Blake Lively to Launch New Lifestyle Brand

blake livelyBlake Lively, the 26-year-old star of Gossip Girl, has announced her plans to launch a lifestyle brand in the upcoming months. Though many are drawing parallels between Lively’s new business and Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter “Goop”, the latter has earned a less-than-perfect reputation while Lively is off to a fresh start.

“I have so many passions outside of acting and things that I grew up being good at and that I don’t utilize when acting,” she said in an interview. “Acting was something that my family did so I just kind of got into it by default, but there was so much that I cultivated, thinking that I wouldn’t be an actor.”

“The main element of it is that it’s about storytelling and it’s about living a very one-of-a-kind, curated life, and how to achieve that,” Lively explained.”
She also discussed her decision to take a break from her acting career. “A lot has changed for me in the last year. I got married, I finished ‘Gossip Girl’ after six years, I had my first break in a while and I’ve been working on this company … it has been nice to have a separation from my show.”
Lively has already begun to cultivate her new lifestyle reputation by showing off her cooking skills at the Bedford Post Inn kitchen. She shared that she has also worked at the upscale restaurant Per Se, where she impressed the other professionals.

Doral Bank Executive Receives Award

The Advisory Committee for Urban Revitalization Equity (ACURE) gave Steve Borhoft, marketing director of Doral Bank in Florida, a community service award. ACURE – a Panama City civil-rights organization – recognized Bornhoft for his volunteer work with schools and charities, putting deserving causes in the public eye through his work as a freelance journalist, and being a mentor to a middle-school student.   As one ACURE executive committee Valerie Mincey pointed out, “Steve is an incredible asset to our community. His volunteer work supports the development of children, helps the health and well-being of the vulnerable, and promotes the goals of our community focused organization.”  Bornhoft is also Chairman of the Bay AIDS Service and Information Coalition (BASIC) board of directors (where Mincey is CEO and President).

Of his mentoring work, ACURE executive committee member and middle school principal Charlotte Marshall said, “we need people like Steve to take the time to work with kids who need just a little bit more support. Over the course of his time with one student, Steve went beyond the call of duty. He provided the support that the student needed to believe that he could succeed and instilled confidence and a sense of responsibility in this student, directly impacting his school performance.”

Doral makes volunteer opportunities a priority.  Indeed, the corporation has promised to “always give back to the communities in which we are privileged to do business.”  The New Chapter Program at Doral, Florida, is all about preparing children to be self-sufficient adults.  Through “early education, literacy and lifelong learning” by making financial contributions, Doral serves its customers and community by being “actively interested and involved in the lives of both.”

With this ACURE award, Steve Bornhoft is putting the volunteer endeavors of Doral Bank into practice.

Linking History to Present Day Events

Whether you’re an historian or just someone who likes to connect the present to the past once in a while, it’s always interesting to see what happened on this day in history. There are many websites that allow you to look at the parallels between what is happening today and what has happened in the past. Here are some examples.

On September 17th in 1787, the Constitution was completed and signed in Philadelphia. In 1862 on this day, it was the bloodiest day in US military history when the Battle of Antietam took place and more than 23,000 soldiers were killed or wounded.

For sports enthusiasts, the American Professional Football Association (the precursor to the NFL) was formed in Canton, Ohio on this day. And in 2004, more recently, Barry Bonds hit his 700th career home run, joining the likes of Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.

To learn more about what happened on a given day, you can look at sites like the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. They recently featured two interesting historic documents that they have in their possession about fugitive slaves and Abraham Lincoln. The links can be found at:

They offer some great insights into historic events and into certain days in history.

Today in History: John Wilkes Booth Performs for Abraham Lincoln

Shapell Manuscript FoundationJohn Wilkes Booth, the famous assassin who shot President Abraham Lincoln, considered himself a spy for most of his life.

The Shapell Manuscript Foundation explains that “his brains, he said, were worth twenty men, his money worth a hundred and best of all, with his profession, and his fame, he had a free pass everywhere. He told his sister how he moved as a spy among Union armies and, in the most distinguished Northern society, gathered intelligence.”

Eventually, Booth came up with a desperate plan to kidnap the president of the United States. But when a better opportunity presented itself, the actor set up the perfect scene for an assassination. He wrote a letter to John Ford, the owner of Ford’s Theater in Washington, arranging to appear in a play in November.

The letter, dated September 17th 1863, reads:

Dear John

Your telegraph just rec’d:. Now that I understand it. All right. Book me for Nov 2d: for two weeks. I will be there and I will keep the two following weeks open a time longer. there may be a chance for Baltimore then, or you may want me to keep on in Washington. But consider the two weeks from Nov 2d settled. With best wishes

I am Yours Truly


“Smart Tooth”: A New Solution for the Health Conscious?

People struggling to monitor their eating habits and other aspects of their health may have an answer in the new “Smart Tooth”, which is currently being developed at the Taiwan National University. Made to cap a tooth like a crown, this small device tracks the movement of the mouth and identifies different activities such as speaking, chewing and smoking. Researchers believe it can track data that may help people who over-eat or smoke. The information can also be collected for analysis and research on a broader scale.

Learn more with Reuters:


Inspirational Speakers: Michelle Aguilar, Rabbi Tully Bryks, John Bul Dau

Michelle Aguilar
Michelle Aguilar

Whether you’re looking for someone to discuss health, religion, education or parenting, motivational speakers and group panels are a wonderful way to encourage dialogue and inspire people in any setting. Schools, churches, rehab centers and numerous other organizations have guests come to speak about overcoming all kinds of challenges.

Michelle Aguilar, Winner of The Biggest Loser: Season 6, is an author and inspirational speaker based in Texas. For years, Aguilar struggled with her health and weight, while distancing herself completely from her mother. In an effort to reboot her life, she lost 100lbs and revived her relationship with her estranged mother. Now, she travels across the United States in hopes of encouraging others to take action and improve their own lives.

Wildomar, who attended one of her speeches in California, said: “I was very touched with what you shared with us from the stage. You speak from your heart and what you shared about your heart transformation during your body transformation is such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing the more personal side of your experience.”

Spiritual leaders like Rabbi Tully Bryks also travel to speak at schools, synagogues and temples. A former captain of his varsity basketball team who once had his own spiritual questions, Rabbi Bryks inspires students from all backgrounds with his passion for spiritual knowledge.

International speakers are also often invited to share their experiences. John Bul Dau, for example, a “Lost Boy” of Sudan, travels from New York to discuss motivation, leadership, overcoming adversity, international issues, social activism and the importance of philanthropy. He explains: “I think people refuse to try things because they fear failure. There have been many impossible situations in my life, but I keep trying. My family in Sudan thought I was dead and I feared they were dead, but years later we were reunited. You can’t give up.”

A student from Syracuse University said: “Mr. Dau is a true leader, inspiration, a real star. I have never been so moved by a speaker. I feel inspired to make a difference in the world.”