Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Tips to Be Stress-Free Before Your Wedding

Take an Assessment

Know what you can handle and whom you can count on for help and support before you walk down the aisle. "I give my brides questionnaires to help evaluate their stress levels and focus on how to reduce, manage, and eliminate them," says Jeri Kadison, a bridal coach in New York City. Ask yourself, "What do I foresee as being a source of stress?" and "How do I plan to manage it?" Preparation and self-awareness are key.


With so much to do and stay on top of (not to mention the life-changing event to come), it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Clear your head of worries. Start focusing on the in-and-out cycle of your breath for just a few minutes a day or when you're lying in bed at night. It will help slow your heart rate and relax your muscles, too

Consider Softening Scents

Lavender is well-known for its soul-soothing capabilities, but others, like jasmine, chamomile, and basil, have proven relaxing benefits as well. "Dab some lavender or rose essential oil onto your wrists to shift your mood quickly," Kadison says. Or, light a perfumed candle or brew a cup of floral tea for a little sweet-smelling repose.

Stay Connected with Your Fiance

Under the pressure and stress of planning a wedding, it's easy to lose touch with the person you love most -- your groom-to-be. Schedule date nights, be it a dinner out or a movie in, to squeeze in some quality alone time. And, if you have any concerns about your upcoming nuptials (it's natural), find the courage to tell him. "If you two can weather the storms of your engagement anxiety together, it bodes well for your marriage," says Sheryl Paul, a counselor in Boulder, Colorado

Adopt a Mantra

Is your future mother-in-law getting on your last nerve? Find a solitary spot and close your eyes. Breathe in thinking "I feel good," and breathe out thinking "I am peaceful." Mantras like this have served as Zen portals for monks and yogis for ages, and they can help you find your calm, too.

Take Care of Your Yourself

Really. If you haven't already upped your prewedding workout routine, here's good reason to: Exercise has positive emotional and psychological effects. Take a walk, go for a run, or dance around your kitchen. Any type of physical movement will help produce more uplifting and stress-stablizing endorphins.

Allow Yourself to Be Nervous

It's okay to feel a little jittery. "Our culture and society believe that engagement is supposed to be only a happy time, but that's just not reality," says Paul. In fact, fear often accompanies prewedding excitement and joy. It's normal, healthy even, to question this lifetime commitment, and just because you're concerned, that doesn't mean you don't want to get married. Acknowledge your nerves, discuss them with a trusted confidant, and move on. If your nerves start getting the best of you, find a close loved one to confide in. She can help you traverse the tricky transition from girlfriend to fiancee to wife.

Jot Down Your Feelings

"Journaling is a safe and accessible way for you to express the emotions you've been bottling up," Paul says. "It'll help them from festering into anxiety." Identify what's bothering you, and address that topic solely. For example, if you're upset that your late father won't be there to walk you down the aisle, title the entry "Missing Dad," and stay on theme to avoid flooding yourself with too many emotions at once.

Don't Be Afraid to Delegate

You can't handle everything by yourself -- as super as you may be. Weddings are major endeavors, so enlist friends and family to help make place cards, tie bows onto favors, and run errands.

Pamper Yourself

A massage, a facial, or even a manicure and pedicure in a spa setting can do wonders for your stress levels. "When times get tough, don't think of these as indulgences. Think of them as necessities for staying well-balanced and on task," says Kadison. If you can't spring a spa, settle into the tub from time to time. A nice bath can melt stress away.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

10 outstanding romantic travel ideas

Hawaii. The minute you arrive in Hawaii, you start to relax. By the time you've taken your first walk on a scenic Hawaiian beach or enjoyed the sunset with a tropical cocktail, you're ready to let go of everyday worries and focus on each other. Each island has its own charm, and offers accommodations to fit every travel budget, but they all share tropical breezes, lush greenery, vibrant flowers, blue skies and that welcoming, peaceful feeling of "Aloha."

San Francisco. Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but for many lovers San Francisco is where hearts connect. Walk hand-in-hand along Ocean Beach, or take a sunset stroll on the walking path at Crissy Field. Make a toast to your love at Top of the Mark, the Mark Hopkins Hotel bar that offers 360-degree views of the city. Look for the statue of Cupid in the Embarcadero along San Francisco's eastern waterfront, and find a delicious range of fine to casual dining at Embarcadero Center.

Paris. Considered by many to be the most romantic city in the world, Paris offers many delights for lovers of all ages. Stroll along the Seine, hold hands in a romantic Paris bistro, sail a toy boat on the pond at Luxembourg Garden, or share a kiss on one of Paris's many beautiful bridges. Whatever you choose to do, it's more romantic when you're in Paris, the City of Light.

An Impromptu Overnight Adventure. Depending on where you live, a spur-of-the-moment getaway with your partner could take you to a luxury hotel, a charming local B&B, or maybe even camping in your own backyard. Where you go is less important than shaking up your routine a bit and spending time alone together.

Italy. Synonymous with romance, Italy offers many wonderful locales to celebrate your love. The cliffside city of Positano on Italy's Amalfi coast offers stunning vistas, delicious seafood and a temperate climate. Lake Como, where George Clooney has a villa, is surrounded by rolling hills and ringed by romantic resorts and towns. And every lover's trip to Italy should include a visit to Venice. Enjoy a gondola ride through the canals and explore Venice's narrow, winding streets and the open Plaza San Marco. End the day with a delicious plate of pasta and a local wine.

Prague, Czech Republic. Since the late 1980's, when Prague broke from communism, savvy travelers have made this magical city a popular destination. World-class architecture, cobblestone streets, the Vltava river winding through the city, and charming locals all combine to create a romantic mood. Prague is especially beautiful at night, so after you enjoy the city's fine wines and gourmet restaurants, leave time to stroll through Prague with the one you love.

Disney Adult-Exclusive Adventures. Who says Disney is just for kids? If you enjoy hassle-free travel, where the details are taken care of and you can just relax, check out the selection of Adult-Exclusive vacations from Disney. Whether you tour Italy's wine country, canoe in a glacier-fed Canadian lake or zip-line through a Costa Rican rainforest, these Disney vacations are specially designed for adventurous adults.

Take a Cruise. Ocean breezes, personal service, spectacular scenery and excellent food, plus your own private cabin. Maybe that's why so many romantics choose cruises. There's a cruise to fit any budget, from a 4-day island trip to a transatlantic ocean adventure. For smaller crowds and more personal service, choose cruise lines with smaller ships or sailing vessels.

Plan a Weekend Spa Vacation. If you only have a couple of days to get away, don't despair. You can recharge your body, mind and relationship with a weekend spa getaway. Many resort spas offer couples' packages so you can swim and enjoy a sauna or in-room massages together. All that pampering—plus fine food and beautiful surroundings—could be pricey for a whole week, but many resort spas offer affordable weekend packages. With an emphasis on luxury, relaxation and reconnection, a spa weekend could be money well spent.

Bali. If you saw the movie, "Eat, Pray, Love" you've seen some of the beauty that Bali offers. Lush tropical forests, picturesque rice terraces, pristine white sand beaches and friendly Balinese people all combine to make you feel like you're in another world. Bali offers a range of romantic vacation options, ranging from quiet Nusa Lembongan to the nightlife in Kuta. Check guide books, travel sites and online traveler reviews, then make your plans.

Cancer Survivor's Engagement

Groom Tuxedo - Attire for Groomsmen | Wedding Planning, Ideas & Etiquette | Bridal Guide Magazine

Groom Tuxedo - Attire for Groomsmen | Wedding Planning, Ideas & Etiquette | Bridal Guide Magazine

10 Things To Do On The Day Of Your Wedding

It’s OK to put your bridesmaids to work.

When I started planning my wedding, I had these romantic notions that I would begin my wedding day leisurely picking out flowers with my bridesmaids at a local farmer’s market, and then we would arrange all of our centerpieces and bouquets ourselves while sipping mimosas and lounging in matching bathrobes at the hotel. Then we would be transported to our hair salon on a fluffy cloud carriage pulled by miniature unicorns…you get the idea.

These ideas were all just slightly insane. Thankfully, I hired a professional florist to do the flower picking for me. We at the BRIDEfinds office have been down the aisle a time or two — trust us, your wedding day will be crazy and borderline chaotic. You won’t have a lot of time to stop and smell the roses. Here are the DO’s and DON’Ts of getting ready for your big day:

1. Wear a ‘Mrs’ hoodie, silk printed robe or something else that will look good in photos.

Editors’ Pick: ‘Wifey’ terry-cloth hoodies; Plum Pretty Sugar robes.

Make your bridesmaids wear something similar for great group shots, too. These silk, printed floral robes are a favorite on Pinterest, and terry-cloth ‘Mrs’ hoodies are well-priced and a celebrity favorite.

2. Set out everything you’re wearing to your wedding (including jewelry, your veil, shoes & shapewear).

Always be prepared.

Make yourself notes if necessary – I myself left my grandmother’s diamond earrings at the hotel, and ended up walking down the aisle wearing a pair from Forever 21. Another BRIDEfinds staffer got halfway to the church, before realizing that she had forgotten to put on her engagement ring. It’s easy to forget the essentials in the day-of chaos.

3. DON’T try any new beauty products or treatments.

Stick to the basics.

Perform your regular morning beauty routine: tweeze, moisturize, and pamper your skin (everything short of putting on make-up), but don’t try anything you haven’t already taken for a test run. You’ll risk beauty disasters like skin redness or irritation (a definitely DON’T for photos). For pre-wedding expert skin treatments, check out these 5 Doctor-approved tips.

4. EAT. This is a big one. You’ll be a bundle of nerves, but at least remember to snack throughout the day. If you can totally handle it, treat yourself to a nice big breakfast, and then skip lunch. (Do avoid overly salty snacks – they may make you retain water.)

5. DON’T drink pre-ceremony (or at least, pace yourself).

Pace yourself… it will be a long night.

Some brides like to enjoy a champagne toast with their b-maids before walking down the aisle, but this can be a slippery slope — especially for nervous brides who might drink more to compensate. You want your memory of the day to be crystal clear — and a slight buzz will certainly affect that. (Also, pace yourself during the reception — the last thing you want to do is black out!)

6. Pack essentials in a small clutch and have your maid of honor carry it from the ceremony to the reception.

The bride shouldn’t be caught with a clutch — no matter how cute.

Pack tissues, lip gloss for touch-ups, oil-absorbing sheets, a Tide stain pen, a comb and a spare pair of flip flops or flats in a sparkly clutch and have one of your bridesmaids tote it around for emergencies. We call it the Wedding Survival Kit.

7. DON’T be the point-person for guests.

You should be as relaxed as possible.

Designate day-of responsibilities to your planner, maid of honor, the groomsmen, ushers or anyone else who can yield guest’s questions, tip vendors and handle last-minute emergencies (ideally, you shouldn’t even know about any emergencies). Make sure your vendors have 2 contact numbers that AREN’T yours, be sure everyone knows their roles, and be quick to ask for help if you need it.

8. Exchange a love note with your groom.

Photo: Christian OTH

Write notes to each other and have them delivered by a member of the bridal party while you’re both getting dressed; these heartfelt messages are a way to document all the nerves and excitement you will both feel at the time. Also, include 3 reasons why you’re excited to be marrying each other; they’re like informal vows you exchange in private.

9. Thank your parents and anybody else who helped you prepare for this day (especially if they’re bank-rolling it!). They will appreciate any graciousness — it’s not all about you today, it’s about your friends and family, as well.

10. ENJOY!

Don’t forget to frequently pause and take mental snapshots of your big day. Let the good wash over you, let the less good roll off your back – it’ll all be over before you know it!

Cameron Numbers

I thought I would do a fun post of numbers in our lives right now:

3-410 : Our New Home
24: Days Until We Move
3: Dinner Choices For Our Wedding
7: Bridesmaids (Including 2 Junior Bridesmaids)
5: Groomsmen
1 Ring Bearer
8: Days I Am Hoping To Take Off Of Work For The Wedding
2: Photographers On Wedding Day
150 Days Until The Wedding.....YAY

Five Fun (and Edible!) Wedding Favors

Strawberry Jam Favors
For a homey touch, whip up a batch of strawberry jam and package it in mini Mason jars decorated with custom labels.
Photo: Katelyn James Photography

Lemon-infused Sugar FavorsHomemade lemon-infused sugar packaged in mini Mason jars is super cute and perfect for summer lemonade or sweetening your tea.
Photo: Kate Leigh Photographer

S'mores Favor Boxes
Encourage your guests to start a fire at home or to enjoy the fire pit at the reception: hand out s'mores boxes as favors.
Photo: VUE Photography

Multicolored Macaron Favors
Multicolored macarons are a chic (and tasty) way to send guests off with something sweet.
Photo: Sofia Negron Photography

Honey and Praline Favors
Guests took home shimmery gold bags of local favorites -- fresh honey and pralines.
Photo: 6 of Four

Photo of the Week

This Photo of the Week is a throwback photo from 2009. Scott came over for our family's Annual Christmas Eve celebration. Every year we have it, it has become a Pettaway tradition and I am hoping to carry over traditions like this and create some of our own in the future.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Music Monday on Tuesday: Erykah Badu feat. Common - Love Of My Life

Memorial Day Weekend and 5 months to go

What a relaxing weekend.... Well, somewhat.

Friday night Mini Me and I got out and brave the mall for some great deals on items needed for her trip to Florida for school. She was so excited about her stuff and it was nice to see a smile on her face.

Saturday was some rest, Scott got to do BBQ prep with my dad so I got to get some rest (Yay)

Sunday was BBQ Day and we did it up right.....

My Signature Potato Salad Recipe care of Gram

 Iron Chef Scott Cameron

Pit Boss

Dad teaching Scott all things BBQ... I called them Yoda Dad and Jedi BBQ Knight Scott.... I know its a little geeky of me but what can I say

This was just the 1st round of meat on the grill... So good

Sheauen (Team Jascott) made S'mores's Cupcakes for the occasion: Graham cracker crust, Chocolate buttermilk cake, marshmallow cream, chocolate ganache, and graham cracker crumbs.

This is Baby FA.B. She came to visit my house for the first time, had some lunch and was out like a light.... SUCH A GOOD BABY!

Jacelyn and Isaiah along with Patty the iPad (there is a story behind the name)

Monday, I got a little bit more rest but I found a recipe for Cracker Barrel's Hash brown Casserole and made it for Breakfast for the family. I am going to post that on my other blog, Kiddies Kitchen, so everyone can see how that turned out.

All in all it was a great weekend and.....Scott and I are at the 5 month mark....YAY!

Here are a few key things we are going for month 5:

1. Moving into our new apartment...YAY!!
2. Finally Floral Cost
3. Groomsmen's Gift
4. Bridal Flip Flops (Since I am told I cant wear Old Navy ones)
5. Finalize details for Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Parties
6. Find shoes for Junior Bridesmaids (I know it is long over due)
7. Work on Wedding Gift for SC
8. Gifts for Parents

So as the old saying goes, let the Summer begin!!

151 days until WE DO!

Lip-dub proposal’s bride-to-be: ‘I was speechless’

When Isaac Lamb, 31, proposed to Amy Frankel, 33, both of Portland, Ore., he called it the “first live lip-dub proposal”: an elaborate routine in which 60 of the couple’s friends and relations surprised the bride-to-be with a choreographed dance routine to the tune of “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. The resulting video has reached more than 5 million hits in four days.   

On Tuesday the beaming couple sat down with TODAY’s Ann Curry to speak about the memorable proposal. “I felt like she deserved something like that,” Lamb said. “And I think she’d probably tell you this is very much my style ... you’ll notice that none of the neighbors care that this is happening in our front street, because we’ve been known to do things like this before.”

A surprise text

The proposal took place May 23. “I knew something was up because he actually sent me somewhere else to meet him, and I sat there waiting,” Frankel told Curry.

“I had to get her out of the neighborhood, basically,” Lamb put in.

“So he could gather 60 people,” Frankel continued. “And then he texted me and said, ‘I’m actually not where you are. Come to my house.’”

When Frankel arrived at Lamb’s parents’ house, she was greeted by his brother Connor, who had been assigned to get her in the back of their sister's open Honda CRV and hand Frankel headphones. Connor said he wanted to "play her a song."

That music was involved isn't surprising, because the couple are both actors who met at an audition for “West Side Story” 3½ years ago. Frankel landed a part and Lamb did not, but they soon began a friendship that became something more. When Lamb made the decision to propose, he felt it had to be impressive.

Thus the laptops that appear in front of Frankel during the song show videos of family and friends who don’t live in town. Frankel’s parents, who live in Florida, are dancing on camera, her mother in her wedding dress and her dad in his tux. Another laptop shows Frankel's sister in Massachusetts and her brother’s family in California, as well as friends in New York and Alabama.

‘Completely overwhelmed’Frankel told Curry she was “completely overwhelmed” and “floored” by the proposal. “I was speechless all night,” she said. “We had a party afterwards with everyone who was there, and I just stood there dumbfounded the whole night. It was just amazing.”

She says her favorite part of the video was when the crowd parts and Isaac approaches her: “That’s the first time I think I took a breath,” she said. The video shows Lamb getting down on one knee, the couple’s friends family are behind him, saying: “You have already given me a lifetime of happiness. Will you let me spend the rest of my life trying to give you the same? Will you marry me?”

The couple have received messages of love and admiration from around the world, including New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Uganda. “It’s really powerful for me to know that they’ve responded to something that I think is really genuine,” Lamb said. “I think people see the love I have for her, the love that we all have for Amy … it’s really moving to know that it’s touched so many people’s lives.”

Bruno Mars himself wished the couple well in a tweet, saying, “Congrats to Isaac Lamb and the future Mrs ... I don’t think I could’ve made a better music video for this song. Thank you.” Lamb called that moment "the most exciting for me."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear Friday,

Half Day at work, 3 day weekend and National Wine Day......WINNING!

Dear Inner Thoughts,

Don't let this situation get you down, you have done the right thing in letting your voice be heard and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Just continue to be you and be there for him.

Dear Friends,

Thanks in advance for lending a helping hand with our move, its going to be fun I promise.

Dear Sissy,

I hope you and the girls have fun in Houston this weekend. I wish I could be there to hang with you guys cause lawd knows I need a get away but I will see you in August. Love Ya!

Dear Sleep,

I promise to devote more time to you, starting today with an Afternoon Nap.

Dear Scott,

You are the CSS to my HTML...LOL. I Love You.

Jilted groom suing for $61K: ‘I tried to be a nice guy’

A jilted Manhattan groom who is suing his ex-fiance for money related to a planned wedding and other costs claims he did not want it to come to this, but said he cannot let her walk away without paying up.    

Consulting firm executive Steven Silverstein, 29, appeared on TODAY Friday alongside his attorney, Elliott Martin, to discuss a case that has made national headlines. He is suing former flame Kendra Platt-Lee for more than $61,000 related to the costs of a lavish wedding planned for September 22 that never came to fruition, as well as her share of the rent in two different apartments that the two shared during their relationship. The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, also claims that Platt-Lee owes Silverstein $19,269.90 of the $54,367.87 from the couple’s joint account that she withdrew on April 23, the same day she broke up with him over the phone from San Diego.

No more Mr. Nice Guy“I tried to be a nice guy for almost two weeks after she broke up with me,’’ Silverstein told Matt Lauer. “I didn’t want to have to go with a lawsuit. I tried to do that with her, and I was forced in another direction. I wouldn’t say (I’m) embarrassed. It’s just very hurtful. I never wanted any of this to go public, and I never meant for any of this to happen.’’

For her part, Platt-Lee told NBC News in an interview that aired on TODAY Thursday: “I don’t think that I owe him any money at all. I’m just your normal girl who fell out of love with somebody, and I didn’t feel it was right in my heart. I just didn’t feel I wanted to get married anymore, so I broke it off. I just wanted to break up with somebody and move on, and it turned out that he just wants to drag this out.’’

Silverstein admitted to still having some feelings toward Platt-Lee, but said there is no way he could see the two of them ever getting back together. He said they mutually broke up a previous engagement because they were both “immature’’ and not ready, and then Platt-Lee ended the second one, resulting in his lawsuit.

“There’s absolutely no way,’’ he said when Lauer asked about the possibility of the relationship rekindling. “Emotionally, I still care for her. I did think she was going to be the mother of my children, (and) I was going to go on a honeymoon. I don’t want to see anything bad happen to her after this is all settled. I hope we can both move on and hopefully find better people or whatever it is. I just think that I can’t let her walk away with all of these acts.’’

$25K-plus weddingPlatt-Lee broke returned a $32,000 ring given to her by Silverstein on May 10, according to court documents. However, Silverstein is looking to recover his ex's share of the cost of the now-scrapped wedding for 150 guests at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach, N.Y. In addition to the hotel rental, the fees also include a DJ, a wedding photographer, a videographer and furniture rental totaling $25,668.

“I can understand why he’s emotional about it,’’ Platt-Lee said. “We started planning a wedding, and it was really over the top. It was nothing that I wanted, nothing that I could ever afford by myself. If it were up to me I would just want a small little wedding, that’s all. It’s just too much for me.’’

Silverstein’s position is that if Platt-Lee did not want a lavish wedding, then she would not have written an $8,000 check out of her own account to the hotel and signed the contract herself. He added that she also liked the Allegria Hotel’s location right on the beach because it had the feel of her hometown of San Diego.

“I think the proof is in the pudding,’’ Silverstein said. “If you can say you don’t want a big wedding, then why would you sign that contract?”

Silverstein also claims that Platt-Lee had visited a bridal salon just days before her trip to California during which she broke off the relationship.

“She goes to her second wedding dress fitting, which, mind you, was a $6,000 Pronovias dress, along with the Jimmy Choo shoes, I might add,’’ he told NBC News. “For a girl to say, ‘I want a small wedding,’ and yet buying a $6,000 wedding dress, it’s a little ridiculous.’’

Silverstein also claims that Platt-Lee owes him $8,433.75 for her half of the rent for the six months they lived together in an Upper East Side apartment during their first engagement in 2009.

‘Nothing to do with revenge’After the two broke up in February 2010, they reconciled in May 2011 and got engaged again a month later, according to the lawsuit. Again, Silverstein claims he picked up the tab for their apartment, and now wants $17,235 back for the rent he paid over nine months for the second apartment.

The breakup turned ugly, and it took lawyers to broker an exchange of their property. Silverstein even put some of Platt-Lee’s personal items on eBay initially, but said that only to get her attention. None of the items was ever sold, and they have since been returned to her.

Silverstein claims he paid the full rent in the expectation that the two would be married, and insists that going after the rent money in addition to the wedding-related fees is not out of pure spite.

“This has nothing to do with revenge,’’ he said. “I informed my attorney that she was on the lease both times that we lived together and that she was very adamant about being on the lease because in her words, ‘It was our place.’ I said, ‘That’s not a problem because I love you, and we’re going to get married and eventually it’s going to be our money anyway.’’’

According to his attorney, Silverstein is legally entitled to recover that rent money under a statute that has been on the books in New York state for 50 years that covers transfers of money made with the expectation of marriage that would not have been made unless there was an expectation of marriage.

Silverstein appears to have the public on his side as far as the merit of his lawsuit is concerned. In a poll on, 66 percent of respondents voted that he has a legitimate case.
“I think it just shows the public understands that she did something wrong, she did something immoral, and she shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it,’’ Silverstein said.

Unique Bachelor Party Ideas

A bachelor party is a great way for the men to get together and celebrate...being boys before the wedding. Contrary to popular belief, there are some fun and unique bachelor party ideas that will not make your mother blush! From adventurous weekends enjoying nature to a day full of excitement and thrills - your bachelor party should suit your style. Below you will find some unique bachelor party ideas that are sure to please your closest guy friends as well as yourself.

Thrilling Bachelor Party Ideas -
If thrills are what you're after, there are many different options you can choose from. How about white water rafting in West Virginia? Spending the weekend with the guys, a couple of paddles and a monstrous, roaring river is just the thing to appeal to your sense of adventure.
If that's not enough for you, how about getting your thrills sky-diving from 13,000+ feet before enjoying a bonfire, a few cold beers and a catered dinner? offers both of these excellent choices and other unique bachelor party ideas you and your boys will truly enjoy.

Relaxing Bachelor Party Ideas -
If the thrills don't excite you, perhaps a leisurely, relaxing bachelor party will do just fine. Why not stay at a hotel on a golf course with the guys and enjoy 18 holes during the day and Jacuzzis at night? If you want to spend your time just enjoying the ‘down time' you have before the hectic wedding day, there are some unique bachelor party ideas that you can really get into.
Another suggestion would be to take the guys on a camping and fishing trip - just you and nature, a warm fire and a cozy tent. This is the perfect way to get out of reality for a few days and just take pleasure in nature. You may even bring a couple of fish home to your soon-to-be wife...after cleaning them, of course.

Funny Bachelor Party Ideas -
If you don't have a whole weekend to devote to your bachelor party, you can have just as much fun in one night. Whether you're the best man planning the party or the groom - hold a roast where all the guys can tell those embarrassing stories from back in the day. This is a perfect chance to pick on the groom, enjoy a bit of reminiscing and have a great time.
If you're not into the typical idea of a bachelor party, there are many other options that will provide a chance for the boys to get together, laugh at each other and make memories that won't soon be forgotten.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg’s Wedding, By the Numbers

Facebook went public Friday -- and the next day, founder Mark Zuckerberg went public with his personal life too: He’d gotten married to longtime girlfriend and college sweetheart Priscilla Chan.
First, kudos to MZ for keeping it real, post-success, and marrying his true love rather than dumping her for a model or an actress! Second, nicely done with the “privacy settings.” No one knew the super-secret Zuckerberg-Chan wedding was coming (not even the guests, until they arrived). The public found out, of course, when he updated his relationship status to “married.”

Mark is notoriously private, but I’m a very capable Googler. So I thought it would be fun to pull together the 12 defining numbers of the ever-elusive CEO.

Mark’s Markers:

9: The number of years Mark and Priscilla dated.

4: The number of months Mark and Priscilla planned their wedding.

$3.25: The price per piece of the Burdick chocolate mice guests indulged in at the backyard reception.

100: The number of guests at the low-key ceremony.

2004: The year launched from a Harvard dorm room.

$38: The initial public offering price per share of Facebook stock.

$4,700: The price of Priscilla’s wedding dress from designer Claire Pettibone.

1 million+: The number of people who have “Liked” Mark’s new marital status on Facebook.

$16 billion: The amount Facebook's value increased after going public on Friday.

$19 billion: How much Mark is worth.

$104 billion: The price Facebook is valued at.

$0: The cost of the venue for the wedding and reception. The couple was married in the backyard of their Palo Alto, California, home.

10 Painless Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

What bride hasn't fantasized about her future wedding? We daydream about extravagant dresses, delicious cuisine, flowing drinks, dazzling rings...but the thought of paying all of this off afterwards is enough to ground us back to reality. However, with some creativity and time, you can slash costs without sacrificing your overall wedding style. Here are some saving shortcuts that my fiancé Corey and I (or other couples we know) have successfully used.

wedding and credit card1. Do yourself a favor and skip favors.

Giving out favors is a wedding tradition, but it's one that Corey and I are likely skipping. When I look back at every wedding I've ever been to, I don't recall bringing home a single favor (and that doesn't mean the bride and groom didn't offer them). Say goodbye to cheesy tchotchkes—we promise your guests won't miss them!

2. Rethink your entrées.

Everyone looks forward to the wedding meal, but don't feel pressured to shell out for notoriously decadent (and pricey) fare. I learned in a recent issue of BG that serving a combination platter with two different dishes can help couples save more than 40 percent on catering costs.
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Invite Mother Nature to the party.

Choose an under-the-radar locale to say your vows. Parks, wineries and historic homes with gardens can be surprisingly affordable and serve as memorable, gorgeous backdrops for your wedding day.

4. Bulk up and your bank account will thank you.

Purchasing flowers in bulk at stores like Sam's Club or Costco can save you hundreds. Scout out the local wholesale shops in your area to see which one is offering the best deals. I plan on using this idea for my own wedding!

5. Don't forget to budget for the perfect fit.

One thing I’m learning the hard way is that alterations can be astronomical. When selecting your dress, try to find a sample that fits you almost perfectly—the less alterations you need, the better. If the dress is too short or long, ask the consultant if they can order a petite or long version free of charge, which save you from having it hemmed. Gowns with a corset are also an affordable option because they adjust to your figure, so you're less likely to have alterations done in the waist and bust.

6. When it comes to savings, think social.

Many vendors update their Twitter and Facebook pages even more frequently than their official website, so "friend" and "like" them to scout out special deals they may offer. Set up Google alerts to enter contests for free engagement shoots, wedding videos, and other special prices.

7. If Etsy can do it, so can you!

If you’re like me, you’ve browsed Etsy retail listings with adorable wedding items before and thought, "Wow, I bet I could do that myself," but you've never actually tried. Why not give it a shot and save a couple of bucks? Check out our how-to instructions for popular DIY crafts such as brooch bouquets.
Plus, upload your creations to the BG Facebook page, and you might be featured in an upcoming story!

8. Search for almost-new treasures.

If you’re not up for a DIY birdcage veil, why not go the used route? Bridal stores sell veils for up to hundreds of dollars and I, for one, was shocked by those prices. Enter my wonderful mother, who was able to snag a beautiful veil for me right off eBay…and for less than $50! You can also try, an online marketplace for once-worn gowns, accessories and décor.

9. Revamp your RSVPs.

Postage for wedding invitations can cost more than a pretty penny. Ditch the little RSVP card once and for all and have guests send you their responses online.

10. Sweet wedding cake alternatives.

Traditional wedding cakes will always have a special place in our hearts, but I've found that cupcakes and other kinds of desserts can be significantly more affordable (and just as tasty). Plus, you can order several different flavors to ensure everyone's happy. Some more fun options: rainbow cake in a jar, miniature pies and macarons.

Pinterest Fun- Registry Items

So many things to do... So little time

Scott and I will be busy for the next 2 months... Not just with wedding stuff but moving, Jacelyn's Florida trip, His Mom moving out of state and did I mention wedding??

Here is a few of the many things on our list that we have to do:

1. We have sent out an Evite for our Moving Party and will reward our friends with Dinner at our new home (Once we get settled)

2. We are working on our Household budget so we can save and live on a budget.

3. Gearing up for Groomsmen's gifts so we can get that done before too long.

4. Working on finalizing Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower

5. Getting plans going for a Bachelor Party

6. Breathing.... 

We are going to get it all done, I have no doubt of that, so I am excited for all the upcoming things and looking forward to our new home.

156 till We Do This!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Photo of the Week

This Photo of the Week is one of our Engagement Photos. I know you guys see them more often than not but I LOVE THEM and I must say, We look FAB!

Kisses from The Cameron's..... 157 to go.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 Things Not to Freak Out About

Don't Freak Out About: Messing Up The Vows

Repeat after us: No matter what happens during the ceremony, it will always be memorable for the right reasons. Being overcome with emotion is totally normal during ceremonies, so it's no surprise if you or your groom slip up or miss some of the words -- even if you've rehearsed them before. The key is to not get flustered; if you mess up, take a deep breath and keep going.

Don't Freak Out About: Shaggy Groomsmen

So maybe one of your groomsmen didn't cut his hair -- let it go. Even if you discussed it weeks ahead of time, this is just one of those things that isn't worth stressing over. If it's really bad, ask a bridesmaid to help straighten ties and push any long hair back and out of their faces for the photos.

Don't Freak Out About: Grandma's Attire

Ever heard the saying "age before beauty"? Whether it's your grandmother or grandfather (or even your parents), focus on how great it is to have them there for the wedding -- rather than dwelling on that 80's era attire they just couldn't part with.

Don't Freak Out About: Your Bridesmaids' Hair

Despite what you might think, we have yet to hear of someone looking at a wedding photo and saying, "Oh, the bridesmaid second from the left looks incredible!" The focus of the day will always be on the bride, which is exactly why there's no point in letting someone else's hairstyle ruin the day.

Don't Freak Out About: Not Getting Every Combination of Family Photos

Giving your wedding photographer a priority list of photos is always a great idea to make sure you get the family member combinations that are most important. Still, if time runs low, don't sweat missing that odd photo combination of cousins, aunts, and groomsmen. It's better to get the biggies and move on with the day than to spend your cocktail hour taking posed portraits.

Don't Freak Out About: Left-Behind Favors

No guest ever means to offend the bride or groom by accidentally leaving one on the table, but you're bound to have leftovers. Just ask a friend to gather up the remaining favors. Put them out again at the day-after brunch (if you're having one) for those guests who want another.

Don't Freak Out About: Bridal Party Drama

So the maid of honor just can't get along with another bridesmaid, or maybe one friend has been acting a little bitter ever since your engagement was announced. The day of the wedding is never the right time to bring up issues and it's not something you should have to worry about. Put your mom, another neutral bridesmaid, or your planner on patrol to make sure the day stays drama-free.

Don't Freak Out About: The Wrong Dinner Side Dishes

Did the caterer promise asparagus but deliver green beans instead? Whatever the food issue, it's not worth bringing it up on the night of the wedding. Besides, most guests just want to get through the meal quickly and get on to the most exciting parts of the evening: dessert and dancing.

Don't Freak Out About: Guest No-Shows

Most guests have a pretty good reason for skipping out on a wedding at the last minute, so we suggest giving them the benefit of the doubt. Chances are, by morning, you'll have an email or phone call explaining their absence.

Don't Freak Out About: The Weather

Even if it never rains during your wedding month, accept that it could. Have a pretty umbrella on hand just in case. Then if it rains, embrace it and ask your photographer to get a shot of you kissing in the rain.

To: Nicole, From: Boris

Boris Kodjoe and his wife Nicole Ari Parker are celebrating their 7 year wedding anniversay today and here is a poem he wrote for her that I thought I would share:

My Seven Year Itch

You've always been my itch, so many ways you've touched my body, mind and soul from the moment He designed our paths to cross, finally.

You've always been my itch, so good to me I've wanted you day after day, night after night, making me wonder how my body was able to be without you all this while, before our very first touch.

You've always been my itch, giving wings to my thoughts, encouraging them to unforeseen heights, where I would build our castle in the sky, fit for a king and his queen.

You've always been my itch, filling my spirit with comfort and peace like I hadn't felt since a child in Oma's garden, so familiar and yet so new.

You've always been my itch. My seven year, seven days a week, 24/7 itch I always want, desire, crave, and never ever want to be without.
Not for seven seconds.

Happy 7th anniversary
Let's do this again
I love you more


Monday, May 21, 2012

Top 7 Wedding Cake Flavors

Photo: Marcus Nilsson

At just 24 years old, TLC's Next Great Baker winner Melissa Lopez has perfected the recipe for wedding cakes. Here are her favorite flavors of all time:

1. THE NEW CLASSIC: Red Velvet + Cream Cheese Frosting. "This is a good in-between option—more adventurous than basic vanilla or chocolate but still a hit with the guests."

2. THE CHOCOHOLIC'S DREAM: Devil's Food Cake + Chocolate Ganache. "It's the ultimate chocolate cake—I'd want to eat this cake at my own wedding!"

3. THE CITRUS TWIST: Lemon Cake + Lemon Buttercream + Lemon Curd."I suggest this for summer weddings—it's refreshing, and you can easily add fruit, like fresh blueberries, to the filling."

4. THE SHOWSTOPPER: Pink Champagne Cake + Raspberry Mousse + Vanilla Buttercream. "Girly brides—and husbands who don't mind a bright pink cake—love this. Instead of adding water to the batter, I use champagne."

5. THE HARVEST PICK: Apple Spice Cake + Caramel Buttercream + Brown-Sugar Mousse. "My take on the caramel apple. I can see these flavors working for an autumn wedding in a rustic venue, like a barn."

6. THE NOSTALGIC FAVORITE: Chocolate and Vanilla Cakes + Chocolate Buttercream + Mocha Mousse."Everyone loves chocolate and vanilla, and this combination is the best of both worlds. The mocha mousse gives it a grown-up twist."

7. THE PEOPLE PLEASER: Sponge Cake + Vanilla Buttercream Topped with Coconut + Bavarian Cream with Fruit."I recommend this to a lot of my couples. It's a basic cake with a nice, light cream filling, and you can add any in-season fruit you like. A guaranteed hit."

10 Songs That Must Make Your Wedding Playlist

From your walk down the aisle to party time at your reception, the music you choose would help set the tone for the kind of wedding you’re envisioning. Don’t leave it all up to your band or DJ—take an active roll and create a playlist. It can be an overwhelming process since there are hundreds of songs to choose from, whether you love classic oldies or more current Billboard chart toppers. To make things easier, here’s a list of 10 songs to consider playing on your big day.

“4evermore”—Anthony David featuring Algebra and Phonte

This song is fun, uplifting, and all about jumping the broom. The tune inspires with lyrics that describe true love, commitment, and family: “Last longer than a wedding ring/Generations tattooed with the love we bring/From the seeds we sow/To the time it takes to grow.” These lyrics will have you thinking about your future as you take one of the biggest leaps of your life.

“Nothing Can Come Between Us”—Sade

The title alone is a wonderful testament to true love. Sade’s sultry vocals over this mid-tempo track set the mood just right. Your guests would be glad to groove to this song while waiting patiently for the ceremony to begin.

“Skyy, Can You Feel Me”—Raphael Saadiq Featuring Grace Sky Maxwell

Raphael Saadiq and Grace Sky Maxwell soar on this mellow tune as the two profess their love over an infectious beat. “You truly do enlighten me/You’re all I’ll ever want and need/ You’ve got the best of me so baby come with me,” says Maxwell through rich jazzy inflections. Saadiq answers back with the same level of passion, “My life is yours/ Your life is mine/ And everything we do/We’re gonna be just fine/ It’s not by mistake/ I’ll never walk away.” This record would likely put a spell on everyone in earshot as the lyrics and beat continue to loop.

“You and I”—Stevie Wonder

Picture yourself walking down the aisle to “You and I,” a hauntingly beautiful tribute to a love sent from the heavens. “Here we are/ On earth together/ It’s you and I/God has made us fall in love,” Stevie sings. You’ll feel like the song was written especially for you.

“When Somebody Loves You Back”—Teddy Pendergrass

One word: Classic. This late 1970s tune never fails to set a cheerful mood. Teddy Pendergrass offers words to live by as he expresses his joy for creating balance in a loving relationship. “We can build a world of love, a life of joy/Make our goal each other's happiness,” he sings. It’s the perfect song to play when you’re introduced as husband and wife to eager guests at your reception.

“At Last”—Etta James

Etta James’ emotive classic remains a favorite among couples everywhere. The ballad ranks number 1 among the top 5 first dance songs for 2012, according to

“Everything To Me”—Monica

If you’re a bride looking for a song to dedicate to your groom, put Monica’s hit tune, “You’re Everything To Me,” at the top of your list. The R&B diva’s signature soulful vocals over this lovely sample of Deniece Williams’ 1980s classic, “Silly,” evoke passion and emotion. “I can't repay you for all that you've done/Always come first and second to none/The love that you give me is equal to ten/My peace, my joy, you are my strength” she sings. It doesn’t get much deeper than that.

“We Found Love”—Rihanna Featuring Calvin Harris

When Sting released his hit song, “Every Breath You Take” in 1983 it became a big hit at weddings that year. The British singer later explained that people misinterpreted the dark sinister tune as a love ballad. A similar phenomenon is happening with Rihanna’s hit dance track, “We Found Love.” Though she is singing about a troubled relationship, “We Found Love” has become one of the biggest wedding songs of 2012. No matter how you interpret it, this dance track is sure to get your guests out of their seats and jumping for joy on your behalf.

“You make me better”—Fabolous Featuring Neyo

Ladies, don’t forget—the reception is a party for the gentlemen also. Let the guys unwind and groove to smooth hip-hop tracks like Fabolous and Neyo’s “You Make Me Better.” This edgy tune combines hip-hop grittiness with the main ingredient for your event—love.

“Single Ladies”—Beyonce

By now this track might seem like a predictable choice for the bouquet toss, but how could you not play “Single Ladies” for your single girlfriends? It’s a fun tune that gets ladies moving every time. Think of it as your tribute to their independence.

Music Monday- Whispers - I'm gonna make you my wife

Foodie Weekend

What a weekend of Food that Scott and I had... Here is where we begin.

Friday Night, Scott found a recipe for Shrimp Scampi and decided to give it a try....

It was yummy for sure!

Saturday was a true Food Day because we had Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.... If anyone knows me they know that it is rare that I have all 3 in one day, bad I know but that's my busy life. Breakfast was Mini's Cafe where Scott experienced for the first time Eggs Benedict

I have a strong feeling that this will be a Cameron Breakfast Favorite for years to come....

Later in the afternoon, we went over to our wedding venue, The Doubletree by Hilton, for our WEDDING TASTING....YAY!!

Adrienne took Scott and I on Wedding Food Adventure and I must say, IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD.

We started with Salads:

The Salads we got to try was:




All the salads had their own flavors but we LOVED the Spinach Salad (As you can see was the one that is mostly gone) and that is what we will be going with that day.

Adrienne also gave us a chance to try out their Crab Cakes and they were very good.

Next The Entrees:

This is Chicken with an Orange Citrus Sauce with Rice Pilaf anf Grilled Vegetables.

 This is Halibut with a Cream Sauce with Bashmati Rice and Grilled Vegetables

This is Skirt Steak with a Peppercorn Demi Glaze with Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Vegetables

We got to pick 2 for our menu so here is what we went with...

We are going to do the Chicken but instead of the Orange Citrus Sauce (Which was a little sweet) We are going to do it with a Lemon Thyme Sauce instead. We are also going to have the Steak with the Potatoes (Which I was all about).

And our treats for choosing our menu.... DESSERTS!!


After all that food, we went home and took a nap... Yeah I know what you're thinking, all that eating and a nap?? Yep we did that.

Saturday Night, We met up with our friend Esther and headed over to Animal Restaurant for a Dinner Experience like no other...... Here is what we had:

foie gras terrine, blackberry jam, black pepper gastrique

pig tails, “buffalo style,” celery, ranch

marrow bone, chimichurri, caramelized onions

 flat iron, artichoke hash, truffle parmesan fondue

barbeque pork belly sandwiches, slaw

bacon chocolate crunch bar, s&p ice cream

All the food was EXCELLENT and we had such a great experience that we have already made reservations to go back next month for another round of food. Here are some other highlights from the dinner:

Wine and Sparking Water (Water was on .20 cents for unlimited water)
 Scott and Chef Mike

 Sous Chef Mike.... Very cool guy

And as you can see below, the sliders were his favorite... So Good we ordered them twice!

Other than the Food extravaganza... we survived the weekend. A lesson to take away for everyone:

Every relationship - family, friendship, love and marriage - is about growth and development. We come together to share, learn and grow.

159 days until We come together... Forever!