Today the world gathered to witness the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The royal wedding has been garnering attention for months, so it’s no surprise that the big milestone should attract such fanfare on the big day.
News outlets have reported that many engaged couples flocked to London today to see the ceremony, hoping to find inspiration and ideas in the extravagant affair that caught the world’s attention. We’ve compiled a short list of wedding ideas inspired by today’s royal affair. You can make easy, stylish choices to give your wedding the royal touch.
- Simplify Your Flowers: Kate carried a simple bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, and other smaller blossoms. It was a delicate contrast to the more extravagant elements of the wedding, and it’s a good idea for brides hoping to save a bit of money while alsomaking a statement. You might want to research what flowers mean and choose a modest collection to carry on your big day.
- Wonderful White: Kate’s bridesmaids and flower girls wore white gowns for the occasion, and this was a nice departure from the bright pastel gowns one often sees at weddings. Though it is not uncommon for bridesmaids to wear white, it’s not something you see every day. The effect can be stunning in photographs, particularly if the gowns are coupled with colorful flowers, and it’s an idea to consider in planning your wedding.
- Stand By Traditions: As royalty, it is no surprise that William and Kate upheld many traditions in their wedding, including the military regalia worn by the groom, but it’s a nice idea for other brides and grooms to consider in wedding planning. How can you integrate familial and cultural traditions into your wedding? Some brides in Texas wear cowboy boots, for example, and other brides wear their mother’s gowns for their walk down the aisle. Make the day even more memorable by paying homage to the traditions that matter to you as a couple.
These are only a few ideas, and of course there are other ways to get the royal treatment on your happy day. Though you might not have two billion people tuning into your nuptials, you can ensure that family, friends, and others in your community are able to celebrate your milestone. Remember that you can do this by creating a free wedding or engagement posting at xtraxtra.com.
Tell us your thoughts on the royal wedding. Did you like her gown? What stood out to you? Are you disappointed that it didn’t turn out more like this (kidding, of course!)?
We send our congratulations to the prince and his bride, and of course we also celebrate the happy couples looking forward to their own big day in the future!
Til next time,
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We diligently review the postings, photos, and comments that are shared on xtra xtra, but we also count on xtra xtra users to help us maintain the quality of our content.
Below is a brief tutorial on how to flag content. Once you are signed in, either with your xtra xtra user account or with Facebook Connect, you’ll have the ability to quickly flag content that strikes you as questionable or inappropriate.
- Sign in to xtra xtra.
- Access the content you wish to flag. This can be a milestone posting, a photo, or a comment.
- Click the icon that looks like a flag. You will be asked to confirm the action.
- The xtra xtra team will then review the content and decide whether or not to remove it from the site. If you have questions or comments, please direct them to email@example.com.
We need your help to make xtra xtra the best site that it can be, so please help us in the effort to keep good content on the site.
Til next time,
- xtra xtra 101
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It’s Earth Day, and xtra xtra is committed to saving the planet. Here are a few ways you can make a difference today!
- Choose to walk instead of taking your car
- Carpool with a friend or take public transportation
- Plant something—whether it’s a tree or a flower, it will help clean the air while also adding some beauty to the community
- Turn off the water as you wash your hands and brush your teeth
- Switch your printer settings to print double-sided pages
- Create a paperless milestone at xtraxtra.com (of course!)
- If you use a laptop, unplug it; your computer is always drawing energy when it’s plugged in, even if the battery is fully charged.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Challenge yourself to shorten your shower—shaving a few minutes off your shower time can conserve gallons of water.
- Make a break from plastic bags—when you go to the supermarket, take reusable canvas bags, or ask for paper bags that can be recycled after use.
- Plant a garden—Growing your own vegetables is a great way to be self-sufficient while also cleaning the air and preventing waste.
- Share a conservation tip with someone you know—spreading the word can prevent waste!
- When you make your coffee run, buy a reusable coffee mug. Many coffee shops offer discounts to people who bring their own container, and it’s a great way to avoid using Styrofoam cups. Also? Save and reuse drink trays from fast-food restaurants!
- Turn off (or turn down) the heat and air conditioner. Lots of energy is wasted when people leave home without turning off the heat or A/C!
- Think about what you want from the refrigerator before opening it—LOTS of energy is wasted when the door is open!
- Don’t buy anything. Instead of buying more “stuff,” keep your wallet in your pocket and make do with what you have. This prevents over-consumption of materials and waste.
- Put air in your tires. Your car is more gas-efficient with manufacturer-recommended tire pressure.
- If you replace a piece of furniture, find a use for the old one instead of just throwing it away. Sell it on CraigsList or post it on FreeCycle, a site devoted to keeping things out of landfills.
- Compost your vegetables and other compostable materials; you can dispose of these items by burying them in a garden or creating a compost pile. The materials will decompose to provide a rich diet for plants while also extending the lives of landfills.
- Rinse and reuse plastic cups (i.e. Solo cups)
- Take your kids outside. Turn off the Wii and X-Box and go outside for some family fun. You’ll prevent those devices from drawing energy, and you’ll be able to enjoy these nice long spring days with the whole family!
- Unplug your cell phone charger when you’re not using it. These continue to draw electricity from the outlet, even when your phone is not attached to the charger!
- Read a book for an hour instead of watching television.
- Skip the meat—Meat production contributes to more than 18% of CO2 emissions. Go vegetarian today, and try to choose meat-free options every once in a while in the future, too.
- Go green at work–Make sure your office has recycling bins for paper and plastic. Think of all the paper that comes off the printer and copier!
- Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient alternatives.
- Turn off your computer at night. Even “sleep” or “hibernate” modes draw energy from your electrical outlets.
- Install low-flow shower heads and toilets to conserve water.
- Request online bill paying as often as possible. Paperless bills save paper!
- Recycle old batteries, cell phones, and ink cartridges. People often just toss these in the trash, but the toxic chemicals in these materials can cause serious harm to the environment when burned or buried in a landfill.
- Avoid plastic when purchasing produce. If you’re buying a few apples or an onion, don’t put it in a flimsy plastic bag. Skip the plastic and just put it in your cart. Also, avoid produce that has been packaged ahead of time. Some supermarkets put four tomatoes on a tray and wrap it in plastic, for example. This is wasteful extra packaging, so just go for loose veggies.
- Invest in some cloth napkins and dishtowels. These are a good green alternative to paper napkins and paper towels.
- Skip the dryer and hang out your laundry to dry.
- Host a garage sale; it’s a great way to get rid of clutter without putting it in the trash. One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure!
- Wash your clothes in cold water. Your washer devotes most of its energy to heating the water.
- Get a recycling bin. Many town halls provide these for free to local residents, and they aren’t very expensive at your local home goods store. Make the investment and start recycling your paper, plastic, and paper!
- Wash your dishes by hand today instead of using the dishwasher. Fill the sink with soapy water, turn off the tap, and wash the dishes with a sponge or a rag. This will save the energy your dishwasher would have used to do the same task, and it takes less time!
- Save paper by getting a library card next time you want to read the latest bestseller.
- Clean up the water—Pull on some rain boots and rubber gloves and wade into a local lake or creek. Help clean up pollution and save local wildlife that rely on these habitats. Planet Green has compiled a great list of organizations helping in this initiative.
- Follow the speed limit. Your car burns gas most efficiently when you maintain a steady speed, and accelerating and decelerating can make an impact on your gas tank. Following the speed limit will help you use less gas (and it’s also safer!).
- Buy a reusable water bottle. This is an ecofriendly way to avoid using and disposing plastic water bottles.
- If you host a birthday party or shower, ask your guests not to wrap the gifts. Gift wrap is a big waste of paper, and this will challenge guests to come up with clever ways to wrap the gift. (A friend at a recent bridal shower wrapped a box in newspaper and then painted flowers on it!)
- When possible, look through the window of your oven instead of opening it to check on a dish. This will keep the heat contained in the oven and conserve energy.
- Fix your leaky faucets to conserve water.
- Buy rechargeable batteries.
- Consider a “staycation.” Instead of buying plane tickets or filling up your car for a cross-country trip, find activities and excursions in your own town. This saves money while also conserving fuel when you’re looking for a way to entertain the whole family.
- Reuse your towels.
- If you’re using a dishwasher or a washing machine, make sure you have a full load to make the most of the water and energy being used in the process.
- Water your lawn in the morning to get the most out of the water you’re using.
- Research other ways you can reduce, reuse, and recycle!
- xtra xtra
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On Monday, April 18, 24,390 people lined up to compete in the 115th Boston Marathon. Men and women from over ninety countries came to Hopkinton, Massachusetts for a 26.2 mile race through eastern Massachusetts.
It’s exciting to live around Boston on Marathon Monday. People line the streets to cheer on the runners, and a carnival-like atmosphere takes hold of neighborhoods and communities all along the race route. It’s not surprising that this happens, though, as it’s hard not to cheer for someone who’s running a marathon. The runners train for months in preparation for this athletic achievement, so of course the community comes out to support their efforts!
We invite the runners and their supporters to visit xtraxtra.com and create a free posting celebrating this athletic milestone. Here’s a sample milestone for a marathon runner. Remember that you can include photos from the race, and don’t forget to tag it to the runner’s hometown and alma mater!
Congratulations to all of the competitors from this year’s marathon. We look forward to cheering for you again next year!
The xtra xtra team
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Today we’re celebrating a milestone of our own–the “birthday” of xtraxtra.com!
xtra xtra was founded in April of 2009, so we’re taking a moment to blow out some candles and toss the confetti in the air. Like most people, we’re also thinking back on what we’ve accomplished in the last year and what we hope to achieve in the future. Indeed, a lot has changed since last April; we’ve secured many exciting partnerships, and we also added another full-time employee! We’re looking forward to many more years of milestone-making success, and we can’t wait to celebrate more of life’s special moments with all of you!
The xtra xtra team
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How to Write a Fantastic Birth Announcement
Having a baby is a big moment for a family, and it’s certainly one that deserves to be shared with the community. A birth announcement is your chance to celebrate this special occasion with all of your favorite people, so here is a quick checklist of the details you should remember when creating a birth announcement.
- The parents’ names and hometown(s)
- The baby’s full name
- The date and time of birth
- The baby’s weight and length
- The hospital where the child was born
- The names of proud siblings who are welcoming a new brother or sister.
- Don’t forget Grandma and Grandpa! Include the names of grandparents as well as their hometowns.
Some people add additional information, but often these are kept simple and succinct. Your local newspaper might have a template for creating a birth announcement, but remember that you can create your own for free at xtraxtra.com. We give you unlimited space to include all the details you like, as well as a photo of the new arrival!
Share a birth announcement at xtraxtra.com today, or visit the site to see if any of your friends and acquaintances have welcomed a new addition of their own.
Til next time,
- xtra xtra 101
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xtra xtra is always developing new partnerships with non-profit organizations that support our local communities. As a site dedicated to announcements and milestones, we admire the tremendous work that these non-profits do in our neighborhoods and cities. We’ve featured some of these partners in the past, and today we’re excited to introduce you to another incredible organization that’s doing tremendous work in the Boston area.
The Massachusetts Iraq & Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund (MIAFHM) is a nonprofit organization with a really special mission. This group is working tirelessly to create a permanent memorial for the men and women from Massachusetts who have given their lives in military service since September 11th. The organization includes combat veterans, Gold Star families, firefighters and police officers, and others dedicated to honoring those who have fallen in battle.
The MIAFHM was founded in 2010, and they are currently working to find a site for the memorial. Fundraising plans are in motion, and of course you can make a donation at their website, www.massfallenheroes.org. A traveling interactive memorial has been created that features photos, videos, and information about those who have given their lives in service. You can see the memorial in towns across the state, and it also makes frequent appearances at the State House in an effort to raise awareness about these heroes’ sacrifices.
In the coming months, xtra xtra will help the MIAFMH promote events and fundraisers, and we’ll also be hosting advertisements to assist in the organization’s fundraising efforts. We have always been proud to feature comprehensive military announcements on our site, and we view these efforts with the MIAFMH as another step in helping communities across the country celebrate and honor their local heroes.
Above you can view a special video from the Massachusetts Iraq & Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund. We hope you’ll also visit their website to learn more about the program and donate to support their efforts.
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Yesterday, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel won the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia. This is an athletic milestone that grabs the world’s attention every year, and many were surprised by the young player’s game when he closed the day with four birdies (a milestone in itself, as no other Masters champion has achieved such a feat!).
We’re commemorating Schwartzel’s athletic achievement today, and we’re also celebrating the arrival of springtime. What springtime milestones are you looking forward to in the coming months?
- Milestone Spotlight
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