Aug 26, 2013

planning for a perfect beach wedding

I used to dream of having a beach wedding. The sound of the calming waters and the windy breeze makes the mood even more intimate and fitting for a matrimonial affair. That’s why when my time comes to be wed, I never hesitated to choose a lovely beach setting. Now when it comes to the preparation, nothing came easy. I had to attend to every single detail in order to make sure that my wedding will be successful. And luckily, all the hard work have paid off and now I’m starting a new life with the man that I love. Are you planning to have a beach wedding like me? Do you need some help with the planning and preparation so that you will be able to pull off a lovely wedding like mine? Then you should be able to know these simple planning tips to turn your wedding into a perfect day that will forever be remembered.

What You Need To Pull Off A Perfect Beach Wedding:
1. The dress selection must be appropriate for your location – The first thing you have to think of concerns more on the dresses to be worn or your wedding day. Since you are going to have a beach wedding, it is important to wear something simple and a little bit reveal to infuse a tropical feel into the celebration. Make sure that the wedding entourage will wear something comfortable from you bridal gown to the bridesmaid dresses. Sleeveless bridesmaid dresses, simple bridesmaid dresses, or short bridesmaid dresses will do as long as you make sure that their dresses won’t get in the way of the celebration. Take a look at some of these dress designs and draw some inspiration out of it:

(Bridesmaid dresses):

Picture Credit:

(Wedding dresses):


Picture Credit:

2. Food, decors, and other details – Make sure that all these details will also be fitting for the theme of the wedding. Foods must be made from fresh produce (including seafoods), the decors and giveaways must be made from non-toxic materials to prevent harming the natural ecosystem of the area.

3. Party and have a great time – Inform all your guests ahead of time about your plans of having a beach wedding. In this way, they will be able to prepare a more suitable dress to go with the flow of the occasion. And the most important thing you have to remember is to enjoy and have a great time. Beach weddings are made informal so that all the people will feel more relaxed and avoid feeling the pressures of formalities.


Preparation is the key in turning your dream wedding into a reality. Just follow these basic preparation tips and surely you will have a great beach wedding memories that can last a lifetime.

how to keep summer alive whenever, wherever

It’s never until the first of August that I’m suddenly hit with the realization that summer’s nearly over. When you have parents who grew up on an island and are a perpetual sun worshipper yourself (with the right SPF, of course), it’s almost impossible not to dread the inevitable end to come. Instead, I find myself fingers crossed for one of those long Indian summers and clutching desperately to my summer beauty favorites.
(And yes, at the same time because I’m bendy like that.)

Here’s the thing with summer: it’s more than just an earthly rotation. Would it be ideal to celebrate sand and summer all year round with little denim shorts? Of course it would, but rather than limit it to a simple, seasonal shift, think of it as an energy kept alive by a state of mind.

Even so, it’s easy to forget come first sign of fallen leaves. If you’re ever left shivering under layers of silk and wool, sometimes all it takes is a summer beauty favorite to remind yourself of those perfect summer nights. That’s the power of nostalgia: a few good products that don’t just shimmer and shine, but bottle up that summer spirit for whenever you need it most.

Here’s how I keep summer alive – in the words of Shakira, the ultimate summer inspiration, herself – whenever, wherever:

Keep it dewy.
Rather than mattify your complexion, try for dewy instead. For years, fall runways featured models in a matte or powder-y foundation – hence the influence on our own regimens – but the past two years have been focused more so on a clean, natural finish than what was once typical of autumn/winter beauty trends. Forgo the powders and try using liquid- or cream-based face products instead. A liquid foundation mixed with your moisturizer leaves a lightweight, natural finish on the skin, and cream blushes and highlighters do wonders in mimicking that just-in-the-sun flush.

Bronze it up. 
I’m not sure why bronzer is a beauty taboo come autumn or winter; everyone surreptitiously reaches for their cool-toned contour powders instead. I say save the sculpting for Kodak moments and reach for your beloved bronzer instead. Nothing keeps the last legs of a summer tan alive like a tawny glow – nor does anything capture the spirit of summer better than such a staple product. Feign a holiday tan with a few strategic sweeps of bronzer on the high points of your face: the center of the forehead, tip of the nose, and cheekbones. Brownie points for using a shimmery – not glittery – powder that imparts just enough highlight for that ever coveted, sun-kissed glow.

When you’ve finally lost all trace of your summer tan, swap that bronzer for a matte shade that’s slightly lighter or less orange/terracotta-based. You’ll still get that gorgeous hint of holiday glow, but it’ll look more natural with a paler complexion.

Don’t be afraid of color. 
I love my nudes and neutrals as much as the next, but sometimes all a girl needs is a pop of color. Eyes, cheeks, or lips? Take your pick. A swipe of shimmery blue, turquoise, purple, or gold liner under the eyes paired with a neutral, shimmery lid reads Rihanna a la “Music of the Sun” days. A bright peach or coral flush on the cheeks looks fresh and sun-kissed, and a statement lip does wonders in lifting the whole complexion. I’m partial to orange-based shades (e.g., bright orange, orange-red, coral, punchy pink); they complement bronzer and self-tanner well.

Ah, the power of scent! For most, summer smells like coconut and fresh vanillas and/or a blend of exotic, citrus-y fruits with a hint of a salted margarita. While I wholeheartedly encourage smelling like summer all year round – I’m championing the occasional spritz for nostalgia’s sake – those aforementioned scents might not always feel appropriate once the days start getting shorter. Autumn and winter shouldn’t restrict you to gourmands, woodsy elements, or musk. Balance those opposing scents instead: keep your summer favorites (coconut or citrus, for example) as a top note and ground it with a warmer scent (a gourmand vanilla, sandalwood, or light musk work as beautiful bases). You’ll still get a hint of the summer fragrance you love, and let the memories follow.

Spray and scrunch. 
Beachy waves are beautiful year-round. And even if they’re not actual sand-and-sea induced mermaid waves, recreate it with your favorite salt spray. Just spritz liberally into damp hair and let air dry. Leaving it as is with a matte finish looks more straight-off-the-beach, but adding a few pumps of a shine serum to the ends looks lovely too. Always keep the summer beauty philosophy in mind: simplicity is king.
Glow baby glow.
No matter your skin type, your complexion naturally looks and feels drier with the onset of colder weather. Restore that healthy, summer dewiness by being diligent with your moisturizer: be sure to hydrate your skin twice daily and if necessary, switch to richer, more emollient product to prevent moisture loss.

The secret to dewy skin year-round, however, isn’t in the makeup: it’s all about skincare. A few drops of a peptide serum beneath your moisturizer not only serve as an anti-aging treatment, but will also leave the complexion soft, silky, and smooth to the touch. The finish is quite beautiful; the unique blend of antioxidants, peptides and botanicals help bring out and enhance that lit-from-within glow no matter when or where.
.   .   .
Author’s Bio: Kimberly Yang. Writer, blogger and marketing maven currently working for Mario Badescu Skin Care. She tends to be verbose (and just so happens to despise referring to herself in the third person), so let’s keep it as short and sweet as possible. She writes and dances. A lot.

Aug 22, 2013

planning for house guests? wow them with hospitality

Being a host to house guests can be tremendously rewarding, but also a bit risky. If you treat your guest carelessly or make them feel they're in your way, you could ruin friendships and strain family relationships. With just a little thought and planning, though, your house guests' visit can be the highlight of everyone's trip, and your guests won't hesitate in extending invitations for you to come visit them.
Here are some easy tips you can use this summer to ensure that your house guests' visit leaves them — and you — with wonderful memories.

Make Them Feel Welcome the Moment They Walk in the Door

Your guests may be thirsty, hungry, tired or even a bit cranky when they arrive, especially if they have traveled a long distance. Be prepared and have a pot of tea and an assortment of fresh fruit juices on the kitchen counter when your guests come in, suggests hospitality expert and party planner Colin Cowie. The drinks will be refreshing, while the pleasant surprise and show of hospitality will revitalize their spirits after the stresses of the road.

Add a Little Luxury


Put a folding luggage rack in your guest room — just like the kind you'd see in a hotel, suggests Your guests will appreciate the luxury of being able to keep their luggage off the floor or the bed. By combining one of the comforts of a hotel with the warmth of a home visit, you'll be giving your guests the best of both worlds.

The Gift of Sleep

A well-rested guest is a happy guest. If your guest room contains an old, saggy mattress, consider shopping the high-quality selection of mattresses that will be much more comfortable. Not only will your guests be in a better mood after getting a good night's sleep, but you'll be happier too waking up with such cheerful people in your kitchen.

Everyone Loves Privacy

Your guests are in your house, but let them feel as if they have some territory to themselves. says that no matter how big your guest space -- whether it's a huge guest suite or just a couch in the corner of the living room -- let them take care of it themselves. Don't clean up after them, and don't nag them about keeping the area neat.

Let Them Know What You Expect

Here's a great idea from Cowie: Leave a note by your guests' bedside explaining the routines of your household and any rules you'd like them to follow, such as whether they should answer your phone when you're out or if there is any special place they should park their cars. Your guests want to be good guests as much as you want to be a good host, and a friendly list of rules can help them feel more secure in their role, as well as go a long way to prevent unfortunate misunderstandings.

Take Time for Yourself

Togetherness is wonderful, except when it gets to be too much. Be sure to take some "me" time away from your guests to recharge your energy and enthusiasm.

Cherish Your Guests

If you start to feel exasperated with your guests, stop and remember why you invited them in the first place. Your friends and family aren't perfect, but always keep in mind how much they add to your life.

About the Author Tiffany Gonzales:  Tiffany and her husband flip houses for a living. She enjoys writing about home improvement tips from the lessons they learn.

push yourself to the limits of relaxing

Working out puts a lot of stress on your body and sometimes that lazy day just isn’t enough to recuperate. When you’ve pushed yourself to the limit, you want to receive some equally hard-fought relaxation.  There are lots of reasons as to why your body may not recover properly after a long workout or challenging gym session, but by going further with your relaxation you should be able to fix up even the most fatigued of muscles.

Refreshing the Body – Reflexology
You’ve just been to a really tough spinning class at your local gym, your shoulders ache, your back is all bent up – what do you do? Most of you will just go home and vegetate whilst you wait for your body to recover, but this isn’t going to help you as much as real relaxation could!

Instead of lazing around waiting for the pain to fade, go try out some reflexology. Reflexology works by placing various amounts of pressure upon specific point on your feet or face – foot reflexology is common practice in comparison with facial reflexology, but the choice is yours.

The theory is that these specific points on your feet are actually trigger-points which represent different parts of your body, and by placing pressure on them your body will respond to that particular area of your body and will stimulate the renewal process – this works especially well for back pain, improving the functionality of organs and soothing the nervous system.
Alleviating Pain and Pressure – Acupuncture
So feet don’t take your fancy – it’s no biggie! Acupuncture is just as effective as reflexology but it works in a slightly different way; acupuncture attempts to stimulate the flow of qi (pronounced ch-ee) within your body. Qi is your ‘life force’ or ‘prana’ in Hinduism and is encouraged through the use of very fine needles that are placed on meridian lines around the body.

It’s believed that a strong flow of qi within the body will promote good health and rapid healing; however, this is something that you will have to experience for yourself before you can believe its positive effects.  It’s also hard to believe that acupuncture isn’t painful – but it’s long been touted as one of the most relaxing and healing of all holistic medicines. Most health spas that offer acupuncture do so in a relaxing environment, far from the hospital rooms that we all imagine!

Due to the use of fine needles it’s suggested that you visit a professional spa facility or a therapist that is experienced in this treatment – this is to prevent any little accidents from occurring; nobody wants to be stabbed with a needle by somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing!
Hydrotherapy – The Best Healer!
So you’re a little bit fussy, you don’t like feet, and needles freak you out – do not fear! Hydrotherapy is one of the best treatments that you could undergo, and there are so many forms of it!

There’s a water treatment to suit every taste; three dimensional massages, natural outdoor baths and mineral baths.

Three dimensional massages are massages that use a series of underwater jets to apply pressure to various parts of the body, this technique is often used as a part of physiotherapy; it’s that effective! Hydrotherapy, as the name suggests, is always a treatment that contains water – due to this it’s incredibly unlikely that you could ever encounter negative effects from this type of treatment.

Water is a natural cleanser and purifier – after a difficult workout there could be nothing better for your skin or for your mental health than to allow yourself to soak in a mineral bath or undergo an underwater massage. Hydrotherapy is more effective than an ordinary bath or shower as whilst the water washes away the sweat from your workout the minerals begin to work on your skin to rejuvenate it and remove toxins that have built up – the use of hot and cold water will also release the tension that you have created within your muscles. By ridding yourself of all that unnecessary strain you are enabling your body to prevent cramp from occurring and you’ll also feel much fresher!

Hydrotherapy really is the best healer, so why not give it a go?

There are many others ways in which you can take relation to the next level without having to stray far from your own home; all you have to do is experiment a little and find out what makes you feel better.

Amanda Bryant is a health beautician and spa consultant based in London. Having worked in the industry for more than a decade, she has had more than a few opportunities to sample the relaxation techniques above!

Aug 6, 2013

how I manage to workout even when I don't want to

Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated to go to a workout class where you are getting your heart rate up, hitting the gym, or just doing exercise period. I admit, if it wasn't bad for me I would much rather snack on junk food and skip my workout that day, but then I know I won't feel better afterwards both mentally and physically. I also would also gain weight because of my lack of working out. For me, mental health, eating healthy, and going to the gym all operate together.

Honestly since I'm an energetic person by nature working out for me is a daily necessity and is like my natural antidepressant. I wouldn't say I enjoy it until I'm actually there doing it, and I can also honesty say the more you work out, the better you get at it, and the more it becomes a habit.

There are several things that keep me motivated to work out, from meeting and joining friends at a fitness class to buying a new pair of Reebok gym shoes. I also LOVE to buy new workout outfits. What keeps you motivated to workout? Here are some other ways I stay motivated so that I won't stay home catching up on a TV program instead. ;) Now that wouldn't get me anywhere, now would it?!

Lulu Clothes

I love my Lululemon workout clothes and other favorite workout brand names and not to mention their accessories. Everything I buy from this irresistible brand is bright, comfy, and super durable. They make me happy when I wear them to a favorite fitness class and due to my confidence in fun new clothing, I find myself working out more often.

However, sometimes I find myself wearing my favorite yoga pants daily as a day-to-day staple, and then I gently have to remind myself that I should wear jeans sometimes instead of only wearing leggings every single day. Oops! They are just so much more comfy and it also makes it easy for me to walk on over to the gym (since it's within walking distance from my place and I'm already dressed to workout).

Endorphins = Happiness

Read this quote above and you'll essentially know basically the main reason I work out. Working out stabilizes my mood (okay admit it, we all suffer from mood swings from time to time), and makes me happy overall. Usually when I find myself skipping workouts I get cranky and frustrated with myself. Going to my favorite class gives me confidence in myself and I always feel great afterwards, even if I don't feel like going beforehand.

I Like a Challenge
Lately I've been trying new classes that I find challenging, such as Yoga, Pilates, Piloxing, and other classes that I thought I never would have kept on going to a few years back. A good problem is though, is once you go to a class you really click with you kind of get addicted! Basically I tell myself that it's okay that I'm not that good at this class right now, but I will be in the near future! And if not that's okay too because I like the challenge. It pushes me to do something I love but may not be good at, and it also makes me feel confident and sexy while working out. I can't wait to try a barre class -- that's next on my list.

I hope you stay motivated to workout by coming up 
with little ways to get yourself to the gym or class! :)


Aug 2, 2013

music that will help keep you motivated during your workout - guest post by Marcela

Let’s be honest; sometimes working out doesn’t exactly have the most appeal. And even when we are in the middle of a workout or long run, it can be tempting to quit. When there is no one next to you, pushing you to go the extra mile, staying determined to finish becomes difficult.

But, how do you get past the burn and drive yourself to keep going? When the sweat is dripping into your eyes, and it seems like you can’t go for five more minutes, what do you do? Studies have shown that listening to music during a workout can motivate you not to quit! Keep reading for some great tunes to get you pumped up—and help you stay that way.

Cardio Workouts
Cardio workouts get your heart moving and your heart rate up. They require you to keep moving at a fast speed, such as with elliptical training or treadmills. This means that you need some fast beats to motivate you in a big way.

The songs in your cardio playlist should all have between 120-140 beats per minute. This is so you can keep pace with your song throughout your workout. Some great songs to do this to are:

Paramore—Still Into You (137 BMP)
Alex Gaudino and Mario—Beautiful (128 BMP)
Shakira—Hips Don’t Lie (130 BMP)
Pitbull—I Know You Want Me (140 BMP)

Weight Lifting
Weight lifting requires strength and energy. You constantly have to push yourself and try to increase the amount of weights in each set of reps. That is why it is so important to listen to music that is going to make you feel like you can do anything!

Choose songs that are intense and energizing; many people enjoy listening to heavy rock to keep them going. Choose songs like:
Survivor—Eye of the Tiger
Queen—Another One Bites the Dust
Eminem—Lose Yourself
LL Cool J—Mama Said Knock You Out

Interval Training
Even if you are just beginning a running program, and a lot of it involves walking right in the beginning, it is still smart to make a motivating playlist! This helps you get off the couch and into those running shoes. Warm up to songs that have about 115-118 beats per minute, such as:

Daft Punk and Pharrell—Get Lucky (116 BPM)
The Band Perry—Done (102 BPM)
The Rolling Stones—Start Me Up (113 BPM)

When your program introduces more running within the walking, this is a good time to make an interval training playlist. Interval training is great because it keeps your heart rate up while giving you a chance to cool down when you need it. Find songs that are anywhere between 115-140 beats per minute, incorporating both your running and your walking. Some examples are:

Pink—Get the Party Started (129 BPM)
Rihanna—Don’t Stop the Music (122 BPM)
The Afters—Light Up the Sky (145 BPM)
Toby Mac—Get Back Up (120 BPM)

Make different playlists for each type of workout that you plan on doing. Don’t hesitate to mix it up every now and then! Fresh songs keep you even more motivated and get you excited about working up a sweat. Put those headphones in and get to work!

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and mother of three who always has a different music playlist for practically everything she does: yoga, work, running, etc. to keep her mind and body motivated. Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook today!

Aug 1, 2013

what to do with stuff you really don't need - make money or help those in need

Do you ever feel like you have too much stuff? I don't know about you, but I'm constantly thinking about selling my stuff, but I never get around to it. I currently have tons of CDs, DVDs, clothing, and more in my storage, but I just haven't had time to go through it! In that storage room there is a treasure trove of stuff that are either keepsakes or other stuff that I really don't need. It's time for me to go through it soon!

This makes me think -- how can I gracefully get rid of some of my belongings that I don't need without it being a big hassle? Here are some of my ideas:

Sell Media Online
When I do make time to go through my storage, I know I will sell CDs, DVDs and games onlineSince my taste in music and CDs changes as time goes on, it makes more sense to make some money or give them to someone else who has been looking for that particular DVD or CD artist. Their are websites that make it easy to sell your media online and get immediate profit from the sale as well. I'm definitely going to look into this when the time comes when I make the time to go through my CDs and DVDs.

Donate Your Clothing
Do you have younger cousins or family members that need your clothing if you've gained or lost weight? Or maybe you are just sick of a few items but you know someone else will love it. I know when my cousins come to visit their daughters love to go through my clothing. They go home with a new wardrobe! This method not only makes me feel good that I could give my clothing away to my family, but it certainly takes the clothing off of my hands too. If my family isn't nearby since my relatives are scattered across the United States, I usually just donate my clothing to Goodwill.

Consignment Shops
Another alternative to giving your clothing away is to look for a consignment shop if you have large furniture or expensive items. Their are other stores too such as Rags Exchange online, Buffalo Exchange in multiple states, and other local shops. I love that their are also many other sites online that allow you to sell your furniture, clothing, and other valuables. That way you can get money in return. Obviously giving away material items is a nice gesture, but I can understand the need to make money sometimes as well. ;) I like to mix it up so that I'm doing a little bit of all of these options.

What do you do with stuff that you don't need?