Coffee Break

Big Brother 16 Contestants Jeff & Jordan Get Engaged with Robbins Brothers Ring

Just Engaged! Sending a warm congratulations to contestants Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd who were recently engaged on CBS’ Big Brother 16. When Jeff visited the Woodland Hills store, it was such a pleasure helping him find the ring that Jordan would adore. He was so excited and even a little nervous picking it out, but our wonderful engagement ring consultants, Amy Butler and Moraima Alamillo, helped put him right at ease. It was a ring-shopping “party” as the ladies assisted Jeff with his decision on a gorgeous cushion-cut halo diamond engagement ring from the Robbins Brothers Vintage Collection.

VIDEO: Jeff shops for Jordan’s Engagement Ring at Robbins Brothers Woodland Hills!

The Marriage Proposal! (grab a Kleenex)
http://www.cbs.com/shows/big_brother/video/PwFSibFZ4fp6c_5jbWxfaeyLfiuk6NE4/big-brother-jeff-proposes-to-jordan/

The RING!

56 round diamonds are delicately set in a a split band and halo design that will enhance the 1 carat round center diamond of choice. Sku 0382429 at www.RobbinsBrothers.com

56 round diamonds are delicately set in a a split band and halo design that will enhance the 1 carat center diamond of choice. Sku 0382429 at www.RobbinsBrothers.com

Big Brother 16: Jeff proposes to Jordan. Photo Courtesy www.BigBrotherNetwork.com

Big Brother 16: Jeff proposes to Jordan. Photo Courtesy www.BigBrotherNetwork.com

*Also check out details from last month’s romantic surprise proposal for Big Brother 15 contestant Aaryn Gries of Houston! http://engaged.robbinsbrothers.com/big-brother-star-aaryn-gries-engaged-with-beautiful-robbins-brothers-ring/

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Top 10 Places to Hide the Engagement Ring

#MyHidingSpot

#MyHidingSpot

Congrats, you did it! You found the perfect engagement ring for her. The one that will make her eyes sparkle, but most importantly symbolizes a passionate lifetime commitment between the two of you. So on to your next feat, right? The marriage proposal? Well not quite yet…especially if your proposal is planned for two weeks away or even a month. What will you do with the engagement ring in the meantime so she doesn’t find it? Where will you hide it?!

We asked our social media fans with the help of The Man Registry and the votes are in! Without further ado…the top 10 places to hide the engagement ring! Take notes.
#MyHidingSpot

1. Underwear Drawer

2. Golf Bag

3. Briefcase

4. Car Trunk

5. Safe Deposit Box

6. With a Family Member or Friend

7. Medicine Bottle

8. The Jeweler’s

9. At Work

10. Toilet Scrubber

Do you have any other clever ideas in mind? Let us know! #MyHidingSpot

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Late Night, Date Night In Seattle

By guest blogger Megan Pribble

PicMonkey Collage4

“Life is better when you’re laughing,” and eating delicious food, too.

Seattle is filled with numerous unique, eclectic, and delicious dining locations. We are fortunate to live in a city surrounded by food that is fresh and made local.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite date spots; as I am always looking to try new foods and restaurant locations, please let me know if you have additional recommendations!

My favorite places to eat are not necessarily the most formal. In fact, I find that eating out at restaurants that are affordable and offer delicious food is greatly satisfying.

Here are a few of my Seattle favorites:

Tavolata
An Ethan Stowell Restaurant, Tavolata, offers a variety of delicious soups, salads and pastas. Lofted ceilings, soft lighting, and bench seating make this date spot, located in the heart of Belltown, unique. My favorite item on the menu is the Rigatoni pasta!

TNT Taqueria
If you aren’t familiar with TNT Taqueria, located in Wallingford, you may never notice the space. This tiny walk-up taco spot offers incredible Mexican cuisine. The line may be long, but it is worth the wait. Be sure to pair your tacos with their avocado cream sauce (guacamole meets sour cream)!

Wild Ginger
Located in the downtown area, Wild Ginger is one of my favorite Asian restaurants. The menu incorporates traditional dishes from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The Thai chicken skewers from Wild Ginger are my absolute favorite!

Red Mill Burgers
Sometimes your date can be as simple as enjoying a cheeseburger, with a milkshake on the side, of course. Red Mill Burgers, located in Phinney Ridge, is the perfect date destination. I typically order the Red Mill Deluxe burger, fries (because what burger is complete without them?), and a coffee milkshake. Eat at Red Mill, or take your food across the street for a picnic.

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
Complete any of the above dates, or a separate evening altogether, with incredible homemade ice cream. With locations throughout the greater Seattle area, Molly Moon’s won’t disappoint. Flavors rotate seasonally, but a few classics include vanilla bean, balsamic strawberry, and stumptown coffee.

Megan Pribble, a Seattle blogger is the creator of Diary of this Girl.

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How to Avoid 8 Common Pre-Wedding Stressors

Photo courtesy of www.bridalguide.com.

Photo courtesy of www.bridalguide.com

By guest blogger Natasha Burton

Ah, wedding planning. The unique time in your life during which you and your beloved—who likely have little previous event planning experience—need to pull together a grand occasion for everyone you love most. Oh, and you’re also getting married. No pressure, right?

So many issues—big and little—crop up during this special (and stressful) time. To the point that you may find yourself wondering why in the heck you didn’t just elope. But, do not fear: Wedding freak-outs happen to get the best of us (er, all of us).

As a fellow bride-to-be who has had many a moment of worry during this process, I’m here to help you handle some of the common problems that crop up. Here are eight issues that are probably more typical than you’d think.

The issue: Your parents demand to “approve” the seating chart—and both sides request conflicting changes.

The solution: If each side gives a litany of requests regarding who must sit where, ask them to distill their demands into a “top five” list. That way, you’ll know what’s most important to each side (seating the grandparents at the head table, making sure your weird uncle Al isn’t sitting near great aunt Minnie, who can’t stand him, and so on). Honor at least two or so requests from each side—then let the rest go. The wedding won’t be “ruined” because two people had to sit near each other for an hour.

The issue: One of your vendors is totally MIA.

The solution: First, check your contract. It may stipulate that your vendor can only answer X number of emails for the fee you paid or give a timeline of how long it may take him or her to respond. Next, talk to whoever referred you to this vendor to find out what’s typical as far as response times go. Nothing? Send a brief, respectful but firm email expressing your frustration. If you still don’t get anything back, and it seems like you may never hear from the person again, you may need to find another vendor—and have a lawyer draft up a breach of contract letter so you can recoup your deposit.

The issue: You’re over budget and can’t figure out what to cut.

The solution: Often, this is more of an issue of not wanting to cut something than it is not being able to. Clearly, you need to have a venue, rentals (plates for people to eat off of and chairs for them to sit in), and something for people to eat. However, making small adjustments (like choosing a silverware pattern that’s 10 cents cheaper than the one you picked out) won’t make a big difference. So, it comes down to priority: Determine what’s not as important to you and find a less expensive option. For example, if having a cinematic rendition of your Big Day isn’t crucial, having some kind of video account of your wedding is, consider DIY-ing your wedding videographer (by having friends agree to wear GoPros) rather than pay a pro, which can be thousands of dollars. If having a photobooth is important but you don’t care if the photos print out, use an app and an iPad to create your own set-up (and then make the photos available online post-wedding) instead of renting a full-scale set-up. Instead of buying a new veil, borrow a friend’s. You get the idea.

The issue: You sent a save-the-date to someone you really don’t want to invite. (Awk-ward.)

The solution: If you had a falling out with this person and having him or her at your wedding would ruin your day, send an email to the effect of, “Given how our relationship has changed since we sent out our save the dates, I feel uncomfortable extending you an invitation to our wedding.” But, if this person is simply someone whom you’ve grown to dislike over the months that have passed since save-the-dates went out (and he or she is none the wiser), you’ll have to suck it up and send the invite. A good lesson: Don’t invite people you don’t know very well to your wedding if you can help it.

The issue: You’re second-guessing the favors you bought six months ago (on sale).

The solution: It’s hard to resist an opportunity to save money while wedding planning, but if you end up hating what you bought on the cheap and need to replace it, you end up losing more than you save. In this situation, option number one is, of course, get over it. Many guests will forget their favors at your venue, lose them on the way home, or toss them within a year. But if whatever you chose really bothers you and you absolutely can’t see yourself using them, put them up on Craigslist or RuffledBlog.com so another couple can buy them from you and use them for their wedding. If you recoup your costs, you can more easily justify getting something else.

The issue: You just found out that a close friend decided to go on vacation instead of attend your wedding.

The solution: Ouch. If there is one thing that planning a wedding taught me, it’s that you really learn who your friends are—and who they aren’t. The best advice I can give here is to try not to take this situation personally: Your friend’s decision more likely has little to do with you and your relationship and is more about his or her priorities (and perhaps how important he or she believes marriage and weddings are). If it will make you feel better to express your disappointment, however, you should do so. Your friend may have no clue how his or her decision makes you feel.

The issue: You’re worried that your wedding details don’t reflect you both as a couple.

The solution: Now that we have Pinterest, as well as endless wedding blogs, showing off bespoke details of all types, there’s a ton of pressure on couples to create a day that perfectly reflects them down to the last monogrammed, hand-dip-dyed napkin. And, honestly, for most of us, this kind of uber-personalization is not possible—money-wise, time-wise, and sanity-wise. Focus on what aspects do represent both of you: Perhaps your first dance song, your vows, your choice of venue, the city you’re choosing to get married in, or even the type of flowers you decided on for your bouquet. I’m sure that, for every detail that might not seem “you” enough, you’ll find two that truly represent your relationship.

shulie eric tornel

The issue: You think you have cold feet.

The solution: Call it off! Just kidding. Now, I’m not a premarital counselor, so please take this advice with a proverbial grain of salt. But remember that every person getting married has some degree of doubt. To not wonder—at least once—if you’re making the right decision about spending the next 50 years sleeping next to the same person night after night (after night!) would be, well, weird. In those moments, identify the concrete thing that’s causing you anxiety about sealing the deal: Is your fiancé making that annoying sound with his throat again? Or, is he belittling you in front of your friends? Clearly, the former is harmless and the latter is so not okay. Determine if your doubts are legit or just a case of pre-wedding jitters before stressing out about them.

Natasha Burton is an author, freelance writer and editor.
101 Quizzes for Couples
natashaburton.com

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking of Proposing to Your Girlfriend

5 questions about proposal

By guest blogger Mark Estrada, Robbins Brothers Marketing Assistant

It may seem a little unfair to know the answer to a question before you ask it, but in the case of a marriage proposal, having confidence that the answer is yes will help with your sanity. Of course you can never be 100% sure, but here’s a way to get to 99% and make it easy on yourself and maybe everyone else you know.

First off, how long have you been dating?
Fortunately there is no established timeframe on how short or long people need to date to get engaged, but since marriage is a lifelong commitment it’s probably a good idea to take your time before diving in. Does she talk about your future together? Does she use the word “forever” when discussing your relationship? Without a definite “it’s marriage time” moment, I suggest giving yourself a full year together before you decide to take a knee. A year gives you the opportunity to understand your partner’s ups and downs, how they react to a bad day at work, how they celebrate holidays, how they solve problems and how best to communicate with them.

How’s the wallet?
Money isn’t everything, but it allows the two of you to have freedom to grow in your relationship without needing help from others. If you haven’t already, discuss your financial history and future together. Talk about your spending and saving habits, any long term goals, joint accounts, saving for a house or kids. This will help minimize uncertainty for both of you so that when she comes home with a curious smile and a $400.00 purse, you won’t be surprised.

Are you her #1 confidant?
Regardless of if she is happy, sad or indifferent, does she want to come to you first to share how she feels? If you are the first person she runs to with anything that is on her mind, you can believe she considers you as her rock. You should be the person she trusts the most and she should be the same for you.
couple talking

Have you discussed marriage?
Marriage is an eventuality for many, but is still incredibly special and at some point you may have discussed the possibility. What is her opinion of marriage and what is her view of marriage for herself? Will you adopt traditional gender roles or a more modern view? Getting to know her view of marriage will help you understand her expectations for the future.

Do you party more together than with your single friends?
The Vegas club hopping has started to get old and you are noticing a change in the preferred activities the two of you attend. Are you making the transition from lone wolf to igloo dwelling penguins? How does she feel about spending more time with you than her girls? How do you feel about spending most of your free time together? What balance do you strive for? How much freedom do you allow each other? Discussing these questions will help manage the relationship changes among each other and your friends.

Once again there is no way to be 100% sure of her answer, but asking these questions will help you assess the relationship for who you are now, who you hope to become, and what role you’re expected to play. Now that all of that is out in the open I ask you to consider one last thing, do you love her? Does she love you? If the answer is yes, I’d say it’s a good time to snap, crackle, pop the question.

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