Happy Valentine's Day! We hope you'll take some time to snuggle up and enjoy the newsletter focusing on love, life and marriage! We are excited to offer you this newsletter designed to help newlyweds with useful resources and advice and ofcourse, we encourage you to keep dancing and romancing! We wish you a happily ever after! Sincerely, Mrs. Deborah Joy and Mr. Brian Block, Founders of The Wedding Dance Specialists
Home Sweet Home : Kitchen countertops
Kitchen renovations are generally a good investment and since countertops are a major focal point in the kitchen, it's important to know all of your options. With so many different choices these days, how do you pick what’s right for you? Budget may be a factor, but durability is another. Here are the most common materials chosen for kitchen countertops and information about each.
Ceramic tile continues to be one the most flexible materials regarding styles, colors available and durability. There are literally tens of thousands of different tile designs and colors. Tile is durable, available in thousands of colors and styles and very resistant to heat.
Laminates continue to be a popular choice for many families. They have been used for remodeling kitchens for over 50 years. Laminates are easy to clean and to maintain plus offer a fair level of durability.
Solid Surface Materials
These materials include like Corian are now available in many colors and patterns available. The most popular now would be the granite or stone look. Solid surface materials are non-porous, easy to clean and require little maintenance. These materials just as most other counter tops can be damaged by high heat. If there is a crack or your Corian gets damaged, it can be easily repaired.
Granite and Quartz
Granite and SileStone are the most popular materials for new and remodeled kitchen and baths. The main appeal to these materials is their high gloss finish. Stone products offer ease of cleaning, are more heat resistant than solid surface material and laminates. Granite is available in many different patterns and colors. If granite is damaged or cracked by high heat, it will need to be replaced and cannot be repaired like Corian. SileStone is very consistent in color and pattern which appeals to many homeowners plus has a 10 year warranty and does not require sealing.
Cement counters have an elegant, stone-like quality which is durable and easy to care for. They can be cast in a wide range of colors, shapes and textures.
Great Vacations: Montreal and Quebec
We decided to have our honeymoon in Canada. We decided to make a road trip to enjoy the scenery of the U.S. East Coast. It’s a 12 hour drive so half way we stayed over at a quaint, country bed and breakfast in New York and toured Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park and The National Dance Hall of Fame. We drove through the Adirondack Mountains and relished the gorgeous landscapes and brilliantly-colored autumn leaves.
In Montreal we surveyed the town by taking a horse and buggy around Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal), we shopped in the high-couture shops (where everything was a bargain due to the 2:1 exchange rate), surveyed the town from the top of the Olympic stadium, delighted in the wildlife of the Biodome, toured the Botanical Gardens and even attended a dog show (and played with all the puppies of course!)
In Quebec we stayed at the Lowe’s hotel and could survey the town from its revolving restaurant at the top we had high tea at the gorgeous Chateau Frontenac, dined on exquisite fare at quaint French restaurants, toured old churches and forts, walked across the top of Mt Morency Falls and had lunch overlooking the waterfalls which are higher than Niagra Falls!
Montreal and Quebec were lovely cities to visit. The customer service is impeccable the dining is consistently five stars, the cost of everything is affordable, the cities are clean and the people are friendly. Montreal has all the appeal of an exciting big city and Quebec has all the appeal of the old world. We would recommend it to anyone!
Montreal Tower / Olympic Park
Montreal Botanical Garden
Saint Lawrence River
Marriage Maintenance: Dr Phil on what makes a good marriage (copied in part from Dr.Phil.com)
We all want to do what’s best to make our partnerships work, but with the everyday grind of money, careers and children beating on the door we can sometimes feel overwhelmed and stressed. After being happily married for 28 years, Dr. Phil shares some of his thoughts about what makes a marriage work.
- The quality of a relationship is a function of the extent to which it is built on a solid underlying friendship and meets the needs of the two people involved.
- You get what you give. When you give better, you get better.
- If you put your relationship in a win/lose situation, it will be a lose/lose situation.
- Forget whether you're right or wrong. The question is: Is what you're doing working or not working?
- There is no right or wrong way to fix a relationship. Find your own way that works. But recognize when it's not working and be honest when it needs fixing.
- Falling in love is not the same thing as being in love. Embrace the change and know that it takes work.
- You don't fix things by fixing your partner.
- Intimacy is so important because it is when we let someone else enter our private world.
- You don't necessarily solve problems. You learn how to manage them.
- Communicate. Make sure your sentences have verbs. Remember that only 7 percent of communication is verbal. Actions and non-verbal communication speak much louder.
- You teach people how to treat you. You can renegotiate the rules.
Filling the Nest: Preconception Prep for Mothers
(copied in part from What to Expect When You’re Expecting)
Many women don’t realize how much you need to prepare in order to get your body, mind and spirit in shape for pregnancy. Of course proper preparation can only really happen in an ideal world, and planning for children today doesn’t always happen due to menstrual irregularity or fallibility of contraception. However family planning techniques are becoming more reliable thus allowing for many couples to plan ahead of time. Just remember, no matter what stage of the game you are in (pregnant, trying to conceive, or thinking about it) it is never too late to start taking care of yourself.
- Get a thorough physical
- See your dentist
- Select a practitioner and get a pre-pregnancy exam
- Review your pregnancy history
- Check your mothers pregnancy history
- Get tested – ask your doctors about tests you should have before trying to conceive
- Get treated – if a test turns up a condition that requires treatment, take care of it before trying to conceive
- Update immunizations
- Get chronic illnesses under control
- Have a genetic screening
- Evaluate your birth control method
- Improve your diet – take folic acid, and start cutting back on junk food and refined sugar. Add whole grains, fruits and veggies, and low fat dairy products
- Get as close to your ideal weight as possible
- Take a vitamin mineral supplement formulated for pregnancy
- Shape up, but keep cool – Do an exercise program to tone an strengthen muscles but avoid becoming overheated
- Be wary of herbal and other alternative medications
- Cut back on your caffeine
- Cut down on your alcohol consumption
- Quit Smoking
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation – inform doctors you are currently trying to conceive before any x-rays
- Avoid excessive exposure to hazardous chemicals – if your job involves chemicals contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the latest info on job safety and pregnancy
- Get “fiscally” fit – reevaluate your budget, check out your health insurance, and find out about your maternity benefits
- Start keeping track – your chances of conceiving are much greater if you know when you are ovulating
- RELAX and avoid stressful environments or relationships (which can inhibit conception)
- Give it time – it takes an average of 6 months for a normal healthy 25 year old to conceive, and longer for women who are older
Look for more pre-conception info next month including pre-conception tips for fathers!
Keep the Honeymoon Alive : The Foods of Love
Ever wonder about “foods of love” or Aphrodisiacs? Aphrodisiac (from the Encyclopedia Britannica) by definition is any of various forms of stimulation thought to arouse sexual excitement. Aphrodisiacs may be classified in two principal groups: (1) psycho-physiological (visual, tactile, olfactory, aural) and (2) internal (stemming from food, alcoholic drinks, drugs, love potions, medical preparations).
Originally food aphrodisiacs were documented by the ancient Greeks. Substances that "by nature" represent "seed or semen" such as bulbs, eggs, snails" were considered inherently to have sexual powers. Other types of foods were considered stimulating by their "physical resemblance to genitalia" So, here is a list of foods that may add a little spice to your dinner table!
Given its phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food. It’s packed with potassium, phosphorous, calcium and vitamin E which all give an extra charge to the love-hungry.
A symbol of fertility throughout the ages. Its scent is thought to induce passion in a female.
Believed to resemble parts of both the male and female anatomy, in the Aztec culture, avocados were considered so powerful that maidens were forbidden to set foot outside while the fruit was being gathered.
Overtime, bananas have become an aphrodisiac in part because of their phallic shape. An Islamic myth tells the tale that after Adam and Eve succumbed to the "Apple" they started covering their "nudity" with banana leaves instead of fig leaves. Bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, necessities for sex hormone production.
Long believed to house a complete arsenal of aphrodisiac powers, eating chile peppers gets the blood rushing, the heart pumping, the face flushing and the pores sweating-all reactions that happen as one feels any kind of passion.
The Aztecs referred to chocolate "nourishment of the Gods". Chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemicals are the same naturally occurring amphetamines that rush through the veins of someone experiencing. love. Chocolate contains more antioxidant (cancer preventing enzymes) than does red wine.
In Egyptian times, honey was often used as a cure for sterility or impotence. In some cultures, the bridegroom was to drink honey before his marriage to ensure sexual vigor. The term "honeymoon" is also part of an ancient tradition in which the married couple would go into seclusion and drink a honey based concoction before their wedding.
The Chinese believe that chewing on Licorice enhances both love and lust. It supposedly is especially stimulating for women.
It is said the tale of the oyster as an aphrodisiac began in ancient Rome when oysters were mentioned in satire as a stimulating food for women. Additionally, many feel that the oyster resembles the "female" genitals and it looks sexy when a couple is eating them together. In reality oysters are high in protein and loaded with zinc, which is known to increase the sexual health of both men and women.
The smell of vanilla has been said to increase lust and desire in both the male and female.
On the Town
Event: Bellydance Superstars Performance
Dates: Saturday, March 11, 2006
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Joy of Motion, 5207 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC
Dinner and Dancing Date Night
Event: Salsa Nightclub
Date: every Friday
Location: Caribbean Breeze, 4100 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington VA.
Time: 10pm til 2am
Details: Featuring the sounds of resident DJ Andy. Enjoy the best of salsa, mambo and cha cha cha along with great food, drinks and ambiance.
Vendor Special Offers
We pre-screen vendors and negotiate on your behalf to save you time, money and energy so you can focus on enjoying newlywed bliss!
Brian Block - RE/MAX Allegiance
Now that you are about to merge your life with your fiance, you may be looking to sell or purchase real estate. Click the banner below to leisurely view Northern Virginia Area homes from the comfort of your home. Brian Block is a Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Attorney plus a newlywed, Co-Founder of The Wedding Dance Specialists and Assistant Instructor for Wedding Dance Practice Sessions.Click on the banner to go to www.BrianBlock.com Present this coupon to recieve:
1. A FREE Homebuyer's Seminar with expert advice from a real estate professional and a mortgage lender. (value priceless) Scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 10:30am -noon, Holiday Inn Ballston, 4610 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA (2 blocks from Ballston Metro stop)
1. a FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350)
2. 2 FREE private ballroom dance lessons when you use his services for purchasing your home. (value $170)
Whatcha Cooking Good Looking? "Better Than Sex Cake!"
This "quickie" recipe has been a joke amongst girlfriends for years, and whether you want to believe it or not, it REALLY is that good. It’s a great ending for a romantic dinner and a yummy start to night of bliss. Oh, and the best part is, it’s so easy!
1 package German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups hot fudge topping
1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 chocolate toffee bars (Skor or Heath)
Bake German chocolate cake mix according to package directions.
While cake is still warm poke holes in top of cake with the end of a wooden spoon, pour sweetened condensed milk over top. Let cake cool. Pour hot fudge topping over top of cake and let set. Spread on whipped topping and garnish with crushed toffee bar crumbs.
Dance and Romance Date Night Ideas
Date Night At Home:
Event: Dance TV Series: Dancing With The Stars
Finals: this Thursday, Feb 23 at 8-10pm on ABC
Season Finale: Airs: this Sunday, Feb 26, from 8-10pm
Details: http://abc.go.com/primetime/dancing/ Demonstrations of Waltz, Foxtrot and Cha Cha Cha.
Starring: Tia Carrere – Television and movie star partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.Giselle Fernandez – Emmy Award-winning journalist partnered with Jonathan Roberts, from last season.George Hamilton – Actor and international bon vivant, partnered with Edyta Sliwinska, second appearance. Stacy Keibler – World Wrestling entertainment diva partnered with Tony Dovolani, Drew Lachey – Recording artist and former 98 Degrees partnered with Cheryl Burke. Kenny Mayne – One of ESPN's most-recognized personalities, partnered with Andrea Hale. This is the last week!
Everyday Etiquette: The 10 Commandments of Everyday Etiquette
(from the Little Pink Book of Etiquette)
As busy as we are, it is easy to forget our manners; but remember impressions count so use this list to remember the little things in life that can really make a difference when interacting with others.
- Focus on others. It’s not about you.
- Think before you act.
- Think before you speak.
- Wait your turn.
- Listen when others speak
- Pick up after yourself
- Assist those in need
- Respect people who are different from you.
- Be patient and kind
Inspirations: 4 Ways to Get Closer to Your Partner
- Forgive each other for something you’ve held on to. That thing that sticks in the back of your head despite the apologies. Let it go, never bring it up again, and you’ll be happier.
- Give up one habit your partner hates. Maybe it’s smoking or leaving your shoes all over the house. It will remove a source of constant tension. It’s also a great way of saying without words, “you’re important to me."
- Be Generous. This goes beyond money. Do your partner a favor and buy them and unexpected gift. It’s the little stuff that makes a relationship.
- Have fun together. Don’t let your life be about work, chores and bills. Take some time out for fun – laugh together-and you’ll keep your relationship fresh.