Alternative Sheets for Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet

Pink baby changing padThe Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet gives new parents a wonderful way to keep their baby close at night. The Mini Co-Sleeper can operate as a miniature crib or as an extension of your bed so that your newborn can be only an arm’s reach away. We received this bassinet as a gift for our newborn daughter and we’ve been using it for the past two weeks since her birth. We found the actual bassinet sheets for the Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet tend to be rather expensive and we’ve read you can’t put them through the dryer. I started by trial and error in the hopes of finding a suitable (and more affordable) alternative to the Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet sheets.

The mattress to the Co-Sleeper Bassinet is relatively thin and has Velcro underneath, making it a challenge to find a sheet that fits correctly. Since the reviews on the true Co-Sleeper bassinet sheets were not especially favorable, I opted to find something soft, washable and dryable, of high quality, and affordable.

We tried putting different sheets on the bassinet to see if we could get a good fit. Crib sheets were way too big so we skipped those. In a pinch we were able to fit Pack N Play sheets on the Co-Sleeper, but they were still a bit too big. When tucked in they worked okay, but they weren’t the ideal fit.Baby changing table

Finally in speaking with my sister-in-law, I learned that the best option she found for alternative bassinet sheets happened to be changing pad covers. I eagerly checked out her theory by putting a nice, fuzzy pink changing pad cover on the bassinet mattress and found it to be pretty much a perfect fit. Changing pad covers are more affordable than bassinet sheets yet they are soft and often still made of good quality fabric. (You can usually save a few dollars per sheet by purchasing changing pad covers instead of the bassinet sheets.)

I currently have three changing pad covers that I originally planned to use with the actual changing pad. I plan to buy a few more rather than ringing up higher costs on the true bassinet sheets and frustration in not being able to run them through the dryer. My favorite changing covers to use for bassinet sheet alternatives (for the Co-Sleeper) are the Summer Infant Basic Comfort Ultra Plush Changing Pad Cover (available in a variety of colors), Kids Line Velour Changing Pad Cover Mosaic Transport, Kids Line Bella Velour Changing Pad Cover, and Kushies Organic Change pad fitted sheet.

If you have concerns about using other sheets besides the branded Co-Sleeper bassinet sheets, be sure to check with your pediatrician. You can find a wide variety of changing pad covers online at Amazon and in your local Target store, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, and other favorite baby stores and mass market retailers.

 

Tips for a New Baby Photo Shoot at the Hospital

new baby photo shootWhen your baby’s due date is rapidly approaching, you’ve surely got a ton of things on your mind. Is my hospital bag packed? Is the baby’s bag packed? Did I forget anything? Are the pets/other kids squared away for the time we’ll be in the hospital? What else am I forgetting? The last thing on your mind at this point is probably anything to do with what happens AFTER your son or daughter is born; for instance, the baby photo shoot they offer at the hospital. Here are some tips to help ensure you get some great photos, no matter if you plan to take them yourself or take advantage of the professional photographers at the hospital.

professional baby photosProfessional baby photos are something you should seriously consider, even if you are on a bit of a budget. Remember that you only get one shot at having your newborn’s pictures taken professionally while you are in the hospital. You can certainly set something up after the fact at your home, but there is something special about getting your baby’s pictures when they are only days old. You don’t want to look back later in life and wish you had at least gotten them taken. Usually you can have the photo shoot done with no obligation to buy and no sitting fee. Of course, if you feel strongly against having a professional new baby photo shoot, you can take your own photos that you will still cherish for a lifetime.

Here are some tips to help you either way, whether you opt for a professional baby photo shoot at the hospital or if you set up your own baby photo shoot with your personal camera.

  • Bring some of your favorite new baby items from home when you head to the hospital – a handmade blanket, cute booties, a favorite bib, toy, or other personal item.
  • Ensure the baby is fed and changed before the photo shoot. You can get much better photos with a happy, full, satisfied baby than you can with a hungry, cranky baby.
  • If you do choose to have a professional photo shoot, ask the photographer about buying a CD of all the images with rights. You can also ask that they throw the extra shots on the disk, not just the top 10 or 20. We paid $135 and got 99 photos on disk with full rights to reproduce the photos and use them however we’d like. We don’t have to buy our prints and portraits through the photo studio now, and we can share photos with friends and family – so totally worth it!
  • Try to get photos of mom and baby, dad and baby, all three together, and cute shots that focus on dad’s hands, baby’s hands, baby’s feet, etc.
  • Get a little creative with your shots – don’t feel you need to smile at the camera every time. Kiss the baby’s head, let her hold onto your finger, close your eyes and nuzzle up close. Gaze lovingly at your spouse while he or she holds the baby and looks at the baby.
  • If you opt to take your own photos, try to plan your photo session for a time when one of your visitors – a friend or family member – can spend a few moments snapping away.
  • If possible, plan your photo shoot toward the end of your hospital stay; not necessarily on discharge day, but definitely give yourselves some time to unwind and recover from the craziness of just having a baby. If your stay is too short to coordinate a later shoot, just plan it according to the schedule you’ve got.

These tips should help you prepare even just a little bit to get some special photos of your newborn. You will cherish these photos for a lifetime, so be sure you snap a bunch on your camera too, even if you do plan to have the professional baby photos done. If you have any other helpful tips to share related to new baby photo shoots, please feel free to share them in our comments below.

Versatile, Trendy Swimsuits by Hapari for Women and Men

As soon as the weather gets a bit warmer, we often start to dream of trips to the beach, pool parties, and other exciting warm weather activities. Stylish new bathing suits come to mind, and many of us start working harder to get “back in shape” if we aren’t already at our ideal body type. Thankfully, so many colors, styles, and patterns exist in many diverse swimwear collections, allowing us an easy way to accentuate our best features while playing down those we’re still working on improving. Hapari – a swimwear retailer offering something for everyone from adult women and men to junior boys and girls – has a full line of swimsuits for any body type, including plus size and even mastectomy patients.

Hapari offers a wide array of gorgeous and trendy swimwear for women of every shape and size, with fun patterns and colors available in bikinis, tankinis, one-piece swimsuits, and coordinating bottoms that can mix and match with the different top styles. Bathing suit tops range from bandeau styles to halter tops, and more, while bottoms include tie bottoms, regular bottoms, sarong skirt style bottoms, hot shorts, swim skirts, and Tummy Tuk bottoms. A number of cover-ups, cover skirts and shorts, and other beach apparel items are also available to coordinate with your new swimwear possibilities.

I received a complimentary voucher code to select a swimsuit from Hapari’s website for the purpose of this review. In browsing the many fun and gorgeous swimsuits for 2012 on the site, I finally settled on a Black Classic Bandeau Tankini Top with a white border at the top and a coordinating white tie bottom. The Black Classic Bandeau Tankini Top comes with removable straps that are well constructed with metal hook-style clasps, making them very durable and easy to attach and remove. These straps can be worn as standard straps or in a halter style, or removed for a fully strapless look. The straps are white, matching the white strip of stretchy fabric at the top of the bandeau while the rest of the tankini is dark black. Sewn-in cups and a shelf bra make this a more supportive top for larger busts while the long and smooth stretch of black fabric offers slimming qualities to downplay any extra inches in the tummy area.

As for the white tie bottom, this classic bikini bottom makes the perfect complement to the white band on the tankini top. This bathing suit bottom is fully adjustable and the ties on the white bikini bottom are long enough to tighten or loosen the fit according to your needs. The side ties add a nice touch of feminine elegance and flirtatiousness while the bottom’s shape and style offer just enough coverage to complete the look of the black and white tankini top. A lovely hibiscus flower is embroidered on the back of the swimsuit bottom, right near one of the side ties. It is understated yet a perfect touch for this simple yet fun bathing suit.

The black and white color scheme creates a classy look that works well with the style of this tankini. The top retails for $49 and the white bottom with side ties sells for $31.

I had a little bit of money left over on my Hapari voucher that I decided to treat my husband to a swimsuit, too. I had him check out the selection on the website and he selected the Men’s Blue Hawaiian Tribal Board Shorts. These boardies are currently on sale for $19, down from $23.  They feature a true blue, white, and black pattern that has a wave style and intricate patterns reminiscent of Tiki masks and surfboards. The HAPARI name is embroidered on the one leg and “Aloha” with a symbolic depiction of the Hawaiian islands on the other leg.

The fabric is soft, smooth, and comfortable. The board shorts have one side pocket that has two small eyelets to allow water to drain freely. In full disclosure, there does appear to be a faint blue stain on the white fabric on the back of the swimsuit, but I plan to see if it comes out in the wash, or with a little hairspray in case it is some kind of ink.

I am really looking forward to wearing my new tankini swimsuit on vacation this summer, whether we make it to the beach, the mountains, or even to someone’s pool. I honestly could have selected five or six different women’s swimsuits that I just loved, so I am confident anyone else browsing Hapari’s collection will find a great new bathing suit for this summer and any subsequent excursions.

For more information, please visit http://www.hapari.com.

 

Finally – Pink Doggie Clothing for Baby Girls! Margery Ellen Baby Gift Set

Ever since I found out my husband and I would be having a little girl, I’ve been stuck on finding puppy and dog themed baby outfits for little girls. You couldn’t possibly imagine how difficult it is! So many things come in blue puppies or outfits that say “tough guy” with a little doggie, or something along those lines. Pink puppies and pink doggies just didn’t seem to exist for baby girls…. Finally I stumbled upon the Margery Ellen Baby Gift Set, which has its own collection of adorable pink doggies on super soft pima cotton garments for baby girls.

The Margery Ellen Gift Set is beautifully packaged in a pink and white patterned box with handle, much like an old-fashioned lunch box. Polka dots and stripes add just the right feminine touch to your very first impression. Opening the latch and lid of the gift box reveals a too-cute-for-words set of pink puppy themed baby clothes, including a soft pink hat, pink footie pajamas with snaps all the way down from neck to ankles, and a wonderfully soft and gorgeous pink puppy dog blanket. The pink hat has a very cute stitch around the edges and a small, two-tone pink dog embroidered on the front.

The same little pink dog appears spaced throughout the super cute footie pajamas, which are sized for 3-6 months. The pajamas offer impressive attention to detail, with lovely stitching and trim on the neckline, all the cuffs, and edges. The snaps are shiny and click together with ease, but they stay fastened just as well. Even the long sleeves of this cute baby sleeper have the pink dog embroidered for all to see. If you could only imagine the cuddliest, cutest baby girl in the world, she would surely be even cuter and cuddlier in this adorable pink puppy pajama set by Margery Ellen, available at Michael C. Finain Manhattan.

The soft pima blanket features three rows of pink dogs embroidered on a baby pink pima cotton background. The quality of this item is evident, as well, with the pima cotton taking on a heavy enough weight to keep the baby cozy and warm while still light enough to enjoy using it in the warmer months of the year. The pink doggie baby blanket boasts a lovely stitching along all the edges, with cute rounded corners that add a feminine touch.

If you are lucky enough to receive this item as a baby gift – or if you happen to order it for yourself – you may want to bring along the blanket and hat to the hospital with you when your baby is on the way. This set is honestly one of the cutest I’ve seen and you’ll be sure to love storing your little girl’s keepsakes in the sweet gift box while she stays cozy and cute in her jammies, hat, and blanket.

The Margery Ellen Baby Gift Set with pink puppies retails for $135 at Michael C. Fina in NYC. This is an unforgettable baby gift set that would make the perfect present for a baby shower or a hospital welcome. The entire set is machine washable and features only the finest pima cotton. All garments are made in Peru.

I received this item from Michael C. Fina for the purpose of review. This adorable and cuddly gift set is just one of many wonderful gift items available in Michael C. Fina’s baby department. Michael C. Fina is a 75-year-old, family-owned retailer located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, NYC. For more information on this adorable pink puppy baby outfit gift set, please visit Michael C. Fina online.

 

Wild Bachelorette Party Ideas

Who says men are the only ones who know how to party? Women can throw really wild parties too! Having fun at a bachelorette party is totally different from having to have to plan it all. It’s a completely different ball game when you can kick back and enjoy the fun instead of having to coordinate every detail. But the most redeeming factor of it all is the fun you’ll have during the party – well worth all the planning!

Always remember that the wild bachelorette party night is intended for the bride-to-be, so keep her personality in mind. The thought is that this is the last night she’ll be able to do all the wild things she won’t want do when she’s joined to her husband in marriage. With this in mind, you can draw some great bachelorette party ideas for a wild bachelorette night.

Here are some popular tips, games, themes, and party locations where the gals can have that one wild night before the bride-to-be enters into married bliss.

Wear your hottest outfit and try to see which among you gets the most pickup lines from the guys. This shouldn’t be all too hard. A nice LBD (little black dress) and classic high heels should do the trick. Try to choose an outfit that allows you to party hard, though. You don’t want any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions or painful blisters disrupting the party.

Choose your party location carefully. Nobody wants to party in a dead location or ghost town. Try to look for a city where the nightlife is vibrant and there’s no shortage of activities to do out and about. Places like Las Vegas and New York are always fantastic options, but try to look for cities that are rare gems when it comes to nightlife and you might be up for a nice surprise. You never know what you might discover.

If it fits with your crowd, you and the girls can go and enjoy a little striptease at a male revue or similar club locale. You can go out for dancing and drinks as well.

Have party games that are ready to play anywhere, any time. You never know what’ll happen in club or a bar when the party gets going, so to up the ante at a party, prepare games you can play out in a crowded scene. Add a little element of risqué behaviors into the mix as well. This may go without saying, but adding a subtle (or more pronounced, depending on your preferences) adult theme to the party can really spice up the heat of the bachelorette night.

One of the more popular games is called “Suck for a buck.” All you need is a white shirt and some hard candy. The bride-to-be wears a white shirt stuck full of hard candy in “strategic” locations. Try to approach men and dare them to suck out the candy using only their lips and tongue for a fee. The more “strategic” the location, the higher the fee.

Drinking games are always a staple, because, let’s face it, what’s a night out without some alcohol? These are easy to make up because you can do variations of different party games by just including alcohol. One example is “Truth or Shot” which is just truth or dare, with just dare replaced by a shot of any drink.

Always remember, try not to get things going too wild or else you might not be able to control it. The whole point of this is to have fun and not to find yourselves sprawled in someone else’s house, not being able to remember the night before. So enjoy, and try to keep things safe and fun at the same time!

 

Bestever Baby Mats – Lamb Baby Mat Review

Bestever Lamb Baby Mat ReviewI’m in love! From the first glimpse I caught of Bestever’s Lamb Baby Mat, I knew I had found a very special product that our little girl on the way is going to absolutely adore. When it arrived in the mail, I couldn’t even believe the little lamb is even cuter and even softer than I imagined. Excited to get my husband’s opinion, too, I waited till he got home from work and showed him the adorable plush lamb baby mat. He expressed that this is one of the best baby items he’s seen so far! (And trust me – he isn’t the type to get excited about baby gear!)

I had the pleasure of corresponding with Sandy, the vice president of Bestever, Inc., as I was looking for some unique baby products to share with our readers this spring. Sandy put Bestever Baby Mats on my radar and I’m so glad she did – these adorable products are just want I was hoping to find and share as one of the true baby gear must-haves! Sandy kindly sent me my very own baby mat for the purpose of this review, and has generously decided to extend a special giveaway for one lucky Life Love Beauty reader to win their very own lamb style Bestever Baby Mat!

The lamb style Bestever Baby Mat is a plush, creamy off-white, cuddly mat for your baby or young child to lounge or nap upon, crawl over, and enjoy for a long time to come. The mat is about 31” and has a circular belly as the majority of the mat portion, with an adorable lamb head, arms, and legs. The head makes a very soft pillow even an adult can enjoy. I adore the ultra soft fabric used for the entire baby mat, with the cuddliest part being the belly where your little one can lie and rest.

Every detail of the Lamb Bestever Baby Mat is meticulously designed, resulting in a product that you would be proud not only to own, but to gift as well. The lamb baby mat has adorable pink insides to its ears, and a different cuddly fabric for its face as compared to its head and ears. The face has lovely chocolate brown eyes with eyebrows and a cute pink nose and mouth. The underside of the mat has more of a canvas texture on the belly portion, giving better durability for longtime use. Baby mats are machine washable but should dry flat.

I so love this lamb style Bestever Baby Mat that I believe it may be my go-to photo prop for taking pictures of our baby girl during her “month birthdays.” I think it will be nice for context, to see how small she is at first and how she grows in size and finds new ways to enjoy lounging on her lamb as she gets older. I can already picture how much she will love resting upon the lamb even as a toddler or a young child. These clever plush animal mats are suitable for kids of all ages, so I am sure she will love it for many years to come! I know I will. And, I’m pretty sure my border collie saw me sneak this lamb mat up into our guest bedroom to await the little one’s arrival. She loves all things plush as well, and the fact that it is a lamb, well, you know border collies. Guess we will have to wait and see how hard it is to convince her that this lamb is for the baby, not for her use as a new dog bed or plaything! She’s a sweet pup and a good dog, so I’m not at all worried… (famous last words).

Bestever Baby Mats retail for $50 and come in a wide variety of animal styles that are perfect for little girls, little boys, and even when the baby’s gender is a surprise. Some of the styles include bears, puppies, a hippo, owls, a giraffe, a monkey, and a lion, to name a few. These items would make the perfect gift for a baby shower, a new baby, or a young child, and they are unique enough that you shouldn’t need to worry about multiple gifts of the same type. Even parents should enjoy these adorable baby mats – I am sure it wouldn’t be the first time an adult thought about resting their head for a quick catnap on these super plush and adorable animals.

For more information about Bestever Baby Mats, please visit http://www.shopbestever.com.

Stay tuned for your chance to win an identical Bestever Baby Mat in the lamb style!

 

Blast from the Past – Retro Bathing Suits and Swimwear Styles

Watch out James Bond girls, retro bathing suits are coming back this summer, along with monokinis and bandeau bikinis. These throwback trends aren’t going away any time soon since they’re now being contested as classics to the hottest swimwear fashion. Besides, you can’t really argue with a woman in a bikini, just ask James Bond – he’s had ton of experience.

Originally developed during the 60s, the first bikinis were considered too risqué for the American audiences, but were a smash hit with the French. Since then, the original bikini design hit it off, and would even be accepted by the then ultra conservative public in the United States.

Women can surprise everyone now that retro swimsuits are back in style. One of the best things about the retro bathing suit is that it has that perfect balance. A bikini is very revealing, there’s no doubt about that, but as the years grew along with the design, it seemed the bikini grew smaller and smaller. Fast forward to now and we have the string bikini and many other designs that can be a little bit too revealing.

The original bikini design had the perfect balance between skin and cloth. At least with the original bikini, you could at least hide of those unwanted “assets.”

A few other looks that are coming back today are the tankini and the monokini. Waist cinching is becoming a thing recently with many designers. The monokini is a one-piece type of bikini swimsuit. You can find monokini style swimwear with lots of creative cutouts. Waist cinching is a style that ties a belt made of fabric across the waist. It’s also great if you’re looking for an illusion of the belt, without the belt itself. So you’d get the look of the belt, without the restraint.

Oh the applications of that. Waist cinching a bikini allows you to accentuate your figure more and make your waist look a bit more slender than it really is. Not to mention the way it’ll make your figure look smoother. Tankinis are a popular style of swimsuit for a more conservative girl, offering a top and a bottom that have a bit more coverage than traditional bikinis. Tankinis often look like tank tops with bikini bottoms, but sometimes they can be strapless or have a swim skirt or boy shorts for a bottom. What’s even better about the tankini style of swimsuits is that the designers have more space to add styles to it, which means more variety for you! Since retro is back in, expect to see ruffles, buttons, rings, and tons of other designs on this season’s selection.

The bandeau top is also in this season, which means a lot of mixing and matching. The great thing about bandeau tops is that you don’t really have to buy them in a set. Once you have an old set of bikinis, you can combine them with the bandeau tops to give your old sets a nice spin. Plus, like a tube top, the bandeau has that sexy look to it that will surely make you sizzle on the beach.

If you’re going to shop for a new bikini, try to watch out for these excellent throwback fashion finds. The great thing about them is, they’re such classic designs, even if they go off trend, they’ll still be a head turner on the beach.

 

7 Memorial Weekend Party Themes

Memorial Day weekend always sneaks up when time starts flying by faster and faster as the weather keeps getting nicer. If you are going to have a barbecue or outdoor party for Memorial Day, consider choosing from a few fun Memorial weekend party themes to give your event a special twist. You can keep your party casual or spice things up a bit, depending on your preferences. Consider these suggestions for Memorial weekend party themes you can use for your next Memorial Day gathering.

As a special precaution, keep in mind that Mother Nature can be a bit unpredictable, so it may pay off to have a backup plan for moving your party indoors if needed. You can consider an outdoor party tent or simply move your party inside the house if it looks like the weather may not cooperate. Regardless of the weather, here are some fun Memorial weekend party themes to consider.

•    Hawaiian Luau Party – pretty colors, hibiscus flowers on the deck, tropical drinks with little paper umbrellas, and food like pineapple chicken kabobs, rice, ham, and shrimp…

•    Memorial Day Potluck – Ask each of your guests to bring a covered dish, dessert, or snack. Once you know what people are bringing, you can fill in the gaps or simply make your favorite dishes.

•    Red, White, and Blue Party – Try to have as much food in red, white, and blue as possible, with at least a flag cake, and make a selection of red, white, and blue cocktails. Don’t forget to decorate in these patriotic colors, too!

•    Pool Party – If the pool is open, invite your guests over for a dip. Serve up some burgers and hotdogs, grilled chicken, and beer, as well as fruit salad, side salads, and ice pops.

•    Reggae Party – If money is no object, hire a reggae band to play at your party and decorate with reggae themed decorations. You can get away with beer and barbecue food or whatever you’d like to do, with the main focus on the music. As an alternative, make up a reggae playlist you can play on an iPod or stereo system.

•    Beach Party – Choose a few savory seafood items, decorate with some shells and beachy decorations, and play some fun tunes like the Beach Boys and anything with a steel drum band.

•    Basic Barbecue – Sometimes something simple is the easiest to plan, especially for a bigger group. If you are hosting a Memorial weekend party for many guests, consider keeping it a basic barbecue party with burgers, hotdogs, and all the usual sides, plus a few desserts and some beer and wine.

Your Memorial Day or Memorial weekend party can take on any theme you’d like – these are just a few examples of what might be nice for a warm weather party in late May. You can use these warm weather party themes as inspiration to help you find a theme that would be perfect for a Memorial weekend gathering of friends and family.

 

Plus Size Swimwear and Bathing Suit Styles

We all know that women come in all shapes and sizes. Whoever said that women should conform to only one ideal shape or size? If that was the case, then every man would have been bored from seeing the same thing over and over again. That’s why there’s totally nothing wrong with being a plus size woman. If you have that body, why not flaunt it? In fact, since it is the summer season, it’s the perfect season to show off those curves that some other women don’t have. And, what better wardrobe to kick it all off than a plus size bikini or swimsuit?

Since you already have the perfect season and the perfect piece of clothing, all you need now is the perfect place, which is obviously the beach! Yes it’s the summertime and going to the beach is the a great reason for you to break out that swimsuit and let your skin soak up that sun. Now usually plus sized ladies are hard pressed to look for plus sized swimsuits. With all the different styles out there, it can be quite confusing to choose the right one for you. Obviously, you’d want one that can emphasize the right assets and curves. Every woman knows that. In choosing the perfect swimsuit for you, different styles and colors should be considered.

When choosing a plus sized bathing suit, consider your physical features – everything from your skin tone, to your height, your hair color, and your favorite physical features. You can find plus size swimming suit styles that can complement everything , making your best features stand out in your favor.

If you’re one the shorter side of the spectrum, try to avoid those horizontal stripe patterns. They give off that illusion of stretching your figure horizontally, making you look even shorter. Conversely, vertical stripes do the opposite, which makes them ideal for the shorter gals. Since a lot of designers usually have this kind of knowledge, a plus size swimsuit with a horizontal kind of pattern would be a little bit more difficult to find. Thank God for that.

Another great tip is that black, and other neutral or dark colors, are always slimming. It gives that illusion of the contour of your figure to be a lot smoother, giving you a more slender and continuous form. If you feel a bit self-conscious, choose a black, chocolate brown, or navy blue plus size swimsuit to give you a slimming effect.

Women should never be ashamed if they have extra curves. It will always just be a matter of perspective about one’s body. But there is one other thing that makes women self-conscious about their figures: Pregnancy. Most women cringe or even dread the thought of having a baby bump at the most fun season of the year. Now the general thought about being pregnant is there’s so much that you can miss doing over the summer because you’re not allowed a to have or do a lot of things.

But hey, at least wearing a wonderful swimsuit isn’t one of them. Today, women can find a wide variety of plus size maternity swimwear everywhere. There’s no hiding the baby bump, so why not wear it proudly?

There are a lot of great designs to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits a pregnant you. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, you can start with stores such as Alwaysforme.com, Swimsuitsplussize.org, and Swimsuitsforall.com. You can find a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from, so go ahead and have some fun!

 

Bachelorette Weekend Camping Ideas

One last hurrah with the girls is a great way to close one chapter of life and usher in the start of the next. A bachelorette party is the perfect way for a bride to celebrate with her closest girlfriends before her wedding day arrives. The bridal party often plans a bachelorette party at a bar or similar venue, sometimes a winery or at a beach house or vacation retreat. A bachelorette weekend camping trip is another great way to celebrate with the girls. You can go rustic and camp out in a big tent with all the girls or rent an RV or cabin for a little bit of upscale camping fun. Here are some bachelorette weekend camping ideas to consider for the next bride to be with a sense of adventure.

These bachelorette camping ideas should give you a starting point in planning an exciting and adventurous girls’ weekend getaway in the great outdoors. Get together your favorite females and prepare for some fun and excitement away from home.

•    Decide if you want to go rugged or luxurious. Get a campsite with a fire ring or an RV or rustic cabin where you all have a bed or bunk instead of a sleeping bag.

•    Regardless of where you camp out, be sure to bring some supplies to make s’mores and other delicious campfire desserts.

•    Ask each girl to bring a recipe and ingredients for campfire cooking and a tasty alcoholic beverage to go with it. (Cocktails may be better, but beer is allowed!)

•    Plan some fun activities for your group of girls to enjoy – boating, fishing, hiking, exploring, kayaking, spelunking, or even something like paintball or a water balloon battle.

•    Have a scavenger hunt or play another outdoor game where you’re camping.

•    Bring lawn games like horseshoes, quoits, ladder ball, or even a volleyball and net to enjoy some fun competition with your ladies.

•    Bring a boom box or an iPod with good speakers so your group can enjoy some music and dancing if you like.

•    Don’t forget a camera and maybe a video camera like Flip Video (which can also be a great gift for the bride-to-be). You are going to make some amazing memories you’ll want to document… or maybe not!

These are some basic ideas to get your bachelorette camping weekend off to a great start. Please feel free to share any other ideas you have for camping with the girls in our comments below.

 

Beauty and Fashion Tips for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to spend with family, whether you are enjoying your own Mother’s Day or celebrating with your mom or mother-in-law. Either way, Mother’s Day gives us a special reason to get dressed up for our plans, whether visiting with family or going out to a nice restaurant. Here are some beauty and fashion tips to try for Mother’s Day this year.

As you prepare to put your Mother’s Day outfit together, consider these suggestions for Mother’s Day hairstyles, makeup tips, manicure tips, and what to wear on Mother’s Day. You can create a complete look that is gorgeous no matter if you are the mom herself or coming out to show your love and support for the special women in your life.

What to Wear on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day usually falls on a fairly nice weekend where the weather is warm enough to get away with showing a little leg. Consider wearing a pretty spring dress with sandals or a nice skirt and top set with sandals to keep comfortable and fashionable. You can also wear a nice cardigan over your dress or top to keep your shoulders warm, especially if it is a bit breezy or if the rain breaks through.

If you prefer, you can also wear a cute spring top with some nice ruffles and a pair of khakis, black pants, or other slacks. Consider bright and fun colors for your shirt or blouse as a tribute to the springtime and to Mother’s Day. Don’t forget a nice coordinating bag and cute shoes to go with your Mother’s Day outfit!

How to Do Your Hair for Mother’s Day
Once you know what your Mother’s Day outfit will be, you can more easily choose a nice hairstyle to complement the look. For a dressy look, consider a nice up-do with a few curls or a long and loose hairstyle with some soft curls created by a wide-barreled curling iron. You can also go with a standard blowout or a nice twisty bun or low up-do using a classy hairpin or clip.

For a more casual look, consider wearing your hair down, wearing it up in a cute ponytail, or twisting it up in a simple hair clip. For additional inspiration, check out these Mother’s Day Hairstyles to Try.

How to Do Your Makeup for Mother’s Day
Makeup is definitely a personal preference, but a nice look generally includes mascara and a touch of eye shadow (maybe some eyeliner), a bit of lipstick or lip tint, and some powder or concealer to touch up any blemishes. If you like, you can add a bit of blush or bronzer.

Choose colors that complement your skin tone as well as your eye color. You can keep your look rather natural or play it up a bit if you are going on a Mother’s Day date with your hubby. Consider these other Makeup Tips for Mother’s Day to give you some additional ideas for your special look.

How to Do Your Nails for Mother’s Day
A pretty and timeless look for any special occasion is the French manicure and French pedicure. Sometimes it’s easiest to get this look at your favorite nail salon, since you don’t have to worry about switching from your dominant hand to non-dominant hand while painting your nails. If you prefer to paint your own nails, you can choose a pretty solid color manicure and pedicure in colors that match or look nice together, or you can try your hand at the French mani and pedi.

If you are more interested in something a little creative and fun, consider painting your own nail art designs for Mother’s Day. You can do something simple or complex, depending on your skill level and preferences. Consider these Pretty Mother’s Day Nail Art Designs You Can Do Yourself as a few options to decorate your nails for Mother’s Day.

If you and your mom will be spending the day together, consider going to the spa or nail salon for some quality girl time. You can also go shopping to choose some new outfits, perfume, or other goodies.

What other beauty and fashion tips do you have for Mother’s Day? Please share them in our comments below.

 

Couples’ Workout Weekend Getaway Ideas

Many couples enjoy working out together, whether it’s weightlifting, running, triathlons, or a slew of other workout activities. For those looking for the next great training excursion or a fun vacation idea with a healthy spin, consider these couples’ workout weekend getaway ideas for training activities. You and your significant other can cheer each other on and push each other to excel athletically in training or in competition with these fun fitness vacation ideas.

Before you get started in planning your couples’ workout weekend getaway, first think about your budget and how far you are willing to travel. You can choose a marathon or triathlon or other competitive event on the other side of the country or you can keep things closer to home if that works better for your budget and your schedule. Once you know any limitations in planning your exercise escape, consider these other tips to help you plan a great workout weekend!

Hiking, Running, or Biking Workout Weekend Getaway for Couples
For couples that love spending time in the great outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and exploring uncharted territory, a hiking, biking, or running weekend could be the perfect pick-me-up in a tired training routine. This kind of couples’ workout weekend getaway can take place close to home or hundreds of miles away. Use your imagination and find a fun location with trails to run or bike, forests to hike through, or beaches where you can jog to your heart’s content. Look for mountains with trails friendly for hikers or find a park with great bike paths you can enjoy. Do a little research and find your perfect place to spend your weekend working out together.

Racing Weekend for Couples
Look for a marathon, triathlon, or even a half-marathon or 5K race located at a destination you would like to visit. Schedule your trip far enough in advance so you and your sweetheart can train and prepare your bodies for the athletic demands. Train together leading up to the event and plan a nice dinner reservation for the night before your race so you can load up on carbs like a satisfying pasta dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Also, consider extending your workout weekend into a long weekend so you and your significant other have a chance to recover and relax before heading back home. You will appreciate the chance to have a bit of fun or soothing relaxation after a grueling workout.

Kayaking, Waterskiing, or Swimming Weekend
A weekend vacation to a nice mountain lake or other location allows the two of you to enjoy some kayaking, canoeing, or a little boating with the chance to go waterskiing or wakeboarding for a great water workout. Swimming is another wonderful activity you can enjoy for low-impact exercise that is enjoyable on your own or with a partner.

To make the most of any kayaking, canoeing, or boating that you do, consider bringing along a snack or a small picnic lunch to enjoy during your excursion.

Training Weekend for Couples
Sometimes you may not have a special workout theme in mind, but you know you want to work on your toning, endurance, and physical wellness. If this is the case, consider going somewhere you can enjoy a wide variety of workout activities like jogging, tennis, yoga, and swimming. Some hotels like the Westin Nova Scotian Halifax Hotel will provide guests with a selection of workout gear (shirts, shorts, sneakers, etc.) for use during their stays. The Westin Nova Scotian Halifax Hotel offers guests New Balance gear known as WestinWORKOUT gear that they can request in the correct sizes so their workout routines are not interrupted when traveling away from home. Upon checkout, guests simply leave the clothing and shoes in the mesh bag. Of course, if the primary reason for your trip is to enjoy a couples’ workout weekend getaway, it is highly likely you will remember all of your own workout gear in the first place, but it is a nice, new offering that several hotels are choosing to include.

No matter what you decide for your couples’ workout weekend vacation, you should be sure to keep up with your normal diet and fluid intake to keep your body healthy. What other ideas do you have for a fun couples’ workout getaway? Share your ideas or a quick recap of your favorite trip in our comments below!