Friday, February 24, 2012

Be a Bridesmaid and Get Over Yourself! You're Not the Bride!

Written By: Ooh La La (Danielle Marie)

Every bride has those friends they regret asking to stand up in the wedding.  Why must there always be a bridesmaid who finds issue with the dress style or color or length or fit?  Usually there is always one bridesmaid in a bunch who complains about the cost of everything.  And last, but not least, we have those bridesmaids who don't want to help in anyway but to make their appearance the day of the wedding!  Here's some simple advice for those of you out there who may fall into one of these categories...GET OVER YOURSELF!

Stop making it difficult for the bride, it's her special day and let her enjoy the planning of her wedding.  It's stressful enough without your complaints.

If you don't love the bridesmaid dress or you are being overly self-conscious, STOP, and keep your criticisms to yourself.  Let's be real, will you ever really wear that dress again?  And how often do you plan on looking at those pictures?  It's highly unlikely they will be hanging them next to your own wedding pictures.

Remember, that when you agree to stand up in a wedding, you need to have some money saved for dresses, shoes, jewelry, hair, engagement party costs, bridal shower costs, bachelorette party costs, gifts and any other random items the bride wishes for you to purchase.  Let's be realistic, you need about $500.  If you can't afford it, just decline the honor.  The bride won't be upset, she's planning a wedding is well aware of costs.  She would rather know the truth and not have you stand up than listen to your monetary complaints for a year.

Bridesmaids are not only asked to stand up as sign of favoritism and love but also to help with the numerous preparations.  If you can't help the maid of honor plan the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party and assist the bride with preparations and clean up the day of the wedding, then maybe you should rethink being a bridesmaid.  This isn't your day to just show-up and enjoy, it's the bride and groom's day to relax.  So, GET OVER YOURSELF!

Here's a tip:  If the bride is stressed, then the groom is stressed, so you better pick up the pieces, fast!

Remember you will eventually have your own special day, you're not the bride this time!  Be a good friend and try not to think of your needs but those of the bride and groom and it will make the planning process and wedding day much more enjoyable for all!

Courtesy of Andrew Schliesman Photography

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Art to the Smell of Cheese

Written By: Ooh La La (Danielle Marie)

Ever wonder how to cut a slice of cheese? 
Don't kid yourself, it is an art.

We've all been to those wine tastings with platters of delicious cheeses.  Where to start?  Sometimes they are pre-sliced, which if not eaten right away will dry out and harden, but the best cheeses are those left out on the platter for two hours before serving and not pre-sliced.  Look for these at a gourmet cheese shop, they are usually not available at your local chain grocery store. 

Here's a specialty store that carries a wide variety of excellent cheeses!

Now, how should you properly cut a slice of cheese? 

Try not to mix knives, there should be one knife for each variety of cheese. 

Never cut the "nose" off the cheese.  This is the softest part and the best part!  So if the cheese brick is a wedge, do not cut off the thinnest corner....THE NOSE!  Slice along the length of the cheese, this way you get a little nose while leaving some to share with others.

Want to try the "King of Cheeses"?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Give Some Extra Lovin' on Valentine's Day!

Written By: Va Va Voom (Katrina)

It's Valentine's Day! This day has mixed emotions for people all over the world!  If you're a man you come up with the excuse that Hallmark created this holiday and too much pressure is put on you!  And you're right, a lot of pressure is on you, you better make this a very memorable day!  Here's an easy trick, watch any chick flick and repeat!!!

For women on Valentine's Day, it can be a day of fancy, frustration, anxiety, wonder, happiness, nervousness, excitement or disappointment.  More importantly it is a day of chocolate!  Forget love ladies, all we need is chocolate, am I right?

"After about 20 years of marriage, I'm finally starting to scratch the surface of what women want. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate." Mel Gibson

Eating chocolate can have significant influences on mood, generally leading to an increase in pleasant feelings and a reduction in tension. – Peter Rogers, Ph.D., Institute of Food Research

"Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me." Audrey Hepburn

Now seriously, Valentine's Day is a day to remember that you are loved, whether it's your spouse, your friends or your family, Valentine's Day is the day for extra lovin' (apply where needed hehe).

So remember to love whole heartily and if you do, you will receive it back times ten!

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.”  Mark Twain

“Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”  Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist

“A man loses his sense of direction after four drinks; A woman loses hers after four kisses.”  H.L. Mencken

“A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point. That's basic spelling that every woman ought to know.” Mistinguette

“Love is like a river, always changing, but always finding you again somewhere down the road.”
Kelly Elaine

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.”

And finally.... Provocative Manners dares you to do some extra lovin' today! We dare you to hug, kiss, or say I love you to someone you have never said it too! Good luck and good lovin!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Make a Commitment! Répondez S'il Vous Plaît

Written By: Ooh La La (Danielle Marie)

Why is it so diffcult for guests to R.S.V.P. to a party?  Is it lack of social manners, laziness, honest forgetfulness or just a failure to commit? 

It seems that everyone wants to be invited, and will be personally offended if not, but the people who demand an invitation are those less likely to respond with a reply.  They are always looking for the next best party or event, so you wait and wait, and you never receive an R.S.V.P.  These people may never change, so it's up to you, do you want to really want to invite them?

Laziness....enough said...  It's extremely rude if you don't respond to an invitation.  You say, you don't care?  Well expect to be in the same situation at your next party when you receive no replies because your guests are too lazy.  Good luck trying to plan your food and drink menu! 

If you are one of those people who honestly forget to R.S.V.P., then make it a priority to check your schedule and respond as soon as possible.  Don't put it on the top of a pile of papers in your kitchen; you will never remember it's there, until it's too late!  Hang it on the refrigerator, that way you won't remember to respond.

Here's the lesson, pick up your phone, we all have one...and make the call!  Call whether you can or cannot make the event.  Don't lack this basic social manner, don't be lazy, don't be forgetful and don't fail to commit!  Otherwise you may not be invited to their next party and word spreads quickly, so you may be missing out some great events!

Are you looking for cute party invitations?   Check out

Photo from

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Woman's Love Affair: Shoes, Shoes and More Shoes

Written By: Ooh La La (Danielle Marie)

Every man knows when entering a woman’s closet, he will find at least twenty pairs of shoes and this can be a gross understatement.  Shoes have a special place in every woman’s heart.  Maybe it’s one of those things that we know will always be constant, the size of our feet, of course unless they expand during pregnancy.  Shoe shopping is less exhausting than clothes shopping.  We could try on five pairs of pants in a wide range of sizes and none will fit properly, but with shoes, it’s usually only one size and one try and we are either in love or not.  It is important to remember that not all shoe types, styles, colors and patterns will look good on every woman.  They are similar to clothing in that sense.  We each have our own specific style of shoe that looks better on us, and this is because our feet are not all the same.  Luckily, they are similar enough that there is uniform sizing and we do not have to try on four different sizes to find the one that might fit in that specific brand. 

A Quote to Toast: “Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life.” ~Unknown


            Make sure to have the basic black pair of shoes, whether it’s a cute pair of pumps, stylish ballet flats or strappy sandals.  Every woman wears black shoes almost daily, especially for work or social events.  If you start with the staple colors, such as black, brown and neutral, then go crazy and start adding the reds, pinks, purples, blues, greens, etc.  Pick your basic colors based on your wardrobe, but remember that whether it’s a basic color or bold color ask yourself…can this be worn with at least one outfit?  If you go with bold, make sure you love them!  Otherwise they may sit in your closet for years to come.


            If you want to stand out from the rest of the crowd, purchase of pair of shoes with a stylish pattern which compliments your outfit.  There are so many prints available, plaids, paisleys, cheetah, faux snake, florals or color patterns.  Make sure these prints do not clash with your outfit but add an accent.  If you are wearing a Burberry plaid trench coat, do not wear floral print shoes.  Keep the patterns to a minimum, a small amount of pattern solely on your shoes can add a great deal to your outfit, but do not over do it. 

            Add a little accent or bling to spice up those everyday shoes.  A gem broach, floral pin or buckle, are great additions, but do not overdo it. 

Keep everyday shoes classy and with the streamlined look.  It would probably not be appropriate to wear extremely accessorized shoes for a business conference.  Feel free to have fun with your shoes and show your personality!

To Follow Trends or Not to Follow Trends

            Shoes go in and out of style just as fast as each season’s colors.  Do not assume you have to purchase a new pair of black heels every September.  Find classic shoes that can be worn for years to come in the basic neutral colors.  These shoes will probably be worn the most.  It is the patterned, bold prints that will quickly go in and out of style.  If you have the basic colors, you can always accessorize the shoe to add more color depending on the styles for that season.

            This should not hinder you from purchasing those bright orange strappy croc stilettos, just do not expect to get a lot of use of them.  Those are the shoes that make a big statement, but only a few times.  Keep them though; you never know when you can pull those out since the styles change so quickly from season to season.

Cost v. Designer

            This is probably the biggest dilemma for any woman.  How much to spend on a pair of shoes?  Do we purchase the Jimmy Choo’s, the Steve Madden’s or the knock-off styles from Target?  Keep in mind your budget.  It would probably make more sense to spend a little more money on the shoes you wear frequently.  These you want to last for more than one season.  If you feel the need to splurge, do so on a great pair of classic black pumps instead of the pink cheetah print stilettos.  If you do not plan on wearing the shoes that often, spend less money on that pair as they will not go through much wear and tear.

A Quote to Toast: “Shoes are like friends; they can support you or take you down.” ~Unknown


            There are such a wide range of shoe styles for women.  The only way to see what style of shoes looks best on your feet will mean some major shoe shopping.  If you have larger ankles, a chunky wedge may not be the ideal shoe for you as it may cause your ankle to look larger.  Probably a pump heel would be a better selection since it will elongate your ankle and leg.  Possibly take a friend along, or ask one of the shoe department clerks for a recommendation.  The best advice though will come from your impression.  You know what feels good and looks flattering on your own feet.  Here is a list of a few different shoe styles to explore when shopping for that perfect pair:

·         Ballet Flats: Go neutral, metallic, bold colors or accessorize these everyday shoes to compliment pants, a skirt or dresses.

·         Flip Flops: Wear these sparingly, as they portray a more casual appearance.  Never wear these to an interview, cocktail party or church event. 

·         Boots: Boots can be tricky, depending on your height and leg structure.  These also go in and out of style very quickly, try to purchase a pair of boots that can be worn several seasons and are made of good quality leather.

·         Heels: There is a large variety of heels.  Feel comfortable before venturing out in a 6 inch stiletto, but do not hesitate to at least try something new!

1.    Stilettos

2.    Peep Toes

3.    Mary Jane Pumps

4.    Kitten Heel

5.    Platform

6.    Strappy Sandals

7.    Wedges

8.    Basic Pump

·         Tennis Shoes: Keep tennis shoes for casual and athletic events.  Never wear these to a wedding, church event, cocktail party or if you plan on making a great impression.  These are not the most flattering shoes for women’s feet.

·         Basic Work Shoes (depending on profession): You know what type of shoes are required for your job.  Whether you are an attorney, nurse, teacher, etc.  Make sure you will be comfortable in whatever style of shoes you decide to purchase for work.


Need to go shoe shopping now? Or even to admire some beautiful art?
Venus High Heel

Orysia Ballet Flat

Lace Up Boots

A Quote to Toast: “What becomes of the broken-hearted? They buy shoes.”

~Mimi Pond

Good luck shopping!