Spring Carnival Horse Racing – Fashion, Facinators and Ideas For Your Wedding!

Victorian Spring Racing Carnival 2012 kicks off  soon and runs all the way through to November and to the Melbourne Cup – so famous that it calls for a public holiday across most of the state of Victoria!

As with most of the racing events throughout the carnival the Emirates Melbourne Cup is about more than just a horse race, with racegoers dressed to impress and the beautiful roses of the Flemington course in full bloom, it is certainly a visual spectacle just as much as a sporting one! In fact, a trip to the races is all about the fashion … and what better place to gather some ideas for your wedding colours, bridesmaid dresses, fascinators and more!

This year Spring Racing Carnival Trends will be attention to the cut, fabric and clever design of your dress and entire outfit. Remember, it is all about the curves in the right places, dare to be daring and bring out your wild card at the reaces this year. Throw on some killer heels and grab some heel covers to stop you from  sinking into the ground at the races, perfect for garden weddings and any other outdoor events too!

A fascinator or an amazing hat is a must for the ladies! The size and shape that you can get away with depends on your confidence and your personality, here are some examples that have been seen on the race fields over the last few years – some great inspiration for your wedding, perhaps some tips for mother of the bride and bridesmaids! We have teamed them up with our favourite designs to match too…

Black and white – sleek and sophisticated. Team this b&w look with the cooler design below, a fantastic look to carry across the whole theme of your wedding.

Hot Pink – for a splash of pink on your wedding day  why not introduce this pink frangipani design to match in with your bridesmaid colours!

Orange – this vibrant colour fascinator alongside the gerbera design are certainly perfect for a summer wedding!

Spring Green – beautiful colour for the races, your wedding colours and much more! This formal design would fit perfectly to compliment your theme.

Teal – This amazing fascinator really sparks the imagination; this colour would be perfect for a beach or destination wedding and looks great against this Thailand design.

Not only is derby day, spring carnival and the races a great place to get inspiration for your wedding colours, outfits and ideas but also a fantastic place for a day out! You could celebrate your birthday there, have a girls day for your hens or suit up the guys and send them on their bucks show!

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Birthday Party Ideas – from child to adult!

Babies 1st Birthday!

Your baby’s first birthday will always be something very special to you. It is a great time to celebrate with friends and to congratulate yourself for making it through the first year!

Don’t feel that you have to go over the top for the 1st birthday party – after all your baby probably won’t remember the event details and it is likely to be more for the parents than the kids.

Take into consideration the way that your baby reacts to visitors or new places before planning the party – it may be better suited to have your party at home with some close family and friends, this will also help you to keep things low budget!

Another way to keep the cost down is to keep your party brief and this will also help by dictating a specific time slot that is good for the children – you will want to invite other ‘baby guests’ for sure, perhaps afternoon  tea will work better as this will be after ‘nap time’ ..!

If you go for afternoon tea you can create a buffet of finger foods – this will be great for both adults and babies that have a few teeth and can be snacked on between playing! Babies will play alongside each other, but probably not together at this age, so keep a variety of toys available within a large, safe floor space.

Party bags are not really appropriate at this age but you can provide a little gift for the parents as a thank you for coming – check out Coolaz stubby holders, there are so many designs available that will help you to decide on your party colours and theme – remember this is more for the adults and photo opportunities than for your one year old’s benefit. Most importantly make sure that you relax and let your baby and guests set the pace!

Children’s Birthday Inspiration

Whatever age or gender, your child will want to do something fun with their friends for their next birthday party – an excited 6 or 7 year old will want to impress their friends with a theme or venue that will leave them with plenty to talk about!

Girls 7+ will no longer want birthday parties with “baby” or “little kid” themes. Still, they will love to play, explore and create. For a 7-year-old girl’s birthday, you could host a jewellery / dress up party so that they can pretend to be grown ups! Or if you want a creative and unforgettable party you could go to a pottery painting studio where the kids can decorate ready-to-paint ceramic pieces into beautiful and usable pottery that they’ll cherish forever.

You could have a party in the park or at the beach  – make sure that you invite all of the parents too so that there are plenty of eyes, especially if you are around water! You could have a sea or shark theme …

Maybe Roller-skating or bowling would be on the cards for your kids party – Coolaz water bottle coolers are great for this sort of thing … the kids can go off and play and come back knowing which drink is theirs! Plus they get a great party favour to take a way with them too!

18th Party Ideas

Design ideas and inspiration for an 18th birthday gift, party theme or party favours-

Congratulations, it’s your 18th Birthday and in most parts of the world you can now consider yourself an adult! You can exercise your right to vote, flaunt your driving license and generally be responsible for you own decisions.

It is likely that you will want to do something special to celebrate and will be looking for some ideas for your birthday party, here are a few that we have come up with to help you get started.

Movie Night at the Pool – An outdoor movie night gives an 18th birthday ‘pool party’ a real twist. Fill the pool with some inflatable doughnuts, dinghies and li-lows and put on a classic Jaws shark movie!

Water Gun Party – show up with water-bazookas, super-soakers and pistols and fill up some large tubs of water, divide into teams and get soaking! You can provide prizes for the winners or the person that stays the driest!

Grand Final Party – If your birthday falls in the footy season you could throw an AFL Grand Final Birthday Party. Decorate your venue in your team colours, or have a dress code – for example you could choose a black & white theme if you barrack for Collingwood.

Cocktail Party – if you are in Australia or UK then you will officially be legal to drink alcohol if you are in the US then you will have to wait until your 21st of course!… it is always recommended that you drink responsibly of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun with it! Grab yourself a cocktail book and a few friends and create yourself some amazing cocktails! You can suggest that everyone bring a different mixer so that you have a huge amount of variety.

30th Birthday Party Ideas

Born in the 1980s – Think Marty McFly and Back to the Future or MTV music videos and pop icons like Michael Jackson, Madonna & Prince playing through your ghetto-blaster!

40th Birthday

Born in the 1970s – Create your own Boogie Nights experience with a 70s theme party! Think Saturday Night Fever, bright lights and disco balls!! Add a splash of orange (hugely popular in the 70s) and plan for the best 70s disco ever!

50th Birthday

Born in the 1960s – The Summer of Love known as The Swinging 60s! Think Woodstock and groovy psychedelic influences! Peace, love and the rise of the ‘Hippie’ culture make this a very colourful theme for a 60s birthday party.

60th Birthday

Born in the 1950s – Rock and Roll dominated the popular music scene in the 1950s. It saw artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richie and Elvis taking to the stage! So think Teddy-boy, polka dots and American Diners! Select your music carefully from a Juke Box and ‘rock around the clock’ at your 50s theme party.

Whatever your theme and wherever your venue there are heaps of fantastic design ideas available to help create some amazing party favours!

50 Years of Marriage – Wedding Anniversary Gifts and Ideas by the Year!

“True Meaning of Marriage”

The true meaning of marriage is love. By love, I mean not just what we feel but what we do. Love just as a feeling is very flimsy, an up and down roller coaster – Love is an action! In order for it to become the ultimate force and for us to rediscover the true meaning of marriage, love has to be unconditional. You are not looking for acceptance or validation. You are giving of yourself to another not because of them, but because of your values.

The true meaning of marriage is expressing love unconditionally to another. It is an unstoppable force that can endure anything. How do you find it? You have to draw strength from you, neither seeking validation nor acceptance, just seeking the opportunity to show love.

A marriage should be celebrated every day and even more so when you reach certain milestones. The names of some anniversaries provide guidance for appropriate ways to celebrate or traditional gifts for married couples to give to each other; if there is a party these can be brought by the guests or influence the theme or decoration too.

These gifts can vary in different countries, but some years have well-established connections now common to most nations: 1st Paper, 5th Wooden, 10th Tin, 15th Crystal, 20th China, 25th Silver, 30th Pearl, 40th Ruby, 50th Golden, 60th Diamond.

The tradition may have originated in medieval Germany where, if a married couple lived to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their wedding, the wife was presented by her friends and neighbours with a silver wreath to congratulate them for the good fortune that had prolonged the lives of the couple for so many years. On celebration of the 50th anniversary, the wife received a wreath of gold. Over time the number of symbols expanded and the German tradition came to assign gifts that had direct connections with each stage of married life. The symbols have changed over time. For example in the United Kingdom, diamond was a well-known symbol for the 75th anniversary, but this changed to the now more common 60th anniversary after Queen Victoria’s 60 years on the throne was widely marked as her Diamond Jubilee.

Some Traditions and Ideas – Anniversary by the Year…

For a first anniversary a gift of paper should be given, this symbolises the strength that comes from an interlaced connection of the paper’s individual threads. It is also tradition to eat the top layer of your wedding cake on this date.

wedding stubby holders

Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive; you could get your husband/wife a journal or scrap book to record memories of your anniversary or stick photographs from events over the last year. Or you could write a love letter and sneak it into a lunch box or work bag or for a bit of fun make a paper trail around your house, each clue could lead to the next and then finally to some printed tickets to a show or the cinema. Why not decorate your romantic dinner table with some homemade paper flowers and use doyleys as your table mats, be sure to be careful if you are lighting candles with all that paper around!

Some other great ideas might be postcards, a calendar, magazine subscription, jigsaw puzzle, a special book or a map (maybe somewhere you have been or would like to plan a trip to together)!

A fifth wedding anniversary gift of wood should be given to celebrate this milestone, wood is strong and long-lasting and should be symbolic of the strength your marriage has.

wedding stubby holders

You could plant a tree together, in your garden or perhaps at a park or church that is special to you both. Choose a plant or tree that means something to you, perhaps an evergreen or a flaming red maple – something that particularly represents your love for each other. You could have a romantic dinner and eat your meal out of wooden baskets and drink from wooden chalices. Wood can be easily and elegantly engraved or sculpted into romantic shapes and figures – perhaps a personally engraved plaque with your names and the date or of your house name or a family welcome sign.

The first major milestone – a tenth year of marriage should be celebrated with a gift of tin or aluminium; this gift will reflect the strength and beauty of the connection between the couple which after 10 years will have learnt to work together – a relationship that is flexible yet durable, can be bent without being broken.

Wedding Anniversary Stubby Holders

Consider a keepsake gift made from either material such as a picture frame or a garden decoration – the style that you choose will of course be dependent on the hobbies or personality of the couple.

Perhaps some artistic jewellery that combines the traditional material with a diamond for your wife – or a blue Sapphire is the alternate modern gemstone for a 10th anniversary. You might even find a tin box that you could give; you could include a CD of songs from the year you were married or a special photograph.

Fifteenth anniversaries should be marked by the giving of a crystal or a crystal themed gift; this represents the clear and sparkling love between two people.

anniversary stubby holder

A modern gift idea of a watch symbolises the time spent together with a ‘watch crystal’ referring to its transparent glass face. A beautiful crystal vase with some flowers, a stemware wine glass or champagne flute will make a perfect gift that can be treasured. You could add a touch of humour and get a crystal ball to help you see into the future.

You could have a romantic dinner for two, choose a simple table cloth and some crystal candle holders, remember the colours that you had at your wedding for some ‘brownie points’ and even a similar flower arrangement for that extra special touch.

Reaching a 20th year of marriage is a massive achievement and should be celebrated by reflecting on the commitment made. The symbol for this milestone is to give a gift of china as this signifies how elegant and delicate love can be.

Plan a cute picnic in the park using china plates and cups that you picked up from the opportunity shop, or you could invite friends and family along and make a party of it, after 20 years you certainly have the right to celebrate.

Use Chinese lanterns as part of your decoration or head down to china town for a Chinese meal and a night out, it is quite likely that your rice or noodles will be served in an authentic china bowl./

Some nice gift ideas would be a Wedgewood china vase or cake plate, or you could buy any small gift or tickets to an event and present it in a china cup or bowl.

Thirtieth wedding anniversaries also known as a pearl anniversary should be considered very highly by friends & family members as this is a wonderful accomplishment. Symbolic of a hard exterior and soft inner the pearl is the perfect gift to represent a marriage that has lasted as long as 30 years.

Pearl Anniversary Stubby Holders

A gift for the lady would be a set of beautiful pearl earrings, a necklace or bracelet. There are several types of pearl to consider classic white, black Tahitian or delicate pink – after 30 year a husband should know which will be most suitable. Perhaps a mother of pearl bowl or vase or simply choose another gift and incorporate an image of a pearl into the design and decoration.

If you are planning something really special you could arrange a trip to an exotic location that has pearling in its history, such as Broome, WA. If your wedding date falls between April/May and September/October then this is the perfect time, it will be during the dry season – warm days, blue skies, and lots of clean beach. It is a multicultural place with the pearl industry attracting settlers from all over the world.

Don’t forget your commemorative Coolaz stubby holders for your trip – they can be personalised with your names, the date and a special photograph – and because they pack flat are ideal for lining the bottom of your suitcase!

A fortieth or ruby wedding anniversary is a very special one. Rubies are thought to hold an eternal inner flame, a perfect symbol to reflect that a 40 year long marriage is still alive and strong!

If you are planning a party make sure that you include Ruby coloured decorations and party favours, if you are having speeches and a toast then you should ask for this to be made with ruby red wine appose to the traditional champagne.

For a more casual affair, perhaps a picnic in the park, choose ruby red plastic cups and plates to decorate and choose red grape juice as your soft choice alongside red wine. Whichever location or style of celebration you choose you can be sure to reflect the ruby red in all of your decorations, invitations and gifts.

For a sit-down meal you can add individual names to your coolers like the ones below, a great alternative to a place name and a gift all in one!

The golden anniversary for the 50th year is one of the most deservedly celebrated, this half a century milestone is a fantastic statement!

Gold all the way for this event, decorate your party venue with gold glitter, golden flowers and centrepieces, balloons, candles and stubby holder gifts!

If you are in the US and know a couple who is celebrating 50 years or more of marriage, or who was just been married, you can have an anniversary greeting or wedding congratulations sent to them from the White House.

In Australia you could plan a trip to the Gold Coast or to a Gold mine – Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, VIC would be perfect! Take a trip to the museum and experience a golden adventure.

A great gift for this anniversary would be a large album filled with photographs and memories throughout 50 years of marriage, start with the wedding and include major events and family gatherings – you could even organise a guest book for people to sign and write messages of congratulations.

Whether you are celebrating your first or fiftieth wedding milestone I hope that this article helps you with gift ideas and planning your event. Congratulations.