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A Concise History of the Funeral

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As long as there have been people, there have been funerals. The truth is there is no right or wrong way to walk through the process of funeral rites. The time honored traditions of your own family are likely based on ancient practices, today we are going to list some of the most important points in the evolution of modern funeral services.

  • 60,000 BC: Neanderthals are known to have decorated their dead with flowers, antlers and stones.
  • 22,000 BC: Likely interment of William Buckley’s “Red Lady of Paviland”. The Red Lady was dyed with ochre, covered in seashell necklaces and surrounded by common ritual artifacts of the area made from bone, ivory and antlers.
  • 5000 BC: Dolmens, or portal graves, begin to appear
  • 4000 BC: Embalming begins in ancient Egypt and burial mounds, or Tumuli, appear in various areas around the globe
  • 3400 BC: Mummification becomes standard procedure for the dead in Egypt
  • 3300 BC: Mummies are prepared with varying sophistication based on the class of the decedent
  • 3100 BC: “Beaker” burials occur, where people are buried in a crouched position and accompanied by a variety of burial goods ranging from food and drinking vessels to body ornaments and fine jewelry. Richer people were interred with more sophisticated grave goods, ranging from swords to gold sheet work that adorned their clothing
  • 1500 BC: Ancestor Worship begins during China’s Shang Dynasty
  • 1000 BC: Funerary urns become more common, made from a wide variety of materials in any given local area
  • 800 BC: Ancient Greece starts using funeral pyres as the preferred method for disposal of human remains
  • 410 BC: Catacombs become a popular option for burial
  • 353 BC: The tomb of Carian ruler Mausolus was constructed, giving us the first true mausoleum, the site is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • 230 BC: The oldest known burial chamber in Japan, the Hokenoyama tomb, was constructed
  • 210 BC: The terracotta warriors are interred with Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang
  • 100: The Romans construct columbariums to house funerary urns
  • 300: Japan begins to construct keyhole burial mounds for important leaders
  • 400: The practice of Hindu widows burning themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre, or Suttee, is first documented
  • 600: The crypt of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome is constructed
  • 900: Elaborate Viking funerals are detailed in historic records from this period
  • 1500: Legendary Aztec celebrations of “Day of the Dead” begin around this time, as does documentation of the Hawaiian ritual of lighting a fire over a fresh grave that must be maintained for 10 days
  • 1632: the Taj Mahal was constructed – it remains one of the world’s most famous mausoleums
  • 1800: the practice of draping the coffin of a fallen warrior with the national colors begins during he Napoleonic wars
  • 1830s: Chinese dead are interred into the sides of mountains
  • 1860s: Embalming begins in the USA
  • 1864: Arlington is consecrated as a US national cemetery
  • 1884: Cremation becomes legal in Great Britain
  • 1909: The first motorized hearse is built by Crane & Breed
  • 1963: Cremation is accepted by the Catholic church
  • 1993: Green burials begin in the UK
  • 1997: Cremains are first launched into space

One of the only real certainties in life is that you will one day die. The rich history of burial rite around the world can be both intimidating and inspiring to those looking to get their affairs in order before it is too late. One thing that remains consistent across all world cultures throughout time, is that the handling of a deceased person’s earthly remains is both an honor and a sacred duty.

March 11, 2015 |

Reasons to Give Decorative Window Tinting a Try

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Installing decorative window tinting can reduce glare, lower your utility bills and block harmful UV rays from entering your home virtually overnight.

Since residential window tinting comes in a spectrum of hues and patterns as well, you could easily apply a  no-nonsense, dark tint in your living room and a stained glass tint in your bathroom, or mix and match to suit your aesthetics and home’s decor.

Decorative Window Tinting 

Window tinting need not be dark and one-size-fits-all. You can find window tints that emulate stained glass or tints that have a frosted look and seamlessly create privacy in your home.

Stained Glass Window Tint.  Mom and pop shops around the country already use these kinds of window tint to beautify their brick-and-mortar storefronts and create more privacy for customers.

Stained glass window tint is a great decorative option for home bathrooms as well. A lot of these stained glass films are static cling, which means that you don’t need to use any adhesives.

Of course, stained glass and frosted glass window tints also provide a ton of privacy for a tiny kitchen window or larger bathroom window. At the same time, you’re letting in natural light!

Some stained glass window tints even lend a sparkle and the appeal of having real decorative glass in your home. It’s just a win-win in that you’re getting a fantastic look and all of the benefits of year-round window tinting.

Frosted Glass Tint.  A lot of homeowners automatically associate frosted or crackled glass window tinting with bathrooms. Although these style tints go great in those spaces for obvious reasons, there are other spots in your home where frosted glass tint is equally well-suited.

Instead of going with a bulky set of white or beige blinds to block neighbors sneaking a peek through your front door, consider putting up a decorative window tint to keep out prying eyes as well as glare and heat gain.

A frosted window tint can really work with the inbuilt windows on a front door since the neutral tone goes with the natural wood grain.

Crackled Glass Privacy Film.  This option might afford homeowners the most options in terms of customizing the film’s look to exactly suit what you’re looking for.

Probably the most popular pattern for crackled glass window tinting features a silhouetted leaf pattern against a slightly darker backdrop. There’s something about this look that works perfectly to complement the steel, all-business look of modern sinks and shower doors.

Because crackled glass films come in a variety of sizes and can be applied to single-pane or double-pane windows with a simple static cling, there’s no justifiable reason to avoid checking these out for your home’s bathroom or business’ restroom.

Raindrop Decorative Film.  A raindrop decorative film is even harder to pigeonhole as appropriate in only one area of your home. Homeowners often use this pattern for first-story windows, front-door windows or petite bathroom windows.

Even a lot of boardrooms situated in the middle of a business space incorporate this raindrop pattern because it gives executives privacy and simply looks beautiful.

This understated yet elegant pattern would also work very well in a modest apartment that overlooks the street.

If you need something functional, discreet and classy, a textured raindrop pattern can help you get all the benefits of window film without doing anything garish – or against the landlord’s wishes!

Benefits of Decorative Tint 

Decorative window film might be the most affordable way to transform a room in your home. What other quick fix can enhance your privacy and safety while reducing your monthly utility bills?

March 11, 2015 |

Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Dental Hygiene

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When it comes to teaching kids about dental hygiene, the most innovative methods are the most effective. Considering kids have shorter attention spans, the content should be interesting, engaging, and most of all, fun. To help you along the way, the following information explains a few fun and creative ways to teach kids about dental hygiene.

Dental Trivial Pursuit

Since most children are competitive, you can create various games designed to reward them for their knowledge of dental hygiene. One great format to use is the Trivial Pursuit format. You can even use the trivia questions found on the ADA website. As a result, your child will be engaged, entertained, and learn about dental history at the same time.

Write a Smile

Another great way to make learning about dental hygiene fun is to create an essay or poetry contest. You can pitch themes such as, “The brighter my smile,…..” or “I love my smile because….” Using creative prompts will get the kid’s minds jogging and allow them to come up with creative ways to express the importance of dental hygiene.

Dental Cook Off 

To really get kids involved in dental hygiene, you can create a cooking class. In the class, you can help your children come up with recipes designed to help promote a healthy smile. On the other hand, you can create a class for making simple dishes that are not loaded with sugar. For example, a simple fruit salad can demonstrate how easy and delicious it is to take care of your teeth.

Trip to the Dentist

Since all kids love going on trips, a dental visit can be an excellent way to educate your kids about the importance of dental hygiene. Simply put, it is vital for kids to learn the importance of dental visits. At the same time, it’s important for them to not be scared of the dentist. If you coordinate a trip to the dentist office, your children can witness a dental check up and see there is no reason to be afraid of the dentist. On the trip, you can schedule for your children to sit in the dentist chair, create fun posters, and even have the dentist create molds of their teeth.

Make Music

When you teach children through music, they are much more likely to remember the information. You can make up a funny song about flossing or brushing their teeth. By doing so, you can create a song the child will remember and sing to themselves as they remember to brush their teeth. More importantly, in the song, you can include the proper steps.

Experiments

Conducting simple experiments are excellent ways to teach kids about dental hygiene. One great experiment can be done with an egg. If you let the egg soak in a cup of fluoride solution or toothpaste for five minutes, you can show kids the power of toothpaste. Afterwards, you should rinse the egg and put it in vinegar. Then put a second that hasn’t been treated in a cup of vinegar. The children will be able to witness how the egg without toothpaste will fall apart over time and demonstrate the importance of toothpaste.

February 23, 2015 |

14 Ideas for the Perfect Valentine’s at Home

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to focus on that special someone. It can get a little distracting when you are not the only couple out with the same ideas. Do something a little different for the night. Don’t go out with the rest of the crowds, stay home and have a romantic and intimate evening just the two of you.

Create the mood. A perfect night at home starts with the setting. Set out candles and turn those bright lights off. Set out love notes, hang them from the ceiling, set them on table to look at as you eat.

Cook your meal together. Choose a menu that that is unique, one that you both can make every year. Turn it into a tradition reserved for Valentine’s Day. A bonus, you will never have to worry about you’ll do for dinner on this special day again.

Get the right movie. A perfect night at home needs the perfect movies. If you are going to have a movie night pick a couple great movies for the occasion. Don’t go too sappy with the romance. Choose a movie that you will both enjoy.

Turn up the tunes and get on your feet. Make a playlist before your special night. Turn on the soft music and enjoy your meal then turn up the music and dance the night away. Change it up, don’t just slow dance, get down and have a little fun.

Spend the night somewhere different. Plan a romantic evening in the living room and end it there. Clear the floor and spend the night there. If you have a fireplace set a fire, roast some marshmallows, and cuddle up with a book.

Make it a game night. Get out those dusty old board games and have a game night. Pick a couple of your favorites, add in some fun romantic twists to make the night extra fun.

Plan for a nice massage. Get some massage oil and give each other a full body massage. Spend time on each other.

Revisit your childhood. Surprise your special someone with a surprise attack when they get in. Have a Nerf gun ready and leave one for them to find. Then, let the battle begin.

Have a spa night for two. Plan a bubble bath, a foot massage, and pamper each other.

Take this night to try a new hobby. Plan to do something new together. Pick out a new project you can do together. Think about something you both may find interest in, painting, reading, or building something.

Have a dessert contest. Both of you take a turn making your best dessert or desserts. Then try and pick a winner.

Turn it all off. Get back to the basics. Don’t let each other get distracted with social media and other things. Turn the phones off, turn the television off, and turn the lights off. Light some candles and just enjoy each others company.

Dress to impress. You are not going out this evening. Take that opportunity to dress in something that will really get your dates attention. You can use your imagination, dress up or dress down.

Send them on the hunt. Present your Valentine’s Day gift in a fun way. Make them find it. Send them on a hunt and leave them clues to guide them around the house until they find it. That special gift could be you!

February 19, 2015 |

Flower Arrangements at Funerals

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A common thing many people have to think about when preparing for a funeral for a loved one and that is what to do about flowers. Many people wonder why flowers are such a staple of funerals and what significance they have for the deceased, the family, and those gathered. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider the option of including flowers in your funeral arrangement plans:

Belief
Many people use flowers as a way to mourn and grieve and also see them as part of their expression of their beliefs. Whether an after life,a new life, or some other ending, flowers are often seen as a way to express the life of the person who is being remembered.

The Tradition
Americans for the most part traditionally have used gifts of flowers as a way to expressed their sympathy for the family, pay respect to the departed friend, and to remember good times. This long-standing tradition helps many people heal and accept the loss and also can serve as a focus for family and friends during the service.

Sentiment
There is mutually understood expression that is shown in the act of sending flowers- it is sentiment. Sentiment is the accumulation of feelings, emotions, memories, and remembrance one has for a dearly departed friend. Sentiment serves an integral part of human nature and it has become an expression that is critical in the development of many common funeral traditions and practices.

Freedom of Expression
Families who are dealing with the loss of a love one and friends who are grieving the loss of a good companion deserve the right to express themselves however they want at time of a funeral and dealing with death and loss. People are different and each person mourns and deals with grief in their own way so people see flowers in different lights when it comes to funerals. Therefore, everyone should be should be free to express themselves however they want and in a way that makes sense for them.

Atmosphere
Flowers help to instill a feeling of warmth and beauty to an otherwise dreary and depressing funeral service. Following the service, the family that is left behind has a lasting impression of the funeral service and flowers will often go a long way in painting a peaceful, beautiful, and healing memory of that funeral event.

Significance of Flowers
Flowers have become such a strong and integral part of many funerals because of a growing trend in recent years. Many families are opting to have funeral memorials or life celebrations where the atmosphere and mood is more of a memorial and celebration of the life of the dearly departed. Flowers help create the cheerful and upbeat atmosphere that these life celebrations aim for. In addition, flowers can be sent to the home of the family or be gifted to the church as a memorial to the deceased. This is why flowers have become so significant to modern funerals.

Spiritual Significance
There is also a number of symbolic importance for flowers- not only love and sympathy, but also peace and renewal. Yes flowers wilt an die but that is life and that is what faces everyone. Flowers at a funeral can help minister to those gathered by reminding them of the cycle of life and that there is always a reason and purpose and that one ending is simply a beginning for something else. There is deep religious symbolization in that flowers themselves do not last forever.

February 12, 2015 |

How to Remove Residential Window Film

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Window film can be handy if you are looking to help control the temperature inside your home, or you are looking to block out light and add privacy to a space. It is not so handy when you are looking to increase the curb appeal of your home, or you are ready to make changes to your windows.

If you have window film firmly in place on your homes windows, you may be wondering if it is even possible to have it removed. The answer is yes. The good news is with a little work, you can remove the window film by yourself, leaving your windows looking sparkly clean.

Four Steps to Removing Residential Window Film

  1. The first thing you will want to do is get the corners of the window tint up. You may already have corners that are peeling and you can easily grab an edge, or you may need to use a razor or scraper to get the edges of the window film up.
  2. Once you have an end up you can start to peel back the window film. You want to pull the film up slowly. You can go from top to bottom or pull each corner towards the middle. Pulling slowly will help leave less adhesive to your window, giving you less to clean up once the film is gone. Keep in mind that the longer you have had the film on the windows the harder it will be to pull the adhesive up along with the film.
  3. It is likely there will be some adhesive left over. To get the adhesive off you can either use a specific product or you can make your own. To make your own create the following mixture in a spray bottle. Place four to five drops of dish soap in the bottle, then fill with water, shake the mixture up before using it. Spray the mixture on to the glass then use a small stainless steel razor to remove the adhesive. Be sure to push against the glass and only use one side of the razor, this is important because if you switch sides you may scratch your window’s glass. Press firmly with the razor, gently making strokes till you get all of the adhesive off. If you are looking to add more film to your windows, be sure that you have removed all adhesive and dirt from your windows before applying the film.
  4. Once you have all the adhesive off, use window cleaner, or vinegar and water, along with paper towel to get your glass clean. You should now have a sparkling clean window.

These four simple steps should have you enjoying clean, film free windows, in no time at all.

February 10, 2015 |

Gingivitis Symptoms and Treatment

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There are three main symptoms of gingivitis.  The first one of these symptoms is going to be trench mouth.  Most of the time, this is going to mean that your gums are bleeding or starting to swell. You might also have some very bad breath and pain in your gums.  This means that your gums are going to appear to have a gray color to them.  The pointed part of your gums that is in between the teeth will become flat, which is going to accommodate more to the dead tissue inside of the gums.

 The second one of these symptoms of gingivitis is the recession of the gums or loosing teeth.  The longer that you have gingivitis, the more that your gums are going to recede.  Therefore, they are no longer going to be able to support the bone structure that you are going to need for your teeth to stay in your mouth.  This means that you might end up having to get dentures but they might need to be fitted several times for your mouth.  This could also change the way that your teeth are going to fit together when you are biting or chewing your food.

The third one of these symptoms of gingivitis is abscesses.  Basically, this is going to be a deepening between the periodontal pockets inside of your gums.  Most of the time, this is going to happen because tartar or food particles are going to block the bone, which is going to kill your white blood cells.  These white blood cells are what is going to help you to fight an infection inside of your body.  Therefore, when you get a pus in your gums, you are going to have abscess.  They can destroy your teeth and the tissues in your gums.

There are a few different remedies that you could do at home to treat gingivitis.  The first treatment is to make sure that your brush your teeth at least twice a day.  You are going to need to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste with fluoride.  The best times to do this is in the morning when you wake up and right before you go to bed.  You will need to replace your toothbrush every three months because an old toothbrush is not going to clean your teeth properly.

The second treatment for gingivitis is that you make sure that you are flossing every day.  Therefore, you are going to need to do it more than just when you have something in your teeth.  Flossing is going to help to remove any buildup of plaque that your toothbrush was not able to get.  You could also use an interdental cleaner if you do not like to floss but it is very important to ask your dentist how to use them so there is no damage to your gums.

The third treatment for gingivitis is to make sure that you are visiting your dentist every 6 months for an oral exam and cleaning.  This is so that if you have any tartar on your teeth, the dentist can remove it immediately.  But you will need to talk to your dentist to see if you need to visit him more often.

The fourth treatment for gingivitis is to rinse your mouth out with an antimicrobial rinse.  This could reduce the severity of your gingivitis.  It is also help to decrease the amount of bad breath that you have along with any plaque on your teeth.  Therefore, you will need to look for a rinse with a ADA seal.

January 22, 2015 |

12 Ways to Make a Party Fun for Everyone

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Planning a party where the guest consist of both adults and kids can be tricky. You don’t want the party to be geared too much towards one group. If the atmosphere is too stale for kids, they will get bored. However, if you focus too much on making it fun for kids, the adults may find the party a bit “childish”.

The best way to make the party fun for all is to find the perfect balance. There are many things you can do that are fun for each age group. The best way is to keep things natural and simple. Here are a few great tips to help you plan that next party.

Plan ahead. Make sure that you are equip with plenty of toilet paper, wipes, napkins, and all the necessities. Keep them handy too.

Set the right tone. Pick a theme that is non-age and non-gender specific. Having a theme makes things easier to plan and organize. Try something such as a game theme, a beach theme, or a winter theme.

Clear the place of breakables. Kids will have more fun if they aren’t being told to watch out or no the whole time. You and the parents can also have a better time if you aren’t worried and they aren’t walking behind the kids all the time.

Set a flexible time-frame. You have to work around bedtimes, nap times, and still allow time for people to get ready. Make you time-frame broad and allow guest to arrive and leave when they need.

Choose a space big enough. You won’t want kids cramped in with adults. Choose a setting that provides space and a chance to divide up a little. Pick a few rooms to escape to that have things for kids to do while adults converse.

Keep the food simple. When it comes to food, keep it simple. One idea is a pot-luck, supply the main dish and have everyone add to it. Or you can go with a taco bar or hot dog bar. This way everyone can build-their-own. Have plenty of finger food.

Turn on the music. Having the music on and up will add to the atmosphere. Create a playlist that has a great mix suitable for all ages. Throw in some oldies but goodies with some new and hip jams. A little bit something for everyone will keep the party going well.

Recruit the help of a babysitter. Have someone at the party that is great with kids, and that doesn’t mind hanging out with them. Having someone with their eyes on the kids allows the parents to relax.

Plan a few activities. Create a few different spaces, one for kids, one for adults, and one common area for both. Have a “movie room” playing family friendly flicks. Chances are this is a space both groups may hang out. Keep kids busy with a craft table, a bounce house, and some games. Adult spaces an be socializing and relaxing.

Make it a pool party. If you have a pool there is nothing better for both groups. Both kids and adults love hanging out by the pool and swimming. Just be sure supervision happens at all times.

Be prepared. Accidents can and will happen. Don’t stress if they do. Kids will make messes and so can adults.

Relax, have fun, and enjoy. Above all, relax. Your guest will have more fun if you are comfortable and enjoying yourself.

Follow these tips and you will have a fun and successful party. Both the kids and the adults will enjoy themselves and so will you!

This post was brought to you by Family Fun Entertainment.

January 22, 2015 |

Moving Overseas In 4 Simple Steps

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Moving is never an easy task for anyone, especially when it’s to another country. There are many factors that could affect a person’s decision to move somewhere else: a life change such as marriage, job opportunities, cheaper living, etc. No matter where a person moves, it’s very important to be prepared both physically and emotionally in order to start afresh. Here are steps that would be helpful in preparing for a move overseas:

1. Gather legal documents.

Before doing anything else, a person must make sure that they have all the needed documents in order to migrate. Taking action before making sure that a person is legally ready to migrate may have major repercussions.

2. Manage property.

Before a person can leave a country, they must take care of their property such as bank accounts, work, and their home. Remember to close bank accounts, pay debts, resign at a reasonable time before departure, and lease/sell property.

3. Say goodbye to friends and acquaintances.

Just as it is important to close existing accounts before leaving the country, it is also important to gain closure from relationships. This is an important step because it is not sure when a person would see his/her friends from that country again. This allows them to end or maintain relationships before moving.

4. Research about the country you are moving to.

Before moving to overseas, it would be a good idea to research about the country a person is moving to. A person doesn’t have to know every single detail about the country, just enough to know the basics such as what things are acceptable and what are not.

Also, remember to research about moving companies in both countries for an easier move. Good Luck!

January 22, 2015 |

Professional Window Tint Levels

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Car Tinting- For Your Information

For automobiles in California the legal window tint levels are measured by the VLT percentage. VLT stands for Visible Light Transmission, which is the amount of light that passes through a tinted window. For example, a 5% VLT is a very dark window that only allows 5% of the light from outside through the window. In California, the windshield can have no tint except on the top four inches, and the front side windows must have at least 70% of outside light in. All other car windows can be tinted to any VLT percentage.

Commercial and Residential Window Tinting

California has no laws regulating the VLT percentages of commercial and residential windows, so you can tint the windows at your home or office as dark as you want to. The best way to tint residential and office windows is to purchase window tinting film. This material adheres to the inside of your windows and provides many benefits including less UV radiation reaching you indoors, keeps air conditioning and heating in the building from seeping through the windows and wasting energy, and keeping intruders out.

Protective Film

Because you can tint your home or office windows to any VLT percentage, you can choose how dark you want your windows to be. Tinting film provides many benefits. It is a cheap way of tinting your windows and receiving all of the benefits of window tinting without the cost and fuss. Office buildings typically need a dark tint level to keep wandering criminal eyes out of a place of business. Another feature some protective films have is a reflective outer surface, which blocks out the sun’s harmful UV rays and makes it almost impossible to see through from the other side. Reflective film still allows you to see through the window from the inside, of course, but outsiders cannot see in.

Protective film is great for residential windows as well. If you need a high VLT tint on your home’s windows, window tinting film is an easy way to protect your home. UV rays are not only damaging to your skin, they are damaging to your furniture as well. Colors can fade from fabrics that are overexposed to the sun for long periods of time. High level tinting can block out harmful light while letting beneficial light in. In other words, you can still have a sun room without risk to your skin or your furniture.

The Best Window Tinting

A variety of VLR levels are available and offer special features like anti-graffiti covers, reflective surfaces, and decorative window films for protection and style all in one. Protecting your home and business while giving your interiors that intimate touch is our specialty. Window tinting film is a great option no matter what VLR level you choose. High level VLR tinting film is a cost effective way to cut down on UV rays and would-be burglars peeping into your home.

January 21, 2015 |
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