We are over the moon that the stunning Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012, turned the big 2-1 and chose to celebrate her special event here on World Yacht Wednesday night. It was quite the year for little Miss Culpo last year having taken the pageant industry by storm - Culpo won Miss Rhode Island 2012, then Miss USA 2012, and finally rounded out the trifecta with Miss Universe 2012.
Ms. Culpo shared her first legal drink - a Moscow Mule by Russian Standard Vodka - for swarms of press aboard our ship, with reigning Miss USA (and former runner-up to Culpo) Nana Meriwether. Ms. Culpo then took the first bite of her custom made two-tier red velvet cake made by the Cake Boss. Buddy Velastro and the Carlo's Bakery creative team replicated Miss Universe’s ornate crown with pink and white fondant.
World Yacht then set sail at 7 pm for our dinner cruise around the Hudson River. Culpo’s friends and family partied the night away in our Duchess Lounge - a semi-private, modernly-furnished space – on our Duchess boat. The weather turned out perfect for the fireworks display that went off near the Statue of Liberty for the Norwegian Breakaway christening. All of our guests got an upfront and personal look at the New York inspired and pop-art-designed Norwegian Breakaway as it navigated our Hudson waters. The night was an epic success. Ms. Culpo is a treasure. Happy Birthday Olivia, from all of us at World Yacht.
Check out a short clip from Extra at the event:
In order to keep a relationship flourishing, it is important to make sure there is plenty of romance—which will go a long way when it comes to keeping things fresh and exciting. Not everyone is a born romantic, sometimes we need a bit of a push in the right direction to get things going in that department, but it is well worth the effort. If you are looking to introduce some romance to your relationship, it is important to be unique with your gestures so that it shows you have put in some thought into it, rather than the age-old gift giving. If you want to get into the good graces of your sweetheart, these ideas (or some simple variations of them) may help you win them over...and keep you out the dog house!
Tender Loving Care
There is no better way to show your romantic side than to give your partner some tender loving care. The simple things are the most effective so the next time your partner arrives home from a hard day's work, have a hot bath ready for them and they will be overjoyed at your thoughtfulness, especially during the winter. (Make sure they enjoy baths though, of course.) Another way to show some tender loving care is to give your partner a sensual massage because—let's face it, you can't really go wrong with a massage.
Embrace Your Partner's Hobbies
Everyone wants their partner to have some level of interest in their favorite hobby, so even if you don't, this is the perfect romantic gesture to keep you on their good side. It gives you the opportunity to spend some time with them and also gives you a better understanding of the things they love. You never know, you may grow to love their favorite hobby.
Everyone loves a surprise, so make yours a good one! Show up at your partner's job and take them for a nice lunch (just make sure that you're familiar with their day's workload, or an unannounced visit may have negative results). Or, leave them a surprise romantic note in their pocket. Small gestures like these will be sure to put a smile on their face and will be an unexpected but very pleasing surprise.
Show Your Creative Side
A present you have picked up from the store shelf is nowhere near as romantic as one you have made, so show your creative side if you want to please your partner. There are many ways you can do this, including writing a poem or a romantic letter, making a collage of your favorite photos together or drawing them a picture. If these are a little too creative, you can always cook them their favorite meal. Your partner will be sure to appreciate the thought you have put into your gesture and it will definitely be a way of putting a smile on their face.
Breakfast in Bed
There is nothing better than waking up to a nice, cooked breakfast, especially on the weekends. It may seem like a simple gesture, but these are usually the most effective, so the next time you get up earlier than your partner, cook them their favorite breakfast and take it into bed for them. It will start the day nicely for the both of you and they will be delighted that they were the first thing on your mind in the morning.
We don't tend to give our partners the compliments they deserve but these can actually be one of the most effective romantic gestures for making them feel loved and respected. You don't need to overdo it; simple compliments like the way they look or the clothes they are wearing will make them feel good and will put you straight into their good graces.
Whether male or female we all love some retail therapy, just the name suggests that it can really make us feel good! If your partner enjoys shopping, indulge in a bit of retail therapy together and make a day of it. It will give you a nice way to spend some time together and you will both feel happy and content with all of your lovely purchases. You can always treat them to a few things if you are feeling flush, which will really make them feel special. You never know, they may return the favor!
–Sam believes a romantic gesture is best served on Valentine's Day, but don't forget to pick up a Valentines day gift to really show how much you care.
Your bride-to-be has been planning your wedding day since she was a little girl. It doesn’t matter that probably she didn’t even know you then. You are the face to the anonymous knight on a white horse who drops to one knee and asks for her hand in all of her best daydreams about what this day will be like. And you don’t want to mess that up for her!
Asking for a Blessing or Permission?
Although some consider it to be an outdated trend, there are many who still ask their bride-to-be’s parents before popping the question. And when TheKnot.com surveyed a group of women, 81% of them admitted to preferring that their future spouse ask their parents’ consent before asking for her hand in matrimony.
But what if you ask for permission, and they say no? Do you go forward? Can you imagine your bride’s reaction when she finds out that you asked her to be your bride after her parents said no? Those kinds of details could put a real kink in your plans! Therefore, it’s better to ask for their blessing or best wishes.
Popping the Question
However you choose to pop the question, make it personal and romantic. Your ideal spot could be the center of a NFL football field at halftime, but unless she shares your love of sports you could find yourself the product of a YouTube video titled “OMG She Said No!” Here are some ideas for finding that perfect spot to pop the question.
- Talk to her mom or best friend. Ask what moments were special to her when she was a little girl or young woman. Perhaps it’s her grandmother’s front porch. Or it could be a historic landmark in the town where she grew up.
- Consider your history together. Where did you meet? Where did you share your first kiss? Where were you the moment that you first realized that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with her?
- Head out of town together. Go to your ideal vacation spot. Whether it’s at the top of a snowy mountain during a ski trip or on the warm sand of your favorite tropical beach, a vacation spot that you both enjoy not only provides a great story about how you popped the question, but also provides a scenic backdrop for those “we just became engaged” photos.
Make a List and Check It Twice
The first thing on your list should be the ring. Last year a friend proposed to his girlfriend and she happily said yes. Her excitement was short-lived when she realized that he hadn’t even considered shopping for the ring yet. For women, seeing the ring for the first time is one of the best parts of getting engaged.
The next thing on your list should be to zip that lip. That’s right – tell as few people as possible about your plans. Yes, you are excited, but everyone that you tell will be excited, too. The last thing you want is for someone to slip up and spill the beans about your plans to pop the question.
Please Do Your Homework
There’s something to be said for doing your homework before buying the ring. No matter how much planning you do before proposing, getting the ring wrong can be a major faux pas. After all, you don’t want your bride to be like American personality Paris Hilton, who complained, “I like it, but it’s yellow. And I’m like, I didn’t want yellow for my engagement ring.”
A good way to find out what kind of jewelry she likes in preparation for popping the question is to take her shopping for diamond earrings first. That way you’ll know her thoughts on the 3 C’s of diamond shopping (for her, at least) – clarity, cut and carats. And females please do your fiancé a favor. If he does mess up, then you can always make up for it by pairing the engagement ring with an anniversary wrap to celebrate your first year together.
That Picture-Perfect Moment
There are cell phones today that take better pictures than your average digital camera. If you’re able to get someone to hide out nearby and discreetly take some pictures of the big moment, you’ll thank yourself later. After all, how many times do you get to pop the question to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? Hopefully it’s just once – so you’ll want to have some kind of tangible memory of the big day besides the ring itself!
Freelance writer Mark Harris lives with his wife in White Rock, British Columbia. He enjoys working from his laptop because it allows him to work just as easily from inside his home as it is to operate out of the corner of his local coffee shop. When writing a series of articles on crafting the perfect wedding proposal, he visited sites like http://www.lovediamonds.net where he read personal stories and articles as part of his research process.
Ah, roses, chocolates, dinner...Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and the hunt is (or should be) on for the perfect gift. If you're planning for the big day, you'll undoubtedly deal with much nagging (err, gentle advising) on what not to get. It's easy to go for the "play-it-safe" gift, the romantic card, bouquet of flowers, box of candy...(teddy bears, even?) But, it's time to step it up.
The Fallback Gifts
Well, fallback may be a little harsh. Let's go with the supplementary gifts, because there's absolutely nothing wrong with these. In fact, they may be just right for your sweetheart if they're genuine and they make a great addition to a night out (or in). For starters, romantic cards have their pros and cons. If you're going to get one remember the cardinal rule: Make sure it's applicable to your relationship. There's nothing worse than a card that's better suited for a good friend that's given to your significant other. If the terminology in the card isn't something that matches your relationship, don't force it. Be sure to take the time to search for the most heartfelt message. If you can't find one, then write your own special message.
Roses are red, violets are blue, but make sure they're liked or it'll be a bad V-day for you. Flowers...sigh. Some love and adore flowers. Others not so much. Flowers are a great romantic gesture, but try and go a little beyond the traditional if that's what your partner is into. Admittedly, I love the idea of flowers but a green thumb I do not have. They always look good for a day or two, and then I'm done. It's up to you to know whether or not your significant other is into the whole flower thing. Another point to remember is that as romantic as roses can be (historically), some prefer other types. There are so many options to choose from so do a little research and see what's liked before you waste your money.
Candy, candy, candy! Theoretically, candy will brighten anyone's day right? Notsomuch. Valentine's Day is dangerously close to New Year's Day...resolutions. Is your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/person you choose to spend Valentine's Day with on a diet? I'm serious. The best intentions can go sour quickly if you hand your Valentine a box of chocolates right after a diet was committed to...you'll never live it down.
Some of the best gifts are ones that won't really cost much money, but will cost extra time. Instead of material gifts, why not take some time to nurture the relationship? Valentine's Day is about the love between two people, it's hard to imagine that he or she won't want to spend time together. An oldie but goodie? Scavenger hunts. Take some time and write some thoughtful notes that your Valentine can find with a little hunting. If you don't want to have them lead to an expensive prize, just add little tiny gifts with the notes. You'll have fun watching your significant other try to figure out the next clue.
Rekindling is a good option, too. Is there anything that you used to do that you haven't had time for since [insert random life distraction here]? Maybe you can recreate that past experience. Little things...a drive to the park, cooking his or her favorite meal, the appreciated items. Every couple has them, with a little thinking you'll remember one or two.
For one day, why not have a mini vacation on the water? On Valentine's Day World Yacht offers incredible romantic dinner cruise packages that you'll love...and afford (packages begin at $99/person). You'll dine, dance and see the magic of the New York City skyline at night at your own private table. Each couple will receive their own red rose, too. A small upgrade to the Sweetheart package gets you champagne and a box of Godiva chocolates. (See? Supplemental works!)
No matter what you decide on, make it special for you both. Those small or grand gestures will be better appreciated if they really come from the heart.
If you’re lucky, buying an engagement ring is something you’ll only do once in your entire life. And if you’re like most guys, the process might seem a little intimidating. After all, the average guy doesn’t know a whole lot about diamond settings, diamond clarity, diamond cuts, and all of the other things that go into an engagement ring.
However, it’s important that you make yourself informed before you purchase an engagement ring. Otherwise, you could end up with a low quality ring that your sweetheart doesn’t like and that makes you look cheap or silly.
The first step of the education process is to make yourself aware of all the myths that are out there about buying an engagement ring. This misinformation can negatively influence your buying decision, so it’s necessary to point out these five common myths:
Myth #1: All diamond engagement rings are expensive.
This simply isn’t true. Don’t let those stories of people spending tens of thousands of dollars on an engagement ring scare you off. If you have a modest budget, you can still find a beautiful, affordable engagement ring that your sweetheart will love. It’s important that you figure out how much you can afford to spend, and then turn to a respected jewelry shop (there are great online jewelry shops that make it easy to browse) to see what they offer in your price range.
Myth #2: You need to be an expert to pick the right diamond.
Okay, so things like cut, clarity, color and carat are foreign to you. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to learn a few things that will help you choose a good diamond. Most reputable online jewelry shops will have an education section on their website that will provide you with plenty of easy-to-understand information about diamonds and engagement rings.
Myth #3: A bigger diamond is a better diamond.
Size is far from the only thing that matters when choosing a diamond engagement ring. Some women prefer multiple smaller diamonds over a large center stone. And just because a diamond is big doesn’t mean that it has great clarity, color or cut. You have to consider a range of factors when selecting a diamond.
Myth #4: You must know her ring size before buying an engagement ring.
While it’s nice to know your love’s exact ring size so you can slip it on perfectly when you propose, it’s not really that big of a deal. Rings can be sized easily at any jeweler, so if you’re unable to figure out her ring size, just buy the ring now and have it sized later.
Myth #5: Engagement ring shopping involves high-pressured salespeople.
This might be the case in some jewelry stores, but there are plenty of great jewelry shops that don’t pressure customers. Your best bet is to shop online from a reputable website that offers personal assistance to help you better understand what you want and need. You can get great customer service even when shopping online!
Dennis Polishchuk is a copywriter at Whiteflash.com, an online jewelry shop from Houston offering a wide selection of Whiteflash loose diamonds and the finest designer Ritani engagement rings.
This article is the sole opinion of the author(s) and not of World Yacht. If you would like to submit a commentary to the blog, please send your article to the editor.
French poet Marceline Desbordes-Valmore once asked, “Are we not like two volumes of one book?” And although she wasn’t talking about my husband and me, she certainly could have been. We are so much alike that friends have wondered if he and I share two halves of the same brain.
From the day we first met, I knew he was the man I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with. The longer we dated, the more I was convinced that he would never propose. But then the big day came. Although it seemed like any other ordinary day, the moment he dropped to one knee and opened the ring box, nothing else mattered.
The Secret is In the Planning
Not everyone has the same luck when proposing marriage. Sometimes, the female says no. Whatever her reason for doing so, in almost all cases the men later find out that this could have been avoided if they’d just taken the time to plan better – or in some cases, if he’d take the time to plan period.
- Consider the Long Haul
Is this really the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with? Have you sat down and discussed with her the idea of marriage so that you know she’s even open to it? The last thing you want to hear after popping the question is, “…but we can always be friends!”
- Ask the Parental Units for Their Blessing
Asking parents for permission is a little old fashioned. However, asking for their blessing shows that you respect her parents and want to be considered a member of their family through marrying their daughter.
- Save the Date
Spontaneous proposals look really fun when done by actors in the movies or on television programs. But it’s highly unlikely that you have a host of Hollywood experts to help everything go off without a hitch. And there are no retakes. The date and time are two of the most crucial details in the planning stage.
- Determine the Place
Where will you propose? Will it be a place that’s sentimental to both of you? Maybe it will be something that is on her bucket list, like going up in a hot air balloon or taking a horseback ride through the Grand Canyon. Regardless of where it is, as long as it’s special to her you should be safe.
- Buy the Ring
This may be #5 in the list, but it is #1 in priority after making sure she wants to get married. If you aren’t sure her of ring size or have no idea what kind of ring she would like, put a pair of low priced diamond earrings, a locket with pictures of each of you from your respective childhoods or a ring made from candy inside the ring box instead and explain to her that you’d like to shop for the ring together.
Practice makes perfect. Just don’t be foolish enough to practice with your ex-girlfriend, her ex-roommate, or anyone else on her list of people you should avoid at all costs. The best place to practice is in front of a mirror so that you can have a good idea of how you will look to her as you ask her the most important question of your dating lives.
The Little Extras
Have a backup plan just in case something goes wrong. Even if you have everything planned down to the last detail, unless you’re a member of the Psychic Friends Network there’s no way you can know how things will turn out – and even then, it’s still probably questionable. Unfortunately this also includes knowing how you will react in case she turns down your proposal.
Hopefully she says yes, and once she does then what is next? Where will you go? Will you visit her parents or your parents – or both? If you haven’t yet bought the ring, are you prepared to go shopping right now? If your emotions have the better of you and you need some time and space to just be alone together, it might be prudent to reserve a hotel room where you can quietly cuddle and plan your future together.
And finally, there will be tears of joy, whether they’re from you, her, or family and friends who are around when the big moment takes place. Have a travel-sized pack of tissues or a clean handkerchief handy. After all, part of being her gallant knight who will sweep her into the sunset is being prepared.
Becky James-Muth is married to a firefighter who proposed to her in a historic town in West Virginia, where she spent the bulk of her childhood. A fan of all things wedding-related, she enjoys reading articles at sites like http://www.lovediamonds.net where she can get tips about what to ask as a gift for her next wedding anniversary. Becky spends her free time knitting, walking with her dog, and watercolor painting.
This is a great season for decorations and themed party favors. We love the snowflake lights, gingerbread houses, and winter inspired drinks that you can only find around this time of year. World Yacht Group Sales Manager Amanda Del Valle agrees! She has great ideas for some of the best winter themed decorations and props. See some of them here.
These holiday cake pops look amazing. As Amanda notes, they're great for a light and delicious dessert too. We really like the snowman directed one in the front.
A NEW SPIN ON BOUQUETS
Aren't these pine cone bouquets amazing? This unique spin is fantastic for those planning a winter wedding too. We're partial to the ones on the left...they scream winter wonderland.
How cute! These mini desserts are a great size for calorie watchers, and would make an amazing addition to a holiday menu. As an added bonus, they look easy to prepare too!
The great thing about these notecard holders is that they are very unisex and classic. One of Amanda's groups ordered these for an event. We really like the fact that they can be used repeatedly for other winter themed events too.
Holiday cocktails and scents are never in short supply during the season. This candy cane garnish is a neat touch!
Thanks to Amanda for sharing some of her favorite things with us. You can follow her on Pinterest for more of her favorite things. We want to know some of the decorations you have seen or tried this season. Send us your thoughts or pics below or on Facebook or Pinterest. We may feature them in a blog post or on one of our pages!
Can you hear that? It’s the faint sound of bells jingling softly in the distance and it’s coming closer. Yes, it’s that time of year again when we all start to get all stressed and panicky with the thought of everything there is to do in preparation for one of the busiest times of year.
Everybody wants to spend Christmas with their nearest and dearest but arguably that is precisely what makes it so exhausting. So, if you are planning to host for the first time or you’re the perennial provider of the festivities, why not do it differently this year? Prepare early and follow these great tips in order to throw the kind of party that people will be ho-ho-ho-ing on about for many years to come.
Unless you’re a proper scrooge then you will have at least a few Christmas decorations up at this time of year. If you are planning to host a holiday party though, you need to go the whole hog. The tree is obviously the focal point for most of the decorating but don’t be afraid to spread this to the rest of the house. I’m talking giant snowmen in the front garden, singing Santas in the toilet and roaming reindeer in the kitchen. It doesn’t have to look tacky but get those halls decked, it only happens once a year.
It’s an unwritten rule that everybody has to eat their body weight in food around the festive period so you’re going to need to stock up. Do this weeks in advance in order to spread the cost and obviously buy things that are easily frozen. A top tip is to log onto the internet and order your perishables and bigger food items to be delivered closer to Christmas day. Most grocery stores will even deliver as late as Christmas Eve if you book well enough in advance.
After everybody has consumed enough food for the whole year, providing they haven’t fallen asleep, it might be a good idea to play some games. Board games are a great idea; everyone can get involved and most are simple to explain to the older members of your family. You can also create your own quiz with a number of different rounds. Cut faces out of old magazines for a ‘name that person’ round, record the beginnings of songs onto a disc for a ‘beat the intro’ style round and Google some Christmas facts for an exciting ‘quick fire’ round.
Now, obviously, the main gifts will have been opened in the morning before people even arrive at your party but there is still room for a few little ones, especially for the children. In my family they are called ‘table presents’ and the idea is to hand out little party bags with stocking filler type presents inside whilst everybody is around the table. For the adults, these tend to be more of a jokey gift and are often a great source of entertainment upon which to end the party.
Wherever you are spending Christmas this year and whatever you are doing, be sure to enjoy every moment of it and don’t spend your time stressing about material things that, in reality, don’t really matter.
This article is written by Chris Mayhew on behalf of Love The Little Things. They can supply plenty of party paraphernalia including tableware, party games and boys and girls party bags in order for you to throw an amazing Christmas party.
The Holiday Season is upon us! That means traveling, family gatherings and lots of food. It also means that many of us are planning holiday parties, both corporate and personal. If you're new to the hosting game, then good luck. If you're seasoned, good luck to you too—event planning takes on a different scale with each go round. One of the first questions event planners will ask themselves is, "What's an appropriate venue?" Well, before you even try to answer that there are a few little things you need to know.
Budget, budget, budget...
As in, know your budget. You may have an overall budget that will include event space fees. If that's the case, break your budget down first. There's no use wasting time falling in love with a beautiful space that you can't afford. Setting your budget first will help you set realistic expectations. Some places will clearly be out of your range but if you come within that gray area of a venue's set price, chances are they'll accommodate you. Equally important, knowing your budget range will save you and the representatives a load of time.
What works for Sally may not work for Jim...
What kind of event are you having and who's invited? If half of your group wouldn't be able to travel to the location, it probably isn't fair to them to hold it there. Equally important, if you have a corporate gathering, you may not want a loud restaurant. What's the weather going to be like (as far as you can tell at this stage)? Before you even select places, think about the character of your guests and what would suit them best. Are you budgeting for a car service? If not, then try and figure out which locations are easy to navigate to or have easily-accessible transportation within a small radius. Do you want to hold the event outdoors? Maybe pick a place that has an option for enclosed spaces at the last minute owing to weather changes.
Organization will always remain key...
You have a concept and a budget. You're ready to start researching. So far, your notetaking method consists of a post-it here and a post-it there. What did you do with all of the information that you compiled? If it isn't in a central location (central is relative), then you're starting off wrong. One of the easiest tools will be an Excel sheet, but that may not work for everyone. Pick a program, app, journal, etc. and start taking (and keeping) notes.
And, don't forget keeping the small details like who you spoke with and when. If you take the time to work with a specific representative and then forget them, you may have to start from scratch on the next call or visit. What a waste!
Granted, these are small tips, but they'll get you moving in the right direction. If you have any small things that you put in place before selecting an event venue, go ahead and leave them in the comments. Happy planning!
Thanksgiving: family, friends, food, frenzy? Let's be honest, if you're hosting Turkey Day, you're bound to get a little stressed. Dishes, clean up, crowds. Take a break this year, and make World Yacht your family's Thanksgiving venue.
After enjoying the historic 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, come down to Pier 81 for a Thanksgiving meal and tour NYC in style.
World Yacht will run a lunch and dinner cruise on November 22, both of which feature mouth-watering favorites. Our two-hour lunch cruise (adults $75.73, children $42.78) boards at 1:00 p.m. and sails from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Enjoy a lavish buffet, complete with Butternut Squash Bisque, Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes and Maple and Brown Sugar Roasted Sweet Potato—just to name a few. Fret not, our carving station will have plenty of turkey—Brined, Slow-Roasted Turkey, Herbed Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Compote to be exact.
If you can't make it to lunch, join us for an extravagant at a private table instead ($108.66 per guest). Start the meal with a special treat from the executive chef. Follow with your choice of one of four appetizers, including Crab Brandade and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Then, help yourself to one of four tantalizing entrees: Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Filet Mignon, Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli or Pan-Seared Salmon. Finish (if you can) with either pumpkin pie or NY style cheesecake with raspberry coulis.
Make America's most beautiful skyline your backdrop while you sit back and relax this Thanksgiving. Step aboard!