Clever takes on the ‘something old, new, borrowed, blue’ tradition

Wedding day tokens of good luck come in many forms, but “the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue (a sixpence in your shoe)” adage remains one of the most popular luck-enhancing wedding traditions. According to the bridal resource The Knot, this tradition stems from an Olde English rhyme. Something old represents continuity; something new is for optimism for the future; something borrowed stands for borrowed happiness; and something blue is for purity, love and fidelity. The sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity, but this is not a tradition widely celebrated outside of the United Kingdom or British territories.

These traditions can add some creative flair and personality to wedding ceremonies. There’s no end to the inventive combinations of items brides can carry to increase their good fortunes.

Something old

Something old is one of the easier mementos to obtain. There is a good chance that someone in the family is willing to pass an item down to the bride that she can include in her wedding wardrobe. It also can be something the bride may have in her own memory box. Beads taken from a grandmother’s dress or a swatch of fabric from a beloved toy doll are creative ideas that can be sewn into inconspicuous places on gowns.

Something new

Brides already purchase many new items for their wedding day looks, so “something new” should not be too hard to find. Couples may want to work together to find something new they can both carry so they have a matching set upon tying the knot. Interlocking charm bracelets or keychains may work. What about the groom carrying a small padlock and the bride the key? Quirky couples can each wear one sock from a pair. Get clever and have fun.

Something borrowed

Much like something old, something borrowed is yet another way to pay homage to a friend or family member. It’s also one way to add a sentimental twist to everyday items. Borrow a grandfather’s handkerchief to wrap around the stems of the wedding bouquet. Exchange vows with the original rings used by a distant relative at their own wedding. Flatter a close friend by wearing the same veil she did.

Something blue

There are many ways to incorporate “something blue” into your wedding ceremony. Brides can paint their toenails blue or wear blue shoes under their gowns. Sew a patch from a pair of denim jeans into the bodice of the dress. Paint the bottom of your shoes bright blue so they stand out when kneeling at the altar. Blue sapphire or topaz jewelry can add an exotic look to the wedding wardrobe.

With a little ingenuity, brides can easily incorporate “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” into their wedding ceremonies.

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Dos and don’ts of kitchen remodels

According to Remodeling magazine’s “2014 Cost vs. Value Report,” a major kitchen remodeling project should enable homeowners to recoup 74.2 percent of their initial investments. Kitchen renovations have long been a safe way to improve the functionality and value of a home. But not every kitchen project is a guaranteed winner. Homeowners may inadvertently make changes that end up sticking out like a sore thumb rather than improving the space. Take a look at these kitchen remodeling dos and don’ts to guide your next undertaking.

DO consider the way your kitchen will look with the rest of the home. Keep architectural integrity in mind when designing the space. A farmhouse sink and country cabinets can look out of place in an ultra-modern home.

DON’T overlook the importance of a seasoned designer or architect. These pros will know the tricks to maximizing space and achieving the ideal layout of appliances and may be able to recommend local contractors and vendors.

DO look beyond surface details to the structural integrity of the design. The kitchen should be functional, long-lasting and beautiful.

DON’T design just for today, but look to the future as well. Unless you are willing to spend $50,000 every five years, look for styles and materials that will last for the long haul. Older homeowners may want to make adjustments now that address potential mobility issues down the road.

DO work with what you have. A complete demolition and renovation is not always necessary to achieve the desired results. Only invest in major changes if something is not working (such as having to walk across the entire kitchen to access the stove) or is unsafe. Otherwise, minor upgrades may do the trick.

DON’T over-improve the space. A fully equipped commercial kitchen may be handy for a professional chef, but the average person may not need an industrial hood and indoor pizza oven. When you make excessive improvements, you may not be able to recoup as much of the money spent because your home will not be on par with the values of homes in the neighborhood.

DO make sure you can afford the project. Plan for some unexpected purchases and plan out the renovation according to your budget. Skimping on materials or design because of lack of money may leave you feeling dissatisfied afterward.

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Changing perceptions about pit bulls one dog at a time

Though unfair, the general perception of pit bulls as pets is less than stellar. Through no fault of their own, pit bulls are widely considered fighting dogs that are not fit for many households. However, such a reputation is largely unwarranted.

The term “pit bull” is used to classify multiple breeds of dogs with similar genetic makeups. These include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, as well as any crosses between the three. The American Pit Bull Terrier was originally bred by interbreeding Old English Terriers and English Bulldogs. The dog was popular in England and came to the Americas when the British established colonies.

Although pit bulls continue to play important roles as police dogs and search and rescue animals, they are more widely considered fighting dogs rather than loyal family pets. Ambassadors of the breed have initiated many campaigns to change the public perception of pit bulls as mindless aggressors.

Since 2007, the Hillsborough County Animal Services in Florida has been tackling the challenge of decreasing euthanization and increasing adoptions through its Pit Bull Ambassador program. In 2010, representatives from Southern Maine Pit Bulls, or SOME Pit!, brought their dogs to the Bangor Humane Society to show off how lovable these dogs can be.

All dogs have teeth and are capable of inflicting a serious bite in certain circumstances. Many times, how a dog is handled and trained is more to blame for its behavior than any stereotypes associated with its breed. That is why the slogan “blame the deed, not the breed” has become quite popular among pit bull ambassadors.

In a 2011 documentary titled “Beyond the Myth,” Libby Sherill explores breed-specific legislation and what she believes is uncalled for discrimination against pit bull-type dogs. The documentary blames the media for the public’s negative perception of the pit bull. Newspaper headlines are nine times more likely to mention “pit bull” in articles about dog attacks than any other breed.

The reputation of pit bulls, fair or unfair, has preceded them in some locales, including Denver, where the dogs have been banned for years. States that have bans on certain breeds will have a higher shelter rate for those breeds. According to the organization Don’t Be a Pit Bully, 40 to 60 percent of dogs in shelters across the United States are pit bulls. While this is thanks in large part to the reputation of pit bulls, it is also because pit bulls are the most bred dog in America, where negligent owners fail to neuter their dogs. Some shelters euthanize pit bulls immediately after surrender. Others will give the dogs a mere 24 hours to be adopted. As a result, only about 7 percent of pit bulls in shelters will find a forever home.

Pit bulls get a bad rap, but the perception of these dogs is slowly changing. Here are some other facts to chew on.

  •  According to the American Temperament Test Society, pit bulls score at or below average for aggression when compared to other dogs.
  • Dogs, including pit bulls, are not naturally aggressive. They learn behaviors from their handlers.
  •  Stubby Dog, a nonprofit organization focused on changing the public perception of pit bulls, says more than 80 percent of pit bulls in shelters will die before their second birthdays.
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8/04/17 Shopper E-Edition

Check out this week’s e-edition of The Horseheads Shopper here! The Horseheads Shopper 8/04/17

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8/04/17 Shopper Ad Enhance

Check out this week’s Ad Enhance of The Horseheads Shopper here!





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Want healthier kids? Get a pet

If youngsters have been eyeing fuzzy kittens or boisterous puppies at nearby shelters or pet stores, parents may want to give in to those cries for a family pet. Pets are added responsibilities, but the health benefits associated with pet ownership may be well worth the investment of time and effort.

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Convertibles maintain their popularity

For many people, warm weather road trips are most enjoyable when taking to the road in a convertible. Fans of convertibles find few things can compare to the wind blowing in their hair and the sun shining on their faces on a beautiful day.

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