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Just Moved In: Tips to Transform Your New House into a Home

Moving into a new house is a joyous milestone, you now have the opportunity to call a place your very own! Your new house is a space where you can feel most comfortable, creating many lasting memories and even enjoying it for future generations to come. However, you’ll still need to transform your new house and personalize it soon after moving in. It does not matter if you recently had a wedding and are moving into a traditional home or even downgrading to a tiny apartment, there are many ways to make your new abode a cozy home.

3 Tips to Transform Your New House into a Home

#1 Painting Your Space

The colors of your walls and even your home’s exterior have significance when it comes to transforming your home. Paint color helps to display your personal preferences but it also creates an ambiance for your space, making each room in your home come alive. For this reason, choose colors that delight your senses and that create a welcoming vibe for your personal enjoyment. From neutral colors to bold shades that are unexpected, there are various ways to highlight the different rooms in your home. You can even opt for fun wallpaper in innumerable patterns, prints and colors for an even more personal touch, coinciding with your own impeccable home décor style. Transform Your New House - Yellow Paint on Walls

#2 Consider Your Personality

Your approach to home décor is a direct reflection of who you are and your unique personality. For example, if you prefer a stronger or masculine vibe you may like simple, streamlined décor with clean lines. On the other hand, if you are more aligned with modern fashion and style, then you may prefer a grand piece of abstract artwork in your living room, a conversational piece that amazes visitors and guests. For someone with a relaxed and easy-going personality, a boho chic style with plenty of natural elements may be preferred. Alternatively, if you are high-spirited personality type and would like your home to reflect your personal charm, then luxurious finishes, filigree mirrors and romantic chandeliers are just some of the choices you can consider when turning your house into a home. But no matter your personality type, choose home décor that is personalized, making you feel most comfortable as you provide your own definition of beauty for your new home’s décor. Transform Your New House - Decor & Personality

#3 Personal Items & DIY Decor

As a final tip, incorporate personal items that have meaning to you into your home. This will help to create a strong sense of belonging in this new abode. For instance, do you have something that reminds you of a major life event or someone special? Is it an old photograph that brings back memories or some other special item from childhood? Be sure to integrate such items into your house’s décor. If you have personal photos, place them in beautiful picture frames. Hang them in places where they will be easily visible to you while relaxing. This is a great way to personalize any room within your new home. Transform Your New House - Family Hanging Painting There are also various projects you can take on for a do-it-yourself approach. These can also make the home uniquely yours. For instance, I you have old or not-so-appealing furniture, you could repaint it for a fresh new look. You could also repurpose items to give your space even more personality. Why not try turning old dressers into bookshelves? How about using old wood to create floating shelves? You can even reupholster chairs in fun fabrics. Such DIY project ideas are endless! So, it does not matter if you are moving into a modern smart home or a more traditional dwelling. There are so many ways to transform your new house. Add personal flair so that you can proudly call this new house the home of your dreams.  

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10 Castles You Can Get Married In

No bride can deny that they dream of having their wedding in a castle at least once (or in our case, 100 times). Many brides-to-be would love to marry their Prince Charming in their fairy tale wedding inside the perfect castle. But did you know that you didn't need to be born into royalty to be able to marry at a castle? We've rounded up a list of 10 castles you can get married in to help you get started in planning the perfect wedding!

10 Castles You Can Get Married In

1. Casa Loma

Castles You Can Get Married In - Casa Loma
Located in the heart of Toronto, Ontario, Casa Loma is one of the more well-known castles in Canada. With it's Gothic revival style, Casa Loma is host to beautiful estate gardens. Numerous rooms are available, and a gorgeous view of the Toronto skyline makes this Canadian castle the perfect setting for any fairy tale wedding.

2. Dundurn Castle

Castles You Can Get Married In - Dundurn Castle
Not far from Toronto, in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, lies another gorgeous castle where couples can host a ceremony. Dundurn Castle is a beautiful Neoclassical mansion that was built in the 1830's and has many of the original design flourishes preserved. You can choose to say your vows outside among the lovely grounds or opt for The Coach House or the Cockpit Theatre.

3. Boldt Castle

Castles You Can Get Married In - Boldt Castle
Located on the border between Canada and the United States, Boldt Castle is one of the most sought-after wedding venues in New York. Boldt Castle sits on Heart Island on the St. Lawrence River and boasts a romantic design. The history of the building has a love story of its own, as former owner George Boldt built the lavish home for his wife Louise. You can host your ceremony here for around $200 USD, making it both dreamy and practical!

4. Biltmore House

Castles You Can Get Married In - Biltmore House
Built over 120 years ago by the heir to the Vanderbilt fortune, George Vanderbilt, the Biltmore House in North Carolina only gets more beautiful as it ages. The estate can host up to 500 guests and has many luxuries for guests including a spa, horseback riding, winery tours and more. You need to have a royal wedding budget for this venue, though, as wedding packages start at $20,000.

5. Belvoir Castle

Castles You Can Get Married In - Belvoir Castle
If you're looking to recreate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, then Belvoir Castle in England may be just the venue you're looking for! This stunning castle is actually still home to members of the Royal Family, the 11th Duke of Rutland, so you'll feel like a real princess here. The grounds host a chapel for religious ceremonies and can accommodate up to 130 guests. After a formal ceremony, parties can make their way "below the stairs" to dance the night away in the Old Kitchen or relax on the comfortable furniture in the Old Servants Hall.

6. Glamis Castle

Castles You Can Get Married In - Glamis Castle
Another great addition to our list of castles you can get married in is the Glamis Castle in Scotland! These royal grounds have been a favourite for brides and grooms looking for a unique venue. The space offers dozens of rooms you can choose from for your ceremony and reception. To top it off, the grounds are home to extensive gardens perfect for those romantic wedding photos.

7. Ashford Castle

Castles You Can Get Married In - Ashford Castle
Situated in the quiet village of Mayo, Ireland, Ashford Castle is an 83-room hotel that overlooks the idyllic countryside. This castle is the former home of the Guinness family (yes, the popular ale company!). You and your guests will feel like royalty at this castle thanks to it's Medieval-style architecture and elegantly-decorated rooms. With exquisite interiors, a wealth of estate activities and even a state-of-the-art spa, you're sure to have an exceptional experience here.

8. Chateau d'Esclimont

Castles You Can Get Married In - Château d'Esclimont
One castle that we think might be close enough to rival Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's venue is the Château d'Esclimont in France. The castle is a Renaissance jewel and is a perfect venue for a romantic wedding. The location is 150-acre property with 52 guests rooms and suites. There are many activities to enjoy, and a spa to relax and get ready in for your big day.

9. Hluboká Castle

Castles You Can Get Married In - Hluboká Castle
Located in the Czech Republic, Hluboká Castle is a favourite among newlyweds. This Renaissance-era castle overlooks a breathtaking view of the Czech countryside. Every bride needs to add this to their list of castles to research for their upcoming wedding. It is one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic!

10. Neuschwanstein Castle

Castles You Can Get Married In - Neuschwanstein Castle
This list wouldn't be complete without this real Disney Princess castle! Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany was built by King Ludwig II and was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland. The castle was open to the public  in 1886 and attracts over a million visitors every year. Celebrate overlooking the German countryside, but make sure to avoid being cursed by any evil sorceresses!

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How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party

Tomorrow is the Royal Wedding, and there are lots of people planning on hosting a viewing party. The only problem is where to start with planning the event. We want to give you some ideas to get you started. Here is our guide on how to throw the perfect Royal Wedding viewing party!

How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party

1. Set Your PVR

How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party - PVR Chances are you don't want to get up at 4 am to watch the wedding, let alone have a bunch of people at your house at that time! We suggest setting your PVR to record the Royal Wedding so that you can have your party later in the day.

2. Serve Wedding-Inspired Foods

How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party - Food While the menu has yet to be released (and may never be!), we have been able to find out some of the items that will be part of the wedding feast on Saturday. With the current growing season in England, some of the vegetables that will likely make an appearance are asparagus, peas, potatoes and tomatoes. Desserts will include chocolate truffles, mango panna cotta, yellow macaroons, and of course the much-anticipated lemon elderflower wedding cake. Here are some recipes to give you inspiration:

3. Host a High Tea

How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party - High tea If you don't want to have a huge menu to worry about preparing, opt to have a high tea for your viewing party instead! It's easy to whip up some tea sandwiches and scones, and you can never go wrong with finger food options. Some of the most popular tea sandwich flavours include egg salad, cucumber, and smoked salmon. When it comes to scones, why not try The Queen's personal recipe for drop scones?

4. Create a Specialty Cocktail

No wedding is complete without a signature cocktail, so why should the Royal Wedding be any different? Choose something that incorporates seasonal ingredients to stay with the theme of the wedding food. If you don't want to try and think of one on your own, try this Blushing Bride Champagne Cocktail from Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club:
How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party - Blushing Bride Champagne Cocktail
  • One part orange juice
  • One part cranberry juice
  • Two parts champagne
Mix orange juice and cranberry juice in a champagne flute or other desired serving glass. Top with champagne

5. Set the Mood with Decor

How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party - Party Decor You may not be in England, but that doesn't mean that you can't pretend that you are! Using decorations can help put your guests in the party mood. You can choose something simple like banners and balloons, or go all out with  and cut-outs! Here are some great decorations and party aides we found that you can purchase and print yourself:

6. Go All-Out with Florals

How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party - Peonies We know that flowers are a large part of any wedding, and the Royal Wedding isn't going to be any different. Fill your house with white garden roses and peonies, and you'll be able to feel like you're right there enjoying the wedding!

7. Determine a Dress Code

How to Throw the Perfect Royal Wedding Viewing Party - Dress While you may not be attending the wedding in person, there's no reason you can't dress for the occasion! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have requested their guests to wear morning suits or lounge suits for the men and day dresses with hats for the women. Don a cute tea-length dress and a fun and over-the-top hat and you'd be sure to fit right in!

8. Let Someone Else do the Work

If you don't want to go to all the work yourself, you can Google to see if any local hotels or businesses are hosting a viewing party. We've taken the time to compile short lists for Edmonton and Calgary. Edmonton Calgary

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#ThrowbackThursday: Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding

On November 20, 1947, 2,000 people gathered at Westminster Abbey to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's wedding to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. With the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday, we wanted to dedicate this week's Throwback Thursday to Queen Elizabeth II's wedding. We've rounded up 20 fun facts to share about the special day over 70 years ago.

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding to Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Royal Engagement

The Royal Engagement

1. Queen Elizabeth (then just Princess Elizabeth) and Prince Philip announced their engagement on July 9, 1947.

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding

2. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married just 4 months later on November 20th. The Queen was the 10th member of the Royal Family to be married at Westminster Abbey.

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party

3. Queen Elizabeth II's wedding party had eight bridesmaids. They were HRH The Princess Margaret, HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Lady Mary Cambridge, The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten, The Hon. Margaret Elpinstone and Diana Bowes-Lyon. 4. In royal tradition, Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent served as page boys. 5. The Duke of Edinburgh's best man was David Mountbatten, the Marquess of Milford Haven.

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Ceremony

The Ceremony

6. The wedding was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, and the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett. 7. The ceremony was recorded and broadcast to 200 million people worldwide courtesy of BBC Radio.

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Wedding Outfits

The Wedding Outfits

8. Queen Elizabeth's engagement ring was crafted by the jewelers Philip Antrobus, and contained diamonds from a tiara that once belonged to Princess Alice of Battenberg, Prince Philip's mother. 9. The wedding dress the Queen wore was designed by Sir Normal Hartnell. The designs was approved in mid-August and was still completed before the wedding. That's less than 3 months! 10. The dress has a simple cut with a fitted bodice, heart-shaped neckline with a low v-pointed waist, and a floor-length panelled skirt. Additionally, it also features a 15-foot silk tulle full court train, which had to be attached at the shoulders, and was embroidered in pearl, crystal, and transparent applique tulle embroidery. 11. Due to World War II, rationing measures caused Queen Elizabeth to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her dress. Therefore, hundreds of people sent their coupons to help, but they all had to be returned as it would be illegal to use them. 12. Prince Philip stayed true to royal traditions and donned his military dress uniform for the wedding.

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Wedding Flowers

The Wedding Flowers

13. The Worshipful Company of Gardeners supplied the flowers for the Queen's bouquet, which was arranged by florist MH Longman. 14. The bridal bouquet contained white orchids and a sprig of myrtle. This was a tradition started by Queen Victoria when she was given some myrtle by Prince Albert's grandmother. The day after the wedding, the bouquet was sent back to Westminster Abbey to be placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (another royal tradition).

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Wedding Reception

The Wedding Reception

15. After the ceremony, a wedding breakfast was served in the Ball-Supper Room at Buckingham Palace, where the menu contained Filet de Sole Mountbatten, Perdreau en Casserole, and Bombe Glacee Princess Elizabeth. 16. In true royal tradition, the newlywed couple went onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace to wave to the huge crowds awaiting them.

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Wedding Gifts

The Wedding Gifts

17. Over 2,500 gifts were received from all over the world, as well as around 10,000 telegrams congratulating the couple. Some of the gifts received were a bookcase from Queen Mary, a picnic case from Princess Margaret, and a piece of cotton lace that was hand-spun by Mahatma Gandhi that read "Jai Hind" (Victory for India).

Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding - The Wedding Cake

The Wedding Cake

18. Although there were eleven wedding cakes received, the official cake for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip was a four-tier cake that measured 9 feet high! 19. The cake was baked by McVitie and Price using ingredients from around the world, and they sourced sugar from the Girl Guides in Australia, which earned the cake the name "The 10,000 Mile Cake". It was decorated with the arms of both families, including the monograms of the bride and groom, sugar-iced figured of their favourite activities, and regimental and naval badges. 20. The cake was cut using the Duke's Mountbatten sword, a wedding gift from the king.

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