Jan 31, 2012

The Different Jewellery Metals

A diamond ring isn’t only about the diamond. The metal in which the band is made is also influences the beauty, brightness and price of a ring. Do you know your jewellery metals? Here’s a little information about the most common ones.


Gold is probably the most popular jewellery metal. More expensive (but also more beautiful) than silver, gold is a soft metal that comes in a variety of colors (yellow, white, pink, lime, red and bronze) and carats. Pure gold is never used because it is too soft, but there are different purity levels that affect the price. The other metals mixed in with the gold determine the color.


Silver, like gold, is also too soft to be used in its pure form. Sterling silver alloy, the typical silver, is about 92.5% pure. Silver tarnishes quickly; it requires frequent maintenance and the addition of other metals to improve its strength, luster and tarnish. Silver doesn’t do particularly well in humid climates. However, a lot of people have come to appreciate the vintage look of old silver and are actually looking for a tarnished look. Silver is a good choice for casual jewellery.


Titanium is probably the strongest common metal used in jewellery-making. It is very strong and will resist scuffing and tarnish, and also very light. Its brightness and strength has made titanium an increasingly popular choice for long-wear jewellery, like wedding bands or watches. However, the titanium-making process is expensive and time-consuming, which makes titanium more expensive than gold or silver.


While not as strong as titanium (and much heavier), platinum is still stronger than silver or gold. It goes really well with diamonds because of its white color. Platinum purity ranges between 80% and 100%, but anything above 95% is considered “platinum”. It’s a rarer metal that can add a lot to the cost of a ring or piece of jewellery. It will never fade and requires less maintenance than gold or silver.

5.Stainless steel

Some people consider stainless steel silver’s “poor cousin”, but it’s still a popular metal. Without nickel, it’s a hypoallergenic metal that’s great for casual, everyday pieces. You won’t see much precious stones set in stainless steel, but a lot of designers are using it to produce high-end accessories. It’s especially popular for men’s rings and bracelets.


No, we’re not talking about the tungsten that used to be put in old lightbulbs. Tungsten jewellery is usually a mix of tungsten and carbon, and the only thing that can scratch it is a diamond. Because of its weight, it’s only used for men’s rings, and typically they are wedding bands. But, you will never need to get it polished!


If budget is not a concern, then rhodium is for you. Rhodium costs about 10 times its equivalent in 24 -arat gold. To give you an idea: there are only 3 tons of rhodium extracted in the world each year. It has a beautiful white color that also goes well with diamonds. Nowadays you can also find rhodium-plated gold or silver rings for a much more affordable price.

How about adding a nice piece of jewellery to your Valentine’s Day flowers? You don’t even have to pay that much, since a few metals like silver and stainless steel are quite affordable. Which is your favourite metal?

Jan 30, 2012

Another Lovely Daisy

It's my very late entry for Today's Flowers. In my saddest times, seeing lovely flowers can really cheer me up a little bit.

Jan 28, 2012

Is It Young People – Or Are Manners Disappearing?

Before you even start reading this article you already have an opinion on the topic. Likely if you’re Gen Y or younger your first reaction is, no, young people still have great manners, and if you’re Gen X or older, you might um and ah and eventually come to the conclusion that manners just aren’t the same as they used to be. It may surprise you to know that I am Gen Y – and actually epitomise the stereotype in a lot of ways. I don’t know if it’s sporting the diamond ring on the wedding finger, or just that I’ve been spending time on public transport which has given me thinking time, but it has all of a sudden dawned on me that I actually agree with the Gen X and older idea – manners just aren’t what they used to be.

When I was raised, we were taught all of the old fashioned values, we were told to respect our elders, not speak out of turn, and to let the ‘grown ups’ make the decision. Now, I am by no means at all an advocate of children should be seen and not heard… but from what I’ve seen lately, some of them should be neither seen or heard.

I may sound harsh, and you may be firmly disagreeing with the idea that manners have gone out the window, but just think about some of these examples and see if you relate:

1.Public transport etiquette

I don’t care who you are, if you are under 40, able bodied and not pregnant, you should rapidly remove yourself from your seat on public transport as soon as a person with a disability, pregnant lady or someone elderly gets on the bus. And yet, in a lot of cases, this now doesn’t happen – isn’t even a consideration. I watched in awe one day, when taking my peak hour bus into the city for work, as an approximately fifteen year old, able bodied, fit teenage boy, looked a heavily pregnant woman in the eye – from his position in the disabled seating, ignored her blatantly, and continued to sit. I, like most passengers, was outraged. Finally someone gave up their seat and challenged him to do the same. My question is – has he never heard this rule… or are his manners so abysmal that he just ignored it?

2.Ps and Qs

I’m no saint, I will admit I use the odd expletive, but my upbringing told me to turn it off whenever in a public place, around the elderly or around children. And yet, just recently I see a group of young teenage girls sitting in a public area loudly declaring every expletive under the sun. Were they not taught better, or don’t they care?


It’s not quite manners, but it almost fits in -- empathy and respect for those who don’t have it as good as you. Recently, I walked down the main drag of a big Sydney suburb and to my dismay, saw a group of teenage boys taking great delight in making life very difficult for a similar aged disabled boy. What were they thinking?

So as I start to contemplate kids, maternity wear, schools; and note more and more that these mannerless kids are out there and growing in force, I wonder if there’s still hope for old fashioned values.


Jan 26, 2012

Fun Things to Do When You Are Pregnant

After the initial excitement, pregnancy can start to make you feel tired and like the last few months are dragging into years. To help keep the excitement alive and maintain the glow, enlist the help of your friends and family to keep you preoccupied and entertained during this special time. Find ways to spoil yourself as to help take your mind off the discomfort that pregnancy can bring. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do to help the last few months fly right by!

Go Shopping

Nothing helps to distract the mind than a little retail therapy with friends. This is the only time when you have an excuse to buy cute maternity wear and other things for yourself to make life more comfortable such as new shoes, post-pregnancy clothing and books. This is also a good time to make sure you have everything you need for when the baby comes, as you won’t have much time for shopping afterwards.

Throw a Pregnant Lady Party

If you have had the chance to meet other pregnant women in Lamaze classes or other exercise classes, why not invite them over for a pregnant lady party? This is a great opportunity to commiserate with your peers, discuss plans for the future and have general girl talk that non-pregnant people would find uninteresting. Your friends and family may have a hard time relating to you at this stage, so making friends with other mothers-to-be is a great way to develop a support network, and what better way than planning your own event. Hire a caterer as well since you know that people are going to want to eat some good, healthy food!

Get a Makeover

Pregnancy is a time when your body is going to be changing pretty much every day. Some of the changes are new and exciting, and some can make you feel uncomfortable. If you are having an especially down kind of day, why not take yourself out to get pampered? Getting a new haircut, having your nails done or getting a spa treatment will make you feel beautiful again instead of whale-like and tired.

Indulge Yourself

This time of your life is all about you, so make sure you try to enjoy every minute of it! When the baby comes you will probably have your hands tied, so this is your opportunity to read the books you’ve always wanted to read, or watch old favourite movies that you love. Getting a massage or catching up with friends will help you feel relaxed and happy, and your baby will benefit from this, too!

Record Your Memories

Even though you feel like it’s dragging on forever, pregnancy only lasts for nine months. This is a really special time that you may only experience once in your life so make sure you record it all! Making a scrapbook of ultrasound scans, the bill from the restaurant where you and your partner celebrated the pregnancy and belly pictures are great things to include in a scrapbook. You will always look back on this time with fond memories, so make sure you have a solid reminder of this exceptional time.


Jan 25, 2012

Best Guidance to Find the Right Cosmetic Dentists in UK

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, what do you have in mind? Cosmetic dentistry has been more popular nowadays as there are many people who crave to have perfect smiles. According to your teeth condition, you may take different treatments in cosmetic dentistry, but the essential purpose of each treatment is to improve your oral appearance.

The persons who experience accidents may need getting cosmetic dentistry to reconstruct their teeth. If there are missing teeth, the most probable given treatment is dental implants, since this cure will offer longer, safer, and healthier result.

Lots of celebrities who show their white teeth and bright smiles have attracted some people to recover their smiles by trying teeth whitening. There are other options like veneers and oral laser surgery, but a teeth whitening is still the most popular method. This treatment is widely chosen as it is safe enough and affordable for many people.

To get the best benefit from any cosmetic dentistry treatment, you should ensure that you’ve chosen a competent and highly experienced cosmetic dentist. Finding the right cosmetic dentist in UK won’t give you hard times if you visit first the cosmetic dentistry resource websites like CosmeticDentistryGuide.co.uk that offers a list of reliable and recommended cosmetic dentists in your area. Isn’t it a truly great guidance?

Once you visit CosmeticDentistryGuide.co.uk, I guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with their comprehensive services and information. You can’t only find and learn anything about cosmetic dentistry there, but also consult to the experts, follow the latest news, and active in their forum. This informative website really helps you to make an informed decision!

Jan 23, 2012

The Pressure To Marry: Is It Fading?

Marriage is a strong tradition in almost every culture around the world. It is the union and public recognition of commitment of two people to spend the rest of their lives together. But is it still relevant in this day and age – or is the pressure to tie the knot starting to fade?

While many young women still yearn for the diamond ring, the big white dress and the princess setting, more and more, people are bypassing the massive weddings of years gone by, an opting either to marry quietly in a remote location with only family in attendance – or to skip it all together. So what’s changed?

Traditional marriage

Different countries have different traditions when it comes to marriage, with many pitted in arranged unions, and few based on marriage for love. In times gone by, the ‘giving away’ part of the ceremony was almost literal, with responsibility for a woman – who could not work or earn for herself – being passed from father to new husband, and a dowry also exchanged. Marriage also played a major role in how society worked, unifying a man and a woman – the woman’s role to look after the man and the home, the man’s role to provide financially for his family. In the past this made perfect sense, as it provided balance and a successful outcome in all areas.

What’s changing it?

The need for the traditional marriage is changing largely at the hands of changes in society, such as a relaxing of moral expectations, the changing status of women and new legal regulations that provide for unmarried couples. While those who want to don the
maternity wear and have a few babies, may be more likely to tie the knot, it’s now not the case for everyone.

With religion in the western world in particular, not as strong or regimented as it once was, the moral objections to unifying without a formal marriage are fast disappearing. While some countries do maintain these strong religious objections, other societies have evolved in their beliefs, or simply forgotten the beliefs altogether.

In addition to this, the status of women has continued to change over the last century, with women’s liberation gradually improving women’s standing so they are almost considered and paid equally in many western societies. The fact they can work and earn well for themselves means they are no longer a responsibility of a man.

In line with these changes, the law has been required to keep up. With many people, particularly in countries like Australia, now living together without being married – under the philosophy, ‘try before you buy’ – governments and courts have had to consider these unions from a legal standpoint. Laws relating to de facto relationships protect partners living together almost to the same degree as marriage, giving them the same rights, even in the event of a break up.

Countries that demand it

While some countries have become more liberal, others are still pitted deeply in religious values, these impacting their law and regulation. Middle Eastern and North African countries in particular still strongly believe in marriage, and disagree with cohabitating without a marriage certificate. In fact, in some countries, living together is severely punishable! Other more traditional countries, like India, also still largely adhere to marriage traditions.

Marigold and Daisy

Hope I don’t mention the wrong names. These flowers were part of a wreath of mourning for my late father.

Today's Flowers

Jan 21, 2012

Pregnancy Style: How To Keep Looking Good

For some women, pregnancy does not make them feel their best – their sexiest. But it is one of the most important times in their life and should be one they celebrate. With glowing skin and that contented motherly look, they are naturally beautiful and should be able to express that through how they dress and prepare for each day.

Unfortunately for many women, maternity wear and how it works is not always the easiest thing to work out. Many settle on whatever is available or vaguely fits, thinking pregnancy clothing is supposed to be ugly and bulky, so it doesn’t matter how they approach it. There are however a few ladies who get it right – and a lot of specialty and designer stores enabling that. Pregnancy enables a style of its own, taking advantage of femininity, softness and the beauty of the pregnant form. If you’re struggling with pregnancy style, try a few of these;


Firstly, observe what other women are wearing, and if you think it looks amazing, chase it up. Great inspiration can be taken from celebrities, especially in the tabloid and gossip mag images that often show them at rest, or when they haven’t been primped and poked to make them unnaturally sun-kissed, curled and tweezed. Look particularly to images of the more relaxed, almost hippy-like celebs, like Elle McPherson, for their maternity clothing ideas.

Texture and pattern
A big point of contention is pattern and texture. When it comes down to it, the texture of your fabric is more important to how you feel in it and how comfortable you are – especially when you’re pregnant. Choose something soft, sensual and swishy to highlight your shape, but leave you in comfort. Patterns can go either way, choose the wrong one, look like a lounge, the right one, and look funky and female!! Try not to go too big and chunky with patterns, avoid lounge-like florals and aim for soft, non-angular, feminine patterns.

Maternity wear or not?
For quite some time you have the choice as to whether you wear maternity clothing, or opt to use expanders for your existing clothes. At the end of the day you have to be comfortable, so when you get to that point, go for the maternity wear. It is made to fit your new form and to be comfortable while it does that. It is also made to emphasise the more beautiful points of your form, rather than looking like you simply grew out of your clothes.

A tough one! Obviously stilettos – unless they are very broken in and comfortable – are shoes you want to avoid at all cost. But by the same token, if you simply wear granny flats the entire time you’re [regnant, your feet will spread out and become wide. Go for something comfortable with a little style – perhaps a small heel and feature toe?

Going out
Again, celebs are great inspiration. Check out the thumbs up section in mags after the Grammy’s and Emmy’s, and head online to see what else they had on. Many maternity clothing shops now stock beautiful going out clothes and some lovely accessories –
diamond rings through to necklaces to match and bring the outfit together.

Jan 19, 2012

Sky Watch: the Red Sea Sunset

It’s not my capture, as I haven’t yet visited the Red Sea. During pilgrimage, my SIL can have a trip to the Red Sea. She captured the sunset and the floating mosque. The sky was colorful but cloudless.

Sky Watch Friday

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