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Hello ladies. Are you engaged to be married? Isn't it an amazing feeling? Let's talk about ideas for the ceremony, invitations, flowers, hair, bridal showers, special touches, DRESSES, how to stay in shape for the big day, and everything else having to do with planng our wedding.


Tips For Maintaining Your Wedding Day Beauty

Posted By Beauty on Jul 18, 2007 at 10:59AM

Hey there, Mrs! After all that work buffing, waxing, toning, brightening and beautifying, the ceremony is now over and you're not looking as perfect as you did in the wedding photos. Well, just because you have gazillions of thank-you notes to write, doesn't mean that you can't take a couple of breaks to primp and indulge!

Don't forget all of the little tricks that you used to get beautiful for the big day. I've gathered a checklist of things to remember. What's great about this list is that while you may have gone to a salon to have many of these treatments done professionally, now that the pressure of the big day is off, you can pamper yourself right at home. For the detailed list,

  • Wash your face every morning and evening with a facial cleanser of your choice.
  • Moisturize your skin with a cream that contains SPF for the day and something that will treat your skin type for the evening.
  • Exfoliate twice a week and apply a clarifying mask at least once a week.
  • Every six to eight weeks you'll want to touch up your teeth as well. There are tons of tooth whitening products on the market to keep your smith shiny, bright and stain-free!
  • Purchase new makeup colors for the next change of season. You spent all that money, time and energy choosing the perfect colors for you face, so do that again for the opposite season to ensure you are wearing the most flattering colors. Your makeup artist is a great person to ask for advice.
  • Drink plenty of water and watch what you eat. You'd never dream of picking up a Ho-Ho before the big day, so while it's OK to indulge from time to time, mind your empty calories.
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How To Organize Your Kitchen For Easy Cooking

Posted By partysugar on Jul 18, 2007 at 9:01AM

Once you have figured out what to do if both you and your new husband have sets of pots and pans, it's time to get the kitchen organized. The key to fast, efficient cooking is an orderly, tidy kitchen. Everything should have a specific place and should always be put back in that spot. These tips are not only for newlyweds, but for recent college grads, new homeowners, and anyone who wants their kitchen's layout to be more productive.

  • Store items near where they will be most used: Place pots and pans underneath the stove. Stack cups and plates next to the dishwasher. Put cookie sheets, baking pans, and pot holders near the oven. Store tools, such as bottle openers, near the fridge.
  • Keep counter space clean and clutter free.
  • For more organizing tips please

  • Consider the inside of your cabinets as much as you would the outside. Make them look gorgeous! Purchase pretty paper to line shelves and drawers and insert shelf compartments to add height and more storage space.
  • A lazy susan tray is perfect for organizing spices.
  • If you are short on space, consider hanging racks and a moveable butcher's block that can double as a table or banquette when entertaining.
  • To maintain a cabinets cleanliness, keep flour, pasta, and other dried staples in clear containers.
  • Drawer organizers and cultery trays are essential to quickly locating tools in the midst of cooking.
  • Hang paper towels on a circular holder so they don't have to sit on the counter.
  • Plastic mesh containers are big enough to house all of your cleaning supplies.
  • Keep your wine in another room in the house to avoid the unstable temperatures of a kitchen (which can get very hot when baking/cooking for long periods of time).

Got an organization tip I forgot to share? Tell us your secret below!

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What To Do If You Both Have Frying Pans

Posted By Food on Jul 16, 2007 at 4:15PM

So you've gone and gotten yourself hitched - or maybe you've just moved in with your significant other - and now, along with combining your closets and starting your life together, you've got to figure out what to do with all that cookware. If one of you loves to cook, it should be easier as you probably won't have two sets of everything. However, what do you do when both of you love to cook? Whose frying pans get to stick around and whose are carted off to charity?

  • Begin by taking stock of everything you have. Look through your stuff and see if there's anything you haven't used in a year. If so, toss it out, it's just taking space anyway. Have your partner do the same. If you can't bare to part with things, stick them in a box marked charity. If you don't pull them out of the box in the next year, it's time to say farewell.

  • Next look at the things you have in common. Do you both have microwaves? If so, whose is better? Does yours have a finicky button? Some of the things are going to be easy to determine. While others (maybe you both swear by your saucepans) are going to be more difficult. The key here is for each of you to give a little. After all, you love your honey more than you love your Le Crueset... right?
  • It's okay to break up a set. Sure your lime green pan looks amazing (especially with all the other lime green pans), but don't you prefer the way his skillet cooks things up? If you don't have the room and only use one, go with ability over looks. I'd rather have pretty food than pretty pans!
  • For the rest of our kitchen combining tips,

  • Each of you should keep your favorite tool. That's right, even if it's a ridiculous item he only uses once a year, he gets to keep it. And in return you get to choose one that you get to keep as well.
  • Do the purge together. If you toss out his favorite cast iron skillet without him knowing, happily ever after might be bumpier sooner than expected.
  • You may want to do this way before the wedding (just keep a list of what stays and what goes). You can use the opportunity to discover what should be on your wedding registry.

What did you do when you merged your kitchens? Let us know below!

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Find the Perfect Wedding Cake - Part 1

Posted By Food on Apr 24, 2007 at 4:06PM

We've talked about a few different wedding cake trends, and maybe you already have the perfect cake in mind, but how do you go about finding it? What kind of questions should ask your baker? What do you do at a cake tasting? To help you out, I've talked to brides who've been there/done that as well as several of my favorite bakers who were able to tell me what to ask/look for.

First of all, when you begin your cake hunt, give yourself plenty of time (they say 4-6 months minimum) and visit as many vendors as you can. Some high-demand bakers charge for individual cake tastings, while others do them for free. Other bakers also do a large tasting for many potential clients at once, so check with your desired bakery to find out before hand. Ideally a free one-on-one consultation is the best, however if you know what you want, then book the appointments. To learn about the different types of tasting appointments,

There are two types of appointments, one is a pure tasting, where you can taste the cake and frosting combinations that the bakery offers. Right now, some of the hot flavors include bittersweet chocolate, meyer lemon, pistachio and vanilla bean or coconut in lieu of a traditional "white cake." It's a personal taste thing, so know what you like and don't get talked into something that you don't enjoy. However, be sure to try the flavors you're not used to, these folks have been tweaking their recipes to perfection, so even though it sounds different, it might be fantastic. Also, use this time to find out what kind of ingredients they use. If you had your heart set on organic (which is also a growing trend right now), see if they can make it happen. Finally, be sure to ask about whether or not you can get different flavors for the different tiers. Most couples can't agree on just one flavor, so it's a nice way to spread it out - besides just because you loved the lime/chocolate combination, doesn't mean Aunt Marge will.

The other kind of tasting is a sit-down consultation. It's always good to have a few ideas as a starting point (a simple google image search for wedding cakes is a great place to start), but be prepared to be blown away - most cake designers want to create something unique just for you. Which reminds me, you should also ask to see a portfolio and get references as well. Once you have those, be sure to call the references, the last thing you want is someone who makes a fantastic cake, but is impossible to deal with.

Be sure to check back tomorrow morning for more tips on how to find the perfect wedding cake (costs, baking times, delivery etc.)!

Cake by Edith Meyer.

Wedding Registry 101

Posted By Food on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:58AM

Last week we talked about all the kitchen aspects of a wedding registry. A full traditional wedding registry should contain dinnerware, drinkware, flatware, appliances, and cookware. Now that you know what to look for when adding the basics to your registry, I thought I'd go over a few general registry tips. For example, it's a good idea to register at least six months before the event, also, it's a good idea to register for items that suit every kind of budget. To check out our other tips,

  • Register at two or three different stores. This will give your guests options, especially if they do not live near one of your chosen stores.
  • Make one list of what you have and want to keep, and then another of what you need and want. Decide on whether you want both "fancy" and "everyday," dishes, as well as color schemes and patterns.
  • Some retailers offer a completion program, this means you'll receive a discount (usually 10-15% off) on the items remaining on your registry after the wedding.
  • Over register by requesting more items than the number of people on your guest list. Also, be sure to check up on your registry a few days before your event. Most people purchase gifts a few days before. If there's nothing left on your registry, you're going to end up with some random items.
  • Register at stores that have a brick & mortar as well as online presence. Some people prefer shopping online, while others like to see things in person. Check out geeksugar's tips for setting up online registries.
  • Register for items in every budget. Don't shy away from big ticket items - a big trend is for guests to pool together for one large item. However, make sure there are enough affordable pieces on your registery too.
  • When registering, make sure you specify both of your names. Some guests may want to personalize your gift and may need to know how to spell your names.
  • Don't register for things you'll never use. If you know you won't ever have the need for a breadmaker, then don't put it on the list.
  • Take time to schedule an appointment, many stores will have someone on staff that specializes in registries.
  • Don't feel pressured to making your decisions in one visit. You can update and modify your registry at any time. Most stores will even allow you to do it online.

Do you have any other great registry tips?
Let us all know in the comments, thanks!

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Wedding Registry 101: Appliances

Posted By Food on Mar 29, 2007 at 6:58AM

So we've gone through what you need to look for when choosing dinnerware, drinkware and flatware, so today I thought we'd cover the fun stuff: appliances!

Now every couple is going to be different. If you don't drink coffee, there's no need to register for a coffee pot or espresso machine. Also, since so many couples tend to live together before getting married, they've probably already accumulated quite a few great items, so look at what you have, what you need to replace and what you want. To check out the appliances you might want to consider and some tips on what to look for,

  • As I mentioned, think about what appliances you want. I know of one girl who registered for a stand mixer, only to give it away (unused!) two years later. She hated baking and knew it before her wedding, but felt she had to register for it anyways.
  • Just because you want a Kitchen-Aid mixer, doesn't mean you have to select all Kitchen-Aid products. Research each product individually and register for the one that suits you the best.
  • Some appliances come in different colors, be sure to select ones that coordinate with each other, as well as your kitchen scheme. Personally I think chrome and stainless steel never go out of style. However a fun orange mixer might really suit your kitchen well.
  • Don't feel obligated to register for a cheaper product, just because it's cheaper. If you want the $400 one, but feel your guests could only justify spending $100, don't feel obligated to register for the cheaper one. Remember, your guests can always go in something as a group, and if no one gets it for you... well, in my opinion, nothing is better than something you didn't really want.
  • If you don't have the space - and I know a lot of people (myself included) feel they don't - ask yourself if there is a place you can store it until you move into a larger place. You might be in a tiny apartment now, but how about next year?
  • If you have a huge guest list, you may even consider registering for major appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.
  • Finally, a list of appliances you might want to consider:
    - Stand Mixer
    - Food Processor
    - Hand Mixer
    - Toaster
    - Waffle Maker
    - Blender
    - Slow Cooker
    - Espresso Machine
    - Coffee Pot
    - Rice Cooker
    - Kitchen Scale
    - Thermometer
    - Bread Maker
    - Juicer
    - Ice Cream Maker

Check back tomorrow when I round out my registry tips with the last category: kitchenware (pots & pans, etc.)

Shown: Breville Ikon Toasters

Wedding Registry 101: Flatware

Posted By Food on Mar 28, 2007 at 7:58AM

So you've picked out your dinnerware and drinkware, looks like the flatware is next!

Just like dinnerware and glassware, you will (traditionally) want to register for both fancy and everyday versions. Your fancy flatware is reserved for holidays and special occasions, while your everyday flatware is the stuff that is going to get banged around and ground up in the garbage disposal (come on, who hasn't done that at least once). You may decide that fancy flatware is not your thing, and that you would rather your guests spend the money on other accessories (soup spoons, knives, serving sets) instead. To check out a few tips on what to look for in flatware, as well as get a list of useful things to add to the flatware portion of your registry,

  • When choosing flatware make sure that the pieces feel balanced in your hand. If it's too heavy it may feel even worse when there's food at the other end.
  • Make sure the flatware you choose complements your chosen dinnerware. The fancy should complement the fancy and the everyday complements the everyday.
  • Choose a good quality stainless steel, 18/10 stainless steel is a combination of steel, chromium and nickel for its shine.
  • A lot of people think it's bad luck to receive knives as a wedding gift. If you think this way and get knives, then turn your "gift" into a financial transaction by giving a penny for each knife to the person who gave you the knives.
  • Your everyday flatware should definitely be dishwasher safe.
  • A five piece place setting includes salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon and teaspoon.
  • Be sure to choose serving sets that will complement your flatware and dinnerware.
  • If you choose an elaborate design for your dishes, you may want to go simpler in your flatware and vice versa.
  • Register for the same number of place settings as your dinnerware and glassware.
  • A checklist of flatware related items that you might want to consider:
    - 5 piece fancy place settings (get the same number as plates)
    - 5 piece everyday settings
    - Serving Sets
    - Soup Ladle
    - Butter Knife
    - Cheese Knives
    - Chef Knife
    - Steak Knives
    - Paring Knife
    - Bread Knife

Be sure to check back tomorrow when I discuss the stuff everyone wants: appliances.

Shown: Atlas Flatware from Pottery Barn

Wedding Registry 101: Drinkware

Posted By Food on Mar 27, 2007 at 6:58AM

Yesterday I kicked off our wedding registry pointers with some tips on selecting dinnerware. Today I thought we'd jump from dinnerware to drinkware.

Traditionally you should consider registering for everyday glassware, as well as fine crystal and barware. However every couple is unique so go with what suits your needs. If you entertain a lot, you may want a full set of barware, if you don't drink then there's no need. Just don't limit yourself in registry items due to space, from what I understand, once you have the goods, you'll find room for everything. On the flip side, don't register for everything just because you can. Take into consideration what you really want and the number of people who will be attending your wedding.

To check out tips on how to select drinkware, and what you should add to your registry,

  • Most glassware falls into one of two categories: stemware and barware. Stemware is any glass on a stem (except for a martini glass), generally used for water and wine, and barware is any glass with a solid, flat base.
  • In general, you will want to register for the same number of stemware (wine and water goblets) settings and dinnerware place settings.
  • Accidents happen, and more often with glassware than with dinnerware, you may want to consider a few extras in each glass size.
  • When choosing glassware, pick up each glass and hold them. You'll want to make sure that they are comfortable in your hands.
  • The shape of each glass is designed to enhance a certain kind of beverage, so take into account the sort of drinks you serve often.
  • Your everyday glassware should be durable (which doesn't have to mean ugly and boring) and fit easily into your dishwasher and cabinets. A basic everyday set will usually be a 24-pc set that contains 8 highball glasses, 8 double old fashioned glasses and 8 all purpose glasses. If you don't plan on getting fancier versions of these glasses, then be sure that they complement your other selections.
  • When it comes to crystal, know that good crystal is brilliant, clear and flawless. If you see chunks, swirls or seams it's not a good sign. Also, when tapped, good crystal should give off a clear bell-like ring.
  • If you love wine, consider registering for varietal-specific wineglasses.
  • Here are some of the drinkware items you might want to consider adding to your list:

    - Everyday Beverage Glasses (shown)
    - Wine Glasses (Red & White)
    - Water Goblets
    - Champagne Flutes
    - Margarita Glasses
    - Martini Glasses
    - High Ball Glasses
    - Old-Fashioned Glasses
    - Pilsner Glasses
    - Pint Glasses
    - Ice Bucket & Tongs
    - Wine Decanter
    - Bar Tools Set
    - Cocktail Shaker

Know any other tips for selecting drinkware? Share them below! Be sure to check back tomorrow when I cover the next part of the wedding registry: flatware.

Shown: Bergen Stewmware & Barware by Calvin Klein - $31.25 each
Bloomingdale's Everyday Glassware Set 24-pc set $32.00 $24.99

Wedding Registry 101: Dinnerware

Posted By Food on Mar 26, 2007 at 7:51AM

Ah, the wedding registry. Some people hate it, while others love it. But one thing's for sure, nearly every couple has one. Personally I think they're fantastic. Creating a registry is probably the only socially acceptable thing you can do where you tell people exactly what you want and have them purchase it for you. And besides, the majority of newlyweds rely on them to get their home stocked with essentials.

Purchasing things off of someone's registry is usually pretty simple, however setting up your own registry can be quite daunting. So to help you maneuver you way through registry dos and don'ts, we'll spotlight each of the five traditional kitchen/dining categories (dinnerware, flatware, glassware, appliances and kitchenware) and provide a bunch of extra tips too. So be sure to check it out each day this week.

To start things off, we'll look into the world of dinnerware. To see what you should add to your list,

These days there seems to be a specialized dish for everything, you can go crazy and put everything on your register, but a good rule of thumb is to put the basics on your registry and add more once things have begun to be purchased (although some people think this is a bad idea and prefer to give their guests as many options as possible).

  • It's suggested that you register for at least 8 place settings, preferably 12, and a basic set of serving pieces.
  • Although people traditionally register for two place settings (fancy and everyday), more couples are going for one nicer everyday set instead.
  • Your formal setting should include: dinner plate, salad plate, bread & butter plate, and cup & saucer - soup bowls are usually not part of the setting, but also make a nice addition to the registry.
  • Your everyday setting should include: dinner plate, salad plate, soup/cereal bowl and mug or cup & saucer.
  • If you're not sure of your color scheme, register for white or ivory dishes. You can always add color to your table with linens and decor.
  • If given the option, be sure to register for the "completer set" - this typically includes vegetable bowl, platters, sugar bowl and creamer, etc. This way everything will match and nothing will be left off the list.
  • For your everyday place settings, make sure you select something that is safe for microwave, freezer, oven and dishwasher.
  • Start with the dishes first, you may be tempted to put those cute little gravy boats on your registry first, but it's easier to find accessories to match your set, than the other way around.
  • Think timeless. Although you may love the wild pattern today, is this something that will pass the test of time? Is it something you would want to pass on to future generations?
  • And finally, a checklist of dinnerware you should consider adding to your registry:

    - Formal Place Settings (8 or 12 settings)
    - Casual Everyday Place Settings (8 or 12 settings)
    - Cake Plate/Stand
    - Butter Dish
    - Soup Tureen
    - Serving Trays (3-5)
    - Serving Bowls (3-5)
    - Platters (3-5)
    - Salad Bowl
    - Salt & Pepper Shakers
    - Gravy Boat & Stand
    - Teapot
    - Pitchers

Got other dinnerware registry tips or questions? Let us know below! And be sure to check back tomorrow when I hand out tips for selecting drinkware.