Keep the Children Happy With Their Favourite Duvet Covers

I hope that you will be able to find a whole lot of details about kids duvet covers in this article. This is without question a very specific part of bed clothes. The majority of people usually are at ease using plain white or cream bedsheets although some do choose to become individual by means of stunning colours such as black or red.

Little children are very special creatures nevertheless and nearly always would prefer photos of their most popular heroes imprinted all over the duvets. That said, I wonder if could be simply just the father and mother searching for techniques to have the kids to rest quicker. Fathers and mothers who got frustrated with sitting down telling stories for ages were most certainly those who originally dreamed up this plan.

When thinking about buying a duvet set for your little ones you will not have to stress with the many alternative measurements that anyone can get with regular duvet covers. There’s no king size, queen size, double, the vast majority only are available as singles. A set comprises of a duvet and one complementing pillowcase. Most are made from around 50 percent cotton and 50% polyester and can be washed.

Young people do not appear to be so content just with a boring room with pastel colours on the wall, ceiling and carpeting. They think they are unexciting and need stuff that are vivid and fun. There are two main techniques that mothers and fathers decorate their children’s rooms. One is usually to paint the walls as well as the ceilings in bright colours and get simple coloured bed sheets. Far more fathers and mothers now choose the alternative way though and have bare walls and a colourful bed.

It is important to make certain that the little ones are happy after they go to bed and they do like to be protected by their particular much-loved TV stars. Whomever is in vogue at the time they initially get aware usually are those that they initially prefer. Right now, the best selling children’s duvet covers appear to be of Peppa Pig. That has turned into a cult television program designed for your very young children and also a collection of books along with other goods.

Some other sets targeted at the younger sons are based on Thomas The Tank Engine, Fireman Sam as well as Ben Ten. For small girls you can find those such as Upsy Daisy from In the Night Garden, Disney Princess and also like bedding with images of pets on them – could be a pony or puppy.

As young children age the selections obviously change. They move on to dinosaurs, pirates and even their favourite soccer side like Chelsea for sons while girls like High School Musical. Let’s hope that you now have a better idea in the sort of children’s duvet sets that you would like to get.

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Busyholism Test

While perusing Maria Nemeth’s excellent book The Energy of Money, I came across a phrase I’d never heard before but described my lifestyle far too well for my liking – «Busyholism». Take this «Busyholism Inventory» adapted from the book. (If you’re too busy to take it, you may as well assume you are one and skip ahead to the suggestions which follows!):

Use the following scale to score:

1 = not true at all

2 = somewhat untrue

3 = don’t know

4 = somewhat true

5 = absolutely true

1. I am tired most of the time.

2. I always seem to be in motion.

3. Most of the people in my life (spouse, friends, family) don’t appreciate all I have to do.

4. I get very frustrated if I cannot finish a task or if I’m interrupted and I have to put it off until later.

5. On Sunday (or my day off) I have a list of things I must do before I can play or rest. I rarely get to the play and rest part.

6. I often feel isolated from those I love.

7. By the time I do something I like, I am too tired to really enjoy it.

8. I feel guilty when I am resting or just taking it easy.

9. When I am doing something (such as watching a son or daughter play soccer), I often miss out on the fun because I am too preoccupied with what needs to be done next.

10. I use substances such as caffeine or sugar to prod myself into action during the day, and turn to alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs (prescription or over-the-counter) to relax in the evening.

11. I feel resentful because I am not doing the things I really want to do.

12. I feel that I have more responsibilities than most of my family or friends.

13. I usually do things in a hurry, like gulp my food or throw on clothes.

14. I forget to take care of myself (do not eat, drink water, or use the rest room) for long periods of time.

15. My friends and family tell me they are not seeing enough of me. Or, when I am with them, they tell me I seem withdrawn or emotionally removed.

There are no ‘Cosmo Quiz’ score totals to compare yourself with, but suffice it to say if you identify with any of the above descriptions, you’ll benefit from the suggestions which follow…

1. Take a day out

(Notice I didn’t say a day «off» – that’d never happen, would it?)

Taking a day out to overview your life direction, meaning, and purpose is one of the most powerfully productive things you can do, so even we confirmed busyholics can often justify it to ourselves.

For maximum impact, remove yourself completely from your home and work environment to minimize the siren call of busy distractions. Let’s face it, it’s easier to not answer e-mail or take phone calls when you’re nowhere near a computer or telephone!

2. Slow down and smell the cheese

When my daughter was two, her favourite song was called ‘Slow down and Smell the Cheese’. In the song, a frantic mouse named Tutter is running everywhere, pushing his cheese around the mouse hole, when he finally calls out in exhaustion, ‘So little time, so much cheese to push around!’

Just for today, spend time in the slow lane, literally and metaphorically. Leave yourself some extra time this morning, and drive to work in the slow lane. If you travel by train or bus, make a deal with yourself that you will not rush to catch the next one, no matter what.

As the mouse’s friend, a bear named, appropriately enough, ‘Bear’, sings, ‘Life is so much better when you smell the Feta!’

3. Get support

While there are no official support groups for ‘Busyholism’ (let’s face it, we’re all too busy to attend the meetings!), you can create your own support system. This week, experiment with getting support by making sure that you ask for support at least three times each day – even if (especially if!) you feel like you don’t need it.

Have fun, learn heaps, and chill out!

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The Importance Of A Goal Keeper In A Soccer Team

As discussed in my soccer formation or system article, a goal keeper in a soccer team is always critical player. He would have to be fielded regardless of whatever formation or system a team would be put out to play. A goal keeper can be defined as the player who guards the goal of his team during the course of a match. Furthermore he is the only player legally allowed to touch, pick or save the ball with his hands within the six yards box or penalty box. This alone makes him different from all the other players.

Under the laws of soccer, any other player who uses his hand to touch or block the ball purposely would result in a foul minimum and a free kick or penalty would be given to the opposition. Another fact is that most keepers would stay within the penalty box or not across the half as their job is to keep the ball out of the goal. Technically a goal keeper is the most difficult position to play in. The reason for this is simple even if he saves every shot at him in the match except for conceding the one goal that loses the match for his team, he would become a villain instead of the hero at the end of the match. Hence a keeper has to be on own his toes and maintain concentration throughout the whole match as a single mistake or lapse could cause his team to lose.

Therefore usually a goal keeper is treated in a very different way from the rest of the team. The characteristics of a great keeper can be summarized as: Having a good command of the box, having good positioning sense, having good agility or jumping ability and having a good pair of hands. Having a good command of the box, would enable a goal keeper to better or organize "arrange" his defense during opposition corners or free kicks. This is critical as most teams in the modern game do work on their set pieces and just a lapse in defense may result in conceding a goal.

In the past, great keepers have always been seen commanding the box like generals such as Peter Schmeichel of Manchester United fame.Another important aspect is the positioning sense of a keeper. Sometimes it can be akin to a sixth sense of where the ball would be shot towards. In some games, poor positioning of the keeper can result in a goal being scored. Being agile or having good jumping ability has enabled many a keeper to keep out or pull off magnificent saves when the opposition has shot certain goal bound shots. While equipped with a strong pair of hands is a necessity as shots can be coming in at a high speed or from different avenues with a variety of power.

Some of the best keepers in the modern games are Buffon of Italian Giants Juventus and Peter Czech of English Giants Chelsea fame. Each of these keepers possesses most of the above characteristics to make them a highly valued member of their teams.Without a doubt, a goal keeper is one of the most specialized positions in soccer or football with their ups and downs in each match.

Camiseta Stadium de la 2ª equipación del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19 Camiseta Stadium de la 2ª equipación del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19

3 Unusual Things That Can Make A Difference With Your Soccer Cleats

There are plenty of options when it comes to soccer cleats thanks to the many brands developing new designs and series every once in a while. Your football boots may do little in improving your skills on the pitch, but they do play a huge role in how you perform while out there and how easy it is for you to use your football playing skills. For this reason, you definitely need to get yourself a pair of boots that works for your style of play to be able to achieve your objectives during play.

When buying soccer cleats, players check out the usual elements like sizing, brand, materials and cost of the cleat. However, by digging more into details that are not that commonly checked out, you increase your chances of finding soccer cleats that offer so much more than just a pair of boots to protect your feet during play. Here are some of the unusual things you should consider checking out when buying your next football boots to get a pair you will simply love using.

1. Stud configuration

Boot companies are going beyond the usual when it comes to stud configuration and traction. Some have embraced innovative configurations that provide new traction type like the extreme positioning of rear tripod studs so that early ground contact and stability is achieved with the high velocity release. In some cases the misaligned studs come with forefoot studs to allow excellent traction as well as explosive acceleration. You can also find two blade heel design which caters to acceleration and allows the studs to penetrate and at the same time release off the surface even when you are at your fastest speed possible. Check out what the stud configurations means to your performance and get yourself a cleat that will make a difference for you during play.

2. Missing tongue

It may sound weird because everyone is used to boots and shoes that have tongues. However, the missing tongue is not a mistake, but actually an intentional removal that eliminates flapping that most players may have experienced before. A number of brands are embracing the no tongue boot design to reduce weight of the boot and to also manage creating a better looking boots overall. With the tongue missing, the companies have created comfortable fits around the ankles so you still enjoy comfort even with the tongue removed.

3. Foam insert

90 minutes of play can seem like years when you have little cushioning for your feet. With all the running and kicking, you definitely deserve an insert that eases your feet in the most comfortable of ways throughout the game. A thick insole that offers a responsive and spongy feel would be the best for this. Football boot brands use different materials, but boots that feature 4D foam inserts seem to be quite impressive in terms of comfort and balance. Check out the type of foam insert that comes with your pair of cleats and make a good choice for the sake of your feet.

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Why the Right Size Matters When Buying Soccer Cleats

Soccer shoes are very important because of the role they play in keeping your feet protected, creating traction and offering strong grip to ensure that your performance in the field is improved. Every player wishes to give their best performance in during matches and this is something that can prove hard to do without the right soccer cleats.

Fortunately, there are so many brands and designs from which players can choose what they find most suitable. But to get the best pair there are elements that matter most and size is one of these elements. No matter how beautiful a soccer shoe is or how many features it has to give you the best experience when playing, if it is ill-fitting, and then you stand to be frustrated when you are supposed to give your best. Your cleats should neither be too small nor too big otherwise they will interfere with your performance. It is of importance that you pay close attention to sizing so you get the perfect fit for your feet. If you are still wondering why size matters, here are a few reasons why.

· Soccer cleats that are too big will only hinder proper movement as they are likely to come off and they definitely will lag you behind.

· Too small a size on the other hand will keep your feet too tight and this is not only uncomfortable, but also exposes you to bruises and blisters.

· You are more prone to getting injured when wearing a bigger sized cleat because your feet do not have control since the conformity is all wrong. You may end up twisting your leg and probably even falling down as you run around in the field.

Getting the perfect size

The easiest way of getting the right size when buying soccer cleats is knowing your foot measurements. You also want to take into consideration factors such as wearing socks and how the type of socks you choose will affect the size of the shoe. Some socks are quite thick and they can make your cleat feel tighter and smaller.

Since there are manufacturers out there who make midway sizes like 7.5 or 6.5, you should consider such sizes if you have a hard time finding the right cleat size. The shoe should fit snugly but not too tightly. Think about the upper and what it is made of. The upper should mold to your feet as much as possible; remember that some materials like leather have a tendency of stretching over time.

When looking at the size, pay attention to areas where the ball will contact the show most. The toe box, instep, outer edge and upper edge are the most important to help you get a shoe that is proportioned to your foot shape. This will not only ensure you remain comfortable, but also reduces break-in time and gives you ball control in no time at all. Always try on your shoes if you can before making the purchase.

Camiseta Stadium de la 2ª equipación del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19 Camiseta Stadium de la 2ª equipación del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19

The Tea Ceremony Around the Globe

2737BC. The passage of time from 2737BC to 2014 is almost incomprehensible to me. The change, the modernisation, the evolution. What is the significance of this date?

This is the year tea was discovered.

Yes, in 2737BC, in China, the Chinese emperor stumbled across a mysterious potion after leaves from the camellia sinensis plant accidentally fell into the water his servant was boiling for him to drink. As a herbalist, he embraced the opportunity to try a new concoction, sipped the delicate liqueur and immediately fell in love; a love that has been shared by billions of people since.

But it is mind blowing to think that tea has been consumed by people for over 4000 years. And perhaps even stranger to think that in Britain, we have only been drinking tea (our saviour, our comfort, our ‘pack-your-kettle-last-so-it’s-the-first-thing-out-the-lorry’) for a short 400 years.

Even so, this is an incredible amount of time to develop the traditions and conventions associated with drinking it, and the tea drinking ritual is one steeped in cultural customs.

It is perhaps a generalisation, but when we think of tea drinking rituals, it is the Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies that immediately spring to mind: formality, silence, connections to nature, tea as a gift, a way of offering thanks or apologies to a relative.

Rule-governed and purposeful tea drinking? The officialism appears alien to us.

On reflection though, perhaps there is ritualism in our own tea consumption. Doesn’t tea follow meal times, help calm our nerves, welcome us home after work, or welcome friends over (imagine not offering a friend a brew after knocking on your door. Ultimate social faux pas), lift our spirits and console us? Although we do not wear robes or kneel down, tea does have significance: comfort, safety, friendship. If this isn’t our tradition, then I don’t know what is.

Tea is not just enjoyed in the countries mentioned above. Tea has successfully bewitched people in every continent across the globe, which has led to it being branded as the second most widely consumed beverage on the planet after water. Tea’s ability to permeate cultures has arguably enabled it to survive these 4000 years, each bringing their own traditions and quirks in which to celebrate this distinctive liquid.

And this is what we will here explore; how tea drinking traditions differ in some of the top tea drinking regions of the world.

China

As mentioned above, in China the consumption of tea is ceremonial. Not only do the Chinese people celebrate tea, but they use tea to formally celebrate or consolidate occasions, such as serving tea at family gatherings, as a symbol of formal apology and as a way of politely addressing and thanking parents for the giving and receiving of partners at weddings.

It is the tastes and aromas of the tea which are at the heart of the ritual. Each utensil is carefully washed or cleansed using the first infusion of the green tea leaves to ensure that the second infusion’s taste is not coloured by any foreign bodies, like dust particles, so the tea is pure.

Importantly as well is the way the tea is poured; slowly, in one motion, across all cups (which are small clay pots) and only half full. The other half of the cup is said to be filled with friendship and affection; therefore binding host and guest in their tea drinking experience.

Japan

In Japan, the tea ceremony centres around the making of Japanese Matcha tea; a green tea ground to a fine powder which is world renowned for its excellent healing powers, high concentration of antioxidants and rather bitter taste.

The ceremony is named Chanoyu and focuses on the aesthetics of tea making rather than the taste or smells, making the experience more of a choreographed performance than a quenching of thirst.

The ceremony’s composition dates back to the twelfth century and involves the host’s serving of the tea, as well as the presentation of the utensils and ceramics used to prepare it, the arrangement of flowers in the space and calligraphy. These items can all be modified by the host to best fit the occasion for which the tea is served. It is also the host’s task to have considered their guests’ view of the tea at every angle in the space, to ensure that their experience will be one of purity, serenity and tranquility: a weighty responsibility.

The thoughtful consideration that is required for a successful ceremony often ensures that the bonds of friendship between the hosts and their guests are strengthened after the experience is concluded.

India.

In India, tea is served on the streets by Chai Wallahs, or ‘tea makers’, who blend their spicy chai tea on their stalls at train stations, bus stations and on every street corner.

Authentic chai is milky, sweet and spicy, made from thick buffalo milk, Assam tea, cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon and often what seems like a ton of sugar. The ingredients can vary, but the ritual of serving generally stays the same: the Chai Wallah brews up all of the ingredients in a large metal pot over open coals which are placed on the stone ground. Once simmering, he pours the liquid through a sieve into a teakettle, then pours the chai into small terracotta pots from a great height. The drinking cups are only used once; consumers throwing them to the ground once they have finished, smashing them to pieces, to allow the clay to get trampled back into the ground.

Chai’s popularity in the UK has steadily grown in the past year (it’s one if our best sellers!) and it’s easy to see why. Chai tea is delicious; warming, spicy, soothing, it’s like Christmas in a cup and yet I drink it all year round! OK, we like to have it our way- we tend to brew Chai with hot water rather than in hot milk and individual consumers choose whether to sweeten delicately with honey- but the resulting comfort is the same.

Equally, much of India’s tea is renowned for its medicinal properties, mainly because of the strong ties to Hinduism and Ayurvedic tradition: a system that inspires us to live by alternative medicine, ultimately governed through a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Tea blends are therefore steeped in a philosophy that inspires the ‘art of living wisely’.

Russia

Rather like the UK, Russia was introduced to tea in the mid-1600s, but whereas we strove to steal the idea from China, the Russian Tsar was given tea as a gift from the Chinese ambassador to Moscow. Of course, he loved it (who doesn’t), and quickly a line of trade was organised between the two countries.

Tea in Russia is not just about the liquid itself but about the heat that brewing the tea gives rise to, and the warmth felt through consumption (Russia can get a little chilly at times). Russia’s tea ceremony is therefore centred around the use of a samovar; a large metal tea urn with decorative handles and a spout.

Typically, the samovar has more than one layer to it. Simple samovars have a bottom layer housing the hot water, which is actually heated by filling the small soldered pipe that runs through the centre of the urn with hot coals. Above this sits a small metal teapot, often of the same metal material, and a concentrated form of brewed tea, zavarka, is made here before being diluted by the hot water from the urn.

Russian Caravan tea (so named as a result of the camel trains that first brought tea to Russia) must be mentioned here. It is the perfect blend to brew in a samovar as the teas used have strong, dark flavours: Chinese Keemun and Formosa Oolong tea, sometimes with hints of Indian black teas like Assam to add a maltiness to the blend.

Morocco

Inshas Allah, ‘with god willing, all good things come with time.’ This is the proverb by which Moroccan people brew their tea and signifies the respect they show to the timely process of making the perfect cup.

Morocco is famous for its Moroccan Mint tea; a blend of Chinese green tea, fresh mint leaves and a lot of sugar (often five times the amount of sugar to the amount of tea!)

The tea making ritual is one of leisure in Morocco and if invited to assist in making the tea, you are honoured. Incense is lit and those who are taking part in the serving wash their hands in orange blossom water before they begin.

Firstly, loose green tea leaves are placed in a round bellied teapot with a conical top and long curved spout, and hot water added. Much like in China, the first infusion (left to brew for just one minute, before being poured into a tall glass) is used as a cleanser, this time for the leaves rather than the flasks, to rid any impurities the leaves may have picked up through travel. After this, the loose tea is brewed before adding the sugar and mint.

The spout is one of importance to the teapot. Curvature to the spout allows for the server to pour the tea from a height of around half a metre into the small glasses below, to create a frothy foam on the tea’s surface.

Tea is served often in Morocco: after each mealtime, when entering some shops, to welcome guests in the home and even to mark business deals.

Iran

Tea is also the national beverage in Iran, with tea drinkers enjoying mainly green tea and black tea to quench their thirst or as a comfort, respectively. No occasion can take place without tea being served and, in many regions of Iran, light coloured tea is a marker of disrespect from the host to the receiver. Principally, Iranians like it strong.

Perhaps it is the liking for a keen strength to tea that has led the people of Iran to discount the water as a part of the tea. Through the use of a samovar, Iranians heat the water and simply use and see it as a way of extracting the aromas and flavours thickly from the leaves.

Typically, tea is drunk from glassware and this is held by the rim of the glass between the thumb and forefinger with the pinkie used to balance. Often, held in the other hand, is a large pipe connected to a hookah, or qalyoon as it’s locally known; a tall, ornate smoking device that uses hot flavoured tobacco and water. In the absence of alcohol, tea houses, where tea and the qalyoon are served hand-in-hand, act as a social hub where young Iranian people can relax and socialise, much like us westerners would do in our local pub.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is another of the world’s biggest tea-drinking countries, with its tradition once again being rooted in the giving and receiving of tea as an act of welcoming and politeness. Guests are offered tea on arrival into a host’s home and it is considered impolite to refuse the beverage.

Kazakhs are known, much like the Russians and Turks, to use samovars to brew and serve the tea; however, differently to the Russians, the server only fills the kasirs (which are small, wide-mouthed saucers), to around half full. This ensures that the tea is always served hot: no one likes a cold cuppa (unless it’s iced, of course).

The guests to the ceremony are then required to pass their empty kasirs back to the female host as a way if thanking her and showing her respect for that which they have received. She then ‘re-half-fills’ the cups and passes them to her guests once more; a process which continues, creating a graceful, rhythmic and visual ceremony, beauteous to behold.

Britain

In Britain, (one might have known!) our tea traditions involve food. These customs were developed in the early 19th century, first by the upper classes who championed Afternoon Tea as a way of bridging the gap between lunch, at 12 o clock, and dinner at 8 o clock. Tea was served at around 4 o clock in the afternoon along with small sandwiches, scones and cakes. Heaven.

High Tea is different, although sometimes (incorrectly) the terms are used interchangeably.

In industrial Britain, workers home from the factories and mines would require immediate sustenance after a day of physical hard labour, and so a substantial meal would be served to them accompanied by a cup of strong, sweet tea at around 5 o clock. This became known as ‘tea’ (which us northerners still to this day sometimes use), and the ‘high’ aspect is a reference to high backed chairs and higher table the lower classes would sit at to enjoy their tea (whereas the upper classes would be seated in low lounge chairs and have their tea served on smaller, occasional tables.)

Taking time to enjoy tea has always been important in this country regardless of class, right up until the invention of the teabag. When the teabag was born, a dip in quality occurred. Beautiful unfurling leaves slowly releasing layers of flavour no longer existed: a throwaway pouch of powdery black dust, bitter to taste and quick-to-brew lay in its place. We are committed to changing that. Lovers of loose leaf, we are promoting taking time out from your day to enjoy the perfect cup of tea, slowly brewed from high quality leaves. We are bringing back the ‘good old days’.

Madrid: One of the Sexiest Cities

On the night that I arrived to Madrid, I had slowly settled in to my friend David's city center flat. I slipped into bed and cracked open the window of the guest room and a cool Spanish breeze welcomed itself in. As I breathed in the chill midnight air and released a long sigh, I thought to myself, "This place is truly wonderful."

The three months that I had spent in Spain I was able to visit a competent of cities; Madrid, Barcelona, ​​San Sebastian, Bilbao, Toledo, Alcala de Henares, Córdoba, Aranjuez, Móstoles, and Patones (for climbing). Of these cities, I've spent the major of the time in Madrid, and after the trip came to an end, I had come to the conclusion that Madrid is a seriously sexy city.

As discretion, I should add that I am in no way claiming that Madrid is "the" sexiest city in the world (although I'll probably have a few Madrileños who will tell me otherwise). I am simply stating that Madrid is one of the sexiest cities. I also know that I was not the first to visit the cities of Spain and certainly was not the first to explore the subcultures of the country, but Madrid's modern yet historical characteristics were nothing short of charming.

Of all the things I have considered, the following things on the list were the most significant:

Cost of Food:

Food is pretty cheap in Madrid, and while cheap is not often synonymous with sexy, your ability to enjoy luxuries (in some cases even like eating out,) is more probable, especially when your dollar is able to go a little further. In restaurants like "El Tigre", you order a drink and get a free platter of tapas. Granted they're not mind-blowing, you can still have a great time socializing with friends without busting your budget.

Curfew:

When I had to take an early flight to Belgium, I had to take a cab at 4am in order to get to the bus stop in the center of Madrid. I was afraid, very afraid, but also very determined.

Being the smart girl I was, I decided that dressing like I was homeless would be the most effective in deterring criminal. After all, criminals do not mess with other criminals.

As soon as I arrived to my bus stop though, I was both amazed and relieved to see tons of people sprawled all over the streets. I'm not talking 20-something partiers or ravers, mind you. The people have the mindset of work-to-live, not the live-to-work mindset that most North American's are familiar with. That mean two-hour lunch breaks as opposed to our one-hour (or even even half-hour) lunch breaks. Thankfully for me, that also meant that at 3am, all sorts of people of all ages were still out on the street. There was no stigma that only partiers or ravers were out at that hour, people were out simply because they want more time to spend with their friends. How they're still able to go to work in the morning? Do not ask me …

Fashion:

In Madrid, fashion is not reserved for the runway. I'm sorry Vancouver, but you're not winning any rewards here. From what I've observed, people dressed better in Madrid, period. The choice of clothing that was worn on a daily basis, even on a grocery store trip, would be me, trying. I'm not sure if that's knocking Vancouver's style or just my own personal ability to dress myself, but I digress. Does it help that Zara was born in Spain? Probably not.

Patios:

When I'm with friends in Vancouver, hanging out is going for a hike or heading to the beach to soak up the sun. We are after all, located in a spectacular coastal location, surrounded by stunning and chiefly pristine nature … but in Madrid, a city far from nature or the coast, hanging out more often than not intent grabbing drinks at a Patio, or " Terraza "as the locals called it. (That's pronounced Terra (tha), by the way.)

In this Spanish city, chances are there will be a terraza not far from your doorstep, and it will be quite good. It was also here that I learned the art of Patio-hopping. You see, as a North American, when I go to a restaurant to eat, I will eat, and then I will pay and leave. (We do not like to be the inconsiderate jerks that occupy an otherwise empty table.) But when you're in Madrid, you eat, and then you talk with your friends for an hour, and then you order more drinks. When you finally pay and leave, you head to another terraza and get more drinks. I will not lie, it seemed like overkill to me, but that my dear friends, is patio-hopping … (and I also solemnly swear that I am not an alcoholic).

Patio-hopping never-the-less is an art, or in my case, an art of being patient … or the art of not asking why we have to stay for so goddamn long.

Architecture:

Modern yet classical; with a country this old, it's hardly a surprise that a city as metropolitan as Madrid could stay fixed to it's roots. From the Museo Nacional Del Prado (which boasts some of the world's finest arts) to Parque del Retiro (which once belonged to the Spanish monarchy), the architecture somehow still remained relevant to this day. When you feel uninspired, you can also head to the Palacio de Cristal to get some creative stimulus.

Culture:

At the end of the day, I could only chalk it up to culture. The overwhelming feeling of unity, when Real Madrid played against Atlético Madrid in the Plaza de Cibeles during the World Cup of 2014, was enough to explain why the city was so sexy, and it all boils down to passion. Madrileños feel a strong passion towards their city, the same way that Vancouverites feel a strong passion towards the outdoors, and it's a thing I quickly learned to respect. I love my own city of Vancouver to bits, and as an overall outdoorsy girl, I would have it no other way. But after living in a city like Madrid where the allure of the city will reel you in one way or another, I can honestly say that this city will no less place as one of the sexiest cities in my books.

Artificial Grass in Europe

The artificial grass industry has expanded to international territories across the globe throughout the years, including Europe. With large sports industries like football (or soccer in America) and rugby, Europe has utilized artificial grass for many purposes. From Germany and the UK, to different parts of the Netherlands, artificial grass continues to be a growing trend and a popular alternative to real grass in Europe. The continent is booming with locals, tourists, and a history that dates back extensively. Traditional architecture and landmarks are of great significance to Europe. Thus, the use of artificial grass exhibits its ability to both blend in with and accommodate the European style.

Like the US, Europe takes an active approach on ecological awareness and going green. In 2007, it was noted as one of the leading continents in the global conservation movement by international media outlets. The installation of artificial grass in both public areas, as well as residential areas continues to play a large role in the continent’s going green. Its ability to save money on water and maintenance costs has helped in the financial sector, yielding its return on investment in approximately 10 years. With the aesthetic standard of natural European gardens, synthetic grass proves to look natural, and fits this clean and beautiful standard seen in many natural and historic gardens.

Artificial turf used for sports is one of the most commonly used turf products in Europe. With sports like rugby and soccer, which require a durable and safe pitch to play on, artificial turf has been a significant surface. Artificial turf for pitches has been recognized by global associations, including FIFA. The World Cup, UEFA, as well as the Champions League also recognize synthetic grass based upon extensive testing. Much like the pitches in the World Cup, a mix of natural grass, and intricately woven synthetic grass fibers make up pitches used by Liverpool FC, as well as Tottenham Hotsupur. Though not entirely made of artificial grass, this weave requires minimal maintenance, as the artificial grass blades prevent natural growth of the real grass. Athletic artificial turf thus proves to be sturdy for performance even on the professional level.

Landscaping for both private and public areas continues to increase in different parts of Europe. Many artificial grass suppliers in the UK have gained much business this summer for landscape jobs. Local gardeners and installers have been employed to do artificial turf jobs in residential areas. This is because word of mouth has boosted the trend of synthetic grass in UK neighborhoods. Aside from conserving energy, water, and money, many homeowners enjoy the versatility of synthetic grass. Landscapers this summer have worked on several jobs for households with children, customizing turf for child-friendly play. Public parks and playground projects are also increasing in popularity, as the controversy about possible health risks has been put to rest. Its adaptability and customizable aspect bolsters the popularity and boom of the artificial grass industry in Europe. From professional sports pitches to residential neighborhoods, Europe continues to benefit from the many advantages offered by modern artificial grass.

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Liverpool FC – The History Of The Badge And The Meaning Of The Crest

Liverpool Football Club are one of the most successful teams in English and European football history, and the club not only has massive support in England but also around the world, the club probably has many millions of fans. Liverpool were founded in 1892 and have won 18 League titles, seven FA Cups and famously, they are five times winners of the European Cup and Champions League, combined.

The club badge or crest, is the epitome of this famous club, and the badge on their shirt is often kissed by the players when celebrating a goal or a victory, as a sign of loyalty and love for the club. The badge has changed considerably since the formation of the club well over a hundred years ago, but today’s crest has much significance about the history and tradition of this famous football club.

The club badge is predominantly based on the city’s famous Liver Bird, which has represented the city for many centuries. The mythical bird, which many believe to have been derived from a cormorant, can be seen on the top of the clock towers on the Royal Liver Building, where two famous Liver birds sculptures dominate the building and overlook the River Mersey, and they date back to 1911. Many modern myths have evolved regarding the origin of the Liver bird, but it is widely accepted that they watch over and protect the people of Liverpool and myth dictates that should they ever leave, the river Mersey would burst its banks and flood the city.

The Liver bird dominates the centre of the Liverpool badge, which is placed inside a shield. The image of the Liver bird on the badge has a short head and curved beak, which is more usually associated with a bird of prey rather than a cormorant, but it retains the sprig of laver, a type of seaweed, in its mouth.

In 2008, Liverpool FC attempted to claim copyright for the Liver bird image, but they failed in their attempt as it was deemed that the Liver bird belonged to all the people of Liverpool and not one company or organisation. The Liver bird image is also used by several other organisations.

Above the shield is a representation of the famous Shankly Gates, which were erected outside the Anfield Stadium in 1982, as a tribute to Liverpool’s former and most famous manager Bill Shankly, who had led Liverpool from Second Division mediocrity, to win three League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup. Bill Shankly is regarded by most fans as the greatest Liverpool manager, by the way he transformed the club.

Across the top of the Shankly Gates, and portrayed in the badge, are the words You’ll Never Walk Alone, which is the title of the song by Gerry and the Pacemakers that has been adopted by Liverpool fans as the club’s anthem, this again stems during Shankly’s time as manager, and is still sung reverently by Liverpool fans today.

The twin flames either side of the shield are symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when the fans were crushed due to overcrowding during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest, 766 fans were also injured in the disaster.

The date of the formation of the club is clearly displayed below the shield, and while the club crest has changed a number of times over the years, it symbolises some of the most important events in the history of the club, the badge is worn with honour and pride by both players and fans alike.

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Unforgettable European Games

In 1981-1982 Universitatea Craiova played in European Champions Cup, the old name of Champions League of today. After two double games against Olimpyakos Pireu and BK Copenhagen, Craiova had as a guest the great German football team which was Bayern Munich a team in which were players like Breitner, Rummenigge an so on.It was a dramatical game with a stadium of 45.000 places full of Universitatea Craiova’s fans. Our team lost this game with 1-2 but this was just a preview for the next year. The year of the most important European performances for this great Romanian fooball team.

In 1982-1983 Universitatea Craiova played in UEFA Cup. The first game was against AC Fiorentina. A team of the well known World Champion Antobelli. Universitatea was the winner (3-1 and 0-1) and in the second tour we encountered Shamrock Rovers. 2-0 and 3-0 were the results and for the 3rd tour the well known France team was meant to came in Craiova.

Girondins de Bordeaux lost this double game against this legendary Romanian team (0-1 and 2-0). In the 4th tour 1FC Kaiserslautern came in Craiova. After 2-3 in Germany we did a 1-0 in the minute 82 and Universitatea Craiova was preparing for UEFA Cup semifinals. Stefanescu and Breitner

Benfica Lisboa was the team who put an end to this beautiful dream. We managed a full of hope 0-0 in Portugal. But in Romania we missed only 45 minutes for the great final. Ilie Balaci scored in the 15th minute of the game by a great execution from a free kick. In the second time of the game Benfica succeeded a draw and this team went in the final. This performance was never done by a future team from Craiova.

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