Home: What Unites Us as a Nation

At Commonwealth Club’s book signing event in Santa Clara Convention Center, the former Senator and Vice President Candidate John Edwards talked to a roomful enthusiastic crowd about his new book Home, and how our homes shape the ways of our lives and unite us as a nation.

The conversation with John Edwards quickly turned into political discussions. Many questions from the audience surrounded the issues of housing, energy crisis, healthcare, immigration, etc. In particular, people were most interested in his political future. When asked which room in his home is his favorite and which room in the White House, John Edwards answered “the kitchen” for the former and “don’t know YET” for the later.

In his short speech, John Edwards said that America at its best is much better than it is today. Being the most powerful country in the world, the United States has the responsibility to lead and should be a natural rallying point that provides a stabilizing force for the world. However, the US has lost its credibility to lead, and it has many severe consequences.

“The next President of the United States,” said John Edwards, “has the challenge to restore America as a moral leader – to lead by example and lead with integrity. If we do right things for right reasons, be moral and just, it will have good consequences.”

He talked about his plans to develop affordable housing that transcends ethnic and class boundaries for American people, conserve energy consumption at a global level, and deliver a universal healthcare that goes beyond providing access and reducing marginal cost.

He also emphasized that the next President should travel all over the world and meet people, not just the heads of states. I was impressed when I heard him say that there are 3 billion people in the world who live on less than $2 a day and America has responsibility to do something about it.

I particularly like his theme of “One America” and his view on globalization. At the book signing, he took time to talk to people and personalize his autograph. Although I don’t know much about politics, I was convinced that John Edwards would make a good President of the United States. I am glad I was courageous enough to tell him in person!

Online Shopping Made Fun

Apparently, I am in a shopping mood lately. How can I not be? The holidays are in the air! In this Internet age, shopping can be at our fingertips. If you are like me who like online shopping, here are a few online stores that I would recommend:

Horchow.com is a site that carries classy and high quality furniture and home accessories. I find products there exquisite with unique style. Browsing through its “online showrooms” is like indulging in art galleries. It’s educational and fun.

I particularly like its accent pieces: the lattice console with hand-applied gold leaf make a bold statement of luxury, and the wraparound chaise lounge with tassels feels cozy and romantic.

Although Horchow.com is affiliated with Neiman Marcus, the prices are not necessarily “needless markup.” In fact, you can get better deals there than elsewhere for the same thing.

If you are more price conscious, Touch of Class is a site worth looking into. It carries nice home products with reasonable prices. The good thing about Touch of Class is that it has products in different styles, such as Victorian, Southwest, Safari, Tuscan, and Asian. So it has something for everyone.

I found its artwork and wall sculptures gorgeous. The tapestries are beautiful and yet affordable. The rugs are well-made with many selections. One of the rugs – the round imperial palace area rug caught my eyes. I bought one for our new home – it turned out to be a glamorous display!

I have been shopping from these two sites for quite a while. Beside the fact that Horchow’s products could take as long as three months to deliver, my experience with both sites is pretty positive.

In this holiday season, if you want to avoid squeezing into crowded shopping malls, why not make online shopping fun?

Furnishing A Beautiful Home

Furnishing a new home can be a very challenging project. There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration: the quality, the style, the comfort, and the price, etc. Most of all, how we furnish our homes tells a lot about who we are and what we value.

Despite my strong interest in home design, getting the right furniture for my new home is still quite an overwhelming task. After some intense research and numerous visits to furniture stores, I found the fine furniture by Amini Innovation Corp. (AICO) a shining crown jewel that clearly stands out among its rivals.

Designed in the United States with an exquisite European touch, AICO furniture featuring Michael Amini Signature Series are impressive collections of distinctive style and fine quality. Each carefully designed piece is marked with superior craftsmanship. Thanks to globalization, AICO furniture is handcrafted and manufactured in China, making this high-end luxury home furniture relatively affordable.

Among its many selections, Cortina bedroom set caught my attention. Inspired by the beautiful resort Cortina d’Ampezzo in northern Italy, the Cortina bedroom furniture is a stunning example of combining classic sleigh bed with modern elegance. Its unique Oval Marble Medallion accent in the center of the headboard gives a feel and look of majesty; and the gentle curves and subtle texture set the tone for romance. Indeed, each collection of AICO furniture is characterized with a cultrural and cosmopolitan flair.

When it comes to home furnishing, I see it more than a project to furnish a beautiful and comfortable home. It is also a chance to go deeper inside ourselves and understand who we are and how we want to express ourselves. As we know, after traveling all over the world, the greatest trip is returning home – that’s where our families and friends are.

Please also see my previous post Home, Sweet Home

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