Message Bean


This “bean” is definitely beyond anything that “Jack and his bag of beans” could have ever conceived. Believe it or not, each bean has a word lasered onto one side, and a complementary image on the other. All one has to do to see the “message” is grow the bean. The recipient simply pulls off the foil top and bottom piece (to let the water drain), and adds about ½ cup of water to the soil. In about a week or so, the bean will poke thru the soil revealing the special message. In today’s crazy world of “real-time”, this is something that is well worth waiting for. Available in Thank You (with Thanks in Japanese), Love (with a heart), and Happy Birthday (with a musical note). Brand new styles: Happy Holiday (with two stars on the other side), Peace (with Peace written in Japanese on other side), Dream (with Dream written in Japanese on other side), Best Wishes (with Best Wishes written in Japanese on other side) and Get Well (with Get Well written in Japanese on other side). I believe this would be a unique and memorable idea as part of a wedding gift or as a favor option. Plus this gift will symbolize the growth of your love with your spouse. Did I take it a bit too far on the symbolism? I have a tendency to do that but you know what I mean. Check it out!

Diamonds, Engagement Rings and Bridal Parties

When you’re picking out engagement rings, you better be ready to show off your selection.  Whether you were able to design your own engagement ring or if you purchased one, everybody at your bridal party is going to want to check out the "rock" your hubby to-be purchased for you.

No matter if you pick out a preset engagement ring or go for something custom designed, what many online retailers have come to find out is that brides want their engagement ring to be truly one of a kind.  Retailers are working with their brides to get drawings or photos of exactly what they are looking for so they can have their jewelers create a customized piece. 

As any engaged woman will tell you, engagement rings are always the center of attention at a bridal party function or a bridal shower.  While your diamond engagement ring is bound to be a hot topic at the shower, it’s also important to remember that diamonds aren’t just for the bride anymore.  Many brides are presenting their attendants with gifts of diamond jewelry or diamond studded accessories to show their admiration and appreciation for those who have helped her the most during the wedding planning process.

The process of choosing engagement rings, wedding bands and bridal party gifts are some of the most important parts of planning a wedding.  There are so many options available to you and you can easily incorporate this important process into your bridal party and wedding while having a lot of fun at the same time.

Turtle Brownie Wedding Cake


Not a fan of cake? Then why not serve brownies at your wedding instead! Pictured above is five tiers of dense double-chocolate brownies are glazed with caramel and trimmed with candied pecans. An acrylic pole keeps the tiers aligned; pieces of acrylic tubing slipped over the pole separate the tiers. Vanilla ice cream is served alongside. Use a custom-designed acrylic cake stand to support the brownie tiers.


Maternity Wedding Dress from Pea in the Pod


If you are pregnant and getting married, show off that little bun in the oven. Pick a dress that is fashion forward and flatters your shape. Empire gowns are always gorgeous on a blushing bride, like this one from Pea in the Pod. This silk gown with an empire bodice will elongate the body—perfect for the petite bride. The high waist compliments a rounded shape and the continuous line adds height to a small frame.  Check it out!

Charm Cake Tradition


This old custom is charming indeed: At the bridesmaids’ luncheon, each guest pulls one ribbon from the center of a Bundt cake to find a good-luck charm and message dangling from the other end. Charms are available by mail order, often complete with fortunes, ribbons, and bags; we ordered charms but added our own messages, ribbons, and glassine envelopes. Ribbons can be color coded so single, married, and very young women will choose charms — such as rings or baby carriages — that are appropriate for their situations. Other popular charms include a coin (for luck), an airplane (for travel), and a telephone (for a special phone call). To assemble, bake your favorite Bundt cake, put the charms in the center, and drape the ribbons over the cake; fresh flowers provide decoration while hiding the charms.Source

How to Apply a Self Tanner

 Everyone looks great with a beautiful summer glow. However, baking yourself in the sun causes sun burn, wrinkles, and can lead to skin cancer. So the best way to get a healthy glow is to apply a self tanner.  To most people a self tanner is a scary thought. They picture a fake, smeary, orange tan but the reality is that self tanners have come a long way. You can find self tanners in a variety of shades, making it easy to get the perfect glow! The hardest part is the application and if you follow these tips that will be a cinch also.


Picking Your Product: This is the most important step to ensure you get the perfect tan for your skin tone. You need to test several products to find which one gives you the most natural color. The more expensive tanners are not necessarily the best! Go to the store and try out a few on the inside of your arm and let them develop. You can also ask for samples so you can try different brands at home. Doing these patch tests will help you choose the color that is closest to your natural tan. Also pick a tanner that is tinted. Even though tinted and non-tinted tanners work the same, tinted ones are easier to see. This will make the process of getting an even tan a lot easier!


Allow Yourself Enough Time:
It will take a good 90min to 2hrs for application and drying time. Although most products promise a 15 to 30 min drying time, it will really take at least an hour for a flawless tan. That may sound too long, but your smooth, glossy, safe tan will be worth it! Think of it as a spa treatment.  The best time to apply your self tanner is a few hours before you go to bed. This is because self tanners do not contain an adequate amount of sunscreen for the day.  

Prep Your Skin:
  Wash and exfoliate your face and body thoroughly before applying the product. This will wash away any dead skin which otherwise would make the tan uneven and blotchy. Concentrate on areas that are prone to excessive dryness like your elbows and knees. It is also helpful to moisturize the rest of your body, apply more moisturizer on more porous areas such as your elbows, knees and ankles bones before application as well. Be sure to use a moisturizer that is fragrance free because the fragrance can sometimes affect the self tanner. Also, make sure your legs are shaved or waxed a day or two prior to applying your self tanner. The more often you shave or wax after that, the quicker your tan will fade. If you shave your legs, don’t shave immediately before applying a sunless tanner. This can cause irritation.


Let’s Get Started:
After your skin is toughly dried, exfoliated, and moisturized, it is time to apply your self tanner. Now, take your time and apply self tanner in one area at a time, working quickly but thoroughly. Gently rub in the self tanner by using a circular motion rather than an up and down motion. This will help prevent streaking. The recommended way is to start at your legs, moving to your arms, then your torso, and finally your face. However be very careful around your hairline and eyebrows to avoid getting tanner on them. Hair shouldn’t tan.


Drying Time: You should not put on street clothes, exercise, clean the house, swim, bathe, or do anything that will make you sweat for one hour. You will want to avoid contact with everything for at least 15 min. If possible, however, we recommend waiting thirty min. before putting on a loose t-shirt or night gown. Stay away from any tight clothing like bras or jeans for at least an hour but the longer you can wait the better. Our recommendation is to apply your tanner, let it dry for an hour, put on a loose night gown, and go to bed. The next morning you will wake up with a beautiful tan!


Reapply: Reapply self-tanner as you feel the need. Generally it will start fading in about three to four days as the surface layers of skin shed.


     Helpful Hints:

    • Apply moisturizer to the areas that are extra porous, such as elbows and knees, to avoid to dark of areas.
    • Less is more, it is better to reapply than to look too dark.
    • If you have any patches, go back with the exfoliater and soften them down.
    • Gloves are the best way to apply a self tanner without getting your palms way to dark.
    • Be aware that different parts of your body “pick up” self-tanner easier than others. For example, some people find that their legs turn brown more easily than their arms or torso, while others find that their faces and necks change color fastest. Experience will help you determine which is true for you. Be careful around your nose, eyes, ears, hairline, and lips. A cotton swab, makeup sponge, or synthetic makeup brush can help blend a thin, even amount smoothly over those areas. To keep light hair from turning color, apply a layer of conditioner or Vaseline over the hairline.
    • Using a makeup sponge to apply self tanner to your face and the tops of hands gives you more control in small areas.
    • Applying self-tanner on your back requires a friend with a helping hand, although you can use a long-handled paintbrush (note that this poses some issues of potential dripping and uneven application if you are not able to blend the product in).
    • Ideally you should apply a self tanner naked. However, if you have to were something make sure it is tight fitting and does not rub (like panties and a bra), and something that you don’t mind getting stained. Whatever you wear should fit tightly enough that you can put the sunless tanner right up to the edge of it without it seeping underneath.
    • 20 volume peroxide developer. Commonly used for hair bleaching, this product (available at beauty supply stores) is your spot "eraser." Dip a Q-Tip in this liquid and apply to areas where you want to remove the tan — commonly, that might be a streak on the inside of your arm or on your heel. (Make sure you rinse well afterward!) Do NOT use this to remove your entire tan or on a large section of your body.


Look 10 Pounds Thinner Instantly

With the holidays just around the corner we all want to look our best. Would you like to look ten pounds thinner instantly? I know I did, so I did some research and found the best tips around for dressing thinner. So here we go…
1. Jeans and Denim
~ Light colors make you look bigger, same for tapered legs.
~ Stick with a super-dark wash; it will increase the slimming effect.
~ A slightly flared boot-cut balances out wider hips.
~ Jeans of one tone will slim down the leg.
2. Problem: Legs
~ If you your problem area is your thighs wear an A-Lined dress to balnce out your body.
~ If you have wide ankles don’t wear a strap that cuts across your foot, and avoid tiny kitten heels. Wear an open-toed shoe that allows you to see the length of the leg. Wearing a chunky heel will also make the ankle look thinner.
~ If you have chunky legs, never wear a boot that ends at the thickest part of your calf. Always make sure that the boot goes over the calf and even looks a little bit big at the top. Your calf will look thinner.
~When choosing tennis shoes, keep in mind that a regular tennis shoe makes the ankle and calf look chunky. A backless shoe makes the ankle appear thinner because you have the opportunity to see the skin go all the way down.
3. Problem: Tummy
~ Spilling out over your too-tight, cute little pair of panties is a big no-no. You need a waistband on your panties that reaches up to your rib cage where there is less flab. Lots of elastic reinforcement will hold you in beautifully.
~ Large patterns on your jacket will make you look inches wider than you really are.
~Big bright patterns can hide love handles and thick arms.
4. Problem: Top Heavy
~Underwires are essential. They help push the boobs forward as well as upward. It’s enough to make you look like you’ve actually got a waist—and maybe even lost a few pounds!
~ A V-neck sweater with a tailored jacket over the top will balance out your body and creates the illusion of a waist.
5. Problem: Wide Neck
~Don’t wear stud earrings because they do nothing to bulk out the jaw line. If you have a wide neck, wear wide, dangly earrings.
 6. General Rules
~Stay away from sweatpants, sweatshirts and elastic waists, they always add pounds.
~Wearing all one color will accentuate and slim you, but be sure to break up a monotone outfit by using an accent that uses that color and introduces a few others.
~The narrowest part of a woman’s body is just under the chest. Always make sure you accentuate that by wearing fitted fabrics around it.
~A long scarf skims down your center and takes off more weight.

How to Add Volume to Flat Hair

Is your hair lacking in the volume department? Here are some tips and some secret techniques that help pump up the volume!


Add Some Color: Adding highlights or lowlights gives your hair dimension. Hair that is all the same color appears flatter.  When adding dimension to the hair, you are creating an illusion of thicker hair with more lift. Multi-tonal hair works like an optical illusion on the eyes, they perceive movement, even where it dose not exist.


Layer it Up:
Hair styles that have short layers will add volume to the hair, especially those that have shorter layers in the crown. The shorter the layers go the more lift you will have, but keep in mind if you go really short it will create a punkish pixie look. Also keep in mind that the layers should go with the hairstyle. Some styles do not work well with short layers, so you may have to opt for longer ones or a different style. 



Tease it Up:
Don’t get scared we do not mean 80’s style teasing! If you have an area that just needs a little more volume, take that section and tease the under side of the hair strand, then spray with hair spray, let the hair spray dry for a minute, and then smooth out the top side of the hair strand. This technique will add a little more volume to those trouble areas.


Use Do Dads: Do Dads, are simple hair combs with hair extensions attached. You choose the color to match your own or a contrasting color for an edgier look. To get the lift, you fasten it on just as you would a traditional hair comb by combing it in against the grain of your hair.

Use a Volumizer: Volumizers are designed to add lift and body to the hair. They are available in gels, mousses, and spray versions. These products are applied to the roots of towel dried-hair, lifting hair with your fingers as you apply.  Our favorite is the spray mousses. These products make it easier to apply because you simply spray it on. This comes in handy in those hard to see spots in the back of your head. 

Use a Curling Iron:
If used properly, a curling iron will give a great lift. This is because of the intense heat generated. The correct way to use a curling iron is to start at the crown of the head, take hold of one-inch sections of hair and lift vertically, wrapping hair around the iron, as close to your scalp as you can. Then spray with a firm hairspray, for a firm but still flexible hold.


Hot/Cold Blow-Dry: Blow-drying will give you a good lift if used with a medium to large round brush. The trick is to place the brush as close to your scalp as you can, then pull your hair straight up from the base of your head, following the brush with a blow dryer on high heat, and then follow with a blast of cool air which "sets" the style.


Use Velcro Rollers: A few strategically placed Velcro rollers will give your hair terrific volume. After hair is washed and blow-dried, curve one-inch sections of the hair you want lifted around the roller (small rollers for a slight lift and large for a higher lift). Three or four rollers should do the trick. Leave rollers in for about five minutes, remove and arrange newly lifted hair with your fingers. It’s recommended you don’t brush at this point, as brushing could "deflate" the set.

Eight Save the Day Wedding Fixes

We have all been there, you have this utterly horrendous day, where either, your heels breaks, your bra strap breaks, or something else awful and annoying happens. Well don’t worry girls!!! I have some quick fixes so that you may avoid a wedding fiasco. So take a deep breath, get a pen and some paper, cause your going to want to take notes on this one!  





1. Make-Up Stains



Make-up stains are the absolute worst! You can go from looking super chic to super sloby in about two seconds flat. You can refrain from this embarrassment by keeping baby wipes in your purse. If you are a mom like me these are very convenient! Baby wipes can be used to remove or reduce makeup stains on clothing. Plus they are handy for removing lint from clothing and dirt from shoes. They are the all in one product!






2. Run in your Hose



We have all been there, we look down and are hose is unraveling before our eyes and if we don’t stop it soon, we’ll have nothing left! I am exaggerating of course, but this is the feeling we get when we look down and see a run starting. Well, this is a super easy fix! Use clear nail polish to stop a run in its tracks. Hair spray is another good short-term solution.






3. Broken Bra Strap



Grrr… this is the most annoying of all! But luckily this is the easiest fix of them all. All you have to do is use a small safety pin to fix the broken strap, and ta-da, your bra is fixed!






4. Broken Heel



Picture this you are walking along and all of a sudden you loose your balance and almost fall flat on your face. You think what just happened? Then you look down and see that the heel of your band new Jimmy Choo’s just broke off. Do you cry? No, well maybe a little, but then you pick yourself up and super glue that baby back on! Super glue also works great if the sole of your shoe comes loose as well.






5. Loose Button or Fraying Button Threads



A loose button can quickly turn into a missing button. Here is another instance when we can use our handy dandy clear nail polish! Okay, that was probably too much enthusiasm, but hey the stuff works for everything! All you got to do is dab the top of the button with a little clear nail polish and this will prevent it from completely falling off.





6. Static Cling



Static can always pose a problem. One minute your skirt is exactly where it should be and the next it is cling to the top of your Buttocks! To prevent this embarrassing mess, you can do one of two things. First you can slide a metal hanger over your panty hose, under your skirt, pants, or blouse. The second choice, which I personally prefer is to use a fabric softener sheet.






7. Fallen hems
For a make-do hem in a hurry, use short pieces of masking tape or duct tape to fix a fallen hem. Lighting professionals and musicians usually use duct tape or gaffer’s tape for their equipment, so locating some at an event shouldn’t be tough to do. On a side note, toupee tape can also come in handy for this problem ‑- but good luck finding someone who will admit to having it on them.






8. Stuck zipper
Stuck zippers can be a real nuisance. Try rubbing a bar of soap or a wax candle onto the problem area. With a little manipulation, the zipper should come unstuck.