Tag: American

Top 10 Websites that Will Add Character to Your Wardrobe

1. www.urbanoutfitters.com

I’ve ordered from this site several times and I love the products. Most things are reasonably priced and I am always satisfied with my purchases. They also have some stores in bigger cities, but some items are only available online.

They have more than just clothes and accessories. They also sell apartment furniture, books, and other fun trinkets. It’s a great place to order inexpensive gifts for friends.

I also read the OU blog and download the playlist every month.

  1.  www.modcloth.com

This online vintage shop is not only adorable, it also has some of the most unique finds on the web. It is a lot like Urban Outfitters, but some of the items are one of a kind. It is also has a lot more retro glamor style , which I personally adore.

Again, most pieces are reasonably priced and the site literally has a look for every occasion.

white and orange dog wall decor

  1.  www.etsy.com

Etsy is a great online source for online fashion. They specialize in vintage and hand-made crafts. They have a lot of stuff, much more than just clothes. But I have found some great designers on the site with shockingly low prices. It’s a great place to buy and sell vintage jewelry, or garments.

I have also found a ton of eco-friendly shops on this site. Every seller has a “shop” and they all set their own prices, so some things are pretty expensive, but if you look around for a while you will find some good deals on beauty natural products and home-sewn clothes.

  1.  www.bluefly.com

This is a slightly more expensive site, but it offers more high-end brands. I really like the accessory selection, personally. It is always a good idea to check what is on sale.

Right now there is a sale on Rebecca Minkoff hand bags and I am using all of my self-control not to order one!

  1.  www.mango.com

Mango has the biggest selection online. Honestly, if you need a black skirt or a basic top you can find exactly what you need here at a decent price. If you want something flashy, or more professional you find both in the same place.

Everything is pretty classy. A lot of websites show really great pictures and send you cheaply made garments, but Mango has never let me down. Most pieces look more European and I really like that myself.

  1.  www.net-a-porter.com

This is by far the most high-end and luxury online site I have on the list. It’s really where I look to see what is new, though I don’t usually shop as online stores that are out of my price range. If I want to blow my rent money, I like to at least try on the clothes first.

But if style is more important than dollar bills, I suggest checking out this super chic shopping website.

  1.  www.frockshop.com

I love the designers on this site! Though it is still a bit out of my shopping price range, I would encourage anyone to take a peek at …

Why is the American Health Care System Broken?

COMMENTARY The Institute of Medicine issued a lengthy report, “Best Care at Lower Cost,” on Thursday. In addition to offering potential solutions to the problems in American health care, the IOM spells out what many of us have known for years: Health care, as it currently delivered, is a broken system.

closeup photo of USA flag

Even though there are things you know without anyone having to tell you, namely the current state of health care, having the information quantified by a non-biased, non-political source is reassuring. As the AP reported, the IOM determined that the monstrous health care system in the United States wastes $750 billion annually. That figure translates into 30 cents of every health care dollar spent being wasted.

The blame for the broken system can’t be placed on any one person’s or entity’s shoulders. That’s OK, because there is plenty of blame to go around. People in the know, and in positions to make a difference, have failed to see the big picture, preferring to “solve” the situation with knee-jerk reactions or by focusing on a too narrow scope.

Putting things into perspective, the AP relates that the $750 billion-a-year waste figure represents more than the Pentagon’s annual budget and enough money to cover the costs of uninsured Americans. The figure also represents more than a decade of Medicare costs reductions as part of the new health care law.

It’s time to stop letting elected officials and those seeking to be elected determine what the important issues are to everyday Americans. Someone must take the bull by the horns and mandate the changes necessary to fix the broken health care system while at the same time trimming the egregiously wasted money. The IOM says that these two changes can be achieved simultaneously and even while doing so, health care and its outcomes will improve.

That’s what we really want, isn’t it? To get the best bang for our buck and quality health care. It wouldn’t hurt that by repairing the system and paring the waste, the nation would also be tackling the deficit.

Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of “The Red Man” state. With what he hopes is an everyman’s view of life’s concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.

YMCA, Health Advocates Kick off Monthlong Healthy Activities Initiative

According to America On The Move news release, America on the Move Foundation and YMCA have kicked off a national month long celebration to educate Americans on a healthy, active life.

America On The Move is hoping to encourage Americans to take 2,000 more steps a day, and to eat 100 fewer calories a day. The program is trying to have people make small daily changes in their life. During the month of September, anyone can visit AmericaOnTheMove.org and participate in the campaign. People can make two pledges each day to make their lives better. Once you make your pledges you are eligible to win prizes such as an iPod or a $500 shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

America on the Move activities will include between September 22-27 one week with the YMCA. 1,500 YMCA’s around the country will participate and help individuals and families to take small steps and get active. Along with the YMCA’s nationwide participation, thousands of America on the Move organizations will help host 2,000 step activities all around the nation. As part of the month long celebration, America on the Move will also announce the results of a national poll that will show Americans new information regarding the rise of obesity and new healthy lifestyles.

girl standing near plants

Neil Nicoll, the President and CEO of YMCA of the USA states that “as YMCAs nationwide expand their efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles, we are excited to join AOM in celebrating Steptember through America On the Move Week with the YMCA,”he also goes on to add that “Our nation’s health crisis is the defining issue of this generation and the next, and through YMCA Activate America we are reaching out to engage all people who seek well-being of spirit, mind and body. The small-changes message fits well with our efforts, and we look forward to sharing it with the thousands of communities and millions of people that YMCAs serve.”

America on the Move Foundation is a nationwide non profit organization that helps individuals, families, as well as communities all across the nation that helps make positive changes that improve the health and quality of life. In the America on the Move Foundation there are nearly one million participants on and offline that initiates and helps maintain, individual, social, and environmental behavior changes that help support healthy eating and healthy active habits throughout our society. To learn more about The America On The Move program, please visit their website at www.americaonthemove.org,

You can also go to the YMCA’s website located at www.ymca.net. The YMCA has over 2500 different locations throughout the United States and serves nearly 20.2 million people each year. Of those 20.2 million, 9.4 million of those people are under the age of 18.

SOURCE : America On the Move and More Than 1,500 YMCAs Kick Off September 2007


SOURCE : America on the Move website

Senators Whine About Health Care Bill

On July 16 this year, the New York Times published a story in which senators bemoaned the absence of Edward M. Kennedy during their work on health care reform legislation. It quotes Senator Tom Harkin as saying, “[Kennedy] would lend a gravitas to the issue that we’re kind of missing right now.” The idea is that Senator Kennedy would make a great difference if he could be in the senate.

Mr. Kennedy is absent from the senate because he is battling brain cancer. Having served his country for 47 years, he has personal matters to attend to. No one honestly believes that his absence is unjustified, but those who wail about it, as if to say, “If only Teddy were here, we could do this,” are doing the country and their constituents a disservice.

Mr. Kennedy, while a valuable member of the government, is not its lynchpin. The government functioned admirably without him for 186 years, and it will have to do so again. If the Senate is not taking the issue seriously enough, perhaps they should read the newspaper. The American people seem to think health care reform is a very serious issue.

Some say that Senator Kennedy would be able to build consensus. If the senate needs consensus, why not build some? Surely Senator Kennedy does not have a magic wand that he waves when he wants consensus. Some claim that the bill will be more partisan without Kennedy. If a bi-partisan bill is needed, why not write one?

person holding hands

The truth is that Mr. Kennedy, like every other member of the U.S. Senate is temporary. The day will come when he is not a senator, and somehow the country will have to carry on without him. Senators who hide behind his absence are making excuses for failing to act.

If the U.S. Senate fails to deliver a workable health care reform bill, Senators will need a much bigger figure to hide behind than Kennedy. Their failure will not be Kennedy’s fault, and Americans will not accept his absence as an excuse. Nature abhors a vacuum. Those who claim Kennedy’s leadership is needed should be looking around for someone to step up to the plate. They should be considering stepping up to the plate themselves. If they so honor Mr. Kennedy, they ought to do willingly what they have depended on him to do for almost 50 years.

On the other hand, if Senators are looking for an excuse to cave in to special interests, they should beware the wrath of voters. Americans may not agree on the solution, but most of them agree that the health care system is broken. They are expecting Congress to pass a law that addresses the problem. They are not willing to wait for the perfect solution to come along. If Senators do not feel they are up to the task because Mr. Kennedy is not there, perhaps they should resign.

Excuses are like lunchmeat. No matter how thin you slice it, it’s …

Use Feathers for Food Picks


Food picks aren’t usually intricate things. Normally, there is something like a flower, a miniature playing card, a plastic animal, or another trinket on the end of each one. Thousands of different food picks can be purchased, and hundreds of them made by yourself, and none of it is complicated. No matter what the occasion, you can make or buy food picks that are suitable, and made or purchased, the picks are cheap. Because of that, it’s not challenging at all to have appetizer picks for each special occasion, and picks that will fit right in with the theme of the party. Great for stabbing cubes of cheese, grapes, strawberries, and many other small foods, the picks are almost a must at a party. What else will guests do, pick the foods up with their fingers? So, let’s talk about food picks for a boy’s Cowboy and Indian party or picks for a celebration. Feathers are a great choice and you don’t even have to do anything to them. The quills make the perfect picks and the feathered area offers a colorful accent for nearly any appetizer.

cooked dish on gray bowl

Wispy feathers aren’t the type that you need for making food picks. First of all, their quills are not long and stiff. Secondly, although beautiful, the wispy feather pieces tend to hang down, and no one wants feathers directly on the food. The best feather choice is the colorful, stiff type, made for creating an Indian headdress for a child. The feathers, available in blue, red, green, yellow, and other colors, are found at craft stores – online or in your community.

The feathers that you’ll use for food picks don’t need anything done to them except to be cleaned. Simply wipe each quill with a wet cloth, dry, and push the quill into the food. You can have the appetizers ready in minutes when you use the headdress feathers.

If you want the feathers to be more impressive, take the craft a little further. You can write or draw on them with a permanent marker, color the tips of the feathers with a gold or silver marker, use a rubber stamp to create an image, or even glue tiny beads on them. No matter how you decorate the feathers – or if you decorate them – they’ll look great at your next party. Use all the same color of feathers or put orange ones in the cheese, green ones in grapes, red ones in strawberries, and so on.…

Obama’s Healthcare Sprint

Have you heard? President Obama is pushing Congress to get a health care reform bill on his desk before the lawmakers take off for their summer break. How long has he been in power? Only six months, right? So why is there such a rush? Obama has already made history by being the first black person to win a major party’s nomination and an even bigger prize – the White House. He also became the first president to pass a huge stimulus package only weeks into his presidency. So why the rush?

I understand the need to reform health care. My family currently has health care coverage, but the premiums are enormous, and increase every year. On top of that, we still pay out of pocket for every visit to the doctor. Also, I am aware of the millions who have no coverage. Many people have gone bankrupt due to some illness and the absence of health care insurance. Even now as I write this article I can think of someone who told me yesterday that she just received a bill from the hospital – she had to go to the ER recently – and she has no help. In fact, she is behind on most her bills, so how will she pay this hospital bill?

Yes, the need for reform is great and urgent, but we cannot afford to mess this up. The issues are complex and have long been in the making. Therefore, it will take a careful, steady and diligent approach to fix the health care system. This cannot be treated like the botched stimulus bill that was rushed through Congress in February. And, now there is talk that the massive stimulus package is not bringing the desired results. Wow!

shallow focus photo of blue and gray stethoscope on brown wooden table

Has Congress debated the President’s health care reform proposals? There have been discussions, but no open debate over an adequate period of time. What about the cost to reform health care? Are our leaders willing to continue bankrupting this country to pay their way forward? In this case, does President Obama want to give China a little more of America? That’s right. China holds billions in notes from the . We owe them. Do you think they will continue to underwrite our bad ways? What if China were to call us on these loans tomorrow?

Our president needs to slow down. California is bankrupt and America may follow quickly. But maybe our President Obama cannot afford to slow down.


Recently I heard that his poll numbers are falling. There is word too that although most Americans want health care reform, they are concerned about the cost involved and there is fear that our children and grandchildren will be left broke. Could these new developments be driving Obama to push so hard?

Generally, right after an election victory, a president has political capital to spend. If that is not used quickly, it could be lost. President Obama appears to be losing some of his, which may explain this …

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