12 Hot Wedding Trends for 2015

2015 – 12 Hot Wedding Trends Countdown

Ah, weddings. There’s nothing more exciting than sitting down and planning one of the most memorable moments of your life, from the smallest details like the colors of your napkin holders to the embroidery on your champagne-rose colored wedding gown. For 2015, it’s all about class and pastel-clad elegance, classic themes and decor, dainty flower headpieces and lace, lots and lots of lace. If you are planning a 2015 wedding, here are the top 12 hot wedding trends for 2015 to get you inspired.

Stunning Floral

Flowers, flowers everywhere! From floral lace designs on the bride’s wedding gown to interesting floral bouquets, flowers are a staple in dresses, centerpieces and head wear. Popular choices for next year include hydrangeas, tulips, hyacinth and flowers you can easily pick from your garden like creamy orchids, foxglove and garden roses.

Bright and Airy Wedding Photographs

Wedding photography is such a huge part of a wedding and the trend today is shots and editing that reflect the natural color of the setting. We are seeing a veering away from over-processed yellow and vintage-style photos to bright, clean and airy photographs that showcase the vibrant colors of the flowers on the centerpieces and bouquets as well as the colors of the bridesmaids dresses.

Outdoor and Close to Nature

A move from indoor receptions to the great outdoors is one of the top 12 hot wedding trends for 2015. Couples now prefer the fresh air and vibrant colors of the outdoors when they are planning their ceremonies. This also makes it easier to wear light make-up, floral-inspired gowns and dainty flower crowns.

Classy Shabby Chic

The DIY-burlap-and-milk crate trend has obviously been overdone but couples who still want a little bit of that rustic vibe can opt for substitutes that are more classy, such as substituting white cotton sheets or dyed muslin for burlap table covers. Candles are still great choices but they should be placed in clean, tall glass vases instead of thick and clunky jars. When done in moderation, rustic weddings can also look chic and elegant without the high price tag.

Brunch Weddings

A lot of couples want a short and fun wedding ceremony and an intimate reception. Morning weddings are fun because you get to choose an entirely different menu than most people expect for a wedding and they are often more casual and laid-back than evening receptions. This also gives the couple plenty of time to spend with family and friends for the rest of the day before heading off to their honeymoon.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Supplies

Most couples are now aware of the amount of waste that goes with a typical wedding preparation and this could be the reason why green wedding suppliers are taking over the business with organic, reusable table cloths, napkins made of natural fibers, solar-powered series lighting and the like. Eco-friendly wedding supplies are one of the 12 hot wedding trends for 2015, with couples now willing to spend more just to lower their carbon footprint on their wedding day.


Retro wedding themes have definitely taken their last bow but the new trend is taking just a hint of retro and adding a bit of nostalgia into a modern wedding. Whether it’s the use of vintage chalkboard signs or finger food wrapped in newspaper, adding just a touch of retro can put a unique twist to a wedding without overdoing it.


Watercolors are a great way for the couple to personalize some elements of the wedding such as the Bride and Groom signs, thank you notes, and even place holders. Water colors produce vibrant, pastel colors and they are cheap to boot.


Rarely will you see bright and bold colors on brides and bridesmaids for 2015 weddings. The trend in color palettes leans more towards soft, pastel colors, such as light peach, light pink, mint green, powder blue. This also rings true for dresses and flower choices. Brides love the soft and dainty effect these colors give to a wedding set-up and these colors also photograph very well, creating dreamy wedding photos.

Lace Wedding Dresses

Lace has always been a staple choice in wedding gowns for decades but this year and the next is showing signs of some serious lace loving among brides. From body-hugging lace wedding dresses to floor-length gowns with intricate lace sleeves, the options for lace bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses are endless. Short, above-the-knee lace dresses are also the popular go-to pieces for brides in civil ceremonies since these semi-formal pieces still give off that delicate, feminine vibe.

Mercury Glass Stemware

Shiny and colorful, mercury stemware makes the perfect substitute for high-end crystal and is not as dainty so it is perfect for daytime weddings. The stemware’s shiny surface is great for bouncing off the colors of your floral centerpieces and adds some sparkle to your table.

Flower Crowns

Most brides love the dreamy and whimsical theme that is currently all the rage, which is why Loral headpieces are among the top 12 hot wedding trends for 2015. It looks like this trend has no plans of dying down, with suppliers coming out with the most beautiful headpieces for next year’s brides. Whether it’s an all-natural crown made purely out of baby’s breath blossoms or an extravagant headpiece of cherry pink roses, we can expect 2015 brides to walk down the aisle with a stunning floral hair adornment to match an equally stunning gown.

Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance Made Easy

Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance

Whilst a saltwater aquarium can provide for hours of relaxation and enjoyment they also require steady ongoing upkeep to maintain optimum conditions. Some saltwater aquarium maintenance must be conducted daily whilst other saltwater aquarium maintenance tasks are required weekly or monthly. Keeping a saltwater aquarium isn’t necessarily a hobby intended for everyone but instead something better suited to the enthusiast. Proper maintenance will reward you with a healthy aquarium and years of enjoyment. It is recommended you keep a calendar of the required maintenance items to make the task easier. There is also numerous software packages available on the market to assist with saltwater aquarium maintenance allowing you to log all of your sea life, water tests, maintenance tasks etc.

Health of Fish and Inhabitants

One of the most important tasks of saltwater aquarium maintenance is the process of checking each day for the wellness of the fish and invertebrates. This should consist of a visual inspection of the scales and fins of the fish in addition to the coloring and vibrancy of the fish and invertebrates. If any of the fish are dead or appear to be dying, they ought to be removed at once and any creatures which appear to be unhealthy should be transferred to a quarantine saltwater aquarium and treated accordingly.

Aquarium maintenance also requires you to familiarize yourself with the behavior of the fish in order for you to better ascertain if one is becoming unhealthy. Should a fish or other creature die and be overlooked the deterioration and decomposing of their body will rapidly diminish the quality of the water due to the increase of ammonia to toxic levels.

Majority of all species of fish will bear similar symptoms as they’re falling ill. Major symptoms include fins held tight to the body, sluggishness, swelling of the eyes, unsettled swimming patterns, erratic change in behavior, drifting to the bottom or gasping for air at the surface, decrease in appetite, patches on the fins or body, or fish that are normally active staying motionless. Keeping a saltwater aquarium maintenance log will allow you to see trends in water conditions that may contribute to such illness.

Aquarium Equipment

A major element of saltwater aquarium maintenance comes down to your equipment. Correct maintenance of your equipment is essential to the well being of your reef and fish. The protein skimmer cup should be cleaned daily. It will not hurt the aquarium greatly if this skipped one day every now and then, however skipping any more could jeopardize the health of the aquarium. Whilst monitoring the health of the fish and cleaning the skimmer, the water temperature should also be checked and any required adjustments should also be made.

On a monthly basis it is recommended that the whole protein skimmer be completely cleaned, including the cleaning of the cup in addition to all hoses and tubes. If any air stones are present in the tank they should either be substituted with a new one or alternatively cleaned and any carbon from carbon filtration systems should also be changed.

It is recommended when conducting maintenance that every three months, all filter canisters and hoses should be comprehensively cleaned inside and out in addition to switching air pads within the air pump. Care should also be taken to inspect for any signs of damage to impellers, interchange air valves and replace UV tubes if a UV filter is being utilized.

On a daily basis as part of your regular maintenance the equipment and accessories should be inspected and care should be taken to ensure that everything is functioning suitably. Check that there are no leaks on the floor surrounding the aquarium and that the pump sounds like it is running properly. As you become more acquainted with the saltwater aquarium equipment it becomes easier to detect any peculiar sounds from the equipment which may suggest that it is on the way out.

Water Changes

Water changes are an essential part of your saltwater aquarium maintenance schedule. Each week any evaporated water should be replaced with prepared saltwater and any algae growing on the glass removed appropriately. Partial water changes can be performed either weekly or fortnightly depending on how well the system is maintained overall in addition to the species of fish and other creatures within the tank. Siphoning of any excess debris or waste matter should be undertaken with fortnightly water changes.

An important tip when undertaking water changes is to have the saltwater pre-mixed a day early as the mixture is less caustic and this will ensure your fish are not harmed or shocked with the sudden addition of new water.

Salt Build Up

Salt build up is one area of saltwater aquarium maintenance that is often overlooked. It is crucial that any build up of salt around or on the saltwater aquarium be cleaned on a weekly basis. If this isn’t done regularly the salt will build up into large chunks that risk falling back into the tank which will dramatically alter the salinity of the water. Salt is highly corrosive to various types of metal so ensuring the equipment is cleaned regularly will assist in proper functioning.

PH, Conditioners & Vitamins

A priority of Saltwater aquarium maintenance is ongoing water testing. On a weekly basis you should be testing the salinity and pH balance, in addition to adding any required trace elements, conditioners, and vitamins for the fish and coral. Ph kits, conditioners and required vitamins are all available at your local aquarium specialist.

You can improve your saltwater aquarium maintenance by undertaking some research of individual livestock and coral that inhabit your saltwater aquarium. This will allow you to identify the required vitamins and foods necessary in the upkeep of the various livestock and this should be incorporated into the daily, weekly and monthly saltwater aquarium maintenance schedule.

Light Globes

Regardless of whether they are blown or not it is important to replace all lighting bulbs around every six months. This is because that even if the bulbs are not blown they suffer loss of intensity and quality over time which is particularly crucial in a reef saltwater aquarium.

Not all of your saltwater aquarium is inside the tank, after all your aquarium is most likely the center piece of your home and it should be in pristine viewing condition. Once every two weeks the outside of the tank and its equipment should be dusted. Special saltwater aquarium cleaners are available for this task; alternatively a water and vinegar mix will suffice. Under no circumstances should any harsh chemicals, including Windex, be used near the aquarium as these can easily kill the fish, remember these are very sensitive creatures.

In summary, saltwater aquarium maintenance may appear to require a sizeable level of work, however by spreading out the required saltwater aquarium maintenance into small doses it can become relatively controllable and results in an aquarium that gives ongoing pleasure to you and anyone else in its presence, for years to come. Just like anything, you get out what you put in.

6 Ways To Win At Casinos

You can win big at the casino and you don’t even have to cheat. (Or risk bodily harm from security guards) Before you start playing with a strategy in mind, remember that gambling is supposed to be fun. If you find yourself on a losing streak then it’s best to walk away and try your luck later. When you’re on a roll and have money to spare, remember these tips.1. Calculate the CostYou can calculate the average hourly cost of playing a casino game by the number of bets you make per hour times the size of the bets times the house edge. If you can find a way to average about $7.50 an hour, then you can count it as a trip to the movies with free drinks. Reminding yourself of this will help you to stay sane and know when to quit-whether you’re ahead or are come away with just a minimal loss.2. Calculate the OddsIt also helps if you create your own odds before playing so that you will know how probably the outcome of a game will be. Compare the number of ways to success with the number of ways of failure. For example, if you’re rolling dice and looking for a lucky number 6, your odds are 5-1. This may even help you decide which games are worth playing.3. Let Go of SuperstitionsAccept the fact that there is no such thing as good luck. Just because you may be experiencing some short-term success does not mean that this is your destined night. Lucky streaks are either examples of dumb luck or the casino drawing you in to pay more money.4. Play the Games that Require SkillInstead of dwelling on luck, focus on games that require learned skill-which will vastly improve your odds. For example, you can count cards with games like Blackjack, form a strategy with video poker or out-maneuver human opponents at traditional poker tables. Even sports betting requires some skill in prediction.5. Use Mathematics, Don’t Play Against ItYou have to view casino winnings in the short term, because this is where you will ultimately make your money. If you calculate the odds of winning in the long-term, the math says that you will lose everything. Keep this in mind when the opportunity arises to double your bets and buy more chances than you can reasonably afford.6. Use the Experience of OthersRather than learn mistakes on your own (though taking notes is a good move) try to learn better odds from casino gambling history. For example, experts say that in craps the bets are on the outside of the table. In slot machines, the higher denomination you play, the better the payback will be. Experience is the best teacher, but education is usually free while trying your luck at the casino remains expensive!

The Story of the Gamble House

Southern California around the turn of the 20th century was the birthplace of the Craftsman movement. This style spread rapidly throughout the country and became the predominant style seen in small homes built between 1905 and 1920. This was a style which was available to and affordable for just about all, whether wealthy or working class.Taking the bulk of its inspiration from the architecture of Pasadena, CA brothers Henry and Charles Greene, Craftsman homes were a significant change from the ornate Victorian homes in style at that time. These homes aimed to present a connection to nature and a newfound simplicity of design.Taking their cue from nature, Craftsman homes seemed to be a part of their natural surroundings. Overhangs provided relief from summer heat and winter chills. Design elements were taken from natural ideas – wooden wall cladding, stepping stones and interior decoration schemes which reminded one of outside.The Greene brothers were influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style as well as the architecture of H.H. Richardson. The Greenes also took inspiration from Japanese functional home philosophy. These homes were built to be adaptable to the changing needs of families and designed to integrate as closely as possible into their environment. Along with these influences, the brothers took some cues from the English Arts and Crafts movement – the sum of all these influences was what we now know as the California Bungalow.The Gamble house in Pasadena is universally acknowledged as their masterpiece. Built in 1908, this home uses exposed joinery which seems to grow organically out of the home, verandas and an integration of home and garden to integrate the home in to its outdoor setting. Unique at the time in its asymmetry, the home appears almost a natural, rather than an architectural wonder. The exposed rafters, triangular braced supports and transomed windows are all hallmarks of the Craftsman style.One is struck by the beauty of the Gamble House immediately at the front door. You seem to see a reflection of an oak tree behind you. The cloud lifts and Tiffany Glass (by Louis Comfort) are a sign of the beauty to come. There is a unifying theme of broad horizontal lines; this begins with the bars under the transoms and is repeated throughout the home in many windows.Upon entering the home, you now see the same oak tree from the inside – there is a feeling of still beige outdoors. The stained glass of the front door changes with the light of the day over the hours. The main attraction of the interior is the wooden joinery. There is not a single crevice exposed here; the scarf, lap and finger joints are all impeccable.The austere, Japanese inspired design and functionality of the home is displayed best through the extensive built-ins added by the Greenes. There are drawers built in to the dining room for linen storage and other uses. The Greenes were very concerned with creating a unified look and feel for the home; so much so that they even built most of the furniture, lest the residents disrupt the ambience with furniture which was not perfectly suited to their vision of the home.The horizontal themes are carried on throughout the dining room. There is also a recurring motif of threes to be seen in the home – there are three stained glass windows, three vertical wooden pieces where the wall meets the ceiling, three tiles on either side of the fireplace and so on.The windows here also continue the tree theme of the front door and also change colors over the course of the day. The mahogany table and chandelier are matching in shape (suba). All of the home’s furniture was designed by the Greene brothers or by Gustav Stickley. The walls are covered in fabric and then painted over. Carpets were added for color.The fireplace features tile with a Tiffany glass inlay in a vine pattern matching the Tiffany glass bowl on the dining room table. This pattern also meshes with the pattern of the windows – there is no element of design here which does not fit together perfectly.

John Morrissey in Saratoga, Excerpted from Albany Scrapbook, Vol 1

It is one of the ironic facts of high society life that superior imagination will never, in the final analysis, gain equal footing with superior reserves of inherited cash. However much acclaim, or money, the artists, sportsmen and entrepreneurs who provide amusement for the very rich may accumulate in life, when the Blue Book goes to press there can be no mistaking just who is holding all the face cards.For some, that is a painful, stubbornly resisted lesson. John Morrissey, for one, never really did learn it. As much as any other person, Morrissey built the framework for modern Saratoga Springs, introducing both horse racing and casino gambling to the Spa City. Neither did he neglect to mind his own interests, amassing a personal fortune and pursuing a successful, if somewhat suspect, political career in the service of New York City’s Tammany Hall machine. But for all his money, for his seat in the United States House of Representatives (and later in the New York State Senate), and for his pivotal role in the development of Saratoga’s principal summer attractions, Morrissey never was able to gain what was finally his fondest goal–acceptance into the finest social circles for his beloved wife, Susie, if not for himself.The best people, after all, had only to look at John Morrissey’s more-than-tainted background to see that he was only in the Club House because he owned it. Morrissey, the son of Irish immigrants, had grown up in Troy during the 1830s and 40s and largely on the streets. Schooled principally in such pursuits as street-fighting and hustling, he did not learn how to read or write until his nineteenth year. But he had by that time already developed his more basic skills to an exceptional degree, earning a reputation as a very tough young man and, on several occasions, attracting the attention of local law enforcement officials over matters ranging from assault and battery to assault with intent to kill.From Troy, Morrissey moved on to New York City where he went to work for Tammany Hall as leader of that organization’s Dead Rabbit Gang, a band of toughs charged with keeping a careful eye on New York voting trends. In the spirit of the day’s politics, he and his colleagues were charged by the bosses with re-educating dissident voters whenever necessary by beating them to within an inch of their lives. It would appear that the young Trojan excelled at his work, because his rise through Tammany ranks was rapid.At the same time, he was able to use those talents to pursue an athletic career, taking time out from politics to become the heavyweight boxing champion of the United States. In the unrelenting and illegal version of the sport that was then practiced, fighters punched and grappled, bare-knuckled, to the finish, and each round ended not by a bell but by a decisive knock-down.Morrissey secured the championship in 1853 in a still-legendary 37-round brawl with title-holder Yankee Sullivan at Boston Corners, New York, near the Massachusetts line. It was a fight he probably lost by most measures, but one he won on a technicality in the midst of mayhem. “Old Smoke,” as he was nicknamed after a barroom fight landed him on top of smoldering coals and convinced his audience he was impervious to pain, continued to fight until 1859.With all that, Morrissey was still in his thirties when he was elected to a term in Congress representing Tammany turf. The Congressional Record indicates that the Irish pugilist contributed little to the turbulent political landscape of the 1860s, however. He is perhaps best remembered, in terms of that chapter in his career, for his offer in the course of a heated debate on the floor of the House to “lick any man in Congress.” By that time, though, John Morrissey had established himself, and distinguished himself, in other pursuits as well.Beginning with a small gambling house in New York City, he had developed a growing gambling empire. About the same time that much of the nation was focused on the outbreak of the Civil War, Morrissey was casting his sights north to the already thriving resort of Saratoga, where he was determined to offer games of chance to the Spa’s prosperous, bathing vacationers.His first casino there proved to be a formidable temptation for the well-heeled summer folk. It was followed in short order by the town’s first race track and, before the end of the decade, by the much grander Club House, which for many years set the pace for Saratoga gaming emporia, to be surpassed only by the Canfield Casino.At about the same time, John and Susie Morrissey, settling into middle age, found themselves as strongly attracted to the forms and functions of society life as were the socialites to the track and Club House. Some of Mr. Morrissey’s rougher edges had already been polished away and his facile Irish charm went a long way to hide the others. For her part, Mrs. Morrissey was of gentler birth and possessed in abundance whatever social skills her husband lacked.Still, time and again, the couple was ostracized by the very society that turned to them for amusement each summer. When they went looking to purchase a suitable estate in Morrissey’s native Troy, a sparkling center of industrial wealth, they found that none among the city’s elite would sell to them at any price. (In retaliation, they built a soap factory between the Hudson River and the fashionable neighborhood they aspired to, causing the gentle river breezes to turn acrid.) When invitations went out, the Morrisseys–common if very rich gamblers–were repeatedly snubbed. As it turned out, it was not until John Morrissey’s death in 1878, when he was only 47 years old, that the society to which he had contributed so much paused to notice what were after all the remarkable accomplishments of the once impoverished and illiterate child of immigrants. The New York Times eulogized him at length while the flag at City Hall flew at half-mast, and 19,000 Trojans who would not have their native son as their neighbor in life marched somberly behind his coffin as the springtime rains fell.