International Cat Day is a full 24 hours of recognition and veneration of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. The festivities were put together for the first time in 2002 by IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, among other animal rights groups, to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.
An estimated 500 million cats are thought to be frolicking in neighbours’ gardens across the world, which means that most every extended family is bound to have an aunt with more kittens than former husbands, whatever the country or climate. And that’s great, because owning a cat has been shown to improve mental health and to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. So when it’s raining cats and dogs outside and you don’t have someone to cuddle with, any black, ginger, Persian, Siamese, Burmese, Bengal, Shorthair, Munchkin, Balinese, RagaMuffin or any old stray cat will do the trick.
So roll out the red carpet and the catnip for your furry feline friend, because International Cat Day is that one day a year when black cats bring good luck and cat eye sunglasses match your entire wardrobe.
The Purple Heart was first created on August 7, 1782 by the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, General George Washington. Then known as the Badge of Military Merit, it was awarded to 3 Revolutionary soldiers in 1783.
After the end of the American War of Independence, no medals were awarded until 1932, when the medal was revived on the bicentennial anniversary of George Washington’s birth. According to a circular dated February 22, 1932, Purple Heart Medals were to be awarded to those wounded or killed while serving in the United States Armed Forces as a result of enemy action on or after April 5, 1917. The United States officially joined the First World War on April 6, 1917.
1.8 Million Awarded
At current estimates about 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since then. Today, in addition to being awarded to those who fight wars overseas, the Purple Heart is also given to military personnel who display bravery and valor as prisoners of war and while fighting certain types of domestic terrorists.
A Symbol of Bravery
The Purple Heart is a heart shaped purple medal with a gold border. The front has a profile of George Washington, while the back has the words for military merit inscribed on it. The medal is attached to a piece of purple silk with a silver border.
Veteran and military organizations hold remembrance meetings for fallen heroes and special events to thank soldiers, veterans, and Purple Heart recipients on this day. Many people fly the American flags at their homes and businesses as a way to show their solidarity with the troops.
Bastille Day, the French national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis the 16th’s Ancient Regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king’s power was no longer absolute: power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers.
Although the Bastille only held seven prisoners at the time of its capture, the storming of the prison was a symbol of liberty and the fight against oppression for all French citizens; like the Tricolore flag, it symbolized the Republic’s three ideals: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for all French citizens. It marked the end of absolute monarchy, the birth of the sovereign Nation, and, eventually, the creation of the (First) Republic, in 1792. Bastille Day was declared the French national holiday on July 6, 1880, on Benjamin Raspail’s recommendation, when the new Republic was firmly entrenched. Bastille Day has such a strong signification for the French because the holiday symbolizes the birth of the Republic.
By: Annabelle Keller, CPD for STYROFOAM Brand Foam
Celebrate your patriotism with this red, white and blue craft project. This festive bouquet makes a great quick and easy Fourth of July decoration or the perfect outdoor picnic table decoration.
STYROFOAM Brand Foam:
Sheet, 1″ x 12″ x 36″
Stars: 9″ x 1/2″, one; 6″ x 1/2″, one; 4 x 1/2″, three
Clay pot, 5″
Wood dowels, 36″ x 1/8″, two
Multipurpose acrylic sealer
Acrylic paints: white; bright red; denim blue
White dimensional paint
Metallic red shredded Mylar
Paintbrushes, 3/4″ and 1/2″ flat wash
Five wood skewers
White, thick craft glue
Transparent tape, 1/2″ width
Sea wool sponge
Paraffin or candle stub
Apply sealer to clay pot and let dry. Paint clay pot, excluding rim, and wood dowels white. Paint pot rim blue, extending color 1″ to inside top. Let dry. Sponge paint white portion of clay pot with blue, let dry, and then repeat with red (refer to photo).
Insert a wood skewer into edge of each foam star at center bottom to use as a handle while painting. Insert opposite end of skewer into foam sheet while paint dries. Paint stars as follows: one 4″ and one 6″, red; one 4″, white; one 4″, blue.
For flag pattern on 9″ star, paint two left points blue and three remaining points white (refer to photo). Use tape to mask off eight white stripes on star, continuing pattern onto edges and back. Paint unmasked white portion of star red, creating nine red stripes. Let dry and remove tape. With white dimensional paint, paint seven 5-point stars on blue field. Squeeze paint in center of each star and pull out to points with bottle tip. Let dry thoroughly.
Apply varnish to clay pot, stars, and wood dowels. Let dry.
Using a utility knife, cut one each of following lengths from white wood dowels: 12″ dowel (flag star); 8″ dowel (large red star); 11 1/2″ dowel (blue star); 8 1/2″ dowel (white star); 6 1/2″ dowel (small red star). Replace skewers in stars with wood dowels as indicated and glue.
Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Cut pieces of sheet foam to snugly fit clay pot. Layer and glue foam inside pot. Arrange stars in pot, gluing wood dowels into foam (refer to photo). Glue shredded Mylar, covering top of foam.
®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.
Put on a show with a display of these patriotic cookies.
2 Eggs, large
Baking & Spices
4 cups All-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 Royal icing, Red White, and Blue
1 Salt, Coarse
2 cups Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract, pure
2 sticks Butter, unsalted
Step 1Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.
Step 2Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.
Step 3Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Step 4Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Step 5Decorate the cookies: Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then “flood” with more white icing to cover.
Step 6Immediately pipe a red or blue dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of colors around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).
Step 7Immediately drag a toothpick through the colors to create bursts, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie. (Or drag around the cookie in 1 direction or curve the lines for a pinwheel effect.) Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings.
Whether your on a budget or not, plan out what party food you’ll need in advance to make sure you’ll have enough to feed everyone. If you’re sharing the role of caterer, planning things out in advance will help you organize who’s bringing what.
To that end, here’s a handy planner that take’s some of the guesswork figuring out how much food, drinks and deserts you’ll need to feed a crowd.
This Independence Day, cook up a spread of star-spangled 4th of July recipes worthy of America’s birthday. From traditional 4th of July foods (we’re talking about you, coleslaw and potato salad) to modern, creative finger foods, we’ve rounded up mouthwatering recipes to help you celebrate the summer holiday in the most delicious way possible. Fire up the grill and make some of the best all-American entrees, keeping it classic with fried chicken, smoky meats, and burgers of all kinds — or even trying some zesty seafood recipes that taste like you’re eating beachside. You’ll of course have to pair it with some delicious 4th of July apps, refreshing summer salads, or the best desserts to cap off a backyard barbecue. And don’t forget the drink recipes to pair with all your cookout fare — it is the American way, after all.
Beef and Mushroom Burgers
These half-veggie, half-beefy burgers get an extra dose of flavor from mushrooms. With cheese and all the fixin’s, they might just be the new ultimate burger.
Almost every big wedding this year has been rescheduled for 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating impact on the world, celebrity wedding expert Colin Cowie tells PEOPLE.
“I’m telling couples to get engaged now — and wait,” says the party planner, whose A-list clientele includes Oprah Winfrey and Ryan Seacrest. “The idea of a socially distanced wedding with people standing 10-feet apart, I don’t find anything exciting or glamorous about that.”
Couples were “extremely and bitterly disappointed” at the idea of postponing their weddings, Cowie says. But after he explained what would have to be done to follow CDC guidelines and ensure everyone’s safety, all of Cowie’s clients elected to wait.
“A wedding is a very emotionally charged event — people have spent years dreaming of what it’s going to be like,” Cowie says. “You want to make those dreams come true, and we can’t do that in 2020. We have to wait until 2021.”
That doesn’t mean you can’t spend your extra time and cash prepping for the big day. Below, Cowie and finance expert Kelly Lannan share their best tips for planning a wedding during a pandemic.
Nail Down Your Venue
Cowie forecasts that 2021 will have twice as many weddings as usual if the situation in the U.S. improves, so he advises booking weddings set for May to December 2021 now.
“All the venues are very, very busy,” says Cowie, who is based in New York and has offices in L.A., New York and Miami. “Settle on a date immediately.”
Lock in your band and photographer too, he says: “Everything else can wait.”
Add a Cancellation Clause to Your Contracts
Cowie has added a cancellation clause to every one of his client’s contracts, stating that if the date needs to be moved again, “there will be no penalty, and any deposits we have will be respected and move forward.” With outcomes far from predictable, “it’s the smart thing to do,” he says.
Don’t Book a Destination Wedding Outside the U.S.
Cowie, 58, got married to commodities trader Danny Peuscovich on Feb. 22 in Cape Town, South Africa.
“The week after we got back, the whole world went into lockdown,” he recalls. “It was the last big, great wedding before everything came to a bitter end.”
He doesn’t think he would have been able to get almost 200 guests to travel to a wedding in South Africa for several years given the pandemic.
“I was so lucky,” he says.
Cowie thinks guests will be far more likely to travel inside the U.S. before they will travel internationally. And given potential travel restrictions, they might not be able to.
Take Over a Hotel
Buying out boutique hotels will be “very, very, very popular” when large gatherings are safe, Cowie says. Consider taking over a 50 to 100-room resort or a more modest yet charming inn.
“That way you can have more control,” Cowie says. “Think about it: you go into a restaurant, you don’t know who is on your left or your right, but you know who is on your guest list.”
Livestream Your Wedding
Even if a vaccine is available by the time you say “I do,” not everyone on your guest list will feel comfortable attending in person, so Cowie advises pre-planning a virtual option over Zoom just in case.
“There will be a hybrid wedding,” Cowie says, predicting that weddings might have a mix of Zoom viewers and guests who are physically present.
And depending on rapidly changing local guidelines, in-person guests might have to be completely ruled out.
Have a Virtual Bridal Shower and Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
Kelly Lannan, the 34-year-old Boston-based Vice President of Young Investors at Fidelity, was invited to 10 weddings this year — and all of them were postponed because of the pandemic. (She has officiated four weddings, and actually offered to marry her friends whose weddings were delayed. To date, no one has taken her up on the offer.)
But online bridal showers and virtual bachelorette parties can — and should — still happen, Lannan says, because they’re fun and make guests feel included.
Take a Hard Look at Your Guest List
When Lannan got married two years ago, her mother and her future in-laws handed her guest lists.
“The guest list completely dictates a significant portion of your wedding budget,” she says. “There were people on my original list I realized I hadn’t talked to in eight years since I graduated college. The relationship wasn’t there. While it may hurt to cross someone off the list, it could definitely be a healthy decision for your budget, especially now when venues are really looking at the size of your wedding party. There’s a lot of capacity limitations given the coronavirus pandemic.”
But these B-list guests don’t have to be entirely excluded from your big day — you can send them the virtual link.
You may not have pictured yourself as a DIY bride, but given the pandemic, you might have more time to spend with your glue gun working on a complex centerpiece.
“Get creative with those little things,” Lannan says. “That’s a good opportunity in the coronavirus.”
Put Your Gym Membership Money in Your Wedding Account
Is your gym membership still on hold? Not going to pilates or boot camp classes? Haven’t had a hair cut in months? You can funnel all that money plus what you’d normally spend on subscriptions and nights out into your wedding fund.
“You could even make automatic payments,” Lannan says. “That’s an easy way to save without thinking about it.”
Plus, if you have a virtual bachelor or bachelorette party, the money you would have spent in Las Vegas or Mexico can cover a splurge item on your wishlist.
Set Up An Emergency Wedding Fund
Lannan tells all her investing clients to have an emergency fund. It’s important to create one for a wedding, too, she says.
“Weddings always cost more than you think,” she says. “It’s important to anticipate over charges. Then you’ll be the one bride in the history of weddings who comes in underneath your budget.”
Lannan kept a couple thousand in her own wedding emergency fund two years ago.
“That definitely helped me feel comfortable,” she says. “And I dipped into it a little.” (She paid for hair and make-up for her 13 bridesmaids on the big day.)
Consider Wedding Insurance
Many of Lannan’s friends are buying wedding insurance for their rescheduled dates.
“From my understanding, it really does protect a couple’s investment from things beyond their control,” she says. “What if your limo driver doesn’t show up – they contract coronavirus, and you need to find someone else, and they are charging three times the price? The insurance will cover.”
Look at the Bright Side
“It’s okay to be sad postponing your wedding,” Lannan says.
But try to find an upside.
“My friend hated her original save-the-date cards. Guess what? She gets to send a new one,” Lannan says.
Don’t let the pandemic stop you from planning the wedding of your dreams, Cowie advises. Just be patient.
“There’s no crystal ball for this future,” Cowie says.
On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.
Is Canada Day a Public Holiday?
Canada Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
What Do People Do?
In many towns and cities, municipal governments organize a range of events, often outdoors. These include pancake breakfasts, parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals, firework displays and citizenship ceremonies for new Canadian citizens. The celebrations often have a patriotic mood. Canada’s national flag is widely displayed and a lot of people paint their faces red and white, which are Canada’s national colors. The celebrations in Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital city, are particularly exuberant.
In the province of Quebec, many home leases start on July 1 and last for exactly one year. Hence, many people in Quebec spend Canada Day moving their possessions from one house to another. In this province, Canada Day is also known as Moving Day.
In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1 is also Memorial Day. This commemorates the heavy loss of life in the Newfoundland Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme during World War I. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the morning of July 1 is usually somber. Flags are flown at half-mast and memorial services are held at cenotaphs (war memorials). In the afternoon, Canada Day celebrations in the province are similar to those in the rest of the country.
July 1 is a holiday in Canada. If it falls on a Sunday, it is moved to July 2, except in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador. All provincial governments observe this day. Many organizations, businesses and stores are closed, although some book stores, pharmacies and gas stations may be open. Post offices are closed. As Canada Day falls in the Canadian summer holiday period, all schools are closed.
Public transport services may operate to their usual or a reduced timetable. In some areas, extra services are provided for large scale events. Street closures due to concerts, parades and festivals may cause some local disruption to traffic.
On July 1, 1867, the British North Americas Act created the Dominion of Canada as a federation of four provinces. This event is known as the confederation of Canada. The four original provinces were created from the former British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada, which was divided into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Canada’s boundaries have been extended since 1867. The country now consists of 10 provinces and three territories.
On June 20, 1868, the Canada’s Governor General proclaimed that Canadians should celebrate the anniversary of the confederation. July 1 became a holiday, known as Dominion Day, in 1879. However, no official celebrations were held until the 50th anniversary in 1917 and the 60th anniversary in 1927. After World War II, Dominion Day was celebrated more frequently and more events were organized by the national government. After the centenary of the confederation in 1967, Dominion Day events became more widespread. July 1 became popularly known as Canada Day. The date was also officially known as Canada Day from 1983 onwards.
Since 2006 Canada Day celebrations were also held at London’s Trafalgar Square in the United Kingdom. It is expected that these celebrations will be held annually. Depending on the availability of Trafalgar Square, these events may be held just before, on or just after July 1.
Canada’s national flag is seen on Canada Day. This consists of two vertical red rectangles separated by a white square. The white square contains a red image of a maple leaf. Canada’s national colors are red and white and are used in many ways on Canada Day. Some people wear red and white clothing and others paint their faces in these colors.
Don’t own much blue? Don’t stress, you can totally keep the color out of your outfit. In fact, any combination from the trio (blue with white, red with blue, etc.) will look just as festive without being quite so on the nose.