Drugmakers Call Experimental Alzheimer’s Drug Study Positive

Biogen and Japan’s Eisai said they had positive results from a midstage study of an experimental Alzheimer’s drug, though experts said it was too soon to say the drug marks a real advance.
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‘Piece of art’: Positive reviews for new Kanye album

Kanye West’s latest album has largely received positive reviews, despite the controversial hip hop star recently coming under fire for saying slavery was “a choice” and endorsing Donald Trump as his “brother”.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Mikaela Shiffrin Shares Positive Message to Young People

The 23-year-old Olympic skier explains how she became less shy over time. Hear to hopeful message.
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Eurovision winner reveals she is HIV positive

Former Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst says she has been forced to reveal she is HIV positive after being blackmailed by a former friend.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Tyler Henry Has a Prediction for Megan Fox’s Mom on Hollywood Medium: “It’s a Positive Thing”

Megan Fox, Hollywood MediumThere’s something going on with Megan Fox’s mom and Tyler Henry knows all about it.
The 31-year-old actress receives some news about changes in her mother’s future on…

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Talks on three-year pay deal for NHS staff ‘positive’

Unions want a deal well above the 1% public sector pay cap imposed by ministers in recent years.
BBC News – Health
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Nabil Ayouch Set to Direct Realist Hip Hop Musical ‘Positive School’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Moroccan-French writer-director Nabil Ayouch, one of the most prominent film voices in the Arab World, is set to direct “Positive School,” a hybrid, realistically-shot hip hop musical which returns him to the Casablanca of his 2012 Cannes Un Certain Regard player “Horses of God” and 2016’s “Razzia,” a 2017 Toronto Platform premiere and Morocco’s Academy […]

Variety

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Khloe Kardashian Sees the Positive in Rob & Chyna's Drama

On "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Khloe and Kim chat about their brother's ongoing feud with his baby mama.
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Free Medicine Help Donated to Positive Youth Expressions Inc. by Charles Myrick of ACRX

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The American Consultants Rx discount prescription cards are to be given free to anyone in need of help curbing the high cost of prescription drugs.

Due to the rising costs, unstable economics, and the mounting cost of prescriptions, American Consultants Rx Inc. (ACRX) a.k.a (ACIRX) an Atlanta based company was born in 2004. The ACRX discount prescription card program was created and over 25 million discount prescription cards were donated to over 18k organizations across the country to be distributed to those in need of prescription assistance free of charge since 2004.

The ACRX cards will offer discounts of name brand drugs of up to 40% off and up to 60% off of generic drugs. They also possess no eligibility requirements, no forms to fill out, or expiration date as well .One card will take care of a whole family. Also note that the ACRX cards will come to your organization already pre-activated .The cards are good at over 50k stores from Walgreen, Wal mart, Eckerd”s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and many more. Any one can use these cards but ACRX is focusing on those who are uninsured, underinsured, or on Medicare. The ACRX cards are now in Spanish as well.

American Consultants Rx made arrangements online for the ACRX card to be available at http://www.acrxcards.com where it can also be downloaded. This arrangement has been made to allow organizations an avenue to continue assisting their clients in the community until they receive their orders of the ACRX cards. ACRX made it possible for cards to be requested from online for individuals and organizations free of charge. Request for the ACRX cards can also be made by mailing a request to : ACRX, P.O.Box 161336,Atlanta,GA 30321, faxing a written request to 404-305-9539,or calling the office at 404-767-1072. Please include name (if organization please include organization and contact name),mailing address,designate Spanish or English,amount of cards requested,and telephone number.

American Consultants Rx is working diligently to assist as many people and organizations as possible. It should be noted that while many other organizations and companies place a cost on their money saving cards, American Consultants Rx does not believe a cost should be applied, just to assist our fellow Americans. American Consultants Rx states that it will continue to strive to assist those in need.

Kylie Jenner Gets Positive News About Her Relationship From a Shaman: “He Has Good Intentions”

Kylie Jenner, Life of Kylie 107Kylie Jenner’s love life is looking up!
In this exclusive sneak peek from Sunday’s season finale of Life of Kylie, the Kylie Cosmetics CEO, along with Kris Jenner and Jordyn…

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Christie Brinkley Lights Up Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue Party in Red Jumpsuit, Thanks Her Daughters for Sharing a ‘Body Positive Message’

There’s a reason we’re all still so obsessed with a particular generation of  iconic ‘80s/’90s supermodels. While they were obviously the definition of high-fashion glamour during their runway heyday, as the years have gone on, they’ve each demonstrated that while they were undeniably gorgeous then, they truly only get better with age. In case Naomi Campbell’s recent reminder that she can still wear lingerie better than any twenty-something, to say nothing of Kate Moss’ evergreen career and popularity, wasn’t proof enough, Christie Brinkley made her return to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition this year, this time with her two daughters in tow to show that age is really only a state of mind. A fact she confirmed yet again when she attended the magazine’s launch event in a form-fitting red jumpsuit on Thursday night.

After seeing the pictures in this year’s SI Swim issue featuring Brinkley reprising her role as a bikini model for the publication 36 years after scoring its coveted cover for the first time 1979, we really shouldn’t have been all that surprised that the model and her enviable physique have barely changed at all. But somehow the model’s exemption from the effects of time never fails to come as a surprise, particularly when she’s flanked by her 18 and 31-year-old daughters and fellow Sports Illustrated stars, and it becomes crystal clear just how powerful Christie’s girl-next-door genes really are.

RELATED PHOTOS: Christie Brinkley’s Daughters on Body-Shaming and Insecurity Before SIShoot: ‘I Grew Up Not Loving How I Looked’

To celebrate her return to the magazine that helped cement her decade-spanning career, Brinkley wore an appropriately attention-grabbing number, a fitted, fire engine red jumpsuit with a crewneck, bishop sleeve, and bootcut leg. She accessorized the look with a pair of silver and PVC cap-toe pumps, a small red box clutch, and a perfectly coordinated shade of red lipstick, wearing her iconic blonde bombshell hair down in loose waves. Clearly, we should all be so lucky to be an Uptown Girl.

Binkley’s daughters, Sailor Brinkley Cook and Alexa Ray Joel, celebrated their bikini-clad SI mag debut in true skin-baring style. Sailor selected a black cutout neckline ankle-grazing dress with feather trim, plus a bold red lip which coordinated with her mom’s jumpsuit. Alexa went for a silky leopard mini slip dress teamed with strappy black shoes, a draped leather jacket and black choker necklace.

“I think it’s wonderful that they’ve been so honest and shared their stories, because I know on my little Instagram I have a lot of mom’s writing to me saying, ‘Thank you to you and your daughters for this positive message,’ and I’ve been reading it to my daughters and they’re feeling so much better about themselves.’

What do you think of  Brinkley and her brood’s red carpet outfits? Sound off below!


PEOPLE.com

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CFDA Stays Positive Despite Loss of Amazon Sponsorship

New York Fashion Week: Men’s may have wrapped up its most successful edition to date last week but it’s already facing a hurdle for next season: Amazon Fashion, which has been the principal sponsor since the shows started two years ago, has ended its association.
The decision comes even though the web giant is making an evermore aggressive push into fashion, and views it as one of its fastest-growing categories.
Despite Amazon’s move, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, organizers of the shows, is putting a positive spin on things, pointing to the ongoing commitment of at least two of the other sponsors — Cadillac and men’s grooming brand Axe.
“This season of NYFW: Men’s was a creative and commercial success,” the CFDA said in a statement to WWD. “We look forward to the next season taking place July 10 to 13. NYFW: Men’s continues to thrive because of the ongoing commitment of partners such as Cadillac and Axe.”
Samsung is also a sponsor and its participation will continue, said Mark Beckham, business director of Fashion Week for CFDA.
Beckman stressed that even though Amazon’s two-year contract with the men’s shows has ended, the company continues to work with the organization on other projects. He also

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Usain Bolt Stripped of Olympic Gold Medal After Teammate Tests Positive for Doping

The fastest man in the world was stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals after a teammate tested positive for a banned substance.

Usain Bolt‘s Jamaican teammate, Nesta Carter, is disqualified from the 4×100 relay that nabbed gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to his positive doping test, the IOC announced Wednesday.

Carter, 31, was one of 454 selected doping samples re-tested by the IOC last year, and his sample has been found to contain a banned stimulant called methylhexaneamine, reports the BBC.

Bolt, 30, had achieved the “triple treble” (winning the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay at the three Olympics he competed in), an accomplishment unmatched by any other Olympian in history, according to Sports Illustrated

Trinidad & Tobago will be awarded the 2008 relay gold, with Japan receiving an upgrade to silver and Brazil getting the bronze.


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11 Of The Best Body Positive Fashion Moments In 2016

The fashion industry is still working its way to real size inclusivity, but it undoubtedly played a major role in shifting toward more body positivity in the media ― and among those who consume it.

In 2016, there were champions of body positivity starring in major campaigns and magazine covers and wearing store-bought awards show dresses instead of conforming to strict sample sizes.  

Because we could all use a reminder of some of the good things that happened this year, check out 11 body positive moments in fashion below. 

1. Ashley Graham’s history-making Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

Graham’s February cover marked the first time a plus-size model headlined the hotly anticipated Swimsuit Issue, leading the way for her incredibly fruitful year ahead.

2. Bryce Dallas Howard calls out the industry for its lack of options.

Howard revealed in January that she often buys her own dresses at department stores instead of borrowing from sample-size-loving designers, so that she can choose from “lots of options for a size 6, as opposed to maybe one option.” She both won the hearts of women everywhere and pointed out how truly size-exclusive fashion can be. 

3. Christian Siriano’s Spring 2017 runway show.

The designer is a longtime advocate of inclusivity and champion of great style for women of all shapes and sizes. He further proved that there’s a place for varied bodies on the runway when he cast five plus-size models in his show at New York Fashion Week. 

4. The All Woman Project.

Co-founded by models Clementine Desseaux and Charli Howard, this empowering campaign was organized to shake up the industry standards of beauty and offer up new role models for underrepresented women.

5. Jasmine Tookes’ unretouched Fantasy Bra photos.

The news that Tookes is the third black woman ever chosen to wear the elaborate bra was cause for celebration, but this behind-the-scenes image released by the brand, proudly featuring the model’s stretch marks, was the icing on the body positive cake. 

6. Refinery29’s 67% Project.

Today's #InstagramStories wants you to #SeeThe67 Photographed by @alexandra_gavillet

A photo posted by Refinery29 (@refinery29) on

Refinery29 launched an initiative back in September to more accurately represent the “67 percent of women who identify as ‘plus-size’” in its online content. It partnered with Getty Images to roll out a series of inclusive stock images and committed to featuring more diversity on the site moving forward. 

7. Self Magazine’s final print issue.

Self cast self-love champion and curvy model Iskra Lawrence as its final cover star, leaving a lasting visual message and reminder that health is not one-size-fits-all. 

8. This awe-inspiring take on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

This video, in which women of all shapes and sizes stripped down to their underwear and recreated the VS show in front of friends and colleagues, was super empowering ― plus it just looked plain fun. 

9. These Women’s Running magazine covers. 

The running-focused magazine continued its streak of delighting us when it put a plus-size model on its March cover, and further impressed us by teaming up in November with plus-size model Candice Huffine on Project Start, a running initiative launched by the model and the mag to help beginners get started on their own running programs. 

10. Tim Gunn’s scathing op-ed about the fashion industry. 

Leave it to Tim Gunn to rally for body positivity while throwing the best shade at the same time. Calling out the industry for its lack of choices for women over a certain size, Gunn once again cemented his status as a champion of all women in the pages of The Washington Post. “I profoundly believe that women of every size can look good. But they must be given choices,” he said, calling out designers as “not interested” in catering to women over a certain size. “This is a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women,” he said.

11. Ashley Graham’s British Vogue cover.

Ashley Graham both kicks off and signs off this list, as there’s no denying her impact in fashion in 2016. She nabbed a ton of covers throughout the year, but became the first plus-size model to cover British Vogue in December, giving us hope for the year ahead and beyond.  

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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'Dishonored 2' review: The power of positive sneaking

'Dishonored 2' review: The power of positive sneaking‘Dishonored 2’ is a stealthy smash. “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” did the trick, but there’s an even deadlier sneak lurking about in the form of “Dishonored 2.” The sequel to the 2012 gem “Dishonored,” the new effort by Bethesda and developer Arkane Studios is a master class in world building and level design, and while it misses a bit with its narrative, you’ll be too busy slyly choking out guards to care. “Dishonored 2” encourages choice, going so far as to offer two totally unique playable characters in the form of original “Dishonored” star Corvo Attano and his equally deadly daughter, Emily Kaldwin.



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Here’s Some Surprisingly Positive News About Marriage In The U.S.

Here’s some heartening news about marriage: The U.S. divorce rate fell for the third consecutive year in 2015, dropping to the lowest it’s been in 40 years, according to a report based on Census data released Thursday.

The divorce rate ― represented as the number of divorces per 1,000 married women aged 15 and older ― was 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women in 2015, a slight dip from the divorce rate of 17.6 in 2014. The rate is down 25 percent from 1980, according to the report, which was released by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Marriage and Family Research.

“We may have reached the low point in the decline in marriage,” Susan L. Brown, a co-director at the center, told The Huffington Post. “Over the past few years, there has not been a further retreat from marriage among the US population.” 

What’s more, marriage rates remain stable, with 32.3 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women, up from 31.9 in 2014. 

Though divorce rates have fallen among young people (35 and under), they’ve increased for middle-aged and older people, Brown said. 

“Many of these Baby Boomers experienced the divorce revolution of the 1970s as young adults and then got remarried,” she told HuffPost. “The gray divorce rate for those in a remarriage is 2.5 times higher than for those in a first marriage.”

Meanwhile, younger generations are marrying later in life and being more selective in the process of finding a partner, she said. 

“Young adults who get married tend to do so at later ages and they enjoy greater economic resources and they’re more likely to be college educated than their counterparts a generation ago,” she said. “Both of these factors are protective against divorce.” 

Of course, the divorce rate varies by state: Washington, D.C. has the highest divorce rate, with nearly 30 marriages per 1,000 ending in divorce, followed by Wyoming (27.9), Nevada (25.7) and Arkansas (25.3)

Hawaii has the lowest divorce rate, with only 11 marriages per 1,000 ending in divorce, followed by Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Delaware, which were all under 13.

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Positive Impact Golf: Helping Golfers to Liberate Their Potential

Positive Impact Golf: Helping Golfers to Liberate Their Potential


This is the golf book anyone who plays the game must read. It will declutter your mind and free you to develop your own potential at whatever level you play, weekend amateur through to young aspiring tour player. Brian Sparks, a British PGA Pro since 1967, helps you to demystify all of the standard golfing jargon and show you how easily you can swing a golf club and hit a ball. This book is the natural antidote to the over-complex, mechanical way that most golf teachers now think you need to be able to improve. Scientific research now proves that this is not the way we learn. After showing you the power of traditional misconceptions about the golf swing Brian goes on to give you simple advice about how to cope with the bad shots this game will always throw your way. It is easy to understand and will prove to be the best purchase you ever made for your game. Although essential reading for all golfers it is particularly valid for women and for any man in the senior division. For you, it will take a lot of the unnecessary effort away from your game and leave you able to play 18 holes and go on to play another 9 with a smile on your face!

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Health Tip: Focus on the Positive

And don’t dwell on the negative

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Positive Touch / Sin Of Pride (2CD) With 20 Page Booklet

Positive Touch / Sin Of Pride (2CD) With 20 Page Booklet


Disc 1 – Positive Touch Fascination Julie Ocean Life’s Too Easy Crisis Of Mine You’re Welcome His Goodlooking Girlfriend The Positive Touch When Saturday Comes It’s Going To Happen Sigh And Explode I Don’t Know Hannah Doot Boy Wonder Forever Paradise Fairly In The Money Now (Bonus Track) Beautiful Friend (Bonus Track) Life’s Too Easy (Bonus Track) Julie Ocean (Bonus Track) Kiss In The Dark (Bonus Track) Like That (Bonus Track) Untouchable (John Peel Session, 8.11.82) (Bonus Track) The Love Parade (John Peel Session, 8.11.82) (Bonus Track) Luxury (John Peel Session, 8.11.82.) (Bonus Track) The Sin Of Pride (John Peel Session, 8.11.82.) (Bonus Track) The Love Parade (Video Bonus Track) Disc 2 – Sin Of Pride1. Got To Have You Back Valentine’s Treatment Luxury Love Before Romance Untouchable Bye Bye Baby Blue Conscious Chain Of Love Soul Seven The Love Parade Save Me The Sin Of Pride The Love Parade (12″ Version)(Bonus Track) Crisis Of Mine (Love Parade 12″) (Bonus Track) Family Entertainment (Love Parade 12″)(Bonus Track) You’re Welcome (Love Parade 12″) (Bonus Track) Like That (Love Parade 12″) (Bonus Track) Turning Blue (B Side Got To Have You Back ) Bye Bye Baby Blue (12″ Version) (Bonus Track) Window Shopping For New Clothes (B Side Chain Of Love) (Bonus Track) Bittersweet (Bonus Track) I Can Only Dream (Bonus Track) You Stand So Close (Bonus Track)

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Eating Positive

Eating Positive


Proper nutrition is essential to individuals with HIV/AIDS. Yet, it is often difficult to maintain an adequate diet due to a variety of conditions associated with the disease and/or medications used to alleviate symptoms. Eating Positive: A Nutrition Guide and Recipe Book for People with HIV/AIDS solves this problem with easy-to-follow, enticing recipes that fit a variety of common diet restrictions and specific health needs of individuals with HIV/AIDS. You can use this practical nutrition guide and recipe book to customize diet plans for your patients or for yourself (with a doctor’s approval) that provide proper nutrition and satisfy the tastebuds. Chapters in Eating Positive are organized by diet type. Each chapter describes the diet type, its benefits and specific restrictions, and actual recipes. Each recipe is accompanied by its respective nutritional values, such as calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and percent of daily recommended allowance. An alphabetical index consisting of specific conditions, complications, diet titles, and food stuffs provides ease of use and quick reference. Here is just a sample of some of the many diet types, their benefits, and tasty recipes that are included: Full Liquid Diet: good for people with mouth pain and difficulty chewing as it is easy on the digestive system; recipes include: Orange Cow, Easy Egg Drop Soup, Cherry Dessert, Cottage Cheese Jello Salad, Tropical Frozen Delight, more Fiber Restricted Diet: slows bowel movement and decreases inflammation of the tissues making it a great ally in fighting diarrhea and bowel discomfort; recipes include: Sauteed Cocktail Tomatoes, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts, Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, Ham Rolls with Eggplant Filling, more Bland Diet: for those who should avoid caffeine, alcohol, spices; recipes include: Raspberry Float, Pasta Salad, Easy Tortellini Soup, One-Eyed Egyptians, Noodle Pudding, Watercress Soup, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, German Potato Dumplings, more High Protein

Price: $
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Non-invasive Positive Pressure Ventilation

Non-invasive Positive Pressure Ventilation


‘Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation’ offers practical, evidence-based advice from experienced authors on the selection of appropriate patients, equipment and techniques used in the initiation of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV). It discusses how to anticipate and resolve possible problem scenarios, and how to implement and monitor NPPV programs both in hospitals and in the patient’s home. Defined as ventilatory assistance given without the need for an invasive airway, NPPV is often preferred over invasive mechanical ventilation because it is more convenient to use, more comfortable for the patient, and avoids complications of invasive mechanical ventilation including upper airway trauma, nosocomial pneumonias, sinusitis and sepsis. However, recipients of NPPV must be carefully selected and considerable skill and experience are necessary for successful implementation. This book aims to provide readers with knowledge that will contribute to that success.’Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation’ will inform pulmonary internists and pediatricians, pulmonary physiatrists and physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists who are involved in the management of patients with respiratory failure, critical care physicians and nurses, and trainees and students who have an interest in mechanical ventilation.

Price: $
Sold by Rakuten Play.com

Vestal Helm Surf and Train Watch – Red / Black / Positive

Vestal Helm Surf and Train Watch – Red / Black / Positive


The Vestal Helm Surf and Train watch is an advanced, digital sports & fitness watch designed for an active lifestyle both in and out of the water. It offers a host of premium features including Vestal’s own custom designed training module with two customizable Suffer and Recover interval timers along with a Chronograph. The Helm Surf & Train also features a heat mode which functions as a programmable countdown timer and is designed for competitions of all kind. Finally, the watch strap is secured to your wrist with Vestal’s patent pending OKTOLOCK system. The OKTOGRIP raised pattern on the underside of the band means significantly less rubber contact against your skin providing greater breathability, more flexibility, and a lighter feel on your wrist.
List Price: $ 99.99
Price: $ 99.99

Proof Positive That It Takes Great Vendor Relationships to Avoid Wedding Disasters

You can be the best wedding planner in the world, or the most effective and organized Do-It-Yourself bride and groom in the world, but if you don’t have good relationships with your vendors, you’re going to have problems pulling off a flawless wedding.

Let me be clear – no wedding is perfect. There are ALWAYS problems. But most of the time, the things that go wrong behind-the-scenes can be fixed before my clients even know about it. That’s the critical time when it’s up to the planner and the vendor to work together in a perfect duet in order to create things that don’t exist and make other things appear out of thin air. Without a TEAM of people working together to make sure an event comes together and runs smoothly, you’re looking at a potential nightmare.

However, if you have good vendor relationships, almost any problem can be solved. And as a planner, I can promise you that one of your vendors will save your butt in a big way – whether you’re a professional planner or it’s your own wedding. That’s the number one reason to spent time vetting and selecting the very best vendors.

But remember, you don’t build relationships with vendors overnight. And if you’ve been rude or nasty or dismissive of your vendor’s concerns prior to the wedding, it’s tough for them to be the best troubleshooters they can be when you call in a panic at the 11th hour. Treat them with professionalism and respect from the very beginning.

Last week, my company planned a fabulous wedding for a Broadway actress and her Dutch businessman fiancé on Vieques Island. They were fun to plan with, but the bride had a very specific vision in her head of what her wedding would look like – most especially the flowers. Her bouquet, in particular. As the planner, I had it all under control – at least the parts I could control. Being located on a small island located off the coast of Puerto Rico, sometimes there are a few things out of our control. Most commonly, the flowers.

I became a florist under duress. I had opened Weddings in Vieques on the tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico, and the one and only florist on the island was infuriating my brides. He couldn’t just look at a picture and copy what they wanted – he had to “interpret” it “creatively.” Let me assure you that interpretations of creativity can vary dramatically. The thing about living in such an isolated place is that we didn’t have any other vendor options. I followed the theory that if you want to have it done right, sometimes the only option is to do it yourself. That was seven years ago.

When I first started looking for a flower supplier in Puerto Rico, I got seriously frustrated. They don’t have elaborate websites – or any website at all – for the most case. My Spanish, while passable, is a challenge on the telephone where I sometimes can’t understand the rapid fire Puerto Rican dialect (even after living here for more than seven years).

What was worse was that when I did get some suppliers (I finally flew over to the big island and spent a day meeting with them in person to get all my questions answered), I quickly learned the hard way that my newness to the industry was getting me taken advantage of – they’d sell me anything expensive, even if it was something too delicate to actually work in this tropical environment.

Let me assure you that on an island off an island, you cannot use peonies, tulips, ranunculus, poppies, anemones, and a host of other really delicate flowers. Especially for outdoor weddings and events. It just doesn’t work. But nobody told me that – they just sold me flowers and then laughed at my horror stories of making them work the first few months. I learned to order safe backups in the same colors as the new flowers I was working with just in case. Flowers didn’t become profitable for my company for a long time.

And then I met Randall Franklin. He’s a sales rep at a company called Potomac Floral Wholesale in Silver Spring, Maryland – next to DC, my hometown. And I learned quickly that their company could send me just about anything that could be sent from the big island and get them here just as quickly. The difference was, Randall wouldn’t sell me things that wouldn’t survive the trip, or work in the Caribbean. He gave me excellent guidance.

He was a godsend and he talked me through hand-wiring orchids and sent me the supplies I needed. He held my hand through arrangements that looked so complicated to me that I wanted to scream, looking at the pictures and telling me exactly how it had been done and what I needed to use. I did my own homework too and taught myself everything I needed to learn along the way, but if not for the hand-holding of this flower guy back in the states, I would have had some legitimate disasters.

All along, I’ve continued to buy about half of my flowers from local San Juan suppliers. But the thing is that the flowers aren’t “local” even if they’re tropical – Puerto Rican suppliers are getting the vast majority of their flowers from the same place as any big supplier up in the states. Most roses come from Latin America and most of the world’s commercial orchid population comes from Thailand (a hot mess for weddings worldwide when political problems shut down their airport a few years ago). I buy from Puerto Rico when I can because of the shipping costs. But if I have something special or urgent, I call Potomac Floral Wholesale. Every time.

As my skills as a florist improved, we opened Flowers in Vieques to offer floral services to brides and grooms who weren’t my wedding planning clients. There are some beautiful hotels on this island and not everybody uses a wedding planner nowadays. DIY is big, even if destination-DIY is tricky. All of a sudden we were getting more unusual requests and needing more flowers more frequently.

The thing is, getting flowers only begins by ordering them. It’s actually having them arrive ALIVE and on time that’s nearly impossible down here. And we’ve had some close calls. Boxes of flowers stuck in customs for a couple of days and things like that. But Randall spent a LOT of time with me on the phone with UPS getting boxes grabbed and held in cold storage in San Juan while I put somebody on an airplane to the big island to get them. When you’re that far behind, you can’t wait for the one and only UPS guy to arrive on a ferry at almost 11 pm to deliver them to you the night before the wedding. Even if your company loses money, it’s better to personally retrieve them and have them in your hands as early as possible. What if the weather gets bad and the ferry doesn’t make its trip? I’d be screwed. I can’t take that risk – there’s only one strike in weddings.

At some point a few years ago, Potomac switched to FedEx. Nothing’s different about the delivery – the one and only FedEx guy comes and finds me wherever I am (at a wedding welcome party in a bar one night) at 10 or 11 pm when the last ferry finally arrives and he unloads the FedEx cargo. But he’s a nice guy and always texts me to let me know when he’ll be getting here and if he’s got my boxes. Sometimes, he doesn’t.

Enter the vendor-love-of-my-life, Andy Pagan – the general manager of Potomac Floral Wholesale. Randall was gone for the night when I realized we had a shipping problem and called for help. Our flowers were stuck in San Juan on a Friday night and wouldn’t be shipped til Monday. And we knew they’d be dead by then. Andy returned my urgent call and it turns out, he’s Puerto Rican. That’s key when you need to get through the automated phone system to contact the actual counter of the FedEx office by the airport in San Juan. He got them to put our flowers into cold storage and we had someone waiting at the back door of the FedEx building at 8 am the next morning to retrieve them. Disaster averted. 2014-12-14-DianeandRogierwelcomesign2.jpg

Last week, I had a similar problem. I couldn’t order my flowers down here for Diane Phelan and Rogier de Boer’s wedding because the garden roses she desperately wanted wouldn’t be on the big island early enough for a Thursday wedding. I’d planned ahead, carefully coordinating with Andy, and I thought for sure we’d have them Tuesday night, based on our last few shipments. But it was not to be. When I called my FedEx guy (how jealous are you that I KNOW who should have my flowers on the way to me) and he didn’t have them, I flat-out panicked. Diane was going down the aisle on Thursday at 3:30 pm. Best chance of delivery had become 11 pm on Tuesday night. And having been out of water so long, they’d need a good soak before we could start working with them to create décor and bouquets. If they weren’t dead.

I texted Andy in a panic and he contacted his rep immediately. At midnight, we were still on the phone sorting things out but Andy got FedEx to find the flowers (somehow mysteriously stuck in Memphis since 2:30 am the prior morning – see I told you they should have gotten here). Because of the GM’s persistence, FedEx found the box in Memphis and got it on an airplane to Puerto Rico. One of my employees flew to the big island, retrieved it as soon as it arrived on the 10 am flight (not without incident and holdups at Agricultura on the way in) and hand-carried those flowers back to Vieques on the next flight. 2014-12-14-DianeandRogierbridalbouquet.JPG

Not every vendor would have done that for just any customer. It takes relationship-building from the first moment you start planning weddings, even if it’s your own special day. Over the years, caterers have found unusual last-minute signature drink ingredients, even when they had to be brought in from St. Croix. And my cake lady has come through spectacularly even after a bride changed the cake flavor three times in the last week prior to her wedding. They didn’t have to do those things but they did – because I asked nicely and explained the predicament and didn’t yell or scream or make demands.
2014-12-14-DianeandRogierscake.JPG

A little bit of sugar goes a long way in wedding planning. The way you treat your vendors will be reflected in their performance at the wedding events. Being organized, keeping them in the loop, ALWAYS paying on time and thanking them for tremendous efforts is the way to make sure that when something goes wrong, you have a whole team behind you to help fix the problem. If your vendors won’t help you in a crisis, you’re working with the wrong vendors.

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Sandy Malone Weddings & Events!
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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How to Maintain the Momentum of a Positive Life Change – Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend – OWN

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You’ve done it. You’ve made a significant positive change in your life, and you’re feeling great. However, the question remains: How do you make it last? Three of Oprah’s “life trailblazers,” Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant and Rob Bell, reveal how to keep the fire burning within.

oin Oprah, Iyanla Vanzant and other “life trailblazers” on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend this fall. Register now to start the journey to find your calling and summon the courage to live it.

http://www.oprah.com/app/oprahs-tour.html

About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

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The Doula Advantage: Your Complete Guide to Having an Empowered and Positive Birth with the Help of a Professional Child

The Doula Advantage: Your Complete Guide to Having an Empowered and Positive Birth with the Help of a Professional Child


The Doula AdvantageYour Complete Guide to Having an Empowered and Positive Birth with the Help of a Professional Childbirth Assistantby Rachel Gurevich Take Control of Your Childbirth ExperienceNew moms are spreading the word to pregnant women just like you: Doulas make pregnancy and childbirth the celebratory experience it is meant to be! Doulas are professionally trained women who provide support before, during, and after delivery. Research has shown that doulas help women have positive birth experiences, decrease the need for pain medication, improve breastfeeding success, and reduce the need for cesarean sections and other invasive procedures. Author Rachel Gurevich interviewed more than 235 women and birth professionals to bring you this best-kept pregnancy secret. Inside, you''ll find real mothers'' stories and discover how doulas make a joyful difference in childbirth. You''ll learn:·The many ways doulas provide labor support, whether you plan a "natural" or medicated birth ·How to find, hire, and choose the right doula ·How specialized doulas can help you before or after the baby''s birth ·How doulas help the dad-to-be ·And more!Foreword by Mayer Eisenstein, M.D., medical director, Homefirst Health ServicesPraise for The Doula Advantage :"Doulas really do make a difference in having a safe and satisfying birth, as you will learn in this book." — William Sears, M.D., coauthor, The Baby Book"Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and highly moving. . . . A must read for any woman thinking of using the services of a doula." — Ann Douglas, author, The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and The Mother of All Baby Books
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Eating Positive: A Nutrition Guide and Recipe Book for People with HIV/AIDS

Eating Positive: A Nutrition Guide and Recipe Book for People with HIV/AIDS


Proper nutrition is essential to individuals with HIV/AIDS. Yet, it is often difficult to maintain an adequate diet due to a variety of conditions associated with the disease and/or medications used to alleviate symptoms. Eating Positive: A Nutrition Guide and Recipe Book for People with HIV/AIDS solves this problem with easy-to-follow, enticing recipes that fit a variety of common diet restrictions and specific health needs of individuals with HIV/AIDS. You can use this practical nutrition guide and recipe book to customize diet plans for your patients or for yourself (with a doctor’s approval) that provide proper nutrition and satisfy the tastebuds.Chapters in Eating Positive are organized by diet type. Each chapter describes the diet type, its benefits and specific restrictions, and actual recipes. Each recipe is accompanied by its respective nutritional values, such as calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and percent of daily recommended allowance. An alphabetical index consisting of specific conditions, complications, diet titles, and food stuffs provides ease of use and quick reference. Here is just a sample of some of the many diet types, their benefits, and tasty recipes that are included:Full Liquid Diet: good for people with mouth pain and difficulty chewing as it is easy on the digestive system; recipes include: Orange Cow, Easy Egg Drop Soup, Cherry Dessert, Cottage Cheese Jello Salad, Tropical Frozen Delight, more Fiber Restricted Diet: slows bowel movement and decreases inflammation of the tissues making it a great ally in fighting diarrhea and bowel discomfort; recipes include: Sauteed Cocktail Tomatoes, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts, Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, Ham Rolls with Eggplant Filling, more Bland Diet: for those who should avoid caffeine, alcohol, spices; recipes include: Raspberry Float, Pasta Salad, Easy Tortellini Soup, One-Eyed Egyptians, Noodle Pudding, Watercress Soup, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, German Potato Dumplings, more High Protein

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Leadership, Emotional Intelligence and Positive Reinforcement

This past month I’ve written a series of columns on leadership, discussing some issues in a very broad sense, and highlighting a number of individuals as well. Leadership, of course, can be defined in a myriad of ways, and for the individual observer it usually comes down to “I know it when I see it.” My favorite definition, which I learned from Professor Marty Linsky at Harvard’s Kennedy School, is “Leadership is disappointing your friends at a pace they can absorb.” We’ve certainly seen that with President Obama’s years in office, but it’s fair to say that it holds just as well for most spheres of human interaction, including parenting children.

Professor Daniel Goleman, author of the immensely popular and influential revision of IQ called Emotional Intelligence, published in 1995, has just written a new book called Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. Partly warning us about over-reliance on all the distracting technologies out there that have created an advanced, multitasking Homo sapiens, the book’s more lasting influence will be encouraging people to take the time, unplugged from the world, to nurture those quiet moments of focus that lead to creativity. He discusses both emotional and cognitive empathy, declaring that empathy can only be exercised through attention and self-awareness. He quotes Herbert Simon, the economist, who said that “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

Paying greater attention and developing self-awareness — what in Zen is called “mindfulness” — leads to greater happiness. The connection of awareness to creativity, including Goleman’s belief that positive reinforcement is far more persuasive and conducive to change than repeated diatribes that the sky is always falling, is my topic for this week.

I have a relatively unique take on this as a trans woman, one who was closeted for most of my life. Every moment of self-awareness — and there were many since early childhood — turned into fear-based paralysis. That paralysis caused a chronic depressive state, which drained me of the internal strength I needed to find my courage to break away. There were many reasons I finally found my courage, including time eroding my defenses, the trauma of 9/11, a decade of yoga practice with meditation, and the development of effective techniques of facial surgery that made a successful transition possible. Having embraced my self-awareness, I was able to leap across the chasm of darkness that separates the genders in Western society and emerge into a state of aletheia, or unconcealedness. I could simply be, as the woman I always was.

Part of my transition, which became public 11 years ago, simply entailed the freedom to be myself, the release from decades of wasted energy limited to trying to imagine an unattainable life as both a physical and social woman. After some effort I reached a comfort zone, which, in freeing me from needing to exert huge effort to control and protect, was a huge release and relief. Part of my transition was devoted to my family, particularly my adolescent children. Another part was my search for meaning as a member of society.

I choose to be an activist, channeling some of my early political interests into advocating for those who had less and to whom I owed so much. I found, as Goleman points out, that reaching outside myself, now possible because I wasn’t concealed, afforded me the opportunity to be creative in a way I had never before been. While I had developed some novel surgical techniques during my career, being detached from the emotions associated with those efforts left me vulnerable and empty. Now, living as myself, I found, in spite of the prejudice and bigotry around me, even in some of the places one would least expect it, that I was able to create positive change in creative ways. Most of what was required was simply showing up and being willing to take risks.

Goleman’s other major point is the greater effectiveness of positive reinforcement over fear tactics. We all know how effective the conservative political establishment is in generating resistance to progress based on inculcating fear among the ignorant, particularly with gay and trans issues. Unfortunately, we, the forces for progress, at times play the same game, sending out fundraising missives claiming the end is near. And while we don’t associate those calls with an actual Armageddon, I’ve watched too many progressive organizations resort to those tactics over the years. They don’t work most of the time, but even when they do, they have the effect of blunting emotional growth by creating a numbness that only perpetuates the stalemate and inhibits progress toward full equality.

Louis Pasteur famously said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” We need to find our courage as we continue to struggle with our personal challenges, and to offer hope that in the future, in spite of the deluge of smartphone banners and notifications, we can find the space and time to be mindful, pay attention, become more creative, prepare our minds for those moments of serendipity, and maybe even find some happiness.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Health and Happiness: Your Guide to Proper Physical Fitness, Healthy Nutrition and Leading a Positive and Balanced Lifestyle

Health and Happiness: Your Guide to Proper Physical Fitness, Healthy Nutrition and Leading a Positive and Balanced Lifestyle


Brittany D. Costa has dedicated her life to creating a safe, healthy and happy environment for her family, clients and readers. In an effort to be on the cutting edge of Health and Wellness trends and information, Brittany has developed her guide book, Health and Happiness to share reliable, everyday ways to lead a healthy and happy life. Delivered in a fun and engaging manner, this workbook is filled with practical tools that guide the female reader through fitness, nutrition and lifestyle strategies. This book not only reveals vital health and wellness information, but it is also interactive, incorporating areas for the reader to personalize her book and record her progress. Brittany has gathered her favorite fitness, nutrition and lifestyle solutions to help readers evaluate and improve upon their current health habits by collaborating information gathered from a variety of resources including research, personal experience, and working with a variety of clients. What also makes this book special are the integrated interviews from top experts in the industry including Dr. Frank Lipman, Tara Stiles and Kathryn Budig which are placed throughout the chapters so readers get different points of view from well-respected professionals. With so many conflicting sources of health advice, this book provides easy to understand health and wellness tips for women looking for strategies that better manage their fast-paced lives. Health and Happiness encourages readers to learn the skills they need to enhance the quality and longevity of their life, while holding them accountable by providing areas for the reader to interact and draft their personal goals, experiences and results. Health and Happiness is divided into three sections. The Fitness section works with readers on the importance of creating balance, strength and flexibility focusing on Yoga, Barre, Pilates, Cardio and Total Body Conditioning. This section includes workout tips and routines by Brittany and other various

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