Whether you’re just engaged, newlyweds or married for 25 years you want to ensure your engagement ring lasts a lifetime. To protect the sentimental and monetary value follow these important tips on proper care for your engagement and wedding rings.

• Insure your ring – the easiest way is to add a rider to your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
• Clean it often – soak in warm water and mild dishwashing liquid at least a few times a month.
• Perform routine maintenance – at least twice a year have your jeweler check the setting and have it professionally cleaned.
• Take it off when needed – don’t risk it when partaking in activities that might cause it to be lost or damaged  – like swimming, cleaning or playing sports.
• Storage it properly – keep your ring in a soft, fabric-lined jewelry box when not being worn.



Come up with some signature drinks only to be served during your cocktail hour. It’ll make a fun and interactive “event” for guests while they wait for the great unveiling of the reception. Select drink recipes that feature your favorite flavors, alcohol or wedding theme, and don’t forget to garnish each one, too! Here are two of my favorites, just in time for the holidays, too!

Sparkling Pear and Cranberry Cocktail
2 tablespoons dry cranberries
½ cup organic pear nectar
32 ounces Moscato d'Asti wine
8 small sprigs fresh rosemary

Put cranberries in a small bowl; add 2 tablespoons warm water. Soak until cool, about 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and refrigerate until serving. Divide pear nectar evenly among eight tall champagne glasses. Add cranberries, and then gently pour the Moscato d'Asti into the glasses. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig.

Peppermint Martini
1 ½ parts vodka
1 part peppermint schnapps
1 part crème de cacao
1 part whole milk
1/2 tablespoon light agave nectar (or simple syrup, refer to article)
Red decorating sugar

Prepare the rim of your martini glasses first with the red decorative sugar. Empty the sugar onto a plate. Take one martini glass and neatly wet the rim of the glass by running the tips of your pointer finger and thumb under water (clean hands of course) and then running your fingers along the rim of the glass. Next, dip the rim of the glass into the plate of sugar. Complete the same process for any remaining martini glasses you plan to use. To make the martini, add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker along with a few cubes of ice. Cover shaker with the caps and shake for about 15 seconds. Remove the strainer cover and strain the martini into one of your sugar rimmed glasses. Serve immediately.



The third annual I Do Downtown Bridal Crawl will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2012, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event begins at the History Center where brides-to-be will receive a map leading them to vendors throughout the downtown Orlando area. Each stop along the crawl introduces brides to a variety of wedding professionals and their offerings. For more event information and ticket details, visit www.thehistorycenter.org/bridalcrawl or call (407) 836-7035.