Posted by: marinvit | 2010

Bridal Wedding Day Tips

Your wedding is the one time in your life when you want to look amazing. At your upcoming wedding ceremony and reception, you will be the center of attention, with all eyes on you as you make your way down the aisle toward your groom.

Obviously, you want to look your absolute best. Prior to your wedding reception and ceremony, you need to find time to relax, while doing something special for you. Here are a few tips that will help you look like a fairytale princess on your wedding day.

Facial Care

If you have ever given thought to treating yourself to a facial, now would be the ideal opportunity. In fact, if you want to spend some quality time with your maid of honor, the two of you could enjoy a trip to the day spa together, a perfect way for thanking her for all her hard work and support. In addition to looking great, a facial will help you relax.

Today, just about every city has a day spa where you can be pampered, even smaller towns. An excellent option is a steam facial, which benefits you by releasing toxins and trapped dirt within the skin’s pores.

Now, one important thing to consider is that a steam facial should be done between three and six weeks before the actual wedding day. The reason is that as the skin is cleaned, a breakout is possible.

Foot Care

In addition to walking down the aisle, chances are you will be standing for long periods of time while going through the wedding ceremony and reception.

Considering that you will be wearing new shoes, standing in front of your guests while exchanging wedding vows, and then waiting to greet each guest as he or she walks through the receiving line, you want your feet to be comfortable. Then of course, remember the dancing and walking you will be doing at the reception as well.

To pamper your feet, we recommend you start by getting a good pedicure several days before your nuptials. By doing this, your toenails will look fabulous, which is especially a good idea if you plan to wear open toe shoes.

In addition, you might want to consider visiting a reflexologist, which is a trained professional that uses a special form of Chinese wellness. With reflexology, pressure is applied to various points on the feet, which then benefits different parts of the body.

Body Massage

You definitely want to make time for several massages before the wedding ceremony. A full body massage is a great way to prepare for your wedding. Most importantly, you want to work with a qualified masseuse to help relieve stress, while making you feel like a brand new person. A massage the day before your wedding will relax both the body and mind, something you could do alone or with your maid of honor.

As a result, you will arrive at your wedding feeling refreshed and ready to face anything ahead of you. In fact, most brides agree that after a body massage, they feel confident and more in charge simply from being stress free.

In summary, it’s important to make time for yourself before your wedding ceremony and reception. By following these simple bridal beauty tips, you will look and feel your best on the most important day of your life, your wedding day!

Posted by: marinvit | 2010

Language Of Love- Valentine Flowers

Ever since Cupid shot his first arrow into a love-shy suitor, men–and in more recent decades, women–have given flowers to their true loves on St. Valentine’s Day.

The holiday, which has its origins in the pagan festival of Lupercalia, is recognized in England, France, Austria, Germany, and the United States.

Although the custom of sending romantic cards to suitors began in the early part of the nineteenth century, flowers are a more recent custom and one perpetuated by the floral industry, not any ancient belief.

Traditionally, long-stemmed, red roses are associated with this holiday although carnations, tulips, azaleas, and other flowers are catching up in popularity.

So are sweetheart or miniature roses, which are just as attractive, but not as expensive, as tea roses and come in the same range of colors from red and pale pink to white, cream, lavender, peach, and yellow.

If you are buying a dozen roses to go, instead of having the florist deliver them, select blooms that are just beginning to open. Wrap the flowers well to protect against the cold as chilling February temperatures can damage the delicate blossoms.

An alternate to roses is to have your florist make up a mixed bouquet with a red-pink-white color scheme. Possibilities include carnations, daisies, freesia, and tulips as well as more exotic choices like alstromeria, red anthurium, or ginger. Add a few sprigs of baby’s breath for the finishing touch.

Potted flowering plants will help extend your Valentine’s Day greetings and brighten up winter days ahead.

Most florists carry potted tulips, azaleas, cyclamens, and chrysanthemums and may have more unusual varieties such as kalanchoe with its scarlet red flowers set high on spikes or cineraria with its fuzzy leaves and mound of vivid red, blue, or purple blossoms.

Posted by: marinvit | 2010

Cacti As Houseplants

Want to exercise your green thumb this winter? Try growing cacti as houseplants. True cacti, a type of succulent, are native to the Americas. Many types may be grown as houseplants, each different in size, color, shape, and flowering habit. Among the most popular types are the star cactus, golden barrel, old man, bishop’s cap, bunny ears, rat-tail, pincushion, Turk’s cap, and ball cactus.

Most cacti purchased at plant shops, garden stores, florists, and grocery and discount stores are grown alike. They have one thing in common, however. They all prefer a growing space with plenty of sunlight. Cacti grown on windowsills facing south usually flourish. The next best exposure is light from an east or west window since it can provide direct sun for part of the day.

If you wish, you can place the plants outdoors in summer. Many gardeners think there is too little light in our area during the winter, but this is often not the case. With snow cover more light is reflected during the winter than penetrates through shade trees around the home in summer.

Perhaps the main trick to growing cacti is proper watering. Many cacti have been killed from overwatering during the winter, including mine! If the weather is cloudy, or even predicted to be cloudy, don’t water. If in doubt whether the soil is dry, don’t water.

When watering, apply only a small amount to moisten the soil area around the roots. Allow the soil to become dry before additional watering. Maintain the temperature during the growth period (usually spring and summer) at 60 degrees F at night and 10 to 15 degrees warmer during the day. During the dormant period (usually fall and winter), reduce the temperature to 45 to 55 degrees F.

If most of your rooms are warmer than this, then place your cacti near a window (but not touching it) where the temperature may be five to 10 degrees cooler than in the middle of the room. Fertilize the cacti several times during the growth period with a liquid fertilizer. Products labeled 5-10-5 or 10-20-10, and those containing fish emulsion, are all suitable.

Follow directions on the label carefully. For repotting, use a soil mix prepared for cacti. Or make your own from one part coarse builder’s sand, one part loam soil, and one part peat moss. Finally, if you brush against your cactus and get a few spines stuck in your fingers, use heavy duty tape (sticky side to the spines) to pull them out.

Posted by: marinvit | 2010

Bridal Shower-Not-Boring Themes ( part 2)

Occupational Hazard

Few things are more flattering than having your friends develop a party around your job. After all, you spend day in and day out there, and what you do is probably pretty important to you.

Is the bride a teacher? Hand out apple-shaped candles as favors … and place them in brown paper lunchbags.

Give her a chalkboard eraser “to erase any grudges” after she’s married: spray paint the top gold or silver, and have everyone sign it with a Sharpie. Sew or glue together a quick clip-on or bandana for her dog’s collar that reads, “Teacher’s Pet.”

Is your bride an attorney? Hire a Judge Judy impersonator (yes, they exist!) to make a showing. Ask each guest to “submit a brief” — a gift of lacey underwear for the honeymoon, accompanied by a personal note to wish the bride well.

More Ideas for Exciting Showers

Christmas in July: Place the bride’s gifts under a big, frou frou artificial tree you’ve hung the guest favors on. Serve iced eggnog and mocha-cinnamon smoothies. Everyone loves Christmas … especially when you’ve had a break from it, and don’t have to agonize over what to buy the boss.

Dancing Queens: Dress up in big, pouffy prom dresses from the past (you’ll find them at every thrift store), super-glam makeup, even tiaras. Lay on loads of body glitter. Head out en masse to your neighborhood restaurant or karaoke bar and toast the bride as she opens her gifts.

Cheesecake Party: Ask your guests who their favorite hunk is. Serve mini-cheesecakes in lots of different flavors (Baileys and orange, amaretto, chocolate fudge), and place a framed photo of their favorite “cheesecakes” next to each serving platter, with a special label: “Brad Pitt Blueberry,” “Creme de Menthe Mel.” Get inventive with the descriptions. Borrow or rent the biggest espresso machine you can find, and serve up steaming coffee drinks.

Whatever you end up going with, don’t be afraid to be creative. The less you go by the book and the more you think about what makes the bride special, the more fun your shower will be for everyone.

Posted by: marinvit | 2010

Bridal Shower-Not-Boring Themes

So you’re planning a bridal shower — and everyone says you need a theme. “Around the Clock.” “Home and Garden.” Yawn!

There aren’t many times we get to be silly and girly in this world, so a bridal shower shouldn’t be wasted. Make sure it’s genuinely fun. It’s simple — just think about what makes your bride special, and let yourself loose with the theme. Here are a few ideas to charge up the noggin and organize something unique.

“Like High School — But Better.”

Revive some great times by tipping your hat to the bride’s high school days. Look up all those slightly embarrassing hits from the year she graduated — let’s say the 80s.

(Create a gift CD of same for all your guests — they’ll secretly savor them when no one else is around.) Yes, they still make banana clips! Pass them out, along with big, dangly inexpensive hoop earrings and loads of jelly bracelets (remember? You wear about a hundred on each arm, a la vintage Madonna).

Slather on the pink, blue and green eye shadow, metallic nail polish and bright blue mascara. Play the soundtracks from Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles.

Now for the games: segment a flashback classic, such as Madonna’s “Holiday,” into three or four CDs. Divide your guests into the same number of groups, and challenge them to come up with a dance routine to fit their part of the tune. Bring them back together in 10 or 15 minutes to perform their mini-masterpiece before a video camera you’ve set up for the occasion.

Tape everyone’s routine in order. Give a prize to the best choreographers (actually, give a prize to everyone for being a good sport). Together, you’ve created a music video that no one could forget. With any luck, it’ll mysteriously show up at the reception.

Wine and Chocolate

Sometimes, when you tour a bunch of vineyards in wine country and you’re really lucky, you hit upon “wine and chocolate” day. But you don’t have to wait to hit the jackpot — you can organize your own.

Plan an easy afternoon of popular, easy-drinking wines like Merlot and champagne, and ask each guest to bring a creative form of chocolate. Some of our favorites: chocolate croissants, chocolate papaya crepes, chocolate-covered ginger, and yes, jalapeno brownies.

But don’t stop with the food — make an outright bordello of it. Pile lots of velveteen pillows around the room, drape the walls with heavy fabric, burn a bit of incense. Put on some soothing Moroccan music, and arrange a few flowers in plum colored pails or vases you’ve dressed up with groovy gold fringe.

Now pass out those beverages in pretty glass flutes, dropping a rose petal in each one. Then dig in! (Have doggie bags at the ready for blissed-out guests who want to enjoy the spoils later at home).

Posted by: marinvit | 2010

Unique Wedding Guestbook Ideas

While the traditional wedding guestbook serves an important function, more and more couples — and wedding planners — are steering away from the time-tested in favor of something more personal.

That’s especially true for brides and grooms having a relaxed second wedding, or those who simply enjoy a dynamic relationship and powerful personalities. Traditional guestbooks are great, but one-of-a-kind alternatives can be even better!

So, you’re sold — you’ve decided to put together a more totally-you memento of your guests than that little quilted journal and feather pen. And yet, it’s a struggle to come up with the perfect idea. Never fear … with a little brainstorming, you’ll find yourself armed with several original choices.

While you ponder, ask yourself questions about what makes you stand out as a couple. What are your hobbies? Do you play any instruments? How do you like to spend your free time? What tantalizing spot did you pick for your honeymoon? Take mental note of your talents and passions … or prized possessions. Answering basic questions like these should help you develop a fresh and personal spin on the traditional guestbook.

Here are a few quick ideas to help you get started:

Blessed with musical talent? If you play the guitar, keep an eye out for miniature or older, not-necessarily-playable guitars at music shops, thrift stores, and so on. Buy some Sharpies and clear acrylic spray, so the surface can be signed and sealed for years to come. You can make similar modifications to instruments like banjos, mandolins, violins. Actually, with a little creativity you could probably convert almost any instrument!

Crazy for sports? If so, consider signing memorabilia or sporting goods equipment related to your favorite sports or teams. Hockey players are sure to appreciate a signed hockey stick they can mount in a shadow box or simply hang from a wall. If you’d like to play this down a bit, just frame a picture of yourselves dressed in your favorite team’s jerseys (or going to a sporting event) and leave plenty of ink-friendly matting around the frame.

Love to travel? Look for artifacts or souvenirs that can be signed and framed or displayed after the ceremony. Fans of the Far East might enjoy a signed kimono. A safari jacket might be perfect for Africa aficionados. Most countries lend themselves to some type of apparel or indigenous piece of art that’s simple to convert into a customized guestbook alternative.

It’s also worth mentioning that the number of couples going with a Signature Platter is on the rise. Why? Because not only is a signed platter a great way to remember your special day, it’s one of the few “guestbooks” that can actually become part of your daily routine.

These are hardly your only possibilities for novel alternatives to the traditional guestbook. With a little creativity, brainstorming and research, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a “guestbook” that’s as perfect for your wedding as you are for each other.

Posted by: marinvit | 2009

Grow Orchids ( part 2)

Watering frequency depends on the medium in which they are potted. Most orchids cannot survive prolonged drought and should be watered often. However, some require a “dry season” of six to eight weeks during which watering is reduced but not stopped.

This “dry season” must occur immediately after maturation of the current season’s growth and is often necessary to initiate flowering. Nutrients must be provided in dilute concentrations when orchids are grown on inert media. Moderate air circulation is required for best growth. Be aware that many factors may prevent flowering in orchids.

Insufficient light is the most common reason. If there is too little light, the leaves become a deep, lush green. With too much light the leaves turn yellow-green. For proper flowering, the leaves should have only a slight yellow tint. Some orchids may not bloom if the nighttime and daytime temperatures are the same.

Consistently warm temperatures are good for vegetative growth, but may suppress flower development. A 10 to 15 degree reduction in the night temperature for two weeks in the fall or spring is needed to initiate flower development. Dry air may result in failure of flower buds to open and death of plants in extreme cases.

A relative humidity of 60 percent will alleviate the problem. Orchids are affected by many of the same pests and diseases as other houseplants. Insects such as mealybugs and aphids can be controlled with the proper insecticide. Good cultural practices and the purchase of healthy plants will reduce the chance of disease although most fungal and bacterial diseases may be controlled using commercially available fungicides and bactericides.

Posted by: marinvit | 2009

Write Own Wedding Vows

Looking for ways to personalize your wedding ceremony? Consider incorporating your own carefully chosen words into this momentous occasion, and build the foundation for a life-long relationship.

Writing your own vows is definitely an ambitious undertaking. Not only must you determine the perfect words to say, but those words must be rehearsed and recited in front of your closest family and friends on a day that will be one of the most important of your life. Follow these easy steps to pen and recite beautiful vows from the heart.

Step One – Before you put pen to paper, consider these factors:

Get approval –
Talk to your officiant to make sure personal vows are even allowed. Some religions object to non-secular expressions during the wedding ceremony. Even with the go-ahead, submit your personalized vows to your officiant for review before the big day; he or she may have specific objections or even helpful ideas.

Establish an estimated length –
Your audience will find it odd and even comical if one rambles for 5 minutes will the other says 10 words.

Be succinct –
Overly lengthy wedding vows may lose your audience and will only increase the potential for error. Review them in front of someone else. You can rehearse with each other, or if you’d rather keep them a surprise, read your vows to a trusted loved one.

Step Two – Decide What to Say:

Consult your past –
Time for a trip down memory lane. Start jotting down the details of special firsts in your relationship-first meeting, first date, first kiss, first “I love you,” etc. What qualities made you fall in love in the first place? Are there special milestones in your relationship that that have helped bring you here today?

Envision the Future –
What challenges and achievements to you foresee in the future, and how do you expect to meet those things together?

Complete Me –
Sure, it’s a line from a movie-but there’s a reason for its now cliché status. What characteristics does he/she bring out in you? How does he/she make you a better person?

Use the right words –
Compile your notes, memories and reflections, and begin turning words into sentences. Consult your thesaurus for the perfect expressions to reflect your thoughts. Some words to get you started: love, trust, support, strength, encourage, respect, cherish, admire, value, commit, pledge and promise.

This article offers even more advice on what to include in your wedding vows

Step 3 – Say it With Heart:

Have a cheat sheet –
Even if you plan to memorize them, the nerves may kick in when the big moment arrives. To avoid a potentially awkward scene at the wedding ceremony – bring a cheat sheet just in case.

Posted by: marinvit | 2009

Grow Orchids

If you can’t get to Hawaii this winter, then why not bring Hawaii to you? Create a tropical paradise by growing orchids indoors.

Granted, care must be taken when growing orchids at home. However, they are no more difficult to grow than most other houseplants when their particular growth requirements are met. In fact, some orchids are as easy to grow as cacti.

Although there are more than 25,000 species growing in climates ranging from the arctic tundra to the tropical rain forest, the orchids most often cultivated are species from tropical climates. They are commonly grouped by cool, intermediate, and warm temperature requirements based on the plants’ optimum night requirements (45 to 50 degrees F, 55 to 65 degrees F, and above 65 degrees F, respectively).

The beginning grower should consider starting with established plants which should bloom within a year. Seedlings are less expensive but may take up to five years to flower. Natural species may be grown, but the hybrids are often more vigorous and less demanding in their cultural requirements.

Light is often a factor limiting the growth of orchids. Most orchids require relatively high light intensities and should be grown in an east or south window. However, a few will grow well under low intensity fluorescent lights.

Orchids vary in their water requirements. Many tropical orchids are epiphytes, growing on the side of trees, and will not do well if their roots stay wet. Epiphytes should be grown in a very porous potting medium such as coarse fir bark, lava rock, or coarse perlite. Terrestrial types rooted in soil require a well-drained, finer textured growth medium.

Posted by: marinvit | 2009

Save-The-Date Cards

Although save-the-dates are not absolutely necessary, these cards have increased in popularity with the rise of destination weddings and modern guest lists spread throughout the country.

Since they are a relatively modern concept, no real rules apply – a fact which sometimes causes confusion for brides when planning their wedding stationery. I’ve sorted through the information that’s out there to bring you the real ins and outs concerning save-the-dates…

Who Needs them?
If your guest list includes a number of out-of-towners, or if your wedding takes place during a holiday or other peak time, you are a prime candidate for save-the-dates. Since invitations don’t go out until 6-8 weeks before the big day, save-the-dates are the perfect way to give wedding guests a preliminary heads up so they can begin making travel arrangements.

These days, however, more and more brides send these cards regardless of the time and location of their wedding. Why? Save-the-dates provide a fun opportunity to get the word out and foreshadow the style of your big event.

Rules & Etiquette
Again, few rules apply. The only information you must include is your names and wedding date, although I suggest including location information as well so wedding guests can begin their travel plans. Aim to send save-the-date cards soon after you secure your date and venue, or about 4-6 months prior to your wedding.

Remember, everyone who receives a save-the-date also receives an invitation, so have your guest list finalized prior to sending them. You can, however, always add guests later (there is no rule that says everyone must receive a save-the-date card). Although formal replies are not required, you can get preliminary attendance estimates through word-of-mouth.

Trends & Ideas
These cards will be the first impression of your wedding festivities, so take advantage of this opportunity to build excitement amongst your wedding guests. If you already know the colors and/or theme of your wedding, now’s your chance to provide a sneak peak. Or try including a favorite love poem or quote that symbolizes your relationship. Here are some of my favorite ideas and trends:

• Use vibrant colors that will “pop” as soon as guests open the envelope.

• Incorporate graphics that correspond with the season and/or location of your event. If you are planning a fall wedding, try including colorful leaves, or include seashells for a wedding on the water.

• If the timing is right, turn your save-the-date cards into holiday greetings. Incorporate your engagement photo or another photo taken shortly after the proposal.

• Who says they have to be printed stationery? Set yours apart by turning them into scrolls, pens, stickers, magnets or a creative calendar-marker. You are only limited by your imagination!

Wording Samples
The content of your save-the-dates should be short, sweet, and to the point – providing a basic who, what, where and when. There is no standard wording; they may be as formal or as whimsical as you’d like. In any case, make sure to include “Formal invitation to follow” somewhere on the card.

Here is the basic layout for the save-the-date cards:

Save the Date: [bride & groom’s name] are getting married on [wedding date] in [city, state]

Here are some wording samples you might want to consider:

• Traditional:
Please save the date:
May 12, 2010 for the wedding of
Bob & Mary in Charleston, South Carolina

• Fun & Cutesy:
We’re Tying The Knot!
John popped the question, and Katie said yes.
Please join us on October 17, 2011
Orange County, California

• For a destination wedding:
Please join us in paradise on June 17, 2012
when Lisa & Jay say “I Do”
in Maui, Hawaii

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