Best Buy makes planning your wedding registry fun with these top five picks

Some think that picking out the engagement ring is tough – and in some cases it is. The right “size, shape, color”, is it new or something that is a family heirloom. When it comes to picking out your registry, you can breathe a sign of relief because Best Buy wedding registry takes all the stress out of your wedding planning with home goods that you’ll both enjoy. These are my top five picks from Best Buy to help any engaged couples new life together the best.

1 – TV anyone? This is awesome for gathering around for date night, simple movies and let’s not forget all the sports that your spouse (and possibly you too) will love to watch with family and friends.tv1112 – Technology is key in the 21st century. How about new matching mobile devices, music players or laptops? This makes staying in touch and getting those thank you notes off to your guests easier.  They also have an awesome “Geek Squad”, that can help you with any of your computer related questions. phone11

3 – New appliances may be needed in your new home and how about that washer, drier or stainless steel wine fridge you’ve had your eye on. While these may seem big-ticket items, they are great for “Group Gifting”. What’s that you ask? It allows gift-givers to give any amount they want, so couples can ask for the gifts you really want and not worry about price point. Great for your officemates or bridal party who want to pool funds for your gift.wine22

4 – It’s party time and a new stereo and/or speakers will set your party off right! Music systems will help with amazing surround sound for parties both in and out of your home. Placing your speakers near or via blue tooth, will have your guests enjoying every moment.musicsstem1

5 – I don’t know about you but nothing makes for a great party but awesome food and cocktails. That’s why a microwave, toaster, blender or coffee maker must be on your registry. Fun food just completes your new home and cocktails  or coffee make everything meal perfect all year round.coffee1

Best Buy has a great choice of gifts that will fit any registry request. Remember that all items $199 and over can be considered for their “group gifting” option. This allows you to ask for what you really want, without asking your guests to spend more than they are comfortable with—so dream big. Remember Best Buy Wedding Registry has Free Shipping, No Minimum.  So whatever your “Top Five” products, big or small, expensive or affordable, all ship for free saving your guests money.

So check out Best Buy and take the stress out of your registry planning. Now back to finding the perfect dress….

While a huge Best Buy fan, this is a sponsored post and I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

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Best Buy has a wedding registry with your name on it.

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With so many things to do before your big day, how about making life a little easier when it comes to your wedding registry? Did you know that Best Buy now has a wedding registry?!? I KNOW!!

I’m a real fan of Best Buy. It’s been a long time since a store has the latest products that fit my lifestyle and me. I have a feeling it’s the same for you. So when you and your partner start to build your registry, think about what you really need and your lifestyle. Best Buy really has the best selection of things you may need for you home and if you need help setting up your new device, the geek squad is always available. Now that’s service!ProductGroup

So why Best Buy? Look, do you really need another set of sheets or dishes? I didn’t think so. Giving your guests your registry from Best Buy will assure you that you get what you want and need to continue to build your home. You will also get the items you are truly excited to receive. That great new camera (to use on your honeymoon), perhaps that fitness tracker (to help keep you fitness goals on track) and my personal favorite Bluetooth speakers so you can play your favorite tunes on beach days or outdoors.

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One of the key benefits to this registry vs others is “group gifting”. This means your guests will spend what they want, and you’ll get what you want. There is free shipping, which is an added bonus so no gift, no matter how big or small will get to you AND there is NO minimum PURCHASE required. That’s a win-win for everyone.

So when you’re looking for the best in products, best in sales staff, the best for you, look no further than…Best Buy!

 

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Wedding Paper Divas new stationery collection

Wedding Paper Divas’ exciting new Premium Collection for brides-to-be. Debuting brand new offerings such as laser cut, letter-press, custom postage stamps and foil stamped invites, newly engaged couples can now have access to luxe embellishments at an affordable price.

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With an array of trimmings modeled after the latest trends, Wedding Paper Divas is allowing couples to incorporate high-end elements with the ability to customize their stationery to fit their unique personalities and love story. Seeing how most of these premium offerings usually cost a pretty penny, Wedding Paper Divas offers these options at prices that won’t break the bank or push you past your budget. For a set of 100 foil stamped wedding invitations, Wedding Paper Divas prices each invite at $1.69 – similar solutions in the market can cost upwards of $60 per invite, in comparison.

 

If it’s not right, a left-hook will take you down

This week has been filled with two major stories of men, both athletes who have either abused or killed their girlfriend. It’s a story we see and hear far too often and one that I feel I must discuss. It’s not often that I pull my own life into this blog and perhaps that’s the problem. So I’m going to try something new. Some may be personal stories, others real news. I think so many blogs try to sugarcoat marriage. I’ve never done that and have no intention to start now. If you don’t…let me know. I think some of it is my own written therapy so bear with me while I work through some things.

We now have two men…both athletes…one in South Africa, one in the US. One for murder, the other (because she didn’t want to file more serious charges) a simple assault. Both have lost lucrative jobs and advertising dollars. Both have said, “I’m sorry”, but I ask, sorry for what? Killing her or getting caught on videotape.”pastorias

Oscar Pistorius 6 ½ month trial found him guilty of homicide (which manslaughter here in the US). This is due to the much higher level of intent in S.A., with respect to premeditation (which the opposing council didn’t prove).   At the sentencing phase and under South African law, he could get up to 10 years in prison on the weapons charge and another 15 for homicide. In the end… It won’t bring Reeva Steenkamp back. There is rumor that there was often unrest in their home…but we’ll never know.rice

Now, ironically almost one year to the day, Valentine’s Day weekend in 2014 Ray Rice, in a fit of (drunken) rage hits his now wife, Janay Palmer. It seems they were having an argument and once they got inside the elevator, his method of resolving it was to hit her with a short, vicious left hook, as if she were a man, causing her to hit her head and pass out. Seriously, did he not get the memo that there are video cameras everywhere, or did he think that his celebrity was so great that no one would dare care? Further didn’t his parental figure tell him, “YOU NEVER HIT A GIRL NO MATTER WHAT”!?

This is someone you love right Ray? HOW COULD YOU DO THAT??!? Janay Palmer was lucky, she made it out of that elevator alive. In the end Janya is standing by the man who punched her lights out. He’s standing by the woman who spat in his face. Janay went to social media to say, “To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday (sic) is a horrible thing,” she wrote.  “To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE!” Sadly, she’s right. We, general public, can be outraged, tell her to walk/run away and say “what we would do if it was us”, but the fact is…it’s not you, this is not your story and our collective 3cents has no impact on their relationship. They have chosen to stick together, and like it or not, we have no say in the matter. It’s between them and no one else.

You never truly know what goes on in another’s relationship or behind closed doors of someone. You never know the struggles they have. Sometimes you reach out to a friend and share bits/pieces, but they only hear your side. Sometimes, there is a party where one wants to go and the other wants to stay, and there may be a bit of pushing or grabbing of an arm or just a “look”. Most only show the joy but if you look closely in the eyes of a victim, you’ll see their constant fear and sadness. So why post about this here? Knowledge is key. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical…it can be emotional and mental as well. How do I know…been there…divorced that…lived through it…came out of it and now happy. I promised myself when I got my divorce that I would never, ever be with a man who would look me in the eye and lie (my ex mastered this), even lies of omission (where bits/pieces are selectively left out of the story) which are the worse in my book. That’s when someone just thinks they can get over on you, but really you know the truth. If you give enough rope, some are stupid enough to hang themselves. I’m grateful that I have someone in my life that is the complete opposite of my ex. That’s not to say our relationship is perfect, but at least we are working on it.

So I ask you, dear reader…be honest, not with me, but with yourself. Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? Do you even know what abuse looks like…feels like? Here are some clues:

What Does An Abusive Relationship Look Like?

Does your partner ever….

Embarrass you with put-downs?

Never give you a compliment or tells you what to wear?

Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
Control the money in the relationship? Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
Make all of the decisions?
Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
Prevent you from working or attending school?
Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault?
Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?
Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. In this section, you’ll find all sorts of information on different forms of abuse. Don’t hesitate to chat or call (1-800-799-SAFE) if anything you read raises a red flag about your own relationship or that of someone you know.

Look….I’m not here to pass judgement. We all do what’s best for us at the moment.  I just pray that for Janays’ sake that this was a once in a lifetime occurrence. There are many things that I might put up with, but one for I won’t for sure.  I will never-ever stand for a man to lay a hand on me…or any woman that I know. That is not acceptable behavior and I won’t put up with it.

What’s your opinion??

Better Bridal Beauty during Acne Awareness Month

Nearly 85 percent of all people have acne at some point in their lives and it is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting over 40 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In honor of Acne Awareness Month, we’ve compiled a list of effective acne-fighters with innovative ingredients that reduce oil production, unclog pores and kill acne causing bacteria in order to banish breakouts. Let’s face it, no bride wants a breakout on her wedding day.

Sublime Beauty’s Blemish Terminator Blemish Serum
This serum combines 2% salicylic acid with 2% glycolic acid. The combination of alpha and beta hydroxy acids exfoliates dead skin cells to unclog pores and absorbs deeper into the skin targeting hyperpigmentation and dark marks leftover from previous flare ups.sublime

$35 via www.sublimebeautyshop.com.

Apothederm Acne Clarifying Treatment

This two-in-one problem solver helps to eliminate breakouts and minimize pore size. Salicylic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory, exfoliating dead skin cells to help reduce pore size and sebum build up. Oligopeptide-10, a patented SmartPeptide® with skin calming properties, has been shown to help bind cellular toxins and kill acne-causing bacteria.acne

$32.50 at spas and online via www.apothederm.com and www.dermstore.com.

Jan Marini Skin Research Bioclear Lotion

A powerful combination of acids – glycolic acid, salicylic acid and  azelaic acid – that addresses a variety of skin concerns including the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, acne, rosacea, acne scarring, large follicles and porous skin texture. Bioclear drastically resurfaces skin while lessening the appearance of aging and sun damage. Skin will appear dramatically softer, smoother, more luminous and hydrated.janmar

$60 at spas, physicians’ offices and www.janmarini.com.

Karin Herzog Oxygen Face

The high concentration of oxygen, a natural antiseptic, penetrates deep into the skin to neutralize subcutaneous bacteria, eliminate accumulated toxins and clear surface acne. This light cream helps to enhance nutrient absorption, optimize skin functions and limit the formation of excess sebum, clogged pores and blemishes.karinh

$65 via www.karinherzog.com.

Repêchage Hydra Medic Face Wash Foaming Gel Cleanser

Hydra Medic Face Wash is a soap-free formula that deep cleanses without causing dryness. Salicylic Acid neutralizes bacteria while gently exfoliating the skin. Infusion of antioxidant synergistic tea blend soothes inflamed skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Active ingredients include: Porprhyridium Micro-alga, Green Tea Extract, Rooibos Tea Extract, Salicylic Acid, Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga Odorata Flower Oil), Basil and Lavender Oil repechage

$30 via www.repechage.com

Miracle Skin Transformer Acne Control

A skin-perfecting tinted skin enhancer that creates a flawless finish as it moisturizes and treats acne prone skin, while fighting future breakouts. Long wear, natural coverage conceals imperfections instantly, helping to diminish the appearance of blemishes, pores, acne scars, and uneven skin tone for a smooth, matte, flawless finish.skin

$48 via www.miracleskintransformer.com.

 

NYFW: Men of the Gilded Age look chic thanks to Jenny Balding and Cutler/Redken

 

Jenny Balding, NYC Cutler Salon Stylist & Redken Grooming & Styling Expert, styled that hair at the Gilded Age FW14 Collection during New York Fashion Week.

“Edgar Allan Poe started an exploration of the heart of darkness that kick-started the art movement of symbolism, which inspired 20th-century surrealism, and, in turn, altered the direction of literature, arts and fashion.” – Stefan Miljanic, Gilded Age Designer

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“The look for Gilded Age had a poetic feel – keeping looking tailored but with a natural disheveled finish.  This complimented the clothes beautifully as the collection is one of a poetic, tailored feel.  This look works best when there is longer layers through the front area especially .” – Jenny Balding, NYC Cutler/Redken Stylist   
Create the Look
  • Start by creating a natural side part.
  • On damp hair, use a blow dryer and use your fingers  to maneuver the hair over to one side casually.
  • Redken For Men dishevel is is perfect for most hair types to create the finish for this look.
  • Use small amounts and starting at the crown work your way forward to the front to create this slight disheveled, poetic look.

 

Wine Wednesday: Belevedere Valentine’s Day kiss

Belvedere will get your party started or make your romantic night, more romantic.  Belvedere in any of their flavor will make your Valentine’s Day, night, one to remember.

Raspberry Chocolate Kiss
3 muddled raspberries.
2 1/2oz Belvedere Vodka
1/2 oz creme de cocoa
1/2 mint infused simple syrup
Splash cranberry juice

Chocolate graham cracker crust rim
Garnish with 1 Hershey Kiss at bottom of martini glass

Girls Night

Italian Love Affair – Add a bite to your Spritz and enjoy this cocktail with your best gal pals.

30 ml Belvedere Pink Grapefruit

20 ml Aperol

Top Chandon

 

Combine all ingredients in a wine glass over ice and gentle stir. Garnish with a pink grapefruit twist.


Night on the Town

Express Your Love – Enjoy this delightful after dinner drink with your special sweetie.

50 ml Belvedere Vodka

20 ml chilled espresso

20 ml vanilla infused simple syrup

Dash cream

 

Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass or coupette. Garnish with 3 espresso beans.

 

First Date

Valentine‘s Martini Pour Deux – Make the first date memorable with this classic Belvedere Martini.

120 ml Belvedere Vodka

20 ml Dolin Dry

 

Combine ingredients in large mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain equal parts mixture into two chilled mini martini glasses and pour remaining liquid into a mini carafe. Keep carafe on ice and garnish martinis with an olive each.


Cozy at Home

Cupid’s Champagne Potion –  Toast to your love and celebrate the good times with this festive sparkling cocktail!

30 ml Belvedere Vodka

30 ml peach puree

Top Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label

 

Combine Belvedere and peach puree in a tin and shake with ice. Fine strain into a chilled flute and top with Veuve Clicquot.

 

Guys Night

Unfiltered on the Rocks – Guys night out? No problem choosing, Belvedere on the rocks it is!

50 ml Belvedere Unfiltered

1 large black olive

 

Pour Belvedere Unfiltered over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a large black olive.