10 000 Plants Adorn London’s Largest Living Wall

Living walls have been a hot trend in gardening and landscaping for the last few years and the trend doesn’t seem to be going away! Just last month, London, UK unveiled its largest living wall on the side of two prominent hotels near Buckingham Palace. The Rubens at the Palace hotel is the home of an impressive 350 sq. m (3 770 sq. ft). vertical garden, containing 10 000 live plants, which includes ferns, buttercups, crocuses, lavender and winter geraniums.  There ...

Mandala: The Sacred Circle & Divine Art…

“I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate.” – C. G. Jung Mandala: The Sacred Circle & Divine Art... May all attract abundance... Mandala: The Sacred Circle & Divine Art... Mandala: The Sacred Circle & Divine Art... Mandala is the Sanskrit word for sacred circle, and they are concentric circles imbued with prayers and divine intentions which makes them a form of sacred art. I came across my first mandala ...

What is Topiary?

There’s pruning to keep plants shapely and manageable, and then there’s topiary, a whole other level of pruning. Topiary, a word derived from the Latin word topiarius for landscape gardener, is the art of creating beautifully shaped shrubs through training and pruning. The shapes are often clearly defined and can be anything from simple geometric shapes to elaborate life size animals and creatures. In other words, topiary is the art of creating living sculptures. Here are some examples of topiary: Photo Credit: Flickr, ...

Yes, I’m a woman

Yes, I’m a woman. I push doors that clearly say PULL. I laugh harder when I try to explain why I’m laughing I walk into a room and forget why I was there. I count on my fingers in math. I hide the pain from my loved ones. I care about. I say it is a long story, when it really isn’t, just to get out of having to tell it. I cry a lot more than you think I do. I care about people who don’t care about me. I ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple…

“There is no evil that does not promise inducements. Avarice promises money; luxury, a varied assortment of pleasures; ambition, a purple robe and applause. Vices tempt you by the rewards they offer.” Seneca Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… Walk with me through the changing colors of the Ann Arbor airport concourse into the purple garden… Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… A dragonfly perches on a lily. Welcome! Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… A purple waterlily beckons Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… A basket of purple blooms wait patiently… Purple is ...

Beautiful Japanese Flower Hairpins

Boring bobby pins, move over! Say hello to Kanzashi! Kanzashi is the art and craft of the traditional ornamental hairpin worn by Japanese women. First introduced to Japan centuries ago, they were quite prominent during the Edo era, where hairstyles were larger and more complicated. Over time, the use of kanzashi has declined, as more women prefer a more Westernize style. In today’s modern world, kanzashi is worn mostly by brides and geishas. However, in recent years, the art of kanzashi ...

Flowers in the News: Invasive Flower takes Over Oregon

Yellow tuft alyssum, a plant native to Europe, produces clusters of attractive yellow flowers. Leaves are covered with fine white hairs that give the plant a grayish green appearance. They thrive in well-drained rocky soils and are commonly cultivated in rock gardens. But as attractive as the plant may be, it has been declared a noxious weed in the state of Oregon and has become a serious threat to the environment. The fast growing and invasive yellow tuft alyssum will crowd out other ...

Happy Chinese New Year: Ten Blessings & Ten Things To Know…

“Days are too busy; Hours are too few; Seconds are too fast; But there is always time for me to say; Happy New Year!” Chinese New Year Quote Happy Chinese New Year: Ten Blessings & Ten Things To Know... New Year Dragon Happy Chinese New Year: Ten Blessings & Ten Things To Know... Traditional lion dance Ukulele Video: US billionaire Warren Buffett sings for Chinese New Year ♥ The Mythology of The Chinese New Year According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New ...

What a Bag of Urine Taught Me About Faith

Making a "lens" from a bag of urine to focus sunlight to create fire We spent the July 4th weekend at my in-laws and as most of you can relate - conversations with family and friends often go all over the place. One of the conversation topics that came up was a cable show called Dual Survival where a pair of extreme survivalists are dropped in various parts of the world with very few resources. One of the most incredible episodes we discussed ...

Has iPad Finally Jumped the Shark?

Fonzie “Jumps the Shark” – Wikipedia During the late 1970s and early 80s the most popular show on television was ABC’s “Happy Days.” The Cunninghams and Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli were members of the family – until Fonzie jumped the shark – literally. The phrase “jump the shark” relates to the episode during the series’ twilight when the cast went to Hawaii and the daredevil Fonzie had to water-ski jump over a shark tank for some contrived sense of honor. After that point, critics and ...

A Major Mental Milestone Achieved!

Most people will tell you that there are several factors that drive success in life, regardless of the endeavor you seek to pursue.  Those factors typically include: perseverance, ambition, education, potential, desire, creativity, hard work, luck…etc.  However, one success factor that is very often overshadowed by the other factors is mental toughness. I personally, believe that mental toughness and the ability to rebound from adversity are two critically important factors toward successful weight loss.  I think anybody who’s struggled with their ...

Progress on First Novel, Part 1

Have I mentioned that I’m writing a novel? I didn’t think so. Maybe I’ve harbored a fear that I might jinx the process if I say something. But I can’t think of a good reason not to let you, dear reader of Yours In Books, know about this major “book” thing that’s happening in my life. I’m not ready to provide you with my working title yet, let alone an excerpt, because the manuscript is still a complete work in progress. What I ...

Waiting in Line for Life

I recently went to a nearby fast food joint for a quick lunch of chili and a diet soda, tenaciously avoiding the delectable, but deadly, cheeseburger and fries. While I was in line waiting to order my skinny girl feast I noticed a man in front of me who looked to be about my age but with a little more wear. His hair was salt and sunshine blond, loosely pulled back into a ponytail, allowing a crop of stray hairs ...

7 Questions With an Author: Clay Morgan

Author, speaker, professor – Clay Morgan This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here. Today’s featured author is Clay Morgan – a writer, professor, and speaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who writes about pop culture, history, and the meaning of life. He is the author of Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, and Reborn. Most days you can find Clay doing his best Dead Poets Society impersonation at a couple ...

My SCL Guest Post: Nine Unsavory Bible Snacks

My SCL Guest Post: Nine Unsavory Bible Snacks

Today's a big day for me as a writer. No, I didn't win a Pulitzer or Dayton Literary Peace Prize - but it's almost as good. I've written a guest post that's being feature on Jon Acuff's outstanding web site Stuff Christians Like (SCL). SCL is a satirically irreverrant, yet always respectful, look at all things Christianity. Jon's observations and writing are sharp, witty, crisp, howlingly funny, spiritually provocative and often moving. He's kind of like a Christian John Stewart - that is ...

What Kind of Kids Are You Raising?

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an online writing a of mine, Joanna Hyatt. Based out of Los Angeles, Joanna speaks and writes on dating, relationships and sex. She blogs at www.joannahyatt.com and tweets @JoannaHyatt. If you’d like to submit a guest post yourself, here are the guidelines. I’m part of the Millenial Generation. We’re half kids, half adults. Allowed to ‘explore’ and ‘find ourselves’ for as long as it takes, we avoid relational commitment, financial responsibility and change jobs at dizzying rates. As I look around at my ...

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Prom Dresses: Fashionable Styles And Tips

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Did you attend your high School Prom? Do you remember what you wore? In case you’ve forgotten, Prom Night is around the corner, and it’s time for High School seniors to learn some shopping tips to help them find fabulous gowns and tuxedos for the occasion. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, Prom Night …

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A Mother’s Example and The Law of Giving

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In 1959, a neighborhood child asked my mother to teach her how to paint. My parents, both artists, opened their home to this child and a seed was planted in The Fruitbelt Neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The dynamic exchange of energy known a The Law of Giving and Receiving was set in motion as …

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Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk

Every now and then there is something in the news that really gets me going! Right now it is chocolate milk. Why? Because the dairy lobby is pushing the FDA to approve the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame in chocolate milk. Sugar isn’t bad enough now they want to add excitotoxins to dairy products on the down low. Terrific …

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4 Tips to Help Your College Kids Cope

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Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Je_suis_le_morse This is a guest post from Mariana Ashley who’s a blogger and freelance writer for www.onlinecolleges.net. She offers advice for choosing the perfect online program for prospective students and parents, welcoming comments at [email protected] If you’d like to write for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ====================== Heading into the New Year, colleges …

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Little Bird Saves Woman!

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Okay, 2012 sort of kicked my butt. Yes. It was a stern teacher springing pop quizzes on my unsuspecting soul, re-teaching me things I thought I had already learned, only to discover that I had acquired a sturdy mental assent on theory but the lessons hadn’t completely made it to my heart. Like a strategist …

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Snapshots of the 2012 International Day at School

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[or when you've got more than one Country in your heart!]. This past international day at the kids school made me remember a post I wrote some time back, about raising our children with a sense of different cultures… honoring and loving their unique background… Picking their ‘home countries’ up for the 2010 World Cup! When you’ve got …

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Reading is Dead, Long Live E-Reading

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I may have possibly overstated the state of book reading in the title of this post – but it’s close. Consider that last Christmas – 11 short months ago – the largest book seller in the world (Amazon) reported that revenue from e-books had finally surpassed sales of print edition books. Is it really a surprise? Consider what …

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