Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Want to share a few thoughts, a few ideas with you about ergonomics and bean bag chairs. Bean bag chairs have ergonomic qualities and are the cost effective way of supporting your body during times when you are away from your desk, "off hours". You can take your laptop and plop down on a soft cushy bean bag chair and work or play for hours without hurting your back or shoulders. You know what, this can be the next great idea for Starbucks. Can you just see all of those computer geeks sitting in bean bag chairs and drinking lattes?

If you enjoy TV and watching movies, a bean bag chair is kindlier to your back than a sofa. It's as if you're packed in soft styrofoam. Nothing is stressed. Well, I really enjoy sitting in these chairs, and use one to brainstorm. I write articles, make notes, make drawings, and meditate. Yes, they're perfect for meditating.

Just my thought for the day. Now off to have coffee with my sister. Have a great day everybody!

Cheers, Joan

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hi everybody,

My pet subject these days is ergonomic everything.

What exactly is ergonomics? Simply put, it is the study of how our bodies interact with everyday objects. It's way more involved than I'm making it sound. It is a form of human engineering, whereby ergonomic experts help to determine a good method to perform certain repetitive tasks in order to avoid fatigue and stress to muscles and tendons. If ignored, this repetitive stress could eventually lead to serious and permanent physical damage. And who needs that?

I used to take my body totally for granted. I piled abuse upon more abuse. I am a designer, who spent years slumped over a drawing table. It put terrible strain on my lower back. I was always hurting... always at my chiropractor's office.  For some reason, it just didn't dawn on me that what I was doing was physically stressful. Heck, I was mostly standing still. My work, according to my own thoughts about it, was sedentary. Well, it was sort've sedentary. But when you perform an action repetitively, and without giving your body any relief, then your body is going to rebel and talk back to you. You may as well hurdle fences, and that's probably better for you.

One of the ways I handled my dilemma was I purchased a kneeler (kneeling chair). If you are familiar with these chairs, they are great at taking the strain away from your lower back. Even your knees are in good stead, because your weight is distributed in such a way, that nothing gets the stress. You're "leaning" against the seat instead of sitting on it.  The kneeling chair is an example of an ergonomically designed piece of furniture. It was worth every penny. It kept me out of pain and kept me working and out of traction too.

Ergonomic furniture, such as chairs, desks, tables, and computer equipment have been designed to ensure that a person who is sitting or standing constantly, is in proper alignment. No undue stress on any part of your body. The chair would offer adjustable armrests, and an adjustable backrest, upper and lower.  The idea is that the chair can be adjusted to accommodate the individual's size and height, and will help to maintain proper posture.

Now we come to the stress of working long hours at a computer, something else that I have personally experienced. I have been non-stop working at Internet Marketing, mostly reading and writing, which keeps me glued to that little screen for hours on end. I woke up one morning in such pain, that I was convinced I had a rare disease. See if this sounds familiar to you: PAINFUL burning sensation across my collar bone and upper chest, going into the neck and shoulders, front and back. One shoulder was higher than the other. I was in spasm.  I couldn't even raise my body out of bed without moaning. Anyone who has experienced muscle spasms and pinched nerves knows how painful it is. It's horrible! I own a chair that I thought was pretty good, although it doesn't claim to be ergonomically engineered. It's just plain cozy. Well, big deal. I need to purchase a really great ergonomically designed chair, such as the Aeron chair. If I'm going to work so hard, so many long hours, don't I deserve a piece of furniture that will preserve my health? I thought you would agree.

Folks, this is so important to become aware of because so many of us are working from home now, and probably at a computer. People who work in any kind of office need to protect their bodies and health. Because of all the pain I have experienced, I am making a study of ergonomics and will bring the fruits of my labor to you in the form of articles, and the fruits of my research in the form of actual ergonomic furniture that will be offered at Shopsicle. As a matter of fact, we are doing a Shopsicle "spin-off" that is totally devoted to everything ergonomic. Feel free to offer your advice and any aspects of ergonomics that you would like me to research for you. I know you're all pretty smart, and probably have thoughts you'd like to share with me. 

Meanwhile, you can help yourself by eating well, getting plenty of rest, ha ha, getting plenty of the B vitamins, especially B12, and taking breaks often. Do shoulder rolls, do the executive stretch ( clasp your hands behind your head and carefully stretch your elbows back while taking a deep breath). Don't forget to protect your eyes. Blink, yawn, rub your hands together briskly to get some friction that will warm your hands, then gently place your palms one over each eye. It's very soothing.

Watch for my articles. Check out our ergonomic offerings at Shopsicle under "Home Accents/ Home Office". Homepage. www.shopsicle.com.

Have a pain free day!

Cheers, Joan

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hi Friends,

It's a holiday weekend, and I hope you are all at a picnic eating hot dogs and potato salad. I am an 80% vegetarian, so I'd be happy to join you in a potato salad fest, plus ice tea and maybe a brownie or two. You can have my hot dog though. Happy Memorial Day and weekend to all of you!

I'm spending the day writing about the things I feel passionate about, such as my family, home and the good life, the world economy healing, my fellow humans feeling safe and fulfilled, beautiful objects, flowers, painting, Haiku, my favorite books, and oh yes, Father's Day. Well, that's an ambitious list. No, I'm not going to write about all of that. Maybe I'll just write about two of the things on the list.

You didn't forget Father's Day, did you? Don't forget Dad on June 20th. It's rapidly approaching.

I think I want to talk a little bit about fathers right now. Dads are so often neglected, even more so than moms sometimes.

I don't care how old you are, every little girl's secret hero is her dad. My dad passed away when I was very little, but my memory of him is as clear as if he were present today.

My dad was the strong, silent type. He was tall and lanky and he played the piano like a dream. He and my mom were an elegant couple. I remember the parties at our house. My talented Mom prepared a buffet fit for royalty. She was a serious cook, who approached entertaining in a way that has become a lost art in recent years. Mom's presentation would rival Martha Stewart. And Dad was a reliable fixture, stationed at his piano, taking requests from all the guests. I remember my parent's friends, accompanied by my father at the piano, would sing their favorite oldies from the 40's and some show tunes and this went on for hours, well after midnight. I remember thinking it was so cool that they were allowed to stay up that late. They all seemed very grown up to me, old even. I thought they were ancient. I have to laugh because many of them were much younger than I am now. Is that the way I appear to my nieces and nephews? Hmmmm, probably. Back to my dad. Dad always knew how to fix everything. If anything went wrong, Dad knew how to fix it. He was a builder, so he could take down walls and windows and reconstruct rooms in our house with seemingly little effort. Although he relinquished kitchen duty to Mom most of the time, there are a few things Dad was famous for inventing. One was pancakes that would float off the plate. Another was a secret steak sauce that was so darn good, it became a generational staple in our family's cooking repertoire. It is so good, in fact, that K and I use it on fresh tuna. We don't eat meat, but I would use Dad's steak sauce on cardboard and love every bit of it. Dad was good at improvising everything: food, music, and more. Dad came to life in a hurricane. When we lost our power source, Dad had his own power source. The boy scout in him came out. Mom loved telling the story of Dad baking the best cake she ever had in an old coal stove, during a hurricane. He did it only once though. Dad could hear a piece of music just once, and go to the piano and play it. Is that even normal, I wonder? My quiet, hard working Dad was very strict about our speech and insisted that we always be polite. My sisters and I became accustomed to Dad correcting our English whenever we made a grammatical error. And we were constantly reminded to say "please" and "thank you". As I am telling you these stories, so many remembrances of my dad are flooding in.

Dad may not be here right now, but he is indelible in my memory and forever embedded deep in my heart.

Thanks for indulging my thoughts of my father.

If you're a dad, I wish you a Happy Father's Day. If you have a dad, I wish him a Happy Father's Day.

Cheers, Joan


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hello Friends,

Where shall I begin? There are so many new things to talk about at Shopsicle.

We've taken on some fantastic new resources. Very exciting. I can't wait to get your reactions. Check us out. You don't have to buy a thing. We just want to make sure you are enjoying Shopsicle. We want to hear your feedback. Email us, or comment in this blog. We are genuinely interested in your thoughts. Tell us how we are doing, and how we can do it better. We have wonderful plans for the near future, but can implement only a few things at a time. So stick with us as we grow. And growing for us, includes helping to make your lives better.

Do you mind if I spend some time ranting? Yes, I need to vent.

One of the reasons Karen and I invented Shopsicle, is to prove that life still exists for the aesthetically deprived consumer. You and I are deprived. Have you walked through a department store lately? There was a time when I had to be disciplined to walk through our major department stores. I wanted everything! It was a thrill. Now, I don't bother going into a store, unless I have to. Sorry, but that's the truth. Ugh! Too basic, too gray. Feels disinterested and uninteresting. You've gotta feel it too.

Here's the good news. Well designed utilitarian objects still exist. As usual, some of the best is coming from Milan, Italy. And some is coming from Scandinavia. Art lives! Forward thinking, cutting edge design is yours for the taking. A can opener can be a can opener, or it can be art. A toaster can be art. The designer version functions better than the mass market version. Will you have to pay more for it. In most cases, yes. But in most cases, the beautiful object is made with a high quality standard and it will last for years and years.

At Shopsicle, we ascribe to million-dollar thinking for a $20. object.

We are representing great design and quality at every price level. You will see an object for $40,000 and a gift for $10. What is always constant however is: uniqueness, beauty, and quality. Our emphasis is good design, at all price levels.

We have shopped the market and are showing you the accessories, furnishings, and gifts that we would want to own, ourselves. Designers' choice.

Don't miss our collection of authentic Persian rugs. Prices are astounding! We also represent some gorgeous modern designer rugs.

Visit our articles library for answers to many of your decorating questions.

Have a good time inside.

Karen and I wish all of you a happy spring and a wonderful holiday. Cheers! Joan

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi Everybody,

Hanging my head in shame for not blogging in a while. Hope you have all been well.

As for myself, I have been in school learning marketing and technical Internet things, talk about going opposite one's type. I assure you that I am no geek, and this has been a fascinating adventure for me. Don't tell anyone, but I confess that it is fun. Uh oh, it's out. Maybe I'm becoming a geek. What an idea! There is so much to learn. After all is said and done, I hope this education will give me the tools to be even more effective in bringing you all the latest, cutting edge home accessories, and valuable home design information. It is our purpose at Shopsicle to educate and inspire people, and assist in bringing more beauty into everyone's life. Write to us with your requests. We want to serve you better. That's what we are all about. Don't be shy.

We just introduced a new resouce at Shopsicle. I think you're going to love it. It is a find!... A resource for gorgeous Persian rugs: new, vintage, and antique, authentic unique Persian rugs, at such a tremendous savings that buying one is something you almost have an obligation to do. We can't believe the prices. Wait till you see. You have been writing to us, asking us for cost effective, high quality, "high taste" products for your home, and we have been listening.

Those of you who have gotten to know me a little, know that I am passionate about oriental rugs. Crazy, Wild, Gaga passionate. What other feature in your home can provide comparable, exqusite beauty, warmth, durablity, livability, and can be passed on to the generations that follow? Yes, maybe some furniture, or jewelry, but nothing equals the impact of a beautiful rug in your room.

Now we all have the opportunity to own one of a kind, hand knotted rugs for the price of a machine made broadloom. Come on in and take a look for yourselves. our rug collection

We are also introducing other spectacular resources for home accessories. I will keep you well informed as it happens.

Meanwhile, all my best to you for a magical year!

Warm regards,


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Hi Everybody! Happy Fourth of July!

It's been a while since we've visited via blog. Want to share with you what's going on.

We have been so busy that we haven't had time to write more articles, blogs, and newsletters. Want to let you know that Shopsicle is getting a B12 shot as we speak. Newsletters are starting up again, as are informative, (and I hope) amusing articles. We have just included many new "designers choice" products that satisfy both a creative and practical need. We're still adding products. We will be adding new resources, too.

Take a look at "Housewares", "Home Office", Leisure Games", and "Patio and Garden". Check out everything because we are putting new things in every day.

Here in New England, it feels as if summer has finally arrived. Hot for someone who enjoys temperatures no higher than 60 degrees. Well, that's why I live in New England. It's going to be in the 80's today. Can you imagine the crowds at the beach?

We represent a product called C2-Climate Control. It is ingenius in that it delivers both heating and cooling from a single compact unit. For those of us who suffer from allergies, this unit also interceps particles of dust, pollen and dander. And it is also energy efficient. I'm putting a link here for you to check it out. http://www.shopsicle.com/item_detail.php?item_id=1326.

So, friends, keep watching for new developments at Shopsicle.

I wish you a jolly and patriotic Fourth!



Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hi Guys,

Haven't visited for a while. Been so busy! I discovered Twitter. Feel if the kids can "tweet" on Twitter, so can I. It's part of my online education. It's silly and fun.

We are busy getting ready for Christmas at http://www.shopsicle.com/ and http://www.hothothandbagsandtotes.com/. We'll be putting in some great accessories and Christmas ornaments too, so you can all shop from the luxury of your own homes. Check out Shopsicle "resources" page. Many of our merchant accounts are running sales and are offering free shipping for a limited time. Design Within Reach, Sur La Table and Red Envelope have some really outstanding promotions, as well as the Artful Home and Hammacher Schlemmer. By clicking the links in "Resources", you'll be able to efficiently click through the list and read about the specials directly from the retailers' home pages.

If you are like K and me, and have a lusty uncontrollable passion for handbags, go into http://www.hothothandbagsandtotes.com/ and see our new lines. This fall, we introduced a new collection of man made "look alike" synthetic leather handbags. They are very chic and look just like leather. Hard to tell the difference. They are great for very busy people who want to protect their designer leather handbags from the elements and still look great. These bags are soft and supple and the prices are fantastic. I think you're going to like them. And we also have a line of beautiful Italian leather bags that are actually manufactured in New York...Made in America!!! So good to see it again. Check them out.

Hope you're all enjoying the cooler weather. I sure am.

Pray the right guy gets in in November. Stay cool.

All my best,