Tag Archives: Life Style

The Fall Blushing Bride

Bride in Fall

Why do people get married in the summer? Is it the weather? True, you do have a better chance of blue skies, but you’re also more likely to get frizzy hair and melty makeup. Is it because schools are out and your “attending” list is more likely to grow? Maybe, but who really wants all those people at their weddings anyway? It’s your day, right? Do you really need to see your Uncle Arnold who always pinches your cheeks even though your almost 30, or your sister who is going to try wear a better dress than you and will undoubtedly get drunk and try to elbow all the other women out of the way when it comes time to throw the bouquet?

When it comes to weddings, fall is the new black. You can pick jewel tones as your wedding colors, drink hot toddies and eat pumpkins! If you are planning to get married this fall, hurrah for your daring to be different, and here are some fall trends you may want to take advantage of.

The Dress
Layers add a touch of femininity and glamour to every wedding dress. While Oscar de la Renta goes for a Spanish inspired number this year, Monique Lhullier creates dimension with an asymmetrical tiered skirt. Textures are also big this year. Look for 3D florals popping up on this year’s brides while organza appliqués adorn the gowns of Naeem Khan and Reem Acra. Look to the bedroom for inspiration this year with sheer and lingerie inspired dresses being all the rage or, for those who prefer a more understated look, minimalist and modern styles are always a classic option. Other runway hits? Spaghetti straps, flowing sleeves and silhouettes.

fall wedding centerpiece Centerpieces
When it comes to fall wedding centerpieces, take advantage of what nature has to offer. Go out of the box by adding crab apples, persimmon, garden roses, and calla lilies to your arrangement. You may even want to include some mushrooms or stalks of asparagus.

fall wedding cakeCakes
When you hear about your autumn cake options, you will probably wonder why anyone gets married in the summer. You’ll see autumn confections adorned with marzipan pears and persimmon, fondant maple leaves and fresh berries. As for what’s inside, how about apple cake with alternating layers of cream cheese topped with a citrus glaze, fresh apples and powdered sugar?

Fall wedding invitation
Think woodsy wedding when it comes to choosing your invitations. Consider using apples for a border or a maple leaf or acorn motif. You may want to use a wood veneer as the base for your invite or send them in a wheat trimmed box.

When it comes to fall wedding menus, apples are big. Think about mini fried apple tarts for an appetizer and spiked apple cider for a beverage. If you’re going for a classic fall entree, you can’t get more autumnal than roasted pork with sliced apples, raisins and carrots. And, while your at it, why not include some caramel apples for a touch of fun?

Tell us about your fall wedding! What you ate, what you did, how you decorated: we love to hear your comments!

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Core Strengthening Exercises That Work

Woman exercising
The most commonly accepted definition of core stability is: “Comprised of the lumbopelvic hip complex and is the capacity to maintain equilibrium of the vertebral column with its physiologic limits by reducing displacement from perturbations and maintaining structural integrity.” And you thought it had something to do with the middle of a fruit.

Physiotherapists Henry and Florence Kendall first acknowledged core stability when they introduced the idea of the “neutral pelvis” in the 1940’s and 50’s. The idea was that the muscles surrounding the pelvis were responsible for the alignment of the “neutral spine” and that the pelvic tilt was the movement which deviated from the neutral position. In short, core stability involves using abdominal pressure to stabilize the spine which, in turn, can improve muscle and gross motor action.

It looks like old Henry and Flo might have been on to something, because, here we are about 70 years later and it looks like core stability is working for some pretty impressive ( and impressively built) people.

1. Side Plank Variation
Celebrity Pilates trainer claims you can catch Miley Cyrus side planking during her exercise routines. Here’s how:

  1. Lie on the floor. Lean sideways, putting your weight on your right hip, and use your right arm to support your body. Bend your legs slightly and position your left foot a little in front of your right foot.
  2. Using your core, elevate your body upward into a side plank.
  3. Reach your left arm over your head.
  4. Pull your abs in high, lower your hips without letting them touch the floor, lower your left arm and press back into the side plank.
  5. Repeat 6-8 times and then switch sides.

Woman completing a plank push up
2. Plank Push Ups
Celebrity trainer Teddy Bass used this one to help Christina Applegate get her post baby body back in shape.

  1. Get into plank position. Put your weight on your toes and forearms. Your body should form a straight line.
  2. Push off your forearms, lift your right hand and position it under the right shoulder on the mat.
  3. Pick up your left hand and place it beneath your left shoulder. You should find yourself in push-up position.
  4. Drop to your right forearm, then drop to your left forearm. You should now find yourself back in plank position. Continue in a push-up pattern going up on the right, up on the left, down on the right, down on the left for five repetitions total.
  5. Rest and begin again, starting with the left arm.

3.V-Sit Twist
Pro Derek Degrazio had Britney (Spears) working out with this one. BTW, you’ll need a 6-10 pound medicine ball for this one, if you don’t have one, a dumbbell or gallon of water will do.

  1. Sit bending your knees. Your feet should be flat and your arms should be by your sides.
  2. Keeping knees bent, lift your feet until your shins are almost parallel to the floor. Lean back at a 45 degree angle so your thighs and torso form a V shape.
  3. Bring the 6-10 lb medicine ball, or object of choice, to your chest, keeping your elbows out.
  4. Move your upper body to the right. Your left elbow will be above your right hip. Then move to the left in the same manner.
  5. Do three sets of thirty.

4.Three Legged Dog
Fitness and yoga instructor Mandy Ingber has client Jennifer Anniston swearing by this one.

  1. Begin as if you were going to do push ups. Raise your right heel to the height of your shoulder and no higher.
  2. Bring your right knee to your head, Round your spine, inhale, and bring your leg back to starting position.
  3. Exhale, bringing your right knee alongside your right tricep. Extend leg and inhale.
  4. Exhale, cross in your right knee to for left elbow. Inhale as you stretch out your leg. Do this three times and then repeat switching legs.

If you are still upright, we would love to hear about your core experiences. How did you measure up to the celebs? Please comment and let us know all about it!

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What Goes Well With Red

“Red, red wine, Go to my head, Make me forget that I, Still need her so.” These were the lyrics to “Red, Red Wine” as they were first written by Neil Diamond. Many GenXers will be more familiar with the UB40 edit which expanded to include lines such as, “Red, red wine, you make me feel so fine, You keep me rockin’ all of the time” and, “Red red wine, you make me feel so fine, Monkey pack him rizla pon the sweet dep line.”

Whether you prefer the more conventional Diamond version or the slightly more upbeat jams of UB40, one thing is clear, there are a lot of people who give red wine a lot of credit. If you are one of these people and are looking to incorporate red wine into your diet, remember, your tongue is your best judge of what goes well together, but dark to light is the general guideline. Red wines are normally served with heavier foods and are not usually paired with opening courses and appetizers. There are some food choices you may want to consider to complement your red wine choice.

1. Barbera
When Billy Joel sang, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” he was probably drinking Barbera, the standard red wine found in Italian restaurants and pizza places. Its low tannins go well with tomatoes and the acidity is good for breaking down rich, fatty foods like salami and cheese.

Pouring a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon

2. Cabernet Sauvignon
Known for its nobility, the medium or full bodied taste of Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with hearty dishes like roast beef lamb and coq au vin. Recipe suggestions include slow roast lamb with cinnamon, fennel and citrus and beef fillet.

3. Gamay
Tossing some meat on the barbie? Break out the Gamay. It goes well with veggies from the griddle or sardines and sausage. Store in the refrigerator one hour prior to opening and serve lightly chilled. Try it with a sizzling sausage salad or some spare ribs with barbecue sauce.

4. Merlot
Merlot is a traditional holiday staple. Serve it with your Christmas turkey, road chicken or duck or winter casseroles or just open it up for a Friday night dinner in front of the T.V.

Glass of Pinot Noir

5. Pinot Noir
Another holiday classic, Pinot Noir goes perfectly with roast turkey and lamb and also works well with mild, creamy soft cheeses.

6. Shiraz
Enjoy the full bodied taste of Shiraz in the winter with roasted veggies and grilled steak. Enjoy its hints of mocha and blackcurrants with herbed pork fillet.

7. Zinfandel
Bring on the Zin as a fabulous complement to sautéed field mushroom or succulent roast or braised venison. California’s historic wine, Zinfandel was immortalized by leading producer Joel Peterson who characterized it with the slogan, “no wimpy wines here.” Get tough with this American classic and bring some class to the party.

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How to Dazzle Your House Guests – Vine Vera Reviews

Woman inviting guests into her home.

One of the most gratifying things in life is getting together with loved ones. We all love to entertain, and be entertained, however, how do we go about dazzling our house guests? Do we do it through decor? Do we do it through our cooking? To answer those questions, and more, one simple rule must be applied to all: It’s all in the details. Like most women seeking inspiration, we took to Pintrest to look for some of the most creative ideas to really wow your guests this year. Here are our top best ways to dazzle your house guests: Wine, wine glasses and starters beautifully decorated on a serving trolley. Make some room to entertain Of course, we all love to show off our decorating skills, but it’s important to give yourself some room to work with.  This idea of clearing off your decor, and turning it into a self-serve bar, is the perfect way to make your guests feel more at home. Personalized wine glasses for party guests. Get personal Thanks to Pintrest, chalkboard paint has proven to have many uses, and this next idea is not only unique, but also a warm welcome to your guests. This creative chalkboard paint idea comes from non-other than Rachel Ray herself, the queen of home entertaining. As she explains, searching for wine glass charms before parties can prove to be a major pain, and a last minute task most of us don’t have time for. Instead, you can opt for a chalkboard paint-dipped wine glasses. Your guests will never get their wine glasses confused with someone else’s again! Glittering donuts being served at a house party. Add a little shimmer where you can This next idea came in as everyone’s favorite, and it’s pretty easy to see why. A glistening recipe is not only the perfect touch to your table top decor, but it will be the one dessert your guests will remember forever! After all, who doesn’t love donuts? Edible flowers frozen inside ice cubes being served at a party. Small, delicate details are everything As with any party, dazzling your guests with small details can go a long way. Along with edible glitter, there’s also edible flowers, so why not place them into an ice-cube tray? This attention to detail will wow your guests, and even make a glass of water look stunning. Guests being served with fancy water at a party. Take something simple, and turn it into something glamorous. Rather than serve your guests with tap or bottled water, serve them “fancy” water. Not only is it impressive, but it’s also very nutritious! Not to mention the options are endless, and it’s always important to stay hydrated! Labeled Hors D'oeuvres being served at a party. Labeling the delicious Hors D’oeuvres A fancy cheese platter will impress any house guest, but if you really want to dazzle your guests, a labeled cheese platter is the way to go. The tray above was created with chalk paint, by applying it to an old picture frame. Not only is this DIY extremely inexpensive, but also a fancy way to dress up any cheese platter! We told you chalk paint would come in handy… Beautiful photo frames and a fake beautifying the interiors of a home. Our wifi, is your wifi We all know how important the internet can be now-a-days, especially when traveling. If you are having your guests staying overnight, this idea is simply the best we’ve seen so far. What better way to say “our home it your home” by sharing your wifi password with your guests? With all these suggestions to keep in mind, our last tip is one that is most often forgotten… Thank You written on a white paper with a pink background. Although it seems obvious, there is no better way to impress your guests, than with a personal handwritten note expressing gratitude. This last little detail will not only dazzle your guests, but it will let them know that they are always welcome back to your home.

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Vine Vera on Plastic Surgery

The popularity of plastic surgery has exploded in the recent past. One of the main reasons behind this increase is the image created by countless celebrities around the world who go under the knife to transform the way they look. Stories of tummy tucks, face lifts, anti-aging procedures, and lip enhancement procedures are all too common nowadays. With more than 14 million plastic surgeries being performed in the US alone, you can only imagine the kind of popularity these procedures enjoy. Surprisingly, the number of cases where patients haven’t been satisfied with the results have gone up as well. This is mostly not because of a fault on the part of the surgeon, but because of the fact that people mostly get plastic surgery because they wish to look like the celebrities who inspired them to get the surgery done in the first place.Body with marking showing plastic surgery plans

Quick facts

Before discussing the pros and cons of plastic surgeries, we thought it would make more sense to show you some of the facts about plastic surgeries.

  • About 15.1 million people underwent the knife in the year 2013, leading to a 3% increase in the number of plastic surgeries.
  • Face-lifts, neck lifts and eye lift surgeries saw the biggest rise (6% each) in terms of the number of people getting these procedures done in the year 2013.
  • The number of Male breast reduction procedures saw a whopping increase of 11% in the year 2013.
  • Among the cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures, soft tissue fillers saw the most increase in terms of popularity, signalling a 13% increase from the year 2012.
  • $12.6 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in the year 2013 in the US.
  • Hispanics underwent the maximum number of cosmetic procedures (1.7 million people) and they were closely followed by African Americans (1.2 million people).
  • Repeat patient business increased by 4% in the year 2013.
  • Facial rejuvenation procedures saw the most growth in the year 2013.
  • The highest number of botulinum toxin type A injections were used in 2013. (6.3 million injections in a single year).
  • A total of 4.4 million tumor removal procedures were performed in the year 2013.

These figures might be a major source of happiness for anyone associated with the plastic surgery industry, but not so much for people who get them done. After all, the most common reason why people get plastic surgeries done is because they are not happy with their body image.

Advantages of plastic surgeries

You might think of plastic surgeries as the devil, but they do have their own advantages. After all, 15 million people are not fools to try out these procedures!

  • Improving the Appearance One of the main advantages offered by plastic surgeries is that they can help a person to boost his/ her appearance. Many people, irrespective of their race, geographic location or sex, feel that something is wrong with their nose, eyes, lips, breasts or some other part of their body. If these body parts can be made to look better through cosmetic surgeries, they can go a long way in helping people fall in love with their body image all over again.
  • Correcting Physical Issues – There are a number of plastic surgeries that are actually performed to help improve physical problems. One of the most common examples of such procedures is the breast reduction procedure. This procedure helps a woman to balance out her proportions and also allows her to reduce her back pain. Furthermore, many surgeries also help to restore the function of different body parts. This is particularly common among car accident patients.
  • Building Confidence – A person can regain his/ her confidence with the help of a plastic surgery. If a person feels that a particular aspect of the body is holding him/ her back in life, the confidence gradually goes down and ends up with depression. By altering the physical appearance, the person can restore his/ her confidence levels and have a fresh go at life.
  • Improve Relationships – The newly found confidence can also help to build social skills, which in turn helps to make new friends and forge strong relationships. For example, a person undergoing plastic surgery might not feel shy to approach strangers any longer. This makes it easier to break the ice and also prevents one from feeling insecure.
  • Convenient – Plastic surgeries can prove to be extremely convenient, provided one earns enough to afford them. They are particularly useful when it comes to things like reducing excessive fat from the arms or legs. It also offers a quicker way of getting rid of extra fat without having to commit to rigorous dieting or exercise regimes.
  • More Psychological Satisfaction – The physical appearance fails to live up to the mental image for a number of people around the world. The nose could be a bit too big, the chin could seem to be a bit weak, the lips might feel too thin or the breasts might not appear to have the right size. This can have a major bearing one a person’s psyche. If people manage to undergo a successful procedure, they should be able to derive a lot of psychological satisfaction and completely transform the way they approach life.
  • Improves the Health – A number of people get plastic surgeries done for health benefits. As weird as this might sound, it is actually true in some cases. For example, if a person gets a skin graft done after suffering a major burn, his/ her healthy will automatically improve after the procedure.Face with markings showing plans for plastic surgery

Disadvantages of plastic surgeries

We have put in a lot of effort in trying to offer you with the clear-cut picture of what you can expect from plastic surgeries. Our discussions might make you believe that these procedures are the best way out. Truth be told, they are anything but so. Here are some of the main disadvantages of plastic surgeries.

  • Confidence – Building your confidence might be one of the main reasons why you might be thinking of getting a plastic surgery done in the first place. But, if these surgeries don’t offer you with the results that you initially expected, your already low self esteem could get completely shattered. The outcomes might be exactly as described by the surgeon, but you still might not be satisfied with the results. This shatters your confidence completely and throws you into serious depression.
  • Painful – Most plastic surgeries are extremely painful processes. They are invasive in nature and also involve a lot of pain medications. Furthermore, the recovery period also varies from one procedure to the other. Some might just require a few days, but some might also need up to 6 months. Similarly, depending on the type of procedure that you choose, the level of pain can vary from slight to intense to extreme.
  • Risky – There are a number of risks associated with most plastic surgeries. There’s the risk of error, risk of infection or the risk of adverse reactions to certain medications. There are a number of processes that go terribly wrong as well. This causes permanent damage.
  • High Maintenance – Most plastic surgeries involve a lot more than the procedures themselves. You need to visit the physical for several sessions or “maintenance surgeries” every once in a while. This requires time, money and patience.
  • Scarring – One of the major problems of procedures like tummy tucks is that they leave scars behind. There are times when these scars are discreet, but scarring is inevitable for such procedures.
  • Cost – Finally, plastic surgeries require a huge financial involvement. Minor procedures such as Botox and Microdermabrasions start from the $4000 mark and keep going up as the procedures become more complicated. To make things worse, medical insurance doesn’t cover plastic surgeries. Moreover, it’s not just about the procedure. You also need to invest in medications, maintenance procedures, etc.

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