Discover the Origins of Your Family Through DNA Testing

Unless your family has kept a detailed record of your ancestry over the years, the origins of your family may be very hard to determine. Even if a detailed and accurate family history is available, it is not likely that it is thorough enough to include data from the many centuries and locations that have served to make up your specific background. If you wish to discover family origins, it is possible to do so through the use of DNA testing, as there is a method available to compare your DNA with the collective genetic information that is currently available – read more at The resulting information that can be gleaned from this comparison is quite thorough and often includes surprising information that was previously unrecorded in even the most detailed of family histories.

A Comparison of Your DNA Profile

The DNA testing method that is used to determine the origins of your ancestry is quite interesting. After you submit a DNA sample of your own, that sample is compared against the available and scientifically validated collective genetic information of the global population and the various anthropological regions. It is therefore very easy for you to determine your genealogy through this method, as all that is required of you is the submission of a DNA sample.

Reveal Unknown Aspects of Your Ancestry

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this type of testing is the previously unknown information that is ultimately discovered. Many families have worked very hard over the generations to keep a detailed account of their origins, but there are always omissions and inaccuracies. There is also a limit to how far back the history is able to go, leaving major pieces of the puzzle out. Using DNA testing, it is possible to understand every facet of your family’s ancestry, even the aspects that may have been completely unknown to you and your family members.

Results Are Extremely Accurate

DNA testing is incredibly accurate, and the samples that you submit will be used to determine your own personal ancestry. The genetic data that your sample will be compared against has been established through scientific validation, meaning it has been proven to be accurate through the use of scientific methods. Your DNA will be compared against hundreds of global populations, demonstrating the strength of the match between your DNA and those of the various global populations. These accurate results and comparisons will provide you with incredibly valuable information that can give shape to your family’s ancestry, giving you a sense of your own background and history.

Testing Is Affordable and Can Be Done From Home

There are several methods available for the collection of DNA, including blood testing and the use of buccal swabs. Each of these methods is equally effective, but the buccal swabs are significantly less invasive and do not require the presence of a professional for the purpose of collection. The buccal swab is therefore able to be done from the comfort of your own home in a manner that is exceptionally quick and accurate. These home testing kits are also very affordable, and the results are usually available very quickly once they have been submitted to a laboratory for analysis.

Wedding Ring Shopping Tips

The concept of exchanging wedding rings is a tradition that goes back generations.  Its origins were from ancient Roman civilizations and have been carried on to the present day.  The process of acquiring a ring has certainly changed over time, along with the style and look that wedding rings have today, but the symbol remains the same.  A man or woman wearing a wedding ring is showing that he or she is married to another person and is unavailable.  It also symbolizes the love and commitment a married person has for his or her spouse.  Selecting the right wedding rings before the big day is an exciting and exhausting prospect.  Take some time to do your homework before stepping foot inside the jewelry store doors.  This ensures you make the most out of your time and your budget.

Setting a Budget

One of the wisest pieces of advice you can heed is to set a budget.  Most men and women would love to have an unlimited amount of money to spend on the rings their sweethearts will be wearing for the rest of their lives, but the reality is that not many have that luxury.  The good news is that there are a variety of rings to choose from that fit within virtually any budget.  Experts in the diamond industry suggest that an engagement ring should cost at least two months’ salary, but if you’re not able to fork out nearly 20% of your annual income on a ring rest assured that there are affordable diamond rings in almost any price point.  The goal is to find something that is as long lasting as it is beautiful.

How to Make it a Surprise

If you want to present your gal with an engagement ring but make the occasion a surprise you have to pay attention to the details.  Look at the kind of jewelry she wears on a daily basis.  Is it flashy?  What color is the metal?  Does she wear jewelry occasionally or on a regular basis?  The answers to these questions can help you select a unique piece that is truly hers.  A reputable jeweler who has had years of experience can help guide you to the perfect ring once you can supply answers to those questions.

hatlandwedding 036

Selecting the Stone

Finding the right stone to go into a wedding ring is just as important as the ring itself.  When checking out diamonds, a jeweler may educate you on the four C’s: color, cut, clarity, and carat.  These four elements largely determine the price of the diamond.  Some recommend buying diamonds with high color and cut, but with clarity that is slightly lower.  This can help stretch your dollars while providing your intended with a beautiful diamond.

Selecting the Setting

The diamond is generally center stage in a wedding ring, but the setting is crucial in its overall style and design.  There are lots of choices to make when it comes time to purchase a diamond, and there are also lots of choices when it comes time to select a setting.  The kind of precious metal to be used is important—platinum, white gold, and yellow gold are all options that can be considered.  You may also want to think about wedding sets.  They provide the couple with complimentary pieces that will be beautiful for a lifetime of love.

Article courtesy of

The Makeup Needed For A Prom-Ready Look

When prom season rolls around, young women and their parents start to think about the big dance.  Hair, shoes, clothes, and accessories all have to planned out – and so does make-up!

yhst-130634544928068_2246_119482954Makeup: Beyond the Basics

A high school student’s makeup kit is probably pretty basic; it likely includes only the items that she uses on a day to day basis, so a shopping trip is called for.  Prom makeup products should be selected based on a young woman’s eye, hair and skin color; the color of her outfit doesn’t have to figure heavily into the choice of makeup.  These are the items that are necessary to create a look worthy of her special night.

  • Liquid or solid foundation that matches her current skin tone.  Skin tone can change dramatically throughout the year, regardless of a woman’s ethnicity; don’t automatically reach for the foundation shade you’re used to buying.
  • Fresh eye shadow colors.  Once again, don’t simply reach for the color you always wear.  Try a new color that coordinates with your eye color.  Blue eyes look best with bright, pastel colors; brown eyes are complimented by green, brown, or even black hues; green, gold, and navy tones look good with hazel eyes, and green eyes look best with earth tones.
  • Accent eye shadow to create a more elaborate look.  A shimmery, glitter, or metallic eyeshadow color can be used in combination with a standard color for a more dynamic and interesting effect.
  • Lipstick.  Young women aren’t likely to need bold, dramatic lipstick colors.  Select a color that brightens the lips’ natural tone instead of masking that tone with a color that’s vivid and opaque.
  • Contour blush.  Most blush is applied to the apples of the cheeks – the round portions close to the eyes and nose.  Contour blush is usually more brown than pink in color and can be carefully used to emphasize a soft jaw line or to bring out indistinct cheekbones.
  • Powder.  Powder is one of the most over-looked of all beauty items.  Finishing powder helps set t he makeup in place and will absorb moisture that settles on the surface of the skin; even when you’re not sweating the skin will accumulate minute traces of moisture that can start to wear down the look you’ve carefully created.  This is especially likely to happen in a space occupied by many people.  Powder is applied with a soft puff or large, fluffy brush.  Translucent face powder is best.
  • Eyeliner and mascara.  Not every women likes wearing these two makeup items; the weight of mascara on the lashes can be distracting and the trouble of putting on eyeliner isn’t always worth the results.  Both these items bring an extra emphasis to the eyes though if you don’t like wearing one or the other it can be safely left out.

Weighing Your Options

If the shopping list of necessary makeup is starting to look expensive, a prom-bound student could opt to have her makeup done at the beauty salon that she goes to for her hair.  Almost all salons have makeup specialists who work on appointment, just like hair dressers.  Their rates are reasonable and they have everything necessary to create unique and special look.    Whether you choose to have your special occasion makeup done at a salon or at home, make sure that you set aside the time necessary to dedicate to the process.

Effective Marketing Trends For Spas

In today’s culture, where fashion and looks are so important to most women, and even some men, the spa should be the last place that is affected by an economic downturn.  Because women depend on the spa and the salon to look good, and in turn feel good, many women will cut the spa out of their budget last when money gets tight.  So spa marketing should be a simple process.  Because there are so many spas available to women, it’s important to set your spa or salon apart from the others in order to draw in more customers.


Visual Trends That Attract Customers

Spas and salons are uniquely set up in that customers come for a special service that is hard to get somewhere else.  Once your customers have discovered that they like what you have to offer, it’s fairly simple to retain them.  So attracting new customers is incredibly important.  Below are some of the visual trends that attract new customers to day spas and salons.

  • Colors that are warm and earthy
  • Fonts that are feminine
  • Text-heavy layouts
  • Smiling faces that are relaxed with their eyes closed
  • Models with stylish haircuts
  • Models who are in shape preparing for a massage

Each of these images and specifications work to show the relaxing situation that can be found in a spa.  Your goal is to reach out to those who are passing by who may feel stress or overwhelmed, and then show them how you can give them confidence and energy.

Verbal Trends That Attract Customers

Customers are also attracted to what they read and hear.  Some of the verbal trends that are successful in the spa industry are:


  • Fancy names
  • Fancy descriptions of your services
  • Focus on wellness, relaxation, luxury, confidence and beauty
  • Style that is elaborate and flowery
  • Standard services and products, adding in a special item occasionally
  • Positive customer testimonials
  • Professional bios of your employees

If you are designing a brochure or a menu of your services, utilizing the above tools can bring customers into your spa or salon.

Communicate Your Uniqueness

The main problem that most spas and salons run into is that they appear to be the same as all the other spas in the area.  Your goal is to communicate how your spa is unique from all the other locations in your area.  Use bold statements to share how your spa is different.  Get your spa known for a specific product or service that is better than the rest.  If your customers don’t understand why your spa is unique or better than the others, they may quickly move on when another spa offers a great deal.


Utilize Social Media

Many of your customers participate in social media sites.  Set up a social media site for your customers, and use this page to communicate directly with them.  Studies show that customer loyalty is increased when your customers get direct communication and response from you.  Offer specials and discounts through your Facebook page to encourage your customers to visit your page and spread the word to their friends.

Spas offer unique services designed to make a woman feel pampered and self-confident.  In a day where many things work to tear that down and woman are constantly looking for a place to recharge, marketing your spa shouldn’t be difficult.



5 Tips To Finding The Perfect Men’s Wedding Band

These days, many women like to take an active part in selecting the perfect wedding band for their husband-to-be.  Whether you have brought your man along or you are shopping solo, selecting the perfect ring can be an arduous process.  There are so many options available that it may seem a little overwhelming.  Often times, you can walk into the jewelers envisioning the perfect ring; however, once you see all of the beautiful men’s wedding rings available, you can instantly become indecisive.  If this should happen to you, keep in mind these 5 tips that will help to steer you in the right direction.

1.       Lifestyle

While every man has a different lifestyle, consider a ring that will allow him to participate in his daily activities without being a hindrance.  Think of the answers to the following questions while deciding which ring to choose:

  • Can he wear the ring while working?
  • Is he going to wear the ring every day, or take it off for work and other activities?
  • Does he play a lot of sports?

2.       Personality is everything

Considering that he will wear his wedding band for the rest of his life, you want to make sure it reflects his personality.  For instance, if you are marrying a more modest man, you don’t want to select a ring with a giant diamond.  Here are some details to think of:

  • Is he more contemporary or traditional?
  • Does he like gold or platinum?
  • Is he flashy or simple?

3.       Comfort is key

You don’t want to purchase a ring that is going to be painful to wear.  Make sure the ring has rounded edges instead of sharp edges.  Many rings have the option of a custom curve fit, which has a softly rounded edge on the interior of the ring.  You also want to consider the width of the ring.  Although men’s wedding bands are generally wider than a woman’s, you want to be sure that it isn’t too wide for comfort.

4.       Matching Pair

Do you want your fiancé’s wedding band to match your wedding set?  Where many couples choose to customize a matching ring set, others love the element of surprise.

5.       Choose Your Metal

Where gold is the most popular choice for men’s wedding bands, platinum, titanium and silver have become increasingly popular as well.  If he has a job that requires hard labor, you may want to consider a hard metal that will stand up under pressure.  9kt, 14kt, and 18kt gold are generally durable and should survive a day of hard work.  Titanium is also a popular choice, being the hardest natural metal in the world.  It is also is 100% hypoallergenic, making it safe for those that have sensitive skin.  Platinum rings are heavier and more expensive than gold bands.  The newest innovation in wedding band metals is tungsten.  Not only is tungsten scratch resistant, but it is more affordable than gold and platinum.

Although selecting a wedding band may be stressful, it doesn’t have to be complicated.  In fact, looking through the gorgeous selection of rings available can be a fun and exciting event.  Remember, you’re not just looking for a ring, you are finding a symbol to represent a new chapter of your life.