Tuesday, December 11, 2012

3 Tips To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle This Holiday Season

by Mistie Dawn

The holiday season is in full swing! And here comes the holiday packages filled with goodies from friends and family. Did you know that Americans generate 25% more waste (that's 6 million tons, up 20% since 1995) between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day? Here are a few suggestions on ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle this holiday season.

1. Styrofoam peanuts.  They're every where this time of year and even if you don't use them someone you know does. I have always tried to reuse the Styrofoam peanuts that I receive in shipments but they seem to multiple by the hundreds and I would NEVER dream of throwing them away (Styrofoam is not biodegradable and will sit in landfills for centuries). Try as hard as I could but I could keep up. Next thing I knew I had compiled two giant garbage bags full of these things. I decided to visit my neighborhood Mom & Pop shipping store to see if they would be interested in taking them. "Of course!", was their response. Phew! After the holidays I suggest you bag up all the peanuts you've collected and take them to your neighborhood shipping company. They always need more. Though I would prefer for people to stop using Styrofoam altogether I would much rather we reuse what is already in circulation than add them to the landfill.

Learn more about Styrofoam's Environmental Impact

2. Wrapping Paper/ Gift Bags. Another holiday favorite that piles up at Christmas time, wrapping paper and gift bags. I for one always save every gift bag that I receive and I have a special storage area where I fold them up and save them. What do I save them for? Well for the next gift giving occasion. Have you seen how much gift bags cost these days! It is especially perfect for when you have that last minute gift giving occasion. I just pick something out of my nifty stash and I'm good to go. The bonus is that my bags usually already have matching tissue paper!

Check out Kenneth Brown Design's website for more ideas on how to reuse wrapping paper

As for wrapping paper, I am a big fan of decoupaging. I know a lot of people who spend a great deal of money at the local craft store buying specialty decorative papers. Why not reuse wrapping paper for your next project?

3. Holiday Cards. This is a trick I learned from my grandmother. She never threw away holiday cards. She would collect them after the holidays and cut out the beautiful pictures and messages. Then she would remake them into new cards for the next round of holidays by pasting the pictures/ messages onto card sized card stock paper. She would mix and match pictures and be really creative with it.

Check out Chica & Jo's website for more ideas on how to recycle cards

Holiday Day Cards Upcycled as Gift Tags

I also think holiday cards are another great resource for decoupage projects. Here are a few decoupage projects ideas from Martha herself.

Bonus tip!:  

Biodegradable Dinnerware. As we mentioned in one of our previous blog discussions,
some of the biggest waste generated during the holidays is from disposable dinnerware. Much of it made from plastic, Styrofoam, or chemically treated paper products which are not biodegradable. Make sure you are looking for and buying biodegradable products. There is a lot to choose from these days. From plates made from fallen palm leaves, to corn starch "plastics", recycled paper products, and bamboo.

Let's get that holiday waste number to come down not up! Save money and have fun while doing it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Can I read your palm leaf?

by Katy Green

Palm Leaf Bowl

Palm leaf bowls and plates are a divine invention...no more paper plates (check out Shoptobegreen No More Paper Cup Campaign) and their existence is to help stop carbon waste and landfills.

Shoptobegreen ...stop the paper waste fact: According to TIME magazine, "Americans trash an estimated trillion disposable plates and utensils every year." This fact has driven new, eco-friendlier options into the marketplace.

The palm leaf bowls that Shoptobegreen carries are made only of fallen palm leaves, steam, heat and pressure is the pure, all-natural choice for party-ready dinnerware. Palm leaf bowls naturally biodegrades in fewer than 2 months after disposal (that is fast compared to the  5 - 20 years for paper to recycle depending on climate - moist is better than dry for paper cups to biodegrade).

The palm leaf plates are BPI-certified 100% compostable and of fallen leaves an agricultural waste product most often burned. No heat transference and maintains shape when in contact with hot substances.
You can microwave the palm leaf bowls and palm leaf  up to 2 minutes on high and oven safe for up to 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Disposable Plates
Palm Leaf History
Palm leaflets are one of the oldest and cheapest materials used for writing. Palm leaf manuscripts have been a popular written media for over a thousand years in Southeast Asia.  Palm leaves were used for recording the history, knowledge and local wisdoms such as medical treatments, Buddhist doctrine, astrology and the story of dynasties.
Source: Palm Leaf Manuscript

Monday, December 3, 2012

Corktopia...cork is more than a wine stopper!

by Katy Green

Did you know that cork oak is a naturally waterproof, washable, hypoallergenic, scratch and stain resistant. Well gosh green it's true.

I am going to get nerdy for a moment and share that cork production is most popular in Portugal..say that twice. According to the University of Wisconsin...(for more Cork history, click here)
The cork oak (Quercus suber L.) finds its most suitable habitat in the western MediterraneanThe Portugal climate offers ideal conditions for the economic cultivation of the species. Such conditions are in fact found only in the Mediterranean zone, and, more particularly along the Atlantic shore. In addition, Portugal is a major cork-grower; in fact, nearly one-third of the total cork oak area, estimated at 2,150,000 hectares (5.3 million acres) is in Portugal, which produces approximately half the cork harvested annually in the world (about 310,000 tons).  
Can you imagine Cork Fashion Week...well it's real, Cork Fashion Week is held in the UK in September and tons of designers showcase their creations of cork inspiration.

I am sure you are wondering, why does Shoptobegreen carry cork bags and accessories? Is cork a green item? If it's made in Portugal is it a fair trade practice? 

Yes, three times.

Let's educate shall we...cork is the outer bark of a tree, Quercus suber aka cork tree as (noted above). 

  • Cork bark is usually harvested every nine or ten years. After the slabs of cork bark are harvested they are cleaned, boiled and stripped of the rough outer surface. For example, bottle stopper "corks" are then punched from the best material in the slabs. 
  • The remaining scraps are then ground into small granules, mixed with a binder, molded into large blocks and baked in specialized ovens - making use of every scrap of cork bark.
  • Cork oak is also grown in Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco,Spain and Tunisia.
  • Shoptobegreen offers cork bags and white oak cork board, cork oak roll strap handbag, cork oak coin holder, cork shoulder strap bag and much more.
  • Shoptobegreen deals only with fair trade vendors.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The New Ultimate in Green Cleaning?!

by Mistie Dawn

I love discovering new green products and sharing them with my readers and I just discovered something REALLY cool, chemical free MiraFiber cleaning cloths.

The Ultimate Cleaning Cloth

Why is this product so great and why will it revolutionize green cleaning?
  • MiraFiber cleaning cloths sets a new standard in Green Cleaning. There are no chemicals in or used to manufacture this super cleaning fabric.
  • Requires only WATER no cleaning chemicals in order to grab dirt, dust and grim from surfaces trapping them in the cloth.
  • Eliminates 90% of paper towel usage and has a high absorption capacity. 
  • Doesn't scratch or mar delicate surfaces.
  • Wash then reuse and it doesn't lose its strength or shape after washing.
  • So gentle it is safe for baby's skin.
  • Recyclable and doesn't release emissions or halogeneous substances when incinerated or placed in a landfill.
Made in an eco-friendly manufacturing process:
  • ISO 14001 certified
  • No solvents or binders used
  • PVC free
How hard is it to take care of the ultimate cloth? Not hard at all. These cloths are machine washable with laundry detergent or you can hand wash it with dish soap and warm water. You can use bleach if you want just don't use fabric softener as it will leave a film on the cloth. The manufacturer recommends that you do not wash these cloths with other towels as the MiraFiber will pick up the lint and transfer it back to other surfaces when you use it. Air drying the cleaning cloths are best but they can be put in the dryer. Just be sure your lint trap is clean.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Old Tires Get a New Life, Support a Good Cause

by Mistie Dawn

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation an estimated 18-20 million waste tires are created in New York state alone. That is a LOT of tires. That number is without calculating world wide waste and several decades of accumulation making tire waste a growing problem.

The Associated Press

Tires can be difficult to recycled due to their rubber content. Their vulcanized rubber doesn't melt down very easily making it costly to break them down. Tires are also very large and take up a lot of landfill space and can trap methane gas.

Excitingly, I have begun to see a few creative products made from recycled tires on the market. Everything from burning tires for energy (which can create other types of pollution issues), playground equipment, door matts, pots, house decor, wallets, messenger bags, handbags and shoes.

Enters TZandals.org, a company specializing in recycled tire products. Their focus is tire sandals made in Tanzania. Purchase proceeds go to help build a sustainable economy through micro-loans for other Tanzania entrepreneurs. These sandals are the most common footwear worn by the Maasai people, who travel long distances with their herds of sheep and cattle to find water. Due to their availability, durability and ability to protect their feet from desert thorns these tire sandals have become "traditional" footwear. Here are a few of the styles available which are hand made by TZandal crafts people.

Kugesi Tire Sandals

Maasai Tire Sandals

Nyoka Tire Sandals

Ruff, rugged and a very cool way to reuse tire waste and a great way to support entrepreneurship in a developing country!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Carbon Off-Sets for Advertising Firms?

Did you know that there is now a company that helps businesses off-set Carbon emissions via their ad buys? That's okay if you didn't because we didn't either. PlanetUpAds business model uses every click or impression of their advertisers' banners to reduce CO2emmissions in real time, which generates a measurable contribution to fight against climate change.

Planet Ups Ads logo

PlantUp Ads examines Carbon Offset projects to verify the best possible benefit for the world. Projects include reforestation, wind farms and methane destruction, among others. Plus, they are certified with ISO 27001 by the BSI Group which warrantees total transparency and reliability. TOMS, Ford and Top Hatter are some of of their many clients.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Citizen Cashmere - Ethical Clothing

As winter sets in everyone is looking 
for warm yet ethical wool. Enters Citizen Cashmere.

What makes Citizen Cashmere environmentally friendly? The seven nomadic herders who manage their goats are well paid to maintain their traditional nomadic way of life. Along with their families who move with them they get to thrive at the way of life they chose, which is to herd rather than moving into cities. Citizen Cashmere is proud to preserve this rich cultural heritage while paying wages that can let them afford to send their kids to college.

Their factory’s knitters are located in China. However to maintain our high quality standards, they pay 1/3 higher wages than other Chinese knitwear factories.

Since they own every part of our own supply chain, they can control every
aspect from how the goat lives to getting it combed and taking the hair and turning into a sweater. All their dyes are guaranteed to be good for the environment. They ensure their production is non-toxic and safe for aquatic life.
Citizen Cashmere conducts external testing with independent third parties to meet international standards for non-toxicity for our products and is committed to constantly seek ways to make their operation better for the environment. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Ultimate Guide To Parties

by Richard Hasenfratz

Unique Eco Gifts from ShoptobeGreen.com
Get Them Something Special.

Sometimes material items aren't the only gifts that people want to receive, but people don't always know what they want. If you can find something special that no one else has and offer to someone as a gift, you will always have the best results. Whether it be for a birthday or any other occasion, people usually expects gifts on their special days but it's not always easy to dazzle people. The best way to impress someone with a gift is to give them something unique, something that makes their jaw drop at the sight of it.

Magic moments may not occur everyday, but if finding the gift that will create them isn't an impossible task. Knowing all the things a person holds dear to them is one of the best ways to ensure your gift is a special one. If you are trying to give the gift that will give a magical effect you should first recognize a few things about the person.

If you really want to dazzle someone with the unique thing you're going to give them, ensure you factor in their age when deciding. The things people want to possess change as they grow older and mature throughout their lifetime. Hobbies are things a person does everyday and something they cherish greatly; try to consider these when giving unique gifts. As important it is to consider a person's interests, hobbies, and age, there is only one way to ensure a truly unique gift.

Lead free Pewter Measuring Spoons

Knowing what someone is expecting is one of the best ways to make sure that the gift you give is going to be truly unique. Most people plan to give people the gift that they are expecting even when trying to give a unique gift. You should never give someone a gift they are expecting if you are trying to create a magic moment. If you truly plan on impressing someone and bringing tears to their eyes, give them a gift they will never expect.

Even though people always think they know what they want, this is rarely the case as unexpected gifts are always amazing. Although giving an unexpected gift is the best way to make a magic moment, always consider hobbies and age so you know they will still like it. Magic moments only happen a few times throughout a person's life and unique gifts are one of the best ways to spark the start of one. Whether it be for a husband or wife, sister or brother, on someone else special in your life, make the moment special with a unique gift.

Always try to impress loved ones with a gift that is truly unique.

Upcycled Fire Hose Messenger Bag

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Family Activities That Will Teach Your Kids How To Be Responsible

by Roxane J. Talisen

Parenting is a difficult job but there is good reason for you to be optimistic. Good advice is more readily available than ever. You can try some new strategies and learn from the experiences of others. The tips you will find in this article have stood the test of time, and will give you the feeling that you are not alone in facing those parenting challenges.

Your children should know exactly what you expect of them, in terms of academic performance and general attitude. If your children don't know this and don't understand, this is your fault and your fault, alone, as a parent. You should be doing whatever is necessary to make sure that your children understand what is expected of them.

Reading is a very important part of your child's education. Reading is involved in every part of the learning process and it is also a huge part of society as a whole. Everyone must be able to read and communicate. Encourage your children to read at home and assist them in whatever ways possible to keep them at a high reading level.

Develop patience when dealing with a breastfeed baby who is trying to learn how to use a bottle. Breastfeeding comes naturally to them and bottle feeding doesn't. Make it a gradual process for the baby so that they are ready to transition when you are. It won't happen overnight so stay calm and just keep trying.

One of the most important things to remember for parents who have children of any age is to learn how to pick your battles. You have to be sure that the argument you are about to enter is really worth all of the meltdown involved, however there are other times when it is essential to stick to your guns.

Have fun with your family and spend alot of quality time together. It is important to play with your kids because this is what makes them happy and will create happy memories. Children will be less likely to act out and misbehave if they have quality time with their parents.

You will never be the perfect parent. All parents fail, and accepting this is key. If you are always trying to be perfect, you will miss out on some great opportunities to teach your kids humility. Accept when you get it wrong and apologize for your mistakes. Learn from them and then correct the action for next time.

Allow your child an appropriate level of independence. For example, when your child is ready to walk to school by himself, consider whether or not it is reasonable and NOT whether or not you feel comfortable with it. You'll never be totally at ease with letting your child do things on his own, so just relax and let him have some leeway.

When traveling with small children, consider booking two rooms with an adjoining door. This will allow you to have your child sleep in a separate room without being too far away from you. It also provides more space to unpack without baby going through the suitcases. Be sure to double-check when you make the reservation that the rooms are physically connected with a door, not just next to each other.

When you are having a baby, try not to set any expectations for the first few months. Things are going to be all over the place and life will be hectic. The less you plan for this time, the easier it will be to get through it. Try to just take in whatever you can because the time goes too quickly.

A good parenting tip that everyone can do in order to understand your child is to directly look at his eyes. This can be done in five seconds and is effective in getting your child's attention. Looking into your child's eyes will make him feel loved and wanted at the same time.

We hope that you can put one or two of the above suggestions to good use in your household. Give the pointers time to work. Above all, continue to let love dominate, and your children will thrive. Don't expect perfection of either yourself, your spouse or your children.

About the Author:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Excellent Tips To Take Your Cooking To The Next Level

by Dorsey T. Emanus

Cooking is more than assembling ingredients to make a dish. It is a way to express yourself. By selecting the dish, spicing up the dish and serving the dish, you are making a statement at each step. Take control of the message you are sending with these cooking tips.

Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the "what am I going to fix for dinner?" debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend - or whenever your free time occurs - think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.

Here is a great cooking tip to use when you are handling smelly garlic. After handling garlic, simply rub your hands with a piece of stainless steel for 30 seconds. This could be your sink or a doorknob. After doing this, wash your hands with soap as your normally would. The stainless steel helps to remove the odor from your hands.

Be careful when adding oil to a pan in which you are already cooking. If you just pour oil anywhere in the hot pan, it will not only lower the temperature of the food you are cooking, it may also splatter. To avoid this, you should slowly add oil to one spot away from the food.

To prevent your homemade pizza from becoming soggy with all of the juicy toppings you add, lightly coat the bare dough with olive oil. Pizza sauce, peppers and meats can all weigh down a pizza dough and cause it to be soggy even after baking so be sure to brush on a bit of olive oil for a crispier, firmer pizza!

Know the gender of your eggplant! There are both male and female eggplants, and it pays to know the difference. The seeds of an eggplant can be very bitter. A female eggplant's seeds have a tendency to be more bitter than those of a male eggplant. You can identify a male eggplant by its base - it will be smooth and round, whereas the female base is more oval in shape and deeply indented.

Egg Plant

Make Johnny cakes for a treat at home or in camp! All you need is flour, baking powder (the kind that comes in a can, not baking soda that comes in a box), and cooking oil. Mix about a teaspoon of baking powder thoroughly into a cup of flour. Add enough water to make a thick batter. Pour it into a hot greased skillet, and fry the cakes like you would a hot cake.
If you are going to bake cookies, make sure that the dough is chilled thoroughly before it goes on to the baking pan. By doing it this way, the leavening ingredients can take effect before the butter flattens out, which in turn, can make your cookies lose their flavor.

Store your spices and herbs in a area that is cool and dark, and keep them away from the stove. Doing this ensures your spices are always rich with flavor every time you reach for them. Heat, humidity and light will cause your herbs to lose their flavor much faster.

The difference between a good chef and a bad cook boils down to effective education. By adding these tips to your existing cooking routine, you are sure to gain an edge over other chefs, impress your family and delight your own taste-buds with a medley of delicious meals. This information can take your dishes from dull to dazzling.

About the Author:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Health Spas: Important Factors To Consider

Spa Quality Organic and Natural Body Care 

by Elinor Tran

Detox, Stress Relief, Pain Relief, Health Boosting Bath Soaks
Nothing beats the comforting feeling that spas normally bring. Apart from the aesthetics, these health farms are quite renowned for their ability to heal both body and mind with ample of alternative treatments, grand luxury and understated pleasures put in one single place for one to enjoy with. Finding best spa Brighton facilities might have crossed your mind as such the following important factors will help guide you throughout your search.

It is important to first decide what type of facility you need. Destination spas are more expensive as they need you to stay for days to complete the treatment. Day spas, on the other hand, have all the works of beauty salons only with special amenities for relaxation.

It is important to determine your goal for such activity. If you wish to be treated for something in particular, check if your preferred facility has the type of treatment available. Checking for list of treatments can now be painlessly done over the net.

Your choice of treatment also holds a lot of weight. Day or urban spas have massage, beauty and some simplistic alternative therapies like aromatherapy, ear candling and moxibustion. Resort and destination spas encompass both services found in day spas but with all-inclusive programs designed to facilitate overall health and fitness. They usually are located in exotic or exclusive locations.

Budget capability is quite essential as services do not come for free. When toeing on a tightrope bankroll, going for day spas might be loftier for you. However, there are also specially designed websites that offer coupons or discount vouches to destination spas in a manner that fits your budget.

Truly, there is so much to be attained from spas. It is one driving factor that motivates discerning individuals to relax and rejuvenate. In your struggle to get rid of daily anxieties, locating best Spa brighton facility will surely bring release to one's tension-filled body and mind.

Handcrafted Soaps
100% vegan. 100% natural. No parabens, detergents, preservatives or dyes

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Uncovering The Most Popular Homemade Baby Shower Favors

by Diane Dexter

The process of having a child is often marked by an incredible amount of excitement and activities surrounding its birth. Mothers are often taken from one event to the other in order to celebrate which is also usually helpful in amassing items that are needed for newborns throughout the process. Anyone hosting this type of event should be versed in the various homemade baby shower favors as part of their efforts.

Baby showers are the events that are held to celebrate the anticipated birth of the child in question. These are parties that are typically held by loved ones and are often filled with items and gifts that help the mother prepare for this process in a successful and celebratory manner. This is a specific type of party where specialty decoration items are typically used.

Green Baby Shower Ideas

Most people hosting this type of occasion decorate with an incredible number of specific and decorative items. These are usually items that are specific to children and are often made from scratch to add a personal touch to the entire occasion. Learning the various aspects of making these items is helpful to anyone responsible for hosting this type of event.

A significant factor in this process is considering the sex of the child. Most mothers learn of the sexuality of the child well in advance to birth which makes it specific in determining what gifts to buy and other factors. This also leads to various decoration aspects that are particular to a boy or girl.

These are also items that should keep in mind the personality of the mother. Many parties of this kind are strictly focused on the child which is only half of why the event is even being held. Keeping the personality of the mother in mind makes for a more inclusive and fun celebration.

Great Baby Shower Idea Resource

Any decorations considered for this type of party should also include the use of vibrant and bright colors. Colorful items that are bright in hue are always known to offer more of a festive and appropriate feel. Most instructions on how to make decorative items incorporate the use of bright and vibrant colors.

Finally, homemade baby shower favors should be as fun and festive as possible. There are many creative ideas on how to create decorations from scratch that are very fun and help provide a festive and celebratory atmosphere. These creative ideas typically lead to a successful decoration process for an event of this kind.

Lead Free Pewter Baby Spoon and Fork set

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Juice Your Way To A Healthier You With These Tips

by Dorsey T. Emanus

Millions of people have discovered that juicing fruits and vegetables is perhaps one of the fastest and most efficient ways to nourish their body. If you currently juice or are interested in starting, here are some helpful juicing techniques and tips that can make things easier, and help you get the most benefits of adding juices to your diet.

Include foods that are negative in calorie count to your juice regimen as often as you can to get maximum nutrition with minimum additional fat burning exercises. The most popular negative-calorie foods are broccoli, cabbage, kale and herbs. High fiber fruits are also the best choice, as they take a lot of digestion to break down.

Juicers that feature a masticating option are your best bet. Masticating juicers come with extra features you won't find on most other juices, such as features to grind, mill, and puree your juice. Explore these different features to spice up your juicing routine.

Since they're bitter, you might want to mix them with sweet fruits or vegetables. Any sweet fruit will do, or even a sweet vegetable like a carrot. You can try watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and many other different options to sweeten your juice. Create your own mix for your own tastes.
If you'd like to enhance your hair and skin, look no further than cucumber juice! There are large amounts of the mineral silica found in cucumbers. Silica is not only good for skin and hair, it is also good for bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Once you have completed making your juice, wash the machine right away. You are likely to notice the ability of some types of juice to cause staining on parts of your juicing equipment.

When you wish to add new vegetables for juicing, just add one at a time. New foods can sometimes upset your stomach. Introducing foods gradually gives your body time to adjust and makes it easier to identify foods that cause digestive distress.

You can add in fruits or vegetables you do not like and then cover their flavor up with a stronger and yummier fruit or vegetable. By doing this, you can ensure that you are not missing out on any vitamins and minerals that are good for you. Two great ingredients to use to mask flavors you don't like are lemon juice and apples.
If you have diabetes or hypoglycemia, only juice vegetables until you talk to your doctor. The sugar levels in your blood can rapidly increase by sugars from fruit. People who have medical conditions that require certain dietary restrictions should carefully keep track of the amounts of fruit used in their juice blends. Vegetables seldom present a blood glucose concern, but keep in mind some vegetables can affect blood coagulation, an important consideration if you are using prescription blood thinners.

When you get started with juicing, keep in mind that not all fruits are the same. Some citrus fruits, such as tangerines and oranges, may require special equipment to properly extract their juice. Then, there are melons like cantaloupe and honeydew, neither of which taste very good blended with other fruits.

Have you reached a point in your smoothie preparation where you have run out of new ideas. Go to the nearest bookstore and find cookbooks of recipes, or look online. If you drink the same juice every day, you're going to get bored. Vary your recipes to keep yourself interested.

As stated in the article above, consuming vegetable and fresh fruit juice is is a highly nutritious benefit to your health. If you follow a regular, detailed juicing regimen, you can see dramatic improvement in your fitness and overall health.
Cucumber Blueberry Smoothie Recipe

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Great Ways To Have The Wedding Of Your Dreams

by Crystal Powers

Wedding Tips from Contemporary Bride
Do you feel a bit overanxious with the prospect of planning your wedding day? Do you sometimes think about giving up and eloping? While planning your wedding can sometimes be stressful, there are numerous things that can help make it easier on you. This article provides several useful pieces of advice that can reduce the amount of stress that your wedding planning is causing you.

Personalize the wedding so that it reflects your personalities, and that of your relationship. A theme should be selected that matches the time that you've had together.

Create a Gift Registry

If you are planning to hold your reception outdoors, it is important to inform your caterer. Some foods do not last in the heat, or may not stay on plates if it's too windy. You might want to use fancy covers to protect your food. If needed, you can keep beverages cool in a small fridge.

Think about printing up your own personal wedding invitations if you are short on money but long on time. Not only does this save money, but it also allows you more creative input on your invitations.

Don't shy away from letting others help you plan your wedding. You may not want to trust your friends or family with any part of the planning, but it's vital to do so if you want your wedding to be successful. Your wedding is a major life event, so it's natural to want to be part of the entire process to make sure it goes right. However, you can overdo it, so trust others who are willing to help.

Be sure that those assisting you have made all of their preparations well in advance of helping you with yours. During the last several minutes before the wedding ceremony, you need to be the main focus. Keep in mind that if there are other distractions then the attention isn't going to be on you.

Plan your wedding to start later, this can ensure that you don't feel overwhelmed or over-stressed. By doing this, you will give yourself plenty of time to get ready without needing to wake up too early. To ensure that you look your best for your special day, rest as much as possible.

Paper Flowers from the Crimson Poppy

Providing a printed itinerary, as well as an online one, will make it easier for guest to know the when, where and what activities are planned. Let people know what events, like the rehearsal etc., that they need to show up for, so they end up in the right place at the right time.

If you are having a destination wedding, surprise your guests with a basket chock full of goodies delivered to their hotel room. Include useful items like sunglasses, a hat, tourist map, pamphlets and a disposable camera. Providing a restaurant guide will fill your guests in on all of the best places to eat in the area.

When wedding planning, think about what alcohol you want to serve, how you want to serve it, and try to be cost efficient. Having an open bar can be very expensive if it stays open for hours. Ask about which alcohol serving options are available through your venue.

Rather than getting overwhelmed and stressed by planning all the details of your wedding, use the advice offered in this article. Now you have at your fingertips a great array of ideas to help create a special day you will always remember.

Wedding Ideas and Inspiration

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Important Home Remedies For Stretch Marks

by Thelma Kent

Drink lots of water
Weight gain and pregnancy are the two major known causes of markings on the body. However, there are other causes like obesity. Other people also develop them as a result of hormonal and generic problems. These markings can affect both male and female but common in ladies. However, some people do not develop them at all. Home remedies for stretch marks are the best way to handle the problem. However, people with special conditions like pregnancy need to follow the doctors advice for them.

One of these is regular exercise. This is mainly because exercise helps tightening the skin thus promoting its elasticity. However, the type of exercise that one engages in should be those that that directly involve the affected areas. Some of these exercises include lying down flat on the back and lifting each of the legs at 90 degrees. This will help to firm the buttocks. 

It is also advisable to consume plenty of water in the body. Good hydrated skins always result in regular detoxification of skin and thus restore its elasticity which always assists in diminishing these markings. If possible, one needs to drink at least several glasses of water in a day.

Balanced diet rich in vitamin A, C and E may also be important in eliminating the markings. This is because these vitamins always provide the skin with adequate nutrients for skin care. At the same time, they also endow the skin for maximum elasticity.

Calendula Moisturizing Stick Balm - great for stretch marks

Balanced diet is also important. This must be rich in both vitamin A, C and E. These usually endow the skin and also provide it with necessary nutrients for skincare. Application of olive oil may also work for most people.

The good thing with
home remedies for stretch marks is that they are very cheap and works if properly followed. Some of the therapies may have to be followed a number of times for them to completely eliminate the markings. Because of this, one would have to dedicate their time to them.


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Monday, June 25, 2012

9 Best Wedding Photography Tips For Brides and Grooms

by Fernando Castillo

Sample Shot List
You could imagine what the secret of fabulous wedding photos is. Well, having the perfect timing and creativeness can make it all practical. Capturing wedding photos which will add to the bride's collection of memories is very important especially on her big day. Wether you or a professional wedding cameraman is taking these stills, there are one or two wedding photography tips and tricks that may augment the quality and memorability of your photos. Here is a short list of a few of the best wedding photography tips which came from some of the most professional wedding photographers. Following them will surely help you.

1. Make a shot list

One of the most helpful tips is asking the couple ahead of time what shots they wish to capture on their big day. Asking them will give a clue the right way to make their memorabilia an ideal one. Always remember that every person has his or her own preference of the word "perfect."

2. Wedding photography and family photo coordinator

Much of the time, capturing the group picture is intense if it lacks of family coordination. As a cameraman, you have got the right to ask the couple to designate someone from each family to be the director or someone that can organise each family member when it's time for the group picture. Having somebody that will help you to round up everyone is exceedingly important for you to focus on capturing the perfect moments.

Black and White
3. Scout the site of the marriage

Visiting the location before the day will assist you in identifying the perfect position to take photos. Additionally , getting yourself familiar of the light direction will give you a clue where not to shoot.

4. Preparation is the key

There are many unforeseen things that might happen during the couple's important day. That is why as a shutter-bug, you want to anticipate for things to happen. Always have a plan before making any action. Always test your clobber and have an additional battery and a memory storage. Those things will aid you in staying on top of everything when the big day arrives. You wish to make it as nice and smooth for the recently weds.

5. Always set an expectancy with the couple

You will show them your prior capture and see what the things they would like to achieve when referring to their shots. You must also involve them in every decision you're going to make. Remember, it is their event and not yours so it is important to grasp the precise things the couple wants.

6. Mute the camera

It's not nice when the beeps of the camera interrupt the kissing scene or speeches.

Shot of Rings
7. Shoot small details

Image backs of dresses, rings, table settings, shoes, flowers and menus including those things that will give an extra dimension at the end part of the album.

8. Use 2 cameras

It is good that you bring 2 cameras during the event. Set them up using different lenses. There are instances that using different lenses will give you an improved chance to capture the emotions of the people at the event even you are at a distance.Consider having a second photographer. Having someone who will help you is a good plan. You and your assistant may work together at the exact same time to make everything easier and this will give you a chance to capture those memorable and sudden scenes.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Helpful Cooking Tips For Real Life Situations

by Cordell David Sanchez

Potatoes from The Cook's Thesaurus
While cooking food guarantees sustenance, the culinary arts offer something far more gratifying. Anyone can cook well if they learn to do it the right way. With that in mind, keep reading to discover both information and advice that will help you in your cooking efforts.

When preparing mashed potatoes, mix the potatoes using hot, non-boiling water prior to mashing them. Bypass the cold milk if you want mashed potatoes to be fluffy with a light texture. Try this trick if your mashed potatoes have been heavy or lumpy lately.

If you wish to have crispy French fries, then you should soak the potatoes in cool water for 30 minutes and then fry them. Soaking the sliced potatoes in cold water strengthens the potato fibers so they will not break down so much when you fry them in the hot oil.

Get your grill ready to go before you start to barbecue. Begin preparations around a half hour before you intend to start grilling. The coals should have an ash covering, and this means they are at medium heat. This is the best temperature for grilling.

When you are working with a fruit or vegetable you are unfamiliar with, take some time to learn about it. You may be pleasantly surprised about the versatility of new food once you do a bit of research on it. By taking some time to educate yourself before starting anything new in the kitchen, it will certainly pay off in flavor and experience.

Bamboo Skewers from The Cook's Thesaurus
Wooden skewers should be soaked in water for a minimimum of thirty minutes before they are used. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. You can prevent food from sliding off skewers by using parallel skewers for twice the support of the food.

A butter that has been flavored can add a new tasteful dimension to dinner rolls or corn on the cob. Let your butter come to room temperature, or soften it in the microwave. Afterwards, mix in your favorite seasonings or sauces for perfect flavor. Honey, lemon juice, chipotles or BBQ make a great combination with butter.

When you have an upcoming dish that has garlic as an ingredient, go out and get the freshest available garlic that you can find. Garlic is normally sweeter when it is fresh. Stale, or old, garlic may be bruised, shriveled or soft.

Before you cook any ground meat, blot up any excess moisture. Blotting away the moisture on ground meat is always a good idea. If you just let the moisture sit, it will affect how the meat cooks. The water will then cook in the pain. The meat is likely to steam, rather than sear as it is supposed to.

Don't overspice the food when you cook it; give people the option of choosing their own spice levels. Popular seasonings, such as garlic, hot peppers, herbs, and salts are desirable additions to any dish. Most people only like certain spices. Instead of adding spices while you are cooking, let people season their own food after you have served it. This way people can choose what they would like to put into their food.

This article should have shown you that skills can be improved and learned. All you need to do is set aside some time and have a passion to learn. When you implement the advice this article provides, you will become a more proficient cook in not time. Think of cooking as an enjoyable hobby, instead of necessary chore.

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