Centerpieces for Tropical or Beach Weddings

Choosing decorations for your wedding can be quite the daunting task. You’ve got flowers, candles, miles and miles of tulle, and of course, centerpieces. For many brides, centerpieces are a fun and unique way to express their artistry and creativity. Can you hear the ocean?The table centerpieces often match the theme and colors of the wedding. If you are planning a tropical or beach wedding theme, these ideas may help you or help to spark another great wedding centerpiece idea.

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The Perfect 12-Step Program: Perfect Pedicures at Home

Pedicures at home are easy and affordable.

Ready to break into spring and get those toes into strappy sandals, flip-flops, and yes, even bare feet? Polish away the dry skin and bid winter goodbye with a pampering, relaxing at-home pedicure. Just follow this fabulous 12-step pedicure program to picture-perfect, spring ready feet!

To get started, gather the following materials and make some room in your bathroom or even in front of the television if you’re feeling comfortable with the techniques!

 

Materials:
– Basin or tub
– Foot Soak, Epsom salt or bath salts
– Pumice footstone
– Small brush
– Nail polish remover / cotton balls
– Nail polish
– Base coat for nails
– Top coat for nails
– Clippers
– File
– Orangewood stick (Cuticle stick)
– Lotion
– Foot scrub treatment

Whether you are in the mood to pamper yourself or just starting to get dolled up, an at-home pedicure can be one of the most soothing and relaxing body treatments after a long day. If you find yourself surrounded by unavoidable stress factors day-to-day, wash your cares away with a pedicure!

The last couple of days remaining before a special vacation would also be a great time to perform an at-home pedicure. Just think of all the fun you’ll have dancing around in the sand and surf, showing off those pretty, pedicured toes!

Paint your nails for spring and summer.

Getting beautiful, soft, and sexy feet is simple if you are willing to put a little bit of time into it. Just follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Begin to fill a basin (or your bathtub) with several inches of warm water. Add desired amount of foot soak, bath salts or Epsom salt so that it dissolves in the water as the tub fills.

Step 2: While the tub is filling, remove any old polish from your toes with nail polish remover and cotton balls. If necessary, clip and file nails to desired shape and length.

Step 3: Grab a good book or magazine, turn on some music, or just sit back and enjoy the warm water on your tired feet. Soak for as long as you like, but at least 5-10 minutes.

Step 4: Using the small brush, gently buff one foot first and then the other. This will help to remove some dead skin cells and also to soften your feet.

Step 5: Using a foot scrub (Freeman’s makes a great one—Barefeet: Plum and Pumice foot scrub), massage the cream onto your feet, paying special attention to your heels and any rough spots. This will further soften and exfoliate.

Step 6: A pumice footstone can work wonders for dry and rough feet! Use this inexpensive extra to eliminate remaining rough spots. Dip feet after this step.

Step 7: Remove both feet from the tub and dry feet with towel. Massage your favorite lotion onto them. (Some companies even have a line of foot massage lotions!)

Step 8: Using orangewood stick, gently push your cuticles back along the nail. They should be supple due to the soaking.

Step 9: If you wish to paint your toenails, you can use toe separators to facilitate the process. Apply a base coat of nail polish to fill in the ridges and uneven surfaces. Base coats are generally clear or slightly opaque and they help to strengthen the nail to avoid breakage.

Step 10: Choose your desired shade of nail polish and apply. Allow first coat to dry and repeat. (Hint: For touch-ups, dip a Q-tip in the nail polish remover and gently swab away the unwanted color.)

Step 11: Apply a crystal-clear topcoat to add shine and to protect color from chipping.

Step 12: Enjoy your smooth, soft feet and beautified toes! You are now ready to sport your favorite sandals or cozy up at home in your comfiest slippers. Whatever the occasion, your feet will look and feel great!

Approximate time required: 45 minutes to an hour, depending on personal preference

Once you’ve completed all the steps, you are ready to enjoy having soft, smooth and sexy feet for a couple of weeks. Keep an eye on your nail polish to make sure it doesn’t crack or chip. Once your toes start to show signs of wear and tear, it may be a good time to perform another pedicure. If you don’t have time to go through all 12 steps, you can always remove the old nail polish and apply a new coat at least once every two weeks.

Enjoy your at-home pedicure. Now get out there and show off your pretty toes!

Romantic Summer Vacation Getaways in the United States

Catch a breath-taking sunset.The warm sand beneath your toes, the gentle lapping of salty water tickling your feet – what could be better than a seashore vacation to escape your cares? In today’s day and age, romantic vacations need not always consist of stereotypical tropical vacations in lively resort towns. Start planning your next summer vacation now – after all, there’s no time like the present to start day dreaming about a wonderful escape from reality!

Your favorite

activities and pastimes pave the way to your ultimate summer vacation. Water sports, hiking and exploring, relaxing and catching a few rays – you and your sweetheart can do it all in any number of vacation destinations across the United States and beyond.

Take in the sights…

Itching to skip the country for a couple of days? Take a blissful trip to Niagara Falls. The falls emit feelings of tremendous exhilaration and wonder. Taking in the sites together and holding hands while strolling through the caverns beneath the falls rouse closeness between couples that visit this romantic attraction.

A cruise on the Maid of the Mist is a must-do, welcoming tiny water droplets upon the heads, faces and clothing of those who choose not to wear a raincoat or poncho. When evening falls, the light show and fireworks displays paint the skies atop the falls, truly inspiring a passionate ambiance all around.

Escape luxury while you’re at it…

For adventurous couples, few things are more amorous than falling asleep in each other’s arms beneath a midnight blue starry sky. A camping trip to a mountainous or lakeside park or campground may be the perfect escape from reality.

Your campsite for two becomes your palace and the hotdogs and bacon you grill over an open flame are the feast of the gods. Roughing it with your sweetie can bring out the softer side of your relationship. Challenge your honey to a fishing contest, make up a goofy scavenger hunt or see who can spot the most exotic wildlife creature. No one else is around to invade your personal moments together, so enjoy your time together and just be yourselves. When night falls, you can relax the hours away, snuggled up close before a crackling campfire.

Get a little wild…

Tired of the same old beach, mountains, resorts? Confer with your sweetie and see about booking a trip with reckless abandon. Check out availability for Las Vegas, New Orleans or another well-known hotspot and prepare to cut loose. Pack some extra cash for the casinos and the nightlife, plan to stay up till all hours and enjoy some fine cocktails and sumptuous meals.

If, however, these two carefree towns present too much of a carefree atmosphere, consider flying out west, renting a car and embarking upon an adventure to visit some great American landmarks! If you’ve yet to see the Grand Canyon or any of the national parks, what better company than your true love to accompany you on the adventure of a lifetime? Be sure to pack a number of US road atlases, credit card for filling up the gas tank and a camera and notebook to document all your wonderful discoveries together.

Take in the scenery...

Too busy for a fulltime getaway? Try a fun daytrip!
Sometimes career paths and personal lifestyles do not always allow for a weeklong vacation from the norm. Don’t shortchange yourself by foregoing a vacation altogether. Plan a few daytrips here and there with romantic activities interspersed throughout your summer. Couples can enjoy each other’s company, even without leaving the comforts of home. Here are a few options if you can’t spare several days away at a time:

• Go horseback riding.

• Challenge your partner to some miniature golf and top it off with some ice cream.

• Find a drive-in movie theatre.

• Go on a “real” date – candlelit dinner and dancing, movie and don’t forget dessert!

• Visit an amusement park.

• Take a daytrip to the seashore and walk along the beach collecting seashells.

• Double date with another couple and plan a night out to a show or concert.

• Organize a picnic for two. Fly a kite for old-time’s sake.

• Visit a local park and take a lazy walk, reminiscing about your times together.

• Check out a museum or attraction you’ve both wanted to see but hadn’t had time.

• Tour a local brewery and have lunch with a fresh brew.

• Cheer on your favorite sports team at an away location.

• Find a quiet place to relax and watch the clouds together.

No matter where you and your sweetheart decide to go for summer vacation, remember that it is your special time together. Put any stress factors and underlying issues out of sight and out of mind. Focus on the closeness of your relationship and how much you care for each other.

Remember to pack a blanket and pillow so you can enjoy the stars and don’t forget a camera to catch some of your vacation adventures on film!

Review: Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body WashLuxury in the shower doesn’t have to come at a steep price. Just take Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash for example. This gentle body scrub infuses delightful coconut fragrance with apricot seeds for ultimate cleansing, moisturizing, and rejuvenation of your skin.

This pretty potion gleams with pearly undertones and gold glimmers streaming through every small squirt. The fragrance is divine, offering a whiff that is subtle and lightly fruity. Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash uses a formula containing real coconut extract and apricot seeds to provide skin with a soft and clean, refreshed sensation following cleansing.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash is effective at cleansing and exfoliating, yet gentle enough for sensitive areas and for everyday use. I liked the product so much that I do plan for everyday use, and in fact, I will be buying another bottle of it once I use this one up. Although, the size of the bottle is large as far as body washes go, so I expect it will be lasting a nice duration of time before I need to replace this container.

To use this product, just pour a small amount directly into your hands or a wet bath pouf or loofah. Apply the body wash to your skin, gently massaging it to cleanse and exfoliate. Rinse and enjoy the sensuous coconut fragrance and the supreme sense of clean and the soft, refreshed skin that is yours for the rest of the day. The sparkles and apricot seeds rinse off, taking with them any dry skin cells and leaving your skin soft and smooth.

In my own humble opinion, the product looks and feels nothing like a body cleanser you would be able to buy for under $3. It is, quite simply, luxury in a bottle. If you, like me, enjoy coconut fragrance and pretty, sparkly things, try Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body WashPROS:
• Affordable, low price
• Exfoliates
• Generous portion
• Gentle for everyday use
• Moisturizes
• Pretty and luxurious
• Smells great!

CONS:
After a week of use, I have no complaints or concerns with this product. I highly recommend it.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash is new to the Suave Skin Therapy line as of February 2008. It retails for $2.49 to $3.49 and is available in a generous 12-ounce flip-top bottle for ease of use.

The Suave Skin Therapy Collection also includes:
• Suave Skin Therapy Complete with Vitamins Body Wash, enriched with Vitamins E, A, and B5, as well as silkening moisturizers
• Suave Skin Therapy Cocoa & Shea Butter Body Wash, containing rich emollients for gentle cleansing and moisturizing
• Suave Skin Therapy Body Moisturizers

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash and other products in the Suave Skin Therapy Collection are available at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide. Products are also available in six-packs at Amazon.com.

TIP:
For the perfect pairing of coconut in the shower, use Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash with Clairol Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner (click for product review). You’ll love how the delicate coconut fragrance dances together in your shower and how it leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated, and ready for a nice day on the beach OR a grueling day at work.

Fun Gifts for Newlyweds

When your favorite couple decides to tie the knot, a gift on their bridal registry just may not cut it. If your friendship is especially close, you may wish to present the happy pair with a gift that comes with a more personal message. Give the bride and groom a special wedding present that speaks volumes for your friendship and for all the fun and excitement you wish them in their new life together.

Be prepared to celebrate your pals’ union with a fun gift that lightens the mood and adds to the relaxation of their honeymoon. Here are some great “outside the box” gifts to consider for newlyweds.

For the Great Outdoors

If your beloved buds enjoy everything that is Mother Nature, a fun and functional outdoorsy present may be in store. Gifts for the great outdoors can offer many years of fun in the sun and utter relaxation.

Here are some suggestions for an outdoorsy gift for your friends:

A grill – For those wonderful summertime burgers and hotdogs, a nice grill really does the trick. Ownership of a grill also inspires barbeque parties and other fun get-togethers.

A two-person tent – For the adventurous duo, a tent comes in especially handy for weekends away and overnight treks to new lands. This gift enables travel and the making of countless memories in nearby or distant vacation destinations.

A wine backpack – these often contain their own picnic blanket, wine glasses, corkscrew and bottle topper, not to mention the spacious backpack with storage enough for at least one or two bottles of wine. Bonus – this is a very romantic gift to boot!

For the Home

If your newlyweds enjoy time at home in the kitchen or relaxing, a unique gift for the home may be a nice treat. Depending on the budget, many fun and useful household items don’t even cross the minds of the new brides and grooms to be.

Here are a few home items that might strike your fancy:

A flat-screen television (The Ultimate Gift) – Guys and gals alike will enjoy a high definition flat-screen television, complete with his and hers remote control. (Hers when he isn’t using it!) While considerably pricier than most wedding gifts, this gift item will always be cherished and enjoyed thanks to you.

A fondue set – If your friends haven’t already registered for a Fondue set, consider this as an option. Molten chocolate, stringy melted cheese draped over potatoes laden with bacon, broccoli dressed with a thin layer of cheddar – if that doesn’t make your mouth water, move on. Fondue is a very romantic gift that can be enjoyed by the couple as well as by dinner guests and party guests.

A video game system – Even as we grow older, it is still important to keep the child alive in our hearts. If you decide to get your friends a video game system, be prepared that the groom may appreciate this gift just a tad bit more than the bride will.

For the Honeymoon

If you insist on being the fun friend with the wild and crazy ideas, getting your friends a gift for their honeymoon might be right up your alley.

Here are a few ideas for suitcase-worthy honeymoon gifts:

A new digital camera – If you think your friends are in the market for a new camera but just haven’t had the time or the cash to pick one up, give this avenue a fair shot. A spiffy new digital camera will capture so much of the fun and adventure on their honeymoon.

Snorkeling gear is a fun and adventurous gift.Snorkeling gear – If your pals are traveling to a tropical location, snorkeling is probably one of the items on their list of fun things to do. Make sure you include a disposable underwater camera for priceless memories!

Luggage, of course! – If the couple has not already registered for luggage, a nice set of matching luggage could be just the ticket to a wonderful start for their happy honeymoon. If they do have luggage, a beach bag full of fun accessories like “Just Married” flip-flops, a Frisbee, and other sand and surf items may be the perfect alternative.

No matter what gift you decide to get for your friends, remember that they will especially cherish your continued friendship. Express your feelings in a wedding card that captures the emotion of the day. Include a few pictures of the couple before they got engaged, or during their engagement, if you feel so inclined.

Remember that the wedding is a very special time to wish the bride and groom the best for their future together. Your love and support for them is the best gift of all!

Personal Wedding Gifts from the Groom to His Bride

A gift she'll always remember...As the love of your life prepares to walk down the aisle to begin your life together, your spirits are high and emotions run deep. To make this moment and the entire day even more special and memorable, many couples choose to exchange personal wedding gifts. Wedding gifts from the groom to the bride can come in all shapes and sizes. Gifts from groom to bride can be jewelry items for her to wear on the wedding day, flowers to brighten her morning, or something for the couple to enjoy in their new home together. Gifts from the groom to the bride can be just about anything that suits the couple, but here are a few suggestions to help get you started.

Couples often swap gifts prior to the actual wedding ceremony. Many choose to exchange presents either at the rehearsal dinner or by way of a messenger on the wedding day itself. In some cases, brides and grooms may choose to trade gifts during the festivities of their wedding day, or sometimes even at the conclusion of the event, once they finally find themselves alone together.

The nature of the gift is a very personal decision. Your bride may not be expecting a large show of emotion or an expensive gift. On the other hand, maybe she’s been hinting around about a paid of diamond studs or a sparkly new necklace. Whatever the case, make sure the gift comes from your heart.

If the budget allows, any gift of jewelry can play the role of a precious part of your wedding day. Diamond earrings will achieve great visibility in almost all the pictures, and they’ll sparkle brilliantly as you sweep her around the dance floor. Likewise with a necklace or tennis bracelet. Think about the message and sentiment you are hoping to achieve, and that, along with the cost, should help to guide your decision.

Here are a few tips for the perfect gift for your bride, according to your own preferences and budget restraints.

On a Shoestring Budget
• A handwritten love letter, spritzed with your cologne
• A book of poetry, highlighted with some phrases you feel relate to your relationship
• A CD with a song you wrote just for her, if you are a musician
• A greeting card with sentiments of how you feel this day
• A handwritten note about how you can’t wait to have her for your wife
• A mixed CD of all your favorite songs
• A poem you wrote for her yourself
• A photo album or photo frame with a favorite picture of the two of you
• A single long stem red rose (“I love you”) proclaiming your love
• A single long stem white rose (“Happy love”) proclaiming your love and excitement for the future

Traditional and Key to the Wedding DayFlowers are timeless.
• A dozen or more beautiful red roses
• A special necklace for her to wear
• A string of pearls for her to wear
• Diamond earrings – girls love them. (make sure her ears are pierced!)
• Fresh-cut flowers with a love note
• Jewelry box and an all-important item for her to wear on your wedding day, with a note that you will be filling this up!
• Monogrammed or embroidered handkerchief
• Tennis bracelet

Fun and Adventurous
• Golf clubs, if you think she’d like them and if you play
• Expensive name brand sunglasses you know she wants but wouldn’t buy for herself
• MP3 player, portable DVD player, or other fun electronic device
• Something to use on the honeymoon, like snorkeling gear or a beach bag with flip flops, a soft new beach towel, and a book you know she’s been wanting

The Sky’s the Limit
• A full set of matching jewelry
• A special collectible that reminds you of the two of you and your relationship
• A special handbag that you know she’s been wanting
• A portrait, print, painting, or sculpture by her favorite artist
• Cruise tickets booked for a future vacation for the two of you

 

A Sweet Surprise:

My husband got me a ring almost identical to my wedding band as my wedding gift from him. The bands are shaped a little bit like the letter “V” just at the top, and the one closest to my heart is the wedding band. Then, my engagement ring goes in the middle, and the wedding gift ring fits on the other side of the diamond, creating a perfect symmetry. Each band has nine smaller diamonds in a channel setting. When you put the two wedding day rings together, they fit seamlessly, and the inscription inside is a line from our wedding song: “When I fall in love…” (wedding band), “It will be forever…” (wedding gift). This gift blew me away and took me completely by surprise.

I understand stackable rings like these are not always an option, but the surprise ring set is a very sentimental gift that I will treasure forever.

If your wedding budget is pushing its final boundary, the bride’s and groom’s gifts to each other could be one corner you can cut. This is a time-honored tradition, but it is not practiced in all circles. Some couples consider their wedding bands and the honeymoon itself as their gifts to each other.

 

If you don’t have the cash but you still want to do something special for your sweetheart on the day of your wedding, write her a special love letter or make her a handcrafted greeting card to express your love for her. Send it by way of one of her bridesmaids before your wedding ceremony and your words will surely touch her heart.

The Benefits and Basics of Pilates

Pilates - exercise for body, mind, and spirit

Concentration, control, flexibility, alertness, shape, alignment, strength…. These wonderful characteristics unite in an effort to give you the body you’ve always wanted, merely using your strong mind and your determination. Pilates is a fun and exciting way to get your body to be in great shape and to improve your flexibility. The unification of mind, body and spirit in a coordinated effort will produce the results that you seek as you weave Pilates into your life.

Pilates, founded by Joseph Pilates, offer a focus on the strength of one’s “powerhouse,” which includes abdominal muscles, lower back, buttocks and inner thighs. Designed to follow a natural flow from one position and exercise to the next, Pilates typically features a low number of repetitions in a controlled setting.

By working with low reps and many diverse positions and exercises, those who practice Pilates are often able to improve their body shape without becoming overly exhausted or losing interest. Pilates has also been designed for those who lead busy lifestyles. Without missing a beat during the daily grind, professionals can practice Pilates in 20 minutes or less from the comfort of home.

One of the keys to a successful Pilates program is directing your focus to the appropriate element, essentially your “powerhouse.” By allowing your mind and body to work together, you ultimately introduce visualization into your workout. Try picturing yourself as the object or perfectly in the desired position, and you will improve your posture and enhance your physical strength, not to mention your figure!

Some of the great benefits of Pilates include:
• Body alignment
• Body shape
• Flexibility
• Mental alertness
• Muscle tone
• Posture
• Renewed energy
• Slimming effects
• Stress relief and management

By learning Pilates, you will discover many things about yourself that may have been hidden behind a busy lifestyle. To achieve the most success with your Pilates workouts, you must focus on your “center,” or “powerhouse.”

Concentrate on your breathing, deep breaths in and out, keeping rhythm and clearing your mind. You will also need to focus on the desired positions and movements, striving for precision even if your body cries out in slight discomfort. Maintain control and highly focused concentration. Let each exercise and position flow into the next.

Work your powerhouse. Find your center!Lastly, imagine your body is a rectangle from your shoulders to your hips. With this rectangle serving as your “frame,” be conscious of your frame throughout the workout and try to stay within your frame for best results.

For Pilates to have an effective impact on your body, you must commit to a regular schedule of workouts. You will probably need to workout at least once or twice a week for several weeks before you notice any changes in your body. For best results, consider adding a cardio workout a few times throughout the week.

To get started in Pilates, you first need to make a commitment to yourself. You can read and learn from books, but unless you put what you learn into practice, it isn’t going to do you any good. You can rent, buy or borrow workout tapes and DVDs, but you’ve got to follow a regular routine in order to achieve the benefits of Pilates. Finally, you can join a class that meets weekly or attend a gym where you can drop into classes as you please.

Just remember that the results you achieve are largely tied to the commitment and persistence that you put forth. Your dedication is the key that will take you to the next level!

Continue reading The Benefits and Basics of Pilates

First Date Ideas – Adventure, Excitement, and Intimacy

The most nerve-wracking moments of a new relationship are arguably the last few moments before your first date begins. When you barely know someone or even when you’ve known that person for a long time but finally decide to take things to a new level, the first date can be stressful, intimidating, and awkward. But it doesn’t have to be!

Check out these pointers for fun-filled first dates of all kinds—you’ll be so busy enjoying yourself that you’ll forget to be nervous!

First Dates for the Adventurer
Go for a horseback ride!If you find yourself having a hard time sitting still for more than five minutes, these date location options may be just right for you. If active is your lifestyle and energetic is your middle name, try these on for size when your interest lies in someone of similar interests….

Grab some bikes and go mountain biking or for a leisurely trip through the park, throw a pack together and go backpacking, hiking or horseback riding along a scenic trail, or head off to the nearest amusement park. Excitement in the water is sure to ensue if you opt to go tubing, jet skiing, or paddle boating. For a slightly more romantic first date: go sail boating!

 

First Dates for the Athlete
Foster a little healthy competition with your new love interest and challenge him or her to a grueling tennis match, a few rounds of golf, or have a good old-fashioned catch with a baseball. Need more exertion than that? Consider going for a tour of the town on rollerblades or find a parking lot and grab a crate, a ball and two hockey sticks and see who can score the most goals. Chances are you’ll both drop the gloves in no time!

Is the chance of rain threatening your outdoor festivities? No matter—take your competitive spirits inside and shoot some pool, throw some darts or indulge in some video games. Who says you’re too old to have a good time at the arcade?

   

Sophisticated First Dates
Care to swap some intellectual tidbits or compare tastes in fine art and history? You can learn a lot more about a person by spending some time together at a museum or an art gallery. Figure out what he or she likes, and perhaps you can even use your own artistic talent to create a work of art as a surprise on a future date with this person.Catch an art festival or visit a museum.

Another option for a more refined first date: Accompany one another to a natural or historical landmark in or near your community. Immerse yourselves in the natural wonders of a nearby park or other local attraction.

More First Dates….


Review: Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil 04 Purple

Color is taking the beauty world by storm these days. I stopped into the local CVS drugstore last night to pick up the newspaper and couldn’t help myself. I left with about $35 worth of new cosmetics. I think my favorite find of the night was the cheapest beauty item I picked up – Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil in 04 Purple.

I normally just buy the $2 or $3 eyeliner pencils in black or brown, or occasionally one of those double-ended ones that has purple or green on one side and black on the other. Often those two-for pencils only show up in black.

 

This lovely and sleek purple pencil is as stylish in design as it is when it glides across your eyelids. To the eye, the makeup color is a concord grapey hue that actually transfers quite accurately from the pencil to your face. The makeup portion of the product is softer than many eye liners I’ve used, which allows it to glide smoothly onto your eyes, leaving a visible, beautiful streak of color. The Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil itself is smooth and pretty, fading from purple to pink, and the cap is a nifty transparent purple.

Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil in purple looks very nice even without other makeup. I added some shimmery pale pink and sparkly white eye shadows to complete the look, which created a nice, frosty blend of purplish pink. I finished the look with some brownish black waterproof mascara and voila, I had a new look with a splash of color rather than my oh-so-typical neutral and beige tones. I decided to wear a grey sweater and pants ensemble today, which looks quite sharp and sophisticated with the noticeably subtle purple tone on my eyes.

I enjoyed using this Milani eyeliner product so much that I am considering my next color choice whenever I find myself at CVS Pharmacy next. Yes, I know I could buy the products online, too, but after how much I just spent, I need to take a little time off!

Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencils are sold separately, and each pencil is 1.54 g, net wt 0.054 oz. They also come in other colors like black, green, and aqua.

Milani hails from Los Angeles, CA, but the Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil was made in Italy. Milani products are sold at various drugstores, supermarkets, discount stores, and beauty supply stores in the United States and worldwide. More information is available at www.milanicosmetics.com.

Have a product you’d like to recommend? I’d love to hear from you.
E-mail me at [email protected]!

Wedding Day Hairstyles, Tips, and Trends

Bridal hair - half up half downSo many decisions rest around your wedding day – the dress, the shoes, the flowers, the cake, and of course, location, location, location. Let’s not forget your wedding hairstyle! Wedding hairstyles can be customized to your liking, or they can be copied identically from a photo within a magazine. With the going rate of photographers these days, you want to ensure that you look your absolute best on your big day, starting with your wedding hairstyle!

Trends in Wedding Hairstyles
So what is hot nowadays for wedding hairstyles? Many salon owners and hairstylists will offer the same bits of advice. Hairdos that pin hair half-up and half-down are the biggest styles for brides. Also, it seems that many brides choose to wear their hair half-up and half-down, while requesting that their bridesmaids get total up-dos.

Curls are a classic addition to every wedding hairstyle, whether you’ve got natural curls or simply added them with a curling iron or hot rollers. Hairstylists can often just look at you and know what style would look great, but they often want you to decide on a wedding hairstyle that suits you and your preferences.

 

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Hairstyle:

Task yourself with researching hairstyles online to see what strikes your fancy. View a few Web sites, especially wedding-centered sites, and print out your favorite styles.

Pick up a few bridal magazines and get an idea of what people are doing. Bridal hairstyles come in countless fashions and trends. Subscribe to a bridal magazine or pick one up every now and again to give yourself some ideas.

Go for a sample hairdo prior to the big day. First of all, getting a sample hairdo done will give you an idea of what to expect from your wedding day hairstyle. Secondly, meeting with your stylist prior to the date will give you both a chance to play around with your hair and the options available to you. You can try all different styles and see what you like best.

Take pictures at your sample hairstyle appointment. Even if you have an elephant’s memory, bring your camera along to the salon and ask your stylist to take some pictures of you with your hairstyle. Save these pictures so you can look back and decide if the style is absolutely positively what you want on your wedding day.

Try your hair several ways. Even if you think you know how you want to wear it, it can’t hurt to let your stylist play around a bit with your hair. Get a complete up-do, a completely down style, and a style that involves hair half-up and half-down.

Wear a shirt or outfit that is similar to the style of the dress. If your wedding gown is strapless, wear a tube top or a strapless dress to the salon so you can get an even better idea of what you will look like on your wedding day.

Don’t forget your headpiece! If you plan to wear a veil or a tiara on your wedding day, don’t forget to bring them along to your sample hairstyle appointment. Make sure you get pictures with this as well!

If you don’t like it, speak up! You shouldn’t worry about hurting your stylist’s feelings on or leading up to your wedding day. Politely tell her, or have your bridesmaids or mom tell her that you would like your hair to be done a bit differently. Usually you can nip this problem in the bud by going to a sample hairstyle appointment.

Make sure you enjoy your hairstyle because it will be visible in just about every photo of you. Best wishes to you on your wedding day! 

How to Add Romance to Your Bedroom Décor

Romance isn’t all about action these days. From subtle to outrageous, romance is creeping and barreling its way into home décor. In many homes, the master bedroom is the first place to fully absorb the decorative passion. If you’re pining for a sensuous chamber to call your own, you needn’t look far or go to great lengths. A romantic, sexy bedroom can be yours in a weekend’s time or less!

The first consideration you must make when contemplating a revamp of your bedroom’s ambiance is budget. Just how much are you willing to spend for passionate perfection? Also consider if you will be replacing the furniture, or merely adding accent pieces and romantic accessories to indulge your decorative desires. Do you already have items you would like to keep, or are you starting over from scratch? Come up with a game plan and a budget to help you get started on your quest for a newly decorated, romantic bedroom!

Consider these tips to help you choose the colors, furniture, bedding, window treatments, and accessories you’ll love as you revamp and create your perfect romantic bedroom.

Bring Color into the Bedroom
Once you’ve discovered your budget and the renovation scope, you can begin to plot and plan your lovely and romantic ideas for change. Truth be told, romance isn’t all about frills and lace. Women and men alike can enjoy a romantic hideaway that is theirs and theirs alone – without the worry of turning everything pink and lacy. On the contrary, bold reds and blues and purples – royal hues – create a wonderfully seductive palette for your bedroom.

More interested in the neutrals and earth tones? No problem – look into billowy white or pearl bedspreads and some celery-colored throw pillows to bring in some color. Then add long, flowing white curtains to your windows, or a set of sheer canopy linens to fit your poster bed. Or, consider some lovely taupe bedding piled high with chocolate-colored throw pillows. Any of these shades offer a delightful unisex combination that looks like you pulled your bedroom right out of a magazine.

Color adds so much to a room, and you have so many options for where to place the color. Don’t forget your floors (Carpet? Hardwood?), your walls (paint? textured paint? wallpaper?), and of course, your linens, furniture stain, and the curtains or draperies that you choose. You may wish to come up with a plan for choosing your colors – start with all the colors you like in mind, and then determine what you will do with the floors, walls, bedding, furniture, and windows.

TIP: Mix and match colors to create exciting combinations. Try light blue and brown or orange and hot pink or plum. Or make up your own wild shade!

Romancing the Bed – Satin, Velvet, Throw Pillows, and More…


How to Plan a Family Reunion for Relatives Living Everywhere

Planning an annual family reunion is a great way to keep all your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, and nephews connected. A yearly gathering of all the extended family members is a wonderful way to keep everyone in the loop about upcoming or recent weddings and births, new pets, career news, and other life events. Family reunions offer a much more personal experience than a yearly Christmas card, so even if you aren’t in the habit of planning a family reunion each year, there’s no time like the present to get started!

Sometimes family members live so far apart from one another that getting together and having fun happens only once or twice a year. This is especially true with extended families – all the cousins and great aunts and uncles whom you see rarely unless you host or attend a family reunion. Not to mention, the older we get, it seems we get busier as well. This combination of distance and busy lifestyles makes it vital to start planning a family reunion at least several months before the date you wish to host it.

Family Reunion Location, Location, Location

Choosing a location for your family reunion can be a wonderful experience of narrowing down many unique and interesting locations to the one perfect fit for your group. Or, it can be a stressful event of trying to figure out how you can be fair to the relatives in New Jersey and also fair to family out in California, Louisiana, and Virginia all at the same time.

Sometimes when planning a family reunion, it becomes necessary to make decisions that could impact whether certain guests will be able to attend. Location of the event and the cost of getting there will often determine whether family members will be willing to travel for the event. In cases where family members live all over the country, just try to select a location that will please the largest number of people… or, send out an e-mail survey with the locations you are considering and try to get a verbal response of what people would prefer. Then go with majority rules.

An ideal location for your family reunion could just as easily be a park or a lakeside community, as a beach town or a mountain retreat. Consider all your possibilities for the location, as well as the ages and interests of your family members who would be most likely to attend. In the end, don’t beat yourself up about the small stuff. The most important thing is that you are making an effort to create this fun and enjoyable event.

Family Reunion Events and Activities….