The 91st Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, often called the Oscars, is Hollywood’s night to shine. All the industry’s elite, the actors, directors, musicians, and behind the scenes talent, gather together to recognize the best work produced in movies in the last year. They walk the red carpet and discuss their wardrobe, thoughts on nominees and celebrate a year of fabulous films.

Holywood Sign (StreetView)
Holywood Sign

The industry’s most coveted awards will be given out this Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The theater, which opened in 2001, was designed with hosting the Oscars in mind.

Originally called the Kodak Theater, the Dolby Theater got its new name from a sound company that works closely with the movie industry.

Dolby Theatre (Birds Eye)
Dolby Theatre

Everyone will be hoping that the Academy recognizes their hard work and talent. Most will go home empty handed, honored just to have been nominated; let’s look at some of the celebrity homes that might have a new statue on the mantle come Monday morning.

Christian Bale

Christian Bale, a constant presence in film since his youth, has already won one Oscar, in 2010 for Best Supporting Actor in The Fighter. This year he has been nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Vice.

He has multiple homes around the world, including two homes in the Los Angeles region. He has a home in Brentwood Park, which he purchased in 2017 for about $9 million.

Christian Bale's House (Google Maps)
Christian Bale's House

He lives with his family in a Sullivan Canyon ranch, which he purchased for $13.5 million in 2008.

Christian Bale's House (Google Maps)
Christian Bale's House

Amy Adams

Amy Adams has been both critically acclaimed and loved by the public for her roles for decades. She has been nominated for six Academy Awards but has yet to win, including this year for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Lynne Cheney in Vice. Hopefully this year she won’t go home empty handed.

No matter what, she’ll be returning to an awesome home, a mansion in the enviable Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles.

Amy Adams' House (Birds Eye)
Amy Adams' House

Spike Lee

Spike Lee, a famous director and producer, has been nominated for Oscars before but this is first Academy nomination for directing, for his movie BlackkKlansman, which has several other nominations. If he wins, it will be his first Oscar.

Lee, in spite of his Hollywood career, spends most of his time in New York City, where he cheers for his beloved Knicks and Yankees. He has a nice townhouse in New York, as well as other homes in Massachusetts and California.

Spike Lee's House (Former) (StreetView)
Spike Lee's House (Former)

Rachel Weisz

British actress Rachel Weisz is nominated alongside her castmate Emma Stone for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Favourite. Rachel already has an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, which she won in 2005 for her role in The Constant Gardner.

While Rachel is British, she spends most of her time in New York, and sometimes on her farm outside the city. She bought the 1700s era farm house and surrounding land in 2008. While she doesn’t spend most of her time here, it would be an ideal place to retreat from the media and enjoy a little quiet time after the Oscars, with or without a statue to take home.

Rachel Weisz's House (Birds Eye)
Rachel Weisz's House

It will be exciting to watch the Academy Awards, admiring the amazingly dressed celebrities, rooting for your favorite films, stars and directors as awards are given out.

The 61st Grammy Awards

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards, or Grammys, will air on CBS this Sunday, February 10. It’s the night when musicians and artists from every current genre are honored and the best of the best are recognized for their efforts and success.

Check out some of the venues and homes associated with this year’s awards show.

Staples Center

The Staples Center is the go-to facility for sports in Los Angeles, but on Sunday it will be the epicenter of the music world as it hosts the Grammy Awards. This will mark the 17th time the center has hosted the show since it opened in 1999.

Staples Center (Birds Eye)
Staples Center

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is hosting the awards show for the first time this year, and after hosting the hit television show The Voice, she will be a natural on stage for “Music’s Biggest Night”.

She bought this Englewood, New Jersey home in 2013 for around $10.5 million from actor Eddie Murphy.

Alicia Keys' House (Birds Eye)
Alicia Keys' House

Diana Ross

Diana Ross is one of the industry’s most beloved and talented singers and performers. She has a long history in the music business, starting out in Detroit with Motown as part of the Supremes, and moved on to have an extremely successful solo career.

She is performing at the Grammys as a tribute to her 75th birthday and significant contributions to the industry.

She spends much of her time in this Belle Haven, Connecticut estate, which she has owned since 1980. After putting the home on the market in 2008 for more than $39 million, she has since delisted the home and continued to live there.

Diana Ross' House (Birds Eye)
Diana Ross' House

She also maintains a home in Los Angeles, as most celebrities do. The five bedroom, seven bathroom home was purchased in 1996 for $725,000.

Diana Ross' House (Birds Eye)
Diana Ross' House

Another view can be found here.

Diana Ross' House (StreetView)
Diana Ross' House

Drake

Drake has been nominated seven times for various works this year, including his record “God’s Plan”. He is one of the most successful artists in history, having sold over 150 million digital songs, and having three albums go platinum. He has won three Grammy awards and been nominated 27 times.

Drake owns an awesome home in the Hidden Hills area of Los Angeles, with a full tennis court and out of this world landscaped pool complete with grotto, which he says was a big reason for purchasing the $8 million home.

Drake (rapper)'s House (Birds Eye)
Drake (rapper)'s House

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is in the lead with nominations this year, with eight nominations for record, album, song and more. He is known as the “new king of hip hop” by many for his artistic success and ability  to work with so many other famous musicians.

Lamar started his career as a teen in Compton, California, where he grew up. Lamar’s childhood had all the markings of what people stereotype when hearing about Compton, including drug-related murders taking place outside his small apartment complex.

Kendrick Lamar's Childhood Home (StreetView)
Kendrick Lamar's Childhood Home

He has risen far from that small apartment, and has been able to share his financial success with his family. He reportedly purchased a mansion in Calabasas, California for his mother and sister in 2014, for more than $2.5 million.

Kendrick Lamar's House (Google Maps)
Kendrick Lamar's House

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has been nominated six times for Grammy Awards, including three this year. She is a powerhouse musician, often compared to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. She has a strong reputation as a pop artist, and has been at the center of both controversy and tragedy as an artist. In May 2017, a suicide bomber killed 23 people after her concert in Manchester, England.

Grande grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, and maintains strong connections to her family and hometown. She grew up with her parents and siblings in this home before they divorced when she was young.

Ariana Grande's house (Birds Eye)
Ariana Grande's house

Like most celebrities, she maintains at least one home in the Los Angeles. As of 2016, she was renting this 8,000 square foot mansion in Sherman Oaks, California.

Ariana Grande's House (leased) (Birds Eye)
Ariana Grande's House (leased)

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the most talented, and most outspoken, musician of our time. She has tone, pitch, volume and charisma that make her a star! Since 2008, she has been nominated 24 times and won six Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling musicians in history, and has had success in EDM, pop music, soft rock and jazz.

Her nominations this year are related to her critically-acclaimed movie A Star is Born, in which she stars with Bradley Cooper as an up-and-coming musician. Nominations include Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, grew up in an apartment in this beautiful building on the Upper West Side, and still spends plenty of time in New York City.

Lady Gaga's House (Birds Eye)
Lady Gaga's House

She also owns a mansion compound in Malibu, California. She paid more than $22 million for the six acre property, which includes 10,000 square feet of living space, stables for animals and even an underground “batcave”.

Lady Gaga's House (Google Maps)
Lady Gaga's House

As you watch the Grammy Awards this weekend, you can have fun knowing where these celebrities will be headed after the show, and rest assured that they will have plenty of space to store any awards they are lucky enough to bring home.

Stars of the NFL Postseason and Their Awesome Homes

Only one team will be going home champions at the end of Super Bowl 53 this Sunday, but all the stars who played and fought hard in the 2019 postseason will be going home to awesome mansions that most of us can only dream of. So, if you’re curious about the star players and coaches, and not watching commercials during the championship game between the New England Patriots and recently returned Los Angeles Rams, check out these mansions owned by a few post-season players and coaches.

Tom Brady

One of America’s favorite quarterbacks, and sometimes favorite hated quarterback, is hands down Tom Brady. But love or hate him, his talent, staying power and ability to lead the New England Patriots is remarkable. He has led his team to eight Super Bowls, winning five times. Super Bowl 53 on February 3, 2019, will be his ninth appearance.

Not only is he famous, he is married to one of the world’s most famous supermodels, Gisele Bündchen . Brady has three children, including two with Bündchen. They live in a $4.5 million mansion in Brookline, Massachusetts. The 14,000 square foot house is a luxurious mansion built specifically to support Brady’s career, with a recovery spa, home theater and even a special safe to store his five Super Bowl rings.

Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen's House (Google Maps)
Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen's House

The celebrity couple also maintains an apartment in New York City, on the 47th floor of the One Madison Building, which set them back $14 million.

Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen's Apartment (Google Maps)
Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen's Apartment

Nick Foles

Nick Foles rose to fame and fandom in the 2017-2018 postseason, rising from second string quarterback to take the Eagles to the Super Bowl and triumphing against the New England Patriots in dramatic fashion. He has played for multiple teams, including the Los Angeles Rams, who released him shortly after he bought a house in Newport Beach, California.

Nick Foles' House (Birds Eye)
Nick Foles' House

He’s settled into life in Philadelphia, and his heroics in helping the team to their first franchise Super Bowl victory in 2018 and determined effort in 2019 have earned him lifelong legend status for many Eagles fans.

Drew Brees

Drew Brees has spent most of his career leading the New Orleans Saints as their quarterback. He has set so many NFL records it’s hard to keep track. He even took the team to their first Super Bowl victory ever, in 2010. He has become a hometown hero, giving back to the community and becoming an important part of the city’s identity. He and his family live in a $1.5 million mansion that they purchased in 2006.

Drew Brees' House (Google Maps)
Drew Brees' House

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett is the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, a team with a fan base as solid as any in the country. Garrett played in the NFL as a quarterback, including for the Cowboys, before getting into coaching. He and his wife Brill purchased their current home in Dallas in 2011, and have been there happily ever since.

Jason Garrett's House (Google Maps)
Jason Garrett's House

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick didn’t begin his coaching career in New England, but since coming to the Patriots in 2000, he has dominated the coaching world. He, along with quarterback Tom Brady, have set records, and crushed the dreams of opponents for nearly two decades. The stern, no-nonsense coach has proven he will do anything to win, and that he takes the game very seriously.

He also takes owning homes seriously, and he is the owner of multiple residences in Massachusetts, including a compound on Nantucket Island.

Bill Belichick's House (Google Maps)
Bill Belichick's House

Rob Grownkowski

Since being drafted by the Patriots in 2010, Rob Grownkowski, or “Gronk”, has been a critical part of the team’s success. The team failed to make the playoffs only once since he started with the team (one season he didn’t play due to injury though). He has taken to living in Massachusetts and has become an important part of the community of Foxborough, where the tight end lives with roommates in a mansion. Sadly, the home was burglarized while he was playing in Super Bowl 52. Hopefully, this year the thieves will stay away!

Rob Gronkowski's House (Google Maps)
Rob Gronkowski's House

These are just a few of the many men and women who will take to the field on February 3, fulfilling lifelong dreams, and hopefully making dreams come true for their fans at home.

Celebrity Honeymoon Destinations

Celebrities are known for their elaborate lifestyles, and that extravagance often extends to weddings and honeymoons. These celebrity honeymoon destinations show us that if you can, you should certainly do what these newlyweds did—dream big and enjoy every minute of the vacation!

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux—Bora Bora

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux were engaged for years before secretly tying the knot at their Bel Air mansion in front of a surprised but celebratory audience who arrived at their house expecting to attend a surprise birthday party put on by the happy couple.

Jennifer Aniston's house (Google Maps)
Jennifer Aniston's house

After their backyard wedding, Aniston and Theroux were off to Bora Bora, with several of their closest friends including Courtney Cox, Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher, Jimmy Kimmel and his wife, Chelsea Handler and Jason Bateman.

Once in Bora Bora, the entourage stayed at the five-star Four Seasons Bora Bora, which has individual bungalows for residents, catamaran tours, water activities, SCUBA diving and more. The island paradise was the perfect getaway for the happy couple and their friends to really celebrate their love and marriage.

Photo Credit: Four Seasons Bora Bora
Photo Credit: Four Seasons Bora Bora
Four Seasons
Photo Credit: Four Seasons Bora Bora

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Clooney—North Island Seychelles

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Clooney are the epitome of class, style and luxury. When you have a four day wedding celebration in Venice, Italy with all the A-list celebrities from around the world, you have to do something spectacular for your honeymoon.

That mission was accomplished when they headed over to the Seychelles, a group of islands made famous in the United States when Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned there after their 2011 wedding.

George Clooney's House (Google Maps)
George Clooney's House
George Clooney's house (StreetView)
George Clooney's house
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's House (Google Maps)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's House

Their Seychelles destination was the exclusive and secluded North Island resort that advertises a unique, private and extraordinary vacation. Guests arrive at the North Island via helicopter, which provides a grand entrance worthy of such a remote, breathtaking and all-encompassing experience sure to be enjoyed at the resort.

Seychelles
Photo Credit: Martin Harvey

Once on the resort, guests have every need and want catered to by a well-trained and extremely professional staff. Hotel suites are designed for privacy, integrating their design into the tropical environment of the island.

Villa North Island
Photo Credit: North Island Seychelles

Guests have their choice of many activities, from relaxing massages and spa treatments to catered beach activities, jungle excursions and water activities. The area boasts incredible warm water SCUBA diving, shark tours, snorkeling and other water activities.

North Island Scuba
Photo Credit: North Island Seychelles

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West—Ballyfin Demesne, Ireland

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West do everything big. Even Kanye’s wedding proposal was big! He rented out AT&T Field in San Francisco, hired a 50 piece orchestra and had a fireworks show just to propose to her in October 2013.

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West's House (Google Maps)
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West's House

So when after their wedding they took off for their destination in Ireland, some were quite surprised. Ireland doesn’t seem like the first choice for the scene-seeking Kardashian and West. However, their honeymoon was remarkable nonetheless.

Ballyfin Ireland
Photo Credit: Courtesy Ballyfin Demesne

Their Irish destination was the historic Ballyfin Demesne, an 18th century hotel near the mountains, declared the best hotel in the world by Conde Nast travel magazine. The five-star hotel has only 20 rooms, with an incredible staff that caters to every need of their guests, ensuring they have an experience worthy of the reputation.

Ballyfin Ireland 2
Photo Credit: Ballyfin Demesne

The hotel was opened in 2011, after being painstakingly decorated in the romantic style, with imported 19th century Italian mosaic tile, a medieval inspired castle tower, small lakes and 614 acres of gardens perfect for guests to explore and enjoy.

Ballyfin Ireland 3
Photo Credit: Ballyfin Demesne

The hotel is located near many fun outdoor activities, including rowing on serene lakes, meandering through landscaped and wild gardens, golfing, mountain biking and socializing with locals at pubs.

Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth—Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Reese Witherspoon has a reputation as an all-American girl, but after she and agent Jim Toth married at their California ranch, the two flew to the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Reese Witherspoon's House (former) (Birds Eye)
Reese Witherspoon's House (former)

Positano is a small village on the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy, built on the steep mountainside rising up from the Mediterranean Ocean. The couple stayed at the award winning hotel Sirenuse, in the high cliffs of Positano. American writer John Steinbeck stayed there in his Italian travels in the 1950s. His article for Harper’s Bazaar turned Positano from a poor fishing village to a tourist hot spot for visitors from around the world.

Sirenuse
Photo Credit: Sirenuse Hotel

Steinbeck wrote that the hotel, creating an international reputation for history, magnificence and romantic memories that has only grown since his writing. “We went to the Sirenuse, an old family house converted into a first class hotel, spotless and cool, with grape arbors over its outside dining rooms. Every room has its little balcony and looks out over the blue sea to the islands of the sirens from which those ladies sang so sweetly”.

Sirenuse 2
Photo Credit: Sirenuse Hotel

In recent years, the hotel has developed a more high-end reputation, including adding an oyster and champagne bar, five-star spa and ensuring the hotel rooms and customer service are worthy of the hotel’s international acclaim.

Sirenuse 3
Photo Credit: Sirenuse Hotel

A beach vacation with friends, an exclusive island, a castle in the European countryside and a romantic hotel on the cliffs of Italy, it’s clear these celebrities know how to live! Here’s to hoping they keep the romance of these destinations alive and remain as happy as the day they said “I do”!

Infamous Murder Sites across the US

Some people like to tour national parks or go to Disney World on their family vacations… for those who want an unorthodox vacation, and don’t scare easily, these murder sites that you can visit might make for a more exciting road trip this year.

Villisca Ax Murder House

The murder of eight people, six members of the Moore family and two overnight house guests, during the night in Villisca, Iowa on June 9 or 10, 1912 has remained unsolved for more than a century.

When a neighbor noticed that no one had begun farm chores on the morning of the 10th, it was discovered that each person had been bludgeoned to death with an ax. While there was a lengthy investigation and even two trials, no one was ever convicted for the murders.

The house is open for tours, and those who are brave enough can even spend the night there!

Villisca Ax Murder House (Birds Eye)
Villisca Ax Murder House

Lizzie Borden’s Home

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father forty-one.”

Lizzie Borden was a 32 year old woman living with her father and stepmother when they were found bludgeoned to death by an axe. She was tried and acquitted of the crime, and it was never solved.

Tourists can view the inside and outside of the house, as well as stay the night, if they’re brave enough.

Lizzie Borden axe murder home (Birds Eye)
Lizzie Borden axe murder home

Lizzie Borden lived out the remainder of her days in the community, in spite of the reputation that followed her around for the remainder of her days. She is buried in the local cemetery, and the site is often visited by those who stay at the house.

Lizzie Borden's grave (Google Maps)
Lizzie Borden's grave

Black Dahlia’s Murder Site

Elizabeth Short was a young woman living in Los Angeles when she went missing in 1947. She was found several days later, having been murdered and mutilated and left to the elements.

Her beauty and reputation for wearing black earned her the nickname “Black Dahlia” in the media during a very long and public investigation that never resulted in any viable suspects.

The unsolved case has become a part of LA lore, and curious visitors still visit the murder site, which is now a front yard in a middle class neighborhood.

Visiting this site would make an excellent and unconventional side visit if you’re already in the area.

Location where the Black Dahlia's body was found (StreetView)
Location where the Black Dahlia's body was found

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Crime Scene

Often referred to as “the crime of the century”, the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, allegedly by Brown’s husband, football legend O. J. Simpson, incited a nation to follow the arrest, prosecution and aftermath of O. J. Simpson’s life.

On June 13, 1994, the two were found stabbed to death in her home, and the events at the crime scene kicked off the infamous police chase of O. J. Simpson in a white Bronco, and the globally broadcast trial of Simpson. While Simpson was acquitted, the story has remained a part of the cultural psyche for the last two decades.

True crime fans visiting the LA area often make a trek to the Brentwood neighborhood to see the home where the biggest media circus crime all started.

Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman murder site (Birds Eye)
Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman murder site

John Lennon’s Home and Murder Scene

John Lennon, lead singer of the world’s most famous and beloved band The Beatles, lived with his wife Yoko Ono and son Sean in The Dakota, a posh coop building in the desirable Central Park West area of New York City.

He and Yoko were returning from a recording session when he was shot dead by stalker Mark David Chapman, who after the shooting waited for police nearby reading Catcher in the Rye, claiming the reason for his crime was “in the book”.

Site of John Lennon's murder (StreetView)
Site of John Lennon's murder

Fans of Lennon and the Beatles often visit Strawberry Fields, a memorial site established in Central Park near his home and murder site. It is a peaceful place for fans to pay respects to Lennon and enjoy tribute music played by talented fans and musicians.

Strawberry Fields (John Lennon memorial) (StreetView)
Strawberry Fields (John Lennon memorial)

Unfortunately, there are many more places to visit if you’re interested in seeing the darker side of society, but these are some of the more popular, and more famous, crime scenes in American history. Have fun, and watch your back!

Great British Castles

With all the focus on the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markle, it’s a perfect time to take a virtual tour of some of Britain’s amazing castles. There’s Windsor, where Harry and Megan were married, and Buckingham in London, but there are many more castles all throughout Great Britain that can take your breath away.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, located outside London, is the largest inhabited castle in the world, with a permanent staff in residence since the queen and her entourage stay there most weekends. It was built by William the Conqueror, and has continually been inhabited by aristocracy and royalty since then, making it the longest-inhabited castle in Europe.

It has a classic fortification encompassing 13 acres, complete with a small town, a church, a motte and bailey design, and a keep in the center of the castle grounds.

Windsor Castle (Birds Eye)
Windsor Castle

The King Henry VIII Gate is a prominent and attractive entrance to the lower ward of the castle grounds.

King Henry VIII Gate at Windsor Castle (StreetView)
King Henry VIII Gate at Windsor Castle

St. George’s Chapel has recently gained international fame as the venue for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Marke in May 2018. The Gothic structure can hold about 800 people for such events. It is the resting place of many kings, queens and other royalty, including Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, George V and George VI and their wives, and it is the planned resting place of the current queen, Queen Elizabeth II and her immediate family members.

St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (Birds Eye)
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

Buckingham Palace

Easily the most famous castle in Great Britain, Buckingham Palace is located in Westminister, a small city within London. It has been the main royal residence since Queen Victoria, and now serves as the administrative center for Queen Elizabeth II.

Buckingham Palace (Birds Eye)
Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace itself is an iconic part of the royal image. Tourists from around the world gather to view the royal residence, hoping to catch a glimpse of Prince William or Harry, and have a little fun thinking about what it’s like to be royalty.

Buckingham Palace (StreetView)
Buckingham Palace

Visitors love to see the changing of the guard, a ritual as famous as the palace itself. The Queen’s Guard, in their iconic red jackets and tall bearskin hats, march back and forth in front of the main gate, keeping the queen safe and tradition in tact.

Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace (StreetView)
Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle is an ancient castle originally built at the time of William the Conqueror and reinforced over the next few hundred years as it played vital roles in several wars throughout England’s history. It played a crucial role in the coming to power of the first major royal dynasty, the Plantagenet family.

Warwick Castle (Birds Eye)
Warwick Castle

The castle has iconic medieval features including large towers, the motte and bailey design, and a dungeon complete with torture devices. The castle has daily showcases of castle life including jousting and tournament events. Additionally, exciting amateur but accurate battle reenactments often take place outside and around the castle.

Medieval encampment at Warwick Castle (StreetView)
Medieval encampment at Warwick Castle

Stirling Castle

Anyone who has seen Braveheart or is familiar with Scottish history will know how important Stirling Castle is. Stirling Castle is built on a large hill that has been home to fortifications and settlements since at least the third century CE. Some even believe it is where King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table met.

Stirling Castle (Google Maps)
Stirling Castle

The first castle was constructed around 1110, and was a major center of Scottish government by 1200. Most of the castle structures and fortifications were built in the 1400s and 1500s. Several battles between England and Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence were fought here, including the famed Battle of Stirling Bridge where the outnumbered Scots routed the English. However, success was fleeting and the war continued for several more decades. England and Scotland continued to fight one another until their eventual unification in 1707.

Stirling Castle (StreetView)
Stirling Castle

William Wallace, the hero of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, was so famed for his bravery and merciless efforts for Scottish independence that when he was captured by English forces, the King ordered him hanged, drawn and quartered. Wallace is now a Scottish national hero, and the Wallace Monument in Stirling honors his memory.

William Wallace statue (StreetView)
William Wallace statue

Hever Castle

Hever Castle in Kent, England, has been around since the 1200s and was enlarged and enhanced in the 1400s, with a distinct Tudor influence on the design. The strong Tudor influence can be felt throughout the castle and the grounds, including a Tudor style garden maze.

Hever Castle maze (Bing Maps)
Hever Castle maze

However, it later fell into disrepair and it wasn’t until American millionaire William Waldorf Astor purchased it that it was renovated for use as his private residence. It was eventually sold and is now open to the public.

Hever Castle (Google Maps)
Hever Castle

It was particularly important in Tudor England, as it is the childhood home of Ann Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII. It was later given to Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII.

British history is much older and broader than even these castles can show, but they are am important and famous part of the history and country. Anyone who wants to really get a feel for the island’s history must make sure to stop at at least one castle!

Female Icons and Their Amazing Homes

Many people dream of making it big in fashion, music or entertainment, but having success in these careers requires a lot of hard work, dedication, talent and luck. These women have worked hard and achieved lifelong dreams of success and influence, and have luxurious lifestyles and amazing homes to show for it.

Meryl Streep

Well-known and regarded as the best actress in a generation, Meryl Strep has been active in Hollywood for more than 40 years, earning a record 21 Academy Award nominations and three Oscars. She has countless other nominations and awards to her credit as well. Her reputation is iron clad, and she has used her reputation to advocate for pay and publicity parity among men and women in Hollywood.

She and her family have primarily resided in a private estate in Salisbury, Connecticut since 1985, where her sculptor husband has a large studio for his work and where they could raise their four children.

Meryl Streep's House (Birds Eye)
Meryl Streep's House

Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour, fashion influencer and icon, was born and raised in England, and started her fashion journalism career there under the tutelage of her father. She moved to New York City and worked for several magazines and publications before settling in at Vogue as the creative director and eventually it’s editor. Since then, she has been a major figure in New York fashion circles, with her signature bob and sunglasses. The book and film The Devil Wears Prada was based on her and the magazine.

Anna was married for about 15 years, and has two children from the marriage. She has long owned a townhouse in an exclusive enclave in Greenwich Village.

Anna Wintour's House (StreetView)
Anna Wintour's House

She also owns a home in Mastic Beach, on Long Island. She has said the community is “white trash” but loves the area regardless.

Anna Wintour's house (Birds Eye)
Anna Wintour's house

Beyonce

Beyonce rose to fame as part of the music group Destiny’s Child, and has since become one of the biggest superstars of all time. She has a successful acting career, as well as fashion lines, music management and her success as a solo artist. She has become a crossover influencer, with devoted fans across the globe nicknamed the BeyHive. She is one of the best selling artists of all time, the most-nominated Grammy artist, and even has college courses taught on her music, cultural influence and impact on society.

She married fellow musician Jay-Z in 2008, and while their relationship has been mostly private, the powerhouse couple have ruled over the music industry for a decade. They have three children, and several homes across the country.

After leasing several homes in and around Los Angeles, the couple bought a mansion for nearly $90 million in 2017. It has 30,000 square feet of interior space, a spa, many luxurious amenities and four outdoor pools.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé's House (Google Maps)
Jay-Z and Beyoncé's House

Also in 2017, Beyonce and Jay-Z purchased a $26 million home in East Hampton, NY. The 100 year home sits on two acres. The previous owner rotated the entire home 90 degrees so the living room overlooks the pond and is perfect for sunset viewing.

Jay-Z and Beyonce's House (Birds Eye)
Jay-Z and Beyonce's House

Oprah Winfrey

There’s no one category to hold Oprah Winfrey: Television host who defined and redefined the concept, actress, producer, media mogul, and all over media icon.

Oprah rose to prominence as a daytime talk show host in the 1980 and became famous for her personable and frank interviews, openness with her audience and charisma. Her book club became so popular it would rocket authors to the best seller list overnight. Appearing on her show had the potential to create lasting fame and success for her guests, like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, who have gone on to have successful television careers of their own.

She has also starred in, produced and backed several box office and critically successful films. She ended her talk show in 2011, but has continued to produce, sponsor and support television and film projects, as well as run a monthly magazine.

Oprah has a 65 acre estate named The Promised Land in Montecito, CA. She has renovated and expanded the estate since purchasing it in 2001. The mansion itself is over 23,000 square feet.

Oprah Winfrey's House (Google Maps)
Oprah Winfrey's House

Not to be outdone by her California home, Oprah has a 163 acre estate in Kula, on the Hawaiian island Maui. In addition to a lovely white mansion, she has an expansive garden that grows over 100 types of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. It is truly a paradise.

Oprah Winfrey's House (Bing Maps)
Oprah Winfrey's House

These icons have shown how it’s done-find something you love, something you can do better than anyone else, and work harder than anyone else is willing to work. If you do that, you too can reach the pinnacle of success in your area of expertise. And maybe, you too can own a piece of your own personal paradise.

 

Homes of “The Voice” Stars

The 14th season of The Voice is underway and has a new coach sitting in the red chair. Starring in the United States’ most popular reality television show, the show’s coaches enjoy a significant amount of fame and success, and it shows in the amazing homes and properties they own.

Blake Shelton

One of two judges on the show since it began in 2011, Blake Shelton has been very successful as a coach, with a member of his team winning in five of the past twelve seasons. His personal life has been tied into the show, as he divorced his wife Miranda Lambert and then started dating Gwen Stefani while the two were both on the show.

Shelton is a country boy at heart, and after his divorce from Miranda Lambert, he bought his Oklahoma home in Kingston, Oklahoma, on Lake Texoma.

Blake Shelton lake house (Google Maps)
Blake Shelton lake house

Additionally, his Ten Point Ranch in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, was for sale as of August 2017.

Blake Shelton 10 Point Ranch (Google Maps)
Blake Shelton 10 Point Ranch

Jennifer Hudson

Perhaps no one knows better the rigors of participating in a musical talent competition than Jennifer Hudson, who was a finalist on the third season of American Idol, the famous American singing competition show. She has since been successful in both the music and acting industries.

She joined the other coaches for the thirteenth season on The Voice, coinciding with a record release in early 2017. She has always maintained strong ties to her Chicago roots, with a home in Burr Ridge, outside Chicago.

Jennifer Hudson's House (Birds Eye)
Jennifer Hudson's House

Adam Levine

Like Blake Shelton, Adam Levine has been a judge on all thirteen seasons of The Voice. His personal life has changed almost as much as Blake’s,  including marrying Behati Prinsloo in 2014, having a baby girl with her in 2016, and preparing for another girl due in 2018. He and Behati bought a beautiful mansion with a pool, lots of privacy and plenty of space for their girls in Los Angeles, California in 2017 for about $18 million.

Adam Levine & Behati Prinsloo's House (Google Maps)
Adam Levine & Behati Prinsloo's House

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus now has two seasons of coaching under her belt, and it is just one of many aspects of her dynamic and successful career in music and entertainment. Her role on the show is entertaining, to say the least. She is as dynamic in her personal life as she is in her professional, with multiple homes and places to crash throughout southern California.

Since 2015, she has owned a home in Hidden Hills, an exclusive gated community in Los Angeles, purchase for roughly $15 million.

Miley Cyrus' House (former) (Birds Eye)
Miley Cyrus' House (former)

One LA house isn’t enough for Miley, though, since she bought another house in Malibu, on the coast of California just a short drive from downtown Los Angeles. This home was purchased in 2016 for $2.5 million.

Miley Cyrus's House (Google Maps)
Miley Cyrus's House

After rekindling her relationship with actor Liam Hemsworth, the couple purchased a beautiful home in Franklin, Tennessee, for $5.8 million.

Miley Cyrus' House (Google Maps)
Miley Cyrus' House

Carson Daly

Carson Daly has had a long career in entertainment and music, and has been the host of The Voice since the beginning. He does other hosting for NBC, including on the morning show Today and hosting of special events such as the annual New Year’s Eve show on television.

He maintains a lower profile than the other celebrities on the show, choosing to spend time with his wife and three children. He has owned the Santa Monica mansion since 2006.

Carson Daly's House (Birds Eye)
Carson Daly's House

The coaches and host of The Voice all work hard and help others learn about successful singing, entertaining and show business, so it is a very good thing they have awesome places to rest after a long day of work on set.

Celebrity Nurseries

Being a pregnant celebrity has come a long way from the days of hiding their pregnancy and staying out of the limelight until after their delivery. Now, having a baby bump is a trendy accessory in Hollywood, and so is having a fashion-forward and fabulous nursery to bring the baby home to. Recent trends are clearly focused on gender-neutral and age-neutral themes, which make decorating fun and adaptable for a growing family.

Savannah Guthrie

Savannah Guthrie, co-host of NBC’s morning news show Today, decorated her daughter Vale’s room in a neutral animal theme that is anything but boring!

Savannah Guthrie & Michael Feldman's House (Birds Eye)
Savannah Guthrie & Michael Feldman's House
Savannah Guthrie
Photo credit http://celebritybabies.people.com/2015/08/19/savannah-guthrie-daughter-vale-nursery/

Ivanka Trump

Whether you love or hate her dad, it’s impossible not to love Ivanka Trump’s nursery in her upper East Side apartment with husband Jared Kushner. The neutral palate of cream and gray are on trend even for the most sophisticated adult, but the softer touch of stars, plenty of books for his older siblings to read to him, and the portable Moses basket make the room a great place for Theo to grow up and interact with his entire family.

With her great taste in style, it’s a sure bet that her new house in Washington, D.C. will be as fabulous as her New York apartment!

Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner's House (Google Maps)
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner's House
Ivanka Trump
Photo Credit: Ivanka Trump

Kevin and Danielle Jonas

Kevin and Danielle Jonas were in tune with the new trend of sophisticated and adaptable baby rooms when they decorated the nursery for their baby girl, Alena Rose, in 2014. Starting with a neutral palate of dark wood floors and ivory furniture, they accented the room with stunning navy blue and natural wood furniture, making the room both perfect for a new baby and ready for a toddler to learn, play and grow. Navy is a neutral color that will make it so easy for the Jonas family to use the nursery for whoever joins their family next!

Kevin Jonas' House (Google Maps)
Kevin Jonas' House
Kevin Jonas
Photo Credit: http://www.newarrivalsinc.com/Celebrity-Spotlight-Danielle-Kevin-Jonass-New-Playroom_b_207.html
Kevin Jonas
Photo Credit: http://www.newarrivalsinc.com/Celebrity-Spotlight-Danielle-Kevin-Jonass-New-Playroom_b_207.html

Nicky Hilton Rothschild

After years of fashion hits and misses that were always entertaining and anything but low-key, model, socialite and trend setter Nicky Hilton married James Rothschild and settled down to married life. She gave birth to baby girl Lily Grace Victoria Rothschild in July 2016, and shared details of the baby’s nursery shortly before her birth.

The New York City nursery is decorated in soft blues and whites, which would be perfect for either a boy or a girl, but the furniture makes it clear Nicky and James have a baby girl! The antique dollhouse and Madame Alexander dolls set it apart, and the cat-themed mobile above the crib shows off Nicky’s personality and love of all things cat.

Nicky Hilton's House (Birds Eye)
Nicky Hilton's House
Nicky Hilton
Photo Credit: http://ca.hellomagazine.com/health-and-beauty/02016072828320/nicky-hilton-stylish-stroller/
Nicky Hilton
Photo Credit: Nicky Hilton Instagram