Four Reasons Why Personalized Gifts Make the Best Gifts

It takes hours to shop for gifts and it takes a lot out of you. Not only does it take a lot out of you physically, it also takes a lot out of you financially, since you have to spend plenty of money just to look for the right gift. Additionally, you also feel that the recipient may not appreciate the gift, especially if you are thinking of buying a common item.

If the recipient is someone special and close to you, you will most likely want to give him or her nothing but the best. Then again, does such a gift out there, exist? Probably, not, but if there is one thing that is close to it, then that is probably a personalized gift.

Personalized gifts make an average and common present into something beautiful and mesmerizing and they make the best gift items out there.

If and ever you question why personalized gifts make for the best gifts out there, the answer conveniently lies below.

The Thought Matters The Most

You have heard of it before and you are going to hear once more, “It’s the thought that counts”. Make your gifts count and special by personalizing them. This lets the recipient know that you actually took the time and made an effort to give them a gift specifically made for them.

Adding a Personal Touch

Giving an expensive pen is somehow special, but easily forgettable. However, if the pen has their engraved on it, the recipient will likely use the pen repeatedly. Not only that, adding this personal touch makes the recipient feel the pen is theirs and theirs alone.

A Gift They Can Treasure

Any simple gift becomes very memorable if it is personalized. The recipient will love and treasure it. A common example is a mug. Almost everyone uses mugs and almost everyone has this special and favourite mug. Would it not be nice if the mug you personalized just for them becomes their favourite mug?

A Gift That Stands Out

Once the party is over, recipients or celebrant will start to open the gifts. Most of the time, the recipient will find duplicate gifts. The recipient or celebrant will likely toss these gifts aside and forget who gave it to them. However, a personalized gift is something they will never forget because it stands out, as well as the one who gave it. The gift not only is treasured, but it stands out from other gifts, making it more special.

If you want to give someone a gift, then make sure to give him or her something worth remembering and something to cherish, treasure, love and adore. Besides, it’s nice to receive a gift that stands out from others and something that has your own identity or personality written all over it, which is the main purpose of giving a personalized gift.

Buy Food Dehydrators: Improve Your Families Health, Make Great Tasting Food and Save Money!

Have you ever thought about buying a food dehydrator? In the 1970s I remember my Grandmother buying her first food dehydrator and subsequently buying one for my Aunt and Mom for Christmas. This was during a time when Californians were just starting to plan ahead for potential earthquake and other possible world disasters. And also, came during a time when healthy eating became a priority.

So we dehydrated everything (fruit, raw meat, vegetables, etc.) and found that not only was it a great way to make and save nutritious food, but it was a lot of fun too. You don’t need a separate meat dehydrator, fruit dehydrator or dog food dehydrator. All these foods may be made from the same machine, whether a household brand or commercial dehydrator. And maintaining flavor and freshness is easy since most dehydrated foods can last for years if properly stored.

Even though we had books with food dehydrator recipes, we found it very easy to come up with our own recipes for dehydrating raw food or cooked food leathers. My favorites by far were the fruit leathers we made by blending various ingredients (such as pineapple, coconut, apples, bananas, apricots, pears, etc.) with a little spice (maybe nutmeg or cinnamon), and simply pouring squares onto non-toxic plastic cling wrap, placing it on the food dehydrator rack and dehydrating for 10-20 hours (depending on the moisture content of the food). We’d then just peel them off the plastic and pack them up for school snacks. Although many times the dehydrated food never lasted that long because it seemed we could eat them just about as fast as we could dehydrate them for great tasting finger foods.

Think about it though. In the unfortunate event of an earthquake or other natural disaster that may make obtaining food a challenge, wouldn’t it be great to know that you had homemade beef jerky, dried apples, banana chips, and even dehydrated granola on the ready? Foods reduce to about ¼ their original size, but maintain almost all of their nutrition (still sweet with NO added sugar!!!). And they don’t need refrigeration, just storage in a glass jar or plastic bag in a dark cool cupboard. Wouldn’t that help put your mind at ease?

As an adult, I started dehydrating my own food, and even dehydrating nutritious pet food. And dehydrating your own food is economical if you buy fresh raw foods in season (when they’re less expensive) and drying them to save for a time when those same fruits and vegetables may cost more. Amazingly, the flavor is just as tasty and in some cases, even better tasting than fresh. Dried vegetables are easy to rehydrate and great to add to soups or stews. Think of how much fresh food gets wasted because it doesn’t get eaten in time. And think then of how much money you can save by dehydrating that food instead of throwing it in the trash. Even leftover mashed potatoes can be spread into ¼ inch thick rectangles (place non-toxic plastic wrap over dehydrator drying rack first), and make your own potato chips! In this day and age, we need to do everything possible to save money, and our food dehydrator has been one of the best investments we’ve ever made.

If you like to make homemade gifts for the holidays, think about making a fresh chicken soup, or maybe your special spaghetti sauce, dehydrating it until crispy and then blending it to a powder. Put it in a leftover glass jar with pretty ribbon and a tag with rehydration instructions (instructions are basically…just add water) and you have a wonderful homemade gift for your family and friends.

Or buy food dehydrators for the ones you love this Christmas to improve your family’s health, help them prepare for disaster, or just to make great snacks or healthy dehydrated pet food. Share with them your favorite food dehydrator recipes for dehydrated meals and how they may avoid having food go to waste to save money.

Please visit our food dehydrator website and blog and share your favorite dehydrated food recipe, dehydrating tips and ideas. Go to today and enjoy!!!

History of Mannequins in Fashion Design – A Look Back Shows They’re More Than Just Dummies

Walk through any department store, and you’ll pass countless mannequins modeling the latest fashions. While we’ve come to take these visual display staples for granted, mannequins have a rich and storied past that dates as far back as ancient Egypt. Looking at how mannequins have evolved through the years, we can see that they have reflected not only the ideal of how we should look, but how we should live. No wonder historians, retailers, and fashion school students alike have been fascinated by these lifelike figures for so long.

Ancient and medieval times. When King Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened in 1922, one of the treasures found was a lifelike torso believed to be the world’s first dress form. Indeed, the mannequin continued its functional role as a dress form through the centuries. Lifelike facsimiles of kings and queens were created so that tailors and dressmakers could create clothes without having to bore the monarchs with endless fittings, or worse, threatening their modesty by touching their bodies.

French aristocracy. In the 18th century, France was considered the fashion capital, and “fashion dolls” were created to show off the French fashion design to the world. These early mannequins, which represented the ideal of courtly fashion, ranged from about twelve inches to life size. They were sent abroad so people could see what the French were wearing and copy the styles. Marie Antoinette was known to send dolls to her mothers and sisters in Austria so they were kept up to date with what was in vogue at Versailles.

The Industrial Revolution and window shopping. Mannequins made a huge leap forward with the development of electrically-lit streets and large, glass-pane windows. Suddenly, strolling along avenues and looking at the fantasy worlds displayed in retail store windows became a favorite pastime. The first mannequins created for this purpose were made of wax and wood. They were extremely heavy, weighing between 200 and 300 pounds, with iron-reinforced legs so they would stay upright. With glass eyes, false teeth, and real hair, the mannequins adopted the feminine ideal of large bosoms and tiny waists, in situations of genteel living, like giving a toast at a dinner party. The art of fashion merchandising was born.

Hollywood influence. Until the ’20s, mannequins had wooden expressions, which is why they were called “dummies.” In the silent film age, however, there was more focus on the face than the body. With the popularity of Hollywood movies, mannequins acquired more realistic features and animated facial expressions that mirrored those of famous stars like Mary Pickford and Rudolph Valentino. To complement their movie star looks, they were displayed in aspirational, make-believe situations like having cocktails at the country club.

The Gaba Girls. In the ’30s, mannequins began to be produced with plaster, decreasing their weight to about twenty-five pounds. And thanks to a former soap sculptor named Lester Gaba, they reached a new level of realism. His lifelike figures were dubbed “The Gaba Girls,” the most famous of which was named Cynthia. Gaba envisioned Cynthia as the ultimate New York socialite, and the mannequin became a pop culture sensation. He took her to nightclubs and the opera, and Cartier and Tiffany even lent her jewels.

World War II. With the arrival of the second World War, life changed, and so did mannequins. Mannequins resembling carefree people were replaced by serious, no-nonsense ones. But when the troops returned, mannequins performed the public service of encouraging the public to be happy again. The female mannequins wore radiant smiles, while the male ones were relaxed and comfortable; both displayed domestic, suburban bliss.

Fiberglass and plastics. By the ’50s, mannequins moved away from brittle, breakable plaster to rugged fiberglass and plastic. Because manufacturing and sculpting had not yet been refined, the new mannequins were less realistic and took on an abstract quality. They actually celebrated surrealism, with sprayed-on hair styles and anatomical inaccuracies. The mannequin had become pop art.

The women’s revolution. When women’s roles started changing in the ’60s, mannequins depicted the shift. On one hand, there were the housewife (or aspiring housewife) mannequins with bouffants and hopeful gazes. At the other extreme was the active, assertive woman, posing casually and confidently. The decade also gave us the Mod look – skinny, leggy figures epitomized by the Twiggy mannequin.

Real life. The ’70s saw the introduction of Black, Asian, and Latino mannequins, reflecting the growing ethnic mix in the country. Also mirroring the turbulent decade, mannequins started having facial expressions of pain, worry, and stress. In the 80s, the country got “physical,” and mannequins followed suit, taking on running and leaping poses.

Modern day. When it comes to mannequins today, the old rules are out, and anything goes. Mannequins are different colors, crystal clear, headless, backless, and any form of abstraction. In fact, the realistic figures of previous decades now look decidedly creepy. There is no “ideal” form, probably because there is no longer a consensus on an ideal vision of beauty.

While we know that fashion design and mannequins have been forever intertwined, it’s fascinating to see how much these “dummies” have shown us as about civilization, history, and culture.

Ghana Clothing Business: An Overview Of The Apparel Market

Ghana was the first African country to gain independence. A former British colony, it is located in West Africa, bordering Nigeria and Ivory Coast. It is the United States’ third largest trading partner in Africa, after Nigeria and South Africa. Its economy has grown substantially this decade as it implements reforms recommended by international financial bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Although the economy has seen strong improvements, the average person in Ghana earns the equivalent of $700 per year, substantially less than employees earn in Nigeria and South Africa.

Because of the low level of earnings the majority of the clothing market is comprised of used apparel.

Importers purchase bales of used clothing that have been donated to American and European charities, and resell the clothing at the retail level. The used clothing is sold at stalls in open markets similar to flea markets, and is exported to other less affluent African countries, such as Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Togo. The used clothing is distributed according to the local buying power, so relatively affluent areas will receive Grade A clothing, while other areas will receive Grade C clothing. Some clothing vendors will hire tailors to repair the lower grade clothing and resell it in their shops in better condition. Wholesalers will attract a following of resellers who meet them at the port when their cargo is unloaded. Because transactions are strictly conducted in cash, security and trust are two important rules in the trade.

While the used apparel category still represents a sizable portion of the total market, the middle class and upper class have a strong preference for new clothing. New fashions are imported from China, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Imported new clothing ranges from generic clothing mass produced in Chinese factories to fashionable brands resold in exclusive boutiques. The middle and upper class enjoy Internet access and international travel and are therefore familiar with popular brand names.

A small percentage of the workforce in Ghana works in the oil sector, and require work and safety clothes.
Recently, the office sector has been developing, creating a demand for dress shirts, with a preference for Kenneth Cole.

In addition, the recent economic upswing has created a booming construction sector which needs professional work clothes, and as a consequence has increased the number of people who can afford to make discretionary apparel purchases.The market for homegrown fashion designers is not significant since most consumers prefer to purchase foreign brands.

Traditional wear is delineated by their location, people living in the North wear the Kente cloth while people living in the South wear a smock. Traditional wear is also dictated by the respective religion of the individual, seventy percent of the population are Christian, fifteen percent are Muslim, with the rest practicing other major religions including native faiths. Each religious group has its own festival clothing requirements, although most men and women wear similar clothing, influenced by their region, in their day to day lives.