How Does Sea Glass Get its Otherworldly Sheen?

Sea glass wedding jewelry options

Sea glass is the ultimate junk to treasure story, with a little bit of mythology thrown in. The glowing, translucent pieces that you find on the beach have very humble and prosaic origins. Different types of beach glass originated from the glass bottles of different colors that were just thrown into the sea back when people weren’t too careful about how they disposed of their trash. Over time, the action of waves, water and sand broke the glass down into small pieces, polished it and gave it that fascinating translucent sheen, which makes it a favorite for jewelry and collectibles.

Where does sea glass come from?
The commonest types of beach glass are green and brown, and they were originally wine, beer, and whiskey bottles. Sea glass colors depend on the original colors of the glass objects they were part of: thus sea foam colored sea glass, a popular choice for sea glass jewelry, comes from old Coca Cola bottles and window glass.
Bright cobalt and cornflower blue sea glass comes from bottles that contained milk of magnesia, perfume, poison, Bromo-Seltzer and Vicks VapoRub. Aqua is a rare and stunning color, and so are orange, red and purple.

How is sea glass made?
The story of sea glass is one of those accidents that make you think maybe Nature knows what it’s doing. Glass has been made by humans for thousands of years but during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the production of glass bottles was industrialized. Millions of glass bottles were made to hold milk, medicines, cosmetics, and of course alcoholic drinks.
Until recently, however, people didn’t care how they disposed of their trash and recycling was unheard of. So much of the glass ended up in the oceans, where it was subject to the action of waves, water and sand. The glass was broken up into small pieces, polished and sanded until it acquired that mystical, otherworldly sheen and was finally returned back to us on our beaches.
If that sound too prosaic, you can pick the alternative version, in which sea glass is really the tears of the mermaids who were banished to the ocean deeps by grumpy old Neptune for the crime of falling in love with human sailors.

The popularity of authentic sea glass charms and jewelry
No matter which explanation you choose to believe, there’s something compelling and mysterious about sea glass. It’s been through quite a journey and we would love to hear about it. The next best thing is to wear it, in the form of sea glass rings or sea glass necklaces.
The recent popularity of sea glass charms and jewelry is an indication of our fascination with the oceans and the world of nature. Paradoxically, sea glass is also becoming more rare and more difficult to find, as glass is disposed of more responsibly. However, there are still many types of beach glass to be found on beaches around the world.

You may choose to hunt for your own sea glass, or to buy your sea glass jewelry from gift shops and online stores. Once the fascination of sea glass takes hold, there are new worlds waiting fir you to discover.

Why Steel Toe Boots are More Important Than You Think

Most comfortable work boots

There are many different kinds of work. Some people sit behind a desk in an office or the steering wheel of a bus, others stand in front of a classroom or weave in and out of tables to bring serve food and drinks. But no matter what the occupation, one of the most important factors that everyone needs to pay attention to is the health of their feet. It may not be the first thing that you think of when you get a new job, but if your first day finds you on your feet enough, or even if you realize, a few hours in that you have made a poor choice in footwear, it is an issue that quickly comes to the forefront.

For some, the proper pair of work boots are a requirement of the job. In fact, for those individuals working with heavy equipment, in construction zones and factories for example, steel toe boots are not just recommended, they are a required part of their work uniform.

Why the right pair of steel toe boots are important

Yes, many people in many professions complain about foot pain, or leg and back pain that results from poor foot support or excessive walking or standing. But in the intense work zones where potentially dangerous machinery and situations are ever present, the right pair of comfortable boots are just as important as the steel toe boots that will protect your feet in case of an accident or unexpected event. While there are numerous safety guidelines and requirements set in place, there is always room for human error or equipment malfunctions.

It pays to follow the rules

These rules are in place for very good reasons. In fact one study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics examined the many occurrences of foot injuries in the work place, and found that a massive 75% of those accidents happened when workers were not in compliance, meaning if they had been following the safety standards, the accidents very well may have been prevented. There are thousands of injuries that occur in the workplace that could have been prevented, if only the workers had adhered to the standards set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM.

Workplace safety is a serious matter and should be treated as such. One standard put in place by the ASTM specifically spells out different measurements to determine the level of safety and stability that quality work boots should deliver.

Worth it in the long run

Maybe there is something inherent in many human beings that pushes against authority and rules. Particularly when many people feel that they have enough experience in a job or task, there is sometimes a tendency to lean away from the strict standards and rules. But while an average of $70 each year is spent per employee on foot protection, think about the costs of medical bills should something go wrong and damage the fragile bones in your feet when you decide not to wear your protective gear. It makes sense to protect yourself. And if you can’t seem to find the style that you like, you can always decorate them later. Just make sure they are properly protecting your toes.

Everyone has a job to do, and it should be the goal of everyone to work as efficiently and safely as possible. Some employers may even provide the right footwear, or give information about where you can find good discounts. But when it comes down to it, it is certainly worth spending a few extra dollars for the right pair of steel toe boots than ending up hobbling around while you attempt to recover from an avoidable injury.

Everything You Need to Know About Loafers

Wide leather belt

Let’s talk about mens leather shoes. By mens leather shoes, of course we’re referring to loafers. Unless we’re mistaken, we don’t believe there are any mens leather shoes that don’t fall into the category of loafers. Perhaps there are mens leather shoes that are tennis shoes and not loafers, but why wouldn’t you just call them tennis shoes?

At any rate, we digress. If you are shopping for a nice pair of mens leather dress shoes, it’s loafers that you’re looking for. But what kind? Loafers are slip-ons that are free of the chains of shoe laces. These bad boys can be dressed up for business attire or a formal event, or dressed down for a casual Saturday. In fact, there are even loafers that can be worn around the house, as house slippers. If you’re shopping for loafers, how in tarnation do you know which tips is best? You want a pair that is versatile enough to go with the attire you wear most commonly, and provide comfort and quality to last you a while. If you need a little direction, we’ve put together a simple reference guide for loafer types:

The Many Types of Loafers

  1. Penny Loafers
    When we say loafers, your brain probably immediately goes to penny loafers. Although they aren’t the most common type of loafer, they seem to have made themselves the poster child of the loafer industry. When we say tissues, you think of Kleenex. Kleenex isn’t the only kind of tissue that exist, but that’s what you think of. Penny loafers are the Kleenex of loafers. Wow, how’d we get on that tangent?

    So back to penny loafers. Penny loafers are made with a narrow profile, so that when worn with slacks, they give the wearer a sharp outline that says, “business and class.” You’d recognize penny loafers because of their tell-tale diamond on the top (which at one point in time was designed to hold a penny. We don’t know why. We don’t make the rules).

  2. Mocassin Loafers

    Mocassins are often associated with Native American culture, but have become a staple in the loafer-wearing demographic’s wardrobe. Mocassin loafers are slip-on shoes that are usually brown or natural colored suede or leather, with a fringe on the upper part. Mocassin loafers are generally a more casual shoe, worn with jeans or non-business apparel. Some people enjoy owning mocassin loafers to wear as house slippers.

  3. Italian Loafers

    You knew this one was in the pipeline. Italian loafers might not be as interchangeable in name as their loafer-associates, the penny loafer, but they tend to be what the brain goes to when you pictures loafers. Italian loafers are recognized by their metal strap across the top, and are a bit more versatile than the penny loafer. Italian loafers look great with a pair of dressy slacks, but also finish a great casual look with jeans or khakis. Every complete wardrobe should have a nice pair of luxury Italian loafers.

  4. Plain Loafers

    Plain loafers might not be the most exciting item in your wardrobe, it is certainly falls in the category of items that go with anything and won’t let you down. A nice plain loafers matches literally anything, and if you get a good quality pair made of leather, there’s a good chance they’ll hold up in beautiful shape for years and years.

  5. Suede Loafers

    We like to say that suede loafers are the divas of the loafer family. They’re a bit temperamental, and if you get them wet, they’ll be ruined forever. But they have value, and a nice pair of suede loafers really give you a casual but timeless touch to your outfit.

  6. Tuxedo Loafers

    Tuxedo loafers are the shiny black loafers that you wear on your wedding day. A nice pair of tuxedo loafers have a very important place in the wardrobe… if you find yourself at prom on the regular basis. Otherwise, these might be the loafer you need the least. Penny loafers and Italian loafers suit your outfit whether you’re dressy or casual. Suede loafers and moccasin loafers meet your casual needs, tuxedo loafers really serve only one purpose and it’s a purpose that doesn’t arise often.

Did we cover all of your loafer questions? Please share with us in the comment section below.

New Year Travel Goals The 10 Best Places to Vacation in 2017

Vacation condos

When you’re writing up your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2017, don’t forget about your travel bucket list! Here’s our list of the best places to travel in the new year, from near to far.

  1. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
    Unfortunately, this magnificent natural wonder of the world may be under threat due to climate change. Get there now before it disappears forever.
  2. Belfast, Ireland
    This city is truly on the up-and-up, with affordable vacation rentals and plenty of good food and drinks within walking distance.
  3. Sanibel Island, Florida
    Florida is the top vacation destination in the world, with a record 87.3 million visitors recorded in 2011 with a $67 billion tourism industry. But this unique island offers amazing beachfront condos away from the usual crowds.
  4. Valparaiso, Chile
    This artist’s town is unlike any other in South America, with safe streets adorned with graffiti. You can also visit the home of famed poet Pablo Neruda.
  5. Paris, France
    If you haven’t visited this classic travel destination yet, what are you waiting for? Find budget vacation rentals in a youth hostel with private rooms.
  6. Copenhagen, Denmark
    Compared to other European cities, this northern gem is affordable to fly into and has a burgeoning culinary scene unmatched in the world.
  7. Vancouver, British Columbia
    This temperate seaside city is truly a Canadian gem. Come for the poutine, stay for the vibrant nightlife.
  8. Kanazawa, Japan
    Just a two-and-a-half hour bullet train ride outside of Tokyo, this city offers traditional Japanese culture at its best, from tearooms to sushi.
  9. Madagascar, Africa
    This island is home to one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. See wildlife up close and enjoy an oceanfront view from any angle.
  10. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
    You don’t have to leave the U.S.A. to find amazing sights. The Grand Canyon is a wonderful destination whether you travel there by air or by epic road trip.

Where do you plan to go this year? Make 2017 the vacation adventure of a lifetime by planning a trip or two to see the world and gain some new perspective. After all, the new year is the perfect opportunity to make time for yourself and check another item off of your bucket list. Read more articles like this. For more information see this. This is a great source for more.

Wood Watches for MenBeautiful and Unique

Womens wood watches

Watches never seem to go out of style or fall out of popularity. For some people, they are a necessary item, and for others, they are an attractive piece of jewelry that just happens to also provide a useful function. Studies show that nearly half of people between the ages of 20 and 24 wear a watch for fashion purposes, and 27% of people, all ages, wear their watches to accessorize.

It is a fact that 86% of people still own and wear wristwatches. They are constructed of many different types of material, the cases usually of some kind of metal or plastic. Watches made of metal will most times come with a backing of stainless steel. A watch can also be made of ceramic, titanium, white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver, and many other materials as well. They can range in price from affordable to pretty much out of this world, depending upon the customer’s preferences and pocketbook!

The sundial is the first known method of telling time. It was fashioned by the Egyptians in 1500BC and was made to use shadows that fell on the device in sections in order to know the time. Water clocks were invented later and were said to be more accurate. Of course, these days, as technology has risen and increased throughout the years, there are an unlimited number of ways to tell time. Clocks and watches of all types are sold everywhere and there is not a household anywhere that is not equipped with several time telling devices.

Wood wristwatches are a very popular type of watch, unique and, for the most part, affordable. Different types of wood are used in the construction of an all wood watch, and there happen to be specifically available, wood watches for men, and wood watches for women. Wood watches can be made of many different kinds of wood. There are those made of walnut, which is a very hard wood and an excellent choice for durability, as well as woods such as maple, blackwood, and teak wood, among others. Wood watches for men are very popular because of their masculine appearance and durability. All styles are available and many are coupled with preferred metals laced throughout, such as white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and sterling silver.

Hawaiian wood watches for men are usually made from Koa wood found on the Hawaiian islands. This is said to be a particularly dense wood which is necessary since the watches are painstakingly carved into separate links. The faces of these watches are specially constructed of precious metals such as silver, gold, and mother of pearl. A Hawaiian wood watch has even been made that shows the phases of the moon from the beginning of each month to the end. The Koa wood used in creating these wristwatches comes only from trees that are already dead or fallen. The manufacturer never cuts down the trees in order to use this wood in the creation of the watches.

Natural wood watches are an excellent choice for eco enthusiasts who are passionate about the environment. Its preservation does not include staining, painting, or harmful chemicals. The wood is all natural and retains the perfect looks it was created with.

There are many companies that specialize in wood watches for men as well as wood watches for women. An internet search will reveal any number of different manufactures who all offer a high quality selection of not only wood watches, but also other accessories crafted from wood. Along with watches come sunglasses, rings, bracelets, hair accessories, and even cufflinks. Specially made Christmas tree ornaments constructed of wood prove to be a delicate and beautiful addition to the season. Wine and martini glass stems made of natural wood are a unique gift for a wedding, a bridal shower, or any other befitting occasion. Among the unending list of wood products, wood watches for men rank among the most exclusive. Not only a beautiful time piece, but also an uncommon conversation piece, sure to be a terrific ice breaker anytime, anywhere.

Are You Trying to Find a Way to Make Your Children More Grateful for Their Christmas Gifts?

Clothing donations

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
Do you dread the greediness of the upcoming holiday season?

Even if your own children are not too greedy with their wish list this Christmas, are you looking for a way to avoid accumulating too much stuff?
If your house is full to the brim and you are looking for ways to make this holiday more meaningful maybe you should try to encourage your children, spouse, and yourself to give away at least one item in exchange for every gift that they receive. In a time when many Americans have so much charities that pick up donations are collecting items for for the families in this country who do not have enough. Consider some of these meaningful exchanges for possible gifts this year.

  • Technology items are always a popular gift request this time of year. Challenge your family members to give away one toy or book for every new piece of technology that they receive. Charities that pick up donations would love to have gently used toys and books to share with military families who are just struggling to get by.
  • Radial tires that will make your jeep get around even better can be a gift that you trade for unused or duplicate car tools.
  • Any new piece of clothing that you receive can be traded for an older piece of clothing that you never wear any more.
  • Do you have a new cell phone on a list of gifts that you are buying for the holidays? Instead of keeping the older unused phones in a drawer, give them to women’s shelters. These locations provide phones to women who need a new phone number to stay safe.
  • Ice skates are a great holiday gift if you make sure that you make charitable donations of other unused sporting goods that are in your closet and garage.
  • New shoes can be swapped for older shoes in closets that have either been out grown or simply are not worn any more.
  • Getting a new winter coat is a perfect time for donating older, gently used clothes to charities that pick up donations. Winter is a perfect time to go through your closets and give warm items to organizations that pick up donations for those families who are in need.

  • Toys are popular items for young children. Get them in the habit of trading a new toy for an older toy that they will donate to charities that pick up donations.
  • Hot pads, dish towels, and other new kitchen items can take the drawer space of other items that you donate to humane shelters that use any kind of fabric for pets.
  • Even the new floor mats that you give your husband for his truck can encourage you to donate his older ones to charities.

  • Orange may be the new favorite color for your daughter, but when you give her that new orange fleece jacket encourage her to donate another jacket that she no longer wears.
  • Life jackets for the family boat might make great gifts from Santa, but go through the older life jackets to see if some of them can be donated to local groups that teach boating safety.
  • Dolls for growing girls can be traded for older stuffed animals.

  • Footwear is a popular gift for many growing children. The older outgrown shoes, however, may still be a great donation to many families in need.
  • Ornaments are another popular gift, but make sure that you sort through the holiday items you no longer use.
  • Rain boots for your college daughter can be exchanged for older boots that no longer fit.

  • Tools for dad can take the place of others that just sit in the garage.
  • Hats, gloves, and other winter accessories for other similar items.
  • Elephants may be your teen daughter’s newest fashion; her former interest in unicorns might make a great gift for someone else.

  • New pots and pans for your kitchen can mean an older set for a family who is looking for a new start.
  • Everything that comes into your house should me matched up to some thing that will be on its way out to help someone else.
  • We are a society with too many things. Use this Christmas to give away the extras!

8 Tips for Caring for Your Law Enforcement Boots

Waterproof work boots

If you wear boots for work, you know how important it is to keep them up. Whether you wear law enforcement boots, work boots, combat boots or the best steel toe boots, you want to keeping them looking and feeling great as long as you can. Here are some tips to help you with that.

1. Clean your law enforcement boots with a brush. If you are like most people, you brush you hair and your teeth. The same principle is at work when you are talking about your boots. If you happen to have boots with suede, that should be brushed with a metal bristle. You need to take a more gentle approach to this material. If the leather is a full grain leather, take a stiff brush to get ride of all of the dirt and dust that will accumulate on your boots.

2. Use a wet cloth and cleaner. If you have the full grain leather, law enforcement boots, you can take a wet cloth to clean them. This can be good to get any finer gran dust and mud that has been caked on. Cleaning this way is also good for the waterproofing process. Use only a tiny amount of cleaning gel. Never use this kind of cleaning process on suede. Nylon boots can cleaned with water. The water should be warm and polish should never be used on them.

3. Put on waterproofing. If you wear your law enforcement boots at work, and that is the point of the boots, they will get wet. You may have thought ahead and gotten waterproof boots but whether you have or you have not, applying waterproofing on your boots is almost always a good idea. Even waterproof boots can be damaged by the water. Luckily, there are a lot of products out there that can waterproof your boots.

  • Clean your boots thoroughly.
  • Apply the waterproofing product to the boots.
  • Massage the waterproofing product into the boots.
  • Let dry.
  • Remove any excess waterproofing product.

If you have suede, there are special products to waterproof that material. Usually, those products are just sprayed on.

4. Keep your boots polished. What self respecting owner of combat or law enforcement boots does not know how to polish them? Take a silicone polish and use that to soften the leather. Mink oil is a popular option for boots.

  • Massage some mink oil into the boots.
  • Massage the boots with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Buff them to the desired shine level.
  • This is only something people with full grain leather should do. It does not work on suede.

5. Keep your law enforcement boots conditioned. Full grain leather boots need to be conditioned. You need to do this or your boots will crack or flake. What you need to do is get some leather conditioner and massage it into the boots. Let this sit overnight. This will keep the leather in good shape and the boots will look and feel a lot better.

6. Let them air dry. When your boots get wet, and they will, you may be tempted to do a host of things to get them dry quicker. You can invest in a boot dryer but, beyond that, the best way for them to dry is to let them air dry. If you use a hair dryer or put them in the oven, you will dry out the leather. Let them dry in the sun or air.

7. Restore your boots. If your boots have gotten out of shape, so to speak, you can restore them to their former glory. You need to have this done professionally but it can be done. Take them to a professional boot restorer and you will get the boots you bought back. They can handle restitching, sole replacement and redo any hardware. They will also clean and polish the boots.

8. Have more than one pair. If you can switch out your boots so when one pair is wet, you can let it dry and wear the other pair, you will be in better shape. Both pairs will last longer when they are not the only one you are wearing.

You need your boots to last and feel great. These tips will help with that.


How to Buy Fine Leather Furniture Without Spending Your Life’s Savings on it

Modern italian furniture

Fine Italian leather furniture is a great investment. It is durable and strong so it will last a long time but at the same time, it’s easy to clean and maintain. However, trying to find fine Italian leather furniture is a difficult process. You want to make sure that it’s genuine but at the same time, you don’t want to have to spend an arm and a leg to get it. So, what are some ways that you can buy modern Italian furniture without breaking the bank doing so? Here are some ideas for doing just that.

If you want to buy a specific piece of fine Italian leather furniture, then you probably will have to get it brand new. The more specific you are, the less you’ll find in some of the places suggested in the next few ideas. However, buying brand new is the most expensive way to buy leather upholstery. So, what you can do is find a store that will allow you to make payments. Keep in mind that payments mean that you’ll probably have to pay interest but many places have a ‘no interest for six month’ policy or similar deals. If you can pay off the furniture in that time frame, then it will be worth it. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying an outrageous amount in interest.

Second Hand
Check private seller sites like Ebay, Craig’s List and Offer Up. There are a lot of opportunities to buy fine Italian leather furniture second hand. Many thrift stores will also stock them. However, you can’t be picky when shopping like this. For something that good of quality, there won’t be very many. Also, the previous owners may not have kept any of the original paperwork proving that the leather is genuine. There are ways that you can tell if you have a professional look at it, though. The condition of the furniture may be less than desirable as well and you’ll need to make sure they came from a smoke free home. There are various downfalls to buying second hand but the price is definitely on the up side.

Buying furniture from Hong Kong or China may take a long time to get to you but they will be a lot less expensive than buying in America. However, often times, you will get the wrong shipment and then you will be responsible for the shipping fees if you decide to return it. This can get very expensive and frustrating if you get sent the wrong thing several times. But, if you do get the right thing the first time, then you’ll save a lot of money so it’s a great idea if you aren’t in a rush to get your furniture. It will usually take a month or two to get to you so order in advance.

Off Items
Sometimes the manufacturer will make a small mistake or there will be a blemish that is not even noticeable on the leather or surrounding parts. These cannot be sold at regular price. They will usually mark them down and send them to an outlet warehouse or some sort of overstock place and they will be sold online. You just have to do the research and see if you can find the outlet version or the off brands for the type of furniture that you want. Or you might be able to ask in your local store and find out where their outlet center is.

You could also wait until they have a sale. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a nation wide sales day. There’s also Cyber Monday which is the following Monday after Black Friday. Most places will also usually have sales at the beginning of each year in order to up sales after Christmas when business tends to die down. They will also hold sales when a new season brings new product. Talk to your local store and find out when their sales will be and then start saving so that you can buy what you want for a discounted price, all at once, without having to worry about shipping fees, return policies, blemishes or interest.