Archive for March, 2010

Mar 24th, 2010

Types of Baby Showers

Surprise Baby Showers – If you are thinking of hosting a surprise baby shower, you must have the help of those close to the Mommy-to-Be to determine her needs and wants for the baby. The guest list will also need to be planned very carefully, checking it with a close relative or friend to ensure you haven’t left anyone out close to the Mommy-to-Be. Although the surprise baby shower is not traditional, sometimes it is nice for a second baby shower (if the Mommy-to-Be is going to have a second) to throw a surprise baby shower.

Keep in mind that surprise baby showers can be stressful for the Mommy-to-Be as well as the planners, since you need to en sure you invite the right people without asking, and pick an available time when the Mommy-to-Be and family will be around. Usually surprise baby shower is not the first baby shower, but if there are going to be multiple showers then this can be fun! No matter whether the baby shower is a surprise or not, keep in mind that it is for the mom!

A non-surprise baby shower is a safer bet, since it gives you a chance to review the guest list with the Mommy-to-Be and also allows the Mommy-to-Be to register for gifts and let the host know if there is anything particular needed for the baby. Regardless of whether the baby shower is a surprise or not, remember it is for the Mommy-to-Be! Make sure she has a comfy chair to sit in, someone to hand her gifts, her favorite food and plenty of help getting the gifts to her car and into her home. It’s her special day!

Couples Baby Shower – Baby showers have always tended to be for women, with women and about women, but times are changing. Fathers are now taking a more active role in planning for the new baby and might feel left out in the baby shower party celebrations. If you are considering a Couples Baby Shower Invitations the big consideration is to make the men feel welcome and comfortable.

You should limit the cutesy baby shower decorations for the couples baby shower, and the food shouldn’t be all dainty either. You might consider a BBQ, giant sub sandwiches, pizza or a deli style buffet. Since you are all there to have a good time, structure is much less important. You will want to have name tags with the relationship to the parents-to-be if you are mixing people who know each other with those who don’t, and make sure you have a large, special name tag for the Mommy-to-Be.

There are also appropriate gifts for the Daddy-to-Be like a “coach” t-shirt, so don’t forget about him. Baby Shower favors can be given, but give something that would be appreciated by the couple, like candles and food items which are always a good choice. Other ideas are to make cookies with baby themed cookie cutters, then frost them with the baby’s name (if known) or a question mark and the couple’s last name. You could wrap the cookies in cellophane and put them next to a cute baking favor like the baby shower rolling pin recipe cardholder. You could even put a recipe for the cookies behind the card that’s included with the favor! (What man does not love cookies!)

Couples baby shower games should be funny and easy for all guests. You can take the couples first names and determine how many baby names can be derived from the letters. A prize can be given for the funniest name and the most names devised. Always a great game is to fill baby bottles with a favorite beverage and see who can empty the bottle first. Have all of the couple baby shower guests bring their baby pictures, number them and see who can guess the most correctly.

The couples baby shower prizes should be something silly, like Nerf basketball sets or Frisbees. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures and put someone in charge of videotaping so that the pictures and video tapes can be given to the new parents. Couples baby showers can be a great way to combine a baby shower celebration and an evening out with friends. When sending the couples baby shower invitations, be sure and indicate that it is a baby shower for couples.

Baby Showers for the second . . . or More child – Although baby showers have traditionally been for first time parents, it is becoming more common for family, friends or co-workers to have a baby shower for the second child, third child or beyond. It’s wonderful to hold babyshowers for second and third babies, since they deserve special recognition too! Parents will appreciate new clothes for the baby, particularly if they are having a different gender child from their other children.

Baby shower gifts of time are also very welcome! New moms will appreciate your assistance with household chores, a gift of babysitting or some home-cooked meals brought to her house. It’s also a great idea to give something to the parents for themselves, like tickets to a movie, a gift certificate for dinner at a restaurant or items mom can use to pamper herself, like body lotion, candles, pretty soaps or maybe even a good book of short stories. When planning these type baby showers, the safest route to take is to ask the expectant parents what items they have and what they need. When sending the Baby Shower Invitations be sure and indicate that it is a second, third, fourth child baby shower.

Baby Showers for Single Moms – Baby Showers for single moms are perfectly acceptable and always a good idea. Single moms will need extra support, and a baby shower will allow her family friends to show their support. Here, gifts of your time and energy will be ideal and appreciated.

Welcome Home Baby Shower – A welcome home baby shower is an “after the fact” baby shower of the little one being born! This baby shower is not your traditional party or baby shower, but a great way for people who could not attend the baby shower to join in the fun. The biggest drawback to a welcome home baby shower is that the new parents are usually overwhelmed with the new baby and usually want some time alone.

The welcome home baby showers are mostly held a month or two after the baby is born to give the parents time to adjust. The nice thing about welcome home baby showers is that the Mommy-to-Be can tell her host and guests what she still needs for the baby, so it is a great way for her to get all the essentials she still does not have for the new baby. When you send custom welcome home baby shower invitations, be sure to indicate that it is a welcome home baby shower. And don’t forget your matching welcome home baby shower thank you cards with the same theme as your welcome home baby shower cards.

You can view lot of printable Baby Shower Announcements, popular Baby Shower Invitations and printed Baby Shower Cards, add your personal message, along with your favorite fonts, ink color and then Preview your personalized baby card. This process allows you to see your baby card before you buy!

AUTHOR: Sarah Porter

Mar 19th, 2010

Barbados – Paradise on Earth

Mar 19th, 2010

Beautiful Wedding Cakes

Mar 19th, 2010

Barbados’ Top Five Must-Do Activities

Of all the Caribbean islands, Barbados boasts the most repeat visitors. If you’re one of them then you know why: exquisite beauty, friendly people, mind-blowing beaches.

Other activities to help you fall in love with Barbados are these:

1. Swim with the turtles. These gentle giants swim effortlessly through the clear blue sea and aren’t shy about coming up and welcoming visitors to their island. To be guaranteed you’ll find them, take a catamaran day cruise. Companies such as Tiami and Stiletto take you out around 10 a.m. and show you the most beautiful snorkeling spots along the west coast of the island (they’ll have you back at your accommodation by 3). The staff on board the cats are friendly and helpful and feed you a fabulous Bajan lunch, too. But the highlight of the trip is, hands-down, swimming with the giant turtles.

2. Eat out! Dining out is an activity unto itself in Barbados. Try the new seaside restaurant Tapas in Hastings along the south coast or the venerable and romantic Josef’s in St Lawrence Gap. From casual Mexican (Cafe Sol in St Lawrence Gap) to the pricey fine-dining offered by the Cliff (on the west coast), there’s something for everyone (and everyone’s budget).

3. Scuba and snorkel. Roger’s will get you set up with Scuba gear and take you out on their boats to find the best spots. For snorkeling, you can do it when you’re on a catamaran cruise — or just buy a snorkel and mask and head out to a west- or south-coast beach. The water’s as clear as a glass of water and there are plenty of friendly fish and coral to see. (We don’t have sharks in Barbados.)

4. Surf. Check out the local surf shops for lessons; it’s a blast to try at least once in your life. Warning: The east coast of the island is for expert surfers only; the Atlantic Ocean crashes against the shore here — it’s not safe to go into the water along the east coast. There’s plenty of safe, fun surfing along the south and west costs of the island.

5. Drive. Rent a Moke (an open-air jeep) and explore. The island is safe and fun and, if you get lost (and on our winding roads you probably will), locals are happy to provide directions. Drive up to the north of the island — the cliffs along the parish of St Lucy are dramatic — then down the east coast to Bathsheba where you’ll witness the force of nature in the Atlantic Ocean. Stop for a libation at Round House overlooking the dare-devil surfers. Breathe in the fresh sea air and enjoy life in Barbados.

AUTHOR: Jane Shattuck

Mar 19th, 2010

Choose Barbados as Your Destination Wedding

Fancy getting married on a tropical paradise island, with white sandy beaches, warm turquoise blue seas, swaying palm trees in the breeze and lush tropical gardens, creating that picturesque back drop to that very special day?

Then come to Barbados. Barbados has been accommodating weddings now for over 20 years to seasoned holidaymakers and celebrities alike. Tiger Woods and his beautiful Swedish model wife Elin Nordegren were married in Barbados on the 5th Oct 2004.

Popular wedding locations in Barbados are beach weddings, great house weddings, tropical garden weddings, church weddings and weddings at sea i.e. catamarans and private yachts.

Beach weddings

Beach weddings are located on the sandy public beaches of Barbados; popular beaches for weddings in Barbados are on the south west coast and the west coast of the island. A beachfront wedding can be as large or as small as you want it. With the reception being held at the any of the nearby restaurants that back the beach.

Your wedding location can be decorated with a decorated arch and your isle created by placing a bed of petals or isle runners for you to walk down. Also dependant on your budget a marquee could be placed onto to the beach, please bear in mind facilities such as rest rooms may have to be hired in, as some locations do not offer this.

Imaging your wedding taking place on a beach, watched by your close family and friends, or just you in an intimate ceremony with the striking blue seas and a tropical sunset at the backdrop to your wedding pictures.

Weddings will usually take place in the mid afternoon, as the sun is at it coolest.

Great Houses and Plantation Houses

Barbados has some of the most beautiful great houses and plantations houses in all of the Caribbean.

Beautifully maintained properties set amongst acres of lush matured gardens driveways lined with thousands of years old mahogany and or tall palm trees. Such properties are hundreds of years old, and are steeped in history and provide an amazing location for your wedding.

Weddings will usually take place in the gardens. Whiles receptions can take place in one of the dinning rooms but this is for formal seating. Other arrangements can be made for an informal setting.

Church Weddings

An old favourite, the church wedding. Walking up the isle in a beautiful old historic church, with an organ playing and filling the air with harmonious gospel like melodies. Get married in front of god with your friends and family present.

Catamaran and Yacht Weddings

Set sail on your own private catamaran or yacht for your special occasion. Saying I do out in the great blue yonder is ideal for the couple looking to get away from a normal kind of wedding.

This way your partner and you or even a few close friends and family could get away and sail out to sea with your own captain and crew.

You can laze around on deck or take a drive with the sea turtles, but what ever you choose, you know it will be a day to remember.

Barbados is a fantastic location for those of you that are planning on getting married; it is a unique island, which is unlike any other place in the world.

AUTHOR: Gary Wynters

Mar 19th, 2010

Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding in the Caribbean

Are you gearing up to plan your wedding? Although many couples opt for a traditional wedding back home, you may have another thought. You may want a picture perfect fairytale wedding in the Caribbean. If so, you want a destination wedding. Unfortunately, most couples mistakenly believe destination weddings are not only too costly, but too difficult to plan. Luckily, the entire process can be a lot easier and cheaper than you originally thought. How?

The first step is to decide on an area. The Caribbean includes many islands. Two popular choices include Jamaica and the Bahamas. If you are worried about costs, price compare. If you have a little bit of financial freedom, make your dreams come true. Opt for your first choice. Regardless, you will be presented with luxury hotels, tropical weather, and beautiful beaches!

Next, you must decide on a date. When doing so, give yourself time. Although you will have a Caribbean destination wedding, you still likely want a few close friends and family members to attend. Not only do they get to attend your wedding, but they get their own tropical vacation too! Still, it likely wasn’t a vacation they anticipated on taking; give them a reasonable amount of time to save money. Also, you and your guests need passports. Give these time to arrive too.

Once you have an ideal destination and date in mind, you will start to examine wedding venues. Your first look should be at all-inclusive resorts that offer free weddings. Yes, really free weddings! Many resorts provide guests with a free standard wedding, provided they meet a minimum stay requirement. The stay requirement varies depending on resorts, but it is reasonable, such as a 3-day or 5-day stay.

What else should you look for in a Caribbean resort when planning a destination wedding? The ability to have your wedding onsite. Not only that, but a choice of places. A large resort may give you the option to use their wedding chapel, a banquet room, garden, or their beach. You also want the ability to upgrade your free wedding package. Right away, Caribbean resorts claim you get a “standard wedding.” Look at the inclusions and you will be surprised, because it is actually a lot. Still, have the ability to include a tux rental, in-room hair and make-up, professional photography, and more.

Have your destination wedding double as a Caribbean honeymoon too. As previously stated, many all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean give you a free wedding with a minimum 3, 5, or 7-night stay. It will not take that long to plan your wedding, so meet the minimum required stay by combining your wedding and honeymoon. Choose a luxury all-inclusive resort, one with great onsite activities, a mixture of restaurants, and upgrade to a suite. You won’t feel as if you are shortchanging yourself. You still get the honeymoon of your dreams!

Contact the resort in question. To prevent scheduling conflicts, you may want to do this before officially booking your travel arrangements. Let them know you not only want to stay onsite, but have a wedding too. In most cases, you will be put into contact with a wedding planner, even when making use of a Caribbean resort’s free wedding. This wedding planner makes it easier to plan a destination wedding when you are located hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Order destination wedding invitations for your guests. You may also want to include information on area hotels and resorts. As previously stated, your destination wedding guests are unlikely to attend your wedding and leave. Many will use the opportunity to have a tropical vacation. For that reason, it may be a good idea to point them in the direction of other hotels and resorts. Your honeymoon and their Caribbean vacation may overlap. You love your mother, but do you want her sitting next to you at the pool on your honeymoon? Luckily, most free weddings include a couple of guest passes for those staying offsite. Additional passes should be available for sale too.

AUTHOR: Boris Ralston

Mar 15th, 2010

Finding a Good DJ? What to Ask when Interviewing DJ’s!

Putting together a party, especially for large group affairs, can be a hassle. Sometimes, you get flustered and think that you’ll never get everything you need ready in time for the social event. You have catering to deal with, reserving a location, invitations, and most importantly, the DJ. How do you know what DJ to choose?

First of all, you need to know what questions to ask, besides how much the DJ charges. That is only one aspect of determining who to hire. The first and foremost question should be if the DJ is insured and can provide proof of liability. You don’t want to be responsible if something goes wrong with his equipment. Secondly, you should ask if the DJ is going to be using professional equipment. Though this doesn’t mean that he will be talented, it does guarantee that the sound system will be of professional quality and not embarrassing. If using professional equipment, then failure is rare, but the DJ should have back up equipment available at the facility in case of a malfunction.

The next considerations are regarding the music in general. You should be able to discuss the musical selection with the DJ prior to the party, making sure that he or she can provide the song list that you require. Also find out if the DJ is prepared to take requests or not this is something that is greatly appreciated at any event. Also, make sure that the DJ is aware of the type of party you are planning and that he is familiar with the proper procedures and etiquette for this type of party. Most DJ’s also MC the event in question, so you’ll want to be sure that the DJ you hire has experience with whatever type of event you are holding.

Make sure that the DJ is allowing the proper amount of set up time required. In most cases, the DJ should be completely set up with all equipment ready to function and music waiting when the first guest arrives. Typically, this takes at least an hour. Review the proper attire for the event and be certain that the DJ is prepared to dress appropriately. Whether the party requires formal wear, is themed, or is even a costume party, the DJ should blend in.

Be sure to set up a written contract. You don’t want anyone backing out on a “word of mouth” deal. Everything should be documented, including price, services provided, and requested services. Also, note that prices can vary widely from DJ to DJ. Keep in mind that the cost will cover not only the event but all of the planning involved, which can add up to 20 or 30 hours of the DJ’s time.

If you adhere to these questions, chances are that you’ll choose a great DJ who will provide the appropriate entertainment for your event and please your guests. So don’t be overly stressed about the matter; relax and enjoy yourself!

Author: Timothy Rea

Mar 15th, 2010

Wedding Cakes – How to Order the Perfect Wedding Cake

If you have knocked the socks off your guests as they stand and cheer because you will settle for nothing but the very best on the day of your wedding, then you know that you have served a truly spectacular wedding cake.

Don’t be distracted by confetti, crashing cymbals and trumpets because when it comes to your wedding cake you need to attempt something truly remarkable.

Conventionally, wedding cakes are cakes that are dished up to all the guests after the wedding during breakfast. Usually the wedding cake is huge and different from the ordinary cakes that are had at other occasions. Usually, the wedding cake will be multi layered and will have a hefty icing decoration with beads and similar embellishments that reflect the event’s grandiose.

Wedding cakes can either have a simple or a complex decoration. Depending on the bakers creativity, each cake will have its own artistic distinction. As long as the cake conforms to its main purpose, that of being edible so that it can be eaten, it does not matter what embellishments it possesses.

Because a wedding cake is an extremely important part of the celebration, here are a few tips for buying the perfect wedding cake.

1. Check the amount of time it will take you for ordering the cake. Time is an extremely important factor when it comes to making wedding plans. Without doubt you would not want your wedding to be a hurried affair. As the wedding cake forms a part of the wedding, you need to devote enough time on ordering the wedding cake. It is better if you ask your local bakeshop how much time they usually take when it comes to wedding cakes so that you can place your order well in time for the cake to be created perfectly. This way you don’t need to be in a big hurry when it is time for your wedding cake to be served.

2. Find out the costs and details of the cake. Many couples find the treats that come with their wedding cake extremely fascinating. But they often forget that each embellishment and each twist on the cake has its own price. Therefore, it is always better for you to clarify with your baker the cost of each decoration that is featured on your cake so that you know just how much you will be paying.

3. Give your baker details of the wedding. Today, weddings are not restricted to the church alone. Today people are very particular and creative about their wedding venue. Therefore, in case your wedding is going to be in some place open, such as a beach or some place, it is recommended you inform the baker about the location. Usually icing can be affected by environmental conditions. So in case your wedding is by the beach or in a garden, your baker can make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the cake is made and placed in such a way that the environmental conditions do not spoil it.

4. Decorate your wedding cake yourself. Nowadays, many people have started decorating t heir own wedding cakes. For those who are in a tight budget, this is an excellent idea. All you need to do it order a simple, plain wedding cake and go to a retail store to buy your own decorations.

So set aside a particular moment when it comes to presenting your wedding cake because your wedding can be given a lot more glamour if you have the perfect wedding cake.

Author: Abhishek Agarwal

Mar 15th, 2010

Bachelorette Party Games

Bachelorette Party Games

Bachelorette party games have begun to grow in popularity over the last 50 years as women began having more wild and outrageous bachelorette parties – similar to the celebrations that men have. Party games for bachelorette parties are a lot like bridal shower party games since they test how well the attendees know the bride-to-be. The main difference is that while bridal shower games are fun in their own right, bachelorette party games usually add some debauchery and mischief into the mix.

Balloon Pop

Balloon Pop is a perfect way to involve several kinds of games. The objective of the basic balloon pop game is for the attendees to pop balloons to try to get to the strip of paper that is found inside. The winner of this bachelorette party game is the person who pops the balloon that reveals the paper with the bachelorette’s name.

Balloon pop games for a bachelorette party can easily be spiced up by having dares written on the strips of paper, such as “dance with a stranger” if your party plans on painting the town that night. Another funny option might be to have everyone write something down on the strips of paper, then blow the balloons up and have people pick one to pop and read, beginning the sentences with “On the honeymoon night…” This is a great bachelorette party idea that can be changed to fit the bachelorette’s preferences.

Who Knows the Bachelorette Best

This bachelorette party game will reveal once and for all which guest at the bachelorette party knows the bride-to-be best.

  1. All attendees will be asked to answer a list of questions about the bride to be.
  2. The bachelorette will first fill out the questionnaire, and then leave the room while the guests answer all the bachelorette party game questions on the list.
  3. The bachelorette returns and the questions and correct answers are read out loud.
  4. The winner of the game is the woman with the most correct answers.

The list of questions can be as clean or dirty as you’d like. If you want to make it very interesting and maybe embarrass the bachelorette a bit, tailor the questions so they ask personal, mischievous questions about the bride to be and her groom. The bachelorette party game questions will certainly get the party started, and you might learn something about your friend that you never knew!

“I Never”

A must- have staple at bachelorette parties around the globe is “I Never,” by far the most interesting of bachelorette games.

  1. The bride-to-be and guests sit in a circle.
  2. Each person either has something to drink or tokens of some kind (think candy or pretzels) in hand.
  3. The first person starts with an “I Never” statement like “I never shoplifted.” Anyone who has shoplifted before has to take a drink of their drink, or put one of their tokens into the center.
  4. Then the next person comes up with a different statement, and it continues around the circle as each person comes up with a creative and sometimes funny “I Never” statement.
  5. When someone runs out of a drink or their tokens, they’re out of the game, and the last person in the circle is the winner.

Better hope that you have been a good girl, and have “never” done anything naughty!

Guess What’s in the Bag

A game that can lead to rather risqué answers is the Guess What’s in the Bag bachelorette game.

  1. The hostess should begin with a brown paper bag.
  2. The first step is to secretly place an object into the brown paper bag. This can be any object the hostess desires- either clean or somewhat naughty.
  3. The bachelorette then puts her hand inside the bag for ten to thirty seconds. As the bachelorette feels what the item inside is, she is also describing it to the guests.
  4. The guests guess what the object is, and whatever guest correctly guesses what the item is gets to keep it as their prize.

Feel free to put any item in the bag, personal or otherwise. Don’t forget to use things of funky shapes and sizes to throw off the bachelorette and the guests! And hostesses, don’t put something in the brown bag that you aren’t ready to part ways with!

Party Prizes

As with any other party, bachelorette party prizes should fit the theme of the party. If the hostess decides to throw an elegant and clean bachelorette dinner party, the favors should be of the same elegant taste. These prizes don’t have to break the bank, but should show that some thought and time went into preparing them.

Some excellent ideas for bachelorette party gifts for any type party are bath soaps, a somewhat naughty gift bag, nicely scented sachets for between the sheets or in a clothing drawer, a fun girl’s night out picture frame, or perhaps a calming candle that can be a romantic mood setter or a decorative piece.

Make sure you get all the girls together by sending out evites for the party! This is an easy way to get the word out and track RSVPs.

Author: Jaime Smith

Mar 12th, 2010

How to Prepare for a Family Reunion

To organize a family reunion you have to keep certain things in mind. To plan a family reunion it takes time, commitment, and planning. Make a list of the following items like the date, invitations, location, travel and lodging, facilities, food, mailing list, program and format, finances, local transportation, communications etc.

First step in family reunion is to decide whom are you inviting in the family. Decide whether you are inviting only close relatives or direct line relatives or even your cousins, second cousins etc. Second step is to collect email addresses of those people who have them. Just contact at least one person from each branch of the family so that you can collect information for each person. Try to form a reunion committee. Choose five persons from your family so that they can take some responsibility. Tell them to take charge of location, social events, budget, record-keeping etc. why you take responsibility of everything when people are there to help you.

Try to choose a date that is comfortable to everyone. One thing you need to remember is if people come from a far off place then the reunion should last for a longer period. Remember that you won’t be able to accommodate everyone. Try to choose a place which is easily accessible and affordable to people who want to attend. Budget will determine the food expenses, decorations, accommodations and other activities. One more that can interest people to attend a reunion is create a theme. It makes things more fun when you are imaginative with food, games, activities etc. when the guests have arrived, you may think what to do with them. You should make arrangements for tents, chairs, programs, t-shirts; parking decorations etc. when the family members attend the reunion just hire a professional photographer who will take photos or videos.

Once most of your work is over, it’s time to invite guests by mail, or phone. This should be done well in advance so that the guests get enough time to plan their reunion. If you are charging any admission fees, just mention that in your invitation and set a deadline by which at least a percentage of the ticket price is received. Create ways of raising money include selling family hats, t-shirts, books or reunion videos. Once the location, guest list and other important work is completed, and then better send all the family members a schedule of reunion events so that they can arrive on time. You can send this message through email or reunion website in advance. The big day is almost going to arrive and you want that it does smoothly. Create easy to ready signs to point arriving guests to registration, parking and important locations such as bathrooms. Keep a guest book so that you will know who has come and collect their address for future reference. Designate a volunteer who will send out a post union newsletter with stories, photos and news items from the reunion. Family reunions are never forgotten by family members.

Author: Ron Victor