Between choosing the most glamorous wedding dress and picking colors, luscious flowers, favors, and memorable invitations, wedding planning is downright stressful. Something is bound to fall through the cracks, right? Whether it was DIY disasters, blue-stained mouths from blue icing, or procrastination and scheduling, we asked Shine readers to share their wedding planning mistakes and regrets. Tell us, looking back on your special day, what wedding planning mistakes did you make? -- Ali SwankRead More »from Brides Share Their Wedding Planning Mistakes
Blog Posts by Ali Swank
- Ali Swank | At Home – Fri, Apr 19, 2013 6:17 PM EDT
Earth Day is April 22nd, so how are you greening your lifestyle? Instead of buying something new and cookie-cutter, scour flea markets and garage sales for a unique vintage item and upcycle it into something pretty and useful. Mother Earth (and your wallet) will thank you! We asked Shine readers how they transformed ordinary and dusty antique stuff into a creation of their own. Tell us in the comments where you find inspiration for your recycled, decorative projects. -- Ali SwankRead More »from Go Green: Upcycling Project Ideas to Try This Spring
Spring is finally here! Are you ready for the bursting trees, greening grass, blooming tulips, fresh air, and a few rain storms sprinkled amongst the beaming, sunny days? We asked Shine readers to share what's on their bucket list for spring. Here are 16 fun things to add to your own. Tell us, what do you plan on doing this glorious season? -- Ali SwankRead More »from 16 Fun Things to Add to Your Spring Bucket List
- Ali Swank | Parenting – Thu, Mar 28, 2013 11:37 AM EDT
Why is it that a costumed Easter Bunny can elicit a more frightened response than Santa? He's hoppy, jovial, fuzzy, and, most importantly, the Easter Bunny brings chocolate; however, he strikes fear and anxiety in all of us that is comparable to a gremlin or Freddy Krueger. We asked Shine readers to share their best photos of a visit with the Easter Bunny. Beware: this bunny may haunt your dreams. -- Ali SwankRead More »from Easter Bunny Pictures Scary Enough to Haunt Your Dreams
Whether you just turned 21 or 29, it's looming: the day you turn 30. With fears of overnight graying and wrinkling, a much earlier bedtime, and the realization that this may just be a crisis, we asked Shine readers who have already passed this milestone to share what really happens when you turn the dirty 30. -- Ali SwankRead More »from What really happens when you turn 30?
- Ali Swank | Parenting – Thu, Feb 28, 2013 11:57 AM EST
It's Throwback Thursday! This week, we asked for your school portraits from the 1990s. What makes them so cute (the toothy grins) and so embarrassing (the roller skates as a prop)? The fluffed bangs, the floral prints, and the horrible school portrait backdrops; these are a few of our favorite things school portraits from the 90s. #TBT -- Ali SwankRead More »from Throwback Thursday: Your Totally Awesome 90s School Portraits
How does faith play a role in your life?We're often consumed with day-to-day life: the next research paper due, that next cell phone bill or rent check that's also due, how to score tickets to Justin Timberlake's summer tour, or simply what you're going to wear in the morning. But are we paying attention to a higher power in the sky? Are we reading scriptures, observing Purim, or going to church... religiously?
According to the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life, "Millennials" are less likely to identify with any religion or Christian denomination than previous generations. In fact, 1 in 4 are unaffiliated with a particular faith compared to 1 in 5 members of Generation X. And what about your elders? Only 13 percent of Baby Boomers were unaffiliated with a specific religion at a similar age.
So, are we losing our religion? Below are excerpts from young women across the country, describing how faith and spirituality play a role in their lives ... or maybe, it doesn't.
"The media delivering upRead More »from Are We Losing Our Religion?
- Ali Swank | Healthy Living – Wed, Jan 9, 2013 5:36 PM EST
It's been about two weeks since you committed yourself to that all-too-common resolution. Lose weight. Are you already slacking on your diet resolution? Has the New Year's new leaf proven no more effective than Sensa crystals, the grapefruit diet, and gallons of a detox solution with a grocery-list of ingredients, like ginger, mint, lemon, cucumber, dandelion tea, cranberry juice, apples, cinnamon, and whatever else you can throw in distilled water? Well, we asked real women for their success stories and were surprised-but-not when they turned out to be simple and practical, without a magic weight-loss pill in sight. Here's a small reminder of what a stick-to-it plan of diet and exercise can do for you before ringing in 2014. - By Ali SwankRead More »from You Can Do It: Real Women Share Their Weight-Loss Resolution Successes
"It was a day of epic temper tantrums. Screaming, flailing, and locking myself in the coat closet for a good cry...all before 9 a.m. After a cup of juice went sailing across my living room, and a cat went running for her life, I did the unthinkable. I grabbed the weapon of my mother's choice. The wooden spoon. I didn't hit the kid with it, but I went tearing through the house like a screaming banshee, hitting the spoon on walls and tables and letting him know that this spoon would make contact with his bottom if he didn't quit acting like a demon. NeedlessRead More »from 5 Horrible Mom-ents of 2012
- Ali Swank | At Home – Fri, Dec 21, 2012 1:40 PM EST
The holidays are approaching quickly like the end of the world (Wasn't that supposed to happen?). Shine set out to tackle a popular pin on Pinterest, so you wouldn't have to find out if this was just another Pinterest fail or success (a rare occassion, in our opinon). In need of a quick, crowd-pleasing appetizer for a holiday dinner party, we chose the popular pinecone cheese ball. We combined the festive look of a cheeseball re-pinned hundreds of times on Pinterest with a super easy recipe from a cheese ball that used pecans instead of almonds. Would we succeed with a tasty, festive cheese ball to share with friends, or would we have another Pintrocious monstrosity on our hands?Read More »from Pintrocious or Pinspirational? Lazy Girls' Guide to a 20-Minute, Festive Cheese Ball
- Ali Swank and Tracy Stientjes