PG-13 and Nonalcoholic Bachelorette Party Ideas

Don’t be deceived by the title! This article may serve you well, should the appropriate situation arise. From underage bridesmaids to expectant brides, a PG-13 bachelorette party could be the perfect celebration solution!

What if your best friend is unexpectedly pregnant and she asks you to be her maid of honor? You know you can’t plan an alcohol-laden bachelorette party with a little one on the way.

What if your younger sister – not 21 yet – decides to get married on a whim? You’d best have some ideas on how she can celebrate her final days of freedom…legally!

Here are a few ideas for fun, alcohol-free, low-key bachelorette parties:

Plan a spa weekend. From soft, plush robes to pedicures, massages, facials and more wonderful pampering, what’s not to love? You can get all your girlies together for a fun day of facials and body wraps. Next day, get your manicure, pedicure, and a massage. You’ll all be on cloud nine!

Hit up a karaoke night. You don’t have to drink to have fun! You can still go out to the bar and play along with the traditional bachelorette party, but keep a leash on things and require ahead of time that all the attendees avoid ordering alcohol so the bride doesn’t feel left out.

Make it a milkshakes and smoothies night. Gather up your favorite snacks and some delish toppings and make milkshake masterpieces. Add items like fresh fruit – I highly recommend raspberries, strawberries, and bananas – or follow the temptation and opt for candy – peppermint patties, peanut butter cups – or even cookie pieces, especially Oreo cookies. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed.

Book a room at a posh resort for the weekend and gather up all the girls. Play the games you used to play in high school, have a movie marathon and watch Patrick Swayze over and over again – in slow motion – in Dirty Dancing.

Rock out at a concert. Who needs alcohol when you’ve got hot, sexy – sometimes shirtless – sweaty men singing to you from above?! Who cares if they’re taken…the eye candy is prime, grade A quality!

Wind down at the beach. You can relax, catch some rays, take a nap, ride the waves, and check out the hotties, all in the same place. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

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If all else fails, discuss some ideas with the bride and see where her interest seems to lie. You may want to keep the party a secret, but that’s what bridal showers are for! Whatever you do, be sure you have some fun activities and party favors for your best friend or sister, the bride-to-be.

Creative Wedding Gifts to Give, Favors to Receive

Every time I turn around it seems as if someone else I know is getting married! My original plan — to handcraft a blanket for each couple — is fast becoming a ridiculous impossibility as I learn of more and more friends on the road to marriage.

Cousins, best friends, classmates, colleagues, and teammates — what type of gift is appropriate when it comes down to your own relationship with the bride and/or groom getting married?

Handmade gifts carry a special meaning and significance while also bearing personal sentiment. If time is not an issue in determining your gift for the couple, consider your talents. Are you an exceptional woodworker? Create and stain a curio cabinet, shadowbox, bench, small stool or another useful item that the couple could enjoy in their new home together. Etch a personal message or their names and wedding date somewhere in the wood, along with your initials or signature as a reminder of how much you care!

If your handicraft lies more on the domestic side, consider crocheting, knitting or cross stitching a blanket/throw or a set of matching pillows. Another clever idea: Embroider a set of bath towels, hand towels and wash clothes with their initials or last name to produce a useful and meaningful gift.

If crafts aren’t exactly up your alley, use your creative mind to put together a themed gift basket… a “relaxation” basket could include some aromatherapy candles, bubble bath, musical selections, a bottle of wine, etc. You could do the same for a romantic dinner theme, a vacation get-away theme, and countless other specially-tailored gifts. Your imagination is your only limitation!

Unforgettable Wedding Trinkets and Treasures…

How to Best Capture Wedding Memories

Whether you’ve been dreaming about your wedding for as long as you can remember, or its advent has taken you completely by surprise, it is an extraordinary day that you will remember for a lifetime! Celebrate your special union with memories of your past, promises of the present and dreams of your future together.
Half the fun of your wedding day is capturing the wonderful memories of the priceless moment in time, but the other half involves reliving the cherished memories times you and your spouse-to-be have shared.

Share Your Blissful Memories

Showcase your love for each other by decorating a table with photos, albums and memorabilia from the various unforgettable times you have spent together. Vacations you have taken, special events and outings you have attended, and basically any fun times and activities you have shared could be displayed in the form of sporting or musical event tickets, a stuffed animal, or countless other small tokens of your lives together. (Reception halls will be very happy to help you set up such a display table.)

Capture the Memories of the Moment

On the individual tables where your guests will be seated, put disposable cameras so you will receive plenty of photographs of your guests and their dates. You can also be a little more original and distribute a special decorative notebook for your guests to sign, to leave personal messages, inside jokes, old memories and best wishes. Better yet, get a “his” and a “hers” notebook, and one for the both of you together. Going through the pages and reading each message will be something for you and your other half to do together one relaxing day after your honeymoon, or whenever!

Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

For a more sentimental approach (or in addition to the previous ideas), compose a slideshow containing pictures of you and your sweetheart growing up until you get to the present. (If you would rather be surprised with the outcome, perhaps your mom or your bridesmaids would compile it.)

Group pictures of you both growing up separately on the same slides – for example, try to put corresponding photos together-your baby photos, first days of school, and so forth – whatever you can get your hands on! The more similarities, the better, but be careful as you grow into your teenage years. This is your day as bride and groom, so avoid including former flames if you comprise prom photos and so forth.

As the slides progress through the baby photos, young childhood, middle childhood, teenage years, and so forth, coordinate appropriate music to fit with those themed slides. You can easily do this through Microsoft PowerPoint’s slideshow functions, or custom create a CD with proper timing to your slides.

Finally, conclude with your grand finale of photos when the two of you met, and progress through the present. This sentimental display will serve as an adorable and emotional keepsake for years to come. Doubtless you will need a few boxes of tissues for your moms and very dear friends!

Tips to Plan the Ultimate Girls’ Night

Escape. Relaxation. Renewal. What’s on your menu for the evening?

Whether you’re hoping to evade the latest emotional roller coasters or simply looking to reunite with old pals, a classic “Girls’ Night” can serve as an entertaining and relaxing conclusion to an endless day or week. Forget the movie-style pillow fights in bras and panties and get ready for some serious pampering and story swapping!

Having a girls’ night can bring stress relief and relaxation, or it can call for a wild and crazy time with your best ladies. Having a grown up girls’ slumber party or a females-only trip to the bar makes the perfect excuse to get your closest friends together at a moment’s notice. Just make sure you keep your group’s preferences in order as you plan lots of fun activities or a low key night of relaxing, watching movies, and enjoying each others’ company.

Some suggestions to make your chosen venue into a home-spa extraordinaire…

  • Facials
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • New Hairstyles
  • Makeovers

Set the perfect atmosphere for your Femmes Only Shindig….

  • Grab some great chick flicks… Dirty Dancing or Ghost—Patrick Swayze is a great actor and doubles as eye candy!
  • Any Girl-Gets-Guy movie that strikes your fancy…
  • Or for those guy-less nights, go for the classic Thelma and Louise!
  • Share stories and jokes while flipping through photos—relive old times and catch up on new times!
  • Experience your youth all over again with Truth-or-Dare and other games you’ve played in your younger years.
  • Ogle the hot men in magazines, or take fun quizzes and read humorous articles…

Offer a scrumptious menu for your gal-pals but don’t overindulge…

A tummy-ache the next morning is not optimal! (Trust me—after fast food, cookies, potato chips, candy, ice cream and donuts all in one night—I’ve been there!)

  • Sweets—and LOTS and LOTS of them… Chocolate as far as the eye can see…
  • Salty delights—chips and French fries and popcorn and…
  • Wine, if you please, or cocktails make a very nice addition to any get-together.
  • If you’re on a health kick—try a fresh veggie tray, some fruit salad, crackers and cheese, etc.

Give Your Face a Lift!

Want a truly revitalizing experience to start off your night? Facials do many wonderful things to refresh and rejuvenate your skin—so grab some great beauty products and get ready to give your tired skin a soft, smooth revolution!

Typical routine for facial cleansing, done twice daily (morning and night), includes washing, then toning (use astringent or a toner to maintain the proper pH balance), and finally moisturizing. Weekly routine is an enhanced process, with the following steps: steaming (fill a sink with hot water, drape a towel over your head and the sink, and relax for about 10 minutes), deep cleaning (exfoliate or use a powerful cream cleanser, like Noxzema), apply mask, toning, and finally moisturizing (apply moisturizer to only the dry or tight areas of your face).

Products that will be especially valuable to you include: Face Scrub (exfoliating face wash), Toner or Astringent, and a mud or clay-based masque. Gather as many girlies in the bathroom sink area as you can fit and get to work—Steam treatment is a great relaxant after a stressful day. Next, use the face scrub to fully exfoliate and remove dull skin gently but effectively, or simply deep clean your face with a cream cleanser such as Noxzema.

Rinse your face and proceed to the next step: apply a generous layer of the mud masque to your face, paying special attention to your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) as well as any other trouble areas. Mud masques are my savior the night before a big event, a date or a special occasion…the wonder of this treatment is that the masque will lift the oils from your skin and transform your face into a beautifully smooth and soft rendition of its former self! No more worries about red blemishes or oily patches…usually within two days of applying the mask. Finally, toner or astringent can be used, followed by moisturizer, both of which should be applied to the face and the neck with middle and ring fingers in circular motion. As you complete this routine on a regular basis, your skin should become flawless and radiant!

Spoiling Yourselves after a Long Day… Manicures and Pedicures
Manicures and pedicures have been extensively known as treatments to pamper and beautify the body. Time involved varies on the detailing involved, but with a group of friends, teamwork can produce great results! Gather your favorite polish colors, grab a tub and some towels, some foot soak and scrub products and treat yourselves to a most relaxing evening with a lot to show for it! Something as simple as a pedicure on your poor, tired feet may cause you to feel just a bit stress-free as you enjoy your painted toes and soft feet for days and weeks to come.

Adventuring into New Makeovers and Hairstyles
If you are spending the evening in, great opportunity awaits to experiment with new hairstyles and makeup choices. When you don’t have time before work or school to try new styles, test your appearance with a group of your best friends during a Girls-Night-In. Your pals will be happy to give you pointers and honest advice about your chosen makeup’s color scheme and your new approaches to styling your hair, and you can do the same to help them. Worst case scenario: You let each other go wild with the colors and styles, take some pictures, and you’ve got loads of memories to laugh off forever!

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No matter what you decide to do, your girls’ night in or girls’ night out can create countless memories to last for a lifetime. If everyone has a great time, consider making it a regular girls’ event!


Secrets to smooth, sexy legs

Many men can’t resist a sleek and sexy set of legs. From short and sassy miniskirts boasting miles of gorgeous legs to long, silky skirts subtly showing off beautiful legs through tasteful slits – fashion is your friend when it comes to accentuating your wheels. To emphasize your legs with very minor adaptations to your normal cleansing and beauty routines, read on for a few quick tips to bring out and maintain a sexy look for your legs.
Don’t rush when you shave. Nothing ruins a super-close shave like nicks from a hurried shave. Hastily shaving your legs may cause the razor to snag your skin and remove tiny chunks at a time, especially around your knees, ankles and the thin areas of flesh on your shins. To combat nicks from shaving too quickly, rinse away the blood before exiting the shower, blot with a tissue or toilet paper and apply a tiny corner of tissue to your wound. Allow it to dry the blood and decide whether the cut necessitates a bandage.

Moisturize! Shine adds a whole new dimension to smooth legs. A fragrant lotion creates softness and newly applied lotion creates a nice glow that draws attention to your silky legs.

Use a loofah pad to exfoliate and buff out imperfections. Sometimes tiny blemishes caused by ingrown hairs or minor skin conditions render legs to be not as smooth as they once were. By gently exfoliating at least once or twice a week, your legs can be healthy, soft and blemish-free with very little effort. If you aren’t sure what a loofah pad looks like, visit the beauty aisle of your local drugstore, supermarket or superstore. They typically have a beige-colored surface on one side and a terrycloth type surface on the other. These items usually only cost a dollar or two, and they’re well worth the investment!

Try a vitamin-rich body scrub. While exfoliating with the loofah pad provides a great scrubbing motion, indulging in a luxurious body scrub is as good for the senses and the spirit as it is for the body. The nutrients contained in the scrub potion nourish the skin and welcome healthier cells to replace the dead skin cells shed through exfoliation. Don’t just scrub away old cells – promote new ones!

Exercise! While the aesthetic elements mentioned above will truly lend themselves to the overall condition of your legs, these products and practices won’t do a thing for your muscle tone and body mass. To keep your legs in swimsuit shape all year long, consider engaging in regular exercise several times a week. Get into a good habit of running, walking or jogging, bike riding, stair climbing or doing simple exercises like leg-lifts. Even the smallest amount of exercise can be beneficial to your body as you build your way up to longer routines.

Tips to Keep Your Nails Strong and Sexy

When you write down your shopping list, as you punch a phone number into your cell, while you wash dishes, do the ironing, clean the windows, or do one hundred other things that women do on any given day – do you take notice of the condition of your nails?

Our hands are such an integral part of our daily lives, and constantly, we risk their health and strength, often without even noticing, because of the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day activities. Take a few moments each day, or at least a few times a week, to monitor the condition of your nails – the color, the texture, the appearance of ridges or white marks.

Make a greater effort to take good care of your nails, and you will be thrilled with the way they complement your wardrobe and your own personal style. Consider the following tips as a way to enhance the health and quality of your nails.

Great, Healthy Nails

Apply speed-dry nail polish when time is of the essence.

Drink lots of water. Keep your body hydrated everyday to maintain healthy nails.

Fortify your diet with FDA approved vitamins or supplements. Your fingernails count on you to be responsible with your health and your diet. Unless instructed otherwise by your physician, increase your daily doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, protein, Vitamin B12, and zinc.

Touch up your manicure on a daily basis to prevent chips and cracks.

Your nails depend on you to maintain a healthy diet. Take in lots of healthy foods – especially those mentioned in our article: Diet and Care Tips for Healthy Nails.

Nail polish tips:

Finish with a clear topcoat to add gloss and sheen.

Start with a base coat to strengthen and protect the nails.

Store nail polish in the refrigerator to maintain a smooth consistency.

Try not to store nail polish in a room that becomes cold. The nail polish bottles may break without warning, leaving you with a big mess.

To avoid breaking nails or brittle nails:

Avoid using your nails as tools. This means no picking, scratching, digging, pinching, etc. You know who you are!

Increase the amount of calcium in your diet.

Use products containing alcohol, especially perfumed lotions, sparingly. These items can make nails prone to breaking.

Wear rubber gloves when you do chores that involve continual submersion in water or contact with harsh detergents or chemicals.

Awesome abs – Tone your tummy with ease

Tightening the stomach muscles is the continual focus of a number of women, but accomplishing such a feat isn’t always easy. With dedication and discipline, though, you should be able to achieve noticeable improvements in your midsection. Read on for some helpful tips!

Curb your cravings. Don’t run over to the cookie jar or candy dish every time your sweet tooth begs for something delightful. Make sweets a special treat and do what you can to avoid eating them all the time.

Avoid eating after “X” o’clock. Set a deadline for all your snacks and stick to it. An occasional miss due to a special event, party or unexpected late dinner is all right, but don’t make a habit of it.

Work out. Odds are that your abs won’t surprise you on their own. You’ve got to put a little muscle into it, whether that means engaging in a routine of crunches or trying yoga on for size. Experiment with different methods and discover what works for you – even if it is some cheesy Abs of Steel video from a decade or two ago!

Get your heart rate up. Aerobic exercise contributes greatly to toning muscles and improving body appearance and functioning. Jog, power walk, run, swim, jump rope, do sets of jumping jacks, bike, roller-blade – do something active!

Drink lots of water. Sometimes your stomach feels a pang and immediately you decide you want food. Instead, try pouring yourself a glass of ice water and see if you’re still hungry after drinking that. To stay healthy and replenish all the fluids your body uses, you should be drinking a good amount of water each day. To determine the amount specific to your body, divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water per day. (At least!)

Now that you know how to jumpstart a campaign to a trimmer, tighter stomach, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to start working your abs into swimsuit shape. Follow the steps as outlined above and add your own special touches. Try healthier snacks like raw veggies and fresh fruit. Find an exercise buddy and challenge each other to work out to the best of your ability. Stay positive, stay motivated and you’ll notice great changes in no time!

Hot Tips on Coloring Your Hair

There’s just something so sexy about being a woman. Buying new lingerie, donning a new look with a great makeover, trying out a new hairstyle or color…. We all need a change sometimes, and what better to change than the color of our hair?

Dyeing our hair a new shade shifts us into a new sense of being, gives us a new persona to assume and fulfill. We can be the boisterous blonde we never were, the seductive brunette, the electric redhead or the mysterious ebony-haired beauty. And with this exciting new shade also comes a stunning blast of self-confidence and invigoration.

Changing the color of our hair gives us freedom and a sense of renewal, even if the only thing different from yesterday to today is the color of the strands on our heads. Depending on your comfort levels, you can try at-home coloring kits or you can make an appointment with your stylist. Opt for highlights only or color your entire mane for the ultimate head-turning factor.


Tips and tricks:

Try to stick pretty close to your natural color if it is your first time. This way it won’t be the end of the world when your roots start growing in.

Also, you might consider a temporary washout color treatment if you are a beginner. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to remedy the situation if you don’t like the new color of your hair.

If you opt for do-it-yourself highlights, have a family member or a friend help you, if possible. It is always nice to have another set of eyes to guide you through things you cannot clearly see. Mirrors may be deceiving, so having someone there to help really could be the difference between an okay dye job and an excellent one.

Follow the instructions closely and thoroughly. No skipping steps. Test a small area of your hair as instructed, just to be sure you aren’t allergic to anything in the dye.

Leave your hair down as you color it and you will achieve a more even look. Pinning your hair on top of your head leaves more to chance.

Part hair into sections and apply color from roots to ends, starting near the temples. Double-check the instructions to be sure you are following them properly.

To prevent hair from dripping on your skin, apply a thin layer of moisturizer or petroleum jelly to the skin at your hairline. Most hair dyes will not drip, but in case they do, this makes cleanup so much easier!

If you want beautiful blonde tresses, consider seeing your stylist for best results. Dyeing darker hair into a lighter shade, especially blonde, can be a tricky task. Even if you’re an at-home hair dyeing professional, remember that it’s easier to do it right the first time than to cover up any boo-boos.

Athletic Hairstyles: Ponytails of a Different Color

Fun and flirty or professional and sophisticated, the ponytail is a timeless style appropriate for just about any occasion or event. Ponytails look absolutely adorable when worn by young girls and tots, but they also look chic and classy on mature women.

Continue reading Athletic Hairstyles: Ponytails of a Different Color

Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddingOutdoor weddings add the elements of adventure and nature to your special wedding moment. The quality and composition of your photos will be completely different, perhaps boasting radiant reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn, or the gorgeous pinks, purples, and blues of spring flowers.

Review the following considerations as you begin the fun planning phase for your outdoor wedding!

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! Here are some tips to make planning your outdoor wedding a pure breeze!

Consider the seasons.

Do you prefer a wild explosion of color, like springtime wildflowers? Are you more enamored of the brilliant fall foliage? Decide what kind of backdrop you’d prefer for your photographs, video, and general wedding memories.

Contemplate the scenery.

Many people dream of a picturesque wedding ceremony and reception celebration on the beach, in the countryside, near a waterfall, or in another lovely locale. Put your head together with your significant other and decide which romantic outdoor venue best suits your relationship.

Choose your dates wisely.

Avoid rainy season if possible, but realize that Mother Nature can change her mind at any give time.

Decide on the level of formality.

Will every minute detail of your special day be extravagant, or are you willing to cut a few corners for costs’ sake?

Decide on the level of formality.
Will every minute detail of your special day be extravagant and elegant? Do you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere? Once you figure out your preferences in formality, you can decide on the style of service.

If your event will be especially posh, you may want to reserve caterers and a professional wait staff to care for you and your guests. If you want an outdoor wedding but can’t afford a huge financial setback, you can enjoy a picnic style celebration outside with a buffet-style spread.

Have a backup plan, and plan ahead.

Set up some canopy tents, just in case the heavens do open up. Even if the sunny weather holds out, the tents will provide a comfortable shelter from the warm rays.

Play up nature.

Add a tranquil fountain to help set a peaceful mood, or consider setting up some bamboo torches for an evening celebration. Bring more floral arrangements into the gathering area to give off a fragrant aroma. Consider the existing elements of nature at the site, and find ways to enhance the natural beauty.

Low-Budget Honeymoon Ideas for Newlyweds

HoneymoonSure, Aruba, Jamaica, Bahamas sound great! But can you still afford a lavish honeymoon after that exceptional wedding celebration? If your funding is limited and you don’t want to go into debt over your head taking out loans, consider an innovative alternative honeymoon trip. You can save the big, extravagant trip for your one-year or five-year anniversary, when you have more money set aside.

In the meantime, here are a few options for an incredible, unforgettable, completely affordable honeymoon extravaganza!

Exotic meets Practical

If you had your heart set on a romantic trip to a remote tropical island, you may not have to give up this beautiful dream. Have you considered an all-inclusive cruise instead?

Cruises in an all-inclusive package can provide a great honeymoon getaway. Your lodging, airfare, transit fees, meals and non-alcoholic beverages are covered in the total price. You will still be responsible for the cost of your off-ship excursions, alcoholic beverages, gift and souvenir purchases, and some special activities and treatments, if desired.Cruises to several islands allow you to enjoy lots on a budget.

Prices depend on the dates and duration of your trip, and some all-inclusive cruises begin under $1,000. You can figure out your budget before you make any plans, and then call a travel agent with your pricing, dates, and specifications in mind. A cruise can be a carefree vacation that explores several remote tropical islands, instead of just one. And best of all, you can often find last-minute deals at a discounted rate.

Unforgettable meets Adventurous

If you don’t have the money to travel Europe or tour a collection of Islands in the South Pacific, consider a local jaunt through some pretty amazing sights and ‘scapes. A road trip to some nearby attractions and not-so-distant national landmarks can be a great way to spend your honeymoon excursion together.

If you live in the USA, consider visits to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, and countless other well-known attractions. If you live in or near Canada, make the trek to Niagara Falls, one of the most romantic wonders of the world. If you live in another country or on another continent entirely, visit a tourism bureau and find some vacation hotspots within a reasonable drive from your home.

As you prepare for your trip, be sure you have plenty of film or memory for your camera, extra batteries, snacks, changes of clothes, and plenty of blankets and pillows so you can lie beneath the midnight sky to count the stars. On that note, consider taking a tent for a true experience in nature.

Paradise meets the Private Getaway

As you already know, the two most important factors in your honeymoon are you and your sweetheart. No matter where you go, no matter how much money you spend, your trip will be special just because the two of you are able to enjoy it together.

With a little imagination, an all-inclusive resort can be a great way to get away from it all. Spend some quality time together on your honeymoon in a remote retreat, like the Pocono Mountains or the Adirondack Mountains.

Adirondacks, Upstate New YorkFind a resort community that meets your greatest romantic expectations. Many of these communities are designed especially for newlyweds and loving couples, with everything the lovebirds could possibly want – from luxurious privacy to lavish meals and amenities, fun activities and more.

Often these private, romantic resorts boast personal hot tubs, saunas, swimming pools, and scrumptious room service offerings. Some may be ski resorts, some may be lakeside communities, and others may be right on the seashore. Find the setting that best suits your desires and sneak away together for a romantic vacation you will never forget!