💍 Ready for the Royal Wedding! 💍

The Royal Wedding is days away and I’m swooning over wedding details for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

I love weddings and royal weddings are no exception. They’re large events where no detail is overlooked! I’m looking forward to the Markle’s dress, accessories and her hair/makeup. She’s always very stylish and I’m sure her wedding look won’t disappoint.

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Oleg Cassini and David’s Bridal are celebrating the royal wedding too. They sent me this sparkly crystal cupcake along with this wedding book, “Oleg Cassini The Wedding Dress.”

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I’ve had fun looking through the book and reminiscing about past royal weddings and other notable I Do’s.

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The 320-page book details Cassini designs over the years, including runway looks, the history of wearing white, the significance of wearing a touch of blue, and the history of bridal styles.

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Cassini was also the personal stylist to former first Lady Jackie Kennedy throughout her life. After she wore his strapless empire waist design, the style became a hit. It’s a still the number one dress choice for brides.

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The royal wedding happens this Saturday, May 19. It’s an early day with tv coverage of the nuptials starting at 4:30 am EDT, which for me is 1:30 am PDT. Maybe I’ll just stay up Friday night so I won’t miss a thing!

Are you planning to watch the royal wedding?

Chocolate + Caramels = Yes, Please!

Chocolates are my favorite treat. They’re a great dessert, especially for parties and events, like weddings.

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Recently Fran’s Chocolates sent me their famous salted caramels. These Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels are available in dark and milk chocolate, paired with soft buttery caramel and topped with gray and smoked sea salts.

The caramels look pretty and taste delicious!

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An added bonus? The presentation – box and bow – can be color coordinated.

FullSizeRender 32A tasty and eye-catching option for wedding favors.

 

Something to Savor: Wedding Keepsake Solution

Wedding planning is a special time, full of personal moments shared between the couple. The relationships is filled with keepsakes like love notes, the menu from a special date and tickets to a movie. Now add in a wedding and bridal keepsakes can include engagement photos, save the date cards and swatches of fabric, as well as tokens of affection as well, including cards, lists and notes taken during wedding planning.

It’s easy to see how a couple’s mementos could easily stack up as clutter, unless properly organized. It’s nice to keep all these mementos together, as souvenirs of the courtship and the planning process.

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One stylish storage solution comes from Savor, manufacturers of keepsake boxes. Their Wedding Edition Keepsake Box features two custom-dyed, cloth-covered “You & Me” and “Us” books that open to store away special wedding objects.

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The five drawers inside are designed to stash wedding-goodies like the ring pillow, dried flowers, the garter and more.

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The keepsake comes with folders, pre-printed labels and stickers to customize the box. The boxes come in two color schemes: blue/peach and slate/cream. Savor sent me the slate colored keepsake to check out and it’s pretty and practical.

What a practical, thoughtful way to commemorate a couple’s love story and wedding day!

Savor also makes keepsake boxes for curating memories of babies and kids. All the colorful boxes can neatly stack on bookshelves as memories to be treasured.

 

Nailed It! Spring Manicure Time

I love a pretty manicure! I almost always wear nail polish and in a variety of colors. I like everything from soft pinks and sexy reds to bold blues and vibrant oranges, and everything in between.

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This spring I’m loving pastels. That’s why I was eager to try the “Bridal Bliss” collection from Zoya. They sent me the complimentary set of polishes, which are available in so many sweet and subtle shades, ranging from creams like “Chantal” to a classic pink named “Bella.”

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I couldn’t decide which polish to use first so I tried something new – I created a mix and match manicure. I used five different shades, one for each finger and repeated the look on both hands.

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For my thumb, I used “McKenna,” a taupe shade; for the index finder, “Rue” a mauve shade; “Abby,” a lavender for my middle finger; a pastel “Blu” for my ring finger; and “Leia,” an opal-toned white/pink for my pinky.

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I love the colors and I’m really happy with this look! Plus, the mani has staying power.  I’ve been typing, doing dishes and running errands and the polish has held up well.

Staying Organized

I’m old school about keeping track of information. I handwrite notes, keep to-do lists and organize my life with a calendar.

Sure, I track things in my smartphone – from business meetings and appointments to events, date nights and family activities – but I also like having a hardcopy of my schedule.

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I was pretty excited to check out Day Designer, a strategic planner and daily agenda. They sent me a complimentary 2018 planner and I’m loving it.

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First of all, it’s a hardcover, spiral book – nothing flimsy about this calendar! Plus, it has a durable pocket in the front, which is ideal for stashing those post-it notes and do-lists I make.

Here’s what else I love about this planner – there’s a two-page calendar for every month, as well as individual pages for each day.

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On the daily pages, there are prompts to keep me focused: “Today’s Top Three,” “Notes,” and “Daily Gratitude,” as well as “To-Do” and “Don’t Forget.”

IMG_8002There are daily inspirational quotes too, like, Samuel Johnson’s, ”Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance,” and the proverb, “It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.”

Do you keep a hardcopy planner or calendar?

Must-Have Accessory: Fashionable & Functional Hairtie Bracelets

If you have long hair, you know the importance of having a ponytail holder at the ready. Often times that means keeping hair elastics in your pocket, your purse or on your wrist.

Wearing a ponytail holder on your wrist can pinch and that hurts, which is why I’m intrigued about an inventive product: hairband bracelets from Maria Shireen.

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The concept is simple and stylish – wear a bracelet that has a “channel” to hold the hair tie in place. The silver or gold bracelet is fashionable and functional. They even have plastic ones for kids and teens!

I was excited to try one out. Since I frequently write about weddings, Maria Shireen’s team sent me a bracelet from their wedding collection. It’s silver and comes with a baby blue hair tie. I can picture brides and bridesmaids wearing these bracelets throughout wedding planning and all the celebrations, including the reception and after parties.

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I’ve been enjoying wearing the bracelet which is cute and comfortable. Best of all, finding my hair tie to pull my hair back onto a ponytail is easier than ever!

Think about it: you’ll always have your ponytail holder nearby. No more searching the house, office or your bag for a hairtie because you’ll have one ready-to-go on your bracelet.

The bracelet looks pretty on its own and can be worn separate from the hairtie. When worn together, it’s hard to tell you’re rocking a ponytail with your bracelet.

Valentine’s Day Date Tips for Couples & Families

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Stumped on what to do? I’ve got some great ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart.

Since I’m a writer for San Diego Family Magazine, I had the opportunity today to share some Valentine’s Day date tips for couples and families with Renee Nelson at ABC 10News during a FacebookLive. We talked about specific places to go in San Diego; things to do on a budget and to splurge; ways to keep love sizzling, and more.

Get more Valentine’s Day ideas in the February issue of San Diego Family Magazine, which is available for free at Albertsons, Ralphs, Party City and local libraries, as well as online.

Here are some behind the scenes photos from the shoot.

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With Renee Nelson, 10News reporter
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L-R Michelle Hancock, Marketing Director for San Diego Family Magazine; San Diego Family Magazine writer Kristen Castillo, and 10News reporter Renee Nelson.
February issue of San Diego Family Magazine
February issue of San Diego Family Magazine
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With 10News reporter Renee Nelson

Feeling Glam in Fall

Fall is such a great season. Even in San Diego, the temps are cool(er) this time of year and it’s fun to wear cozy clothes and accessories in rich, autumn colors. I’ve been layering more and wearing knits and velvet.

Wearing Jane Iredale Fall Glam collection. Love this lipstick!

My accessories and makeup have taken on fall tones as well. I love burgundy, crimson and deep shades of brown.

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Jane Iredale sent me their Naturally Glam beauty collection to try out and I’m loving it.

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There’s a five-color eye shadow palette featuring shimmery neutrals, as well as a bubblegum pink blush which has delicate gold shimmer.

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They also sent this soft makeup mitt, which is so useful to wipe off the day’s makeup.

 

My favorite items? The gorgeous, seasonal lip colors: PureMoist lipstick in Gwen, an apple red and Just Kissed lip plumper in Paris, a sheer light port wine.

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These lipsticks have been the star of my fall. I’ll continue to wear them during the holidays.

 

 

Put a Ring On It!

As a wedding editor and writer, I’m always following wedding trends. One of those trends is wedding jewelry.

There’s nothing traditional about wedding rings these days.  Like never before, there are more colors, styles and metal choices for women and men.

According to The Knot, in 2016, couples said they spent over $6000 on engagement rings. There’s another jewelry expense – wedding rings for both spouses, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

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The next consideration is style. Gold, silver, titanium, tungsten and more metals, as well as colors and looks like simple bands, beveled designs and adding diamonds of other stones.

IMG_2157While brides often know what they want their wedding band to look like, men can be frustrated by the process. And even fashionable guys, can have a tough time finding a ring that fits their personal style.

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That’s why I was eager to check out Manly Bands, which promise to fit different personalities and budgets, all while being sophisticated.

Manly Bands sent me a few complimentary bands: The Gentleman, (below) a polished band made with tungsten carbide, 18K rose gold plated; and The Surfer, a modern ring made with tungsten carbide featuring dark Koa wood and genuine turquoise.

My husband tried both rings and modeled them. His fave? The Surfer (below) for its bold color and how it popped against his skin tone. This ring is very hip and a fit for his lifestyle. After all, my husband is a California native.

The rings, available in sizes five to 17, are all under $200. Wedding or not, some of these rings (like The Surfer my husband likes) can be worn as an everyday accessory.