Tag Archives: Featured

Trends to Watch Out for in Newly Constructed Homes

The forecast for total construction may have fallen in recent months by about 5% but the outlook for spending is still up 1% to 2%, with many plot owners deciding to go ahead and build the home of their dreams despite the challenging times. Indeed, recent world events have changed the way homeowners view and relate to their homes, with many valuing home life and home entertainment like never before. If you are currently talking with architects and designers, the following trends may provide you with the inspiration you need to turn your home into a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.
Embracing Sustainability
Families in America are ready to lead more sustainable lifestyles and they are ready to put their money where their mouth is, embracing features such as sunroofs for renewable energy, automated systems to control heating and cooling and reduce energy wastage, and the use of sustainable materials for everything from flooring to walls and splashbacks. Even reclaimed wood is being turned into art for key decorative pieces such as tables and wall art, so that interior design is increasingly matching the ethos of both interior and exterior eco-friendly architecture.
Community Living
The idea of potentially having to stay home longer than we thought has brought about a yearning for living structures that embrace close contact within a limited space. In areas such as Westhampton in Delaware, for instance, community homes are being built in vast tracts of land in which over half of the available space consists of lush natural spots. The idea is to foster closeness while also offering opportunity for safe, outdoor activities such as hiking, gardening, and playing outdoor sports within a safe, sometimes gated setting.
Outdoor Play Areas
Gardens are being seen as much more than an opportunity to put one’s horticultural abilities to use. They are now being seen as ideal points of entertainment in which pools can be married to outdoor covered terraces, outdoor kitchens, and even bars. Some outdoor kitchens have a plethora of high-end equipment that may not necessarily fit well in standard kitchens. These include wood-burning stoves for pizzas and Josper grills for the ultimate grilled meat and fish dishes. As these pieces of equipment are pricey and potentially vulnerable to the elements, they are being housed within structures that can be open or closed via electric sliding doors.
Sun Rooms
These light-filled spaces, which can double up as a living room, kitchen, or library/lounging space, is seen as a new escape from high-tech environments. Often ensconced next to gardens, they are graced with features such as ceiling-to-floor glass sliding doors, which enable as much light as possible to reach the entirety of a floor. This effect can be heightened by embracing an open floor plan, which is still very much holding sway in new home builds. The idea of connecting spaces while also reducing the reliance on external light, is seen as a perfect way to enhance communication while doing one’s share to lower one’s family’s carbon footprint.
If you will be building your new home in the upcoming months, take note of trends that may be around for at least a few decades. Some of the strongest trends holding sway include that of sustainability for energy needs and in the choice of materials. Natural light, communal living spaces, and a new value given to garden and outdoor spaces will also be wielding importance in the age of new normality.

Why Handbags Are Fashion Symbols

Although it’s unclear when the cultural shift happened, we began to judge people by their handbags. At some point, luxury status symbols openly carried began to speak volumes about the person who was carrying them. The importance of handbags comes from their origin and evolution. We’ve been primed to recognize and receive handbags in a certain light, even if we aren’t sure why. The prominence of handbags is a long story that begins all the way back at World War II, and it continues through the present day.

They Signify the Liberation of Women

Women did not always carry handbags. This isn’t because women didn’t want to be stylish – it’s because they couldn’t afford them and had nothing of value to carry with them. Around World War II, all the men were at war. Women had to take over many of the important roles necessary for keeping the country together, and they entered the workforce in droves. Out of necessity, women did things that weren’t ordinarily considered “women’s work”, like factory and manufacturing work.

For the first time ever, women had incomes. They were financially independent and supporting their family. This gave them purchasing power. Although most people were operating on very tight budgets during World War II, the occasional splurge on a non-essential item wasn’t entirely impossible. Many women began making their own handbags with surplus material and fabric scraps from garment factories.

A woman with a handbag was seen as hardworking and autonomous, especially if she had purchased an expensive handbag. That handbag was a status symbol. It meant that a woman could afford to buy something nice for herself, essentially creating the female equivalent of a leather briefcase that men would often use to signify their workplace status.

Women looked at other women carrying handbags with a certain kind of envy. It wasn’t the physical object of the handbag, but what it represented. Handbags meant a new future for women. One that was empowered and came with certain freedoms that were not previously attainable to the average woman. From that moment on, handbags became a metaphor for everything women ever wanted.

Your Bag Says Something About You

After World War II, things gradually changed. We came into the era of the working mom and the fully independent, unmarried women who elected not to have children. Norms and roles changed, but the significance of the handbag did not. Women had more purchasing power because they comprised a significant portion of the workforce, some of them in managerial or executive positions that offered better salaries. Purchasing a handbag was nowhere near as difficult as it used to be.

The market attempted to keep up with the times as things shifted. This is where the luxury designer bag came into play. Anyone could obtain a regular purse for less than $50 from a big box retailer. Only the elite could afford to spend thousands of dollars on a heavily branded bag that clearly spoke its price to everyone through repetitive monograms and distinctive color schemes.

Many people seek these luxury handbags as status symbols without understanding how and why they happened. The practical consumer now prefers a beautiful, functional bag at a price that will allow them to purchase several variants that will match their outfits.

Repurposing the Handbag from a Status Symbol to a Fashion Symbol

A high quality affordable handbag isn’t as difficult to come by anymore. As consumer attitudes shifted, these became the best solution for most women. Quality handbags at affordable prices give women options. It’s not abnormal to have five or ten handbags to rotate with different styles and different outfits. They became a part of the average women’s silhouette, and the finishing touch for a complete ensemble.

Conclusion

Handbags have a rich and complex history that the average consumer may not be aware of. What was once a visual signifier of a movement became an important accessory with a utility feature. The reasons may have changed, but the handbag has not. They will remain a part of our lives (and our outfits) for decades to come.

Wild Florida: Beyond the Theme Parks

When we think Florida vacation the natural first thought is the theme parks, and why not? The state has some of the finest in the world. But if you choose to look beyond the over-priced food, the crowds, queues, and artificial thrills then you will see that Florida is a state with so much more to offer. Let’s look at the alternative options, as it would be a real opportunity missed to travel all that way and not explore a little.

Walking Trails

There is a great variety of walks in Florida.  The jewel in the crown, and not for the faint of heart, is certainly the legendary, Florida Trail. The Florida Trail is a 1,300-mile hike taking in a variety of terrain, but most notably much of it near, or on, marsh-land, often flooding and containing wildlife such as bears, panthers, alligators, and snakes. But for the more recreational walker, Florida also has a good list of woodland walks, beaches, parks, and other such options.

Water-Sports & Sea Activities

With so much coastline, areas such as The Florida Keys offer a variety of options when it comes to enjoying the water. You can dive, snorkel, swim fish, and take boat trips. You could easily spend the whole vacation just on these activities! As one of our most Southerly states these activities can, pretty much, be enjoyed all year round.

Beaches

There is no shortage of beaches in this fine state, with the Florida Department of State boasting over 660 miles of beach lining the coast. You can take in the ultra-popular and busy spots, such as Miami Beach, or look to more rural and tranquil beaches like Cayo Costa State Park, on Pine Island. It’s even becoming popular to have Florida Beach Weddings as the weather is generally good and the coast is so beautiful it’s an excellent choice for anyone’s big day.

Hills & Mountains

Bit of a cheeky section here, there are no real Florida mountains, do not get confused with, ‘The Florida Mountains’ which are, in fact, in New Mexico. The hilliest region is the Northern Florida Highlands, with the highest peak being Britton Hill coming in at a less than lofty 345 feet. But just because they don’t have height doesn’t mean there is not beauty and adventure to be had. Located in the relaxing and scenic Lakewood Park it can provide a restful day away from the more high-octane Floridian tourist experiences.

Wildlife

Florida is famous for its wildlife, and none more so than its gators, the abundance of marsh and swamp-land makes it a perfect habitat, and there is no shortage of parks and reserves to see these fine creatures, as well as a variety of guided tours that take you right out into the thick of it. But the wildlife doesn’t stop with the gators, you’ve got bears, panthers, beavers, and more; and for marine life, there’s sharks and dolphins in abundance too, with the possibility of the classic swimming with the dolphins experience.

Learning to tie a tie

Have you ever had to wear a tie but when it came down to putting it on, you had no idea how to tie a knot? You wouldn’t believe how many people have no idea how to do it. It may seem difficult almost impossible to some people but honestly it isn’t rocket science. There are different ways to tie a tie but here will go over the most basic four. Everyone has their own preference as to which method they use. Once you find your method you’ll become a pro in no time. You won’t even believe how simple it really is.

The most popular, most practiced ways to tie a tie are:

  • The Four-in-Hand Knot
  • Half Windsor
  • Full Windsor Tie Knot
  • Pratt knot

The Four-in-Hand knot is perhaps the simplest way to learn how to tie a tie. This knot is small and it’s the most appropriate for casual situations, since it doesn’t look like you spent too much time in front of the mirror on it. Although it might have taken you forever. If you’re ever in a hurry this is also the knot to go with. So how do you tie it? These are the simple instructions:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  3. Pass the wide end horizontally over the narrow end again.
  4. Take the wide end up and through the loop around your neck.
  5. Take the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar

Next up is the Half Windsor, which is a little more difficult than the Four-in-Hand knot. The Half Windsor is an easier version of the Full Windsor knot. Once you learn how to do this knot, the Full Windsor should be no problem for you. This is not a casual knot though. It’s more suited for the work, office environment. Following are the simple instructions for the Half Windsor:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  3. Pull the wide end up.
  4. Take the wide end back down through the loop.
  5. Move the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  6. Take the wide end up through the loop.
  7. Pull the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar.

Now we have the little more difficult Full Windsor Tie Knot. This knot is typically used for formal occasions. You should not wear this knot casually. It’s a wide, thick, triangular knot that’s completely symmetrical. It’s best suited with shirts with a wide collar. This knot should be used mainly for business meetings, presentations and weddings. These are the instructions for the Full Windsor:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Take the wide end back through the loop around your neck.
  3. Take the wide end over the narrow end in the same direction you crossed it at step 1.
  4. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  5. Take the wide end up…
  6. And back through the loop in the same direction as step 4.
  7. Fold the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  8. Bring the wide end up through the loop once more, like you did in step 2.
  9. Pull the wide end through the knot.

Finally we have The Pratt Knot. This knot can pretty much be used for any occasion. This knot is either as wide as the Windsor or as narrow as a Four-in-Hand so it goes well with most dress shirts. The instructions for The Pratt Knot are as follows:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end under the narrow end, while the tie hangs inside out around your neck.
  2. Pull the wide end up over the narrow end.
  3. Take the wide end down through the loop and tighten the knot.
  4. Move the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  5. Pull the wide end back up through the  loop.
  6. Pull the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar.

So there you have it. Four of the most common ways to tie a tie. Some more simple than others but all very possible for anyone to do. There are different knots for different occasions, so you’ll never run out of knots no matter where it is you’re heading. Pick your favorite style and go with it. Master it, teach it. Soon all your friends and family will be asking for your help tying their ties. Hope you dont regret learning. It’s a very useful thing to know!!!

How to Store Lingerie: the Best Advice to Keep Your Fine Underclothing Organized

Sophisticated ladies know how to dress with taste and style always. This includes lingerie. Bras, garters, seamless panties, and other fine pieces of clothing are found in appreciating women’s collection. And for women that enjoy the best in life, leather lingerie by MarieMur is a must. However, storing all your expensive underwear properly is very important to keep them in optimal conditions. Here, you will learn how to do it.

There is nothing comparable to waking up to a well-organized drawer full of luxury lingerie. You can take a look at your entire collection and select the underwear for the day. So, if you do not have such a dreamlike drawer yet, it is time to make it. You just need to invest some of your time to create a nice place for your luxury women’s underwear. Just follow the steps presented below. You will learn the way to store fine lingerie bought from MarieMur.com.

 Get Rid of the Old Lingerie

The first thing that you have to do is select what pieces of lingerie you will keep. Think that you deserve to wear good lingerie only. Thus, get rid of anything that is already stained, ripped, ratty, or full of holes. With this idea in mind, throw away the following also:

  • Any set that you have not worn in at least one year;
  • Lingerie that has lost its original color;
  • Pieces of lingerie with damaged seams, elastics, or underwire;
  • Anything that you are not comfortable wearing.

Now, you are left with the lingerie that you can keep. The number of pieces that you need in your drawer is your choice. Some ladies opt for a minimalistic approach that includes just some panties and camisoles. Others prefer to have more variety including leather harness lingerie. It is up to you. If you want to replace some garments that you threw away, you can buy them from MarieMur.com. This is a website that offers a large online catalog of high end lingerie.

Now, It Is Time to Arrange and Store Your Lingerie

After having decided what to keep, you can start arranging your lingerie. If your collection is large, you may purchase a chest that will be used exclusively to store it. Otherwise, you can simply use drawer dividers. They come in different sizes and materials and can be bought in any home store.

You can organize your lingerie by color. A good piece of advice is to try to keep your lingerie sets together. This way, each morning you just grab a set and save time. Assign a section for your leather harness accessories. Also, keep a section for the most expensive garments. If you want to hang delicate lingerie, use hangers with notches to prevent straps from sliding off.

And remember the site MarieMur.com. There, you can buy handmade lingerie of the highest quality. You can benefit from their occasional sales too.