Thursday, December 30, 2010

5 New Year's Resolutions for Married Couples

  1. Have many date nights a month. Don't rationalize a lack of couple's time for any reason, and that includes your children. The best thing you can do for them is to make your marriage your top priority.
  2. Check in often. Take at least 10 minutes each day to check in on one another. Don't go one day without learning how your spouse is doing.
  3. Convey your appreciation every day. Let your spouse know three things you appreciate about him or her daily. Concentrate on the things that work in your relationship and what your spouse does well. Whatever you concentrate on expands.
  4. Speak from your heart often. While one partner is generally more verbal than the other, frequent discussions about personal emotional topics make people feel closer and more connected.
  5. Don't go to bed mad. Even though it's not always easy, particularly when you think you're right, putting a hault on the argument before going to sleep will give you a fresh start in the morning.
For five more tips, check out 10 Marriage New Years Resolution's for 2011.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wedding Theme Ideas

Need a theme for your wedding but don't have a clue where to start? Here are a few to consider:

  • If you want a really romantic event, think about having your wedding on Valentine's Day or having a Valentine's Day theme.
  • Want a wedding fit for a queen (and king)? Try a formal wedding.
  • Are you, as a couple, really laid back and want a family vibe? Have a casual wedding.
  • If you want to feel like glamorous celebrities, consider a Hollywood Glamour Theme.
  • If you love nature and the outdoors, think about having a nature-inspired, eco-friendly theme.
For more ideas and tips, check out Wedding Themes and Styles.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wedding Bouquet Styles

The main factor in selecting the style of your bridal bouquet is your wedding gown style and that of your bridesmaids.
It's essential to go for bouquet flowers that balance and complement the gowns as opposed to taking away from or overwhelming them. The size is important as well, and it shouldn't lessen or overpower the bride's or the attendants' appearance.

Here are four common bouquet styles to choose from:
Arm bouquet. This arrangemet of long-stemmed flowers is one that you cradle in your arm like you would a baby. It can be full and sweeping with several kinds of florals, or the bouquet can be minimal and classic with just one or two kinds of flowers. It's most frequently seen being given to pageant winners.
Cascade. This is also known as a teardrop bouquet, and it's a long, sweeping flow of flowers "water falling" from the middle of the bouquet. It's very dramatic and is still a favorite among brides; this bouquet is often made up of several varieties of flowers.
Nosegay. Also referred to as a posey, this arrangement is small, round and compact and has one or two kinds of blooms. They are usually wrapped tightly and tied with a ribbon and are frequently used for bridesmaids and flower girls. Additionally, it often has more greenery and ribbons than a traditional round arrangement.
Single Stem: This is most often made with a large, dramatic flower and is liberally wrapped with ribbon. Great flowers for this bouquet include hydrangea, calla lilies, birds of paradise and peonies.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cake Cutting Songs

One of the most romantic times during the wedding is the cake-cutting. It's the first task the couple handles as husband and wife! Lots of brides and grooms want certain songs played during this ceremony.

The music establishes the tone for the scene, and it will create a lifelong memory with both the couple and their guests. Check out some of the most common cake cutting songs: Most Popular Cake Cutting Songs.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tips for Bridal Lingerie

While your wedding gown is the most important thing you'll be wearing on your wedding day (besides the ring, of course), you don't need to forget about what you're wearing underneath. Here are some tips to make sure you look absolutely fabulous at all times:

  • Choose a bra with great support. On your big day, your lingerie needs to be like a great friend-- supportive. The primary role of your lingerie? To give support so that you're comfortable and confident at all times. Your bra needs to be able to handle posing for photos, hugging and dancing.
  • Know your size. The key to discovering the ideal fit that will support you from the ceremony to the reception is wearing the right-sized bra. If you're not sure what size you wear, visit a local lingerie shop or a store like Victoria's Secret to get a bra fitting.
  • Don't forfeit style. You don't have to give up comfort for beauty. Your lingerie needs to reflect your individual style and make you feel confident.
  • Prepare for the honeymoon. Don't forget about the lingerie you'll likely need for other occasions, such as your rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wedding Budget Do's and Don'ts

Whatever your wedding budget is, there are certain things you should and shouldn't do. Read on for tips on saving money the right way:
Do hire a caterer who'll allow you to supply your own alcoholic beverages.
Don't have a cash bar.
Do cut your guest list in a sensible way.
Don't "accidentally" forget to invite your annoying cousin.
Do negotiate with your vendors.
Don't demand discounts from vendors.
Do book a photographer for her time minimum to shoot the ceremony and family shots. Also, ask friends to take party photos.
Don't ask your 17-year-old niece to be in charge of photographs.
Do connect an iPod to speakers. Create fabulous playlists, rent a good sound system, and bring an extra iPod.
Don't hire your brother's garage band to get the party going.
Do avoid unncessary details such as elaborate favors and napkin rings.
Don't hold back on food and drinks. Hungry and thirsty guests aren't happy ones.

Source- Brides Magazine, January 2011; Photo Credit

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Incorporate Your Background Into Your Wedding

If you want to honor your background and heritage at your wedding, there are several ways to do so:

Pay tribute to your ancestors. One way to do this is find out what your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did at their weddings. Then, select an element from each of them to replicate at your own. For instance, your centerpieces can mirror the ones your parents had. This can also be a chance for you to find out about hubby-to-be's family and to include relatives from both sides in the planning process.

Have diverse treats. Create a "goody station" with desserts from all the countries that are a part of your heritage. Place small flags or description cards so guests will know which treats came from where. You can also let guests take some goodies home with them.

Establish your own traditions. Another option is to begin a continuing tradition that only you and your spouse do starting on your wedding day. For instance, you could slip a cute love note to one another right before the ceremony begins, and do it each anniversary.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to keep your sanity when wedding planning

Planning a wedding can be a very stressful and hectic time for the bride-to-be. In an article on, Elizabeth Frumin, a therapist and minister with over 25 years of experience, shares advice on how brides can keep their sanity during the planning process in four steps:
  1. Breathe and relax
  2. Intention
  3. Gratitude
  4. Love
Read the entire article to see how: The Bride's Guide to Keeping Her Sanity.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

5 Christmas Party Theme Ideas

Want to have an unique and awesome Christmas party but don't have any ideas? Here are five that'll set yours apart:
  1. Reverse Christmas in July. Many people choose summer's hottest month to pretend it's Christmas. You can flip this tradition by having a beach-themed soiree in the middle of winter! Consider including mojitos (or other summery beverages), beach balls and bottles of sunscreen.
  2. Trim the tree party. Since putting up your first Christmas tree as an adult is kind of a big deal, you could have a "tree-trimming ribbon-cutting of sorts." Set up your tree with garland and lights, and ask guests to bring an ornament to hang on your tree. When the final one is hung, put on the tree topper, and plug in the lights.
  3. Christmas cookie swap. What says holidays more than homemade cookies shaped like gingerbread men and Christmas trees? Host a cookie swap, and have guests bring their homemade specialty like oatmeal raisin cookies or even fudge brownies.
  4. Holiday movie marathon. Gather a group of friends to watch movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf or Miracle on 34th Street just to name a few. However, be sure that you watch no more than five-- you want to prevent "merry movie fatigue."
  5. Christmas carol karaoke night. Go to a karaoke bar with private rooms, or buy/borrow a home karaoke set, and "rock out" to the holiday's best songs. To keep this from going on all night, consider using a theme.
For more ideas, check out our source, 12 Christmas Party Themes You Haven't Thought Of Yet.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Newlywed Advice: Choosing Where to Go for the Holidays

The holidays are stressful for most everyone, but they can be even more so for newlyweds who now have to decide where and which side of the family to visit and create the standard for future holidays. This issue should be resolved with the three C's: compassion, communication and compromise. Here are some solutions to common situations:

If you live a long distance from both sides of the family. You both may have family all over and find yourselves at a total loss during the holidays. You want to visit everyone, but it may be too expensive to travel; and depending on the distance, it might even be physically impossible to get from one place to another. In this situation, many couples switch up where they go every year. So, for instance, this year, you could visit your family in California for Christmas and your spouse's family in New York next year. Or, if you enjoy having guests from out of town, you can invite both sets of parents and siblings to come to you for the holidays.
One other option: You can choose to have a romantic holiday at home with just you two. This can be a great idea if there's tension between your spouse and the in-laws or if you're saving up for the future.

If you reside in the same city or town as one side of the family, but the other is far away. This could be a situation where one side of the family controls the couple's life. If this is the case, the spouse whose family is always around should do his or her best to accommodate the other spouse's desires during the holidays. So, if your parents are at your house a lot, you should visit your in-laws to celebrate Christmas-- it's only fair.
Another option: Ask family who live far away to stay at your home as guests. And if everyone gets along, have the "in-city family" join you for dinner, and you can celebrate the holidays together.

You live close to both sides of the family. When everyone lives close to each other, deciding where to visit can be very hard. Family on both sides likely feel you should choose their side because it's convenient. If both sides are amicable, having a joint get-together is a good idea. If not, one idea is to spend Christmas morning with one side and Christmas night with the other.
Another option: If you're expecting or have a newborn, think about establishing your own traditions. For example, invite all the grandparents to come over on Christmas morning to see the baby receive his/her gifts.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wedding Cake Alternatives

Don't want a traditional wedding cake? You don't have to. Here are a few wedding cake alternatives:

Having a dessert bar is an awesome way for your guests to get a taste of some sweet treats. Want something less traditional? Consider having a tray of bite-sized treats passed around rather than a buffet. This is more formal and allows guests to feel as if they're being pampered. A few ideas: bite-sized cupcakes, bite-sized ice cream sandwiches and donut holes. Also, think about providing more decadent treats like mini creme brulee in finger-sized dishes with petit spoons.

If you're having a heavy meal, and the cake is your central focus, let your cake be a gift that guests can take away. Give each guest a small, empty baked-goods box, and place a tag on it with an explanation (that guests can take extra cake home).

One other idea is to place baked goods at the valet. You can make this poplar trend more creative by using carnival treats like a cotton candy machine or a kettle corn stand.

Any of these ideas are a sweet way to thank your guests!

Source; Photo Credit

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What You Should Know About Escort Cards

  1. Escort cards are sometimes confused with place cards; they designate guests' table assignments. Place cards tell guests exactly where to sit.
  2. They are sometimes referred to as "table-assignment cards" or "seating cards." Whichever term you use is fine.
  3. Place escort cards in alphabetical order according to guests' last names. Put them near the entrance to the cocktail-hour location (not by the door) or in the middle of the venue, so guests can come from all sides.
  4. One escort card will work for a couple since they'll sit at the same table. Otherwise, write out a card for each guest.
  5. Use titles like "Mr. John Doe" or "Dr. Jane Doe" at formal weddings. If the wedding is casual, use first and last names only like "John Doe."
Source: Brides magazine, June 2010; Photo Credit

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to throw a fabulous Christmas party

The holiday season is right around the corner, and you may be considering hosting a Christmas party at your home this year. When it comes to throwing a successful party, planning is very important. And planning ahead will save you time and headaches. Here are some tips for planning a fabulous Christmas party both you and your guests will remember for years to come:

Since the holiday season is full of parties, you should send out invitations three weeks in advance. Why? The earlier you send them out, the less likely it is that your guests will have committed to another event. The invitation should include the start and end time of your party, what food you're serving and directions to your home.

When deciding on a menu, choose items that can be made in advance, like certain appetizers and desserts that can be made and frozen weeks ahead of time. Other recipes can be created a few days before and kept in the refrigerator-- you can just bake and complete on the day of the party. Keep in mind that parties are not the time to try a new recipe. Try a new item before the party, or stick with recipes that work.

By serving heavy finger foods instead of recipes that need dinnerware, you'll keep the risk of spills down and lessen the amount of dishes you'll have to wash later. But if you do serve food that requires dinnerware, be sure you have table seating for guests to sit down-- it'll be easier on you. And if you really don't want to clean, use nice plasticware that can be thrown out.

Think about traffic flow. Put your bar near the ice and drinks, place dishes of finger foods on side tables and buffets throughout the entertaining area; supply enough chairs so at least half of your guests can sit at one time; place several trash cans discreetly near food tables and the bar to avoid plate pileups and kitchen traffic jams.

Set the atmosphere with holiday music in the background and/or by lighting candles throughout the house. Some other ideas: Personalize the event with a special activity; ask guests to write a holiday wish in a guestbook; or invite them to join you for caroling. Small details like these will help make your party an event everyone will remember.

Finally, remember that guests love party favors! You can send them home with homemade cookies or a small ornament.

By following these tips, you're sure to have a holiday party that's fun for everyone!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Choosing Your Wedding Flowers By Season

When it's time to decide on flowers for your wedding, choosing them by the season is a great idea! Select blooms that grow naturally and locally during the season of your wedding.

While it's possible to find most floral types throughout the year, seasonal blooms are easily accessible, cost less and frequently last longer.

The following are flowers that are in season each season:

Apple or cherry blossoms
Forysnthia Branches
Lily of the Valley
Sweet Peas

Calla Lilies
Jacob's Ladder
Queen Anne's Lace
Shasta Daisies

Gerbera Daisies


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ultimate Shopping Event!!

Ultimate Shopping Event, sponsored by Anointed Affairs Events, brings together the hottest fashion designers, boutiques and beauty service companies from across the U.S. to offer the latest trends in products and services at its fabulous shopping events held in major cities throughout the country. Shop with companies showcasing the hottest clothing, handbags, jewelry, accessories, lifestyle and beauty products all under one roof for discounts off their regular retail prices.

Join hundreds of fashion savvy shoppers as you enjoy complimentary beauty treatments, entertainment, goody bags and much more at our fun-filled shopping events that benefit local and well-deserving women and children's charities.

Start Your Christmas Shopping Early!
When: Saturday, November 20, 2010
10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Where: Sleep Inn & Suites
6860 Crain Highway, LaPlata, MD
Contact Information:
Vernesssa Blackwell
Phone: 240-274-5549

The cost for exhibitor tables is $75
(Cash, money order or credit card. See the sidebar to pay via PayPal or credit card).

Advanced registration is required, and space is limited! Please send the below information with payment to:

Vernessa Blackwell
P.O. Box 47
Temple Hills, MD 20757

We look forward to hearing from you!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Choosing your honeymoon destination

Deciding where to go for your honeymoon can really be a difficult choice. There are so many options to choose from! Here's how to choose one that you and your spouse-to-be will love:

Ask yourself what kind of honeymoon experience you want. Do you want relaxation, culture or an adventure? Whichever you choose, you should also consider the distance and how long you plan to stay; these aspects might affect your final decision. If you and your partner are having a hard time agreeing on the perfect place to go, try to compromise.

Create a budget. And be realistic. Many couples want a little luxury when it comes to their honeymoons. However, if an entire vacation at a five-star resort or hotel is too expensive, consider staying only a few days, and then move to a less expensive location. Additionally, you can register for a honeymoon; this will allow your loved ones to give toward your vacation. One other tip: Pass up pre-packaged honeymoon deals-- they're usually not as flexible and aren't customized to fit your choices.

Consider using a travel agent. They are skilled time-savers that can assist you in simplifying this process. Get recommendations from family and friends, or look for agents who are bonded and members of the American Society of Travel Agents.

Make sure the names on your passports are the same as the ones on your plane tickets. Also, get immunization shots or any needed medication ahead of time, and remember, you may experience jet lag. If you aren't accustomed to traveling, don't plan a day of sight-seeing immediately after getting to your destination. Finally, don't overplan; give yourself enough time to rest and explore.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

4 Tips for Hiring Your Wedding Videographer

Choosing a videographer for your wedding might seem difficult, but here are four tips to help:

1. Ask your photographer for a referral. He or she is probably familiar with several video shooters and knows who does good work and works well with others. There might even be a videographer associated with his or her studio.

2. Speak with couples who have worked with him or her recently. One question to ask: Was the videographer professional and discreet, or was he/she in everybody's face? Edward Neary of Milestone Video Production says "it's best if he stays invisible to the bride, groom and other guests."

3. Ask for a sample or two. It's better to see a completed video from a single wedding as opposed to a highlight video that's a combination of multiple weddings.

4. Make sure the videographer will blend in. She may need a tripod on occasion, but if she says "wheeled cart" or "dolly," run in the opposite direction.

Source: Brides Magazine, November 2010; Photo Credit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tips for throwing an office party

Thinking about putting together an office party for your workplace? Check out the tips below to make sure a fabulous time is had by all:

Get assistance. One way to do this is create a committee with the more social staff members. They will be able to give you some ideas, and by allowing them to be a part of the process, you can basically ensure there will be less complaining about the party plans. Additionally, ask for ideas from your employees by gathering answers on a brief questionnaire or set up a suggestion box.
Leave the office. Have the party at another location so everyone can get away from the office and the work-vibe. If you don't want to have it at a restaurant or hotel, try something different like an art gallery, museum or even a country inn.
Bring in the noise. Music is always good, so if you can, hire a DJ or live band. If you can't afford either, be sure to bring an iPod or a CD player. You can have employees bring their favorite CDs and have someone be responsible for regularly changing the albums to make sure a variety of music is played.
Guests. If you have the party in the afternoon, it makes sense to have an employee-only event. If it's an evening affair, however, letting employees bring a guest helps them keep the peace in their homes.
Be responsible. For the most part, you should provide festive and tasty non-alcoholic beverages. In certain situations, you could be held liable if an employee causes an accident while driving intoxicated after your party. Your options: Limit alcohol consumption, give employees rides home or establish a designated car pool.

Do you have any tips for throwing an office party? Please share below : ) (And if you need assistance in planning your office party, please don't hesitate to contact us:

Photo from:; Source

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

6 unexpected ways to relax

Wedding planning got you feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Here are six ways to de-stress that you may not have considered (from Brides Magazine):

  1. Tell a joke.
  2. Sing a children's song.
  3. Make your bed.
  4. Go through some family photos.
  5. Chew a stick of gum.
  6. Pet a cat or dog.

What are some unconventional ways you relieve stress? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wedding reception seating

With some tact and common sense, you can make a seating plan that will make nearly everyone happy.

You may feel that if you supply enough seats, everybody can determine where to sit on their own. But, if you take the time to create a plan, you'll ease your guests' anxiety of attempting to find a seat, and it ensures that couples who want to sit together can. If you have under 50 people attending your wedding, a detailed plan may not be necessary. Additionally, you could choose to just identify the bridal table with place cards and let other guests seat themselves; some couples choose to have a cocktail party or buffet with few tables, hoping the guests will "alternate" sitting and eating. If you choose to do this, be sure that elderly guests have somewhere to sit-- you could even designate an individual table for them.

So, who sits where?

The bridal table: The newlyweds might sit at a long, rectangluar head table, at a round table in the center or have their own "sweetheart" table. On the other hand, some couples don't have a table at all and leave some empty seats at each table so they can interact during the reception. Typically, the bridal table is set apart from the others by the type of decoration.

Family tables. Usually, the parents of the couple sit opposite of one another at a big family table with grandparents, the officiant and other close friends. Another option: The couple's parents "host" their own tables with their family members and close friends. And when it comes to divorced parents, each parent might host his or her own table which would help prevent discomfort.

Mix or match. When it comes to everyone else, you may be wondering if you should put friends together or put them with people they may not know. You should do a little of both. Yes, it's a good idea to throw in a few new places at every table, but people are more at ease when they know some of the people they're dining with.

Singles vs. Couples. Perhaps you've really been wanting to set your college roomate up with your fiance's best friend. It's okay to discreetly seat them next to one another. One thing you don't want to do is make a separate "singles" table; this may embarrass guests. Additionally, be careful not to place an unmarried friend at a table with a bunch of giddy newlyweds.

Children. If several children are at your reception, seat them together at a separate kids' table. If, however, only the flowergirl and ringbearer are there, they can sit with their parents.

Once you've figured out where everyone will go, you have to choose how you're going to guide them to their seats:

Place cards: These are tented cards, and they can be used by themselves or with escort cards. They are displayed close to the reception entrance in alphabetical order and typically include the guest's name and table number. When they reach the table, guests generally choose where to sit.
Escort cards: These are used in the most formal seating arrangments. They usually have the guest's name on the outer envelope and the table number on the card inside. The place cards on each table indicate where each guest sits.
The seating chart: These are generally displayed alphabetically in a nice frame close to the reception entrance and are lists of the guests' names with their tables. Additional place cards can be used at each table to signify assigned seats.
Do not, under any circumstance, use nametags. Your guests can make any introductions you haven't made beforehand.

Prior to making your seating arrangements, you should get the floor plan and make some copies. By doing this, you can try out different arrangements before you make the final choice. If you have any doubts, trust you instincts. And remember, it doesn't matter how perfect your final plan seems, someone will probably ask you to alter something to make a guest happy. You should try to be accommodating, but don't let it drive you crazy.

Source; Photo Credit

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Planning a baby shower on a budget

So, you have to host a baby shower for your sister, friend or cousin. And although you want it to be great, you don't want to spend a fortune on it. Here are some tips to help you host a fabulous shower without breaking the bank:

The location will be about five percent of your budget.
How to Save: Use your home (a relative's or a friend's will work to) to host the shower instead of using a restaurant or club. Additionally, consider having the party in a public place like a local park; just be sure to determine if you'll need a permit. And if you choose an outdoor venue, you also need to create a rain plan.

Invites and stationery are usually about 10 percent of your budget.
How to Save: Forget about snail-mail invites and use an online service like Evite, pingg or MyPunchBowl. Guests will be grateful for the ease of RSVPing by email, and you get to feel great about saving the trees and money. (However, if older guests will be attending, this might not work for them). And instead of having a guest book, cut out stars from heavy card stock. Ask guests to write their well wishes to the little one. Afterward, paste the stars into a baby book with a cute heading like "A Star Is Born" or "When You Wish Upon a Star."

Decoration will be about five percent of your overall budget.
How to Save: Purchasing items in bulk is one of the best ways to save. Before buying anything, compare online warehouse prices to your local store. Use latex balloons instead of mylar. For tablewear, look into stores like Christmas Tree Shops where you can buy dishes and cups inexpensively. You can also find lots of DIY decor ideas in the baby shower themes area on

Rentals are usually around five percent of your budget.
How to Save: If you have the shower at someone's home, you shouldn't have to rent any furniture. If it's outdoors, get creative with seating options. For instance, you can spread out blankets on the grass and pack large picnic baskets with finger foods like tea sandwiches, strawberries and homemade cookies. Remember that the mom-to-be still needs a comfy chair.

For five more ways to save on a baby shower, check out 10 Tips For Budget Baby Showers.

Photo Credit

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to handle a rainy wedding day

You've got everything ready for the big day, and everything is going smoothly. Then, oh no! It starts to rain! Of course, they say a rainy wedding day brings good luck, but who wants to deal with that kind of weather?

Here are some tips to help you have a fabulous wedding, even if it rains:

  • Having an outdoor ceremony? Be sure there is a tent set up and some umbrellas available for guests.
  • Have a trusted bridesmaid, friend or relative carry a "rainy day kit." Include bobby pins, hairspray, makeup and any other necessities that will help you refresh your look if you get rained on.
  • If the weather is really bad, think about getting dressed at the ceremony venue rather than at home or in your hotel room. It will be easier for you to maintain your look.
  • If you're taking your dress anywhere, be sure to use double plastic covers to protect it.
  • Wait until the absolute last minute to put on your shoes. You don't want them to get muddy. Another option: If you're having an outdoor ceremony, you could walk down the aisle in colorful, cute rain boots.
  • Contact your vendors, and be sure they are ready for potential rain.
  • Have a few ushers escort guests who might not have umbrellas. They will appreciate it.
  • If you're getting married at a country club or a similar venue, ask if you can use an indoor banquet room instead of a patio. If the weather doesn't look too good, some venues might be very willing to accommodate you.
  • Wear waterproof makeup.
  • Keep this French saying in mind: "Mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux," a wet wedding means a happy marriage!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New ways to decorate your home this fall

Fall is here, and that means it might be time to do some redecorating at home. Here are some ideas to consider:
  • Trade your current accessories for rich, vibrant and trendy items. Sandra Espinet, an interior designer based in Los Cabos, Mexico and Los Angeles, CA, suggets getting rid of the summer white. Also, you can purchase inexpensive throw pillows or slipcovers for bigger furniture pieces; Espinet says slipcovers are excellent for changing with the seasons.
  • Paint the walls of your living room, dining room and kitchen a warm color that's inspiring and exciting. Use more than one shade to pull the look together. Additionally, using texture keeps more modern furniture from looking too harsh, and it adds depth to an area.
  • Place a hand-knit thick throw blanket over an oversized armchair. You could also use pillows and blankets in fleece, wool or flannel. A mix-matched look is 'in' now, and you'll create a great place for reading.
  • Using u-shaped setups divide large rooms and help you create cozy settings. Additionally, if you have a fireplace, place your furniture so it faces it.
  • Surround yourself with photos of the ones you love or images of places you want to visit one day. Fill your home with your favorite items, ones that you've made and/or collected throughout your life.
For more tips, check out our source, 10 Decorating Trends for Fall.

Photo Credit

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Questions You Should Ask Wedding Planners

Thinking about hiring a wedding planner? Here are a few questions you should be sure to ask:

1. Will the consultant commit to your budget and not push you towards things you can't afford?
2. Will the consultant create a master plan outlining all the little details, from the announcement to the leopard-print decor? This will give you an idea of her/his organizational skills and how willing she/he is to keep you in the loop on everything.
3. Can the consultant identify the best and most unique places in your area that fit your wedding size, style and budget?
4. Is the consultant familiar with the best photographers, florists, caterers, bands and DJs in your price range? Can he/she briefly describe the positives they bring to the table? (Ask yourself: Does your consultant seem to be both educated and passionate?)
5. Will the consultant be able to get you any discounts with vendors? Consultants bring volume to favored vendors; many times, the vendors will return the favor by lowering prices or throwing in some extras.
6. Will the consultant read over the vendor contracts for you? Does he/she know the common traps to look out for?

For seven more questions to ask, check out 13 Questions to Ask Wedding Planners. Looking for a wedding planner in the DMV area? Check out our website,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

4 A's of Marriage

There are four A's that are suggested for all marriages: appreciation, apology, attention and affection. Read on to see how they can benefit your relationship:

Appreciation. Many times, spouses can become very focused on the negative behaviors of their partners, get caught up on things their spouses don't do or lose sight of what the other person is doing right. Appreciation means saying, "thank you" when your spouse does something kind or considerate. Additionally, it means stating your appreciation when your spouse does something you think they should have been doing for a while or something you think is just common courtesy. It could be something like your husband bringing your flowers or your wife letting you choose the radio station in the car. Appreciation is most effective when it's specific; for instance, "I really appreciate when you put your dirty clothes in the hamper." You can give your thanks face-to-face, on the phone, via text, email or note. It's important to remember to recognize, and comment on, the things your spouse does "right" as opposed to just focusing on, or complaining about, the things he/she does wrong."

Apologies. It seems simple to say you're sorry for something you did or said that was hurtful, but a lot of times, it's easier said than done. Your apologies have to be genuine. If you apologize for a specific behavior but keep engaging in the behavior constantly, your apology means nothing. Apologies are more effective when your partner feels you really understand you made a mistake and that you'll really do your best to not let something similar happen again. Additionally, when you're apologizing, say you're sorry, specify the behavior you are apologizing for and humbly state you know you were wrong and hope the other person will forgive you. It might also be useful to state that you know your words/actions were insensitive or upsetting so your partner realizes you are attempting to be in tune with how he/she is feeling.

Attention. Paying attentioon means being conscious and observant in your marriage. It means really "showing up," not just phoning in your participation or physically being there while being somewhere else mentally. It also means your spouse gets chunks of your time and energy during the day, such as noticing what he has on and being interested in her day. Additionally, paying attention also means looking at your spouse when he's talking to you, remember anniversaries, birthdays and other important dates. You should also make time to focus on your spouse and your relationship; you could go to dinner or just spend time really talking. Remember, paying attention to your spouse can't only happen during designated times; it also has to be done in small ways daily.

Affection. This means touch, not just sex. It means small acts of physical contact throughout the day like touching his shoulder or holding her hand in the car or just giving him a hug. It's essential that touch be given at other times besides in the bedroom; touch is a way of connecting with your spouse and doesn't have an ulterior motive. It's friendly, supportive and helps your partner feel close to you.

By using these four A's, you'll be lessening or even preventing many difficulties that come with marriage. The four A's make the good times more enjoyable and the difficult times easier to get through.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

10 Benefits of Meditation

Whether you're feeling frazzled from planning your wedding or just your everday life, meditation is an easy and free way to relieve stress. You can practice it anywhere, and you only need five minutes a day to do it. Here are 10 more benefits of meditating. Meditation:
  1. Helps with weight loss.
  2. Cures headaches and migraines.
  3. Helps with concentration and focus.
  4. Increases productivity.
  5. Helps cure insomnia and helps you fall asleep more quickly.
  6. Provides peace of mind and happiness.
  7. Helps you live in the moment.
  8. Lessens road rage.
  9. Decreases restless thinking.
  10. Increases productivity.
For 90 more tips, check out our source.

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