Coole Männer Frisuren Bilder 2010

Men Haircuts, Männerfrisuren Trends aus dem neuen Jahr 2010. Allgemein kann man sagen dass die aktuellen Männer Haar Trends wohl am ehesten dem Schul- und Rockerlook zugleich kommen. Meistens ist der moderne Männer Haarschnitt eher ein bisschen länger, und relativ Simpel und Leger gestylt. Hier ein paar Bilder..

Princess Alice of Hesse

Princess Alice, the second daughter of Queen Victoria, was open-minded and interested in intellectual pursuits like her sister Vicky. She was an interesting woman. Unfortunately, she had a very sad life.

The Princess was only a teenager when her beloved father died. She was very close to Prince Albert and nursed him a lot during his illness. She played the piano to him and read to him. When the grief overcame her she quietly left the room and came back when she had calmed down. "Her fortitude amazed their doctors and servants."

After the Prince died the poor Princess then had to take over many of Queen Victoria's duties and try and nurse her through her terrible grief. This proved impossible but the Princess was a great help to her.

Princess Alice's wedding to Prince Louis of Hesse, soon after her father's death, was more like a wedding than a funeral. Almost everyone dressed in black and spent the ceremony crying. Even the Archbishop who married the couple cried.

The Princess joined her husband in Darmstadt. Her marriage was not happy because Prince Louis liked military parades and shooting, instead of reading and cultural pursuits. He hardly ever read a book. Princess Alice was quite disappointed in him.

In spite of this, they had five children in quick succession. The children included Princess Alexandra, who became the tragic Tsarina, and beautiful Grand Duchess Ella, who was also killed by the Bolsheviks in a terrible way. Princess Alexandra's son, Alexai, inherited his haemophilia from his mother. Her brother, Fritti, was a haemophiliac. Princess Alice was distraught when the young boy fell out of the window and died shortly afterwards. She never really recovered from her grief.

The Princess devoted herself to charity work. Soon after her marriage there was a war between Austria and Prussia. Hesse was on the side of Austria which made Princess Alice and Vicki enemies. Princess Alice admired Florence Nightingale and nursed the sick and wounded with great devotion. After the war she continued her interest in charity work. She founded a mental asylum and worked for many charities, and established schools and hospitals.

She caused controversy when she became interested in a controversial theologian, David Strauss. He believed in the historical aspects of Jesus's life, but not the 'supernatural' aspects. Princess Vicky invited him to the palace and liked to discuss Christianity with him. Many Germans didn't like this, and the Empress Augusta even accused her of being an atheist.

Princess Alice was sickly. She suffered from severe headaches, neuralgia, and rheumatism. She wore herself out with her charity work. After her little daughter May died of diptheria, Alice soon caught it from her son, Ernest, who also had the illness. She died at only 35 on the anniversary of her father's death.

Queen Victoria wrote that 'the princess who behaved so admirably during her dear father's illness...should be called back on this very anniversary, seems almost incredible, and most mysterious.'

Princess Alice was greatly beloved in Germany and England because of her charity work. The Princess Alice hospital in Eastbourne was opened in her memory in 1883.

The Best Wedding Locations in Australia

Every bride and groom wants to get married in a unique and romantic location. Whilst overseas locations can be very exotic they can also be extremely costly and difficult for most guests to attend. Australia has many ideal locations for weddings, whether you fancy a wedding on the beach or in a tropical rainforests why not choose one of the many romantic locations on offer. Here are some suggestions for weddings in Australia.

The North of Queensland is renowned for some of it magical rainforests complete with beautiful waterfalls. So whether its Cairns or Port Douglas you could choose to have your wedding nestled in the rainforest or on the amazing white sandy beaches of the North. Imagine a sunset wedding on the beach in Port Douglas followed by a wedding reception in a marquee. Or for something a little more formal have your reception in one of the many five star resorts Port Douglas has to offer. For your honeymoon you need travel no further as the North of Queensland has all the elements of a romantic honeymoon destination, with the Daintree forest on the one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other. Your choices of activities are limitless. And if you just want to relax, have a cocktail by the pool.

Why not have a wedding in the Australian outback? What better location than the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock). Imagine Ayers rocks as your backdrop and the magical colours of sunset or sunrise. The photo opportunities would be endless. And every bride would look spectacular with the morning or afternoon sun glistening off her perfect skin. Following the ceremony have a beautiful reception in one of many 5 star resorts nearby.

Getting married in a Botanical garden is another great idea for your wedding location. Australia has many botanical gardens which are perfect to host a wedding. Whether you choose to get married lakeside, or in a butterfly enclosure, by a water sculpture or secluded private garden, there are many choices to suit all tastes. The reception can also be held outdoors on one of many of the landscape gardens or if the weather does not permit then choose from many function rooms the gardens have on offer.

The Zoo is another great location to have your wedding ceremony and reception. Australia has some fantastic Zoos which have spectacular function rooms or beautiful manicured lawns for both an outdoor or indoor ceremony and reception. Not only can your guests soak up the sights and sounds of the surrounding wildlife but also bask in the tranquil garden setting. Imagine the amazing photo opportunities available in this location with the wildlife and animals as your backdrop.

Theme Parks are another unique place to host a wedding ceremony and reception. The Gold Coast has some of the best theme parks in Australia with Movie world, Dream world and SeaWorld as potential venues. Hire out a section of the park or the entire venue for a truly extraordinary experience.

Monkey Mia in Western Australia is a beautiful location to have a unique wedding ceremony. With the Sandy beaches, palm trees and landscaped garden, you could have a ceremony of your dreams. After your wedding have a reception on the manicured lawns watching the magnificent sunsets. For a more formal affair have the wedding reception celebration in your 5 star resort. You and your guests will be entertained with the numerous activities, such as swimming with the dolphins or exploring Shark Bay on one of many tours. At Monkey Mia you will always have something unique to do.

Australia has one of the most diverse and interesting locations in the world to host a wedding followed by a romantic honeymoon. Not only are we beginning to explore all the attractions Australia has to offer but so are international travelers who are choosing to celebrate their weddings and honeymoons in Australia. Surrounded by some of the most magnificent beaches in the world it is the natural destination for a romantic wedding and honeymoon.

New Posts

I hope to write a new post tomorrow. Perhaps I'll do a few posts. I hope so!

Cute Girl

cute emo girl

cute emogirl hair
Cunning, attractive, cute girl contrived to charm.

Shaken Not Broken

One evening, many moons ago, while walking out with friends I witnessed a horrific fatal road accident in which someone was knocked down and killed. At the time it happened, it was natural to go into 'autopilot' and do all the things necessary to attempt to save a life. I felt nothing other than, "What needs to be it now!!" There was no sense of shock, only the need to respond.

After the ambulance and police had been, there was nothing else to do but walk on and by the time we reached the pub we had gone through the inevitable bad-taste jokes made to dispel the gloom and once we had all calmed down a bit and began to speak of the events of the evening, there was a sense of appreciating each other more, knowing that a life could end like that of the young man who died on the road that night. We were all more attentive to one another. Later that evening, still unaware of feeling anything about the tragedy, I ordered a drink, took it from the bar and it immediately fell straight through my hand to the floor and smashed. A kind of physical delayed reaction to shock, I expect.

It has sometimes seemed to me since, that the world, which moves at a slower and surer pace than any individual part of it, goes through the same motions of delayed reactions. People nowadays latch onto the phrase of 'broken Britain' - which is rather odd for we are no more or less broken than we ever were. The 20th Century was the bloodiest in history (in terms of how many people died in battles) and it often seems that what we live through now is the delayed reaction to the horror of the world wars. The 60s and 70s in their bizarre dress sense and over the top exhibitionism were kind of like the jokes on the way to the pub. In the late 80s the Berlin Wall came down - the sense of appreciation for what was left of the mess - and the whole 'Free Nelson Mandela' concert and Live Aid and love-ins. Then by 2000+ we dropped the glass and decided we live in a broken world.

We don't. The world is so much bigger than we are and we are simply living with the shock of recent years.

Though it seems so recent and therefore so much more powerful, the 20th Century was not more bloody than what had gone before. What percentage of the population was wiped out by the Black Death and the subsequent plagues? What percentage of the population of young men were killed at Towton - the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil? News comes faster and we think things are worse but they are not. Things are how they have always been and always will be until we realise that no battles ever really achieved anything and no matter how 'just' the war appears, it never put an end to war. Whatever the 'scare' of the moment - be it climate change, swine flu, bird flu, SARS, or whatever else we come up with next - people will always be people and choose whether to live in fear or to live for the moment and be free.

Fabulous Wedding Locations in New Orleans

Planning a destination wedding in New Orleans is no easy task because of the myriad gorgeous locations to choose from. Fragrant bubbling courtyards, historic parks, grand hotels and churches and even the Mississippi River are the kind of venue options you can expect. There are also intimate locations with old New Orleans charm for a small ceremony as well as accommodations for hundreds of guests.

Here is a sampling of popular New Orleans wedding destinations hot spots:

* City Park

The oldest city park in the country is filled with live oaks draped in moss. History abounds in this botanical wonderland. Enjoy the magnificence of history, picturesque statues and fountains, along with a wide range of sites and facilities to host a picture perfect wedding.

* Audubon Park

Located in the Garden District and sitting pretty on the banks of the Mississippi River, you can have graceful geese and swan swimming in the lagoons as a peaceful backdrop to the bubbling fountains and lush foliage.

* Plaza d'Espana

Spanish tiled benches and fountains decorate this lovely courtyard. Make your wedding a magical day. Feel the blessed spray of the fountain and watch the river traffic pass on by as a perfect backdrop for the wedding.

* Steamboat Natchez

Savor the beauty and the romance of the New Orleans skyline aboard a cruise. The captain of the steamboat can marry you right on the Mississippi. And what's more! Twirl away to happiness to the sounds of smooth jazz.

* Elms Mansion

For an antebellum, old New Orleans themed wedding, this mansion is a popular choice for its architecture and period furnishings. Let the magnificent historic Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion and the beautifully landscaped garden add that old world charm to your nuptial setting. Lend the European grandeur with a southern charm and make your wedding a memorable affair not just for you, but for your guests as well.

* Royal Garden Terrace

This elegant hotel offers spacious ballrooms and beautiful courtyards for your ceremony. Their rooftop terrace is also a romantic spot to look over the French Quarter and say your "I dos".

* French Market Inn

Built in 1722, the inn offers a charming courtyard with fountains and fragrant gardens and can accommodate up to 65 guests.

There are many other beautiful locations available around the city for your nuptials. Think about what backdrop you want for your special day-the lovely outdoor landscape, the culturally diverse streets and buildings, classic Old South or ornate elegance. A New Orleans destination wedding offers all of these and more.

The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin by Margarita Nelipa

A new book, The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin by Margarita Nelipa looks set to be 'the one to read'. The research is sure to be meticulous and I am sure there will be so much new information and insights in it. It's wonderful when something refreshingly new appears!

Please click on the link to read more about it.

"The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin"

The Kaiser's Withered Arm

Do you think that things might have been different if the Kaiser hadn't had a withered arm? Christina Croft doesn't but I do. Thank you, Christina, for posing such an interesting historical question.

The Cinderella Sisters: Part 2 of 4: Eleanor

As the second daughter of a count, Eleanor of Provence had even fewer chances of marrying a king than her sister, Marguerite, the new Queen of France. Close in age, Eleanor and Marguerite enjoyed a lifelong friendship. Indeed, the older sister frequently came to her younger sister’s rescue.

Eleanor Of Provence
Eleanor’s royal fate had as much to do with her future husband’s fickle nature as her family’s political machinations. King Henry III of England had inherited a throne in the middle of a civil war when he was only nine. By the time, his father died, England—which had once controlled more of France than the King of France—had lost all its continental territory except the small county of Gascony.

In his twenties, Henry wanted to expand his continental position so he started looking for a wife among the daughters of rich French lords. Each time he found one, however, his aims were thwarted by the politically astute French regent, Blanche of Castile, who had no intention of letting the English King gain a foothold and thereby challenge her son, King Louis IX of France.

Henry was betrothed to a French heiress, but engaged in a legal battle—with the opposition funded by Blanche—to have the proposed marriage approved by the Pope, when the Count of Provence’s advisors put another thought in his head. If a daughter of Provence was good enough for France, wouldn’t her sister be just as good for England? Reports of the 12-year-old Eleanor’s beauty didn’t hurt. Henry became so desperate to marry Eleanor that he even agreed to take her without a dowry. Blanche made no objection to this odd decision, figuring that it was better to have the English king marry a poor girl than a rich one whose money could support armies.

When young Eleanor arrived in England, she was immediately wedded, bedded and crowned by her besotted husband. Henry showered her with expensive gifts and unlike her sister, Marguerite, Eleanor had no mother-in-law to cramp her style—Henry’s mom, Isabella, had made a new home for herself in France as the wife of the Count of Lusignan.

Eleanor fulfilled her duty of providing an heir, Prince Edward, by the time she was 16 and four more children soon followed. Henry indulged Eleanor, even providing positions, properties and incomes for her relatives. (Blanche had kicked these same folks out of France when they came with Marguerite.) More than 300 of her countrymen eventually made themselves quite comfortable in England; her Italian uncle even became Archbishop of Canterbury. The English barons were not pleased.

They were also frustrated by Henry’s continental ambitions. Encouraged by Eleanor, Henry accepted the first opportunity to attack a French neighbor from his base in Gascony. Eleanor, certain of his victory, went with him, even though she was pregnant with her third child. But, Henry was no warrior. The war was over almost before it began and he was forced to pay homage for Gascony to King Louis.

His hopes of regaining Normandy now dashed, Henry took consolation in having secured a lasting peace with France, partially engineered by Marguerite and Eleanor, who encouraged their husbands to become good friends. Back home, however, the natives were restless. Already irritated by Eleanor’s foreign relatives, they were now also distressed by the king’s growing favoritism for his French half-brothers, the Lusignans.

At about this time, Henry and Eleanor were offered an opportunity to secure continental prestige while also providing an inheritance for their second son, Edmund. Eleanor was a devoted mother, personally nursing her sick children and sending an army to defend her daughter, the child-bride of the child-king of Scotland from the Scottish regent. So, it is not surprising that she seized the Pope’s offer of the Crown of Sicily for her youngest son. The only problem was that the Pope didn’t really have control of Sicily—Henry and Eleanor had to pledge money they didn’t have to help him wrest the crown from the current king.

The English had had it. They forced Henry, Eleanor and Edward to sign the Provisions of Oxford, granting the barons the right to review royal decisions. But, supported by the Pope, the English royal family refused to honor the Provisions. Civil war, led by the king’s brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, ensued. At one point, trapped at the Tower of London, Eleanor tried to reach Edward, who was holding Windsor Castle. As her boat approached London Bridge, the crowds recognized her. They pelted her with rocks, vegetables and mud. As the mob grew more violent, Eleanor could neither retreat nor advance. Her life was only spared when the Mayor of London intervened.

Meanwhile, Marguerite and Louis came up with a plan to save their royal relations. Louis demanded his vassals, King Henry and Simon de Montfort, come to France. Although they both agreed to let Louis mediate, neither was willing to negotiate. When the king returned to fight in England, Eleanor remained safely in France. After he and Edward were captured by the rebels, Eleanor pawned the crown jewels (which had been brought to Marguerite for safekeeping), sold her jewelry, borrowed money from everyone she could think to ask and raised a huge invasion force. As it became clear that an invasion wouldn’t guarantee her husband’s and son’s safety, Eleanor ran out of money and the army dispersed. So, she hatched another plan. With Louis’ collusion, she sent a small band to Wales, near the castle where Edward was being held. Edward outsmarted his captors and joined the force his mother had sent. At the gruesome Battle of Evesham, the prince’s knights rescued the king and slaughtered Simon de Montfort.

Eleanor finally returned to England although the English barons never forgave her for raising an invasion force. Her relationship with her beloved son, Edward, had also been transformed; he himself had rebelled against his parents’ poor leadership before the war started and only fought on their side because he realized their fate was his fate. In trying to secure a crown for Edmund, Eleanor and Henry had nearly lost the crown for Edward. To make matters worse, amidst the chaos, the Pope had withdrawn his Sicilian offer—Edmund never got a crown.

Henry reigned, though not without difficulties, for another eight years. Before his death, the popular and capable Prince Edward joined his uncle, King Louis on crusade. After the French royal family’s devastation, Edward spent a couple more years in the Holy Land, personally killing an assassin sent to kill him. He found out he was king on his way home.

Back in England, Edward had little time for his mother. Eleanor’s presence was a reminder of the strife of the previous reign. So, she quietly retired and looked after some of her grandchildren. She survived her husband by nearly 20 years, but she was not buried at his side in Westminster Abbey—Edward had given her place to his own wife who had died the year before.

Read about her sisters:
Marguerite | Sanchia | Beatrice

Work Consulted for This Post

Helen's Nose, Willy's Arm

Some wise person whom I cannot remember once pointed out that 'if Helen of Sparta's nose had been half an inch shorter" it would have changed the whole course of history. The reference is, of course, to the Trojan Wars as described by Homer, wherein Helen - she whose face 'launched a thousand ships' - was abducted by the Trojan, Paris, which led to the decade long battle and siege. Had she been less beautiful, (her nose half an inch shorter) the war might never have happened.

Had the German Kaiser Wilhelm II's disabled arm been a few inches longer, would it have changed the course of history? I doubt it, really, because - like young lads spoiling for a fight - the ministers of most European countries were so geared up for war that it seemed inevitable. It would, however, have made a great deal of difference to Wilhelm himself. His was such a difficult birth that the doctors had almost given up on his chances of survival and, as he wasn't breathing, wrenched his limb and shoulders to such an extent that his arm failed to grow properly and remained quite useless - and quite an embarrassment - to him. Throughout his early years, he suffered greatly at the hands of doctors using various unhelpful appliances to try to make the arm grow. He could not ride without falling from his horse, found it impossible to use cutlery and, most humiliating of all, overheard whispers that a 'one armed man could never be Kaiser.' It says a great deal for his own strength of character that he learned to ride skillfully and overcame this disability, even succeeding, by the use of pockets or selected poses, in hiding the deformity on his photographs. Original film footage, however, shows his difficulties far more clearly. What today would seem like nothing, at that time seemed like a major handicap for a Prussian King and German Kaiser and the saddest part of his story is that somehow he held his English mother responsible for it. Alternatively hating and adoring her, he likewise hated and adored all things British. His English grandmother, Queen Victoria, was someone whom he deeply loved but his mother, the Empress Frederick, seemed to epitomise to him some mythical ideal that had let him down so badly.

Everything about him was driven to proving himself: proving that he was powerful in spite of his arm, and proving that he could surpass his mother and all that she stood for (read 'Britain') in every way. Had he been as powerful and autocratic a ruler as he thought he was, he might have succeeded in preventing the outbreak of WWI, but in reality, his ministers paid him little attention and everything was already signed and sealed to prove German supremacy in Europe in 1914. He was such a beautiful and attentive-looking young boy and the tragedy is that, behind that stiff moustache and all the medals and uniforms, the little boy is always visibly searching for acceptance.

'Willy' unfortunately came down through British history as some cartoon character whom we defeated. In fact, Kaiser Wilhelm II was, in my opinion. forever a lost little boy, playing at being a brave man and wanting to feel loved. Had his arm been a few inches longer, things might have been very different. What a shame that we pay so much attention to appearances!

Prince Alfred's Royal Tour of Australia

A long time ago Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, conducted the first royal tour of Australia. He didn't have as pleasant a time as Prince William! Prince Alfred's Royal Tour of Australia.

Unfortunately, Queensland is still full of zealous officials!

Ideas for Planning a Valentine's Wedding

Valentine Day is an ideal day to have your wedding. It is the day devoted to romance and love. There are many Sussex Wedding venues that have the romantic setting, and the expertise to help you make your romantic wedding a reality. It will be very important to book your site early. Valentine Day is a popular day for weddings and it is highly likely that both East Sussex Wedding venues and West Sussex Wedding venues will be booked well in advance. The additional time you will have by booking early can be used to plan your wedding to put in some extra romantic touches that will make it a memorable day.

Red is the color of Valentine Day and the use of this passionate and romantic color should be a major theme. This can be reflected in your attire. A white dress with red accents and an old fashion style is very romantic. The bridesmaid dresses can be various shades of pink and red as well. Even the groomsman could wear red ties with pink boutonnieres. A color scheme that utilizes red and pink, and lots of red hearts in the decorations will reinforce the romantic theme.

Rose would make the ideal flower for the wedding. Flowers are romantic and you are going to want a lot of them, but roses can be very hard to come by and quite expensive in February. It might be a good idea to explore the possibility of alternate flowers that can also be found in pink and red. Tulips, hydrangea and freesia are a few possibilities.

It is another good idea to get your guests involved in the idea of the romance of the wedding. One idea is to have all married couples stand during the ceremony and reaffirm their love for each other. You can also follow the theme of romantic love by introducing famous couples of the past. One way of doing this is at the reception. Rather than numbering the tables or placing name cards, you can name each table after a romantic couple from history like Romeo and Juliet.

Valentine Day is the day that celebrates lovers and romance. A wedding on this day will make it a special day for you, and there is an additional advantage. In the years to come, you will have a little help remembering the date of your own anniversary.

"The Weak & Ignorant Tsar"

There have been so many television programmes - not to mention the countless books and forums and websites - in which professors sit in their university studies making pronouncements about the weakness of the 'ignorant' Tsar Nicholas II. On one such programme a 1 minute clip of film footage of the Tsar dancing with his daughters on the Imperial Yacht was used to demonstrate that he spent his life in the lap of luxury frittering away the hours in amusements. Interesting how an oft-repeated lie is taken as truth.

Imagine if you - and only you, one person - were faced with trying to sort out the the present situation in Afghanistan and the recent conflict in Iraq , together with all that happened in Serbia and Bosnia a couple of decades ago, and on top of that you were personally responsible for the well-being of 180 million people from different cultures in one of the largest empires on earth, and in the middle of a time of great change through industrialisation and the speed of advances in technology...oh and you also had a son, whom you loved very deeply, who was seriously ill and a wife who was badly treated by your own family, and that same family had, for the most part, decided not to support you...Well, that is a little of what the 'weak' and 'ignorant' Tsar Nicholas faced every day. It wasn't his choice. He would have liked to have lived a simple life on a Dacha somewhere, caring for his family and spending his time outdoors, but he had been saddled with this responsibility and with more moral courage than any of his contemporaries he tried to rise to that challenge.

In 1913, while King George V (who is never described as 'weak' or 'ignorant') shot over 1000 pheasants in one day for 'sport' or pored over his precious stamp that had cost him over £1000, and while Kaiser Wilhelm strutted around in his uniforms, laughing too loudly and playing at being a king, the weak Tsar, Nicholas, who frittered his life away in luxury, was spending all day and most of the night trying to resolve the crisis in the Balkans. He wrote to the Kings of Bulgaria and Serbia, offering to arbitrate between them and even when 'Foxy Ferdinand' of Bulgaria, refused to listen and sent his troops into a disastrous campaign, Nicholas had the foresight to realize that if the Bulgarians were humiliated by their defeat, it would lead to resentment and future carnage. Nicholas successfully persuaded his ally, Serbia, to relinquish some of their gains to Bulgaria. Meanwhile, he was faced with the problems of German interests in Persia (Iraq) and trying to maintain the balance of power to prevent the outbreak of war.

These are some of the most complex problems in modern history and even today they have not been resolved no matter how many government departments have tried to resolve them. Nicholas faced these problems alone and spent his time in his simple surroundings (so different from how they appeared to the outside world - see Marie of Roumania's description of how the glittering appearance of palaces changed the minute one stepped over the threshold into the simplicity of his surroundings) working from dawn till dusk trying to do the best for his people. Would any of those professors in their ivory university towers have been more capable of solving so many issues? Would they have been willing to sacrifice all that they really wanted in order to carry out their duty as Nicholas did?

A weak Tsar? Well, was Kaiser Wilhelm ever described as weak? No, he just liked to dream of power and loved his uniforms and strutting about, so he must have been strong. Was George V ever described as weak? No, he shot thousands of birds and so proved himself to be a real man! Franz Ferdinand, Franz Josef, Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Ferdinand of Roumania....was any other ruler at the time described as 'weak'? No, only Nicholas, and I have yet to hear one single reason why he, the strongest of all of them, deserves the horrendous epithet of 'the weak Tsar.'

Welcome Prince William!

Prince William Visits Australia - Day 1

Welcome to the very handsome Prince William who is visiting Australia. He visited Redfern which shows a caring side and he won the hearts of most of us, I am sure.

I hope that the 'Prince of Hearts' enjoys his stay.

Do It Your Wedding reception decoration

wedding reception table decoration
wedding reception table decoration

wedding reception centerpieces
wedding reception centerpieces

glass wedding reception decor
glass wedding reception decor

wedding receptions table design
wedding receptions table design

Southwest Jewerly cake

Southwest Jewerly Cake

How much fun was this cake....... All about the accenting. Earings, necklace, shawl, even the lipstick is made from sugar. How sweet it is......
Check out Sedona Sweet Arts for more creative cakes.

Cinderella Sisters, Part 1 of 4: Marguerite

Once upon a time, a debonair count and his beautiful wife ruled over the idyllic land of Provence, stretching from the edge of the Alps to the sunny coast of the Mediterranean. They spent all of their money on good food and wine, elaborate clothes and lavish entertainments. At the center of this jolly count’s world were his four gorgeous daughters: Marguerite, Eleanor, Sanchia and Beatrice. Unlike most men of the time, Count Raymond did not move hell and earth hoping to get a male heir. Instead, he focused his attention on making excellent marriages for the girls. As a mere count, he could hardly have hoped for kingly sons-in-law, but that is what happened. These are the Cinderella sisters.


Margaret Of Provence
As the eldest, Marguerite desperately needed to make a good marriage. Her success would make it easier for the others. Other than her beauty and intelligence, however, Marguerite didn’t have much to offer a 13th century prince. On the other hand, Provence was literally in middle of things; wedged between two super powers, the Holy Roman Empire and France, Provence’s location became Marguerite’s main attraction.

Following a war of succession, Blanche of Castile had secured the French throne for her young son, Louis IX, and it was she who dominated both him and the kingdom. But she needed an ally to the south. The 12-year-old Marguerite, “a girl of pretty face but prettier faith,” was invited to Paris along with her dowry of ten thousand silver marks (most of which Raymond borrowed, financed or promised for later).

Blanche had no intention of giving up her power to her successor. When she discovered that Louis and Marguerite were in love, she took drastic measures to keep them separated. As long as the bride did not become a mother, Marguerite would have little claim on France. For years, the young couple met in secret, lingering on staircases, sneaking into each other’s chambers, and relying on faithful servants to warn them of approaching footsteps.

As years passed without a pregnancy, Frenchmen began whispering that the king should get rid of his barren wife, but Blanche had no pity for her daughter-in-law, even when Marguerite became deathly ill. As Louis sat at his wife’s bedside, his mother called him away saying, “you’re doing no good here.” Marguerite cried out, “Whether I live or die, you will not let me see my husband!”

Marguerite recovered, but Blanche continued to humiliate her, even sending her to pray publicly at a shrine for barren women. After six years of marriage, Marguerite finally became pregnant, but the child was a girl—good enough for a Count of Provence but not for a King of France. Two years later, another girl. Marguerite could not catch a break. Then, Louis fell ill. He was nearly declared dead when he suddenly awakened. Always a pious man, he celebrated this miracle by deciding to go on a crusade.

Blanche begged him not to go, afraid he would never survive a holy war. Marguerite wasn’t sure Louis could do it either, but now, at last, she could see a way of weakening her mother-in-law’s influence. Not only did Marguerite support Louis in his intention, she decided to go with him.

Her devotion and enthusiasm apparently sparked some devotion and enthusiasm from her husband: in the four years it took them to raise money and armies for the crusade, Marguerite gave birth to two sons. As they traveled across the Mediterranean to fight the Muslims, the couple’s romantic endeavors were rewarded once again. Marguerite arrived in Egypt with a baby on the way. Louis left her with a contingency of knights and mercenaries at Damietta while he went to fight.

With communications cut off between them, Marguerite was left to oversee Damietta as her pregnancy progressed. In her ninth month, lookouts announced that they could see the king’s army approaching, but they were not entirely correct. The king and what was left of the army were returning as prisoners of the sultan. Marguerite secured the city and then went into labor. She kept an old knight at her side, ordering him, “If the Saracens take this city, you will cut off my head before they can take me.”

After the birth of her third son, Jean Tristan, many of the mercenaries threatened to abandon the city. Unable to get up, the queen negotiated with them from her childbed, imploring them to “at least take pity on the poor weak creature lying here, and wait till I have recovered.” She also offered to personally pay them off.

Marguerite eventually bought off the Muslims too, offering them money, surrendering Damietta and promising to leave as soon as the king and his men were returned. But Louis would never be the same.

By failing in his crusade—losing thousands of men, including his brother, Robert—he felt he had failed God. He became increasingly stringent in his religion, even wearing a hair shirt to mortify his flesh. Marguerite once asked him to dress more appropriately for a king. “I’ll dress as you wish,” he responded, “if you’ll dress as I wish.” Marguerite dropped the topic; she had no intention of giving up her fine clothes.

She also had no intention of giving up the power she had won by her leadership in Egypt and by the death of her mother-in-law while she was away. Despite Louis’ growing fanaticism, she and the king had two more sons and three more daughters. Two decades after his first crusade, Louis took up the cross again. This time, when many of their children decided to go with him, Marguerite was less than supportive. If the king had been unsuccessful when he was young and strong, why should he be victorious now?

Marguerite stayed home.

When the crusaders arrived, their camp was struck by typhus. One of the first to die was Jean Tristan, who had been born on the last crusade. Three weeks later, the king died too. After negotiating peace, Marguerite’s other children headed home, but the journey was perilous. Her son-in-law grew ill and died. Her pregnant daughter-in-law was thrown from a horse, gave birth prematurely to a stillborn son and died. Another son and his wife both succumbed to illness. Her widowed daughter survived just two months after reaching France. Only the new King Philippe returned unscathed.

In essence, Louis had decimated his family, but he received his heavenly reward: he was canonized. As St. Louis, his name lives on in many places, including in the “Gateway to the West,” St. Louis, Missouri . (Marguerite refused to testify in favor of sainthood.)

Marguerite tried to follow her mother-in-law’s example, but King Philippe would not allow his wise mother any influence. It was not the only sign of his incompetence.

Marguerite turned her attention to the land and family of her birth. The eldest daughter, she outlived all of her sisters and seven of her children. She survived her sainted husband by 26 years.

Read about her sisters:
Eleanor | Sanchia | Beatrice

Work Consulted for This Post

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Class - A peculiarly English Trait?

It's amusing that in the run-up to this year's election, some of the first 'shots over the bow' have been an attempt to raise class-consciousness again. It's a sure-fire starter for raising hackles and getting the underdog to feel abused and inspiring the victim to feel the injustice of his/her plight. Without a doubt the class system, which harks back to the days of feudal overlords, still exists in Britain but nowadays it is very much misunderstood.

In the beautiful days of yore (i.e. prior to the 1914-1918 war!) some of the strongest advocates of a hierarchy dwelt in the basements of the well-to-do. 'Below stairs' where the servants lived, there were more stringent rules than ever existed 'upstairs'. The butler was above everyone; the housemaids and the kitchen maids kept their distance from one another; who was served first at dinner mattered far more downstairs than it ever did upstairs - in short, the class system was very much an invention of the 'working classes' as an excuse for their own unhappiness.

The whole system was and still is, of course, utterly bizarre. Either you succeed or you don't and it has nothing to do with where you are born or what opportunities you have. Some people are born with the advantage of a wealthy family to support them; others are born into families who struggle to survive but neither of these situations is a guarantee of success or failure and no government can take from or add to the individual's choice of what to make of his/her life. The only choice we really have is to create our own lives and live according to what we feel to be true.

If, as politicians sometimes claim, the poor are deprived of opportunity and so cannot succeed, why is it that so many of our cities were built by those who came from apparently nowhere but simply held to their dreams of what they might achieve? If the rich are so blessed, why is it that we hear to many stories of drug-addicted aristocrats or public school boys who squander their opportunities? And the stories of 'poor little rich girls' are as old as the hills.

The truth is that whatever the circumstances of our birth, we make of our lives what we will. The politics of envy is the most pernicious of all. It panders to a victim mentality and, rather than raising everyone to his/her full potential, drags everyone down into the sense that 'if I had their money, I'd be okay....' No, you wouldn't. No amount of outside intervention can save you if you cannot save yourself. No amount of hand-outs will ever help beyond a temporary stop-gap until you find your feet again and step up to your own potential.

Personally, I was not born to privilege - though, one of the greatest treasures of my life is the wonderful education I received - but I write this as the granddaughter of a mill worker who said that when she was young Schofield's Department Store in Leeds didn't allow millworkers in shawls to enter the shop for fear of them 'lowering the tone'. Rather than creating envy, it created aspiration and my grandmother, who worked in all kinds of places as a cleaner and a cook amongst other things, continued her interest in poetry and literature, in spite of the poverty and many tragedies of her early life. Maintaining her accent she always remained in her 'class' but rather than being envious, simply enjoyed the beauty of what other people had.

Class does exist in England and always will, I think, but it isn't a bad thing - it's not about how much money you have or where you come from. It's just about what you choose to do with your life.

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Wedding Fashion - 7 Rules

Someone popped the question! You've set the date. Congratulations. Now what? As a costume designer and image consultant, I have dressed many brides and bridal parties in real life and on TV. While there is usually more drama behind the scenes on the TV show, everyone faces real challenges. Read on for some powerful tips to make your life easier and more fulfilling.

1) Help! Bridal consultants are great, if they understand you. You need to be on the same page. If the consultant is too pushy or not listening to your wants, cut them loose. It is your day and their supposed to help not hinder you.

2) Gowns! If you're going for off-the-rack and they are dirty and stained in the showroom, BEWARE. The salon may not look after your well being either. Get all the extra charges upfront and in writing. Some salons add extra fitting charges. Have your final fitting close to your wedding date,
so the dress can be adjusted for any weight changes. When trying on gowns, wear make up and style your hair. Bring a variety of bras, shapers and appropriate shoes. If you have a picture of your "Dream Dress",and it is just not available, then definitely check into having a dress custom designed and made for you. Oftentimes the price difference is negligible.

3) White? Know your best white. There are lots of different whites, some stark and some creamy. Good rule of thumb: if you have cool skin (blue and pink undertones) white-white, gray-white and blue-white work best. If your skin is warm (peach and yellow undertones), then go with ivory or cream. Try different white dresses on to determine your best color. Have a professional color analysis, if you can't figure this out. NEVER think that changing your makeup will make the dress look better. If the color is wrong it is wrong, period. Trust me, on this! Do not be afraid of a light color, if white does not sing to you. I designed many pastel wedding dresses. I find the trend, fresh, bold, and unconventional. Hey, it is your day, wear the color you like and that makes you sparkle!

4) Fit Figure out your figure. Decide what you want to accentuate and what you want to hide. A gown can hide unwanted bits with the proper undergarments. Remember, you will be wearing it for HOURS so make sure you can maneuver. Think ladies room!

* Junk in the trunk? Look for fuller skirts and corset in your waist. Put the focus on your upper body.

* Do you have the right to bare arms? Maybe you do, or consider a dress with a sheer, hip sleeve.

* Big bust? V necks, keyhole and scoop necklines are best.

* Thin frame? Add gathers and layers and heavier fabrics for bulk

* Full-figured? Consider princess and A lines and avoid ruffles and gathers

* Petite? Be careful not to choose a dress that will make you look like a big cream puff. You will be a little head sticking out of a mass of tulle and lace.

5) Watch your Back Make sure you look great coming and going, because many people will spend more time watching your back than your front. If you choose a simple design, at least make sure the back has some interest with perhaps pretty pearl buttons.

6) Accessories Now that your dress is in the bag, it is time to think about "Successories" because the lasting success of your look depends upon the correct accents.

* Shoes- No sneakers PLEASE! Cute flats and kitten heels, if high heels aren't your friends.

* Jewelry- Pearls always classic, but heirloom pieces, diamonds and colored stones make a statement.

* Cool skin tones-silver based jewelry and white white pearls.

* Warm skin tones-gold based jewelry and creamy pearls.

* Wraps- shawls, shrugs and capes look great with gowns

* Evening bag- silver or gold!

7) Entourage If you want your bridesmaids to remain your friends, consider their age, shapes, and skin tones when choosing color. Coral and teal work on just about everyone, so I suggest starting there. A good way to approach style is to let the girls pick their best silhouette and keep the dresses in the same color. With so many gowns in the stores, you don't even have to use a traditional bridesmaid dress manufacturer. Your friends will be happier too, since most likely they will be able to wear the dress again.

Also, be aware of the fabric you choose. I always try to avoid sweltering in heavy fabrics in the middle of summer or freezing in chiffon in the winter. Remember, to think about accessories including a wrap. Its your day and it is going to be lovely. Once you nail down the details, think about relaxing and letting go of the outcome. Know what you can control and what you cannot. Rain? Oh well. Grab the umbrellas. The wrong flowers? Everyone will remember you and not your bouquets. If you are calm and collected that is what people will remember. If you are hysterical or pouty, that is what they will remember. How do you want to be remembered? Beautiful bride? Or Bridezilla? In the end, it is up to you to make the wedding both magical and memorable!