Ethical Bohemian Fashion

Handmade, handwoven or handloom fabrics are good for Mother Earth, our climate and for the people – Hand weaving is an old traditional skill that has been passed down through generations. Using wooden looms and natural threads to create pieces of art inspired by culture and nature, the artistry and skill involved in handloom cotton fabrics is phenomenal. Handloom cotton throws printed in the kalamkari hand block fashion are beautiful artisan made artwork and are perfect for nature lovers.

Several million people make a living by hand weaving in India. Each region has its diverse ethnicity and the prints are inspired by regional colors and nature. Handlooms are powered by the person operating them, and do not use electricity so only 9-14 yards of fabric can be produced in a day. An old traditional skill that is disappearing fast we empower these artisans and tribal communities when buying garments made from handloom fabrics, helping families to stay out of poverty, and giving their children a good education.

Handloom Khadi cotton is gorgeously natural and beautiful in its rawness, yoga pants and tunics made from these breathable cotton fabrics carry the beautiful creative energy of the weaver. Fabrics woven by hand have a natural color variation giving a uniqueness to the cloth. Going back to the roots and the times of our grandparents where everything natural reigned supreme.

Using sustainable and eco friendly fabrics is my motto, recycled sari wrap skirts, sari silk caftans, boho hand embroidered maxi dresses, and artisan made clothing are beautiful in their feel and good for the earth. The excruciating impact that fast fashion has on environment and humans is not something I want to encourage so I try to stay with natural and handmade clothing.

Ethical fashion creates culture inspired, unique pieces of garments such as chikankari tunics and kashmiri embroidered lounge kaftans, empowering women and providing sustained employment to artisans who weave magic with their fingers. Handcrafted by women artisans using old world fabric techniques like block printing, tie dye and kashida embroidery our cotton caftans and loungers are unique one of a kind pieces of art.

Kashmiri embroidery also known as Kashida embroidery is a unique form of art, carrying the true ambiance of the beauty of the paradise state of Kashmir. The exquisite painstaking detailed needlework that involves a single long stitch to create the intricate beautiful design was worn by the royals on fine muslin and silks robe, making Kashmiri embroidery an aristocratic fashion statement. Pastel color palettes or bright jewel tones the artisans aimed at merging or contrasting the thread with the base color to create a phenomenal effect. Kashida embroidery motifs take inspiration from the beautiful valleys of Kashmir and feature maple leaves, lotus blooms, birds and vines.

Care of Wild Baby Mice

If for some reason wild baby mice have been placed in your care, I have included a few tips on caring and feeding to help you give them a chance at life. Please be aware that even in the wild, mice have a 50% chance of surviving beyond 5 months of age, given a normal upbringing. The mice that do make it can live up to around 5 years if healthy. A pair will have a better chance of survival than a lone mouse.

As soon as you have your baby mice, it is important to keep them safe and warm. You can use a small pet carrier, large plastic tub or any other suitable box in which you can put them. Layer the bottom with a towel and place the mice on top. Then, use another soft material to lightly cover the mice like fleece. Place the box in a warm place, ensuring that it isn’t hot; otherwise the mice will become dehydrated. A heater on the lowest setting may be all that is needed. Test the towel the mice are laying on so that it feels cosy and warm to your hand.

If the baby mice are less than 14 days old they will need dropper fed with a milk substitute until they are weaned. They usually open their eyes when they are just about weaned and able to eat by themselves. You will need to feed them every 2 hours so be prepared to get up during the night. Set your alarm. When I was looking after wild mice, I was getting up every 2 hours to check them. I have since read that during the night mother mouse would be away looking for food and may only return to the nest once to feed her babies. Use common sense, if you can manage a few night feeds, all the best for the babies chance of survival, especially in the early days.

Kitten milk is available to buy at pet shops. I used raw coconut blended up and strained. It should be 1 cup coconut to about 2 and ½ cups water. You could also use soaked almonds to make an almond milk using the same ratios. Make sure the nuts are natural and plain. Once you’ve made up the milk, store in a sterilised glass jar and keep in the fridge until required. When you go to feed the mice, take a quarter a cup of the milk and warm it up by pouring it in a small jug and standing in hot water. Use a dropper or baby syringe (you can get these at the chemist) to feed 1 or 2 drops of the milk at a time into the baby mouse mouth. When the mice are really young, they might not open their mouth. Be careful not to get the milk up their noses, they will splutter/cough if you do. It can be dangerous for their health if you do. The way I fed the mice was to put a facecloth down on a table and to put one mouse at a time onto it. Then you can gently hold the baby’s head whilst you administer the milk with the dropper. You’ll get the hang of it with a bit of practise. The baby might not seem to be taking much milk, don’t worry. Very young babies may only need to get a drop or 2 on their mouth/tongues until they can take more. The main purpose here is to keep them hydrated with a little drop at a time every couple of hours.

Once the baby is fed, you need to stimulate a bowel movement. To do this, put some warm water in a small bowl and dip a cotton bud into it. Then, put the cotton bud between the baby’s back legs and gently turn the bud around. You should see a little brown staining, that is their poo. Dip the other end of the bud into the water and gently stroke the baby’s body, this emulates the mother licking them. After all that, tuck baby up in it’s soft bedding and place in a warm spot. This is the basic routine that needs to be repeated every couple of hours during the day and at least 2-3 times during the night, especially around 1am and 5am.

As you can see, it’s quite a commitment, looking after baby wild mice. But, there is also a great reward in the caring of them and the bonding you will feel as a carer.

When the babies start to open their eyes or at least take a peak, they may be taking a lot more milk and starting to walk around a little. This is when you need to be extra careful; one fall is enough to be fatal. You can make a little safe roaming area in the bottom part of a pet cage or shoebox/basin. Line it with newspaper and leaves to simulate a natural environment. The youngsters will enjoy stretching their legs and taking their first steps. This is important, as it will build up their muscles and strength.

Once the babies start to bite your fingers quite firmly when you feed them, they may be ready for a little solid food. They will also be starting to open their eyes (12-14 days old) Start very slowly with this. Try some baby fruit puree to start or natural rice pudding. The food should not be chilled. Let them lick it off your finger. Avoid putting the purees onto a dish for the mice to feed from, as they might get messy and end up with matted fur, which needs to be avoided. Some other foods to graduate to are porridge, banana, tomato, dried oat flakes, strawberry. Just go real easy with the food and keep it simple and easily digested to start with. Congratulations! You’ve actually made it to the weaning stage, which is quite something with wild baby mice.

Continue to provide a safe space for the mice to sleep and once weaned, they will be able to come out at night to feed. Give them a little dish near their bed so they can feed during the night. At least you can get some sleep now! Continue to offer the milk during the day and provide some water for them. Usually, wild mice will still have some mothers milk up to about 4 weeks of age.

Now you have to decide whether to keep them or release into the wild. I don’t know how many mice have been successfully hand-reared and released into the wild. I would think it unlikely that they can survive. However, you’ve done your bit and if they seem strong and healthy and quite active, it might be possible to release them. Or, you can keep them as pets.

Finally, if you did your best and the mice died, don’t feel bad. Survival chances in the best of conditions i.e. with their natural mother are still low. Just enjoy the experience you’ve had with them and the opportunity to get a glimpse into their little lives. They are little bundles of love and it is wonderful to have at least given them some love when otherwise they might have perished.

INSEAD MBA Essay Tips

Two campuses, multiple degree options and a diverse and international class set INSEAD apart. When you approach this set of essays, make sure you are ready to explain your career plans in detail, and highlight any International experiences in your background.

INSEAD focuses separately on the job and personal portion of your MBA application essays, seeking to understand candidate’s current career position in detail before delving into the personal aspect. Though career is covered in several essays rather than one, you should make sure that all of the essays work coherently together. As INSEAD states on the website: “We evaluate each applicant against four central criteria: leadership potential and work experience; academic capacity; international motivation; and ability to contribute to the INSEAD experience.”

Job Description Essays

Essay 1. Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved.

This question should focus entirely on your current (or most recent) work situation. Though you will want to provide relevant context for your current role, make sure you are devoting most of the essay to describing the details of your day-to-day responsibilities and oversight. If you are lighter on supervising others or managing a budget, you have the opportunity to highlight some key responsibilities and results.

When you are composing this essay make sure you focus on what you uniquely have contributed to the role, rather than reciting the job description. What have you done that is above and beyond?

Essay 2. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position?

This is essentially a walk-through of your resume using the essay format to allow you to provide a unifying thread through the narrative. INSEAD is seeking to understand your career trajectory and how you have grown and progressed through your career. Think about the choices you have made in your career, and how your past experiences have combined to provide you with your current skill set. If you have a fairly straightforward career path you can take the opportunity to comment on some of the learnings from each position. The second part of the question also needs to be answered. Think about the next step at your job, and where you might land if you did not leave to pursue an MBA. While this is a straightforward question, you may need to demonstrate that you can’t get where you want to go from here “” and that you will need an MBA to achieve your goals.

Essay 3. If you are currently not working, what are you doing and what do you plan to do until you start the MBA programme if applicable? (250 words maximum)

If you are not employed at the moment, you will want to answer this question to show how you are utilizing your time without full time employment. Ideally you are currently involved in an activity that is going to further your career or personal goals at this time. The best answer is one that shows you are self-motivated and do not need paid work to continue developing yourself.

Perhaps you are volunteering in a non-profit that is related to your career goals. Maybe you are working with a friend on a start-up. Or you are consulting and building contacts in your industry. If you are out of work only briefly, it’s also perfectly reasonable to be pursuing travel or other activities that develop your international awareness and perspective. However, make sure that your activities can tie back to your long-term goals or other key aspects of your application strategy.

Essays

Essay 1. Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (600 words max.)

Strengths and weaknesses are a common topic for MBA applications. This is a great opportunity to highlight some of your skills and attributes that demonstrate leadership, teamwork or other qualities that will drive your future career success.

Demonstrating self-awareness and the ability to assess your own performance will be impressive. While examples aren’t required, consider that adcomm is reading a vast number of essays and that concrete examples are both easy to understand, and may help you stand out from the crowd.

When describing weaknesses you will want to focus on those weaknesses that you have taken concrete steps to address, or that have been a route to learning more about yourself. Often strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, in which case you can even tie your key weaknesses to your key strengths. Because it is often difficult to write about one’s weaknesses this is an especially important essay to share with others to seek feedback on tone and impact.

Essay 2. Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words max.)

This essay is an opportunity to showcase one of your most important achievements. Impressive achievements that stand on their own are great, but you will want to pay equal attention to explaining why these accomplishments are valuable to you.

If you concisely explain the accomplishment and how you were able to bring it to fruition, you will have room to provide the context for your personal pride in the accomplishment. If you don’t have an achievement that you think is incredibly impressive on your own focus mainly on what is important to you and an example that shows the activities you value.

The flip side of achievement is failure, and INSEAD wants to understand how you view both. When approaching any failure essay it’s important to use a real failure that has emotional resonance for you. An accomplishment framed as a failure will be easy to see through and will not demonstrate anything about your maturity or ability to grow.

Your failure should be real, and also something that led you to grow or learn. If you can describe how you have changed your approach as a result of the failure that is an excellent outcome.

The third part of the essay deals with how these experiences impacted the others around you and what you learned. Whether you were part of a team or the main impact was on a loved one, this part of the essay encourages you to step outside your own narrative of success and failure and think about how you have impacted other people through your actions.

Most obviously a success led to happiness from a team or a manager, while a failure was disappointing to those around you. However, your particular achievement or failure could have led to a learning experience for your team, an opportunity for someone else, or a chance for you to be closer to another person through a team challenge. Think creatively about this aspect.

Note that your application to INSEAD ideally covers both the personal and professional. This essay could be an opportunity in this essay set to bring in a new angle on your profile through describing one of your most substantial accomplishments outside of work.

Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)

This essay should demonstrate your awareness of the world outside your own ethnic or cultural identity. INSEAD is a highly international program and seeks candidates that both demonstrate and value diversity.

This could be an opportunity to highlight any international or cross culture exposure you have had such as traveling outside your home country, or when experiencing diversity within your home country.

When you describe the experience and judge it to be either positive or negative it will be important to provide some individual context. Every applicant from INSEAD is coming from a unique background and from many different countries. Your perception of positive or negative cultural diversity will be a view into how you interact with the world.

For example, you could view the lack of diversity in a workplace or school environment as a significant negative, or perhaps you had an experience of being the only “diverse” person in a work or personal situation.

On the positive side perhaps you learned more about others through a new cultural experience or through team building with a group of people different from yourself. Where you are coming from will be the deciding factor in terms of what experiences are ultimately positive or negative.

At all times consider the environment at INSEAD and what your essay is saying about your ability to fit in among a highly diverse group of people.

Essay 4. Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words max.)

Nothing is more personal than what you choose to do outside of school or work. What are the most meaningful pursuits you have spent your time on? You should both describe the main interests you have outside of your professional pursuits and explain why they are meaningful to you and why you spend time on them.

Ideally you can also explain how you will continue your involvement while at INSEAD and cite some specific clubs or groups where you see your interests contributing to the community.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the admissions committee? (300 words max.)

This essay is 350 words you can use for anything you would like to showcase and that you were unable to work into the rest of your application. Because INSEAD’s questions are quite thorough you may have covered all aspects of your candidacy and personal qualities in the other five essay questions, in which case you can feel comfortable skipping this question (it IS optional).

If you did not have a place for an interesting hobby, new aspect of your background to describe, or key accomplishment, it may be appropriate to use this space to tell that story.

It is far better to fully explain any issues in your application than to leave the admissions committee to guess what happened. If you have any challenging aspects to your candidacy like a low GPA or a failing grade in college, this is the correct place to address those concerns. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue.

For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since rather than focusing on the negative. Avoid blaming anyone else for your issue, and relentlessly show why this one incident is in your past and will stay there.

Dumbing Down Our Children – This Is Education "Equity?"

One of their favorite arguments: “Why, we can’t trust the free market to educate our children — the very idea! The free market excels at many things, they say, but it does not guarantee education “equity” for our kids.

What is this “equity” public-school apologists talk about? It means a guarantee that all children get a “quality” education and “equal opportunity” to learn. “In the cruel free-market,” the public-school bureaucrat says, “the rich get the best schools, the middle class the mediocre, and poor kids get left in the dust.” That, they say, is not fair, not “equity.”

But why not apply their “equity” theory to food, clothing, and housing? Shouldn’t all homes, food stores, and clothing factories also be owned and operated by government to ensure “equity?” After all, the rich eat better, have warmer clothes, and live in finer homes than the poor or middle-class. That’s not fair, right?

No, it is fair.

In a free-market, those people who make more money than others usually earn it. They risk more, work harder, work smarter, persevere more, make better life decisions, or choose a profession that has greater opportunity to gain wealth. Why shouldn’t they enjoy the just fruits of their labor, of their character, of their life-decisions?

Also, what financially successful people earn is not taken from those who earn less. Is it the successful person’s fault the less successful do not work as hard, persevere as long, or make better decisions? If you seek blame for differences in people’s income, don’t place it on those who succeed. Blame it on life, on human nature.

Nature makes all men and women different — different talents, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. It has always been this way since human beings came out of the trees and started walking upright. To stamp your foot at disparities of income is to stamp your foot at human nature, which is to stamp your foot at reality.

If “equity” for all people is our goal, then for every “inequality” between poor, middle-class, and rich people, whether in food, shelter, health care, or education, government must loot financially more successful people with taxes to remedy what they did not cause, and which is not their fault. This notion of “equity,” extended to all aspects of our life, will turn America into a socialist or Communist economic police state. In such a police state, the successful are punished and “leveled” by progressive income taxes, so that all of us end up miserably equal and equally miserable.

But this is an old story, the story called envy. The unhappy who hate the happy, the unsuccessful who hate the successful, all seeking to salvage their self-esteem by bringing down the ones they envy. The communist Soviets tried it for eighty years. The result — a shambles of poverty, slavery, and failure.

“But,” the equity lovers say, “why punish the children? Is it their fault their parents are poor?” No, it is not, but neither is it the fault of those who are not poor.

Even presuming we wanted this “equity” for our kids, have our government schools actually given children equal opportunity and “quality” education during their 150 years of control? Jeanne Chall, in her book, “The Academic Achievement Challenge,” sites grim statistics that 70 percent of inner-city 4th-graders read below grade level, that an exploding prison population is made up mostly of men whose reading and math skills are at or below the eighth-grade level. These are just the tip of the iceberg of statistics that prove the utter failure of government schools.

Public-school employees can have the best intentions in the world. So what? What matters is results. For all practical purposes, public schools therefore create only inequity for our children by giving them a third-rate education, especially inner-city kids. Our government-controlled public schools condemn millions of children to a lifetime of failure, while school officials mouth pious goals about creating education “opportunity” for all kids. Could our children be any worse off if public schools were scrapped, and low-cost, competent, free-market schools or tutors taught our kids?

In order to guarantee “equal education” for all children, you have to create a massive, public-school system to enforce this guarantee. Once a government monopoly takes control of your children’s education, quality education for your kids goes out the door. Demand education “equity” and we condemn millions of children to a miserable future.

In contrast, if we allow children’s natural love of learning to flourish and an education free-market to blossom, even poor kids, as generations of American immigrants have proven, become middle-class or even rich. Scrap the public schools and let school choice and open competition prevail, and most poor kids will finally get a quality education and rise to their highest potential.

SAT Tips – 5 More Awesome SAT Tips

The SAT is a challenging experience. Read this article to find 5 great tips to help you prepare for the SAT!

1. Don’t Cram

Alright, so it’s Friday night and you’re taking the SAT tomorrow: it’s time to get an energy drink and crack open the prep book you bought four months ago, right? Wrong. Studies have shown that cramming is not an effective way of preparing. Not only will you end up groggy and unhappy while you’re taking the SAT, odds are you won’t be able to remember what you studied last night. Lots of practice is also the best way to beat test anxiety. After all, if you’ve taken ten or fifteen practice tests, you’ll know what to expect on the real thing. Begin preparing well in advance and practice a lot!

2. Practice Like It’s the Real Thing

While reviewing the material that will be on the SAT is definitely helpful, you want to remember to take real, timed SATs for practice as well. Doing so will help you get a sense for how the SAT is laid out and how much time you need per section. You will also become more accustomed to performing well under pressure. The College Board offers a book, The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition, which contains ten official SAT exams for you to practice on. To get the most out of your practice, you should have access to detailed solutions, like the ones found in Test Masters Complete Solutions to the SAT Study Guide. These solutions are not available in the College Board’s book and help you pinpoint your weaknesses to prepare better for the SAT.

3. Are We There Yet?

The week leading up to the SAT is stressful, but you should take time to map out a route to your testing center ahead of time. This helps ensure you get to your test on time and with a minimum of stress. Remember that construction and other changes don’t always show up on most online maps.

4. License and Registration, Please

Remember that you must take valid identification with you the morning of the SAT. According to the College Board, your ID must be current, have a photo of you, have your name on it in English, and match the name on your Admission Ticket. This includes driver’s licenses, state-issued IDs, school IDs, valid passports, or a student ID form prepared by your school. They will not accept social security cards, credit cards, birth certificates, expired passports, or a yearbook. You should organize all the stuff you’re taking to the test the night before and enjoy a stress-free morning before the test.

5. Know the Section Instructions

When do you think the right time to read the SAT instructions are? Is it in a chilly classroom at an uncomfortable desk with the clock ticking? Nope! You should have the instructions understood before you even set foot in a testing center. Review them when you take practice tests and soon they’ll be second nature. The reward for your efforts? More time to spend actually answering questions.