Latest Blog Entries

Minimalist Tips for an Amazing Baby Shower Event

Baby showers can be expensive if you don’t know some minimalist tips and tricks. Without spending lavishly, you can also make your event wonderful with a cheery environment. See tips below for affordable ideas to set the scene. But remember, your guests are the only ones who can make your event more spectacular and memorable. So keeping this in mind, this digital blog has been crafted to show you some cool and authentic tips.

Essentially, the theme is what can make your event memorable and classic. Find one that resonates with you and then carry it over to the decorations, food, favors and games. 

5 Minimalist Tips That Can Impress Your Baby Shower Guests

  1. Pick a theme: A theme can help a baby shower memorable in years to come. It's what I recall most from the ones that I attended and what guests are eager to see and be delighted with. It doesn't have to be child-like either. 

    Since I was having twins and love tea, I went with a Tea for Two theme.

    One friend of mine kept it nautical from the tables to the cake.

    My cousin recently had a lemon theme and it was bright and colorful and was carried throughout the decor from the napkins to lemon-scented soap to even the mom-to-be's dress.

  2. Personalized Photo Frames: These are one of the most trending baby shower favors that you can purchase to woo event guests. They are cheap and are available with customization i.e. you can add text like your name, event date, or other special instructions to make it a memorable favor for the guests. You can also attach photographs of the event or venue before giving them to the guests and later they can add your baby's photo. 

  3. Rent your Maternity Dress: I didn't want to buy a fancy maternity dress, just to wear it one time or spend all that money and not feel elegant enough. I took a chance and rented a non-maternity dress from designer Jay Godfrey ($395 retail) at Rent The Runway and luckily it paid off. I looked for a style that was free-flowing and this cape-like draped dress worked perfectly. I chose a vibrant blue in honor of my future boys and I felt super chic and received tons of compliments. Le Tote has a maternity-specific service too. 

  4. DIY Favors: Are you crafty, handy, then consider making a personal favor for a truly unique favor.  Even if you're not crafty you can order lots of handmade items on Etsy or stickers and kits to make your own gifts. The favor can be food too, cookies you've made, specialty candy or popcorn, etc. 

    25 DIY Baby Shower Favors

  5. Metallic Bottle Openers: If you are looking to buy something special and handy, then you must check these fun baby shower favors. With sensible metallic finishing, these bottle openers are available in baby bottle shape that you can customize to include the event name and date. Your guests will love to carry them home and use them to pop open different kind of bottles ;) 

Conclusion: While these 5 tips are truly magnificent to add smiles to your guests' faces, at the end of the day, if it's something you're proud of that is the most important factor as it's your big day. 

5 Minimalist Tips for a Baby Shower

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Top Tips For A Thrifty And Safe Online Shopping Spree

Add to cart, click!, sound familiar? Online shopping is a growing trend and has become especially prevalent during these times. A survey from Jungle Scout even reports how 43 percent of consumers would prefer sticking with online shopping than stepping into a physical store ever again (me included!), with 73 percent believing that most shopping would be done online in the future. 

What makes online shopping so popular is the convenience it provides allowing people to make all their transactions with just a click of a mouse or a swipe of a finger. Aside from letting you buy from the comfort of your own home, you can easily browse through a wide variety of products. The buying process is also faster, which helps when you’re in need of any last-minute gifts. To add to your online shopping experience, here are some tips and tricks to make shopping easier and safer.

Save money with discounts 

A popular method of getting some decent discounts for your online shopping is through coupons. Some online stores like to give out coupon codes for customers to avail, but another possible alternative is to search up the website’s name in coupon sites online. You can keep a lookout for any available promos the website is advertising, and pre-order discounts are also worth considering. Websites or apps also like to give a reward system where you can redeem rewards based on certain actions or how many points you’ve gotten so far.

Always check the shipping info 

Before you hit the checkout button, it’s also important to check the shipping costs first. Sometimes the total amount for your purchase can end up being more costly than buying from a physical store because of the shipping fees involved. Use the site's shipping calculator to see what kind of charges and fees they may have that can let you understand their services better. Some online sites like to offer free or discounted shipping during the holidays on selected items, and they also sometimes offer discounts if you’ve bought items over a certain amount. You can take advantage of those deals to avoid making a huge dent in your wallet.

Watch out for scammers 

Not all online stores on the web are perfectly safe, so it’s also important to be watchful for any potential scammers. Make sure the website and connection you’re making transactions in are secured and be suspicious of any products with prices that seem too good to be true. Don’t give out any other necessary information, like your personal or private information. A website or seller’s reputation is also a huge thing to consider, so check out reviews to see if they’re reliable. Big websites like Amazon are known for their secure services, which is why a lot of people like to make their orders there.

Online shopping is a convenient way to buy stuff, but remember to look for deals and promos, and exercise caution when using unfamiliar online stores so you can be safe online and have an enjoyable shopping experience.

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How Does Tea Culture Vary Around The World?

One of my favorite topics... tea (Camellia Sinensis)! 

When tea first originated in Southern China during the Shang dynasty, it was originally used as a medicinal drink. Chinese people and many other cultures still use it for this purpose, however, it is also consumed for numerous other reasons nowadays. It is thought to have originated around the 3rd Century, but it wasn’t until much later that it was exported around the world. After tea spread far and wide throughout the 16th Century, different countries and cultures have adapted it and enjoyed it in diverse ways. Now, there are vastly different methods to enjoy tea depending on where you are.

China is Famous For Its Teas 

China is the country that started it all, and it is believed that tea was exported to Japan and Korea in the 9th Century. This means that China was probably enjoying tea for around 600 years longer than anywhere else. For this reason, it is ingrained in the culture of the country. Tea rituals are common practice when entertaining guests. Visitors to a household will sit and watch as the host prepares the teacups and brews the tea. They will ceremoniously pour some tea out first, and then tip this away before pouring out the beverages for everyone’s consumption.

Chinese culture has been exported around the world in many ways, beyond tea too. For example, the Fu 88 slot at Betway shows how the Chinese association of red with money has spread across the world. The title also features dragon imagery which is commonly linked with Chinese culture. There are plenty of mobile games that reflect how Chinese traditions have spread around the world as well. These include Honor of Kings and CrossFire, which both draw inspiration from Chinese folklore. These are hugely popular not just in China, but in western markets as well.

Tea in Britain 

It should come as no surprise that the UK and Ireland are two of the biggest tea drinkers per capita in the world. Indeed, tea is one of the things regarded nowadays as quintessentially British. The first record of tea among the English came in 1615 from East India Trading Company worker Richard Wickham, who wrote a letter requesting the leafy drink from a merchant in Macao. It was later described by Peter Mundy on a visit to Fiji in 1637 as “water with a kind of herb in it.” The official trade of tea in England began in 1664, and by the 1800s the country was importing around 24 million pounds per year.

Tea is an important part of the culture in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, but it is no longer commonly consumed as part of a ritual. Still, you can partake in a decadent Afternoon Tea at famous hotels throughout the UK. The refined custom of afternoon tea is a wonderful way to take a respite from the hectic pace of today’s busy world. The elegant ritual of Afternoon Tea is credited to Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford. As was customary during the later 1700′s and early 1800′s, people would eat a huge breakfast, tiny lunch, and then a substantial dinner around 8:00 at night. The Duchess, describing a “sinking feeling” during the afternoon, began to request tea and cakes to tide her over. Soon, she invited her friends to share the ritual with her, and it quickly became a fashionable custom.

Tea in The Middle East 

In Arab countries, there is a widespread fondness of tea, with Turkey and Iran making it into the top four countries in the world for tea consumption per capita. Most of the tea produced in Turkey is Rize tea, which is named after a province on the Black Sea coast, famous for its fertile tea-growing soil. Iran is also renowned for having exceptional land for tea growing. Gilan in the north has the perfectly mild weather, soil quality, and fresh spring water needed to produce high-quality tea.

In Middle Eastern countries, people consume tea at all times of day, and it is a common feature of celebrations. Herbal and black teas are extremely popular, but some people are known to drink it with milk as well.

USA and the Popularization of Iced Tea

The United States is only ranked at number 35 in the world’s tea-drinking countries, and the drink is not completely ingrained in the culture here like it is elsewhere. However, the country can be credited with contributing to the evolution of tea drinking in a way that has spread across the world. This is, of course, the introduction of iced tea.

According to the legend, the cold version of the drink first came about at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. At the event, a group of Indians were running a stall selling traditional black tea. However, due to the sweltering temperatures of the day, people didn’t want to consume hot beverages. So to counter the problem, they decided to fill the glasses with ice. The rest is history, and now Americans drink 40 million cups of iced tea every year. The drink has been exported to various countries, with big companies like Lipton profiting massively from the growing popularity of this way of drinking tea.

Tea Travel

For tea aficionados, discovering all the different cultures and contributions from various countries to the progression of tea is a must. The best way to experience all the diverse ways to enjoy the iconic drink would be to visit all the main tea drinking countries. Only then can you get a rounded experience of everything to do with tea. 

I had the chance to participate in a matcha tea ceremony in Japan, indulged in afternoon tea in England, sipped strong black tea in Turkey and can't wait to experience the rest.

Afternoon Tea Guide For Southwest Florida

The History of Tea Around the World

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20 Workplace Romance Novels You Need to Read

Ever since Lois & Clark, Who's the Boss and Moonlighting, I've been enthralled by workplace romances, which is why I gravitate toward the office romance trope when reading too. 

The forbidden relationship, office politics, imbalance of power, will they or won't they, sneaking around, gimme all of it!! 

20 Office Romances to add to your TBR (to be read) pile: 


Double Standards by Judith McNaught 

Nick Sinclair, the ruggedly handsome president of Global Industries, handles his business the way he handles his women: with charm, daring, and complete self-control. When he hires Lauren Danner, he assumes the whip-smart beauty will be another easy conquest but much to his surprise, her wit and rare spirit dazzles him and he slowly finds himself falling in love. Yet he has no idea that Lauren is living a lie, one that is becoming more dangerous with every passing moment.

Note: This is set in the 80s so be prepared for the lack of PC and I'm not just talking about the computer, lol, plus, no cell phones, etc. Oh, and when he asks if she can type, he means can she use a typewriter! However, Judith really sets the standard for Office Romances for the trope. 

Private Confessions by Lori Borrill

Experience has taught ad exec Logan Moore that office affairs always end in disaster. Which is why his online romance with Scorpio63 is exactly what he needs right now—the anonymous, steamy encounters help him forget the secret urge for Trisha he gets every day. (STEAMY)

Loved reading this office romance with mistaken identities. It's steamy and fun. 

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she's always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face to face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they’ve kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as co-workers for one reason only: to make partner at the firm. But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. 

After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stiletto series) by Lauren Layne 

Lauren Layne kicks off her Sex, Love & Stiletto series with a delightful short novel! In After the Kiss, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love. The entire series consists of workplace relationships. 

Irresistibly Yours: An Oxford Novel by Lauren Layne 

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance. Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. 

Note: Being a baseball fan and a former journalist, this first book in the series was my favorite. 

Mine to Five by Tara September

Her dream job. His last chance. Working as a team will make their wishes come true, but at what price? Set from Thanksgiving to Christmas, tis' the season for an office romance.  

The Dare by Lauren Landish

Have you ever had one of those really bad days at work? You know, one where your hot boss catches you photocopying your backside in his office? No? Just me then?

Her Gentle Capture by Elizabeth Lennox

Adriana is good at her job! And she’s not going to sit back and take her current boss’s grumpy moods any longer! Feisty and creative, Adriana succeeds at everything he tosses at her. But having her boss, CEO Mitch Powell, double-checking her every move puts her on edge. Unfortunately, during the late hours (and only when she’s exhausted, mind you!) she can't stop herself from imagining what he looks like underneath all of his perfectly tailored suits. Determined to break down Adriana's defenses, Mitch pulls out the stops to make her crave him--as much as he wants her. (STEAMY)

Release! (Walker Brothers Series) by J.S. Scott 

He needs a fake fiancee. I need to eat. What happens when two people from way different worlds suddenly collide to make a simple, temporary business deal that could solve both of their problems? (STEAMY)

The sequel, Player! has a stronger corporate angle to it, however, there may be a trigger for some as the heroine was raped in her past and discusses it. Personally, I liked hearing about how she overcame it and how the hero took things carefully as to not scare her away.  

Janie loses her job, house and boyfriend in the same day (like you do)! She is offered a job by Quinn Sullivan who is a security guard in her office building and a random guy she stalked during her lunch and off office hours.

The heroine has a funny first meeting and an impromptu double-date with her future boss a month later. 

Three Simple Rules by Nikki Sloane

I would do anything for my dream job. Now I have to. 

Classic office romance with the boss combined with an after-hours sex club. (STEAMY/Erotic)

In New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase’s sizzling and hilarious debut novel, Drew Evans—gorgeous, arrogant, irreverent, and irresistibly charming—meets his match in new colleague Kate Brooks.

The Stopover (The Miles High Club Book 1) by T L Swan

When the handsome guy you met on a flight and had a hot affair with a year ago is now your new CEO. 
A Grumpy Boss Romantic Comedy. A steamy, swoony workplace romantic comedy with a grumpy boss hero determined to save the day and a plucky heroine who is starting to wonder if there might actually be a beating heart just beneath her boss’s sexy vests.

Beautiful Bastard (The Beautiful Series Book 1) by Christina Lauren

An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling. Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate--and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Just Curious by Jude Deveraux 

I read this charming short story almost every year at Christmastime. It is dated, but still adorable. 

Karen is a young widow. She works in a secretarial pool for Mac Taggert. He is a wealthy man who treats women as though they are interchangeable. After his most recent fiancee has walked away, Mac asks Karen to be a substitute bridesmaid in a friend's wedding, so he doesn't have to show up alone. After being promised her heart's desire, she agrees and love ensues. 

His Temporary Assistant (Kensington Square Book 1) by Taryn Quinn

A Grumpy Boss Romantic Comedy. His Temporary Assistant is a standalone office romantic comedy set in small-town Kensington Square, which is near Crescent Cove. It has a happily-ever-after ending and no cliffhanger.

Don't Start Now by Tara September 

Two at odds journalists are assigned a travel piece onboard a new cruise ship. However, there is a room mix-up and an ex-boyfriend on board too. 

Pulitzer-prize-winning war journalist turned small-town newspaperman, Adam Seager, has given up a lot for his work, country, and family, but not this time. He knows what he wants, and it’s his coworker, Eve. But what happens when they are back on dry land? 

Did I miss one of your favorites? Comment below if so. 

Best Office Romance Novels to Read

Workplace Romance Themed Novels to add to your TBR pile
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