Robin Williams

A Tribute to Robin Williams: Therapist, Housekeeper, and Legacy

Robin Williams 2

In honor of Robin Williams’ incredible talent and in light of the tragic news of his passing this week, we want to take a moment to honor his legacy. Robin was an incredible actor with a career that spanned both television and film. A graduate of Julliard, Robin first entered into the film industry on NBC’s The Richard Pryor Show. With his charismatic presence and ability to truly assume his acting roles, Robin Williams quickly became a legacy in the American movie industry.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting is one of Robin Williams’ most amazing performances. Playing Dr. Sean Maguire, the therapist of super-genius Will Hunting (Matt Damon), Williams received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. After getting in an altercation with a former bully, Will Hunting is required to undergo behavioral therapy while studying mathematics to cultivate his untapped intellectual abilities. Sean and Will become close, as Sean is able to break down some of Will’s emotional barriers and Matt Damonconnect with him in a way that even Will’s closest friends and girlfriend cannot. Both Sean and Will have had painful pasts, and Sean challenges Will to see past his emotional trauma, pursue jobs commensurate with his intellectual abilities, and form meaningful, lasting relationships with others. In the end Will eventually follows in Sean’s footsteps of pursuing the woman he loves, and Sean decides to reconnect with his estranged college roommate. Although the plot is compelling, the acting genius of Robin Williams sets this movie as one of the best.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Robin Williams 3

Unlike the serious Good Will Hunting, Mrs. Doubtfire is a clever comedy that has become a staple in American film. Robin plays Daniel, an unemployed actor recently divorced from his wife, Miranda (Sally Fields). Because Miranda receives full custody over their children due to the fact that Daniel is unemployed, the heartbroken father resorts to unconventional methods of seeing his children. When Daniel sees Miranda’s ad for a housekeeper, he decides to dress up as the fictional Mrs. Doubtfire and apply to be their housekeeper. Not only does he get the position, but he does such a fantastic job caring for the children that Miranda and the children agree that life is better with their new nanny. Daniel eventually gets a small acting job, and once his double life is exposed due to conflicting schedules between his acting job and Mrs. Doubtfire’s commitments to the family, Miranda recognizes his contribution to the family and agrees to allow him back into the children’s lives.

 

Although both of these movies are wonderful examples of Robin Williams’ acting expertise, his contribution to American culture is so much more that what can be expressed in a single article. While we mourn his passing and will miss his charismatic acting, we will always remember him for the legacy that he has left behind. Thank you for a wonderful 63 years, Robin Williams.

What do you think is Robin Williams’ greatest legacy?

Jon Hamm

What Happens When Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift Join Forces?

Meryl_Streep_by_Jack_MitchellWith The Giver coming to theaters in a few days and plenty of other great movies coming out, August is the perfect time for the movies. Use our quick guide to plan movie outings with friends, a date night with that special someone, or family bonding time! Although there are several worthwhile movies debuting in August, these three standouts are especially exciting.

 

The Giver

Genre: Drama; Science Fiction

Release date: August 15

Rating: PG-13

 

Taylor Swift

Lois Lowry’s famous book “The Giver” comes to life through the all-star cast of Phillip Noyce’s rendition of the book. The book’s plot is genius and unforgettable, and the cast is promising. A young boy, Jonas, is chosen among all of the members of the idealistic community to take on the responsibility of training to become the town’s Giver, a crucial role in their community. Jonas slowly learns that his responsibilities are more enormous than he ever anticipated. Even if the promise of a good story isn’t convincing enough, a chance to see the 18 Academy Award winner Meryl Streep is a good reason alone to see this film. Other stars include Brenton Thwaites as the protagonist, Jonas, Oscar-winning Jeff Bridges, and even Taylor Swift.

 

Helen MirrenThe Hundred-Foot Journey

Genre: Drama

Release date: August 8

Rating: PG

The Hundred-Foot Journey uses culinary establishments to touch upon complex issues like displacement, culture differences, and human relationships. The Kadam family, uprooted from their native India, start to build roots in their new French home as they begin an Indian restaurant business. Their new business does not sit well with the established, highly rated French restaurant that is one hundred feet from the new restaurant. The two businesses become rivals until Hassan Kadam’s culinary talent brings peace to the two restaurants by combining elements from both cultural food types. Manish Dayal from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) performs the role of Hassan, and Academy Award winning Helen Mirren plays the French restaurant’s proprietress.

 

Robin_Wright_2009The Congress

Genre: Drama; Science Fiction

Release date: July 24

Rating: N/A

An actress, well past her prime, agrees to one final job before retirement – digitally recording her likeness to be preserved and used in future film productions. This plotline was originally portrayed in a 2013 French-Israeli version of the movie, and Drafthouse Films saw enough potential in the plot to purchase the rights to produce their own 2014 rendition of the movie.  Robin Wright, especially famous for her role as Jenny in Forrest Gump, promises to put on a good show, while Jon Hamm, Mad Men’s Don Draper, continues to break into the film industry in this film.

 

Escape the heat and spend some time enjoying these films, and let us know what you think of our recommendations!

Pasteis de Nata

Explore the World with International Desserts

Delicious food and travel come together in desserts from around the world! One of the finest parts of travel is exposure to new regional food favorites. Even if a Eurotrip is not in your near future, trying dishes from around the world is one way to experience other countries and cultures from the comfort of your own kitchen. While ice cream, brownies, and patriotic berry pie are certainly enough to satisfy any sweet tooth, you must try these desserts from around the world at least once.

 

PastelDeNataPastéis de Nata

This egg-based pastry makes its way to American kitchens from Portugal. The outside is crispy and brown, and a creamy custard tops this dessert. Pastéis de Nata is perfect paired with decaf coffee after an evening meal.

If you want to create this Portuguese pastry in your own kitchen, get a muffin tin with 2 by 5/8 inch wells, and follow the recipe from Leites Culinaria.

 

 

Baklava_-_Turkish_special,_80-ply-2Baklava

Baklava’s hometown is Istanbul, Turkey, although this dessert is enjoyed all over the world. Light and flaky, baklava is perfect if you want something sweet but not too heavy. Often filled with nuts, the layers of this pastry are held together by syrup or honey. Beware – this dessert can be messy to eat!

Check out Epicurious.com for the how-to!

 

 

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREFlan

Flan is a favorite Mexican dessert that has become popular in many other parts of the world. Although there are several variations of this tasty treat, flan typically has a pastry-like exterior with a sweet filling in the middle.

Read here for full details on making your own flan! Prep time is only 20 minutes, which makes this dessert an easy one for beginners.

 

 

Regardless if you ever visit Portugal, Turkey, or Mexico, you nevertheless will have enjoyed staples of their cuisine. Want more delicious dessert recipes? Check out The Food Network!

Are there any other international treats that you recommend? Comment below and let us know!

shih_tzu_puppies_8_by_xxtgxxstock-d61yvu4

The Top 5 Cutest Breeds of Dogs

Whether you are a dog lover or a cat person, there is no denying that puppies are simply adorable. There are a lot of cute dogs out there, but which breeds can claim the superlative?

 

CorgiCorgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an easily trainable, people-oriented dog. This adorable pet needs exercise and interaction with people to remain happy. According to WebMD, Pembroke Welsh Corgis avoid many of the health problems associated with other small dogs due to the fact that they are a dwarf breed. One of the few downsides of Corgis? They shed. A lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shih TzuTwo_red_and_white_haired_shih_tzu_littermates

As a tiny, fluffy dog, this breed is one of the most adorable out there. According to Woofipedia they were the pets of Chinese royalty for hundreds of years. And no wonder – these dogs have beautiful coats that make their nickname, the “lion dog,” no surprise. A Shih Tzu is the perfect canine companion for someone living in an apartment or small house.

 

 

 

 

 

PomeranianPomeranian

These intelligent pets make up in personality what they lack in size. Although they tend to bark frequently, they are very intelligent and trainable. Another perfect pet for an apartment setting, Pomeranians are ideal for people who want a little companion.

 

 

 

 

basset houndBasset Hound

Ears hanging low, this breed is a very friendly, gentle one. Unlike the previous two cutest dogs, their coats require little maintenance, which makes a Basset Hound ideal for someone who does not want to spend a lot of time on doggy grooming. Always eager to catch a new scent, a Basset Hound loves outdoor walks!

 

 

 

 

Beagle_puppy_6_weeksBeagle

According to the American Kennel Club, the adorable Beagle is a people puppy, loving the company of humans and other dogs. Historically a hunting dog, Beagles love to sniff out new scents. While Beagles come in different sizes and colors, the most famous Beagle of all is the black and white Snoopy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether your dog falls into one of these breeds or is completely different, make sure to give your pup the best care of all and check out Bark Magazine for special dog owner tips!

Is there another type of dog that deserves to make the list? Let us know below!

Barcelona

So You Want to be a Globetrotter? Barcelona Edition

Between beautiful scenery and getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a European vacation is like lemonade on a hot day. Whether you are in the midst of planning a trip or are simply exploring your future options, pick a destination that will leave you smiling, relaxed, and with plenty of fodder for Instagram pictures. Although there is no shortage of lovely vacation spots in Europe, some are simply a cut above the rest. This week, we are exploring the beautiful Barcelona!

Coming as no surprise to anyone, Barcelona makes the list for one of the best travel spots of the year. Combining historical authenticity and urban appeal, this Spanish city offers everything from Gothic architecture to street performers. A tourist will have no shortage of sights, smells, and sounds to absorb and enjoy! US News and Trip Advisor have a few “musts” for your Barcelona vacation.

Casa Batllo1. Take throwback Thursday to the next level with the historical buildings

Instagram’s first #TBT has nothing on Barcelona’s rich historical background. The city’s architecture is incredible, and a little touristy sightseeing action is a necessity for any traveler’s to-do list. Antoni Gaudi’s Church of the Sacred Family and Casa Milà are popular picks, as is his Casa Batlló. Leave room in your schedule for a trip to the Montjuïc Castle, and make sure that your camera battery is fully charged!

2. Try out the city’s sunny backyard – the beach

While Barcelona’s beaches might not have the most pristine sand and clearest water, they are nevertheless a perfect way to spend one of your vacation days and take in some vitamin D. After immersing yourself in the beautiful city La Ribera, change up the scenery with a relaxing beachy afternoon.

3. Shopping is a must

Wait no longer for the perfect excuse to be a shopaholic for a day (or three). Not only does Barcelona offer shopportunities that give most large European cities a run for their money, this Spanish metropolis also takes a more artistic twist that will make your Barcelona shopping experience as unique as the must-have jacket that you find on the street market.

4. Explore Las Ramblas

This street is one of Barcelona’s most famous and offers a wealth of unique experiences. From the aforementioned abundance of shopping experiences to tapas bars to human statue art, the pedestrian-friendly Las Ramblas will draw you into a cultural experience that you will never forget.

Don’t just take our word for it, though – some things you have to see to believe! Research your future vacation with magazines like Travel + Leisure and National Geographic Traveler that will help you plan the dream getaway.

We didn’t touch on all of Barcelona’s wonders! Comment below if you think that another must-see deserves to be on our Globetrotter: Barcelona list.

Puppy

Creative Games for Your Dog

Lately, we’ve been focusing on our health, our families, and delicious desserts. While all of these topics are all well and good, our furriest family members are left out of the fun. Take a moment to honor man’s best friend by checking out these puppy-approved games!

Is your pup a little too plump for his britches? A treat ball like one from PetSmart is perfect for dogs who get more treats than exercise. Put treats in the middle of this hollow ball. You can also put dog goodies in the easily-accessible outside craters if your dog deserves double treats. With the alluring scent of the dog treat holding his attention, your pup will entertain himself for hours, all while getting much-needed exercise.

PuppyThis doggy version of “hide and seek” takes a twist on a childhood classic. Doggy hide and seek is simple to set up, easy on the wallet, and perfect for a rainy afternoon. Thanks to Disney’s Babble for this DIY idea!

All you need are small-to-medium-sized empty boxes, your dog’s favorite treat, and little quality time to spend with your pup. If your canine friend is on a diet, substitute treats with toys. Place the boxes around a room, or multiple rooms if you want to take the game to the next level, and place a treat under each box. Tell your dog to “go find” the treat. Keep in mind that you might have to point to a box housing a treat the first few times you play so that your dog can learn the game. It will not take long for your dog to learn to find and flip over boxes hiding the treats! Kids love setting up this game, too.

Lost KeysOnce you and your dog are doggy hide and seek pros, stimulate your dog’s brain with this game from DogProblems.com that is incredibly useful for the household humans. This game is a twist on doggy hide and seek but adds a little more complexity to the mix. Do you have problems with losing your keys from time to time? This doggy game will solve your problems!

  1. Attach a small piece of leather to your key chain. Spend two minutes pinching the leather between your thumb and index finger. This will transfer some of the oil in your skin to the leather and link your “scent” to it.
  2. During your next game of doggy hide and seek, substitute your key chain for the treat.
  3. When your dog finds the bucket that hides your keys, lift the bucket to reveal your keys. At this point, abundantly praise your dog for his feats and make a big deal about your dog finding the keys. You may also want to give a rewarding treat to your dog, at least at first.
  4. Finally, you can start hiding your key in other places around the room, away from the buckets. Start out easy. Place them on the floor, next to the couch, or anywhere your dog can almost stumble upon them quite easily.
  5. After a few days, you should be able to hide your keys in some really difficult places, and your dog will be able to find them for you.
  6. Imagine how handy this trick will become when you really lose your keys!

Give your dog the tender loving care that he deserves with games that will keep his tail wagging for hours. For more dog tips, check out our collection of canine reads that will help you be as loyal to your dog as he is to you.

What other games does your dog love? Share below in the comments!