, and is a member of the American Antique Dealers League and on the board of the American branch of the Georgian Society. “I really have two lives; I’m sort of cut in two,” she says. “When I’m there, I’m out five nights a week; I’m entertaining decorators; I’m meeting people all the time.”

She has a busy life here too, but it isn’t quite as hectic as New York, and her home in Killiney is a lovely haven to escape to after a busy day. She bought the house 14 years ago – it’s an Italian villa-style residence, dating from 1830 – using the same guiding principle she has used ever since she started in the business: her gut instinct.

“I was looking for a place in Killiney because all my friends lived here, and I had spent a year minding a friend’s house and fell in love with the area,” she recalls. “I happened to be at a dinner party locally, and the host’s daughter and her friend came in to say goodnight, and as they were leaving the room, the host said, ‘That girl’s mother is selling her house here.’

“I came around that night after the dinner, as I was leaving for the States the following morning. I put my foot in the hall door, and apologised for being so late. The owner asked if I wanted to look downstairs, and because the kids were asleep down there, I said no. So I never looked downstairs. I asked what they expected, I offered them that amount, and I said, ‘The offer is only available for 48 hours’.”

Effectively Chantal bought the property sight unseen, but it all worked out. It’s a wonderful showcase for her lovely collection of paintings – some by good friends, some by artists she admires – and for the many period pieces she’s chosen to keep for herself. And unlike her mother, nothing is hidden away in the garage.

O’Sullivan Antiques, 43/44 Francis St, D8; 51 East 10th St, New York, New York 10003, see osullivanantiques.com

Edited by Mary O’Sullivan

Photography by Kip Carroll

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Home truths: Why there's nothing wrong with being a 'property porn' addict

As a teenager my obsession was cars. A regular little walking talking bible of automotive history and functional contemporary car knowledge I was; from age 11.

I spent my pocket money on glossy car magazines and die-cast models. Down at the library on Saturday I’d take two or three tomes a week with memorable titles such as: The Hillman/Chrysler Imp 1963 to 1976, 875cc to 998cc, (Plus Singer and Sunbeam Variants). Perhaps I might have: Datsun 100a/120a (Cherry) 1971 -77 Owners Workshop Manual. And for some lighter perusing: A Profile of the Plus Four Morgan. Despite quare looks from the librarians, I’d spend hours poring over double spreads of engine cross sections and exotic chassis configurations.

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It wasn’t a fad. Today I never miss July’s Dublin Classic and Vintage Car Show. I’ll hold up family excursions with drool-by passes of a well-liveried Morris Traveller or a svelte Triumph Spitfire.

Even the die-cast toy thing hasn’t been laid entirely to rest: last week on a whim I binged on a rake of tiny Hornby classic 1960s motors (now queued in an Abbey Road traffic jam atop a picture frame in the downstairs loo). And when I get alone time with the TV, I’ll go Fast and Loud and slap on the Gas Monkey – a high-spirited Texas motor restoration series with lots of yee-haw!

People who know me think all of the above is weird. Because I have never actually owned nor driven a car. But that’s not the point with an obsession.

READ MORE: Home Truths: Changes to bring rack and ruin for ‘McMansions’

Contrarily, sports obsessing is completely acceptable. There were guys in my class at school who could tell you the name of every player that ever togged out for Newton Heath from 1878 (before they became Manchester United in 1902). Today teens who can’t spell their own names know how many goals Denis Irwin scored (18 in 328 appearances) in his entire Premier career. You don’t get funny looks at the library for accessing a catalogue of Man U match programme covers from 1902 to 1939.

All those Man Umaniacs stayed obsessed and in the decades in between, I’ve never driven a car and they never played at Old Trafford. But our little obsessions make life a bit more bearable which is what they’re for.

Thanks to Sky Sports and Discovery Channel, we can indulge our obsessions without leaving the sofa (though my brother broke his jumping up and down on it during one particularly traumatic Man U fixture years ago).

But what if your obsession is the sofa itself? Floor coverings, wallpaper and renovations? Those obsessed with homes and renovations? Ratings data suggests there may be just as many sofa obsessives as sofa-bound ones. And those who binge on Kirsty and Phil, Kevin McCloud and (dare we say)… Dermot Bannon… have the ultimately accessible obsession, given that most of us live in a house or apartment with immediate potential to tinker.

My son’s hobby interest is houses. He reads books about architecture, he makes 3D jigsaws of the Empire State Building and he wants to be an architect when he grows up (thus far at least). He loves his bit of Grand Designs.

But unlike those who have immersed themselves for years in the offside statistics of British soccer teams since Magna Carta, or in county hurling records since Cu Chulainn dropped the hound, the property obsessed are today for some reason looked down upon.

I’ve never heard the term football porn or car porn used once. But property porn is much bandied about these days with a particular venom. The connotation that those who proffer or indulge in property TV are engaged in something somewhat sleazy. We’ve just had what could be described as a ‘We too’ backlash against Dermot Bannon’s Room To Improve after a former RTÉ journalist described it as: “disgusting”, followed by a cacophony of howling denigration.

Which fails to recognise that property obsessives, like all obsessives, engage to varying degrees of immersion. So if a car nut sells everything he has and gets into debt to buy a Bugatti Veyron (current retail price €2m) to the detriment of all else in his life, then his obsession is obviously damaging to his life.

But watching someone smash up a Veyron (there have been many Veyron smashes) on TV is different. It’s about seeing some other obsessive’s car crash. Property TV is a crash and trauma and redemption, by proxy. While certainly voyeurism, it harms no one, save occasionally those who volunteer to submit themselves and their homes to it.

READ MORE: Tips for first time buyers: don’t rent, avoid Celtic Tiger era apartment blocks, and think ugly

Grand Designs is 20 this year. And despite what Kevin McCloud says about encouraging fine architecture and restoration, we know it’s all about the trauma and the overspend. If all went tickety-boo and Mr McCloud didn’t have to hide behind that wall to bitch a bit to camera, then the show wouldn’t have lasted five years.

The enduring interest in and success of property TV means the presenters have aged with us. We’ve watched Spencer and McCloud go bald and grey. We’ve gone through countless pregnancies with Beeny and by now some know Kirsty longer than their very best friends.

Despite higher than ever ratings, even Bannon has his grey flecks in Room to Improve season 12. This time he is tugging on our sagging memories by resurrecting veteran 1990s property porner and Chelsea Flower Show enfant terrible, Diarmuid Gavin (gardening expert from Britain’s Home Front), as his new tousle-haired wingman out back.

If there’s a criticism, it’s that a nation now believes your architect comes around daily to sup tea with you, before stuffing the budget. But that busted budget and the reaction is the Veyron hitting the guardrails. The hat-trick for PTV fans. Best of all, others go through it on your behalf.

So we can pick up new paint, some industrial-style mixer taps or even a pagoda, and it won’t kill us. We might even put some of it up. Or we might not. Imagining we can do it, while not at all doing it, is also part of the deal. And in an age of uncertainty, where botulism is a beauty treatment and Man U doesn’t win any more, there’s surely no harm in a little domestic light relief?

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Jonathan Van Ness Recounts the Horrifying Incident That Led to His Latest Partnership

Jonathan Van Ness is all about destigmatizing the things that make us human — and his newest personal product endorsement is another step forward on that mission. 

The 32-year-old Queer Eye star is the newest face of PooPourri, the before-you-go toilet spray you’ve likely encountered in a medicine cabinet or two. 

Inspired by the way the grooming guru always “owns his s–t” the often cheeky brand asked Van Ness to be its first ever celebrity spokesperson. Their new campaign centers around removing the shame around going number two, with the tagline: “Let that s–t go.” 

“It’s something that everyone does but it’s something that’s very stigmatized and people just feel kind of gross about it,” Van Ness tells PEOPLE, on set while shooting the campaign’s commercial. 

To help unseat the perceived faux pas, the Emmy-nominated TV persona shared his worst poo-related horror story in a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot.

Fair warning: things get a little icky from here on down.

“It was Sepulveda and Pico, and I was in a Kia Rio, at a red light, with nowhere to run,” he begins, setting the scene at the Los Angeles intersection. “And it wasn’t a ‘shart’ or a ‘chancer,’ as my step-dad would have said. (A chancer is when you have to fart and so you take a chance but you’re not sure.) This wasn’t a chancer — this was a 27-year-old having a full diarrhea that was brought on by a hot, seafood spinach salad with a kombucha and frozen yogurt.” 

Sadly, he says, he never got to spray PooPourri before the attack.

“I’ve dealt with poo shame, and anywhere we can remove stigma and shame, I want to be here for it,” the grooming expert told PEOPLE, making reference to a far more serious topic he’s been tackling in the public eye following the release of his book, Over the Top, which came out on September 24. 

“I think you can really tell that I put my heart and soul into it,” Van Ness says of the memoir, which is already a New York Times bestseller. “It has a lot of subject matter and storytelling that’s really from the depths of my soul, some of the hardest things that I’ve ever been through. It’s about the firing of the kiln that turned me into this gorgeous pot. But the fire got pretty intense, and that’s a lot of what I talk about in the book.”  

 

No matter what kind of shame someone is dealing with, Van Ness want them to remember one thing: Better times are coming. 

“Most everything that we’re going through is impermanent,” he says. “So that feeling of not being accepted or not being able to thrive and live your authentic truth is impermanent. But also good times can be impermanent, and bad times can be, and everything is cyclical and everything changes. I think the more we can learn to connect and love ourselves, the less we’re influenced by those cyclical changes that will inevitably happen.”


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How 'Operation Lasagna' saved my garden

Several years ago I began obsessively making lasagna. Not the dish that is baked in the oven, but one I assembled on my wedge of hardscrabble front garden and baked in the sun.

Adapting a recipe I borrowed from indigenous farmers around the globe, my version of soil lasagna calls for layers of animal manure alternating with a neighbourhood’s worth of flattened pizza boxes, discarded newspaper, and fallen leaves.

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I began this strange project after weeks of staring helplessly at DrawDown.org’s 100 solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight Climate Change.

I first visited the site in an attempt to manage my mounting “eco-anxiety” and to help similarly afflicted patients in my medical practice, but the top five actions that DrawDown recommends – build wind turbines, eliminate HFC-based air conditioning, reduce food waste, eat a plant-based diet, and restore rainforests – seemed either unachievable for an individual or did not offer tangible short-term results.

I wanted an action that might produce measurable climate benefits almost immediately, would require few resources, and could happen in my own neighbourhood.

And that’s when I started to wonder what it would take to convert my sloped front garden, with its one balding Camelia bush, into a tropical rainforest – or at least a densely planted tree canopy with lots of flora and fauna thriving beneath. I was not so delusional that I thought this minuscule effort in my part of the world (Northern California) could offset the millions of acres of rainforest in Asia and South America that are chopped down each year. Still, I was hoping to design a living, breathing carbon sink.

But then I realised that anything approximating a rainforest needs really vibrant soil and all I had was hardpacked clay. So that is why I began making soil lasagna.

In his book Gaia’s Garden, a guide to home scale permaculture, Toby Hemenway claims that soil lasagna (or sheet mulching, as he calls it) can swiftly transform lifeless dirt into carbon and mineral-rich soil, “exploding with worms”.

I only half believed him but still, much to my neighbour’s dismay, I began blanketing my sad garden with cardboard boxes.

Amazingly, within six weeks of completing the lasagna, I pushed my shovel deep into a spot that previously had the consistency of concrete, and easily scooped up a huge mound of moist, dark earth, practically vibrating from the macro and micro life within. I kept digging and still did not hit hard clay. Somehow those subterranean creatures had magically appeared to hold on to carbon, minerals, and water, aerate the earth, and nourish the roots of plants. They were converting dirt to soil.

That winter, and into the next spring, I began planting in three layers to imitate a natural forest ecosystem: trees, shrubs and low plants. Within months, the animals moved in; first the butterflies, then the birds and even a little red fox. And the population of soil-dwellers exploded.

I am now in Season Two of “Operation Lasagna”; the trees are filling out and some of the bushes have started to bear fruit. And what my neighbours and I have realised is that, in addition to functioning as a carbon-catching forest, this front-garden zone actually addresses the other priority actions on DrawDown’s list: it offers delicious shade (no need for air conditioning), it recycles paper, garden, and food waste into more food (no energy needed for food transport, trips to the shops or bin collection), and it pumps out a lot of berries, herbs, fruits, nuts, and vegetables (plant-based diet).

And there are even more health benefits that come from building healthy soil and a diverse food forest – even if it’s a really small forest.

Results from an Irish study, along with similar experiments, suggest that growing food in organic, microbially-rich soil increases the vitamin and antioxidant concentration of the plants.

Jill Litt, a researcher in Colorado, found that planting food next to pavements and in front gardens, strengthens neighbourhoods and builds what she calls “collective efficacy”.

Researchers in Europe and the US have found that letting children play in healthy soil and on farms trains their immune system to be less hyper-reactive. This exposure decreases their likelihood of starting on what immunologists call “the atopic march” – from eczema to allergies to asthma.

And one specific type of microbe, isolated from healthy soil, seems to trigger nerve pathways that improve mood and promote a sense of wellbeing.

This last detail might explain why my eco-anxiety is under better control these days. Another reason might be that I am noticing rainforest-inspired gardens and fields popping up in lots of places – from schools and community gardens to small and mid-size farms. There are still millions of acres that need to be saved or restored, but it’s a start.

And for those of you who continue to toss and turn from eco-anxiety, I am sharing my favourite soil lasagna prescription. To get started, please collect two discarded pizza boxes and call me in the morning…

  • Daphne Miller MD is clinical professor of family & community medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Her book ‘Farmacology: Total health from the Ground Up’ is published by Harper Collins

How to make Daphne’s soil lasagna

Ingredients

A pile of well-rotted organic manure from a local farm

A smaller pile of compost from your local nursery or your own heap

Discarded cardboard boxes and newspapers (all tape removed)

Many bags of your neighbourhood leaves – avoid eucalyptus

Water – ad lib

Method

Assemble the following on existing lawn in layers with a thorough drenching between each layer. No need to pull up grass or weeds.

2-3 inches of manure

half-inch cardboard, edges overlapping

1 foot of softly packed leaves

And then

Repeat 2-3 times and top with 2-3 inches of compost and a thin frosting of leaves.

Wait 1-3 months and then plant.

Add leaves and compost as needed annually.

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Home and Garden

Inside Jenny McCarthy & Donnie Wahlberg’s Chicago Home: ‘There Is No Greater Symbol of Our Love’

Near the entrance to Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg’s newly renovated kitchen, there’s a large framed print on the wall that reads: Start each day with a grateful heart. “I stop here every morning and reflect on how thankful we are to have found each other and to live in this house with the people we love the most,” Wahlberg tells PEOPLE in the new issue, on stands today.

Gratitude is a theme that runs throughout the St. Charles, Ill., five-bedroom Tudor he and McCarthy, 46, have lived in and slowly renovated over the last four years. “It’s the first house we looked at together,” says Wahlberg, 50. “When we came in the door, I saw Jenny’s face and I said, ‘I have to get this house. I just have to, this is the house.’”

For McCarthy, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, the connection was immediate: “It resonated like home,” she says. “Even though the decor wasn’t us, I felt an energy telling us this is where we’re supposed to be.”

RELATED: La La Anthony Opens Up Her Glamorous NYC Home — with a Basketball Hoop in the Living Room!

Moving to the quiet neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago meant the stars, who married at St. Charles’ Hotel Baker in 2014, would have to commute from New York City—where she hosts SiriusXM’s The Jenny McCarthy Show and he films CBS’s Blue Bloods—to Chicago during the week, but they knew it was the right decision for them and their children: McCarthy’s son, Evan, 17, and Wahlberg’s younger son, Elijah, 18. (His older son, Xavier, is a musician and currently touring Europe with his hardcore band.)

“It’s one of the biggest questions I get: ‘How the heck do you guys make this happen?'” says McCarthy, who also tapes Fox’s The Masked Singer in Los Angeles. While their “schedules are absolutely crazy,” she says the week takes on a rhythm that now feels “very normal” to everyone.

“From Friday to Monday, we get to be here with the kids. And then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, we work and stay in New York,” says McCarthy, who is celebrating the fifth anniversary of her SiriusXM show this month—and broadcasts from her home studio two days a week. “We get that one-on-one time as a couple there, and then we have our family time in St. Charles.”

RELATED: Tracy Morgan’s Incredible N.J. Mansion Has a Bowling Alley, Basketball Court and 8 Hungry Sharks

For Wahlberg, who often spends summers touring with his New Kids on the Block bandmates and is now starring in the 10th season of Blue Bloods, the benefits of working on a long-running series gave him the flexibility to make the dual-city life possible.

“The success of the show required me to be out of town a lot but, at the same time, it also allowed me to go the producers and say, ‘Listen, it’s been 10 years and I’ve got to watch my kids graduate, go to homecoming, and do the things that I’m going to miss if I keep working five days a week in another city.”


The kids-first attitude was reflected in the early designs—or lack thereof—of the house.

“We lived without furniture for a year or two because there’s, like, a dozen teenage boys here all the time,” says McCarthy, who announced that she will not be co-hosting New Year’s Rockin’ Eve this year so she can spend the holidays at home. The couple also have four dogs, black teacup shih tzu DJ (named after “Donnie and Jenny”), pomeranians Drogon and Nymeria, and French bulldog Lumpy.

Adds Wahlberg, “We said we’ll just hunker down in our bedroom like John Lennon and Yoko Ono and let the kids have the run of the house.”

Eventually, the couple realized they needed to “establish a real home and not let the kids destroy everything.” They turned to Chicago-based designer John Wolf of Wolf Home Design to help create a style that reflected their “music man-meets-glam fashion” vibe, but that was still functional and comfortable for the active family.

“John got who we are immediately and was so passionate about giving us the home we always dreamed of, that feels like us,” says McCarthy.

For Wolf, the goal was to capture who the couple is when not in the spotlight. “You see Jenny being glamorous on TV and Donnie performing on stage, and you might think they’re these aloof celebrities, but they’re so real and genuine and really fun,” he says. “I wanted the authenticity of their character to come through.”

The first piece that entered the home and started them on their decorating path: the piano. “We were happy living in a house with no furniture, and then a friend said to me, ‘I’m selling my baby grand piano. Do you want it?” And I thought, “Oh my god, I married a music man, so yeah,'” says McCarthy. “I called Donnie and said, ‘Well, it’s now time to get a couch so I can listen to you play.’”

Says Wahlberg, “If we’re going to splurge on something, we make sure it’s something we care about and that matters.” 

The piano inspired the couple and Wolf to begin reimagining the main family room, which now features chic but cozy sofas and chairs, a dramatic art piece by artist Francine Turk (“I love ascension and angels,” says McCarthy), and a black, French-door entrance to McCarthy’s sewing room—embellished with sillver “D” and “J” handles.

“Then it went from piano to couch to chairs to rugs, and then it just traveled from room to room to room,” she says. Those others spaces included the sitting and sun rooms, formal dining room, her sewing room, his office, a Blondies cocktail-themed bar, and, most recently, the kitchen and breakfast nook.

“This is the spot where everyone gathers,” Wahlberg says of the kitchen area that was completed in August and features a large island with high-top stools, walk-in pantry ( that Wahlberg organizes himself), a black lacquered dining table, fireplace and an illusion flat-screen TV.

The renovations extended to the home’s outdoor space as well: a luxurious, kid-friendly pool (with a water slide, waterfall and grotto) and entertaining patio, private nature path, and one-hole practice golf green in the backyard (marked with a Wahlburgers flagstick, a nod to the burger chain Wahlberg and his brothers Mark and Paul co-own).

“We have a little trail we created just to take walks—it has a little Buddha and a fountain—and I know that means a lot to [Jenny],” he says. “I know if she’s stressed or has worries about Evan or whatever’s going on, that little space is where she can go. We’ve just carved out a little piece of heaven.”

Jokes McCarthy: “And we’ve had some fun date nights on that golf course—wink, wink.”

Through all the renovations and redesigns, the couple has remained focused on creating a place where they and their kids can retreat to escape the hectic world in which they often live.

“This isn’t an extravagant home, but there’s no greater symbol of our love for each other than this house and how much love has gone into it,” says Wahlberg.

RELATED: See Inside Soleil Moon Frye’s ‘Hippie Girl’ Family Farmhouse in Hidden Hills

While the renovations have been slow but steady the couple say it’s a home they’ve hoped for from the beginning. “When we first met, we talked about how we both longed to have a small town life with our kids,” he says. “We made it a goal for ourselves and said it out loud because we wanted to make happen. And here we are, together with our kids, and we’re grateful for every bit of it.”


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From 'Pumpkin Planetariums' to Giant Dinosaurs: The Most Elaborate Jack-o-Lantern Displays Across the Country

Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze

Just a quick train ride away from New York City, this over-the-top display in Croton-on-Hudson, New York boasts over 7,000 jack-o’-lanterns designed and carved by local artisans on sight. Set up around an 18th-century historic site along the river, this experience defies all expectation — with everything from a Pumpkin Carousel to a Pumpkin Planetarium. If you’re too busy scrambling for a last-minute costume to make it before Halloween, you’re in luck: it’s open after the holiday on select days until November 30.

Just a quick train ride away from New York City, this over-the-top display in Croton-on-Hudson, New York boasts over 7,000 jack-o’-lanterns designed and carved by local artisans on sight. Set up around an 18th-century historic site along the river, this experience defies all expectation — with everything from a Pumpkin Carousel to a Pumpkin Planetarium. If you’re too busy scrambling for a last-minute costume to make it before Halloween, you’re in luck: it’s open after the holiday on select days until November 30.

Keene Pumpkin Festival

A local tradition that has gained notoriety over the nearly 30 years since its inception, New Hampshire’s Keene Pumpkin Festival emphasizes the old-fashioned magic of the holiday.                        “The Pumpkin Festival has been broadcasting to the world what can happen when people come together for no other purpose than making magic happen,” writes founder Nancy Sporborg on the festival’s website.                         The festival has repeatedly broken the world record for the number of jack-o’-lanterns lit at one event, reaching as many as 30,581 pumpkins back in 2013.                         Curious to see the spooky sight for yourself? It’s one day only, so make sure to stop by on October 27, between 12-7pm. 

A local tradition that has gained notoriety over the nearly 30 years since its inception, New Hampshire’s Keene Pumpkin Festival emphasizes the old-fashioned magic of the holiday.

“The Pumpkin Festival has been broadcasting to the world what can happen when people come together for no other purpose than making magic happen,” writes founder Nancy Sporborg on the festival’s website. 

The festival has repeatedly broken the world record for the number of jack-o’-lanterns lit at one event, reaching as many as 30,581 pumpkins back in 2013. 

Curious to see the spooky sight for yourself? It’s one day only, so make sure to stop by on October 27, between 12-7pm. 

Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo

Beyond its impressive collection of over 5,000 intricately carved jack-o’-lanterns — such as the pictured portraits of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy — this spectacular offers an unbeatable aerial view to enjoy the display when it’s all lit up. Be sure to stop by before November 3, and to hop on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride to take in the twinkling lights of the pumpkins in addition to the city of Providence spread out below. 

Beyond its impressive collection of over 5,000 intricately carved jack-o’-lanterns — such as the pictured portraits of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy — this spectacular offers an unbeatable aerial view to enjoy the display when it’s all lit up. Be sure to stop by before November 3, and to hop on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride to take in the twinkling lights of the pumpkins in addition to the city of Providence spread out below. 

Rise of the Jack-O’-Lanterns

This iconic display of over 5,000 hand-carved illuminated jack-o’-lanterns in Long Island’s Westbury Gardens makes for a walk to remember. Featuring multi-pumpkin structures comprised of dozens of jack-o’-lanterns to create everthing from a life-sized fire truck to a 40-ft.-long dragon, this is a family-friendly experience not to be missed if you’re in the area. It’s on view from October 11-28 — but best to scoop up your tickets quick, as it’s already selling out!

This iconic display of over 5,000 hand-carved illuminated jack-o’-lanterns in Long Island’s Westbury Gardens makes for a walk to remember. Featuring multi-pumpkin structures comprised of dozens of jack-o’-lanterns to create everthing from a life-sized fire truck to a 40-ft.-long dragon, this is a family-friendly experience not to be missed if you’re in the area. It’s on view from October 11-28 — but best to scoop up your tickets quick, as it’s already selling out!

Louisville Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular

This display transforms Iroquois Park in Louisville, Kentucky into a blazing trail of more than 5,000 sweet, spooky and seriously artistic carvings. Themed music and scenes set the mood for a stroll through these illuminated woods, which are open through November 3. 

This display transforms Iroquois Park in Louisville, Kentucky into a blazing trail of more than 5,000 sweet, spooky and seriously artistic carvings. Themed music and scenes set the mood for a stroll through these illuminated woods, which are open through November 3. 

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival

Seeking to break the Keene Festival’s hold on the Guinness World Record for the largest display of carved and lit pumpkins (30, 851), this festival in Highwood, Illinois draws over 70,000 attendees annually to its towering pumpkin wall for one weekend in early October. Jack-o’-lanterns are stacked impossibly high and as far as the eye can see, with all proceeds from the event benefiting Make-A-Wish Illinois. 

Seeking to break the Keene Festival’s hold on the Guinness World Record for the largest display of carved and lit pumpkins (30, 851), this festival in Highwood, Illinois draws over 70,000 attendees annually to its towering pumpkin wall for one weekend in early October. Jack-o’-lanterns are stacked impossibly high and as far as the eye can see, with all proceeds from the event benefiting Make-A-Wish Illinois. 

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Grab Your Big Red Cart! Target Is Putting Miniature Disney Stores Inside Select Locations Nationwide

It looks like Bullseye the dog has a new friend in Mickey Mouse! Target and Disney have teamed up to introduce miniature Disney stores in select Target stores across the country — and they’re now officially open. 

On Friday, 25 Target stores from Oregon to Oklahoma became home to a “Disney store at Target,” a retail initiative the two super-brands created to “help bring the magic of Disney to the joy of shopping at Target,” according to a press release.

Forty additional locations are expected to open by October 2020. 

The retail experience boasts interactive activities, music, photo ops, comfy seating and more intended to engage the whole family. And each store offers an assortment of more than 450 Disney-themed items.

Located strategically in-store beside the existing children’s sections, each area is an average of 750 square feet. Products range from $2 to $200, though many fall under $20.

More than 100 of the products shoppers will find in the mini-store were previously exclusive to Disney retail locations. And 100 more items are exclusive to this new partnership, including merchandise for Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

“We’ve brought the magic of Disney to Target, bringing together great merchandise amidst an experience that’s truly immersive and unique,” said Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target. “Guests will be able to connect with the Disney characters and stories they love in a meaningful way while accessing the latest and greatest Disney products, including items previously only available at Disney retail locations.”

Disney fans can see the full list of Disney store at Target locations. Prefer to shop online? A Disney store at Target online experience also exists, allowing customers to shop products from the collaboration from the comfort of their own homes. Visit Target.com/Disneystore to see all the magic that’s in store. 


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Lauren Bushnell Gives a Tour of Her New Nashville Home with Fiance Chris Lane

Lauren Bushnell and Chris Lane have some big, big plans for their big, new Nashville home — and she’s keeping everyone up to date on their progress. 

The Bachelor alum, 29, took to her Instagram Stories on Tuesday to give fans a tour of the home she and the country singer, 34, purchased together in August. The pair got engaged in June, after dating for less than a year.

The house — which the couple has said they plan to start a family in — has been under renovation since shortly after they bought it. In the mean time, the pair have been living in an apartment in Nashville, where Bushnell relocated from Los Angeles in March. Now, reality star shares, after more than a month of renovations, “It’s starting to look like a home. We’re so excited!”

In several videos, Bushnell takes viewers through the work-in-progress, starting in the kitchen and heading into the bathrooms, laundry room, bedrooms, walk-in pantry, backyard with a red brick patio and even a “future nursery”

RELATED: Chris Lane Says He Isn’t Afraid to Let Lauren Bushnell ‘Loose’ When Decorating Their New Home

“Everything is white,” she jokes, as she pans around the rooms, which feature exclusively white built-ins, from the shelves to the cabinets. So far, the house is almost entirely neutral in color, with white marble countertops, off-white walls, and white tile backsplashes throughout. 

In the kitchen, Bushnell points out the new hardware that she had been waiting to arrive, which she describes as “this pretty brass color. I love it.” The space is definitely not quite livable yet, which Bushnell acknowledges. “We’re just waiting on the fridge, and, well, a lot of other stuff,” she laughs. “But it’s starting to come together.” 

In the master suite, she shares that she is “so excited about the shower,” which has glass doors and tile-work in several shades of grey. To the left of the shower, she points out a soaking tub, which is about to be installed in front of a window with views of the greenery outside.


A plethora of closets can be seen surrounding the master bedroom, which Bushnell says they changed up to add extra space: “For the closet we added some drawers, these were just open closets but we definitely needed the drawer space.” She also shows off a skinny drawer designed to store her jewelry.

Much like the closets, the pantry in the new home is a series of white cubbies and drawers. Bushnell tagged the L.A.-based professional organizers Life in Jeneral in the shot of the pantry.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the new home for fans to see? The space set aside for their future kids’ bathroom and nursery, which appear to be attached. “This room for a future nursery 😭😍” Bushnell captioned a photo of a sun-soaked room with vaulted ceilings.


In August, Lane told ET that she and Lane decided to buy a home that is slightly bigger than they currently need in hopes that they will one day fill it with a family of their own. This home has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, and sits on plenty of land.  

“We plan on growing our family in the next couple years after we get married,” Lane told ET. “This home is one of those things we can grow into. Who knows how many kids we have — hopefully one, at the most, two —but you never know. We both agree on the fact that we want one to two kids and this house will be perfect for us for the next five or six years.”

In September, Lane told PEOPLE that he doesn’t have too many opinions when it comes to designing and decorating the new home, and has left most of those decisions to his bride-to-be.    

“I never truly realized how stressful it could be to start picking out the lighting, and what sink faucet goes here,” he joked. “She wants me to help her but at the end of the day, I’m like ‘Babe, I’m a guy. You’re going to have way better taste than me so whatever you feel like is best, let’s just go with that.’” 

The couple did agree on a few things before purchasing the house, though, including that the exterior had to be white brick with a “decently sized yard.” Inside, Lane, a native of Kernersville, North Carolina, only wanted one thing: “A big TV for Carolina Panthers football games.” 

“We both actually have the exact same style and likes, which makes this way easier for me,” Lane said. “I can just turn her loose and let her do what she wants to do.”

The couple celebrated their engagement this past weekend surrounded by family and friends at the Cuddle Creek Farm in North Carolina. Bushnell also documented the special day on her Instagram Stories, sharing that Lane’s mother had planned the entire fall-themed party, which included a s’mores station for guests to make their own version of the sweet campfire treat.

“It’s been an incredible year in my career as well as my personal life…Took the weekend off to celebrate our engagement in Kernersville with both of our families!!” Lane shared on Instagram ahead of the party. “I’m a lucky lucky man!”

The couple got engaged in June, and Lane popped the question with a 3.5 carat, emerald-cut diamond in the backyard of Bushnell’s family home in Oregon. He did so with a song he had written for the occasion, titled “Big, Big Plans.”

“Even though I felt pretty confident I was going to get the ‘yes,’ I’ve never been that nervous,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “When I got to the third verse of the song and knew it was time, I pretty much blacked out. The next thing I knew, she said ‘yes’ and the nerves just lifted! It’s an explosion of excitement, pure joy, and love.”


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A Celebrity-Owned New York Mansion Once Declared ‘Legally Haunted’ Is on the Market for $1.9M

In 1991, the New York Supreme Court decided that a house was “legally haunted” in a famous case known as the “Ghostbusters ruling.” Now, 28 years later, that same house is back on the market — and ghost hunters, it could be yours for $1.9 million. 

While gorgeous both inside and out and located on an unassuming, tree-lined street in the village of Nyack, New York, (just 19 miles north of Manhattan), the home has quite the eerie history.

Known to many locals as the “Ghost house,” the home was once owned by a woman named Helen Ackley, who lived there from the 1960s through the 1980s. Ackley was adamant that spirits from the Revolutionary War era were present in the home. 

In a 1977 story in Reader’s Digest — as well as several stories in the local newspaper — Ackley asserted that ghosts regularly interacted with her family, including waking up her daughter each morning by shaking her bed. When she finally went to sell the house in the late ’80s, Ackley was sued by the man who had entered into a contract to buy it, Jeffrey Stambovsky, because she neglected to inform him of the supposed paranormal presence. 

Because it was widely known (and published) that Ackley believed the home to be haunted, and therefore had created a stigma around the property, Stambovsky won the suit and was allowed to back out of the contract — the home officially dubbed “haunted” under the law. 

Located at 1 LaVeta Place, this spirited Queen Anne Victorian home is located on the idyllic Hudson Riverfront. Boasting 4,628 square feet of living space, the property includes five bedrooms, five bathrooms, stained glass windows, arched doorways, a three-car garage, a sun room and a saltwater pool overlooking the river.  



Built in 1890, the property has been called home by several famous figures, including Definitely, Maybe director Adam Brooks, who lived there for 20 years; singer Ingrid Michaelson, who stayed there from 2012 to 2015; and, most recently, rapper Matisyahu, who has listed the house with Nancy Blaker Weber of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.



According to Weber, none of the home’s past three owners reported seeing any ghosts. In fact, she says, most Nyackers find the fact that the home is legally haunted simply “amusing” — herself included. 

“This is the third time I have had the opportunity to list and sell this home, so I’ve logged a lot of time here, Weber tells PEOPLE. “If there’s anything I’ve felt, it is the warmth and creative spirit that exists in this beautiful home. I’ve never experienced anything that would lead me to feel it’s haunted.”

It seems the home’s past residents agree. 

“I absolutely adored living at One LaVeta,” Michaelson told the New York Post. “It’s a magical home. It’s a memorable home. It’s a home where people gather, it draws you in and comforts you. And the view is unbeatable.”

“I moved back to the area from Los Angeles and after touring for the better part of ten years,” Matisyahu told The Journal News. “When I stepped out onto the porch I looked out at the view and immediately felt this was the place for me to live with my three boys and create my next record.”


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Tori Spelling's Mom Candy Selling $23 Million Malibu Beach House Family Has Owned for 47 Years — See Inside!

Candy Spelling’s massive beachfront home is on the market!

The mother to actress Tori, and wife to late television producer Aaron, is selling her Malibu property for $23 million.

The seven-bedroom house spans 81 feet of La Costa Beach, and inside, offers more than 8,000 square feet of living space.

The two-story home includes two master suites, one of which has its own kitchenette and fireplace. There’s also a media room, an oceanfront deck, a large kitchen with an island, and a private landscaped courtyard.

The property is co-listed by Linda May, estates director for Hilton & Hyland; Chris Cortazzo, sales associate with Compass; and Joyce Rey, global luxury specialist with Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

Candy and her husband bought the Malibu home 47 years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While Aaron wanted a larger property at the time, Candy argued that they didn’t need anymore room — until she became pregnant with her first child, Tori.

To gain more living space for their growing family and many guests, the Spellings bought the house next door in the 1990s and combined it with their existing property.


Over the years, the house was remodeled several times. But these days, Candy doesn’t have much use for the extra-large home.

“I’m not a sun lover like I used to be,” she told WSJ, adding that she and her family don’t visit the property very often.


News of the Malibu listing comes after Candy’s former home in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles sold for nearly $120 million, a record-breaking price.

Candy sold the famous mansion, known as the Spelling Manor, in 2011, to British Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone and her husband, billionaire businessman James Stunt, for $85 million — $65 million less than the original $150 million asking price, according to W Magazine.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé reportedly toured the 57,000-square-foot, Chateau-style home while house hunting in Los Angeles, but didn’t purchase it.

“This house is the equivalent of a mid-sized hotel,” Spelling told PEOPLE at the time. “It’s a lot of work. At the time of the sale, it was the largest home in Los Angeles County.” She added, “I have wonderful memories here, but I feel like it’s a new chapter in my life — and it’s just me in this big house!”

In 2009, when Candy first listed the estate in Holmby Hills, three years after her husband’s death, she told PEOPLE that she spent four years expertly designing its interior — adding a bowling alley, a room that housed 1,000 of Tori’s dolls, and three rooms dedicated to gift-wrapping.

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New home view: Elite homes in Rathfarnham valley

The river Glin runs through the grounds of Whitechurch Lodge, built as a country house in Rathfarnham in the early 1800s and surrounded by high stone walls.

The period property most likely belonged to the owner of the mill on the southern part of the site. The river that powered the mill created a fertile environment for decorative plant species collected here and abroad in the 19th century for the gardens of Whitechurch Lodge.

The ancient river valley and the hundreds of trees and plants today form an environment for a new arrival on the grounds of Whitechurch Lodge – Glinbury, a high-end development of just 11 homes that launched last weekend.

The three-acre development site is just across the leafy Whitechurch Road from Grange Golf Club which, in turn, is beside the 210-acre Marlay Park. Indeed, the new, well-heeled residents of Glinbury will be able to walk to Marlay Park to access its walks, tennis courts, playing pitches, weekly market, and the Brambles coffee shop housed in a revamped stable courtyard.

Glinbury is being developed by Heatherbrook Homes, which is led by a rare entity in Irish business – a female property developer, namely Leona Melia. Heatherbrook is building nine four- and five-bed houses on the site and will also refurbish Whitechurch Lodge itself and divide it into two four-bed semi-detached homes.

When the showhouse for the first six five-bed detached houses opened for the first time at the weekend, two of the houses went sale agreed. Each of the six homes measures a hefty 3,024 sq ft and is priced from €1.295m.

Designed by O’Carroll O’Riordan Architects, the double-fronted five-beds are contemporary in style, with a dark brick and contrasting mortar to a front bay incorporating a recessed porch. There is acrylic render to the remainder, granite to the sills of the windows, and ribbed zinc to the feature windows.

The extra-high front door and its glass surround leads to a double-height entrance hallway that’s overlooked by the upstairs wraparound landing. The architects made the most of this additional height by designing 10ft ceilings and custom-made 8ft-high doors throughout the ground floor.

Large windows frame views of the landscaped front garden, enclosed by period-style railings, and of the granite rear patio. A set of steps leads from the patio up to a sloped lawn sheltered by mature trees. There is a keycode entry door to the garden’s block-built shed.

To the left of the entrance hall is a study while, to the right, double doors lead to the front living room, which has a bay window and a wood-burning stove in a limestone and granite fireplace.

A kitchen/ dining/ living room spans the entire rear width of the house. In the showhouse, the lounge space in this room is decorated with an L-shaped sofa facing a TV embedded in a feature wall of cabinetry. A sliding glass door opens from the dining area onto the patio.

Drogheda-based McAuley Kitchens supplied the bespoke kitchen, with its solid wood shaker-style doors and glazed features to the extra-high cabinets. The kitchen units are painted in Charleston Gray from Farrow & Ball, complementing the Silestone Calacatta Gold worktops. Off the kitchen is a utility/ boot room with a door to the side passage, Silestone countertops, a washing machine and dryer, and a splashback in white metro tiles.

Unlike houses in most new developments, there is underfloor heating to both the ground floor and the first floor. There is a family bathroom and five bedrooms on the first floor, including the master with its large ensuite, walk-in wardrobe and bay window that commands views of the trees in the river valley. All the other bedrooms have fitted wardrobes from McAuleys.

The master ensuite has a hotel-style fitout, with a bespoke double vanity, a free-standing bath, a large shower enclosure, and large-format porcelain tiles on the floors. The attic was designed to facilitate a future conversion.

Viewings of the Glinbury showhouse will take place from 11:30am to 1pm tomorrow.

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Japan Airlines Introduces Seat Map Telling Passengers Where Babies Are Sitting

Anxious about sitting near a baby on a flight? Or traveling with one and hoping to avoid glares from sensitive passengers? Japan Airlines has a solution for all.

The company has introduced a new feature in its seat-selection map, showing customers which seats have already been purchased for infants and small children.

Just how is that option noted? Via a “child icon” that’s placed over the seat.

“Passengers traveling with children between 8 days and 2 years old who select their seats on the JAL website will have a child icon displayed on their seats on the seat selection screen,” the airlines website explains. “This lets other passengers know a child may be sitting there.”

It’s not fool-proof though, Japan Airlines warns.

If tickets are purchased or selected through a third-party website, the icon won’t carry over. They also note that if there is a change in aircraft, icons won’t be displayed correctly.

Still, the feature came in handy for Rahat Ahmed, a Japan Airlines flyer who raved about it on Twitter.

“Thank you, @JAL_Official_jp for warning me about where babies plan to scream and yell during a 13 hour trip,” he wrote on Twitter. “This really ought to be mandatory across the board.”

Meanwhile, Japan Airlines’ website explains they also offer parents a number of other extra amenities when traveling, including bottle-warming service and free stroller storage.

They’re also known for the playful kids meals they offer.

Other airlines in the U.S. and abroad have considered another solution: family sections, where people traveling with small children can elect to sit in an area designated for them, thus separating little ones from those who aren’t keen to be surrounded by kids.

Some luxury airlines, like Etihad, go so far as to offer in-flight nanny services to accommodate traveling families. Others, including Air Canada, offer amenity or activity kits for kid flyers.


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Newly Engaged Lindsey Vonn Is Selling Her Colorado Home and Moving in with Fiancé P.K. Subban

Lindsey Vonn is closing a chapter on her beloved Vail, Colorado home — and starting a new one on the east coast.

The Olympic ski champion, 34, has listed her five-bedroom, seven-bathroom residence — the first she’s ever owned — on the market for $6 million, PEOPLE confirms.

Vonn’s decision to sell the private property, which is tucked into the Gore Range, comes just one month after she announced her engagement to hockey player P.K. Subban.

Her rep tells PEOPLE that the pair are taking the next step in their relationship by moving in together, which is why Vonn opted to put her Colorado home on the market.

“She has actually purchased a home in New Jersey with her fiancé P.K. Subban who plays for the New Jersey Devils,” Vonn’s rep says. “Since she is now retired from professional skiing, she is spending more time there to be close to him while he is in season.”

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn's home

RELATED: Inside Lindsey Vonn’s Amazing Mountain Haven: ‘I Need a Quiet Place That’s Just My Own’

Back in 2017, Vonn opened up her Vail home to PEOPLE and gave an exclusive tour of the cozy residence that she said she purchased immediately after seeing it two years earlier.

“When I walked in for the first time, I said, ‘This is it! This is my house,'” Vonn recalled, adding that the sweeping views of snow-capped peaks and a river below made the light-flooded “mountain contemporary” hideaway a no-brainer for her.

“Because I’m on the road all the time, I need a place to come home to where I feel really relaxed and cut off from everything,” she said. “I need a quiet place that’s just my own.”

In addition to a state-of-the-art gym, an elevator and a sound system wired to AirPlay-stream music to every room, Vonn said she installed a custom-designed doggy door compatible with magnet-equipped collars so her three pups could control the gate and allow them to come and go as they please.

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn's home

So far, 2019 is shaping up to be a milestone year for the former Olympic skier.

Besides putting her first home on the market, Vonn retired from professional skiing in February and has since been dedicating her time to helping young girls become more involved in STEM education through the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.

At the end of August, Vonn announced that she was engaged to Subban, 30, after more than a year of dating.

“I said YES!!! 💍❤️,” Vonn wrote on Instagram while sharing the engagement news. “Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this crazy/kind/handsome/hyper/giving man.”

“Stuck with me forever! Jokes on you,” the New Jersey Devils defenseman captioned his own silly photo of himself sticking his tongue out at Vonn.

P. K. Subban and Lindsey Vonn

RELATED: Newly Engaged Lindsey Vonn Shows Off Emerald Engagement Ring on Red Carpet

Speaking to Vogue shortly after Subban popped the question, Vonn revealed that she hadn’t done much wedding planning as they were more focused on a move to the Garden State.

“We’re in such a busy time right now,” she explained. “I just want to enjoy the moment and the engagement. We’re not in a big hurry to get married … I honestly haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it. I’m mostly just excited for the future!”


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Home and Garden

Home and Away spoilers: Raffy decides to drop out of school

Just as her HSC trials started to kick off, Raffy (Olivia Deeble) received the devastating news that her CBD oil medical trial has been cancelled due to lack of funding. Without the only medication that was helping with her epilepsy, Raffy struggles to get through her exams, barely completing the papers and struggling to concentrate.

When Raffy runs into Maggie (Kestie Morassi), she begs her for news about her trial results. But when Maggie loads up her computer in the Diner to access the information, she reveals to a distraught Raffy that it’s bad news.

Discovering she failed over half of her exams, Raffy bursts into tears and is convinced she will fail her HSC. Maggie tries to be optimistic, but Raffy says she can’t concentrate so there’s no point. Refusing to be comforted, she walks away.

Later, Raffy comes back into the Diner looking more calm. She apologises for getting emotional earlier, and Maggie and Marilyn (Emily Symons) say they just want to help come up with a plan. However, Raffy reveals she has one of her own – she’s going to drop out of school. Maggie tells her not to rush such a decision, but Raffy says there’s no need to waste time – without the CBD oil, she’ll never be able to concentrate.

Trying to talk her around, Maggie says they just don’t have a proper plan yet, but Raffy says they never will. Plus, even if she does pass her exams, she’ll never get the marks for the courses she wants to do. Marilyn says she could do something else, but Raffy says it’s not that simple. Getting worked up, she says it’s fine for Marilyn, as she’s happy working at the Diner. But she wants to do something more, like become a doctor, a vet or an engineer. Realising she’s just insulted Marilyn’s life choices, she freezes, apologises and runs off…

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Home and Garden

Home and Away spoilers: Bella drinks too much beer at Ryder’s party

To celebrate the end of his HSC trials, Ryder (Lukas Radovich) is keen to blow off steam. He starts to plan a party in the caravan park with some of his friends from school, but doesn’t realise the celebratory plans Roo (Georgie Parker) had in mind didn’t go beyond a slap up meal in Salt.

When Roo and Alf (Ray Meagher) find out about the party, they give him permission as long as he follows two rules – he needs to keep the noise down and not have booze there, as other people in his year are underage.

However, when he’s setting up, his friends peer pressure him into getting booze to make the party more interesting, and they figure as he works at Salt he can get a staff discount. Ryder reluctantly gives in and sneaks some crates of booze from the bar. Bella (Courtney Miller) is sat in Salt and Ryder tries to convince her to come to the party, saying Colby (Tim Franklin) can’t hang out with Mackenzie (Emily Weir) while she’s around.

Bella realises she can get away from Colby for a while, and tells him to have fun on his date with Mackenzie. She also says she’s fine with Irene’s (Lynne McGranger) upcoming trial and testifying, then heads off to Ryder’s party.

Later, after Alf and Roo have seen what looks to be a low-key party starting – as Ryder has hidden the booze – they head to Salt and tell Colby it’s good to see Bella out and about. A surprised Colby figures she must be doing well if she’s hanging out with friends.

Little does he know, Ryder’s party is getting out of hand, with drunken teenagers holding chugging contests and Bella grabbing beer to down it behind a tree. Ryder tries to stop her, but Bella yells at him to get lost and continues to drown her sorrows…

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Jeff Lewis Regrets Pushing Daughter, 2, into Elite Preschool Before Expulsion: ‘It Became About My Ego’

Hindsight is 20/20 for Jeff Lewis.

The former Flipping Out star, 49, revealed on Wednesday’s episode of his Sirius XM radio show Jeff Lewis Live that he shouldn’t have even pushed to get his 2½-year-old daughter Monroe Christine into the Montessori preschool she was recently expelled from — admitting that enrolling her in the elite institution “became about my ego.”

“I thought, ‘My daughter got in this really prestigious school that everybody is trying to get into,'” Lewis said, adding that he had to jump through a number of hoops and lobby with other parents to even get into the school.

“It became more about me than my daughter. And I always knew it was a good school but I think what I should have done is really considered her and what was best for her,” he said. “I don’t think that particular environment, in hindsight, was best for her.”

Jeff Lewis and daughter Monroe
Monroe

Lewis broke the news of Monroe’s expulsion on his radio show on Tuesday, explaining that administrators had decided to kick Monroe out after they heard negative comments Lewis made about the school on his radio show.

Those included criticisms Lewis shared about a recent “Back to School Night” for parents and a remark about the mother of another student, who he said looked like a woman who would go to a key party. Lewis had also read two internal emails from parents, and mocked them (without using their full names) on the air.

Though he stood by his complaints about the preschool, telling listeners that the politics of the institution drove him crazy, Lewis said he felt remorse for what happened to Monroe.

“I do think I was in the wrong,” he said on Wednesday. “I shouldn’t have publicly put the school on blast.”

“Part of this show is me being completely and totally honest and vulnerable with my listeners. … I came on the air and I vented and a lot of people related to it. However, I did not consider the damage that was going to occur as a result of my actions and I certainly didn’t mean for my daughter to be collateral damage,” Lewis continued.

“I’m a self-destructive person,” he shared. “Moving forward, I will be very, very careful — especially when it comes to her — about vocalizing anything that goes on in her school. I have learned my lesson. For her, I will protect her.”

Jeff Lewis, Gage Edward, and their daughter Monroe

Previously, Lewis had noted that the Montessori wasn’t the right fit for Monroe.

“I picked the wrong school,” he said on Tuesday. “Next time, I’m going to trust my gut. I felt like the school was too regimented, too structured. I think, it’s not a college prep course. It’s preschool.”

“Everyone takes themselves so seriously at that school,” he continued. “I think these people are arrogant, they’re pretentious… I don’t want Monroe to be in a strict school with overachievers and massive homework. She has her whole life to be stressed out. It’s preschool, let her be a kid and have fun.”

As for Monroe, Lewis said on Wednesday that he and his ex partner Gage Edward — who split in January after dating for 10 years and only recently came to a temporary custody agreement — would be looking for a new school for Monroe.

“It’s probably going to be difficult,” Lewis said, noting that the media attention had only made things worse. “So many people reporting on this. It’s absurd, it’s ridiculous, it’s silly, but I think all these people are relating to it. … I was expecting more hate than I got.”

Jeff Lewis Live airs weekdays (12 p.m. ET) on SiriusXM Radio Andy (Ch. 102).


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