There are a number of ways to get use out of that wedding dress over and over again. © Photo by Foto Elite in Ischia, Italy
Is the thought of leaving your wedding dress - the most beautiful dress you'll ever own - in a box or in your closet completely bumming you out? Well, have no fear. We've come to your rescue. I came up with 7 creative ways to reuse your wedding dress. While they all require you to have the courage to cut up your dress, you'll be able to use or view the best elements of your dress anytime you want. And your friends will be totally jealous of all the cool stuff you have.
Brides and grooms can share their photos thanks to wedding photo apps. © Photo by Foto Elite in Ischia, Italy
In the days after your wedding, when you're longing to relive every moment, you'll be thrilled to have these wedding photo apps, which I studied and wrote about recently. You can set up personal albums and have your guests upload their pictures - from both smart phones and digital cameras/computers - directly to it. Some professional photographers even upload to these apps, which means you could have thousands of your pictures right at your fingertips almost immediately. And you can show them off to anyone who wishes to see 'em. That will be everyone you meet, no?
What's your ring worth? Learn how to find out here. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Sometimes I have to put aside waxing philosophical about everlasting love for some hardcore practicality. Today is one of those days. I recently researched all you need to do to have your engagement and wedding rings appraised and insured. I never knew about one of the easiest ways to get insurance on such valuables. Hint - it might just require a phone call. You'll have to see for yourself when you read, "How to Get Your Engagement Ring Appraised and Insured."
You can preserve your wedding flowers for eternity. © Photo by Bella Pictures
Even if you have live flowers, you can save your wedding bouquet, as long as you're willing to put in some effort. Don't worry, it's not too much work, depending on what method you employ. Check out all the ways you can preserve your bouquet in "How to Preserve Wedding Flowers."
Wedding cake might not be as sweet a year later, but the memories of your big day can be. © Photo by Rosaria Di Meglio
For centuries, couples have been freezing their wedding cake to be eaten later. But if you don't freeze it properly, you won't enjoy it. It could even make you sick. If you'd rather hug your spouse (instead of the toilet) on your first anniversary, then you don't want to miss this guide, "How to Freeze Wedding Cake." Trust me, there's a lot more that goes into this than simply placing cake in a freezer. But it's not so hard that you won't want to follow through on tradition. If you are anti-tradition (don't worry, I was), there are also alternative ideas for having your cake and eating it, too, on your first anniversary.
DIY wedding thank you cards show your guests you care. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
I got crafty today, and I made these thank you cards. I thought you soon-to-be brides would appreciate step-by-step instructions, so I included them and photos in "7 Easy Steps to Make DIY Wedding Thank You Cards." And you'll learn exactly how I created the ones in the photo above. If you read the story, you'll learn that there's a surprise if you lift the rose on the traditional DIY card. You won't want to miss it. Hint - it's a great idea for flaunting your favorite wedding pics.
Homemade fortune cookies - dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles - make any day special. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
A couple of weeks ago I had a hankering for Chinese food. I didn't want to do take-out, so I made it myself. The meal included steamed pork dumplings, vegetable lo mein, spicy shrimp, and chicken wings marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and honey and topped with sesame seeds and parsley. For dessert, I, of course, made the fortune cookies above, which feature a pinch of cinnamon. Dipping them in chocolate was another bonus. (You can get recipes like these from the About.com Chinese Food site.) I invited over my parents, my brother, his wife, and his kids. It wasn't a special occasion. It wasn't planned weeks in advance. I called them all the day before, in fact. Yes, the meal took a lot of work to complete. It pretty much took all afternoon to prepare everything. But it didn't have to. I could have called everyone over and ordered take-out or made something much simpler. It is my passion to cook like this every once in a while, which is why I did it. The point I'm trying to make to you is that you don't need fancy schmancy decorations or a dessert table or weeks of planning and organizing to make a day special. Heck, you don't even need a reason to celebrate. You can just call on your loved ones - or maybe even just your spouse - and do something a little out of the ordinary on the spur of the moment. For instance, you could serve champagne with your usual roast chicken dinner. Or you could order a pizza from the best wood-burning stove place around. Or you could take your spouse's hand and lead him to the bedroom, where you've lit candles and thrown rose petals on the bed. Honestly, it doesn't take much to surprise those around you or yourself. So, make today special.
Marriage tips can usually be boiled down to basic tenets but that does not mean they don't bear repeating. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Couples counselors and therapists make their life's work trying to keep our marriages together. So, I figured they have a vault of knowledge that we need to open and study. Marriage is one test I'd really like to ace. In my latest attempt to mine the brains of couples counselors and therapists, I have put together a list of their 13 best tips for couples, especially newlyweds just starting out on the journey. But, really, we can all benefit from these suggestions, even if we have been married for what feels like a century. Check out what they had to say in "Best Marriage Advice from Couples Counselors." Let us know if you'd add any tips to the list.
The world is busy watching a video of Beyonce's sister Solange beating up on her brother-in-law Jay-Z in an elevator at a black-tie affair with her sister looking on. The fact is that some sleazy person captured the video from security cameras and sold it to the gossip rags online. Normally, I wouldn't waste any time on this because it's none of our business and we don't even know what led up to this or what the argument was about. But what I find fascinating about this is that even the rich and famous - who are really good at flashing a smile on the outside - have their fair share of troubles. No matter how great of a relationship you have with your in-laws, there is always a bit of conflict. It helps to know that we're all in the same boat. Here's some help for Beyonce and family and the rest of us:
Sometimes the only right decision is to turn around and never look back. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Usually, I'm telling you how to avoid divorce. Or I'm encouraging you to hang in there and give your marriage a second shot at life. But there are some cases that call for divorce. There are some instances when you need to hold up the Exit sign on your marriage and never look back. In "Should You Get a Divorce?" I outline some of those times. These are the reasons for which divorce just might be justified. Check them out and see where your marriage stands.