January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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May 21, 2006

Unique Centerpieces for a Wedding

A couple wishing to really make a statement at their wedding may want to invest in truly unique centerpieces. Typically reception halls do not allow for a great deal of creativity in the decorations as they utilize standard table linens and place settings. However, utilizing unique centerpieces is one way that the bride and groom can make their reception truly memorable.

Incorporating live fish into the centerpieces is one truly unique centerpiece idea for a wedding reception. Simple glass bowls can be used and filled with a few colorful glass marbles along with some water and an exotic and colorful fish. You could even include a small amount of fish food at the table where children will be sitting with careful instructions on how to avoid overfeeding the fish. The children will have a lot of fun and will be less distracted then they would have been with a more traditional centerpiece on the table. This lively and interactive centerpiece idea is sure to be a hit with kids and will even keep adults entertained.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to arrange a collection of board games in the center of each table. This idea is not only unique but if the guests choose to partake in the games; it gives the guests at the table the opportunity and incentive to get to know those seated at their table if they don’t already know them. This is an excellent option for guests who don’t enjoy dancing because they won’t feel so left out of the fun of the wedding.

Cakes or cupcakes arranged on a serving tray and artfully decorated with fresh or artificial flowers also make a lovely and unique centerpiece. These cakes can be used in place of the traditional wedding cake. Using several small cakes as centerpieces is not only an extremely unique centerpiece idea but it also allows the couple the option of having several different types of cakes and fillings. These centerpieces can be collected by the wait staff and sliced in the kitchen for desert or they can be sliced at the individual tables for additional entertainment value.

An attractive journal that matches the theme of the wedding along with several pens can also serve as a unique centerpiece. This centerpiece will not only look lovely on the table but can also be used by the guests to leave messages of congratulations or words of advice for the couple. This way the couple not only had a unique centerpiece but they also have a treasured souvenir of their wedding day in the kind words recorded by their wedding guests.

Mirrors and candles can also be used to create unique centerpieces. An attractive round mirror could be placed in the center of the table with several lit candles resting on the glass. The flickering light of the candles reflecting on the glass makes for a very striking centerpiece especially if the light in the reception hall is kept dim.

Gift boxes of several sizes can also be used to create unique centerpieces. The couple could take gift boxes of three different sizes and wrap each box in a different but complementary piece of wrapping paper. Once the gift boxes are wrapped they can be glued together at odd angles to create very unique centerpieces.

Another unique centerpiece idea is to have puzzles made up from pictures of the couple. The pieces of the puzzle can be left scattered on the table. This unique centerpiece idea encourages the people sitting at the table to work together to try to put the puzzle together. This is especially useful if many of the guests do not know each other because it is a great ice breaker.

An eclectic assortment of Champaign flutes also makes a truly unique centerpiece. You can purchase an assortment of flutes of various shapes and sizes from a thrift store and clean them up to use them as centerpieces. The flutes can be arranged in an attractive but random pattern to create a unique centerpiece for any occasion.

The choice of the centerpieces is one of the only opportunities that a couple has to express their individuality and ensure that their wedding reception really stands out. While some unique centerpiece ideas may require more of an effort than the traditional centerpiece of flowers, a unique centerpiece is more likely to be remembered than a boring one.

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May 18, 2006

10 Tips for Setting a Budget and Sticking to It

Budget concerns can be one of the most prominent sources of disagreement for a couple in the process of planning their wedding. The couple may have different ideas about what type of wedding they want and also about what they can afford. It is important for the couple to discuss financial constraints before the wedding planning goes too far.

The first tip for setting a budget and sticking to it is to have a conversation regarding finances well before the wedding planning starts in earnest. It is important that everyone involved in the decision making process of the wedding understand just how much money is available to be spent on the wedding.

Another tip for setting a budget and sticking to it is to start saving early for your wedding. Putting aside a portion of each paycheck for awhile can add up to a sizable savings that can be used for your wedding. This advanced planning and saving will allow you to maximize the budget that is available to you for your wedding planning.

Once the budget has been established, set it aside for a few days and then review it again. This time away from the budget gives those involved the chance to let the information settle in and the review of the budget after this waiting period gives the participants the opportunity to verify that they understand and agree to the budget. This is important because if someone does not agree with the budget, they may be likely to overspend in one area leaving the budget in jeopardy.

After an overall budget is established it is important to divide the total amount appropriately to establish budgets for items such as the venue, food and drink, the bride’s attire, the groom’s attire, transportation, entertainment, photography, favors, centerpieces, gifts for the wedding party and even gifts for each other. It is also important to partition a small amount of money for incidentals to account for small unexpected expenses.

In establishing a budget it is also important to be clear about who will be paying for what items. For example, if the groom’s family offers to pay for the centerpieces and you choose to let them, this will allow you to divert your previously designated centerpiece budget to other aspects of the wedding. The key to sticking to your wedding budget is to be aware of who has agreed to pay for what.

It is important that budgets for each individual aspect of the wedding be established to enable you to follow this next tip. This tip advises the couple to be mindful of their budgets for each individual component of the wedding before negotiating contracts for services. If you know that you have allotted $250 for entertainment you would be wise to seek out a DJ that is offering his services for approximately that amount and then negotiate your contract to ensure that you remain under budge.

Doing as many things as you can on your own is another way to ensure that you are sticking to your budget. Crafts and homemade invitations can greatly reduce the cost of your wedding. For example making your own favors or centerpieces can greatly reduce your costs and free up additional budget for other areas of the wedding.

Another tip for sticking to your wedding budget is to not view the budget as restrictive. If instead of thinking about the things that you can’t afford, you focus on how you can make your wedding and reception truly unique you will be inspired to create a fabulous and memorable wedding despite your budget constraints.

Still another tip for sticking to your wedding budget is to shop around and comparison shop for services. A limousine company may come highly recommended but if they are not in your price range, don’t be afraid to let them know why you are going to have to choose another company and you may be surprised at how soon they are willing to give you a different offer.

A final tip for creating and sticking to a budget is to realize that there are bound to be snags along the way. As long as you remain cognizant of your spending and realize the ramifications of your actions you are likely to realize that if you go over budget in one area, you will need to modify other areas by reducing their total budget.

A wedding budget can be a serious cause of emotional strain on a couple. It is important for them to discuss their finances and establish a budget for their wedding plans. Doing this early on in the wedding planning process can help the couple to avoid conflict during the planning phase of the wedding.

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February 13, 2006

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Location

The location of the wedding is critical because it can play a key role in setting the mood for the wedding. There are a number or ways to choose a potential location for your wedding including choosing a location where you have previously attended a wedding, shopping around and visiting multiple venues and seeking suggestions from trusted friends or relatives. Once you have narrowed your choices down to a few options it is important to consider a few additional factors such as price, seating capacities and services available.

There may be a wide variety of suitable wedding venues available but you could greatly reduce the number of venues that you are required to visit by choosing only locations that come highly recommended from a trusted source. This will save you from having to visit every venue in town to determine whether or not it is an acceptable location. Seeking input from others can greatly reduce the amount of venues that you need to visit.

The location of your wedding can play a key role in the style of your wedding. Some couples opt for a ceremony at a church followed by a reception at a catering hall while others may wish to hold the ceremony outdoors but have a reception at an indoor location. Still others choose to hold both the ceremony and the reception at a catering hall. Whichever option you choose for your wedding it is important to ensure that the location you choose has all of the elements that you were seeking in a wedding location such as ambiance, seating capacity, a dance floor or anything else that you require.

Price is one of the most important considerations in choosing the perfect wedding location. There may be many locations where you wish to hold your wedding but if they are out of your price range you may have to eliminate them from your list if you are not able to successfully renegotiate the asking price. Whether you are being charged a price per guest or a flat fee for a set duration of time, if you simply cannot afford the location it is not right for your wedding. Fortunately most cities have a wide variety of options available so it is extremely likely that you will find a suitable venue that is within your price range.

Maximum occupancy is another important consideration when choosing the perfect wedding location. While you may really like the intimacy that a quaint location that seats only 50 guests affords, this is not a feasible option for a couple who has invited over 300 guests to their wedding. Likewise a large reception space that is capable of seating 500 people is not a good option for a couple who is planning a small wedding with only a handful of close friends and family members. It is important to choose a wedding location that is capable of accommodating the number of guests that you have invited without being large enough to accommodate almost twice as many people that you have invited. Choosing a venue that is either too small or too big is not feasible because a venue that is too small will be cramped and may not fit all of your guests while a venue that is too big will be a waste of money because large spaces often include a minimum number of guest required and you may wind up paying for more guest than you actually have in attendance.

The services that are offered may also factor into choosing a wedding location. Many catering halls may also have staff available to provide entertainment or floral designs. If you find a facility that is capable of either performing additional services or recommending service providers you might want to consider choosing this venue to eliminate the amount of services that you have to account for. Consolidating in any way possible can greatly reduce the effort that is required of you to complete you wedding planning.

Choosing the perfect location for your wedding may seem like an impossible task especially if you live in an area that has a number of options. Setting strict criteria for evaluating locations can save you a lot of time and effort. Only visiting venues that meet these criteria will greatly reduce the number of locations that you need to visit.

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January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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hobby stores | Your Relations

July 22, 2006

Baby Specialty Stores

A newborn baby is the celebration of life. It is a time where friends and family celebrate the birth of a child and the challenges and memories that will occur in the future.

Getting a gift does not only happen before the baby is born but is a continuous process that will occur as the infant grows older.

Giving something does not have to be a chore. It can be fun and challenging and by knowing the gender, the needs of the baby and other things that are equally important to the mother and child, this will be something that the family will certainly love and appreciate.

The best place to look for things for a baby is a specialty store since such places have everything from clothes, bibs, and bottles to baby baskets and strollers. Some of these specialty shops can be found inside malls while others share a small space in a building with other tenants.

Categories are divided from infant to toddler depending on the age, size and weight of the child. Before one buys something inside the shop, it is best to know what is available by looking around. If the person has something in mind, then by asking for assistance will really help saving time in getting the ideal gift from the baby store.

Some baby stores carry other brands aside from the ones that are primarily carried by that company which limits the choices of other products that may be available.

One can just get the company name and perhaps do some surfing in the internet to see what else is available and if it is affordable, then one can order it online and wait for a few days for the manufacturer to ship it to ones home.

Here are some suggested gifts that are great for either the mother or child;

1. A bobby is a support pillow that has a dual function. It can act as a nursing pillow for the mother and a toy for the baby. This will help sore the tired arms during the first months of breastfeeding and helps the baby play.

2. A breast pump is another great gift since this handy device will help women get milk for the baby which is very convenient and inexpensive.

3. A baby basket is a handy carrier which can be carried around. This comes in many models and one can get one that is good till the infant becomes a toddler.

4. Since the child is not able to be toilet trained yet, a lot of diapers will be needed keeping the baby clean and odorless free.

5. The toddler bath is similar to a bathtub. This something both the mother and infant can enjoy when taking a bath.

7. Babies love to cuddle and stuff toys like a bear can help put the baby to sleep or just help it relax.

Babies can be cute, smell good, are quiet and noisy at certain times. It is all part of the phase of the baby growing up. It is a challenge that the parents and those close to the family can do together in making this baby grow up.

Picking a gift does not have to be expensive. There are many things one can get and if that person is not able to pick one, then that person can just pick a variety of things and put it in a basket that the mother and child will surely enjoy.

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February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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September 19, 2006

10 Great Places to Meet New Women

There are a lot of great women out there just waiting to meet the man of their dreams but finding these available women can take a little creativity. Sure there are plenty of single women at bars and nightclubs but the competition is also tough with many men also trying to meet women and women are usually on guard at these locations so getting through their defenses can be difficult. Instead of battling other men for a woman’s affection at a bar, try meeting women in new locations. Specifically locations that sport a high female to male ration will enhance your chances of meeting new women.

A woman’s clothing store is a great place to meet new women. Not only is this location filled with women but it is also almost completely devoid of other men. Many men avoid a woman’s clothing store like the plague so if you are brave enough to venture inside you will have an assortment of women to choose from. You can start a conversation by asking a woman for advice for a gift for your sister or by complimenting her on her purchases.

The gym can also be another great place to meet new women. While you may already spend hours a day pumping iron in the weight room try spending some time on a cardio machine or drop in on an aerobics or yoga class. These activities are typically dominated by women so engaging in these activities increases your chance of meeting women while at the gym.

Another great place to meet new women is in an adult continuing education class. Many community colleges offer night classes on a variety of subjects. Try signing up for a class or two and you may find that you meet a variety of new women. The key to choosing a class is to not only choose a class that sounds interesting but to also choose a class that is likely to consist of mostly women such as cooking classes or pottery classes.

The Internet is always an option for meeting women. You can try placing a personals ad online or join a dating service to read profiles of available men. There are so many personals sites available that it would almost be impossible not to find a suitable match. Just be sure to exercise caution and not give out your contact information or agree to meet anyone in a secluded location.

Hobby and craft stores are also excellent places to meet new women. Many women enjoy activities in arts and craft and often frequent these types of stores to purchase items for craft projects. More importantly though this is a hobby that does not attract many men so you will most likely be one of only a few men in the store.

Tanning spas or salons can be great places to meet new women. Again, these locations aren’t frequented by men so you are most likely to be one of the only men present. If you are attracted to women who put a lot of effort into their appearance the salon is definitely the place to go. Here you will find women who are committed to their appearance and who will appreciate you for your ability to understand that a manicure is just as important to men as it is to women.

If you are in search of a woman with interests similar to yours, a bookstore might just be the place for you. Try visiting a bookstore and only searching sections of the bookstore that interest you. Forget about attempting to determine what section might attract the most women and stick to the sections that hold your interests. You might be pleasantly surprised to meet a new woman who shares your passion for restoring old cars.

Sporting events can also be a great place to meet women who either share your love of sports or are in search of men themselves. You may attend a baseball game and wind up meeting a woman who shares your love of sports or you may at least meet a woman who is trying to meet a man. Sporting events are typically well attended by men so it’s possible that the women you meet at a sporting event are trying to put the odds in their favor and use this opportunity to meet men.

Another great place to meet new women is the theater. Women are typically drawn to the arts and if you begin attending local theater productions you may find the opportunity to meet a variety of new women. Not many men take in plays or operas on their own so doing so will help you to stand out from the crowd and single women are more likely to notice you.

Finally a grocery story is a great place to meet new women. Women make up the larger percentage of grocery shoppers so as one of only few men the odds will be in your favor. Also, women typically are experienced shoppers and you can take this opportunity to ask for their assistance in picking out produce or choosing a pasta sauce. Women will be flattered by you asking their advice and may be open to inviting you to their place for a home cooked meal.

While bars and nightclubs are certainly full of available women the likelihood of meeting a woman at these locations is slim to none. Although many women frequent nightclubs and bars in the hopes of meeting a man, these are also locations where women feel vulnerable and are likely to have their defenses up making them unapproachable. Try frequenting other locations and you may have an easier time meeting available women with interests similar to your own.

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January 18, 2006

10 Great Places to Meet New Men

If you are tired of searching for a man in the usual singles scenes such as bars and nightclubs, it may be time to broaden your horizons and try alternative locations for meeting men. If you think outside the box and begin exploring new locations you may find that meeting a man who shares your interests is easier than you thought. A few non traditional locations for meeting men include gyms, animal shelters, home improvement stores and sports bars. While these locations may contain a high male to female relationship it’s important to choose a location where you are comfortable to search for Mr. Right. If you don’t enjoy working out or are allergic to animals it would be best to avoid gyms and animal shelters in your quest for a mate because they will most likely lead to you finding a man who is not compatible with you. There are many locations that are filled with available men and these are great locations to meet new men.

The gym is a great place to meet new men. If you don’t already have a gym membership, sign up for your local gym and prepare to meet a multitude of new men. Even if you don’t find your Prince Charming at the gym, you will have at least had the opportunity to enjoy some physical activity. The gym is a great place to meet men for a number of reasons. First of all while women make up a significant percentage of the gym, men still make up the larger percentage of clientele at most gyms. Venturing into historically male dominated areas such as the weight room heightens your chance of meeting a new man. You can take the opportunity as one of the few women in the weight room to chat up a man and ask his advice.

If you are an animal lover, you can meet available new men at your local animal shelter. If you have a love for animals and a desire to meet a new man head on down to an animal shelter on a busy weekend afternoon. Here you may find many men in search of a canine companion. The bonus in this situation is that the single men are easy to spot. Men involved in a relationship wouldn’t consider adopting a dog without their partner’s input so you can be sure that if there isn’t a woman hanging on his arm, he is available.

Outdoor activities such as hiking also present an opportunity for meeting new men. Instead of dressing up and heading out to a chic nightclub in the evening try waking up early and hitting the hiking trails with one of your pals. If you are interested in meeting the rugged outdoors type of man, this can be your opportunity to meet an available man.

Anther great place to meet new men is a home improvement store. These stores are almost overrun with handy men. You may find the man of the dreams in the tool aisle or at the very least may find a man who is capable of fixing a leaky faucet for you. While home improvement and maintenance may not be your idea of a way to spend a Saturday evening you might be pleasantly surprised by the number of available men wandering the aisles of a home improvement store on a weekend night.

If you are interested in meeting an artistic man, coffee houses are another place to meet new men. The relaxed, cozy atmosphere of a coffee house provides the perfect mood to strike up a casual conversation with a new man. Coffee houses invite customers to linger over the coffee and this is the ideal opportunity to approach a man who catches your eye.

The woman who enjoys sports would be well advised to visit a sports bar on the night of an important local game to meet the man of her dreams. This location works wonders for meeting new many for a few reasons. First you will most likely be one of only a few women in the bar and secondly displaying any knowledge of the sport will charm the men in the bar.

If you have a specific interest or hobby, try taking a course on the subject. In doing so you will further your knowledge about your hobby and may meet a new man in the process. Many men enjoy taking courses and learning about new activities so you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the number of men in your class.

If you are the athletic type, you may find a great place to meet new men is in a local sports league. Try signing up for a recreational league in either a sport you enjoy or one that you have always wanted to learn. Some cities even have singles leagues that you might be interested in joining. This will give you the opportunity to meet a wealth of men who share you love of sports. Even if you don’t wind up meeting the man of the dreams you will have at least had the opportunity to participate in a sport you enjoy.

The technically inclined, modern woman may choose to meet new men online. There are plenty of dating sites available on the Internet that are just full of single men looking to make a love connection. You may find personals sites that cater to a specific interest or those that cater to specific demographic groups. Searching for a man online affords you the ability to read through personals ads at your leisure and allows you to search and sort men according to different categories.

Another great place to meet new men is a Laundromat. Even if you own your own washer and dryer, head on down to your local Laundromat and you are sure to meet available men. While the Laundromat may not be your ideal location for meeting a new man, there are some distinct advantages to meeting a man in a Laundromat. First you can be almost positive that a guy doing his laundry by himself is truly single and secondly it never hurt to meet a man who is capable of doing his own laundry.

If you find yourself frustrated with the lack of new men available at bars and nightclubs try venturing out to different locations to meet new men. The key to doing this is to choose an activity you enjoy and head out to an appropriate location in search of a compatible man. Men are out there doing just about every activity imaginable so whether you like artistic, athletic or handy men, there are more than a few places that are great for meeting new men.

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January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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February 6, 2006

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Traditional floral centerpieces can be expensive especially if you plan on having a large number of tables at the wedding reception. While floral arrangements have traditionally been the centerpiece of choice at many weddings there are many more original centerpiece ideas that are also very inexpensive. Depending on the theme and color scheme of the wedding, there are a variety of low cost options available.

A wedding with a light-hearted theme hosted by a fun loving couple might be a suitable opportunity to utilize candy to create festive centerpieces. Clear glass bowls can be filled with colorful candies such as jelly beans or M & Ms to create a lovely and very inexpensive centerpiece that reflects the personalities of the bride and groom. The candy and bowls can probably be purchased for a fraction of the price of floral centerpieces and create a lovely centerpiece that is easily assembled and can be enjoyed by all of the guests.

The bride and groom can also opt for silk floral arrangements if they are intent on having flowers as their centerpiece. Many hobby stores sell a wide variety of attractive artificial flowers that can be arranged by the bride and groom to create attractive centerpieces for the tables. Using fake flowers gives the couple more of an opportunity to express their creativity. The hobby store also likely sells inexpensive vases so the couple may be able to purchase everything they need for the centerpieces in one location. Arranging the flowers in a vase is nice but long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies also look very attractive tied with twine or ribbon and simply laid in the center of the table. The couple could either choose seasonal artificial flowers or artificial flowers that fit the theme of the wedding and arrange them in inexpensive vases or tie them with attractive ribbons to create inexpensive centerpieces for their wedding.

Another inexpensive option for a couple wishing to utilize flowers for their centerpieces is to use potted plants. You can find a multitude of inexpensive potted plants at home improvement stores, greenhouses, and even grocery stores. The couple can choose plants that match the other decorations for the wedding or that will stand out amongst the other decorations. These plants could be repotted into festive pots to create attractive centerpieces for a relatively low cost.

Balloons can be another option for a couple looking to have fun yet inexpensive centerpieces. Balloons are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The couple could choose solid or print patterns that match the colors of the table linens. An extra tip for these centerpieces is to weigh down the balloons with a piece of candy. This will encourage each guest at the table to take home a balloon as a souvenir. With a typical centerpiece only one guest has the opportunity to take home the centerpiece but using balloons makes it possible for each guest to take home a part of the centerpiece.

Another inexpensive wedding table centerpiece is a picture frame in the shape of cube that allows the insertion of a photo into each side of the cube. The couple may choose to include pictures of themselves during their courting or they may wish to include pictures of them with the guests who will be sitting at that table. This is a great opportunity for the couple to express their individuality and share a little bit of themselves with their guests. Artfully arranged photographs create fun centerpieces that are also very inexpensive.

Candles also create a very attractive yet inexpensive centerpiece. The couple may choose to purchase many of the same candle or candles of varying shapes, sizes and colors to arrange on the tables. Candles of the same size, shape and color can be arranged in a uniform pattern to create a beautiful centerpiece. Candles that vary in size, shape and color can be placed at random on the table to create an eclectic appeal.

With a little bit of thought and creativity a couple can find centerpiece options that are affordable, attractive and well suited for the couple. The traditional centerpieces of floral arrangements can be boring and also extremely expensive. Utilizing creativity and ingenuity to create centerpieces that are an accurate representation of the taste of the couple often creates a more appealing centerpiece at a very affordable price.

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April 27, 2006

Options for Wedding music

The old saying is that, “music soothes the savage beast.” Music can also maintain the pleasant atmosphere of your wedding. Choosing wedding music is not always the easiest task in a wedding. You have to put some thought into the wedding music that will be played and how it will be played. Of course, budget concerns are also something to consider when making your wedding music decisions.

The tradition for wedding music is to hire a live band that will play during the wedding reception. Check your local area to see if there is a band available that is willing to play wedding music during your reception. If you are a member of a church that has a band, you might request their services during your reception. This may choose to be less expensive than hiring a local band. When you hire a band, be sure to discuss meals in addition to wedding music selections. Although the bride and groom are not traditionally responsible for feeding the band, it is something that a band may include in their list of requirements.

Hiring a DJ should be similar to hiring a music coordinator. The DJ is in charge of the music entertainment. Don’t take this position lightly. You need someone who is not only talented with wedding music selection, but someone who will be able to keep your guests entertained. For example, a good DJ will play music that everyone can enjoy. The music the DJ plays will serve as your wedding music. It is a good idea that you request to review the collection of wedding music the DJ intends to play. If you don’t know someone who can serve as your DJ, you may want to solicit the services of a local radio station DJ.

Another option to having people control your music is to use CDs of appropriate wedding music. This option is appropriate for the wedding and the reception. If the wedding ceremony is going to be held in a church, you will probably need your music approved. Be sure to take care of this as soon as possible. There are collections of wedding music that you can find in just about any store that sells music that are probably fairly inexpensive. You could also create your own CDs or have someone with a variety of music create the CD for you. With the prevalence of music-recording software, it’s easy to make your own wedding music CDs.

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April 20, 2006

Inexpensive Wedding Gifts

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be well received and appreciated by the couple. While the extravagance of some weddings may compel their guests to purchase pricey gifts, it is not necessary to do so. Many people are invited to a number of weddings each year and it’s not feasible to purchase an expensive gift for every wedding you attend. While you may want to splurge on an extravagant gift for a close friend or relative, you are not required to invest a great deal of money in a gift for a casual acquaintance. Even if you are very close with the couple you may be able to create a very inexpensive gift for their wedding. The following are just a few ideas for inexpensive wedding gifts that are sure to delight the couple without breaking your budget.

One inexpensive gift idea is to fill a mixing bowl with a variety of kitchen utensils. This is both an inexpensive and an extremely useful gift. Many couples are starting their life together and will need a few basic utensils and kitchen gadgets to get them started. This gift is thoughtful and useful without being detrimental to your budget.

Another inexpensive gift idea is to create a basket containing elements for a romantic dinner. You could put this basket together by yourself and include items such as dry pasta and sauce as well as a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. You might also want to include a non-perishable desert such as biscotti to complete your meal. You could even include a recipe card with one of your own personally tested recipes. This inexpensive gift idea will be greatly valued by the couple because it essentially giving them the gift of a romantic night alone.

Picture frames can also be an inexpensive wedding gift idea. The couple will likely have a wide variety of photos that they will want to display in their home and providing them with a few simple frames is an inexpensive way to give them a truly useful gift. While many picture frames can be expensive, you could find simple wooden frames in a craft store and paint or decorate to suit the couple’s taste. You could also shop at closeout stores for these items and may find quite a few bargains available. Picture frames are an inexpensive and useful wedding gift idea that is likely to be cherished by the couple.

The couple’s registry could also be another source of inexpensive wedding gift ideas. Many couples will register for an assortment of items that span a large price spectrum. You may find that the couple has included many inexpensive items in their registry that may fall within your budget constraints. Choosing an inexpensive item from the couple’s registry ensures that you are giving them a gift that they will truly like and appreciate because they picked out the item themselves.

If you are a close friend or relative of the couple you may be able to make a very inexpensive wedding gift that will also be unique and greatly cherished by the couple. If you have many pictures of the couple, you might consider arranging these pictures in a unique way in a photo album to give to the couple as a gift. You could also use the photos to create a scrapbook or even a video presentation set to music that features the couple. These gifts will be greatly appreciated by the couple and can be created for a relatively small cost.

Candles are another inexpensive wedding gift. Newlyweds often incorporate candles in their decorating and also use candles to create ambiance during dinner or on other occasions. Just after they are married is the time when couples are most likely to enjoy candlelight dinners frequently and for no specific occasion so a wedding gift of candles is bound to be used often. Candles come in a great variety of colors, sizes and scents so it should be easy to find an assortment of candles that will be appreciated by the couple.

A wedding gift does not have to be expensive to be useful and appreciated by the couple. Many wedding guests spend a great deal of money on fancy china or glassware that is only used on special occasions while inexpensive gifts such as candles and kitchen utensils are used by the couple on a daily basis.

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January 10, 2006

10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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January 22, 2006

Non-Denominational or Mixed Religion Weddings

Couples of mixed religions or who come from families that do not have a strong religious background may choose to have either a non-denominational wedding or a wedding that blends two separate religions. This can be tricky however because many religions may not honor or recognize a wedding unless it is performed according to their own unique guidelines. For this reason it is very important to check with potential officiants and church leaders to ensure that your wedding plans will result in a union that is recognized by both churches. This is significant because you would not want to invest time and money on a marriage that will wind up not being recognized by the church and possibly not even recognized by the government. Whether a couple decides to have a non-denominational wedding, incorporate aspects of both religion into a ceremony that will not be recognized by either faith or participate in two separate religious ceremonies, it is important to remember that their love for each other and their love of their faith are equally important.

If both the bride and the groom have very strong faith backgrounds and wish to have their wedding recognized by their respective churches, they may have to take a few extra steps to ensure that their union is recognized by their churches. Sometimes the only way to do this is to have a wedding ceremony in both churches. This may seem like an unnecessary step but one of the defining criteria of having your marriage recognized by your faith, for many religions, is to have your wedding ceremony in the church. It is simply not possible to do this unless the couple takes the extra steps of having two wedding ceremonies to ensure that they will be both be accepted as a married couple into their faiths.

Another alternative to participating in two separate ceremonies in order to have the union recognized by both churches is to have a non-denominational wedding that is only recognized by the government. Couples may choose this option if they do not have the time or money that would be required to have two separate wedding ceremonies. A couple may choose a compromise that results in neither church recognizing the union. The theory behind this type of choice is that the couple decides that their love for each other is strong enough to survive and that they do not need to have the approval of their churches in order to have a successful and lasting marriage.

Still another alternative is to have a non-denominational wedding ceremony at a location in a natural setting. At this type of ceremony the couple has no restrictions and can choose to incorporate either religion into the ceremony in any way that they see fit. They may do this by using traditional prayers and religious songs during the ceremony. While this type of ceremony will not be recognized by the church is does offer the couple the opportunity to incorporate some of the religious traditions of both of their faiths into a beautiful ceremony that successfully blends two religions.

A final alternative is to incorporate one faith fully into the wedding ceremony and incorporate the other faith fully into the wedding reception. This option results in the marriage being recognized by one of the religions but does not allow the other family to feel neglected because their faith is well represented in the traditional activities of the wedding reception. This option is only feasible if the member of the couple who will not have their church recognize the union, is completely accepting and understand of this fact. This is important because the resentment and jealousy that could result from this could be very detrimental to the couple.

Inter-faith couples are on the rise. Years ago it was unheard of to marry someone outside of your faith but this is no longer true and many couples today are inter-faith couples. It is difficult but not impossible to integrate the two faiths in a way that is satisfactory to all of those involved. While the faiths can be blended to create a beautiful wedding, the problem is that many churches will not accept this blended wedding as a union. Sometimes the couple decides that their happiness together is more important than having the church recognize the union so they opt for a non-denominational wedding that is completely devoid of any religious traditions.

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Hiring a baby sitter

Most parents prefer to be hands on with their kids. Raising kids is a difficult job but still parents want to do it themselves because they feel like it is the only way to make sure that they can properly train their kids to grow up into ladies and gentlemen. However some parents have no choice because both of them have to work to fend for the family so either they leave their kids with other family members or friendly neighbors but then again leaving kids with other people can not go on for so long. This is when the idea of hiring a baby sitter becomes an option but a baby sitter is a stranger so careful thought should be given by the family about this decision from the time they say yes to the idea to the choosing of the baby sitter.

There are certain things that should be considered when choosing a baby sitter. First and foremost, the baby sitter should be credible meaning that he or she should have a good record with past employers. Second is that there should be certain characteristics present in the baby sitter like he or she should have at least a general knowledge of how to run a household including operating machines especially the complex ones present in the house and of course he or she should be patient when it comes to dealing with the kids because that is really the bulk of his or her work – taking care of the kids.

It is also advisable to ask around people who have past experiences with baby sitters so that you can have an idea how to set your criteria and how to actually find and eventually hire someone that will fit into the criteria you set. After the initial research you are now ready to do interviews for possible prospects. During the interview, you should not only concentrate on the resume or the answers but you should more importantly watch out for the body language because they tell so much. Ask routine questions but also come up with questions that will make you get to know more about the morals or the personality of the one applying.

After finally choosing a baby sitter make sure that you do some advance preparations like giving the baby sitter a tour of the places in the house where he or she will be working, machines he or she will be operating, list of numbers to call in case of emergencies and talk to him or her about any special instructions you might want to give. Also, go through with the family policies with him or her like no spanking or no cursing. These are simple things but make it clear so that you will not have any future problems.

Hiring a baby sitter will make parents focus on their jobs but during the first days of the baby sitter one of the parents should watch how the baby sitter is during active duty even for just a few hours. This is sort of transition time and it is also a way of still being involved with your kids despite the fact that you already have a baby sitter. There are many good sitters around and hopefully you will find the right one for your family.

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10 Ways to Meet New People Without Even Trying

Meeting new people doesn’t have to involve a conscious effort. Just participating in activities you enjoy or running daily errands can lead to meeting new people without even trying. Of course, if your favorite activity is watching television it is unlikely that this will lead you to meeting new people unless you watch television in a public place instead of your home. Anytime you are out in public you are bound to meet new people without even trying.

A weekly grocery shopping trip can lead to meeting new people without even trying. Even this mundane chore gives you the opportunity to meet new people. Even if you shop in the middle of the night you are likely to not be the only person in the store and can wind up meeting someone new. You may be the only customer in the store but surely there will be store employees present. The cashier may strike up a casual relationship while they are ringing up your order and this could lead to the effortless start of a relationship with someone new.

Another errand that may result in you meeting new people without even trying is taking a trip to a bank. You will most likely encounter long lines and a significant wait. Rather than keeping to yourself, speak to those around you and you may find yourself meeting new people without even trying. While many people may be annoyed by the long lines, many others will be thankful for your starting a conversation because it offers them a distraction and a way to pass the time.

Participating in group exercise classes at a gym can also help you meet new people without trying. You are unlikely to meet someone new if you put on your headphones and hop onto an individual cardio machine but if you join a group class you will probably end up meeting some new people without even trying. The class automatically gives you something in common and if you can’t find anything else to talk about, griping about the intensity of the class is always a good ice breaker.

Those with children can find themselves meeting new people all the time without even trying. Children are incredibly social and often befriend most if not all of the kids in your neighborhood. While you may have not yet met all the neighbors you may find that your child has. If they have been making friends with other kids in the neighborhood, invite some of the other parents and children over for a play group and you will have the opportunity to meet the other adults while the kids play.

If your child is into sports, you can consider coaching a team that they are a member of in order to meet new people. The parents of the other kids will most likely attend games and practices and as the coach you will get the chance to meet all the parents at these games and practices. While your focus will be on the kids, the natural level of parental involvement will result in you meeting new people without really trying.

Taking a job where you interact with people such as customer service or retail is another way to meet people without even trying. Your job will put you in contact with many different people each day and each new person gives you the opportunity to strike up a conversation that may blossom into a relationship.

Attending religious services is another way to meet new people without even trying. At the start of many religious services the attendees are invited to greet those sitting around them. Most people simply offer a friendly hello but you are certainly welcome to introduce yourself and offer some basic information about yourself. If your neighbor responds affirmatively and offers additional information you can take this as an indication that they may be willing to begin a relationship. You may wait until the conclusion of the service and then ask the person if they would like to continue the conversation you started over a cup of coffee.

Still another way to meet new people without even trying is to volunteer for a charitable cause that you support. Your volunteer effort will put you in contact with like minded individuals who share your passion for the cause. As anyone who has ever volunteered can attest, it is virtually impossible to not be pulled into many aspects of the volunteer effort. As you become more involved you will likely end up serving on different committees and meeting new people without even trying.

Joining a club is another way to meet people without even trying. If you enjoy biking, try joining a club that meets for weekly cycling rides. There may be regulars on these rides and getting involved will lead to you meeting these people. Additionally there will probably be at least a few new people every week so you will be meeting new people just about every week.

If you take a class related to one of your interests, you may find yourself meeting new people who share your interest without even trying. A classroom setting gives students a chance to mingle before and after class and sometimes to interact during class. You will already have a common interest so use the class to form a bond with other members of the class. Either commiserating about the difficulty level of the class or raving about the interesting aspects of the class are both adequate ways to meet the other class members without trying.

Just going about your everyday activities may result in you meeting new people without even trying. Most of the activities, including errands that you normally engage in are wonderful opportunities for meeting new people. The key though is to be approachable or you may wind up missing these opportunities. Sometimes, all it may take is a hello to get a conversation started and sometimes you may need to dig a little deeper and ask some thought provoking questions of yourself and the other person to really form a relationship.

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Dress them up with the best baby clothes

Babies are bundles of joy so it is not surprising why everyone from the nuclear to immediate family gets all excited over the prospect of raising the newest addition to the family. For some, even the neighbors, who have become like family, share in all the anticipation. There is still nothing though that can match the enthusiasm of the parents of the child but most especially of the mother to be.

There are so many preparations to be made and even if the mother to be feels uneasy or a bit uncomfortable because of the additional weight she is carrying in her womb she is still ready to be up and about when it comes to baby preparations. And one of the most exciting parts of baby preparations is buying tons of baby clothes.

It is proven that baby clothes are one of the tops sellers in department stores and malls in any part of the world. This is the reason why big clothing companies decide to have their own line of baby clothes. More than this, there are also the brands that specialize in just baby clothes and the stores of these brands are just as big and saleable as that of the clothing brands for kids and adults. There are also known designer baby clothes and we usually hear these brands worn by celebrity kids especially those celebrities that are fashion conscious themselves. There is Anne Geddes in the United States of America and Tutti Bella for the Europeans. These brands became big by only selling baby stuff but primarily their line of baby clothes are the best in the industry.

One might argue that babies are not choosy about clothes in fact they are too young to care about fashion but precisely that is why baby clothes are a hit because the parents who want only the best for their babies are the one deciding. Another thing that can be raised is that why buy expensive clothes when in fact babies outgrow these clothes so fast but then again parents’ pride in their kids during the baby stage rests not on how intelligent or talented their kids are but rather on how cute their babies are so they have to make sure that their baby clothes highlight the best physical attributes of their little ones.

There are many kinds of baby clothes but parents need not buy all the kinds of baby clothes available in the market. We will run down the baby clothes that will be of most use to babies. First there are baby clothes based on gender. The usual baby clothes for boys are colored blue and for the girl baby clothes pink but more and more parents are now being open to buying unisex baby clothes which is really a good idea. Unisex baby clothes will send the message that there are no limitations to being a boy or being a girl.

Babies should always have a set of playwear and sleepwear because playing and sleeping are two of babies’ favorite activities. The key to choosing baby clothes for playing and sleeping is that clothes should be comfortable but of course there should also be style because there is nothing wrong with teaching babies the best way to dress up. As they say it is better to start them young.

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10 Great “No Reason” Gifts for Under $10

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” and this is especially true when giving a gift in a relationship. Simple gifts given to a loved one, don’t have to be for any reason other than to let them know that you care and are thinking of them and these gifts don’t have to be expensive. With a little creativeness you can give your loved one a gift that shows how much you love them and value your relationship for under $10.

The key to giving inexpensive gifts is to make sure they are something that the person you are giving the gift to will really cherish and appreciate. To give a really great inexpensive gift you have to think beyond the generic gifts of perfumed soaps and lotions for women and ties and socks for men. In giving inexpensive gifts try to personalize the gift to reflect the personality or hobbies of the recipient of the gift.

One inexpensive gift idea for a person who enjoys cooking is a specialty cookbook such as a dessert or ethnic cookbook. Interesting cook books can often be found in the discount section of book stores for less than $10. For an additional twist try making one of the dishes in the cookbook yourself and serving it when you present the gift to your loved one. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture and enjoy sharing the dish with you and will remember that moment fondly when using the cookbook.

For a sentimental soul, give a gift of personal photos arranged in a photo album in a unique way. Photo albums can be found for just a few dollars in convenience stores and you can use existing photos to fill the pages. The key to this gift is to present the photos in an original way. Try creating a photo album with a theme such as one that documents your relationship from courtship to your current stage or one that highlights the trips you have taken together.

The runner in your life will appreciate an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer. While these gadgets can get pricey you can still find models that perform the basic functions for under $10. This gift lets you know that you are thinking of them and that you understand their hobby. They will appreciate your interest in their activities. You can even include a note letting them know you would love to join them for a run one day.

Another inexpensive gift idea is a basket filled with homemade cookies, breads or other goodies. If you know that your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, invest a few hours of your time to bake up some tasty treats for your loved one just to let them know you are thinking of them. They will not only enjoy the treat you have prepared but will also appreciate the effort that went into the gift. If the person you are baking the goodies for is on a special diet, be sure to incorporate their dietary needs into your recipe.

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10. Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book. For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend. She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10. Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love. Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new. If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing. Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colorful wild flowers from their floral department. Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon. Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift. For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs. You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park. Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10. This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life. An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion. Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests. With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

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