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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Thursday, November 23 2017 @ 05:18 PM EST
The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Thursday, November 23 2017 @ 05:18 PM EST
The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine

Sleeper Beauty: 2013 M-B SL550 is More Eco-oriented But Still With a Lovely, Brutish Side

The 2013 SL550 marks the sixth generation of this two-seat Mercedes-Benz, which debuted as the 300SL in 1954 in the gullwing coupe. Later, the roadster became available.

Today, the SL is coupe and roadster in one, though it stretches the definition of roadster. This modern SL is full-fledged luxury and far from a jaunty ragtop. As it has been, the SL is a grand tourer — comfortable but with menacing potential.

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Lost Art Can Be Found Again

Q: Our shore house was creamed by Hurricane Sandy. Heartbreaking! We are trying to recoup but have to do it on a shoestring this time. Thrift shop furniture is OK, but we can't afford to replace the good art we lost anytime soon. Any suggestions for art that's cheap and quick?

A: Condolences. A lost art collection is a loss indeed. No doubt you spent long, happy hours searching out pieces that spoke to you personally. And no doubt, you will resume the hunt as soon as you've healed the larger gaps Sandy left in your life.

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Holiday Story Teaches True Meaning of Christmas

Author, community leader Muriel Ryan humanizes beloved holiday story in new book

Every year on December 24, children and parents alike gather to celebrate and reenact the beloved story of Jesus’ divine birth.
As Muriel Ryan sat in a pew one year, watching dozens of angels and shepherds file clumsily onto the stage, she couldn’t help but think there had to be a more relatable way to tell the Christmas story so it would resonate with the everyday person.
From this idea blossomed the new, family-friendly holiday book, The Innkeeper’s Wife.

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Rapid Response Team Reflection

Theingi Soe, Rapid Response Team member
I am Theingi, a Humphrey Program Fellow studying at Tulane University. I joined the Rapid Response Team as a volunteer on October 6, 2012. Inspired by my sponsor, the Fulbright Scholarship of Department of State, I have chosen to volunteer at the Bucket Brigade because I want to help US citizens. I received mail from the Bucket Brigade on December 5th for deployment to the Norco area to conduct community outreach on Friday, December 7th. Despite having an exam on the coming Monday, I decided to take part in the community service.

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The Greenest Tree

Before you head out into the woods in search of the perfect Christmas tree with your axe, consider a greener alternative.

The greenest choice of tree is a potted Douglas fir from a local nursery that you can plant outdoors once the warm weather arrives. This little fir tree will clean your indoor air during the holidays and clean carbon from the atmosphere year-round after it is transplanted. If you bought a live tree then planted it in spring every year, you could offset your family's carbon footprint in twenty years while creating a green holiday tradition.

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Risk Getting Burned By a Red-Hot Kitchen?

Q: Our beautiful "new" home is actually 78 years old. We have lived here for four years, long enough to know what changes we'd like to make. Mainly, I want to open the kitchen to the family room next door and add new cabinets — and I want them to be stained red! My husband is not on board with red. He says it will lower the resale value of the house. Is that true?

A: Let me answer your question with a question: how soon are you planning to sell? If you're going to flip the house in the next few years, hubby may have a point. Sad to say, but not everyone is as adventuresome as you.

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Cultivating a Taste for Moroccan Spice

Q: We spent a few days in Morocco on our vacation and came home enchanted with the colors and patterns, especially the ceramic tiles and hand-woven rugs. My husband thinks they are too "exotic" for our conservative community, but I'd still like to know more about Moroccan style and where to find any in the U.S.

A: Do I have a resource for you! You're not the first Westerners to develop a "craving for Morocco's spicy design mix," as author Maryam Montague puts it. Interior designers have long beaten a path to Morocco, looking for inspiration and new ideas.

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The Inspiration of Vincent van Gogh

There are various collectors worldwide, to whom, the life and times of Vincent van Gogh has been an inspiration; not only from an investment aspect, but from his paintings and the intensity of the artist that they portray. This inspiration has been created in generations of artists, film-makers and musicians, who have helped to immortalize the charismatic “Vincent”, particularly in Van Gogh reproductions and paintings.

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Rethink Space for the Way We Live Today

Undividing to conquer space problems in an older home,

Q: We love our old house (l892) too much to move, even though the way we live is very different from life when the house was built. Over the years, we've made a lot of adjustments, such as adding a family room and a bigger garage. Now we're facing the kitchen, where the breakfast room is separate and a butler's pantry divides it from the kitchen. If we take down the walls and make one large space, what will that do to the overall resale value of the house -- if we ever do decide to move?

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Nailing It: Nail Fashion Trends

Nail art is becoming increasingly popular

When Britney Spears, Katy Perry or Miranda Lambert want to make sure their nails stand out as much as their dresses on the red carpet, they let celebrity manicurist Elsbeth Schuetz take their hands and paint her magic on their fingertips.

"Nail art is very hot right now," says Schuetz, who has received numerous beauty industry awards and works with a Los Angeles-based agency using Nailtini and Nails Selection products. "Not only can an inexpensive polish creation brighten our day without breaking the bank, it has also become de rigueur for starlets and musicians to rock attention-getting nails on red carpets and in magazines."

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Dodge Blackout: Charger SXT Plus Has Customized Appearance, Factory Warranty

The four-way-black Charger SXT Plus

The Dodge Charger is one of the best family sedans of 2012, merging style and function. And it makes the most commanding design statement of all mainstream cars. You know it instantly on the road by its don't-mess-with-me face, the sculpted sides and -- at night -- that circuit of racetrack LED taillights. And for 2012, Charger raises the status bar with an optional eight-speed automatic transmission on V-6 models.

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Men's Fashion Trends for Spring

Father may not always know best when it comes to his fashion choices. But this Father's Day you've got a chance to help your dad step up his style game.

"When it comes to style, men have it so easy," says Sherrie Mathieson, fashion expert and author of the Baby Boomer's guide "Forever Cool: How to Achieve Ageless, Youthful and Modern Personal Style." "For one thing, men's fashion trends don't change as often -- or as drastically -- as they do for women," admits Mathieson. However, she does find that many men often "stumble into some of the same fashion pitfalls."

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Seven Pieces to Build Any Home Around

Q: The staircase in our "new" old (l926) Georgian has a small landing under a big window. There's not enough space for a piece of furniture, but it could use something.

From the entrance hall below, it just looks plain. Mirror? Painting? What?

A: Any -- or even all -- of the above should relieve the plainness. But there are other options, even for a small landing.

In the sweeping, classically beautiful stairwell we show here, a slender demi-lune ("half-moon") table just fits on the landing, where it becomes the focal point of a three-part arrangement: table, vintage gilded mirror and a collection of handsome blue-and-white ware. 

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Buick Regal GS With 6-Speed Manual Takes the High Way With Finesse, Force

How many couples do we all know who gave up the fun car when the first kid came along?  Been there, leased the subcompact sedan, wanted a Miata.
For those who won't give up the clutch and shifter, there is a 270-hp, four-cylinder Buick Regal GS that makes a sensible and serious alternative to life in the dull lane.

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Swimwear Tips and Trends

Time to dive in and take the plunge ... into the deep waters of swimwear fashion. For some, it's a murky pool, but there are ways to tread through the shopping experience that most women dread no matter what their size. Here are some tips and trends to get you ready for the summer season ahead:

--First of all, you need to face the facts -- the body-shape facts. You don't have to wait until you get in front of a dressing-room mirror to figure this one out. If there is any sagging or drooping in your midsection, a string bikini is not for you. Opt for a one-piece instead.

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Warm up an Old Bath With Luxe Materials

Down with a tepid bath! Up with a sleek makeover that features elegant materials such as travertine, glass and nickel. Photo by Eric Piasecki

Q: We'd like to do over our master bath but in the same footprint. We really can't enlarge the physical space. Maybe you have some ideas on how to update without upsizing?

A: New materials can change the attitude of the room so dramatically you'll forget all about actually enlarging the floor space.
For example, if your old bath is all about ceramic tile and you're into a country/Victorian mood, consider switching to tongue-and-groove wainscoting with a vintage-patterned wallpaper.
Rather go upscale and more contemporary? Look what uber-designer Steve Gambrel does with travertine marble in the elegantly simple bath we show here.

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Audi Accelerator: TT RS Brings Back Performance Badge With Turboed 5-Cylinder

The 360-hp, 2012 Audi TT RS ($57,725) is capable of 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds. It just seems quicker.

It took me about 90 miles to stop driving the Audi TT RS like a power-crazed teenager. From the first time I started the engine and heard the raucous exhaust, I couldn't resist blipping the throttle. I was on the loose with 360 turbocharged horses and a healthy 343-foot-pounds of torque that mainlines from 1,650 rpm to 5,400 rpm. That's basically from second gear through sixth.

As the red mist lifted, the Audi-ness soaked in. There is almost a delicate refinement to the engineering of accelerator action, steering and gear engagement. Then I apologized to the car for being so greedy in my first days of driving, and it responded by showing me new limits that were in supercar territory.

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2012 Toyota Yaris: More Attitude, More Fun to the Drive and 38 Mpg on the Highway

2012 Toyota Yaris

I drove it like my dad paid for the insurance and tires, but the Toyota Yaris SE wouldn't whimper or whine. I didn't set out to harm the little car, but it had a smirky attitude and wanted to run. So I obliged.

The Yaris SE with manual transmission is a fun car. It's not fun like a Mini Cooper S or a Miata, but for a subcompact hatchback that seats five -- four of them in relative comfort -- it seemed a good deal at $17,340 as-tested, which included floor mats.

The 2012 Toyota Yaris is a complete makeover that is slightly larger with more angular and attitudinal styling. It is sold only in three- and five-door hatchback body styles; the sedan will continue only in fleet sales.

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Cracking the Office Dress Code

Office wear can be as chic as slim pants and a floral cardigan accessorized with a structured handbag and spectator pumps. From the Mad Men Collection at Banana Republic.

Grab your handbag; grab your iPad; grab your flip-flops? Whoa, not so fast. Dressing for the office may be a little more relaxed now than it was in the days of padded shoulders and stiff suits, but it is still important to look polished and put together when it comes to work wear, says Jenny Levin, author of Harper Bazaar's "Great Style: Best Ways to Update Your Look." "Whether you spend your day in front of a computer, in meetings or at luncheons, dressing professionally and appropriately counts," says Levin. "Thankfully, fashion has become more interesting, and there are loads of exciting options out there that will pass muster even in a conservative office environment. So while many of us are restricted by our office dress code, that doesn't have to mean boring and basic."

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Opening Your Home to Old Family Members

Q: We found some great old family portraits when we were cleaning out my great aunt's attic and garage. I don't know who they are and don't care but would love to hang them in our living room. This would have to happen over my wife's protests because everything else is pretty contemporary. Any thoughts?

A: I think you should already be reaching for the hammer and picture hangers: nothing adds more personality to a room than personal artworks, especially family portraits.

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