After bringing a newborn baby into the world, even those of us who are moms for the second, third (or more) time can have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If birth announcement cards told the whole honest story, underneath the cute baby photo the card would read, “With love, joy and tear-soaked exhaustion.”
The fog characterizing those early newborn weeks is difficult to peer through–days and nights blend, days of the week matter little, and weekends have no real significance. So it’s helpful for new moms and those that care for them to remember ways to shine some light through that fog.
Say YES to Help
If a neighbor, friend or family member offers to cook you a meal, do some grocery shopping, clean, babysit, etc., say yes! A lot of the time people want to help but aren’t sure how. So suggest something small to start off, like an hour holding the baby so you can get to something else, like a nap.
ASK for Help
Follow up on those offers of help and be specific. If you know how a friend spends her time, tailor your request for help to something they can offer. For example, don’t ask your friend with a nine-to-five job to help clean or babysit, but instead to stop at the store for you. Similarly, a stay-at-home mom friend whose kids are in school might love to come hold the baby so you can get out of the house.
Exercise…for your Mind
We aren’t talking about P90X or Insanity or any other fad fitness program. Fresh air and blood circulation is as good for your head as it is for your body. If it’s wintertime, invest in something even as simple as a yoga mat to inspire you to stretch your muscles. A treadmill is great if you have the budget, but anything overly ambitious like a gym membership probably isn’t realistic. C-section moms may have to wait a little longer, but the more you can get up, around and out the better you will feel.
Finally, get some pictures of your precious new baby, upload them to print and order, and try one on a beautiful birth announcement card. Seeing the face of that precious little being on paper will help you get some perspective. You’ll be able to take a step back, admire your baby as a beautiful being, and see it all from the outside in…for a moment before he begins crying anyway.
Order Beautiful, Custom Photo Birth Announcements
To order custom, photo birth announcements, shop the beautiful collection available online at www.looklovesend.com. Have fun with the site’s easy customization tools; simply upload your favorite photo, write your text, and choose between high gloss photo paper or smooth matte for a high quality look. Orders ship the next business day and domestic ground shipping is free if you order 5o cards or more!
The Slumber Party is a perennial favorite party idea for kids of a certain age. Slumber party invitations commonly appear somewhere in the vicinity of age 7 and up. Be ready, because sending your child to a sleepover for the first time is really a rite of passage. If your child has received a slumber party invitation, prepare yourself ahead of time to avoid stumbling over these common sleepover party challenges.
Your Child Is Invited
The host child or family is unfamiliar
If you are simply not comfortable sending your child to an unfamiliar home, be prepared with a matter-of-fact explanation that your child may attend but you will pick him or her up when sleepover guests get ready for bed. You can easily and diplomatically arrange this ahead of the time with the host parent. Offer the same reason to both your child and the parent: that because it’s your child’s first time at their house, neither you nor the other parent wants to be awakened at midnight–or later–for a drive home! Then suggest a separate play date so you both become more familiar with the other family for the next sleepover invitation.
Your child is a sleepwalker
If you have a sleepwalker, let the host parent know ahead of time. Tell them how you handle your child during such episodes. They’ll be less likely to worry, and they’ll feel better prepared to handle the situation appropriately if it arises.
Your child feels a little nervous
Most children form deep attachments to certain “security” items during infancy, such as a blanket, a stuffed animal, or other kind of “lovey.” Often their need for these things does not diminish during childhood. Encourage them to bring them to the sleepover party, and reassure them that others will likely do the same. I stash my daughter’s blanket and favorite stuffed animal right into her pillowcase every time; they don’t even get noticed (or left behind)!
Your Child Wants to Host
If your child wants to plan a sleepover party with her or his friends, stay tuned for an upcoming post about hosting challenges like homesickness and musical beds to help you plan accordingly. In the meantime, shop for original, quality party invitations online at www.looklovesend.com. Fast turnaround (orders ship next business day) means even last minute plans can come together with great-looking invitations!
How many romantics out there are going to see The Vow when it opens on February 10th just in time for Valentine’s day? The movie trailer features a pop-up wedding in a Chicago museum, showing the bride and groom exchanging impromptu vows in front of friends before being chased out by security guards. Made me wonder about the popularity (or not) of pop-up weddings, so I decided to investigate this new trend.
Not surprisingly, the first pop-up wedding chapel is in Las Vegas. On December 28th 2011, the Cosmopolitan hotel opened its pop-up wedding chapel – just in time for the inevitable New Year’s and Valentine’s Day rush. And the chapel’s tagline: “No matter what your current relationship status is, here you can go from single to married to single again in less than 24 hours.”
Photo courtesy The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
So here’s the scoop. The chapel is open from noon until 10pm from Sunday thru Wednesday and noon until midnight on Thursday thru Saturday. Several package options are available and the chapel has already seen it all, from real to gag weddings, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows and even pet unions.
The most basic ‘Hitched in a Hurry’ package costs just $80 for a 20-minute wedding complete with two cans (yes, cans) of Sofia Coppola Champagne, two huge eraser rings from a gumball machine, and a single photo booth token. The photo booth is complete with a ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign backdrop and features easy download-and-post functionality to immediately
broadcast your nuptials on Facebook and Twitter. The chapel is located in an open space at street level with plenty of public seating, thus increasing the likelihood of gathering crowds and buzz for this quickie wedding spectacle. Most wedding packages are non-binding, but for an additional $90 you can opt for the ‘Legally Binding’ add-on and provide a marriage license to make it official. And of course, the chapel will happily provide other extras for a fee, such as bouquets, serenades or a custom playlist played from your iPod.
So what do you think about the pop-up wedding idea? It goes against the grain of everything that weddings are traditionally about – from trying on dozens on gowns, to assembling wedding invitations, arranging seating charts and finding that perfect wedding favor. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But that may soon be a thing of the past if this trend of the pop-up wedding catches on and comes to a city near you.
Congratulations if you’re getting married in spring 2012! If you have yet to purchase wedding invitations for your spring event, consider the fresh and fantastic selection available at LookLoveSend.com. It’s generally recommended to mail invitations 8 weeks before the wedding, but our excellent fast service (orders ship the next business day) ensures you still have plenty of time if you order with us!
So what is so special about spring weddings? The first thing that usually comes to mind is the flowers. Spring flowers such as tulips, daisies, roses, peonies and among the prettiest and most colorful of all blooms – but blooming branches such as cherry blossoms, quince, or dogwood are all modern options that symbolize spring.
And if you want to feature a specific spring flower in your wedding celebration, why not start with the wedding invitation? ‘Peonies’ by designer Yana Beylinson offers a classic and elegant glimpse of this special May flower.
Peonies by Yana Beylinson
Color also plays a big role in spring weddings, but to liven up the traditional pastels choose brighter shades such as bold orange, lime green and magenta. And if you decide on a single color for your wedding theme, use a slightly different shade of the color on each reception table – this will add variety but avoid an overly matchy-matchy look.
‘Blooming Dahlia’ by designer Diane Kappa combines the beauty of flowers and vibrant color in its spring-like design.
Blooming Dahlia by Diane Kappa
All LookLoveSend stationery designs include multiple elements including the invitation, response card, place card, menus and directions, all printed on superior quality paper stock. Enter our free January sweepstakes for a chance to win up to $500 off your wedding stationery with us!
What part of the wedding program of events brings the most worry and nerves? For a majority of married couples the answer is ‘the first dance’. Along with the receiving line and cake cutting ceremony, the first dance is a staple at most wedding receptions. Guests love to surround the dance floor watching the newlyweds, but the idea being the center of attention while doing something you are reluctant to do can be nerve-wracking for many – regardless of the happy occasion at-hand.
So what are the options for non-dancers to better get through their first dance?
- Eliminate the traditional first dance altogether. As couples are increasingly putting their own spin on their wedding day, there’s nothing to say that you have to have that spotlight dance.
- Find that absolutely perfect song – one that you both love so much that you can just focus on the melody and lyrics to better enjoy those 3-4 minutes on the dance floor. Checkout http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-songs to lookup fantastically categorized music in easy-to-find lists with links to hear the song, listed lyrics and comments to easily find the best liked songs and opinions.
- Take dance classes. Most ballrooms offer both group and private lessons. You should expect to pay $25-$80 per hour for a private lesson and $12 to $30 each for a group class, cost varying due to experience, availability and location. Taking several lessons in the few months before the wedding could greatly reduce those dance floor jitters.
But for all the shy newlyweds who prefer to simply sway their way through their first dance, there’s always that one extrovert who wants to make a splash. Take Brian’s recent surprise Justin Bieber wedding dance for his bride Emily – watching his YouTube clip is an amusing way to spend 4 minutes – as 4.6 million people would agree!
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Presentation can turn a ho-hum gift into eye candy. Next time you receive a birthday party invitation, consider these fun ways to present your gift and ensure it’s the first that the guest of honor reaches to unwrap.
- Wrap in paper that isn’t conventional wrapping paper – Sunday comics, maps, or wallpaper are original options. Alternately, print your own wrapping paper on a printer – you can either include a personalized birthday message or use a child’s scanned artwork or photos for the ultimate in customized giftwrap.
- For long or unusually shaped objects, wrap in a cylindrical shape and tie both ends with bright ribbon or streamers.
- Use double-sided tape to attach the head of a fresh flower and silk ribbon to beautifully craft a woman’s gift.
- Create gift tags by cutting up old cards, punching a single hole and tying with ribbon.
- For a young girl’s gift, wrap the gift in tissue paper and secure the ends with a pretty ponytail holder or hair ribbons that can be used afterwards.
- Buy decorative cardboard boxes for those hard-to-wrap items – these boxes are inexpensive, attractive, and practical for future use.
- Wrap a bottle of wine in an attractive dish towel and affix with ribbon or string.
If you’re someone who keeps a drawer filled and ready-to-go with wrapping paper and tape, consider adding fun and unusual decorative items as you find them. Sure, going the bag-and-tissue-paper route is quick and easy – but it’s unlikely to let your gift shine as it sits on the gift table among all others. And if you’re hosting instead of attending a birthday party soon, shop the fun and fresh selection of birthday party invitations at LookLoveSend.com. All cards are printed on premium quality paper with our 100% satisfaction guarantee to you!
Will your ceremony program list more bridesmaids than groomsmen? Does your wedding party consist of college buddies on the groom’s side and multi-aged sisters and cousins on the bride’s? No need to worry, the days of cookie-cutter weddings are over and it’s both acceptable and easily manageable to have an uneven wedding party. Read on for some basic rules for tackling photos, ceremony logistics and the optional wedding party dance with an unsymmetrical group.
A good wedding photographer will be able to easily handle the uneven wedding party. Rather than the traditional pose of bridesmaids on one side and groomsmen on another, try “stacking” people and alternating males and females. Having more freedom to mix-up the photo composition will also allow the photographer to better arrange the wedding party by height, dress color, or other distinguishing characteristic.
Processional and Recessional
Again, there’s no rule that each bridesmaid must be accompanied down the aisle by one groomsman. It’s always an option to have the groomsmen standing at the front of the ceremony site along with the groom and best man. Alternately, have a bridesmaid escorted one groomsman on either side, or vice versa. Nobody will notice the difference.
At the Reception
If you are announcing your wedding party at the reception site, introduce them as individuals rather than pairs. And if you want to have a traditional wedding party dance but don’t have even bridesmaid/groomsmen match-ups, consider having each person partner with whoever accompanied them to the wedding.
After picking your dearest and nearest for your wedding party, don’t struggle to come up with an extra person if your numbers don’t align. Instead, embrace your uneven but specially chosen group. For spectacular ceremony programs and other wedding stationery, checkout the easily customizable selection at LookLoveSend.com. Enter our free January sweepstakes for a chance to win up to $500 off your wedding stationery.
Wedding Culture Around the World
Wedding invitations promise a celebration of very different wedding traditions from country to country, but they all share one recurring theme: helping the bride and groom start a happy life together. These marriage celebrations often incorporate symbols of love, harmony, purity, wealth, and good luck.
In China, for example, wedding gowns are bright red and are often adorned with golden phoenixes, chrysanthemums, and peonies, all of which are auspicious signs for the couple. In Japan, however, purple is the color of love and brides often choose to wear elaborately decorated silk kimonos.
Wedding celebrations are multi-day elaborate affairs in many countries. In the Middle East, each marriage consists of five celebrations, each with a different purpose, while in Africa, the families of the couple come together for several days of song, dance, and festive colors. In India, weddings may last as long as six days, and the bride and groom are not considered officially married until they have made seven encirclements around the presence of the Sacred Fire.
In the United States, wedding traditions come from a variety of different sources. The wedding cake originated in Italy where a cake or loaf of bread was traditionally broken over the bride’s head for fertility. The best man tradition comes from Germany where it was often necessary to kidnap one’s bride from a neighboring town and a best man (or several) was needed to keep her family members from stealing her back. One modern tradition that is purely American, however, is that of couples writing their own wedding vows.
No matter the culture, weddings are a time to come together and celebrate!
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Are you recently engaged and trying to pick your 2012 or 2013 wedding date? If you’re planning to send Save the Date cards, nailing down the date, time and location is one of the most important first steps of engagement (after buying 10lbs of wedding magazines to start admiring dresses, of course!) Ultimately, if you have your heart set on a particular month and/or reception venue, your choice of dates may be instantly limited or set. But if you don’t have an immediate first choice, here are some tips for selecting your all-important wedding date.
Wedding dates to avoid:
- Days surrounding significant U.S. holidays such as Thanksgiving, Memorial or Labor day. Many guests will have annual traditions or pre-existing plans for those days. Consult The Knot for a full list of 2012-2103 holiday dates to consider avoiding.
- Superbowl Sunday or the week of the World Series (particularly if you know you have die-hard fans on the guest list) – you want to make sure your wedding is top priority and guests aren’t sneaking to a nearby TV screen or overly preoccupied with their smartphones.
- If many of your guests are Christian, you’ll want to avoid Holy Week (from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday) or dates just before Christmas.
- If many of your guests are Jewish, avoid Friday evening weddings and Saturday weddings before sundown.
- If the parents of either the bride or groom are divorced, don’t get married on their wedding date – best to avoid this potentially uncomfortable scenario!
- Consider the schedule of those wedding party members or very special guests who you absolutely HAVE to have at your wedding. Adjust your date upfront so they can attend (but once you have set your date, don’t budge!)
Budget may also affect your choice. Saturday evenings are prime time (therefore prime money) and the most popular months of June, August and September will also generally cost more. Or perhaps you want to pick a date based on a meaningful date or event – a St Patrick’s day event to celebrate the union of two families with proud Irish ancestry, or the anniversary of your first date or proposal. If you pick a date with personal significance, be sure to include that in your ceremony programs – your guests will love to read about this while waiting for the ceremony to begin!
And finally, just a heads up…the following quirky dates are unique and easy to remember…but their calendar days are probably less than ideal.
10/11/12 = a Thursday
12/12/12 = a Wednesday
11/12/13 = a Tuesday
When you’ve picked your special date, shop the fresh collection of Save the Date cards available at LookLoveSend.com. Enter our January sweepstakes for a chance to win up to $500 of fantastic customizable wedding stationery!
After the birthday party invitations for your child have been sent, planning goes into overdrive to figure out the decorations, entertainment, menu and goodie bags. And then there’s the cake…do you buy or bake? As a mom who’s taken her kids to endless birthday parties, I can say I’ve seen approximately 75% buy versus 25% bake; and of the bake cakes I can only really remember one – a cool train design with tons of candy and Twizzler train tracks!
So while I’m in the buy camp myself, I can certainly see the merit of baking to be able to best control cake ingredients, particularly if the birthday child or a guest has all-too-common food allergies. A homemade cake also allows most personalization of course (although any bakery can decorate with simple white frosting which allows you to finish the decorations at home!)
While a store-bought cake does eliminate the stress and mess of baking for the non-baker, I do concede that generic sheet cake is not always the most exciting party choice. Here are some popular alternatives to the traditional birthday cake.
Ice cream sundaes: always a popular choice that is so easy to setup. Provide several ice cream flavors, scoops, bowls, spoons and LOTS of toppings….whipped cream, fudge, strawberries, candies, sprinkles…the more the better.
Chocolate fondue: doesn’t require the expense of a traditional fondue pot but can be made in a regular bowl kept over low heat. Use a simple recipe and bamboo skewers for dipping favorite fruits, pound cake cubes, pretzel rods and marshmallows. Fun decadence for all ages!
Decorate your own: kids love to eat what they make – instead of ice cream sundaes allow them to decorate their own pre-bought cupcakes or sugar cookies. Again, the more topping options the more you’ll delight your child’s guests.
Whatever special treat you offer at your child’s birthday party, be sure there are candles to blow out while friends sing. And to simplify your birthday stationery needs – from birthday party invitations to thank you cards - shop the fresh collection at LookLoveSend.com.