Author Archives: Olivia Moffett

Top 5 engagement ring diamond cuts

loose diamonds

Engagement rings are only as good as the diamond they house and for many, this is a very personal decision. The way a diamond is cut contributes to many things, including how sparkly it is, how heavy it is and how expensive it is. There are many types of diamond cuts for a custom engagement ring and each has a very specific look and feel. Before embarking on buying a diamond, it is truly important to know a little bit of the common lingo, and that includes knowing about diamond cuts. If you have a good idea of diamond cuts, and especially, what your future fiance likes, it will help save you time because you will be able to go into The Diamond Reserve with a short list in mind and only need to look through diamonds you know are your future fiance’s style. Here are a few of the most popular diamond cuts to get you started in your research:

  1. Princess cut diamond- By far one of the most popular diamond cuts, the princess cut diamond is a favorite among brides because the name reminds them that they are a princess and because the stone is a lovely square cut. The angular cut makes it a brilliant stone when it catches light in all angles.
  2. Round cut diamond- Often cited as another of the most popular diamond cuts for engagement rings, the round cut diamond is just that: round cut. A round cut diamond will often have the most sparkle and looks great in a classic solitaire setting.
  3. Emerald cut diamond- The emerald cut diamond’s method was taken from the emerald gemstone, which was cut a certain way to show off it’s brilliance. An emerald cut diamond is long and rectangular with pointed corners and if you look at it from the sides, seems to have stairsteps to the top.
  4. Cushion cut- Sometimes known as a pillow cut diamond, a cushion cut diamond is a squoval shape, mixing square cut and oval cut methods. This type of diamond looks lovely in antique or vintage settings.
  5. Pear cut diamond- A pear cut diamond, like the name implies, is shaped like a pair with a rounder, wider bottom that comes to a point. This is a unique diamond cut, perfect for the bride who likes to show her individuality. Pear cuts also elongate fingers, making them look dainty and showcasing the ring nicely.

There are, of course, numerous other cuts for diamonds, but the ones above are a good place to start and will help you start to understand the possibilities available when creating a custom engagement ring. Depending on the type of look you are going for, the cut of the diamond you choose will factor heavily into the overall look and feel of the engagement ring. Take this into account when choosing because this piece of jewelry will be on your future fiance’s finger for years to come and you want to make sure it reflects their style, individuality and taste.

Magnetic strips are an easy way to organize jewelry

adhesive magnets

 

Jewelry is a popular way to provide personality and style to any outfit. Even the most plain styles like a classic white tee shirt and jeans can be made to look especially fashion forward by adding a few accessories like a large statement necklace or perhaps even big, statement earrings. For outfits like a little black dress or a solid colored sweater, jewelry can turn a look from day to night or from casual to fancy. Bracelets, rings and broaches are another way to add a bit of flair to any outfit without the need for bulky outer garments or expensive shoes. Besides that, jewelry is much more compact and easier to collect and store for people who live in small spaces as opposed to collecting clothes that can easily overtake a small closet. Jewelry storage, however, is often frustrating because it needs to be easily seen at a glance and can often tangle when it is stored in a drawer or small jewelry box. For those who have large collections of jewelry, visual storage is important. This is why many people have been using magnetic strips as a way to store jewelry in small spaces.

Magnetic strips can be put up on walls in a closet, bedroom, hallway, bathroom or office with relative ease and will provide a place for jewelry to hang without getting tangled. It will also be in plain sight meaning it is easy to accessorize an outfit and find what one needs and what they are looking for.

Magnet strips are also extremely cost effective and will prevent someone from needing to buy an expensive jewelry case. It will also prevent one from needing to declutter their jewelry and get rid of pieces they love simply because they do not have the space to store them. In addition, magnet tape can turn jewelry into art by allowing it to hang on the wall and be seen. Jewelry is decorative for outfits and the body, so there is no reason why it shouldn’t also be able to serve as decor. Particularly for someone who is a lover and collector of jewelry, this is a pro for having the ability to display jewelry in a streamlined, organized way in one’s home. Much like the way chefs may display knives on a magnetic wall stip or carpenters or construction workers may display tools like hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and more on a magnetic wall strip in their shop, jewelry and accessory aficionados can now use a similar tactic to display their collection of jewelry and accessories. By adding hooks they can even store scarves, bags, wallets and hats, which allows for an entire collection of accessories besides just jewelry to be displayed as art in a home.

For those who have ever worried about the size of their jewelry collection proportionate to the size of their home, bedroom or closet, magnetic strips provide an easy, cost effective, space saving way to store jewelry without needing to get rid of anything.

Here is how lasik eye surgery is performed

lasik eye surgery

Have you ever seen footage of lasik eye surgery? It can look a little scary with the eye propped open and a laser headed straight towards it. We all know that eyes are sensitive and thinking about anything, especially something as invasive as a laser, entering it seems frightening. If you are thinking about getting or are already scheduled to get lasik eye surgery, you can help mitigate some of the fear and worry by being prepared and knowing what to expect throughout the procedure. You can do this by talking extensively with your doctor beforehand, but the below process will also give you a clear idea of the steps involved in lasik surgery.

First, your lasik specialist will administer numbing drops into your eye. This will help to ensure that you do not feel any pain during any part of the procedure, including when your eyelid is propped open with a medical device or when the laser cuts into the eye. The numbing eye drops can take a quarter of an hour to go into effect fully, so you may have to wait around for a bit before your specialist starts the procedure. This may feel a little strange because your eyeball will be slowly losing sensation, but this is ultimately the best thing for it because it will prevent you from feeling pain.

Following the numbing drops, your ophthalmologist will set you up on the procedure table and prepare you for the procedure. This will include propping your eyelid open so that the specialist can get to it easily and without the danger of you blinking or obstructing their work in some way. Next, they will use a laser or very small scalpel to cut a flap into the cornea of your eye. The cornea is the clear, curved part of the eye that filters light into your pupil and helps your eye and brain to determine depth perception.

Once the flap has been cut, your ophthalmologist will use the laser to shave off some of your corneal tissue that is causing trouble to your vision. Vision trouble that can be corrected by lasik included astigmatism, near sighted vision and far sighted vision.

Once the corneal tissue has been removed, the doctor will put the flap back and it will immediately begin healing and re-incorporating itself into your eye. The doctor will probably put in eye drops and perhaps prescribe you some as well. You will not be able to drive after surgery so make sure you have a ride home. It is normal to feel a little bit of discomfort, but for the most part, your vision should be greatly improved in about a day.

Though the surgery only takes about a half hour and the healing only takes about 24 hours, it will provide you with a lifetime of better vision and less worries about your optical health and things like cataract surgery. Make sure to stay in touch with your doctor should you experience any complications post surgery, but most people report that their healing process and continued optical health is good.

Here’s why testing is important to education leaders

Colorado Succeeds

It is safe to say that you probably remember taking standardized tests in school. In Colorado, there was the CSAP, also known as the Colorado Student Assessment Program. During these types of tests, a school will usually suspend its usual activities and spend a few days with their students taking these tests. It was a stressful time for students, only slightly made better by the snacks handed out by teacher’s aides and the few minutes of silent reading time you got if you finished a section early. From a young age,  however, kids somehow knew to be stressed out by the test. It felt a little scary and very important. It felt this way for teachers, too, whose skill as an educator was highly scrutinized based on the way their students tested. Due to the fact that this type of testing continued to stress children out through the years, parents began opting their children out of the test. While this seems like it might be a good choice from a mental health perspective, it is actually not a great move in the long run.

Why is that, you might ask? Standardized testing is important because it is what gives schools and school districts the data they need to measure and track their progress. This data is what can get them more funding, grant money, and other extra opportunities. It will also help those who do education advocacy to ask for specialized aid if certain schools or school districts are underperforming or struggling. When large amounts of children opt out of testing, however, it skews the results greatly and therefore does not provide reliable data. For teachers, this is problem because it skews or in some cases, makes their data irrelevant. This can look bad on their record and make it different for them to work at other schools or other school districts. In the realms of grant money and funding, schools and school districts must provide reliable data in order to qualify. As you have probably figured out, schools with lots of children opting out are generally not eligible for funding that they normally should have gotten or would have qualified for under other circumstances.

Though rating schools and going through standards is tough for all involved, it is actually a huge help in making sure that education leaders are able to see where improvements need to be made and work to make those happen. From an education advocacy perspective, long term vision and strategic planning is important because it helps put into place ways for schools to improve over the years. The only way to show improvement over the years is through measurable data, and in order to get this data, students need to be taking standardized tests.

Many business leaders in the community work together to advocate for education because they know that education is the foundation of the growth and development of the children in our community. They also know that when these children get a superior education, they become an educated and dynamic workforce who later become the business leaders of tomorrow.

The best baby carrier for you is also the most comfortable

baby carrier

For centuries and all across the globe, mothers have been having babies. These mothers come from all walks of life from field workers to lawyers to doctors to artists to engineers to waiters to writers and everything in between. With all of their differences in career, religion, language, culture socioeconomic status and more, these mothers have one thing in common: they need to be able to care for their babies in a way that is most beneficial for both the mother and the child. All busy moms must tend to their babies and the younger the child, the more attention it will need. In fact, most babies benefit from being held many hours a day. This helps the mother and child bond, while also allowing the child to develop by being around people, faces, languages and emotions. When a mother holds a baby, there is also a release of oxytocin from both the mother and baby which not only aids in overall bonding, but will make other things like breastfeeding, should a mother choose to do so, easier for both the mother and the baby.

In order to maximize the amount of time a mother and her child can bond, many mothers are looking to baby carriers to help them. A baby carrier is a contraption, usually cloth, that swaddles and cradles a baby to the mother, almost like a sling. This allows the baby to be close to the mother at all times, but leaves the mother’s arms free.

One of the difficulty things about holding a baby without a baby carrier is that it can be tiring on the arms and also can make a mother feel unproductive during her day. With a baby carrier, the child’s weight is being held by the wrap, so the the mother will not get tired as quickly.

A benefit of a baby wrap is that they are made of stretchy, comfortable, soft fabric, which is, of course, best for the baby because it allows them to sleep comfortably and stay warm, but it is also good for the mother. This is because the soft, stretchy, durable fabric is much more comfortable and allows the weight of the child to be distributed appropriately across the mother’s back and shoulders. A correctly wrapped baby wrap will ensure that there is no strain on the mother while the child is resting comfortably in the wrap, which means the mother can utilize the device for longer and therefore maximize the amount of bonding time she is able to have with her child throughout the day.

Another way baby wraps are great for mom is because they come in so many different colors, styles and prints. This means they are comfortable, not only physically, but help a mother express her individual style as well. Just because moms give birth doesn’t mean they don’t have the desire to look and feel great about themselves and their style. When using a baby carrier that expresses a little character, it can make mothers feel happier and more confident, and that positive energy will absolutely be felt by their children as they carry them in a baby wrap.

Termite control can help keep your home safe

termite control

Termites are one of every homeowner’s biggest fears. Studies show that termites do billions of dollars in damage to homes every year. They feed on wood, mostly, but have also been known to feed on insulation, books, trees, shrubs and more within your home. With a termite infestation, sometimes initial detection can be difficult, and when infestation has been happening for a while behind the walls, the consequences can be devastating. In fact, termite infestations can go on for years behind walls and structures with no damage to the front coverings you see every day. In many cases, it’s a fluke that helps detect termite infestation, such as a vacuum or broom or even a person putting a hole in wood that would normally take more force to damage. Weak wood is an indicator of termite infestation that should be dealt with.

Termite control is a crucial part of taking care of your home. You should keep an eye out for termites at all times, particularly in Spring when they are most common. Termites are sometimes mistaken by homeowners as ants, because they have similar sizes and structures. A good way to tell the difference is by their antennae. Termites have straight antennae while ants have antennae that bend in the middle, sort of like a joint. While ants aren’t necessarily welcome house guests, it is the termites that you should be particularly worried about if you find them.

Other ways to detect termites include looking for termites emerging from the foundation of your home. If you see this, it would be best for you to immediately call termite exterminators to look at the problem. Damage to the foundation of your home can be extremely dangerous for you and your family if left untreated. Termites, like other types of bugs, are attracted to light, so it’s also a good idea to check around your windows, doors or other areas of your home where there is wood and a good source of light. You may also notice what looks like brown veining on certain surfaces. If you look closer, you’ll see that these are tiny tunnels made of mud which termites use to travel through when going from one structure to another. If you see these tunnels, you must call an expert like Salvant Pest Control immediately. Even if these tunnels aren’t currently active, they may indicate a past infestation or an infestation taking place in another part of your house.

No one likes to think about their home being devoured by an unseen enemy. If you own your home, this is essentially money being taken directly from you. If you are renting, you may end up footing the bill for the damage. Neither of these scenarios are desirable which is why it is always best to contact professionals to assess any type of situation that could indicate termite infestations. Keep an eye out for some of the signs discussed above, and never take a “wait and see” approach when dealing with pest control. If you do not act quickly during an termite infestation, you are putting your investment, your home and your family at risk.

 

How to get over your fear of attending a group training class

group training

Going to a group training class for the first time can be intimidating. You may wonder if the people in class are all more fit than you, if they’ve been coming to the class for much longer than you or if they’ve already formed friend groups that have no room for you. Then of course there’s the fear that the actual workout itself will be too difficult, you will be bad at it and the other people in class will judge you. The reality is, fitness should never be about judgement. It is a highly personal journey and the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself.

Group fitness classes are linked to high rates of weight loss and a sense of community, so if you are on the fence about going, you should give it a try. In order to help combat some of the nervousness, it can be extremely helpful to know what to expect when you go.

One of the most important aspect of any group fitness class is that you find something that is fun. If you enjoy the workout, your nerves will melt away along with the calories. The best way of doing this is by finding a gym that offers a broad range of class types. Gyms like Fitness 4 Less have lots of options that will allow you to find the right workout to help you achieve your fitness goals.

It’s a good idea to show up about 10 minutes early for class. This will give you some time to stretch and get comfortable in the room the class is held in. This is also a great time to make casual conversation with other class members as they come in. You can ask them how long they’ve been coming and if they like the workout or instructor. You may also meet someone who is attending for the first time too, in which case you can have each other for support.

When class starts, the instructor will usually start with a warmup to get your heart pumping and your muscles loose. Don’t feel like you need to be in the front. You will get all the same benefits from class in the back row as you will in the front.

Also make sure to listen to your body, especially if you are new to working out. If you feel faint, nauseated, or weak, take a quick break. Have a sip of water. You don’t need to wait for an instructor to tell you when you are allowed to take breaks. Working out is about becoming in tune with your body and others will respect you more if you know your limits.

Finally, try your best to let loose and have fun. Working out is for you and you alone. If you find a fitness club that makes you feel like you are part of a community, chances are the group fitness classes will follow suit. The instructor wants their students to get fit and enjoy their time in class, so there’s no shame in having fun!

Hunter Douglas Window Coverings Are More Energy Efficient

Something that every person who has to pay their own energy bill these days is concerned about, naturally, is energy efficiency. Heating and cooling any space can rapidly become one of the larger expenses, especially if you live in a place that has extreme summers or winters—which is pretty much everywhere in the ‘States save a chunk of California everyone knows does not have weather.

There are many ways to be more efficient in allocating energy usage and/or cutting down on energy usage entirely; you probably already know a handful, such as only plugging in appliances when you are actively using them, or only turning on air conditioning for brief parts of the day when it is most necessary. What we are going to focus on today are custom window coverings. A well-made window covering will not only improve the aesthetic of any space, it will insulate and regulate the temperature of any given room.

Sitting around in the soul-searing heat of high summer, wishing that it did not cost quite so much to run the air conditioner at arctic temperatures? Well-fitted Hunter Douglas blinds will block out most of the sunlight beating down on your house, reflecting the rays of light right back out. They will not actively cool your house like your air conditioner would, but they will stop a great deal of the heat from building up in the first place—which goes a long way in ensuring you do not actually need to run your air conditioning at arctic temperatures in the first place.Carolina.4

And while the solid nature of window blinds blocks out most of the incoming light—and thus heat—even a good set of Hunter Douglas shades will have this cooling effect by diffusing the light streaming through your sun-facing windows, wherever they happen to be at that moment. Take a note from those who use solar panels: sun will hit longest and hardest on south-facing fronts of houses in most parts of the ‘States. So put darker blinds on all your south-facing windows, and gentler shades on the north-facing windows for a variety of levels of light input. There is no need to live in an entirely darkened cave of blacked-out windows to keep cool during the summer—unless, of course, that’s how you roll.

Similarly, during the winter months, window coverings will add an extra layer between you and the howling, freezing wasteland that is the outside—nice when you’re dressed for it, but perhaps less nice when you’re sneaking across the house without shoes on in the middle of the night to grab a hot drink. A good window covering will help the precious heat you have built in your home from escaping quite so quickly through said windows, as well as help block any drafts your windows may suddenly develop right as you’re walking past them.

                While a nice set of blinds might seem like an entirely superficial decision, made to beautify a room only, they actually are functional far beyond just ‘make my living room prettier than it was before’; they will also make your living room temperature much easier to regulate, in either summer or winter, and are therefore yet another step that can be taken to the road to Perfect Energy Efficiency.