Keeping the Spark Alive in Marriage..

Its time for the BUBBLY BLUES AND BLISS …Matchmaker Ana is back!

Question: How to keep the spark alive in marriage?

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Answer:

1.  Routines: Don’t get in them. If in them, get out of your current routines.

After two years, you’re in a comfortable routine—work, home, dinner, bed. Days off, you shop for things for the home, go out to eat, go to the movies, or visit friends. Wondering how I know? Because EVERY NEW COUPLE does this.

Remember when you first started dating? You actively looked for new ways to experience your partner. That does not have to end. Take an art class together. Go on day trips to semi-local places you’d never frequent by yourself. Take turns introducing something new to your relationship. You will be happy you did!

2.  New people: Introduce new people into your relationship. Wait! Hear me out.

Sex can get routine, too. Why do you think so many people cheat? Many are bored. They want sexual excitement. You can give your partner that. I call it ALL-DAY ROLEPLAY. You dress like your alter ego…meet your lover at a bar…use fake names. Flirt as if you’re single…go home with your new “friend”. Go all out! The rewards you reap will be worth it. I promise.

3.  Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

We aren’t really taught how to communicate and that spills over into never learning the communication styles of our partners. We fail to let our partners know when one way of communicating no longer suits us. Successful communication makes everything about your relationship better. Keep the lines of communication open – always! You’ll have a long and prosperous relationship.

Two years down. A lifetime to go. Isn’t that the saying? Keep believing in love. It’s such a beautiful thing when it’s done right. And it sounds like you are doing it right! Always remember your “why I fell in love” moment. Don’t allow things to get boring and routine. Keep it fresh! Good luck lovers!!  ( ˘ ³˘)♡

Your Dream Wedding is Possible

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With the average cost of weddings steadily rising many couples opt out of having a huge celebration. R.Kristi offers another alternative to budget conciseness couples. A Pop-Up wedding celebration!

R.Kristi Modern Hospitality is the founder of the Blissful Grandeur: A Pop-Up Wedding Celebration. Blissful Grandeur opens the door for couples to have a truly unique wedding with all the bells and whistles of a celebrity-style celebration for under $5,000.

All the details are kept secret until the wedding day. This alternative focuses on millennials, complimenting the changes in our evolving lifestyles, trends, and economy and celebrates love in a big way.

Want to know how to Register?

Couples must send in their love story and a short video to be considered for participation in the Pop-Up Wedding Celebration in New York City.

Blissful Grandeur modernizes the celebration of marriage, allowing space for stronger bonds and unions to exist within loving relationships in the hopes of ultimately lowering the divorce rate.

Blissful Grandeur is currently looking for couples to participate in this multi-couple extravagant event. For more information on how to register or to learn more visit HERE.

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Photography: Javier Royal

 

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Photography: Javier Royal

Creative Director & Blissful Grandeur Concept Producer : Racquel Kristi of R.Kristi Modern Hospitality
Bridal Wardrobe Styling: Vainglorious Brides by Selina Howard
Photography: Javier Royal
Hair: 4 Ur Pleasure Beauty & Katy Cheng Levee
Makeup: Eloria Michelle-Beauty Concierge & Eze Nwanyi Makeup Artistry
Location: New York City

Go Unique for Mother’s Day

Mother'sDayPic3Mother’s Day is only a few days away. This is the year you do something unique for the woman you love beyond all others.

Sure, flowers are a great gift. Brunch or lunch at a good restaurant is one way to go. But what if this year, you really put some thought into what your Mom wants or truly needs.

Mothers on a tight budget who give everything they have to their children appreciate gifts that keep on giving.

Bath. What about a gorgeous shower curtain to replace the ancient one she keeps patching with tape? It spruces up her bath and tells her you understand. Beautiful and luscious smelling soaps in her favorite fragrance. Give her a luxury she would never give herself. Shop a store like Bath & Body Works, specialty gift stores, or upscale department stores to find what you need. One bar or bottle of truly good-for-the-skin soap is sooo worth it.

Cable Upgrade. For a few dollars a month, you can spread out your payments, and she can watch a premium channel when she finds time to sit down.

Netflix. Another spread the payments idea that gives her a chance to catch up on television shows and the latest movies.

Pedicure. Absolutely nothing will make your mom feel more pampered than relaxing in a massaging chair and having her feet softened and her toes brightened with a new summer polish.

Food Processor. If she has arthritis, she will love this gift! Makes her life simpler and easier. She will think of how special you are to think about her needs every time she uses it – a nice bonus.

Corkscrew. A fabulous gift is one of the new battery or electric corkscrews. It gets to the point much faster and lets the enjoyment begin! (also great for those with arthritis)

Letter. The perfect gift. Write it on beautiful stationery (I didn’t say expensive) and let her know what you are thinking about at this time in your life, how much she means to you, all the wonderful things you know she did for you, your hopes and dreams….Be sure and date it! Do not e-mail the letter. Write it with your own pen. Too late to get a letter across the country or around the world? Let her know via email, Skype, tablet, or a note in a bottle that something special is on the way. Her happiness will explode into glee when it arrives.

To All You Moms

May You Have the Happiest of Mother’s Days

Don’t forget to Accessorize, All of You Bridal’s

Creative Weddings from All of You Bridal’s

All of You Bridals

Custom Ring Pillow from All of You Bridal’s

 

Today we are talking with the owner of All of You Bridal’s, Ursula White, shares the reason she opened her successful company and some innovative info on the creative process.

C&C:  What inspired you to open All of You Bridal’s?
UW: I created my company because when my husband and I got married 15 years ago, I could not find the types of colorful wedding accessories that I wanted for the wedding. I made everything for our wedding, and the items were such a big success that friends and friends of friends, as well as family members, wanted similar beautiful items their weddings.

C&C: What are the most unique items you’ve made?
UW: I’ve had the opportunity to create so many unique items! Probably, the most different and unique item was a divorce ring pillow. But for a wedding, the best was a ring pillow in a glass bowl filled with fake water and rubber ducks. I loved that one!

C&C: What are some creative ideas that couples can use to get creative with their ring pillows, garters, flower baskets, and more?
UW: I have a very creative mind and can get lost in the designs if the decisions are left up to me with no limits. My designs span from theatrical to simple elegance. There is a never-ending palette of colorful ideas.

C&C: Are there any last minute tips you would offer to brides when it comes to creating their wedding dream wedding accessories?
UW: Don’t wait too late to order. Too many brides wait to choose accessories and miss the chance to have what they really wanted. Custom designs are lots of fun to create and bring out the couples personalities, but quality work, like mine, takes time to design and a lot of work to complete.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?
UW: Everything happens for a reason.

C&C: How can a couple shop for your lovely designs?
UW: Visit me at http://www.allofyou.etsy.com to see many of our beautiful items and to get ideas for your custom accessories.

Thanks so much to Ursula White for all her lovely tips. Don’t forget to follow All of You Bridal’s on Facebook! View Below some of her beautiful work.

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Custom Garter by All of You Bridal’s

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Custom Wedding Pillow by All of You Bridal’s

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Custom Garter by All of You Bridal’s

 

Groom Inspiration for the Inspired and Stylish Groom

Today we are talking with the creator of Groom Inspiration about Groom style and trends. The wedding isn’t not just for the bride. It is the groom’s day too!

C&C: What inspired you to start Groom Inspiration?

GI: Groom Inspiration was created to provide grooms with a reference point when planning for their wedding. We wanted to assist grooms finding and wearing their unique look for their special day.

There are hundreds of pages that focus on brides and showcase bridal attire, but very few highlight information for grooms. This probably comes from the notion that grooms are not interested in putting much effort into their wedding day outfit and could get away with wearing ‘work suits’ on their big day.

Against this backdrop, and with a passion for seeing better-dressed grooms, this page came to be. I never considered myself a fashion expert; however, I have always had an interest in men’s fashion, and I was confident we could inspire and assist grooms in choosing appropriate attire for their special day.

C&C: What are some trends when it comes to groom style?

GI: White and off-white suits for the groom

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Photography by Peter Bello

Blue three-piece suits

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Photography by Adebayo Deru

 

Matching colored socks for the groom and groomsmen

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Photography by AkintayoTimi

Cravats

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Photography by T. Philips

Superhero shirts

C&C: What are some great ways for the groom to coordinate with their bride on their wedding day?

GI: A new trend is the groom’s lapel flower being one of the flowers from the bride’s bouquet. This adds a personal touch and is a great way to coordinate the outfits and wedding colors.

We generally advise grooms to have an item or two for their groomsmen that coordinate with the bridesmaids’ dresses without going overboard. This could be matching lapel flowers, ties, cravats, socks, or wristbands to the bridesmaids’ bouquets or dresses.

C&C: Anything else you would like to share with future grooms and groomsmen?

GI: Every groom has a unique style, and this should be visible in his choice of clothes for the wedding.

It is also worth mentioning that grooms actually have more color choices than brides, as brides generally wear white, off-white, or cream dresses. Grooms can choose from various shades of black, grey, blue, white, or tan among many others. Grooms should use this to their advantage.

Whether you decide to go for a classic black suit and tie or a blue three-piece suit, make sure you look dapper.

Do not wait until the last minute to choose the groomsmen’s’ outfit. There is usually a lot more to arrange than one thinks, including proper fitting.

C&C: What is in store for Groom Inspiration in the future?

GI: Groom Inspiration was created about a year ago, and we currently have about 22,000 followers on Instagram, a testament that a groom-focused wedding page was needed and works.

We are currently focusing on growing our Instagram following by ensuring that our posts remain relevant and interesting. We are also working on our website to be launched shortly and will also continue to collaborate with more wedding and menswear pages to ensure that we continue to inspire a wide variety of grooms.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?

GI: I actually have two favorites: ‘Don’t forget why you started.’ and ‘Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big.’

These two quotes have continued to inspire us in building Groom Inspiration and developing our brand. Our desire to continue to focus on inspiring grooms, which is specifically why we started, continues to motivate us. We make sure that each of our posts line up with this aspiration.

Thanks so much to Groom Inspiration for taking the time to talk with us be sure to follow on them on instagram at @GroomInspiration and check out their website http://www.groominspiration.com

Spice up your Life Introducing The Bubbly Bliss and Blues

 

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The Bubbly Bliss and Blues is here! The Bubbly Bliss and Blues is Champagne and Cakes relationship column. You can submit your questions about love, relationships, and dating  for The Bubbly Bliss and Blues. Here’s how it works.

Write a clear question that asks something specific in 100 words or less. Keep it clean. No profanity or obscene language will be accepted.

Submit your question through email info@champagneandcake.com be sure to put on the subject Questions for Bubbly Bliss and Blues

Your name and email address will not be included with the posted question. Give me a username to post with the question.

I will select one question to be answered each month for The Bubbly Bliss and Blues. Our contributor Matchmaker Ana will be answering your questions.

Thanks and don’t forget to submit your questions.

5 Tips to Keep the Love Alive

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5 Tips to Keep the Love Alive

Matchmaker Ana is back and this time she is talking about 5 tips to keep the love alive in your marriage.

C&C: Okay, we find the perfect match, get married, and then what?

MA: A good marriage also requires work and a dedication to succeed. Here are some things I recommend to married couples to keep the love alive.

Top 5 Tips to Keep the Love Alive

Never stop dating. Making time for your relationship will never let you down. Great relationships don’t just happen, they are cultivated by two people with the common goal – for the marriage to last. Old is the goal. If you want to grow old with your forever, keep doing the things you did in the beginning (but with a twist!).

Schedule regular date nights and keep them. Just because life gets busier doesn’t mean our partners should feel neglected. And neither should you. Make time on a regular basis to reconnect…preferably weekly. The kids will be fine and your business will not go up in flames because you spent time with your mate for a couple of hours.

Spice things up. After awhile, even the best meals get old. Don’t go on those same old dates/vacations/places. Occasionally experience something new as a couple. Take a painting class, learn salsa, or go skydiving—all ways you and your partner can keep the dating game spicy!

Introduce new ideas into the bedroom. No one wants a boring bedroom. Remember what I said about variety earlier? Constantly introducing new romantic ideas in the bedroom will keep your partner looking forward to more, more, more. Don’t let missionary position ruin your life….

Show and Accept appreciation and affection. It shocked me when I realized how many couples are not on the same page about how to show appreciation and affection with each other. How many times has your partner washed the dishes or laundry and you criticized how he/she didn’t put away the dishes or clothes right? Often? Well guess what? You created a gap in your relationship and told him/her never do those things again. Not out of kindness anyway. I get it. We’re busy and stressed. But that is no excuse if you want a good marriage. A simple thank you and a hug can close that gap in a heartbeat.

Learn how your mate shows appreciation and allow them to give it to you. Don’t shun that little something extra they do for you, like remembering your favorite ice cream or giving you time to watch your favorite television show. Accept those gestures that in their own way send your love and appreciation.

Keep a safe space for open communication. This one is the most important. We hear this repeatedly, yet couples do nothing to change the fact that WE DONT TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS. There is a plethora of reasons why, but I’m only concerned with one today. Most couples don’t have a safe space in their relationship to share their truths without judgment or persecution. Okay, maybe not persecution, but we often keep things from partners because we want to avoid confrontation, wrath, and anger. It is crucial to communicate openly. And that includes listening and speaking.

C&C: Any other information you would like to share?
MA: Don’t settle! You deserve better than that.

Thanks to Matchmaker Ana for all her great tips. Stay tuned to learn how you can submit questions for her to answer on our New Love/Relationship Column. Details coming tomorrow. Stay tuned and don’t for get to visit Matchmaker Ana’s website and connect with her.

Give Yourself a Chance

GiveYourselfaChanceMatchmaker Ana (aka Ana Lorian), owner of The Analorian Agency brings her expertise to us this week of love with advice on dating and keeping the spark alive in your marriage.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?
MA: The person who loves the least controls the relationship…

C&C: That carries a powerful message. Can you give us some tips on avoiding missteps in this complex dating world?
MA: The advice I give singles include these tips:

Top 5 Dating Tips

  • Avoid punishing your future self for past bad decisions. We all make them. How else would we have become the person we are? Those bad decisions and their consequences help us grow and see things with new eyes. Give your future self a chance.
  • Never Settle. Every qualm you have is valid. You can have the forever you want, provided it’s realistic. Sadly, most people never look at what their ideal partner would encompass. It is important to your future to determine what your requirements are and that includes needs and wants. But the three are totally different things. Which brings me to my next one.
  • Take time to do the hard work. Learn who you are and whom you should be dating. Everyone has a type (and I’m not talking about physically). What I mean is that you’ve had life experiences, which shaped your view relationships and life. Not everyone will understand your views. However, there are a unique few who will. And in those unique few is your “forever”. Do you want to stop having dates that end in frustration? Make it easy on yourself and learn how to weed out the wrong people? You can only do that if you take time and do the hard work.

(1) quit beating yourself up over past relationships

(2) determine what you want in a partner

(3) learn who you are (see number 4 on appearance)

(4) give yourself permission to weed out those that don’t meet your criteria

(5) look for the person who understands your unique views

  •  Appear available. If you look unavailable and unappealing to other singles, you will never find the right one.Constantly connected to your phone and wearing so much makeup that you no longer resemble yourself is highly unattractive. Gives off vibes that you aren’t looking for anyone. When was the last time you walked up to a stranger who was on their phone and tried to strike up a conversation? See where I’m going with this? Put the phone down, slow down, and learn how to put your best foot forward.
  • Stay hopeful/positive. Your energy is what attracts people to you. Energy is directly affected by your mindset. Is yours positive? No one likes a Negative Nelly or Ned, especially when on a date. If you want to attract positive, good people, you must think positive thoughts and project a pleasant attitude. Like attracts like.

C&C: How should an entrepreneur date and keep balance?
MA: Make love as much a priority as business. That’s a must if they are going to schedule a date. Learn to socialize and have fun, and that doesn’t include business networking! Be open to dating.

C&C: Okay, we find the perfect match, get married, and then what?

Stay Tuned Wednesday for MatchMaker Ana’s tip to keeping the love alive in a marriage. Be sure to visit Matchmaker Ana’s Website and connect with her Twitter  Instagram Tumblr Facebook. And stay tuned for the release of our Relationship and Love Column.

Matchmaker Ana

 

Business with Basiden, “The Power in Pursuing your Dreams”

Many of our guests over the past year are entrepreneurs with new businesses in clothes design, make-up artists, bakers, florists, stationery, and photographers. I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Baisden, well-known radio personality, actor, author, and mentor for young men,during Minority Business Week presented by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and asked him to share some of his inspirations and his motivation to continue to pursue his dreams.

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C&C: How do people overcome fear to achieve their dreams?

MB: Your aspirations have to be bigger than your fears. It’s only when your aspirations and dreams grow bigger than your fears that you will make a difference.

C&C: What inspired you to pursue your dreams?
MB: My desire to make an impact on society. My dream was, and still is, to have a positive impact. I’m not worried about achieving fame.

C&C: What is your favorite quote?
MB: I have many. I post quotes all the time on my social media pages. One of my favorites is: “Great things have no fear of time.” (author unknown)

C&C: What are some of your favorite topics to discuss and study?
MB: Inspiration, Motivation, Overcoming adversity.

C&C: What, if any, advice would you give to young entrepreneurs on dating?
MB: Date another entrepreneur or someone who has a family member who is very busy, because they understand the enormous pressure on an entrepreneur to achieve their dream.

Date someone with at least one of these qualities:
Great at being alone
Incredibly busy and passionate about what they’re doing, so they understand your drive.

C&C: Any final tips for young entrepreneurs?
MB: Entrepreneurship brings enormous joy and pride, but it can be hard on relationships and hard on our egos. Here are a few tips that I found helpful.
Get ready to fail. It takes time to build a business.
Check your friendships and relationships to see if the people around you are supportive of your goals and aspirations.
There are no neutral people in relationships and friendships with an entrepreneur.
You are either Dream Builder or Dream Killer.

A fellow young business professional , Ellis Foster talked about what he learned from his experience meeting Michael Baisden : Never be afraid to fail when you are pursuing your dreams. When you are pursing your dreams, you will encounter two types of people Dream Builders and Dreams Killers. Identify those people and continue to move forward.

Talking Wedding Planning with Lauren Hines of Get Wed for Less

Lauren Hines, the owner of Get Wed for Less, LLC and creator of WeddinatorⓇ App , visits Champagne & Cake today.

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Owner of Get Wed for Less, LLC Lauren Hines

 

C&C: What is your favorite quote?

LH: I love something business philosopher Jim Rohn said. “Every life form seems to strive to its maximum except human beings. How tall will a tree grow? As tall as it possibly can. Human beings, on the other hand, have been given the dignity of choice. You can choose to be all or you can choose to be less. Why not stretch up to the full measure of the challenge and see what all you can do?”

C&C: What inspired you to create Get Wed for Less?
LH: When I was planning my wedding a few years ago, I was frustrated on numerous occasions with the process. I realized after going through dozens of websites, books, magazines, and more, there was no single resource that had all the information and numbers I needed to plan my wedding. Years later I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to create a website that had pricing, offerings, and company info on vendors that savvy brides could easily access?” From there, it became the company’s mission to save brides and grooms time, money, and stress in wedding planning.

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C&C: How long did you plan and prepare for the launch of Get Wed for Less?
LH: About a year and a half.

C&C: What markets does Get Wed for Less cover?
LH: We cover sixteen markets: Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York (Long Island, NYC-Manhattan, NYC-Other Boroughs, Westchester), Northern Virginia, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Chicago and Washington, DC. If we are not fully built-out in a particular market, we can still help professionals in those markets access brides. For instance, we have a wedding planner client in Philly for whom we provide marketing services.

C&C: How do you select vendors for Get Wed for Less?
LH: Sometimes, vendors contact us to be featured on the site. Most of the time, our team of market researchers and editors dive into metro areas, locally sourcing the highest-ranked wedding professionals across a gamut of categories. From there, the pros are individually contacted for detailed offering information, to get a vibe for their passion and professionalism, and to analyze how their numbers compare to what is being spent in their area. That’s how we determine “fabulous, fun, and affordable” vendors…not a simple process!

C&C: What can couples find when they search on Get Wed for Less?
LH: Couples find over 1,000 of the most beloved wedding pros and information containing their offerings and oftentimes pricing for their products/services. Couples will pleasantly find they are saving tons of time in vendor selection since getwedforless.com has the information that they typically cannot readily access from a phone conversation or website with many vendors.

C&C: How do couples sign up for Get Wed for Less?
LH: Simply visit Get Wed for Less and start searching today!

C&C: What do you feel are the most important elements of wedding planning?
LH: The right spouse – seriously! You also should have the right plan – talk with someone experienced in wedding coordination. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “Just talking it through made it easier for me.” Make sure at the end of the day that the plan and the budget instituted are yours and your mates. The right team in your corner is critical; you will need helpful people along the way and flexible, responsive, qualified wedding professionals who will act as your advocate. As a bride, you have to remind yourself daily to be flexible to a point, be of sound mind (don’t go “bridezilla” on everyone), and enjoy the journey, both during planning and after you’ve “jumped the broom.”

Weddinator App

20140609-Weddinator-Glimmering-TJH-AC&C: What inspired you to create the WeddinatorⓇ App?

LH: In our desire to make planning easier and more fun for brides, we created WeddinatorⓇ. There was no mobile application on the market that functioned as a social platform to allow brides and grooms to create and share wedding plans with their bridal party and wedding team in such a fun, interactive way. We wanted to make planning easier by going a step further and connecting wedding vendors and planning couples directly to each other via our mobile app. WeddinatorⓇ works as a sweet duo.

The app is available for download on Android’s PlayStore and Apple’s App Store. WeddinatorⓇ can also be used easily online at Weddinator.com.

C&C: How long did you plan and prepare for the launch of WeddinatorⓇ App?
LH: About a year.

C&C: How can a couple connect with vendors on the WeddinatorⓇ App?
LH: Couples can easily download the free WeddinatorⓇ app from PlayStore for Android or the App Store for Apple. Once they open the app, they will see the “Book A Pro” page that opens with “Need a Wedding Pro?” They simply, enter their info, including budget, wedding location, and the type of vendors they need. Once “Find Pros” is clicked, we immediately go to work to connect them to their matched pros.

C&C: Give us some examples of what a couple will find when they search on the WeddinatorⓇ App?
LH: Couples will find “My Notebook” (the social, sharable online wedding planning profile), “Book A Pro” (wedding vendor concierge function), and, coming very soon, a wedding planning timeline and checklist (will help make sure you never skip a beat in the process).

Thanks so much to Lauren for talking time out to speak with Champagne and Cake. Make sure to go like Get Wed for Less and WeddinatorⓇ app on Facebook to connect with Lauren.

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