Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Myths

And a special treat for all you youngsters at heart.

During my many years of travel, I was presented opportunities to visit sights off the beaten path. Did you know that just south of Mexico City, between the urban sprawl and the farming region known as Xochimilco lie an ancient lake and canals. A semi-popular tourist attraction, the only way to travel through the canals is by trajinera, like the gondolas of Venice. There is much to be seen on a trip through the canals: swamps, islands covered with exotic plants and trees, and wildlife. There is one place on the canals, however, that is not on the regular route of the trajinera. You can hire one to take you there for about $100.
There is a small, isolated island in the vast, complicated maze of the canals. As your boat approaches the island, across the deathly still water, you cannot help but feel a sense of dread. Twisted, old trees with gnarled branches line the shore, but there is something very sinister about them. As you move closer, you notice that there are faces…hundreds of faces among the branches, staring back at you with dead eyes. Closer, and you see that they are children’s faces, infants with missing limbs, blistered faces, covered in cobwebs, nailed or lashed to the trees with rusted wire. Welcome to La Isla de Las Munecas: The Island of the Dolls.

Some of the dolls have decomposed over time. Damage from the sun has left many covered in blotches and blisters. The wind and rain have eroded any painted surfaces, and left their hair in ragged tufts. Many are missing limbs, or have been given limbs that are not their own. Some are headless. Some are only heads. Some have become the home to spiders and insects that inhabit the island. They are nailed to trees, wired to branches, hung from clothes lines, and jammed into knotholes and between branches. Some of them have smiles, melted by the tropical heat, into grimaces. Some have lost their eyes, or, even more disturbing, have eyes that flutter open in the breeze.

Some days there are visitors to the island, an average of about 20 per day. Some days there are none. All are greeted by one of the relatives of Don Julian, who act as caretakers of the island. There are some, however, who are convinced that the dolls themselves come to life at night to take care of their island home, since Don Julian passed away in 2001. Some even believe that Don Julian has joined the little drowned girl as a permanent resident of the island. Whatever they say, and whatever you believe, it’s hard not to agree with those who claim that La Isla de Las Munecas, The Island of the Dolls, is the Creepiest Place on the Planet.

Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween -tips and tricks

This is it. The spookiest time of year has arrived.  Many communities have Halloween activities planned. The hours for trick or treating for your community are usually posted on the town’s website, and if you haven’t looked yet, do it now! There are events scheduled for schools, local malls, parks and recreation centers. Usually, the hours for these events are early evening, to keep from interfering with school schedules. It’s time to make your plan for a safe and happy Halloween.

Here are some tips for the youngsters:

1. Choose age appropriate events for your trick or treaters. Make sure you know the times and locations ahead of time, to avoid disappointment, or a last minute rush that could compromise safety.

2. Plan your trick or treat route  ahead of time. This will give you a clear idea of where your children will be at all times, and an idea of when they will be finished.

3. Feed your trick or treaters a good supper before trick or treating starts. This will make them less likely to snack as they go, before you have a chance to inspect their treats.

4. Stick to places you know. All year we encourage our children to be cautious of people and places they don’t know, yet, on Halloween, we send them to the doors of strangers. Stick to areas where they will be visiting family and friends, both for their safety, and for your own peace of mind.

5. Only visit homes that have a porch light on and never go inside the home of someone you don’t know.
6. Wear something reflective and carry a flashlight.

7. Cross streets only at crosswalks. Never walk between parked cars. Stay on the sidewalk.

8. Stay in a group, and never run off alone, or fall behind on your own.

9. Turn in all candy at the end of the night for parental inspection.

Aand of the Dolls, is the Creepiest Place on the Planet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Grad Parties are Here

Step One: Pick Your Party
You’re on your way to having your diploma, so it’s time to plan your graduation party!  Now, where do you start?  Definitely get help from your parents and a professional.  If you’re looking to do something intimate and small, a couple options are a backyard barbecue, a bowling party, a card party (or game night), or just have your friends and family come to your house and hang out. On the other hand, more and more are looking to go Over the Top and have an affair to remember.. this is more our style! After you’ve decided on a type of party, you can pick your invitations and start sending them out.  Be the first to get them out so everyone knows when your party will be and you can minimize party overlaps.  You don’t want to have a graduation party the same day as your best friend’s graduation party, do you?

Step Two: Decorate Your Location
There’s always the question of how to go about decorating for a graduation party.  This is where a professional comes in handy—let them go crazy with the decorations!  Don’t hesitate to help give your input.

Step Three: Food!
It’s a party; you’re going to have food.  Whether you get a party platter from a local sandwich shop or have an amazing caterer, you’ll have to decorate the tables.  Be sure to select table décor within your colors and theme. 

Step Four: Favors
Make your graduation party more memorable by creating personalized favors (there’s plenty of options online). For example, not everyone has lemonade mix as a graduation favor.  You could also look into hand lotion, lip balm and mini notepads.  Whatever favors and decorations you end up choosing, the most important factor to any graduation party is fun. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Baby Shower Time!

Planning a baby shower can be tons of fun, but can also be quite time consuming. Consider these 3 important steps:

1. Shower ideas
2. Products and gifts
3. Food and beverage

Budgeting for a baby shower is one of the first considerations many hosts have to think about. It is also one of the most difficult to arrange. Your budget determines the whole event. From the number of guests you are planning to have to the location for the party. By setting a budget, you will not find yourself bankrupt and still have a successful party.

Who hosts the shower?
NOT the mom to be! That would be tacky

Co-hosting, or having several baby shower hosts, completely from outside the family, instead of just one, is becoming a popular option. Each host contributes a mutually-agreed upon amount to the shower fund and the expenditures are deducted from that joint funding.

Gifts should be opened at the baby shower during the party so guests can see the mother appreciate the gift and other attendees can see what was given.

Baby registries are very useful ways for friends of the expectant parents to know what baby items are needed and themes that are desired. While it may have been considered bad etiquette to include gift registry information in the baby shower invitation in past decades, it is now usually considered helpful to do so.

Regardless of the times, thank you notes never go out of style. After the baby shower a mother-to-be should send thank you notes to her guests within about a month.

And then we have the most important part.. the CAKE!

Chat soon,



Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Proposal- Leap Year

Well today is the day that some of the women around the world bend down on one knee to propose to the man of their dreams. The tradition started in 1288 when Queen Margaret of Scotland decreed that women could propose on February 29th each leap year.  

The stats show that 9% of proposals are from women and of that 80% of men would accept. Not sure I would be that brave! If you are good luck. I wonder how the ladies who are going to propose are going to do it.

2012 is going to be a very special year, especially for those of us living in the UK, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and also the Olympic and Paralympics Games this year

TRUE romantics might wait to show affection on Valentine’s Day but this year, we’re in a Leap Year. It could hold even further appeal for girls wanting to truly take charge of their relationships.

If your significant other has been dragging his feet, making excuses or changing the subject, take charge and pop the question on February 29th, a date that comes only once every four years.

How will you pop the question? Let us know

check out these videos for inspiration 

Here's a few tips when planning your proposal 

How will you pop the question? Let us know

Chat soon, 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Valentine’s Day Wedding

Valentine’s Day is one and the same with romance and if you’ve chosen this day to marry, you must exude love and romance. Set the stage for your Valentine’s wedding with a tantalizing theme of soft love.

The location for your Valentine’s wedding must provide the feeling of intimacy, a good choice may be a country inn, bed & breakfast or winery.

It does not need to be small, but will ideally provide nooks, alcoves and romantic “hideaways” for guests to rekindle their own romantic flames. Candles and lots of them, soft lighting, comfy sofas for guests to relax in will all set the stage. A romantic country inn, bed & breakfast or winery are all great choices.

On the other hand if your aiming more for a dramatic look full of lusciousness and sexiness, try scouting for castles and historical mansions.

Red is the obvious and dramatic color of Valentine’s romance – the traditional color of the heart. You can play on this color without being limited to the bright red of Hallmark Valentines. Deep burgundies and maroons are just as romantic.

You can also choose a different color scheme for your flowers, bridal party attire and décor. Deep colors tend to be more dramatic like shimmering gold and rich ivories.

Valentine’s Wedding Attire
For your gown, think about what feels romantic to you.  Whether you have a dramatic satin or velvet dress with a plunging neckline, or a tight bodice with a tremendous skirt, always dress to capture the essence of the mood.

For the groom, a traditional black tuxedo with a red rose boutonniere or a deep red tie is dashing. Or a more 1940’s twist may be up your alley.

Floral designer Joe Massie and his Valentine's Day flower dress really caught our eye!

Valentine’s Wedding Decorations
Candles, candles and more candles!!!!!!!!!!  Candelabras will also help set the mood. Any lighting should be low, and fabrics should be soft and light.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chat soon