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Spring Show NYC Raises Funds for ASPCA

Jayne-ThompsonMay 1 marks the opening night for the 2013 Spring Show NYC (by invitation only) at the Park Avenue Armory.  This particular event will be used to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A room – designed by Brett Beldock of Brett Design – will showcase artworks with animal motifs.  From the sales of these, $25 will be donated to the ASPCA.

The actual Spring Show NYC is open to the public the following day until the 5th May, at the same address. It is being orchestrated by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA) and sponsored by

Exhibition perusers can select a variety of items brought to the show from over 50 galleries and dealers.  These include: Kendall Fine Art (Stand 120), Phoenix Ancient Art (Stand 323), European Decorative Arts Company (Stand 310), Schillary Fine Art, Inc. (Stand 111), Jayne Thompson Antiques (424), etc.  Fifteen of these will be bringing their exhibit to the show for the first time.

Contained in Beldock’s room on opening night will also be her personally-designed wallpapers.  She explained that these really make “the glorious antiques sing,” which in turn have a significant impact on the strength of the items.


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Bulldogs Compete in Local Beauty Pageant

Yesterday, Drake University celebrated its bulldog mascot in the 34th annual Drake Relays Beautiful Bulldog Contest. Held in Des Moines, Iowa, the contest participants include bulldogs of all ages. Creatively dressed as pirates, ballerinas, bikers and more, the bulldogs kicked off the Drake Relays event which will continue throughout the week. This year’s contest winner was Huckleberry, a four-year-old bulldog who belongs to Steven and Stephanie Hein of Norwalk, Iowa.

Here are some photos from the event:

Huckleberry Wins!

Huckleberry Wins!






Jazmine Josephine

Jazmine Josephine

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Breast Milk Jewelry: Cute or Creepy?

Mommy Milk CreationsLots of young mothers are backing a new trend: jewelry made from breast milk. Though many have deemed the idea adorable and meaningful, others have called the creations “gross” or “creepy.”

The keepsakes, with include pendants and bracelets, were first offered on craft site by Mommy Milk Creations. Run by Allicia Mogavero, the online shop transforms breast milk into precious mementos by preserving it in resin and shaping it into figures like tiny hands or feet. All the buyer needs to do is provide two tablespoons of their milk in a zip-lock bag.

Mogavero was surprised by the enthusiastic response. She can “barely keep up” with orders, she said. Customers have called the jewelry a “gorgeous reminder of such a special time,” and a wonderful way to commemorate “the bonding experience you had with your child.”

Ms. Mogavero explained how she came up with the idea.

“You only make breast milk for such a short period and it was amazing to me that this milk that I made was able to make my child thrive as well as he was. This was simply amazing to me but the thought of him no longer nursing and be not making milk was sad in a way.

I thought long and hard about a way for me to preserve the short time that I made the milk. Through lots of trials and experiments I came up with a system to preserve my breast milk.

I made myself a bracelet and started making them for family members with their breast milk, word of mouth requests started coming in and the rest is history!”

What do you think of breast milk jewelry?

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Adventurers: Mike Libecki, John Castle and Others


Mike Libecki

Adventurers are people who partake in exciting or unusual experiences with uncertain outcomes. Generally bold and potentially dangerous, adventurous activities include skydiving, mountain climbing and extreme sports.

National Geographic recently released its annual Adventurers of the Year photo gallery. Top explorer Mike Libecki reflected on his adventures in Greenland, Afghanistan, Antarctica and many other locations in an interview with the magazine. He explained that he climbed icebergs in east Greenland- an incredibly dangerous feat.

“The excitement of this kind of climbing- I have done it a lot- is incredible. Icebergs are challenging because of the ice condition/quality,” Libecki said. “These moments never leave me; they are such an incredible, joyous feeling.”

He added, “The main components of my trips are remote, untouched, unexplored mystery. An adventure for me can’t be an adventure unless there is mystery, unless there is an unknown, something that hasn’t been done before.”

You don’t have to travel far to find adventure. In fact, many Americans have accomplished amazing things right here in the U.S. John Castle, Castle Harlan chairman and CEO, recreated the entire Lewis and Clark expedition on his own, traveling from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean in a 15-foot dinghy. The journey covered 3,100 miles. Mr. Castle later completed the river trip across the entire United States in a small inflatable boat.

“I went from New York Harbor the Pacific Ocean by starting out repeating what Lewis and Clark did- coming down the Missoura River to St. Louis and then I did the Columbia part of it, going through Washington and Oregon,” John Castle explained. “And then having done that, I said, ‘I might as well do the rest of the United States,’ so  left the New York Harbor, went up the Hudson River, across the Erie Canal, across the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, and up the Mississippi, completing the trip across the United States.”

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Summer Energy Conservation Tips from NYC

summer laundryThe clocks have been changed, and the weather is warming up, heralding the approach of summer.  Conserving energy during the warmer months is not as complicated as it may seem; in fact, it may be easier than in the winter. Longer, sunlit days allow us to use less artificial lighting, and the high temperatures can be used to your advantage as well by air drying laundry and dishes.

The main energy expense during the summer is air conditioning. According to energy companies like IDT Energy, there are several ways to minimize energy costs while keeping your home cool and comfortable.

New York City offers several guidelines for summer air-conditioning usage:

Window Air-Conditioners

  • Filter maintenance on all window air conditioners is critical to the efficient performance of the
    air conditioner, and should be performed prior to the start of the air conditioning season.
  •  Air conditioners shall be used only when rooms are occupied and when interior temperatures reach 78
    degrees F.
  •  Maintain temperature settings on air conditioners at no lower than 78 degrees F.
  •  Window air conditioners should NOT be set on the constant run position.
  •  On extremely hot days, fresh air louvers should be in the “closed” position.
  • Keep room doors and windows closed when air conditioning is operating.
  •  If room air conditioners are to be purchased, it should be done through the DCAS Division of Municipal
    Supply Services when ever possible. These units are Energy Star rated or equivalent, as required by law.
  • Purchase the unit with the highest energy efficiency ratio (EER) available.

Central Air-Conditioners

  • All filters should be cleaned or replaced as frequently as required to maintain maximum system efficiency.
  • Indoor temperatures should be maintained at no lower than 78 degrees F.
  • All units should be serviced to insure maximum efficiency of operation. Special attention should be given to belt drives, controls and refrigerants.
  • All control settings and time mechanisms should be checked and calibrated PRIOR to the start of the cooling season.
  • Air-conditioning should be used only when the building is occupied.
  • In non-hospital settings, outside make-up air should be reduced.


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How to Stick with Fitness Resolutions

FitnessMillions of Americans listed healthier lifestyles amongst their New Year’s resolutions. According to recent studies, the majority of these are headed for despair.

“We’ve tracked the patterns,” reveals YMCA Health and Wellness Director Sue Dissinger. “After 30 to 60 days people start to slowly decline or quit.”

The figures, which are based on several years of study, have been confirmed throughout the health and fitness worlds. People generally lose enthusiasm after about a month, despite their best intentions.

Lori Steven, a dietician with WakeMed Cary Hospital, explains the phenomenon. “We often make our goals too big, too ambitious,” she said. “We say, ‘Once the year starts, I’m going to cut all sugar out of my diet.’ That’s extreme. It’s not sustainable.”

“The main reason most people fail is because they don’t have a plan,” adds Ronnie Neal of Rex Wellness Center. They need to have specific goals, not just “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get in better shape.”

Stevens recommends setting realistic goals, like cutting dessert out of weeknight meals. “Or, instead of saying ‘I’m going to work out every day and run a marathon in March,’ say you’ll work out five days a week and do a 5K in April, then maybe a 10K in June and a half-marathon or marathon in the fall.”

Neal adds: “Writing down your goals hardwires them a little more into your subconcious.”

Lastly, it is very important to stay patient. It can take months to see real results, but stick with it and don’t get discouraged!

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