In Honour of Girls Helping Girls

Girls Helping Girls no longer exists.
This is the last message we have seen from them:

Dear Friends,

After five years of shaping, and being shaped by, this organization, we have decided to part ways and entrust our vision to those who can commit the resources and the scale to fulfilling its potential. We are closing the entity Girls Helping Girls, but are thrilled to share that our work will live on in the organization and portfolio of Vital Voices Global Partnership, a dynamic NGO that has been changing the paradigm of women’s leadership for more than a decade. Through its Rising Voices initiative for young women, Vital Voices is committed to equipping thousands of more girls with the education, mentorship, and support network to assert their potential as agents of change. We are thus honored, and profoundly delighted, to join the Vital Voices family and merge our efforts into theirs toward this common aim.

Though Girls Helping Girls is closing as an organization, you can still help us advance these goals and contribute to our mission by getting involved with Vital Voices and volunteering, participating in, or donating to Vital Voices’ programs for women and girls. You can also stay involved by joining girltank, the startup our founder, Sejal Hathi, launched in 2011 to globally source and accelerate female social entrepreneurs. girltank currently represents 1,500 women and girls across 104 countries, and is searching for bold, creative, passionate do-ers to join its team to forge even stronger tools for female entrepreneurs.

So there are myriad ways you can get involved, substantive ways you can continue to support us. We really hope you do, and reach out to us about how you can engage. Because the world needs you. Women and girls need you, to keep moving humanity forward.

Thank you for all you do, and for all your support these past few years. It has been an honor.

With deepest appreciation,
Girls Helping Girls

–if you need to contact our founder, please email with a note and your request; thank you!

Creative Charity: How Business Innovators Choose to Give

The boom in the financial services industry from the ’70s onward and the information technology revolution that followed on its heels created a new class of super-rich individuals with few precedents in history. Some of them, though, don’t see wealth as a goal to pursue for its own sake, but are instead applying it as a tool to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Whether this means sending Tents and Camp Gear to areas afflicted by natural disasters, funding efforts that may help the world recover from a global catastrophe, or promoting education in every sense of the word, many have stepped up to make a difference that may be remembered long after their commercial exploits have been forgotten.

The individuals featured here have been chosen not necessarily based on the size of their charitable contributions, but by how they have combined wealth and entrepreneurial ingenuity to try to make the world a better place.

Promoting the “Open Society”

The Open Society is a philosophical concept first described in the early twentieth century. Speaking in general, it describes a system of government and social institutions that are dynamic, transparent and tolerant.

Today, George Soros is perhaps its most effective proponent. The Open Society Foundations founded by him work in 37 countries to promote democratic and liberal values in addition to performing other charitable activities. Unsurprisingly, this often brings them into conflict with authoritarian governments and right wing groups.

Also worth a mention in this regard is Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, who uses his Craigconnects platform to educate the public on issues ranging from consumer rights to electoral abuses.

The Giving Pledge

Theoretically, inheritance tax puts a brake on some families growing ever wealthier over time, but in practice the super-rich have a variety of ways to circumvent this. Some of them, however, have voluntarily decided to give the majority of their wealth to causes they believe in, either before or after death.

Bill Gates has amassed an almost incredible fortune, but his three children stand to inherit “only” a reputed $10 million each. In fact, he and his wife Melinda have already transferred about a third or their wealth to their charitable foundation. Similarly, Warren Buffet’s offspring are unlikely to starve with a $2 billion foundation looking after each of them, but this is only a fraction of the $88 billion this famous investor has managed to amass. So far, over 150 multi-millionaires or billionaires have taken similar pledges.

The Svalbard Seed Bank

If you trust Hollywood, the most likely scenarios for the apocalypse involve either zombies or a giant meteor. The world and the people in it face a far more likely and insidious threat, though: massive die-offs of staple crops.

With much of the world’s food production now reliant on genetically engineered organisms, the theory goes, a single mutation could result in a disease that devastates agriculture all over the world. As one example, nearly all bananas grown in the world are genetically identical, meaning that almost every banana tree in the world could be lost if a microorganism good at attacking it developed. This has actually happened before: during the 1990’s the global shrimp farming industry was almost destroyed by a plague, while half of U.S. maize harvests in the 1970’s were cut down by a fungus. Potato blight in Ireland caused the population to shrink by almost a quarter over four years due to both starvation and mass emigration.

Should something like this happen, it will be essential to have access to similar plant species that can be cross-bred with crop plants to improve immunity. This is where the Svalbard seed bank comes in: dug over a hundred meters into the rock of an island inside the Arctic circle, it houses seeds from over a million different plants and is expected to survive anything up to and including a nuclear war. Although owned by the Norwegian government, much of its funding comes from charities such as the Gates and Moore foundations.

How to Grow Your Own Wine

A vineyard in your own garden, with grapes hanging over the terrace or on the wall, don’t we all want that?
It’s easier than you think.

Location and Soil

This almost goes without saying, but make sure you plant the grapes in full sunlight. And if necessary (depending on where you live), you should also look for a spot with well-drained soil. The roots of a vine should not stay in water.
Clayey- or humus-rich sandy soil are very good for growing wine grapes, but the best results will be achieved on calcareous soil.


Growing grapes is not as hard as you may first think, but there are a few basics you need to know. First of all, the best time to plant the grapes is usually between September and March. But before you even get started, it is important to make some kind of structure to which you can tie the branches up. There are a lot of structures you can think of and if you plan on making this a big and ongoing hobby you should really investigate this further, but a quick and easy way to get started is by using a wire screen.

The holes should all leave enough room for the roots and you should plant the grape as deep as it was at the nursery (this depends on the type of grape). Plant the grapes at least 7 feet apart and 12 inches from the wall or fence. When you’re ready, make sure you gently press the soil around the plant.
Now leave the soil settle for a few weeks before you start binding the main branches.

Choice of Grape, Pruning and Harvesting

The title of this section sounds promising, doesn’t it? But the problem is: these are all topics of their own.
We’ll probably touch on a few of the topics in the future, but for now we just wanted to show you the basics and let you know it’s possible to grow wine yourself. It does require a bit more research and information than we can show you here, but we encourage you to just start and go from there.
Good luck!

The Serving Temperature of Wine

When you drink a glass of wine, it can heat up quickly, too quickly. This depends on the thickness of the glass, the temperature of the environment and the way you hold the glass. The more sophisticated white wines usually allow for higher serving temperatures, and (on the contrary) the cheaper red wines with lots of tannin can be served warmer than good reds with little or no tannin.
Generally speaking though, it’s better to serve your wine a little too cold. This is because wine warms up when you hold the glass in your hand, and warm wines give off more alcohol in the taste and smell of the wine.

White wine

White wines need to be served cold, but not refrigerator cold, just a bit warmer.

  • Fruity and fresh, semi-dry wines: 44-48 °F
  • Champagne and other sparkling whites: 46-50 °F
  • Light and fruity dry whites: 46-50 °F
  • Rich and aromatic dry wines: 50-54 °F
  • Very full, complex, dry wines: 54 °F
  • Sweet white wines: 50-54 °F

Red wines

Red wines generally need to be served warmer.

  • Fresh, fruity and light wines: 57-61 °F
  • Full and spicy wines: 61-64 °F
  • Powerful, robust reds: 61-64 °F
  • Lush, sweet red wines: 61-64 °F

Cooling Time

Depending on your refrigerator, these are the temperatures you will reach.

  • 4 hour cooling: 44 °F
  • 3 hour cooling: 46-50 °F
  • 2 hour cooling: 50-54 °F
  • 1.5 hour cooling: 54 °F
  • 1 hour cooling: 57-61 °F

How to Cool

If you need to cool your wines rapidly, you can use a refrigerator or a cooling bucket. For best effects, the bucket should be at least as deep as the whole bottle (neck included). And here’s a tip: add water in the bucket, this works better and longer than if you fill it with ice only.

However, the options above only allow for quick and sub-optimal cooling, as you can’t set the exact temperature. For the best possible tasting experience we sincerely advice you to visit a good wine cooler website and select a wine fridge for your home. They come in all sizes, and you can have a dozen wines stored at the exact right temperature for less than 100 dollars.

How to Reduce Food Waste

Global waste is becoming a bigger problem every day, and the ever growing population requires more and bigger waste management systems. We can see this problem growing in Europe and the US, but we seem to keep the levels of waste to an acceptable level so everything can still be recycled or broken down in some way. However, the limits of our systems are challenged and governments rely on common sense and the sense of responsibility of civilians.

We can only support this call to responsibility and would like to encourage people to separate their garbage and use food waste disposals. People in the US are well used to these systems, but they’re still not totally accepted and adopted in every household. In Europe it’s even worse. In fact, over 90% of people in Europe have never heard of a garage disposal!
It’s about time this changes. Just look for best garbage disposal online and for less than 100 dollars, you too can do your bit for the environment.

The Two Most Important Professional Cleaning Equipments

Although you can take care of your daily cleaning routine with the help of the traditional cleaning equipments, such as dusters, brooms, sweepers and vacuum cleaners, you simply cannot take your broom out to clean fences, patios, and decks. You need powerful cleaning tools to get the job done fast and without putting a lot of effort.

Following are some of the commonly used professional cleaning equipments, you can use to professional clean your house, apartment, office, car, SUV, boat, lawn, equipments or just about anything you want cleaned.

Pressure Washers

When it comes to professional cleaning, the pressure washers hold no parallels. The tremendous pressure of water that these heavy duty machines can generate makes sure that no stubborn stains, mud, mildew, greasy films or dried grass clippings remain in or outside your territory. You can even take care of blistered or flaking paint from any surface you want.

The gas pressure washers derive their power from a gas engine, pump and a concentrating nozzle. These cleaning machines can supply 60X more water pressure than what you get from your garden hose, making sure all the deck mildew, driveway stains and other grunge is blasted away with this extreme pressure. While an electric washer is best for your car (as it doesn’t need gas amounts of power), a gas washer has the benefit that you can take it anywhere you go, and they’re particularly useful for cleaning lawns and other outside surfaces.

Vapor Steam Cleaner

Vapor steam cleaners combine the power of cleaning and sanitation by using high temperature steam for cleaning various surfaces inside or outside your home. You must have heard the name of steam mops, the vapor steam cleaners work on the same principal but come with much more power and cleanliness. These professional cleaning machines can easily tackle dirt, grease and grime providing you with a crystal clear surface without inflicting any damage. The good thing about vapor steam cleaners is that the surface gets not only cleaned but it gets sterilized.

Toasting And Grilling At Your Fingertips

While microwave ovens rule the roost when it comes to culinary appliances in the kitchen, toaster ovens are still in high demand and rightly so. While you can do a lot of things with a microwave, the pure ease of toasting and grilling using a toaster oven is still incomparable, especially if the toaster is Cuisinart TOB-40. This is a classic toaster oven that provides the goodies while sporting a definitive ethnic look for those who prefer their kitchens to exude a traditional vibe.

The Looks

When a review like this puts the looks at the top, you can understand that the appliance must be gratifying to look at and have in your kitchen. The Cuisinart TOB-40 is made from shiny stainless steel with clearly defined lines. It is quite large and has a clear glass door that adds to the view. The stainless steel engraved bold yet subtle Cuisinart logo conveys a message of minimalism. The cool handle is a blessing as toaster ovens tend to get pretty hot.

The Cooking

Well, here comes the main part. The Cuisinart TOB-40 operates like any other toaster oven you might have come across, however, it has a auto slide rack as compared to static racks that you would normally find. This rack makes it very easy to load food and unload them once the toasting or grilling is done. There are several preset functions at play including a bagel function. Being quite spacious, you can make an 11” pizza with ease and process up to 6 slices of toast at the same time.

To adjust the settings, the manufacturer has included dials that are rubberized so you can grip them easily even if you have oily and soapy hands. Keeping the safety in mind, the Cuisinart TOB-40 comes with a auto shut-off feature. In case you mess the settings up, the toaster will shut down automatically instead of setting your kitchen on fire.

With the Cuisinart TOB-40 you get a baking/drip pan and a boiling rack. Since cleaning toaster ovens can be a test at times, the insides of this oven is coated with a special material that makes cleaning very easy. Feel free to browse more toaster oven reviews if you want to, but all in all, the Cuisinart TOB-40 is a nice piece of kitchen appliance if you love a touch of class around your kitchen and would love toast in the easiest and safest way possible.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Foam Mattresses

Ever since they were first invented memory foam mattresses claimed to enhance the quality of your sleep.
But what exactly are they?

Made of Viscoelastic

Memory foam comes in different variations but it was first made of a substance known as viscolelastic which is energy absorbent and soft. What made this such a revolution was that the foam could be molded in response to the user’s heat and pressure, thereby evenly distributing the body weight. When the pressure is removed, it slowly goes back to its original shape.

After it had become such a success, memory foam was also made into other applications. For instance, it could be used as a cushion in helmets or shoes and it had also found its way in prosthetics, as it prevents pressure ulcers when used as seating pads.

However, we still find memory foam to be working best in mattresses and pillows. Like all types of mattress, they are made in different depths and densities, which means you can always find a model that works with your posture.

Some pros of memory foam mattresses

The biggest benefit people always talk about is the fact they relieve pressure, as they provide even support for your whole body. As a result, and this is reported by numerous people using these mattresses, you will no longer (or at least less) be turning and tossing at night and reduce your daytime pains.

They are also great for people who are suffering from back problems, but it is vitally important to choose the right mattress. If you have the firmness and thickness that matches your body, these foams will provide support and relieve your body from stress and tension while sleeping. One of the best things about them is that they can maintain your spine in natural alignment while you are asleep.

Another big benefit is that they are very durable. They can last up to 15 years, as long as you have obtained the right brand and model, and most brands on the market are offering their memory foam mattresses with multiple-year warranty.


One of the disadvantages of opting for this type of foam is the fact that it is costly (unlike air mattresses!). The price tag can triple the average price of a simple spring mattress, not to mention the difference they have with air mattresses.
They are also heavy because of the nature of the foam. As a result, they could be difficult to move or transfer to another room.

Get Instant Water with A New Faucet

Finished changing your garbage disposal? Well, why not work up the sink and change your kitchen faucet as well! Sure, replacing a faucet can be a bit daunting for some, but if you know how to choose the right one to use, then you can easily swap your old faucet with a stylish one.


One of the first things that you must consider is to know the kind of handles you would like to have. A typical kitchen faucet has one knob that swivels directionally. You can also have a faucet with two handles: one handle for hot and the other one for cold water.

Number of pots and pans

Another thing to think about is the number of pots and pans you wash each day. If you wash bulky cooking utensils each day, it’d be easier for you to rinse them thoroughly through a faucet that’s tall and comes with a curved neck as you can just easily slide them in out of the sink.


Then, choose the type of finish you want. If you want a unified look, opt for a finish and style that matches your overall kitchen décor. But you can always choose whatever finish you wish to have, whether or not it goes with the décor.

Easy to install

The best of the best would be a touchless kitchen faucet, which can be installed just as easily as a regular faucet (this is also true if you are installing it by yourself). Make sure that they come with a decent warranty though.

More information:

How Air Mattresses Can Help

Air beds and mattresses have established themselves firmly in our lives with their usefulness. The Air mattresses of today are now as efficient in handling the regular usages of a household as they are in handling a rugged camping trip.

If it is your first time buying an air bed then you might have a little trouble finding the best air mattress that suits your needs, so following are some things you need to be careful about while shopping.

  • Your Requirement
    If your requirement is to use the bed in your bedroom then a regular raised or low- profile bed is enough. Only go for multifunction beds if you are planning to use the bed in your living room too.
  • Size
    Airbeds come in three different sizes, Twin, Queen and King. Decide on the size depending on the number of people who are going to use the bed.
  • Pumping Speed
    You can choose between built-in or external pump beds. Built-in pumps inflate the bed quickly but these beds are costlier. External pumps take more time but are more durable as compared to built-in pumps.

There are several other factors as well but these are the most important points. If you follow them carefully you will definitely be able to find the best air bed for your home.

More information: Intex

A Clean Indoor Atmosphere

Now that we were talking of waste and keeping things clean and healthy, why not look at our indoor atmosphere?
Take floor cleaning for instance, a difficult task in itself. Add carpet cleaning to the mix and it seems like the job of a professional. But that is because you are probably using the wrong devices and tools. When it comes to cleaning, look for trusted names in the market. The steam mops and carpet cleaners designed by Hoover use patented technology to make cleaning easy and efficient.

While Hoover has some great mops and vacuum cleaners for commercial usage, they have a few for home use too. The TwinTank and MaxExtract models can make carpet cleaning a breeze. Techniques like “SpinScrub” and different power settings are perfect for anyone who wants to use these machines. It cleans dust and dirt trapped in soft places like carpets, cushions and sofa sets very easily.

There are many models of cleaners and there is definitely one that will suit your needs perfectly. Just check a few steam mop reviews and buy a steam cleaner for your home. It will be totally worth it.