Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dry Eyes And Contacts

If you have dry eyes, contact lenses may be a nightmare. With healthy eyes, a very thin layer of tears will always form under the contact lens. When this layer starts to dry out however, the lens will begin to feel dry. Dry eyes from contact can be very irritating, uncomfortable, and lead you to try to squinch or rub your eyes to seek relief.

Even though contact lenses are indeed a cause of dry others, there are other causes as well, one of which being your natural ability to produce years. Some people will produce less tears than others, which can indeed be a problem when wearing contact lenses. As you get older, the tears that you are able to produce will begin to decrease.

The environment is another cause. If you work in a factory or area that is over heated, or exposed to dust or smoke, your eyes will start to dry out. The more your eyes are exposed to these types of situations, the more dry they will become. After a few hours, you may find yourself having to remove your contacts due to the dryness becoming so irritating.

There are however, some types of contact lenses that can contribute to dryness as well. A majority of contact lenses are made of water and polymers, most being more than 50% water. Even though the contact is moist and may feel comfortable in your eye, the water will start to evaporate from the contact lens as you wear it. When this happens, the contact will draw moisture from the tears in your eyes, which results in dryness. If the contact lens contains a lot of water, then it is almost guaranteed to lose moisture throughout the day.

With dryness being a common problem for most people who wear contact lenses, manufacturers are always working to create contacts that will remain comfortable throughout the day. Dry eyes are the most common reason for irritation, and the main reason as to why people decide to give up contacts and just go with glasses to correct their vision.

Out of all the different contacts on the market, Acuvue Oasys are among the most popular. Although they are relatively new, they are specifically made for those who work or live in dry environments. These contacts contain a special agent for re-wetting purposes, which enables the contact lens to remain moist, even if your eyes aren’t producing enough tears. They are daily wear contacts, and should be soaked in solution at night and replaced every two weeks or so.

Even though there are other contact lenses out there that are great for dry eyes, Acuvue are considered to be the best brand. No matter which type of contact lens you wear, you should always take care of them. You should always clean them once removed, and soak them in solution at night. This way, you’ll remove the protein build up and ensure that you are putting clean contact lenses back into your eyes.

Even though dry eyes are very common, you can always help to rectify the situation by using right pair of contacts. You can also get re-wetting or saline drops as well, to put in your eyes when they start to feel dry. These drops are the preferred way of dealing with dry and irritable eyes, as they help to produce enough moisture for comfort. You can buy re-wetting or saline drops at most department stores - and they cost a little of nothing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fabulous Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009 was held on November 29 in New York. The supermodels or the Victoria's Secret Angels participated are:

· Lily Aldridge
· Alessandra Ambrosio
· Ana Beatriz Barros
· Kylie Bisutti · Shannan Click
· Jaime Lee Darley
· Selita Ebanks
· Lindsay Ellingson
· Isabeli Fontana
· Izabel Goulart
· Erin Heatherton
· Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
· Chanel Iman
· Anna Jagodzinska
· Dorothea Barth Jorgensen
· Miranda Kerr
· Heidi Klum
· Abbey Lee
· Tatiana Kovylina
· Doutzen Kroes
· Anastasia Kuznetsova
· Maryna Linchuk
· Sessilee Lopez
· Enikő Mihalik
· Marisa Miller
· Aminata Niaria
· Behati Prinsloo
· Anja Rubik
· Lyndsey Scott
· Julia Stegner
· Candice Swanepoel
· Elyse Taylor
· Caroline Trentini
· Edita Vilkevičiūtė
· Liu Wen
· Caroline Winberg

Watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Videos:

The Return of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bifocal Contact Lenses

For a majority of us, presbyopia is something we have to live with. In definition, presbyopia is the lack of focusing on things in close range. The cause for this, is the lens in our eyes becoming less and less flexible as we grow older. The bad part is, most of us will need some type of corrective lenses, such as contact lenses or glasses and possibly even bifocals at some point in our lives as this condition gets worse.

Up until recently, those who wore bifocals had very limited options when they chose their corrective lenses. Years ago, glasses that contained bifocal lenses were just about the only option available. Over the years, no-line lenses were created, and glasses became a bit more attractive. This was a very definitive time for bifocal correction lenses, as they looked a lot better than they ever did in the past - eliminating the bulky and unattractive appearance they were well known for.

Now days, you can find many different types of bifocal contact lenses on the market. They are gaining in popularity, as they give those who wear bifocal glasses a very attractive alternative to wearing bulky glasses. They are very affordable as well - which makes them a more popular choice in the world of corrective lenses.

What many may not realize, is the fact that bifocal contacts are very similar to glass lenses in the way they work. With glass lenses, each separate lens provides a range of focus adjustments, one for distance and another for being close up on something. With bifocal contact lenses, both of the adjustments are included. There are different manufacturers that produce different types of bifocal contact lenses, meaning that it may take you a bit of research and experimenting to find which type works the best for you.

Some lenses however, are made with a unique design, known as concentric. Similar to concentric circles, there are two adjustments - one in the middle the other around the outside. These two adjustments in the contact lens are very distinct, with a sharp line between them. Even though they may sound hard to use, most people find that they are easy use with a little bit of practice.

One type of bifocal lens is the aspheric lens, which have a more gradual change of focus. Both power are in the central area of the pupil, and similar to the concentric lens, your eye will immediately adjust to these lenses and decide on the focus that is best to use.

The third and possibly best lens for bifocal use is the translating lens. Just like bifocal glass lenses, the near correction is found at the bottom of the lens, and the distance correction is found at the top. These lenses aren’t able to shift when in the eye, as they are normally made so they aren’t able to shift around. This can be great for older individuals, as these contacts won’t move around no matter what you do.

When it comes to bifocal contact lenses, you should always ask your optician what he thinks is best for your eyes. If you meet the right criteria, chances are you’ll be prescribed bifocal contact lenses. If you wear bifocal glasses, you may find these contacts to be the perfect alternative. You can get bifocal lenses in extended wear, daily disposable, or even conventional - which is great for anyone who likes plenty of choices. With a lot to choose from and a lot to offer - bifocal contact lenses are the ideal alternative for anyone who needs bifocal correction lenses.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chinese Green Tea for Weight Loss

For most people, the Chinese green tea is a stuff of legends. Chinese green tea has been known to be very beneficial to human health. For thousands of years, Chinese green tea has been talked about and written about because of its countless positive effects.

According to legend, the first person to ever taste Chinese green tea was the Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 B.C. It was said that while boiling some water for drinking, some leaves fell into his pot from a tree nearby. Chinese green tea leaves when boiled smelled and tasted so wonderful that Shen Nung even urged his people to drink it. The fame of the Chinese green tea did not stay at one place for long. It is believed that in A.D. 800, Chinese green tea was brought to Japan by monks who studied Buddhism in China.

What makes Chinese green tea different from all other teas?

Chinese green tea is produced from Camellia sinensis, the same plant where the oolong and black tea are derived. Yet, even though they all come from the same herb, the Chinese green tea truly stands out as an exceptional health drink. So what makes Chinese green tea different?

The difference lies in the method by which Chinese green tea is produced. Oolong and black tea leaves are traditionally oxidized and then dried while the Chinese green tea leaves are steamed and then dried. This method of producing Chinese green tea actually preserves most of the beneficial antioxidants present in it.

Chinese Green Tea for Health

While it is already common knowledge that Chinese green tea has several health benefits, modern scientists were able to provide several concrete proofs of the positive effects of Chinese green tea. Chinese green tea antioxidants are said to be the ones responsible for making the Chinese green tea very beneficial.

Recent findings show that the antioxidants in Chinese green tea can reduce cholesterol levels in a person; can improve how blood vessels function; and can reduce blood lipids. It was also discovered that Chinese green tea can have an anti-inflammatory effects and may provide protection against cardiovascular diseases.

Chinese Green Tea for Weight Loss

Significant findings were made that pointed to the benefits of Chinese green tea in weight loss. According to the researchers of the University of Geneva, Chinese green tea has thermogenic properties which aid much in weight loss. In their study, they investigated the weight loss benefits of Chinese green tea by observing the interaction between the caffeine in Chinese green tea and a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). When these two substances in Chinese green tea react, thermogenesis of the body increases by four percent. The tendency of Chinese green tea to enhance metabolic rates has given people reason to believe that Chinese green tea has weight loss benefits as well.

Another study concerning the weight loss benefits of Chinese green tea was also conducted. The results of the research showed that Chinese green tea drinkers have a better propensity for weight loss. Drinking Chinese green tea allows the body to burn an additional 70 calories a day, a feat that weight loss enthusiasts would relish.

Today, Chinese green tea is widely available as a beverage and as an ingredient for weight loss products.

10 inspirational quotes than can improve yourself

It might take a little coffee or probably a few rounds of beer or any other booze you could get your hands on when it comes to relaxing after a hard day's work. Well, yeah I'm guilty about that one as well, unless I'm caught dead wearing a lampshade over my head after a few rounds of vodka… half-naked! Okay, bad example and I apologize to everyone reading this after getting nightmares about me in that state of drunken stupor.

Just don't ask how it happened, please.

But what's really interesting is that how do people go through the usual part of life when faced with vein-popping stress? I mean, the new age thing like Zen or yoga is one of the good things and it actually works. Is there room for the intellectual side of people who can actually smell the roses-in-a-can while on the move? It kind of had me thinking that there really must be something in this 'mind-over-matter' thing.

Humor is indeed the best medicine there is whenever you are. I mean anyone can pay good money to listen to a comedian just to make you wet your pants after laughing so hard. Despite of what's been happening, and to those who has gone though the ordeal, it's better to just laugh while facing the troubles with a clear mind than anger with a clouded vision. One of my favorite celebrities of all time may have to be Woody Allen. Now this is one guy who gives you the in-your-face bluntness that he pulls out with gusto, even without even trying. You can talk just about anything with a man, and he's bound to mock the subject and you'll end up laughing rather than being upset about it.

Woody Allen has this to say:

1. "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." It sounds good to me, I mean the practicality of all things does involve money but it doesn't have to take an arm and a leg to get it.

2. "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government." 'Nuff said.

3. "There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?" This happens to be one of the classic ones. I mean the issue about life's little problems isn't all that bad, until 'he' shows up.

Sure, relationships can get complicated, or does have its complications that probably any author about relationships is bound to discover it soon. We follow what our heart desires, unless you're talking about the heart as in the heart that pump blood throughout your body.

4. "Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions." And if you want more, just keep on asking!

5. "A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'." It sounds, 'practical', I think.

And when it comes to everyday life, he really knows how to make the best out of every possible scenario, and it doesn't involve a lawsuit if he strikes a nerve.

6. "Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats." I never had a boat in my bathtub before. Just staring at it while soaking in hot water makes me seasick already.

7. "I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." If it rains, it pours.

8. "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." It could get worse when you're guzzling on beer… or mouthwash, and it happened to me once!

9. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." At least he doesn't smite us with lightning, and I'm thankful for that.

And despite of what may happen to all of us in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, I guess we all have to see things in a different kind of light and not just perspective. I can't seem to imagine life without any piece of wisdom that could guide us. Whether we're religious or not, it takes more courage to accept your fears and learn how to deal with them is all that matters when it comes to even just getting along.

And to sum things up, here is the last nugget of wisdom to go by… however, whenever, and wherever we may be.

10. "The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do Yoda Proud: Meditation 101

Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed and focused. Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.

Meditation is most commonly associated with monks, mystics and other spiritual disciplines. However, you don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy its benefits. And you don’t even have to be in a special place to practice it. You could even try it in your own living room!

Although there are many different approaches to meditation, the fundamental principles remain the same. The most important among these principles is that of removing obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies, and calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of activity.

The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbors, bossy officemates, that parking ticket you got, and unwanted spam– are said to contribute to the ‘polluting’ of the mind, and shutting them out is allows for the ‘cleansing’ of the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.

Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds, and nothing to touch – and try to detach themselves from the commotion around them. You may now focus on a deep, profound thought if this is your goal. It may seem deafening at first, since we are all too accustomed to constantly hearing and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise you will find yourself becoming more aware of everything around you.

If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening – those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions – you need not worry. The principle here is to be in a comfortable position conducive to concentration. This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and even walking.

If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that would be a good starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not tense or tight. In other positions, the only no-no is slouching and falling asleep.

Loose, comfortable clothes help a lot in the process since tight fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.

The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. You might want an exercise mat if you plan to take on the more challenging positions (if you feel more focused doing so, and if the contortionist in you is screaming for release). You may want to have the place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.

Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine. Pleasing scents also help in that regard, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t such a bad idea either.

The monks you see on television making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.

You do not need to perform such; however, it would pay to note that focusing on repeated actions such as breathing, and humming help the practitioner enter a higher state of consciousness.

The principle here is focus. You could also try focusing on a certain object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.

One sample routine would be to – while in a meditative state – silently name every part of you body and focusing your consciousness on that part. While doing this you should be aware of any tension on any part of your body. Mentally visualize releasing this tension. It works wonders.

In all, meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are well worth the effort (or non-effort – remember we’re relaxing).

Studies have shown that meditation does bring about beneficial physiologic effects to the body. And there has been a growing consensus in the medical community to further study the effects of such. So in the near future, who knows, that mystical, esoteric thing we call meditation might become a science itself!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adriana Lima gives birth to a baby girl

She already sounds like a budding cover girl...even if it's Parenting and not Vogue.

Victoria's Secret supermodel Adriana Lima and her NBA hoopster hubby, Marko Jaric, welcomed their first child on Sunday, a daughter named Valentina Lima Jaric.

"Mother, father and baby are all doing well," the publicist for the Brazilian-born catwalker told People. No further details were released.

The 28-year-old Lima, who maintained her virginity until she met Mr. Right, and 31-year-old Jaric, a Serbian basketball player who currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, started dating in 2006.

He popped the question last year, and the happy couple eloped last Valentine's Day, tying the knot in a private civil ceremony in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

It didn't take them long to start procreating. Lima confirmed the pregnancy in May.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Return of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009

Victoria’s Secret supermodels pose in New York’s Times Square to celebrate the return of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to New York, November 18, 2009. Heidi Klum will be hosting again the event.

This year's Victoria's Secret Angels:
* Alessandra Ambrosio
* Ana Beatriz Barros
* Anastasia Kuznetsova
* Behati Prinsloo
* Candice Swanepoel
* Caroline Trentini
* Caroline Winberg
* Chanel Iman
* Dorothea Barth-Jorgensen
* Doutzen Kroes
* Elyse Taylor
* Eniko Mihalik
* Erin Heatherton
* Heidi Klum
* Izabel Goulart
* Julia Stegner
* Lily Aldridge
* Lindsay Ellingson
* Liu Wen
* Lyndsey Scott
* Marissa Miller
* Mia Aminata Niaria
* Miranda Kerr
* Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
* Selita Ebanks
* Sessilee Lopez
* Shannan Click
* Tatiana Kovylina

Fabulous Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Alexander Wang Wins Swiss Textile Award

Alexander Wang has won the 2009 Swiss Textiles Award, making his the second American design house to nab central Europe's most valuable fashion prize.

New York-based Wang beat out a field of six candidates to win the award, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this month at a ceremony Thursday, Nov. 12, in Zurich.

The winner receives a prize of 100,000 euros, or $147,000. It is not paid out in cash, but instead 10,000 euros, or $14,700, is allocated to buy Swiss fabric, with the remainder used to produce and market upcoming collections by Wang.

Wang's other five finalists - Alexis Mabille, Erdem, Ohne Titel, Peter Pilotto and Thakoon - did not go away empty handed, but instead were given a fabric voucher worth 4,000 euros, or $5,880.

Wang follows another fledgling U.S. house in winning the award. The Los-Angeles-based Rodarte team of Kate and Laura Mulleavy were the 2008 winners, the first women to take the top prize.

Besides boosting the Swiss textile industry by acquainting foreign designers with their fabrics, the evening is seen by locals as one night when Zurich becomes a fashion capital.

Previous winners have included Marios Schwab, Haider Ackermann, Raf Simons and Bruno Pieters, several of whom have subsequently achieved key positions in the industry. Raf Simons is now creative director at Jil Sander and Marios Schwab holds the same title at Halston, while Bruno Pieters designs the Hugo collection of Hugo Boss.

The 12-person jury included legendary designer Isabel Toledo; Louis Bompard, Paris-based fashion writer of L'Officiel; Tiziana Cardini, fashion director of Italy's key department store chain Rinascente; Lisa Feldmann, editor-in-chief of Switzerland's leading fashion magazine, and Markus Ebner, founder of Berlin independent fashion title Achtung.

Wang's most recent show, on Sept. 12 in New York, was a highly innovative combination of athletic actively sportswear with nighttime cool. From linebacker shoulders on gray, corset sweatshirt tops, or perforated rugby stripe looks morphed into tunics and hunting raincoats composed as capes it was all about reinventing athletic codes into cool, contemporary fashion.

"I dream more about sport than actually really do it. So this is my sport fantasy," said Wang after staging the critically acclaimed show.

The 33-year-old, San Francisco-born Wang is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York. He launched his first full collection of women's wear in 2007. In a meteoric rise, Wang was nominated for the 2008 Council of Fashion Designers of America in Women's Wear and later won the CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cut it like Beckham: Victoria Adams rewrites fashion rule book

Conventional wisdom dictates that a female celebrity's worst fashion faux pas is to turn up to an event wearing a dress that has been worn by another, thinner celebrity before. The "who wore it better?" feature, a standby in celebrity fashion magazines, has rendered the "repeat dress syndrome" even more of a bête noire. Yet a certain designer appears to be changing that rule.

When Drew Barrymore stepped on to the red carpet in Los Angeles this week for a film premiere, she wore a purple satin dress that looked familiar. Not only had it been worn before by at least two other prominent celebrities, but, with its mid-calf cut and tight cut, its style is very associated with a very thin celebrity who also happened to be the designer. It was, of course, another dress designed by Victoria Beckham.

This dress – worn recently by both Beckham herself and singer Katherine Jenkins – has been widely deemed a success for Barrymore by the catty celebrity magazine world despite its familiarity. It is seen as yet more proof that Beckham, after just three collections, has reinvented herself as a real fashion player.

Once she was credited, if that's the right word, with coining what became known as Wag style, all hair extensions and hotpants. Now she is associated with a specific style of tailored designer dresses. Her association with the look has not put off her fellow celebrities. If anything, she acts as an improbably successful advert. Stella McCartney, Brooke Shields and Dannii Minogue have been photographed wearing the distinctive Beckham dresses recently. Elle Macpherson loves hers so much she was pictured wearing them three days in a row.

Nor is it just celebrities who wear them: Netaporter, the luxury fashion website, and Selfridges have said that Beckham dresses sell out "instantly", despite their £850 starting prices.

While the rest of the luxury fashion market barely stumbles on, with worldwide sales down, according to modest estimates, at least 17% this year, Beckham may be the phoenix rising from the ashes of the economy. The day the US celebrity press was cooing over Barrymore's dress, it was reported in the New York Times that Versace was cutting 26% of its worldwide workforce after projecting a loss of $45m this year.

Beckham, who has happily conceded that she "can't draw" but "knows clothes" has been canny in her choice of fashion influences, opting for designers who are respected by fashion insiders and have cuts that flatter women's curvy figures.

For the past few seasons her dresses have prompted comparisons to Roland Mouret. For next season she seems to have moved on to Azzedine Alaia in terms of influence, with slightly girlier cuts and A-line skirts. They have the fashion consciousness that gets applause from the industry, combined with the body consciousness that Beckham still prefers.

"I don't want to make dresses that will date. I've always been about clever buying," Beckham said when she launched her label last year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Latest Male Fashion Fad - Welcome the 'Mirdle'

Fashion for men has to constantly re-invent itself to, well, stay fashionable. Here's the latest addition to its line - the 'mirdle' or men's girdle. And Australian men are going gaga.

The 'mirdle' is an offshoot of the men's stretchy compression shorts available in sporting goods shops.

These body shapers have become the latest fad among men Down Under who wish to lift their posteriors.

It helps reduce "the stomach and love handle area."

While classic "tighty whitey" still remains an underwear staple, men have also started experimenting with colour and styles.

They love to show off designer label waistbands emblazoned at the hip.

"The waistband has become almost the primary selling feature," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group, a market research firm as saying

Men's shapewear is now in department and specialty stores, marketed to "streamline and slim a man's body," said Michael Flint, head of sales and operations
of Equmen, an Australian company that makes slenderising tops and bottoms.

Nitin Bal Chauhan: Fashion-wise, men want to be at par with women

Touted as one of the most promising designers in the industry, Nitin Bal Chauhan, has come a long way ever since he made his debut in 2007. Already famous in the fashion circuit, Chauhan’s funky unusual themes have been widely applauded in prestigious fashion weeks. And after wooing the ladies with his chic designs and ensembles, Chauhan is now all set to take on the men’s fashion industry as he showcased his trendy designs at the opulent ongoing Men’s Fashion Week.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the fashion madness, the young designer spoke to Tanu Talwar about his creations and his expectations from the men’s fashion industry.

Tanu: Do you think India is ready for a Men’s Fashion Week?

Nitin: Yes, I feel that the timing is perfect. It could have happened 2 years ago but I guess it’s good that it’s happening now as there is so much awareness about men’s fashion, thanks to the media and the global fashion industry. More so, I feel that today there is more clarity both in the fashion industry and among the audience about how the business works.

Tanu: Have men become more fashion conscious?

Nitin: Yes, of course they have. These days’ men want to dress up
and be at par with their women when it comes to their fashion. They are very specific. Not only the professionals you can see college going youngsters too. They all want to wear the latest trends and experiment with their looks and style. I feel that having a fashion week solely for men is the first right step to tap this booming market.

Tanu: What is the inspiration behind your collection?

Nitin: My designs are mainly inspired by gothic architecture, rock and roll and nature. My collection is all about sleek pants
with funky t-shirts that are extremely affordable. Besides clothes
I have also designed a range of bags.

Tanu: What’s the theme behind your creation?

Nitin: See since my designs are inspired by the youth, my show will see college going teenagers walking down the ramp instead of male models. I will showcase a very wearable line that youngsters like to don these days.

Tanu: What are your expectations from India’s first Men’s Fashion Week?

Nitin: (Laughs) Well I truly hope to find some keen buyers. But on a serious note I just want more designers to come and showcase their work in this field.

Tanu: So who all will be able to afford your designs?

Nitin: You’ll be surprised that my collections starts at Rs 300 and goes up till Rs 3000. This is mainly because my target audience is teenagers and young professionals.

Tanu: Do you feel that celebrities walking the ramp have become a substitute for unimaginative designs?

Nitin: Well these things use to happen, say about, 5 years back. But today the audience is just to smart for any designer to dupe them in the name of a celebrity. Moreover, celebrities too have become increasingly conscious about the designers they endorse. They only wear a particular designer’s creation, if they really like his or her work.

Tanu: When do we see you going into retail?

Nitin: Till now my designs have been available at select outlets but I am planning to go into direct retail in two years.

Tanu: Do you think that male models have got their due?

Nitin: Yes definitely. It’s a beginning for them. A window has opened and there is still a long way to go but Men’s Fashion Week is a step in the right direction.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Heidi Klum gives birth to daughter

Heidi Klum has given birth to a daughter, Luo Sulola, her fourth child.

The German-born model, who is married to Grammy-winning singer Seal, said on her website that the baby was born on Friday.

In the message posted today, Heidi says: "She is beautiful beyond words and we are happy that she chose us to watch her grow over the coming years."

The 36-year-old beauty already has two young sons with Seal, whom she married in 2005. She also has another daughter from a previous relationship.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alessandra Ambrosio: Big Apple Beauty

Making the trek from the West Coast to the East Coast earlier this week, Alessandra Ambrosio was out once again in New York City today (September 12).

The “Victoria’s Secret” model looked super sexy in skinny jeans, flats, a white long-sleeve top, a giant scarf and her signature shades while exiting a chauffeured vehicle, coffee in hand.

As previously reported, the Brazilian beauty is in New York for its annual Fashion Week.

The festivities of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week began Thursday, September 10, and will run until this Thursday, September 17.

Photo Gallery:

Lectra Launches the Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1

Lectra Launches the New Version of the Only Fashion-Specific PLM Solution on the Market: Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1.

Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials-textiles, leather, industrial fabrics and composite materials-, is pleased to announce the launch of Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1, the latest version of its state-of-the-art product lifecycle management solution for the fashion industry.

The ultimate synergy for fashion professionals

"In these tough times, bringing the right product to market at the right time is crucial to staying ahead of the field. Now is the moment for companies the world over to re-assess their business priorities and processes," said Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO. "An integrated software application with associated process-oriented services developed and delivered by industry experts, Lectra Fashion PLM supports fashion companies as they seek to deliver high-quality, cost-effective and on-trend collections in a timely manner, season after season."

Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 is a unique modular and scalable solution, tailored specifically to the needs of the fashion industry, with in-built best practices developed throughout Lectra's years of work with the biggest names in fashion. "With its solution for streamlining the complex business of collection management, Lectra is the ideal technology partner for fashion companies looking to enhance their productivity and their competitiveness," said Mario Boselli, President of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (National Chamber of Italian Fashion, CNMI).

This process-oriented offer incorporates tools for all the activities and processes involved in the business of bringing a collection to market. Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 includes modules for line planning, scheduling, costing, sourcing and performance monitoring, created with strategic decision makers in mind, and also process-based applications for fashion design, technical specifications, pattern-making, 3D prototyping and sample development. This fully modular and adaptable offer fulfills the needs of brands, retailers and garment manufacturers of all types and sizes.

A major breakthrough in PLM technology

Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 takes a huge leap forward by integrating fashion design tools and product development functions with end-to-end collection management features. Going further than any other PLM solution on the market, the V2R1 brings contributors together around "one version of the truth." Users can share season palettes, pattern design data, and measurements charts across the entire range of Lectra Fashion PLM applications, thus securing data and eliminating the risk of errors. Having a single information center saves time on data entry, facilitates communication, and helps maintain quality standards.

Prominent Europe, for example, specializes in men's shirts and formal wear and has recently expanded into casual wear and women's wear. The UK-based company produces approximately 17 million garments a year and manages up to 2,000 customer contracts. It was looking for an international system to work across different languages, maintain its exemplary delivery record, and move the business towards an "at once" manufacturing system. "Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 will allow us to speed up our processes," said Nigel Lugg, Chief Executive of Prominent Europe. "It will link our three European offices in Spain, France and the UK, and will allow us to collaborate directly with six key Asian hubs: India, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand. Lectra's key strength is its high degree of fashion experience, which links into a global business network."

Enhanced workflow management features within Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 guarantee optimal planning and control of product lifecycle processes, activities and deliverables for both users and managers. Product development status and workflow management milestones are synchronized, and workflow management follows product development progress-not the reverse. This flexible workflow system, unique among PLM solutions, now enables each fashion company to adapt the order of tasks and progress flowcharts to their individual working methods, making it easy and comfortable to use.

Ease collaboration to enhance competitive advantage

Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 offers fashion professionals a shared information space with a number of features that facilitate close collaboration within and between teams. Improved notification features ensure that key participants in the collection development process are kept up to date regarding changes made along the value chain. An innovative mark-up tool provides creative and technical teams alike with powerful tools for visual communication, enabling users to "grab" designs of all kinds and annotate them for modifications. Also included in V2R1 is a plug-in option to save and classify sketches directly from Adobe® Illustrator® CS3/4 directly into Lectra Fashion PLM. These sketches are then not only shared throughout the design and development process but can also be modified, filled with colors and fabrics and used to create boards and other communication tools. Easy and efficient collaboration speeds up the accurate exchange of ideas, eliminates the risk of error, and freeing up time for creative work.

"At Une Nana Cool, it is very important for us to continually propose attractive concepts and designs-we aim to encourage young women to enjoy simple, fashionable, high-quality lingerie, the way they enjoy choosing outer garments," said Akiyuki Ueno, President of Une Nana Cool, a subsidiary of Wacoal, worldwide lingerie leader headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. "Up until now, our designers have spent half of their time on operational tasks and on coordination with other team members. With Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1, our designers will be able to spend more time on creative tasks such as concept development and design-this will really strengthen our competitive advantage."

Revolutionizing PLM: modular and scalable software and services

For customers looking for a speedy return on investment, Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 can be implemented with Lectra's new Easy Start approach. This offers pre-configured contributor roles such as designer, product specifications developer, pattern maker, quality controller, sourcer, product manager/merchandiser. Users are quickly operational and efficient thanks to pre-defined user rights and requirements and role-specific training. As the solution is totally scalable, a project that begins with an Easy Start implementation can easily grow and become personalized for the user company and their specific needs. This flexible system allows fashion companies to integrate their own best practices into the system and adapt it to their methods. Change management is thus accelerated and users are quickly at ease with the system.

In order to provide the best possible support for their customers, Lectra's fashion PLM experts offer rigorous assessments of company processes, carried out within a specialized pre-study-fundamental to successful implementation. Fashion is Lectra's industry experts' vocation; they are committed to getting to know their customers' businesses by working with their teams to conduct thorough evaluations of working methods, processes, needs and challenges. Lectra also offers customers a value assessment that takes the quantitative evaluation even further, using a methodology that provides a framework in which to establish the likely value of a Lectra Fashion PLM implementation, along with the return on investment the customer can expect. As part of Lectra's continuing commitment to customer care, both PLM software and services are entirely tailored to meet the needs of the fashion industry and the needs of each individual customer to ensure that every Lectra Fashion PLM project is a perfect fit.

"We have been impressed by the service received from Lectra. The attitude of their team is always positive and we have really felt supported in our implementation of this advanced technology. Lectra's fashion experts really know our sector and understand our challenges. When our processes change and develop, we will be able to capitalize on their experience and knowledge of best practices," said Vincenzo Gamberale, Global IT Coordinator, Arena Group, leading-edge Italian waterwear producer.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why Coaching is the Way to Go in Team Management?

When you hear the word “coach”, what comes first into your mind? Do you picture a basketball team with a man/woman shouting out directions? Or perhaps a football team with a man/woman pacing to and fro and calling out the names of the players?

Coaching is no longer reserved to sports teams; it is now one of the key concepts in leadership and management. Why is coaching popular?

Coaching levels the playing field.

Coaching is one of the six emotional leadership styles proposed by Daniel Goleman. Moreover, it is a behavior or role that leaders enforce in the context of situational leadership. As a leadership style, coaching is used when the members of a group or team are competent and motivated, but do not have an idea of the long-term goals of an organization. This involves two levels of coaching: team and individual. Team coaching makes members work together. In a group of individuals, not everyone may have nor share the same level of competence and commitment to a goal. A group may be a mix of highly competent and moderately competent members with varying levels of commitment. These differences can cause friction among the members. The coaching leader helps the members level their expectations. Also, the coaching leader manages differing perspectives so that the common goal succeeds over personal goals and interests. In a big organization, leaders need to align the staffs’ personal values and goals with that of the organization so that long-term directions can be pursued.

Coaching builds up confidence and competence.

Individual coaching is an example of situational leadership at work. It aims to mentor one-on-one building up the confidence of members by affirming good performance during regular feedbacks; and increase competence by helping the member assess his/her strengths and weaknesses towards career planning and professional development. Depending on the individual’s level of competence and commitment, a leader may exercise more coaching behavior for the less-experienced members. Usually, this happens in the case of new staffs. The direct supervisor gives more defined tasks and holds regular feedbacks for the new staff, and gradually lessens the amount of coaching, directing, and supporting roles to favor delegating as competence and confidence increase.

Coaching promotes individual and team excellence.

Excellence is a product of habitual good practice. The regularity of meetings and constructive feedback is important in establishing habits. Members catch the habit of constantly assessing themselves for their strengths and areas for improvement that they themselves perceive what knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to acquire to attain team goals. In the process, they attain individually excellence as well. An example is in the case of a musical orchestra: each member plays a different instrument. In order to achieve harmony of music from the different instrument, members will polish their part in the piece, aside from practicing as an ensemble. Consequently, they improve individually as an instrument player.

Coaching develops high commitment to common goals.

A coaching leader balances the attainment of immediate targets with long-term goals towards the vision of an organization. As mentioned earlier, with the alignment of personal goals with organizational or team goals, personal interests are kept in check. By constantly communicating the vision through formal and informal conversations, the members are inspired and motivated. Setting short-term team goals aligned with organizational goals; and making an action plan to attain these goals can help sustain the increased motivation and commitment to common goals of the members.

Coaching produces valuable leaders.

Leadership by example is important in coaching. A coaching leader loses credibility when he/she cannot practice what he/she preaches. This means that a coaching leader should be well organized, highly competent is his/her field, communicates openly and encourages feedback, and has a clear idea of the organization’s vision-mission-goals. By vicarious and purposive learning, members catch the same good practices and attitudes from the coaching leader, turning them into coaching leaders themselves. If a member experiences good coaching, he/she is most likely to do the same things when entrusted with formal leadership roles.

Some words of caution though: coaching is just one of the styles of leadership. It can be done in combination with the other five emotional leadership styles depending on the profile of the emerging team. Moreover, coaching as a leadership style requires that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally fit most of the time since it involves two levels of coaching: individual and team. Your members expect you to be the last one to give up or bail out in any situation especially during times of crises. A coaching leader must be conscious that coaching entails investing time on each individual, and on the whole team. Moreover, that the responsibilities are greater since while you are coaching members, you are also developing future coaches as well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Benefits of Liquid Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by the body in a number of ways. They first enter our body through the food we eat. Secondly, we can take vitamin supplements to increase the amount of pertinent vitamins and minerals. There are different methods of taking medication and one of the most common methods is absorbing it in its liquid form. Do the advantages of liquid vitamins far outweigh its disadvantages – if there are any? Read on and find out.

Better or Easier Absorption for Kids
Although liquid vitamins may taste worse than vitamins in flavored, chewable tablet forms, they are however easier to absorb. There are numerous cases in which children have problems with choking, breathing and swallowing simply because of their inability to absorb medication or vitamins in this form.

This is the same problem as well for adults who have lost their ability to control their jaws or are unable to digest anything that is not in liquid form.

Liquid Vitamins are More Effective
Because of its form, liquid vitamins can be assimilated immediately into the blood stream for a more systemic administration of the vitamin and its average absorption rate is approximately 90 to 98%. It is also three to five times more concentrated than vitamin pills and this lead to higher bio-activity and greater therapeutic benefits.

The Link between Antioxidants and Liquid Vitamins
Have you ever wondered whether or not liquid vitamins contained oxidants as well? Vitamins E, C and A are examples of antioxidants and they are commonly found in vitamin supplements but what about liquid vitamins?

And the answer is an absolute YES. Liquid vitamins must in fact contain such antioxidants or they’ll prove to be ineffective compared to other vitamins. Remember that the most important of all antioxidants – Vitamins A, C and E – are not internally produced by the body so they must be a regular fixture in our diet. Antioxidants are our main defense against effects of damaging oxidation reactions. Antioxidants are our best weapons against suffering from any form of cancer. Without it, we are basically weaker and less healthy.

Liquid Vitamins versus Digestive Acids
One reason why people refuse to acknowledge the benefits of liquid vitamins is because of the supposed destruction by digestive acids of any vitamin or mineral that it does not recognize as part of the process of digestion. The opposite is, in fact true. Our digestive system actually prefers or is able to better absorb liquid vitamins and minerals rather than those made in pill or capsule form.

A vitamin pill or tablet has to be digested completely before it can benefit the human body. It must be broken down into absorbable nutrients or only up to thirty percent of it will be absorbed by the human body. Liquid vitamins however provide a better and easier solution for the digestive system. Because it does not depend in any way on mechanical digestion, an estimated 90% of it can be absorbed directly by the body.

It’s vital to remember that digestion does not mainly function to destroy vitamins and minerals but rather to transform them into substances it can use to improve the general constitution of the body.

Liquid Vitamins: Toxic or Not?
Another problem posed is the amount of colloidal minerals found in liquid vitamins. Are they harmful or not?

In truth, even plants and fruits contain a trace of such minerals in them. Apples, for instance, contain 3-5 mg of aluminum as it’s one of the most abundant elements that can be found in the surface of the Earth. But do you hear anyone telling you that apples are dangerous to your health? On the contrary, what we are more likely to hear is that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

And so it must be with liquid vitamins as well. Containing a slight amount of colloidal mineral doesn’t mean it’s bad for our health right away. Colloidal minerals, are above all else, naturally occurring elements and can not therefore be avoided.

You Have a Choice
At the end of the day, however, it’s still up to you whether or not you wish to take vitamin supplements in liquid or solid form. What really matters is what you prefer and which will ultimately work better for you.

All About Clinical Depression

Depression, a mental illness that is often characterized by prolonged periods of sadness and melancholy, experts from the field of psychiatry say.

But just because one person is moping around and just generally hating the world around him or her, doesn't mean that it's already depression, but if this kind of behavior, the feeling of emptiness, loss of self-worth and absolutely no hope for happiness just goes on and on, then, yes, that individual is very much, indeed, depressed.

Still, there are various types of depression, from Manic or Bipolar depression - characterized by sudden and extreme changes in one's mood wherein one minute he or she is in an elevated state of euphoria while the next minute (day or week) he or she is feeling to be in a personal hell, Postpartum depression - characterized by a prolonged sadness and a feeling of emptiness by a new mother wherein physical stress during child birth, an uncertain sense of responsibility towards the new born baby can be just some of the possible factors why some new mother go through this, Dysthimia - characterized by a slight similarity with depression, although this time, it's been proven to be a lot less severe, but of course with any case, should be treated immediately, Cyclothemia - characterized by a slight similarity with Manic or Bipolar depression wherein the individual suffering from this mental illness may occasionally suffer from severe changes in one's moods, Seasonal Affective Disorder - characterized by falling in a rut only during specific seasons (i.e. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall) studies however, prove that more people actually fall in to a rut more during the WInter and Fall seasons and lastly, Mood swings, wherein a person's mood may shift from happy to sad to angry in just a short time.

Clinical depression however, or as some might call as 'major' depression, is actually the medical term for depression. Actually clinical depression is more of a disorder rather than an illness since it basically covers only those who are suffering from symptoms related to depression. Clinical depression is how doctors usually refer to "depression" when giving a diagnose of their patient. It's basically just a medical term.

However, in spite of being an actual disorder, Clinical depression may well be treated. Doctors are actually highly optimistic that their patients who are suffering from Clinical disorder will be well on their way towards good mental health as long as they treated as soon as they have been diagnosed with Clinical depression. Patients who have been seeking for treatments for Clinical depression have proven to be quite successful in their quest, given that 80 percent of actual Clinical depression patients have been treated and has somewhat found relief from their disorder.

For those who may be seeking some answers for their Clinical depression related questions, the depression section of the health center is highly recommended, as well as books on psychiatry and the internet - which can offer a lot of helpful information with regards to Clinical depression although self-medication/treatment is highly disapproved of. Clinical depression may not pose as much as a threat as the other types of depression, but it is best to leave it to the hands of professionals who can safely attend to and cure this disorder.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Temporary Tattoos

Things are getting SICK down at Alchemy Tattoo Knoxville Tn. Coverup in progress masterfully done by Al Hume.

Temporary Tattoos

Things are getting SICK down at Alchemy Tattoo Knoxville Tn. Coverup in progress masterfully done by Al Hume.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Top 10 Split End Busters

Move your Mane:
If your hair is long enough to get caught under coat collars or under shoulder straps (for Messenger bags, back pack, etc) then be sure to move your hair before putting on that bag.

Keep Air off Your Hair:
Does your hair whip in the wind? Wind knots up hair. Knots damage length. Damaged length causes more splits. Eventually the damaged length splits. Restrain your hair when you are going to be in a lot of wind.

Wash Warily:
Apply shampoo ONLY to roots where it needs it. Avoid washing the dried out ends.

Be Picky About Piling Hair on Top:
Do you pile your hair on top of your head when you shampoo? This creates MANY opportunities for splits. Shampoo really only needs to be applied to your roots. That’s where the grease/oil is. Apply shampoo to scalp (down to ears), rinse, then apply conditioner to the length of hair. See how your hair just hangs down on your back.

Towel Drying is Treacherous:
When you dry your hair, do you scrub your scalp with a towel? It feels great, but it will rip, strip, pop, snap and fry your hair in no time! Many of us use some sort of a turbine type towel/turban for drying our hair. Others put a towel on their back and let the hair drip onto the towel.

Blow Off Blow Drying:
Do you blow dry your hair? The heat and the wind created by the blow fryer (yes, fryer!) really damages hair, too. Any heat styling tool can potentially damage hair. If you feel you must use them, keep the temperature low and exposure time to your hair short.

Subdue Your Shampoo:
How often do you shampoo? Regardless of HOW you shampoo, how OFTEN do you do it? Many of us have found that 2-3 shampooings per week is sufficient. It takes a few weeks to train your scalp to have fewer washings, but it helps protect the ends. Not everyone has success with fewer shampooings, though.

Oil Often:
You can oil the length of your hair daily. Many long hairs do this. They put a small drop in the palm of their hand, rub their hands together and lightly apply the oil to the ends only of the hair. There is an abundance of oils that you can use, some are quite exotic. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is probably the most common, but there is a long list of oils everyone has tried and ones that each person likes.

Do you use conditioner or a cream rinse when you shampoo? My personal belief is, if you want long hair you need to condition it EVERY time you shampoo. If nothing else, it helps detangle my hair. You also might consider using a leave in conditioner, especially one that helps detangle.

Consider Combing Cautiously:
After you’ve shampooed, when/how do you brush/comb your hair? Generally, brushing wet hair is bad for the hair. Hair is most delicate when wet. Brushing tends to stretch the strands. Stretching the strands puts wear and tear, which causes damage, which causes splits.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Insuring Your Diamonds

Insuring a diamond takes a bit of thought, planning, and shopping around. Diamond insurance isn’t like purchasing car insurance. It is quite different. Depending on the state that you live in, there are basically three different types of policies that will cover diamonds, and all insurance policies that cover diamonds are considered Marine type policies.

The first type of insurance policies for diamonds is an Actual Cash Value policy.
If the diamond is lost or damaged beyond repair, the insurance company will replace
the diamond at today’s market value, no matter how much you paid for the diamond to begin with. This type of insurance policy for diamonds actually is not that common.

The most common type of insurance for diamonds is Replacement Value insurance. The insurance company will only pay up to a fixed amount to replace the diamond that was
lost or damaged beyond repair. This does not mean that they will pay that amount – it means that they will pay up to that amount. In most cases, the diamond can be replaced at a lower cost.

The third type of coverage offered for diamonds is Agreed Value. This is sometimes called ‘Valued At.’ This type of coverage is very rare. In the event that the
diamond is lost or damaged beyond repair, the insurance company simply pays you the
amount that you and the company agreed upon. This is the best type of insurance to
have, but it is rarely offered. If you can’t get Agreed Value coverage, Actual Cash Value coverage should be your next choice.

Your rates will be determined by the value of the diamond, the type of coverage that you select, and the area that you live in. If you live in an area with a high crime rate, you can expect to pay more for your diamond insurance coverage. It is important to remember that insurance agents are not qualified jewelers, and jewelers are not qualified insurance agents. It is best to get a certificate for your diamond, and to provide the insurance company with a copy of that certificate. This leaves the insurance company less room for arguments over the actual value of the diamond.

Don’t rely on separate coverage to cover your diamond. For instance, if you diamond
is stolen from your home, it is probably covered on your home owner’s insurance
policy – but the diamond probably won’t always be in your home, and once it leaves
your home, there is no coverage.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Energy Healing 101: Pranic, Tantric, and Reiki

You have probably come across exotic-sounding terms such as “chakra”, “prana”, “aura”, and “tantra” in your course of reading books on spirituality, sex, and healing in the New Age literature section of the bookstore. But what’s the real scoop behind these exotic vocabularies?

Are All Energy Healings the Same?

Chakra or energy center is a term used in Pranic healing, an ancient Hindu system of energy healing. “Prana” means life energy. “Aura” is another terminology traced to Pranic healing. Aura is a non-physical body that consists of energy, which exists along with our physical body. The aura that covers our body is said to have seven layers pertaining to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of an individual as manifested by energy. Studying the color and thickness of auras give ideas on the state of health of individuals. Six colors are associated with aura and interpreted into six personalities. These colors are all present in an individual but one or two are more pronounced.
Green – ambitious achiever
Blue – spiritual peacemaker
White – unconventional chameleon
Red – activist
Orange – creative communicator
Violet - psychic

Although Tantra is popularly associated with the peculiar practice of sex and spirituality, it is another method of energy healing. It comes from the word “tan” which means to spread or expand. The concept of connectedness is a recurring theme in Tantric writings on sex and spirituality. As a method of healing, spirituality and sex figure prominently. It is presupposed that the union of man and woman can reach spiritual levels during orgasm, which removes the body and mind off collected impurities. These impurities being negative energies can in turn manifest as physical illnesses.

Unlike Pranic and Tantric healings, which have Hindu origins, Reiki originated from Japan. It is relatively younger than Pranic and Tantric healings having been rediscovered in the early 1900’s. Reiki stands for universal energy, an energy brought forth by higher intelligence. Students of Reiki are taught how to tap this energy to heal physical, emotional, and mental illnesses.

Although Pranic, Tantra, and Reiki are all systems of energy healing, they differ in the type of energy tapped for healing: life energy, sexual energy, and universal energy respectively.

The concepts of the connectedness of mind, body, and spirit; the connection of individuals to all living and nonliving things around them and to the universe; and how energy impacts physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are some of the salient similarities of these three healing methods.

Why Do People Turn to Energy Healing?

Pranic, Tantric, and Reiki are considered alternative methods of healing. In spite of the availability and relative accessibility of modern medicine, how come more and more people are being drawned to them? Here are some possible reasons:

· Energy healing worked where modern medicine failed.

For several reasons both explainable and unexplainable, modern medical treatment failed to heal ailments and conditions in several if not many persons. Research or data may not be able to support this statement. But for the families of the dying as well as for the dying patient, they would take the risk of using alternative methods ranging from herbals and organics, faith healers, witch doctors, and New Age healing techniques just to be get well.

· People perceive modern medicine to be isolating.

Medical treatments are oftentimes focused on the disease and its causative agent, which can make a patient feel isolated and treated like a mere host of the disease. Although recent developments in hospital practice are gradually promoting the holistic treatment of a patient, the perception still persists. Unlike in energy healing, since energy and spirituality are intimately linked, the patient feels that all aspects of his health are being attended to.

· Energy healing is non-obtrusive and natural thus it is safer.

Repeated surgical procedures are physically and emotionally traumatic for most patients. It is but a logical and attractive option to both patient and families to look for less stressful health interventions. Moreover, with the rising popularity of New Age religions, going natural is the way to go.

· Energy healing is a good way of relieving stress.

Meditation is part and parcel of energy healing methods and this is an added come-on for highly stressed people. Moreover, sophisticated equipment is not required thus it becomes all the more convenient for students and future students of energy healing.

The battle between alternative healing and mainstream medicine continues as both present the benefits of their approach. But in the final analysis, what matters is the restoration of good health.

Finding the right Depression Treatment

Depression or prolonged sadness is actually quite common in the United States, around 9.5 percent of the American population actually suffers from this illness, however, not all of them get to be treated, thus, depression and its ill-effects continue to be a burden to some individuals. This illness may seem quite simple to treat but in reality, it takes more than a little cheering up to actually cure depression. Constant visits to a cognitive behavior therapist is a must as well as taking all the prescribed medicines that the doctor will ask the patient to take – none of these exactly come cheap, but the amount of suffering that a person is going through because of depression is enough reason already for others to start taking notice and face depression head on through the various depression treatments that are available today.

Depression oftentimes can easily get in the way of an individual’s daily activities and his or hers’ normal functions, one’s zest for life can quickly and easily dissipate due to depression. And in place of an individual’s sunny disposition is more or less a person who hates his or herself, having no self-confidence, trying to isolate one’s self from the world and basically just not caring about living any more. More so, a person suffering from depression isn’t the only one who’s going to suffer from this destructive illness, his or her loved ones are sure to follow suit. By seeing the individual grow through such rough patches, basically not caring about anything or anyone anymore, it’s highly likely that not only will depression one’s relationship with one’s self but with his or her loved ones too. But this shouldn’t really pose as such a problem since people who suffer from depression are actually lucky that there are all sorts of depression treatments that can be used to aid an individual through the course of having a sound mental health.

Depression treatment actually starts with the patient openly acknowledging his or her illness, by just being honest with one’s self, it’ll be a lot easier not only for the doctor but for the patient most of all, to actually cure depression and find an appropriate depression treatment for him or her.

From various medications (like Zoloft antidepressant depression treatment) to all sorts of psychotherapies promising to be the best depression treatment. The patient, as well as his or her family are sure to get the best, positive results from these depression treatments.

Psychotherapy, a popular type of depression treatment actually includes short-term therapy sessions, usually from ten to twenty weeks promising to actually be able to make positive results for the depression patient. This type of depression treatment actually helps the individual by slowly making them to actually open up about their feelings, the root of their problems, more so, the root of their depression. Healthy verbal exchanges between the cognitive behavior therapist and the depression patient is great depression treatment that’ll positively affect the depression patient by helping him or her discuss and talk about whatever they’ve been keeping inside.

Various medications that are available for depression treatment are actually great for helping the depression patient to regulate his or her mood swings, to actually help him or her sleep better and as well as be more pleasant towards others.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Life Mapping: A Vision of Success

Success is more than economic gains, titles, and degrees. Planning for success is about mapping out all the aspects of your life. Similar to a map, you need to define the following details: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack, landmarks, and route.

Origin: Who you are

A map has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m Jean and I am a 17-year old, senior highschool student.” It does not tell you about who Jean is; it only tells you her present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Upon introspection, Jean realized that she was highly motivated, generous, service-oriented, but impatient. Her inclination was in the biological-medical field. Furthermore, she believed that life must serve a purpose, and that wars were destructive to human dignity.

Destination: A vision of who you want to be

“Who do want to be?” this is your vision. Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view. If you hardly know yourself, then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Your destination should cover all the aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Continuing Jean’s story, after she defined her beliefs, values, and principles in life, she decided that she wanted to have a life dedicated in serving her fellowmen.

Vehicle: Your Mission

A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be analogized to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself. Bases on Jean’s self-assessment, she decided that she was suited to become a doctor, and that she wanted to become one. Her chosen vocation was a medical doctor. Describing her vision-mission fully: it was to live a life dedicated to serving her fellowmen as a doctor in conflict-areas.

Travel Bag: Your knowledge, skills, and attitude

Food, drinks, medicines, and other travelling necessities are contained in a bag. Applying this concept to your life map, you also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision. Given such, there is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present and what you need to gain along the way. This two-fold assessment will give you insights on your landmarks or measures of success. Jean realized that she needed to gain professional knowledge and skills on medicine so that she could become a doctor. She knew that she was a bit impatient with people so she realized that this was something she wanted to change.

Landmarks and Route: S.M.A.R.T. objectives

Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track while the route determines the travel time. Thus, in planning out your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Thus you cannot set two major landmarks such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is two years. Going back to Jean as an example, she identified the following landmarks in her life map: completing a bachelor’s degree in biology by the age of 21; completing medicine by the age of 27; earning her specialization in infectious diseases by the age of 30; getting deployed in local public hospitals of their town by the age of 32; and serving as doctor in war-torn areas by the age of 35.

Anticipate Turns, Detours, and Potholes

The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and spur-of-the-moment decisions that can make you lose your way. But oftentimes our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control. Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes thus; we must anticipate them and adjust accordingly.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How to Sell A Diamond

There are many reasons why you may want to sell a diamond that you own. Perhaps you’ve gotten divorced, or you are strapped for cash. The reasons why don’t really matter – getting the best possible price is what counts! The way to obtain the best price for the diamond is to not be in a rush. Slow down, and carefully consider all of your options – there are many.

First, have the diamond appraised. In fact, have it appraised by two or three jewelers to get an accurate idea of the diamonds value. Tell the appraiser that you want the Rapaport Value. This is the wholesale value of the diamond, and it basically tells you the highest price that you can sell your diamond for. If your
diamond has no certificate, you should consider getting a certificate from GIA. This
may help you get a better price for the diamond as well.

First, try to sell the diamond yourself, to people you know. Friends and family
members may be interested. If you don’t have any luck with friends or family members, you should turn to outside sources. Absolutely avoid pawn shops! A pawn shop will only offer you about 10% of what the diamond is worth! Also avoid offers of selling the ring on consignment. There are many things that can go wrong, and there is no shortage of diamond scams – even in well known jewelry stores.

If the diamond is important, you should strongly consider auctioning it off through
one of the famous auction houses, such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s. If it isn’t what is considered an ‘important’ diamond or a high-end diamond, you should try to sell it to an individual using classified ads, or even eBay. However, selling to an individual that you do not know could put you in danger – especially if the diamond is worth a lot of money.

Your final option should be a jewelry store. It is vital that you not let your diamond out of your sight while in the jewelry store – you might find that the diamond you walked in with is not the same diamond that you walk out with! The jeweler will try to tell you that your diamond is of poor quality or low weight. Inevitably, there will be some problem with the diamond. This is where
your appraisal and/or certificate will come in handy.

If the jeweler is fair, they will offer you between 60% and 80% of the value of the
Rapaport Value. Do not accept anything less than this. Again, do not let the diamond out of your sight until you have been paid for it.

Choosing The Cut of A Diamond

There are many different cuts of diamonds to choose from. The cut essentially refers to the shape that the diamond is cut into – unless you are in the diamond or jewelry business, but this shape has a great impact on the much the diamond sparkles.

The most popular cuts are heart, marquise, oval, pear, princess, round, trillion, and emerald cuts. The shape has an impact on how much the diamond sparkles, but the
actual cutting itself – when the diamond cutter actually cuts the diamond into a
particular shape – also matters a great deal. If the diamond is poorly cut, it will lose its sparkle.

However, in the diamond industry, the cut of a diamond doesn’t refer to its shape at all. Instead, this is a reference to the stone’s depth, width, brilliance, durability, clarity, and other aspects of the diamond. Common cutting problems include a missing or off center culet, misalignment, a diamond that is too thick or too thin, cracks, or broken culets.

When shopping for a diamond, you should of course choose the shape that you like the
best, but then look at several different diamonds of that shape to find the one with
the best cut – the one that sparkles the most, in all types of lighting.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

10 Questions You Should Ask To Yourself

"What Really Makes You Tick?" 10 questions you should ask to yourself: a preparation to self-improvement

Be all you can be, but it's not always in the Army. I often see myself as somewhat contented with my life the way things are, but of course it's hard to think of anything else when where are real issues to be discussed.

Still I aspire for something deeper and more meaningful.

So we're all pelted with problems. Honestly it shouldn't even bother or even hinder us to becoming all we ought to be. Aspirations as kids should continue to live within us, even though it would be short-lived or as long as we could hold on to the dream. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks… or can they?

1. What do I really want?
The question of the ages. So many things you want to do with your life and so little time to even go about during the day.

Find something that you are good at can help realize that small step towards improvement. Diligence is the key to know that it is worth it.

2. Should I really change?
Today's generation has taken another level of redefining 'self', or at least that's what the kids are saying. Having an army of teenage nieces and nephews has taught me that there are far worse things that they could have had than acne or maybe even promiscuity. So how does that fit into your lifestyle?

If history has taught us one thing, it's the life that we have gone through. Try to see if partying Seventies style wouldn't appeal to the younger generation, but dancing is part of partying. Watch them applaud after showing them how to really dance than break their bones in break-dancing.

3. What's the bright side in all of this?
With so much is happening around us there seem to be no room for even considering that light at the end of the tunnel. We can still see it as something positive without undergoing so much scrutiny. And if it's a train at the end of the tunnel, take it for a ride and see what makes the world go round!

4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing?
There's always the easy way and the right way when it comes to deciding what goes with which shoes, or purse, shirt and whatnot. It doesn't take a genius to see yourself as someone unique, or else we'll all be equally the same in everything we do. Variety brings in very interesting and exciting questions to be experimented.

5. Have I done enough for myself?
Have you, or is there something more you want to do? Discontentment in every aspect can be dangerous in large doses, but in small amounts you'll be able to see and do stuff you could never imagine doing.

6. Am I happy at where I am today?
It's an unfair question so let it be an answer! You love being a good and loving mom or dad to your kids, then take it up a notch! Your kids will love you forever. The same goes with everyday life!

7. Am I appealing to the opposite sex?
So maybe I don't have an answer to that, but that doesn't mean I can't try it, though. Whether you shape-up, change the way you wear your clothes or hair, or even your attitude towards people, you should always remember it will always be for your own benefit.

8. How much could I have?
I suppose in this case there is no such things on having things too much or too little, but it's more on how badly you really need it. I'd like to have lots of money, no denying that, but the question is that how much are you willing to work for it?

9. What motivates me?
What motivates you? It's an answer you have to find out for yourself. There are so many things that can make everyone happy, but to choose one of the may be the hardest part. It's not like you can't have one serving of your favorite food in a buffet and that's it. Just try it piece by piece.

10. What Really Makes You Tick?
So? What really makes you tick? You can be just about anything you always wanted to be, but to realize that attaining something that may seem very difficult is already giving up before you even start that journey. Always remember, that self-improvement is not just about the physical or philosophical change you have to undergo, but it's something that you really want.

Spiritual Growth: the Spiritual Challenge of Modern Times

To grow spiritually in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a Herculean task. Modern conveniences such as electronic equipments, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment through television, magazines, and the web have predisposed us to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and wants. As a result, our concepts of self-worth and self-meaning are muddled. How can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually is to look inward.

Introspection goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must sustain and the bad traits you have to discard. Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation. Like any skill, introspection can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. Here are some pointers when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials.

Religion and science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. In Psychology, realizing one’s full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow identified several human needs: physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. James earlier categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next. Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development: Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology view that self-development is an end by itself.

To grow spiritually is to search for meaning.

Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianism, Judaism, and Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and affirm. Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use; sustains us during trying times; and gives us something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections.

Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all creation, live and inanimate. Thus we call other people “brothers and sisters” even if there are no direct blood relations. Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science expounds on our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectedness is a characteristic of self-transcendence, the highest human need according to Maslow. Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you.

Growth is a process thus to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.