How To Shop For An Engagement Ring (Without Breaking The Bank)

Weddings are times of joy, but they can also be extremely stressful due to the monetary strain they put on the happy couple. With paying for the venue, dress, food, and floral arrangements, the ring can end up seeming like just another expense to deal with. If you’re looking for an engagement ring but don’t have an unlimited budget, then here are some tips to help you get the ring of your dreams — without paying an arm and a leg for it.

Tip #1: Set a Budget

The number one trick to not going over budget is to actually set one — it doesn’t matter if the number’s decided on over text, on paper, or through a verbal agreement, but make sure both you and your partner are well aware of exactly where the red line is.

Sure, the standby is 2 months salary, but that’s not a hard and fast rule — whether you go over or under that depends on your (and your partner’s) salaries, as well as what you’re willing to spend. Once your budget is set, it’s time to start looking.

Tip #2: Look High and Low

Mama was right — you’d better shop around. You might hit gold at your first stop, but it’s unlikely, and it’s a good idea to get a sense of the market mean before you decide what is a good deal and what is not. Visit the different shops in your area, and hit some out-of-town retailers online.

You may wonder: what about getting your ring fixed and polished? Sure, the convenience of living next to the place you bought your ring at may seem like a good enough reason to spend a little extra locally, but unless you’re planning on living in the same place for the rest of your life, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of stores out there that will clean your ring. What’s important is to love the ring you have.

Tip #3: Don’t Bother With Perfection

You’ve heard the saying about shooting for the moon and landing among the stars, but did you know it holds true for diamond shopping as well as life? You may be tempted to only go for diamonds that are flawless in clarity and are rated a D (the most colorless) in color, but you don’t need to.

Lots of diamonds that aren’t perfect in ratings will be “eye-perfect,” meaning that no one looking at them will be able to tell the difference between your not-flawless-but-cheaper gem and a technically perfect diamond. Look at the diamonds first, then ask for their rating once you find one you like — you’ll get an eye-perfect diamond at a much lower price. For more tips, contact a company like B And A Jewelers.

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Three Ways To Assemble A Budget-Friendly Fashion Wardrobe

If you’re looking to transform your wardrobe from frumpy to chic, there are ways to do so without going broke. Develop your own unique fashion style, then mix and match your apparel to stretch your wardrobe and your dollar. Knowing how to accessorize can maximize your existing wardrobe and make you look in vogue.

Your Budget-Friendly Boutique Wardrobe

Shopping at your favorite fashion boutique doesn’t necessarily have to mean spending lots of money. Rather than buying a new outfit for every day of the week, why not choose one or two accessories to make your existing outfits seem new and exciting? Also, shop at a consignment fashion boutique or second-hand clothing boutique. To get you started in the right direction, follow these three guidelines:

1. Develop Your Own Style

Every fashion-conscious lady should strive to be an “original”. Rather than emulating your favorite celebrity or matching your best friend’s wardrobe piece by piece, do your own thing. Start by choosing outfits that accentuate your best features and complement your figure. The most gorgeous outfit won’t do anything for you if it doesn’t fit properly.

Clothing that is too large or baggy could make a woman look frumpy or out of place. Try on that new dress or sweater, step in front of the mirror and be your own fashion critic. If it doesn’t feel like “you”, find something that does. You’ll know it’s right by how it makes you feel.

2. Understand the Concept of Mix and Match

While most women dream of owning a different outfit for every day of the month, buying a new entire fashion wardrobe is not always possible when on a budget. There is a way to achieve the same effect and look new and exciting each and every day. Maximize what you have by pairing your existing blue jeans with two or three tops or sweaters in various colors. That tired old denim skirt you haven’t worn in ages can feel new again by teaming it with an exciting western style hat or gorgeous new boots.

Browsing your favorite boutique, you’ll find many opportunities to spruce up an otherwise humdrum wardrobe. Choose a new pair of shoes that will look great with at least two or three of your existing outfits. Choose a new handbag that will complement several of your dresses. Even an inexpensive new scarf can dress up an entire wardrobe.

3. Shop at the Second-Hand Bargain Boutique

If you want to look fashionable but can’t afford shopping at the upscale boutique, there is a solution. Consider a used clothing boutique where you may find chic apparel at a fraction of the cost. Many secondhand clothing boutiques offer previously owned designer clothing that is in “like-new” condition. This may allow you to buy four or five outfits for the price of just one at retail.

If second-hand boutiques aren’t your thing, try a factory outlet boutique. Closeout specials and everyday discounts will allow you to expand your wardrobe at reasonable prices. Designer outlets exist in most major cities, so get shopping and save.

In conclusion, think ahead and don’t buy on impulse. Remember, looking like you’ve stepped out of a boutique doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune. Be a savvy shopper and love your wardrobe.  (For more information on women’s boutique, contact Foxy Lady Siesta Key)

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Legos

Legos have likely been a part of your life since you were a kid. From the large toddler-friendly Legos to the tiny minute building blocks that challenge your imagination, Legos have been a part of your toy collection for as long as you can remember. Not only is this toy iconic and fun for nearly everyone, it has a pretty cool history and stakes claim to odd facts as well. Celebrate your favorite toy, and learn 3 cool things you didn’t know about these colorful connecting blocks.

Legos have gone custom

You can buy custom lego minifigures for sale to make your collection truly unique. You can create a ‘Minifig’ of your own, choosing the facial expressions, clothing, and even little sayings you can have emblazoned on your characters. Lego has even gone haute couture, so your little custom Lego friend can be at the top of fashion at all times with trendy clothing styles. All you have to do is click through your options online to create the perfect Minifig to play with.

A single Lego piece is worth thousands

If you think you are a crazy Lego collector, guess again. An avid fan of Legos spent $15,000 on a Avohkii Mask of Light platinum piece from the brand’s discontinued Bionicle line. The piece is one-of-a-kind,lending to its high expense. The owner of the piece is considered to be one of the most successful collectors of this rare and highly demanded Bionicle Lego collection. This single Lego piece is the most expensive one ever sold to date.

Legos are old

If you remember playing with these colorful building blocks as a kid, there’s good reason. Legos have been around since 1932, ever since Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen invented them in their wooden version with his young son. Christiansen named the iconic toys ‘Leg godt’, which translates to ‘play well’ when the little toys were first introduced to market in 1934. The plastic Legos were first introduced in 1958 after a massive fire wiped out all the wooden series, and surprisingly, all modern Legos can still connect with classic plastic ones from back in the day.

Whether you enjoy these plastic building blocks for the sheer joy of innocent fun, or you are a massive collector of your own, Legos are a fun and quirky piece of toy history that you can enjoy learning more about. Use these fun facts about Legos to grow your own curiosity or to share with your other Lego-loving friends.

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How To Keep Your Coin Collection In The Best Shape For Future Appraisals

Whether you have been collecting coins for years or this is a new hobby that you have recently started to enjoy, it is important to make sure that you are reminding yourself of all of the tips that will allow you to get the best return on your coins when it is time to sell them. To help you with this, you might want to take a moment to reflect on some of the following tips for keeping the value of your coin collection up.

Keep Them In Their Cases

Sure, you might not have first received your coins in their proper cases, but that does not mean that you will want to remove them from the cases that you ended up putting them in. The less exposure your coin collection has to oxygen and the oils on your hands the better. Therefore, never remove the coins unless it is an absolute necessity.

Stop Trying To Clean Them

Too many people make the mistake of thinking that they have to restore their old coins in their collection to their former glory. However, they fail to realize that by stripping these old coins of the dirt, they might be removing some of the protective coating as well. Therefore, it is best to leave the old coins as they are in order to protect their value. The only bright and shiny coins you are bound to have in your collection are the coins that are in mint condition.

Handle With Care

Should you ever have to handle your coins while outside of their protective cases, you are going to want to make sure that you are being extra cautious. The last thing you want to do is to end up dropping the coins, which could cause considerable damage to the face of the coin. If that were to happen, you might just find that the coin has lost a considerable amount of value. You can have your coin appraised at a place like Fullerton Coins & Stamps. Therefore, should you have to remove the coins from their protective cases, you are going to want to do it one coin at a time. Lay a soft cotton towel on the table that you are working over. This way, should you accidentally drop the coin, it will land on the towel instead of the hard surface that could quickly damage the coin.

It is easy to say that the previously mentioned tips will be easy enough to remember. However, once you start messing around with your coin collection, you might just find that it is easy to get distracted, especially if you are over excited about the potential value that your coins are going to bring for you.

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Learn Why Surfing Lessons May Be A Great Investment To Make

If learning how to surf has always been a dream of yours, taking some coaching lessons could help you achieve your dream in the safest way possible. Surfing is so much more than just standing up on a board and riding a wave. The following guide will tell you what key factors you will learn if you choose to take lessons from a professional surfing instructor.

Learn How to Read a Wave

In order to surf, you have to know how to read a wave. This means that you are able to identify which waves are great to ride and which you should let pass. You cannot ride every wave that you see. You will learn what factors make a great wave and how to identify them.

Learn How to Choose a Board

There are many different options when it comes to surfboards. Each type of board handles differently and some boards are easier for one person to handle than another based on their weight, height, and experience. If you are just starting to surf, having the right board can make all the difference in the world. The instructor will help you learn how to choose the right board for you.

Learn How to Handle the Board

Once you have the board, you need to learn how to handle it. This is often done on the beach at first because it allows you to learn your balance and the proper techniques without being sloshed around by the waves. It is important to listen to the instructor and take his or her directions seriously because surfing is a very strenuous activity that requires focus and dedication.

Learn How to Handle a Fall

It is important to realize that you will fall eventually. Even the greatest surfers fall. You need to know what to do when you do fall so that you do not become badly injured during the event. The instructor will teach you what to expect when you fall and how to handle the situation properly so that you and your board suffer as little damage as possible during the fall.

These factors are essential when it comes to surfing and are not things you will know inherently. They are things that must be taught and practiced. The instructor will walk you through everything you need to know and help you learn how to make adjustments to ensure you are able to ride the perfect wave when it comes to you. Knowing what to expect can help you enjoy your first surf training workshop.

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Before You Say Yes To The Wedding Dress: Tips For A Fun And Successful Shopping Experience

You’ve probably dreamed of your wedding day since you were a little girl. You may have spent hours playing dress-up with your friends and imagining walking down the aisle with your special someone. Dreams do come true. You said yes when your future spouse proposed, and now it’s time to find the perfect dress.

There are so many styles and designs available. The whole process of selecting a dress may seem overwhelming. To make the experience fun and memorable, there are a few things you should consider before you head out the door in search of your wedding dress.

Who is going to accompany you?

You should plan on including a few family members and friends to join you on your shopping trip. You should include people you enjoy spending time with. Choose those who will give you their honest opinion but not be overly critical.

Don’t feel obligated to include everyone in your immediate family. It’s your dress and your wedding. It’s okay to be picky about who you invite. Don’t feel guilty about not including a family member or friend who has a negative attitude and makes you uncomfortable.

You should consider inviting your future mother-in-law. She will probably enjoy sharing in your special day, and it’s a great way to begin building a relationship with her. She will feel honored that you trust her opinion in selecting your dress.

Know your preferences in advance

You should be prepared before you walk into the bridal shop. If your heart is set on a certain type of dress, don’t compromise. You may feel pressured or intimidated by the opinions of the bridal store staff when trying on dresses. The personnel at the bridal shop should be helpful but not pushy.

Consider the opinions of your shopping companions and the bridal staff, but know your limits and stand firm. If you’ve always dreamed of wearing a traditional ball gown, don’t end up walking out of the store with a mermaid-style dress you will regret buying.

Be realistic about your body shape

Certain styles look better on certain body types. Choosing a gown that complements your body type is flattering and will help you look fantastic when your big day arrives. For example, an A-line or modified A-line dress works well with most body types. A trumpet-style dress accentuates the waist and hip area and is not a good choice for apple or pear shaped bodies. A mermaid-style dress is fitted from the chest to the knee and isn’t a good choice for apple shapes or plus size bodies. Ball gowns look good on most body types but may appear overwhelming on petite frames.

Shopping for your wedding dress should be a day filled with fun and memories. Have an idea regarding what you want before you go shopping. Decide what feature or style of dress you’re not willing to compromise on. Enlist the help of a few close family members and friends to accompany you, but make sure you value their opinions before you invite them. You may want to end the day by dining out at your favorite restaurant to celebrate saying yes to the dress.

For more information, contact Bridal Extraordinaire or a similar company.

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Three Tips From Santa That Make Holiday Shopping A Breeze

For many people, shopping-induced stress sucks the joy right out of the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to. When it comes to holiday shopping, preparation makes a huge difference. Learn how to get organized and prepare for holiday shopping. It’s easy, and who better to learn from than the jolly old man who’s been in the toy-giving business for almost 200 years? Before you start buying gifts, check out these three tips from Santa Claus that help make the gift-buying process a breeze.

Make a List and Check it Twice

Everyone knows that Santa makes a list and checks it twice, and if Santa does it, you should too. Doing some research, creating a holiday spending budget, and making a list of gifts that you need to purchase is the most important thing that you can do to prepare for the holiday shopping season. It helps ensure that you don’t overspend or forget to buy something important.

Purchase a notebook that’s small enough to carry with you. This way, all of your holiday preparation info remains together. On the first page of your notebook create a reasonable budget.

  1. Determine the amount of money you want to spend.
  2. Make a list of gift recipients.
  3. Divide your holiday shopping budget between the people on your list. You don’t have to divide evenly. Just allocate an amount for each person.

Once you have a budget, gather your gift ideas. Write each person’s name on the top of a blank page. Then, write your gift ideas below the person’s name. After you’ve gathered several ideas, research the products online to determine which store has the best price. Review your lists and research to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything. It’s easy to forget small things, and you don’t want to forget to buy stocking stuffers.

Be Ready to Adapt

A lot has changed since the day that Santa opened his workshop. If he wasn’t prepared for change, he would have gone out of business years ago. You need to be ready for any problems that may arise.

  • List multiple stores and prices for each gift, so that you know where to find what you need if the store you’ve chosen doesn’t have the product in stock. After all, if one store doesn’t have the Oris watch you need in stock, there’s bound to be several other Oris watch dealers in the area.
  • List several store locations. If one location doesn’t have an item in stock, you can ask an employee to check other nearby locations for you.
  • Include alternate gift options on your shopping list for each individual in case you can’t find the item that you want.

Stay Merry

Santa delivers gifts to every child in the world, and he manages to stay cheerful. That’s because he makes holiday gift giving fun.

  • Embrace the spirit of the holidays by listening to Christmas music when you shop.
  • Spend an afternoon Christmas shopping with a good friend.
  • Avoid stressful crowds of people by shopping online.

The more you prepare, the less stressful holiday shopping becomes. Holiday shopping becomes simple when you research gift ideas, know what you need to buy at each store, and have a backup plan. And, if all else fails, you can always hire a few elves to help out. 

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