All That Glitters: Why You Can’t Go Wrong Giving Gold Jewelry

All That Glitters: Why You Can't Go Wrong Giving Gold Jewelry

All That Glitters: Why You Can’t Go Wrong Giving Gold Jewelry


Gold has been an integral part of holiday traditions for centuries. The Magi carried gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; golden gelt has been part of Hanukkah since the seventeenth century; and today “five golden rings” is more than a mere song lyric, they have come to symbolize all that we share with one another during this season.

Gold jewelry truly is the ultimate holiday gift,” says Sally Morrison, Head of Jewelry PR at the World Gold Council.

“It embodies the tradition of celebration that is the very essence of the season.”

In today’s economy, more individuals are seeking holiday gifts that convey sentimental meaning, but will also represent enduring value for years to come. As you prepare your holiday gift list, gold may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be. Here are a few reasons to give gold this holiday season:

* Value: The value of gold has grown consistently year after year for the past decade. Unlike other gifts, such as electronics, which depreciate immediately after the box is opened, gold will continue to be a store of value over time. If you’re looking for a gift that will last a lifetime, go with the classics: simple gold pendant necklaces, cufflinks or bracelets. Elsa Peretti’s Bone cuff in 18k for Tiffany & Co. is a contemporary classic that will always be in style.

* Symbolism: Gold jewelry is ideal for sharing a symbolic message, whether it’s a statement of faith made by wearing a religious symbol on a necklace, a golden charm to celebrate a milestone achievement, or a simple gold band that represents commitment between two individuals. Top picks for the holiday season? Me&Ro’s gold amulets, or Temple St. Clair’s angel pendants.

* Heirlooms: Very few gifts are passed down from generation to generation, but gold jewelry is almost ensured to be. After all, who doesn’t treasure their grandfather’s gold watch or their aunt’s favorite locket? This holiday, give the gift that will live on for years to come; Monica Rich Kosann gold lockets are timeless treasures.

* Tradition: Through ages around the world, gold has traditionally been used to commemorate significant moments — from wedding bands to Olympic medals — but gold is also woven into many holiday traditions. According to legend, gold coins were the gift of choice for Saint Nicholas as far back as the fourth century.

* Personalization: How can you improve upon the perfect gift? Personalize it. Whether it’s engraving a special message or selecting a single monogram gold charm, personalization turns a gift into a treasure. Jennifer Fisher has a gold charm for everyone on your list!

For more information, visit:


Are Loft Beds – Bunk Beds Safe?

By: John Marcus

If you are trying to maximize the space in your room, consider purchasing a loft bed or bunk bed to elevate your sleeping area.
With loft beds, the bed is elevated on a platform with space left underneath for living, working, or playing.
Bunk beds work on the same principal, but with another bed underneath the top bunk.
Both are popular with children and teens, who often have limited space in their rooms; however, many parents worry about their safety.

Each year, thousands of children are rushed to emergency rooms after falling from the top bunk of their bunk beds or loft beds, while many more receive less serious injuries that are not seen by a medical professional.
Typically, the main reason of injury involving bunk beds or lofts beds is horseplay and not from improperly installed beds.
Before you purchase bunk beds or loft beds for your child, consider the age of the child and plan to make rules regarding the use of the bed.
Although younger children are thought to experience more injuries, the most problems occur with older children who are more apt to disregard rules and exhibit unsafe or risky behavior.

For the most part, bunk beds and loft beds are just as safe as conventional beds.
For smaller children, consider designating the lower bunk as their bed instead of allowing them to regularly climb to the top bunk.
Also, ensure the bed is properly maintained and meets all current safety regulations and standards.
Additionally, approximately eight percent (in US) of bunk bed related falls and injuries that must seek medical attention are related directly to the ladder.
In addition to ensuring the ladder is properly installed, instruct your child on the correct method of ascending and descending the ladder.

When you begin searching for an appropriate bunk bed or loft bed for your child, choose a bed that appeals to all the safety standards.
A bunk bed should have guard rails that have no more than three and one-half inches of space between the rail and the mattress. This will prevent children from falling through the space and potentially injuring themselves.
If necessary, you may need to install extra boards if the space between the guard rail and the mattress larger than this.
Furthermore, the guard rail needs to extend no less than five inches above mattress so that your child will be unable to roll off the top bunk.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the bunk bed or loft bed your purchase has guard rails on both sides.
Even though one side of the bed will be placed next to a wall, a guard rail is essential due to a child potentially falling next to the wall and becoming trapped between the wall and the bed frame.
Again, the guard rail should be no greater than three and one-half inches above the bed frame.
Also, you should ensure that the mattress purchased to fit the bunk bed or loft bed properly fits the frame.
Many parents choose to use a preexisting mattress used on a child-sized bed that is smaller than a traditional twin bed frame.
Children can potentially fall between the mattress and the frame in this situation, so you should ensure the mattress is of the proper size.

In addition to ensuring the mattress is of proper size, you should also check that the mattress foundation is properly suspended above the bottom bunk or the space below.
If the bed sits on a wooden platform, consider reinforcing the mattress with wooden slats or metal straps.
This will prevent the top bunk from collapsing, especially if the lower occupant is kicking or pushing the above mattress.

By purchasing a quality, well constructed bunk bed or loft bed that meets all safety guidelines, you can make certain that your child will be safe and free from injury from the bed.

Author Bio

John Marcus specializes in Beds

Article Source: – Free Website Content

Ask the Expert: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Ask the Expert: How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, if you have trouble falling and staying asleep at night, or you wake up feeling unrefreshed in the morning, you may be suffering from insomnia.

Almost everyone has trouble sleeping every so often, but for many Americans having a hard time getting to sleep or waking in the middle of the night is a significant problem.

To help, board certified sleep specialist Dr. Russell Rosenberg, Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation, offers answers to some questions about insomnia:

What is insomnia?

Insomnia involves difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, waking too early, trouble getting back to sleep or lack of refreshing sleep, as defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Are the symptoms of insomnia the same for everyone?

Insomnia may affect people differently. Some complain of waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble falling back asleep, while others have trouble initially getting to sleep.

What can I do to help me fall asleep at night?

Establish a regular bed and wake time. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable. Allow time at night to “wind down” before climbing into bed. Doing work, watching TV and using the computer, both close to bedtime or in the bedroom, can hinder your ability to fall asleep. Avoid violent shows and news reports before bedtime as they can be agitating.

If I wake up in the middle of the night, what are some tips to help me fall back to sleep?

If you wake up in the middle of the night and stay in bed, don’t stare at the clock. Also, do not watch TV and use your computer or cell phone, because use of these technologies can stimulate your brain and make it harder to fall back to sleep. Avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine or alcohol. Most importantly, you should try to relax.

What can I do during the day to help my insomnia?

Good daytime habits may help with both types of insomnia. “I tell my patients to avoid caffeine after lunch,” stresses Rosenberg. Also, get regular exercise, but avoid rigorous exercise close to bedtime, and always check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.

If those suggestions don’t help, what else should I do?

You should speak with your healthcare professional if you are having trouble sleeping. He or she can determine whether or not you suffer from insomnia and if treatment is needed.

Where can I learn more about insomnia?

For more information regarding insomnia, visit the National Sleep Foundation website at


Asthma Control: It’s All in the Details

Asthma Control: It's All in the Details

Playing catch is something many kids do without a second thought. But if your child has asthma, catching a breath without coughing, wheezing or feeling tight in the chest may be harder to do than catching a ball.

To help your child breathe more easily the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends that you work with your child’s doctor and ask him or her to take these key actions:

* Tell you what medication your child needs to control Inhaled corticosteroids, taken daily, are the most effective medication for reducing the inflammation that causes asthma symptoms in people who have persistent asthma.

* Give you a written asthma action plan that spells out what to do every day to control your child’s asthma and how to handle symptoms or asthma attacks.

* Check your child’s asthma control at regular visits and adjust medication as needed to keep your child’s asthma in control.

* Schedule regular follow-up visits (at least every six months).

* Work with you to identify your child’s asthma triggers, like tobacco smoke, dust or pet dander, and help your child avoid them.

* Ask before you leave the doctor’s office or pharmacy for someone to show you and your child how to use each prescribed medication and device correctly.

“When at school, at home or elsewhere, children need to know how to use their asthma devices properly so that their medications can have the greatest benefit,” said James P. Kiley, Ph.D., director of the NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases.

A recent study of 8- to 16-year-olds with asthma revealed that most did not perform all of the key steps when using a metered-dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler, peak flow meter or other asthma device.

“We found that very simple steps were being missed,” said Betsy Sleath, Ph.D., the study’s lead author. She added that parents and patients shouldn’t be shy about asking for help. Their doctor, nurse, asthma educator, or pharmacist can help by showing the proper technique, giving feedback on a patient’s technique and answering questions.

Controlling asthma is a team effort. By working together, doctors, nurses, parents and other caregivers can help children with asthma breathe more easily and play ball like the pros! Visit for these publications from the NHLBI’s National Asthma Education and Prevention Program: So You Have Asthma, Asthma & Physical Activity in the School, and a sample Asthma Action Plan.


Australia’s Biodiversity

Australia's Biodiversity

Australia’s Biodiversity

Australia has one of the worst species extinction records on Earth. In some regions up to 60% of mammals, 30% of birds and 25% of reptiles are threatened with extinction.
About 50% of woodland and forest ecosystems, and 70% of remaining forests are ecologically degraded from logging.
Some of Australia’s iconic and significant ecosystems that are under threat include:
Highly populated coastal ecosystems;
The Great Barrier Reef (Qld), Fraser Island (Qld), Kakadu National Park (NT) and Shark Bay (WA);
16 internationally significant wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin that provide $2.1 billion dollars in benefits to regional economies;
Natural environments that generate $26 billion annually in nature based tourism; and The world’s tallest and most carbon dense hardwood and cool temperate rainforests.
What should the fund be spent on?
Protection and restoration of areas of high conservation value, and natural systems of national significance;
Degreadation prevention.
Natural carbon storage, water production and purification should be protected from the outset and funds should be invested to support projects that will work at scales large enough to make a big difference;
Revegetation of areas of high conservation value including wildlife corridors, rivers, streams and wetlands; linking private lands, national parks, indigenous protected areas and other lands and aquatic systems; and
Preventing the spread of invasive species across high conservation value, connected landscapes.


Clay and Jessica Walker Share How They Care for Caregivers

Clay and Jessica Walker Share How They Care for Caregivers

Clay and Jessica Walker Share How They Care for Caregivers

More than 65 million people in the United States act as a caregiver for a loved one. One of those caregivers is Jessica Walker — wife of multiplatinum country music recording artist Clay Walker.

Clay was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or RRMS — a lifelong and unpredictable disease — at a pivotal time in his life. He was 26 and had just finished his fourth album, and his oldest daughter had just been born.

Approximately 400,000 Americans have been diagnosed with MS, and the majority of people with the most common form of the disease, RRMS, are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s. Common symptoms reported in RRMS include episodic bouts of fatigue, numbness, vision problems and spasticity or stiffness.

Jessica and Clay have partnered with Teva Neuroscience and Clay’s non-profit organization Band Against MS, on the “Share How You Care” campaign to shine a spotlight on the important role of family caregivers.

Clay’s hectic schedule means he has to take a proactive role in managing his disease. A big part of that is made possible thanks to the help of his wife, Jessica. As a caregiver, she makes sure the family sticks to a routine and eats a healthy diet and that Clay takes his RRMS treatment as prescribed. In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, Jessica and Clay hope to empower caregivers by sharing what caregiving means to them and encouraging others to share their caregiver stories.

Jessica knows that the word “caregiver” doesn’t have one definition, so there is not one-size-fits-all advice. However, there are some helpful tips that she sticks to in her role as a caregiver:

* Stay in the know, and learn as much as you can about your partner’s illness.

* Communicate and keep an open dialogue.

* Have a daily plan to reduce stress.

* Treat your partner like your partner; you don’t need to baby them — you need to try to be there for them. And most importantly,

* Have your own support system in place because it is important to take time for yourself.

For more on Jessica’s caregiver tips and to participate in the “Share How You Care” campaign, submit your own caregiver story or that of a loved one by visiting


Create A Lounging Area In Your Bedroom With Floor Pillows

By: Lee Dobbins

If you want to add another dimension to your bedroom but it is too small for a separate sitting area, you can create a lounging area in less space by simply using floor pillows.
Not only will this create interest in a boring corner, but the pillows can help add to the design elements already in the room.

A floor pillow is simply a large cushion that can be used for relaxing on.
They are great for sitting on to chat with friends or reclining on when reading a book or watching TV.
They are taller than regular pillows and make great foot rests as well as decorative accents.

The color combinations and the patterns used in floor pillows almost fit any decoration, any style.
They come in a variety of fabrics as well.
Wool, cotton, polyester and chenille are the primary material used to make floor pillows and floor pillow covers.
These pillows are plump, soft, comfy and fun – a perfect look and use for any bedroom.

Floor pillows can also be custom made.
You can get them to match your other fabrics and furniture which will help give a sense of completeness to the room by repeating fabrics throughout it.
They lend a casual look to the room when used in a bedroom but you can get a more formal looking pillow if you prefer that type of look.
These pillows are generally sturdier and firmer and do not flop.
They are more rectangular or slightly squarer and used primarily for seating purposes only.

Floor pillows with removable covers are great for the bedroom.
The covers can be taken off to change the look or to be washed.
These floor cushions usually have zippers but may have other types of closures such as Velcro or snaps.

Since they need to be more durable than regular pillows, floor pillows are filled with tougher stuffing.
This is to ensure that the shape of the pillow does not get distorted easily.
One type of floor pillow that is seeing a resurge in interest are ban bags.
These are great for sitting purposes, for playing, for lying and mould to ones posture easily.
Bean bags are capable of being refilled and are washable.

Floor pillows are a great choice for the bedroom since they are soft and fluffy, like your bedding and bed pillows.
They are decorative by nature and can add a little pizzaz to your room while not taking up too much space.
They make excellent, inexpensive alternatives for extra seating as well as add an element of whimsy to your bedroom décor.

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for Bedroom Designs And Decorations Bedroom Designs And Decorations where you can find more tips on decorating your bedroom.

Article Source: – Free Website Content

Create Fun and Affordable Stockings for the Whole Family

Create Fun and Affordable Stockings for the Whole Family

Creating memorable holiday stockings for the whole family should be fun and simple. Once the big gifts are out of the way, stuffing stockings can be a breeze.

Stockings are a perfect way to give small, creative gifts. Don’t limit yourself by thinking inside a small, sock-shaped box. Some of the most thoughtful and sentimental items are pocket-sized and make perfect stocking stuffers.

Create stockings bursting with jelly beans, mobile phone accessories, DVDs, framed photos, movie passes or amusement park tickets. Save money on all your stocking stuffers by shopping at discount stores, like Dollar General.

Dollar General offers a wide assortment of gifts that are ideal for stockings. Not to mention, it has a great selection of holiday items that cost only a dollar.

Here are a few tips to help you create a fun stocking:

1. Take advantage of discount prices. You can buy a variety of fun items at discount stores, especially for kids. For instance, Dollar General has stockings, candles, pens and pencils, notepads, cards and toys that all start at one dollar. For young adults and teens, there are arts and crafts, scrapbooking items, make-up, lotion, digital cameras, chocolate, games and more.

2. Stick to a theme. If your creativity is already shot when it comes to holiday gift-giving, brainstorm stocking themes to get your gears turning. Does your 12-year-old love sports, books or wildlife? Maybe your son loves videogames, or your daughter loves dance. Either way, there’s probably a hobby or interest that you can base the stocking around. Once you establish a theme or pattern, it’s easy to find related gifts that family members will love.

3. Include one big item guaranteed to please. For each family member, save one of their home-run presents for their stocking. It doesn’t have to be huge or expensive, just something you know they will adore. Perhaps a nice piece of jewelry, a tech gadget, concert tickets or a prepaid gift card. If you splurge a little on one gift and get a variety of other goodies at discount prices, you’ll still have a personal, memorable stocking at a great value.


Don’t Let Winter Pests Cozy Up in Your Home

Don't Let Winter Pests Cozy Up in Your Home

Humans aren’t the only creatures seeking warmth and shelter during winter’s harsh temperatures and snow. Many pests make their way indoors and invade our sacred space in search of food and hiding and nesting spots, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

Mice, one of the most common winter pests, can enter homes through openings as small as the size of a dime. Once inside, mice are capable of chewing through walls, electrical wires and baseboards and breed at alarming rates — producing as many as a dozen babies every three weeks. Signs of an infestation include scampering sounds at night in walls and ceilings, droppings found in undisturbed places and damaged or partially eaten food.

While mice and rodents in general are the more rampant pests in winter, other pests such as spiders, ants, cockroaches and sometimes even nuisance wildlife find their way inside homes, posing a variety of risks to humans. Whether it’s health risks such as Salmonella and allergies from cockroaches, painful and itchy bites from spiders or other diseases and property damage from rodents and wildlife, NPMA’s experts encourage homeowners to take precautionary steps to keep these pests out of their homes this winter.

“A few simple maintenance measures can go a long way in keeping unwanted winter visitors out of homes this winter,” advised Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “If your home has experienced any sort of damage from storms or just regular wear and tear, now is the time to take stock and make the necessary repairs.”

* Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the structure, using caulk and/or steel wool.

* Screen vents and openings to chimneys.

* Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

* Replace loose mortar and weather-stripping around the basement foundation and windows.

* Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.

* Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well trimmed.

For more information on household pests or to find a pest professional near you, visit


Eco-friendly Tips to Protect Homes From Pesky Bugs

Eco-friendly Tips to Protect Homes From Pesky Bugs

Cool weather means it’s time to finalize outdoor chores and cozy up for the long winter ahead. It also urges pesky insects to head indoors seeking food and warm places to hibernate. What can the smart homeowner do?

Experts say the record-breaking summer heat has created a bumper crop of bugs. Ohio State University entomologist David Denlinger predicts, “If the warmth stays into the fall, insects will continue to do well until frost comes.”

Unwelcome pests, like silverfish, spiders, earwigs, flies and ants, are typical fall party crashers. But in the late ’90s a new pest appeared: the brown marmorated stink bug. First spotted in Pennsylvania, stink bugs are now in 38 states.

“In September and October, when plants are harvested and food sources dry up, stink bugs switch gears and seek shelter indoors,” says Dr. Qing-He Zhang, lead scientist and director of research at Sterling International, makers of eco-friendly RESCUE! insect traps. “It’s important to break the lifecycle now so they don’t survive the winter months.”

To protect your home from pesky bugs, industry experts share these simple eco-friendly tips:

1. Clean up brush, and keep mulch and firewood piles away from the house to avoid creating habitats for critters and insects.

2. Seal cracks, crevices and holes with caulk or weather stripping around potential entry points, including pipes and utilities. Repair loose roof tiles and screens. Inspect windows and basement foundations, and repair loose mortar.

3. Clean cupboard shelves of loose grain and starch-based and sugary food, and place food in sealed containers or plastic bags.

4. Check where stink bugs hide: warm, dark spaces like baseboards, exhaust fans, ceiling tiles and drapes. Pick stink bugs up with a tissue, and flush them down a toilet. When threatened, stink bugs emit a foul odor, so dispose of any vacuum bags immediately.

Zhang explains, “Once you see the bugs clinging to the side of the house or screens, this is a signal that they are ready to get indoors, and more may be coming. The RESCUE! Stink Bug trap uses non-toxic pheromone attractants that lure stink bugs, intercepting them before they reach the house.”

5. If ants are your problem, try herbs. Briscoe White, herb expert and owner of The Growers Exchange, says bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves repel ants. Sprinkle dry crushed herbs around doors, cabinets and windowsills to create a natural barrier. Plus, peppermint and spearmint deter moths, too.

For more help battling bugs, visit