Call Us: 401-560-0601

American Charm

4 Ways to Protect Our National Parks

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by American Charm

park

The national parks of North America contain some of the most breathtaking landscapes in nature, including trees that have been around for millions of years as well as some of the last intact natural ecosystems. Visiting these natural parks allows you to interact with nature and see some of the most amazing sites on earth. In order to keep these national parks in pristine condition, we must take special care of them. These parks are own by the government, therefore, they are owned by us.  Here are 4 ways we can do our part in protecting our national parks for years to come.

1)   Decrease your carbon footprint

Making simple eco-friendly changes, such as walking a short distance as opposed to driving, or making sure to conserve water within your home can make a huge difference for the environment. The changing climate is a huge threat to our national parks, so any positive change to help the environment will keep these parks thriving.

2)   Volunteer

National parks mostly rely on volunteers to help keep them in great shape for years to come. There are over 400 national parks in the United States alone, so there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. You can find a volunteer opportunity near you

3)   Respect the Parks

It’s important to obey the rules and regulations of the park, such as not walking off trails or feeding any of the animals. Make sure to keep the park as natural as possible and leave objects and plants in their place.  These rules are put in place to conserve the park and protect the wildlife.

4)   Donate to the Parks

If you cannot donate your time, you can always contribute by donating money. Your generous donation will help protect the 85 million acres of treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites.  You can make a donation to the National Park Foundation to keep our parks beautiful.

American Charm supports the efforts made to protect North America’s natural forests and ecosystems. Browse our collection today.

 

How to Plant a Tree in 8 Easy Steps

Posted on April 16th, 2014 by American Charm

planting-tree-Over

Ever consider planting a tree? This simple act not only adds natural beauty to your property, it is also a source of life-giving oxygen to the planet that can be enjoyed for many generations.

For a tree to survive long enough to reach maturity, it needs to be planted in a healthy and proper way. Surprisingly, tree planting is often done the wrong way; the most common mistake being the hole is dug too deep, therefore, burying the root ball. Another common mistake is forgetting to frequently water it, which can be solved by simply tying drip irrigation bags to the tree.

To ensure you properly plant your tree, here are the 8 easy steps:

Step 1 Marking the Ground:

  • Make sure your tree is planted at least 15 feet away from the house, sidewalk, driveway, and other trees. Avoid overhead power lines because the tree will eventually grow to at least the height of residential power lines.
  • Stake the ground where you will place the tree and measure the diameter of the root ball.
  • Using a can of colored spray, make a circle that is two to three times wider than the root ball.

Step 2 Measure the Height of the Root ball:

  • Remove the burlap from the base of the trunk and stand the tree upright.
  • Soil from the top of the root ball should be carefully removed with a garden tool. Only remove enough soil to expose the root flare, which is where the individual roots spread out from the trunk. The height of the root ball should then be measured from the ground to the top of the root ball.

Step 3 Dig the hole:

  • In order to decipher how deep to dig the hole, subtract 2 inches from the height of the root ball. It’s very important to not go any farther because a deep hole would risk burying the root flare.
  • Cut through the grass around the perimeter of the outline with a pointed shovel.
  • Discard the grass you have removed, do not use it to fill in the hole. When that is completed, spread a plastic tarp beside the hole and shovel the dirt onto it. This will make it easier to get the dirt back into the hole when the time comes.

Step 4 Measure the Depth of the Hole:

  • A steak or shovel should be driven into the ground next to the hole with a string tied to it at grass level. This will be used to measure down to the bottom of the hole to decipher if more soil should be dug out to reach the desired depth. Then the shovel will be used to scrape the bottom of the hole flat.
  • To promote a healthy root system, dust the hole with superphosphate. Follow the directions on the packaging based on the size of the tree.

Step 5 Position the Tree:

  • Roll or carry the tree carefully into the hole.
  • Have a helper slowly rotate the tree so you can find your tree’s best face and aim it toward the most prominent direction- usually the street.
  • Using metal snips or bolt cutters, remove the wire basket from the root ball.

Step 6 Loosen densely packed soil:

  • Remove the twine, and afterwards peel away the burlap. Removing the bottom burlap from the root ball is not necessary.
  • Loosen the tightly packed soil around the ball using a cultivator to expose the hundreds of tiny roots.

Step 7 Backfill the hole:

  • Using the recommended amount of superphosphate, spread this along with fertilizer and scratch it into the soil.
  • Mix up the soil and start to shovel it into the hole. Make sure to not bury the root flare.
  • When the hole is full, form a 6-inch-high curbing around the tree with the blade of a shovel.
  • With a garden hose, fill the crater with water and once the water is absorbed, knock down the curbing. The dirt should then be smoothed out.

Step 8 Set up drip-irrigation bags:

  • Three inches of bark mulch should be spread over exposed dirt around the tree. Avoid placing it too close to the tree’s trunk since mulch can trap moisture and promote rot.
  • Tie two drip-irrigation bags loosely to the tree and fill each with water.
  • The irrigation bags should be refilled daily or as necessary for six to eight weeks. This helps the root system become established.

Following these 8 steps will ensure that you will have a healthy tree for many years to come. Make your tree planting day a fond memory by purchasing the leaf or seed charm of the tree you planted from American Charm.

April Charm of the Month: The Sweetgum Seed Charm

Posted on April 8th, 2014 by American Charm

April Charm of the Month

Presenting to you our April Charm of the Month, the Sweetgum Seed Charm. The Sweetgum Seed charm represents protection, fertility, and prosperity. Sweetgum seeds symbolize the secureness and protection you feel from loved ones in your everyday life.

The Sweetgum Seed Charm can be given as a gift to someone special, representing the protection you have for her or it can simply be a gift for yourself! The Sweetgum Seed’s spiky shape is sure to stand out on any charm bracelet.

 The Sweetgum Seed Charm is available in Sterling Silver and is $24.00 with this month’s promotion. Checkout code APRCHARM. Shop Now!

Spring has Sprung

Posted on March 20th, 2014 by American Charm

spring

Today is the day; winter is officially over! March 20th marks the first day of spring, meaning higher temperatures and warmer weather is not too far away. In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring equinox takes place in March when the sun moves across the invisible line between hemispheres. Equinoxes and solstices are experienced on earth four times a year, signifying the end of one season and the beginning of another.

Here are four myths that are typically associated with the annual spring equinox:

 1.    Day and night are the same lengths.

This is not exactly true, even though some people believe the day is just as long as the night on the spring equinox, this actually takes place right before the equinox occurs. Depending on your location, the “days of day-night equality” occurs at different times.

2.    Each year, the spring equinox falls on the same day.

Not always. Even though the spring equinox typically occurs in late March, the exact date varies from year to year and has to do with the number of calendar days rather than the actual equinox itself.

 3.    You can balance an egg on its end.

The egg-balancing trick is just a myth. The earth’s axis during the equinox does not help stabilize the egg, just like it wouldn’t on any other day of the year.

 4.    A broomstick can balance on its end.

There is a myth similar to the egg trick, which says a broom can stand on its own during the time of the vernal equinox. According to Discover News, the equinox has nothing to do with the ability to balance a broom on its bristly end.

Here at American Charm, we would like to wish you a charming spring season!

March Charm of the Month: Oak Leaf Charm

Posted on March 11th, 2014 by American Charm

March Charm of the Month

Introducing our March Charm of the Month, the Oak Leaf Charm. The Oak Leaf is a symbol of strength, courage, and endurance. Wear this charm as a reminder of how brave and courageous you are through all of life’s unexpected moments.

The Oak Leaf Charm is a perfect addition to any charm bracelet and is the perfect gift for a friend or significant other who made need a boost of encouragement. The Oak Leaf Charm is uniquely shaped and will stand out on any charm bracelet.

The Oak Leaf Charm is available in Sterling Silver and is $40.00 with this month’s promotion. Checkout code: MARCHARM > Shop now!

4 Easy Steps For Saving North American Trees

Posted on February 20th, 2014 by American Charm

Asian Longhorned Beetle

North America is filled with a variety of beautiful, diverse trees throughout the entire country.  Unfortunately, many of these iconic trees are threatened or even killed by foreign insects and diseases that are accidently brought into America on various décor items or goods.

The Asian longhorned Beetle (ALB) is known as one of the most damaging insects. It is a large, shiny black and white beetle from Asia that attacks over a dozen different species of trees. Trees that are in danger of these invasive insects and diseases include maples, oaks, and elms. It is predicted that over a third of urban trees could be destroyed by the ALB the beetles if they are left uncontrolled.

Over the past 20 years, the ALB has been introduced into America several times because of the larvae’s ability to live in wooden crates, which is why several regulations have been put in place to prevent future outbreaks.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has an eradication program in place to prevent the killing of millions of trees across North America. So far, it has worked successfully in several sites across America. For every one of these cases, homeowners were the first to report the outbreaks, complaining that their neighborhood trees looked poor.

To help prevent your community from having an ALB outbreak, here are some precautionary steps you can take:

1)   Don’t move firewood- Use only local or heat treated firewood when camping or traveling. Larvae could be deep inside the wood and when the wood is transported to a new location, mature beetles can start new infestations.  Visit dontmovefirewood.org for more details.

2)   Infestation Education- Educate yourself on what pest infestations look like. Knowing the symptoms makes it easier to control and minimize the damage.

3)   Look for signs daily- While walking around your neighborhood, make sure to observe trees regularly, especially during the month of August. You most likely will not see the beetle itself, but instead the damage it has left behind- such as dime-sized holes in the trunk or sawdust collecting on tree branches. Visit HealthyTreesHealthyCities.org for training videos on how to detect these tree-killing pests.

4)   Report your findings- be sure to tell your state agricultural, natural resources, or forestry agency of your findings. Document the damages to trees by taking photos.

Look out for our native trees to keep the natural beauty of North America alive and thriving!

February Charm of the Month: Maple Leaf Charm

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by American Charm

CHARM OF THE MONTH

Announcing our first ever Charm of the Month, the Maple Leaf Charm. The Maple Leaf is a symbol of love. Maple Leaves depict the sweetness and wonder of love in everday life.

Add the Maple Leaf Charm to any charm bracelet with its artistic and iconic shape. It is the perfect gift for Valentines day for the vibrant woman in your life (or even a Valentine’s Day gift to yourself)! The beauty of this charm stands out on any charm bracelet.

The Maple Leaf Charm is available in Sterling Silver and is $40.00 with this month’s promotion.  Checkout code: FEBCHARM

Three Perfect Valentine’s Day Outfits No Matter What Your Plans Are

Posted on January 27th, 2014 by American Charm

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we’ve put together some great date night outfit ideas for the occasion.

Date Night

Date Night PicstitchWhether it’s your first night out or a romantic dinner with someone you’ve been dating for a while, you’ll want to feel cute without making it obvious you spent hours getting ready. Pick a fit-and-flare dress with a mid waist belt, a metallic clutch, and a gold charm bracelet for a pretty look that simple and stylish.

 

Girls’ Night Out

Girls Night PicstichIt’s Valentine’s Day and all you want to do is paint the town red with all of your single friends. This night calls for good dancing clothes and glossy lips. A pair of shiny diamond charm earrings will really complete the look.

 

 

The Casual Night-In

Night in picstitchKeeping it casual for this Valentine’s Day? No shame in that! Look romantic, sweet and laid back for your movie date, or wherever your casual date will be this year! Pair them with our Maple Leaf Charm Earrings which are a symbol for love.

 

Winter Wedding Inspiration

Posted on January 17th, 2014 by American Charm

 

 

PicStich- Winter Weddings

Don’t discount the lure of a winter wedding because of a minor drop in temperature. Winter weddings tend to be more festive and memorable. In fact, winter wedding venues provide a cozier, more intimate and romantic setting than their summer cousins. Here are some winter wedding inspirations for any couple considering a winter wedding.

Wedding Cake
Winter weddings bring to mind a magical wonderland. A cake topped with sparkles, frosted snowflakes and glitter will add some charisma to the theme. For a more elegant look you can decorate the cake with silver flowers, pearls and pure white frosting as shown in picture above.

Winter Wonderland Tablescapes
Go beyond the basic glowing tea lights to a tall, dramatic candelabra; adding both warmth and romance to your reception site. If you want to heighten the drama a little more, try bringing the ice indoors with crystal chandeliers similar to the wedding tablescape above.

Winter Bouquet
Try a Wedding bouquet of mini cymbidium orchids, silver brunia, juniper springs, pine boughs, anemones, pinecones, garden spray roses, seeded eucalyptus, vendela roses and dusty miller for added some texture. Feature seasonal elements like pinecones and silver brunia to bring that festive feel to your wintry celebration.

Wintry Wedding Gown
To prepare for those outdoor portraits, find a dress with a sleeve and you’ll look seasonally appropriate but not bundled up. The three-quarter length gown featured above is the perfect dress for winter and pair it with a faux fur shawl to stay warm and stylish.

Sparkling Winter Jewelry
You can really pull that winter theme together by adding sparkling sterling silver and diamond earrings from American Charm. These earrings punctuate the wintry elements of your wedding from the cake, bouquet, tablescape all the way down to your beautiful gown. In addition, these are high quality heirloom pieces that can be handed down for generations to come, that like your marriage is meant to last a lifetime.

Browse our collection in our online store and pinterest!

Decoding the Holiday Party Dress Code

Posted on December 10th, 2013 by American Charm

‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings! With a slew of holiday invites pouring in you’re probably wondering what to wear.  With so many different holiday party dress codes – Black-tie, Semi-Formal, Casual – in conjunction with new styles for the year, it’s hard to keep up.  To help with your decoding, we’ve compiled a helpful guide with a holiday twist because you certainly don’t want to be the only one wearing jeans when everyone else is wearing elegant evening gowns.  Here are a couple of ideas to help:

CasualCasual Dress

No need to pull out that formal gown, this category allows you to show off your own style.  Pair your favorite dark jeans with a red tunic and add some sparkle with your American Charm Leaf & Seed charm bracelet.  Another option is to combine a white camisole with a sparkly blazer to show off your festive side.  Add some jewelry and keep it simple by wearing an American Charm Beech Leaf & Seed Pendant.  Whatever your unique style, be sure to add something shiny to your wardrobe for the holidays.

CocktailCocktail or Semi-Formal Dress

This is a fun category because you can wear a pretty dress or sophisticated pantsuit without feeling too ‘dressed down’.  We recommend wearing a long-sleeved red knee-length dress like this one from White House Black Market.  Add our Maple Leaf & Seed Pendant with this solid, bold color.  Its iconic shape will shine with your dress.

 

 

FormalBlack Tie or Formal Dress

This category engenders more elegance but allows for a few options including a Formal (floor length) Evening Gown,  a dressy cocktail dress. Think sophistication when choosing your attire and avoid wearing anything too tight or too short, keep it classy.  Go simple with a long sleeveless blue ruffle gown like this on on the right by Lord & Taylor.  Pair this with our Aspen Leaf Earrings to keep your look sleek and natural.  If you want to add more holiday sparkle, try the Lauren Ralph Lauren sleeveless sequin gown and a pair of Sweetgum Leaf earrings.