Explore Personal Style With Home Decorating Tips From an Artist

(NewsUSA) – Decorating can be one of the most exciting times during your experience as a homeowner. Not only are you creating the essence of your home, you are also adding your very own personal touch and style.

One of the easiest ways to add unique spice to an ordinarily drab room—incorporate exceptional artwork .

“Many of my clients are simply amazed at how effective a colorful painting can be at bringing new life to a room that has become tired,” says Matthew Johnston, an artist known for his vibrant Tall Tulips paintings (talltulips.com).

However, as easy as it sounds, purchasing and hanging a painting on the center of the wall isn’t going to cut it in most cases. Johnston offers his advice to ensure your next painting purchases work with your room rather than against it:

Large High-Traffic Rooms

For family rooms, living rooms and rooms off the kitchen, Johnston recommends figurative diptych paintings to create a story within each area. Diptych paintings consists of two separate panels that hang together and work as one.

“In my figurative diptych paintings, each figure has their own physical space, yet they are a couple,” says Johnston. “Their face is cropped, and viewers can imagine themselves as being in the painting. The viewer has to look to other parts of the painting to imagine a story … each individual person can create a different story for the painting.”

Awkward Wall Spaces

For stairways, long hallways and between windows, Johnston recommends using a tall, narrow painting, like his Tall Tulips.

“They are perfect for hanging up a staircase,” says Johnston. “You can hang the tall tulips at different heights following the risers up the stairs; a great look for a difficult space.”

This style of painting also works well because they are bright and don’t require ideal lighting.

Focal Wall Areas

Spaces like the area over a fireplace will get a lot of attention from passersby. Hanging your prized piece is the perfect step for these spots.

“Many of my clients choose my large floral paintings,” says Johnston. “Oftentimes, they will hang these on a wall which faces the front door … to make an impression when first walking into the home.”

To learn more about Matthew Johnston and his work, visit www.talltulips.com.

Talking Through Teens’ Growing Pains

"<b

(NewsUSA) – Pop culture tells us that teenagers inevitably transform into hungry, rebellious, secretive monsters. But while it is true that teenagers seek autonomy, it’s not impossible for parents to keep the lines of communication open.

It might seem that you and your teenager have nothing in common — you cringe at their music and wince at their choice of clothes. And yet, with a little effort, you can find activities that will allow you to bond with your teenager. The first step? Accepting that your teen doesn’t want to listen to classical music or putter about in the garden.

“Find out what they want to do,” says Karen Deerwester, the author of “The Entitlement-Free Child,” in an interview with SUCCESS Magazine. “It’s not about what you want to do. With teenagers, it’s about getting into their world.”

Find out what your teen likes, then propose activities centered around that interest. A budding actress might want to see a play, while a sports enthusiast would prefer tickets to a game. If your teen likes your idea, let him or her plan out the details, like what play you will see. Teens need to feel that they have a voice in planning activities.

Actually bonding during that activity might be a little more challenging. Turn off the parenting voice, but don’t try too hard to be their friend — teens want to “hang” with their peers, not mom or dad. In fact, it might be a good idea to allow them to bring a friend. That way, teenagers enjoy their friends’ company while also spending time with their parents.

If activities spark discussion, let your teen talk first. Listen to what they say before you respond, and try not to fix their problems for them. Teenagers need to explore their own interests and face the consequences of their decisions, whether they be good or bad. If teens believe that they can’t talk to their parents, they will lie or manipulate to get what they want.

And do accept that teenagers will need time away from you. “We want to spend more time with them than they do with us, and we have to be respectful of that.” says Ann Corwin, a parenting consultant, child-development educator and the creator of “The Child Connection” DVD. “Try not to take it personally.”

To hear from more experts and get ideas for teenager-parent bonding activities, visit www.SUCCESS.com.

Hurting? Here’s How to Reduce Physical Pain

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Chances are, you’re hurting right now.
No, we’re not talking finances. (That’s a whole other story.) We’re talking the kind of long-lasting physical pain — arthritis, backaches, strains and the like — which the Institute of Medicine says at least 116 million U.S. adults experience at a cost to the nation of upwards of $558 billion annually in medical bills, sick days and lost productivity.
And while the natural inclination of many sufferers may be to pop an over-the-counter pain pill for relief, doing so can be dicey. “For some patients, taking an over-the-counter pain pill isn’t possible due to the risks associated with stomach irritation and interactions with other medications they’re on,” says Dr. Sylvia Hesse, an orthopedic medicine specialist at New York’s Manhattan Spine & Sports Medicine Center.
So, how better to deal with pain? Read on.
* Look East. While noted sports therapist Dave Endres is a big proponent of exercise as “one of the best pain-management options for mild, moderate and even chronic pain,” he makes clear that doesn’t mean you have to become some kind of gym fiend. Yoga, he says, which Asians have long practiced, is a less intense way to improve flexibility, build lean muscle and improve circulation.
* Physical Therapy. Typically lasting six to 12 weeks, the focus here is on creating a personalized treatment plan meant to improve muscle strength and joint mobility. Yes, there’s exercise involved, but you’ll learn how to move — safely — so that your chances of future injuries are lessened.
* The Transdermal Bandwagon. Long popular in Europe, these patches, creams and gels are considered by many experts to be a safe, effective alternative to pills like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. That’s because the medication contained in products like Salonpas (www.salonpas.us) delivers medicine right where it’s needed — at the site of pain — unlike pills that pass through the stomach and liver.
Among the line’s fans is tennis legend and sports broadcaster Pam Shriver, who uses New Salonpas Deep Relieving Gel to relieve both her lower back pain from playing sports and her sore shoulders from “hauling supplies around” for her kids’ school fundraisers. “It absorbs fast into my skin and muscles for powerful, long-lasting relief,” she says.
According to Dr. Hesse, Salonpas is a safe and convenient solution for tough pain, but always consult your doctor if your symptoms are severe or persist despite basic treatment measures.

Psychologist By Day, Jesus By Night

"<b

(NewsUSA) – By day, Andreas Richter, 32, works as a psychologist. But starting in 2010, he will lead a cast of 1,000 actors in the role of Jesus Christ, opposite a flight attendant playing Mary Magdalene and a public administrator playing Judas.

And this isn’t amateur theater. Richter and his castmates will endure rigorous training and rehearsals, not to make it big, but to carry on their hometown’s 375-year-old tradition. Every 10 years, almost half of Oberammergau works together to put on a Passion Play depicting the last weeks of Christ’s life, his death and his resurrection. And they’ve been doing it since 1633.

How did such a thing get started? In the autumn of1632, the plague struck Oberammergau, killing 84 people by the end of that year. No one knew about rats and fleas or how the plague was spread — the common theory was that God had decided to punish his people with pestilence. Making an appeal to God was only the next logical step.

So in 1633, Oberammergau’s leaders went to the local church and vowed that they would perform a Passion Play every 10 years. And from that day on — it’s on historical record — no Oberammergau citizen ever died of plague.

At the time, Passion Plays were common throughout Bavaria. But Oberammergau’s unique in having kept up the tradition. And in performing the Passion Play on such a large scale — the town’s theater sits 4,700, there can be a 1,000 actors on stage at once and about 2,500 of Oberammergau’s 5,300 citizens will participate in one way or another. And of course, this massive, one-of-a-kind event only takes place once a decade. No wonder tickets sell out long in advance.

The dedication the actors display is astounding. Both men and women grow out their hair before the play. Eva-Maria Reiser, the flight attendant playing Mary Magdalene, is taking a summer off, without pay, to play her role.

No one can participate in the play unless they are native to Oberammergau or have lived there for at least 20 years. Both the director and the composer can trace their families back to 1633 — their ancestors made the original vow. Talk about a family tradition.

For more information and to get tickets for the 2010 Oberammergau Passion play (it won’t be held again until 2020), visit www.oberammergau-passion.com.

 

Toys of the World Celebrate Power of Play

"<b

(NewsUSA) – For most children in the United States, finding a toy with which to play is hardly a hardship. A trip to the toy store with some allowance money, or a holiday or birthday, provides plenty of action figures, model cars, dolls, talking robots and video games.

But many children in developing countries around the world cannot afford to buy any toys — and these children often show ingenuity and creativity in making their own toys.

To celebrate the power of play, ChildFund International has created a touring exhibition titled, “The Power to Play: From Trash to Treasure,” which displays 350 handcrafted toys created by children around the world. Some of the toys are easily recognizable, like soccer balls and kites. Others are unique to their place of origin, or reveal the social, economic and political conditions in which their makers are growing up.

“Our traveling exhibition highlights the resourcefulness and creativity of the children who created the toys,” says Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International. “Thousands of viewers will gain new appreciation for the power of play and its role in childhood development.”

Play proves essential to children’s healthy development, helping kids solve problems, test new ideas and gain friendships. So, what kind of toys can viewers expect to see? Warsito and Ade of Central Java, Indonesia make stilts to play a popular game, called “egrang.”

“It’s an exciting and unique game, and I love playing it,” says Warsito. “You can tell when a child is an expert in playing this game. He or she must have a good sense of balance and high skill to play it.”

Tyrel of Dominica has made his own toys since age eight. “I loved playing with toys, but my parents were not always able to afford them, and the ones that they occasionally bought did not hold together for long.”

Nollan, a 13-year-old from Honduras, fashions a toy called “The Trapeze Artist,” which he makes once a year and often lends to siblings and friends.

These unique toys are just a few examples of the types of items in ChildFund International’s Power to Play exhibit, which will be traveling to major museums and other locations across the United States through 2011.

For more information about the exhibit, or to learn how you can improve the life of a child in need, visit www.childfund.org.

 

Stay on Track to Your Destination With Regular Tire Maintenance

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When the rubber meets the road this summer, will you be prepared? Summer heat can be tough on tires, which makes regular tire checks a critical part of your general vehicle maintenance schedule. Heat combined with improper tire pressure, uneven wear or damage and poor alignment can cause potentially dangerous driving conditions and put a damper on your summer road trip plans.
“Unfortunately, 83 percent of motorists aren’t aware of how under- or over-inflated tires affect a vehicle’s steering and breaking control as well as fuel economy,” explained Mark Ballard of Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer. “In addition, regularly checking your tires for uneven or worn tread and bald spots, as well as replacing all four tires instead of one or two at a time, will help avoid hazards like blowouts and keep you on track to your destination.”
According to the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (RMA), more than 23,000 tow-away crashes were due to flat tires.
Here are the top five tips to ensure proper tire safety:
1. Get Pressure Right. In its 2011 Tire Care Awareness Survey, the RMA found that 62 percent of drivers don’t know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle. The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost, glove box door or fuel door or in the owner’s manual. For accurate pressure, check tires when cool, and don’t forget the spare. A properly inflated tire will save you nine cents per gallon at the gas pump and improve vehicle fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent.
2. Don’t Overload Vehicle. Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handling, control and braking are also negatively impacted.
3. Rotate Before You Go. Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improve road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 — 8,000 miles prolong the life of the tire and help maximize your tire investment. It makes sense to get a tire inspection when you rotate.
4. Straighten Up. Proper tire alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a ride that is smooth, comfortable and free of pulling or vibration. Proper alignment helps tires wear evenly and last longer.
5. Bald Isn’t Beautiful. The RMA survey also found that 52 percent of drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald. Lack of tread affects the tire’s ability to grip wet roads. Make sure tires don’t have uneven wear, high or low areas or unusually smooth areas that can increase the risk of road accidents.
To get more information on tire maintenance and safety, visit www.tires.com.

Dentist-Approved Ortho Care Designed for Braces

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Although braces are essential to correcting a variety of dental issues, cleaning braces with a standard toothbrush is as difficult as trying to floss with a jump-rope.
The interweaving of wires and brackets traps all kinds of bacteria and food particles that cause plaque buildup and present the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria is usually the source of most dental problems — gingivitis, periodontitis, tooth loss, bad breath, you-name-it.
Unless teeth are kept scrupulously clean, cavities may emerge that wreak havoc on enamel, often leading to discoloration and stains.
“The accumulation of plaque puts wearers at risk for gum disease, tooth decay and discoloration,” explains Dr. Mike C. Zauner. “which is why we dentists tend to be super strict on our patients about carefully cleaning around braces.”
But even if you’re diligent about flossing, brushing and rinsing with mouthwash, most toothbrushes are poorly equipped to clean around braces.
“The lack of options does make it a challenge for those with braces to maintain good oral hygiene. It’s frustrating, and sometimes it’s a real nightmare. But there’s actually a new ultrasound toothbrush especially designed for braces. It’s the world’s first toothbrush with technology specialized for braces, truly unique,” Zauner added.
It is unique, in fact, it’s almost revolutionary. The Emmi-dent Ultrasonic Toothbrush with an Ortho Brush uses ultrasound technology to kill bacteria and scrub the enamel covered by metal or wire. The “no brush” brush is actually motionless, it cleans and whitens without brushing or friction because of the ultrasonic brush-head.
The unique technology has already made the ultrasonic toothbrush a hit among orthodontists and other dental professionals. With this added defense against cavities and discoloration, you can protect your investment by saving on extra trips to the dentist.
The Journal of Clinical Orthodontics states the cost of an adult set of braces in the U.S. is $4,800, on average. Not many people can afford to fix additional oral care expenses on top of that.
To learn more about protecting your braces with ultrasound technology, visit www.emmi-dent.com.

Atrial Fibrillation: 3 Reasons to Protect Your Heart Health

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Health problems associated with atrial fibrillation (AFib) are increasing. According to the Atrial Fibrillation Association, approximately 2.5 million people living in the U.S. currently have AFib, the most common heart rhythm disorder.
AFib is an electrical problem that causes the atria (upper chambers of the heart) to beat in an irregular, erratic rhythm, resulting in insufficient blood-flow throughout the body. Sometimes the condition doesn’t negatively impact a person at all. Other times, however, it can lead to serious and sometimes fatal health issues like heart attack or stroke.
Below, we unravel some of the most prevalent AFib statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and share ways you prevent the condition.
1. As many as 12 million people will have AFib by 2050.
To prevent Afib, promote heart health by avoiding risk factors associated with it. Risk factors include old age, high blood pressure, heavy alcohol consumption, sleep apnea, genetics, other abnormal heart conditions and other chronic medical conditions.
Keep your blood pressure down by consuming a healthy, vitamin-rich diet, staying active and not smoking. For sleep apnea, consult a doctor or polysomnography technician as a first step.
2. The median age for patients with AFib is 66.8 years (men) and 74.6 years (women).
Doctors have noted that atrial fibrillation seems to increase with age. That’s why it’s especially important to make healthy lifestyle choices and take better care of your heart sooner rather than later.
Becoming aware of health problems before they get worse can reduce the damage the body experiences. If caught early, conditions like stroke and heart attack caused by AFib are very treatable.
3. Atrial fibrillation increases risk of ischemic stroke by five times.
The CDC reports that AFib causes approximately 15 to 20 percent of all ischemic strokes. About 80 percent don’t experience symptoms, so preventing, identifying or treating atrial fibrillation can have a huge impact on these numbers.
Since most strokes are asymptomatic, preventive health screenings (www.lifelinescreeninghospitals.com) that can identify the possibility of a stroke are beneficial. Spotting a debilitating stroke before it happens can benefit a person in more ways than one.
By implementing healthy habits in your daily routine, you can promote your own lifelong health (www.lifelonghealth.com) and avoid becoming a statistic. Don’t become another individual faced with the challenges of atrial fibrillation.