Coral Counts

LiWhether it is labeled orange, coral, or pink you can find the 2012 Pantone color of the year, Tangerine Tango, in nearly every window of your local shopping mall.
Below you will find some examples of what fashion designers are doing with this year’s color.  There is something for everyone, as this color- regardless of shade- looks great on all.

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Combat the Cold!

I live in a cold climate and previously struggled to keep my heated home comfortable yet affordable.  With friends’ suggestions and a little bit of guess and check, I have found that with these five simple adjustments, that have little to no long-term effect on the homestead itself (another element I have to think of as a renter), has made my hibernating doldrums much less prevalent.

1.  Window Film
I have used a few different brands in the past but would recommend 3M window kit because the tape has better adhesive and I find their website more compelling.  Their energy savings estimator provides a rough idea of how much money you could save during your winter season just installing the film.

2.  Insulation Treatment
When I was in college I worked at a Jo-Ann Fabric store and discovered the sublime heat conservation Warm Window Fabric provides.  I could sit next to a drafty window that was covered with this fabric and not freeze.  I purchased enough yards to cover my windows and have since traveled with them and used them on my most offending windows.  The upfront cost can be steep, depending on your window needs and how you make them or buy them, but the long-term benefits are astounding.

3.  Ceiling Fan
Most apartments I have ever rented already had ceiling fans.  My mother installed ceiling fans in her home once fairly easily; I myself have not.  But the point I share here is that ceiling fans are not only intended for warm weather use, but can circulate air and thereby cut down heating needs/costs by simply reversing their direction.  I have found the redistribution of warm air is obvious and welcomed.  During the “shut in” winter months, sometimes the house can feel stale and claustrophobic but with the fan running it does make my happier.

4.  Humidifier
If for nothing else your skin with thank you!  But the perception of warmth is heightened with a humidifier so you can happily turn your thermostat down when you have appealing humidity.  The Mayo Clinic advises 30%- 50% humidity is ideal; anything above 50% can foster the growth of bacteria.

5.  Programmable Thermostat
After incorporating the previous four elements into your homestead you will see that by lowering your settings you will save energy and money.  For as little as $24.99 at Lowes you can buy a programmable thermostat that can regulate the temperature of your home.  When you are not there, why pay to keep it heated?  When you are asleep why heat the whole house the same way your would when you are active?

Just by incorporating these five additions to your home during the winter season you can not only save money, but your sanity as well.  As a lover of all four seasons, but being adverse to extremely cold weather, it matters a lot to my overall sense of well-being to keep my home cost effectively cozy.

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Standing Up For Farmers

On January 31, family farmers will take part in the first phase of a court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s GMO seed, which contaminates organic and non-GMO farmer’s crops and opens them up to abusive lawsuits. In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.
 
In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain organic and conventional crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.
Farmers need your voice today. Please spread the word today.
http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/515?akid=462.361776.kC41Z7&t=14
I was first informed about the Monsanto Monopoly by watching the Academy Nominated film Food Inc. (which is available to watch instantly on netflix as well)  and have since been striving to have a better understanding of the food I eat.  Without getting on a soapbox I offer some websites that have helped inform me.  Please take the time to read about the upcoming court case beginning on Monday.

http://occupybigfood.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/a-citizens-assembly-in-support-of-family-farmers-vs-monsanto-jan-31-2012-nyc/

http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/saved-seed-farmer-lawsuits.aspx

http://www.schooltube.com/video/66aa3cbb5d91038dfda3/Food-Inc-part-1-of-15-full-movie-stream

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Casual Is So Classy

Sundance Film Festival 2012

Robert Redford, President of the Sundance Institute, has been wearing his Anglo American spectacles, style #406,  for some time.  The round shape really works for him.  And Ms. Mary J. Blige is always stylish.  Her “nerd chic,” glasses are right on trend for the 2012 forecast.

Last night the kick off to the Festival was a success.  I just wish I was there.  Perhaps I will set the goal, that in 2013 I will attend at least one day of the festival.  Fingers crossed.  Working towards a dream is always commendable.

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Sundance Film Festival 2012

Have you ever wanted to go to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah?  Do you subscribe to the Sundance television channel?  If you answered yes to either of these then you already know that tomorrow, January 19, 2012 is the kick-off to this year’s festival.

Check out some indie films at these web sites:

http://www.sundancenow.com/

http://tw.itunes.com/e5p

And please follow Sundance on twitter and facebook for more info or just plain support.  I promise to keep my ear to the ground for more of your favorite celebrity styles.  There is nothing like the Sundance laid back quality.  Art…  gotta love it!

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Don’t Forget Your Reading Glasses

Aside from Ms. Streep’s “bleeped” out explitive, the embarassment I can easily assume she felt at this moment must have been immense.  As you can see, her esteemed peers, most notably George Clooney, attempted to aid her by getting her glasses up to her on stage, but alas, her show did go on.  She is a professional and extremely eloquent.

I just like to share that while prominent performers can easily be idolized, and mistakenly perceived as super human, even stars Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Bill Nighy, Guy Pearce, and Jessica Lang were all spotted on last night’s show wearing glasses; they are not untouchable to vision loss.  But there is nothing wrong with wearing glasses even when you are dressed in your most stunning attire.

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Polarized or Not?

“What is polarized?”

“Think of it like this, a regular pair of sunglasses just dim the lights.  A polarized pair is like wearing Venetian blinds, blocking out glare light.”

Why is blocking out glare light such a benefit?  It heightens your visual clarity- everything will be more clear.  It’s the difference between a smudged windshield and a pristine, crystal-clear windshield.  It also eliminates some excess work that your eyes have to perform to see through glare light.

So after learning about the benfits of owning polarized sunglasses, perhaps after testing the clarity of polarized verses non-polarized lenses while boating~ there is a lot of glare light reflected of the surface of water~ you will potentially, from here on out, want to wear strictly polarized sunglasses.  You will advertise the benefits, you will chastise your friends for not wearing polarized sunglasses, you will actually take your own sunglasses off, hand them to your friend, and tell your friend to see the difference.  Polarized is awesome!

So why would anyone, after knowing the advantages, choose not to wear polarized lenses?  When and how could the reduction of glare light be unhealthy, or dangerous?  I can name two instances.  A piolot does not need polarized lenses because the windshield of a plane is usually already polarized and the clarity of their instruments would be dangerously reduced.  Also a winter sports enthusiast might not want to reduce glare light because the abililty to identify ice patches could be fatal.  But this later option is just that- a choice every skiier/snowboarder can make for themself.  There are both polarized and nonpolarized snow goggles available on the market.

So, if you have never seen the difference between polarized and non-polarized lenses, I suggest you try some on and see the difference.  You will be able to make a well-educated choice.  As I have stated before, I do wear polarized.  My Maui Jims are still my favorite.

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