How to Plan a Cruise on a Budget

Don't go overboard on cruise expenses!Downing cocktails as the sun sets…all-you-can-eat seafood buffets… playing a few hands of poker…the most luxurious spa and salon treatments around… Relaxing on a cruise ship provides an escape from reality unlike any other vacation. With some careful planning, you can be on your own cruise in no time!

Casinos, spas and full-service bars are just the beginning. Any cruise you take will more than likely offer music, dancing and other great nightlife, not to mention oodles of shopping and plenty of workshops and seminars. Competitions for real prizes may inspire you to bear your hairy chest or pull off another wild and crazy stunt. A gym or fitness center directly on the boat gives athletes and exercise fanatics no excuse for passing up a cruise.

When planning a cruise, the first thing you’ll want to consider – besides destination and duration – is your budget. You want to ensure that you have enough funding set aside to enjoy your trip to the fullest without foregoing special extras that you might otherwise miss.

Even an all-inclusive cruise may still have some limitations. For example, many extras like your bar drinks, casino capital, beauty salon and spa treatments, tours, photographs and gift shop purchases are considered additional, above and beyond the scope of an all-inclusive package. The balance for these expenditures is generally tacked onto your tab, which goes against your credit card in most cases.

New Jersey residents Dave and Judi D’Imperio avidly plan cruises to different tropical vacations when time and financing permit. The beauty of a cruise is that it often allows you to see several breath-taking destinations, all within the same vacation.

And the amenities really add up! Ample amounts of food, drink and entertainment keep up the pace, while solace and relaxation are never more than a few steps away.

While cruises often may seem like large, extravagant vacations, it is very possible to find a good deal without too much legwork.

“Check search engines for booking a cruise,” Dave says. “There are many discounted Web sites out there. Book at least one year in advance, and you will probably be upgraded to a better cabin.”

  

“If you have a travel agent that you have been doing business with for years, and they specialize in booking cruises, they will be able to get you the best deal,” he adds.

Financing varies from one person to the next and from one cruise to the next. A typical couple traveling on a seven-day cruise without airfare should expect to pay in the ballpark of $1,000 each for booking, which generally includes cabin, food and entertainment. Rates often reflect the length of the cruise, where it is going, and what type of cabin is requested.

Cruise Tips from avid cruisers Dave and Judi:
1. Plan the cruise one and a half years ahead of time in order to save the money.
2. Seek out the destination first, then time of year to travel.
3. Pick the cruise line you prefer. Many cruise lines primarily serve a certain demographic, whether young adults, middle age or retirees.
4. Purchase the most expensive cabin you can afford. Mini-suite balcony cabin with a bathtub will suffice.

For an even more memorable time, invite relatives or friends to join you!

Holiday Beauty Tips to Pamper Your Soul

With the crazed hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many little things may get pushed aside. Taking some special time and solace for ourselves is often the last thing on our minds, and our favorite TV shows and moments of relaxation often fall to the wayside. Even if only for half an hour, be sure to plan a special treat for yourself. Do something for YOU at least once a week, to save your sanity if nothing else!

1. Take a hot bubble bath, heavy on the suds. You’ve been on your feet all day long – from holiday shopping to cooking dinner for the family, to wrapping and hiding presents and the never-ending cleaning list of laundry, dishes and more. Needless to say, you need a break in a big way.

Grab your favorite book, a glass of ice water, cup of tea or a soft drink and transform your everyday bathroom into your own personal spa and secluded haven. Turn on some soft music if you wish and don’t forget to light a few scented candles. Relax for as long as you like, letting the sudsy bathwater wash your cares away.

2. Treat your feet to a perfect pedicure! Make an appointment at your favorite salon or purchase some supplies and do it yourself. Select a pretty color of nail polish and give your feet the delightful makeover they deserve! If you opt for the latter, be sure to have a soft fluffy towel and a nice pair of comfy slippers set aside for your beautiful feet!

3. Relax as you enjoy a facial. Here you also have the choice of an at-home facial or a professional salon treatment. Should you choose to do your own facial, don’t forget some relaxing music, cucumber slices for your eyes and a soft towel to dry off your face. Follow the normal routine of cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing. After you exfoliate, you can choose between an astringent, toner or a facial mud masque. For your at home facial, the mud masque can be especially soothing and beneficial for zapping excess oil, blackheads and other impurities. Once done, your face will feel soft and silky smooth.

4. Get your nails done, or do them yourself. Sometimes something as basic as painting your nails or having them professionally done can be a real pick-me-up. Around the holidays, we get so bogged down with things to do like mailing Christmas cards, making cookies, buying, wrapping and hiding presents, cleaning the house, cooking family meals and more – that we rarely get to do nice things for ourselves. Set aside a little bit of time for yourself and paint your nails or schedule a manicure. You will feel great every time you look at them for the rest of the holiday season!

5. Try out a new haircut or hairstyle! Be bold, be daring or be creative. Get a new hairstyle to give you a boost when you need it most. Getting wrapped up in the holiday hustle is something that happens to most of us. Knowing when to step back and do something to break up the monotony is important, especially if we begin to tire of our daily routines.

Sometimes dressing up, fixing our hair and applying makeup require more time, thought and energy than we are willing to expend. When you start to feel as if you are at the point of not caring, consider getting a new hair-do or experimenting with hair accessories and new styles. It might be just the pick-me-up you need to revitalize your energy and your attitude!

You can do many things to reduce your stress levels, relax and replenish your energy. Instead of hiding in your bedroom with a bottle of wine and box of chocolates, do something that treats your body as well as it treats your soul!

Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

The number of candles on the cake, the color of the gift-wrap, and the number of balloons lining the ceiling are not the elements that make your child’s birthday so special. It’s the guests who attend, the games they play or activities they do that make a young one’s birthday party so memorable….

No matter what your time constraints or monetary situation, there’s always a way to make your child’s birthday party a shining success. From party games to having the right kind of food and snacks, you can easily become overwhelmed – but don’t be! As the parent planning the birthday party festivities, you should be having fun, too!

To come up with a birthday strategy for your child’s special day, consider these tips and ideas:

Lots of Time to Plan…

Depending on the time of year, many options are available for neat locales to host a child’s birthday party. From a local park to a public pool, a restaurant such as Chuck E. Cheese’s with rides and games to a fast food joint like Burger King or Mickey D’s, a bowling alley, a movie theater to the comfort of your very own home, the magic comes from the planning put into the party.

Pool Party

If your child is a summer baby, consider having a pool party if all or most of the guests are able to swim or if the pool has a shallow end. Make hotdogs and hamburgers, lemonade and have cake and ice cream by the pool. Make up some games for the kids to play so that they can win cool prizes—pool floats, beach balls, candy and small toys (make sure there are age-appropriate toys for all guests invited).

Games to play at a pool party are only limited by your imagination. If you can get a floating basketball hoop, set the kids up on two teams and see how they do! If not, use a simple inner tube as a substitute basketball hoop. Play volleyball in the water, send the kids on a hunt for sinking objects like quarters, rubber rings, and action figures or play the classic game “Marco Polo” (like hide-and-seek in the pool, with the person being “it” keeping his or her eyes closed). Another fun game to play is “Shark!” Everyone has surely played this at sometime or another… one person becomes the shark and chases everyone else—the “fishies”—around the pool. When a fishy gets tagged, he or she becomes another shark!

Fun-and-Games Party

A party focusing on fun and games can be held just about anywhere, but consider renting out an Arcade or having a party at a restaurant that has a playground, an arcade within it, or just a general “Fun Zone” atmosphere. Chances are even if you can’t rent out the entire place, the kids will have so much fun they won’t even notice anyone else!

Winter Party Ideas: Ice-skating and Snowball Fights

Winter babies can have fun, too, by having a party at an ice-skating rink with enough hot cocoa and goodies to go around and perhaps by reserving the whole rink for the guests alone. Got a hockey fanatic for a child? Even better yet—turn half of the ice-skating rink into a shootout or mini-scrimmage!

If you don’t want to host a party at a rink, you can always have a party at your own home with food, fun and games inside and a snowball fight and sledding outside (weather-permitting)! Hot cocoa will warm up little ones and cookies hot out of the over serve a perfect treat.

Minor Planning Involved…


Ten Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

If you’ve ever paid rent, did you get the feeling you were flushing your hard-earned dollars down the toilet one after the other? It is common to feel that way when you have nothing to show for the hundreds and even thousands of dollars you spend on rent each month.

If you live in a big and booming city like the Big Apple, it is easy to see how renting an apartment may be the only option, but in all actuality, it doesn’t have to be! With a few good pieces of advice and some dedication, you can own your own home sooner than you think.

As you dream of your dream home, consider these helpful hints on how you can get the most house for your bucks.
1. Start saving for your down payment right away. It’s true that every little bit helps. Save every month, even if it is only a small amount. Ten dollars here and twenty dollars there, $100 from every paycheck – it does all really add up. Also, invest in CDs and other accounts with higher interest rates. If you absolutely don’t plan to buy within the next, say, six months or more, consider dumping some of your funds into a CD (certificate of deposit) with a good interest rate. Let your money work for you!

2. Know what you can afford from the get-go. Work out your budget of monthly income and monthly expenses. Factor in the cost of utilities as well as the potential cost of your mortgage. Knowing this information up front could save you much heartache by keeping your sight focused on homes in your price range rather than ones in the next price bracket.

3. Shop around. Don’t always go with the first realtor who contacts you. Consider a buyer’s agent if you can find one in your area. Lastly, even if your realtor is super in every way, do your own searches online for real estate listings. You never know what may turn up in the market on a daily or weekly basis.

4. Get to know what you like. On your first appointment out with your realtor, try to see a number of different house styles. Find out if you like colonial, cape cods, one level ranchers, Victorian style homes, or the more simple townhouses. Learn about your preferences in terms of basements, garages, backyards, front yards, age of home, city or suburb, and so forth. Learning about what you want will give you a strong edge in finding your dream home.

5. Find out why the house is for sale. In most cases, it is due to a new job in a new location or a family move. Other times it could be due to a more serious or unique situation. It is always a good idea to know why the owners are selling the home before you get tied into buying it.

6. Bid below asking price unless you find yourself in a bidding war. Real estate is one thing in life that is always on sale. The price can flex due to many issues, so think about the home’s shortcomings and its necessary repairs. Base your offer accordingly and remember that buying a home is much like playing “Let’s Make a Deal.”

7. Definitely get a home inspection, even on a new home. Unfortunately, the sales industry is often a game of persuasion and polishing a product to hide its flaws. The real estate market is no different. Sellers put forth their homes’ best assets and downplay the flaws.

Many times a home inspector finds these things that may slip past your own eager eyes, such as settlement cracks or cracks in the foundation under the carpet, leaks, dryer vent problems, hot water heater issues, roof problems, and much more.

A home inspector finds these negative elements and brings them to your attention so you can take action. Sometimes an inspector’s report really can make or break a home purchase, and many times they can affect the final purchase price. Don’t skip this very important step!

8. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. When your inspection report comes back, now is the time to adjust your offer to reflect the necessary repairs and modifications for the house. You should have some bargaining chips by the time your home inspector is done, especially if you are purchasing a pre-owned home. Use the findings to your advantage by drafting an addendum to your agreement of sale so your realtor can work her magic.

9. Don’t get roped into any strange mortgage plans. In most cases, the 30-year conventional mortgage is the way to go. If you don’t have 10 to 20 percent of your home’s cost saved as a down payment, you may need to consider other options. Try to avoid the high-risk mortgage options, because they tend to be highly responsible for the many foreclosures out there on the market today.

10. Love your house inside and out, but don’t pick one that forces you to live outside your means. One of the biggest things that couples fight over is money. Protect your relationship and your financial stability by making a wise investment in a home that won’t put you in the poor house.

Birthday Party Themes for Adults of All Ages

DrinkNo matter how old you are chronologically, you are still as young as you feel! Cut loose with some friends and have the times of your lives with these adult birthday party ideas. Add your own creative touches to make the night a shining success.

For a fun grown-up party you’ll never forget, try these party tips and ideas on for size…

Casino Night Party
For a big money theme, rent a hall or designate a large room in your home as the honorary casino. Plastic gold coins and paper money create the big-spenders atmosphere, scratch-off lottery tickets present the perfect party prize and black, red and white decorations, plastic cups and plates carry on the theme. Don’t forget the poker chips!

Decks of cards, dice and felt tablecloths (for blackjack, etc) provide some entertainment, but consider looking around for cheap slot machines, roulette wheels, and so forth (consider renting if buying is out of the question). Try to follow the theme for your musical selections and consider setting up a karaoke machine in case anyone is moved to tell jokes or sing songs. Give each guest an allotment of play money and offer additional tender if they agree to play dealer for a couple of rounds (if you can’t find people to sit in as dealers in the first place).

At the end of the night, give the birthday guest his or her presents and also present the casino tycoon with the most play money a present of his or her own. The fun and competitive nature of a casino should have your guests laughing for hours!

Cocktail Party
For an elegant reception, cook some hors d’oeuvres and appetizers and purchase some wines and liquors for your guests’ enjoyment. Define a dress code in the invitations and either obtain the services of a DJ or pay your teenager to play music man for the night. Clear out a space for dancing and set up some chairs / sofas for lounging and conversation. This fancy soiree will be the topic of conversation for months to come.

Be sure to set aside a special place for gifts to be given to the guest of honor. Or, if you know of a particular “larger” or more expensive item the birthday celebrant desires, collect money from the guests as a down payment!

Blast-from-the-Past Party – bring back the styles and fashions of your younger years! Have a specific “decade party” or leave it up to your guests to decide if they want to groove with the 70s or rock out with the 80s. Ask each guest / couple to make up a CD with hits from the decade they are representing and play those tunes at the party. After the festivities dwindle down, present the guest of honor with the CDs to enjoy for decades to come!

Give a prize for the best outfit, decorate the party location with articles from previous decades and if you are feeling exceptionally ornery, break out photo albums that include photos of the guests back in the day!

Surprise Party
What’s more fun than hiding 15-20 people in a small room for 45 minutes and jumping out in false alarm about 3 times before the guest of honor arrives? Surprise parties are fun for all ages from younger kids to middle age to grandmothers and grandfathers!

Be sure to have the party somewhere that guests can easily find hidden parking or at least a location that allows them to walk only a short distance from their car. Make or order a cake, get balloons, food and goodies and be sure to hide all traces of the party until the special guest has entered the surprise area. An excuse like asking the guest to check on your pet while you are away on vacation (and leaving a key under the doormat, etc) or having a friend or family member escort him or her to lunch is a good distraction to help keep the party a secret!

Simple Parties with Minimal Planning


Relieving Tired Eyes… Gentle Treatments to Soothe Weary Eyes

To many, eyes are otherwise known as the “windows to the soul.” Nothing stops one’s heart like gazing into another’s eyes – connecting on such an intense, intimate level – that the world stops spinning for a moment and it seems everything is as it should be. Your eyes meet and your two alone are the only people in the room, whether you really are or not. Your worlds collide and become one for that shared instant caught in that fixed gaze.

Wearing makeup seems pointless if your eyes are bloodshot, swollen or just plain weary. By keeping your eyes in great condition, you make them look wonderful not just by putting makeup on, but also by allowing them to exude their natural energy.

Staring at a computer for hours on end can cause much strain to eyes. For this dilemma, you can invest in a polarized monitor filter for your computer that will lessen the stress put upon your eyes by reducing reflections. Excessive reading or straining to see something without your glasses or contact lenses also causes stress to the eyes.

To keep your eyes healthy, try to avoid excessive smoke, chemicals and other irritants. Take the time as needed to relax your eyes. When you have downtime, close them while you are awake and just rest for a moment. To relieve your eyes from irritation caused by a foreign particle or eyelash, apply one or two eye drops.

Especially during allergy season, a cool or cold compress may be necessary to soothe eyes and restore their vitality. Sometimes something as simple as a soft washcloth soaked in cool water, gently squeezed out, can renew tired, swollen and itchy eyes. Turn on some music, recline comfortably and place the cool cloth over your eyes for a relaxing respite from a long day.

Follow these tips to keep your peepers in the best possible condition…


Easy exercising – Get fit when you feel like it

Work out - get fit!Ah, there’s nothing quite like an early morning jog, enjoying the solace and solitude of running trails or barren roads before the a.m. rush hour clogs everything up. Now that the colder months are arriving in some parts of the country, running outside may not be as enjoyable as the fall, spring and summer months.

If running every morning and/or heading to the gym each day after work are not your idea of a good time, don’t fret just yet. You can still get in shape without breaking up your normal routine, and without becoming a fitness nazi!

1. For starters, stop abusing the elevator. Unless you have a phobia of stairwells, take the stairs whenever you can and burn those extra calories. This also applies to any shopping excursions you might make to the mall. Try taking the stairs instead of the escalators so your body can benefit from the extra muscle use.

2. Whenever weather permits, walk to those places within a reasonable distance instead of driving. If you can walk a half-mile or so every once in a while, your body will become accustomed to greater use of muscles, tendons, ligaments and limbs. By walking to the post office, the convenience store, the coffee shop, etc., you can burn off calories and strengthen your body at the same time. By doing so on a regular basis, you can condition your body for a more regimented exercise schedule, should you choose to include one in your normal routine.

3. Consider getting into yoga, kickboxing or any group-oriented aerobic exercise. Join a YMCA and go swimming if it’s your thing. Commit yourself to following an exercise video program at least once a week, even if it is only for five minutes of an abdominal workout.

4. Find an exercise partner! Take your dog to the park and play outside a bit when winter’s bite isn’t so harsh….

5. Play outside! If enough snow covers the ground, get the gang together and dress warmly. Grab a football and some thermoses of steamy hot chocolate and play in the snow like old times.

Work it!6. Build your muscles by lifting weights. Try to set aside a small corner of your home or garage for a personal workout area. Lifting can be as intense or as simple as you make it, from actual bench presses to short reps with lightweight dumbbells.

7. Target a particular area on your body and work to improve it. Research online and in books about how you can tone or build up certain muscles properly.

8. Workout on your own time! Spend a minimum of five minutes a day, a couple days a week, doing sit-ups and crunches, pushups, pull-ups or other exercises that don’t require leaving the home.

Set your goals realistically so that you avoid becoming discouraged by biting off more than you can chew. If you start out with a small routine of five or ten minutes a day, even for only a couple of days a week, you can soon add a few additional minutes to your routine. By making a conscious effort to improve your lifestyle, you really do have control of your level of fitness.

Practicing exercise not only contributes toward a healthy lifestyle, but also serves to improve your energy levels more than you would think. Get active and start working toward a happier, healthier you!

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.

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!

 

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!

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!

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