Fabric Care Tips From Costume Designer Janie Bryant

Fabric Care Tips From Costume Designer Janie Bryant

Janie Bryant, the Emmy Award-winning costume designer for AMC TV’s “Mad Men,” knows what it takes to make clothes look great.

Not only does she contribute to the visual representation of the entire cast, she brings a 1960s glamour to the period show that makes real people scour vintage shops to look like Joan Holloway and Don Draper.

Sure, audiences love the characters and their drama, but the beautifully authentic wardrobe stole the spotlight from the start. In her role, Bryant sketches, designs and fits the costumes for each character, which includes custom-made items and rebuilt vintage gems.

“One thing I’ve always been passionate about is how important presentation is to having great style. Looking pressed and polished is often just as important as what you’re actually wearing,” says Bryant, which explains why she released a fabric care guide of useful clothing advice.

“The best way to pull off that look is to know how to take great care of your clothing. [The Mad Men] era is all about being wrinkle-free and permanently pressed.”

Take a look at some of Bryant’s fabric care advice:

* Some fabrics are vulnerable to water spotting — like acetate, silk and suede — so be careful when applying perfume or body spray. Delicate garments like these tend to require dry cleaning, or hand-washing, and low-heat settings.

* Beware of “pilly” clothing that looks worn out, such as nylon and acrylic. If fabric is susceptible to pills, it’s best to launder, dry and iron at low heat. You may consider laying these items out to dry, especially sweaters.

* Although cotton remains the world’s most popular fabric, it is prone to wrinkling. The majority of cotton clothing can be machine-washed, but items with embellishments or accents should be turned inside out or put in a delicates bag.

* If wrinkles attack, use a fail-safe. Bryant trusts Downy Wrinkle Releaser so much that she advises you to have a bottle at home, in the office and in any overnight bag. Just spritz clothing, shake and gently pull to release stubborn kinks.

“On or off the set, the clothes that I work with and wear always need to look their best,” Bryant says. “Not only does Downy Wrinkle Releaser work well on the vintage fabrics I work with during the day, but all the modern fabrics found in stores today. It’s a must-have for people who need to look neat and pressed and those who need to be out the door in a flash.”

For more information, visit www.downywrinklereleaser.com.


GRE Tests Give More Options to Students

GRE Tests Give More Options to Students

Accepted by more institutions than any other graduate admissions test, the GRE revised General Test now provides more options and opportunities for test takers. Here are five reasons why there’s never been a better time to take the GRE revised General Test.

1. It is the one test that applicants can take to apply to more than 3,000 graduate and business schools worldwide. GRE scores are used for admission to master’s, MBA, Ph.D. and fellowship programs.

2. Considering business school? Nearly 900 business schools worldwide now accept GRE scores for admission into their MBA and other graduate business programs. MBA applicants around the world are now taking the GRE revised General Test with its test-taker friendly design, new ScoreSelect option, free services, and more advanced degree opportunities. Plus, the GRE revised General Test is less expensive than other graduate admissions tests used by business schools.

“Accepting GRE scores is a win-win for both students and the graduate program,”said Harvie Wilkinson, Director of MBA Programs for the Gatton College of Business at the University of Kentucky. “The student now has more options, and with that, the business school becomes more diverse; with different backgrounds working together, better projects are able to be produced.”

3. The ScoreSelect option, available July 2012, helps individuals approach test day with more confidence, knowing they can send the scores they feel reflect their personal best. Now GRE test takers can decide which test scores to send to the institutions they designate.

4. The GRE revised General Test features a flexible, friendly design for a better test experience. Features include “mark and review” to tag questions so students can skip and return later and the ability to change answers, all within a section. An on-screen calculator is provided for the Quantitative Reasoning measure.

5. Test takers can prepare for the GRE revised General Test using free and low-cost tools available at www.ets.org/gre/prepare. These include: POWERPREP II software featuring full-length practice tests, GRE Math Review, The Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test, ScoreItNow! Online Writing Practice, and more.

The test-taker friendly design, new ScoreSelect option and more advanced degree opportunities mean it just got easier for students to start their future now with the GRE revised General Test. To register, visitwww.ets.org/gre/registernow.


Grudges Hurt: How to Forgive and Forget

Grudges Hurt: How to Forgive and Forget

The pace of daily life can be hectic, and when certain personalities collide, sometimes people disagree.

Sound familiar? It’s impossible to navigate the world without ever running into conflict with another person. But carrying grudges can be destructive to your emotional and physical wellbeing. In 2009, researchers at the Department of Psychology at Medical College of Georgia published a survey, which revealed that those who don’t forgive can experience more pain disorders, heart disease and stomach ulcers.

“Holding onto negativity causes harm to the one who won’t forgive,” says Dr. Matthew B. James, president of The Empowerment Partnership, and a teacher of an ancient Hawaiian spiritual science, called huna.

Refusing to forgive can have widespread effects too, it can create chains of resentment throughout entire communities. “When you point a finger at someone to blame them, there are always three fingers pointing back at you,” says Dr. James.

But letting go of old hurts isn’t easy. Dr. James suggests that grudge-bearers take the following steps to seek true forgiveness:

* Tell the other person that you forgive them. Don’t say that you will “forgive, but not forget” — the goal is to release negative feelings.

* Ask the other person to forgive you. Ask for forgiveness even if you believe that you did nothing wrong. “Saying, ‘I forgive you; please forgive me, too’ brings the other person into the picture and gets them actively involved,” says Dr. James.

* Have a conversation. Create enough space for you and the other person to say everything that needs to be said. Stay calm and speak in normal tones, even if you don’t like what you hear. At the end of your talk, you should feel relieved to have gotten your thoughts and feelings into the open. Give and ask for forgiveness once more.

* Move on. Ask yourself what you have learned from the situation, and use it to make better decisions in the future.

“To forgive and to never forget is to never forgive in the first place,” says Dr. James. “We owe it to ourselves to experience true forgiveness.”

For more advice or to learn about Dr. James’ teachings of huna and empowerment, visit www.huna.com or www.DrMatt.com.


History of Cuckoo Clocks

By: Bill Carmel

Cuckoo clocks are unique creations that are centuries old.
The first cuckoo clock was produced back in the early 18th century in Germany’s region known as the Black Forest.
Clock making in this area of Germany dates back to the early 17th century, almost a full hundred years before clockmakers and craftsmen produced the very first cuckoo clock.
The father of cuckoo clocks in believed to be the German clockmaker, Franz Anton Ketterer, although there are a great many stories and lore revolving around this unique timepiece.

This early clock was thought to be inspired by a Bohemian design from the late early 1600s that came to Germany from a peddler from the modern day Czech Republic.
This method of selling timepieces made the cuckoo clock even more famous, as clock makers all around the Black Forest area of Germany.
In the next three centuries, peddlers would travel all around Europe selling these charming timepieces, further influencing different areas of Europe with the unique sound of the cuckoo clock.

Although the first cuckoo clocks were made of wood, they are a great deal simpler in style than the intricately decorated and heavily carved creations that are usually thought of to be cuckoo clocks.
Instead of just the case being made of wood, early Germany clockmakers made every piece of the clock from wood, including the gears and other working parts.
This is one of the reasons why these early clocks have fallen into disrepair or are completely lost.
Furthermore, many of these early clocks were painted with watercolor paints, which do not have the potential to hold their pigments over time and are easily removed by simply cleaning the clock with a damp cloth.

Although these early clocks were more primitive than their modern day counterparts, they included the famous cuckoo bird instead of more traditional chimes to mark the hour.
Native to Asia, Africa, and Europe, the cuckoo bird is a unique bird that lays their eggs in the nests of other birds, which in turn rear the cuckoo’s young as surrogate parents.
This bird was commonly grey in color, although the female features a vibrant tuft of red feathers atop her head.

Also like today’s clocks, the early cuckoo clocks were decorated in schemes that showed families, military motifs, or hunting scenes.
In the late 1800s, the production of cuckoo clocks became industrialized and began production for customers all over Germany, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Soon, the cuckoo clock became immediately synonymous with Germany life and style, making the timepiece an incredibly popular souvenir.
Three of the more famous clock makers in Germany began making cuckoo clocks, namely Theodore Ketterer, Fidel Hepting, and Johann Baptist Beha.

Unlike the industrialization in other parts of the world where large, noisy, dirty factories took over the countryside, the cuckoo clock factories were generally much smaller and housed in cottages where entire families would contribute one specific part of the clock.
Each individual was trained in one aspect of clock making or decorating, with one family member working on the actual clock, another working on the case carving, another on painting the decorations, and another to completely assemble the piece.
Over 13,500 men, women, and children worked in making cuckoo clocks during this period of time in the Black Forest village of Triberg.

Today, the cuckoo clock has made its way all over the world.
Still made in many of the same traditions, the most historic cuckoo clocks are still produced in the Black Forest region.
Whether you choose to decorate your home with a clock that houses the tiny bird or want a true German souvenir to remember your trip, a cuckoo clock is the perfect addition to any home.

Author Bio

Bill Carmel specializes in Cuckoo Clocks www.u-cuckoo-clocks.com

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

How Students Can Master Test Taking

How Students Can Master Test Taking

Although educators and administrators continue to debate the actual value of tests and examinations, testing has become an intrinsic part of the American education system.

Neither students nor parents can escape the reality of exams, and continuing academic success largely depends on managing test anxiety and learning how to adequately prepare for exams. But, that’s not the only factor. Doing homework assignments and participating in class help testing proficiency, too.

“Make sure your child completes homework assignments and class projects,” says Richard Bavaria, Ph.D., senior vice president for education outreach at Sylvan Learning (www.SylvanLearning.com). “Because tests reflect overall achievement, the more effort your child puts into learning, the more likely he or she will do well on tests.”

Here are some other test-prep tips for both parents and students from Dr. Bavaria:

* Know the target. Make sure that you understand exactly what is being assessed, how it is being assessed (types of questions) and how it will be graded.

* Use a study process. Test preparation and studying should be an ongoing process. Ideally, students should spend 15 minutes per night studying content from each school subject, in addition to any nightly homework.

* Use strategies to manage test anxiety. A little test anxiety can be helpful, but too much can have an adverse effect on test performance. In order to manage test anxiety, make sure to be prepared, and use breathing and visualization techniques to work through the process.

* Follow test instructions. While taking a test, make sure to pay close attention to test- and question-specific instructions. Circle key words to make sure that all responses/answers address all parts of the question. When in doubt, ask the teacher to clarify.

* Use a process to organize schoolwork and a study area. Being organized helps students access all materials when they are needed. A clean, quiet study area also helps students focus.

* Support learning preferences. Identify learning preferences, whether auditory, tactile or visual. Keep them in mind when studying to help with difficult subjects.

* Use appropriate strategies to address different question types. Knowing what types of questions will be on the test helps determine what and how students should study. Find out what kinds of questions will be used, be it multiple-choice, short-answer, true/false, matching or essays, and prepare appropriately.


How to De-Clutter When Mess Makes Stress

How to De-Clutter When Mess Makes Stress

Most of us have been there at one time or another: Too much stuff, not enough room and no clear way to fix it. And whether it’s overtaking the garage, the closets, the basement or the whole house, it’s still the same problem: clutter.

When a mess turns to stress, it’s time to de-clutter.

A big de-cluttering project can be daunting. Professional organizer — and one of the top five most organized people in America — Alejandra Costello from Washington, D.C., suggests starting small. Try taking five minutes every night to clear bathroom counters of makeup, hair accessories and other products.

And, check out these de-cluttering tips from Cathy Hobbs, HGTV Design Star finalist and John Trosko, an LA-based organization expert and contributing author of “The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster: 100 Ways to Make Life More Efficient.”

* If you have more time, break de-cluttering projects down into reasonable smaller actionable steps. Use a kitchen timer to tackle tasks in 25-minute chunks. When the timer is up, take a break or move on to something not related to the job.

* Got less time? Recruit friends for a family (or office) de-cluttering day. Large spaces like sheds, basements, attics or garages provide tasks for all capability levels. Delegate responsibilities like sorting and categorizing to your “team” and provide encouragement.

* Big clutter? Bring in the pros. Services like College Hunks Hauling Junk can carry out unwanted heavy furniture; pick up, discard and sort through charitable donations; and tow away antiquated electronics. The services work on very short notice (usually less than 24 hours), and your de-cluttered life takes shape in a dramatically shorter amount of time.

* Decisions, decisions. Make tough choices about keeping or getting rid of things. Is the item genuinely used? Does this item lift your spirit? Does the cost of ownership outweigh replacement when you need it?

* Keep it de-cluttered by keeping an eye on it. Address disorganization when you see it creeping back. Never leave a room empty-handed!

Remember: If you don’t want junk and discarded items to end up in a landfill, explore environmentally conscious trash removal. For instance, College Hunks donates, reuses or recycles more than 60 percent of your junk within the community.

Visit getchhj.com for more information.


How to Find the Best Medicare Advantage Plan

How to Find the Best Medicare Advantage Plan

Did you know Medicare has a rating system that evaluates health plans based on dozens of quality measures and patient experiences? Very few plans receive the top Medicare rating. Out of 563 Medicare Advantage plans for 2013, only 11 plans with prescription drug benefits earned the top five-star rating. Six of those 11 were Kaiser Permanente plans.

“We are a top plan because we focus on our patients’ health,” said Jed Weissberg, senior vice president for Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery at Kaiser Permanente. “We help our patients to exercise, eat well, maintain a healthy weight and get regular check-ups. Walking, for example, can have remarkable therapeutic value — cutting the rate of new cases of diabetes by half or more.”

Part of staying healthy is having a health plan that covers all of your medical needs. For seniors selecting a Medicare plan, this means finding one that has the right doctor and provides the care, treatment and pharmacy benefits you need. To help Medicare-eligible beneficiaries select a high-quality plan, Kaiser Permanente offers four tips.

1. Know your health plan’s star quality rating. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services assign an overall star rating to each Medicare plan for how well it performs. The Medicare ratings range from one star (lowest rating) to five stars (highest rating). The system rates plans on preventive care, managing chronic conditions, member satisfaction, customer service and pharmacy care.

2. Use the Medicare ratings to find a quality plan. The highest-rated plans feature well-coordinated, patient-centered care. When seniors suffer from chronic illness or require hospitalization, high-quality plans initiate best practices and treatment to deliver excellent follow-up care.

3. Look for customer service and responsiveness to your needs. The very best health care plans give patients support systems that include making online appointments, getting lab results electronically and providing secure email to their doctors.

4. Seniors can choose 5-star excellence almost any time of year through Medicare’s Special Enrollment Period. Seniors who become eligible for Medicare as they turn 65 should enroll during the three-month period prior to and after their 65th birthday. After this initial enrollment period, they may be subject to higher premiums or late penalties if there has been a gap in their coverage. To find out the latest 2013 ratings, visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan. Plan performance summary star ratings are assessed each year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and may change from one year to the next.


How to Help Your Startup Business Succeed

How to Help Your Startup Business Succeed

Everyone has a dream — it’s the one thing they would rather be doing more than anything else (and are sure they could succeed at). Yet, it’s something entirely different from what it is they do to pay the bills.

What many fail to understand, however, is that enthusiasm for a product or service may not be enough to guarantee success when starting a business.

“So often, would-be entrepreneurs believe they have that one idea that will make them a millionaire, and in fact it may be a very good idea, but what they don’t understand is that there’s so much more involved for a business to succeed,” says Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow, a dog day care franchise and boarding authority. The business saw 20 percent year-over-year growth last year in revenues across Camps (individual franchise locations), which opened pre-2011.

“Unfortunately,” Ganahl adds, “passion alone will not dictate or ensure success.”

To this end, the following do’s and don’ts may help you assess whether your idea is ready:

* Do your research and prepare. So often, failure comes from a lack of preparation. According to Ganahl’s book “Tales From the Bark Side,” every good idea must come with the right support to make it profitable, including writing a winning business proposal. Ganahl says that lending or investing individuals will only consider an investment after a thorough review of your project.

* Don’t go into business if you’re not committed. Convinced that they have a good idea, but unprepared to be completely committed, people will try to have their feet in both the corporate world and their new business venture. If you feel the inability to put your all into your new venture, cut your losses.

* Do ensure you have enough capital. Business analysts report that poor management is the main reason for business failure and that poor cash management is probably the most frequent stumbling block for entrepreneurs. Understanding the basic ideas of cash flow will help you plan for the unforeseen eventualities that face nearly every small business.

* Do consider owning a franchise. With thousands of systems operating in dozens of industries, there is no shortage of choices here for the would-be entrepreneur.

The down side? The plethora of choices can make that decision a challenge, so be clear about what you want, what you’re willing to do and how much you need to make. For more information about franchise opportunities, visitwww.campbowwow.com/franchise.


Keeping Athletes Safe on and off the Field

Keeping Athletes Safe on and off the Field

Basketball and bicycling rank highest for injuries among recreational sports, causing 1.5 million accidents per year. Baseball, soccer and softball follow, each with almost half a million injuries yearly, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Whether you’re upping your own practice schedule or you’re a parent of a student athlete headed back to school, heeding a few precautions goes a long way.

Here are some tips from osteopathic physician Marcel Fraix, member of the Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (FAAPMR) and assistant professor at Western University of Health Sciences. Fraix is also a staff physician at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in California, where he specializes in sports-related disorders.

* Start with a check-up when possible. Physical stress on a young body can be harmful when coupled with an underlying medical condition or heart problem. Likewise, get an exam before stressing the heart if you’re middle-aged and mostly sedentary.

Pre-conditioning programs for specific sports help. Injuries usually occur at the beginning of the season, when you are most likely to be out of shape. Building hamstrings and inner quadriceps muscles helps prevent knee injuries.

* Diligently use the proper safety equipment, e.g., mouth guards, safety goggles, helmets and elbow and knee pads. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen SPF 15 or higher.

* Stay adequately hydrated with water or a water-electrolyte drink. Replacing fluid lost from sweating is essential to maximize athletic performance and prevent heat exhaustion, especially during warm weather.

* Treat injuries on the spot. Keep a first aid kit ready for cuts and scrapes, allergic reactions, insect bites and eye irritations. Most importantly, be prepared to treat muscle pain at the first sign before it sidelines you. There are safe, natural and unscented pain relievers available.

Look for a homeopathic medicine like Arnicare Gel (www.Arnicare.com), which works with the body instead of just masking pain. Try it on legs stiff from running or cycling, or on shoulders aching from too many tennis racket swings. It also helps with pain from strained ligaments or bumps and bruises from hard-fought basketball games.

* Limit practice and playing time. Nearly half of all injuries suffered by children are results of overdoing it. Consider allowing a child to take three months off per year and limiting practice to 12 hours per week for one sport, and 20 hours for multiple sports.


Ladies, Are Sun Spots Betraying Your Age?

Ladies, Are Sun Spots Betraying Your Age?

Women ages 30 and older are growing increasingly aware of new wrinkles with each passing year. Yet, evidence suggests that sun spots may have as much of an impact on age-related appearance as wrinkles.

Nearly 63 percent of women older than age 35 experience age or sun spots, discolorations and uneven skin tone. The dark side? The problem reflects your apparent age.

“Getting a clear, even skin tone without discoloration is just as important as wrinkle-fighting to achieving a rejuvenated, youthful appearance,” says Dr. Ellen Marmur, prominent New York City dermatologist and author of “Simple Skin Beauty.” “To some patients, it’s even more important.”

Dermatologists like Marmur call it hyperpigmentation, but its various types are commonly known as age spots, sun spots, liver spots, freckles and melasma, brown patches of skin triggered by a hormone imbalance. Age spots, sun spots and liver spots are all the same ailment — pouches of melanin where the skin pigment has overproduced and dumped uneven amounts, the majority of which are a result of sun damage.

According to Marmur, the two most used topical treatments for discoloration are hydroquinone and retinoids, which both may have irritating side effects and require a prescription. However, a new alternative, StriVectin-EV Get Even Brightening Serum, is an over-the-counter solution that’s clinically proven to work quickly without the same risky side effects.

“StriVectin-EV Get Even products, both the serum and new Get Even Spot Repair, combine natural ingredients like willow bark, vitamin C and licorice with our unique, patented form of niacin for the most even supply of pigment, skin repair and anti-aging effects,” explains chief scientist and professor of Medicinal Chemistry Myron Jacobson. “Studies reveal 85 percent of women see reduced sun spots and more even skin color after eight weeks of use.”

But to treat the long-term problem, sufferers of dark spots should also heed the following sun advice:

* Wear sunscreen year-round with an SPF of 30.

* For prolonged sun exposure, get a wide-brimmed hat to wear outdoors.

* Neutralize stubborn spots with peach-toned concealer while using StriVectin-EV Get Even products to slow down melanin production.

* Beware of products that bleach skin, as this can cause white spots, another form of discoloration.

StriVectin is available at select Macy’s stores nationwide and www.strivectin.com. Get information at www.strivectin.com/promo/get_even.