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Personalize your TOMS shoes

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WHAT'S TRENDY

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Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, gave away his 1 millionth pair of shoes in September, in Argentina. For every pair of shoes sold, his company gives a pair to a child in need.   File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, gave away his 1 millionth pair of shoes in September, in Argentina. For every pair of shoes sold, his company gives a pair to a child in need.

TOMS shoes are to 2011 what Birkenstock clogs were to 2007, but there are ways to make your pair truly your own.

TOMS was started in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, with what he called the "one-for-one" philosophy. For every one pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will donate a new pair of shoes to a needy child. Going without shoes can affect children in several ways, from soil-transmitted diseases to having to skip school if shoes are a required part of the uniform. Mycoskie's philosophy took off, and since it began, TOMS has been able to give away more than one million pairs of shoes.

With a million people wearing TOMS shoes, it can be hard not to feel like a copycat. You can still support the mission and be original, though - the original TOMS shoes are made out of canvas, a platform that can take just about any medium you want.

The TOMS company suggests holding a "style your sole" party with friends, ordering the original shoe in white canvas and learning more about its giving by watching the TOMS documentary while you work on your shoes. If you get 25 or more friends to join in, you get a 10 percent discount when you order.

WHAT'S AFFORDABLE

Whenever I am in Lowe's or Home Depot, I can't help but grab some paint chips with the intention of doing something creative. What really happens, however, is that I wind up with a stack of paint chips on my desk.

If you, too, can't resist the colorful squares, turn them into an easy, impressive calendar.

You will need a large piece of white posterboard and enough paint chips for each day of the month you're working on. The square-shaped chips work best, or you can cut the long ones into smaller squares.

The rest is pretty simple - use a ruler to align the squares and paste them to the posterboard with a glue stick. It helps to have a calendar to look at for guidance, just so you know what day of the week the month starts on and how many days you need.

I did my calendar in varying shades of yellow, but you could do random multicolor, weekends in purple, shades of white, or whatever you come up with.

WHAT'S NEW

Verizon Wireless finally announced its 4G network will be launched in Augusta (on July 21). This means that Verizon mobile phones with 4G capability will finally have those lightning-fast speeds that have been advertised for so long.

You may already have a 4G-capable phone or tablet, but it has been working on Augusta's 3G network. If you have an HTC Thunderbolt, Samsung Droid Charge, LG Revolution phone or Motorola Xoom tablet, this 4G network will make your download speed up to 10 times faster.

According to news releases by Verizon, the 4G network makes a 10 MB download complete in only 25 seconds. For more information, go to network4g.verizonwireless.com.

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