Great Ideas For Personalized Birthday Gifts

Many people are just plain difficult to shop for. Their interests may be expensive, or they do not give any lists about things they would want for their birthday. One of the best ways around the conundrum of hard to shop for gift recipients is to get personalized birthday gifts.

Birthday gifts fall into categories based on the intended recipient. There are Her birthday gifts, His birthday gifts, Kids birthday gifts, First birthday gifts, and Teen birthday gifts. There are a ton of gift options within these categories, including albums, clothing, jewelry, and more.

Gifts for her are much easier to shop for than most other recipients. They can be accessories, albums and frames, bed and bath, coffee mugs, cookie jars, desk and office, jewelry, kitchen, art, bowls, glassware, and platters and trays.

For her, there are some popular gifts that are personalized. A bookmark with a tassel and her name inscribed in it can be a great gift for the avid reader. Women who love to be the hostess may like a wood tray that has their name or initials burned into the wood. This is a striking piece.

Getting her personalized crystal is a striking and beautiful gift. Wine glasses made of crystal can be personalized with her initials or monogrammed with her and her significant other’s initials. Jewelry boxes are also a popular gift choice for women, along with soft and comfortable bath robes with her name or initials monogrammed.

For kids, great presents can include albums and frames, backpacks and luggage, furniture, room decor, cups, plates, bowls, clocks, sports gifts, robes and towels, sweaters, toys and playthings, and wall decor.

For a first birthday, the gift is more for the parents and for kids to look back on when they are old enough to appreciate it. Presents include albums and frames, wall decor, cups, plates, bowls, furniture, nursery clocks, room decor, robes and towels, sweaters, toys, and wall letters.

There are many popular gifts for a first birthday. Babies can get a wood toy box with their name personalized on it in rainbow letters. Designs can also be added depending on if the baby is a boy or a girl. Instead of a wood toy box, a cloth or mesh toy hamper can be personalized with the baby’s name embroidered in thread.

A piggy bank with the baby’s name is another good gift. It can also be personalized with designs whether they are a boy or girl. An infant to toddler bath robe can be purchased for a boy or a girl. Hand painted rocking horses, chairs, stools, and rocking chairs can also be great keepsake gifts.

Guys can be the most difficult to shop for. Each guy has varied interests. Common gifts include barware and accessories, BBQ and outdoor gifts, grandfather gifts, jewelry and accessories, picture frames, poker sets, sports gifts, and travel and leisure gifts.

Arguably, teenagers are the most difficult to shop for since their age is difficult. Teenagers can get personalized photo albums that commemorate their sweet 16 or simply have their initial or name printed on the album so they can add their own pictures. Both boy and girl teenagers can get a personalized keepsake box for whatever their treasure are, from car keys to pocket knives and jewelry.

Bath robes and towels can be personalized for teenagers, perhaps as a subtle reminder to keep showering during their very hormonal age. A very cool gift is a large bean bag chair with a wide selection of fabrics that can be personalized. This will be a long term talking piece for the teenager and their friends.

Commercial Dog Food – Ten Realities You Must Know

Do you know what you’re putting in your dog’s dish everyday?

Most dogs will eat almost anything that’s put in front of them and, just like humans, they are what they eat.

Many now suffer from what are preventable diseases…did you know that 46% of all dogs die of cancer, 40% are overweight and scores more suffer everyday from allergies, ear infections, skin conditions, dental problems and other ailments…

When you learn the awful reality about the toxic ingredients in some commercial dog foods it will shock and sicken you and, once you know the reality of the health benefits in feeding a dog a homemade diet, you’ll want to make an immediate change. If you stop feeding only commercial dog foods to your dog on a daily basis, slowly introduce fresh meats and vegetables and then stop commercial dog foods completely, you’ll save him or her from needless suffering and save yourself a mountain of veterinarian bills, as well.

Now, here are some of the realities about some commercial dog foods and also some of the benefits of feeding a dog a healthy homemade diet…

1. Reality: Do you know that some commercial dog food is really dog “junk” food? If burgers, fried chicken, french fries, etc., eaten as a steady diet, can cause serious health issues in humans, what does dog “junk” food” do for dogs? Generally speaking, a canine’s genetic makeup and nutritional requirements resembles that of humans. If we’re damaging our own health by eating “junk food”, what can be happening to our dogs when we feed them the equivalent, “junk” commercial dog food?

2. Reality: Do you know that the foods we humans eat are also a healthy choice for our dogs? Whatever else you may have heard, the same wholesome, nutritious foods we eat are a terrific choice for dogs. However, there are certain differences between human and canine nutritional requirements so you’ll need to learn what they are if you want to feed your dog a healthy diet.

3. Reality: Do you know that if your vet sells dog food it also may not be such a great choice? Just like our own medical doctors, veterinarians aren’t taught too much about nutrition in school. Most of what they learn is taught to them by the representatives of the pet food companies such as, on staff company vets, sales reps (do you think maybe they promote their own products?) or else through various studies, articles, and seminars. It’s not very likely that your vet knows the difference between good and bad food if they personally haven’t studied about it or tried raw or homemade diets themselves.

What may be happening is he or she is operating on obsolete data or”old wives tales”. Some vets even profit from selling a certain brand of dog food and that may very well prejudice them against other brands or other forms of feeding a dog, such as home cooked dog food.

4. Reality: Do you know that some processed commercial dog foods can actually be hazardous to your dog’s health and can cause numerous medical issues? It’s legal for dog food companies to include “4D Meat” (“Dead, Dying,Diseased and Disabled” ranch or farm animals). In addition, they often add road kill (dead raccoons, possum and other animals killed by cars, trucks or disease), dogs and cats euthanized by vets, picked up by animal control workers and brought to dog food companies’ renderers for processing, powdered mill factory floor dust (they call it”grain”) and what they call “corn” (usually ground left over husks) that’s contaminated with very high amounts of pesticides. What some pet food manufacturers are putting into dog food and disguising as “ByProducts” is borderline criminal!

It all makes a recipe of the worst possible mixture of ingredients we could ever feed to our dogs. And yet, millions of us do so, unknowingly! Remember…the cheaper the food…the cheaper the ingredients…the worse the nutrition…the more harmful, even deadly it an be! Make sure you know what’s in the food, whenever you’re feeding a dog! Read all about commercial dog food in depth in my future articles.

Please note: not “all” commercial dog foods are made from poor quality ingredients and cheap byproducts. Dog food manufacturers and the ingredients they use differ greatly. My goal in these articles is to provide you with as much information possible, so you can make your own “informed” decisions about what is or is not good food for your dog. I’ll get into much greater detail about different “quality” dog food producers, ingredients and how to read dog food labels in future articles…so come back often.

5. Reality: Do you know it’s a mistake to think that kibble cleans dog’s teeth? This myth was circulated a while ago by a study that implied kibble “may” be better than canned dog food (not “is” better) for cleaning teeth. What must it be saying to us that almost every dog over the age of three that has dental disease eats kibble! Not hard to figure that one out!

6. Reality: Do you know that the term “Complete and Balanced”(used by some commercial dog food companies to advertise their products) does not really mean “Optimum”. There are significant differences: food meeting only the “assumed” requirements for the health of an average dog can be advertised as “Complete and Balanced”. When these foods are included in feeding trials, they are often only tested for things like lead and others are tested only on a small number of dogs for a very short time.

It’s certain that adequate nutrients, necessary for our dog’s wellness, will not be included in these products. It certainly is better than “not” complete and balanced at all, but only “optimal” levels of balanced nutrition are what we should be looking for. We’ll be providing you with details of what optimal balanced nutrition is in a later article.

Sometimes a fast glance at the label can tell you whether the dog food is made of quality ingredients or not, in others it takes more knowledge about each of the ingredients to be able to tell whether that food is better. Of course every manufacturer is going to state that they are using only the very best ingredients. However, our constitutional right to freedom of speech does not require such statements to be truthful.

Be sure you know what’s in the food you’re feeding a dog every day! We’ll write more on this later…

7. Reality: Do you know that if you’re feeding a dog the same thing every day you’re limiting it’s access to good nutrition? Dog’s, just like us, need a variety of food. Can you imagine eating ground corn husks, rancid fat and only chicken wing skin and bones (no Meat) with some cheap vitamins and minerals thrown in, every single day for your entire life?

It is true that some dogs can have an initial sensitivity when introduced to certain new foods. So, feeding a dog a variety of foods can lead to stomach issues, but it’s only because they’ve been lacking balanced nutrition in their diet. As soon as they’re given a well balanced diet, their digestive system gets restored. They can then eat a variety of foods at each meal without any problem, just as we do.

Be sure you introduce different foods in small amounts so that your dog’s stomach has time to adjust to the changes.

8. Reality: Do you know that dry dog food is not better than canned dog food? Think about it…the food in a can is kept fresh by the very means of canning it. Now consider the amount of preservatives dry dog foods need after they are opened, in order to stay “fresh” indefinitely in the original bag, or whatever container you use for storage, or when they get left out all day so your dog can self-feed. Dry foods start out cooked and then are subjected to a high level of heat, which destroys nutrients…canned foods are canned fresh and therefore, retain more nutrients (although they’re really not completely balanced).

Fresh food is “always” the best choice, either fed raw or cooked…next would be frozen or dehydrated and then freeze dried foods, all available at better pet stores.

9. Reality: Do you know that some of the ingredients used to make commercial dog food and certain common, everyday foods can be toxic to dogs, even kill them! Cooked bones and rawhide chews can cause major internal issues that require surgery. Wheat-based treats can induce allergies. Onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, Xylitol (the artificial sweetener) and other foods can be hazardous and should never be given to dogs.

To learn more about what’s really in commercial dog food and the other items that are toxic to dogs, come back often and read our future articles where we’ll give you detailed information.

10. Reality: Do you know that corn can kill dogs? Most dry dog food is loaded with this cheap filler and it’s not the same corn we eat…it’s the cheap remnants that’s fed to cattle…even corn meal dust, swept up from the mill floor, is allowed to be used in dog food! Also, if this corn had been found unfit for human consumption due to pesticide content, then there’s actually no limit for pesticide contamination in pet foods. Additionally, corn is very high in calories and therefore, very fattening…so, is it any wonder many dogs are overweight and suffer from diabetes.

So, now you know some of the awful realities about commercial dog food. Once you decide to improve your dog’s diet and stop feeding that “junk” food, you can greatly improve his or her health and longevity…plus, you’ll save yourself a lot of money!

All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and the desire to provide your dog with the vitality and long life it so richly deserves. We’ll do our best to supply the knowledge…you just need to supply the desire.

Dogs Rule!

Fashion Flashback: Best Trends of 2012

As a fashion college student, you know better than nearly anybody else how quickly trends in the fashion industry can come and go. One accessory might be all the rage in winter, only to become the biggest laughingstock of the spring. The ins and outs of the fashion industry are so hard to keep track of in fact, that the few designers, photographers, fashion magazine editors and stylists that make it big in the business, are often considered gifted for being able to so skillfully keep their fingers on the pulse of fashion. Even the most hard-working of all students attending fashion colleges will accept the fact that they will not necessarily make it that far up the fashion totem pole… However, despite that fact, one shouldn’t let themself be fooled into thinking that fashion trend analyses are only for the industry’s elite. Just to prove that fact, here’s our short list of some of the year 2012’s best fashion design trends.

From red carpets, to runways, to regular old street shoes, there was no shortage of platforms in the year 2012. In the world of high fashion, Italian designer Miuccia Prada sent her models down the runway in futuristic, socked space slippers, many standing on sky-high platforms. On city sidewalks all over, fashion school students rocked 1920’s style oxfords with psychedelic platforms added for extra effect. Either way, there was surely no doubt about it; platform shoes were a defining footwear trend in 2012.

One thing’s for sure about this last year in fashion: it’s been full of flirtatious, feminine accents! For instance, peplum dresses, skirts, tops and jackets could be seen all over, paired with heels OR flats. Sheer, wide-knit sweaters and see-through lace tops were dressed up and down, and sky-high stilettos have never been more in style. Fresh-faced models have never looked so girly, and the streets proved that the trend had caught on all over the place.

The uber-feminine trend was not the only statement to magically materialize within the bounds of the fashion industry. This last year, the fashion-forward delighted in mixing it up by color-blocking, and mix-and-matching the brightest, boldest colors and prints. Leave it to the fashion industry to speed up the pace just when things look like they’re getting boring…

Contributing to the futuristic fashion themes of the year 2012, was the theme of gender ambiguity. From perfectly-tailored pant suits and tuxedo blazers, to skirts for men, professional designers of all kinds and fashion design college kids alike experimented with this boundary-pushing, playful design trend.

As we say goodbye to 2012, we look forward to a whole new year full of cutting-edge fashion trends!

Being Smart and Trendy With Urban Clothing

The wide-ranging lines of urban clothing often relate to the urban culture, especially those that are associated with rap and hip-hop music. It is often seen that the urban clothes can vary quite significantly in regards to looks and styles, and can also differ depending on the location or country. And, it is the younger generation that is most common wearer of this type of clothing range.

Articles of clothing featured in the urban clothes line include the t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, jackets, and footwear; with many of these items featuring some very distinct slogans and designs. In most cases the clothing isn’t likely to be formal in nature, but more as casual everyday wear. A hat in a range of styles is a further feature in this design range, with many of the clothing accessories designed to complement a particular type or item of clothing. Pants are likely to be quite loose and come in a variety of different styles, designs and cuts to enable them to match a specific taste. Shoes, sneakers, and trainers for men are also wide-ranging and available in endless different styles.

Color choices in the urban clothing range are likely to feature those in dark colors, like black and gray to the very vibrant and colored articles, with the chosen colors often highly dependent on the overall personal preference and taste. A common aspect of this clothing line is to feature art or design that relates to the street or urban landscape where they might live. Many of the clothing lines are designed by the independent companies and therefore able to provide more unique and individual design qualities, while might not be seen in the more mainstream market.

Although widely worn by people from all walks of life, the urban clothes often relate to creating a unique design for those believing themselves to be urban and look to highlight this with the range of clothing. A person thinking they are urban could relate to a range of situations, such as friendships, background and upbringing, and personal interests.

All in all, if you are searching for a high-quality and stylish series of clothing to showcase the appeal of the urban culture, you might well want to look at the available choices seen in this clothing line. With such a large-scale of design trends in the clothing range, you shouldn’t have a difficult time sourcing the right quality clothing to match the desired look.