Author Archives: Dwight Brooks

Wedding Photographers Provide Memories: Tips For Booking A Professional Photographer

Wedding photos are still an important part of your wedding celebration. With the advent of digital photography, more and more people are moving away from professional photographers and having a friends with a digital camera take their photographs.

But has this friend ever taken wedding photographs before?

It’s not as easy as lining up people, having them smile and taking a photograph. Posing and lighting are still important elements of a photograph. And with most wedding dresses being white, and tuxedoes black, there is an extreme in contrast to deal with making proper exposure even more important.

Since the concept is to get married once, the photographs are still an important part of the day. The caterer, disc jockey, limousine driver have all provided their service and all that remains are the memories. The photographs are records of the day.

What To Look For In A Photographer

Many people just cruise web sites looking at photographs and checking out price lists to choose a photographer. This is a good start. There are many other considerations though.

Some key questions to ask photographers are:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How long have you been taking wedding photographs?
  • Do you belong to professional photography associations?
  • Ask for suggestions of locations, or if you have one in mind, if the photographer has worked there previously?
  • What happens if the photographer is ill?
  • Does the photographer carry a back-up camera

Photography Associations Can Assist

 

 

The Professional Photographers of Canada is a national organization of photographers with provincial affiliates. Booking a photographer who is a member of this organization can help assure you are getting quality.

Members of the association can be accredited in wedding photography. To have this credential, photographers must submit samples of their work that are judged to be acceptable by their peers. Wedding photography accreditations help assure a bride she is booking a photographer with experience.

Other designations handed out by the association are Craftsman of Photographic Arts and Master of Photographic Arts. These are an even higher standard than accreditations.

Printing Your Own is Not Always Better

Many amateur photographers include full resolution copies of the images with packages so the bride and groom can print their own photographs. It is generally the practice of professionals not to do this.

Most professional photographers have their photographs printed at professional labs with tighter tolerances. The end result is dress colors and skin tones that are more realistic.

Meet Your Photographer

Setting up a personal appointment with your photographer prior to booking is key. Although the bride can see photographs on a web site, it’s not possible to evaluate the person.

Besides capturing images, a wedding photographer needs to be a people manager. Bring together wedding parties and families take some coordination.

Careful consideration of your photographer will produce memories that will last a lifetime, not nightmares of spoiled photographs.

Wedding Thank-you Notes: Thanking Guests For Wedding Gifts

Wedding thank you cards can be as elegant as the bride and groom’s linen invitations, as casual as a postcard featuring a favorite photo from the wedding day, or a simple blank card with a handwritten message inside. Thank you notes are another opportunity for the bride and groom to show their individuality, and a chance to reconnect with the guests who made their day so special. Co-ordinating thank-you cards can be included as part of a couple’s wedding stationery package, or they can order self-designed cards on line.

Who Should Receive A Thank-you Note?

  • anyone who gives the couple a gift at a wedding-related event, including engagement parties and showers, receives a thank-you note. This includes those who give monetary gifts or donations to charity in the couples’ name.
  • anyone who hosted an event or party for the couple
  • vendors, members of the wedding party, and others who helped the bride with the wedding planning, including parents of bride and groom.

When To Send Wedding Thank-you Cards

Etiquette dictates that thank you notes should be sent within three months of the wedding, and sooner if possible. A good strategy to keep on top of things is to keep a list of what gifts were received, for what occasion (shower, wedding, etc.), and who gave it. Having a column to check off when the thank you note is actually mailed will keep brides organized and worry-free about their thank you notes.

For brides who have received gifts prior to the wedding through their registry, thank-you notes can be written before the wedding. In fact, writing a set number of thank-you notes daily will be much less stressful than sitting down to write hundreds of thank-you cards after the wedding.

Who Writes Them?

Each couple has a different system when it comes to writing thank-you notes for wedding gifts sometimes it is the bride who writes the majority of the cards; sometimes the couple split the list down the middle, and sometimes they agree to each write the thank-you notes for their own family. However the couple decides to divide the responsibility, it’s far less daunting to write a few thank-you notes a day over the period of a few weeks than to realize that all the notes must be completed in one weekend.

What if No Gift Was Received?

Technically, the reception is the couple’s thank-you to their guests – if no gift was received, no thank-you note is strictly neccessary. However, many couples do choose to send a thank-you card thanking guests for their presence at their wedding.

 

What to Write?

For brides who are experiencing writer’s block, here are some sample wedding thank-you notes to help get started. Generally, a wedding thank-you note should make mention of the gift giver, as well as the gift, for example how the couple will use it in their new home, or how much they appreciate the gift giver taking time to think of them. Some rules of thumb to consider when writing thank-you notes:

  • wedding thank-you notes should be personalized, and mention the wedding gift
  • couples should be enthusiastic, but still sincere when praising a gift
  • couples should never mention that they plan to return a gift, or that they did not like it

Book Review: Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson's book Written on the Body is narrated by a genderless, nameless person whose main concern is love. The narrator recalls past love affairs with both men and women, so don't think that the current affair with Louise will give you any clues to the narrator's sexuality or gender. It is quite a feat to describe sex so powerfully without ever mentioning what goes where, or who was on top. The narrator seems to be beyond male/female binary identifications, leaving the reader to focus on the emotion of love on its own.

This is not your typical romance. Although the love affair is intense, described in crystalline prose that makes your heart ache, a happy ending is not guaranteed. Could anything so intense last? The reader will always wonder, because the ultimate focus of the book is not just on love, but on the loss of the beloved. Winterson is interested in whether love allows a person to make decisions for the lover, whether it is better to do what you know is best, or to let the chips fall where they may and love until the end.

Elgin is perhaps the closest character to a villain in the novel. The husband of Louise, Elgin has kinky proclivities in the sack and seems to be paying for Louise to be his trophy wife. Yet the narrator remarks that since Louise loved him, he had to have been a worthwhile object of affection for such a woman. The moral ambiguity involved in the relationship between Elgin and Louise, as well as Louise and the narrator, allows the reader to form his or her own opinions. This novel does not preach to the readership, because the experience of love is so subjective. It's important to remember that the narrator and Louise are having an affair while Louise is still married.

This novel is well worth the read for the quality of writing alone. Pick it up and see whether you will float amongst the words, or have a "chest full of stones." Jeanette Winterson is invested in the connection humans maintain with each other through love. Even if these connections end in pain, written on the body like a tattoo, they are clearly worth it.

 

Bringing Home Your Baby with Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome

When the hospital geneticist announces all the difficulties that you may face with your new SLOS baby, they may seem too numerous and too enormous to face. When most parents have to hear terrible news that something is wrong with their precious newborn, their children usually only have one or at most two things that are wrong with their child, such as a gastrointestinal problem, a heart deformity, or mental retardation. However, when there is a genetic disorder in place there can be numerous things wrong with your child all at once, and the long list the geneticist is obligated to give you can leave you desperately heartbroken and feeling helpless, especially when they themselves know very little about your child’s particular disorder.

Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome is one such genetic disorder. The fact is, when proper medication is in place and the right baby formula, SLOS can be manageable although never easy. Although many things are deformed in a SLOS child, only a few of them cause distress. We’ll address one at a time, based on what most professionals recommend, and based on our own personal experience as parents of a child with SLOS.

The gastrointestinal tract is the most difficult problem for a baby who has Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome. SLOS babies can have failure-to-thrive, severe acid reflux, slow-draining of the stomach, and constipation. However, there is hope. There are ways to treat these problems and get your child comfortable and happy again. Let’s start with failure to thrive.

Failure to Thrive:

Failure to thrive is a deadly condition where a child is not gaining weight. SLOS children are well-known for not gaining weight well, so a slow growth-rate should not cause alarm. Dieticians at times may be overly alarmed by a slow growth rate, but SLOS specialists are not alarmed. However, a SLOS child should be gaining some weight regularly. A child who does not gain weight at all, even a SLOS child, is failing to thrive and should be taken to a pediatric gastrointestinal (GI) specialist. A SLOS baby may even have difficulty gaining weight on his own mother’s milk (although this is almost the only source of nutrition on which he will not constipate). Some doctors do not like their patients to buy a home baby scale because they are concerned it will make the parents obsess over the baby’s weight, which is something to guard against, but the scale helped our family. A home scale helped us know if the baby’s weight was gaining, even a little, or not gaining at all instead of having to constantly go into a doctor’s office to see. Many parents worry more by not knowing, and the scale can be a consolation when the weight starts to go up. However, never expect a SLOS child to come to the normal weight of a healthy child.

We give total credit to the baby formula Neocate for saving our Mathias’s life. He was continually in the emergency room for failure to thrive until we discovered this jewel. The GI doctors and dieticians tried everything to get him to gain weight until Neocate came onto the scene. It was first recommended to us by a SLOS specialist, which is why I also recommend talking to SLOS professionals. Dr. Steiner at the Oregon Health and Science University, and Dr. Porter at the National Institute of Health are the two most well-known. It is advisable to make the effort to have your child seen by both to get the most well-rounded education on your child’s syndrome.

Even the very best GI doctors may not know about the Neocate-SLOS connection, so the parents’ input may be necessary. Do not hesitate to get Neocate because of the expense, which is high. Most insurance companies will pay for it because failure to thrive is a life and death situation, and a GI doctor will be happy to recommend Neocate to your insurance company if your child will not gain weight on anything else.

Keep the direct phone number of your GI specialist for emergencies, and your dietician’s phone number for non-emergency regular calls. I did not enlist the help of our dietician for a very long time because I thought I could just “wing it” while feeding our son, but your dietician is very important because she can advise you, based on your child’s condition, how much needs to go into the G-tube as your baby grows, when you need to switch from an infant formula to toddler formula, and so on. She will keep you on track so that you will not over-feed or under-feed your child (a mistake we made on our own for awhile), and you will also need her help in order to deal with your insurance company if you get an expensive formula like Neocate. Insurance companies will not pay for increases in shipments of formula without the prescription of a dietician or GI doc.

Acid Reflux and Vomiting:

Almost all children with Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome have reflux, and most of them vomit as a routine part of their lives. This can be distressing for parents, especially when their baby is failing to thrive. Most parents, however, go on to accept the vomiting as a normal part of their lives. Some keep a bucket under their stroller for accidents. Parents can learn to have a confident mindset about this when they go into public places.

A SLOS baby will very often vomit when bolus fed, but some babies react better to the “kangaroo pump” machine for bolus feeding. Although the pump is technically intended for continual drip feeds, it can and will bolus feed if put on a high speed, which tended to induce less vomiting than gravity, hand-held bolus feeding for our son. It freed us up more to feed the baby this way, too. The baby could be fed by the machine and we didn’t have to sit and hold the bolus.

There is no medication that stops vomiting, but medication did decrease much of the vomiting for our son. That is not true for many kids. However, the medication does help prevent pain and ulcers associated with severe reflux. The difference in Mathias’s demeanor on and off the medication was like daylight and dark. If your baby is fussy and uncomfortable most of the time, or makes a strange gulping sound, you may consider discussing with your GI doctor possibly increasing your acid reflux dosage, changing brands, or changing the method with which you administer the drug. A pharmacist can compound your medication into liquid form for the G-tube. Acid reflux medication always has to be undiluted (not mixed with other meds) to work properly, and must be put through the G-tube, not the J-tube (if you have a jejunal tube). Continue to give the medication even if it makes your baby vomit. Giving it slowly, making sure there are no air bubbles in your syringes or tubing, and dribbling some of the meds into the med port before inserting the syringe will all cut down on air going into the baby’s stomach and thus help cut down on vomiting. However, even if your baby vomits, she is still getting some of the medication, so continue to give it. A baby who is not getting acid reflux meds will eventually develop ulcers that will cause pain and vomiting of blood.

Constipation:

The only medication that worked for Mathias and the only thing that works for most children with SLOS to treat constipation is Miralax. This is a blessing because it can be bought over-the-counter. I can almost guarantee this will be a must-have in your home once you switch your baby from breast milk to formula. Children with mild SLOS can usually get relief from Aloe Vera Juice, which can also be purchased over the counter in pharmacies and health food stores. This is a much healthier and a higher road to take if you can get by with it, given that Miralax is a drug. You will know your baby is constipated if her stool turns hard and she expresses extreme discomfort while going in her diaper.

Liver, kidney and colon problems can also occur in children with SLOS, and your gastrointestinal doctor can assist you in treating these conditions. The good news is that not all children have the same internal disorders with SLOS, so don’t be concerned your child will have every problem you read about. Our son, for instance, had no vision problems, had a very strong heart with only a small murmur, and had no kidney or liver problems, all which are possibilities with Smith Lemli Opitz, and Mathias was diagnosed to be on the severe end of the spectrum of the syndrome.

Cholesterol Supplements:

Since SLOS is caused by the lack of cholesterol in your baby, cholesterol supplements should be administered as soon as possible. Your geneticist can aid you in obtaining this regularly. There appears to be a connection between a child receiving cholesterol early and milder skin sensitivity and a milder disposition/personality later on, so begin your supplements early. OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University) regularly shipped us free egg yolk in exchange for research visits when we took Mathias to visit them. This may no longer be their arrangement with their patients, so you will need to contact them for information.

On the emotional side of things, we know firsthand that this is a very dark time. Everyday trials do not compare to the pain of bringing home a child with numerous special needs. You may be depressed, angry, or utterly heartbroken, and worst of all, you may feel hopeless. I remember during the first few months after we had our sweet Mathias, I would wake everyday and immediately feel like someone was pouring a bucket of sorrow into my heart. We desperately wanted him to be well. Please do not despair. I am thinking of one couple in particular whom my husband and I had the privilege of meeting during one of our trips to OHSU. They have not only one but two children with SLOS. However, if you meet them you will see smiles on their faces. Their life is not uncomplicated, but they are happy. They take turns working so someone is always home, and they’ve learned all they can about SLOS from professionals. They give their boys the best nutrition they can with a VitaMix machine, and they live their lives out with a head up high and a grin, not looking at their half-empty glass. They had a very difficult first year or more with their first son, but their boys are very happy now. You will be happy again. Lastly, if you believe in God, you believed before you had your baby that all things happen for a reason. Don’t stop believing in that now.

 

Wedding Invitations For The Bride On A Budget: DIY Invitations

The wedding invitation is the first sign a guest receives of what to expect. Aside from being notified of the date of a wedding, the invitation is designed to give out clear signals about the religiosity of the ceremony, the duration of the celebration and the type of atmosphere to be expected.

Wedding Invitation Format

There are not many choices when it comes to the layout of the wedding invitation, but some essential elements should be addressed. Will the invitation be a double sided post-card or a fold-out card? What shape will it be and will something be holding it closed. Will the invitation also feature R.S.V.P. cards or will guests give an electronic or telephone attendance confirmation? These are all things to be considered before colours and designs even come into the picture.

Choosing A Wedding Invitation Pattern

The first step in creating a beautiful invitation with ease is to “use what is already there”. Many times brides feel they can’t design their own invites because they don’t know how to match certain colours, or choose between different patterns, or they don’t know how to put them together.

The simplest thing to do is to keep in line with the themes and colours of the wedding. A linen pattern or the design of the cake, or even a piece of fabric from the dress can all be elements used on the invitation. If the bridesmaids are wearing a certain colour, or the centerpieces and bouquets have a particular scheme, why not use it in the invitations? It will take the headache out of coming up with an entirely new and original visual concept.

Wedding Invitation Wording

If a bride’s flair doesn’t lie with words, there’s an easy cheat – the internet! The wording is tailored to every type of invitation style (formal, informal, or funny), and specific to circumstance (whether the parents are sending out the invite or the couple). Romantic phrases and succinct directions to banquet halls now come in generic messages that can be pulled off the internet at no cost. Brides can take advantage of the fact that someone else has already done the work for them and written the perfect invitation.

Adding Personal Touches To Wedding Invitations

The final step after the background design and the wording have been selected is to add those little touches that take an invitation from being a simple piece of paper with some information on it, to a work of art that reflects the wedding to come.

Selecting a special paper – embossed, high-gloss, or thick recycled paper – can give a texture that will make the visual aspect of the invitation pop. The added value of handcrafting the invite with sparkles, ribbons, fabrics or jewel stickers can give the invitation a personalized touch that guests will remember. Adding a picture of the bride and groom on the back of the invitation will turn it into a sentimental memento that guests will hold on to for years to come.

Depending on personality and willing bridesmaid hands, brides can craft a stunning masterpiece right in the comfort of their own home. And by adding extra three-dimensional touches at the end, even printing can be a breeze, whether outsourced or done at home or in the office. Invitations don't have to be a daunting task.

Making Music with Your Baby, Toddler and Child

I was lucky to have grown up in a house filled with music. If music wasn't playing on the record player (or tape deck or radio), someone was busy making their own music. My parents both played instruments and the house was filled with a wide variety of musical devices from guitars and banjos to dulcimers and mandolins. Instead of folded clothes on dressers, we had things like Jew's harps. Relatives got into the act too and brought over their instruments and we would have sing-alongs on holidays with children lining the floor singing and playing along.

One of my favorite things in our house was known as the music grab bag. In this sack were all the instruments we children needed to play along with the grown ups. We had tambourines, cymbals, the triangle, maracas, clarinets, flutes and lots of different kinds of drums and these were just the thing to get into the spirit of the music.

It goes without saying that after growing up in this way I only ever dated musicians. Now that I have a child, I want to give him the same kind of upbringing I had so music will play just as important of a role in his life too.

Do you love music also but wonder what kinds of instruments/toys are suitable for your baby or toddler? If so, read on!

The first thing to know is that it's never to early to instill a love of music in your child. From the time they are in the womb, children love music. It's part of the make up of our souls. So aside from obvious things like keeping any instruments away with small pieces in them when your child is small, which is just common sense after all, there really is very little that should be off limits to children.

Babies love drums as they require very little coordination, so this is always a good first instrument. If, like me, you get excited about keyboards, little synthesizers are always a welcome addition to the mix too. Your baby can sit on the floor and bang the keys while getting excited about the flashing lights and sounds that come from the keys and buttons they're hitting. Once they're standing, synthesizers become even more fun. Schoenhut make lovely toy pianos and I couldn't resist getting their white baby grand piano. Even the artist John Cage plays a toy piano on his Suite For Toy Piano, so they're fun for adults too.

Xylophones are a common sight in the homes of most children and for very good reason. This is another instrument that very small children can begin using once they're a little more coordinated with their hands. And even if they haven't reached that stage yet, just let them bang away and see what they think of the sounds they're making!

Once your child is able to blow into devices, instead of choosing a traditional flute or clarinet, why not try a melodica first? These are instruments not many people know about, and they've been well utilized by more bands than you would think. They really do make lovely sounds, so let your little one give it a whirl. I introduced it to my son when he was only one year old, so there's no real age you should feel you have to begin at.

One thing I've found is that it's always nice to leave a wide variety of instruments lying around the house. We have a traditional piano that our child loves, but around it we place lots of other instruments that he can pick up and play at will whenever he's in the mood. I think this is one of the most important things of all to remember. Music time should be all the time and children should feel free to be able to go over to their special table, or wherever you want to place their instruments, and pick them up and play them if they so desire. If children get used to seeing instruments everywhere and learn that they're ordinary things, they won't develop any phobias or fears later on about learning to tackle a proper instrument. They'll be so used to playing around with them that mastering anything seriously when they're older will be a cinch.

The last thing to remember when dealing with kids and music is to have fun! There are no hard and fast rules. Just let your children get into the spirit of music as young as possible and see what happens.

 

Book Review: The Confessions of an American Black Widow by Greg Olsen

I recall reading once that humans do not naturally kill their own kind and that murder is against their natural tendencies. From what I have witnessed and experienced as a human I’d be willing to bet that this statement is not entirely accurate…we’re competitive and violent, we hunt and fight and if murder is so against our nature why does it happen so often?

This is the story of Sharon, an attractive young woman from a small town who just never quite fit into small town life. At a young age she married a preacher and had a couple of kids. She later left the man and remarried a gentlemanly eye doctor who died tragically…but then her husband the fireman also died tragically. They say one of the biggest red flags in an investigation is a widow who has had more than one husband die under suspicious circumstances.

As the investigation into the supposed fiery death of the fireman unfolds, so too does a bone-chilling story of a woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wants. This is the story of Sharon, a manipulative woman with no respect for the binding of marriage, whose first husband stuck with her through numerous infidelities despite being forcefully moved from church to church because of his wife’s conduct until she left him for the prosperous eye doctor, whom she wrested away from his faithful wife of many years. Her infidelities continued and after she had utterly ruined her new husband began to plot with her favorite lover to have him removed from her life permanently.

This is a story of the sort that you rarely run across and that you hope to never hear again. Ultimately Sharon Fuller brought about the deaths of two men, the imprisonment of another (though admittedly with a personality like that he probably had it coming) and the ongoing pain and loss of all the families involved. She didn’t care whose toes she stepped on or whose husbands she stole along the way as long as she herself was happy.

About the only thing I don’t like about author Gregg Olsen’s style is that he tends to sensationalize the story he’s telling, creating the perpetrator into a cold-blooded monster with absolutely no redeeming qualities (thus my unforgiving summary of the woman above) and the victims into innocent, defenseless citizens. While this may often be the case it was obvious by the language used that the impression was intentionally fostered and taken to an extreme.

Otherwise Olsen did very well at taking a story that spanned many years and creating a concise story that flows easily with little to no down time that I managed to finish in two days despite my busy schedule.

Overall, I don’t know how this book stacks up to other true crime stories as I don’t normally read them and have only read one before but I do know that it made for some intriguing “afternoon reading” that was light enough to qualify for my compulsory fiction of the month despite being a purported non-fiction. If you’re a fan of true crime or murder mysteries you’ll likely enjoy this one about a real life murderess who very nearly got away with it.

 

 

 

New Homes in California Using Solar Technology

I read what I consider positive news regarding construction companies taking some responsibility in contributing to more environmentally friendly building practices. This is only a small step, but any progress in the control of our massive energy consumption and in a contribution to one piece of a necessary solution, is welcome news. This is a large housing construction company and if one company can help lead the way, hopefully others will see the possibilities and the energy that can be saved, and follow suit.

The Lennar Corporation, the builders of the homes, in conjunction with Sun Power, and as a part of California's star power initiative, is building 77 homes in the upscale Milano housing development of Danville, California. These homes will run in the 1.3 to 1.5 million dollar price range. After researching the idea, the company made a decision to include energy systems in the San Francisco Bay Area homes they build and hope that some of the builders of the more than 150,000 new homes built in California each year, will follow suit and include similar offers in their future construction.

The houses will have solar panels on the roof, to generate electricity in the homes. Each house will also have an interactive digital electrical system which allows them to visually monitor their monthly power usage. Homeowners will receive a 2,000 dollar federal tax credit for having this solar energy system installed in their homes.

The builders are able to include this in the price of the house at an unstated, but estimated 12,000 to 15,000 dollars per unit for a 2.3 kilowatt system. The cost for anyone else to install this type of system on their own home individually, would be about 20,000 dollars, but the builders are able to get it cheaper due to scale and volume reductions that make it more affordable.

Pacific Gas & Electric company, which provides power to the area, said that if the owners of the homes create more power than they use, they don't receive cash back, but will get a power credit on their bill that can be used at times when the solar panels are not creating energy, for instance, at night. There is a 5.00 dollar connection fee charged in order for the homeowner to begin using solar energy.

The same company is planning on installing these energy saving features on 650 new homes in Roseville, California at two other developments they are building, northeast of San Francisco.

 

Fashion Advice for Newbies First Entering the Workplace

Americans have the tendency to think they are expressing individualism through the clothing style the choose to present to the world. The truth, of course, is that your so-called non-conformist manifesto of your unique statement about yourself is really more of a statement about how well you have been manipulated by the advertising industry. Fashion is no place to make a statement about your individuality. This statement is especially true in a professional workplace.

Fashion faux pas come and go-remember leisure suits?-and though many places of business have become far more relaxed than they were twenty or thirty years ago, in certain subcultures of the American business machine, professional attire still bears a more than passing resemblance to what it looked like in the 1950s. If you are just preparing to enter the professional world of American capitalist commerce, be aware that certain fashion choices are, for a variety of reasons, absolutely unacceptable. Also be aware that it is always better to avoid having to be informed of your unacceptable mode of dress than to be called into the office of the boss and sit there meekly while he explains your mistake to you.

The first lesson in business-appropriate attire education is to avoid looking either trashy or slovenly. Unless you see other women in the office wearing short skirts, tight shirts or low cut dresses, you should avoid showing up in that manner of dress. The opposite goes for guys: put away your ripped blue jeans if all the other male workers are showing up in dress pants. Get rid of that ratty old jacket your mother bought for you when you were still in high school and invest in a nice suit and a tie that matches the corporate culture expressed by the other ties being worn to the office.

Dressing appropriately for work also means avoidance of the issue of showing up in wrinkled or rumpled or stained clothing. If you don’t have time to iron your shirt or skirt, pick another one from the closet. Ragged clothing has the power to subliminally brand you as lazy or sloppy in the eyes of the boss and co-workers. If you don’t own an iron, get yourself a good one and learn how to use it. Also make sure that come Friday you aren’t left in the position of having just one outfit that is clean only to find out that it is also heavily wrinkled.

Other business workplace fashion disaster extend to your particular choice of style. Look around at how others dress to get a sense of how you should dress. It’s perfectly reasonable to carve out a little individuality so that you don’t become a clone of your fellow workers, but there are some instances of individuality that can only work against you. For instance, if you have access to a shirt with emblazoned with your company’s logo and you notice that not too many other employees wear it, it is better to avoid it yourself. This choice will help you to avoid being looked upon as having no sense of style or of being a company drone.

Use your first paycheck to buy yourself a nice pair of shoes. A little style in the shoes can go a long way toward improving the way you are looked at whereas sticking with a pair of ugly shoes only reinforces the idea that you have no style at all.

Certain fashion choices should always be avoided unless they are commonly found on the person of your co-workers. For instance, garishly decorated Hawaiian shirts should be left at home even if your office has established a casual Friday. In the words of Homer Simpson, only fat guys and party animals wear Hawaiian shirts and you don’t want to be seen as either. Female employees should avoid wearing pants that ride down when they squat or bend over to reveal the fact that your choice of underwear is the thong. It’s okay to wear a thong to work; just make sure nobody there actually knows it.

Both men and women should avoid wearing too-tight tops. A tight shirt that outlines your beer belly or man-boobs or back fat is a definite office fashion no-no. The same thing applies to pants that are so tight they result in the spillage of fat over the waistband. Too tight pants that reveal the fact that you have no fat at all should also be avoided unless you see other workers wearing them.

One last piece of advice to workplace newbies unfamiliar with the fact that office attire is not really the same thing as school attire: find yourself a dependable dry cleaner and chuck over the extra lettuce to have your work clothes professionally cleaned.

 

Biography of Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis was always a creative person her entire life. She was born in Lancaster Pennsylvania, which is where the many of the Amish folks live. Beverly's dad was a pastor in Lancaster as well. It's no wonder that Beverly knows so much about the Amish people growing up right along with them. If you have read Beverly's books, you will notice that all are centered around the lives of Amish people and how they live. I have always found them very interesting. As you read any of Beverly's books, you can actually picture the Amish settings, and lives. Once I pick up one of her books, I find it rather hard to put it down.

When Beverly was 9 years of age, she was already a storyteller. She enjoyed creating poetry and short stories at that age. Impressively, one of Beverly's stories was quite long when she wrote about a young girl that wasn't able to keep going to piano lessons since her parents couldn't afford them. Beverly titled that 77 page work as, "She Shall Have Music." It seemed clear in that story that Beverly was born to be a writer. As a child she also enjoyed reading a lot of books and playing her piano.

It was many years away from that childhood, until Beverly would be able to get her writing published. First of all, she became married to David Lewis, and they had three children. The writing didn't come until her children were much older, and it was then that Beverly became serious about her work. She started out with sending her manuscripts to magazines first of all, most all of which were publications for children. Beverly has numerous stories that were published for youth known as the Cul-de-Sac Series. The first book came out in 1995, known as "The Double Dabble Surprise." Following, there were 24 books in that series. Other series for kids written by Beverly are Girls Only Series, the Holly's Heart Series, and Summerhill Secrets Series.

Beverly tried her hand at writing adult fiction by creating an trilogy known as The Heritage of Lancaster County. The first book in her Lancaster County Series is "The Shunning," which I highly recommend. That first book was published in 1997. Beverly has won many awards for many of her books.

At the present time, Beverly lives in Colorado with her husband. They both have other favorite hobbies that they enjoy, and to date, have three grandchildren.