Dave Grohl Cooked Barbecue For The Firefighters Tackling California Wildfires









Books & Music

What a great way to give back to these heroes.





Dave Grohl is best known for being the Foo Fighters’ frontman. But when he’s not rocking out with the band, he’s serving up charitable donations and making barbecue, sometimes all at the same time.

To thank the firefighters currently battling wildfires in California, Grohl offered them some food from his recently launched barbecue joint, Backbeat BBQ.

The firefighters of Fire Station 68 of Los Angeles County posted their gratitude for the kind gesture on Instagram, writing in the caption, “It was awesome to get a visit tonight from Dave Grohl of the @foofighters. He also treated us to some of his own @backbeatbbq. Thanks Dave”:





As far as the ‘cue, well, according to the fire station, “It was excellent!”

The Backbeat BBQ account also posted a photo showing Grohl posed on a fire truck with some of the firefighters. In the caption, Grohl thanked them, adding, “It was an honor to cook for you. – Dave”:

Wildfires began sweeping across California anew on Nov. 8, and firefighters have been working tirelessly to contain them ever since. As of Nov. 14, the Hill Fire was 94 percent contained, and more than 200 people were still missing in the Camp Fire, which was only 35 percent contained, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported.

The fire that devastated Paradise, California, became the deadliest fire in the state’s modern history, according to the New York Times. CNN reports that the death toll for the state is now at 44.

camp fire photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Firefighters certainly have their work cut out for them, so much so that they’ve enlisted the help of inmates who are part of a volunteer firefighting program run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, according to CNBC.





Firefighters from other states are also pitching in, which is common in big wildfires in the west. According to the Missoulian, 73 firefighters from Montana have gone to California to help fight fires for two weeks.

“We are happy to help other states in a time of need,” Jake Ganieany, the response and recovery branch manager for the Montana Department of Emergency Services, told the Missoulian. “We just hope California can get as many resources as they can to fight these fires and keep people safe.”

camp fire photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

With so many people offering much-needed help, it’s no surprise that celebrities like Grohl are making generous donations to firefighters. And Grohl certainly isn’t the only celebrity stepping up to make a difference. Actor James Woods is using his Twitter account to try and help connect people with their families, and Sandra Bullock donated $100,000 to help displaced animals.

For information about how you can donate to help firefighters and others in need, organizations such as California Community Foundation and the California Fire Foundation are great resources.

Katherine MacGregor From ‘Little House On The Prairie’ Has Died









Celebrities & Pop Culture

This is sad news.





Little House on the Prairie” fans have said goodbye to another great star. Katherine “Scottie” MacGregor, who played the mean-spirited Harriet Oleson on the long-running series, died Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Woodland Hills, California. She was 93.

Born Dorlee Deane MacGregor in 1925, the late actor had built a career in the theater before transitioning to television and film. She starred as Harriet Oleson, the sassy and gossipy general store owner’s wife, in 153 episodes of “Little House on the Prairie,” and the role undoubtedly made MacGregor a household name.

Learn more about MacGregor’s life in this video posted to YouTube by Access:





MacGregor had taken a step back from acting after “Little House on the Prairie” came to an end. A devout Hindu, MacGregor was said to have gone on a pilgrimage in India during the filming of the series’ 1984 TV movie “The Last Farewell.” But she did appear in the short film “The Lottery” in 2014.

Before joining the cast of “Little House on the Prairie,” MacGregor played a longshoreman’s mother in the 1954 film “On the Waterfront” and appeared on Broadway in the 1958 show “Handful of Fire.” She also had guest-starring roles on “All in the Family,” “Ironside” and a few other popular series in the 1960s and 1970s.

Following the news of her passing, “Little House on the Prairie” fans took to social media to pay tribute to MacGregor. Twitter user @Bill_Pritchard called MacGregor “a gifted comedian” who was “perfect at portraying the lady you loved to hate.”

Another Twitter user, @mickisuzette, wrote that the NBC drama was “a huge part” of their childhood.





MacGregor’s co-stars also took to social media to honor the late actor. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” shared a still from the show to her Instagram account, writing in the caption that MacGregor had “taught me so much… about acting… vintage jewelry… life.”

Alison Arngrim, MacGregor’s TV daughter, also posted a tribute to her Facebook page, writing that her “second mother has now gone to her rest.”

Her representative confirmed that MacGregor had been living at the Motion Picture Fund Long-Term Nursing Care facility in Woodland Hills when she passed away. A cause of death has yet to be announced.

Häagen-Dazs Peppermint Bark Ice Cream Is Back









Food & Recipes

Do you someone who would love this flavor?





While I admit that I spend the end of summer wishing it was pumpkin spice season, by the time Halloween rolls around, I’m already over it and ready for all things peppermint — especially peppermint bark.

There’s just something about white chocolate and peppermint together — and bonus points if the white chocolate is layered with milk chocolate— that makes it my favorite seasonal flavor. And judging by the many peppermint-bark-flavored foods you’ll be able to find this season, I’m clearly not alone.





Mean Girls Your Face Smells Like Peppermint GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Not only will we find peppermint bark Oreos in stores near the end of the year, but there are at least two ice cream brands selling peppermint bark ice cream! While Blue Bell’s peppermint bark ice cream can only be found in certain areas of the country, Häagen-Dazs is filling the gap with not one, but two peppermint bark treats that are already available nationwide.

The peppermint bark ice cream consists of white chocolate ice cream blended with chocolate peppermint bark and peppermint candy pieces. For an extra dose of chocolate, you can also get the peppermint bark ice cream in bar form, with white chocolate ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint candy pieces.

Häagen-Dazs

I can’t help but think this ice cream would be amazing alongside some other peppermint treats, like white chocolate peppermint bark cheesecake or candy cane shortbread.





Or, of course, you could always just dip the peppermint bark bars into the pint of ice cream! Will you be picking up some peppermint bark ice cream before it’s gone again until next season?

Attention Parents: Jell-O Is Introducing Edible Slime









Family & Parenting

Do you know kids who would love this? Here’s where you can get it.





This has been the year of the slime. And, now, Jell-O is taking slime to the next level by making it edible! Yep, that’s ooey, gooey, droppy, floppy, sticky, icky slime that you can actually eat.

This isn’t the first time that edible slime has made waves on the internet, but those previous versions were homemade and required lots of parent preparation and cleanup. No, thanks. Holidays are busy enough without worrying about cleaning up slime from off the kitchen counter and your favorite nonstick pot.

Adobe

That’s why we are so happy that the culinary geniuses at Jell-O have created a gelatin slime which comes in two delicious-sounding flavors: Unicorn Slime (strawberry-flavored) and Monster Slime (lime-flavored).





Despite their wacky appearances, they are 100-percent edible and the company claims its slime will easily wash off of skin or clothing with just soap and water. Plus, it’s easy to make.

All you have to do is put 3 scoops of the slime mixture into a bowl, add a scoop of warm water and stir it for 30 seconds. Then add a tablespoon of warm water … and dunk your hands in and start playing! When you’re done, you can eat the Jell-O slime, or lick it off your fingers as you go.

Kraft Heinz

If you want to try Jell-O Play Slime, you can preorder it right now on Amazon. It doesn’t officially come out until Dec. 1, but you might want to move fast if you don’t want to worry about it selling out. This would definitely make an awesome stocking stuffer or Hanukkah gift!

One jar costs $9.99 on Amazon, and there is enough in each can for two sessions of play. (Or should we say two servings of play?)





For people who want to play with their food even more, this slime is just one of the exciting new items from the new Jell-O Play line. The new collection boasts kits that help kids build edible toys, including Jell-O Mud, Jell-O edible stickers, Jell-O Jigglers and Jell-O Play build-and-eat kits.

Kraft Heinz

“Jell-O Play is a toy you can eat,” said Katy Marshall, marketing and sales lead at Kraft Heinz, in a press release about the new brand. “There are no rules to what you can make when you let your creativity out of your head, onto your plate and into your mouth.”

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer’s website.

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The Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend—Here’s How To Watch









Nature, Weather & Space

This sounds amazing! Here’s how you can catch it.





In the early morning hours of Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, the Leonid meteor shower will send shooting stars across the sky. But Saturday, about 3 a.m. ET, will have less moonlight obstructing the view of the meteors in the United States.

The diminutive Comet Tempel-Tuttle will cross Earth’s orbit, creating a vaporizing shower of debris in the atmosphere. The comet takes 33 years to complete one orbit of the sun.

Typically, there are between 10 and 15 meteors per hour. Be sure to check online to see when it will be visible in your part of the world.





The meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, the Lion, as the meteors will be coming from the stars that make up the lion’s mane. But you don’t need to look in the direction of the constellation, because the meteors will appear all across the sky.

meteor shower photo
Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

The bright meteors can also be colorful, and they’re fast, moving at 44 miles per second — among the fastest meteors. Fireballs and “earthgrazer” meteors are also a hallmark of the Leonid shower. Fireballs are brighter and larger and can last longer than the average meteor, while earthgrazers appear close to the horizon with long, colorful tails.

Unfortunately, this year’s shower won’t produce a meteor storm, which is when you can see upward of 1,000 meteors per hour. Although such an event has been associated with the Leonid meteor shower before, the last storm event happened in 2001.

The best time to see the meteor showers will be between midnight and dawn on both mornings, wherever you are in the world. If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place that isn’t littered with city lights that will obstruct your view.





Find an open area with a wide view of the sky, and don’t forget to bundle up. If you want to photograph the Leonid meteor shower, NASA suggests using a camera with manual focus on a tripod with a shutter release cable or built-in timer, fitted with a wide-angle lens.

Written by Ashley Strickland for CNN.

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How ‘Chopped’ Judge Chris Santos Lost 30 Pounds









Chris looks amazing! He lost the weight by making these few lifestyle changes.





As a restauranteur and a judge on the cooking competition show “Chopped,” Chris Santos’ life revolves around food. And so, over a 10-year period, he watched excess weight creep on until he realized he had gained 50 pounds. The chef decided some changes were in order to shed the extra pounds. With the help of a more plant-based diet and intermittent fasting, Santos has already dropped 30 pounds.

Three days a week, Santos practices controlled eating, which means that he fasts for 16 hours a day. He has also cut down on his alcohol consumption and switched from beer to liquor with water or soda water. He says that overeating and unhealthy food choices at night were a coping mechanism after a long and stressful workday, inevitably leading to his weight gain.





chris santos chopped photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

“Before, when I got home after a 12-14 hour day, that was my time—that was me time,” he told People. “I would order food late, and it would never be anything good. It would be a cheesesteak, a pizza, a cheeseburger, any number of things that are definitely not healthy choices whatsoever. If GrubHub had a category called unhealthy, that would be the one I would be clicking on every time.”

In addition to overhauling his diet, Santos also began running and completed his first 5K. His next goal is a 10K, and he’s not ruling out the possibility of a full marathon.

Check out his progress in this before and after shot he posted to Instagram:

“I’m about to run my first 5K so with that in mind let’s call this ‘before and after part 1,’” he captioned the side-by-side photos. “I started this journey to a much healthier me on June 20, and so far I’m down 30 pounds! Look for ‘before and after part 2’ when I’ve lost another 15 to 20! Thanks to everyone who have been supporting me and keeping me on track, especially my inspiration @nataliemakenna!”





Best of luck to Santos on his continued journey to better health!

Here’s How You Can Get A Free Burger Every Day At Wendy’s









We’ve got dinner covered!





With the hectic lives we live — especially this time of year — sometimes a quick trip to a drive-thru can save us from a pretty bad case of the “hangries.” And honestly, sometimes nothing beats some good old fast food. Nothing except free fast food, that is.

In the busy week leading up to Thanksgiving, Wendy’s is offering just that — a free junior bacon cheeseburger every day until Nov. 23. Yup. That means you can totally get a free burger to help keep up the energy you’ll definitely need for all that Black Friday shopping.





Black Friday Thanksgiving GIF by NBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

To get your free burger, all you have to do is make any purchase using the Wendy’s mobile app, then show the coupon to the cashier when you pick up your order. While the coupon will show that it expires the next day, the offer will refresh itself and can be used once per day.

Wendy’s

By downloading the Wendy’s app, you’ll also get offers for other deals, like buy one get one free chicken sandwiches and coupons for $2 off a salad or combo. You can also order ahead and pay for your meal via the app, so your fast food can be even faster.

Will you be getting your free burger before the offer is gone on Nov. 23?





We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer’s website.

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This Powerball Winner Is Already Sharing Some Of The Money With Wounded Veterans









„It’s very important to me that we never forget the sacrifices soldiers and their family members make for our country.“





Lerynne West recently won $343.9 million in a recent Powerball drawing. It’s quite the windfall for this single mom from Redfield, Iowa, so her announcement that she’ll be donating $500,000 of her winnings to  The Travis Mills Foundation, which assists wounded veterans, really warms our hearts. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran with three brothers who also served in the military, giving back to those who serve our country is a cause that’s near to her heart.

“It’s very important to me that we never forget the sacrifices soldiers and their family members make for our country,” West told host Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her show on Nov. 14.





Watch West talk about the exciting experience of winning the jackpot and how she plans to use the money in the clip below.

West was in disbelief when she realized she had won the jackpot. She says she’s never been very lucky before but, as DeGeneres pointed out, she has now experienced a stroke of luck that will last a lifetime.

In addition to donating to The Travis Mills Foundation, West started her own charity as well, The Callum Foundation. Named after her grandchild who survived just one day after his birth, the mission of the organization is to “help individuals and strengthen communities by providing funding for key initiatives that will make a measured impact on the lives of those in need.” The foundation will give grants in the core areas of poverty and hunger, education, animal welfare and veteran affairs, such as the one given to The Travis Mills Foundation.

West became visibly emotional when she explained that the foundation was created in honor of her grandson who was born prematurely at 24 weeks and did not get the opportunity to experience a full life.





In an effort to spread West’s luck, DeGeneres announced that everyone in the audience that day would get a lottery ticket for the $100 million jackpot being drawn that night.

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Celebrities Who’ve Helped Out During The California Fires









Celebrities & Pop Culture

It’s inspiring to see so many people coming together in this time of need.





The California wildfires have displaced more than 300,000 people since they started burning on Nov. 8. Among the people left without homes are the many celebrities who call The Golden State home.

The devastation of the blazes has inspired some stars to help out in a number of ways. Famous people such as Ellen DeGeneres and Miley Cyrus have donated money to aid in the efforts of helping anyone affected by the fires.Some A-listers are even pitching in to serve firefighters food and help families reconnect with each other through their platforms on social media.

Several notable businesses have given money to the cause as well. Here are some celebrities and major companies that have worked to make this terrible circumstance more manageable for all those involved:

Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth

Miley Cyrus lost her house in one of the wildfires. A representative for The Malibu Foundation told CNN that she and boyfriend Liam Hemsworth donated $500,000 through Cyrus’ Happy Hippie Foundation. The representative said the funds will be used for “those in financial need, emergency relief assistance, community rebuilding, wildfire prevention and climate change resilience,” according to CNN.





miley cyrus liam hemsworth photo
Getty Images | Dia Dipasupil

Sandra Bullock

The Oscar-winning actress reportedly donated a total of $500,000 to aid all those affected. She gave $100,000 to the Humane Society, to help displaced animals, and $400,000 to the American Red Cross. According to People magazine, Bullock also offered the American Red Cross this moving statement:

“The untold destruction from these fires is heartbreaking, especially following the tragedy at Borderline in Thousand Oaks. I’m glad to be able to help. We’re all family in this, whether it be human, furry or feathered.”

Getty

Ellen DeGeneres

DeGeneres teamed up with Walmart to donate $100,000 to the firefighters who are working tirelessly to contain the wildfires. She made the announcement on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” as you can see in this clip from the show’s YouTube channel:

Dave Grohl

Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl passed out barbecue to firefighters who were working to put out the wildfires. Fire Station 68 in Calabasas posted to Instagram about the kind deed and the “excellent” food:

Guy Fieri

Grohl isn’t the only star who had the idea to help feed firefighters! Celebrity chef Guy Fieri also helped keep firefighters from going hungry while on the job. The Butte County Sheriff Department tweeted about Fieri’s ability to “[fill their] bellies and [lift their] spirits”:

Khloe Kardashian

On Instagram, Khloe Kardashian documented a trip to CVS in which she bought water and granola bars for firefighters and first responders. She reportedly said in the video:

“Here at CVS, I basically got everything they had in stock. I got as many waters as I could. I know the brave men and women working so hard, tirelessly for all of us will greatly appreciate it. So please just do whatever you can, even if it’s one bottle of water, one container of eye drops, one granola bar, anything. I know they would appreciate it,” she said.





Her mom, Kris Jenner, posted about her daughter’s good deed to her own Instagram:

Gerard Butler

Butler lost his home in one of the wildfires and it inspired him to encourage others to donate to a GoFundMe page set up to help people impacted across the state. He posted about the donation drive on Twitter:

James Woods

The “Hercules” actor has turned his Twitter account into a way of helping families reconnect. He’s posting updates about lost family members to help those who were separated while evacuating get in touch.

james woods photo
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

Disney

In addition to celebs, several major companies that are based in California have made generous donations to the wildfire relief efforts. Among them was Disney, which released a statement announcing it had donated $500,000 to help firefighters.

“The firefighters are true heroes, and we honor their tireless commitment as they continue to battle these devastating wildfires,” Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in the statement. “Our hearts go out to the families and communities that have been so severely affected.”

walt disney photo
Getty Images | Handout

Facebook

Facebook reportedly announced it was donating $250,000 to the American Red Cross and matching up to an additional $500,000 in donations made through the social media platform, according to the New York Post.

facebook photo
Getty Images | Alexander Koerner

It’s inspiring to see so many people coming together in this time of need. If you’d like to donate or help in any way, here is some information on how to help those affected by the California wildfires.

Elton John Stars In A New Christmas Commercial, And You’ll Probably Want To Have A Tissue Handy Before You Watch









Entertainment

This is very moving.





British company John Lewis & Partners is proving that sometimes Christmas cheer can come with a healthy dose of happy tears. The retailer selected Elton John to star in its new holiday commercial, and when you give it a watch, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

The commercial begins with a modern-day John sitting at a piano. As he plays, the audience is taken through a series of flashbacks highlighting major moments in his career — from playing in bars to performing in huge venues. And, of course, there’s the moment when he was given his very first piano as a Christmas gift.

See it all unfold in this video from the John Lewis & Partners YouTube channel. Oh, and keep the tissues handy:





The advertisement comes full circle when you realize the piano John was gifted as a boy is the same one he’s playing at the very beginning of the commercial. It’s a tear-jerker, for sure, and it does an excellent job of driving home the main point: Some gifts are more than just a gift.

In case you were wondering, the famous musician himself was touched by the commercial’s portrayal of his life, too.

“It was incredibly moving to see such treasured memories reimagined on the screen. No matter what happens in your life, those moments from your childhood mold you, and stay with you forever,” John said in a statement on the John Lewis & Partners website.

This isn’t the first time John Lewis & Partners has absolutely nailed it with a commercial, either. Remember the “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover that was circling the internet a few months ago? Yep, that was done by this company, too.

To jog your memory, here’s the John Lewis & Partners rendition of Queen’s hit song from YouTube:





In this ad, the goal was to prove that collaborating as a group can often lead to “something magical.”

“We wanted to show that really interesting things can happen when people feel part of something and they work together to create something magical,” Paul Knott, the creative director for communications agency adam&eveDDB said of the project in a behind-the-scenes interview.

Thoughtful videos like these remind you that the season is all about coming together to create some magical memories.

Happy holidays!

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