Monday, December 29, 2008

Congratulations Are In Order

To A New Life Together,

I know there are some very happy couples going into the New Year, why because you received that beautiful diamond, sappire, ruby, topaz or whatever your favorite setting is for your engagement ring.

I know with all the celebrating and of lets not forget New Years' Eve you are anxious to start working on your plans for your Wedding Day. If you didn't get engaged on Christmas or New Years', don't worry we still have Valentine's Day ( I have a lot of suggestions for that day so don't even worry). lol....

Here are a few suggestions you would like to start with first:

The biggest part of starting the preparations for your wedding:::

REMEMBER THIS WILL BE A STRESSFUL EVENT: (If you know you do not like to be stressed, HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER) put that on the top of your list.....


Sit down with all parties that are contributing to help pay for your wedding.

8 TO 12 Months Before the Wedding:

Select a wedding date and time.
Decide the type of wedding you would like to have (size, formality, and setting).
Begin your guest list.
Consider possible color schemes.Explore pre-marital counseling.
Select your professional: photographer, caterer, consultant, music, etc.
Shop together for your wedding rings.
Decide upon your budget.
Determine who will pay what expenses.
Book your wedding location(s).
Choose your attendants.
Select dress and headpiece, and set a date for fittings and delivery.
Select your bridesmaids' dresses and accessories.
Give thought to your honeymoon location.

5 to 8 Months :

Check the requirements for marriage license.
Select and discuss your color schemes with the florist and/or balloonist of choice.
Again consider pre-marital counseling.
Reserve your wedding day rental equipment (tables, chairs, china, silverware, gazebo, etc.).
Decide upon a gift registry and select your gift choices.
Begin your record of gifts received.
Send thank you notes as soon as possible.
Order your invitations and related stationary needs.
Start shopping for the mens’ wedding attire.

3 to 5 Months:

Finalize your guest list.
Decide upon and order your favors.
Select your baker, then choose your cake, groom’s cake, and mints.
Help both mothers coordinate and find their wedding day clothing.
Review your written agreements forms with all of your professionals (photographer, caterer, D.J., site coordinator, transportation, etc.).

2 to 3 Months :

Have engagement portraits taken.
Place your engagement announcement in the newspaper.
Mail out invitations and announcements.
Decide on the mens’ wedding attire.
Arrange and plan your rehearsal dinner.
Purchase your wedding day accessories.
Arrange attendants' parties.
Book a beverage caterer for the reception and make selections.
Prepare accommodations for out-of-town attendants and guests.
Consider a hairdresser and/or makeup artist and book appointments.
Finalize all honeymoon plans.

2 to 4 Weeks:

Final wedding dress fitting.
Final fitting for your wedding attendants.
Obtain marriage license.
Have your attendants' parties.
Purchase your going-away outfit.
Draw a map to direct your guests to the site(s), if necessary.
Create a calendar of events for the wedding day.
Make sure your accessories are in order (rings, pillow, garter, etc.)

1 to 2 Weeks :

Finalize arrangements with the entertainer(s) and provide a list of music you would like played during special events such as first dance, garter removal and bouquet toss.
Pick up your wedding rings and make sure that the engravings are correct and they fit properly. Contact the guests who have not responded to your invitations. 1 to 7 Days
Make sure your marriage license is in order.
Prepare seating arrangements, if necessary.
Purchase travelers checks, confirm honeymoon reservations.
Pack your baggage for your honeymoon.
Have your wedding ceremony rehearsal.
Instruct your wedding party on what you would like them to do on the day of the wedding.
Have your rehearsal dinner.
Make sure all wedding attire fits properly.
Give the best man the amount the professionals are to be paid on the day of the wedding. Inform your caterer of the total guest count.
Confirm out-of-town guests have transportation and sleeping accommodations.
Check with your florist and/or balloonist to make sure they will arrive when scheduled.

Your Wedding Day:

Relax, enjoy yourself, and remain calm! Allow at least two hours for dressing.
Allow plenty of time to apply your makeup and style your hair.
If professionals are doing your hair and/or makeup, ask them in advance how much time they will need.If photographs are to be taken before the ceremony, allow at least one and one-half hours.
Remember to bring the rings and marriage license.
Seat guests as they arrive. The groom’s parents should be seated about 5 minutes before start time, the mother of the bride is normally seated last.
Take a deep breath, don't worry, and SMILE!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The 7 Steps to Happily Ever After

The 7 Steps to Happily Ever After

Step 1: Find a shared dream for your life together.

It's easy to get caught up in the small stuff of married life: What's for dinner tonight? Whose turn is it to clean the litter box? Did you pay the electric bill? But the best partners never lose sight of the fact that they're working together to achieve the same big dreams. "Successful couples quickly develop a mindfulness of 'us,' of being coupled," says REDBOOK Love Network expert Jane Greer, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist in New York City. "They have a shared vision, saying things like, 'We want to plan to buy a house, we want to take a vacation to such-and-such a place, we like to do X, we think we want to start a family at Y time.'"

Step 2: Ignite (and reignite) a sexual connection.

In any good relationship, sex is way more than just a physical act. It's crucial for the health of your emotional connection, too: It's something only the two of you share; it makes you both feel warm and loved; it draws you back together when you're drifting apart. And did I mention that it's a whole lot of fun?

Striking up those sparks when you first meet is easy. Nurturing a strong, steady flame? That's the hard part. When you've got a mortgage, a potbelly, and a decade or two of togetherness under your belts, it can be hard to muster up the fire you felt when you first got together. That's when it's even more important to protect your sex life and make it a priority. "You have to keep working to create allure and seduction for each other or your sex life will become lackluster," Greer points out. "Who wants the same turkey sandwich over and over? You want it on whole wheat! On toast! As turkey salad! On a roll!" (And now I will imagine my husband covered with Russian dressing. Thanks, Dr. Greer.)

As the years go by, you'll keep revisiting and realigning and reimagining the passion you have for each other. And if you keep at it, you'll have a sex life that transcends your marriage's lack of newness, the stresses of family and work, the physical changes that come with aging. Now that's something worth holding on to.

Step 3: Choose each other as your first family.

For years, you were primarily a member of one family: the one in which you grew up. Then you got married, and suddenly you became the foundation of a new family, one in which husband and wife are the A-team. It can be tough to shift your identity like this, but it's also an important part of building your self-image as a duo (and maybe, eventually, as three or four or...).

Step 4: Learn how to fight right.

"Fighting is the big problem every couple has to deal with," says Daniel B. Wile, Ph.D., a psychologist and couples therapist in Oakland, CA, and author of After the Fight. That's because fights will always come up, so every couple needs to learn how to fight without tearing each other apart.

Fighting right doesn't just mean not throwing produce; it means staying focused on the issue at hand and respecting each other's perspective. Couples that fight right also find ways to defuse the tension, says Wile — often with humor. "Whenever one of us wants the other to listen up, we mime hitting the TV remote, a thumb pressing down on an invisible mute button," says Nancy, 52, an event producer in San Francisco. "It cracks us up, in part because it must look insane to others." Even if you fight a lot, when you can find a way to turn fights toward the positive — with a smile, a quick apology, an expression of appreciation for the other person — the storm blows away fast, and that's what matters.

Step 5: Find a balance between time for two and time for you.

Jonathan and I both work at home. This frequently leads to murderous impulses. Though I'm typing away in the bedroom and he's talking to his consulting clients in our small home office, most days it really feels like too much intimacy for me.

But that's my bias. When it comes to togetherness, every couple has its own unique sweet spot. "There are couples that are never apart and there are couples that see each other only on weekends," Greer says. With the right balance, neither partner feels slighted or smothered. You have enough non-shared experiences to fire you up and help you maintain a sense of yourself outside the relationship — not to mention give you something to talk about at the dinner table. But you also have enough time together to feel your connection as a strong tie rather than as a loose thread.

Your togetherness needs will also change over time, so you'll have to shift your balance accordingly. "My husband and I spend a lot of time together, but it's almost all family time," says Katie, 40, a mom of two in San Leandro, CA. "We realized a few months ago that we hadn't had a conversation that didn't involve the kids or our to-do lists in ages, so we committed to a weekly date. We were so happy just to go to the movies and hold hands, something we hadn't done in ages. It felt like we were dating again!"

Step 6: Build a best friendship.

Think about the things that make your closest friendships irreplaceable: the trust that comes with true intimacy, the willingness to be vulnerable, the confidence that the friendship can withstand some conflict. Don't those sound like good things to have in your marriage, too?

"Happy couples are each other's haven," says Holland. "They can count on the other person to listen and try to meet their needs." Greer adds, "When you're true friends, you acknowledge and respect what the other person is; you don't try to control or change them. This creates a sense of safety and security when you're together — you know you're valued for who you are and you see the value in your partner."

Then there's the way, when you've been with someone a while, that you become almost a mind reader. You have a shared history and inside jokes. Your guy knows what you'll find funny, you forward him links to articles you know he'll enjoy, and best of all, you two can make eye contact at a given moment and say volumes without opening your mouths. And is there anything more pleasurable than sharing the newspaper with someone? Sitting in companionable silence, absorbed in your respective reading, sipping coffee, occasionally reading something out loud, but mostly just lazing happily together, communing without needing to speak? Ahh....

Step 7: Face down a major challenge together.

You're sailing along through life, and suddenly you hit a huge bump. A serious illness. Unemployment. The loss of a home. A death in the family. How do you cope?

The truth is, you never know how strong your relationship is until it's tested. All too often, the stress of a crisis can pull a couple apart. But the good news is, when you do make it through in one piece, you might just find yourselves tighter than ever.

"What didn't happen to us?" says Daryl, 28, a preschool teacher in Harrisburg, PA. "My husband lost his job and took a minimum-wage job he was way overqualified for just to make ends meet. He was offered a better job in a mountain town outside San Diego, so we moved. Then during the California wildfires several years ago, our house burned down and we lost everything. We were living in a one-room converted garage with no running water and a newborn. But we found that this chaos somehow brought us even closer together. We took turns losing it. We really kept each other sane."

Hey, marriage is no roll in the hay. It's tough, real work. But the reward, the edifice you build together that will shelter you through years of tough times, is more than worth the effort. The small, friendly cottage you build — decorated with your shared history and stories, filled with color and laughter — will be the warmest and safest retreat you can imagine.

Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Holidays

Greetings Everyone,

In lieu of the holiday season we want to wish everyone Happy Holidays....

no matter what you believe in or how you celebrate your time do it with family and friends and in a postive atmosphere.

For our past readers as you probably notice just like our New President Elect has stated a change has come. Well we have done some changes ourselves we have changed our name to Gala Affairs By AtUrBest. There will also be new changes on our new website.

We want to thank all our readers old and new and no matter what you believe in never let your spirit be pulled down by the negative people. Never let one person dictate how you should live your life.

I want to take this time to also tell you about Networking in these times there are a lot of wonderful, hard working individuals who are experiencing a great deal of lay offs. I would like you to take the time to view ETP Network - Empowering Today's Professional. This is the following link... take a few minutes to view the site.. www.etpnetwork. com

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least,"--Goethe