Monthly Zodiac Gemstones and Astrological Jewelry

I have noticed that many of the shopping channels are showing not only standard  zodiac signs as jewelry.  Some are also doing the astrological star formations in jewelry.  It made me wonder if there is a resurgence of this style jewelry in fashion.  Then I wondered if there were gemstones that went with the zodiac just as there are monthly birthstones. 

So I did a little research and compiled a Zodiac gemstone chart (similar to the birthstone chart I did before) at the bottom of this post.  The chart took some time to compile as some sites I visited took the easy way and just assigned the closest monthly birthstone rather than check history.  So when I found a correspondence to each signs power colors and gemstones, I used that and the most referenced stones as my basis for gemstone in chart below. Also, there was discrepancy as to what the date range was for each zodiac sign.  So I went with the dates used on most sites that I found.

I think the new interest in zodiac this may be due to people (especially millennials)  looking for ways to find who they are and get direction for where they should go based on the cosmos.  The “who they are” may also be a reason for the popularity of  mail-in DNA testing, occasional accessing of on-line zodiac, or starting the less popular more-work of researching their genealogy(Hmm, could this be a future  post idea?  Let me know what you think.)

I know there are a few people who rely on their zodiac and will not start their day without reading their daily horoscope.  However, most people I know just read a short weekly text version in their newspaper “for grins.”  I also feel sure there are a select few people who go for longer text weekly or monthly horoscopes from ELLE fashion magazine.  Although it can be interesting, it should not be taken as true life advice.  Anyone who wants to know more about a zodiac sign and astral stones in chart form, visit Emily Gems.

Zodiac Gemstone Chart
Zodiac Sign
Alternative Stones
Jan 21 - Feb 18



Feb 19 - Mar 20 

Bloodstone ******
Lapis Lazuli***

Blue Lace Agate
Cats Eye 

Mar 21-
Apr 20 

Amethyst *****

Rose Quartz
Apr 21 –
May 21 
Emerald***** Sapphire****
Lapis Lazuli***

Rose Quartz
Crystal Quartz
Tigers Eye

May 22 – Jun 21
Light Blue

Blue Sapphire

Jun 22 – Jul 22

White Pearl

Jul 23 –
Aug 23 
Royal Blue

Crystal Quartz
Golden Topaz
Tigers Eye

Aug 24 –
Sept 22 



Sept 23 – Oct 23 


Oct 24 –
Nov 22 
Black Pearl

Nov 23 –
Dec 21 
Scarlet Red
Lt. Brown
Dark Blue
Blue Topaz*******
Turquoise *****
Lapis Lazuli****

Black Obsidian

Dec 22 –
Jan 20 


Snowflake Obsedian
Smokey Quartz
Crystal Quartz

*Indicates how many websites showed this as the top gemstone for sign.

Eggs-actly the Treats You Want for Easter

GH April 2017 issue
When I see a magazine with good ideas, I share it on this blog.  Good Housekeeping Magazine April 2017 issue titled Spring Fun is such an issue for Easter.    The magazine contains all kinds of Egg and Easter decorating ideas.  It includes the secret to perfect boiled eggs with stages from runny, soft-boiled, or hard-boiled.  If you want the eggs for hiding as Easter eggs, you may want to check out The Best Way to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs as it also links to recipes for leftover eggs.

Most of the egg decorating ideas images (and how to links) are in their on-line slideshow below as well as many more than in the magazine:  75+ So-Adorable Easter Egg Decorating Ideas

If you want to color your boiled eggs for Easter, that was not in the magazine so I did a search to help out my readers.  You can buy an egg coloring kit to do so.  Or if you do not want to purchase a kit, How to Color Eggs Using Food Coloring is a good video for your boiled eggs showing the traditional method. The tips in this VLOG are similar to what we did when I was a kid, except mom did different colors in mugs so each of us kids could dunk out favorite color.  We would put an egg in our mug and mom would set timer for 2 minutes.  After the timer went off, we could take pastel egg out and put in another before timer was reset or if we wanted our egg darker just put it back for another 2 minutes.

The GH issue included recipes for deviled eggs.  After all, we have to do something with those eggs the kids like to hunt but do not want to eat.  Most of the deviled egg images (and either tips or how to links) are in their on-line slideshow, as well as many that were not in the magazine:  30 Eggs-cellent Ways to Make Deviled Eggs

If you want more basic deviled egg recipes, here are two favorites of my boys.  They say I make the best deviled eggs, but I think it is the way I make them rather the ingredients.  My tips for great deviled eggs is to make sure you smash-up the egg yolks before adding ingredients or it will not come out smooth and well blended.  Then blend in the creamy ingredients with the smashed yolks before adding other ingredients to you end up with a smooth and creamy center rather than a clumpy stuffing.

When looking for my deviled egg recipes online, I also found this cute decorative idea for your next BBQ party:  Little Devil Deviled Eggs.  Or if you want to make colorful eggs, How to make Red White and Blue Deviled Eggs is a post that features dying the egg whites for patriotic parties.  The idea can be used for other colors (like green eggs for St. Patrick’s and Christmas with red too, or doing pastel colors for Easter).

Peeling the egg without tearing it apart is a challenge for pretty deviled eggs. The method I use is in video  although I want to try this other video method with a glass next time

Bunny Bottom Cookies
Besides the egg stuff, there was a cute idea for sugar cookies that uses a large round cookie and two small egg-shaped cookies.  Instead of buying lots of candies to do decorations, you may want to consider dying some of the frosting and piping it onto the paws.  You can find the same cookie idea at links below:

Dear Millennials, Fifteen quotes on what employers need you to know

We hear different things about millennials and how they think, work, and play.  People say they are selfish, self-absorbed, and over-share on social media.  On the other hand, others also say they are very tech savvy, creative, and open-minded.  So what do millennials need to know to survive and thrive in the workforce?  Tracey Jones has written a book to help them out titled A Message to Millennials.  Get a copy soon and give it as a gift to anyone graduating from high school or college to help them prepare for a job or career. 

Below are 15 quotes directly from the book and a video containing a slide show of testimonials from young people who connected with various points shared by Tracey Jones in her book.  For a millennial’s perspective on work,  check the LinkedIN blog by a 8 Millennials' Traits You Should Know about Before You Hire Them.
  1. Technology has given many of us a false sense of experience and knowledge.
  2. Once you learn a little about enthusiasm on the job, you’re on your way.
  3. Adversity isn’t a noble thing, but it is a character-building thing.
  4. Being happy in your current job is entirely up to you.
  5. Excitement about your work is rooted in a heart of gratitude.
  6. If the only person you’ll take orders from is yourself, that’s not true self discipline.
  7. As long as you are breathing, you need to be giving back.
  8. Get clear on your identity, focus on the goal, and adjust the required steps.
  9. Productive time is spent on positive thoughts, positive conversations and positive actions.
  10. Those who know how to be motivated don’t need a cheering section.
  11. The point of life isn’t happiness. It’s growth.
  12. Learn to capitalize on things that go wrong, making them stepping stones of progress.
  13. Success is not a reward to be enjoyed but a trust to be administered.
  14. We know so little about giving, but we know all about trading.
  15. A better life rises from an increasing capacity to give.

The Raggedy Look is IN Fashion?

Can you believe the distressed look (Optional link to informative and amusing article on shredded and/or faded) is back in fashion for clothing?  Some say fashion is an art-form and like art, it can say something about the current environment.  If that is so, are people making some sort of commentary on the poor, starved, or homeless in our society by wearing shredded clothing

Is this a new look?  NO!  Faded jeans and/or ripped trends were in and out between the 60’s and the 80’s. Back then it was supposed to be a non-verbal holdover from anti-establishment protests rather than the fashion statement it turned into later.  

I can remember my younger brother getting a new pair of jeans, washing them with bleach to make them look stonewashed, and then cutting a slit in one of the knees to look hip. Our mom nearly had a cow when she saw what he had done to the jeans she just bought.  My little brother was horrified when my mom took his jeans, put an iron-on patch over the cut knee, and made him wear the jeans to school that way.  When he complained about how she ruined his jeans, mom informed us all that none of her children were to go anywhere looking like a torn-up rag doll.  To which dad added if anyone was caught deliberately destroying good clothes, they would forfeit their allowance until he was repaid for the clothing item. (Not his exact words but definitely what he meant.) What other ways did dad kill our desire for current and future fashions?  Since a few of our clothes were hand-me-downs, dad also made us wear belts to make sure any over-sized pants did not slip down, fall off, or show our underwear - as is also fashionable now.  Cruel parents! Right!? (LOL- See a funny pants video here.)  As you may have guessed from mom’s comment, “pre-owned” clothes with holes either got patched before next wearer or were repurposed by being: cut-off/hemmed for summer shorts for my brothers, torn apart for dad to use as shop rags, or given to my grandmother to use as quilt pieces.

Frankly, I think some of the clothes I see on the streets would be seen as embarrassing to a down on luck person who would not choose to wear anything that accentuates their situation.  Even the most poverty-stricken would prefer not to go around with such big raggedy holes in their clothing because they would be more undressed than covered.  People with limited incomes know clothes are meant to protect you from sun or cold.  After all, how do holes help ward off nature’s harsh environment?

 So why do the rich, and those trying to imitate them or make an artsy statement, waste their money on these fashions?  If they want to really make an important statement, they should donate the money to a charity rather than pay a designer for torn shreds.  Instead of buying clothes that should be in the trash bin: feed the hungry, house the poor, or work to save the environment.

NOTE:  Please excuse the excessive linking to dictionaries for terms and phrases in this post.  I thought it might be necessary since some fashionable people may not be aware of the definitions.

What Kind of Idea is No-restriction Restrooms Anyway?

Wait! Before we go making new laws or restrooms, do we already have a usable option as Uni-sex restroom in most public buildings?  I believe they are often called Family restrooms and the sign on (or next to the door) shows a MaleFemale, and a baby, child, or wheelchair.  Has anyone ever seen a line outside of these non-discriminatory restrooms?  No! So then these restrooms could possibly do double- duty as Uni-Sex. Well what do you know – the All Gender restroom issue was solved decades ago!  Now people no longer need to think about spending money on new restrooms or debating gender discrimination.  However, if someone feels the 3-person sign does not work, the building owners might choose to splurge for a new sign, if they are asked nicely.

All Gender (formerly known as the gender neutral term of Uni-Sex) restrooms are a useless follow-through of a non-requested concession for a minority as a random attempt at political correctness that may actually hurt the majority.  Changing the signs (a cheap way to make changes) on restrooms to make them “all-inclusive” is not right because children and adults, who will be uncomfortable utilizing a restroom with a gender other than their own, may choose to “hold it in” rather than go to the restroom.  This will result in various health problems. Sounds like the vocal minority may again be bullying the “afraid to speak-up” majority with this issue.   Seems like the only people this idea helps are perverts, since they should be able to go to any restroom wherever and watch anyone whenever they want.  Maybe the few people touting this have not thought of that …

Which side are you on?  You may want to check these posts to see.

A better option is to keep Male and Female separate mass restrooms as is and then designate a few single-user Uni-Sex restrooms.  These would be for those undergoing medical procedures, or psychological issues, or those who are confused as to what they really are, and anyone uncomfortable going to a standard gender restroom.  If the building already has enough restrooms, simply change one or two to the new designation with a sign.  If the building does not have enough restrooms to designate a specialized restroom, then make a decision to either spend money to create a small one for All Gender purpose or forget about having a special restroom.  Some fear having a specifically designated restroom may lead to bullying of the minority who would use it.  Yet, that is also the argument others use for not forcing these same people to use the Male/Female gender restroom associated with their birth.  Do we really believe that will happen? If anyone does, then we need to spend more time on teaching people how to respect each other rather than spending money of restrooms. 

Good Manners and Sportsmanship - Important American Values

For the last few Sundays, my pastor has been talking about relationships and family.  During one sermon, he noted the five things below that we learn from our family and shared Deuteronomy 6:7 with us.
1.       What to do with feelings
2.       How to handle conflict
3.       How to handle loss (and losing)
4.       What values matter most
5.       How to develop good habits

Child's Placemat Showing Good Table Manners
I think the teaching values and good habits helps with the other three.  Children used to be taught how to share, to be considerate of others, and of course good manners.  Being a good sport and congratulating the win team even when you were the loser was also taught.  We valued each other and respected other’s property.  Can we still say that today?

I can recall a time when my dad went to help someone work on their house.  Most of his children were there help by fetching items and otherwise staying out of the way.  During the day, we were given lunch by the people whose house my dad was working on.  We kids were politely asking please, saying thank you or your welcome during the meal, as well as yes sire and no mam throughout the day.  On the way home, my dad said how proud he was of our good manners and that the home mentioned them too.  It made us feel good that our mom had taught us how to behave in the home of others.  She did this by practice at home and reinforcing the preferred behavior at family gatherings and events outside the home.  For my mom, good manners were a true sign of respect for others.

Manners are not a generational issue; manners are a social issue. Recently I saw an example of generations at my local community center.  In front of me in the sing-in line was a Dad and his teenaged child.  The Dad signed in and to the receptionist he said “Basketball, please.”  He was given a ball, he said “Thanks.” and went into the gym.  Then his child signed-in, said simply “Basketball,” took the ball without saying anything else and walked into the gym.  (Before anyone gets sexist and thinks “That is how teenage boys are…” the child was actually a girl.)   For societal view, you may want to read Smart Company magazine’s Why Manners and Courtesy are Vital for Successful Sales, Businesses and Societies.  For more of a business view, you may want to check out Is the Era of Incivility Going to Destroy American Business?

Now I will transition from manners and basketballs to the related topic of sportsmanship.  I also remember when contests and sporting events had winners and losers.  Now that only seems to exist in professional sports. Now, everyone gets a trophy for just showing up, so who was the winner?  What does that teach children about handling loss and being a good sport?  How do they learn to handle their emotions or manage themselves during conflict?  If everyone is always a winner, then what happens when they do not get a scholarship or a promotion later in life?

I know there are still parents out there teaching their kids to say thanks and please.  I have seen and heard them tell their children “What do you say?”  I have also heard parents say (and read on Facebook) how proud they were when someone complemented their children on their good behavior or excellent manners.   Would the world be a nicer place to live if we all could learn to practice good manners? I think YES!  Teach children manners at home so they have that as a habit and you may not have to remind them to do so outside the home.  Teach children how to handle losing and you may not experience whining when they do not get all that they desire later on.

Even if you may not share my thoughts on manners (and if you have good eyesight), you may want to check out this blog post, Five Reasons Manners are Important with quotes from Clarence Thomas and Emily Post.  You may also want to visit this home skills website and read How You Benefit from Proper Etiquette to see why manners are important for every generation.