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Articles: How To Make Grits Can You Find The Gorget?
Contents Become The Ultimate Cookie Exchange Host
Kids Eat Free
Charlestonâ€™s Office of Cultural Affairs
Gift Cards Make The Perfect Presant
Carolina Girls Know About Breast Cancer
Time To Refiance or Buy?
10 Reasons To Plant Trees...Now
Ensure Your Beauty Outlast The Day
Save Some Green While Living Green
From The Editor Shop Local in Downtown Columbia Promoting local business is as simple as having other company’s business cards or brochures posted on a board in your store. In an effort to promote your area, we are distributing decals that say “Check us out at www.Downtown.sc,” in hopes that local shoppers will visit the site to find local restaurants, clothing, specials, coupons and more. We are doing our part, so please join us, and promote your local merchants, and everyone will benefit!
Top Ten reasons to Think Local Buy Local - Be Local – Help Local Businesses 1. Buy Local -- Support yourself and Downtown. Many studies have revealed when you buy from an independent, locally owned business in the your own area, rather than a nationally owned businesses, considerably more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses. Local businesses continue to strengthen the economic base of the local community. These include case studies showing that local local owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact to the community and our tax base.
2.Support Local Area Community Groups:
Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller Downtown area business owners than they do from large companies.
3. Keep Your Area Unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind local businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character. Local tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust.
4. Reduce Environmental Impact: Locally owned businesses in your area can make more local purchases requiring less transportation. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
5. Create Additional Jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in the community, provide the most jobs to local residents. 6. Receive Better Service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products and services they offer, and take more time to get to know customers. Cont. next page www.Columbia.Downtown.sc Online Magazine | 2009 5
in Your Community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, and they are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the communityâ€™s future.
Local businesses require a relatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering your area.
9. Buy What you Want, Not What Big Advertising Budgets Want you to Buy: A South Carolina marketplace comprised of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products and services based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, promises a much broader range of product choices.
10. Promote Local Prosperity: An escalating body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character. Larry Local Editor in Chief
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CEO Dennis Stewart Editor In Chief Larry Local Art Director Amy Coats Web Developers Matthew Coats Administration & Marketing Vivi Morillo
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In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
www.Golfing.sc Fax: (843)725-4734
THE ULTIMATE COOKIE EXCHANGE HOST
(ARA) - Cookie exchange parties are a holiday tradition that provides a fun-filled reason for friends and family to enjoy each other's company and fill up their holiday cookie trays. This season, bakers and holiday entertainers can visit www.kissescookies.com to find a one-stop shop for receiving and sharing holiday baking and party planning tips that are sure to sweeten any holiday get-together. For those looking to create the ultimate cookie exchange, the experts at Hershey's Kisses Brand Chocolates offer the following tips to turn any holiday party into a sweet success. The iconic chocolate treat also will serve as the party-planning partner for holiday hosts by sponsoring 1,000 cookie exchange parties nationwide. To apply to host a Hershey's Kisses Chocolates Cookie Exchange and for recipes and additional party tips visit www.kissescookies.com.
Cookie exchange tips: * When sending out invitations, include a unique cookie recipe for each guest as a suggestion. Also ask your guests to RSVP with the recipe they plan to make so that you can be sure not to double up on a specific type of cookie. You can find a variety of creative recipes at www.kissescookies.com. * Once you have all the RSVPs, inform your guests how many cookies they need to bring. One dozen per guest is a good start, but if you're having a large party, it might be a good idea to reduce this quantity to only a half-dozen cookies so that guests aren't overwhelmed with baking. * Encourage your guests to bring copies of their recipe for everyone. Also ask them to bring along sealable containers for the cookies they're taking home. Have a few extra containers on hand in case someone forgets.
* To give your party added fun, set out gift tags, gift bags, ribbons and pens so that your guests can create gifts for co-workers, neighbors, teachers and friends. * Play holiday music and offer simple refreshments like hot cocoa, warm apple cider, coffee, tea and eggnog to keep the holiday ambiance going. To get your party planning started, consider the following recipes for your cookie exchange:
Kisses Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes four dozen cookies
Ingredients Cookies: 48 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates 1 cup softened butter ¹/³ cup granulated sugar ¹/³ cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups flour 1 cup Hershey's Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolates Chocolate drizzle: ¼ cup Hershey's Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolates 1 teaspoon shortening Directions Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the wrappers from the milk chocolates. Beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well blended. Add flour and blend until smooth. Stir in the mini chips. Mold scant tablespoons of dough around the milk chocolates, covering completely. Shape into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
Prepare chocolate drizzle by placing the mini chips and shortening in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium heat for 30 seconds and stir. If necessary, microwave at a medium heat for an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth when stirred. Drizzle mixture over each cookie.
Chocolate Almond Thumbprint Cookies Makes three and one half dozen cookies
Ingredients Cookies: 1 cup softened butter ²/³cup sugar 2 egg yolks ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups flour ¼ cup Hershey's Cocoa ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup finely chopped almonds Chocolate filling: 42 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates with Almonds ½ cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon Hershey's Cocoa 1 tablespoon softened butter 2 ½ teaspoons milk ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the wrappers from the milk chocolates. Beat together butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract together until well blended. Stir together flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl and mix into the butter mixture. Roll dough into one-inch balls and roll in chopped almonds. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and press thumb gently into the center of each cookie. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely. Prepare chocolate filling by combining powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Beat mixture until smooth. Spoon or pipe about ¼ teaspoon of the chocolate filling into each thumbprint on the cooled cookies. Gently press one milk chocolate into the center of each cookie.
In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, Long ago.
Kids Eat Free Beef O’Brady’s Kids eat free Tuesday’s from 4-9pm (803) 548-7878
Italian Pie 2 Free Kids meal per Adult Purchase Wednesday Nights (803) 454-1743 McAlister’s Deli Kids eat Free Every night after 5pm (803) 951-3332
Moe’s Southwest Grill Free Kids meal per paid Adult meal $5.00 or more Tuesday Aiken - (803) 642-0409 Columbia (Beltline Blvd.)- (803) 743-9663 Columbia (Town Center Place)- (803) 788-6639 Irmo - (803) 749-6638 Lexington - (803) 996-9200
New Orleans Riverfront Restaurant Children 12 and under eat free. Limit: One child per paying adult. Offer does not include drink or dessert. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday (803) 794-5112 Village Pizza Kids 9 and under eat free Monday (803) 547-7770
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
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Get Your Carolina Girl Gear!
Want to grow your business?
Join the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce! As the unified voice of business, the South Carolina Chamber is working to grow wealth for South Carolinians and businesses in order to improve economic development and quality of life.
We help your business and you by: • Getting your voice heard by our state legislators through our Grassroots Network • Working to pass business-friendly legislation • Keeping you informed on issues and providing solutions for growing your business through our monthly magazine, South Carolina Business • Providing networking opportunities with legislators and other business owners • Training your employees on human resources, quality and management issues • Publishing a legal reference series
Join the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce!
Contact us today at 800-799-4601. Learn more at www.scchamber.net.
Charleston’s Office Of Cultural Affairs launches www.CharlestonArts.sc, as thier new arts Web Site From: Charleston Currents The City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs has launched http://www.CharlestonArts.sc, a companion Web site to the OCA’s primary page at the city’s official site. CharlestonArts.sc will be updated daily with information and features, including an arts calendar that users can search by date, artist, presenting group or venue; social networking widgets; and a directory of local arts and cultural organizations and venues. “We are hopeful that CharlestonArts.sc will be a major benefit to local artists and arts organizations by disseminating information about their events with the most up-to-date information to a broader public,” said Ellen Dressler Moryl, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs. Other options for users at CharlestonArts.sc include the following: • Arts organizations can download forms from the Office of Cultural Affairs, submit events, update contact information and compare performance dates with other area organizations. • The Tools for Professional section of the Web site features job listings for arts professionals, including full time and part time work as well as internships and volunteer opportunities with arts and cultural organizations in the tri-county area. • Updated grant opportunities for arts organizations, with detailed information, including deadlines, application and contact information. • Call for Submissions and Call for Auditions pages with details about the location, deadlines, fees and additional requirements. The new Web site also hosts connecting pages for general information on the Office of Cultural Affairs and its projects: the Charleston Farmers Market, the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Holiday Magic, Happy New Year Charleston!, the Holiday Parade of Boats, the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program, Piccolo Spoleto and the MOJA Arts Festival. The Web Site was developed and is being hosted by Carolina Media Services ( www.ONLY.sc) .
South Carolina’s Internet
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Sunshine cannot bleach the snow, Nor time unmake what poets know
Gift cards make the perfect present this holiday season
(ARA) - Tired of spending way too much on holiday gifts that end up shoved in the back of the recipient's closet? Still blushing after buying a size 14 for your size 8 cousin last year? Dread the idea of your thoughtful present ending up regifted? This year try giving everyone on your list - from the do-it-yourselfer to the one who has everything - just what they want while saving time and sticking to your budget.
Giving the gift of choice Gift cards that carry the name of a payment network such as Visa can be a great solution to gift-giving dilemmas. They can be used anywhere that brand's payments cards are accepted, so the recipient can shop for just what they want.
Giving gift cards can also help you stick to your holiday budget. Gift cards are available in a range of both set and selectable denominations so they are the right price whether giving a colleague a little something or splurging on someone special. It's easy to create a personalized gift card giving experience by getting creative with your presentation. For example, give your shopaholic sister a gift card wrapped in a shoebox so she can pick out the perfect new pair to go with her favorite dress. Gift cards are also great to have on hand during the holidays for last minute host and hostess gifts. A few tips can help shoppers present the perfect holiday gift this season: * One stop shop. Avoid long holiday lines and the last minute rush by picking up as many cards as needed in one convenient location. Quick shops, grocery stores, banks and online sites, like www.visa.com/gift, provide easy access to fulfilling gift card needs. * Seek security. Look for cards that offer protections to ensure a card can be replaced if lost or stolen. * Share information. No matter how you wrap it, a gift card should be given with all the materials that came with the card at time of purchase, including terms and conditions. This information helps explain how to best use the card and what to do should it become lost or stolen.
Using the perfect gift Recipients of open loop gift cards will love the added convenience and flexibility that comes from being able to spend their gift card however, and wherever, they choose. If you receive a gift card this holiday season, you can get the most out of your gift card experience by following these helpful hints: * Activate. As soon as you receive your card, activate it by phone or on the Web, following the instructions in the materials that accompanied the card. Be sure to register it too if that's an option. * Know the balance. Before heading out the door, be sure to check your balance by calling the card issuer or logging on to the Web. * Keep it handy. Hang on to your card - even after the balance is depleted - just in case a retailer needs it to process any returns or credits. Likewise, be sure to keep the information you received with the card, such as the terms and conditions, card number and issuer's 1-800 number, in the event you need to report a lost or stolen card. From simplicity to security, gift cards that allow the recipient to choose where to shop have benefits for the giver as well as the receiver all wrapped up. For more information about Visa gift cards, visit www.visa.com/gift.
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
The chances that you will get breast cancer has a lot to do with your genetic disposition (youâ€™re more likely to get breast cancer if your grandmother or another relative was diagnosed with it), but it also has to do with your environment. The incidence of breast cancer varies greatly around the world, lessening in less developed countries and increasing in more developed countries. In South Carolina, your chances are 124.1 in 100,000 if you are Caucasian, and 109.7 if you are African American, according to a 2004 report by the American Cancer Society. Chances go up with age, with 77% of breast cancer incidences occurring in women over the age of 50. Leading risks for breast cancer include a family history, atypical hyperplasia, delaying pregnancy until after age 30 or never becoming pregnant, early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), current use or use in the last ten years of oral contraceptives, and daily consumption of alcohol.
Early detection is important! Early detection of breast cancer, through your monthly self examination and your yearly mammogram after the age of 40 are your best chances for surviving breast cancer if you are diagnosed. About 96% of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer free in five years. You are never too young to start checking for breast cancer. Although over 80% of breast lumps are not cancerous, regular self-examinations starting at the age of 20 will help you become familiar with your breasts and help you in detecting early-forming lumps.
Carolina Girls Know About Breast Cancer Prevention There are plenty of ways to help prevent your risks for breast cancer, and most of those are things you should already be doing, like exercising, eating healthy food and not drinking in excess. If you at risk for breast cancer because of family history or you are over the age of 50, here are a few suggestions to help keep you fit and cancer free: 1) Maintain a BMI (Body Mass Index) below 25 throughout your life. Overweight individuals are at a much higher risk for breast cancer than average or underweight individuals. 2) Minimize your consumption of alcohol. A recent Harvard Nurses Health Study reported that more than one alcoholic beverage a day increases your chances for breast cancer by 20 â€“ 25%. 3) Eat your fruits and veggies! 4) Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes five times a week. This could be a nice, brisk walk with the dog or a jaunt up to the corner store. If the president of the United States can find 30 minutes a day to exercise, so can you. 5) Minimize your exposure to pharmacological and xeno-estrogrens. Estrogen can be found in more than just your birth control pills: poultry, red meat and dairy products are all quite likely to have estrogen in them unless theyâ€™re labeled organic. Be sure to thoroughly wash all of your fruits and veggies before eating them, since common pesticides and industrial chemicals are likely to contain chemically-created estrogen. www.Columbia.Downtown.sc Online Magazine | 2009 38
When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels
rate with the tax advantages of a mortgage, and you have an incredibly cheap way to build wealth, but you better act now.
Time to Refinance Buy !?
Right now, mortgage rates are at their lowest level since 1971. Think about that. Twenty-five years ago, homeowners were paying as much as 18% on a 30-year fixed. Today it’s just a little over 5%.Combine that
Real estate guru Barbara Corcoran has already seen a tremendous surge in refinance applications – more than triple the average – and the number of people getting approved is astronomically higher as well, she says. But that doesn’t mean the low rates are a panacea for the ills of the housing market. It is only once home prices start to go up that we will finally see a light at the end of tunnel, Corcoran says. Until that happens, we are still going to have to crawl out of this mess. “[Low interest rates are] a not a lifesaver,” Corcoran says. “This is just a helping hand.”
David Kittle, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, has this advice to homeowners looking to refinance: Do it. Don’t get greedy searching for another quarter-point. Lock in rates now. He is seeing applications soar over 125% just since Thanksgiving due to the low rates. Of course, you should only refinance if it saves you at least 3/8 on the rate and if you plan on staying in your home for at least four years, Kittle says. Along with good credit, proof of income and money by means of a down payment or equity in the home, there are certain things every homeowner needs regardless of interest rate levels.
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â€œKindness is like snow - it beautifies everything it coversâ€?
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I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. www.Columbia.Downtown.sc Online Magazine | 2009 48
Staycations Discover Something Close to Home Because of the economy, and the possibility of the return of high gas prices, you may decide to make this year summer a stay at home vacation or as it is now being called -- a staycation. So you get on the internet and search out some not so distant and inexpensive attractions you and your family can discover and enjoy. The State of South Carolina has hundreds of unique and fascinating areas filled with history, fun and enjoyment, that there is sure to be something for everyone in your family. Here are some ideas:
Everyone has friends with homes other places in South Carolina.
The next time they go out of town, offer them your services to check their mail, keep the dog, and house sit in a different city. Not only are you doing a favor, you are giving yourself and your family the opportunity to see another area of the State, that you may never have seen. This could be within 50 miles of where you live right now and youâ€™ll have enjoyed a little staycation from your everyday grind. Folks that live in Greenville
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can go up in the Hills. If you live near the water, ask a friend that lives on the water, or in a golf community.
Learn to experiment a little.
If you have never gone fishing, try it. South Carolina has some of the best fresh and salt water fishing in the country. Have you ever done any backpacking? The hills in the western part of the State are wonderful for all day or half day backpacking adventures. You can also experiment by doing things like surfing, canoeing, camping, hunting, and even bird watching.
Try a Bed and Breakfast.
You may be surprised how much you can learn by staying in a B&B because the people running the home generally love to share their knowledge, and they are never shy about telling you about their experiences. This is especially good in areas where there is a lot of history. The B&B may also have many tours lined up for the residents, so you may want to ask in advance.
Try going on tours.
The tour industry in South Carolina is a very large industry, and many of us would be surprised to learn about some of the history in the towns where they live. Whether you go on a ghost tour, or a plantation tour, there will be something that you can learn about our forefathers.
Take a trip to our Capital, Columbia. Whether or not the Government is in session, you can learn a lot about one of the first States in the Union, and visit the Museums, The Capital Building, and the University of South Carolina. You may be able to catch a Football or Basketball game with the Gamecocks. No matter what you do, a Staycation is still an opportunity to be with your family and enjoy some of the best restaurants in the South. Whether you like seafood or steak, South Carolina has such a variety that you will always be able to find a great assortment of places to dine, for reasonable prices.
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To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.
Don’t buy the house, buy the neighborhood. Russian Proverb
1. Neighborhoods are where we all grew up a long time ago. Today, because of golf courses, shopping areas, subdivisions, jobs, schools, and a transient society, a neighborhood means different things to different folks. 2. Neighborhoods can be as small as a dozen or so houses, and be as many as thousands of homes. 3. Neighborhoods are common, and perhaps close to universal, since most people in urbanized areas would probably consider themselves to be living in one. 4. Neighborhoods are convenient, and always accessible, since you are already in your neighborhood when you walk out your door. 5. Successful neighborhood action frequently requires little specialized technical skill, and often little or no money. Action may call for an investment of time, but material costs are often low.
7. Visible and swift results are indicators of success; and since success is reinforcing, the probability of subsequent neighborhood action is increased. 8. Because neighborhood action usually involves others, such actions create or strengthen connections and relationships with other neighbors, leading in turn to a variety of potentially positive effects, often hard to predict. 9. Over and above these community advantages, neighborhood activity may simply be enjoyable and fun for those taking part. But in addition to these benefits, considerable research indicates that strong and cohesive neighborhoods and communities are linked –quite possibly causally linked – to decreases in crime, better outcomes for children, and improved physical and mental health. The social support that a strong neighborhood may provide can serve as a buffer against various forms of adversity. Sometimes a neighborhood isn’t a neighborhood until an event occurs, which draws people together, to become “neighbors”.
6. With neighborhood action, compared to activity on larger scales, results are more likely to be visible and quickly forthcoming. The streets are generally cleaner; the crosswalks are painted; the trees are planted; a festival draws a crowd. www.Columbia.Downtown.sc Online Magazine | 2009 55
Blow, blow, thou winter wind Thou art not so unkind, As manâ€™s ingratitude.
A pple Pie Leeanne O'Neel | Aiken, South Carolina INGREDIENTS
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie 1/2 cup unsalted butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.
Carolina GIrl Recipe of the Month
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South Carolinaâ€™s Internet
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Three feet of ice does not result from one day of cold weather.
EXPERTENSURE TIPS TO YOUR BEAUTY EFFORTS
OUTLAST THE BUSIEST DAYS
(ARA) - What woman doesn't dream of looking as fresh at the end of the day as she did when she looked in the mirror that morning, with perfect hair and makeup? Invariably, however, by the end of the day, hair goes flat, mascara smudges and manicures chip. As a result, women hunt for tips to maintain a beautiful look that will outlast a full day and still look great into the evening. Ying Chu, beauty and health director for "Marie Claire" magazine, sees this dilemma first-hand. "Women are busier than ever these days juggling multiple commitments," she says, "and as a result it has become a priority to seek out beauty buys from trusted brands that are not only long-lasting, but budget friendly."
Follow her beauty tips to achieve a fresh look that will outlast even the busiest schedule:
* Before applying your makeup, use a mattifying primer first. Because it absorbs oil throughout the day, it prevents oil from breaking down your makeup, making it last longer. * To help face and eye makeup last throughout the day, apply a cream formula first, then layer on a powder over top to set it, like CoverGirl TruBlend MicroMinerals Finishing Veil.
* Fresh breath and a sparkling smile are always a must to top off your look. New Scope Outlast mouthwash and Crest Extra White Plus Scope Outlast toothpaste feature Outlast technology that delivers a cool, minty sensation for a fresh breath feeling that lasts up to five times longer than brushing alone with ordinary toothpaste. * Long, full eyelashes can enhance any look. To ensure your lashes remain lengthy and curled, start by layering a waterproof sealant, like Clarins Double Fix mascara, or any waterproof mascara over your regular mascara. It will make your mascara last without being impossible to remove. * Keep your nails in tip-top shape and extend the life of a manicure or pedicure by adding a clear topcoat to your nails every other day like Essie Good To Go! Topcoat. This will help avoid chipping as you go about your busy schedule. * Fragrance is a way for a woman to express herself. To make sure your signature scent lasts, choose fragrances that have high concentrations, such as a parfum, over an eau de toilette. Fragrance will last longer on well-moisturized skin, so layer a complementary body cream or oil on your skin before spraying. With these long-lasting insider beauty tips, you will be sure to outlast any whirlwind of events and still look fresh.
Save some green while living green during the holidays (ARA) - Many people perceive a high cost associated with a "green" lifestyle. However, this holiday season, you can embrace eco-friendly living while actually saving money. Below are a few easy tips to make this holiday season green and cheery.
Give green holiday cards
Holiday cards are supposed to be from the heart, so take some extra time and attention and make them earth-friendly. Send holiday cards by using recycled paper which can be purchased on sites like HolidayCardsUnlimited.com, or, even better, use e-cards like those from 123greetings.com for a paper-free option.
Give gifts that promote green living
There are many perfect, green gift options for everyone on your list. Look into things like bamboo cookware for the chef, hand-cranking flashlights for outdoor enthusiasts and all-natural baked goods for foodies. Organic bath products will be popular with the women in your life and eco-friendly clothing made from hemp, organic cotton and bamboo is perfect for the fashionistas. WhiteApricot.com makes it easy to be eco-friendly while saving money. Browse through fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, which are all featured with discounts of up to 70 percent off.
Power up with rechargeable batteries
With all the electronics and toys that find their way under the tree and the millions of digital pictures sure to be taken over the holiday season, Americans will spend nearly $700 million on batteries during this time. Rechargeable batteries can be used in any electronic device and save both money and space in landfills. One rechargeable battery can replace up to 1,000 disposable batteries. Rayovac, the nation's fastest growing brand of rechargeable batteries, offers affordable rechargeable options for digital cameras, which tend to use batteries faster than any other device, and costs less than other rechargeable brands. Plus, Rayovac offers Hybrid rechargeable batteries which come precharged and hold their charge for up to six months when not in use, unlike other rechargeable batteries. This makes rechargeable batteries a great option for all devices.
Share a piece of yourself
Sometimes the best gifts are not about the monetary value, but about the sentimental value. Save money and resources by skipping to the local mall, and instead give gifts of you. Create coupons that are redeemable for your time whether it be baby-sitting, a date or shoveling snow.
Get creative when wrapping gifts
Don't rely on the standard tradition of opening a new roll of wrapping paper just for the holidays. Get creative and use materials found around the house like magazines, newspapers and fabric. Re-using old gift bags or purchasing reusable bags are great options for reducing your waste as well. If you still prefer traditional wrapping paper, this year opt for purchasing recycled gift wrap. Look for some earth-friendly options at Greenraising.com.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
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