By: The Little Catholic Book series
Although it is still not a tradition practiced in all countries, the blessing and use of palms for the liturgy of Palm Sunday is believed to have originated in Germany during the 8th century. Palms then soon became incorporated into Catholic liturgical tradition.
But because palm branches are not easy to obtain in certain European countries, a substitution is sometimes made. In Italy, many churches use olive branches. In other nations, spruce branches or pussy willows are used. As a result, today is known as Willow Sunday in England, Poland, and Lithuania. In countries such as Hungary and Spain, flowers are used in addition to palms, therefore giving this pre-Easter mass the name of Flowering Sunday.
When 21-year-old Lilly married Peter Pulitzer, the two escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City for the sun and sand of Palm Beach. In the shadows of Peter's citrus groves, Lilly opened a juice stand. To disguise the juice stains on her clothing, she had a sleeveless dress made from colorfully-printed cotton.
Soon, she was selling more dresses than juice, and Lilly Pulitzer the clothing label was born. The "classic shift dress" shot to international fame and demand when Lilly's old schoolmate Jacqueline Kennedy née Bouvier, then the First Lady, was photographed wearing a "Lilly" while on vacation. "Jackie wore one of my dresses – it was made from kitchen curtain material – and people went crazy. They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business." – Essentially Lilly, A Guide to Colorful EntertainingAs a token to Lilly's original burst of creativity, a number of desktop backgrounds have
been designed to reflect her high-fashioned style statement. Enjoy! :-)
By: Dennis Schaal - USA TODAY
Photo apps these days are all about picture taking, editing, filtering, animating, printing — and, all important in the eyes of many, sharing them with your social networks.
Many of the apps, including Adobe Photoshop Express, Cinemagram, Pic Stitch and Postal Pix are geared for honing your images and giving them keeper status after a vacation or sojourn around town. But they can be used back at the hotel or during a restaurant reprieve, too.
The very popular Instagram, on the other hand, is very much oriented to use in the picture-taking moment. But you can use it to gaze at your friends' and other users' handiwork anytime, on the train or during a break in the workday.
Here are five top photo apps, all of which can be downloaded for free:
1) Adobe Photoshop Express
A slim version of the photo-editing classic Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Express is an easy and efficient editing tool. Just take a photo or select one from your camera, Photo Stream or free Photoshop.com account, adjust the brightness or exposure, play with the saturation or tint, colorize the image and tack on a border.
It's annoying to get pitched an Adobe Effects Pack ($2.99) and Adobe Border Pack ($1.99), though you can use the app without them. And sliding a finger across a smartphone or tablet to precisely edit an image can be awkward.
Share the images on Photoshop.com, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Tumblr or by e-mail.
Cinemagram is fun. But it may be considered a mere novelty app as it lets you take a video and turn it into a hybrid — a video within a photo. You take a video of your daughter prancing in front of Mount Rushmore, for instance, keep her in motion in the video portion of the Cinemagram and retain the image of the four presidents and the Black Hills as a stationary background photo.
You can touch it all up with filters called Paris or Kingston, render it black and white, or give your Cinemagram a vintage appearance before sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Cinemagram, where you can view other people's works. You can geo-tag the Cinemagram to identify its location.
(iPhone and Android)
Instagram is more than a photo app. It's a social network, too. You can view a friend's pic of his mutt clad in a red sweater or gaze at New York City taxis submerged in water after Superstorm Sandy hit town. The app is very intuitive. You take photos or access existing ones from your devices. Plentiful filters and effects turn ordinary photos into professional-looking images.
Instagram is all about sharing, and you can easily upload photos to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and your Instagram photo map, which plots where your images were taken.
It's a wonderful discovery tool, and with 80 million users sharing, there are photographic riches to gawk at.
4) Pic Stitch
Pic Stich also could be considered a novelty. But you can use it to create attractive photo collages by grouping multiple images into a framed photo and share them on social networks.
There are 32 photo layouts to choose from, and framed photo collections are easy to create. You can double-tap a frame to select, tap an image to edit it, and shake your iPhone or iPad to wipe out what you've done and start over. Editing tools run the gamut, although they aren't particularly sophisticated.
As with Adobe Photoshop Express, Pic Stitch pitches add-ons: Borders Add-on and Nostalgia Effects are 99 cents each. You can send framed collections to Walgreens for printing, although image sizes are limited.
5) Postal Pix
Postal Pix is all about making prints of your pictures, and that makes it seem a tad old school.
But if you want to hold a glossy image in your hand, Postal Pix is fairly easy to use. You select images, pick their sizes and add features such as "1-millimeter-thick high-grade aluminum with a glossy, scratch-resistant surface." Three 5x7 prints with no extras cost $2.67 and take two to seven business days to arrive, Postal Pix says.
There's no Facebook or Twitter registration feature, and it's clunky to type your name and address on an iPhone to get started. You can't upload images from photo-sharing sites without transferring them to your Photo Stream or iPhone.
By: Sarah Stebbins
Although it can be horribly tempting to turn off the lights and have everyone hide behind couches and doors for a surprise party, David Tutera, host of WE TV's My Fair Wedding
doesn't think this is the best idea. Because a dark, empty room is suspicious, he prefers a party in progress, with the honoree slowly realizing his family and friends are there. To find out more clever yet practical ways to make your party a hit success, read more!A. PLAN
First, ask yourself these questions: 1) Do I Have the Right Candidate?
Certain people -- let's call them "fastidious" -- don't like surprises. "I am one of them!" Dallas event planner Steve Kemble says. "I want to know everything about an event before I go." Also rule out anyone who gets really excited about milestones and birthdays. Trying to surprise these types is almost mean, he says: They'll just think you've forgotten to plan anything. 2) Do I Have Enough Time?
Ideally, that's six weeks for a party of 25 or more, says Kemble. One month out, consider reserving a room at a restaurant or bar -- a good idea if it's a place your guest of honor frequents, or that will best accommodate everyone. The biggest time sink, though, will be figuring out whom to invite (including any surprise guests!), then tracking down their contact info. 3) Am I Up to the Task?
Here's a dirty secret: "Many times the people being surprised find out; they just don't tell you," says David Tutera, host of WE TV's My Fair Wedding
. Evaluate yourself as a potential host: Can you keep your cool? (Hint: Don't stop talking to your best friend two weeks before her birthday.) Are you prepared to improvise if things go off-script? If not, stick with a non-surprise party. Get Creative -- Just Not Too Creative
"If you do something too funky, the person is going to know something's up," Kemble says. "If you go to Chili's a lot, say, 'Let's go to Chili's.'" When Kemble helped Lori, wife of Dallas Cowboys executive Jerry Jones Jr., with his surprise party, they chose to throw it on a weeknight at Cowboys Stadium, since he goes there for work anyway. See our favorite birthday party menus
>>Make sure it all adds up: See our important party numbers
>>Easy ways to prep for a party
Preserving a surprise involves careful planning and serious covert ops. Herewith, your marching orders. Enlist a co-conspirator
A trusted friend is a big help -- and crucial if you live with the guest of honor. In that case, direct calls and e-mails to your compatriot, so you don't get caught with evidence, like an RSVP on the home voicemail. Use the friend's address on mailed invitations in case of undeliverables, and do the planning at your accomplice's house, or a restaurant or coffee shop. Time it right
"A great surprise party happens in the weeks leading up to the actual event," Tutera says. Your honoree is expecting it the day of the occasion. And after? You'll wind up with a peeved birthday boy who thinks you forgot or didn't make a big enough deal out of his day, Tutera says. (So, regardless, plan something on the real day, too.)Get the word out.
Phone calls, mailed invitations or a Facebook event notice work best, says party planner Johansson. You don't want people forwarding the info to random friends -- a problem with e-mail or Evite. (On Facebook, events designated "secret" can only be seen by selected guests.) Johansson suggests keeping the initial correspondence brief (date, place and time) and providing additional details only to those who RSVP "yes." Put a day-of plan in place.
You and your co-conspirator will have to split up: While one escorts the guest of honor, the other will play party host. (If it's at someone's home, no parking in the driveway!) The chaperone must let the party folks know when they're 10 minutes away and when they've arrived. Try calling the host's cell and letting it ring twice. Consider the big reveal.
There's nothing worse than someone "hiding" in plain sight or prematurely screaming "surprise!" Kemble suggests a practice run with guests. And no need for a crouching-behind-the-sofa moment. Tutera thinks a dark, empty room can be suspicious -- he prefers a party already in progress, with the honoree slowly realizing all of his loved ones are there.
By: Kristin DeSutter
This week has been an exciting one: finding my first set of dishes, choosing my first shower curtain, and checking out bar stools. I am getting so excited to move into my first apartment soon, and like almost every girl, I want my home to look as cute as possible. So! I've been googling for creative inspirations, and Better Homes & Gardens has some great tips on fitting everything into your (usually somewhat small) apartment, along with bedroom ideas, cheap & chic DIY headboards, and examples of what you can do with those sometimes overwhelming stretches and stretches of white wall. I hope you have fun checking out the pics and links below, and happy decorating! :-)
Skeeter w/ her mom; The Help
Mother's Day Central
Don't forget! Mother's Day is this Sunday, and if you're still wondering what to get your mom, consider making her a gift this year. Homemade gifts really are (almost) always the most special gifts of all and you can check out http://www.mothersdaycentral.com/mothers-day-crafts/
for 151 projects with step-by-step instructions, including innovative ideas for the following nine categories:
- Crafted flowers & bouquets
- Cards & scrapbooks
- Photo ideas
- Spa inspired
- Candy & chocolate
- Gifts for the home
- Unique gifts
By: Kristin DeSutter
Okay, I know that Easter was almost a month ago, but I designed this floral arrangement on April 5, and... amazingly, it still looks almost exactly like this. The greenery (Boxwood) has darkened and perhaps wilted a little, but overall still looks alive and even better, healthy. The remaining flowers - Baby's Breath, Plume Celosia, Cockscomb Celosia - have been dried, so they should last... for years.
So! As you may have already guessed, the reason I take occasional study breaks to glance at this pretty basket is not just because I like looking at flowers (especially pink ones :-), but because it also reminds me of Easter and therefore something much greater: the fact that our Lord has risen. And as my lovely basketful of flowers continues to radiate as if I just made them the day before, it reminds me that our Lord is still very much alive, even hundreds of years after he was crucified. It reminds me that it was at Easter He won our battle for us, and that in the end... His brilliant light will always outshine the darkness.
Although my seemingly everlasting Easter basket is a very subtle reminder of our Lord's victory, I really enjoy finding the quiet ways in which the Lord works in my own life. Most of all, it is through the awesome and beautiful gift of my family, friends, peers, and even strangers that He challenges and inspires me to become a better person.