Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Letters

Dear Sleep,

Come back to me, I'm begging you please....

Dear Jacelyn,

Looking forward to you going to CAMS for High School.... I'm proud of you kid.

Dear Birthday,

Your coming up.... Lets party!!

Dear Future House,

I'm praying for you to happen. I will be patience and wait for you to get here.

Dear Scott,

I know it's been a long week but we will get where we need to be with a home. I'm happy we are on the same page and it will happen. Love You Babe!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's Hot! New Wedding Themes for 2013

English Romance

Move over, Kate Middleton -- Lady Mary's wedding (and dress!) in Downton Abbey's third season will have a huge impact on weddings over the next year.
Fashion: We'll see lots of long, billowy sleeves and tons of lace backs with illusion necklines all over the bridal salons this next year. Those long sleeves and lace will be accompanied by long, traditional veils, cloche veils and even pretty braided headbands. Within this trend, we're also seeing some unique uses of sheer elements in gowns. For instance, this Badgley Mischka dress has a vintage-style capelet attached, while the Jenny Packham gown has long, sheer sleeves that are beautifully beaded.
Tablescapes: Think: English-flower-garden-themed centerpieces, low and lush displays that are sophisticated and carefully arranged. Gold candelabras and lots of ornate charger plates and overlay linens will finish the look.
Food and cocktails: For dinner, traditional main courses and meats like ham, Cornish game hen and even quail are all favorites for the next year. On the drinks menu: gin cocktails and specialty liqueurs like elderflower, served up in pretty cut-crystal glassware.

Great Gatsby Glamour

What began with Boardwalk Empire lives on with the upcoming Baz Luhrmann production of The Great Gatsby. So when translated into a wedding, that means we're going to see everything from classic garden party receptions to over-the-top black and gold affairs.
Fashion: The decadent dinner party scenes from all the upcoming movies and shows of the next year are sure to inspire bridal party fashion. We'll see rich fabrics like silk and chiffon -- fabrics that really move with the body -- and strategic embellishments, which means that the beading and crystal details aren't flashy but you definitely have a bit of glitz in your gown.
Tablescapes: Event designers and florists alike will look to set designs from The Great Gatsby to create stunning, romantic tablescapes with roses and peonies.
Food and cocktails: Pigs in a blanket, deviled eggs, tea sandwiches, and oysters on the half shell and champagne cocktails are all trends from a bygone era making their way back onto the wedding menu.


On dresses, invitations and table designs, mod touches and bold, graphic prints -- reminiscent of the spring collections from A-list designers Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors -- give wedding elements the perfect creative bent for 2013.
Fashion: Structured dresses with a '60s flair fit this vibe. We're talking bateau necklines, little white gloves, pouf veils and a streamlined dress with a bow accent. A bright pair of heels in red, pink or blue finishes the look.
Tablescapes: Add in a more modern take on the table -- from simple monochromatic floral arrangements to square plates. And interesting design details like lamp shades hanging over -- or even on -- tables will look really fresh and fun for 2013.
Food and cocktails: It's all about creating a modern, fresh atmosphere -- so tasting plates with smaller portions fit the vibe. Also, interesting cocktails like sparkling hibiscus punch, and cranberry and ginger tea cocktails will be a hit.


Homestead Elegance

Last year, the "ritzy ranch" theme was huge, and this year it's still going strong.
Fashion: This look is very romantic and natural. So it might be a beautiful lace dress with a sheer neckline and pretty buttons all the way up the back, or it might be more structured, like a fit-to-flare gown with a few sparkly hints and a romantic, loose hairstyle. Grooms want to make a fashion statement too, but they're looking into woven fabrics like tweeds and herringbone to do so.
Tablescapes: Designers aren't skimping on flowers in this category. The idea is to create a luxe tablescape and juxtapose it against a rustic backdrop, like a mountain lodge, a farm or, of course, a ranch. Draping is also going to be a popular way to add a polished look to an otherwise casual locale.
Food and cocktails: The food is wholesome and approachable. Think: farm-fresh salads, seasonal soups and main courses, and fun touches like local beer flights or a cheese table highlighting all the local varieties.


Geeked-Out Weddings

Couples continue to outdo one another in the tech world with Instagram wedding albums, video guest books, QR code save-the-dates, virtual guests (via live stream) and over-the-top wedding websites, featuring a guest of honor a week, polls, videos and more.

10 Alternatives To The Flower Girl Petal Toss

It's a fact: your flower girl will be the cutest member of your wedding party. Actually, it could be a tie between your flower girl, your ring bearer, and your dog, but we digress.

We've all been to a wedding where the flower girl tosses petals as she walks down the aisle. But she doesn't have to!

Are you saying, "I do" outside? Present your special girl with a pinwheel that will blow in the breeze. She will look sweet and have fun. Perhaps you're more of a traditionalist. Give your flower girl the special job of carrying your train down the aisle.

Carry Your Train
Kids love to feel special, and your flower girl will enjoy the chance to walk down the aisle with you and carry your train.

Add a pop of fun color to your aisle by having your flower girl carry a single balloon or a bunch.

Have the youngest members of your bridal party team up and carry a garland! This is perfect for two flower girls or your flower girl and ring bearer.
Shade your girl from the sun with a parasol complete with a sweet message.
If your flower girl and ring bearer are really little, a ride in a wagon is a great solution. Add poms or flowers for additional decoration.
Basket of Blooms
Fill a basket with a bunch of blooms, or present your flower girl with a small bouquet or corsage.
Floral Halo
We love the simplicity of a halo of flowers! The fact that these girls walked down the aisle holding hands doesn’t hurt either.
Pinwheels are perfectly whimsical and will make your flower girl smile, guaranteed.
Four Legged Friend
Are you inviting your dog to the party? Decorate her leash with flowers and give your flower girl a pal for the aisle.
A pomander is another great petal substitute that still incorporates flowers, and we adore this flower girl and ring bearer team. His sign? We can’t get enough.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

7 Wedding Battles To Let Your In-Laws Win

In Law Battles

We all know there are decisions that only the bride can make, when it comes to wedding planning, but when dealing with two families and many opinions, eventually someone else, usually your future in-laws, is going to want a say in the event. Fair enough.

While too many cooks in the kitchen can be a bad thing, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few areas where you should probably just let your in-laws have their way. Most of the time it can benefit you. (Another shower? Sure!) So save your foot stomping for when your mother-in-law wants to tag along to your bachelorette party. (True story.)

1. If they want to pay: If your in-laws insist on paying for an aspect of your wedding - let them! (It’s an outdated idea that only that bride’s family should pay.) Sure, they’ll have a say in it if they pay, or want to be named on the invite, but trust us, it’s worth it. You may be able to invite more guests, have a better band or a better photographer. Other areas that are great for in-laws to cover if they want to be more involved are transportation for the guests, welcome bags or even groomsmen gifts. Spend the money saved on something else like your dress or a pair of designer shoes.

2. If they want to invite a few extra guests: If she wants her buddies from the Garden Club there, let her have them. The more guests, the merrier! It’s not as if she wants to invite someone who you should never invite to your wedding. You can expect that at least 20% won’t be able to make it, so it doesn’t hurt to invite someone.

3. If they’re devout and want a traditional ceremony: Anything that has to do with cultural traditions such as readings, a Greek Orthodox ceremony, etc. should not spark an argument. Chances are if something is culturally important to your in-laws, it’s important to your fiance as well. You also don’t want to offend anyone by ix-naying the Horah. It’s actually a great way to get everyone dancing.

4. If your M-I-L wants to throw you a shower: You can’t throw your own shower, so it might as well be her. Some people love planning events, and if she falls in that camp, you know it’s going to be a good time. It’s more about her getting attention from her friends and showing off that her son is getting married – but hey, who doesn’t need another Le Crueset pot?!
Let her invite friends who are not invited to the wedding, or if she’s in another town or state, use it as a chance to invite wedding guests who may be geographically closer to her than to you. Above all, enjoy it, add some more items to your registry and grin through any bridal shower games.

5. Anything to do with the rehearsal dinner: This is typically an area that in laws pay for anyway, so let them take care of everything, from the location, to the menu, to the number of guests (as long as it it’s equal on both sides). It’s nice to have an event that you don’t have to give any thought to, so see it as a treat, and an excuse to drink wine.

6. Seating for their side of the family: If they have specific requests, hand over the seating chart and see if they can make the requested changes without screwing up any of your guest seating or your parents’. They’ll know the interpersonal dynamics of their side way better than you will. In the long run, where people sit isn’t that big of a deal, since you want people up and mingling most of the night. They just have to sit for dinner.

7. Paying for your honeymoon: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. A free trip to Hawaii? Yes, please. It’ll be a welcome break since when you get back, there will still be plenty of things for you to take care of.

Photo of the Week

Plan3A w_ option

This Photo of the Week is of a Dream Home that I would love to have but we will see where life is taking us. We are thinking of moving to the next level in marriage and a home is the way to go. Prayers for us as we take this journey to true adult hood. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

She did it!!!

Congratulations to my daughter, Jacelyn Jackson on being accepted to California Academy of Mathematics and Science High School!!! You did it girl! I'm so proud of you!!!!

How to Deal With a Bridesmaid-zilla

Your bridesmaids are your go-to female team as you prepare for your big day. Sometimes, however, your 'maids can disappoint you with bad attitudes or general rudeness, which can put a damper on this exciting time. Here are some strategies for dealing with a diva-like bridesmaid -- and how to not create a maid-zilla with too many demands.

Don't overwhelm your 'maids with costs.

Some bridesmaids act out because they feel astounded by how much they have to spend on wedding-related duties. While they should come to you with their concerns, it is up to you to make sure you're not asking them to go broke in the process. (This will only make them resent you.)
Keep bad attitudes at bay by trying to help out your bridesmaids financially, if you can. I have always preferred when the bride picks up the entire tab, but that is not always the case. At the very least, hair and makeup should be paid for by the bride (if you have a certain look you're seeking, or simply wants everyone to look their best), as should the shipping of the dresses (to the attendant or to the event) and the bridesmaids' shoes (if you want them all to match). Also note that $100-$300 is a fair price for a bridesmaid's dress.

Be reasonable about your wedding-related requirements.

Another way you can keep bad attitudes in check before they begin is by being realistic about how much time you expect your 'maids to devote to your big day before the main event.
Weddings can bond people for life or destroy relationships that went on for years, so be careful about being overly demanding, which will spark animosity among your friends. Attending the dress fitting, a shower, the rehearsal dinner and a one-night stay (or two maximum) in a hotel is acceptable to ask from your 'maids. If you'd like them to help you with favors and other planning duties, great, but tasks related to your wedding shouldn't become weekly requirements.

Speak up right away in the face of diva-dom.

If you've done everything you can to make the bridesmaid experience fun and affordable, then poor behavior from your 'maids is pretty inexcusable. So, if you get pushback from your bridal party about perfectly reasonable costs and requirements, speak up right away to address the situation. This is not something that should be relegated to your 'maid of honor or your mother -- these people should not have to play mediator. Plus, the message will mean more coming from you. Besides, if you are mature enough to get married, you should be mature enough to speak your mind like a lady.

Don't tolerate a bridesmaid taking over the dress appointment.

I've seen 'maids throw fits during the dress shopping appointment -- doing things like throwing dresses on the floor rather than placing them upon the hanger, refusing to acknowledge the presence of the stylist, and clearly ignoring the bride's requests in terms of dress style. If this happens to you, gently but firmly make it clear that this day is your day and, when it is her wedding day, you will gladly return the gesture.

Dismiss your maid-zilla.

This is a worst-case scenario and a drastic measure but, if one of your 'maids is making your pre-wedding life miserable, this has to be done. When a bridesmaid is being uncooperative and causing undo stress by complaining about finances (which can be understandable), she simply should bow out. But sometimes it is up to the bride -- not the maid of honor! -- to formally ask her to not be part of the festivities. In most cases, the 'maid will be relieved to be unburdened by your wedding -- and you certainly don't want anyone in your wedding party who would consider your special day to be a burden anyway.



Monday, March 25, 2013

Music Monday: A Song For Mama by Boyz 2 Men

A song for Mommy on her birthday.......

BB28, iPic and Birthdays

Hello my Bloggie Buddies.... Here is my weekend recap:
Friday Night we started the BB28 celebrations. BB28 is for Brandon and Brandi.... It is their birthday today so we hit the town for some good times at The Saddle Ranch. Here are a few photos:

Birthday Girl!

The Sistas!

The Boys... Brandi totally did a Photo Bomb...LOL

Another shot of the boys.

Saturday Morning involved Scott being on a conference call for work most of the day but we were able to have a little lunch, Some Pinkberry and do some house work. Its nice to be able to do things together, even if it is laundry and carpet cleaning.
After all that was done, we headed out for a movie date at iPic.... OMG we are officially spoiled by this place.
Not only does it have awesome food and cocktails... There are reclining seats with Pillows and Blankets. As you will see from the photos... We loved every minute of it:

Red Velvet Bread Pudding.... Pretty good

Pepperoni and Sausage Flatbread. It was a cheat day and so worth it.

Angus Sliders with Parmesan Truffle Fries.... OMG

My Seat... So comfortable and cozy

My husband enjoying the seat and all it had to offer.

Its pretty safe to say that we may never go to another movie theatre ever again if it is not like this...LOL
O... and we say Olympus Has Fallen.....AWESOME MOVIE!

I have to admit that Gerard Butler is bad ass and that Antoine Fuqua did an excellent job on this film. Go see it if you can.

Sunday was part 3 of BB28 and went over to hang out with the fam for Wings, Pizza and laughs.
Here is what is on tap for this week:
1. Happy Birthday Mom and BB28
2. Decorating my office
3. Easter Prep
4. Spending some time catching up on Scandal.

Enjoy your week everyone!

Happy Birthday to our favorite twins......

To my Brother and Sister...
There is nothing in the world like family and I knew from the moment that Scott told me about The Turner Twins that you 2 would not be an exception to the rule. You love us both unconditionally and open your hearts, homes and lives to us with no question. We love you both and wish you the happiest of birthdays!
Love You!


Happy Birthday to my Mommy....
I know that this year has been a busy one for both of us and even though there were times where we probably wanted to kill each other, I am glad we survived and we are here to celebrate another year of you.
Love You.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Letters

Dear Weekend....
Thank GOD for you. I am so ready for some rest and relaxation.
Dear Brandon and Brandi...
Time to celebrate your birthday. Lets get it in.
Dear Sinuses.....
Please be kind and go away. I don't like not feeling good and really need a break from it all.
Dear Body...
Looking good... Keep up the great work.
Dear Scott....
Thank You for taking care of me this week. I appreciate it and I hope you didn't catch what I had. Lets hang this weekend, K?
Have a great weekend loves!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wedding Dress Ideas: What To Do With Your Gown After The Big Day

When the wedding is over, every bride is faced with the same dilemma: What should I do with my wedding dress?
Reddit user bmarielo asked the Reddit community that very question on Tuesday, and commenters responded with some truly unique ideas. Read some of their best wedding gown solutions below:

Keep It
"I'm currently going through chemo, so I have no hair, and probably won't have hair when I get married. My plan is to keep it till our one year anniversary (hopefully I will have some hair by then) and then recreate our wedding day photos."
-- mybaby51

Trash It
"I'm doing a trash the dress shoot the next day...I doubt it will actually be trashed, it just might get a bit dirty around the bottom -- we're hiking up a mountain to take pictures among the snow and wildflowers. I feel like I'll wear it around the house to watch movies, and maaaaybe I'll consider trying to dye it to see if I can get away with wearing it to some other party."
-- DrStinkbeard

Wear It Again
"Mine is just a simple tea-length lacy dress. So I'll probably wear it for other fancy occasions in the future. Maybe even dye it a different color."
-- ksek

Donate It
"Donating it to The Brides Project so that someone else can enjoy it. Plus it raises funds for cancer research. I'm spending so much money on it, I'd like to pay it forward for some good in the world."
-- arhoglen

Reinvent It
"I had my dress made into a quilt with my husband's wedding shirt weaved into it."
-- loverbaby

Travel With It
"After seeing the thread on Reddit a few weeks ago with the wife who'd wear her dress and the husband who would photograph her while traveling all over the world, my fiance decided that was a fantastic idea and for our anniversary each year we'll go somewhere, I'll get in my dress and we'll take an interesting picture. So not really "trash the dress" but get lots and lots of use out if it without destroying it."
-- faile556

Store It
"Keeping it in the closet. I'm in the process of losing weight so I'd like to try it on in a year for a photo to see how far I've come!"
-- julio--

Frame It
"I'm thinking of framing it! although that will probably be outrageously expensive. But I love the idea of being able to display it like artwork!"
-- Jazzy_Jessie

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SO CUTE!!!!!!!

I had to post this because I thought this was sooooooo dam cute!!
I wish I had a picture of Scott and I to do a Side by Side.

Perfect pairing: Bobby and Giada dish out advice on love

Because I am a Certified Foodie and they are 2 of my favorite Food Network Stars.. Enjoy!
Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are the perfect pair in the kitchen, and now they've teamed up to help solve problems in your romantic life. Both in successful marriages, they're offering their guy/gal perspective on the everyday issues that come with sustaining relationships

Q: Sometimes it feels like my boyfriend isn't the brightest bulb in the box. He's fun to be around and I really like him, but an intellectual connection is missing. Is that reason enough to end the relationship?
Giada: It kind of depends on what you want out of a relationship. I think that for a short time it can be fun. You kind of end up becoming best friends as your relationship grows. If he's fun to be around, that's great until a certain time and then you realize 'I want something a little bit deeper,' because to have a long-lasting relationship, you've got to have a little more in common. In my opinion, it's a deal-breaker.

Bobby: You want to be stimulated by somebody's brains as well, not just the physicality of things. Although, it depends what she looks like ...

Q: My wife is a slob. She'll leave dirty dishes on the table, clothes on the floor and hair in the shower drain. How can I get her to clean up her act?

Bobby: I don't think you're going to change her. That's part of the problem. Personally, I'm a guy that likes femininity and I like when women have that feminine side to them. I don't like sloppiness. I have a tendency to leave a shirt or something like that on the ground. My wife will pick that up, but if it's underwear or socks, my wife will leave them there. It's almost like 'pick them up yourself,' and then I learn to pick them up.

Giada: So maybe that's how you do it? I pick up after my husband. It's been a long time, and I still pick up after my husband. Sometimes in life you just have to accept the way people are and move on. I'm not (sloppy at home). Even when I get to a hotel room when I travel, I put all my toiletries out on a towel. It's a little OCD, I must admit.

Q: How do you keep a relationship hot after you have children?

Giada: I was with my husband for 13 years before we had our daughter Jade. (The relationship) changes. I'm not going to lie. It changes because the focus of what you talk about changes. I think getting away on a romantic weekend, even if it's just a staycation, you can have some time alone. Go to a hotel in your own city for a night. You need some time away together. Have an understanding that you're not going to talk about your kids for that one evening.

Bobby: I think a lot of people make the mistake of giving up their privacy at home as a couple. I think there's a place for family and your kids. And I think there's a place for mommy and daddy, period. It's important to draw the line at home. It takes effort.

Q: Over the years, my wife has become a real nag, nitpicking about every little thing I do. How do I get her off my back?

Bobby: Get rid of her. Nagging is one of those things that starts off kind of cute and funny, here and there. And as it grows it becomes a bigger problem. Every once and a while my wife will say, 'I feel like you're picking on me a little bit,' and she nips it in the bud. I like that. We both do it sometimes, but we're good at saying 'Enough already,' because you don't want it to grow into a bigger problem.
Giada: I think nitpicking has something to do with that person's frustration that may not have anything to do with what they're nitpicking about, but a bigger-picture thing that they haven't discussed with you. The key to a long-lasting, good relationship is communication. The more you communicate, the better off you are. In an Italian family, you yell.

Q: My boyfriend broke up with me and now I want to get revenge by making him jealous. What can I do?

Giada: I think you can use social media to help you. Take a nice picture of yourself, looking really good, with clothes on! Not saying with whom, or doing what — the power of suggestion — then move on. If he texts you, silence is golden.

Bobby: It seems to me like you have a lot of things to solving this problem, which is kind of scaring me. The right answer to this question, Giada, is move on. He broke up with you, move on.

March 20 is National Proposal Day

March 20 is National Proposal Day and the first day of spring. And it's no coincidence either. John Michael O'Loughlin -- who invented the holiday after his cousin's boyfriend failed to pop the question after years of dating -- chose the date when "day and night are of equal length worldwide, symbolizing the equal efforts of the two required to comprise the successful marriage."

I thought it would be fun to share my proposal story that was featured on How Hw Asked: 

Jasmine and Scott

From the very beginning, I wondered if this man could be my husband and now I’ve finally found my Prince…
How We Met: Scott and I worked together at an Internet Media company in Los Angeles. The first moment I saw him (when he’d come in to interview), I thought he was very handsome. Scott will tell you that he doesn’t remember seeing me that day but he does remember me coming into the HR office on his first day and taking his breath away…..
After that, we both caught glances of each other everyday and he finally invited me and some other co-workers out for happy hour. When I got to the bar, we ended being the only people there. We laughed and talked and I knew that night that he was and is a special man. We became fast friends, lunch buddies and eventually began our courtship. We continued to share many laughs, conversations and understanding – something that we both needed.
After a trip to Sacramento for a holiday party, love just bloomed.
How He Asked: Our family Christmas tradition is to open gifts at our house then head over to my grandparents for more gifts and presents. This Christmas was not like any other because to my shock and surprise, I got engaged.
I was with my family opening gifts when Scott and his Mom come over so we could all go to breakfast together….except he had on a suit. I ask him why he is so dressed up and he said I wanted to look nice for Christmas. Meanwhile I am in a scarf and pajamas and all im thinking is damn… I’m going to have to get dressed now because my grandparents will wonder why I am so casual and he is in a suit.
I was going to head upstairs to change when Scott said, lets open gifts first! Ok fine, no problem, I thought.
So, our anniversary was December 5th and he had ordered me a gift but it was not ready in time so he wanted to give me that gift first. It was a locket from Things Remembered and I love it. He then says, I have another gift but I dont have a box for it. All I’m thinking is well, you can’t get a box now – everything is closed but I kept waiting to see what he was going to do and then he says the gift is him.
He pulls out the ring box and kneels and ask me to be his wife!! Tears flow and after a long pause that must have been forever for him, I finally shake my head yes.
And here are some of our engagement pictures!
Photos by Madeline Arenas from Cubrix Photography.

Photo of the Week

This Photo of the Week is a sick wife and her caring husband making sure she is OK. Even though he laughed at me (I'm Hot and Cold...LOL) and thinks I am a bad sick person (Is there ever really a good sick person), he took great care of me and always make sure I am good. Love my Husband.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can You Put A Price On Love?

You + Me = Us, I know my calculus! But do you know your taxes?

It's already March, which means April 15th -- Tax Day -- is right around the corner. Have you and your Mr. or Mrs. filed a return together before? Believe it or not, there actually may be a penalty in some cases for getting married and filing jointly with your spouse. I know, I know, you probably are thinking back to my last post and saying, but he said it's better to file married filing joint for most couples -- and that's true, for MOST couples, but the "penalty" kicks in when:

• Each spouse earns more than about $90,000
• Each spouse falls in the 25 percent or higher tax bracket
• The tax on the combined income of a married couple filing joint is more than twice the tax on the same income if earned by two single taxpayers

Okay, I get it, this is confusing, so let's break it down into a scenario so you can see how and why this may affect you.

Joe is a single person with a taxable income of $79,750 -- based on his $89,500 salary reduced by the standard deduction ($5,950 for 2012 returns) and one personal exemption ($3,800 for 2012 returns) -- this puts him in the 25 percent marginal tax bracket.

Suppose he then marries his co-worker Jane, who earns the same salary as he does, they now have a combined taxable income of $179,000. The standard deduction for a married couple is twice that of a single taxpayer ($11,900 for 2012 returns) and the number of personal exemptions is doubled ($7,600 for 2012 returns).

Here is how the calculations break out:

Filing Single:
Salary $89,500
Standard deduction ($5,950)
Exemption ($3,800)
Taxable income $79,750
Federal Tax $15,967.50
Marginal Tax Bracket 25%

Married & Filing Joint:
Salary ($89,500 x 2) $179,000
Standard deduction ($11,900)
Exemption ($7,600)
Taxable income $159,500
Federal Tax $32,439
Marginal Tax Bracket 28%

Although the taxable income remains the same, the couple's tax ($32,439) is $504.00 more than double the tax of the single taxpayer ($15,967.5 x 2= $31,935). The combined income also puts the taxpayers in the 28 percent marginal tax bracket rather than the 25 percent tax bracket. With this higher tax bracket, Joe and Jane end up paying more in taxes. If Joe and Jane did not get married, they would have saved $504.00. But can you put a price on love?

5 Money Talks to Have With Your Spouse

When you say “yes” to tying the knot, you’re doing more than joining hearts and lives, you’re also joining finances. Gulp. For better or worse, if you don’t communicate openly about money matters, your marriage can end up in hot water.

Estate planning attorney Ann Margaret Carrozza suggests that the key to avoiding these issues is to work as a team. "When you're in a partnership it's so important to set goals together, and gain knowledge to create financial security going forward. This way you have common goals and there's never any confusion about how to invest financially."

Whether you’re married or about to walk down the aisle, Carrozza says these are five money conversations you should have with your spouse:

1. Create your personal financial blueprint: Few newlyweds are fortunate enough to have significant assets to invest and plan for. But with a relatively blank financial slate, two people can chart their vision; make concrete goals, and together gain knowledge to create financial security going forward.

Initiate the discussion by throwing an acquaintance or neighbor under the proverbial bus: "Mark and Pam sure have beautiful cars/clothes/jewelry etc. Kind of makes me think that they will be forced to work forever to keep up with the interest payments alone!" Newlyweds should seek to educate themselves on financial matters by attending area adult education courses (preferably free ones) and reading financial books (borrowed from the library). Saving and investing that first $10,000 will provide a calm far greater than any 10-day cruise ever could.

2. Before the stork arrives, create a will: A will is needed to name a guardian of your minor child. It is often this difficult decision that causes people to put off creating a will. Without a will, the court will have the final say as to who raises your child in the event of your death.

Initiate the discussion by asking your spouse for their opinion on choosing a guardian. Try not to react negatively if you disagree with his response: "Your mother? That is a lovely thought - she certainly did a fine job with you (psst…go for bonus points). Do you think though, that it might not be an imposition on her because of her health issues, etc." If you hit an impasse, you can punt by naming co-guardians.

3. How should we grow our savings?: Ideally, this endeavor becomes a hobby for you as well as a goal-oriented pursuit. Investigate the retirement planning options that your employer may offer. Don’t have that option? Sit with a knowledgeable financial professional who will discuss various investment class options with you.

Initiate the discussion by saying something like, “We work hard for our money and I’d like to brainstorm with you and a financial advisor as to how we can make the most of it.”

4. Long term care planning: A slower than expected economic recovery coupled with increased life expectancies and ever-increasing costs of medical care has made relying on government funded long term care resources unrealistic.

Initiate the discussion by encouraging your spouse to sit down with a long term care insurance professional. What you are looking for here is a maximum daily benefit that coincides with the cost of care in your area. Don't be seduced by the 5 percent inflation protection, because the actual cost of care increases approximately 12 percent per year.

5. Insure your estate planning: You've done your will, powers of attorney, and health care advance directives, but how can you be sure that your surviving spouse won't remarry and potentially lose those assets in a subsequent divorce?

Initiate this conversation by pointing to a real life example, if possible: "Isn't it tragic that Marvin (widower friend) disinherited his adult children in favor of his home care companion? Yes, dear, I know that you would never do this, but what if either one of us developed a dementia-related illness down the road? All bets are off at that point. Let's at least sit down with an attorney and see what the options are (i.e. post-nuptial agreement or trust) before we make any decisions.”

6 signs you're on wedding overload

1. You're using your lunch hour to run wedding errands...instead of eating.
Skipping meals is bad news for your mood -- and more important, your wedding fitness plan! It can lead to exaggerated emotions, amped-up stress and an overall dark cloud over your head (sound familiar?). Basically, making a habit of planning instead of lunching is a lose-lose. Set a limit on how often you can swap your salad for a wedding task. "I decided that only one lunch per week was allowed to be wedding-related and the rest needed to be a break," says Chelsea, a user on

2. Your fiance starts joking (or maybe not joking) about eloping.
If your fiance is less involved in the planning process than you are, he probably decided to lie low about the wedding...until it got really bad. Sometimes it takes a reality check from someone else to know it's time to put the brakes on wedding worries -- even if it's something you don't want to hear. "I knew I was on overload when my fiance told me he was going to be so glad when the wedding was all over, so he wouldn't have to hear about it anymore," says Bethany.

 3. The most exciting thing that's happened in your bedroom lately is watching the "Say Yes to the Dress" premiere on TV.

Whether it's because you're sparring over the guest list or just exhausted from a lack of sleep (thanks to all those wedding nightmares), a dry spell in the bedroom is common for engaged couples. No surprise there: Dampened sex drive is a big indicator of overpowering stress, according to the US National Library of Medicine. So if things start cooling off between the sheets, press pause on planning the reception menu and have a steamy date night instead.

4. You start questioning all of your decisions. But you don't do that...well, maybe you do.
You know you're overthinking things when you start wanting to trash all your original plans for New! Better! Ideas! Worrying that you made the wrong call about your reception venue, which florist to hire or how much to spend on photography will only feed your stress even more, making for a never-ending cycle of fear. So if doubts start creeping in, let up on planning for a week or two. When you come back with a fresher mind, you'll have a better idea of which doubts were truly valid and which ones were just a product of your anxiety.

5. You procrastinate on the tasks that really need to get done.
It's not how you normally picture a bridezilla -- ignoring her checklist and putting off to-dos -- but if you're finding yourself neglecting wedding planning tasks, you probably don't even realize how overwhelmed you are. If your wedding date is looming and the list looks impossible to tackle, start with something fun and easy, like a cake tasting or shopping for your wedding shoes, to get back into the swing of things. Having a few small items checked off will make the rest seem more doable.

6. It stops being fun.
It all comes down to this: If you're focusing more on the negative (like the number of guests who RSVPed "no") than the positive (like the fact that you'll be married at the end of all of this!), something needs to change. Come up with a mantra that will help you concentrate on the bright side. "I've started reminding myself how much I love my fiance and why I'm doing this in the first place," says Samantha. "Oddly enough, reflecting on that brings a great sense of calm."

Monday, March 18, 2013

What No One Admits About Wedding Dresses

This story originally appeared on
Every bride would have you believe that her wedding gown is the most perfect garment she's ever laid eyes upon. But the truth is, most wedding dresses have some secrets brides would rather their guests didn't know.

The wedding-day bustle doesn't look as good as it did in the store.
First, let's define bustle. You know how wedding gowns have extra fabric in the back that drags along the floor for the ceremony? That's a train. Trains make it likely that you will trip and fall while you dance at your wedding reception, so you essentially need to fold it up so it's out of the way. The under-your-butt gathering of the train is a bustle. And unless you have a highly skilled BFF or mom, it's difficult to replicate the gorgeous way the seamstress or consultant at the bridal salon folded it.

It takes forever to put your wedding gown on.
Psst...lots of wedding dresses have built-in corsets on the inside that need to be buttoned or tied up. And that takes time and additional hands. I've yet to meet a bride who put on a traditional wedding gown by herself. (If you did, you have my respect and admiration.) It's not that brides are divas who demand help for simple tasks like getting dressed -- it's literally impossible to get that thing on by yourself, especially if you have a wedding to attend in a few hours (which you better, otherwise why the hell are you putting on a wedding dress? Oh, you wore one for Halloween? Okay, me too this one time).

Those buttons down the back don't do diddly.
I so badly wanted a dress that had them -- and I got one. I can't articulate why this was so important to me, but one thing's for sure: It had nothing to do with function.

You can't sit normally in a wedding dress.
Yes, those white dresses that J. Crew calls "wedding dresses" may not restrict you when you sit. Mine and thousands of others on the other hand will poke into your ribs if you decide to take a load off. The one bright side to this? It hurts more to slouch, so your posture's pretty perfect when everyone's snapping photos of you at your sweetheart table.

Altering a wedding gown can change how it looks.
A fabulous seamstress will ensure that all the features you loved about the wedding dress (the one you ordered seven sizes too big at the salon's insistence) remain the same once the gown is taken in to fit you. The dirty truth is that most seamstresses aren't fabulous, and the shape and accents you adored may look decidedly different post-alterations.

Wedding dresses take forever to take off.
After our wedding reception, our limo driver kindly waited while I slipped into sweats and dropped off my dress at my parents' house before he whisked me and Paul to the mediocrity that was our wedding night hotel (hey, Staten Island isn't known for its hospitality -- only its mob wives). He was waiting quite a while since I had to unbutton and untie the various fabrics that were sucking me in. Don't worry -- he got a generous tip.

What else don't brides share about wedding dresses? Married ladies, did you not have any of the above experiences? (I ENVY YOU!)

Music Monday: India.Arie - He Heals Me

Pimp my Ride , Healthy Living and Get Ya Bowl On!

Hello My Blog Loves... Here is the Weekend Recap
I don't remember if I posted or not so sorry for the repeat. On Valentine's Day (Of all days) a woman bumped my bumper in the parking lot of the store and it needed to be repaired. My great friends Janet and Markus have a body shop so I dropped my ride off to be fixed and I got it back Friday night... The great part is because Janet and Markus are awesome and a great friends, they fixed the mystery scratches that have been on my car for a few years, detailed my ride and I feel like I have a brand new car again!!

Thank You Janet and Markus for all your hard work. If anyone ever needs Body work done, Visit Janet and Markus at
In addition to being Great Friends.. They are newlyweds! They are celebrating their 1st Wedding Anniversary on March 23rd. Happy Early Anniversary my friends!
After I got my ride pimped, I headed over to Yoga to free my mind.... I swear I am going to be a Yoga Junkie in due time.
Saturday I got up and took Jacelyn to Delta Academy and after picking her up, I headed over to the dress shop to pick out my Bridesmaid's dress for my Mother in Law's wedding in August.
Here is my choice:
We went with Bari Jay for the selection and colors. Since it is going to be in August and hot as ever in Las Vegas... I think the Chiffon will be a good complement for the heat.
Here are the shoes that we will be wear with the dress:
After that we did some shopping and had dinner at my parents house.
Sunday I got to sleep in a little and then I headed to meet Sheauen and Ken for Lunch and St. Fatty Patty Cupcakes.

Sheauen makes these every year for St. Patrick's Day and we LOVE them. Although they are not on my list of healthy things to eat... I had one and it was worth it.
After lunch I came home and finished my dinner project:

This is my Jumbo Shells stuffed with Spinach and Cheese and I made Marinara with Turkey Meat... I know Italian women around the world are screaming in horror but it was so good and so worth it.

After dinner we met up with friends to get our bowl on for Ramone's Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Mamome...(Insider)

As I am not much of a bowler, I watch and chit chatted with the ladies as my Husband kicked butt!
Here is what is on tap for this week:
1. New Tattoo... Where should I put it (Post to follow soon)
2. Hope to spend more romantic time with my husband.
3. Health and Wellness
4. Yoga for sure.
5. Long walks..
I hope that everyone has a great week!!!



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beware of Counterfeit Gowns Online

Photo Credit: Gray Photography

What do you think?
A few weeks ago, we posted a piece on what to consider before buying your wedding gown online. While we recognize that it's a growing trend, there are still some serious concerns that you must consider before buying a gown online. Here, we break it down:

1. If the Price Seems Too Good to Be True, Then it Is
Some online retailers claim to be selling you a designer wedding gown for 50% or more off the retail price. They might even be showing you the same photographs you see on the designer's website or in our gown gallery, leading you into a false sense of security. But what you don't know is that more often than not, these photographs are being used without permission, and the dress you'll receive — if you ever receive it — will be a cheap knockoff version of the gown you fell in love with. Think stiff, itchy fabrics, uneven seams, and unflattering cuts.
What do you think?

2. Always Check the Designer's Site Before Making a Purchase
On every wedding gown designer's website, you'll find a list of authorized retailers. These are the only stores permitted to distribute the designer's gowns. You'll rarely find an online retailer listed. If you have any questions, contact the designer's customer service to inquire if you are purchasing from an authorized retailer. They'll be able to steer you in the right direction.
What do you think?

3. If You Have a Problem With the Gown, You're On Your Own
Counterfeit gowns frequently arrive in lengths and sizes that have no bearing on the measurements you saw on the website. If it's even possible to alter the gown, the alteration costs often can exceed the purchase price, negating any savings you received from ordering a gown online. Often, you won't be able to find any contact information on a counterfeiter's website — a major red flag that something fishy is going on.
What do you think?

While we don't want to discount stores that do sell authentic wedding gowns online, we urge you to be careful and watch out for these warning signs

Wedding Gifts: What's The Worst Wedding Gift You Received?

Even if you registered at your favorite store before your wedding, some guests may take matters into their own hands and choose a gift that's a bit more... unusual.

A Reddit user named Decyde posed this question to the Reddit community on Tuesday: "What's the worst gift you were given at your wedding?" More than 300 commenters responded, offering a range of cheap, inappropriate or just plain bizarre gifts they received on their wedding day (want an example? A used coffee thermos).

  • Jar

    "A giant jar. Just a jar."
  • Lamp

    "The Lamp. There was no name tag attached to it, so no idea who gave it to us, but it was made out of a bunch of pebbles all glued together in a less-than-artistic manner. I think it was supposed to be kind of nuevo-Black Forest or something but it was hideous and went straight in the garbage."
  • Ashtray

    "My wife's friend bought us an ashtray even though she knew we both weren't smokers.
  • Chocolate Fondue Fountain

    "I got a chocolate fondue fountain from someone who wanted it for themselves. And I mean she put it on my gift registry herself. It ended up in the trash.
  • Mismatched Bedsheets

    "When my parents got married, my mother's uncle gave them a set of bed sheets. More specifically, a mismatched set of sheets for a twin-sized bed. When my father called the manufacturer to ask about buying a la carte to make multiple sets (just for fun), the woman on the other end said, 'I've worked here for 32 years and I've never heard of that line.
  • Pink Hat Box

    "A hat box (pink and orange paisley pattern with fuzzy balls on the borders.) Inside was a thick heavy family bible, three pocket bibles, a sun catcher, two cans of salmon and an incomplete set of drinking glasses.
  • Towel

    "One of the guests gave us a towel. Not a set of towels. Not one towel for me, one for him. A single towel. Needless to say I, as the wife, claimed it as mine.
  • Anonymous Letter Of Sex Tips and Astrology Book

    "We got an anonymous letter (which we figured out was from my wife's kinda crazy septuagenarian aunt) full of really bad sex tips. Also a book about astrology as it relates to weddings. Apparently we did everything wrong. That one went straight to Goodwill.
  • The Bible

    "My sister got my husband and I (athiests) a bible. She spelled my first name wrong in the inside cover.
  • Drinking Glasses

    "I was the person who gave the worst gift. I wasn't even able to afford food at the time so I chose the cheapest thing I their registry, $25 for 4 short drinking glasses and I brought it to their expansive wedding at a huge Catholic church and their fancy reception at a Marriott. I don't think the husband knew I was broke, and his wife had never met me before so I was probably listed as their cheapskate friend.
  • "The Ultimate Guide To Getting It On"

    "'The Ultimate Guide to Getting it On' with a note explaining it was to help us out in case we "didn't know what to do." Thanks, Jed.
  • Bounced Check

    "A check that bounced, so it was a gift of -$35.
  • Coffee Thermos And Yellow Towel

    "My husband's wealthy uncle gave us a used coffee thermos and a yellow bath towel. Very strange. We found out years later that he gave my husband's brother the same thing at his wedding 6 months after ours.
  • $100 In Nickels

    "Not the worst, but my friend gave us $100 cash. All in nickels.

10 Funny Married Confessions

Hiding something? You’re not alone! Take a look at these hilarious confessions, then leave a comment with your own -- c’mon, we all have something to confess!

“I will probably go to the grocery store on Friday and grab a copy of People magazine to look at Kim K’s wedding pictures. I won’t purchase it but instead will walk around the grocery store like it’s a library reading the article and looking like I’m shopping.”

“Confession: I would TOTALLY go to Medieval Times. I’ve always been curious about it. I understand that it’s ridiculous and completely obnoxious and over the top, but I want to see some jousting.”

“A very nice coworker has been trapped in the kitchen with a really weird coworker who won’t shut up for the last 20 minutes. I am not volunteering to break it up despite the fact that nice coworker won’t do it and I know he doesn’t want to talk to this guy. (He is comparing making a sandwich to an algorithm.)”

“I just had three hot dogs for dinner. It’s leftover night, but I ate all the leftovers for lunch. Therefore, hot dogs.”

“I just bought a bunch of stuff from Pier 1 yesterday for my birthday party and intend on taking, like, 75 percent of the stuff back after I use it.”

“When Lucas [son] wants to watch the Power Rangers, I make him watch Power Rangers R.P.M. because these guys are the Rangers: [posts pictures of attractive shirtless actors].”

“I like to stick my face in my cat’s belly and rub it around. I wish there was an over-the-counter kitty sedater so I could do it for more than two seconds.”

“I wear aprons. I love wearing them and I usually put one on as I’m getting breakfast made, and it stays on till after dinner is cleaned up.”

“My dad gave me his tickets to the opening game for the Nebraska football team . My MIL is watching the kids for us. We are leaving super early just to get away from them. I do not give a s*** about Nebraska football, and I was thinking about bringing a book with me, but I knew my H would absolutely kill me.”

“Yesterday I was pulling out of the garage and forgot that DH was parked in the driveway and not the garage (I was in a hurry and wasn’t paying attention) and…yeah, I basically sideswiped his car. Whoops. Just some minor paint damage to his handle but I really considered not telling him and just making something up about him not noticing that he got sideswiped in a parking lot.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

14 surprising facts about getting engaged

Engagement Fact #1
61 percent of guys consult with their girlfriend before buying the ring.
Engagement Fact #2
The most popular month for engagement? December.
Engagement Fact #3
27 percent of brides call their best friend first after the proposal.
Engagement Fact #4
Cost of the average engagement ring: 5,229 dollars
Engagement Fact #5
Percentage of brides who change their Facebook status soon after they get engaged: 75 percent.
Engagement Fact #6
Approximately 2,000 couples get engaged every year at Disney World.
Engagement Fact #7
29 percent of men would wear an engagement ring.
Engagement Fact #8
The average length of engagements: 14.7 months.
Engagement Fact #9
75-100 couples take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty every year to propose.
Engagement Fact #10
Percentage of couples who take engagement photos: 69 percent.
Engagement Fact #11

7 percent of our Facebook readers dated for 3 months before they got engaged.
Engagement Fact #12
62 proposals were made on the Jumbotron at Fenway Park in Boston in 2011.
Engagement #13
37 percent of brides were completely surprised by the proposal.
Engagement #14
46 percent of couples announce their engagement via Facebook.